- "My sleep was troubled. I dreamt of the glorious Imperium, and the coils of shadow and malice that threaten to engulf it. Guide me to war, young one. I wish to cure my melancholy with dead traitors."
- — Ancient Velorus
The Ironclad Dreadnought is a specialised variant of the standard Imperial Castraferrum Pattern Dreadnought combat walker that is used by the Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. Dreadnoughts are cybernetic combat walkers that house the mortal remains of a fallen Space Marine hero so that he may continue fighting for the Emperor and his Chapter even after his body has been fatally crippled. Dreadnoughts are classified in several different ways, the most common of which is simply by their armament.
Standard Dreadnoughts are equipped with a long-range weapon such as an Assault Cannon in place of one of their arms and their other is tipped with a Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon, such as an enlarged Powerfist. The Ironclad Dreadnought variant was designed for heavy close-combat fighting and siege warfare similar to the Siege Dreadnought, yet the Ironclad Dreadnought is more commonly found in Space Marine armouries. Ironclad Dreadnoughts sacrifice versatility and firepower for an even greater amount of armoured protection and powerful, dedicated siege weaponry, and while they may not be as effective as the Siege Dreadnought in close-quarters, street-to-street urban combat, they more than make up for it by way of their powerful close-combat weaponry and extreme durability.
The Ironclad is the most heavily armoured Dreadnought in the Space Marines' arsenal, trading long-ranged weaponry for thicker slabs of ceramite plating and devastating short-ranged weapons. Ironclad Dreadnoughts often spearhead assaults against heavily defended positions, their superior hulls able to withstand the firepower of a garrisoned fortress as if it were but a summer's rain. Akin to gigantic battering rams, Ironclad Dreadnoughts drive a wedge through the enemy's battle lines as they advance. Their deployment often means a quick end to any siege, for when even a single Ironclad reaches the walls of an enemy bastion, its Seismic Hammer will batter them down in mere moments, while its built-in Meltagun can melt through even Proteus-class bunker doors.
The Ironclad Dreadnought variant is most commonly armed with powerful dedicated close-combat and siege warfare weaponry, usually a Seismic Hammer and a specialised Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon. The Seismic Hammer, unlike the Assault Drill carried by Siege Dreadnoughts, does not drill through a heavily fortified position's walls, but instead pulverises it into rubble. The Ironclad Dreadnought's Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon is armed with a built-in Storm Bolter for fighting enemy infantry that are too far away for close-combat.
There are two variants of the Seismic Hammer used by Ironclad Dreadnoughts. The most common takes the form of a large fist-like armature that uses high-powered hydraulics to extend outwards with extreme force, smashing anything it comes into contact with; this pattern is capable of being outfitted with either an Heavy Flamer or a Meltagun and the weapon is attached beneath the Seismic Hammer itself. The second pattern of the Seismic Hammer, which is much less common, takes the form of a long metal housing that holds the hydraulic ram inside. The housing ends in a shape similar to an eagle's head. The ram extends outwards when fired and smashes into its target with extreme force. This pattern of the Seismic Hammer is also capable of being equipped with either a Heavy Flamer or a Meltagun, but unlike its more common counterpart, this version of the Seismic Hammer has its ranged weapons installed onto the bottom corner of the Dreadnought's chassis.
The Ironclad Dreadnought can also have the Storm Bolter built into its Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon replaced with a Heavy Flamer. The walker can have its entire Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon arm replaced with a Hurricane Bolter, or have its Seismic Hammer replaced with a Dreadnought Chainfist. The Ironclad Dreadnought is always outfitted with a Searchlight, Smoke Launchers, and Extra Armour Plating, but can also be equipped with up to two Hunter-Killer Missile Launchers and Ironclad Assault Launchers.
- 1-3 Ironclad Dreadnoughts
A standard Ironclad Dreadnought is armed and equipped with:
- Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon (Dreadnought Powerfist) with built-in Storm Bolter
- Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon (Seismic hammer) with built-in Meltagun
- Smoke Launchers
- Extra Armour Plating
- Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon (Dreadnought Chainfist)
Ironclad Dreadnoughts may also have a variety of vehicle equipment such as:
- Up to two hull-mounted Hunter-Killer Missile Launchers
- One set of hull-mounted Ironclad Assault Launchers
Notable Users of the Ironclad Dreadnought
- Mantis Warriors - The Mantis Warriors Chapter made use of Ironclad Dreadnoughts during the Badab War against Imperial forces.
- Salamanders - The Salamanders Chapter made use of Ironclad Dreadnoughts during the Badab War against Secessionist forces.
- Minotaurs - The Minotaurs Chapter made use of Ironclad Dreadnoughts during the Badab War against Secessionist forces.
- Red Scorpions - The Red Scorpions Chapter made use of Ironclad Dreadnoughts during the Badab War against Secessionist forces.
- Ultramarines - The Ultramarines Chapter has been known to make use of Ironclad Dreadnoughts.
Notable Ironclad Dreadnoughts
- Valoris (Imperial Fists) - One Ironclad Dreadnought -- the revered brother Valoris of the Imperial Fists -- has broken over two hundred siege lines during his service, and has accounted for the busting open of nearly a thousand enemy bunkers.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Ironclad Dreadnought||Main Armament:||Weapon arm-mounted Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon with in-built Storm Bolter|
|Forge World of Origin:||Mars||Secondary Armament:||Weapon arm-mounted Seismic Hammer with in-built Meltagun,or hull-mounted Meltagun|
|Known Patterns:||II - XXV||Traverse:||360 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Implanted Operator||Elevation:||-90 to 90 degrees|
|Powerplant:||Thermic Reactor||Main Ammunition:||Unknown (Varies)|
|Weight:||13 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||Unknown (Varies)|
|Height:||3.8 metres||Superstructure:||85 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||N/A||Hull:||75 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||10 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||8 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||Unknown (Not Recorded)|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 65, 103, 137
- Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 91, 171
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Dreadnoughts", "Dreadnoughts (Datasheet)"
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 82-83, 164
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pg. 246
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pg. 28
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 26-27, 144-146, 172, 188, 208