The Damocles Command Rhino is a variant of the standard Rhino used by all Space Marine Chapters. The Damocles is used as a command vehicle during large-scale military operations, and acts as the main communications link between all Space Marine ground forces and the orbiting Astartes fleet assets. The Damocles is a good example of the kinds of advanced Imperial technology that the Space Marines are given access to, and it is equipped with unusually sophisticated communications and tracking equipment. The Damocles is primarily deployed only during large-scale planetary assault operations that involve either entire companies or multiple companies of Space Marines serving alongside other Imperial forces.
During the Great Crusade era, the Ultramarines Legion armoured forces included a wide range of vehicle classes, patterns and types, including the very earliest patterns of war machines which were subsequently deployed in large numbers across the entire Legiones Astartes. Some of these had been kept operational by constant field repair and had not received the attentions of the Legion Forge for many decades. Conversely, the Legion's forces included vehicles only just beginning to see use, one of which was the Damocles pattern command Rhino, a Deimos pattern armoured carrier modified by replacing most of its troop carrying capacity with a suite of sophisticated communications equipment. Designed to the specifications of the ever-expanding Ultramarines Legion, the Damocles was easier both to manufacture and deploy than the venerable Proteus-Explorator Land Raider variants, which commonly fulfilled this role during the Great Crusade's early years, and less resource-intensive to forge and less marked upon the battlefield than the powerful Spartan Hermetika siege command vehicles which were entering service during the latter days before the horror of civil war encroached upon the Imperium. The Damocles was just as able in its task, but unfortunately far less durable than either of its counterparts, being based on various patterns of the ubiquitous Rhino chassis. Following the Ultramarines' example, this command and control platform was beginning to enter service across the Legions by the close of the Great Crusade, the sons of Guilliman leading by example and sharing their hard-won battle doctrines with their brother Legions.
Equipped with sophisticated communication, cognis- analysis and tracking equipment, including a powerful orbital-interface secure vox-transceiver, the Damocles Command Rhino was designed principally as a command and control vehicle to serve as a direct and all but unbreakable link between a Space Marine Legion formation in the field and its brethren elsewhere within the war zone and in high orbit above during planetary operations. Using these systems, skilled Techmarine crew were able to read the ebb and flow of battle, call in reinforcements and supporting fire, and war off enemy forces through interdiction targeting.
The Damocles is not a combat vehicle and is usually unarmed. It is almost always found near the rear of any advancing force. Each and every Damocles is crewed permanently by a driver and a two-man command team, which are part of the Chapter Master's headquarters staff. One of the men is a communications controller and the other is a operations controller who monitors all squads, tracks their positions, and the enemy's movements. Each of these brothers, including the driver, is a full Space Marine in his own right, but they all receive additional training by the Chapter's Techmarines to use the sophisticated equipment. There is also a seat inside the vehicle for the Space Marine Force Commander, alongside the driver, and while many commanders prefer to lead from the front they are able to make use of the Damocles between battles in order to keep up to date with the developing strategic situation.
The Damocles is full of special command, control and communications technologies, such as:
- A company or battlegroup command and control hub, Vox signal boosters, squad-to-squad, ground-to-air, and ground-to-orbit Vox-links.
- A special multi-band information channel for co-ordinating with other Imperial military forces during a campaign, such as the Imperial Guard, Adepta Sororitas, Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Mechanicus, and the Imperial Navy.
- A multi-spectral ground surveillance Auspex for locating enemy units.
- A Chapter-wide squad and vehicle tracking system, which supplies information via orbital relay.
- A powerful Teleport Homer Beacon that provides a strong global positioning signal for teleporting troops to lock-on to, which allows for safer and more accurate teleportation.
- A transmission monitoring system for intercepting enemy communications and a decryption engine for breaking enemy codes and cyphers. This system is also capable of scrambling enemy communications so they cannot be understood.
- The Damocles is equipped with a bio-status readout for every single Space Marine engaged in combat that is relayed directly from each Astartes' Power Armour.
- The Damocles can use its vox and augury arrays to call down precision strikes from Astartes warships in orbit.
The Damocles can also be outfitted with several upgrades that are common to the Rhino chassis, such as a dozer blade, extra armour plating, a Pintle-mounted Storm Bolter, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, a searchlight, and smoke launchers.
Notable Users of the Damocles Command RhinoEdit
- Ultramarines - The Ultramarines Legion were responsible for the development of the Damocles Command Rhino and were one of the first to utilise it in battle during the Great Crusade. In the 41st Millenium, the Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter were known to have utilised a Damocles Command Rhino during the Defence of Ichar IV from the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Kraken.
- Disciples of the Flame - A surviving fragment of the Salamanders Legion during the dark days of the Horus Heresy after the Drop Site Massacre, the Disciples of the Flame had become stranded on the Forge World of Mezoa, which was one of the first Forge Worlds allowed to produce this new variant of the commonplace Rhino. The commander of the Disciples of the Flame, Lieutenant-Chaplain Xiaphas Jurr, conducted much of the Mezoan Campaign from the interior of his own Damocles Command Rhino, the Guiding Light.
- Raptors - The Raptors Space Marine Chapter used a Damocles during the Angelis Campaign and also during the Taros Campaign against the Tau
- Red Scorpions - The Red Scorpions Space Marine Chapter used a Damocles during the Badab War against the Secessionist Forces of the Tyrant of Badab, Lufgt Huron, and the Astral Claws Space Marine Chapter
- Silver Skulls - The Silver Skulls Space Marine Chapter used a Damocles as part of the Beta-Garmon IV Expeditionary Force
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical SpecificationsEdit
|Vehicle Name:||Damocles||Main Armament:||N/A|
|Forge World of Origin:||Macragge||Secondary Armament:||N/A|
|Known Patterns:||I - IX||Traverse:||N/A|
|Crew:||1 Driver, 2 Controllers||Elevation:||N/A|
|Powerplant:||Quad MkII Adaptable Thermic Combustor Reactor||Main Ammunition:||N/A|
|Weight:||30 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||N/A|
|Height:||5.1 metres||Superstructure:||60 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||0.44 metres||Hull:||60 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||70 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||55 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||0120-766-0765-RH 935|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 77-82
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pp. 24, 185-186, 195-197
- Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 54, 122, 131
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pg. 92
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 160-162
- Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pp. 55, 148
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse, pg. 30
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 64, 100, 237