The Hellhound sometimes nicknamed the Dragon is an Imperial Guard flame tank, based on the chassis of the Chimera. It is armed with a large flamer known as an Inferno Cannon, discharging lethal self-igniting chemicals to flush out infantry in dense terrain and urban combat zones. It is feared by all enemies because of its ability to cover a wide area with flames and cause horrific losses to units that cluster together.[2a]
Hellhounds are typically organized into either dedicated Hellhound Tank companies or support squadrons for armoured or mechanised companies, but will rarely fight together as a complete unit. Most commanders take a flexible approach to Hellhound deployment, attaching them to other units in an ad hoc fashion as needed.
A select few Guardsmen have the foolhardy bravery (or insanity) to willingly volunteer to crew a Hellhound. Those who do take perverse pride in their reputation, claiming others simply "can't take the heat" as they gun their vehicle towards the largest concentration of enemy forces with pyromaniacal zeal.[2a]
The Inferno Cannon mounted on the Hellhound's turret has a short range, but can spray its chemical fire over a wide area, filling every nook and cranny with flaming death and incinerating troops sheltering within buildings or behind cover.[2a] It is fed by a large Promethium tank in place of the Chimera's troop compartment, with a large enough supply to give the Hellhound ample endurance during extended battles. While the large capacity overcomes the typical ammunition problems of other flame-throwing weapons, it does make the Hellhound a tempting target, as enemy fire can easily ignite the stored promethium and create a huge, super-heated fireball. For this reason not only is the fuel tank armoured but the Hellhound itself boasts thicker armouring than found on the Chimera,[2a] along with a much larger engine.[2a]
In addition the Hellhound is also fitted with a hull-mounted Heavy Bolter, though in some models this is replaced with a Heavy Flamer or Multi-melta. The vehicle can also be upgraded with a number of additions and modifications, including Camo Netting, a Dozer Blade, Extra Armour, a Hunter-Killer Missile, a pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber or Storm Bolter, a Searchlight and/or Smoke Launchers.[2b]
There are three known patterns of Hellhound and are as follows:
- Mars pattern - More popular amongst Guard commanders, as their profile is largely unchanged from that of a standard Chimera, making it harder for the enemy to single them out. The promethium reservoir fills the Chimera's cargo space.
- Artemia pattern - The Artemia pattern differs in two key ways: it has a remotely operated turret, reducing the number of crew to two, and the cargo space is replaced with a much larger capacity fuel cell. This fuel cell is by necessity very heavily armoured.
- Graia pattern - The Graia pattern also replaces the cargo compartment with a larger fuel cell but retains the standard manual turret and a crew of three.
|Forge World of Origin:
|Heavy Bolter or Heavy Flamer
|Commander, Gunner, Driver
|From -8° to +25°
|Vulcanor 16 Twin Coupled Multi-Burn
|Max Speed - on road
|Max Speed - off road:
There are several variants of the Hellhound which replace the Inferno Cannon with alternate armaments.
The Bane Wolf uses a Chem Cannon. Bane Wolves are used when the complete eradication of the enemy is warranted, as they smother their targets in broiling clouds of noxious gas that dissolve organic material in moments. The victims' blood boils in their own veins and their flesh sloughs from one as the mixture of toxins do their horrific work[2a] before rendering even that down into a bubbling pool of rank, festering ooze.
Using such a horrific weapon is not without its risks as should environmental conditions change on the battlefield, the highly acidic clouds of gas can quickly drift over the Imperial Guard's own troops, killing and maiming infantry and even affecting tank crews if their vehicle is not completely sealed against such toxic airborne contaminants. So when a Bane Wolf rumbles past, it is up to a regiment's Commissars to ensure that the Imperial Guard troops do not immediately flee in fear of the death their own engines of war can unleash.
The sacrosanct formula of gas used in a BaneWolf’s chem cannon is dictated by the Tech-Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Even so, various regiments have been known to employ their own makeshift concoctions. One such mixture, known as ‘the penitent’s breath’, was used to scour a heretical uprising from the scum-pits of Savlar. The iridescent spray proved effective, but the BaneWolf crews who employed it were themselves swiftly executed for heresy afterwards.
The Devil Dog uses a Melta Cannon. Devil Dogs are able to tear through heavy troops and armoured tanks in short order.[2a] Instead of promethium Devil Dog uses pyrum-petroleum based mix. Sitting adjacent to its melta cannon, injectors within its weapons systems combine the two chemicals into a chamber. When this highly volatile combination is fired through its melta cannon, it make a high pitched howl as moisture in the air vaporises, becoming a roaring blast as the target detonates.[2a]
Against this literally devilish heat enemy troops stand no chance, even the most heavily armoured being incinerated in instant. However it is against enemy tanks and fortifications that the Devil Dog’s weaponry is most often used. Its technology believed to have been based on that used in distant past of Mankind to render down the toughest of ores and metals for use in constructing its colonies across the galaxy, is capable of making the most tanks or structures to little more than molten slag and steaming gas. This also often provoke critical failures in surrounding systems, causing the tank to explode or collapsing the building down upon those unfortunate inside.
Regiments known to include Hellhounds
In its original incarnation, the Hellhound was not based upon the Chimera chassis, consisting instead of a tall guntower atop an armored tracked body. The tower mounted a front-facing Dragon Firethrower, giving the tank its nickname.
- 1: Codex: Imperial Guard (2nd Edition), pg. 30
- 2: Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition)
- 3: Imperial Armour Volume Four - The Anphelion Project, pg. 110
- 4: Imperial Armour Volume One - Second Edition: Imperial Guard, pg. 73
- 5: Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pg. 45
- 6: Epic Armies of the Imperium, pg. 58