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"...Fear not my children, our walls are strong and our gates sealed, let the pitiable servants of the false god rain down their empty wrath on the glittering void shield of our beloved fortress-city! We are impregnable!"

—From the last broadcast of the Tyrant-Governor of the Hive Soricomorpha, The Calthamite Succession

A Hades Breaching Drill that was used during the Siege of Vraks

The Hades Breaching Drill is a piece of industrial equipment that has been used for both civilian and military purposes by the Imperium of Man.

The Hades drill is normally used on Imperial Mining Worlds to help miners dig new mining tunnels to find deposits of strategic ores and remove rubble and debris, but there have been several occasions where the Hades has been pressed into military service with the Astra Militarum.

When the Hades is used in a military role it is usually during a prolonged siege, where it serves as a breaching drill that can break into a bunker or through the wall of an enemy fortification. The Hades Drill is equipped with a forward-firing Melta-Cutter that can turn rock and metal into molten slag in seconds. Its massive drilling blades are tipped with Diamantine and can easily cut through most materials, be it rock, metal, or even flesh.

A Hades Breaching Drill sitting in an underground tunnel.

While the Hades is normally used for mining, when it is deployed as a siege weapon it can not only be used as a breaching drill but also to attack the enemy from underground. During a prolonged siege, the engineers of the Imperial Guard may spend solar weeks or even months digging tunnels and saps towards and around the enemy lines.

The Hades will be used to quickly breach the last few yards until it hits the surface, where engineers and other specialised units will come through the breach and attack the enemy. While the Hades Drill is on the surface it is not completely useless in combat, as its Melta-Cutter and drill blades are capable of ripping apart enemy structures and even tanks. The Hades can even be turned on enemy infantry and used as a makeshift tank in dire circumstances.


The Hades Breaching Drill is not armed with any true weapons, nor was it ever meant to see actual combat, but the needs of the Imperium demand that it be used when needed, even during war. The Hades' forward firing Melta-Cutter functions the same way as any Melta Weapon and can be used to melt armour and structures into piles of liquid slag.

The Hades' massive drill blades can penetrate through almost any material and are perfect for destroying structures and walls. The inside of the Hades consists of a conveyor belt to move the rubble and debris away from the area the vehicle is trying to cut through.

Known Users of the Hades Breaching Drill

  • Imperial Mining Worlds - On Imperial Mining Worlds, the Hades Breaching Drill is a standard piece of equipment for all Imperial mining operations.
  • Imperial Guard Siege Regiments - The siege regiments of the Imperial Guard have found an alternative use for the Hades Breaching Drill during sieges against fortified enemy emplacements.
  • The Death Korps of Krieg - The regiments of the Imperial Guard's Death Korps of Krieg used Hades Breaching Drills during the Siege of Vraks to get behind enemy lines, attack supply routes and sabotage enemy vehicles.

Also See


  • Armies of the Imperium, pp. 32, 59-62
  • Imperial Armour Apocalypse II, pp. 16-17
  • Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pp. 98-99
  • Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 9, 209-210, 267
  • Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orhpeus, pg. 195
  • Ork and Squat Warlords (Warhammer 40,000 Epic Supplement), pg. 62
  • White Dwarf 116 (UK), "Imperial Vehicles," by Graeme Davis & Jervis Johnson, pp. 10-11, 15
  • White Dwarf 123 (UK), "Epic Battles - Space Marine War Machines," by Karl Tebbutt and Roger Gerrish, pp. 24-25
  • White Dwarf 136 (UK), "Games Workshop Catalog: Imperial Tanks & War Machines," pg. 75