The Drop Pods of the Adeptus Astartes look and work similarly to a ship's Life Pod and can carry either twelve normal Marines, a single Dreadnought or a single Thunderfire Cannon. They are launched from a vessel in low orbit towards the drop zone, usually amidst or near a battlefield. Once launched, they plummet through the atmosphere until retro jets fire to slow their descent. A machine spirit guides the Pod to its destination and can receive further commands from the mother ship. Although the Pods become immobile after having landed they can be recovered by the Chapter's Techmarines and reused.[2a][6a]
Deathstorm Drop Pod
Deathstorm Drop Pods are a variant pattern that don't carry troops but have weapon systems installed to strafe the enemy with high levels of fire once they have landed and opened. They can be armed with either Whirlwind Launchers or Assault Cannons.
Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod
Lucius Pattern Drop Pods are heavier and larger than the standard drop pods used by the Adeptus Astartes and possess a more powerful engine. While lacking many of the internal support systems and armament, it nonetheless allows a single Dreadnought to be deployed into the battle with minimal delay. The stresses involved in the drop however are such that only the heavily armored shell of a Dreadnought could hope to survive the impact without being pulverized. Lucius-Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pods are tithed directly to various Space Marine Chapters which have treaties with the Forge World of Lucius. These vehicles are prized due to the high attrition rate they suffer in battle.
Chaos Space Marines
The Dreadclaw is an ancient Drop Pod variant that can also be used as an assault boat for ship-to-ship combat. Unlike other Drop Pods it is able to take off after landing. Dreadclaws are exclusively used by Chaos Space Marines.[2b] [6b]
The assassins of the Eversor Temple are deployed in special Drop Pods that prepare them for their missions. These Pods are equipped with neuro-links that feed the details of the mission to the assassin while remote links activate and begin to prepare his body for the task at hand.
- 1: Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pgs. 143-153
- 2: Imperial Armour Update 2002
- 3: Codex: Space Marines (4th Edition) p21
- 4: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition) p69
- 5: Inquisitor Facets of Death (site is no longer active, accessed 2008.07.19)
- 6: Imperial Armour - Apocalypse
- 7: IMPERIAL ARMOUR VOLUME 2 RULES UPDATE (v1.1) REVISED (accessed 2008.11.09)
- 8: Imperial Armour - Apocalypse II pg.31