The Stormlord is a super-heavy main battle tank and variant of the Shadowsword tank-hunter and Titan-killer tank used by the forces of the Astra Militarum. The Stormlord replaces the Volcano Cannon of the Shadowsword with a Vulcan Mega Bolter. By removing the large capacitors and generators required for the Volcano Cannon to operate, extra space has been opened up near the rear of the vehicle which allows the Stormlord to carry up to 40 infantrymen as an open-topped armoured transport.
The Stormlord excels in the exact opposite role of the Shadowsword. As an infantry support vehicle rather than a tank-hunter, its armament allows it to easily rip through infantry and light vehicles. Like every sanctioned Imperial variant of the Shadowsword and Baneblade, the Adeptus Mechanicus Forge World that manufactured each Stormlord records each tank's service number and tracks all of its accomplishments in the Emperor's service as each Stormlord is considered to be a divine servant of the Machine God.
No dedicated combat vehicle left in the armouries of the Astra Militarum boasts a greater transport capacity than the Stormlord, and none is more capable of mowing through massed ranks of enemy infantry. The Stormlord is the ultimate assault vehicle, capable of transporting almost an entire platoon single-handedly. On the approach, these troops can level waves of fire at the enemy, softening the opposing lines before disembarking and charging into the fray.
However, the embarked troops are often left with no foe to assault, as the Stormlord itself can wipe all but the most heavily armoured targets off the battlefield. Its front-facing Vulcan Mega Bolter sends sheets of mass-reactive rounds hurtling towards the enemy lines, reducing whole squads of infantry to clouds of vaporised blood.
The Stormlord was first utilised by the forces of the Imperial Army during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras in the 30th and early 31st Millennium. It was often employed more as a mobile fortress than a super-heavy tank, for its prodigious anti-infantry firepower and its large troop bay made it an ideal complement to the Solar Auxilia's infantry sections when prosecuting one of the types of warfare for which they were most well known -- Expeditionary incursions onto the surface of hostile worlds in anticipation of massive counter-attack. The Stormlord could be deployed by super-heavy lander along with the second or third waves of a planetfall operation, and used as a mobile bulwark around which infantry squads mustered. When an inevitable counter-attack developed, the Stormlord formed the centre of the Auxilia's firebase, its twin Vulcan Mega-Bolters producing a wall of fire through which few enemies could advance. Stormlords were sometimes used as a command platform by Solar Auxilia High Commanders, being more capacious and better armoured than a Dracosan, and more manoeuvrable and faster than a Leviathan.
On the battlefields of the late 41st Millennium, the Stormlord serves as a line breaker tank, whose purpose is to maul enemy infantry waves at medium range. When configured defensively, it mounts up to five twin-linked Heavy Bolters in addition to its Vulcan Mega-Bolter, turning 20 bolt-spewing barrels upon anything that dares cross its field of fire, not counting any supplementary firepower the embarked Imperial Guardsmen can bring to bear. The Stormlord is the bane of Ork mobs and Tyranid Gaunt swarms. When configured offensively, it will swap several of the twin-linked Heavy Bolters for Heavy Flamers. The Stormlord will then rumble toward its objective, shred any surrounding infantry to pulp, flush out any survivors with its Heavy Flamers, and disgorge its troops unharmed. Additionally, the large passenger compartment of the Stormlord can easily be upgraded to become a full mobile command centre, making the Stormlord a favoured choice to serve as a command tank for many armoured regiment commanding officers.
Like all the variants of the Shadowsword, the Stormlord suffers from poor top speed and manoeuvrability. Additionally, while the tank's two Lascannons allow it to fend off any marauding enemy armoured vehicle at medium range, the Stormlord is unable to fight heavily armoured opponents effectively. A single Leman Russ Battle Tank can spell the doom of a Stormlord by running from it while blasting away with its Battle Cannon with impunity. More than any other of the Imperial super-heavy tanks, the Stormlord requires support from the other elements of the Imperial Guard to fulfill its mission.
The Stormlord replaces the Volcano Cannon of the Shadowsword with the much more compact Vulcan Mega Bolter, which frees up space within its armoured chassis for infantry transport capacity. The tank is also armed with a hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolter, two top sponson-mounted Lascannons, and two sponson-mounted Heavy Flamers. The two sponson-mounted Heavy Flamers can be replaced with twin-linked Heavy Bolters, extra armour plating, or another set of sponson and top sponson-mounts identical to the first set can also be added. The infantry hold near the rear of the vehicle has a firing platform with room for up to 20 soldiers to fire their weapons at the enemy, adding to the tank's overall vehicles firepower. The Stormlord can also be equipped with the following enhancements; a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, a Pintle-Mounted Heavy Stubber or Storm Bolter, a Searchlight, Smoke Launchers, and two Heavy Stubbers mounted on the troop hold's firing platform.
Regiments Known to Use Stormlords
- Catachan Jungle Fighters - The Catachan Jungle Fighters often make use of the Stormlord's massive infantry support firepower and its large transport hold to enhance their highly mobile and powerful light infantry fighting forces.
- Paragonian 8th Super Heavy Tank Company, 'The Lucky Eights' - The 8th Paragonian Super Heavy Tank Company is a dedicated assault formation that exclusively uses the Stormlord. The company's surname was earned on many battlefields where, despite heavy opposition, the Paragonian 8th has suffered no casualty in the last four centuries.
- Tallarn Desert Raiders - The Tallarn Desert Raiders use the Stormlord for its unsurpassed ratio of firepower to infantry transport space.
- Tingoya Infantry Regiments - The Tingoya Regiments are a highly mobile fighting force of light infantry, and they benefit greatly from the transport capacity and heavy firepower of the Stormlord.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Stormlord||Main Armament:||1 hull-mounted Vulcan Mega Bolter|
|Forge World of Origin:||Lucius||Secondary Armament:||1 hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolter, 2 top sponson-mounted Lascannons, 2 sponson-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters or Heavy Flamers|
|Known Patterns:||I - XI||Traverse:||0 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Commander, 1 Driver, 1 Main Gunner, 2 Remote Gunners, 2 Loaders, 1 Communications-Operator, 1 Engineer||Elevation:||-4 to 18 degrees|
|Powerplant:||LC503 v18 p4 Multi-Fuel||Main Ammunition:||4000 Rounds|
|Weight:||312 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||300 and 4000 Rounds|
|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:||0427-658-0784-SL471|
|Transport Capacity:||40 Infantrymen||Firing Ports:||Rear Hold Firing Platform (20 Infantry Capacity, can have 2 Heavy Stubbers)|
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pg. 55
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse II, pg. 12
- Shadowsword (Novel), by Guy Haley
- The Horus Heresy - Book Four: Conquest by Alan Bligh, pg. 285
- Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse (6th Edition), pp. 152-153, 273-274
- White Dwarf 351 (AU), pp. 28-29