KV128 Stormsurge Ballistic Suit
The first type of Tau 'Knight' and a literal walking Metal Gear set piece. The KV128 Stormsurge Ballistic Suit is a giant overcompensator penis enlargement program built by the Tau to fuck with Knights and Titans after the Imperium decided to shoot down all of their Mantas and Tiger Sharks with anti-air weapons.
Building upon the development of the KX139 Ta'Unar Supremacy Armour, the KV128 Stormsurge is the latest of a new generation of Tau war machines. These are called Ballistic Suits, which are a type of combat walker so large and powerful that they can no longer be considered a battlesuit: the Stormsurge is essentially a walking artillery battery. As a support unit, albeit a very powerful one, the Stormsurge lacks mobility. It is quite slow and it lacks the jump jets or antigrav propulsion that characterizes almost all smaller Tau units. It is also noticeably more fragile than its Imperial counterparts. However, these sacrifices allow it to carry an astonishing array of weaponry. Indeed, such is the power of the Stormsurge's weapons that the suit must be equipped with thrusters and retractable ground anchors to counter recoil.
In another departure from standard Tau practice, the Stormsurge has two crew instead of one. It is operated by a selected pairing of veteran crewmen who have graduated in the ballistic suit academies on Bork’an. A Shas'vre experienced in Battlesuit piloting controls the suit itself, while a Ves'oni'Vash graduate (usually, but not always, a veteran Hammerhead crewman) controls the weapons systems. Fluff suggests that crewing a Stormsurge is less prestigious than donning a standard Battlesuit, which is weird since a standard Battlesuit is where pilots start as beginners whereas this thing requires an experienced Battlesuit pilot, an experienced tanker, and graduation from a specialized academy just for this suit. Yet we’re to believe noobs in baby’s first Battlesuit are more prestigious?
The Stormsurge's primary weapon consists of either a Pulse Driver Cannon or Pulse ARC Cannon but it bristles with numerous secondary weapons systems that include two Cluster Rocket Systems, two Smart Missile Systems, and four Destroyer Missiles. It may also choose from having either two Airbursting Fragmentation Projectors, two Burst Cannons, or two Tau Flamers. The immense power required for its weapons systems means that the Stormsurge is equipped with two slow-charge reactors. It is also used regularly as a platform to field-test experimental weapons so big and heavy they have previously only used on spaceships.
The Stormsurge itself is transported into battle by specially modified Tau Mantas.
In 9th Edition, the Stormsurge is a better option than the Riptide in some ways. For weapons get the Pulse Blastcannon for more reliable damage output at 30" or less, or the Pulse Driver cannon for maximum threat at up to 72". Practically mandatory upgrades are trading out the Flamers for Burst Cannons and taking a shield generator and ATS to improve both durability and destructive power. In previous editions the Stormsurge could fire twice by anchoring down, which was awesome, but that was nerfed. Anchoring now improves its to-hit roll by 1. As standard for TITANIC units, it takes extra damage from some particularly massive weapons but suffers no penalty for moving and shooting and can still charge, but not shoot, if it Fell Back (as you'd expect, however, the Stormsurge is terrible in melee). It ends up being about 30% more expensive than the Riptide once equipped but with more Wounds, better base invuln save (only if equipped with shield generator), and more firepower. Note that it is not a BATTLESUIT, so cannot take advantage of drone sacrifices via Saviour Protocols or certain stratagems.
If going up against an opponent with many Deep Strike options, consider taking a Stormsurge with a Blastcannon and Early Warning Override, in order to fire all the things. If going this route, the Airbursting Fragmentation Projectors can actually become a viable option, depending on how much terrain is on the board. They can admittedly just deep strike more than 12" away to bypass this, but it will still help protect against/deter charges.
|Forces of the Tau|
|Command:||Cadre Fireblade - Ethereal - Ethereal Guard - Tau Commander|
|Troops:||Drone Squadron - Fire Warrior Team - Pathfinder Team - Stealthsuit Team|
|Auxiliaries:||Gue'vesa - Kroot (Great Knarloc - Kroot Carnivore Squad - Kroot Hound |
Krootox - Lesser Knarloc - Shaper) - Nicassar - Vespid Stingwing
|Battlesuits:||Battlesuits (XV02 Pilot Battlesuit - XV15 Stealthsuit - XV22 Command Suit |
XV25 Stealthsuit - XV46 Vanguard Void Suit - XV-8 Crisis Battlesuit
XV88 Broadside Battlesuit - XV9 Hazard Battlesuit - XV95 Ghostkeel Battlesuit
XV104 Riptide Battlesuit - XV107 R'varna Battlesuit - XV109 Y'Vahra Battlesuit
KV128 Stormsurge Ballistic Suit - KX139 Ta'Unar Supremacy Armour)
|Vehicles:||Devilfish - Hammerhead - Hover Chair - Piranha - Sky Ray - Tetra - Swordfish|
|Flyers:||Barracuda - Razorshark - Remora - Sun Shark - Tiger Shark|
|Kor'Vattra:||Manta - Orca - Automated Fighting Drone |
Automated Barge Drone - Automated Bombing Drone