"Guardsman, your excuse that your deficient senses failed to detect and assess the presence of the foreign body which punctured the tyre is unsatisfactory. You have dishonoured the spirit of this noble machine—the Omnissiah requires penance. Cogitate upon your failure as I perform the sacred rites of rotational replenishment."
- — Tech-priest Hexon
Whilst lacking the more technologically-advanced vehicles available to the elite branches of the Imperium's military like the Inquisition and the Space Marines, the Imperial Guard does possess the largest selection of ordnance and potent armoured fighting vehicles amongst all the factions fighting for dominance in the Milky Way Galaxy.
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
The Basilisk is the most common artillery tank used by the Imperial Guard in the 41st Millennium. It is essentially an artillery piece mounted on a stripped-down chassis of a Chimera transport. The Basilisk mounts one of the longest-ranged weapons in the Imperium's arsenal, the Earthshaker Cannon. Basilisks utilise the standard Chimera chassis but replace the passenger compartment and turret with the Earthshaker, leaving it with the hull-mounted Heavy Bolter weapon and driver's compartment.
The Basilisk can fire its main weapon directly at an enemy, but this means the Basilisk would have to be close to the enemy which is not good considering it is lightly armoured, instead the Basilisk will stay away from the main fighting and fire its weapon indirectly.
The Earthshaker shells are renowned for the powerful shrieking they make during flight, the mere sound of which is often enough to break enemy morale. Additionally, the guns produce a tremendous muzzle report, and it is also mentioned that Earthshaker crews tend to experience hearing loss. Unlike the other artillery units in the Imperial Guard, such as the Bombard, Griffon, and Manticore, the Basilisk is capable of direct as well as indirect fire, giving it a limited ability to defend itself from enemy vehicles and infantry. In the direst of circumstances, Basilisks may be used as secondary battle tanks if given adequate protection. Consequently, Basilisks are often placed at the front of an artillery detachment.
The Bombard mounts a Siege Mortar on a Leman Russ main battle tank chassis. Despite its comparatively short range, it is one of the most powerful artillery pieces in the Imperial Guard. The Bombard is capable of ignoring cover when being used against fortified troops. Its use is rather limited due its short range and lack of direct fire capability; it is primarily used on fortresses after the fortress's occupants are forced inside their walls. The Bombard has no room on board to store its ammunition, and thus it must be loaded from outside the vehicle using its rear-mounted crane.
The Colossus is an open-topped self-propelled artillery piece commonly used by the regiments of the Imperial Guard, and it is one of the oldest and most renowned siege weapons still in use during the 41st Millennium. The vehicle is usually deployed by the Guard during sieges of fortified enemy emplacements and against structures being used as cover by the enemy during urban combat.
The Centaur is a light vehicle used to transport men and ammunition or tow light artillery pieces. It is lightly armed with only a single Heavy Stubber, but tends to carry weapons teams and heavy mortars. Although not suited for heavy combat, it is popular with the Death Korps of Krieg. The Centaur saw heavy use during the Siege of Vraks, where thousands of Centaurs were used to transport men and weaponry behind the lines.
The Chimera is the standard armoured personnel carrier (APC) of the Imperial Guard. It can carry a variety of heavy weapons in its gun turret, such as Heavy Bolters, Heavy Flamers and Multilasers. Other weapons, such as Autocannons can be mounted using special modifications. The Chimera also mounts a hull-mounted Heavy Bolter or Heavy Flamer. The vehicle also has six hull-mounted lasguns on its side sponsons that can be fired from the passenger compartment, allowing the units inside to engage the enemy without first disembarking from the vehicle. As an APC, the vehicle is capable of carrying up to twelve Guardsmen, although some troop types such as Space Marine Terminators and Ogryns take up double the space of a standard human soldier. The Chimera has amphibious capabilities, allowing it to take part in naval assaults. There are three specific close variants of the Chimera; the Chimedon, Chimerax and Chimerro. The Chimedon replaces the gun turret weapon with a Battlecannon, while the Chimerax has four linked Autocannons in the turret. The Chimerro is a standard pattern Chimera with a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher mounted on the turret in addition to the Multilaser. The Chimera chassis is the basis for many other Imperial vehicles, including the Basilisk, the Hydra, and the Hellhound.
- Samaritan - The Samaritan is a variant of the Chimera used by the Imperial Guard's medical companies as an ambulance. The Samaritan is a non-combat vehicle and is completely unarmed, lacking even a simple Pintle-mounted weapon for self-defence. The vehicle is crewed by two medical company orderlies, and usually a surgeon accompanies them. The crew of the Samaritan collect the wounded and transport them to either a medical company aid station or to a field-hospice near the very rear of the line. These field-hospices are staffed with the merciful Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas' Orders Hospitaller.
The Cyclops is a small remote-controlled tracked demolition vehicle that is just small enough to fit within the passenger space of a standard Chimera or Valkyrie aircraft along with its controller. The Cyclops is intended to roll off its parent vehicle and be steered remotely towards its target, at which point it is detonated with devastating force. The Cyclops can also be dropped behind enemy lines by a Valkyrie and sabotage enemy supplies or command stations. The Cyclops is popular among those Imperial Guard regiments that use it to keep their troops from having to perform dangerous jobs that normally lead to heavy casualties.
Deathstrike Missile Launcher
An Intercontinental-range support weapon, the Deathstrike is no more than a chassis to carry a single ICBM-class Deathstrike Missile mounted on the back of an Imperial Chimera chassis, for which the launcher is named. Deathstrike Missile payloads include Plasma warheads, biological warheads, nuclear warheads, Titan-killer warheads, and the dreaded Vortex Warheads all of which require the authorization of Segmentum Command in order to fire due to the immense amount of destruction they are capable of.
The Griffon is another example of Imperial Guard self-propelled artillery. It carries a Heavy Mortar mounted in place of the passenger compartment on a Chimera chassis. It is shorter ranged and cheaper to field than other Imperial Guard artillery vehicles like the Basilisk or the Manticore. The Griffon is used to soften up enemy formations before an attack, acting in general as a supporting unit.
The Hellhound, based upon the Chimera chassis, is a flame tank. Its main weapon is the Inferno Cannon also called the "Dragon Fire Thrower", which is a large Heavy Flamer that projects streams of burning Promethium at range, making the Hellhound well-suited to close-range support, such as countering enemy melee units that attempt to assault Imperial armoured vehicles and driving dug-in enemies out of cover. It is also armed with a Hull-Mounted Heavy Bolter
The Promethium storage is in the form of two large tanks, replacing the passenger area at the vehicle's rear. This makes the tanks, and the vehicle itself, vulnerable to enemy weapons. The crews of Hellhounds are often pyromaniacs, and in addition to being considered insane by other Imperial Guardsmen for their willingness to operate such a dangerous vehicle are often found modifying the components of their Inferno Cannons to produce even greater output. Hellhounds are especially adept at flushing enemy infantry formations out of entrenched positions due to the Inferno Cannon's ability to penetrate most forms of cover. There are several variants of the Hellhound that are used by the Imperial Guard.
- Devil Dog - The Devil Dog variant of the Hellhound is equipped with a Melta Cannon in place of the normal Inferno Cannon, Devil Dogs are able to destroy heavy troops and armoured tanks. When fired the main weapons make a high pitched howl as moisture in the air vaporizes, becoming a roaring blast as the target is consumed.
- Bane Wolf - The Bane Wolf uses a Chem Cannon in place of the Hellhound's Inferno Cannon and are used when the complete eradication of the enemy needed, the weapon smothers its targets in broiling clouds of noxious gas that are able to dissolves organic materials in seconds. The targeted victim's blood will boil in their own veins and their flesh falls from the bone as the mixture of toxins does its horrific work.
The Hydra Flak Tank is a self-propelled anti-aircraft vehicle based on the Chimera chassis used by the Imperial Guard to protect its armoured vehicles and infantry formations from attack by the air, it is armed with four long-barreled flak Autocannons mounted on a rotating turret that can track its targets automatically. The Hydra is primarily used as an anti-aircraft weapon, although its barrels can be lowered towards the ground to engage enemy infantry and even light vehicles. The vehicle also has advanced targeting systems on board to track enemy aircraft and identify between friend or foe.
The Land Crawler is the STC design for a tractor or bulldozer, an all-purpose labor and utility vehicle used for a variety of tasks. The Land Crawler is often said to be the most important discovery made by Arkhan Land, more so than the military-purpose Land Speeder and Land Raider designs. Due to its ubiquity, it has been found modified for military use, as needs dictate.
- Bruennhilde - The Bruennhilde is a light armoured transporter variant armed only with a single Heavy Stubber. As it's not very good on the front line, it is usually only used by Planetary Defense Forces. It is usually found at the back of siege lines, towing artillery weapons into place.
- Siegfried - The Siegfried is a light scout tank developed during the 500-year civil war on Krieg as a replacement for lost Sentinels, and is still found in siege regiments. Like the Sentinel, it is armed primarily with a Multilaser.
The Leman Russ Battle Tank, named after Primarch Leman Russ of the Space Wolves, is the main battle tank of the Imperial Guard. The standard armament is a Battle Cannon mounted in the turret and heavy weapons (usually Heavy Bolters) in side sponsons and glacis plate mounting.
The Leman Russ battle tank is the most commonly found tank in Imperial Guard regiments. It is a simple design and one that has stood the test of time. Its versatility and relative ease of construction make it the tank most often requested by imperial officers to be attached to their infantry formations.
The Leman Russ has thick armour to the front and relatively thick armour on its flanks, however it has quite weak rear armour. It is relatively maneuverable, but due to no visible suspension system the ride is assumed to be relatively rough. The tank is renowned for its loud engine, and the vehicle is crewed by 5 or 6 people consisting of a Commander, a Primary Gunner, sponson Gunners and a Driver. The crew compartment is quite cramped, and is considered uncomfortable, claustrophobic and loud.
- Demolisher - The common Leman Russ Demolisher variant mounts the heavy but short-ranged "Demolisher Cannon". It is often used in city fighting or line breaching where its powerful cannon can be used to best effect.
- Vanquisher - The rare Leman Russ Vanquisher variant mounts a high-calibre long-range Vanquisher Cannon and co-axial Storm Bolter. It is used for long-ranged anti-vehicle support. It is also often armed with a Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber.
- Conqueror - The Leman Russ Conqueror mounts a stub-barreled low-calibre Conqueror Cannon that can be fired with greater accuracy when on the move. This allows the tank to be used in an assault and infantry support capacity.
- Exterminator - The Leman Russ Exterminator variant carries twin-linked Autocannons in its turret, and Heavy Bolters in its sponsons. The Exterminator is best suited to anti-infantry work, and has limited anti-air capabilities as well, while it is also faster than the standard. Exterminators are also common tank command vehicles because of their unique weapon systems and defensive capabilities.
- Executioner - The Leman Russ Executioner replaces the standard Battle Cannon with a Plasma Destroyer. This is an extraordinarily powerful but temperamental plasma-based weapon which is prone to breakdowns and explosions.
- Annihilator - The Leman Russ Annihilator includes Twin-linked Lascannons in place of the Battle Cannon, much like the Space Marine Predator "Annihilator" variant.
- Mars/Alpha pattern - Less a weapons difference (As with all the above variants) and more a cosmetic change, Mars/Alpha pattern Leman Russ tanks feature an increased interior capacity; for this reason, they are favoured as command tanks.
- Eradicator - The Leman Russ Eradicator is a simple, destructive vehicle, its main weapon, the Eradicator Nova Cannon, gained a fearsome reputation as a weapon capable of flattening barricades, infantry, and even light vehicles, with a highly volatile sub-atomic charge. Easily produced and maintained, it is a weapon of choice for any commander fighting in dense terrain.
- Punisher - The Leman Russ Punisher variant of the Leman Russ is the most potent anti-infantry vehicle in the Imperial Guard, and among the best anti-infantry vehicles in the galaxy. Armed with the multi-barrel Punisher Gatling Cannon, the Punisher can shred even the heaviest of infantry units with punitive ease. However, the Punisher can be outmatched by enemy tanks in a head-to-head fight, and commonly works with other Leman Russ tanks to make up for the loss of anti-tank firepower.
Destroyer Tank Hunter
The Destroyer is a tank hunter of the Imperial Guard, it is armed with a powerful weapon known as a Laser Destroyer. The Destroyer is based off of the Leman Russ tank chassis, only with its turret ring removed and replaced with a crew access area. Due to the complexity of maintaining the Laser Destroyer and the number of Forge Worlds able to build new ones shrinking steadily the Destroyer is becoming quite a rare sight on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium.
Thunderer Siege Tank
Originally conceived as a field modification, the Thunderer Siege Tank is becoming more and more common. Many Thunderers started their existence as a Destroyer Tank Hunter, but due to the low number of available replacements for the Destroyer's main weapon, the Laser Destroyer, many field shops would simply replace the broken weapon with a Demolisher Cannon, and thus the Thunderer was born.
The Manticore is a guided missile launcher; a Chimera chassis carrying four powerful Storm Eagle Missiles. A variety of warheads are often used for a wider range of effects. Its rate of fire is half that of a Basilisk and it does not have the direct-fire capability. It can also be used as a self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon, firing anti-aircraft missiles.
The Medusa is a self-propelled gun like the Basilisk and also built on the Chimera chassis, but with a larger-bore and shorter-barrelled gun known as the Medusa Siege Gun. Functioning as an assault gun rather than long-range artillery, it is also commonly deployed in sieges. The Medusa is named after its main weapon.
Like the Siegfried, the Ragnarok heavy tank was developed in the Krieg Rebellion out of necessity. It was designed solely to crush the enemy through the sheer weight of numbers. Simpler and more lightly armed than the Leman Russ, the Ragnarok is armed only with a Battle Cannon and a pair of Heavy Stubbers. It is still often used by Siege Regiments such as the Baran Siegemasters or the Vostroyan siege administrate, who refer to it as the "Mk. I Mobile Bunker".
Also based on the Chimera chassis, the Salamander is an open-topped, lightly armoured scout vehicle armed with an Autocannon and a hull-mounted Heavy Bolter. A command variant of the Salamander is armed with a Heavy Flamer. The vehicle is significantly faster than most Imperial Guard vehicles, and many crews further modify the engines and transmission of the vehicle against regulations to allow additional bursts of speed. However, most commanders overlook the breach of regulations due to the dangerous nature of the missions that Salamander crews must undertake. The Salamander is also often used by artillery company forward observers. The open top provides better visibility when spotting and relaying targets.
A lightweight Imperial combat walker, Sentinels are often fielded in squadrons as scouts or flank support. They can carry a variety of heavy weapons and bring high levels of power and maneuverability together in one place. They are lightly armoured, however, and are susceptible to small arms fire. Sentinel pilots are often loners and outcasts, and are frequently considered to be on the borderline of insolence by Imperial Guard officers.
There are multiple Sentinel variants, and each variant deploys a different combination of primary weapon and level of pilot protection. The most commonly used variants are:
- Mars Pattern - This Sentinel is armed with a Multilaser and is effective against infantry and lightly armoured vehicles.
- Cadian Pattern - This Sentinel is armed with an Autocannon and is effective against heavy infantry and armoured vehicles.
- Elysian Pattern - This Sentinel is armed with a Multi-melta which is highly effective against light armour and infantry or a Heavy Bolter for use against infantry. It has been modified to fit inside a Valkyrie gunship and is fitted with anti-grav chutes, so it can be air-dropped into combat alongside ground troops.
- Catachan Pattern - This Sentinel is armed with a Heavy Flamer and Chainblade for use in jungles and is effective for both clearing a path as well as a fire support weapon against dug-in infantrymen. The Catachan pattern Sentinel is also generally camouflaged using a jungle scheme.
- Armageddon Pattern - This Sentinel is armed with a Lascannon and is a surprisingly effective anti-tank weapon. The cockpit of the Armageddon Pattern Sentinel is also usually fully enclosed with armour plate.
- Tallarn Pattern - This Sentinel is armed with a Multilaser. It has larger feet than normal for better balance on the loose sand of the Desert Worlds it is usually deployed on.
The Sentinel chassis is also the technological foundation for many Imperial service and utility vehicles, which are often equipped with "power lifters" to transport supplies and to aid in the resupply of other vehicles. Power lifters are not intended for combat use but they can be used as improvised close combat weapons. On top of these there are Support Sentinels armed with rocket and missile launchers for long-ranged fire support but these patterns are rare.
The Tauros is a light attack and reconnaissance vehicle used mostly by the Elysian Drop Troops regiments of the Imperial Guard. The Tauros comes in two standard variants, the basic Tauros is a four-wheeled vehicle that is primarily used as a long-range scout vehicle, mounting potent anti-personnel firepower in the form of either a Heavy Flamer or a Tauros Grenade Launcher. The Tauros Rapid Assault Vehicle is a common sight on many frontier worlds within the Imperium, where it is used as a utility vehicle. Its rugged drive axles are individually powered by high-yield galvanic motors, which allows the vehicle to maintain its speed even when some of its wheels may be damaged or destroyed. There is another variant known as the Tauros Venator:
- Tauros Venator - The Tauros Venator is a modified version of the Tauros. The main change being the replacement of the standard anti-infantry weapon with a heavier weapon such as an Autocannon or Lascannon. The increased ammunition reserves required for this weapon means the rear of the vehicle has to be extended and an extra pair of wheels installed to maintain vehicle stability. These modifications prevent the Tauros Venator from simply fitting into a standard Valkyrie, thus they are carried into combat by Valkyrie Sky Talons which are equipped to deal with heavy loads.
The Taurox armoured personnel carrier is designed to hit hard and fast, exploiting gaps in the enemy battle line or plugging those torn in the Imperium's. Though lightly armoured, the Taurox packs a punch, mounting twin-linked autocannons to mow down enemy forces as it roars into the breach. Meanwhile, its rugged "Castellan" quad-track unit allows the Taurox to negotiate even the most tangled terrain with ease. The Taurox's capacity to punch through seemingly impossible terrain makes it an ideal counter-attack asset. Imperial Guard commanders will often hold back squads of short ranged, hard-hitting infantry in Taurox APCs, throwing them in to blunt enemy breakthroughs before they can build momentum. However the Taurox's ability to traverse rough terrain also finds it regularly employed as a light recon vehicle, or running escort duties on columns of artillery. Here it will swiftly deploy squads of heavy infantry, countering unexpected threats with overwhelming firepower until reinforcements can be brought to bear.
- Taurox Prime - A variant of the Taurox built for use by Militarum Tempestus, the Prime's design is efficient and flexible. The vehicle's chassis incorporates arcane technologies that allow it to sustain Tempestus Scions operating in extremely hostile environments, or even the cold vacuum of space. The vehicle can be internally pressurised, and features a suite of life-support systems. Further, its engines can be compelled – using the proper rituals and prayers – to channel magnetic force into the Prime's tracks. This enables the vehicle to cling to vertical surfaces, and even operate in zero gravity conditions. The Taurox Prime's weapon load-out is equally versatile -– whether blasting enemy infantry apart with hails of missiles and gatling cannon fire, or bringing down tanks and fortifications with their lightweight battle cannons, these vehicles are the ideal transport for the elite forces of the Militarum Tempestus.
The Testudo was a lightly armed and armoured APC that was used by the Imperial Army during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. The Testudo was armed with a turret-mounted Autocannon and used solid rubber tires instead of metal tracks. The Testudo was later phased-out and replaced by the Chimera armoured personnel carrier.
The Pathcutter is an Imperial Guard heavy transport developed and used on the planet of Danik's World. The Pathcutter is used by both the Imperial Guard and rebel fighters on Danik's World to transport infantry trough the deep snow, as other Imperial transports on the planet, most notably the Chimera, have difficulty clearing a path through the snow. The vehicle uses two troop decks that are accessible through a drop down central ramp, the vehicle is capable of transporting up to 30 people.
The Trojan is an ubiquitous Imperial support vehicle, serving behind the front lines to reload heavier tanks and tow fixed artillery emplacements into position. The Trojan uses the Chimera tank chassis, and is only armed with a single hull-mounted Heavy Bolter.
The Atlas is an armoured recovery tank based on the Leman Russ Battle Tank chassis. It is designed to recover disabled or immobilised vehicles and tow them back to friendly lines for repairs. The Atlas is a stripped down Leman Russ tank with no turret, weakened armour and a supercharged engine to enable it to move weights in excess of 60 tonnes. Three or more Atlases are needed to tow a super heavy tank. Usually all of the Atlases are grouped together under the control of the regimental commander, although not all regiments make use of them. Those that do, almost always find their services in need. During battles they are held in reserve until a call comes through for one of them to brave the battlefield and rescue a vehicle. It has a large crane and rear spade to allow it to lift the heavy weight without toppling over backwards. Often Atlases are accompanied by Trojans which can tow large flatbed trailers to put damaged vehicles on to be moved to the workshops. Often an Atlas crew is trained well enough to repair a vehicle on the spot and they are often followed by a Tech-priest Enginseer to properly bless and consecrate the vehicle. Destroyed vehicles will be investigated for salvage, and once their Machine Spirit have been set free to return to the Emperor they are left to rust away in peace.
The Baneblade is the primary super-heavy tank of the Imperial Guard, and one of the largest and oldest armoured fighting vehicles in the service of the Imperial armed forces. The tank is a venerated Standard Template Construct (STC) design, with ten people needed to fully crew one. It is also one of the oldest STC designs in existence. They are often used as command vehicles by Imperial Guard commanders. The Baneblade possesses a powerful set of armaments. The standard Baneblade complement includes a turret-mounted Mega Battle Cannon with a coaxial Autocannon, three twin-linked Heavy Bolters (one sponson-mounted on either side, and one turret-mounted on the front hull slope), two turret-mounted Lascannons on either side, directly above the side sponsons, and lastly, a fixed-forward hull-mounted Demolisher Cannon.
The Shadowsword is the sister tank of the more common Baneblade super-heavy tank of the Imperial Guard. The Shadowsword is a nearly identical super-heavy tank to the Baneblade with the exception of its armament and battlefield role as a Titan-killer. Armed with a massive forward-firing gun known as a Volcano Cannon the Shadowsword's primary focus during combat is the destruction of enemy Titans. The Shadowsword and Baneblade have been fighting alongside the forces of Mankind since the Dark Age of Technology, thus making it one of the oldest tank designs still in regular use by the Imperium.
The Stormsword is a super-heavy tank of the Imperial Guard that is the result of a field conversion of a wrecked Shadowsword tank. The Shadowsword's original Volcano Cannon and all of its internal components have been replaced with a massive Hellhammer Siege Cannon and internal storage for its huge shells. The Stormsword has proven very reliable during urban combat, and is equipped to fight in close-quarters and against garrisoned infantry.
The Stormblade super-heavy tank is a variant of the Imperial Guard's Shadowsword Titan-killer tank. It is armed with a Plasma Blastgun instead of a Volcano Cannon, but it is still able to perform the role of Titan-hunter on the battlefield. Stormblades are built on Forge Worlds that lack the ability to build true Shadowsword tanks, and thus have to compensate by using different weaponry and other less advanced technologies than the original.
The Stormhammer is a super-heavy main battle tank of the Imperial Guard based on the Baneblade chassis that is usually armed with turret mounted twin-linked Battle Cannons and hull-mounted twin-linked Demolisher Cannons, four sponson-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolters, and four top-mounted sponson Lascannons. The tank is used when extreme firepower is in high demand and it is the rarest variant of the Baneblade super-heavy tank used by the Imperial Guard. There is also another variant of the Stormhammer that replaces the hull-mounted twin-linked Demolisher Cannons with a secondary turret that is armed with another set of twin-linked Battle Cannons. It is unknown either if these are two different variants of the same variant or if it is another variant altogether.
The Hellhammer is an Imperial Guard Super-heavy tank build on the chassis of the Baneblade. It was designed to provide short-ranged fire support in urban and other close range situations. The vehicle's main weapon, the Hellhammer Cannon, can annihilate defenders in cover and fortifications. The tank is also armed with a co-axial Autocannon, a hull-mounted Demolisher Cannon, a twin-linked hull-mounted Heavy Bolter, two top-mounted sponson Lascannons, and two sponson-mounted twin-linked Heavy Flamers.
The Banehammer is a super-heavy tank based on the Shadowsword chassis. It is unknown when the Banehammer was first developed, but it has seen heavy use during the recent Tyranic Wars against the Tyranids. The Banehammer is equipped with a turret-mounted Tremor Cannon in place of the Volcano Cannon normally used on Shadowswords. The weapon launches projectiles that bury themselves and detonate only after a certain distance was reached. The shell would then release a huge shock-wave, liquefying the nearby ground, forcing enemy infantry and vehicles to fall into the now unstable terrain and try to escape under fire. By removing the large capacitors used by the Shadowsword's Volcano Cannon the Banehammer gains the ability to transport up to 25 infantrymen.
The Doomhammer is a super-heavy tank which was created during the thousand-year-long Siege of Ordana. The tank was created by necessity as a Titan-killer, during the siege many commanders requested Shadowswords to combat the large number of enemy Titans from a Renegade Forge World, the only way the Imperium could continue fighting the war was to replace the Tremor Cannon of a Banehammer tank with a Magma Cannon. While the Magma Cannon cannot match the range of the Shadowsword's Volcano Cannon, it can still deal a death blow to Titans. By removing the large capacitors used by the Shadowsword's Volcano Cannon the Doomhammer gains the ability to transport up to 25 infantrymen.
The Banesword is a variant of the Imperial Shadowsword Titan-hunter tank, modified to use a Quake Cannon in place of the Volcano Cannon. The Quake Cannon, combined with the armour of a super-heavy, has established the Banesword as the pinnacle of Imperial siegecraft. Many Imperial commanders would willingly exchange two regiments for a single Banesword, such is the reputation of this tank. The Banesword is also armed with three twin-linked Heavy Bolters, and two Lascannons.
The Stormlord is a rare variant of the Shadowsword that is armed with a turret-mounted Vulcan Mega Bolter and is used in the mass destruction of infantry. Although it may lack the heavier guns on its brethren, such as the Baneblade or the Stormsword, it is normally deployed alongside the Titan Hunters to protect them from enemy infantry and light armour. The Stormlord's massive amount of anti-infantry firepower is the bane of light troops everywhere. By removing the large capacitors used by the Shadowsword's Volcano Cannon the Stormlord gains the ability to transport up to 40 infantry units, more than any other Shadowsword variants.
The Gorgon is a super-heavy, amphibious, open-topped, armoured assault transport that is capable of transporting up to 50 Guardsmen and is roughly the same size as the standard Baneblade chassis. The Gorgon is designed to smash its way through most things with an extremely armoured front prow. This protects the tank and cargo from frontal attack, and is also used to form an assault ramp, allowing infantry deployment in the middle of enemy positions. The Gorgon bears a pair of twin-linked Heavy Stubber turrets at the rear that can cover the front and sides, as well as a pair of sponsons that may carry Heavy Stubbers, Heavy Bolters, Heavy Flamers, single-shot Gorgon Mortars.
Crassus Armoured Assault Transport
The Crassus is a heavily armoured assault transport of the Imperial Guard that was named after one of Lord Solar Macharius' greatest generals during the Macharian Crusade, Borgen Crassus, who had remained loyal to the Imperium even during the grim and bloody Macharian Heresy that followed after Macharius' death. The Standard Template Construct (STC) designs for the Crassus, and two of its variants, were found on the recently re-conquered and re-consecrated Forge World of Zhao-Arkkad. The Crassus is both heavily armed and armoured; it is equipped with 2 forward-mounted Heavy Bolters and 2 sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters, and every weapon can be replaced individually with a Heavy Flamer, an Autocannon, or a Lascannon. This allows the Crassus to be equipped with up to four different weapons at once. The two known variants of the Crassus are Dominus and Praetor.
- Dominus Armoured Siege Bombard - The Dominus is an Armoured Siege Bombard that is used as a mobile artillery piece by the Imperial Guard. The Dominus is a variant of the Imperial Crassus Armoured Assault Transport that has had its crew transport capacity replaced with a Dominus Heavy Siege Bombard, after which the vehicle gets its name. Dominus Heavy Siege Bombard is a battery of three heavy bombard cannons that fire in an automated sequence, it is capable of laying down heavy saturation bombing of enemy positions before advancing with the rest of the armoured regiment.
- Praetor Armoured Assault Launcher - The Praetor is an armoured assault missile launcher used by the Imperial Guard for direct infantry fire support. The Praetor is a modified variant of the Crassus Armoured Assault Transport, and is named after the unique weapon it mounts known as the Praetor Heavy Assault Launcher. The weapon is a sophisticated, multiple heavy missile launcher akin to the Whirlwind Missile Launcher of the Space Marine Whirlwind tank and Helios Pattern Land Raiders, although it is much larger and more powerful. The weapon is capable of firing several types of missiles distinguished by their use of different warheads, such as the Foehammer, Firestorm, and Pilum. The weapon takes up the space the Crassus uses to transport its precious cargo of soldiers, and its missiles are fully capable of engaging both land and air targets.
The Macharius Heavy Tank is a battle tank used by the Imperial Guard, most notably the Death Korps of Krieg. Developed from the same hull as the Gorgon, the Macharius is smaller and lighter than the more common Baneblade, but it is becoming increasingly common as it is easier to produce quickly in quantity. The design was originally discovered as a partial fragment in the archives of the Forge World Lucius by one Magos Nalax who painstakingly reconstructed the original design using the materials available to him. There are several variants of the Macharius, principally distinguished by their main armament.
- The standard Macharius mounts twin Battle Cannons in its main turret, supplemented by a hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Stubber and sponson-mounted Heavy Stubbers, which may be replaced by Heavy Flamers or Heavy Bolters.
- The Macharius Vanquisher variant replaces the twin battle cannons with twin Vanquisher Cannons, which can optionally use the armour-piercing vanquisher shell instead of the standard high explosive version.
- The Macharius Vulcan variant replaces the twin Battle Cannons with a single Vulcan Mega Bolter, a weapon more commonly found on Titans, to give the tank truly devastating anti-infantry power at close range.
- The extremely rare Macharius Omega mounts the powerful Omega Pattern Plasma Blastgun. The STC for this weapon was originally discovered by Explorator-Magus Hum’nal in late M39, but a schism in the Mechanicum over the purity of its template delayed the testing and deployment of the Omega pattern weapon for centuries.
An ancient tank design perhaps even older than the Leman Russ, the Malcador is a huge, heavy and lumbering war machine intended to smash through enemy lines and batter through fortified defences with brute force. It is named after Malcador the Sigillite, the Emperor's adviser during the Battles of Unification, and the man credited with founding the Administratum of Terra. The Malcador has several different variants based on its weapons configurations.
- Malcador - The standard Malcador is armed with a turret-mounted Battle Cannon and a hull-mounted Autocannon.
- Malcador Annihilator - The Malcador Annihilator replaces the standard variant's limited-traverse Battle Cannon with a twin-linked Lascannon and its forward hull weapons mount with a Demolisher Cannon.
- Malcador Defender- The Malcador Defender is arguably the most effective of the Malcador tank variants. It is more common in many Imperial armouries than the standard heavy tank upon which it is based. Like the Malcador Annihilator, the hull weapon mount is replaced by a Demolisher Cannon but the upper turret embrasure is heavily modified to mount 5 separate Heavy Bolters angled to provide 360 degrees of fire coverage. This shifts the tank's role to that of serving as a mobile fortress that is often referred to as a breakthrough tank.
- Malcador Infernus - The Malcador Infernus is armed with an Inferno Cannon capable of engulfing the enemy in a storm of burning promethium. The Infernus is a powerful weapon against fortified enemy infantry.
Valdor Tank Hunter
The Valdor Tank Hunter is an ancient heavy battle tank of the Imperial Guard that was first developed during the Horus Heresy as a weapon to help counter the Land Raider tanks of the Traitor Legions. The Valdor is based on the Malcador heavy tank chassis, and is named after Captain-General Constantin Valdor of the Legio Custodes, a great hero of the Imperium during the Horus Heresy. The Valdor Tank Hunter is equipped with an ancient and powerful weapon known as a Neutron Laser Cannon that is powerful enough to destroy its targets on the molecular level.
The Minotaur is a rare self-propelled artillery piece used by the armed forces of the Imperium of Man that can trace its origins back to the Great Crusade and maybe ever earlier. The Minotaur uses the same chassis and engine as the Malcador heavy tank, but is based on what appears to be an earlier variant, or the original chassis design. The Minotaur was designed as a forward deployment fire support vehicle, and this is proven by the Minotaur's outfitting with an unusual amount of heavy armour and the vehicle's extreme durability. The Minotaur is armed with a rear-mounted twin-linked Earthshaker Cannon, and is able to back itself into a dugout or entrenchment in order to fire, when it needs to leave it can simply drive forwards and out the way it originally came.
The Leviathan is a massive mobile fortress commonly used as a mobile command center an ultra-heavy troop transport. The Leviathan was built on a massive vehicle chassis produced by the Squat homeworlds, this chassis the same as that used for the Squat Colossus and Cyclops war-machines. With the extinction of the vast majority of the Squat race following the consumption of their homeworlds by the Tyranids, the Leviathan has become extremely rare in Imperial forces. Its main weapon is known as the Doomsday Cannon or "Macro Cannon." The discharge from these guns is said to be clearly audible from several miles away and the recoil can be felt at similar distances. The massive vehicle is also equipped with a large variety of other weapons including Battle Cannons and Heavy Bolters.
While Imperial aircraft are often used to provide air support to the ground operations of the Imperial Guard and are listed here, they are in fact not Imperial Guard vehicles but are actually under the administrative control of the Imperial Navy, which controls all Imperial spacecraft and aircraft. All Imperial pilots are members of the Imperial Navy (aside from the very rare exception of the Phantine Air Corps), even when they pilot aircraft like the Valkyrie or Vulture which are engaged almost entirely in providing direct air support and transportation for Imperial Guard missions.
The Valkyrie is an Imperial Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) airborne assault carrier used primarily by the Imperial Guard as both a gunship and a transport for airborne combat regiments like Storm Trooper Squads and the Elysian Drop Troops. The Valkyrie's primary armament is a Multi-Laser or a Lascannon that is mounted just to the side of the cockpit. There are several known variants of the Valkyrie, used for different tasks.
- Valkyrie Sky Talon - This variant of the Valkyrie is used to transport light vehicles that are to be used as heavy support for drop-infantry, such as the Elysian Drop Troops.
- Vendetta - Unlike the Sky Talon variant of the Valkyrie, the Vendetta is heavily armed and is used as a tank hunter. After dropping off its precious human cargo, the Vendetta will act as heavy air support for the ground infantry.
The Vulture is a gunship of the Imperial Navy that is capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). It is used as a heavy air support vehicle for Imperial Guard ground units and the Valkyrie transport. The Vulture is very similar in appearance to the Valkyrie, but with a drastically different role on the battlefield. The Vulture is capable of equipping a large variety of weapons and is able to engage both infantry and armoured units, and is also able to effectively attack fortified enemy structures and bunkers.
The Thunderbolt heavy fighter is one of the two main fighter aircraft patterns used by the Imperial Navy, the other of which is the Lightning air superiority fighter. The Thunderbolt is the mainstay weapon system of Imperial Navy fighter wings and is a rugged, well-armed and armoured heavy fighter with all-around capabilities, a good maximum speed and above-average maneuverability, powerful nose-mounted weapons and hard points located on the wings for missile or bomb load-outs. It is an aircraft that is well-liked by those who fly and service it and it has served the cause of the Emperor for many centuries.
Lightning Air Superiority Fighter
The Lightning is used by the Imperial Navy to quickly establishing air superiority during a battle due to its increased speed and maneuverability over the Thunderbolt fighter. It can be seen and heard plummeting from orbit or being scrambled from Imperial naval bases.
Avenger Strike Fighter
The Avenger is a dedicated strike fighter, intended to conduct high-speed, low-level attacks on ground targets, with armoured vehicle formations and high-value strategic assets such as munitions dumps forming its principal prey.
The Marauder is the primary bomber used during in-atmosphere planetary bombing raids by the Imperial Navy. It was at one point used also as the primary space bomber of the Imperial Navy, but has been replaced with the heavier Starhawk bomber for all exo-atmospheric bombing runs. The Marauder has several variants that are in use by the Imperium.
- Marauder Destroyer - This variant of the Marauder bomber is equipped with more weapons and is mostly used as a night-attack heavy bomber, this variant was first developed during the Third War for Armageddon in order to combat the Orks who had air superiority.
- Marauder Colossus - This variant of the Marauder was designed as a heavy ordinance bomber capable of destroying heavily fortified structures and strong-points.
- Marauder Vigilant - This non-combat variant of the Marauder Bomber is equipped with sophisticated and powerful surveillance equipment in order to carry out aerial reconnaissance and signal intelligence intercepts on enemy forces.
Imperial Subterranean Vehicles are underground, tunnelling troop transports utilised by a variety of Imperial military forces and collectively known as "tunnellers" or "miners". These machines tunnel their way underground while the battle rages above, bypassing enemy troops and fortifications to emerge behind enemy lines. Tunnellers can move over the surface as well as underground, but as they only travel slowly overland it is more common to transport them to battlefields on huge, tracked transporter vehicles. Imperial military forces appreciate the value of tunnellers as assault vehicles for overcoming both surface defences and subterranean strongholds, and use them in large numbers. The following are the most common tunnellers utilised by Imperial forces:
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 tunnels in search of deposits of strategic ores and remove rubble and debris, but there have been several occasions where the Hades has been pressed into military service by the Imperial Guard. 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.
The Hellbore Heavy Mole is a super-large burrowing vehicle and is the largest of the tunnelling troop transports utilised by the Adeptus Mechanicus known collectively as "tunnellers" or "miners". It is far larger than both the Termite and the Mole, and like them utilises a phase-field generator to burrow deep underground with its massive drill, carrying many units of Imperial troops safely far below the surface of the earth, beneath enemy fortifications and formations. This allows the Hellbore to surface behind an enemy's position or the flanks of an enemy fortification at which point its troops disembark for close assault. This vehicle is equipped with Multi-Launchers and Heavy Bolters.
The Mole is an intermediate-size tunneller vehicle used by the Adeptus Mechanicus as a subterranean transport vehicle, carrying a single platoon of Imperial Guard tactical troops. All Moles carry special communications equipment which allows them to relay orders to the troops they carry.
The Termite is used by the Adeptus Mechanicus as a subterranean transport vehicle. The Termite is the smallest of the tunnellers. It carries two squads of Imperial Guard troops and the various Termites are organised into squadrons for tactical purposes. Termite squadrons all use the same tunnel, each following behind the other and branching to the surface only at the last moment. The Termite and its counterparts, the Mole and the Hellbore, all use a phase-field generator to burrow through the ground, whereas the Hades Breaching Drill uses a more "brute-force" approach that applies physical drills.
This is only a select and generalised list of sources. Please see each individual Chapter's page for a complete and accurate listing.
- Codex: Astra Militarum (6th Edition)
- Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition)
- Codex: Blood Angels (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Catachans (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Daemonhunters (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex)
- Codex: Imperial Guard (4th Edition)
- Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Imperial Guard (2nd Edition)
- Codex: Militarum Tempestus (6th Edition)
- Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition)
- Codex: Witchhunters (3rd Edition)
- Double Eagle (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Imperial Armour
- Imperial Armour Update 2006
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard & Imperial Navy
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign
- Imperial Armour Volume Four - The Anphelion Project
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks Part One
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks Part Two
- Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara
- The Horus Heresy - Book One: Betrayal (Imperial Armour)
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse II
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition)
- Rebel Winter (Novel) by Steve Parker
- Soul Drinkers Omnibus
- White Dwarf 189 (UK) "Imperial Griffon", pp. 29-33
- White Dwarf 189 (UK) "GW and Citadel News", pg. 3
- Final Liberation: Warhammer Epic 40,000 (PC Game)
- Dawn of War - Winter Assault (PC Game)