The Arlatax-class Battle-Automata is an ancient variant of the even older STC-derived Conqueror-class Robot. It was developed during the time of the Great Crusade in the late 30th Millennium on the distant Forge World of Xana II by this world's secretive and independent minded forge-wrights.
Although the design supported many improvements in regard to the ancient Conqueror-class, the Arlatax-class Battle-Automata was never sanctioned for mass-production by the office of the Fabricator-General on Mars, which makes the Arlatax-class one of the rarest types of Imperial Robot in service.
It is generally believed that the Martian Mechanicum used many of the advances of the Arlatax in their own designs for the later Domitar-class Battle-Automata, the most powerful Battle-Automata of that era.
Designed as a rapid-moving, heavy shock-assault unit, the Arlatax-class Battle-Automata was developed in the distant Segmentum Pacificus on the Forge World of Xana II. Despite its excellent performance in its intended role, the design was never approved for mass-production by the jealous Martian Mechanicum that still distrusted this enigmatic Forge World at the edge of the Imperium's domain.
Some blamed idiosyncratic choices made in the conception of certain components of the Arlatax, although Martian political resistance and distrust of Xana II has also been advanced as an explanation for why the design was never officially approved by the Mechanicum.
Whilst the Arlatax was introduced into the Skitarii and Taghmata forces of Xana itself, the lack of official sanction meant that repairing and refitting this class of Battle-Automata became inherently difficult for those with no direct ties to Xana II.
However, the design was gifted to several outlying Forge Worlds, such as Atar-Median and Incaladion, where the pattern was produced independently throughout the later stages of the Great Crusade and the dark years of the Horus Heresy. Darker suspicions focused on the Arlatax 's Machine Spirit (artificial intelligence), which was particularly prone to greater than tolerable incidences of Malifica -- such as turning upon its creators.
In preparation for its service to the Traitor cause during the Horus Heresy, Xana II manufactured a great reserve of Arlatax robots, the pattern devolving into ever more baroque and sinister sub-patterns as the Forge World turned into a fully-fledged Hell-Forge of the Dark Mechanicum. Throughout the Heresy, Atar-Median also produced a sanctified version of the Arlatax Pattern to fight alongside the Loyalists.
- Arlatax Pattern Power Claws with built-in light Autocannon - The Arlatax features two, long-bladed Power Claws that crackle with murderous energy that allow the Arlatax to easily rip apart heavy infantry and even armoured vehicles. The arm-housing of these Power Claws also incorporates a compact, light version of an Autocannon, which while it lacks damage and range in comparison to the more common version mounted on many Imperial vehicles, boasts a higher rate of fire.
- Plasma Blaster
- Frag Grenades
- Atomantic Shielding - Certain Battle-Automata featured particularly powerful Atomantic reactor cores designed to energise defensive field generators built into the Battle-Automata's exterior armour plating, as well as power its combat systems.
- Jump Pack
- Arc Scourge (Optional upgrade)
- The Horus Heresy - Book Six: Retribution (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pg. 274