Army Of The Red Spear
144th (10 or 12mm)
40.60mm x 53.54mm x 33.95mm
The Storm Cleaver is a front line battle walker. In concert with the Gloombat All-Purpose Attack Craft, it was designed to replace the outdated Fleshburner main battle tank as the primary combat vehicles. The Storm Cleaver sports considerable agility and speed for a vehicle of its size. The arm-mounted weapon pods have had extensive reinforcement, allowing them to take non-typical stresses on the barrels and permitting the Storm Cleaver to use them as levers to assist it in difficult close terrain or if it becomes stuck.
The Storm Cleaver’s arm-mounted weapon pods contain three weapons systems. Each unit contains a Class 14 Coldbeam to work in concert to provide the parimary firepower. An underslung missile pod provides some additional firepower. These are typically loaded with a pair of Skull warheads, though as typical for Aotrs warhead technology, other munitions are not unknown. Above the class 14 coldbeams is a pair of heavy support coldbeams for use against infantry or soft targets.
The coldbeam cannons also they serve a secondary purpose as Frost Bomb launchers. At the top of the weapon array is a magazine that feeds through the rear mechanics of the support coldbeam to the main cannon, containing twenty Frost Bomb cartridges. The Frost Bomb system was newly developed for the Storm Cleaver, using technology derived from coldbeam technology. A single Frost Bomb cartridge creates an area of freezing, thick mist on impact. Aside from blocking non-sensor targeting locks, the mist freezes liquids and is harmful to most living creatures. In enough concentration, the mist will kill humanoid infantry and even vehicle crews with the sheer, unnatural cold. This is the first application of such an effect that does not require magical assistance. The Frost Bombs can freeze water sufficiently solidly that the Storm Cleaver can use them to make crossings of small bodies of water more expediently, instead of the more laborious method of sustained coldbeam fire.
Early versions of the Storm Cleaver mounted a single support coldbeam in a top turret for point-defence and anti-infantry operations; more recent refits have seen this replaced with the more substantial twin coldbeam turret used on later versions of both the Devil Storm and Reign of Anger.
As a combat walker, the Storm Cleaver requires only a single pilot, rather than a full tank crew. It was hoped that, as the Gloombat was in a similar position, that this would free up more vehicle crews for more vehicles, after retraining (something the Aotrs almost uniquely could afford to do).
In practise, while both the Gloombat and Storm Cleaver were powerful vehicles in their own rights, the Aotrs found that both vehicles were, ultimately, simply just too tall to fill the MBT role. While offensive and defensively in terms of weapons, agility, shields and armour, both vehicles were every bit the equal of any MBT, their taller shape was no substitute for the low profile of a more traditional main battle tank, requiring them to be exposed to more fire than necessary and making defensive deployment more difficult. Work began barely a few months after the Storm Cleaver was first fielded in combat operations and the result of that was eventually the Revenant Spear. Storm Cleavers are still a common site in the Aotrs ground forces, but now are more appropriately used in urban areas and dense terrain (where they and the Enragers make a deadly combination) or as supplementary support for the new MBTs.