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The Great Crusade > Pre-Heresy Background Q&A > the first dreadnought


Title: the first dreadnought


callmeishmael - April 8, 2012 03:49 PM (GMT)
Heres one for people to think about.If the Dark Angles were the first legion ,do you think they had the first dreadnought ? If so would it still be around during the heresy?How old do you think it would be and what would it look like?

BigWill - April 8, 2012 06:38 PM (GMT)
Nah the first dread was probally a Thunder Warrior.
Maybe one time there were a whole lots of dreds like a company.
Maybe that is the second Legion :lol:

ShroudFilm - April 8, 2012 11:07 PM (GMT)
I'm fairly sure that the Legions were founded before the Imperium left Terra, but I do recall that the Dreadnoughts weren't around until later.

I always wondered, was there a lot more Cybernetica stuff around before that? The Unification Wars applied to the whole Solar System, not just Terra - I wonder if the reason they got phased out was because the Legions became more self-reliant (creating dreadnoughts, having Techmarines etc) and not so dependent on the Mechanicum?

BigWill - April 8, 2012 11:35 PM (GMT)
A dread does kind of seem like something a Techmarine would come up with.
The mechanicum would put green eye optics all over the place.
I also bet the Legions were not so keen to include outsiders after the Heresy.
And the fact that half the Mechanicum always had its own agenda anyway.

Markus Krell - April 9, 2012 07:59 AM (GMT)
I'm sure the concept/knowledge for a dreadnought existed during the Unification War (probably devised by the Emperor), but there weren't many volunteers.
It was only once the astartes started getting injured etc. that they were entombed into the sarcophagus.

I seem to recall in Battle for the Abyss, the Furious Abyss had row upon row of empty dreadnoughts in a huge room; just waiting for the injured combatants from Calth.
It begs the question, how many other ships had this arrangement as well?

ShroudFilm - April 9, 2012 08:06 AM (GMT)
The Emperor didn't invent much technology, he mostly stole from conquered nations/planets etc.

Obviously we haven't really seen it covered yet, but I can't imagine dreadnoughts running around on Terra before Unity... but then again also there's not much "volunteering" going on for dreadnoughts anyway!

Actually, that does kinda beg the question - was the dreadnought ever just a mechanical suit meant for a single operator, and then one day someone thought "Hey, let's put the dying guys in these!"

malika - April 9, 2012 09:00 AM (GMT)
The older Dreadnoughts had normally living drivers in them. So it might have been a sort of evolution of the technology to preserve human resources to put heavily injured marines in there...

ShroudFilm - April 9, 2012 09:32 AM (GMT)
Do you have a reference for that? Is it stated somewhere in the canon? I'd love to find out a bit more, TBH...

Ilmarinen - April 9, 2012 09:47 AM (GMT)
I suspect the Mechanicum already had some Robots at the time of unification and we know they had Knights, so most of the basic technology is there already (the old fluff mentions Cybernetica and Dreadnoughts having a lot of similar systems).

I could see the Thunder Regiments having Dreadknight style piloted walkers (is the clue in the name?!) then with the establishment of the Legions and their Apothecarions, a convergence of Mechanicus-developed (or rediscovered) tech and medical tech. I could envisage a Mechanicus Magos creating a wired-in solution (since they do that to themselves already) and presenting it to a Legion, only to be met with disgust (at the loss of freedom etc) ...but then they have to use it to save a particularly important marine. It would be ironic if the first true Dreadnought was a White Scar!

It's not been established when each pattern of Robot was created, but the Contemptor looks kinda similar to the Castellan to me, so maybe they were developed by the same Forgeworld (along with the Tartaros terminators). Maybe the Contemptor was developed -from- the Castellan.

Given the lack of existing fluff on this, it could be written whichever way you like ...plenty of stories here I'd like to read! (get on it Shroud!) :)

Ilmarinen - April 9, 2012 09:52 AM (GMT)
IIRC the 40K Compendium has an article about the old-style (metal catface) Chuck Eddy and Fury dreads, which I think were piloted rather than plugged-in. It also has a Cybernetica article which mentions the crossover systems (and dreads/robots being cannibalised for parts).

BigWill - April 9, 2012 02:51 PM (GMT)
Here are tidbits from Rogue Trader

"Although generically known as a Dreadnought suits in the Imperium,they are also called
Battle suits/battle armor,mech suits/mech armor.(RT pg 119)

rule number 3:Pilots have very little space inside the suits and so may carry no personal equipment other than a pistol weapon. (RT pg 119)

Basically go to Rogue Trader page 119 its all there for ya ;)

TyraelVladinhurst - April 10, 2012 11:56 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Ilmarinen @ Apr 9 2012, 03:47 AM)
I suspect the Mechanicum already had some Robots at the time of unification and we know they had Knights, so most of the basic technology is there already (the old fluff mentions Cybernetica and Dreadnoughts having a lot of similar systems).

I could see the Thunder Regiments having Dreadknight style piloted walkers (is the clue in the name?!) then with the establishment of the Legions and their Apothecarions, a convergence of Mechanicus-developed (or rediscovered) tech and medical tech. I could envisage a Mechanicus Magos creating a wired-in solution (since they do that to themselves already) and presenting it to a Legion, only to be met with disgust (at the loss of freedom etc) ...but then they have to use it to save a particularly important marine. It would be ironic if the first true Dreadnought was a White Scar!

It's not been established when each pattern of Robot was created, but the Contemptor looks kinda similar to the Castellan to me, so maybe they were developed by the same Forgeworld (along with the Tartaros terminators). Maybe the Contemptor was developed -from- the Castellan.

Given the lack of existing fluff on this, it could be written whichever way you like ...plenty of stories here I'd like to read! (get on it Shroud!) :)

i some what borrowed your idea, and threw dreadknights into my great crusade rule set

kwll - April 13, 2012 07:55 AM (GMT)
hi there is a nice little bit in KNF at mark -9.32.40 pg 83-87 that is all about dreadnoughts and how they are crewed, with aprox ages as well.

To paraphrase it says most are veteran marines that are compatible with the technology and are on the brink of death, and that some at this point are hundreds of years old just prior to the battle. intrestingly it mentions that they are created when chassis become available which may indicate a comon base for them with alternate bodys

Brother V - August 5, 2012 02:28 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (BigWill @ Apr 8 2012, 01:38 PM)
Nah the first dread was probally a Thunder Warrior.
Maybe one time there were a whole lots of dreds like a company.
Maybe that is the second Legion :lol:

The Thunder Warriors were all hunted to extinction at the end of the Unification Wars, they were engineered for the sole purpose of conquering Terra and, after victory had been achieved, were done away with so as to allow the Emperor to appear as the lone figurehead responsible for humanities' unity.

As far as the first Dreadnought goes, it could possibly be a member of the Custodian Guard.

Markymark - August 5, 2012 11:58 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (ShroudFilm @ Apr 9 2012, 08:06 AM)
The Emperor didn't invent much technology, he mostly stole from conquered nations/planets etc.

Obviously we haven't really seen it covered yet, but I can't imagine dreadnoughts running around on Terra before Unity... but then again also there's not much "volunteering" going on for dreadnoughts anyway!

Actually, that does kinda beg the question - was the dreadnought ever just a mechanical suit meant for a single operator, and then one day someone thought "Hey, let's put the dying guys in these!"

Really? Did he not invent the golden throne, primarch making equipment, gene seed, and the thunder warriors of course? or was that 'stolen'?

Gagoc TheAncient - August 5, 2012 03:33 PM (GMT)
It makes sense that the underlying technology of a Dreadnought was originally developed during the Dark Age Of Technology as some of the early background mentions that parts are interchangeable with those of the Imperial Robots.

I can just imagine a heavy gauge environmental suit being created for use with the gravity wells of Gas giants, evolving into weapons platform similar to Mech Assault's Battle Armour or AT-43's Combat Striders.

As for why they put near-dead Astartes into Dreadnought Sarcophagi, maybe it has something to do with the Mind-Machine link.

callmeishmael - October 9, 2012 06:35 PM (GMT)
Sorry to open this old thread ,but just reading the Betrayal book and noticed on page 99 the description of Juljak Nul ,the Dreadnought for the World Eaters ,that he was one of the first to be placed in a Dreadnought frame,and that was a Lucifer pattern chassis.Now I thought that the Contemptor was the oldest type of Dreadnought . So any ideas? What do you think it looked like ? Will we be seeing an older model?

BigWill - October 9, 2012 06:50 PM (GMT)
Lucifer might be the Space Crusade chassis

bulldoglopez - October 9, 2012 09:52 PM (GMT)
Imperial Drednoughts in Rogue Trader were piloted by surgically implanted pilots who were ejected from the chassis if the drednought was destroyed. The three classes of Drednought during Robue Trader were Contemptor, Deredeo, and Furibundus aka Chuck, Eddy, and Fury. (pg 56-57, Warhammer 40,000 Compendium)

I'm pretty sure all of that was retconned when GW axed all the Rogue Trader craziness. I'm currently scouring the new HH book for unification-era tidbits. Its pretty neat to see an official version of the Warhounds and Dusk Raiders, and there are some neat bits in there about Thunder Warriors. I haven't seen anything about dreadnoughts, but i'll be the first one to jump up and down like a little girls if I find something.

Gagoc TheAncient - October 10, 2012 04:04 PM (GMT)
There is the stuff on page 26 of HH: Betrayal, going on about augments and 'super' soldiers.

There's even a bit of a modern cultural reference which could be taken as early cyber technology that could lead to pilotable Dreadnoughts.

malika - October 10, 2012 05:27 PM (GMT)
Please elaborate it a bit more. ;)

bulldoglopez - October 11, 2012 02:07 AM (GMT)
According to Betrayal, the Contemptor pattern is the most advanced dreadnought to date. The two older patterns are Lucifer and Castraferrum (pg 200). Has anyone heard of another reference to the Lucifer or Castraferrum class?

Pacific - October 11, 2012 07:18 AM (GMT)
Pretty sure it was this guy? :)

user posted image

The project was cancelled because of severe anger-management issues though, so I heard

bulldoglopez - October 11, 2012 11:37 AM (GMT)
CAIN!! Gimmie the nuke man!




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