The Hellhammer is a super-heavy tank of the Astra Militarum that is a variant of the infamous Baneblade tank. The Hellhammer replaces the rocket-assisted Mega Battle Cannon or Baneblade Cannon of the Baneblade with a Hellhammer Cannon, a variation of the Battle Cannon commonly found on the Leman Russ main battle tank. 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. These shells are designed to destroy armour and emplacements with an unstable sub-atomic charge.
The Hellhammer came into being as part of an effort to upgrade the standard Baneblade's performance against heavily armoured targets. The Tech-priests of Mars removed the standard Mega Battle Cannon, and installed the shorter but more potent Hellhammer Cannon. A larger version of the cannon found on the Leman Russ Eradicator, the Hellhammer Cannon fires massive shells whose unstable sub-atomic charge can shred armour and fortifications like paper, and obliterate any infantry attempting to shelter within in one fell shot. The lack of range that plagued the Hellhammer Cannon was an acceptable compromise for the added capacity for destruction, and the design was finalised, blessed, standardised and mass-produced by the Adeptus Mechanicus.
On the battlefield, the Hellhammer's role is that of either a close support tank, or an urban warfare tank. Its Hellhammer Cannon and hull-mounted Demolisher Cannon make short work of any armour or fortification, while its secondary armament of two Lascannons and three twin-linked Heavy Bolters allows it to mop up anything that escaped the devastation wrought by its main armament. When configured for urban assault, it swaps two twin-linked Heavy Bolters for Heavy Flamers, allowing the Hellhammer to flush out infantry from fortifications too flimsy to warrant a shot from the main gun. The Hellhammer also functions well as a close range armour hunter; its main guns can reach only medium range at maximum, but their sheer destructive power allows them to knock out anything smaller than a Titan easily. In situations were the range is short and the fields of fire limited, the Hellhammer is brutally uncompromising in delivering fiery destruction upon Mankind's enemies.
Like its parent tank and all its variants, the Hellhammer suffers from poor top speed and manoeuvrability. Its massive size is also both a blessing and a curse: while it allows the Hellhammer to plow through and flatten many obstacles, it will also deny it passage in many circumstances. Hellhammer crews must be specially trained to identify and avoid pitfalls where their tank would get stuck or shed a track with catastrophic results. Also, due to the short range of its weaponry and slow speed, a Hellhammer is almost useless when fighting enemy armour in the open, for its size makes it an easy target to hit at long range, leaving it vulnerable without any weaponry able to answer in kind, nor the required speed to close the gap to its target in time.
The Hellhammer is named after its main weapon, the Hellhammer Cannon, but it is also armed with a co-axial Autocannon, a hull-mounted Demolisher Cannon, a set of twin-linked hull-mounted Heavy Bolters with two top-mounted sponson Lascannons. The vehicle is capable of switching its sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters with twin-linked Heavy Flamers. The Hellhammer may also have an additional pair of sponson-mounted weapons for enhanced firepower. The vehicle can be equipped with a pintle mounted Heavy Stubber or Storm Bolter, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, a Searchlight, or Smoke Launchers.
Hellhammers are perfectly optimized for close-quarters warfare. Driving through a besieged hive city or manufactorum, the crew ignore the ineffective shots fired by enemy infantry hidden amongst the rubble, and answer with their own hail of explosive shells. With a fearsome blast radius, the turret-mounted Hellhammer Cannon is capable of clearing whole squads of Heretic and xenos scum from the holes in which they cower.
A Hellhammer is often used as a vanguard vehicle when making an Imperial infantry surge into enemy territory. The massive tank can be fitted with sponsons bearing laser, bolt and flamer weaponry, making it nearly impervious to covert flanking manoeuvres. Foot-bound troops can march freely in its wake, safe in the knowledge that the Hellhammer will lay before them a carpet of enemy corpses.
- Ostrakan's Rebirth - Ostrakan's Rebirth was a Hellhammer of the 7th Paragonian Super-heavy Tank Company that fought in the Indranis Campaign against Eldar pirates and Kalidar Campaign against the Orks.
- Traitor's Bane - A Hellhammer scavenged by the 183rd Catachan regiment to aid in their guerrilla war against the forces of Chaos during the latter's occupation of Pythos. Refitted and upgraded by the Jokaero K'cee, this Hellhammer is unique in the sense that it has been fitted with extra external armor and the ability to release electrical surges throughout it's outer armor. It has also been upgraded so that it can reach a speed of 200 mph without the crew noticing the incredible speed's effects. Playing a pivotal role in both the defense of different strongholds and offense in the reconquest of Pythos. Throughout the campaign it has served as the mobile HQ of Colonel "Death" Strike. Earning it's name from it's numerous kills and the fear it induced in the many forces of Chaos plaguing the Deathworld Pythos.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Hellhammer||Main Armament:||1 turret-mounted Hellhammer Cannon, 1 hull-mounted Demolisher Cannon|
|Forge World of Origin:||Unknown||Secondary Armament:||1 co-axial Autocannon, 1 hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolter, 2 sponson-mounted Twin-linked Heavy Flamers or Heavy Bolters, and 2 top sponson-mounted Lascannons|
|Known Patterns:||Unknown||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:||Unknown|
|Weight:||314 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||300 Rounds and 4000 Rounds|
|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:||Unknown|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- Games Workshop Official Store Page
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pg. 55
- Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse, pg. 105
- Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse (6th Edition), pp. 145, 272, 411
- Baneblade (Novel) by Guy Haley