Drop Pod

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Oh, God-Emperor, why don't they do this on tabletop?

Just about every modern sci-fi setting has a military that uses Drop Pods to deploy; if you take a sufficiently broad interpretation, you could say that the Martian cylinders from H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds were the very first drop pods, but it was Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers that really crystallized the concept as we know it: a means of deployment for super-elite soldiers right where they are needed, when they are needed, and in style.

Warhammer 40,000[edit]

The Deep Strike is the Space Marine's iconic deployment method. A pod holds ten Marines, one Dreadnought, or one Thunderfire cannon with gunner. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of Deep Striking because it avoids obstacles automatically -- that's why Boreale loves them so much. For entirely unexplained reasons, once the pod lands, no one can stand (or sit) inside it again - everyone has to get out, and then some sort of miracle bars them from re-entry.

Adeptus Astartes Drop Pod[edit]

The classic and original STEEL REHN! The drop pod is capable of carrying up to 12 Space Marines into combat. They are launched from a vessel in low orbit towards the drop zone, usually in the midst of or near a battlefield. Once launched, the Drop Pod plummets through the atmosphere until its retro rockets fire to slow its descent. Although certain overly zealous marine chapters are known to use their drop pods as giant orbital bombs; dropping the drop pod at full speed until it eventually crushes any unfortunate heretical bitches underneath and indirectly/directly killing their occupants from sheer impact. A Machine Spirit (on-board computer) guides the Drop Pod to its destination and can receive further commands from the Pod's mothership.

Like most drop pods, they become immobile and pointless once they land, with the only use they have post-crash is to act as some sort of limited cover for the marines and fire support from its internally built weapon turrets (Usually in the form of a single Storm Bolter or Deathwind Missile Launcher). However, it can later be recovered by the Chapter's Techmarines and reused if it is not destroyed.

When a Drop Pod is modified to carry Space Marines in Terminator Armour, two standard-sized restraints must be replaced with a single large restraint due to the sheer bulk of Terminator Armour.

Certain versions of Drop Pods such as the Dominica Pattern Drop Pod used by the Sisters of Battle and inquisitorial strike forces, last seen in 2002, only holds five people, the rest of the space probably being used with shock dampeners to make up for the occupants' lack of superhuman physiology, or a votive shrine.

A support variant exists, equipped with multi-meltas or twin-linked heavy bolters instead of assault cannons and missile launchers like their Space Marines counterparts.

Additionally, the assassins of the Eversor Temple are deployed in special Drop Pods that prepare them for their missions. These Pods are equipped with neuro-links that feed the details of the mission to the assassin while remote links activate and begin to prepare his body for the task at hand.

Deathstorm Drop Pod[edit]

When your forces surrounds a drop pod, guns ready and prepared to open fire on some juicy canned humans. But instead, the doors opens with five Assault Cannons primed and ready...must have been some tactical gen-CREEEEEEEED!

A drop pod that holds weapons instead of soldiers. Ergo, the ultimate Trap Drop Pod bristling with Just As Planned. If a drop zone is just too hot to land in, the Space Marines will use Deathstorm Drop Pods (equipped with assault cannons or Whirlwind missile launchers) to clear the way. They're only BS 2, but they compensate through volume of fire (they fire D3 times at every unit with 12" the turn they come in).

Deathstorm Drop Pods were first conceived and prototyped by the Raven Guard Legion during the Great Crusade, who sought to augment the firepower of their precision-orbital assaults. The Raven Guard's preference for such surgical-strike tactics would, upon occasion, leave them at a disadvantage in the case of both protracted engagements and in assaulting very heavily fortified targets where heavy units such as Legion tanks and artillery could not be used. So they compensated by loading a bunch of heavy weapons on each end of the Drop Pod's door and voila! The Deathstorm was born!

Of course, such unorthodox modifications caused the AdMech to have a bitchfit and would have sanctioned it as tech-heresy if it weren't for the fact that it was approved by Emo Kid no#1 himself.

It would be a heartening sight if the Navy were to use these en-mass to support the Guard. Come to think of it, a massive volley of these things would be highly effective against Orks, Tyranids, and possibly Necrons. They could also be useful as a rapid, highly potent response to daemons. After all, the fluff says fighting daemonic hosts is very difficult because they can poof anywhere on the battlefield, so there are no real battle-lines in such an engagement. In that vein, they may be useful against Eldar of all types, too. Hell, just shoot huge numbers of them at anything that looks at you wrong.

Its predecessor, the Deathwind Drop Pod is no longer used by the Adeptus Astartes. This variant, similar in nearly every way to the Deathstorm variant that ultimately replaced it, was originally armed with Deathwind Missile Launchers to provide fire support. This variant has been replaced with the Deathstorm variant due to Whirlwind Missile Launchers being more powerful than Deathwind Missile Launchers and just as easy and cost effective to manufacture.

Dreadclaw Assault Pod[edit]

The only drop pod that is the most cost effective and reusable. Unfortunately, its heretical nature turns this machine into a flying blender.
Main article: Dreadclaw

The only drop pod that could actually be reused.

The Dreadclaw was one of the most advanced if not the most advanced drop pod that the Imperials actually got a hold on. The fact that it could fly back up to its mothership and still be able to be 'resupplied' with even more marines without being limited to the amount of drop pods you can use, makes the Dreadclaw absolutely Awesome....if you ignore the fact that the Dreadclaw is also the most notorious drop pod, notable in turning its occupants into mincemeat, not so Awesome.

The Imperium used to use the Dreadclaw, until they learned that its design made it receptive to the influence of Chaos during the Horus Heresy. This was not a problem for Chaos Space Marines, who use them to this day. Unfortunately, they are both more versatile and more deadly than drop pods; capable of being used as assault boats or drop pods and then return to orbit to get more marines. They also have plasma cannons to blast everyone with.

Its machine spirit had been described as being unusually blood thirsty, which often caused lethal "incidents" with maintenance crews, and even Marines themselves, even before the pods fell to Chaos, hence why the Dreadclaw wasn't very popular amongst legions, who actually gave a fuck about their mortal serfs. And then when the Heresy kicked off and the Dreadclaws began actively sabotaging ships, the last thing Imperial Navy captains wanted was a bunch of murderous pods with heavy Melta guns right next to their bulkheads.

That said, for the Chaos Legions, they've become much more safe and docile.

Also, somehow, evidence suggests it's daemon proof. When daemons are too scared or can't even possess them, you know it's good.

Forge World used to make these in Battlefleet Gothic scale.

Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod[edit]

A more sensible way on creating a flying dreadnought than the other alternative that GW coughed up.

A drop pod with all the restraints and harnesses taken out, and only three fins instead of five. The Lucius was a obviously much larger variant than the standard Drop Pods of the Legiones Astartes and had a more powerful engine to compensate, allowing for a dangerously meteoric descent to the battlefield. This means that only a Dreadnought can survive landing in it.

This Drop Pod pattern is the largest known Drop Pod variant used by the Adeptus Astartes save for arguably the Kharybdis Assault Claw, and is capable of delivering a single Dreadnought into combat.

The Dreadnought Drop Pod uses three or four large external door ramps as opposed to the smaller ones used on other types of Drop Pods. These Drop Pods are capable of delivering both Contemptor Dreadnoughts and now-standard Castraferrum Pattern Mars Mark IV and Mark V Dreadnoughts to the battlefield.

Previously, it allowed it to assault as soon as it landed, but now, when nothing can assault from reserves Lucius DP have been changed to granting Shrouded for himself, and everything hiding behind it or on it on the turn it deep strikes, likely to represent cloud of dust, dirt and debris, raised by its meteoric descent. Oh, and the dread can stay inside the pod, to use it as ablative hull points, and even fire his weapons from the inside, as it's open-topped. All in all a great way to deep strike your dread, and be sure he won't be shot off board the turn it drops.

Found in IA2:2nd, these pods also have drop pod assault and can get precision deep strike for 20pts using Dropsite Massacre legacy rules in the appendix, but as drop pods they already had the ability to reduce scatter. Yes it still has the assault vehicle rule (despite already having it for being open toped - typical Forge World rules stupidity for you), but that still doesn't actually allow things to charge the turn they deep strike, very few things get around the BRB that way.

Kharybdis Assault Claw[edit]

The biggest falling Space Marines-in-a-Can of this isle. If it was any bigger, it would have been classified as an Ork Attack Rok.

A Super Heavy Drop Pod used during the Great Crusade, capable of carrying twenty Marines or a pair of Dreadnoughts. Also used for burning shit with its engines as it flies over it, and melting shit it lands on (not to mention having the ability to fly back to its ship for another batch of soldiers to make planetfall). Sadly, the Kharybdis suffered similar problems as its smaller brother, the Dreadclaw. While the latter had a malevolent AI that caused lethal "accidents" (which became much more frequent when the Horus Heresy started and which forced Imperial Commanders to simply jettison them into the blackness of space), the Kharybdis (while also having an AI) had it differently.

The AI of the Drop Pod tended to bond with a person to the point that it would indiscriminately attack anyone who wasn't its handler, and the latter had to be summoned to calm the Drop Pod out of its frenzy. If the handler somehow died, then the respective Kharybdis had to be jettisoned or destroyed since it would attack anyone who even looked at it. Thus no Space Marine Chapter has a single one these days, though Chaos Marine Legions still have some in their armouries.

Because of its ability to essentially punch through meters thick armor like butter, they are also popular as makeshift boarding vehicles in the Imperial Navy. The arrival of a flight of these ominous Assault craft, boarding hooks extended as they approached their target, signaled that asses are going to be creamed whoever that dared opposed the Legiones Astartes.

Some unorthodox commanders who have watched one too many Mad Max movies or grew up on a Ork infested world; thereby prompting these individuals to employ the Kharybdis as a tank hunter, ramming enemy armor in low-altitude attack runs.

Starship Troopers[edit]

Each member of the Mobile Infantry gets his own pod, containing his suit of armor. The armor is actually perfectly capable of surviving re-entry, and can even fly ("a little," as Heinlein writes); the pod is actually meant to disintegrate in the atmosphere, giving the Mobile Infantryman a cloud of chaff to confuse ground defences.

Command and Conquer[edit]

In the Command & Conquer universe, by the era of Tiberian Sun, GDI makes use of drop pods, fired from their orbital space station Philadelphia as very quick response troops. The pods are rather small, holding only one trooper each, and have forward mounted machine guns which give off a nice hail of gunfire while dropping to at least somewhat clear the landing zone. While the soldiers come as Elite ranked, they are only otherwise regular Light Troopers and Disc Throwers (though the first mission's FMV depicts them having some kind of crazy Railgun/beam weapon). Was only available when mission triggers dropped them, but as of Firestorm, the Upgrade Center gave you the choice of building a plugin for a rechargeable targeted power, fuck yeah.

By the time of the 3rd Tiberium War , GDI is capable of dropping 3 squads worth of Zone Troopers, elite, jumpjet and heavy power armour equipped infantry specialized in operating in tiberium infested areas who use fucking railguns to shit fury down Nod's alien radioactive crystal loving throat and punch its tank divisions in the dick.

Gallery[edit]

Vehicles of the Imperium of Man
Walkers Dreadnought - Nemesis Dreadknight - Ironstrider Ballistarius
Onager Dunecrawler - Penitent Engine - Sentinel - Sydonian Dragoon
Transports Chimera - Crassus Armored Assault Transport - Drop Pod - Goliath Truck
Gorgon Armored Assault Transport - Hades Breaching Drill - Immolator
Razorback Transport - Repressor - Rhino Transport - Taurox - Testudo
Trojan Support Vehicle - Triaros Armoured Conveyer - Tunneling Transport Vehicles
Light
Vehicles
Atlas Recovery Tank - Bane Wolf - Bike Squad - Centaur Utility Vehicle
Cyclops Demolition Vehicle - Devil Dog - Hellhound - Land Crawler
Salamander Reconnaissance Tank - Siegfried - Tauros - Venator
Battle
Tanks
Caladius Grav-Tank - Krios Battle Tank - Land Raider
Leman Russ Battle Tank - Predator - Ragnarok - Sabre Tank Hunter
Sicaran Battle Tank - Spartan Assault Tank - Vindicator
Ordnance Basilisk Artillery Gun - Colossus Bombard - Deathstrike Missile Launcher
Exorcist - Griffon Heavy Mortar Carrier - Hunter - Hydra Flak Tank
Manticore Launcher Tank - Medusa Siege Gun - Rapier Armoured Carrier
Stalker - Thunderfire Cannon - Whirlwind - Wyvern Suppression Tank
Superheavy
Tanks
Baneblade - Capitol Imperialis - Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer
Fellblade - Leviathan - Macharius Heavy Tank - Macrocarid Explorator
Malcador Heavy Tank - Mastodon - Ordinatus - Typhon Heavy Siege Tank
Skimmers Javelin Attack Speeder - Grav-Rhino - Land Speeder - Pallas Grav-Attack
Flyers Caestus Assault Ram - Corvus Blackstar - Fire Raptor - Nephilim Jetfighter - Sky Talon
Space Marine Landing Craft - Storm Eagle - Stormbird - Stormhawk - Stormraven
Stormtalon - Stormwolf - Thunderhawk - Valkyrie - Vendetta - Vulture
Fighters &
Bombers
Avenger Strike Fighter - Lightning Fighter - Marauder Bomber
Stormfang - Thunderbolt Fighter - Xiphon Interceptor
Spacecraft Aquila Lander - Arvus Lighter - Boarding Torpedo - Devourer Dropship
Faustus Interceptor - Fury Interceptor - Shark Assault Boat - Starhawk Bomber
Tetrarch Heavy Lander
Titans Imperial Knight - Warhound Scout Titan - Reaver Battle Titan
Warlord Battle Titan - Emperor Battle Titan
Forces of the Codex Compliant Astartes
Command: Apothecary - Brother-Captain - Brother-Sergeant - Chaplain - Chapter Master
Command Squad - Honour Guard - Librarian - Techmarine
Troops: Assault Squad - Centurion Squad - Chapter Serf - Devastator Squad
Scout Squad - Tactical Squad - Terminator Squad - Veteran Squad
Transports: Drop Pod - Land Raider - Mastodon Heavy Assault Transport
Razorback Transport - Rhino Transport - Spartan Assault Tank
Vehicles: Bike Squad - Dreadnought - Javelin Attack Speeder - Jetbike - Land Speeder
Predator Tank - Sabre Tank Hunter - Sicaran Battle Tank - Vindicator
Ordnance: Hunter - Rapier Armoured Carrier - Stalker - Thunderfire Cannon - Whirlwind
Flyers: Caestus Assault Ram - Fire Raptor - Landing Craft - Storm Eagle - Stormbird
Stormhawk - Stormraven - Stormtalon - Thunderhawk - Xiphon Interceptor
Superheavy Tanks Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer - Fellblade Super-Heavy Tank
Typhon Heavy Siege Tank
Allied Space Marines: Fallen Angel - Primaris Marine - Blood Angels - Dark Angels
Deathwatch - Grey Knights - Space Wolves
Forces of the Blood Angels
Command: Apothecary - Brother-Captain - Brother-Sergeant - Chaplain
Chapter Master - Librarian - Sanguinary Priest - Techmarine
Troops: Assault Squad - Devastator Squad - Sanguinary Guard - Scout Squad
Tactical Squad - Terminator Squad - Veteran Squad
Death Company: Death Company - Death Company Chaplain - Death Company Terminator
Walkers: Contemptor-Furioso Dreadnought - Death Company Dreadnought
Dreadnought - Furioso Dreadnought - Librarian Dreadnought
Transports: Drop Pod - Razorback - Rhino
Vehicles: Baal Predator - Land Raider (Land Raider Crusader - Land Raider Phobos
Land Raider Redeemer - Land Raider Angel Infernus)
Predator Tank - Vindicator - Hunter - Stalker - Whirlwind
Flyers: Stormhawk - Stormraven - Stormtalon - Storm Eagle - Thunderhawk
Allies: Space Marines - Primaris Marines
Forces of the Dark Angels
Command: Apothecary - Company Master - Interrogator-Chaplain
Chaplain - Librarian - Techmarine - Deathwing Knight
Dark Angels Grand Master
Troops: Assault Squad - Deathwing - Company Veterans
Devastator Squad - Scout Squad - Tactical Squad
Ravenwing Black Knight - Watcher in the Dark
Walkers: Dreadnought (Venerable Dreadnought - Contemptor Dreadnought)
Contemptor-Mortis Dreadnought - Mortis Dreadnought
Transports: Land Raider (Land Raider Phobos - Land Raider Crusader
Land Raider Redeemer - Land Raider Ares
Land Raider Solemnus Aggressor) - Rhino - Drop Pod
Vehicles: Bike Squad - Razorback - Predator - Vindicator - Hunter
Stalker - Whirlwind - Land Speeder Vengeance
Ravenwing Darkshroud
Flyers: Dark Talon - Nephilim Jetfighter - Stormraven - Storm Eagle
Thunderhawk
Allies: Space Marines - Primaris Marines
Forces of the Deathwatch
Command: Forge Master - Keeper - Deathwatch Chaplain
Watch Captain - Watch Master - Deathwatch Epistolary
Troops: Deathwatch First Company Veteran - Deathwatch Champion
Terminator Squad - Veteran Squad - Kill Team
Blackshield
Walkers: Venerable Dreadnought - Deathwatch Dreadnought
Vehicles: Bike Squad - Rhino - Razorback
Land Raider (Land Raider Redeemer - Land Raider Crusader)
Flyers: Drop Pod - Corvus Blackstar
Allies: Space Marines - Primaris Marines
Forces of the Sisters of Battle
Command: Canoness - Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave
Ministorum Priest - Sororitas Command Squad
Troops: Avenging Angel - Arco-flagellant - Battle Sister Squad
Celestians - Crusaders - Death Cult Assassin
Dominion Squad - Retributor Squad - Seraphim Squad
Sister Hospitaler - Sisters Repentia
Vehicles: Exorcist - Immolator - Penitent Engine - Repressor - Rhino
Flyers: Avenger Strike Fighter - Drop Pod
Saints: Living Saint - Geminae Superia
Forces of the Adeptus Custodes
Command: Companions/Hetaeron - Shield-Captain
Troops: Allarus Custodians - Aquilon Terminator - Custodian Guard
Custodian Warden - Sagittarum Guard - Sentinel Guard
Vexilus Praetor - Warder
Walkers: Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought - Telemon Heavy Dreadnought
Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought
Transports: Coronus Grav Carrier - Drop Pod - Grav-Rhino - Rhino
Vehicles: Caladius Grav-Tank - Dawneagle Jetbike - Gyrfalcon Pattern Jetbike
Pallas Grav-Attack - Venerable Land Raider
Flyers: Orion Gunship - Stormbird
Titans: Warlord-Sinister Pattern Battle Psi-Titan
Auxiliaries: Sisters of Silence