The Banesword is an Astra Militarum super-heavy tank and a variant of the much older and more common Shadowsword. The main difference between the Banesword and the Shadowsword is that the Banesword has a different main armament and plays a different role on the battlefield. The Banesword is armed with a weapon known as the Quake Cannon while the Shadowsword is armed with a Volcano Cannon. While the Shadowsword is used as a tank and titan hunter, the Banesword fulfills the role of a heavy siege tank designed to attack heavily defended fixed enemy fortifications.
But the Banesword excels at completely wiping out both vehicles and fortifications. Walled bases and deployed enemy armor can prove insurmountable for an Astra Militarum offensive, no matter how many infantry march against them. But a single Banesword can remove such obstacles with ease. With a handful of shots, a Banesword's Quake Cannon tears down the most feared lines of defense. Imperial infantry and melee vehicles are then free to pour into the breach, wiping out the enemies left alive. Additionally, the extreme range of the Banesword's armament allows it to perform this function before opposing forces can even return fire.
The Banesword is one of the newest variants of the Shadowsword. The Imperial Guard commanders and tacticians had long clamored for a super-heavy tank that could destroy fortifications like the Shadow Sword, but would have better mobility and a higher rate of fire. The Tech-Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus have finally managed to grant this long-held wish by swapping out the Shadow Sword's Volcano Cannon for a Quake Cannon, both weapons typically found on Titan weapon hardpoints. The Quake Cannon is one of the largest artillery pieces in the Empire of Man's arsenal, and by wedging an armored casemate specifically designed to cushion the Quake Cannon's massive recoil into the Shadowsword's chassis, the most brutal siege tank was born.
Like the Basilisk, the Banesword's place on the battlefield is in the rear areas, obliterating enemy fortifications with long-range fire. Like the Basilisk, the Banesword can be pushed to the front line. The Banesword's armored mass and secondary armament of three sets of double-linked heavy bolters and two laser cannons allow it to operate much more efficiently than a battery of basilisks when deployed in this manner. In addition, the sight of a super-heavy tank rumbling forward and plunging the enemy into oblivion is always a powerful morale boost for the Guardsmen fighting alongside it.
The Banesword foregoes the Shadowsword's most annoying disadvantage, which is having to disengage the engine before firing. However, like all super-heavy tanks based on the Baneblade chassis, it suffers from poor top speed and maneuverability, and the Quake Cannon's rigid stance requires the Banesword to be body-pointed to its intended target. Also, the Quake Cannon is inefficient against enemy Titans because, unlike a Volcano Cannon's lance beam or a Plasma Blastgun's massive plasma burst, the massive grenade is stopped by a remaining Void Shield, which has a chance of draining the target's shields before firing must be running of success.
This multi-part plastic kit contains 295 components with which to assemble a Baneblade, Banehammer, Doomhammer, Hellhammer, Shadowsword, Stormlord or Stormsword super-heavy tank in place of a Banesword. Also included is 1 Astra Militarum vehicle decal sheet which can be used to apply markings and badges.