View Full Version : Dreadclaws, awesome?

08-01-2011, 22:23
The are trans-orbital craft that provide the role of Drop Pods, Assault Boats, and can be used again. The Thunderhawk is about the only other transport as useful, but that is restricted to Imperial Space Marines, while Dreadclaws are widely used even by non Chaos Marines. Its only read problem is lack of heavy weapons.

Do other races have similarly useful craft, or ones fitted to each role, like separate assault boats, transports, etc?

09-01-2011, 18:55
Dreadclaws would be pretty useful, but they only take you down to the surface, not back up. So their real strength is in their dual assault boat/drop pod capability.

To my knowledge, the IN Arvus Lighter is the closest analogue. It can bring passengers planetside and back. Also, in a pinch, can be used as an assault boat.

In Battlefleet Gothic, Thunderhawks are dual fighters/assault boats. So it stands to reason they can be used in this capacity as well.

The Imperium stopped using Dreadclaws because of their tendency towards corruption. I don't recall if its machine spirit would become corrupted or what specifically happened, but it was enough for them to be pulled from service.

09-01-2011, 19:00
They dont become immobile unlike drop pods, that is unless they get trapped in certain terrain.

I already mentioned Thunderhawks, as the are also great with rapid drops, heavy armor, weapons, even some vehicles, while acting as Astartes assault boats in space. But thunderhawks are used only by astartes, while dreadclaws are used by about every chaos force from assault boats on renegades ships to drop craft by the Traitor Astartes.

A big advantage chaos has in BFG is that assault boats are only carried by Imperial Battleships but every Chaos Carrier has dreadclaws.

09-01-2011, 19:49
The Gothic rules don't represent the assault boat usage of the Arvus, but it's kinda close. I just have to assume it's a less then ideal assault boat.

Eldar don't use assault boats as far as I'm aware. Boarding actions against most other races and their heavily crewed ships would probably be a bad idea in any case. I would assume Falcons and the like are deployed from orbit. A mix of Vampires and Wave Serpents as well as falcons probably bring down everything else. Perhaps Vypers and Wraithlords are transported in larger craft.

Orks seem to use their entire ships as assault boats. They also use roks and crude teleporters.

Tau don't generally board and use Orcas and Mantas to deploy.

Necrons make extensive use of teleportation (or their version of it) for most troop movement requirements.
Marines use a mix of Thunderhawks, assault torpedoes, teleporters and Cestus Assault craft for boarding
As well as troop deployment (trading out the torps for drop pods).

09-01-2011, 20:07
I expect there would exist a plethora of specialized craft, each specially adapted to a task. Compare it to the tanks and transports.

If you want to transport many cheaply, you have lightly Armored rhinos.
If you want to transport a few but with supporting firepower, Razorbacks.
If you want to go all out, you have the rare and expensive Land raiders.

Same would apply to the aerospace assets.

GW focuses it's efforts on the tabletop scale. So, infantry and ground vehicles are well detailed. The rest is not mostly because they are product oriented - they develop items that they can sell. So, we don't see all those thousands of aerospace vessels that a spacefaring Imperium MUST have in order to function.

09-01-2011, 21:17
Falcons and wave serpents.
Maybe devilfish?

10-01-2011, 13:22
Interesting comment in Prospero Burns about the Thunderhawk being...

(not really a spoiler at all, but for those who want to read the book with no prior conceptions)

The thunderhawk was originally designed as something of a short term solution, was not meant to be usable over a long period of time, and was only developed when it became obvious that the Stormbird (which is painted as being far superior) did not exist in anything like the quantities needed to compliment the massively expanding scale of the Great Crusade. Hence it's design: boxlike, with utility at the expense of craft and style. The Stormbirds had had significant resources spent on them, and in an artisans terms were a work of art by comparison. Interesting stuff, and a nice little nugget of information that helps to build up the picture of the 41st millenium's Imperium gradually sliding towards destruction.

11-01-2011, 16:01
The Thunderhawk is about the only other transport as useful, but that is restricted to Imperial Space Marines, while Dreadclaws are widely used even by non Chaos Marines.
Thunderhawks are used by traitor marines. Quite a lot actually.

11-01-2011, 18:55
Not nearly as much as Loyalists or dreadclaws. They do use them. A Slaanesh renegade chapter in Daemon World novel used a Thunderhawk and were led by a Dreadnought-commander.

Thunderhawks have to be stolen from Loyalists astartes, or carried over from when they were Imperial servants.

13-01-2011, 21:49
well since the thunderhawks were cheap/easy to make replacements for stormbirds, it would make sense that chaos legions would use thunderhawks as I imagine that they, and their dark machincum allies, would easily be able to create thunderhawks while stormbirds would be difficult to create

13-01-2011, 21:56
The Dreadclaw can according to its description, drop and then go back into orbit. assault a ship then return. So it is a orbital craft albeit a simple one.

They were discarded when during the Heresy the Machine Spirit was found to be quite manevolent.. they were purged en mass.

14-01-2011, 02:05
Malevolent might be the wrong word there. What happened was that the Dreadclaws (which had systems on a par with the Land Raider, iirc) on Loyalist ships started suffering a remarkably high rate of malfunction when the Heresy kicked off. The end result was the design being dropped by the Imperium in favour of the simpler drop pod and those Dreadclaws that hadn't been quietly dumped overboard were recalled and destroyed.

It's an interesting point about the Thunderhawk being regarded as it is in M.31 because by M.41 they're the rare and venerable relics. Never has one of the key themes of 40k been so neatly illustrated.

14-01-2011, 16:12
I agree entirely on your last point, I thought that was a neat little touch.

14-01-2011, 16:41
I don't think Thunderhawks are rare and vulnerable relics. They're just heavily armed transports. It's the equivalent of an AC-130. They are "rare" in that a chapter won't have that many of them. But hell, the US only has about 43 AC-130s. A small number of them would be sufficient for most military forces.

There are probably a lot of very useful spacecraft that a military would have. I always saw the Arvus as just a shuttle. It ferries commanders and dignitaries from the ground back up to space, and has a few weapons for protection. There would probably be dozens, if not hundreds of similar ships that get used within the Imperium.

15-01-2011, 00:13
No you're right and they weren't intended to be. But, as Vaulkhar said, it's a stark illustration of the 40k universe that they have become highly valued treasures. The Imperium just does not have the capability it once did to produce the high-end technology it uses, and so faces a slow and gradual decline as it tries to keep what it has maintained.

Really, that concept is one of the main building blocks behind the 40k universe. :)

16-01-2011, 11:26
A variant of assault boats can be seen in the game firewarrior... it's a box that is pulled by a small engine unit with a rope behind it. The engine unit crashes into the enemy ship and the box crashes into that point (pulled by said rope) shortly after. Looked to me like a one way ticket...