A Thunder Hammer is a melee Power Weapon often employed by Loyalist Space Marines of the Imperium of Man and by some Chaos Space Marines as well. Thunder Hammers are primarily used by Astartes encased in Terminator Armour when they serve as melee-focused Assault Terminators, though they have also been wielded by those in regular Power Armour with access to the relevant armoury. Patterns of Thunder Hammer also exist that can be wielded by unaugmented humans such as Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus and members of the Adeptus Ministorum.
This large warhammer incorporates an energy field emitter within its head that activates only when the hammer strikes its target. This allows the weapon to store a tremendous amount of energy and release it only at the moment of impact, producing a terrific blast of energy and concussive force like the crack of thunder, from which the name of the weapon originates.
Many Battle-Brothers balance the clumsy nature of attempting to parry with a Thunder Hammer by pairing it with a Storm Shield which is surrounded by a glowing blue field of protective energy which emits crackling lightning when the Space Marine parries the blow. The Astartes of the Storm Wardens Chapter are said to be so fond of this combination that some practice a combat style developed specifically around it. The pairing of these two weapon are said to produce the awesome noise of thunder and lightning when used in melee combat.
Thunder Hammer Variants
- Astartes Thunder Hammer - An Astartes Thunder Hammer is a massive Power Weapon utilised by the Space Marines. The furious energy blast released when these weapons strike their target creates waves of booming, concussive force as loud as thunder. Enemies that survive the pulverising blow are likely to be incapacitated by the shockwave that follows.
- Lathe Pattern Thunder Hammer - The Lathe Pattern Thunder Hammer is a huge warhammer that features an oversized head. Like standard Thunder Hammers, these weapons store energy and then release it in a violent explosion upon impact. The tremendous concussive force released is equivalent to a concentrated grenade explosion, strong enough to punch holes in vehicles and knock those nearby to the ground. Though extremely cumbersome to wield, Lathe Pattern Thunder Hammers are often used by Adeptus Ministorum Priests to both smite the wicked and invigorate the faithful. A Lathe Pattern Thunder Hammer is lighter than most other Imperial variants, and is intended for use by unaugmented humans.
- Daemonhammer - Commonly wielded by Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus, a Daemonhammer is a large, two-handed warhammer crafted from rare ores and composite materials from humanity’s ancient and more technologically advanced past. The haft of a Daemonhammer is covered in hexagramic sigils and seals of warding, while its head is emblazoned with the burning sigil of the Inquisition, from which emanates a crackling power field. Daemonhammers are extremely rare in the Imperium, and their use is granted only to the most trusted and respected Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus and sometimes to various Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes who have defeated a particularly potent Greater Daemon in combat.
- Nemesis Daemon Hammer - Developed by the Ordo Malleus as the final word in daemonic destruction, the Nemesis Daemon Hammer combines the crushing impact of a more traditional Thunder Hammer with the psychic power of destruction. Few can survive the impact of a Nemesis Daemon Hammer wielded by a psyker in service to the Emperor. Nemesis Daemon Hammers are extraordinarily rare in the Imperium, but they are usually found in the hands of Ordo Malleus Inquisitors and the Space Marines of the Grey Knights Chapter.
Notable Thunder Hammers
- Fist of Dorn - The Fist of Dorn is a legendary Thunder Hammer traditionally wielded by the Captain of the Imperial Fists Chapter's elite 1st Company. This ancient and revered Chapter relic is currently wielded by the Chapter hero Captain Darnath Lysander. He received the mighty weapon from his predecessor in command of the 1st Company, Captain Kleitus, during the Siege of Haddrake Tor, after Kleitus suffered an unfortunate teleporter accident, materialising into solid rock. This occurred even with the advent of teleport homers placed by Lysander and his 2nd Company, but the teleport signal was distorted by the eldritch powers caused by the dark rituals performed by Chaos Cultists. Before dying, Kleitus passed on the mighty weapon to Lysander to be its new caretaker.
- Foehammer - Foehammer is a rune-etched Thunder Hammer and is a considered a revered Chapter relic of the Space Wolves Chapter. This mighty weapon is currently wielded by the Wolf Guard Arjac Rockfist, the personal Champion of the Great Wolf Logan Grimnar. When this weapon leaves Arjac's massive fist, its inbuilt teleporter ensures it will quickly return to his gauntlet ready to be used again.
- Hammer of Baal - The Hammer of Baal is a master-crafted Thunder Hammer that is a relic of the Blood Angels Chapter. It hums with barely restrained power. Forged millennia ago by master artisans, the Hammer of Baal is one of the most exquisite relics of the Chapter and is currently wielded by Captain Karlaen. Karlaen was entrusted with its care by Commander Dante upon his ascension to the rank of Captain of the Chapter's Veteran 1st Company.
- Stormbearer - Stormbearer is the Thunder Hammer wielded by Chapter Master Tu'Shan of the Salamanders Chapter. According to Chapter legend, it is made from the same material as that used to create Thunderhead, the Thunder Hammer of Primarch Vulkan. In truth, no one now alive knows who made it, but it is the favoured weapon of Tu'Shan, who as a master smith possesses a vast armoury of hammers, swords, and spears.
Heavy Thunder Hammer
The largest man-portable Thunder Hammer is used by the Astartes of the Deathwatch -- a giant crushing tool of destruction so heavy even a Space Marine cannot use it one-handed.
Swathed by a powerful disruption field, the Heavy Thunder Hammer is capable not only of cracking open a Carnifex's exoskeleton, but also of smashing through its midsection to break the creature in two.
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Deathwatch (7th Edition), pg. 106
- Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pp. 54, 59
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pg. 25
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 99
- Dark Heresy: Ascension (RPG), pg. 141
- Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunter (RPG), pp. 70, 131
- Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 155
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 91 (Early Thunder Hammer Picture)
- Rogue Trader: Into the Storm (RPG), pg. 124
- Shield of Baal: Deathstorm (7th Edition), pg. 9
- Warhammer 40,000: Battle Manual (2nd Edition), pg. 36
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 61
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition), pg. 12