ok, so I'm building three shadowsords (well, three variants anyway)
Currently looking at Shadowsword, Stormlord and Banehammer.
And it comes to the sponson options. I have a spare set of sponsons and side plates from my Ork Baneblade (I haven't built it yet but I'm going for an understandably ramshackle look so those bits will most likely be surplus) so have some flexibility when it comes to extra armour, sponsons, or extra sponsons. Which leaves me wondeing what to do for each.
My first thought for extra armour would be the Stormlord. It's an assault tank when all is said and done, so chances are it wants to move forward, which opens it up to more side shots. The downside of this is that with the massive amount of str D weaponry thrown around in apoc, it doesn't really matter about upgrading my side armour from 13 to 14, I could drop it to 10, it's just as easy to get a penetrating hit when you're firing Str D. In which case, surely it's better to have MORE sponsons on (that way, if I'm lucky and he doesn't roll to lose structure points, any weapon destroyed results won't swiftly roll over to becoming drive damaged. A static assault tank isn't very impressive. At least with sponsons I have an extra 4 lives before my chance of immobilisation doubles. In fact the tank is more likely to be dead before immobilised!) If I could take heavy bolter sponsons on the Stormlord I would, I'd take 4. But I can only take heavy flamer. And the chance of getting in range to do anything with it is pretty slim. Even slimmer to get the chance to use 4 of the bastards, if the enemy is that close I'm gonna be unloading troops and THEN where do I flame?
The Shadowsword I'd like to be able to use as The Iron Saint from time to time, so that loadout is already dictated to me.
Which leaves the Banehammer. This has a 60" range Tremor cannon, and will be doing it's best to slow the enemy down and keep them away. Therefore I am more likely to be sitting it back, and less likely to need improved side armour. In this situation, the extra sponsons could prove handy.
Which just leaves us back with my old pal the Stormlord. Extra sponsons seems impractical given I can only have flamers, so really the choice is between the side armour 14, or the extra 4 guns for the enemy to shoot off. And yes the lascannons will at least give the Stormlord a smidgen of anti tank capability. Right now I'm leaning towards a single set of sponsons on Stormlord and Shadowsword, with a dual set on the Banehammer. What do you think?