The Macharius Heavy Tank, often referred to as a "Second-Generation" Baneblade, is a heavily armoured tank of the Imperial Guard. It is larger than the standard Leman Russ Tank but smaller than the Baneblade it was built to replace when none are available. Macharius tanks are built by Adeptus Mechanicus Forge Worlds that are eager to secure large military contracts, but do not possess the Standard Template Construct (STC) designs which are needed to manufacture super-heavy battle tanks such as the Baneblade or Shadowsword.
Many Forge Worlds even lack partial STC designs for these tanks and are unable to create any of their lesser variants such as the Stormblade and Stormsword. Only a handful of Forge Worlds are allowed access to the original STC designs for these ancient and powerful war-machines, and a Mechanicus Magos may petition Mars for access to these designs for centuries or even a millennia without success. As a result, these Forge Worlds may turn to the manufacture of the more readily available Macharius design.
Due to the scarce number of Forge Worlds that have access to a functioning or complete Baneblade STC template and the huge demand of the Imperial Guard for super-heavy armour, many Forge Worlds have resorted to building heavy tanks that perform the same battlefield role as Baneblades, but possess reduced features and abilities. During the Emperor's Great Crusade in the 31st Millennium there were many more heavy tank designs in use by the Imperium than at present.
There are many within the Adeptus Mechanicus that have spent their entire lives trying to find the data needed to construct these machines. Through diligent study and cross-examination of ancient documents recovered deep within the archives of the Forge World Lucius a Magos known as Nalax discovered the missing fragments needed to construct one of these long-lost and mostly forgotten tanks. The Magos was eventually able to find enough data on the vehicle to construct an entire tank, and he took his plans to Mars and to the High Fabricator-General for approval. The process of approval took nearly two hundred years and Nalax himself did not live to see the outcome, after long testing and consultations with many other Forge Worlds, Lucius was finally sanctioned to start production.
The tank was named after Lord Solar Macharius, the great Imperial general who led the Macharian Crusade of 392-399.M41 and liberated one thousand worlds in the name of the Emperor of Mankind. Ironically, in the time it took for the plans for the tank's construction to be approved, the Forge World had also lobbied for and been given the right to build STC Baneblades, and it had seemed that Nalax's life's work had been wasted.
The Return of Krieg
As the Lucius Forge World started its production of Baneblades, it found that demand far exceeded supply, and the planet's manufactorums were having trouble keeping up with the requirements of the Departmento Munitorum. At the same time, the 500-year-long Krieg Civil War came to an end, with the faction loyal to the Imperium victorious, and the world soon offered up many new regiments for the Imperial Guard.
The Departmento Munitorum looked to Lucius to provide much of the equipment needed for the new regiments from Krieg, known as the Death Korps of Krieg. This sudden and unexpected increase in demand meant that the Forge World would need to look to alternatives to the Baneblade. It was then that the Forge World turned to the Macharius heavy tank, and in 852.M41 the first Macharius tanks from Lucius rolled from off the production lines and were shipped off to Krieg.
This began the Death Korps of Krieg's association with the Macharius tank, although by this time Mars had given the design to various other Forge Worlds and they were in use by other Imperial Guard regiments as well.
Although the 174 tonne Macharius lacks the massive size and multitude of weapons of the Baneblade, the tank is still capable of fulfilling the same battlefield role. The standard and most common armament for the Macharius is turret-mounted twin-linked Battle Cannons, a hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Stubber, and a sponson-mounted Heavy Bolter on each side. There are other, less-common variants of the Macharius, such as the Macharius Vanquisher that is armed with twin-linked Vanquisher Cannons as its main weapon, and another variant pattern called the Macharius Vulcan, which has a Vulcan Mega Bolter as the main turret weapon.
All Macharius Tanks can be upgraded with the following improvements: a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, an improved communications system, a minesweeper, a Pintle Mounted Heavy Stubber, a Searchlight, and a Smoke Launcher. Another variant, known as the Macharius Omega, has been created by the Adeptus Mechanicus with the sole purpose of using the new Omega Pattern Plasma Blastgun, this variant of the Plasma Blastgun is smaller and is able to be mounted on smaller tanks such as the Macharius.
The Macharius Heavy Tank has several known variants used by the Imperium, they are as follows:
- Macharius Vanquisher - The Macharius Vanquisher differs from the standard Macharius in that its turret-mounted twin-linked Battle Cannons are replaced with a set of twin-linked Vanquisher Cannons. The replacement of the Battle Cannons with a Vanquisher Cannon makes the Macharius Vanquisher an extremely deadly and effective tank hunter.
- Macharius Vulcan - The Macharius Vulcan differs from the standard Macharius in that its turret-mounted twin-linked Battle Cannons are replaced with a set of twin-linked Vulcan Mega Bolters, a weapon system commonly found on Warhound-class Scout Titans. The replacement of the Battle Cannons with Vulcan Mega Bolters makes the Macharius Vulcan highly effective when fighting against large groups of enemy infantry and light vehicles.
- Macharius Omega - The Macharius Omega differs from the standard Macharius in that its turret and its mounted twin-linked Battle Cannons are replaced with an open-topped, forward-facing mount that makes use of an Omega Pattern Plasma Blastgun, a weapon usually found on Titans and super-heavy tanks. The Macharius Omega is capable of engaging many types of enemy armour in combat.
Notable Users of the Macharius Heavy Tank
- The Death Korps of Krieg - The Death Korps of Krieg fielded many Macharius tanks during the 17 year-long Siege of Vraks, where they fought against traitors to the Imperium.
- The Vraksian Traitor Militia - During the 17 year-long Siege of Vraks there were several instances of the Vraksian Traitor Militia forces capturing Macharius tanks for their own use.
- 6th Cadian Armoured Regiment - The 6th Cadian Armoured Regiment fought in the defence of the Imperial Mining World of Betalis III against the Eldar of the Craftworld of Mymeara.
- 14th Vaust Armoured Regiment - The 14th Vaust Armoured Regiment fought in the defence of the Imperial Mining World of Betalis III against the Eldar of the Craftworld of Mymeara.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Macharius||Main Armament:||One Twin-Linked Battle Cannon|
|Forge World of Origin:||Lucius||Secondary Armament:||One Hull-Mounted Twin-Linked Heavy Stubber, and Two Sponson-Mounted Heavy Bolters|
|Known Patterns:||I - III||Traverse:||360 degrees|
|Crew:||Commander, Driver, Three Gunners, Two Loaders, and a Communications Operator||Elevation:||-2 to 28 degrees|
|Powerplant:||LC400 v18 p2 Multi-Fuel||Main Ammunition:||40 Rounds|
|Weight:||175 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||1000 Rounds and 600 Rounds|
|Height:||4.8 metres||Superstructure:||200 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||.45 metres||Hull:||190 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||20 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||150 millimetres|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||18 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||8769-128-8734-MA12|
|Transport Capacity:||None||Firing Ports:||N/A|
|Access Points:||N/A||Turret:||220 millimetres|
- Imperial Armour: Apocalypse, pp. 11-13
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition), pp. 9-11, 20
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 8, 118, 120, 122-123, 244, 267
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One, pp. 83, 125-126
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pp. 114-115
- Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pp. 37-40
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pp. 182, 202