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"Releasing eleven barrels of HELL! All Guardsmen, FOLLOW ME TO GLORY!"

—Kronus 1st Liberators Baneblade Tank Commander on his external Vox-caster
Baneblade 00

Imperial Lucius Pattern Baneblade

The Baneblade is the primary super-heavy tank of the Imperial Guard, and one of the largest and oldest armoured fighting vehicles in the service of the Imperial armed forces. The tank is a venerated Standard Template Construct (STC) design, with ten people needed to fully crew one. It is also one of the oldest STC designs in existence. They are often used as command vehicles by Imperial Guard commanders.

The standard configuration Baneblade is a powerful main battle tank with no particular strength or weakness. It is best deployed in the role of heavy infantry support, where it can engage both infantry waves with its Heavy Bolters and Demolisher Cannon, while at the same time punish enemy armour with its Mega Battle Cannon and Lascannons. The sight of a mighty Baneblade rumbling forward is a major boost for any supporting Imperial infantry's morale, and when correctly supported, the Baneblade excels at decimating anything smaller than itself with its large array of guns while crushing the remains of its enemies under its massive tracks. This combination of inspiring presence on the battlefield and tremendous capacity for destruction explains why the Baneblade is favoured as a command vehicle by regimental commanders and even members of the Imperial General Staff who decide to take to the field. Such Command Baneblades are specially equipped with powerful Vox arrays and tactical planning equipment, allowing the officer in charge to keep control of his troops while he participates in the fighting.

For all its might, however, the Baneblade is not perfect: it is slow, lacks maneuverability and is a very large target. Baneblades are also not as effective when facing dedicated anti-armour vehicles due to the relative short range of their weapons. A single tank hunter like a Leman Russ Vanquisher can easily damage or even destroy a Baneblade long before it comes into range of the smaller tank. This is why the very adaptable chassis of the Baneblade has been used over the millenia to create more dedicated variants, from the Shadowsword Titan-killer which forgoes almost all other weapons to sport a Volcano Cannon; to the Stormlord line-breaker tank which gives up all anti-armour weaponry in favour of a Vulcan Mega Bolter, a greater number of Heavy Bolters, and the capacity to transport a whole platoon of Imperial Guardsmen.

History

Baneblade with Infantry

A Baneblade providing infantry with cover

The Baneblade and its variants are amongst the oldest patterns of tanks still being used by the Imperium of Man in the 41st Millennium. It is rumoured that in the past there were entire divisions of Baneblades in service to the Emperor of Mankind but that number is severely diminished at present, like most of the more advanced technologies available to the Imperium. There are two main patterns of Baneblade, the Lucius Pattern from Forge World Lucius, and the Mars Pattern manufactured on Mars itself. The Lucius Pattern Baneblade has a more heavily fortified chassis and larger amounts of armour plate and makes use of a more powerful engine to remain mobile with this added weight. However, the vast majority of Baneblades available in the Imperium were created in the forges of Mars. Every Baneblade made in the Imperium is transcribed with its own unique serial number and name and all the records of each vehicle's service and accomplishments in combat are reverently recorded on the Forge World of that vehicle's construction.

Armament

Baneblade and Titan

A Baneblade moving ahead of a Warhound-class Titan

The Baneblade possesses a powerful set of armaments. The standard Baneblade complement includes a turret-mounted Mega Battle Cannon with a coaxial Autocannon, three Twin-linked Heavy Bolters (one sponson-mounted on either side, and one turret-mounted on the front hull slope), two turret-mounted Lascannons on either side, directly above the side sponsons, and lastly, a fixed-forward hull-mounted Demolisher Cannon. This totals eleven weapon barrels of various sizes and roles, giving full coverage in all arcs. The Baneblade can be further given a pintle mounted weapon and a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, bringing the total up to thirteen.

Baneblades are so rare in the present Imperial armed forces that some companies upgrade a Leman Russ tank, adding sponson-mounted Lascannons if they are short on Baneblades. The Baneblade is also in extremely high demand amongst Imperial Guard armoured regiments, meaning that most such regiments will only possess 5-10.

Variants

There are several variants of the Baneblade officially recognised by the Adeptus Mechanicus that are in current use with the Imperial Guard. The Standard Template Construct chassis of the Baneblade is highly adaptable, and the Tech-priests have capitalised on this, furnishing the Imperial Guard with the tools of war it required without having to have the Guard field their own much harder to produce and maintain Titan Legions. These vehicles are mostly the result of an Imperial commander discovering an unmet tactical need that can only be accomplished by a super-heavy tank like the Baneblade. These variants are created by changing out the tank's standard weapons with those not usually found on a Baneblade. Known variants of the Baneblade include the following:

  • Hellhammer - The Hellhammer variant of the Baneblade replaces the original Mega Battle Cannon with a Hellhammer Cannon. This weapon is a variant of the standard Battle Cannon deployed on Leman Russ Tanks except that it has a shorter barrel with special heavy-gauge suppressors built into it that allows it to fire extremely high-calibre shells without ripping itself apart. This weapon allows the Hellhammer to engage multiple infantry and light armour units at once, due to the higher rate of fire that the Hellhammer Cannon makes possible.
  • Stormhammer - The Stormhammer is an extremely rare Baneblade variant that resembles the ancient Fellblade super-heavy tank used by the Space Marine Legions during the Great Crusade. The vehicle may actually be the Fellblade, renamed after 10,000 years of service to the Emperor's realm. The tank replaces the Mega Battle Cannon with a Twin-linked Battle Cannon, and adds a second turret on the front hull with another set of Twin-linked Battle Cannons. The Stormhammer also adds another set of sponson and top sponson mounts to the sides of the vehicle. A fully armed Stormhammer can deploy over 20 barrelled weapons at once, and is unsurpassed by any other Imperial armoured vehicle when it comes to sheer firepower.

Notable Users of the Baneblade

  • 9th Konig Heavy Tank Company - Attached to the 7th Mortant Regiment's 2nd Company during the Colonia Campaign
  • 13th Krieg Heavy Tank Company - Attached to the 28th Death Korps of Krieg Armoured Regiment during the Galen V Expedition
  • 11th Tekarn Heavy Tank Company - Served on the Death World of Denkari Minor, fighting the Ork WAAAGH! Grughakh
  • 1st Death Korps of Krieg Panzer Division, "Emperor's Loyal Shield" - The 1st Panzer Division participated in the Cleansing of Radnar
  • 98th Cadian Armoured Regiment - Participated in the Luxor Uprising
  • 3rd Cadian Heavy Tank Regiment (also known as the 3rd Cadian Heavy Tank Company) - Attached to the 122nd Cadian Shock Troops Regiment for the Battle of Vogen during the Khai Zhan Uprising
  • 12th Tallarn Armoured Regiment - Fought against the Tau during the Taros Campaign
  • 409th Tallarn Heavy Tank Regiment - Fought against the Tau during the Taros Campaign
  • 66th Death Korps of Krieg Tank Regiment - Fought against the Traitor forces during the Siege of Vraks
  • 11th Death Korps of Krieg Tank Regiment - Fought against the Traitor forces during the Siege of Vraks
  • 7th Death Korps of Krieg Tank Regiment - Fought against the Traitor forces during the Siege of Vraks
  • 9th Tallarn Heavy Tank Company
  • 19th Teutonian Super Heavy Tank Company
  • 8th Valhallan Armoured Regiment - Advanced on Sallan's Point during the Sallan's World Campaign
  • 12th Vellurian Armoured Cavalry Regiment
  • 1st Kronus Regiment, "The Liberators"
  • 252nd Kauravan Conservator Regiment
  • 1st Kovnian Tank Regiment, "The Black Knights"
  • 5th Cadian Armoured Regiment - Part of the Cadian Gate garrison force
  • Tyrant's Legion - The Tyrant's Legion was the Secessionist Auxilia that fought against the Loyalist forces during the Badab War
  • 44th Lavrentian Hussars - Used during the battle for the world of Pavonis
  • 7th Paragonian Super-heavy Tank Company - The 7th Paragonian consisted of 2 Baneblades, the Mars Triumphant and the Artemen Ultrus, the Hellhammer Ostrakan's Rebirth and the Shadowsword Lux Imperator. The 7th Paragonian fought during the Imperial campaign against the Orks in the Kalidar System.

Notable Baneblades

  • Arethusa - Arethusa was the Baneblade commanded by Maximilian Weisemann of the 9th Konig Heavy Tank Company during the Colonia Campaign.
  • Artemen Ultrus - Artemen Ultrus was a Baneblade of the 7th Paragonian Super-heavy Tank Company that fought in the Indranis Campaign against Eldar pirates and Kalidar Campaign against the Orks.
  • Black Claw Pride - The Black Claw Pride was part of the Tyrant's Legion of Traitor Guardsmen who turned against the Imperium alongside Lufgt Huron and his Astral Claws Space Marine Chapter during the Badab War.
  • Draco Rex - Draco Rex was a Baneblade of the 12th Tallarn Armoured Regiment, and was deployed during the Taros Campaign against the Tau Empire. It was destroyed by a Broadside Destructor Phalanx during the Battle of Phyyra Heights.
  • Father Time - The Father Time is commanded by the Colonel of the 44th Lavrentian Hussars, Lord Nathaniel Winterbourne.
  • Fortress of Arrogance - The Fortress of Arrogance served as the personal command vehicle of Commissar Sebastian Yarrick during his sweep of the worlds in the Armageddon System in the wake of the Second War for Armageddon for Greenskin forces before it was disabled by an Ork attack on the world of Golgotha. Yarrick had formed such an emotional bond with the tank that he had its remains retrieved and restored by the Mechanicus so that it could once again serve as his command vehicle during the Third War for Armageddon in 998.M41.
  • Malevolentia - Malevolentia was a Baneblade commanded by Lord General Raji Nethata of the Galamoth Armoured during the Purge of the Contqual Sub-sector.
  • Mars Triumphant - This Baneblade was manufactured on Mars in Baneblade Manufactorum CCIV in the Utopia Planitia region and was fully activated in 639.M39. Mars Triumphant was part of the 7th Paragonian Super-heavy Tank Company that fought in the Indranis Campaign against Eldar pirates and Kalidar Campaign against the Orks. The Mars Triumphant was destroyed in 397.M41 on the world of Kalidar IV, during the Battle of Hive Meradon, in a suicide attack on an Ork Gargant, and subsequently written off as a complete loss for the company. The passing of this Baneblade was deeply mourned by the company's contingent of Enginseers.
  • Pride of Hera - The Pride of Hera was the Baneblade of the Ultramar Auxilia, the Planetary Defence Forces of the Realm of Ultramar. The tank met its fate when it was destroyed by an attack of Tyranid Carnifexes during the Battle of Macragge in the First Tyrannic War.
  • Steel Lord - Steel Lord is a Baneblade of the 89th Cadian Armoured Regiment.
  • Steel Might - Steel Might was the regimental command Baneblade of the 278th Mordian Regiment, which was destroyed by a looted Deathstrike Missile Launcher during the Imperial campaign for Baric VI in 994.M40.

Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications

Mars Pattern Baneblade
Vehicle Name: Baneblade Main Armament: Mega Battle Cannon, Demolisher Cannon
Forge World of Origin: Mars Secondary Armament:  2 Autocannons , 3 Lascannons, Twin-linked Heavy Bolters
Known Patterns: I - X Traverse: 360 and 6 degrees
Crew: 1 Commander, 1 Driver, 3 Gunners, 3 Loaders, 1 Comm-Operator, 1 Engineer Elevation: -2 to 28 degrees
Powerplant: MR507 v18 Multi-Fuel Main Ammunition: 22 Rounds and 18 Rounds
Weight: 316 Tonnes Secondary Ammunition: 300 Rounds and 4000 Rounds
Length: 13.5 metres Armour:
Width: 8.4 metres
Height: 6.3 metres Superstructure: 200 millimetres
Ground Clearance: 1.2 metres Hull: 200 millimetres
Max Speed On-Road: 25 kilometres per hour Gun Mantlet: 180 millimetres
Max Speed Off-Road: 18 kilometres per hour Vehicle Designation: 0427-658-0435-BB018
Transport Capacity: N/A Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Turret: 220 millimetres

Lucius Pattern Baneblade
Vehicle Name: Baneblade Main Armament: Mega Battle Cannon, Demolisher Cannon
Forge World of Origin: Lucius Secondary Armament: 2 Autocannons, 3 Lascannons, Twin-linked Heavy Bolters
Known Patterns: I - IV Traverse: 360 and 6 degrees
Crew: 1 Commander, 1 Driver, 3 Gunners, 3 Loaders, 1 Comm-Operator, 1 Engineer Elevation: -2 to 28 degrees
Powerplant: MR503 v18 Multi-Fuel Main Ammunition: 22 Rounds and 18 Rounds
Weight: 319 Tonnes Secondary Ammunition: 300 Rounds and 4000 Rounds
Length: 13.5 metres Armour:
Width: 8.4 metres
Height: 6.3 metres Superstructure: 210 millimetres
Ground Clearance: 1.2 metres Hull: 190 millimetres
Max Speed On-Road: 25 kilometres per hour Gun Mantlet: 180 millimetres
Max Speed Off-Road: 18 kilometres per hour Vehicle Designation: 0427-658-0435-BB010
Transport Capacity: N/A Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Turret: 220 millimetres

Trivia

Every Baneblade made in the Imperium of Man is transcribed with its own unique serial number and name. In real life every Baneblade resin kit includes a unique Forge World Certification Number.

Sources

  • Imperial Armour, pp. 20-21
  • Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pp. 79-90
  • Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 8, 90-99, 253, 267, 271-272, 281, 283, 287, 289
  • Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 56, 88, 91, 261, 263
  • Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One, pp. 15, 48, 53, 77, 183
  • Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pg. 198
  • Imperial Armour - Apocalypse II , pg. 59
  • Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse, pg. 104
  • Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 219-220
  • Baneblade (Novel) by Guy Haley

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