The Dreadnought Drop Pod, officially the Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod, also known as the Lucius Pattern Heavy Drop Pod, is a specialised variant of the common Drop Pod used by the Adeptus Astartes for planetary assaults. A Drop Pod is one-way, sealed, armoured landing craft that is launched from an orbiting voidship onto the planet below. The Drop Pod plummets through the planet's atmosphere at meteoric speeds, firing powerful retro-rockets just before touchdown to rapidly slow its descent. Having made what is little more than a controlled crash landing, explosive bolts are released and the armoured doors of the pod open, allowing the enclosed Space Marines to deploy. The Dreadnought Drop Pod is a larger variant of the standard Drop Pod, featuring more powerful thrusters and retro-rockets. Where internal seating and support harnesses are found in the infantry pods, a Dreadnought Pod is empty, and the five outer ramps are replaced with three larger ones. The internal space of the pod is wholly dedicated to transporting a single Space Marine Dreadnought, of any type or pattern, and the design of the craft allows for the Dreadnought to be transported to the battlefield with the minimum of delay. The intense stresses caused by the Dreadnought Drop Pod's larger engines and support-free interior space are such that only the highly armoured shell of a Dreadnought could hope to survive the descent to the ground without being pulverised on impact.
The most common pattern of Dreadnought Drop Pod is the Lucius Pattern, manufactured principally on the Forge World of Lucius in the Segmentum Obscurus. These vehicles are tithed directly to various Space Marine Chapters with whom the Archmagi Forgemasters have protective treaties and ancient debts. As with any craft that suffered from such a high attrition rate in battle, Dreadnought Drop Pods are highly valued and invariably always in demand with those who use them most. During the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy eras of the late 30th and early 31st Millennia, the Dreadnought Drop Pod was widely used by the Space Marine Legions; however many Legions preferred the more mobile, multi-role designs of Drop Pod like the Dreadclaw, as these craft could take off again after landing, were useful in ship-to-ship combat and were armed for protection against enemies.
The following are all known formations that make use of Dreadnought Drop Pods:
- Iron Cyclone - The Iron Cyclone formation is intended to make short work of even the heaviest of enemy defences and is the favoured Drop Pod deployment of several Space Marine Chapters who prefer the brutality of overwhelming force to destroy and smash aside enemy ground defences and strategic targets. This formation is believed to have been so-named by the Black Templars who used it repeatedly during the Aegisine Crusade against the rebel Drift Worlds of the Mandragora Sector in the 39th Millennium. During this bitter war the Iron Cyclone formation was deployed directly from Black Templars Strike Crusiers under merciless enemy ground-fire to overwhelm their bastions and silence their guns despite suffering heavy loses. It is lauded for breaking a deadlock that had tied up Imperial forces for solar decades, and the use of this tactic rapidly spread to other Adeptus Astares Chapters that also took part in the Crusade, including the Red Seraphs, Marauders, and the Fire Angels Chapters. This formation starts with an orbital bombardment of the target location followed by two to three Deathstorm Drop Pods to further clear the area and then three to five Dreadnought Drop Pods carrying Dreadnoughts and up to two Terminator Assault Squads who immediately deploy afterwards.
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical SpecificationsEdit
|Type||Orbital Drop Pod - Dreadnought||Operational Ceiling||N/A|
|Vehicle Name||Dreadnought Drop Pod||Max Speed||12,000 kph descent|
|World of Origin||Lucius||Range||Unlimited|
|Known Patterns||I - XVII||Main Armament||N/A|
|Powerplant||1 x FV-50-75 Retro-Rocket||Main Ammunition||N/A|
|Weight||19.0 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition||N/A|
|Wingspan||N/A||Superstructure||60 millimetres of armour|
|Height||11.1 Metres||Hull||70 millimetres of armour|
|Vehicle Designation:||2109-044-8661-DP 013||Transport Capacity||
1 Space Marine Dreadnought (Any Type)
The Legion Dreadnought Drop Pod page entries in The Horus Heresy: Book One - Betrayal, The Horus Heresy: Legiones Astartes - Crusade Army List, and The Horus Heresy: Legiones Astartes - Age of Darkness Army List all state that the Dreadnought Drop Pod was not deployed as often as the multi-role Deathclaw pattern that had been made recently available to the Space Marine Legions. This may be an oversight by the book's authors and may be intended to read Dreadclaw, as the Dreadclaw pattern fits that description. Until this issue is clarified, it is to be assumed that it was a mistake and should read Dreadclaw instead of Deathclaw.
The Dreadnought Drop Pod's official miniature model is too small to accommodate non-Castraferrum Pattern Dreadnought models, as both the Contemptor, Deredeo, and Leviathan Dreadnoughts are too large to fit. It is assumed that an actual scale model of the Dreadnought Drop Pod would be much larger or have its engines move upwards to allow the needed space.
- Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 143-147
- Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pp. 158-160
- The Horus Heresy: Book Two - Massacre (Forge World Series), pg. 204
- The Horus Heresy: Legiones Astartes - Crusade Army List, pg. 37
- The Horus Heresy: Legiones Astartes - Age of Darkness Army List, pg. 47
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse II, pp. 31, 35
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (Second Edition), pg. 32