The Thudd Gun, officially known as a Quad Launcher, is a quadruple-barrelled, short-range artillery weapon, generally used by the Imperial Guard. This mortar receives its unusual name from the distinctive sound it makes when firing. The Thudd Gun is effectively four large Mortars mounted on a single gun carriage. Once the "quads" were common weapons amongst the regiments of the Imperial Guard, but most of these artillery pieces have now been relegated to second-line Imperial units, used by Planetary Defence Forces and militia units.
The Thudd Gun is a truly ancient weapon, having been originally developed by the Squats on their homeworlds, and then shared with the Adeptus Mechanicus, who started building their own. Thudd Guns were used by both sides during the Horus Heresy and were used extensively during the Great Crusade. During the Battle of Terra Loyalist forces used them to defend the narrow corridors of the Imperial Palace from the Forces of Chaos' assault. In recent times, the Thudd Gun saw heavy use during the Badab War, the Tyrannic Wars against the Tyranids and during the Siege of Vraks by the artillery companies of the Death Korps of Krieg.
The Quad Launcher's main drawback as a weapons system is the time required to reload between volleys. Ammunition is placed into the hopper, the breech is then hand-cranked back which allows the round to feed into the breech, which then slams forward into the ready position. The hopper can then be reloaded with another shell. When the gun fires, the recoil allows the second shell to load automatically. Once this second shell is fired, the whole slow reloading process must be repeated. The weapon's complex automated loader is also prone to jamming and misfeeds and must be very carefully maintained and cleaned in the field. Despite these drawbacks, when loaded the Thudd Gun is a highly effective anti-infantry and suppression weapon, lobbing four shells at a time in a high trajectory to rain down onto enemy trenches in a distinctive rapid-bursting, four-shell pattern. Quad Launchers are also deployed for point defence, where they are used in a direct fire role against enemy infantry assaults. The weapon lacks the range of heavier artillery pieces and so is of little use for box-barrages or counter-battery fire. The Thudd Gun can be mounted on either a mobile or static emplacement, and can be moved from position to position through the use of Trojan service vehicles, or Centaur light tanks.
Known Regiments That Make Use of Thudd Gun
Several formations still amongst the Imperial Guard and Planetary Defence Forces make use of the Quad Launcher, but none on a such scale as the Siege Regiments of the Death Korps of Krieg. Within the Death Korps, the Quad Launcher forms the backbone of every single Company’s artillery train, making them a fairly common sight on those bleak battlefields upon which the Kriegsmen are deployed. During large scale operations such as the Siege of Vraks, the Death Korps also fielded several independent Artillery Companies, many of which were solely equipped in Quad Launchers to bolster the offensive capabilities of a given regiment.
- 19th Death Korps of Krieg Regiment, 2nd Field Artillery Company
- 143rd Death Korps of Krieg Regiment, 1st Field Artillery Company
- 33rd Death Korps of Krieg Regiment, Independent Artillery Company
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Quad Launcher||Main Armament:||4 Mortars|
|Forge World of Origin:||Lucius||Secondary Armament:||N/A|
|Known Patterns:||II - IX||Traverse:||0 degrees|
|Crew:||4 Gunners||Elevation:||10 to 45 degrees|
|Weight:||3.8 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||N/A|
|Ground Clearance:||1.2 metres||Hull:||N/A|
|Max Speed On-Road:||N/A||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||N/A||Vehicle Designation:||2312-673-7609-HQL3|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition)
- Imperial Armour - Apocalypse II, pg. 20
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 197-198, 200, 267
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One, pg. 112-115
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 205