The Termite, also called the Termite Assault Drill, is an Imperial Subterranean Vehicle utilised by the Adeptus Mechanicus as an underground transport. These vehicles are better known colloquially as "tunnellers" or "miners." The Termite is the smallest of the tunnellers. The Termite, as well as its counterparts the Mole and the Hellbore, 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. The Termite Assault Drill carries two squads of Astra Militarum 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 Assault Drill was created sometime during the 30th Millennium during the Unification Wars. It was first utilised by the Legiones Astartes of the XVIII Legion in the Assault of the Tempest Galleries, during the overthrow of the Ethnarch of the Caucasus Wastes, a despotic techno-barbarian state located in the Caucasus Peninsula of the ancient European continent of Old Earth. The XVIII Legion utilised scores of freshly created gigantic Termite subterranean boring machines fitted with recently acquired technology from Mars. Once they were ready, the XVIII Legion saluted their Emperor and calmly mounted the untested Martian war engines of the Mechanicum. They pierced the dark earth and rock at the edge of the Wastes, disappearing into a deadly and unknown world to assault the subterranean Tempest Galleries of the Caucasus Wastes.
In another notable campaign of the Horus Heresy, the Termite played a decisive role in the capture of the world of Abfall B, when the whole of the elite First Company Templar Brethren of the Imperial Fists Legion were transported underground into the heart of the Traitor stronghold by more than fifty Termites, appearing behind the enemy's lines and to cause maximum disruption.
Since that bygone era, Imperial military forces have continued to utilise Termite transport vehicles. Rather than taking their troops across the ground, or through the air, the Termite burrows deep beneath the earth, launched from a surface transport far behind enemy lines. It uses a combination of Melta Cutters, phase-shield generators and huge heavy-bore drills to chew through the ground beneath the foe to emerge behind the lines or in the heart of enemy fortifications. The Termite is armed with deadly weapons -- with a choice of Bolters, Volkite Chargers or Heavy Flamers -- that punish any nearby foes before it disgorges its deadly cargo to bring death and ruin.
Notable Termite Variants
- Terrax Pattern Termite Assault Drill - The Terrax Pattern Termite Assault drill is an ancient pattern of subterranean transport utilised by the Legiones Astartes during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras of the 30th and 31st Millennia. It is not known if this ancient pattern of Termite is still utilised by the modern Imperial military forces in the 41st Millennium.
- Armies of the Imperium, pp. 32, 59-62
- Ork and Squat Warlords (Warhammer 40,000 Epic Supplement), pg. 62
- The Horus Heresy - Book Two: Massacre (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, "Salamanders Legion - Exemplar Battles: The Assault on the Tempest Galleries," pp. 132-133, 135
- 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
- Warhammer Community - Forge World Preview: Termite Assault Drill