Developed by the Baloran Empire of the Old World, this 55-ton heavy tank is a symbol of Baloran military power. When it was introduced in c.335, the Emperor was technologically superior to any other tank, and remained state-of-the-art for several years. However, the arms race it caused shortly began to render the Emperor obsolete. Balor began phasing the tank out of service and selling it to other nations as early as c.337.
The fledgling Caluran Confederacy of the New World was the largest buyer of Emperor tanks, eager to build its armored forces. Though already obsolete by Old World standards, the FFV5509 was a fearsome and effective weapons platform against the then-unmechanized military forces of mhadyons in the New World, who lacked any armored combat vehicles of their own and were ill-equipped to deal with them. It gave the Confederacy a huge advantage until the Falidyn DhRr-5 Boxer medium tank was introduced by the Mhadyon Coalition in c.342, whose 7.7cm cannon’s high-velocity ammunition was easily able to pierce the Emperor’s armor.
Despite upgrades to the FFV5509 in response, including appliqué armor and an experimental adaptation of the Emperor’s 8cm Bf.9 cannon that used captured and modified Falidyn HVAP shells, the tank has long since been rendered completely obsolete by current global standards. Today, most of the surviving Emperors have been pressed into use for rear-area guard units and training purposes, or used as target practice. Nevertheless, the Emperor has secured its position in history as an incredibly iconic and significant milestone in armored vehicle technology, having set a new bar of performance and igniting the mechanized arms races in both the Old and New World continents.
The Emperor pictured here is unit 216 of the 1st Caluran Municipal Motor Cavalry Division, shown in the standard Caluran three-tone savannah camouflage scheme during combat operations in c.341 against the Mhadyon Coalition near the outskirts of Se Atle.