The Manticore is a mobile, multiple rocket artillery piece used by the Imperial Guard that is based on a variant of the Chimera armoured personnel carrier chassis. A formidable weapon, the Manticore is capable of firing devastating barrages over incredible ranges. Though not as commonly seen on the battlefield as the Basilisk or the Earthshaker Cannon, the Manticore's versatility gives it a distinct advantage over other artillery. Named for the ferocious creature from ancient Terran mythology, the Manticore is armed with 4 long-range artillery rockets capable of firing a variety of different warheads, such as high explosive fragmentation warheads, oxy-phosphor incendiary warheads, air gas warheads to high altitude and surface-to-air interceptor missiles, providing it with an antiaircraft capability. But the most common type remains the deadly Storm Eagle rockets, the signature payload of these ancient siege vehicles. The standard pattern of the Manticore is produced on the Forge World of Stygies VIII, while the pattern of Manticore that makes use of primarily incendiary Manticore Missiles is manufactured on the Forge World of Graia.
Armament and CapabilitiesEdit
Compared to the Earthshaker Cannon, a Manticore is a highly sophisticated piece of equipment, utilising audio-modulated radio control systems, gyroscopic roll stabilisation and radar tracking. The Manticore can be used to fill a number of roles and make up any shortages in the existing order of battle. When armed with anti-aircraft missiles it can stand in for a Hydra, when armed with oxy-phospor incendiary warheads it becomes a devastating anti-infantry weapon, and when armed with high-explosive warheads it can even be used to attack enemy tank formations.
Each Manticore Missile is divided into five components: the fuse, control and guidance equipment, an electrical unit, an explosive warhead and the missile's propellant tank. Each missile is powered by a two-part solid-fuel rocket that generates speeds of up to 300 metres per second once airborne. Due to the restrictions on the number of missiles available, Manticores are not as commonly seen on the battlefield as Basilisks. This means most artillery barrages are still fired by breach-loading artillery, though Imperial Guard commanders find the Manticore's flexibility very useful.
Whilst extremely powerful, the Manticore is notoriously unpredictable. The temperamental Machine Spirit of this artillery vehicle must be continuously tended to by a group of the artillery battery's attendant Tech-priests. Otherwise, without the appropriate blessings, the Machine Spirit may be offended, resulting in rockets veering off-target or even failing to detonate. Unfortunately, it is more common for the Manticore's weapon system to simply jam and for its rockets to be unable to launch. In very rare circumstances, it has been recorded that Manticores have unintentionally fired their entire payload at once, resulting in the catastrophic destruction of entire Imperial units. Despite its unpredictability, Imperial Guard commanders are willing to gamble on the Manticore's fickle nature, knowing full well that the destructive capability of a single salvo is equivalent to the normal fire of an entire artillery battery. The Manticore can be equipped with several different types of missiles, including the standard Manticore Missiles, the anti-air Sky Eagle Rockets, and Storm Eagle Rockets. The vehicle is normally equipped with a forward hull-mounted Heavy Bolter, but it can also be equipped with a Heavy Flamer if needed. The Manticore can be also be equipped with the following enhancements: camouflage netting, extra armour, a Hunter-Killer Missile Launcher, a mine sweeper, improved communications equipment, a Pintle-mounted Heavy Stubber or Storm Bolter, a dozer blade, rough terrain modifications, a searchlight, track guards, and smoke launchers.
Regiments Known to Use ManticoresEdit
- 22nd Krieg Armoured Regiment - The 22nd Krieg Armoured Regiment made extensive use of Manticores during the Barbarius Campaign.
- 122nd Cadian Armoured Regiment - The 122nd Cadian Armoured Regiment used the Manticore during the Zhai-Khan Upising.
- 31st Cadian Armoured Regiment - The 31st Cadian Armoured Regiment unleashed its Manticores during the campaign on Levilnor IV.
- 58th Valhallan Armoured Regiment - The 58th Valhallan Armoured Regiment deployed its Manticores during Rogue Trader Milos Baral's exploration force to the Prath-Veil Sub-sector.
- 14th Phyressian Armoured Regiment
- 146th Catachan Jungle Fighters Regiment, The "Red Cobras" - The Red Corbras deployed their Manticores in the equatorial jungles of Yarant III.
- 17th Tallarn Armoured Regiment
Adeptus Mechanicus Technical SpecificationsEdit
|Vehicle Name:||Manticore||Main Armament:||4 Manticore Missiles|
|Forge World of Origin:||Mars, Stygies VIII, M'Khand, Voss, Estaban III, Triplex Phall, Phaeton, Vanaheim, Lucius, Gryphonne IV||Secondary Armament:||Hull-mounted Heavy Bolter|
|Known Patterns:||I - XII||Traverse:||360 degrees|
|Crew:||1 Commander, 1 Driver, 1 Gunner, 1 Loader||Elevation:||0 to 45 degrees|
|Powerplant:||Vulcanor 16 Twin-Coupled Multi-Burn||Main Ammunition:||4 Missiles|
|Weight:||38 Tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||300 Rounds|
|Height:||3.29 metres||Superstructure:||100 millimetres|
|Ground Clearance:||0.45 metres||Hull:||100 millimetres|
|Max Speed On-Road:||60 kilometres per hour||Gun Mantlet:||N/A|
|Max Speed Off-Road:||45 kilometres per hour||Vehicle Designation:||0427-941-3043-MA3|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Firing Ports:||N/A|
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pp. 177-182
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 9, 180-185, 267
- Imperial Armour Aeronautica, pg. 22
- Aeronautica Imperialis (Rulebook), pg. 24
- Imperial Armour, pp. 60-63
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse II, p. 7
- Imperial Guard (5th Edition), p. 54
- White Dwarf 366 (UK), p. 5
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 285
- Dawn of War II - Retribution (PC Game)