A Storm Shield is a Power Shield that is used by the Space Marines and sometimes by Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus to provide an extreme form of protection from ranged weapons fire and potent melee strikes. The Storm Shield is a much larger and rarer version of the Combat Shield and is usually used by only the most decorated of Astartes, often Vanguard Veterans or Veterans wearing Terminator Armour. Unlike the Combat Shield, which is attached to the user's arm and thus allows the hands to remain free, the Storm Shield is heavier and needs to be carried in one hand.
The Storm Shield is equipped with an internal gravitic energy field generator which renders all but the most powerful blows completely ineffective. The shield provides protection against both melee and ranged attacks and it is able to withstand an assault from even heavy weaponry like a Lascannon or a direct hit from an artillery piece. When the generator is activated, the shield shimmers with blue energy and when struck it emits crackling lightning, which gives the Storm Shield its name. While Storm Shields are most commonly used by Space Marine Terminators, there are also many Daemonhunters and other members of the Inquisition who use them. The most common variant of the Storm Shield is forged to look like the Astartes' Crux Terminatus and is wielded by Vanguard and Terminator Veterans who intend to engage primarily in melee combat. It is often paired with a Thunder Hammer.
Storm Shield Variants
- Astartes Storm Shield - Storm Shields are large and heavy shields that can house extensive webs of field generation circuitry in their thick plating. The shield's generated energy field can fend off bullets and blasts from afar, whilst the physical shield itself protects against melee attacks. This is the most common variant utilised by the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes.
- Astartes Combat Shield - A Combat Shield is a compromise between flexibility and defence, trading the stronger protective energy field and physical protection a Storm Shield’s size offers for a free hand. A Combat Shield straps to the arm, providing an able parrying tool as well as a smaller protective energy field.
- Suppression Shield - The Suppression Shield is similar to a Storm Shield but replaces the power field generator with an electro-shock unit. The electro-shock unit builds up a powerful electrical charge which is discharged into the first unfortunate individual the shield contacts squarely. Suppression Shields are designed for crowd suppression and riot control so the electrical discharge is more debilitating than fatal but it is still distracting to even the most hardened hand-to-hand combat opponent. The following are the most common patterns of Suppression Shields utilised by the military forces of the Imperium:
- Hydraphur Pattern Suppression Shield - Suppression Shields are common equipment for the Adeptus Arbites, although upon seeing their effectiveness, many other organisations and individuals have moved to obtain them. The Suppression Shield is both a bulwark and a weapon, a heavy slab of ceramite large enough for the wielder to take cover behind. Each has a built-in arc-lumin at the top, and a powerful shock-plate in the shield's centre. If the wielder strikes with the shield, he can discharge the shock-plate on impact, delivering a powerful electrical blow. Suppression Shields do not constantly release their electrical shock, since the shock-plate takes time to build its power to dangerous levels. The Hydraphur Pattern Suppression Shield can still be used as a weapon while it is in the process of recharging. Arbites Suppression Shields are also designed with lockgrips on the upper corners. Crusader Suppression Shields are designed for combating the malefic and Warp-spawned powers, and are inscribed with hexagrammic wards.
- Synford Pattern "Lockshield" - The Adeptus Arbites commonly make use of heavy ceramite shields during operations of all types. These are rectangular plates, worn on one arm, which are typically equipped with a heavily armoured viewport that offers protection to the operator. The Synford "Lockshield" is a relatively standard example of the type, but with one unusual and defining feature. The Lockshield, like most Arbites shields, is designed with an armourglass viewport and a firing port through which a basic or pistol weapon can be fired. It also contains a powered Vox-hailer linked to the Vox-torc of the most senior Arbitrator present, allowing that officer to rebuke and remonstrate over even the most deafening racket. It contains mag-strips on both sides, which enable prisoners to be secured directly to the shield by magnacles. Its most unusual feature is its ability to lock solidly with adjacent Lockshields to create an armoured wall behind which Arbitrators can advance as a unit, thus giving the shield its common name. The shield can be locked using mag-strips to shields adjacent to it; the Arbites use this feature to create walled "Lockshield" formations during particularly lethal riots, or to advance large groups of Arbites down wide, fire-swept corridors.
- Vigil Pattern Storm Shield - Alongside the Salamanders Legion, who possessed their own prototype which relied upon superior construction materials, the Imperial Fists Legion was the first to utilise one of the enhanced storm shield designs during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras. The Vigil pattern featured a uniquely potent field generator far exceeding that found elsewhere. The first of these had entered service with the Legion after the Ullanor Campaign, but difficulties in production meant that only a few hundred had entered full service at the outset of the wars of the Horus Heresy. Once full inter-Legion conlfict was underway, Rogal Dorn ordered resources to be spared in the creation of more such protective devices for the use of his Terminator units, knowing them to be invaluable against the deadliest foes for his Imperial Fists had ever faced; other Space Marines.
Notable Storm Shields
- Anvil Shield - The Anvil Shield is an immense Storm Shield that Space Wolves Champion Arjac Rockfist utilises both as an impenetrable defence and as a convenient additional weapon to knock down and batter foes away from him in battle. This powered slab of Adamantium-laced obstinite has crushed the skulls of a score of enemy warlords.
- Bastion Unwavering - This mighty tower shield stands a little over a metre-and-a-half tall, forged of triple-hardened adamantium, and reinforced with a potent force field. It was brought to Watch Fortress Erioch by Brother Asmodel of the Angels of Redemption, and when its protection at last failed him, his Chapter demanded the return of their sacred relic. The Watch-Commander of the time saw this as dishonour upon Asmodel’s service in the Vigil, and kept it within the armouries of Watch Fortress Erioch, where it remains a point of contention between the Deathwatch and the Angels of Redemption to this day.
- Duty's End - A Chapter relic of the Imperial Fists Chapter, this mighty Storm Shield currently resides in the armouries of the Deathwatch's Watch Fortress Erioch. When Brother Sergeant Artor and his squad were posted on the world of Deepcut IX, guarding a mining colony, Ork raiders attacked. Despite assurances of assistance from the hundred or so miners, their chief foreman convinced them to flee and hide deep in the tunnels. The ten Space Marines were left to defend the mine head unaided against a horde of nearly a thousand Orks. The mine entrance was an excellent place to defend, but inevitably the Orks' numbers overwhelmed the Imperial Fists. Artor was last to fall, countless Slugga shells impacting on his great Storm Shield as he hacked down Greenskin after Greenskin.
- Levin Shield - The Storm Wardens Chapter Master, Lorgath Maclir, once wielded the Levin Shield. It is said he passed it to the Deathwatch of the Jericho Reach in payment of an honour debt to Watch Captain Mordigael. This Storm Shield adjusts to the bearer’s bio-electric signature and uses his body as part of the circuit to generate its powerful energy field. The crackling nimbus protects the wielder while electrifying his foes. The shield’s kinetic repercussion plating also unleashes thunderous fury when struck.
- Valiant Legacy - A Chapter relic of the Sons of Orar Chapter, this Storm Shield is of great antiquity, and is said to contain fragments of the original Storm Shield wielded by the hero Orar during the Great Crusade of the late 30th Millennium. Those who have held it claim they felt their Chapter’s spiritual patriarch watching and guiding them from afar. Some scoff at this legend, but none doubt that anyone bearing the shield is able to achieve great deeds.
- Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Armoury of the Space Marines - Special Issue Wargear - Storm Shield", pp. 448-449
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 100-101
- Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pg. 51
- Dark Heresy: Ascension (RPG), pp. 142-143
- Dark Heresy: Book of Judgement (RPG), pg. 66
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 166, 168
- Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter (RPG), pp. 125, 136
- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle (RPG), pg. 157
- Deathwatch: The Jericho Reach (RPG), pg. 19
- Deathwatch: The Outer Reach (RPG), pp. 24-25
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 236
- The Horus Heresy - Book Three: Extermination (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 267
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (4th Edition), pg. 60
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition), pg. 69