The Chimera is the Imperial Guard's most commonly used armoured personnel carrier (APC). These nearly ubiquitous vehicles are extremely durable and practical, capable of mounting a wide array of support weapons. From within the armoured confines of the Chimera, an Imperial Guard infantry squad can use the vehicle's hull-mounted weapons to unleash a lethal wave of firepower into an enemy, protected from all but the most heavy weapons in return. Chimeras are also a powerful symbol of the might of the Imperial Guard and are fitted with a range of equipment, including searchlights, to locate the enemy, and massive bulldozer blades to clear all obstacles in the way of the Imperial Guard's heavier main battle tanks. With scanners and communication voxes, Chimeras are also suitable mobile bases of operations from which Imperial Guard officers can efficiently direct their forces.
Squads of Imperial Guardsmen mounted on Chimeras are usually called Armoured Fist mechanised infantry units. These squads lend speed and tactical flexibility to the otherwise often slow and rigid formations of the Imperial Guard. An Imperial Guard infantry regiment does not typically include any mechanised elements, as it is difficult for most Imperial Planetary Governors to obtain and then maintain the vehicles from the Adeptus Mechanicus needed for such units. Because of this reality, it is quite common for Imperial Guard commanders to attach Armoured Fist squads from other, fully mechanised regiments to provide fast-moving armoured transports to non-mechanised infantry units. Armoured Fist squads are able to respond quickly to emergent threats or move ahead of the main body of an advancing Imperial force and seize vital objectives until reinforcements from the infantry arrive. Enemy positions are quickly overrun as the heavy weaponry of the Chimeras, spitting a stream of fiery death into the packed ranks of the enemy, is accompanied by the charge of the infantry squads on-board who move down the vehicles' rear steel ramps and mow down all the survivors at point blank range. Armoured Fist squads have a reputation in the Guard for getting the job done and are in high demand by infantry regiment commanders. Typically deployed against the most heavily defended of enemy positions where the armoured protection of a Chimera is vital for a successful assault, it is no surprise that Armoured Fist squads have an even higher rate of attrition than standard Imperial Guard heavy infantry units.
Over the millennia, the Chimera has been pressed into service in a variety of different forms, proving its reliability over and over again. The Chimera is a highly versatile armoured vehicle able to operate in the most hostile environments faced by the Imperial Guard. Chimeras are amphibious vehicles and are able to move through dense swamps, deep marshes and even rivers. Many an enemy of the Imperium has been destroyed because its commander believed his flanks protected by such watery obstructions, only to find ranks of Imperial Guardsmen, supported by the potent anti-personnel weaponry of the Chimera that had transported them, driving into the very heart of his forces.
ArmamentThe most common variant of the Chimera armoured personnel transport, the Mars Pattern, is armed with a turret-mounted Multi-Laser, a hull-mounted Heavy Bolter, and six Lasguns controlled by the tank's passengers. Another common variant of the Chimera mounts a Heavy Flamer on the turret and sometimes the hull, or a turret-mounted Heavy Bolter which allows the Chimera to act as close fire support for infantry operating in dense terrain. The Forge World of Gryphonne IV produces its own unique variant armed with a turret-mounted Twin-linked Heavy Bolter, and while not very effective against enemy armour it is able to lay down a hail of explosive bolts that are highly effective against densely packed enemy infantry, such as the forces commonly deployed by the Tyranids and the Orks. Chimeras can also be equipped with an Autocannon which allows them to be used as light anti-vehicle tanks. Another variant derived from STC data discovered on the world of Kronus by Imperial Guard forces during the Dark Crusade allows a pattern of Chimera, known as the Kronus Pattern, to be built that replaces the normal Chimera turret with one similar to the Space Marine Predator tank turret, including its Autocannon. The Chimera can also be outfitted with camouflage netting, extra armour plating, track guards, improved communications equipment, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, a Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber or Storm Bolter, rough terrain modifications, a dozer blade, a searchlight, or smoke launchers.
Known Users of the Chimera
- Imperial Guard - The Chimera is the most common vehicle used by the forces of the Imperial Guard and most Guard regiments have more of this vehicle in their armouries than any other.
- Inquisition - The Inquisition uses Chimeras to transport both Inquisitors and infantry such as Inquisitorial Storm Troopers during their operations.
- Planetary Defence Forces - Many Planetary Defence Forces make use of Chimeras in the same way that the Imperial Guard uses them; many PDF units possess no heavy tanks and must rely solely on Chimeras for their armoured support.
- Adeptus Arbites - The Adeptus Arbites use the Chimera for transportation during large scale planetary riots or rebellions and these Arbites Chimeras are sometimes equipped with water cannons for non-lethal crowd suppression.
- The Lost and the Damned - The Lost and the Damned consists of Imperial Guard soldiers, Chaos Cultists and others that have turned against the Imperium and have either sided with the Forces of Chaos or have became Renegades against Imperial rule. These Renegades and Traitors still use the Chimera as their armoured transport of choice.
Notable Users of the Chimera
- Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Tyrus - Tyrus used Chimeras to carry Inquisitorial Storm Troopers during the Purging of Gladrinus VI
- Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Lord Coteaz - Chimeras were used during the Cleansing of Opridia
- Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Hector Rex - The Chimera was used as a transport for Inquisitorial Storm Troopers by Hector Rex during the Siege of Vraks
- 6th Magdellan Armoured Regiment - Used during the Battle of Tsaragrad
- 18th Krieg Armoured Regiment - Used during the Barbarius Campaign
- 98th Cadian Armoured Regiment - Used during the Luxor Uprising
- 113th Cadian Mechanised Infantry Regiment - Part of the Cadian Gate garrison forces
- 7th Mortant Regiment, "The Headhunters" - Took part in the Sacking of Colonia
- 3rd Tallarn Armoured Regiment, "Desert Storm" - Fought during the Defence of Balle Alpha, and during the Taros Campaign
- Armageddon Steel Legion - Involved in the Defence of Hive Infernus during the Third War for Armageddon
- 193rd Tallarn Armoured Regiment - Used during the Achernar Prime Campaign
- 84th Mordian Armoured Regiment - Used as standard transportation vehicles
- 527th Valhallan Ice Warriors Infantry Regiment - Used as standard transportation vehicles
- 81st Phyressian Armoured Regiment - Used as standard transportation vehicles
- 8th Palladius Armoured Regiment, "The Warhounds" - Fought during the Atria Wilderness Campaign
- 23rd Krieg Mechanised Infantry Regiment - Took part in the Cleansing of Radnar
- 114th Cadian Armoured Regiment - Took part in the Taros Campaign
- 266th Cadian Armoured Regiment - Fought against escaped Tyranids from a secret Adeptus Mechanicus research base on the planet of Beta Anphelion IV
- Vraksian Traitor Militia - The Vraksian Traitor Militia fought against Loyalist forces during the Siege of Vraks alongside the other Forces of Chaos, using the Chimeras stored in the Departmento Munitorum's stockpiles on Vraks Prime
- Forces of the Inquisition - Fought using Chimeras as armoured transports during the Betalis III Campaign against the Eldar of Craftworld Mymeara
- Tyrant's Legion - The Tyrant's Legion used Chimeras against the Loyalist forces during the Badab War
The Chimera chassis is the basis for many other Imperial armoured vehicles, including the:
- Basilisk - Long range artillery vehicle
- Bombard - Heavy artillery vehicle
- Griffon - Heavy mortar vehicle
- Colossus - Heavy artillery vehicle
- Medusa Siege Tank - Short range artillery vehicle
- Hellhound - Flame tank
- Hydra- Anti-air tank
- Manticore - Missile tank
- Death Strike - Long range missile tank
- Salamander- Scout vehicle
- Trojan - Utility vehicle
While there are many variants of the Chimera, there are three special variants that are used by the Imperium. All of these variants of the Chimera retain the original's amphibious capabilities and transport capacity. These three represent the only currently named variants:
- The Chimerax is by far the most widespread variant of the Chimera, armed with turret-mounted, quad-linked Autocannons. Its design was intended to serve as a mobile anti-aircraft artillery piece in extreme situations where no other anti-aircraft capability was present that could also carry a squad of Imperial Guardsmen and provide close fire support for them. While the Chimerax's quad-linked Autocannons actually fared poorly against aircraft they proved more than capable of supporting the ferried troops. This variant has been mostly replaced with the much more effective Hydra anti-air tank.
- The Chimedon is essentially a heavier armed version of the Chimera that serves as a light tank. The Chimedon is armed with a turret-mounted Conqueror Cannon for added firepower. Some Chimedons were further upgraded with a Battle Cannon, but the stronger recoil of this weapon had the chance to seriously damage the vehicle itself upon firing the gun.
- The Chimerro possessed either a single Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher tube attached to the turret and an automated reloading system or a rack of 8 cubic box Missile Launchers on the top of the rear hatch. While the former variant of the Chimerro still retained the top hatch, it was difficult to keep it in proper working order, so it was rarely used. The second variant of the Chimerro was more common in Imperial service as its Missile Launcher was useful in providing combat support for Imperial Guardsmen attacking strongly fortified targets.
- APDS-6a Defender - The Defender was a variant of the Chimera armoured personnel carrier developed on the Imperial Hive World of Armageddon. The Defender was armed with a hull-mounted Heavy Laser Destroyer, much like the Destroyer Tank Hunter, and was used to bolster that beleaguered planet's Planetary Defence Forces. The vehicle proved effective as a stop-gap measure during the Ork invasion of Armageddon (Imperial records do not state whether this happened during the Second or Third War for Armageddon, or whether this variant was used in both conflicts).
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical Specifications
|Vehicle Name:||Chimera||Main Armament:||Heavy Bolter or Twin-linked Heavy Bolter or Heavy Flamer or Autocannon|
|Forge World of Origin:||Mars, Gryphonne IV, and many others||Secondary Armament:||Heavy Bolter or Heavy Flamer|
|Known Patterns:||II - XI||Traverse:||360 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Commander, 1 Driver, 1 Gunner||Elevation:||-2 to 25 degrees|
|Powerplant:||Vulcanor 16 Twin-Coupled Multi-Burn||Main Ammunition:||Varies by Weapon Equipped|
|Weight:||38 tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||400 Rounds or 10 Shots|
|Height:||3.72 metres||Superstructure:||150 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||.45 metres||Hull:||100 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||70 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||N/A millimetres|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||55 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||0427-941-30XX-CHXXX|
|Transport Capacity:||12 Infantrymen, 6 Ogryns||Firing Ports:||6 Lasguns|
|Access Points:||Rear Ramp, Top Hatch||Turret:||150 millimetres|
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pp. 12, 111-128
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 63-71, 246, 248, 252, 256-258, 265, 267, 274
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 200-201
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 89 ,127 ,128
- Imperial Armour Volume Four - The Anphelion Project, pp. 64-65
- Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One, pp. 36, 66
- Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pp. 28, 90
- Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three, pg. 24
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 29
- Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara, pg. 65
- Imperial Armour, pp. 28-31
- Codex: Imperial Guard (2nd Edition), pg. 30
- Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition), pp. 17, 30
- Codex: Imperial Guard (4th Edition), pg. 45
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pg. 39
- Imperial Guard Collector's Edition 2003, pp. 86-87
- White Dwarf 185 (UK), pp. 24-26
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 217-218, 274
- Dawn of War - Winter Assault (PC Game)
- Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC Game)
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- Dawn of War II (PC Game)
- Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising (PC Game)
- Dawn of War II - Retribution (PC Game)