The Legion Basilisk was a common variant of the standard Imperial Army Basilisk Self-Propelled Artillery Tank that was used by the Space Marine Legions during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras of the late 30th and early 31st Millennia. As cohesive fighting forces able to operate and conquer in any theatre of war, with or without support from the Imperial Army, the Space Marine Legions maintained their own mobile heavy artillery units. The long-range Basilisk, Medusa Siege Tank, and the Deimos Whirlwind were some of the most common artillery units deployed by the Legiones Astartes.
These vehicles proved their effectiveness both for protracted bombardments and as defensive weapons against enemy armoured vehicles. The Space Marine Legions made far less use of heavy artillery units such as the Basilisk due in no small part to the fact that static warfare does not suit the character, strengths, or advantages of the Space Marines. However, those Legions who extensively practiced siege craft, most notably the Imperial Fists and Iron Warriors, had far more reliance and trust in the so-called "big guns." The Deimos Whirlwind was the most common type of artillery vehicle used in most of the Legions since it was lighter and built upon the Deimos Rhino chassis and therefore easier to repair and support in the field.
In the late 41st Millennium the various Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes no longer make use of long-range artillery tanks, instead using the Whirlwind Multiple Missile Tank almost exclusively as their ranged artillery support. Although no records are known to exist as proof, it is possible that some Chapters still maintain a cache of Legion Basilisks in their armouries, waiting for the day that they may again be of use to the Astartes.
The Legion Basilisk, like the standard Imperial Army Basilisk, was armed with a single Earthshaker Cannon. The Earthshaker Cannon was a 132 millimetre gun, capable of firing a 38 kilogram shell over 15 kilometres at a velocity of 814 miles per hour and was thus perfect for long-range bombardments. The Legion Basilisk is also armed with a single hull-mounted Heavy Bolter that can be used to engage enemy infantry forces that get too close, but the vehicle could also lower its main cannon to engage closer targets, a tactic rarely employed.
The vehicle can be upgraded with a Dozer Blade, an Auxiliary Drive System, Extra Armour Plating, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, a Pintle-mounted twin-linked Bolter, a Searchlight, and Smoke Launchers. The Legion Basilisk could replace its Pintle-mounted twin-linked Bolter with a Combi-Weapon, a Heavy Bolter, a Heavy Flamer, a Multi-Melta, or a Havoc Missile Launcher. If the vehicle was a part of a Legion Artillery Tank Squadron it could also serve as a command tank.
A standard Legion Basilisk is armed and equipped with:
The Legion Basilisk can be armed with the following pintle-mounted weaponry:
Any Legion Artillery Tank could be outfitted with the following vehicle equipment:
When in a squadron of three, one Legion Artillery Tank can be upgraded to the following:
- Squadron Command Tank
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
The technical specifications of this vehicle have not been publicly released by the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- Legion Medusa
- Imperial Guard Basilisk
- Imperial Guard Medusa
- Solar Auxilia Basilisk
- Solar Auxilia Medusa
- The Horus Heresy: Book One - Betrayal (Forge World Series), pg. 220
- The Horus Heresy: Book Three - Extermination (Forge World Series), pg. 167
- The Horus Heresy: Legiones Astartes - Crusade Army List, pg. 56
- The Horus Heresy: Legiones Astartes - Age of Darkness Army List, pg. 68
- Forge World Webstore - Legion Basilisk