The Volcano Cannon is amongst the most powerful ground-based laser weapons used by forces of the Imperium of Man, unleashing terawatts of energy in a blazing white laser beam which produces a thunderous crack and tremendous recoil.
This long-ranged weapon is capable of slicing off the arm or leg of a Titan[1a] or killing an enemy war engine with a single shot, though even a Warhound Scout Titan with intact Void Shields can survive a direct hit. Its firepower is similarly stupendous against lesser targets, reducing a Razorback to nothing more than a blackened scorch mark and utterly vaporizing a thick hundred meter-tall iron gate as though it never existed.
Volcano Cannons are manufactured in small numbers on just a handful of Forge Worlds in addition to Mars. These included Estaban III, Phaeton and Gryphonne IV, all of which are surrounded by formidable Imperial defenses.[11a]
The crystals needed for the weapon to fire, are taken from a mineral vein on the Mining World Cinderus XI. Created when Heretic Psykers were slaughtered and buried beneath the lava rivers on the planet, after a failed plot to kill the Planetary Governor, the crystals cause a loud crackling noise to be emitted by the Volcano Cannon when fired. This noise, which some claim are the final screams of the dead Psykers, has been known to drive those who fight beside the weapon insane; though the tank or Titan crews themselves have never been reported to suffer from these ill effects. As a result units of infantry escorting vehicles and Titans using the Volcano Cannon are subject to periodic purges. The Imperium sees this as an acceptable price to pay for deploying such a devastating weapon on the battlefield.[11a]
A Reaver Battle Titan can mount a Volcano Cannon only on its two arm mounts, while a Warlord Battle Titan can equip Volcano Cannons on each of its armor carapace hard-points. The massive Imperator Titan can carry up to six on its carapace hard-points.
Carried on arm mounts by Mars-Alpha pattern Warlord titans. Too large and powerful to be carried by lesser vehicles or titans, it requires the plasma reactor of a mighty Warlord titan to feed its ravenous appetite for energy.
Mars-Alpha Pattern Nemesis
MkIV Phaeton pattern
The current model sanctioned by the Adeptus Mechanicus; which perfected its use in mid-M35.[11a]
The Type 22-S, MkIV Volcano Cannon, Phaeton pattern is the Volcano cannon mounted on Imperial Guard Shadowswords.[1b] Due to the immense power requirements to fire the weapon, the Shadowsword must be stationary so that the main drive can be disconnected and the generator connected in its place, allowing power to transfer to the vehicle's capacitors. Firing the weapon just once will completely drain the capacitors, again requiring the vehicle to remain stationary so that they may be recharged.[1a]
MkIII Synne pattern
MkII Teracharge pattern
Was said to be even more powerful than the current MkIV, but was never used in service due to being too volatile. When the Teracharge was fired it almost always destroyed the arms of the Titans and hulls of the tanks that carried it. As a result, it was ultimately determined to be a failure by the Adeptus Mechanicus.[11a]
Mk I Variant pattern
Volatile when fired; almost as much as the failed MkII pattern.[11a]
Titans or Shadowsword's using a Volcano Cannon must have them replaced after being fired 1,500 times, in order to avoid catastrophic misfire.[11b]
- 1: Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy
- 2: Saved Archive Page, Games Workshop Shadowsword (dated December 2010, last accessed 3 April 2016)
- 3: Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, Pg. 122
- 4: Apocalypse, Pg. 124
- 5: Saved Archive Page, Games Workshop Emperor Battle Titan (dated December 2010, last accessed 3 April 2016)
- 6: Adeptus Titanicus (game) rulebook, [Needs Citation]
- 7: Gunheads (Novel) by Steve Parker, [Needs Citation] Pg. 254
- 8: Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pg. 83
- 9: Baneblade (Novel) by Guy Haley, Ch. 4, pg. 64
- 10: Titanicus (Novel) by Dan Abnett, 111, pg. 234
- 11: Munitorum - Volcano Cannon
- 12: The Horus Heresy Book Five - Tempest, [Needs Citation]
- 13: Forge World Belicosa Volcano Cannon (last accessed 3 April 2016)
- 14: Adeptus Titanicus: Shadow and Iron. pg.24
- 15: Warhammer Community: Pre-order The Gun That Terrifies Even The Largest Titans (posted 5/14/2021) (last accessed 5/14/2021)