"Infantry win firefights, tanks win battles, artillery wins wars."
- – Common sentiment amongst the Imperial Guard senior staff.
That's how the saying goes. And it's true. Without the big guns you are doomed to be murdered gruesomely for the lulz of it, get eaten or have your soul used as a condom for all eternity. The Imperium knows this and has devised a truly staggering amount of heavy guns dedicated to ruining your shit into next Sunday from anywhere in between half a mile to half a continent away.
- 1 Man-portable Weapons
- 2 Heavy Grenade Launchers
- 3 Mortar
- 4 Multi-Use Weapon Systems
- 5 Tank Guns
- 6 Super-Heavy Tank Guns
- 7 Artillery Guns
The lightest of indirect support weapons can be carried by individual or paired soldiers. While this makes them tactically more flexible, they have reduced firepower compared to their heavier counterparts.
Assault Grenade Launcher
The Assault Grenade Launcher is a small, cheap, low-tech hand-held grenade launcher used mainly by hive gangers such as House Goliath in Necromunda. Due to its small size, these things can be dual-wielded. They are technically single-shot grenade launchers, but they can be fitted with an ammunition back-pack to unleash an ungodly amount of grenades for such a small weapon.
It could be assumed that the Balistus Grenade Launcher is a more advance version of this.
On the tabletop, with this weapon, you’ve taken a Goliath champion and turned them into a 40k Primaris Aggressor. It is literally a Rapid Fire Grenade Launcher. Beware, though, as firing Frag Grenades through this thing makes it Unstable, potentially knocking your expensive grenadier out of the game early.
A civilian Grenade Launcher used in Necromunda. It is a pump-action Grenade Launcher that house a select amount of grenades. As its name implies, the grenades used by the Concussion Carbine would most likely consist of smoke, flashbang and concussion grenades. Although frag or krak grenades could be used in times of shit hitting the fan.
Concussion Carbines are a type of Grenade Launcher used by Enforcer squads. Concussion Carbines give Enforcers the ability to disperse a crowd or bring down a foe intact for later punishment and are particularly effective against densely packed foes.
The real-world equivelent would be the single-shot Grenade Launchers used by Riot Police and SWAT. Or possibly the China Lake launcher, which is a pump-action grenade launcher that looks like a giant shotgun.
The grenade launcher is a light, man-portable weapon capable of firing small explosive charges. It is primarily employed by the Imperial Guard, with almost every trooper squad featuring at least one of them. Grenade launchers are a common weapon used by Imperial Guard infantry squads thanks to their ability to lob grenades greater distances and with more accuracy than can be thrown.
Their primary duty is to lay down suppressive fire and destroy light vehicles and buildings. It has a choice of two different payloads, anti infantry Fragmentation grenades, and anti-armour Krak grenades.
Space Marines scout bikers utilise a variation of this weapon, the "Astartes pattern" Grenade Launcher. It fires the same rounds, but with an increased rate of fire.
Vengeance Grenade Launcher
A grenade launcher only found in the Vidya Game of SPEEES MEHREEEEENS!
A much more tactical weapon than its assault-orientated cousins.
The Vengeance Grenade Launcher is an experimental Adeptus Mechanicus weapon created on the Forge world Graia just prior to the Ork invasion of Warboss Grimskull. The Vengeance Grenade Launcher is not authorized for use off world, but those Space Marines who have field tested the weapon attest to its effectiveness against a range of targets. The launcher can fire out up to five fusion charges that stick to surfaces and then be remotely detonated.
The current status of this weapon is unknown.
Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher
Like something out of Call of Duty, this is basically your stereotypical RPG-7 you find in every single modern first-person shooter. Like, GeeDubs ain't even trying anymore to be creative or subtle. It seems that, after 40,000 years of production, no one, not even the folks from the Dark Age of Technology could have topped the genius of the most widely used RPG in the world. So I guess the RPG-7 shares with the M2-Browning as the most unkillable gun in 40k.
The RPG Launcher is a more powerful version of the Grenade Launcher. They are capable of launching the same variety of grenades as normal launchers but are able to accurately hit targets hundreds of meters away. Unlike Missile Launchers, RPGs don't have a complex targeting system that allows for extreme tracking and maneuverability capabilities. Rather, it just fires in a straight line. While this makes it less useful in hitting moving targets, it compensates by being far cheaper to produce, easier to maintain and the logistical boon of not being as unergonomically big and ungainly as your typical missile launcher. It also can't be defeated by any counter-measure that doesn't focus on shooting things down. You can't trick a directionless rocket with flares or chaff and you can't ruin non-existent guidance with ECM.
Think of it as a heavy grenade launcher or a sawn-off Missile Launcher.
The Grenadier Gauntlet is a type of heavy Grenade Launcher used by Imperial Guard Bullgryn. Like all Ogryn weapons such as the Ripper Gun, the Grenadier Gauntlet is not meant for accuracy and range, instead it is constructed like a giant baton. The grenade launching mechanism is just a feature for the Bullgryn to launch something explosive at an enemy he can't reach.
The foes are often left reeling and shell-shocked even before the maul-wielding Ogryns charge into their midst and bludgeon the survivors into a red paste.
In terms of the firing mechanism, the Grenadier Gauntlet obviously works like any normal grenade launcher. However it does have a lower set of ammunition due to the Ogryn's natural stupidity and inability to understand the concept of reloading.
Still, as a baton, it is naturally incredibly tough to withstand the immense strength of a rampaging Ogryn as well as simple enough to use for these dumbasses.
The Cyclone Missile Launcher of Grenade Launchers.
The Grenade Harness is a type of Grenade Launcher mounted on some Space Marine Terminator Armour. These launchers allow for a barrage of Frag grenades, usually before a charge by the Terminators to soften up any opposition.
The Grenade Harness has a lower ammunition capacity than a regular Grenade Launcher due to its smaller size. It is thus used tactically in surgical strikes in order to maximize the weapon's potential. Like the Cyclone, it functions the same way but with an obvious decrease in weapon range and output.
For the Ork equivalent, see here:
Balistus Grenade Launcher
A new type of grenade launcher wielded by the Golden Boys in Shining Armor.
Balistus Grenade Launchers are potent ranged weapons wielded by the Adeptus Custodes, which excel at piercing armor like a giant Bolter. The only users of these weapons are the venerable Allarus Custodians. It is unknown if the more common Aquilon Terminators (assuming they still exist) have permission to carry these around.
Like the wrist-mounted bolters carried around by Gray Knight Terminators, the Balistus Grenade Launcher works on the same principle. Except, instead of providing covering/suppressing fire in close to medium range, these things mulch infantry at longer ranges.
It is unknown where the Grenade Launcher stores its ammunition, given the relative size of the barrel in contrast to the size of the weapon itself. Maybe it is a single shot weapon? It is stated to be drum-fed but if it is drumfed, it must be either the galaxy's first invisible drum magazine or the Imperium rediscovered how to make and use pym particles and that tiny stick magazine attached to it is supposed to fit enough ammo to last a battle. Though, it's most likely somehow related to the magazine of grenades visibly sticking out of it in the picture right here. Although, that could just be your imagination and the magazine might not exist.
The choice of a grenade launcher as an anti-heavy infantry weapon is also bizarre, as grenade launchers are low velocity guns that fire thin skinned shells which basically make the shell itself relatively harmless for a round of its size if you're just looking at the kinetic energy. A dud round from a grenade launcher might not even hit someone hard enough to kill them, as all the killing power of the round comes from the explosive. You'd think it's some kind of HEAT round, but those focus the force of the blast on a single target by shaping the explosion to launch a jet of molten metal to achieve penetration and so wouldn't have the d3 shot profile given to what used to be small blast weapons.
So the most reasonable theory is that the grenade launcher's rounds are a kind of frag round whose shells are filled with a high grade sort of shrapnel able to shred right through most forms of personal armour in use in the galaxy. Because the shrapnel would be tiny, large monsters and vehicles would shrug it off as the shrapnel would lose energy before cutting too deeply into them, which fits with its not amazing strength characteristic, but infantry would be losing limbs and organs; and power armour, cyborg augmentations, or robotic parts would have their delicate internal components devastated. In other words, basically launching a bomb full of some of the sharpest stuff known to man to reduce people to confetti and thus provide for choppy dakka. Khorne and Gork would be pleased.
Or maybe, just maybe, they use krak grenades or plasma or melta. You know, anti-armor grenades. Which we can safely assume it does, in fact, use. Knowing the favoritism for the Custardes, it probably also includes psyk-out grenades and refined vortex grenades.
Heavy Grenade Launchers
A much bigger variant of the standard grenade launcher that peppers the battlefield with explosive munitions.
Deathwatch Frag Cannon
This is where the term Grenade Launcher ends and where Grenade Cannon begins.
Fielded exclusively by Space Marine Veterans of the Deathwatch. This is a belt fed grenade spewing death machine. It's so new and confidential that there is no fluff to explain how it works. So we'll have to make guesses based on it's weapon profile. For now, we'll assume that since it's a grenade launcher, it works like a grenade launcher. I know, I know, this is quite hard to grasp, but bear with it. Looking at real world Grenade Launchers and light artillery pieces like the M3 37mm Anti Tank gun we can make an educated guess as to how the Frag Cannon Works. Firing either solid shot rounds or canister shells like a giant shotgun. Deathwatch Frag Cannons fire at least two different rounds. The first turns it into a slightly better Heavy Flamer. The other turns it into a short range rocket launcher that hits twice. Becoming a two shot Lascannon at half range.
A Deathwatch Veteran squad can take four of these things. In the same unit as Terminators and other Deathwatch exclusive dakka. Xenos and Chaos forces should consider themselves lucky that weapons like Barrage Plasma Guns, Atomizer Cannons and Techxorcism Guns are ultra rare. As the Deathwatch can deploy all of them in a single Veteran Squad. Whether these downsized Frag Cannons originate from an STC or a vault from one of the many Watch Fortresses is not stated.
Resembling a rack/box of grenades, Auto-launchers are vehicle-mounted grenade launchers similar to Smoke Launchers. The Repulsor is the most infamous user of these weapons.
They are simple, six-barreled – though the ones on the Repulsor have eight, for some reason – weapons mounted on vehicle hulls, firing salvos of either three grenades types at a time: Frag, Krak, and Blind. They are useful for when you are indecisive on whether you want immediate proximity defense or just a simple smoke screen. The Auto-Launcher carries six grenades, all of the same type. Auto-Launchers are best identified by the literal racks of exposed grenade/missiles pointed randomly everywhere. Why the Imperium thought it was a good idea to place these weapons on extremely random places is unknown since these grenades would not be able to hit its targets tactically...unless those grenades can home on their targets, of course. But in all seriousness, this is because the design of these weapons is based on real life active protection systems which spit out slugs, shrapnel blasts, and sometimes even small rockets in the direction of incoming projectiles in order to shoot them down. This being the Imperium, however, they have decided that it will work just as well as an actual weapon, rather than just a defensive tool.
While you'd think them being externally mounted runs the risk of someone shooting at the exposed grenades and causing them to detonate, we should note that all the charges face outward, and so they are not capable of doing damage to the vehicle they are mounted on; and B: they are designed (assuming they really are based on our active protection systems) to deal with incoming projectiles, so even if they are pointed the right (in the perspective of the tank's crew, wrong) way. the blast would not be able to much damage to the armour... unless the the grenades in question are Kraks.
It has a lid, though, so it's probably only open for a moment to fire.
Ravenwing Grenade Launcher
A Ravenwing Grenade Launcher is a specially customised Grenade Launcher commonly utilised by the elite Ravenwing Black Knights of the Dark Angels Chapter's 2nd Company, commonly called the Ravenwing. Ravenwing Black Knights employ Grenade Launchers adapted to fire even at the high speeds of their Assault Bikes.
These Grenade Launchers can also fire specialized shells utilizing ancient technologies such as Rad Shells and Stasis Bomb in addition to the standard Krak and Frag Grenades. Rad Shells are essentially dirty bombs that spread contaminated, radioactive fragments that have a toxic and debilitating effect on a foe, while Stasis Shells are impregnated with an ancient and now poorly understood technology that when detonated, momentarily freezes the flow the space-time continuum, causing the reaction times of any enemies nearby to be dramatically slowed if they are caught in the area of effect.
On tabletop, these Grenade Launchers can cause D3 Mortal Wounds if using a CP whilst the Stasis Shells make a single hit roll with +1 to hit, and if it scores a hit the target takes d3 Mortal Wounds. Nonetheless, it is far better to just use the Plasma Talons instead.
Ironclad Assault Launcher
The Ironclad Assault Launcher is mounted on the Ironclad Dreadnoughts or Centurions. It projects both offensive and defensive grenades. On the Centurion, they are located on the torso, between the arms and the chest. They are the four squarish pods that house these grenades. On a Dreadnought, it comes in two sets of six like what you can find installed on top of some Land Raiders' tracks. The sets of two variant similar to the Centurion can also be found on the Caestus Assault Ram by the opening hatches, complementing its Magna-Melta. Like with the auto-launcher, this is essentially a defensive system being used offensively, spitting out all its grenades in something resembling a shotgun blast from hell to either demolish obstacles, suppress the enemy, or tear them to shreds.
On tabletop, the Ironclad Assault Launchers gives both the Ironclad Dreadnought and Centurions the ability to deal d3 mortal wounds to units within 1" of it after a charge on a 4+, which ensures they'll be softened up when you begin the fight phase.
Fragstorm Grenade Launcher
Think the Grenade Harness for Dreadnoughts.
Fragstorm Grenade Launchers are a type of grenade launcher used by Primaris Space Marines. Like the Grenade Harness, these launchers allow for the firing of a barrage of frag grenades before a charge. However, they can also be used defensively when the Dreadnought is surrounded by enemies and they just need to pepper a targeted radius with shrapnel and explosions.
They are equipped for anti-personnel roles to Aggressor Squads and Redemptor Dreadnoughts.
Their more tank-busting equivalents is the similarly named Krakstorm Grenade Launcher.
And no, despite their appearance, they have in no way related to the Auto-Launcher by function.
Krakstorm Grenade Launcher
It's literally a Fragstorm Grenade Launcher that fires, you guessed it, Krak Grenades.
A Krakstorm Grenade Launcher is a type of Imperial Grenade Launcher usually wielded by the Primaris Space Marines that fires a volley of three aforementioned Krak Grenades at a time upon the enemy. It is deployed for use as an anti-armor or anti-fortification weapon by Repulsor grav tanks.
Although there is no evidence of it being mounted on the Redemptor Dreadnought, the fact that the ammunition of both the Frag and Krak are superficially similiar means it wouldn't be that out of the blue if GW decides to update the Dreadnought with these weapons.
Like the Auto-Launchers, the Krakstorm Grenade Launcher carries the same issue of it being awkward to aim, with the only logical explanation if that the Krak grenades themselves have homing features like that of a missile.
In terms of rules, they act as they are named. Good vehicle killers, although the sheer amount of anti-tank weapons that the Repulsor carries means that these weapons are best used for killing any stragglers.
The Frag Cannon is a giant machine gun heavy grenade launcher and is the big brother of the more tacticool Deathwatch variant. Regardless we can guess that they are both automatic grenade launchers at different calibers. Making them at least 40mm in diameter or larger. In most cases, the term Frag Cannon refers to the one found in the Blood Angels Chapter. Like the Dark Angels, they are one of those weapons jealously kept secret so that the AdMech can't horde all the good shit.
These Frag Cannons are the older larger version exclusively mounted on Furioso Dreadnoughts. The Frag Cannon is a shoulder-mounted weapon, replacing the Dreadnought arm as other heavy weapons do, and fires a pair of long, hollow adamantium shells that fragment upon firing, resulting in a hail of razor-sharp shrapnel.
Their range is much shorter and lack the versatility of their smaller counterparts; somewhat capricious in nature since the shrapnel it produces can be stopped by light armor, while simultaneously being able to rip through power armour. Making up for it with a higher volume of fire.
In 8th Edition, this giant monster is a Double Heavy Flamer on steroids with 8" 2D6 S6 AP-1 1 D auto-hits. Hordes beware. Also an assault gun on a very fast model so you can advance and roast. Pair this with a Heavy Flamer and the amount of auto-hits your Dreadnought would produce would be enough to be a Tarpit Remover, not a Tarpit Breaker. A fucking REMOVER.
Blackstar Cluster Launcher
An aerial grenade ordnance that fires from the air rather than on the ground. Air superiority and all that.
The Blackstar Cluster Launcher is an array of two six-barreled Grenade Launchers mounted on the rear of Deathwatch Corvus Blackstar gunships. These allow the pilot of the Blackstar to sow a hailstorm of munitions in his wake as he strafes the primary target. The launcher is capable of firing either fragmentation or incendiary munitions. If you wanna re-enact a miniature bombing of Berlin, the Blackstar has got your back.
As you can imagine, having a unit that can just fly over and drop what is essentially bombs without the risk of going close to enemy fire on a rather sluggish platform is pretty sweet. Thus, the Blackstar rocks a delightful Blackstar Cluster launcher, which lets you bomb a unit you flew over. For every model in the unit (up to 10), roll a die and, on a 6, that unit takes a mortal wound.
A mortar is an artillery weapon that launches shells in a high arc. They tend to have relatively short barrels and fire shells at relatively low velocities. The Imperial Guard uses them in two sizes: the standard man-portable mortar, carried and operated by two Imperial Guard troopers; and the heavy mortar, which can be used in static or towed artillery mounts, or mounted in a Griffon Heavy Mortar Carrier. They can destroy light infantry and light vehicles easily enough, but are unlikely to trouble heavy infantry or vehicles with tank-grade armour.
The most common form of Mortars is...well....the Mortar. Some may call it the Light Mortar due to the smaller payload and size and the existence of the heavy mortar (See bellow) but whatever. The Mortar looks like...a basic modern Mortar found in use in today's armies. I guess the design haven't change for over 40,000 years, but hey, if it's not broken, don't fix it.
The Light Mortar fires an explosive shell on a high-arching trajectory capable of flying over the heads of nearby troops and crashing down on the rear ranks of the enemy. Its primary use is in the anti-personnel role, breaking up enemy infantry formations and pinning them down.
Mortars are prized for their ability to lay down a curtain of fire from behind cover, and while not particularly accurate their explosive power makes up for this deficiency. However this indirect-fire capability requires accurate targeting information to be effective and the use of spotters with proper vox-protocols in order to avoid friendly fire. Standard procedures has the spotters locate targets, whether through visual or remote-servitor means, and send a fire request to the mortar crew's Platoon Command Squad, which plots a firing solution and relays that information to the mortar teams assembled, adjusting fire as required.
In 8th Edition, the Mortar is now a 48" Heavy D6 S4 AP0 D1 heavy weapon, and may fire indirectly. Down in cost, and along with the nerf to the Wyvern this brings it back into the realm of 'good' choices. At 11 points a gun team, it's a dirt cheap light and medium infantry muncher. Because of the revision to the way AP works it's in direct competition with the Heavy Bolter; this ALSO means it's in indirect competition with your entire motor pool. Consider this when the challenge of fitting half a dozen kits' worth of mortar tubes into your list is a daunting prospect. Becomes much more viable in games using a lot of scenery or buildings, so take it when you need to lob some pain over that city block or hill that your other heavy weapons can't shoot through.
Basically a reverse Mortar. In that it travels underground rather than overhead. It's more of a torpedo then a Mortar, but it got 'Mortar' in the name and we need to stick it somewhere.
The missile burrows its way toward its target, bypassing all surface hazards and defenses, emerging from the ground beneath the target. The missile is self-guided and able to track its target through solid rock. As an invention of the Sphess Dorfs, the Mole Mortar soon found its way up the ranks of the Imperial Guard due to its unorthodox firing methods.
The Mole Mortar was originally developed to destroy enemy tunneling vehicles but was so successful that now used as a short-ranged assault weapon, even though such premonitions sounds outright Stupid let alone suicidal, it is worth remembering that since vehicles have thinner bottom armor if you can get a hit on a tank it's going to be fairly devastating. It is sometimes used to breach fortifications too strong for conventional weaponry to damage. Due to the unique way it operates, the mole mortar is able to circumvent most defenses, striking from below to explode within bunkers and other structures.
The Heavy Mortar is a larger support version of the standard Mortar used by the Imperial Guard. Its primary advantages are a wide range of ammunition types, a high rate of fire, and simplicity to construct and maintain. However its massive size means the heavy mortar must either be towed into place by a Trojan or Centaur. A special version of this is mounted on the Griffon Mortar Carrier.
While they were once quite popular with many Imperial Guard regiments, the use of heavy mortars has fallen out of favor in recent years, since for many commanders it lacks both the heavy firepower and long reach of much larger artillery pieces, limiting its use in box-barrages or counter-battery fire (because out-ranging and quickly destroying enemy mortars is sooo terrible since the Guard is actively trying to get its own troops martyred). Towed heavy mortars have become even less popular, being seen as too slow to keep up with advancing mechanized units, and have largely been regulated to PDFs and Siege Regiments.
For all their faults heavy mortars also have a number of advantages. They are an excellent close support weapons for engaging enemy infantry and light vehicles, freeing the heavier artillery for use against more appropriate targets, and can maintain a steady rate of fire for hours. Its versatility also allows it to fulfill a variety of other roles, from launching illumination shells during night battles or laying down a smoke screen before an infantry attack.
Belleros Energy Cannon
The Belleros Energy Cannon is one of the two primary weapons for the giant rubber duck known as the Skorpius Disintegrator. The Energy Cannon is a mortar, it basically functions like one. It is also a Direct-Energy Weapon (DEW), which means it is for all intents and purposes a laser mortar... sort of. Another explanation is that it is some sort of microwave DEW, which can cook targets through walls. It is a bit vague in that regards.
With a range of only 36" (This is shorter than the 48" Ferrumite Cannon mind you), the Belleros is no proper artillery. Rather, the energy cannon is a weapon meant to support allied troops through indirect fire via the harassment of enemy positions. With it’s 3D3 shots and 2 damage per wound, this is a weapon that is primarily made to clear hordes of GEQs and MEQs. One big advantage especially for AdMech players is that it can target units that aren’t in direct LoS. At Str 6 and -1 AP, this thing is not a vehicle killer in the slightest. Rather, as aforementioned, it is a Tarpit cleanser as, in terms of raw damage potential it can clock up to 18 damage.
Griffon Heavy Mortar
The Griffon Heavy Mortar is the smallest and lightest of the artillery guns. This weapon has been a source of Skub in-universe.
Critics of the Griffon claim that its main weapon is too small to warrant its vehicular mounting (despite being large enough it'd make a Rhino look like a truck), while tying up fire control and observation assets needed by much larger pieces (which wouldn't be communicating if the observers were calling for the Griffon instead). For its supporters though, the Griffon is the ideal compromise between weight, firepower, mobility and ease of use. Its heavy mortar is excellent against infantry and light vehicles, freeing heavier artillery for use against more appropriate targets, and can maintain a high rate of fire. The vehicle is also capable of keeping pace with rapid advances for which heavier vehicles like the Basilisk are too slow to maintain.
Its firepower is not impressive (it's S6 AP-1 and ignores cover), and its range is also relatively short (48"), but because it is so small and light, it can sustain higher rates of fire than other guns and, when carried in the heavy chassis of a Griffon Heavy Mortar Carrier, it can be fired indirectly and roll two dice dropping the lowest for number of attacks).
Tl;dr, this weapon is the reason why conventional towed Heavy Mortars are now phased out from the Imperial Guard, instead being put in as a reserve artillery piece from the PDF of all things. How the mighty has fallen.
Take a mortar and give it the firepower of a machinegun. You get yourselves a Stormshard Mortar.
The Stormshard Mortar is an artillery system commonly mounted in two pairs on Imperial Guard Wyverns. These mortars excel in urban warfare, firing shrapnel down on enemy infantry without exposing the vehicle itself to harm. It is a fairly close range weapon for artillery, but it is needed in the heavily tight space of Hive Cities where the chance of an artillery shell hitting the rooftops of some poor hobo's house is actually quite high.
Because of the chance of facing against Horde Armies, the Wyvern mounts not one, but TWO sets of Stormshards. These means that these badboys carry four mortars on one turret. Add to the fact that they can fire on auto and you have a weapon system that eats Swarmers for breakfast. All of the fucking yes!
Given it's similarity to the Heavy Quad-Launcher, it is likely the same weapon firing different ammo.
Karacnos Mortar Battery
The Adeptus Mechanicus have their own mortar and it is a mortar to rule them all. Called the Karacnos Mortar Battery which is so named after the vehicle it is mounted on. Also found as the carapace weapon on the Imperial Knight Astreus. The Karacnos Mortar Battery is special cause it uses radioactive warheads as its armaments! You can't get more metal than that! As it is basically firing a barrage of dirty bombs, this mortar fires its radioactive warheads which is designed to sweep an area clear of all organic life.
As you can imagine, these badboys aren't that well liked for those Imperial Commanders who want to have a idyllic and livable planet to prosper. Seriously, a couple of these batteries would turn a city into a uninhabitable wasteland that only a Krieger from a Death Korps would enjoy.
On tabletop (The 30k rules at least), the Mortar is a R60 heavy bolter with barrage, small blast, fleshbane, radphage, Ignores cover and pinning which seems good on paper but with the majority of targets getting armour saves this mostly equates to a longer range Wyvern.
Morbus Heavy Bombard
The standard weapon for the Legion Arquitor Bombard, the Morbus Heavy Bombard is a big fuck-off mortar system designed to fire shells that could bring absolute devastation to even the most heavily armored enemy units.
Whilst not as large and devastating as its larger cousin such as the Colossus Siege Mortar. The Morbus Heavy Bombard could in fact, act as the middle child between the Colossus and the smaller but more mobile Griffon Heavy Mortar.
This mortar was so good, that good ol'Morty decided to 'borrow' the idea and concept for his own daemonic Plagueburst Crawlers that he unleashed on the Imperium after the Heresy. Although why it took Mortarion over 10,000 years to modify and tinker around the Morbus Heavy Bombard is unknown; maybe it is to act as Mortarion's 10th Millennia Anniversary 'surprise' gift to the Imperium after all this time.
Colossus Siege Mortar
The Colossus Siege Mortar is huge, cumbersome and highly destructive, and it's so large that its shells have to be loaded by cranes instead of by hand. It fires massive concussive rounds that will turn its target to paste (as long as it's a human wearing something less than terminator armor -- S6 AP-2 Dd3 is good against infantry blobs, not so much for harder targets), even if they are hiding in cover.
Because one cannon wasn't enough, the Imperium built the Dominus Armored Siege Bombard, a variant of the CRASSUS ARMORED ASSAULT TRANSPORT that carries an automated trio of Colossus cannons (though the Dominus only costs as much as two Colossi...which actually makes sense, as the Colossi are built on a Leman Russ chassis where-as the Dominus just has to pay for an extra cannon, not a whole new vehicle to carry it).
Dominus Triple Bombard
Hey! Remember how we said that a certain Imperium vehicle was actually big enough to mount not one, but THREE Colossus Siege Mortars? Well here it is, the Dominus Triple Bombard found only on the DOMINUS ARMOURED SIEGE BOMBARD. This monster is a god damned tarpit cleanser.
An automated battery of three Bombard cannons rigged to fire together in sequence, it can pulverize anything caught within its field of fire. The Triple Bombard has two rates of fire: a slower rate the Dominus is limited to when on the move, and the second a higher rate for sustained fire when it is stationary.
In practice the Dominus throws 10d6 S10 ap-3 shots with indirect fire when stationary, easily wiping any unit foolish enough to be larger than 5 models. S10 Ap-3 is also a serious threat to any armor short of a titan, and the weight of shots pretty much guarantees an overkill of single model targets. Essentially, it is a mortar system so big, with shells so large that Tank Armor now counts as Flak Armor when faced with this cheesemonger.
The older, even bigger and more Squattier version of the Dominus Triple Bombard is the Thunder-Fire Cannon from the Squats.
Multi-Use Weapon Systems
Ordnance that has variable uses that ranges from clearing hordes of infantry, to tankbusting, to shooting those flying buggers out of the sky (the majority of which use WW2 style of anti-air guns which is only great for low altitude aircraft). These weapon systems can change its weapon loadout which makes it extremely versatile for almost all situations. May or may not bleed into the Missile Launcher categories.
Tarantula Sentry Gun
THE GIANT ENEMY SPIDER DO DO DODODODODODODDOO DO
Sorry. It had to be done. One of the more iconic sentry guns and probably the only notable sentry guns used by the Imperium. The Sentry Gun, more commonly referred to as a Tarantula, is an Imperial automated mobile weapon system based upon ancient Imperial technology. Useful in a variety of roles, it is most notably used by the Imperial Guard, but is also utilized by other groups including the Adeptus Astartes and the Adeptus Arbites. The Night Lords in particular had/have a significant fondness for these things, and like to use them to set up pre-fab kill zones. The exact origin for its nickname is unknown although it is fair to assume that their multi-legged appearance can be attributed in part to this.
Utilizing simple logic engines and infused with a machine spirit, the Tarantula can function without needing to be controlled by a human gunner. Commonly fitted with either twin-linked lascannons or heavy bolters, the Tarantula offers a significant deterrent to both enemy armor and infantry waves. However, it is not intelligent enough to actually choose its targets - instead only prioritizing the closest threat in range.
The uses for these sentry guns are many and varied, from defending a perimeter from surprise attack to establishing a roadblock or operating as part of a static defensive line. However, their lack of inherit mobility restricts their use on a fluid battlefield. A Tarantula can be carried on the back of a Chimera, Rhino or by a Valkyrie in addition to their normal passenger compliment. Tarantulas can even be air-dropped via grav-chute and deployed from packing crates.
Beloved by the Imperial Guard, because it's an automated gun turret defending them on the front lines, and they don't even need to be in harm's way.
Astartes Tarantulas are semi-mobile and can move themselves to a degree and even engage in pre-programmed patrol routes.
Those who don't usually play Forgeworld might've first seen these in Dawn of War II as a fortification for Imperial and Chaos forces. The Blood Ravens 4th Company gets a few of these per mission depending on how many Adeptus Mechanicus forges have been liberated, which can then be deployed from their Strike Cruiser for some extra firepower in a pinch.
In multiplayer, most turrets including the Tarantula have a limited arc of fire instead being able to rotate 360 degrees, most likely for balance reasons. The Techmarine can build one armed with a Heavy Bolter to suppress enemy infantry, which can also be upgraded to fire missiles for anti-vehicle punch. Correspondingly, the Plague Champion can build the same for some reason, but doing less damage in exchange for a larger arc of fire and can be upgraded into a twin-linked Lascannon instead. The Imperial Guard can summon a Multilaser turret which doesn't have infantry suppression or anti-vehicle options, but it provides your puny guardsmen some early staying power against factions without a Flamer.
Sabre Weapons Battery
Yet another weapons platform used by the Imperial Guard, usually for light air or ground defense at important assets or locations. Two Guardsmen are needed to crew the platform, which features dual heavy weapon mounts able to be fitted with standard Imperial Guard weapons for ease of supply and maintenance, although the actual model only showed one guardsman.
The Sabre (aka the Sabre Gun Platform) shares the same leg mounts as a Tarantula, but instead uses a crew of Guardsman to fight rather than a machine spirit. The platform along with its weapon mount can rotate a full 360 degrees and features built-in auto-stabilizers to reduce recoil and improve accuracy of its mounted weapons. Its light structure means it can be easily disassembled and repositioned on the field, but not while under fire. Because of this, Sabre teams are expected to hold the line even against overwhelming odds. As they often form the last line of defense for a failing Imperial campaign, assignment to a Sabre is seen as a death sentence.
Its primary armament is either quad Heavy Stubbers, twin-linked Lascannons, twin-linked Heavy Bolters, twin-linked Autocannons, or the most useless and suicidal of all, a goddamned fucking searchlight, I mean yeah sure, you could illuminate targets during night fighting, but that's as far as you could go. However, they are most often used as a form of anti-air defense, so tend to most commonly be seen with quad heavy stubbers.
The Primaris Marines version of the Sabre Weapons Battery, but without the added bonus of leaving the Primaris Marines to die. Firestrike Servo-Turrets are Primaris heavy weapon platform turrets, that can be armed with either twin Accelerator Autocannons or twin Las-Talons.
Firestrike Turrets are primarily a defensive weapon which lays down withering volleys of fire to secure the flanks of Space Marines bases of operations. They are mounted on gravitic ventral plates, hovering across the battlefield to ideal firing positions
Also a nice option for conversion to get a 2nd/3rd edition razorback turret on modern vehicle kits.
Crunchwise, on 9th Edition, it is your 'basic' (Basic in the loosest sense of the term) Primaris static gun turret (with M3", if you're wondering how the hell it can move, the legs have grav plates fluffwise) crewed by a novitiate Techmarine (BS2+ and Sv2+, but can't repair and lacks any appropriate keywords) and sporting twin large calibre cannons, namely of the Accelerator Autocannon ((anti-infantry) 48" Heavy6 S7 Ap -1 D2) or Las-Talon variety. Also, this thing looks damn similar to the Turrets used in Starship Troopers, which is pretty rad even if the model is a turd on the battlefield. TL;DR, you're paying less points to put a tank weapon on a cheaper BS2 platform that has nearly no mobility and only T5.
These guns are too large to be carried by infantry (excluding "heavy" weapons such as lascannons and autocannons), but are still small enough that a heavy vehicle, like the Leman Russ Battle Tank, can carry and fire them while in the thick of battle. It should be noted that certain Autoweapons are also a form of ordnance. So don't be too surprised if you see a few similiar faces around here.
Taurox Battle Cannon
The little wee kid brother of the famed Battle Cannon. If the Battle Cannon is considered as the mainline tank gun of the Imperium, then the Taurox's version would be considerd as the autocannon IFV gun of the family.
The Taurox Battle Cannon is the primary armament of the Taurox Prime and is considered by some as a light artillery piece. It is fitted with advanced recoil-dampening devices and auto-targeters to allow it to fire accurately even while moving.
On the tabletop, the crunch pretty much matches the fluff. The Taurox Battle Cannon is the mini-Battle Cannon; being a 48" ranged, S7 AP-1 Heavy D6 weapon. Good for picking off TEQs and light vehicles, although it would struggle against MBTs.
For additional information, see here: Battle Cannon
The primary weapon of the Leman Russ Battle Tank, it is the most commonly used tank gun for good reason: the Battle Cannon can pull double duty as both an anti-tank and anti-infantry weapon thanks to its considerable range (72"), strength (S8 AP3 = instant death to MEQs and capable of damaging any vehicle) and explosion size (5" blast = blob-killer). The cannon proved so popular that it was made the primary armament of the Macharius and Malcador super-heavy tanks, and has been forked into several versions by the Adeptus Mechanicus:
|72||Ordnance||8||3||, Blast (5")|
Since the revamping of the AP-system and moving away from "blast template" mechanics, the stats for battle cannons were changed, becoming something of this
It is worth noting that while AP-2 now allows 3+ and 4+ armour to actually provide at least some save-roll (5+ save for 3+ armour and 6+ save for 4+ armour), 2+ armour (like that of the Terminators) now only get 4+ save instead of 2+.
Conqueror Battle Cannon
Fitted to the Leman Russ Conqueror, this is essentially a lighter and smaller version of the Battle Cannon. Its shorter range and smaller blast radius is more than compensated by the reduced recoil and higher rate of fire, allowing for an even greater damage output than a Battle Cannon. Like the battle cannon the Conqueror cannon is capable of firing high explosive, anti-tank, smoke, illumination, and even Hunter shells, although not infernus rounds. The Forge World Gryphonne IV also designed a special shell just for this weapon, known as the Augur Shell. While similar to an HE shell when the Augur's impact detonator is triggered the thin shell wall splits open and the soft explosive charge is spread across the target; a microsecond later the secondary detonator in the base of the shell ignites the explosive. This causes cratering and cracking of the target's outer armor, while inside the target it produces spalling capable of damaging internal equipment and wounding or killing personnel (Which sounds extraordinarily similar to HESH ammunition). However the shell was not considered a success and in the end relatively few were produced. Shaped charges work better, hence why HEAT is more common than HESH. Also, metals like nickel can be put in a HEAT round to turn it into a beam of plasma, but HESH is simply a pancake of explosive that goes boom. Ultimately, a focused boom is better, though HESH is better when you need just plain boom without it being focused somewhere. Though there is an important caveat when it comes to HESH VS HEAT: HEAT penetrates, but HESH sends more force into the target, meaning that if a HESH rounds sends enough conclusive force into a tank, you can scramble the crew and internal devices as if you shook a can half filled with jello. When all is equal, HESH is likely preferable against APCs, IFVs, and other forms of transports that HEAT or AP would kill but survivors would escape from to fight another day. HEAT is good for killing vehicles in which the machine is the threat, not the people in it (like battle tanks and mobile artillery, mobile guns, etc.).
On the tabletop, it's a "Heavy" weapon, as opposed to "Ordnance", which allows the carrying vehicle to fire its sponson weapons at full ballistic skill (though, since the Conqueror is not a heavy tank, that only applies if it holds still...).
In 8th Edition it's just a Battle Cannon with 50% of the range (36").
Macharius Battle Cannon
The Macharius Heavy Tank has a twin-barreled variant of the Battle Cannon, because it has a bigger turret and because two barrels are better than one. It also looks like it has a larger bore which means it can fire larger calibers. For all intents and purposes, the Macharius Battle Cannon should be considered as a superheavy weapon if not for the fact that the Macharius itself is not completely in the superheavy category.
It used to actually fire two shots, but that's been changed to a single massive (7") blast in more recent publications similiar to how some video games give sawed-off shotguns a firing mechanism to blows off the two barrels at the same time. Maybe they will get around to making a single massive cannon for it, too. A Macharius Vanquisher Cannon? It exists. But a Macharius with a giant single gun? we wish.
Then 8th Edition drop and we went back to a 2-shot Battle Cannon. Lame.
Vanquisher Battle Cannon
Huge gun, huge range, huge barrel, huge damage. Basically an anti-tank gun fitted on tank destroyers. The Leman Russ Vanquisher has its weapon tooled for only one purpose: to fuck enemy tanks and monsters hard using huge shells.
It sacrifices its blast radius for an improved capacity for armor penetration (AP2, S8 + 2d6 = 10-20 with an average of 15 = roll for the circumference of the hole that is about to get punched through your armor). The Macharius can carry twin-linked Vanquisher cannons, and has enough internal space that it can also fire high-explosive shells like the regular Macharius Battle Cannon, so it's like two tanks in one -- and it costs about as much as regular Russ and a Vanquisher put together.
Worth noting, that the cannon is now somewhat nerfed, being given only S=8,AP-3 while retaining Heavy 1 and gaining D=D6R (the same rule as meltagun, albeit not only when in half-range or less).
The only problem is that the Adeptus Mechanicus lost Tigrus, the only Forge World that made Vanquisher cannons, to the Orks in M35 (somehow, you'd think the Imperium would throw so much firepower in defense of such a vital world that nothing could take it), so the only way to make new Vanquisher tanks is to take the cannons off of tanks that have been immobilized -- not a simple feat, given that the cannon is so dangerous to armor and stands out as a priority target for enemies. Two other Forge Worlds, Stygies VIII and Gryphonne IV have stepped up to try and match the old cannons (read: Forge World, the company, has produced two alternate turrets for Leman Russ Vanquishers), but they're just not quite there (though it makes no difference on the tabletop, of course). And then Tyranids ate Gryphonne. (It was delicious.)
And it also seems, that as per 6-th edition Astra Militarum Codex and onwards, the fluff was changed to do away with "Vanquisher cannon being rare" altogether - now the Leman Russ Vanquisher is noted as being simply the dedicated anti-armour variant of Leman Russ, often employed as command tank in armoured formations. However, it now also seem that Vanquisher cannon now lost it's ability to fire HE rounds, being able to only fire anti-armour HEAT rounds, something ineffective against infantry formations.
It should be noted that, unlike how many on /tg/ perceive it, the Vanquisher is not just a Battle Cannon firing specialised Anti-Tank shells. The Guard does use separate specialised HEAT shells for the basic BC, but Imperial Armour shows the Vanquisher Cannon to have a smaller bore than the standard one, while the shells have a greater diameter-to-length ratio and possibly be some form of APFSDS round.
The Big One. Fitted onto the Leman Russ Demolisher and packing enough heat to turn Terminators and heavy and super-heavy vehicles inside-out with a single shell, the Demolisher Cannon's short range (24" -- shorter than some infantry weapons) is the only thing that stops it from being a truly amazing weapon.
Even then, it can cause considerable damage (S10 AP2 Large Blast = kiss your everything goodbye) and because it is smaller than the other cannons, is one of the few ordnance weapons used by the Space Marines, mounted on the Vindicator and Land Raider Ares, and it is used as secondary armament on certain super-heavy tanks, like Baneblades and the Malcador.
The Demolisher fires special ammunition much larger than that used in the Battle Cannon, allowing it to punch through layers of concrete and plasteel alike. A Demolisher shell is constructed with an outer layer of standard high explosive and shrapnel, which surrounds a chemical core. Upon impact, the explosive layer detonates, punching a hole in the enemy's armor and spreading shrapnel over a wide area. It also starts a chemical reaction in the core, causing it to super-heat into a jet of plasma, which lances through the compromised armor, spreading molten death over a wide area and literally ripping the target from the inside out. The tremendous recoil produced by firing the cannon is capable of lifting the front end of a tank off the ground and, were it fired while moving, risk causing it to roll over.
Nowadays, it's a big boy gun. D6 shots at a small 24", at S10 AP-4 Dd6. Put this thing on a Tank Commander, give him "Gunners, Kill on Sight!" and watch the tears flow.
Eradicator Nova Cannon
The Eradicator Nova Cannon fires shells with an unstable "sub-atomic" core (yes, this just might be a tank cannon that fires mini-nukes). These shells are somewhat hazardous to the tank and crew, as they have a non-zero probability of exploding if they get jostled while loading, so most regiments that use Leman Russ Eradicators have a margin for crew losses, and that is without the off chance of radioactive leaks from a faulty shell.
The Eradicator is most effective supporting infantry forces fighting in areas such as cities and jungles, and it is easily replicated on dozens of Forge Worlds. For urban combat however the Eradicator does not feature the additional rear armor found on similar vehicles, leaving it vulnerable to attacks from behind.
They keep using the Nova cannon, though, because the shell's massive blast completely flattens any cover, so unless the targets are power armored, there's no escape for them (S6 AP4 = Instant Death for most standard infantry; less effective for beefier troops). Why a shell that detonates if it's shaken does not go off when it's fired from a freaking cannon is not completely explained by GW.
Super-Heavy Tank Guns
Technically, these guns can be carried and fired by a vehicle in direct combat, but because that vehicle has to be the size of a Baneblade, they deserve a category of their own.
The main gun of the Fellblade. It fired armor-piercing explosive self-guided "darts" via either magnetic acceleration or gravity impellers. It was also twin-linked, though the Fellblade had severely limited ammunition for it, relying mostly on its other weapons until a suitable target presented itself.
This type of cannon used a complex overpressure mechanisms of a special vacuum-based system which can propel heavy shells with greater force than a conventional cannon of similar size. This system is so efficient that they provide very little recoil from every shot, making the Accelerator cannon extremely stable and accurate. The loading mechanism of Accelerator cannon is also highly advanced and served by a special loading mechanism that allows the tank’s commander to switch ammunition type at a little notice.
It was made on the Forge World of Tigrus (home of the original Vanquisher cannon -- which resembles the Accelerator Cannon quite closely, with the long barrel and large muzzle brake). It can fire high-explosive shells comparable to a super-charged Battle Cannon (S8 AP3 7" Blast) or armor-piercing shells comparable to what would later become the Vanquisher battle cannon (S9 AP2 3" Blast, rolling 2d6 for armor penetration).
Its smaller brother is the Accelerator Autocannon.
Think of the Accelerator Autocannon on steroids. The Macro-Accelerator Cannon is to the Accelerator Cannon in the same way the Accelerator Cannon is to the Accelerator Autocannon (Try and speak that sentence five times in a row).
The Macro-Accelerator Cannon is a large kinetic weapon used by the Primaris Space Marines' Astraeus Super-Heavy Grav Tank as its primary armament. The Macro-Accelerator Cannon is actually a complex mass driver that uses a potent electromagnetic field to accelerate a barrage of high caliber ferro-carbide slugs to extremely high speeds. It is basically an upscaled Imperial railgun. Usually twin-linked, these weapons unleash an onslaught against which even enemy heavy armor cannot stand. Note: Mass Driver is used in the wrong context here. Unless they intend to say the Macro-Accelerator Cannon are miniaturized versions. That can be used as Railguns. But Games Workshop writers don't proofread their shit anyways,
Crunchwise, the fluff seem to match the rules. The Macro-Accelerator Cannon is a vicious Heavy 12, S8, AP-2, Damage 3 that ignores all abilities that impose negative hit modifiers when targeting anything with the FLY keyword. Normal vehicles wouldn't even survive a barrage of these and superheavies would take a beating.
The Baneblade's primary cannon is an upscaled Battle Cannon, improved in strength, armor penetration, and blast radius (S9 AP2 10" blast = 10" wide lascannon pie-plate). Its special shells are not propelled by an explosion, but are rather miniature rockets that increases the shell's range and accuracy tremendously. However, this also leads to the danger of a build-up of gasses in the barrel, which can cause serious harm. To combat this the Baneblade Cannon is built with a double-sleeve design with venting ports studded around the cannon's muzzle, allowing these gasses to escape under their own pressure.
When fired the shell leaves the barrel under its own blast pressure with speed maintained whilst the rocket burns, with each booster burning out and falling away as the next one ignites. This means that the Baneblade's Cannon works on a similiar basis to a upscaled Bolter -- a feature that "counterfeit" Baneblades produced on other Forge Worlds are unable to reproduce, and so they substitute standard battle cannon rounds for them. There's no indication that they're much, if at all, different, though.
Back in the Great Crusade, Perturabo asked the Adeptus Mechanicus to build him a new cannon that could level buildings with a single shell and be carried at a reasonable speed. Because the Horus Heresy hadn't happened yet, and they were thus still feeling like innovating now and then, the tech-priests agreed, and built him the Dreadhammer.
It fires shells that weigh several tons, and experiences so much recoil that even the super-heavy Typhon Heavy Siege Tank has to limit the propellant used (and thus the range) if it wants to fire on the move. At first, people made fun of Perturabo for asking for (and getting) a super-Demolisher, but it has a bigger blast radius and, if the Typhon stays still, a longer range, and it really does shake buildings to their foundations. The appearance, name, and firepower of the Dreadhammer cannon suggest some connection with the Baneblade-mounted Hellhammer cannon.
The comically small Hellhammer Cannon is the main weapon of the Hellhammer tank. Resembling a Baneblade with micropenis issues, this gun has spawned numerous compensation jokes at the tank's expense. Still, every nerd has its day and one thing the Hellhammer excels at is in its ability to fire mini-nukes.
The Hellhammer Cannon fires shells with a building-busting sub-atomic charge (like the Eradicator Nova Cannon). Each shell weighs 180 kilograms and is propelled by a rocket motor, with exhaust vents on either side of the barrel allowing for the safe discharge of gas with every firing. Due to the sheer weight of the shells, an automatic loading tray assists the loader, limiting the weapon's rate of fire. The tremendous concussive explosion (S10 AP1 7" Blast) is enough to collapse a building in one shot (Ignores Cover), so crews are trained to fire at the ground floors of structures that need to come down. The short barrel and recoil compensators give the cannon a very short range (a measly 36"). As such, the Hellhammer cannon is only used on tanks that are built for urban combat, like the Hellhammer super-heavy tank.
For additional information, see here: Quake Cannon
What has already been said about the Quake Cannon in the Autogun category has been said here. The Quake Cannon is an Awesome gun with a Stupid construction process. The quintessential fortress fucker supreme.
The Quake Cannon is an odd beast; its firepower is not unusual for a weapon of its size (S9 AP3 10" Blast), but it has a longer range than any other tank gun (180", only exceeded by the Earthshaker and Colossus cannons), and is normally an arm weapon for Warlord Battle Titans.
It is occasionally mounted on a Baneblade chassis to make the Banesword, essentially a super-heavy self-propelled artillery piece, primarily employed against fortifications. Also, it's ammunition is filled with the echoing shockwave of a world that was subjected to Exterminatus, and the sound it makes as it flies through the air is said to be the screams of those who died in the exterminatus that powered it.
Stormsword Siege Cannon
The Stormsword Siege Cannon fires big bunker-busting rocket-propelled shells. Unfortunately, the Adeptus Mechanicus never considered that crews might want to fire at things other than ground floors of nearby buildings, so the cannon cannot elevate very far (though, if it did elevate too far, the recoil might just rip it out of the turret). It makes up for this by being able to turn entire city blocks to dust with a single shot.
The weapon and vehicle itself is built specifically for sieges and street-fighting, the Stormsword is geared towards providing troops close-quarter support with a variety of heavy weapons whilst its cannon is used to lay waste to entire encamped bunkers and buildings.
It used to be that the Stormsword just had a Hellhammer Cannon that couldn't swivel, but apparently that made them too similar, so in the sixth-edition version of Apocalypse, GW made the Hellhammer Cannon a 7" blast and left the Stormsword with the 10" pie-plate.
Most cannons launch shells that are fuzed to explode on or shortly before impact. Not the Banehammer's Tremor Cannon: after landing it buries into the ground before it detonates. This muffles the blast (S8 AP3 is actually the lowest-strength and worst AP of all the super-heavy tank guns), but it sends a tremendous shockwave through the earth that leaves enemies not caught in the blast stumbling and slowed. The fluff describes this as liquifying the surrounding terrain.
Imagine the ground under your feet giving way, suddenly having the consistency of water. By the time you've figured out what's happened, you're partially buried in the dirt and have to dig yourself out before the enemy comes and shoots you like a horse with a broken leg. And that's if you're lucky, it's entirely possible to get buried completely and suffocate to death under several feet of earth and rubble. You can see why it would be very, very bad to be on the receiving end of this weapon.
In theory it would also make a decent wall and bunker cracker.
Sometimes, the Imperial Guard can't get in range to use tanks, or could, but only at a cost that even the Departmento Munitorum would find staggering, like when they are attacking enemy fortresses. To overcome such obstacles, the Adeptus Mechanicus had a brilliant idea: make even bigger guns with a longer range. These guns are so big that they cannot be fired on the move; they are often built into static defensive positions, or for regiments that need to be more mobile, they may have guns placed on towed platforms, or on self-propelled chassis (see Imperial Ordnance Pieces for more information).
The actual cannon of the Thunderfire Cannon Unmanned Ground Vehicle. This gigantic piss-off quad-barrelled cannon is a short-ranged artillery piece that is less indirect blind(-ish) firing and more in-your-face levels of FUCK OFF. It's like the Angry Marines of artillery guns. These cannons are so ECKSBAWKSHUEG that the vehicle it is mounted on is actually like, 50% of the total weapons system.
The only people even qualified of handling this thing are the Techmarines. For much added Lulz, the cannon of the Thunderfire Cannon can be mounted as the primary weapon for the Land Raider Achilles. Oh yes, we know what we are all thinking. Yo Dawg, we heard you like artillery guns, so we put a artillery gun inside a artillery gun so you can shoot whilst you shoot!
The Techmarine manning a Thunderfire Cannon can set its shells to detonate in a variety of different ways, depending on the tactical situation. Surface detonations are employed against numerous enemies in comparatively clear terrain, airburst shells are used to scour a foe from cover, and the Techmarine can even program the shells to burrow deep into the ground before detonating; though the force of the blast from such Tremor Shells is greatly reduced, the resulting shockwave is sufficient to leave the foe sprawling, making them easy pickings for his brother Space Marines.
They also look similar in appearance to the Astartes Quad Launcher found on the Rapier Carrier.
Lucius Pattern Heavy Quad-Launcher
Derived from the original, more mobile and cooler looking Squat Heavy Quad-Launcher mobile light artillery platform, the less cool and more cumbersome Imperial variant functions essentially the same, except you can't drive the damned thing but you have to tow it instead. This is made worse when considering the Squats literally gave the Imperium and by extension, the Mechanicus the blueprints for the original motorized tractor variant. The Mechanicus some how lost the tractor in the process.
So now the Imperial Guard is stuck with the less mobile and cumbersome Lucius Pattern Thudd Gun. They were once quite a common light artillery piece, but ever since the day the Mechanicus lost the blueprints to attach a tractor at the rear end of the gun, most of these artillery pieces have now been relegated to second-line Imperial units, used by Planetary Defence Forces and militia units.
Similar to the Dorf version, 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. However, at least the original Thudd Gun is mobile. This....thing however, requires to be towed by either a Trojan service vehicles, or Centaur light tanks.
Like many Imperial models, this one is quite clearly based on a World War era artillery piece, in this case the German Nebelwerfer.
The Earthshaker Cannon is the Battle Cannon of artillery pieces: common, highly recognizable and very lethal (S9 AP-3 Dd3 anywhere within twenty feet). It fires its shots further than any weapon except for the Manticore Launcher Tank and Deathstrike Missile Launcher.
This 132mm caliber weapon has a muzzle velocity of 814 meters per second and fires a 38 kg projectile, hitting targets over 15 km away in under 19 seconds, using the standard five powder charge.
Six and seven powder charges can be used to hit targets well beyond this range, however the additional wear and stress this causes on the barrel limits the number of overcharged rounds to twenty, with authorization for their use required. Only Earthshakers on static mounts can fire these charges, as vehicle mounts are considered too unstable for their use. The most common type of shell fired by Earthshakers are high explosive, but it can also launch incendiary, smoke, illumination, and even diamantine-tipped armor piercing shells. Shells fired by Earthshakers have been known to cause craters fifteen meters in diameter and obliterate infantry in an instant.
The Earthshaker is most often mounted on the Basilisk self-propelled artillery tank, though it also appears in static artillery positions as well as built into fortifications. Field artillery also makes use of towed versions pulled by Landcrawlers, as with Quad Launchers and Griffon Heavy Mortars. Some Earthshaker Cannons had their own carriage which can be towed away from front line positions by the Trojan if the enemy are in danger of getting too close or allow the stationary platforms to be re-tasked to where they are needed most.
Amusingly enough despite being depicted as an artillery gun in 40k, the Earthshaker is modeled after the long-barelled WWII German Flak 88 rather than a field howitzer from the same epoch. It should also be noted that the newer carriage model lacks tires on the wheels. While this was common at the turn of the 20th century for most artillery, it quickly stopped being a thing once motor transport was introduced, as tires allow for a gun to be drawn at reasonable motorised speeds.
Medusa Siege Cannon
The Medusa Siege Gun is an aging siege weapon used by the Imperial Guard both as a towed artillery piece and mounted on the Medusa Siege Tank. Compared to the Earthshaker Cannon the Medusa fires a much larger shell at lower velocities. This gives it immense destructive capabilities, useful in breaching the walls of an enemy fortress or destroying bunkers in a single shot, but it consequently has a much shorter firing range, even compared to other siege weapons like the Bombard. For this reason they are less useful for harassing and counter-battery fire, but are still prized by many siege regiments for their ability to blast enemy walls, installations, bunkers and trenches.
The Medusa Siege Cannon is the shortest-ranged of the Imperium's artillery weapons at 36" (Breacher shells on the carriage to 48"), but it is not meant to launch munitions over fortified walls; rather, it is meant to shoot fortifications directly and destroy them (which it certainly does, at S10 AP-3 Dd3) -- and when regular shells aren't enough, they can fire special Breacher shells that sacrifice indirect fire for d6 damage to buildings.
Get a Earthshaker Cannon. Pump it full of steroids and growth hormones and make it big enough to launch an Angry Marine at full force. Ladies and gentlemen, the Basilisk Magnus is born. Seriously, this thing is the size of a Baneblade.
Exclusive in Dawn of War or more specifically, the Soulstorm expansion. The Basilisk Magnus is a large artillery platform, defending the 252nd Conservator Regiment's stronghold in the Dussala Precinct on Kaurava I. It fires devastating rounds that creates a wide area of destruction, though it needs a spotter to acquire targets. If the artillery spotter is killed before the Basilisk Magnus' operators receive the targeting information, it will not be able to fire.
This honking piece of Rape was notorious for hitting something as small as a Gretchin from one end of the map. Shame there isn't a tabletop conversion....yet. You can also use it in the Ultimate Apocalypse Expansion to shell people from across the map.
The actual cannon of the Thunder-Fire Cannon (Jeez, a bit of deja vu here?). The Thunder-Fire Cannon was the foremost first line of defense for the Squat homeworlds and possibly the second largest artillery right next to the Goliath Mega-Cannon. Seriously, it might be Epic, but those are fucking big guns capable of firing fucking big shells from quite a considerable (and fucking big) distance.
Just to give you an idea on how ridiculous Squat artillery is. The Thunder-Fire Cannon is a supporting artillery piece meant to provide backup for the Goliath Mega-Cannon. Oh yes, an artillery piece supporting a even BIGGER artillery piece.
As you can imagine, these things are triple-barrelled, kind of like the more mobile but smaller Dominus Triple Bombard. The Thunder-Fire Cannon in itself is always seen mounted as a static piece of artillery. So we ain't completely sure if it can be mounted on a mobile platform, although it wouldn't really surprise us granted that these are the Squats we are talking about here.
Nemesis Quake Cannon
For additional information, see here: Nemesis Quake Cannon
The Quake Cannon on steroids, or the holy lovechild between a Quake Cannon and a Gatling Blaster, whichever you ask. These monsters are possibly the largest gun model ever made by Games Workshop on tabletop....for now at least. Mounted on the new and shiny Warbringer Nemesis Titan. This giant six-shot revolver of doom is designed to kill enemy Titans on sight, thus in any sensible usage, this weapon is regulated at the back lines as a giant sniper, unfortunately the Imperium lacks any sensibility and uses these as front line weapons instead. Nevertheless, having a fast firing Quake Cannon is a boon to any forces as now you have a very quick way to whither down the Void Shields of enemy Titans in a quick and efficient manner rather than risking the time reloading. And seeing how this Titan gained prominence during the Horus Heresy when Emperor Battle Titans were common enough to be thrown left and right like normal battle tanks, the nature of this weapon makes a whole load of sense. This cannon also works wonders against heavily fortified encampments and any forms of fortifications in general due to the monumental concussive force unleashed as its shell impacts the ground setting off powerful localized earthquakes. Overall, what has been said on the Autogun page has already been mostly stated here.
However there is a reason why this giant dick cannon is here. It also functions extremely well as artillery. Unlike the more average Quake Cannon which is restricted to purely a superheavy tank gun due to the design of the Banesword; preventing any proper gun elevation, let alone install a proper turret and hit anything beyond 90 degrees. The Warbringer Titan is a big enough platform to not only mount a supersized Quake Cannon, but also spacious enough to install a proper turret module and some proper elevation. This allows the Nemesis Quake Cannon to launch its bullets in an arc and turns it into a supersized Earthshaker Cannon.
Of course, it is a designated Titan-killer first and foremost, but the nature of the Quake Shell also means that - as aforementioned before - it could function amazingly well against fortresses and entire fleets of smaller ground vehicles. The powerful concussive shockwaves would liquefy the grounds of enemy armor, forcing them to halt its advance and even sink them through the ground if the terrain collapse. It could also weaken the foundations of fortress walls and bunkers, causing it to collapse on itself or outright shattering the walls through brute force.
For the actual vehicle itself, see here.
A hilariously phallic weapon made by They-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. The Goliath Mega-Cannon, both the gun and the vehicle (Don't tell us why they decided to name both weapon and vehicle the same) is one of the largest artillery pieces ever known and fielded.
Basically each shell weighed several tons and was powerful enough to shatter entire fortifications and turn a fleet of Baneblades inside out. These motherfuckers were the Schwerer Gustav in all but name.
Curiously, the gun never really needed any shock absorbers to control the immense recoil. However it could be that the Goliath Mega-Cannon (The vehicle, not the gun) doesn't need one as the vehicle's own base is the gun's base.
The power of the Goliath means that each cannon fires its own barrage template. A Goliath attack is worth four barrage points plus the roll of a D6, giving a score between 5 and 10. The super heavy shells fired by the Goliath are so good at reducing fortifications to rubble that it ignores hit modifiers for cover altogether.
The Goliath lobs its shells high into the air to achieve its mammoth range, but it can't depress its barrel to hit a very close target. This means a Goliath can't shoot at targets closer than 50cm, so it has a min range of 50cm. They also don't have any self-defense secondary weapons so you need a few Thunder-Fire Cannons to offer cover support and picking off any units near the Goliath.
Of course, all of these rules are now outdated. But it is pretty cool to see the power it once had.
Not to be confused with the Thunderer Siege Tank of Leman Russ fame.
The Thunderer Cannon is a giant FUCKOFF cannon and one of the largest form of ordnance known on land. This cannon is one of the primary weapons of the Squat Colossus War Machine and the shells of which, is powerful enough to cause nearby mountains to suffer critical existence failure in the form of giant mud slides. Seriously, just look at that bore size and translate that to the size of the vehicle itself.
The Thunderer Cannon acts as a giant artillery gun meant to deal with squadrons of superheavies and Titans rather than infantry and tanks. This is due to the placement of the Thunderer as well as the fact that it is not mounted on a turret, suggesting that the entire superstructure of the Colossus' 'tower' is reinforced, so as to properly handle the ridiculous recoil of this big stick of death.
Because of its placement and function, it is likely that the Thunderer Cannon was the basis for the Behemoth Cannon.
The appropriately named Doomsday Cannon is one of the three primary FUCKOFF cannons, with the first being the Thunderer Cannon and the last being the Behemoth Cannon. The Doomsday Cannon is a relatively popular weapon as far as superheavy ordnance weapons goes. As it is found as the primary weapon for both the Colossus War Machine and the Leviathan Command Center.
Due to its size and girth, the Doomsday Cannon can only be situated and mounted on the prow of these respective vehicles. This is to ensure that the recoil does not topple over or shake apart the vehicle's superstructure. However, this comes at the cost of having a lower maximum range even though the Doomsday Cannon is just as capable of adjusting its firing arc.
Unlike the more longer ranged and accurate Thunderer Cannon, the Doomsday Cannon removes all subtlety and just goes strait into Exterminatus territory, as the explosive yield of the shell being fired (Again, just look at that bore size) can be felt several miles away.
Tl;dr, it is literally a Macrocannon in all but name. When this thing fires, you might as well just bend over and accept the consequences.
The largest ground artillery field piece to date. Well, that is assuming that the Goliath Mega-Cannon is slightly smaller than the Behemoth Cannon (GW is very bad at size consistency, just look at the Warlord Titan and how its size jumps all over the goddamned fucking place. That's quality control for GeeDubs for you). Until GW decides to one-up themselves and invent an even bigger artillery piece.
The Behemoth Cannon is a massive weapon that is the primary armament of the Capitol Imperialis. The giant landships that can be mistaken for a city block and is tall enough that a goddamned motherfucking Warlord Battle Titan can use for cover. The Behemoth Cannon is so large that four Leman Russ Battle Tanks could fit within its barrel (Although the models and artwork definitely disagrees with that statement), and the concussive force of firing the weapon can produce a mushroom cloud and shake the earth itself.
It is basically a land-bound and more mobile version of a Macrocannon and may or may not be a variant of the Thunderer Cannon.
A naval artillery field piece meant to do a mini-Exterminatus.
A Bombardment Cannon is a type of Macrocannon weapon found almost exclusively in use on the warships of the Adeptus Astartes and Adeptus Arbites. It is comprised of a turret-mounted electromagnetic linear accelerator that fires Magma Bomb plasma-based warheads at a higher velocity than standard Torpedoes but shorter range. Primarily intended for use in orbital bombardments of planetary surfaces in support of ground forces or Astartes drop assaults. In this way, an Astartes vessel can bombard the targeted region of the planet with Magma Bombs to soften the enemy resistance for the Drop Pods or Thunderhawk gunships containing Space Marines that will immediately follow.
A Bombardment Cannon can also be used as a ship-to-ship weapon in void battles to great effect, where the great destructive force of the Magma Bomb warheads can render even the strongest armour plating irrelevant and destroy an enemy voidship in short order with only a few salvoes.