Baneblade - Mars-pattern

The Mars-pattern Baneblade. This design is the one from which the Retribution pattern was modified.

The Retribution Pattern Baneblade is a variant of the Baneblade Super-Heavy Battle Tank that was designed by the technopriests of Nestorium on the orders of Fabricator-General Regon.

The assembled design utilised components from the Mars-Pattern Baneblade STC, the Earthshaker cannon STC, the Land Raider STC and STC Template No.6349 that was found on Varda. It was specifically designed for Space Marine sized crew so that the Ghosts of Retribution could operate it.


The Retribution pattern Baneblade represents an attempt to recreate the design of the fabled Fellblade super-heavy tank used by the Astartes Legions during the Great Crusade. Precious few Fellblades remain the 41st milennium and the secrets of their construction are long lost, but the Retribution pattern bears some similarities to the legendary tank despite being externally similar to the standard Baneblade.

The most obvious of these is the dual turret-mounted cannons. But where the Fellblade mounted two fearsome Accelerator Cannons - advanced weapons capable of firing both ultradense-cored shells that could tear through the thickest armour with ease or proximity-fused canister shells filled with fragmenting submunitions that could lay waste to infantry - the Retribution Baneblade must make do with a pair of modified Earthshaker cannons. Originally an artillery gun the Earthshaker cannon fires a powerful dual-purpose explosive capable of destroying both infantry and armour, but neither as effectively as the Accelerator Cannon's specialised shells. The Earthshaker cannons mounted in the Retribution pattern are altered to maximise direct fire accuracy instead of barrage capability, and superior bracing technology allows the super-heavy tank to use these artillery guns as if they were battle cannons. Finally the straighter flight profile allows for the use of enhanced shells with more propellant and explosives, making the Retribution pattern's Earthshaker cannons even more effective against infantry and armour than the standard artillery-pattern Earthshakers. Despite their inferiority to the Accelerator cannon, these twin guns give the Retribution pattern baleful primary firepower that eclipses a single Baneblade cannon. The primary gunner controls the Retribution pattern's turret and its twin Earthshakers.

The rest of the vehicle's exterior closely resembles that of the Baneblade. A limited-traverse demolisher cannon is mounted in the frontal hull alongside a twin-linked Heavy bolter in a small turret, and two sponsons each featuring a lascannon and a twin-lniked heavy bolter adorn the sides of the tank. Thanks to the Retribution pattern's powerful machine spirit (lifted from the same design used in the Land Raider) these sponsons are controlled remotely and so do not require the armoured compartment seen on baneblades. Instead the heavy bolters are mounted in a full traverse floating servo much like the sponson mounts of the Land Raider, and the lascannon remains mounted on top of the sponson. A final addition not seen on the standard Baneblade is the inclusion of a pintle-mounted twin-linked Autocannon turret on the commander's hatch. Whereas operating this gun would put a normal human at considerable risk an armoured Space Marine can use this weapon for both point-defence and limited AA-defence with relative safety. If incoming fire is too fierce the commander can control the turret via internel remote control, but this lowers its effectiveness as it cannot match an Astartes' own situational awareness and reflexes.

The most remarkable component of the Retribution pattern - and the one that made its construction possible - is the atomantic reactor used as its power plant. This truly ancient design for a micro plasma fusion reactor was recovered by Nestorium and the Ghosts of Retribution from archeotech ruins on Varda, and the atomantic reactor is far more compact than the multi-fuel combustion plant found in the standard baneblade (as well as almost never requiring refuelling). This extra space is used to allow the tank to accomodate fully armoured Space Marines as crew as well as fitting more advanced support systems such as superior auto-loaders, control systems, external sensors and a more powerful machine spirit. All these upgrades allow the Retribution pattern to operate with a relatively tiny crew as all Astartes vehicles do (for example, the interlinked control systems of the predator tank allow one marine to control the turret; its main gun; and both sponsons all at the same time). This also works to limit the vehicle's effectiveness should it somehow fall into enemy hands, as only Astartes possess the enhanced reflexes and coordination required to operate so many systems at once. The greater power output of the reactor also allows for the mounting heavier armour on all surfaces, adding a layer of adamantium between the thick plasteel that forms the tank's inner hull and the ablative, heat-resistant ceramite that forms the outer hull. This makes the Retribution pattern Baneblade almost indestructable to anything but Titan-grade weaponry.

Crew Roles:

  • Commander: The commander gives orders to the rest of the crew, highlighting targets to the gunners and directing the driver. The commander also operates the twin-linked autocannons mounted on the turret hatch.
  • Driver: This marine controls the Retribution pattern's drive systems as well as the twin-linked heavy bolter mounted in a small turret above the driver's station.
  • Primary Gunner: Control of the Retribution pattern's mighty turret and its twin Earthshaker cannons is given to the Primary Gunner. Assisted by a machine-spirit controlled auto-loader, advanced multi-spectrum sensors and targeting systems this space marine can fire obscenely heavy ordnance with frightening accuracy and remarkable speed.
  • Secondary Gunner: With the same support systems at his disposal as the Primary Gunner, this Astartes instead operated the limited traverse Demolisher cannon mounted in the tank's frontal hull. He also provides oversight to the machine spirit-controlled sponson weapons (ie assigning it priority targets and confirming/disregarding targets of unknown affiliation).

All crew members are also fully trained, armed and armored Space Marines, giving an incredibly nasty surprise to any foe that might try to gain entry to the vehicle.

There was only one Retribution Pattern Baneblade ever constructed, the Fortress of Vengeance operated by the Ghosts of Retribution.


Retribution pattern Baneblade
Vehicle Name: Retribution pattern Baneblade Main Armament: 2 Earthshaker cannons
Forge World of Origin: Nestorium Secondary Armament: Demolisher cannon, 2 Lascannons, 6 Heavy Bolters, 2 Autocannons
Known Patterns: I Traverse: 360 degrees
Crew: 1 Commander, 1 Driver, 2 Gunners Elevation: -32 to 42 degrees
Powerplant: Mark I Nestorian-pattern Atomantic Plasma Fusion reactor Main Ammunition: 54 earthshaker shells
Weight: 362.0 tonnes Secondary Ammunition: 24 demolisher shells, infinite fuel cell, 24,000 rounds, 400 shells.
Length: 13.8 metres
Width: 8.4 metres Armour:
Height: 6.0 metres Superstructure: 240 millimetres
Ground Clearance: 1.2 metres Hull: 210 millimetres
Max Speed On-Road: 32 kph Gun Mantlet: 210 millimetres
Max Speed Off-Road: 20 kph Turret: 260 millimetres
Transport Capacity: None Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Vehicle Designation: Unknown

Additional information:

  • Powered by nuclear energy, does not need to refuel
  • Command deck can be converted into a mobile battle HQ
  • Fully vacuum sealed, can operate in outer space or underwater
  • Easy target for enemy aircraft, best deployed when air superiority is achieved
  • Cannot cross most bridges, narrow streets and mountains can lead to a MK (mobility kill)