The Pathcutter is a large and ponderous armoured personnel carrier (APC) used by the Imperial Guard and Planetary Defence Forces stationed on the planet of Danik's World. The vehicle was originally developed and manufactured locally on that former Imperial Agri-World, before the planet fell into a deep global Ice Age and was transformed into an Ice World.
Design and Construction
The Pathcutter was not built for speed or maneuverability, but rather was designed to be extremely rugged and powerful, allowing it handle the very worst of the Danikkin terrain, including deep snow and mud. The Pathcutter also stressed troop capacity over firepower and was never intended for use in a frontline combat role, featuring the ability to carry over thirty soldiers yet lacking any known mounted weapons. The vehicle's design featured two troop compartments located on two separate decks, one upper and one lower, with a set of metal stairs allowing passage between the two. The stairs had protective railings to ensure they could be safely traversed even when the vehicle was in motion. The interior of the vehicle's troop compartments was brightly lit, and had rows of seats with restraints running down both sides, with enough room in the center aisle for soldiers to stand using hanging straps while still retaining the ability to move freely. The vehicle's driver cockpit was located in a protected plex-glass bubble on the front of the vehicle, and it featured an Auspex as part of its standard equipment. This allowed the vehicle to travel at night with its headlamps off and unseen by the enemy and allowed it to travel through blizzards and heavy snowfall. The cockpit was rather vulnerable, and as such featured a thick metal shield between the cockpit and the lower troop compartment.
The vehicle's chassis sat high on a pair of powerful treads, well clear of the ground and any obstacles the Pathcutter might encounter. The height of the vehicle was such that its design called for a single troop ramp that lowered down to the ground from the centre of the bottom deck, unlike the rear ramps of other Imperial Guard transports such as the Chimera. This ramp was wide enough for two soldiers to exit at a time. It is noted in Imperial records that the vehicle's engine was quite loud, and consumed large amounts of fuel.
Pathcutters were used during the Dannikin Campaign by both the Vostroyan Firstborn Imperial Guard regiments and the rebel Danikkin Independence Army, the planet's former Planetary Defence Force and general population that had turned Traitor after believing they had been abandoned by the Imperium when Danik's World was plunged into its current Ice Age. These forces made use of the Pathcutter not only as a transport but as a point vehicle that could plow the roads clean for other vehicles to follow, as the snow could grow quite deep in many areas of that benighted world.
The Pathcutters used by the 68th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment were also converted into makeshift medical vehicles, where the entire top deck of the vehicle was dedicated to carrying wounded and when possible allowing the Regiment's Medics to operate on those in need. It is unknown in current Imperial records if the Adeptus Mechanicus recognised the Pathcutter as an official vehicle pattern of the Imperium, or if they built any on the nearby Forge World of Esteban VII. It is also unrecorded if the Pathcutter was used on any other Imperial worlds located near Danik's World.
Known Users of the Pathcutter
- 68th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment - The 68th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment, under the command of Captain Gregorious Sebastev made use of Pathcutters during the Danik's World Campaign. During this conflict, the 68th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment made use of at least four Pathcutters, alongside their Chimera APCs.
- Danikkin Independence Army - The Danikkin Independence Army made use of many Pathcutters during the Danik's World Camapign.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
The technical specification for this vehicle have yet to be released by the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- Imperial Guard Omnibus: Volume I - Rebel Winter (Novel) by Steve Parker, pp. 579-580, 583, 586, 590, 593-594, 659, 662, 666, 671, 673, 684, 687, 698-700