Wikia

Warhammer 40k

Tarantula Sentry Gun

3,889pages on
this wiki
Talk6
TarantulaSentryGun0000

A Tarantula Sentry Gun armed with twin-linked Lascannons keeping enemy units from advancing down a corridor

The Tarantula Sentry Gun, sometimes simply referred to as a Sentry Gun, is an automated mobile weapons system used by the Imperial Guard, various Planetary Defence Forces, the Adeptus Arbites, and the Adeptus Astartes. The exact origins of the Tarantula's nickname is unknown. The Tarantula Sentry Gun is operated by a Machine Spirit (Artificial Intelligence)-controlled logic engine capable of operating entirely without human input. As such, the Tarantula is used in a variety of roles where human soldiers may be caught at a disadvantage, such as covering approaches to key positions, conducting watch over perimeter defences against surprise attacks, and defending landing sites and extraction routes, where they can delay enemy pursuers while Imperial forces retreat.

The most effective use of a Tarantula Sentry Gun is in a tunnel or during starship boarding actions, where when positioned at the end of a corridor they can keep enemy units pinned under heavy fire while remaining safe from flanking operations. While the automated systems of the Tarantula turret will fire upon whatever target that is in range, its logic engine will first check for and engage those hostiles that it is best armed to deal with. A Tarantula armed with Heavy Bolters will preferentially fire upon enemy infantry first and a Tarantula armed with Lascannons will target enemy vehicles first. Only after the Sentry Gun's preferred target is destroyed will it fire upon the available secondary targets.

The Tarantula Sentry Gun and its variants are powered by a small power cell that is located safely inside of the turret housing. Tarantulas, and other Sentry Guns not named in Imperial records can be used during void combat by Imperial Navy or even Imperial Guard personnel in transport ships awaiting deployment to a new destination. Sentry Guns used during ship-to-ship combat can be used both for defence against enemy boarding parties and as extra firepower to provide cover for offensive boarding actions.

HistoryEdit

Possessed of formidable firepower, automated weapons platforms and sentry gun batteries were long used by many of the Imperium's diverse armed forces since the time of the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy, to take on the mundane duties of point defence and security, both planet-side and aboard ship. The most common of these designs was the Tarantula, whose ease of construction, multiple weapons configurations and general reliability had made it a staple of the arsenals of the Great Crusade and a well-regarded, if perhaps inglorious, tool of war. The elite Solar Auxilia Cohorts of the Imperial Army used the Tarantula to guard exposed flanks and rear line positions where it was judgeed less likely, but nonetheless possible that an enemy would attack. They were sometimes pressed into service in the front line itself when manpower was stretched dangerously thin. The histories of some of the oldest cohorts contain tales, no doubt elaborated over the decades during that bygone era, of Tarantula weapons batteries granted honorary induction into a regiment following a close fought battle where their presence contributed greatly to the tally of enemy dead.

Imperial Guard Tarantula Sentry GunsEdit

TarantulaSentryGun00

A Tarantula Sentry Gun battery of the Imperial Guard during combat

The Tarantula Sentry Gun is well liked by Imperial Guard troops as it frees up manpower and keeps Guardsmen from having to perform guard duty. Imperial Commanders prefer the use of sentry guns for such duties because, unlike a human soldier, a machine will never doze off or be caught off-guard while reminiscing about the girls back home! The Imperial Guard and various Planetary Defence Forces can transport their Tarantulas into position by carrying them in the troop holds of a Chimera armoured personnel transport and any other large transport due to the Sentry Gun's light weight and small size. Imperial Storm Troopers and Drop Troopers such as the Elysian Drop Troops make use of Tarantulas by deploying them from airborne Valkyrie transports. When transported in this fashion, a Sentry Gun will be safely guided to the ground via Grav-Chute, though sometimes they are packaged into crates to help protect them during this rough transity. Tarantula Sentry Guns are usually deployed onto the battlefield in batteries consisting of up to three Sentry Guns, and these will remain active and engage hostile forces until they run out of ammunition or are destroyed. The Adeptus Arbites uses Tarantulas to defend their precincts and for riot suppression and crowd control, and can transport them in the rear holds of their Rhino transports. Once deployed, due to the time and difficulty required to move them, Tarantulas are mostly used for static defence, as transporting them in the middle of a firefight is extremely difficult. The most common pattern of Tarantula Sentry Gun used by the Imperial Guard is the Metalica Pattern, originating on the Adeptus Mechanicus Forge World of Metalica.

Known FormationsEdit

  • Castellan Sentry Gun Defence Force - Although the regiments of the Imperial Guard pride themselves on their strength in numbers, there are times when even they find themselves overwhelmed by a more numerous enemy, or cut off from reinforcements. In such engagements, automated Tarantula Sentry Gun detachments can provide invaluable additional firepower for drop regiments, hold vital strategic areas while larger forces are redeployed elswhere or defend a line of retreat with the minimum expenditure of lives and materal. One tried and tested Sentry Gun deployment formation is the so-called "Castellan" formation; this deployment pattern is composed of several three-weapon detachments and controlled by a dedicated platoon command unit that directs the Sentry Guns' fire. Members of the attached platoon command squad usually have special skills in working with the Sentry Guns, and the team will often change the fire modes of the formation's guns to respond to the changing flow of battle. Nicknamed the "bitter enders" by some Guard regiments, the dangerous duty of Guardsmen and officers assigned to Castellan units is seen by some as a short route to commendation and promotion, but by others as a straight road to a martyr's death.

Space Marine Tarantula Sentry GunsEdit

TarantulaSentryGun12

A Space Marine Hyperios Air Defence Platform, a variant of the Tarantula Sentry Gun, scans the skies for enemy aircraft

Most Space Marine Chapters keep a supply of Tarantulas in their armouries, as they find them highly useful for routine guard duties due to their full automation the low manpower requirements needed to move them into position and keep them operational. The Adeptus Astartes makes use of Tarantula Sentry Guns to defend various important strategic positions such as forward bases since many Chapter strike forces lack the necessary manpower to set out sentries. The Astartes have many ways of deploying Tarantulas to the battlefield, the most common being via Thunderhawk or Stormraven, although there are many Chapters that will deploy Tarantulas using other means, such as Drop Pods or teleportation from their orbiting Strike Cruiser or Battle Barge.

Once an Astartes Tarantula is on the ground it can be moved to different locations by use of Rhino or Land Raider transports. The Tarantula Sentry Guns used by the Adeptus Astartes utilise the same basic automated turret and weapons as the Razorback armoured personnel carrier, and sometimes when a Razorback is destroyed in combat its turret will be salvaged and refashioned into a Tarantula, but only with the aid of a Techmarine reading the appropriate Rites of Salvage.

The Astartes make use of both the common[Metalica, Phaeton, and Estaban III Patterns, much like the patterns of Sentry Gun deployed by the Imperial Guard and other Imperial forces, although it is known that the Astartes variants of the Tarantula can be outfitted with different weapon loadouts and other equipment. There is also another class of Sentry Gun used by the Space Marines known as the Widowmaker Pattern Sentry Gun, though Imperial records currently have no further information on this class of Sentry Gun other than the fact of its existence. Most Space Marine Chapters will avoid fielding Tarantulas directly on the battlefield due to their lack of mobility, preferring to deploy them as front-line weapons only as an act of last resort or as additional firepower for individual squads operating deep within enemy territory, where reinforcements and vehicles may not be available.

Known FormationsEdit

  • Hyperios Air Defence Battery - The Hyperios Air Defence Battery is a formation of up to four Hyperios Air Defence Platforms. This formation may also include a single Hyperios Command Platform.
  • Automated Defence Force - Due to all Codex Astartes-compliant Space Marine Chapters consisting of no more than 1,000 elite warriors, they will always be considered lacking in numbers when compared to other Imperial forces such as the Imperial Guard. To alleviate this problem, Astartes Chapters make use of a variety of remotely activated weaponry, such as the Tarantula Sentry Gun. The Automated Defence Force is a formation of Tarantula Sentry Guns that consists of up to four Tarantula Sentry Gun Platforms, two Hyperios Air Defence Platforms, and a single Hyperios Command Platform. This formation is commonly used by Chapters to defend landing and deployment zones. The platforms are delivered to the field by a Thunderhawk and then deployed by the Chapter's Techmarines, who will then monitor the status of all Tarantula Sentry Gun formations on the field from a command vehicle.

Firing ModesEdit

The Tarantula Sentry Gun has three primary firing modes that it can be set to when first activated in the field. They are as follows:

  • Point Defence Mode - Point Defence Mode is a firing mode where the Tarantula will fire its weapons upon enemies in a fixed, 45 degree angle firing arc. This mode is used to keep enemy units from approaching in a single direction, and is best used during tunnel and ship-to-ship boarding actions where the Sentry Gun can be used to trap enemy combatants while they move down tight passageways.
  • Sentry Mode - Sentry Mode is a firing mode where the Sentry Gun's turret will fire upon any enemy that gets near, regardless of from which direction the enemy approaches. This mode is used to protect the perimeters of forward bases and strategic locations where the enemy can come from many different directions at once.
  • Interceptor Mode - Interceptor Mode is a firing mode where the Tarantula will target and fire upon enemy aircraft that attempt to land in the Sentry Gun's firing range and general area. This firing mode is used to keep the enemy from landing additional reinforcements in the area, and in this mode the Tarantula can target many types of enemy landers, including Drop Pods. While in this mode, Sentry Guns will not engage enemy ground forces.
  • Ambush Mode - Ambush Mode is a programmed directive that can be used during both Point Defence Mode and Sentry Mode. While in Ambush Mode the Tarantula Sentry Gun, usually covered with camouflage netting and well hidden, will allow enemy units to get well within its range and then suddenly and unexpectedly open fire upon the unsuspecting targets.

ArmamentEdit

TarantulaSentryGun11

A Tarantula Sentry Gun armed with twin-linked Heavy Bolters guarding an interior corridor

There are many types of Sentry Gun weapon loadouts, the most common being either a set of twin-linked Heavy Bolters for anti-infantry assault or a set of twin-linked Lascannons for anti-armour defence. These loadouts are the most common and are used by all Imperial forces that make use of Tarantulas. Tarantula Sentry Guns used by the Adeptus Astartes can also be armed with a Multi-Melta and a searchlight for close-range defence or a set of twin-linked Assault Cannons for combat against heavy infantry, although the latter is relatively uncommon. Tarantula Sentry Guns can be outfitted with camouflage netting to better conceal them from the enemy.

VariantsEdit

There are several different variants of the Tarantula Sentry Gun in use by the Imperial Guard and the Adeptus Astartes. All of the known variants include:

  • Spearhead Sentry Gun - Spearhead Sentry Guns are a somewhat smaller variant of the Tarantula Sentry Gun and are used during starship boarding actions. These Sentry Turrets are extremely effective due to the tight corridors and passageways on many Imperial starships. Spearhead Sentry Guns are used both by the spearhead forces of attacking boarding parties and by starship defenders. These Sentry Guns are used by both Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy boarding parties and by the Adeptus Astartes. The Spearhead Sentry Gun has a wide selection of weapons that can be used as its load-out, the most common being a set of twin-linked Heavy Bolters or Heavy Flamers. It can also be armed with either a single Missile Launcher or an Assault Cannon. Boarding parties or defenders expecting to deal with heavy infantry or even light vehicles, which may be encountered during assaults on cargo bays and vehicle holds, may also arm their Sentry Guns with twin-linked Lascannons, twin-linked Plasma Cannons, or Quad Heavy Stubbers. Spearhead Sentry Guns can make use of the Point Defence and Sentry firing modes.
  • Tarantula Sentry Gun Emplacement - A Tarantula Sentry Gun can also be made part of a Turret Emplacement, replacing the crew-operated turret weapon with an automated Tarantula Sentry Gun. An emplaced Sentry Gun is less susceptible to enemy fire and has access to larger amounts of power and ammunition in performing its duties.
  • Hyperios Air Defence Platform - The Hyperios Air Defence Platform is a variant of the Tarantula Sentry Gun that is armed with a set of twin-linked Hyperios Missile Launchers. This variant of the Tarantula is used by Space Marine Chapters as a static emplacement to defend important strategic locations from enemy aircraft due to the Space Marines' notable lack of available anti-air vehicles. Space Marine Chapters value the Hyperios Air Defence Platform as it allows them to defend important locations and positions without tying up valuable Space Marines as a gun crew or forcing a Whirlwind artillery tank armed with a Hyperios Missile Launcher to stay in one place to act as a static defence. A battery of Hyperios Air Defence Platforms is able to quickly clear the skies of hostile aircraft, usually acquiring and firing a salvo of missiles before most human gunners can even find their target.
  • Hyperios Command Platform - The Hyperios Command Platform is a variant of the Tarantula Sentry Gun that replaces its standard weaponry with an advanced tracking Auspex and command relay system. This variant can be used in conjunction with the Hyperios Air Defence Platform, usually as part of a battery, and gives any Hyperios Air Defence Platforms tethered to it higher degrees of accuracy against enemy aircraft.
  • Teleportation Array - A Teleportation Array is a variant of the Tarantula Sentry Gun in which the Tarantula's weapons are replaced with a Teleport Homer. This variant can be set up in the field by Space Marines and used to call in additional reinforcements from orbital starships via teleportation. These devices allow for a much higher degree of accuracy and safety for the troops being teleported.

DerivativesEdit

There is at least one known derivative variant of the Tarantula Sentry Gun in use:

  • Sabre Gun Platform - The Sabre Gun Platform is a derivative variant of the Tarantula Sentry Gun that uses the Tarantula's legs and stabiliser system. The Sabre Gun Platform is a heavy weapons platform that is used by the Imperial Guard and unlike the automated Tarantula, the Sabre must be operated by at least a single Guardsman.

Adeptus Mechanicus Technical SpecificationsEdit

Tarantula Sentry Gun
Vehicle Name: Tarantula Sentry Gun Main Armament: Twin-linked Heavy Bolters
Forge World of Origin: Metalica Secondary Armament: N/A
Known Patterns: I - V Traverse: 360 degrees
Crew: Automated (Machine Spirit) Elevation: 0 to 70 degrees
Powerplant: Internal Power Cell Main Ammunition: 600 Rounds
Weight: 1.1 Tonnes Secondary Ammunition: N/A
Length: 5.3 metres Armour:
Width: 5.3 metres
Height: 1.6 metres Superstructure: 10 millimetres
Ground Clearance: N/A Hull: N/A
Max Speed On-Road: N/A Gun Mantlet: N/A
Max Speed Off-Road: N/A Vehicle Designation: 0427-941-4098-TA551
Transport Capacity: N/A Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Turret: 10 millimetres


Tarantula Sentry Gun
Vehicle Name: Tarantula Sentry Gun Main Armament: Twin-linked Lascannons
Forge World of Origin: Estaban III Secondary Armament: N/A
Known Patterns: I - VII Traverse: 360 degrees
Crew: Automated (Machine Spirit) Elevation: 0 to 70 degrees
Powerplant: Internal Power Cell Main Ammunition: 20 shots from powerpack
Weight: 1.1 Tonnes Secondary Ammunition: N/A
Length: 5.3 metres Armour:
Width: 5.3 metres
Height: 1.5 metres Superstructure: 10 millimetres
Ground Clearance: N/A Hull: N/A
Max Speed On-Road: N/A Gun Mantlet: N/A
Max Speed Off-Road: N/A Vehicle Designation: 5463-028-8338-TA021
Transport Capacity: N/A Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Turret: 10 millimetres


Hyperios Anti-Aircraft Platform
Vehicle Name: Hyperios Air Defence Platform Main Armament: Twin-linked Hyperios Missile Launchers
Forge World of Origin: Phaeton Secondary Armament: N/A
Known Patterns: I - III Traverse: 360 degrees
Crew: Automated (Machine Spirit) Elevation: 0 to 70 degrees
Powerplant: Internal Power Cell Main Ammunition: 20 Missiles
Weight: 2.1 Tonnes Secondary Ammunition: N/A
Length: 5.3 metres Armour:
Width: 5.3 metres
Height: 1.8 metres Superstructure: 10 millimetres
Ground Clearance: N/A Hull: N/A
Max Speed On-Road: N/A Gun Mantlet: N/A
Max Speed Off-Road: N/A Vehicle Designation: 5463-028-8339-TA024
Transport Capacity: N/A Firing Ports: N/A
Access Points: N/A Turret: 10 millimetres

Also SeeEdit

SourcesEdit

  • Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pp. 194-197
  • Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard (Second Edition), pp. 201-204, 267
  • Imperial Armour Volume Two - Space Marines and Forces of the Inquisition, pp. 173-178
  • Imperial Armour Volume Two, Second Edition - War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes, pp. 199-201
  • Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign, pp. 125, 148, 275, 279
  • Imperial Armour Volume Four - The Anphelion Project, pp. 62, 64, 68, 70, 123, 131, 133, 135
  • Imperial Armour Volume Five - The Siege of Vraks - Part One, pp. 67, 146, 166
  • Imperial Armour Volume Six - The Siege of Vraks - Part Two, pg. 144
  • Imperial Armour Volume Seven - The Siege of Vraks - Part Three
  • Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid On Kastorel-Novem, pg. 102
  • Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 80, 104, 130, 152, 188
  • Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two
  • Imperial Armour Volume Eleven - The Doom of Mymeara
  • Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus, pg. 152
  • Imperial Armour Apocalypse, pg. 32
  • Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition), pg. 33
  • Imperial Armour Apocalypse II, pp. 19, 22
  • Imperial Armour Aeronautica, pg. 39
  • The Horus Heresy - Book Two: Massacre, pg. 196
  • The Horus Heresy - Book Four: Conquest, pg. 272
  • Dawn of War (PC Game)
  • Dawn of War - Winter Assault (PC Game)
  • Dawn of War - Dark Crusade (PC Game)
  • Dawn of War - Soulstorm (PC Game)
  • Dawn of War II (PC Game)
  • Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising (PC Game)
  • Dawn of War II - Retribution (PC Game)
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (Game)

GalleryEdit

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki