Steam Tanks are monstrous, smoke-belching war machines that rumble towards the enemy and fire deadly cannonballs from their steam-powered guns to crush all those that stand against the Empire of Man. They were first designed by the famed inventor Leonardo da Miragliano, who adapted the use of Dwarfen steam technology to power the pistons and gears that drive the wheels of the steam tank forward. In times of war, the Imperial Engineers School may sanction the use of these rare and valuable machines should the fate of the Empire of Man hang in the balance.[1a]
The steam tank is powered by a pressurised boiler that siphons steam through pipes and pistons. All existing tanks were designed by the famed genius Tilean inventor Leonardo da Miragliano.[1a] The Steam Tanks are the most confounding puzzle known to the Imperial Engineers School, for after the inventor's death, the secrets of their construction were lost with him and engineers have so far been unable to successfully construct any new steam tanks.[1a][9a] Only twelve tanks were built, all with varying configurations. Only eight steam tanks remain, the lost four having been destroyed during testing or in battle. The war engines are somewhat unreliable, and only rarely can all eight be persuaded to run for a single battle.[1a]
As the steam tank is brought to bear, the advance of these ironclad behemoths is terrifying to behold, as arrows ricochet from the armoured hull and enemy warriors are crushed beneath its immense bulk. During battle, the tank is commanded and driven by a Senior Engineer who manages and directs the steam from the boiler to the tank's mechanisms. Should too much pressure be allowed to build in the boiler, it may rupture with catastrophic effects. The most common steam tank variant is armed with a steam-powered cannon in its hull and a steam gun mounted in its turret. Though the steam cannon is smaller than the Great Cannons used by the Imperials, the manoeuvrability and protection of the steam tank more than compensates for the main cannon's comparatively shorter range and diminished firepower.[1a]
- Alter Kamerad ("old fellow" in Reikspiel) - a configuration armed with hull mounted, steam operated Helblaster Volley Gun and a turret-mounted steam gun.
- Sigmar's Hammer - a configuration without armaments, used like a ram.
- Unfehlbar ("unerring" in Reikspiel) - an open topped configuration, armed with a mortar and two swivel guns.
- Von Zeppel (named after the designing engineer) - a configuration without hull mounted armaments, carrying a platform, cramped with engineers carrying experimental weapons like the Hochland Long Rifle, a Blunderbuss, a Repeater Handgun, a special form of halberd, a massive morningstar, and a Mancatcher.
Famous Steam Tanks
- The Conqueror -- One of the first Steam Tanks built, its hull striking ceremony held in the year 2050. Other steam tanks with the same armament - the main cannon and steam gun - are often referred to as 'Conqueror Class'.[8a]
- The Deliverance -- Entered service in the year 2035 and its many battlefield performances have made it legendary. Deliverance caused untold carnage to the foe during the Great War against Chaos by newly elected Emperor Magnus the Pious.[8a]
- The Emperor's Wrath -- Recently been to the Engineer's College in Altdorf for overhauling. It has been repaired and refitted back to a Conqueror Class configuration. Now returned to active duty, the Emperor's Wrath has been instrumental in aiding Graf Boris Todbringer's ongoing battles in the Drakwald forest.[8a]
- The Miragliano -- Piloted by Von Streihof.
- The Indomitable -- Destroyed by Dragon Skulex the Great in the Battle of Volganof.
- 1: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 50
- 2: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th Edition)
- 2a: pgs. 50 - 51
- 3: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (4th Edition)
- 3a: pgs. 33 - 36
- 4: Warmaster: Core Rulebook (2000)
- 4a: pg. 129
- 5: Warhammer: Dark Omen (PC viedogame)
- 6: Total War: Warhammer (PC viedogame)
- 7: White Dwarf Magazine #263 (November 2001)
- 8: Warhammer Uniforms & Heraldries of the Empire
- 8a: pg. 67
- 9: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Career Compendium
- 9a: pg. 66