Steam Tank is a Empire war machine unit in Total War: Warhammer. From great range, a Steam Tank launches powerful shots of armour-piercing cannon fire with tremendous stopping power.
Steam Tanks are monstrous, smoke-belching creations that rumble towards the enemy, firing deadly cannonballs from their steam-powered guns. A thick, armoured skin protects the whole Steam Tank and the advance of these iron behemoths is terrifying to behold; arrows and sword strokes rebound harmlessly from hulls and enemy warriors are crushed beneath their immense bulk. Steam Tanks are armed with a steam-powered cannon that can fire a spinning ball of iron whirling into the foe's ranks. A turret-mounted steam gun is also standard, which can engulf nearby enemies in great gouts of scalding steam.
- ▲ Armour-Piercing: The damage of armour-piercing weapons mostly ignores the armour of the target, making them the ideal choice against heavily-armoured enemies. They are often heavier and attack at a slower rate though, making them less efficient against poorly-armoured targets.
- ▲ Armoured: Armoured: Armoured units can block damage from any source apart from Armour-Piercing damage.
- ▲ Causes Terror: This unit can cause terror, making its melee target rout for a short time. Units that cause terror are immune to terror and fear themselves.
- ▲ Unbreakable: This unit does not suffer any form of leadership loss and will never rout.
Steam tanks are a unique piece of equipment that can lead many players confused to their optimal use, combining a cannon with a slow moving, unbreakable chariot. Being a single entity model, Steam tanks won’t have the same long range firepower of a cannon battalion, but can still provide decent chip damage when firing at elite enemy infantry such as black orcs. Unlike other artillery, Steam tanks are designed to be part of the frontline and perform best when embedded with other infantry for protection, in much the same way you would with monstrous infantry. They can help hold the line with your troops and the fear and terror it causes can lead to brief respite for your frontline troops, allowing ranged units to get more shots in.
The steam tank has a smaller mounted steam gun which appears to have unlimited ammunition, and fires at a much closer range in a 360 degree arc. This allows to fire on enemies whilst moving away from them. In addition it is capable of ramming enemy infantry they get into melee. With its exceptionally high armour and terror routing capability, it excels at damaging and breaking masses of low leadership infantry once melee has been joined, the type of compositions typical of the orks and Beastmen. If you have a powerful vortex spell or AOE damage spell such as the dwellers below, send the Steam tank to get a large number of infantry surrounding it and pop it underneath. This should eviscerate the infantry whilst leaving the steam tank relatively unscathed. If you have any healing spells, it shouldn’t require much magic to top it up.
The biggest threat to the steam tank comes from armour piercing damage and particularly hostile single entity units. It won’t last long with a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth or giant wailing away on it. Powerful heroes with armour piercing damage (Think Grimgor or Archaon) can make short of work of it, although in reality, most heroes can be a significant threat. It’s relatively small and low to the ground compared to other single entity units, so it has a degree of protection against armour piercing arrows due to their parabolic arc, and enemy artillery can usually be dodged thanks to its speed. The same cannot be said of enemy gunpowder troops so deal with these as a priority.
Ultimately, despite its lack of buffs, the steam tank is best used to support the main army, assisting in multiple areas, being a jack of all trades, master of none. Like most Empire troops, the steam tank shines when used in combine armed forces, so won’t appear as spectacular on its own, a fact that sees it often overlooked. Whilst it won’t have the same knockout blow potential as something like a Mammoth would, it can aid your army at every stage of the battle and arguably prove more impactful over the course of an entire battle.
This unit has the most armour in the game at 160.