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eltanko
01-10-2009, 23:41
The title may be a little confusing, so I will explain.

As we all know, Dreadnoughts are controlled by an all but dead space marine, but has this always been the case?

I know lots of things have changed in 40k over the years. But I saw this picture from Golden Daemon 1988 and it made me wonder, has the Dreadnought fluff change over the years?

http://demonwinner.free.fr/uk/1988/uk8840kvignette_honour.jpg
You can clearly see someone getting into the top of the Dread as if to pilot it.

ElTanko

Helikaon
01-10-2009, 23:47
I believe that's a Terminator, not a Dreadnought.

Lord Asgul
01-10-2009, 23:47
From what I have know, its always been nearly dead marines that have been "chosen" to go in a dread. But from what I gather, Ork dreads put a live ork in there.

Lord Asgul
01-10-2009, 23:48
I believe that's a Terminator, not a Dreadnought.

That is a very old dreadnought

Joustarr
02-10-2009, 00:05
Back in Rogue Trader, Dreadnaughts were pilotted by 'regular' troopers. Some even had ejector seats so the pilot can escape the machines destruction.

Dakkagor
02-10-2009, 00:07
This is correct, I believe fluff changed for second edition when the new metal dreadnought came out (the one the current multi-part plastic one is based on)

Leftenant Gashrog
02-10-2009, 03:38
I believe the fluff change came mid-way through RT, both Deathwing (1990) and the novel Space Marine referred to it being an honour to be entombed within a dreadnought (the former referring to it as an alternative to death of old age, the latter in reference to a marine who had lost both arms and legs)

Tommygun
02-10-2009, 03:49
I don't believe that the dread pilot is truly dead, but hurt so badly that they can not be put back together.
They can only continue to live by life support and so are place into a dread which keeps them alive.

Melchiah
02-10-2009, 03:56
I don't believe that the dread pilot is truly dead, but hurt so badly that they can not be put back together.
They can only continue to live by life support and so are place into a dread which keeps them alive.

I was going to open a thread to ask this but this one seems like good enough place for it.
How much of the "corpse" is needed to pilot the dreadnought?

chromedog
02-10-2009, 05:17
At worst, a dread is little more than a 'brain in a bucket' - a la Robocop 2.
At best, he is a grievously wounded marine 'too far gone' for patching up, but too valuable to the chapter to let die.

If you've seen the video for Metallica's "ONE" then THAT soldier would be a good candidate.

Argastes
02-10-2009, 05:21
Yeah Tommygun is right. Dreadnought pilots aren't dead, they are so badly wounded that they couldn't survive without being constantly hooked up to life support machines.


I was going to open a thread to ask this but this one seems like good enough place for it.
How much of the "corpse" is needed to pilot the dreadnought?

Presumably the central nervous system would have to be intact. Beyond that, not much. Obviously the injuries that lead to him being interred can't be so serious that he dies of them before his buddies can get him stabilized or on life support--otherwise he'll end up in a coffin instead of a dreadnought--but after that, the apothecaries probably remove a good bit of additional stuff during the interment process. If the dreadnought life support systems are capable of directly oxygenating his blood, for instance, they would probably remove his lungs. Parts of the digestive tract could go if he is to be fed intravenously. And so forth.

Remember in Robocop II when they take out the villain's brain and spinal cord, and implant them in that robotic body? I'd imagine something like that is the bottom limit for what can be put into a dreadnought. From there, it might range range all the way up to a mangled head and torso (even if the guy didn't lose all his limbs to his initial injuries, they would probably be amputated prior to implantation into the dreadnought).

EDIT: Beaten hard... well-said, chromedog

Logarithm Udgaur
02-10-2009, 05:31
The guy getting in appears to be missing both arms.

Melchiah
02-10-2009, 05:58
To be honest i was thinking more along the lines of Nixon's head in futurama.:chrome:

Tommygun
02-10-2009, 06:20
I was going to open a thread to ask this but this one seems like good enough place for it.
How much of the "corpse" is needed to pilot the dreadnought?

As others have said, a brain in a bucket maybe the only thing you need.
I guess it depends on the medical technology they have 38,000 years from now.
I personally imagine a brain, spinal column and a few marginally functioning internal organs

Iuris
02-10-2009, 06:31
All we have to do is think a bit about it:
- the "mortally wounded pilot" will pilot the dreadnought through an MIU, not sticks and levers
-an MIU can be applied to a brain on life support
-having more of the marine is just a bonus as far as the dread is concerned
-using a functional marine is kind of wasteful

And then it becomes a matter of resource allocation and chapter tradition. You could always stuff a scout into a dread - but you don't since you don't want to waste a dread (a very valuable resource) on a low quality pilot, when you can get a heroic one that can not function in a different role.

Melchiah
02-10-2009, 06:44
You never know....
The AD Mech might say that they need the lungs to breath live in to the machine spirit.:cheese:

Imperialis_Dominatus
02-10-2009, 11:34
To be honest i was thinking more along the lines of Nixon's head in futurama.:chrome:

"Even in death I am not a crook."

pookie
02-10-2009, 12:34
The guy getting in appears to be missing both arms.

nope, just you, deffinatly has arms :D

Hrw-Amen
02-10-2009, 12:55
I have a couple of those really old dreadnoughts in my collection, I think one Imperial and one Chaos. As far as I remember back then they were piloted in a similar way to a Tau battlesuit would be.

I aways felt that the Dreadnoughts would not originally been piloted by marines that were old and near to death, but apart from very early RT there is little to support that.

However it just does not feel right that they would have been originally designed with that in mind. Although people will argue otherwise I am sure, it would seam likely to me that as in the original RT they were piloted. Perhaps, even likely, there were a lot more of them, maybe during the wars of unification, the initial stages of the crusade etc, but at some point, some tech-priest or whatever wanting to save a critically injured marine managed to rig somethng up with the MIU to keep him alive and everyone thought, what a great idea. From then on they were reserved for the near dead to continue in battle. Especially after the heresy when any hope of advancing human tech took a back seat with the goings on, on Mars.

Feel free to disagree, but that would kind of fit with the initial RT and then the change as the 40K universe developed. That is just how I imagine it happening. It just seams to make more sence to me than somebody coming up with the idea of making something specifically to entomb near dead peoplein so they can carry on fighting.

As for how uch you would need to keep one working? I would guess just a brain. Butthis is based more on what the very very very old Chaos Dreadnoughts looked like. If anyone can remember they did look like something from ROBOCOP. I have a few of them somewhere. You would never have fitted a whole marine in one of them. Perhaps the AI was so good back then those ones operated autonimously?

pookie
02-10-2009, 13:20
As for how uch you would need to keep one working? I would guess just a brain. Butthis is based more on what the very very very old Chaos Dreadnoughts looked like. If anyone can remember they did look like something from ROBOCOP. I have a few of them somewhere. You would never have fitted a whole marine in one of them. Perhaps the AI was so good back then those ones operated autonimously?

teh old Plastic Space Crusade one eh! ive one too somewhere, the 1st epic ones were also like these too.

wilsongrahams
02-10-2009, 13:22
I agree with the brain only theory although maybe often more is used. Inquisitors etc have servo skulls and they are little more than a brain aren't they? Therefore the techology exists at least. I have always imagined that a brother in a coma or who is on life support but not healing is the best choices for a dreadnought.

How come the Horus Heresy books have the modern imperial weapon fits btw? I thought chaos used older fits of weapons? The 2nd ed Codex Chaos stated that Chaos marines were sometimes put into a dreadnought against their choice.

daemonkin
02-10-2009, 13:46
teh old Plastic Space Crusade one eh! ive one too somewhere, the only epic ones were also like these too.

Fixed that for you. The only chaos dreads for epic are the original ED-209 ones. And they are awesome:

http://www.thousand-sons.co.uk/images/galleries/IMG_0774.JPG

Rest of gallery (http://www.thousand-sons.co.uk/gallery/?action=gallery&categoryID=1)

@Wilsongrahams: Yeah, some chaos marines get drunk and their 'mates' think it funny to inter them in a dreadnought, minus their limbs, and watch the carnage unfold. Why do you think they are utterly insane and uncontrollable?

D.

Argastes
02-10-2009, 14:29
I'm pretty sure servo-skulls don't actually contain a brain; they are a skull with an antigrav gizmo and some computer gubbins installed in the brain cavity. They are little robots.

Cultist of Sooty
02-10-2009, 14:45
I believe the fluff change came mid-way through RT, both Deathwing (1990) and the novel Space Marine referred to it being an honour to be entombed within a dreadnought (the former referring to it as an alternative to death of old age, the latter in reference to a marine who had lost both arms and legs)
There was certainly a point when both options existed together. The Dreadnought design rules that were printed in an issue of white Dwarf (and reprinted in the Compendium) had three options - normal pilot controls, mind-impulse link (which the Eldar always used) and a spinal link where the pilot was surgically implanted into the dreadnought.

In the design system, the mind and spinal links gave the dreadnought bonuses to initiative and to hit.

Everyone got to have dreadnoughts back then. The colour spread accompanying the article shows 4 Imperial dreadnoughts - 2 in the heraldry of rogue traders, 1 Imperial Army and 1 in the colours of the Mentor Legion space marines.

If you want to go really old school, you can go back to Bryan Ansell's 'Laserburn' skirmish rules, which were a sort of proto-40K in some ways. There's all sorts of familiar stuff there, from the Inquisition, to Imperial space marines with bolt guns and power fists to Redemptionists (who were the bad guys) and so on.

That describes Dreadnoughts as:

"If power armour has replaced the light tank, the Dreadnought has replaced the main battle tank. Toughened armour plater, with an immensely powerful exoskeleton. Usually incorporates weaponry and specially powerful jetpack."

And here's what they looked like:

Hrw-Amen
02-10-2009, 16:30
I've been forced to run downstairs and take a photo of the two dreadnoughts I have on isplay in the conservatory. They are on display simply because of their oldness rather than because they are particularly good paint jobs. (As obviously they are not.)

If I recall the ED209, (Sorry I cold not recall what they were called earlier.) Chaos one came in two styles. Like this one which has four weapon arms and a slightly smaller one that only had two?

The metal one also had several weapons fits and I think if memory serves they was several name variants depending on what weapons it had?

As for servo skulls, I have to say I had always thought of them as being hollowed out skulls with a little grav / propulsion thingy, and some computer gubbins. But thinking about it, as long as it could be in some kind of thing that maintains it as living I don't see any reason why a servo skull could not still have brain in it? Perhaps they have both kinds?

Leftenant Gashrog
02-10-2009, 19:42
If I recall the ED209, (Sorry I cold not recall what they were called earlier.) Chaos one came in two styles. Like this one which has four weapon arms and a slightly smaller one that only had two?

The metal one also had several weapons fits and I think if memory serves they was several name variants depending on what weapons it had?


The Space Crusade (or rather Mission Dreadnought, SC itself only had the short legs and 2 guns) "ED 209" dread had two sets of tops (4 and 2) and also two sets of legs (long and short) which together gave four classes of dreadnought tho I can't remember the names.

The metal Imperial Dreads were:
Furibundus(Fury): short legs, wide torso, lascannon & powerfist
Contemptor(Chuck): long legs, narrow torso, 2x powefists
Deredeo(Eddy): long legs, narrow torso, missile launcher & powerfist

There was also a beautifully corrupted chaos version of the metals (the only chaos dread that GW sold for RT) which only had a heavy plasmagun and a claw which I still regard as one of the best 40k miniatures GW has ever made.

EPIC originally had metal versions of the Imperial metals which strangely didn't look rubbish despite being the same design, the EPIC Stompers box had the ED209s for Chaos but had a rather awesome precursor to the Forgeworld MkIV for the Imperials - I was really disappointed when GW ignored the concept and went with the sarcophagus dreads instead.

Logarithm Udgaur
05-10-2009, 06:51
There was also a beautifully corrupted chaos version of the metals (the only chaos dread that GW sold for RT) which only had a heavy plasmagun and a claw which I still regard as one of the best 40k miniatures GW has ever made.

You forgot to mention the groin laser.

AndrewGPaul
05-10-2009, 08:32
Cultist of Sooty has it - back in the day, everyone could ride Dreadnoughts. The Eldar army list has a story featuring Eldar fighting human cultists of Slaanesh. The culstists have over a dozen beat-up rusty Dreadnought suits - obviously they're not as rare as all that. :)

You could probably squeeze in the old Dreadnought minis as a heavy armour suit, between Terminator armour and (current) Dreadnoughts, if you wanted to.

In fact, they'd make an interesting proxy unit for Terminators, as they fit on 40mm bases. If you give them each two power fist/boltgun arms (or power fist/twin boltgun arma and missile launcher arm, for the guy with a Cyclone), they're even WYSIWYG. :)

Leftenant Gashrog
05-10-2009, 11:35
You forgot to mention the groin laser.

I thought that was a plug for recharging the suit?

Hrw-Amen
05-10-2009, 12:13
Thinking about it now, to be entombed in a dreadnought with anything other than just a brain, (Maybe a torso would be OK?) would be agony. They are a little cramped in the modern ones. Just imagine the cramp after only a few hours, not to mention thousands of years.

Scion of Ferrus
20-10-2009, 07:29
I aways felt that the Dreadnoughts would not originally been piloted by marines that were old and near to death, but apart from very early RT there is little to support that.

However it just does not feel right that they would have been originally designed with that in mind. Although people will argue otherwise I am sure, it would seam likely to me that as in the original RT they were piloted. Perhaps, even likely, there were a lot more of them, maybe during the wars of unification, the initial stages of the crusade etc, but at some point, some tech-priest or whatever wanting to save a critically injured marine managed to rig somethng up with the MIU to keep him alive and everyone thought, what a great idea. From then on they were reserved for the near dead to continue in battle. Especially after the heresy when any hope of advancing human tech took a back seat with the goings on, on Mars.

Feel free to disagree, but that would kind of fit with the initial RT and then the change as the 40K universe developed. That is just how I imagine it happening. It just seams to make more sence to me than somebody coming up with the idea of making something specifically to entomb near dead peoplein so they can carry on fighting.

Exactly what I thought too. IIRC in the Dreadnought RT entry, it states that Pilots can get in and out, but if the pilot stays in too long when he exits he can suffer from Neural Shock / Physical debilitation. :skull: