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An ancient pict-capture of an unmarked Glaive believed to have belonged to the Alpha Legion

The Glaive, also known as the Fellglaive, the Legion Glaive or the Glaive Super-Heavy Special Weapons Tank, was a variant of the highly-advanced Fellblade super-heavy battle tank fielded by the Space Marine Legions during the Great Crusade of the late 30th Millennium and later during the Horus Heresy and Great Scouring in the early 31st Millennium. The Glaive was designed by the Mechanicum as a special weapons vehicle that makes use of the Volkite Carronade, one of the largest known Volkite Weapons ever used by the Imperium. This massive weapon was designed to destroy xenos beasts and incinerate enemy light vehicles in a single fell sweep.

During the Great Crusade the Glaive was issued to all eighteen of the Legiones Astartes in limited quantities, with several of the Legions, most notably the Dark Angels and the Salamanders, having long fielded Glaives as a matter of course. It is known that by the time of the late 41st Millennium, only the Dark Angels and Salamanders Chapters are still able to field these ancient engines of war, the former due to their traditional seniority and honour as the Successors of the I Legion and the latter due to their possession of highly skilled artificers who are still able to maintain and replicate the ancient and arcane technology used by the Glaive. It is not known whether any other Loyalist Chapters or Chaos Space Marine warbands are still able to field these ancient relics of destruction.


Ancient pict-capture of a pair of Iron Hands Legion Glaives during an armoured assault

The Glaive, or Fellglaive as it is sometimes known, is a super-heavy tank pattern related to the Fellblade, but beyond the obvious surface similarities the two tanks are very different. The reason for this divergence lies with the Glaive's primary weapon system, the fearsome and arcane Volkite Carronade. A device of the Mechanicum whose design is said to originate on Mars in the wars of the Age of Strife, it was not without some acrimony that the Forge Lords agreed to the Emperor's demand for a Legion tank to be created that utilised this weapon. The need however was great, and the Glaive was first deployed against the apex exo-chthon codified as the Catachi Diabolum which had proved such a thorn in the Great Crusade's side. Later the Glaive proved its worth both against the Ork hordes and the stranger xenos monstrosities encountered as the Emperor's crusading armies penetrated the murderous zones surrounding the galactic core. The effort of constructing practical numbers of super-heavy tanks around the Volkite-Carronade was considered well worth the staggering expenditure in resources required, for multiple targets and even the largest of xenos abominations were struck down by its ravening beam before even a portion of its energy was dissipated.


A closer view of the Glaive's turret-mounted Volkite Carronade

The Glaive's main armament consists of a turret-mounted Volkite Carronade, a massive Volkite Weapon that is capable of destroying enemy vehicles in a single shot. Volkite Weapons produce a deflagrating attack, in which subsonic combustion caused by a beam of thermal energy is propagated through the target by thermodynamic heat transfer, so that hot burning material heats the next layer of cold material and ignites it. The Volkite Carronade used by the Glaive was able to make short work of all but the most heavily armoured enemy vehicles and structures. The Glaive was also armed with other secondary weapons systems, including sponson-mounted Quad-Lascannons and hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters or twin-linked Heavy Flamers. The sponson weapons could also be replaced with a set of Laser Destroyer Arrays. The Glaive was also usually outfitted with both smoke launchers and a searchlight, but could be equipped with a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher and armoured Ceramite plating when necessary.

Unit Composition

  • 1 Legion Glaive Super-Heavy Special Weapons Tank (31st Millennium Only)


A standard Legion Glaive Super-Heavy Special Weapons Tank is armed and equipped with:

A Legion Glaive Super-Heavy Special Weapons Tank may replace its two sponson-mounted Quad Lascannons with the following sponson-mounted weapons:

  • 2 Laser Destroyer Arrays

A Legion Glaive Super-Heavy Special Weapons Tank may replace its set of hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters with the following sponson-mounted weapons:

Legion Glaive Super-Heavy Special Weapons Tanks may also have a variety of vehicle equipment such as:

Notable Glaives

  •  Dragon Eternal - The Dragon Eternal is a venerable Glaive built on the Forge World of Mezoa which proved invaluable in that world's defence during the Mezoan Campaign, a cataclysmic battle that unfolded during the Horus Heresy. Attached to a company of survivors of the XVIII Legion that became known as the Disciples of the Flame, the Dragon Eternal was the lynchpin of many Loyalist counterattacks against the vastly superior forces of the Alpha Legion and the Iron Warriors. Its effect was such that the Dragon Eternal quickly became a priority target for the enemy, even leading to the creation of a specialised taskforce, Battlegroup Dragonslayer, within the Alpha Legion. In its most notorious fight, the Dragon Eternal was the sole defender of Mezoa's Septurn Gateway after its other defenders had been drawn away by a diversionary attack. Facing three fully-fledged companies of the Iron Warriors 114th Grand Battalion and the Ekficax Taghmata of the Forge World of M'Pandex, the Dragon Eternal inflicted more than 600 kills and held the gate for four solar hours before it met its end. Four Sicaran Venators, three Vindicators equipped with Laser Destroyer Arrays and twelve Rapier self-propelled gun-platforms of the Alpha Legion conducted an ambush on the mighty tank. Surviving the ambushers' first volley, the Dragon Eternal reversed inside the gate so that when the second volley finally brought it low, its exploding wreck still effectively blocked the gate from the Traitors. This sacrifice impressed the Mezoan Tech-priesthood so deeply that they vowed to restore and rebuild the tank so that it might fight eternally in Mezoa's defence. The Dragon Eternal was destroyed no less than eight times during the wars of the Horus Heresy, and each time the Mezoan Forge rebuilt it. Today, the Dragon Eternal stands as a memorial of the Heresy in the primary forge-fane of Mezoa.

Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications

Vehicle Name: Glaive Main Armament: 1 turret-mounted Volkite Carronade
Forge World of Origin: Mars / Tigrus Secondary Armament: 2 sets of sponson-mounted quad-Lascannons, 1 hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolter
Known Patterns: Unknown Traverse: 360 degrees, -5/+30 degrees
Crew: Commander, Driver & 2 Gunners Elevation: Unknown
Powerplant: Uncodified Atomantic plasma hybrid-reactor Main Ammunition: Unknown
Weight: 302 tonnes Secondary Ammunition: 28 rounds/Unlimited feed cell
Length: 12.5 metres Armour:
Width: 8.2 metres with sponsoons
Height: 5.8 metres Superstructure: 130 mm
Turret: 120 metres
Ground Clearance: 1.5 metres Hull: 120 mm
Max Speed On-Road: 32 kph Turret: 120 mm
Max Speed Off-Road: 20 kph Gun Mantlet: 120 mm
Transport Capacity: Unknown Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Vehicle Designation: Undesignated

See Also


  • The Horus Heresy - Book Two: Massacre (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 32, 70, 205
  • The Horus Heresy - Book Three: Extermination (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 21, 83, 100-101
  • The Horus Heresy - Book Six: Retribution (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 39, 50-51, 157
  • The Horus Heresy - Book Seven: Inferno (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 154-155
  • The Horus Heresy: Legiones Astartes - Age of Darkness Army List, pg. 87
  • White Dwarf 120 (UK), "Epic Battles - War Machines," pg. 8
  • Forge World - Legion Glaive
  • Forge World - Legion Glaive Experimental Rules Datasheet