Stormbird

From 1d4chan
With this and the Warlord, all we need now is a model for the Imperator and the Emperor. And a doctor to call when your dick is still hard, 4 hours later. It's also more aerodynamic than just about every Space Marine aircraft smaller than itself.

The Thunderhawk’s big older brother and predecessor, the Stormbird was to the Legiones Astartes of the Great Crusade what the Thunderhawk is to the Astartes Chapters of the 41st Millenium: a primary means of transport and air support for Space Marines. The Stormbird, however, was much bigger, able to carry up to 50 Space Marines as well as dreadnoughts and rhinos, protected by void shields, and armed with a ton of firepower. So it was basically an Imperial Manta for all intents and purposes. It replaced the Skylance used by the Thunder Warriors.

  • Length: 29-50m; approx, depending on Pattern
  • Wingspan: 29-50m; approx, depending on Pattern
  • Mass: 350-500 tonnes; approx
  • Crew: 4 crew including 50 Astartes
  • Acceleration: 1500-2000 kph approx

Overview[edit]

By the time of the Horus Heresy, though, while some of the bigger Legions insisted on keeping their Stormbirds in service, most had begun relying more and more on the smaller and easier to produce Thunderhawk. After the Codex Astartes reforms, the ability to carry half a company’s worth of marines all in one aircraft wasn’t even arguably economical anymore, and the remaining Imperial Stormbirds were finally mothballed. A rare case of a weapon disappearing from the Imperium's arsenal, not so much because of a lost ability to produce it, but because it simply didn't fit into the changing playbook of Astartes tactics anymore. One would think they would have re-purposed them for anti-Titan operations, into heavy bombers or for transporting vehicles full time.

If the Wrymworld size chart is correct it would be possible to fit a Fellblade or two inside this thing. All they would have to do is convert that empty space for Fellblade cannons, Turbo-Laser Destructors (kind of odd that the Thunderhawk is the only Space Marine plane with an actual anti-Titan weapons isn't it?) or maybe even weapons used by Knights. With enough left over for all the ammunition or power generators, coolant, and anything else they would need. However in the Imperium efficiency and creative thinking is considered Tech Heresy. This is even worse now that the Horus Heresy novels revealed it actually had a dedicated STC loadout that carried macrobombs.

As of the 41st Millennium, it’s currently unknown if there are any Stormbirds still left in Loyalist vaults, though Traitor Legions like the Word Bearers are said to still have a few around, and if Forge World’s recent release of the model and 40k rules for the Stormbird is anything to go by, odds are there probably will be a couple of chapters that will be revealed to, surprise, surprise, still have their Stormbirds as well.

It is interesting to note, though, that Forge World's stormbird is almost an entirely different aircraft from the one pictured in older fluff. Where the old Stormbird looked like a giant Valkyrie with two tiltrotor turbofan engines each almost as big as the aircraft itself, the Sokar-pattern Stormbird is basically just a Thunderhawk on steroids (The old Stormbird was also fluffed as having a 100-marine carrying capacity, rather than the Sokar's 50). A bit odd, as Forge World has generally tried to maintain the Rogue Trader look when updating the old material.

As it turns out, the Sokar is simply one of several very different patterns of the same general classification of aircraft (unlike the Thunderhawk, the Stormbird is not a standard template design, more like several STC patterns in the same role), and the Sokar itself is actually among the smallest of them. Legions variously fielded Condor- (Sons of Horus), Khonsu-, and Apophis-pattern (the Wolves deployed 30 on Prospero) Stormbirds, the latter being known as "sun-killers" for their size and appearance. There was also the Warhawk-pattern Stormbird, which can carry 100 marines like the Rogue Trader version and, given its description as "monstrous and fat-bodied", likely looked like that version as well.

Half a company of Space Marines is something you'll never see outside of Apocalypse level games and is already too much money for most players. Therefore (almost) no one would bother fielding an entire company just to stuff them into one vehicle. The most likely variant to see release in the coming decade or two would be the Stormbird pattern equivalent to Turbolaser Thunderhawks. With something akin to a rapid fire Volcano Cannon or a precursor to Macro-Accelerator Cannons. Though it would just as much of a longshot for Forgeworld to release a new mold for the Sokar before 2040.

The Sokar, Khonsu and Apophis, sharing a naming convention (derived from minor Egyptian gods) are likely the last generation of Stormbirds to enter general service before the Crusade.

One notable Stormbird is the one Nathaniel Garro had pimped out for his personal use by Malcador so that he could cruise around the galaxy hunting down members for his loyalist A-Team.

Tabletop[edit]

Funnily enough, the reasons the Imperial Manta was mothballed in the fluff are also kind of represented in the crunch. The Stormbird is one of those units that could be tentatively referred to as Mega-Super-Heavies (like the Reaver, Warlord, and the actual Manta for instance). Units that are just so big and so expensive that outside of the very biggest games (as in, boards where Basilisks run out of range), they have close to zero practicality. In the case of the Stormbird, a Thunderhawk probably would be a more economical option most of the time. With all that said, though, the Stormbird certainly delivers your points worth. The Stormbird has 14/13/12/ and 12 HP. It comes with five turreted Twin-linked Lascannons (so right then and there, you got more laser dakka than a Terminus Ultra), six Dreadstrike Missiles (S10 AP2 Ordnance, small blast) which can be replaced with a single use 3D6 Apocalyptic Barrage that hits like a Battle cannon. It can buy an Orbital Strike, with Strength D AP1, Massive blast, Indirect fire only and multiple use for the low, low price of 150 pts. Its 2 Void Shields can become a 12" bubble if you go into hover mode, which is a safe idea since you also get Armoured ceramite and a 5++ invul. Transport capacity of 50 can carry pretty much everything including Dreadnoughts and (possibly fully loaded) Rhinos which take up 10/25 slots respectively. Good thing the Age of Darkness FoC limits you to 25% spending on LOWs and no one actually has the money to play Apoc with FW, right?


8E Sokar Pattern Stormbirds are different. 2117 points to put one on the field, though you are rewarded well. 40 wounds, T9, 3++ save and 5++ Invuln makes it a tanky bugger. Four twin Lascannons, three twin Heavy Bolters and a battery of Hellstrike Missiles add to the firepower of the thing, and it retains it's 50 Marine transport capacity, as well as it's expanding Void Shields. Power of the Marine Spirit allows the plane to fire all 32 of its shot even if it moved. Though most players won't even bother because it's better to have it camp at optimal Lascannon range. Though it lost its Orbital Strike capability.

While it can't kill Super Heavies as fast as a Turbolaser Thunderhawk like its HH counterpart. The Void Shields and two squads of Lascannon Devastators(4 cannons per squad plus the Sarge) should allow it to outlast anything smaller than a Warlord. Airborne and a Move of 50" with an Advance of 20" allows it to scream across the map at a -1 to hit - and you really need all the dice you can with that T9 3++ save to begin with - and drop Assault Terminators right in your gunline.

Gallery[edit]

Vehicles of the Imperium of Man
Walkers Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought - Contemptor-Incaendius Dreadnought - Death Company Dreadnought
Deathwatch Dreadnought - Dreadnought - Nemesis Dreadknight - Doomglaive Dreadnought - Furioso Dreadnought
Ironstrider Ballistarius - Invictor Tactical Warsuit - Librarian Dreadnought - Mortifier - Mortis Dreadnought
Onager Dunecrawler - Penitent Engine - Redemptor Dreadnought - Sentinel - Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought
Sydonian Dragoon - Telemon Heavy Dreadnought - Wulfen Dreadnought - Paragon Warsuit - Arachni-rig
Transports Aurox - Chimera - Coronus Grav Carrier - Crassus Armored Assault Transport - Goliath Truck
Gorgon Armored Assault Transport - Hades Breaching Drill - Immolator - Impulsor - Macro-Hauler
Pegasus AAV - Razorback Transport - Repressor - Rhino - Road-Wheeler - Taurox - Testudo
Titan Train - Trojan Support Vehicle - Triaros Armoured Conveyer - Tunneling Transport Vehicles
Light
Vehicles
Atlas Recovery Tank - Achilles Ridgerunner - Bane Wolf - Bike Squad - Centaur Utility Vehicle
Cyclops Demolition Vehicle - Devil Dog - Galvanic Servohauler - Hellhound - Invader ATV - Land Crawler
Pegasus AFV - Salamander Reconnaissance Tank - Scylla Light Tank - Siegfried - Squat Bike - Squat Trike
Tauros - Tectonic Fragdrill - Venator - Wolfquad
Battle
Tanks
Castigator Tank - Caladius Grav-Tank - Gladiator Tank - Krios Battle Tank - Land Raider
Leman Russ Battle Tank - Predator - Ragnarok - Repulsor Tank - Sabre Tank Hunter
Sicaran Battle Tank - Spartan Assault Tank - Vindicator
Ordnance Basilisk Artillery Gun - Colossus Bombard - Deathstrike Missile Launcher
Exorcist - Goliath Mega-Cannon - Griffon Heavy Mortar Carrier - Hunter - Hydra Flak Tank
Land Train - Legion Arquitor Bombard - Manticore Launcher Tank - Medusa Siege Gun
Rapier Armoured Carrier - Stalker - Thunderfire Cannon - Whirlwind - Wyvern Suppression Tank
Superheavy
Tanks
Astraeus - Baneblade - Capitol Imperialis - Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer - Colossus War Machine
Cyclops War Machine - Fellblade - Leviathan - Macharius Heavy Tank - Macrocarid Explorator
Malcador Heavy Tank - Mastodon - Ordinatus - Typhon Heavy Siege Tank
Skimmers Dawneagle Jetbike - Gyrfalcon Pattern Jetbike - Imperial Jetbike - Javelin Attack Speeder
Grav-Cutter - Grav-Rhino - Kharon - Land Speeder - Land Speeder Vengeance
Pulpit of Saint Holline's Basilica - Skorpius Hover Tank - Stormrider - Storm Speeder
Pallas Grav-Attack
Flyers Archaeocopter - Ares Gunship - Caestus Assault Ram - Container Transporter - Corvus Blackstar
Fire Raptor - Iron Eagle Gyrocopter - Nephilim Jetfighter - Orgus Flyer - Orion Gunship - Overlord Gunship
Overlord Armoured Airship - Sky Talon - Space Marine Landing Craft - Storm Eagle - Stormbird
Stormhawk - Chiropteran - Stormraven - Stormtalon - Stormwolf - Thunderhawk - Valkyrie - Vendetta
Vulture
Fighters &
Bombers
Avenger Strike Fighter - Lightning Fighter - Marauder Bomber
Stormfang - Thunderbolt Fighter - Xiphon Interceptor
Spacecraft Aquila Lander - Arvus Lighter - Boarding Torpedo - Devourer Dropship - Drop Pod
Faustus Interceptor - Fury Interceptor - Gun-Cutter - Shark Assault Boat
Starhawk Bomber - Tetrarch Heavy Lander
Titans Imperial Knight - Warhound Scout Titan - Reaver Battle Titan - Warlord Battle Titan
Warbringer Nemesis Titan - Warmaster Heavy Battle Titan - Emperor Battle Titan
Vessels of the Imperium of Man
Spaceships
Space Station Space Station (The Rock)
Battleships Battle-barge - Battleship (Gloriana) - Ark Mechanicus
Cruisers Light Cruiser (Imperial Navy - Adeptus Astartes - Adeptus Mechanicus)
Cruiser (Imperial Navy - Adeptus Mechanicus)
Strike Cruiser - Battlecruiser - Grand Cruiser
Escorts Escort (Imperial Navy - Adeptus Astartes)
Logistics Imperial Navy Logistic Ships - Adeptus Mechanicus Maintenance Ship
Dropships Devourer Dropship - Tetrarch Heavy Lander
Space Marine Landing Craft
Combat Spacecraft Boarding Torpedo - Fury Interceptor - Faustus Interceptor
Shark Assault Boat - Starhawk Bomber
Landships
Hiveships Mobile Hiveships
War Machines Colossus War Machine - Cyclops War Machine - Ordinatus
Mobile Commands Leviathan - Capitol Imperialis
Logistics Harvester - Macro-Hauler - Titan Train
Armored Trains Land Train
Titans Warhound Scout Titan - Reaver Battle Titan - Warbringer Nemesis Titan
Warlord Battle Titan - Warmaster Heavy Battle Titan - Emperor Battle Titan
Troop Transports Spartan Assault Tank - Coronus Grav Carrier - Gorgon - Mastodon
Superheavy Tanks Typhon Heavy Siege Tank - Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer
Baneblade - Fellblade - Astraeus
Airships
Rigid Airships Overlord Armoured Airship
Aerospace Vessels Orion Gunship - Thunderhawk - Stormbird - Overlord Gunship
Seaships
Oceanic Battleships Oceanic Battleship
Submarines Harvester Submersible


Vessels of the Traitor Legions
Spaceships
Space Station Blackstone Fortress
Super Battleships Abyss
Battleships Battleship (Gloriana - Planet Killer)
Cruisers Light Cruiser - Cruiser
Heavy Cruiser - Grand Cruiser
Escorts Escort
Others Silver Tower of Tzeentch
Landships
Siege Carriers Siege Carrier
War Machines Chaos Harvester - Nurgle Plague Tower - Woe Machine
Titans Questor Scout Titan - Slaanesh Subjugator
Feral Scout Titan - Ravager Battle Titan
Chaos Warlord Titan - Chaos Emperor Titan
Skull Reaper
Troop Transports Mastodon
Superheavy Tanks Baneblade - Fellblade - Plaguereaper
Tower of Skulls
Airships
Flying Fortress Harbinger
Aerospace Vessels Stormbird
Seaships
Oceanic Battleships Oceanic Battleship


Adeptus Astartes Other Imperials Chaos
Forces of the Codex Compliant Astartes
Command: Apothecary - Brother-Captain - Brother-Sergeant - Chaplain - Chapter Master
Command Squad - Honour Guard - Librarian - Techmarine
Troops: Assault Squad - Centurion Squad - Chapter Serf - Devastator Squad
Scout Squad - Tactical Squad - Terminator Squad - Veteran Squad
Structures: Castellum Stronghold
Transports: Land Raider - Mastodon Heavy Assault Transport
Razorback Transport - Rhino Transport - Spartan Assault Tank - Termite
Vehicles: Bike Squad - Dreadnought - Javelin Attack Speeder - Jetbike - Land Speeder
Predator Tank - Sabre Tank Hunter - Sicaran Battle Tank - Vindicator
Ordnance: Hunter - Legion Arquitor Bombard - Rapier Armoured Carrier - Stalker
Thunderfire Cannon - Whirlwind
Flyers: Caestus Assault Ram - Fire Raptor - Orgus Flyer - Storm Eagle - Stormbird
Stormhawk - Stormraven - Stormtalon - Thunderhawk - Xiphon Interceptor
Superheavy Tanks: Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer - Fellblade Super-Heavy Tank
Typhon Heavy Siege Tank
Spacecraft: Boarding Torpedo - Drop Pod - Space Marine Landing Craft
Allied Space Marines: Fallen Angel - Primaris Marine - Blood Angels - Dark Angels
Deathwatch - Grey Knights - Space Wolves - Black Templars
Forces of the Adeptus Custodes
Command: Companions/Hetaeron - Shield-Captain
Troops: Allarus Custodians - Aquilon Terminator - Custodian Guard
Custodian Warden - Sagittarum Guard - Sentinel Guard
Vexilus Praetor - Venatari - Warder
Walkers: Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought - Telemon Heavy Dreadnought
Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought
Transports: Coronus Grav Carrier - Grav-Rhino - Rhino
Vehicles: Caladius Grav-Tank - Dawneagle Jetbike - Gyrfalcon Pattern Jetbike
Pallas Grav-Attack - Venerable Land Raider
Flyers: Ares Gunship - Orion Gunship - Stormbird
Titans: Warlord-Sinister Pattern Battle Psi-Titan
Spacecraft: Drop Pod
Auxiliaries: Sisters of Silence
Forces of the Traitor Legions of Chaos
Leaders: Chaos Champion - Chaos Lord - Daemon Prince - Dark Apostle - Master of Execution
Sorcerer - Warsmith - Master of Possession - Lord Discordant
Unaligned: Chaos Chosen - Chaos Raptors - Chaos Space Marine Squad - Chaos Spawn - Chaos Terminators
Cultist - Havocs - Mutilators - Obliterators - Possessed - Tech-Assassin - Warp Talons - Warpsmith
Negavolt Cultist - Greater Possessed - Dark Disciple
Faction Aligned: Berserkers - Berserker Dreadnought - Plague Marines
Noise Marines - Sonic Dreadnought - Rubric Marines
Structures: Noctilith Crown - Skull Altar
Vehicles: Bike Squad - Chaos Dreadnought - Helbrute - Infernal Relic Predator - Land Raider
Mastodon - Predator Tank - Rhino Transport - Sicaran Battle Tank - Stalk Tank - Vindicator
Typhon Heavy Siege Tank - Spartan Assault Tank - Rapier Armoured Carrier
Whirlwind Scorpius - Termite - Cerberus Destroyer - Fellblade
Flyers: Harbinger - Hell Blade - Hell Talon - Fire Raptor
Storm Eagle - Xiphon Interceptor - Thunderhawk - Stormbird
Spacecraft: Dreadclaw Assault Pod - Kharybdis - Doomfire Bomber - Swiftdeath Fighter
Titans: Daemon Knights - Chaos Emperor Titan - Feral Scout Titan
Ravager Battle Titan - Chaos Warlord Titan - Woe Machine
Unaligned
Daemon Engines:
Decimator - Defiler - Death Wheel - Forgefiend - Heldrake
Maulerfiend - Soul Grinder - Wirewolf - Venomcrawler - Helstalker
Daemon Engines
of Khorne:
Blood Reaper - Blood Slaughterer - Brass Scorpion - Cauldron of Blood - Death Dealer
Doom Blaster - Kytan - Lord of Skulls - Skull Reaper - Tower of Skulls
Daemon Engines
of Nurgle:
Blight Drone - Contagion - Foetid Bloat-Drone - Myphitic Blight-Hauler
Nurgle Plague Tower - Plague Hulk - Plagueburst Crawler
Daemon Engines
of Slaanesh:
Hell-Scourge - Hell-Knight - Hell-Strider
Questor Scout Titan - Slaanesh Subjugator
Daemon Engines
of Tzeentch:
Aether Ray - Doom Wing - Fire Lord of Tzeentch
Mirrorfiend - Silver Tower of Tzeentch - The Auruntaur
Auxiliaries: Chaos Daemons - Death Guard - Thousand Sons - Emperor's Children - Fallen Angels
Forces of the Death Guard
Leaders: Lord of Nurgle - Daemon Prince - Sorcerer - Chaos Champion
Malignant Plaguecaster - Plague Surgeon - Tallymen - Lord of Virulence
Troops: Biologus Putrifier - Blightlord Terminator - Chaos Spawn - Deathshroud
Foul Blightspawn - Noxious Blightbringer - Plague Marines - Possessed
Structures: Miasmic Malignifier
Vehicles: Chaos Land Raider - Helbrute - Plaguereaper - Predator - Rhino
Flyers: Storm Eagle - Stormbird - Thunderhawk
Spacecraft: Dreadclaw Assault Pod - Kharybdis
Daemon
Engines:
Blight Drone - Contagion - Defiler - Foetid Bloat-Drone
Myphitic Blight-Hauler - Nurgle Plague Tower - Plague Hulk
Plagueburst Crawler
Daemons: Beast of Nurgle - Nurgling - Plaguebearer
Auxiliaries: Cultists - Pestigors - Plague Zombie - Poxwalkers
Allies: Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines
Forces of the Emperor's Children
Leaders: Chaos Lord - Daemon Prince - Sorcerer - Chaos Champion
Troops: Noise Marine - Chaos Spawn - Possessed
Vehicles: Chaos Land Raider - Helbrute - Chaos Predator - Chaos Rhino
Chaos Vindicator
Flyers: Storm Eagle - Stormbird - Thunderhawk
Spacecraft: Dreadclaw Assault Pod - Kharybdis
Daemon
Engines:
Defiler - Chaos Dreadnought - Sonic Dreadnought
Hell-Scourge - Hell-Knight - Hell-Strider Questor Scout Titan
Slaanesh Subjugator - Heldrake - Forgefiend - Maulerfiend
Daemons: Daemonette - Fiends of Slaanesh
Steeds of Slaanesh - Seekers of Slaanesh
Hellflayer Chariots
Auxiliaries: Cultists - Slaangors
Allies: Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines