Kiss your fortress walls goodbye.
- This article is about the Imperial Guard artillery piece. For the cannon carried by this artillery piece, see Medusa siege cannon. For the mythical character (and other things called Medusa), see Medusa.
The Medusa Siege Gun is a self-propelled artillery piece consisting of a Medusa siege cannon mounted in a Chimera chassis. It is used by the Imperial Guard to breach and collapse fortifications and buildings. Rather than lob shells up and over fortress walls, the Medusa shoots right at them with tremendously powerful penetrating shells.
The combination of large shells fired at low trajectories leaves the Medusa in the unfortunate position of having the short range of a direct-fire weapon and the relatively light armor of self-propelled artillery. It needs to be escorted within spitting distance (relative to other artillery pieces) of the fortification to be destroyed, which means that the entire surrounding region must be secured (though this is not impossible for the Guard). The large size of the Medusa's shells restrict it from carrying more than 18 at a time; though one is enough to flatten almost any structure, it still restricts the Medusa to operating where supply lines are firmly established and well-defended.
Because the Leman Russ Demolisher can fire shells that are just as powerful (though slightly shorter-ranged) while being better armored and carrying more ammunition, armies in the 41st millennium keep their Medusas as reserve weapons and avoid deploying them as much as possible. Attempts to re-purpose the Medusa have not been successful -- it does not have the range to be true artillery, and it is too lightly armored to support infantry at the front lines. Apparently the idea of changing it's munitions to be similar to demolisher shells or even a Baneblade cannon round's rockets has not occurred to the Mechanicus. If it did, though, whoever was stupid enough to mention it would probably be executed for heresy.
- Armageddon pattern
- The hive world of Armageddon commissioned a special pattern of Medusa with a fully enclosed interior -- not to protect the crew, but to protect the breech and loading mechanisms of the cannon. If there were a cheaper way to accomplish the latter without the former, the Departmento Munitorum probably would have taken it, but fortunately for the Armageddon Steel Legion (and other regiments who use their pattern of Medusa) there wasn't.
- Vanaheim pattern
- Vanaheim apparently makes gunshields, and only gunshields. That said, they're much better looking than the default curved plate, so the Adeptus Mechanicus keeps them in business (and we keep buying the model from Forge World).
The Medusa siege cannon's default weapon is an S10 AP2 large blast with a range of 36" -- the shortest of the artillery pieces, and shorter-ranged than many cannons available to the Leman Russ Battle Tank, but not problematically so for most regular 40K games. The trade-off is that it fires a higher strength and better AP than any Imperial Guard weapon other than the Deathstrike Missile Launcher, and it can be upgraded to fire 48" AP1 Heavy 1 "bastion-breacher" shells for a few points apiece (they roll 2d6 for armor penetration, though they only use the small blast template) -- in short, what it hits, it will destroy.
The model was developed by Forge World for Imperial Armour Volume One: Imperial Guard & Imperial Navy, where it was given rules. It became part of the main-line IG army list in the fifth edition codex. Forge World has continued to produce the model as well as conversion kits and variants.