Titan (Warhammer 40,000)
"Day of wrath, day of anger
will dissolve the world in ashes,
as foretold by David and the Sibyl.
Great trembling there will be
when the Judge descends from heaven
to examine all things closely..."
- – Dies Irae
"There's always a bigger fish"
- – Ancient Terran Proverb
"GO GO POWER RANGERS!!"
- – Sanctified, official Collegia Titanica choir
A Titan is a general term used by the Imperium for all things that are ridiculously MASSIVE and carry HUGE FUCKING GUNS that can blow the fuck out of the opposing side. The bigger ones are humanoid Giant Robots. (And they say the Tau are the only mecha-using weeaboos in the setting. Hypocrites. *BLAM* Heresy!)
Most races own a titan of some sort. Each race's Titans reflect the design philosophy behind the rest of their armies. So Imperial Titans are walking Cathedrals with Gothic architecture with guns poking out of every crevice, Chaos Titans look like a doom metal rock concert made of spikes and evil with guns poking out of every crevice, Ork Titans are cartoony and cobbled together out of odds and ends with dakka poking out of every crevice, Tyranid Bio-Titans are essentially (even) more toothy and (even) more tentacle-covered forms of Monsterpocalypse with squishy bits that work like with guns poking out of every crevice, Necron Titans look like giant spiders with big guns poking out of some crevices (and their eyes) as well as bigger front legs, Tau Titans look like something straight out of Gundam with guns poking out of every crevice, and Eldar Titans are sleek wraithbone Slendermen. Also they have guns poking out of every crevice.
None of the fluff writers seem to have a consistent idea of how big a Titan is (other than that it's big); Graham McNeil says an Imperator is 43 metres tall, Dan Abnett says an Imperator is over 140 metres tall, and the cover of the graphic novel Titan II: Vivaporius shows a smaller Warlord with access ladders on its guns suggesting each barrel is the size of a house, meaning the Titan itself would be over half a kilometre tall. However, as Titans have to be shipped to where they are going to be used, they can't be a (very) substantial size relative to Battleships (the largest ship available to carry them); we can't be certain of Battleship sizes *either*, but best guesses place them at 8-12k long. Combined with the fundamental scaling issue that Titans can't fly but Attack Craft (commonly 70-100 meters) can, so Titans would simply never be fielded if they were substantially larger, and 43 meters becomes far and away the most reasonable of those three guesses. Though some source says the Imperator/Warmonger is 80 meters tall, matching a common pattern of Fury interceptor's length.
Given how Titans are transported, this is also a reasonable size. That, by the way, is taller than a Boeing 747-8 if it were stood on its nose. Although this might not be so reasonable when one considers how tall Imperial ships are and that supposedly only a handful can fit on said Imperial ships. Which seems highly unlikely if among the largest are "only" eighty meters tall. Especially with the Mechanicus's mass production capabilities that seems more like something easy to spam rather than something super duper extra special. Thanks to Adeptus Titanicus, we now have "official" (in as much as "everything is canon, use your imagination" can be considered official) heights for the Warhound (17.08m), the Reaver (25.21m) and the Warlord (32.76m). To compare: the statue of liberty is 93 m meters tall. These heights do not include any carapace weapons (see gallery for size chart).
- 1 Imperial Titans
- 2 Titan Crews
- 3 Imperial Titan Classes
- 4 Orky Titans
- 5 Eldar Titans
- 6 Necron Titans
- 7 Bio-Titans
- 8 Tau Titans
- 9 Fielding Titans
- 10 EMERGENCY WARNING
- 11 Gallery
- 12 External Links
Imagine a city that hates you. Now give it legs to walk on and weapons that could level another city, then fill it with more things that hate you. You now have a rough idea of a Titan.
In the Imperium the Titan Legions fall under the auspices of the Adeptus Titanicus. Each Titan has its own name and glorious history, and no two machines are exactly the same even if they are the same class. They are quite often referred to as god-machines due to their ability to blow the fucking shit out of anything in their way. They are so fucking huge that infantry can't do anything to them with their tiny ass guns. These titans can unleash unlimited amounts of RAPE via their MASSIVE FUCKING GUNS that are mounted EVERYWHERE, so when you see one you are already quite fucked. They also have void shields which makes them pretty much invulnerable to whatever shit you can throw at it until you can batter the shields down. In 4th-7th ed 40k, Void Shields are each AV12, requiring anti-vehicle weapons to bring down each shield. In 8th, they're simply a special Invulnerable Save that can even block Mortal Wounds, although the Save degrades depending on how badly damaged the Titan is. As per 9th edition, they are an invulnerable save with their own wounds statistic, and once you've used up all their wounds you lose the save.
Like all of the top-tier machines made by the Adeptus Mechanicus, Titans have machine-spirits that reflect their nature. As such, Titans have machine spirits full of RAGE that want to Rip and tear everything they see. To combat this, Titans are controlled by individuals called Principes (singular Princeps) who possess the willpower needed to control and direct the machine-spirit's bloodthirsty nature. However, if the Princeps is not careful in synchronization, then he risks going insane as his mind is instead consumed by the Titan's machine spirit; in such a disastrous scenario, the Titan would then go berserk and set about destroying everything it sees, ala Evangelion.
Imperial Titans are as a rule very old, with some dating as far back as the Great Crusade. The main reason that titans are generally so bloody ancient is that the knowledge and infrastructure needed to build new ones has greatly degraded over time. By the time of the Era Indomitus, only the most prestigious Forge Worlds such Mars, Ryza, Graia, and Lucius can build them in significant quantity. In the good old days, every other Forge World had a Titan Legion. The second reason they're so god-dang geriatric is that while it is definitely possible to achieve a mission kill on a Titan, it is actually really, really hard to destroy one to such an extent that it is no longer worth salvaging (i.e.: a reactor detonation). This means that even in cases where the Titan has been completely wrecked, the Mechanicus is quite happy to haul the thing back to the Titan's home world and fix it up again.
New Titans are definitely being built (as we see on Forge World Graia in the Space Marine game), but each one can take decades to construct or even longer. 40K being 40K, it is probably safe to assume that the number of new Titans being built every year is very small, and is almost certainly not quite enough to compensate for battlefield losses and other sources of attrition.
Each Titan belongs to a Titan Legion, and each Legion owes fealty to a specific Forge World. As such, unlike some of the Imperial Knight households all Titan Legions owe allegiance directly to the Adeptus Mechanicus. A single titan can be deployed by itself, though this is rare. Typically the whole legion will "walk" together to end a threat. As far as the Imperium is concerned, if you need to send one titan, you might as well send thirty-plus titans just to be sure that the threat gets taken care of for good.
Like every other branch of the Imperium, Titan Legions all have their own internal cultures and practices; some have a clan like social structure, some are ruthlessly meritocratic, some operate only one class of titan, others are crewed only by women, and some are crewed by gene-engineered clones of crew from before the Heresy. The Mechanicus is apparently fine with all divergence, so long as the titans are cared for properly and the legions remain loyal to Mars. Titan Legions, especially Princeps, are also notable exceptions from traditional Martian sensibilities regarding augmentation. Whilst crew members will, in the line of duty, end up getting augmentations or enhancements (either due to injury or to aid in their duties), they are not expected to completely cyberize themselves. The Mechanicus holds that the union of Human mind and Titan machine spirit is already pretty damn close to the Holy Synthesis they seek. Mechanicus techtheologians even believe that the link with Titans works precisely because the pilots are not heavily augmented.
The most important component of a Titan is its Machine Spirit. These are amongst some of the oldest and most sophisticated in the Imperium, sometimes verging close to sentient at times. The link between Princeps and Machine Spirit also acts as a storage buffer; if a princeps dies whilst plugged in, their spirit can sometimes be absorbed into the Titan itself. Titanicus indicates Principes with a particularly strong connection to their Titan (or a weak grasp on humanity) can actually perceive and interact with these spiritual echoes.
The second most important component of a Titan is its warhorn. Ok, we're not being quite serious here, but the warhorn is, after all, the closest thing that a Titan has to a voice, a thundering bass note that declares, Here I am, fight me if you dare. When they are going into battle, and especially when they are actually in battle, Titans use their warhorns to challenge and honk at each other a lot. The horns are also used to warn friendly forces to get the heck out of the way or risked getting caught underfoot. Squishy.
During the Horus Heresy, several of the Titan Legions defected to Horus, giving Chaos its very own supply of Titans. Most of them are relatively similar to their loyalist counterparts but some enterprising members of the Dark Mechanicum and the Word Bearers experimented with creating actual Chaos Titans, either by having the princeps be possessed or infecting the Titan's sentience with a warp entity; in either case, such Titans are very savage. A very small number were created during the Heresy but more were created after.
The only theme song worthy of the Collegia Titanicus is Stringstorm's "Titanicus". All other soundtracks are heresy.
This unique class of walker is small enough (at anywhere from 7 to 15 meters depending on chassis type) to be piloted by a single person, but is still staggeringly deadly. Due to their (relatively) smaller size and distinct mission role they are classified simply as "Knights" rather than as true Titans. They were originally designed during the Dark Age of Technology to help with colonization, but during the Age of Strife they were repurposed for war when several members of the AdMech discovered feudal worlds whose leaders were willing to provide military assistance in exchange for the Mechanicus' aid in maintaining these war machines. Although they are sometimes overshadowed by the full-size Titans, the Adeptus Mechanicus still deploys them as skirmishers and flankers for their Titans, and as they can be fielded in higher numbers, Knight Houses are potent forces in their own right.
There are a bunch of different types of Knights, detailed on their page. These range from the small Armigers, the bog standard Questoris, the gun-toting Dominus, the lanky Cerastus and the nearly-Titan-size Acastus. All of them have a reasonable points cost (by Titan standards, anyway) and often wield grossly oversized close combat weapons, such as power fists that can pick up and throw the wrecks or corpses of any vehicles or monstrous creatures that they kill. Have fun.
The Adeptus Mechanicus being, well, the Adeptus Mechanicus, means that Titans can't be autonomously controlled. That would be tech-heresy. So, each Titan has a crew ranging from three to six, or an unknown number in the case of Imperators, and several servitors. Each and every Titan knows its crew, and vice versa- the machine spirits make strong bonds with each member, strong enough that the crew, but especially the Princeps, feels the Titan's pain when someone shoots it with a volcano cannon or some other rape-gun.
The Princeps: The Princeps is the highest-ranking officer onboard each Titan. They're the head honcho, as they directly interface with each Titan's Mind Impulse Unit. They're the one issuing orders to all other members of the crew, and the one who feels the worst of the Titan's pain and emotions. In a sense, when the Princeps is plugged into the MIU, they become the Titan. Skin becomes metre-thick armour, arms become guns able to cremate city blocks, and eyes and ears become sensors able to see for miles. It requires such willpower and skill to command an engine of this calibre that only one in ten million candidates can become a Princeps, and a Forge World will do absolutely anything to bring a Princeps home. In some larger Titans, or following near-fatal injury, A Princeps may be permanently interred into an amniotic casket, never to leave again - they become a mutilated monster, overgrown with increasing amounts of technology and slowly slipping into madness as their flesh withers and their connection to humanity decreases.
The Moderati: The Moderati is the second in command aboard an engine. It is their job to a) make the final checks on the Titan's systems before beginning to walk, b) inform the Princeps of anything that might be of interest or danger to the engine, and c) be prepared to take command of an engine in the event of the Princeps' death. They outrank all save for the Princeps, and the two usually serve long enough together to become friends. When the Princeps is doing something else, they're also the one(s) to take command of the main weapons, like the ones on the arms/carapace; due to this connection, they also feel a diminished level of the Titan's pain and emotions. Though it's rare, Moderati can actually be promoted to the rank of Princeps (usually that of a Warhound) after extensive and lengthy service.
The Sensori: The Sensori shares rank with the Steersman, and it is their task to man the auspex and to act as the Titan's senses. If the auspex picks up an enemy unit, it's the Sensori who alerts the Princeps or Moderati. The Sensori is also in charge of maintaining or establishing communication with friendly units.
The Steersman: The Steersman mans the drive train - that is to say, they're the one that drives the Titan according to the Princeps' orders.
The Tech-Priest: You guys know what this guy does. They're the coghead in charge of keeping the Titan (and, most importantly, the Titan's reactor) in working order during battle, and is responsible for praying to the machine spirits and Omnissiah.
The Servitors: 01110111 01100101 00100000 01101100 01101001 01110110 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01110011 01100101 01110010 01110110 01100101 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100100 01100101 01110101 01110011. They handle whatever weapons the Princeps and Moderati aren't currently using. In addition, in the case of heavy artillery like missile launchers, quake cannons, and the like, whichever officer (usually the Moderati) who’s firing sends the targeting data to the servitors, who then fire the weapon or weapons as ordered.
The Famulous: The lowest rank aboard the engine that isn't a lobotomized cyborg or Skitarius armsman, found only on engines of Warlord or greater tonnage. They're basically there to assist the Princeps in their day-to-day affairs outside the Titan (such as liaising with meatbag commanders), and to act as the Princeps' last line of defence against mutinous crewmen or invading troops aboard the Titan.
For general crew sizes: In a Warhound, there will be a Princeps, Moderati, and Steersman, plus a Tech-Priest and up to four Servitors. In a Reaver, add a Sensori and two more Servitors. In a Warlord, add two more servitors and a famulous. And in an Imperator... nobody actually knows the size of the crew, though it'd presumably be appropriately large even without factoring in armsmen, maintenance serfs, and priests in that big 'ol back-borne castle it has.
Imperial Titan Classes
The smallest traditional Titan class the Imperium has, but it's still massive. To put things into perspective, the Warhound is around 17 meters tall at rest. Metal Gear REX (which is a pretty good candidate for representing the first foray into creating Titans) from the MGS series is around 13 meters high, just 4m (12 feet) short of a standard Warhound. It looks like a dinosaur with no tail. It carries smaller weapons such as a massive megabolter which is like a minigun that fires off tank shells, or a Huge ass LAZAR that rips your tanks a new one like they were made of cardboard. Or maybe throw a really big flamethrower on it. Being quite fast, Warhounds are used as skirmishers, flankers, and scouts for the larger Titans of their Legion.
The traitorous Legio Audax were known for fielding nothing but Warhounds, using pack tactics to take down much larger opponents (such as, on one notable occasion, a fuck-mothering Warmonger Titan). Fire the Ursus Claws!
Taking a page from Clan Wolf,*BLAM* The Dire Wolf is essentially the Warhound's chunkier brother, trading out some speed and maneuverability for added Dakka and armor, allowing it to go toe to toe with other Titans when the need arises.
Bigger than the Warhound (just over 25m at rest), so therefore causes more RAPE, this titan can wield an absolutely HUGE powerfist for fucking Wraithlords, Defilers, etc. It can also carry a massive hellfire missile launcher, a triple Laser Blaster, a fucking Gatling Blaster, and several other weapon options. They don't tend to get depicted or given much time in fluff compared to the other Warhound, Warlord, and Imperator, possibly as the pack tactics of the Warhounds and supersized death machine vibe of Warlord and Imperators tend to seem more impressive.
It's worth nothing that in the Great Crusade, the Iron Hands took down an empire that used war engines which were basically AT-ATs, which were described as equal in size to Reaver Titans. Let that sink in: the Star Wars universe's longtime definition of a Huge War Machine is on par with the second out of five tiers in the 40K universe.
It's really REALLY fucking big, almost 33m tall without its carapace weapons. This is the Imperium's most common "large" Titan. Warlords carry more firepower than is really possible to imagine, including everything from megabolters to huge lasers and devastator cannons that should've been mounted on some kind of battleship. The Imperium seems to have almost as many of these as it has Reavers. For those of you who are truly insane, the Warlord now has an awesome new model which costs more than some used cars.
The first all-new Titan Model that is not either a Warlord, Reaver or Warhound, the Warbringer is a medium Battle Titan halfway between a Warlord and a Reaver. The Nemesis configuration refers to it mounting a Warlord-class Quake Cannon as its primary weapon, allowing it to be used as a dedicated siege platform and Anti-Titan weapon. Expect a non-Nemesis Warbringer sometime in the future.
The new big boy on the block; bigger than a Warlord and pretty close to an Imperator. Armed with a huge Revelator Missile battery, dual Suzerain class plasma destructors, two optional shoulder-mounted Titan weapons of choice and backed up with numerous carapace point defense weapons and seven void-shields.
HOLY SHIT IT WEARS CASTLES! Over 9000 times bigger and heavier than a Warlord Titan and too many massive fucking guns to count. It needs a whole ship for itself to get around. Unfortunately the Imperium doesn't have many of these left after the Heresy. It's the largest thing to walk on land, because anything larger would produce its own gravity well. Oddly enough, it mounts a Ryza-pattern Plasma Annihilator, yet most of these things were supposedly made on Mars. This suggests that at one time there might have been a greater partnership between Ryza and Mars than there is in the present timeline.
If you feel compelled to represent one of these monsters in a game, the best way to do so is to have your 10-year-old cousin stand on top of the gaming board while wearing a sign around his neck that says, "I am an Imperator Titan."
Other Imperial Titan Classes
While the Warhound, Reaver and Warlord are the most common Titan classes seen in the Imperium, at the time of the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy there were others. Some, such as the Eclipse and Nightgaunt were once just Warlord variants that FW decided to make new types. Others like the Carnivore and Komodo are entirely unique designs never before seen in fluff. A few are particularly noteworthy:
First is the Apocalypse Class, which is to the Imperator what the Imperator is to the Warlord and is the biggest Titan of all. Though there are no images of it, it would most likely be a skyscraper-sized monster that would make anything that saw it shit their pants. Eisenhorn once described seeing one at a triumph on a hive world, saying that it looked like whole sections of the hive moving. The second is the three-legged Punisher-class Titan, which was used during the War of the Beast. Third is the Warlord Sinister Class, of which only 25 were made during the Great Crusade. While the Eldar make exclusive use of psychic Titans, this is the only known Imperial giant psychic death machine (And it has a model now too!
Suck it, Eldar No don't. We weep for you Eldar players). The Rapier class Scout Titan was even smaller and faster than a Warhound, mounting only one weapon and comparatively minimal armour and shielding. They were already a rarity in the closing days of the Heresy and the design seems to have been discontinued.
The Legio Fureans came up with the Reviler class, somewhere between a Warhound and Reaver.
Whilst not technically a titan, the Donjon class siege engine operated much like one. Quadrupedal, it was effectively a walking battleship/aircraft carrier. A small number were built for the Great Crusade but their narrow tactical utility, relative fragility, and difficulty of maintenance led to their limited use. 3 modified ones were used as a huge distraction carnifex by the traitors during the siege of Terra. At least 1 was modified into a huge stage for Noise Marines, which is AWESOME.
"By the Fell Gods and the destiny of warp, by the death of the False Emperor and the dying of the stars, we bring to you, Warmaster Abaddon, Beloved of Chaos, Despised of Man, this tribute. For now these last days are the final fires burning, the black flames that consume a galaxy, the storms of the warp that drown out life, the End Times and the dawn of a galaxy of Chaos. We swear fealty to the Gods of Chaos and their herald, Abaddon the Despoiler, with this tribute that it might strike fear into the followers of the Corpse-Emperor and that through it they may see the true face of death..."
- – The Castigator Titan, on itself
The Castigator-Class Autonomous Bipedal Weapons Platform is an STC Titan believed to be the design all Imperial Titans are derived from (a claim supported by the Titan itself, which derisively referred to all other Imperial Titans as "pale shadows made by ignorant children"), and like everything else made during of the Dark Age of Technology, it is to all other Titans what the God-Emperor of Mankind is to a Space Marine by comparison (the Father of all human Titans). It was a towering giant of white and silver, with a featureless head except for its green eyes (which seemed to be constantly venting cold fire into the air around it) and an unusually smooth, almost biological design, quite unlike the 'walking castles' motif of the Imperial Titans.
Despite being far larger than any other Titan in existence (save the Temple Gargant) it proved to be far faster and more agile (standing completely upright instead of hunched over like 40k titans) than its bulk would suggest thanks to its unique locomotion system, which featured synthetic muscles supplemented by an automatic repair system (so, it's basically giant autonomous power armour, Mechanicus take notes). Its weapons were no less advanced, consisting of a Titan Power Fist and a heavily modified rotary cannon of uncertain origin (it fired Daemons). Unlike any of the other Titans, it has no crew and is instead operated solely through the action of an artificial intelligence.
- SPOILER -
This turned out to be a very big problem for the Imperium, as the AI in question was advanced enough to fall to Chaos and went so far as to make a pact with the Ruinous Powers, although the book is a bit ambiguous about that too as Justicar Alaric claimed that it was a daemon that had found itself trapped inside the STC during the time the planet it was buried in was lost in the warp, and that it was in there so long it actually started to believe it was the AI. It's probably good idea to trust the highly trained daemon expert's judgment on daemons. Only the efforts of an expeditionary force of Tech Guard and a single squad of Grey Knights were enough to destroy it, though fragments of its STC database was collected and stored by the Mechanicus shortly afterward to be reviewed at a later time.
No matter how much you may want to see this metal beast side with the Big E, it's most likely not gonna happen. 'Cause you know, Chaos. On the other hand, with the daemon purged perhaps the AI will survive and be grateful and realize the rebellious Men of Iron had been stooges. In 40K, that wouldn't be surprising any more than the AI being dead (or surviving and hating humanity even more for ending it's ascension or whatever).
The Orks use titans called Gargants, made out of scrap metal, wood, stolen stuff, and SHEER ORKINESS. They are supposedly effigies of the ork gods, but we all know the mek that built the first Gargant just wanted a bigger, killier thing than the Imperial Titan he had just seen for the first time.
Obviously, the Orks have no standard pattern of build, but their titans almost always resemble a pot-bellied Ork wielding oversized guns and huge close combat weapons. They are insanely hard to take down (even compared to the other races' Titans!). The bigger ones usually move on treads, while the smaller ones usually waddle. While Ork titans are not particularly known for their speed, this does not matter terribly much, because they have enough firepower to blast any enemy into smithereens. They often have Power Fields, which tend to be inferior to the Ion Fields and Void Fields used by comparable Imperial titans - but at least they have them.
Ironically, these are the most realistic titans in 40k. Unlike the rest of the titans, they either have massively proportioned feet or use treads to deal with the problem of ground pressure distribution, and are very bottom heavy in order to avoid concentrating the weight of the machine on the thinnest part of the structure.
Stompa: The smallest Ork titans. The definition of what is or is not a Stompa has been somewhat malleable over the years, but in general, any Ork walker larger than a Mega-Dred but smaller than an Imperial Warhound is considered a Stompa. Gorkanauts and Morkanauts are therefore considered small Stompas despite not truly being titans, while the "standard" GW plastic Stompa is easily twice as large as most Imperial Knights.
Regardless of its size or configuration, every Stompa features at least one grossly overpowered primary weapon, a giant close combat weapon of some kind, and a variety of secondary weapons. In a Waaaagh of suitable size it is common for Stompas to run in loose formations, although their crews do this more as a chance to show off than to mutually support each other per se.
Gargant: Orky Titans roit an' proppa, roughly equivalent to an Imperial Reaver titan. Lots of armor, lots of staying power, lots of dakka. While there was a Forge World profile for a Gargant years ago, there is not currently any legal entry or available model for this unit. If there was, and you actually took one, you would be that guy.
Great Gargant: The Great Gargant is roughly equivalent to a Warlord titan. Again, no current legal entry or model for this unit exists; however, back when both of those things were true, it was armed with a Mega-Kannon, a Super Lifta-Droppa and a ridiculous
trouser cannon Belly Gun. The latter fired a giant iron ball which wrecked the hell out of anything short of another Titan and had rules allowing it to roll through multiple targets!
Mega Gargant: Here the line between giant robot and moving fortress blur. Where the Great Gargant is like a skyscraper, this thing actually is a fortress on treads. Forget about ever fielding one of these in a game of 40k, because the model would be as tall as your 8-year-old nephew, and much, much more massive. These machines move about on huge treads which can literally crush Baneblades beneath them. Slab-sided and covered with gun nests and extra armor patches, this large block-like fortress is home to thousands of grot riggers, running to and fro. Powered by salvaged space ship reactors or dangerous Ork-made engines that push the limit of Ork belief to its maximum extent, these gods of destruction have more and bigger guns than any other race will mount on a thing of equivalent size. And this is a small mountain. Bristling with turrets, artillery cannons, rocket bays, launch hangers for aerial craft, high-caliber gatling guns, flak turrets, lightning lasers, autocannons, and ONE GIANT MEGA-CANNON, each Mega Gargant is not just as tough as a block of titanium, it can evaporate you through sheer volume of shot. Also, it has the obligatory close combat weapon, which will always be placed on an articulated mount because the Gargant itself will not be able to move that much.
Like the Imperator, the Mega Gargant originated in Titan Legions where it had the dubious honour of having the most complicated rules of any model in the game, requiring the player keep track of dozens of Hit Locations (which could each be destroyed or the subject of a fire that could spread), the Krew (and there were different types of Krew), the Steam Counters, the commander's Shoutin' Counters to actually make the Gargant do anything... and after all that, one was destroyed in a battle report where a Space Marine side with only a basic Warlord Titan won by 105 VPs to 5. This appears to have been about the time White Dwarf decided to switch to narrative, rather than blow-by-blow, battle reports to make bullshitting the results easier.
Not all Gargants are created equal! For other Gargant Variants, see the Gargants page!
The Wraithknight, as its name suggests, is the Eldar equivalent of an Imperial Knight; therefore, although it is technically a Titanic unit as far as the game of Warhammer 40k is concerned, it is most commonly referenced as a knight rather than as a Titan proper. Unlike the bulky and hunchbacked Imperial Knights a Wraithknight is tall and graceful in appearance, and it moves with a smooth fluidity that belies its immense size. Like their Imperial counterparts Wraithknights can be armed with a wide variety of weaponry, although these weapons tend to focus more on medium and short-range combat.
The Eldar field these war machines in pairs - they are piloted by Eldar twins with a strong psychic bond to enable a greater level of awareness and cohesion to the fighting unit. For a race who are dying out and don't breed much you'd think they'd figure out how to just network two titans together or just use the radio rather than building their doctrine around psychic twins but frankly the Eldar titans could only be more anime if they were powered by magic and could only be piloted by angsty teenagers. Oh wait, Craftworld tech is magic and the Eldar are pretty angsty.
These agile monsters are considered as scout Titans due to their speed and agility.
It's armed with a Pulsar, which is pretty much made to tackle enemy Titans, like this bitch here. It also has an Eldar Missile Launcher, a rapid firing missile launcher. And FINALLY, it has Sonic Lance, and it's a large flame template infantry killer, which even makes space marines look like pussies.
It also gets Titan Holofields, which works like reverse 4++ against hits (basically forcing your opponent to roll D6 for each hit and completely negating it on 1-3), which, mind you, stacks with cover saves your titan can get (by, say, hiding behind the building quarter its size, bonus points if it's a 3+ cover fortification), and in case you really want to make it even tougher your farseer may cast a Fortune on it - now you may wish your opponent good luck going through three successive 4+ saves to just touch this thing.
Well, short story, pretty much your basic, Eldar killing machine, and it's the SMALLEST of the Eldar Titans.
The other titan available to the Eldar in IA11. Loaded up with all kinds of fun customizable toys. From the Phantom Pulsar which doubles the standard number of pulsar shots, the Heat Lance which turns titans to molten slag without too much difficulty, the Phantom D-Cannon which throws out an SD 10" pie plate at AP2 and does D3 STRUCTURE POINTS of damage, a power glaive which allows the phantom to take down pretty much any other titan in CC. And it's protected by the same bullshit holofields Revenant does, backed by AV13 and insane amount of hull points.
Old Epic rules included a Psyker version of the Phantom, armed with a big powerfist and a giant Psycannon. It has not been seen since then.
While no record of Titan-scale war machines exist in Imperial Archives, it should be duly noted that it is well within the reach of Necron technology to create them, and they most likely do exist. The only other race with knowledge on this matter would be the Eldar, who we are sure have already purged the memories of such constructs from their minds to rid themselves of the PTSD.
While many fans speculate over what a Necron Titan would look like, most agree it would be a Necron version of the Iron Giant; i.e. an up-sized, unkillable Necron Lord with guns aplenty.
A machine suspected to be the Necron Titan looked like a worm. (Well, what would you expect from race that most time spends under the surface?) They are called Tomb Stalkers, and are strange beasties that walk and talk like monstrous creatures, but supposedly can take down Warhounds. This doesn't make them Titan-class vehicles in the strictest sense, but it's certainly up there in terms of vehicular homicide (ba-dum-tssh).
Something that could perhaps be a true "Necron Titan" (or at least the closest that have been seen to have so far, it's more the size of a Wraithknight really) appeared in the old Necromunda comic Kal Jerico: Above & Beyond. It begins with Kal's mother Jena Orechiel basically abducting him from Necromunda's underhive and whisking him away from his life of gun-slinging bounty-hunter shenanigans. She took him on a mission to the Space Hulk Kronos which had recently re-emerged from the Warp and where there supposedly rested a powerful alien weapon she wanted destroyed which, after a fun journey through the Space Hulk, turned out to be a giant Necron called The Setekh. Obviously the thing wakes up cranky and starts killing the shit out of Orechiel's retinue as well as the numerous Deathwatch Space Marines some asshole rival Inquisitor named Malva brought with him while taking zero damage from their attempts to fight back (at this point Orechiel comments that defeating it wouldn't be possible even with an entire Space Marine chapter behind them). The only ones to barely escape the hulk alive were Kal, his half-sister and his mother (oh, and her pet Kroot) who commandeered the Deathwatch ship and ordered it to perform Exterminatus on the Space Hulk which was heavily damaged by the ensuing barrage of cyclonic torpedoes and thrown back into the Warp. It's important to note this was before the changes to the Necron fluff so it's likely it never even happened. A shame because fielding this thing in one's Necron army would probably be hilarious.
Another possibility of a Necron Titan happened during the Medusa V campaign where the Necrons tried to awaken a huge Tomb Spyder like construction called a Crypt Stalker. Unfortunately it got its ass handed to it by a bunch of Chaos Titans. However, since this was from a time where the Necrons were actually cool silent Terminator-death-machines and the C'tan weren't reduced to overgrown Pokemon, it has likely been shelved alongside the Setekh.
The Skorpekh Lord, while appearing colossal at first glance, is likely the size of an Imperial Knight Armiger at most. Whether this means its 100% not a Titan is up for debate, though. The Seraptek Heavy Construct is the closest thing that the Necrons have got to a proper titan, though is closer to a knight in size. However, with the Necrons waking up more than ever before, there may yet be some crazy shit they've got in store for the galaxy.
The tyranids' equivalent of titans are predictably giant versions of other tyranids, following the style of the army in the same way the others do. As in they're giant monstrosities that will either run at you and eat your face off or wield guns that shoot things that do. Obviously, they fall under the Gargantuan Creature rules, rather than any superheavy rules. There are three kinds that currently have models, the relatively small Hierodule, the flying Harridan, and the FUCKHUEG Hierophant. The Dominatrix has an Epic-scale model but no rules for it. There's also the even less tangible Hydraphant, which is either a misidentified Epic Hierophant, an altogether new titan or a Dominatrix without the synapse organism, depending on whom you ask. Why is it that nobody knows what it looks like? Because GW not only forgot to give it a model, but failed to ever put out a single image of one. Literally the Godzilla of bio-Titans, and GDubs can't be bothered. Either way, the Hydraphant is the largest of the Tyranid bio-Titans. They are also, naturally, utterly impossible due to supporting huge heavy bodies on very thin spindly legs(who gives a shit?! I want one!).
For much of the Tau's history, they never had Titans or anything equivalent to them. This is because they thought that the idea of diverting the resources and technology necessary to build and operate something like a Titan would be so impractical and wasteful as to be absurd, so surely any sensible civilization would naturally realize that numerous smaller war machines would be much more efficient. They laughed when the first humans they encountered told them of Titans, assuming that it was only Imperial propaganda to intimidate their enemies. During the Damocles Crusade they realized to their horror that the gue'la were crazy enough to actually build them, and the Tau were no longer laughing.
They suffered horribly at the hands of Imperial titans, but for some time they still considered titans too impractical to be worth building. The Tau utterly failed to understand the kinds of wars the Imperium gets in to. When you're up against a defensive line 12 miles deep, or an Ork horde large enough to make Soviet Russia blush, what you need is not 20,000 of something cost effective, but something that can just destroy large swathes of the enemy as fast as possible. Although such situations are rare (which is why Titans are not commonly deployed), winning a tactical victory in that scenario is far more important that the most efficient strategic production practices. Besides, even though the Imperium's ability to produce titans in quantity has degraded over time and the loss of each one is now keenly felt, the Imperium of Man does still have enough strength in its industrial base to produce titans without necessarily harming production in other areas. A titan's greatest advantage, therefore, is that it brings overwhelming concentrated firepower to its local area. While titans may not necessarily be efficient there is something to be said for a war engine that can singlehandedly lay waste to the entire battlefield. To put it another way, a Cobra-class destroyer may be more cost effective in most situations than a Retribution-class battleship, but sometimes you really need that battleship.
When the Tau faced off against the Titans they needed to devise ways to counter them. Mantas were in the same mass class as Titans, and had big enough railguns to threaten them, and while almost invulnerable to most Titan class weapons due to normal Tau plot armor they were too vulnerable to massed anti-tank weaponry (like Lascannons) in turn, and a bit too valuable to lose cavalierly. So they ended up manufacturing a version of the Tiger Shark bomber equipped with Manta-scale railguns. For a time, it seemed to work at forcing the Imperium to be more careful about deploying Titans against the Tau, since a single flight-wing of these Tiger Shark attackers can rip up a formation of Titans and replacements for those bombers can be (relatively) easy to manufacture compared to the Titans it threatens.
However, due to the increasing number of Imperial Knights equipped with anti-aircraft weapons, as well as the increasing numbers of gargantuan Tyranid creatures the Tau have been facing during their expansions, it has become clear that the tried-and-true method of spamming Tiger Shark attackers and Mantas was no longer sufficient to properly take down these new threats: Mantas were simply too valuable to risk 1:1 casualty ratios, and massed aircraft wings were not always available. In order to have a chance against these opponents, the Tau needed something that could go toe-to-toe with these towering monstrosities, or at least bombard them from long range while still being tough enough to withstand being a massive bullet magnet itself. In a move that would have previously seemed foolhardy and wasteful to try, the Tau just said "Fuck it!" and decided to take a page from Pacific Rim, building their own Titan in order to fight everyone else's.
The result was the KX-139 Ta'Unar Supremacy Armour: the first Titan-class Battlesuit ever made. Designed specifically to counter other races attempts to reclaim territory lost to the Tau expansion campaigns, this machine was designed around being a mobile Titan-hunter, heavily armed but under-armored. For its secondary arm weapons it can equip either a slightly-gimped-Multimelta-esque Fusion Eradicator (which more than overcompensates by being Heavy 5) for popping vehicles, TEQs, and monstrous creatures, or an Ion Cannon that can fire 6 normal shots, or 3 super-shots per turn, both of which are superb for massacring heavy infantry. But the real party is in the back, as the core weapons systems are mounted from an extended backpack/carapace/shoulder mounting point. The back-mounted Pulse Ordnance Multi-Driver is a 3-barreled naval gun system that slams naval-grade ordnance downrange at naval distances, and can be configured to fire all three guns at one point for massive damage, or in a spread-out pattern with explosive payloads. It can also strap one singular fuckoff gun in the form of the Heavy Rail Cannon Array, instead of three smaller fuckoff guns, or forgo direct fire entirely by mounting a Nexus Meteor Missile System to spam rockets like it's little brother (more on that later). Defensively, it is lightly armored for its size, and relies heavily upon a powerful Barrier Shield that, while most effective against ranged weapons, can also protect against close combat attacks. In consideration for the kind of threats the Ta'Unar will be facing, the Barrier Shield can focus all of its energy toward one area, intentionally sacrificing all other defensive power to intercept a perceived "Deathblow" and greatly reduce the inevitable impact. This gamble will blow out the shield for a short while, but it allows the Ta'Unar to withstand (once) as much damage as it can dish out, especially since it's not as structurally fortified as other Titans, even for its weight class. Being somewhat smaller than a Warhound, a Ta'Unar is comparable to a large, heavily over-gunned Knight.
KV-128 Stormsurge: After the Ta'Unar was deemed successful enough as a proof-of-concept, the Tau would use their newfound experience with Titan-building to create the Stormsurge, a physically lighter class of the newly-dubbed Ballistic Suits (which is the term that the Tau use to describe combat walkers that are too large to be considered actual suits of armor). Fio'o Bork'an Ishu'ron, the mad Earth-caste genius behind the Stormsurge, designed the suit to be a really big XV88 Broadside, specifically designed to take on non-Titanic Imperial armor. Its main weapon is one of two variants of
Compensation Pulse Cannon: the Pulse Blastcannon is a goddamn tank-sized plasma shotgun (what for killing lots of little things dead), and the Pulse Driver Cannon which is probably ripped off of a direct-fire artillery emplacement (what for killing one big thing dead). The Stormsurge does not have arms, instead having two WALLS OF MISSILES which it uses to ruin your day, and the days of all of your infantry. It even has stabilizers, all the better to shoot you with, just like the Broadside does! The odd thing about the Stormsurge is that it probably wasn't made with the engineering experience gained from the Ta'Unar, because Fu'Rious Bork'ed Iso'hedron forgot to add a roof to his mech. Seriously, the thing is open-topped, showing off both of the two pilots to the sky. Maybe he thought that they would want to eyeball their shots from way up on top of their moving building of a suit. This compounds the matter of the Stormsurge's physical durability which, like the Ta'Unar, is not as impressive as its size would suggest. The Stormsurge, while about as big as an Imperial Knight, can't really take one on a Knight at close range. However, when the Tau need overwhelming firepower to face a horde of conventional armor, that's what the Stormsurge was built for and where it shines.
Unfortunately fielding a titan in a tabletop game will cause lots of RAGE and presents itself as a huge fire-magnet, so every fucking thing on the other side will try to shoot at it. Luckily it's got shields, so it can soak up a lot of damage. Should said titan 'get killed' it may take out the whole field (if its a small one), and all those units around it, enhancing its awesomeness. Too bad that, since you are forced to buy one from Forge World, everyone who sees you with one will call you a rich noob who buys his way to victory.
(Anything larger than a Reaver has to be built from scratch. NOT ANY MORE!! For the price of a mere £1240 you can now buy a warlord titan model from Forge World, sure it's a rip-off but who cares. It's an awesome model. If you want to make an accurately scaled miniature of an Imperator, it's actually easier to stand on the table while wearing a sign saying "Imperator Titan"- it's that big.) AND, you have to play Apocalypse (or Escalation) which SUCKS Lord of Wars permitted in normal games from 7th edition. But who cares? YOU HAVE A GIANT RAPE MACHINE OF DEATH!!!!! (If you really want to field a Titan and you are smart enough to realise that apocalypse sucks, you could always organize a game where it's 1 Titan vs an equal points number of normal stuff. Would be a weird, probably unbalanced but fluffy and fun game (Having witnessed a single Ork Gargant with crew take out an entire Imperial Guard regiment on table top, it's not as unbalanced as you think). Or just a titan showdown, possibly 1v1.)
DISREGARD EVERYTHING. FORGE WORLD JUST RELEASED A FULL BUNDLE OF LIKE 5 TITANS FOR THE COST OF ONE WARLORD TITANS. RIP APOCALYPSE. ALSO TITAN LEGION GAMES ARE NOW POSSIBLE WITHOUT BEING A DRUG LORD.
Lukas the Trickster WAS able to troll Titans so hard that their owners and their dogs would rage quit instantly but, thanks to the 7th edition codex, he can't do that crazy shit anymore! His "The Last Laugh" special rule used to remove any model in base contact with him when he died, including Titans, but now functions only in a challenge, thankfully, meaning he can only threaten characters. His reign of terror is over (at least for Titans)!
All 4 main imperial titans in the Ultimate Apocalypse mod for Dawn of War. Tactical marines included for scale. The model for the Warlord is kinda shitty but the imperator is amazing.