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Approved Vehicle Hellmaw Subterranean Transport

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Maelion Liates

Hellmaw Tunnelling Transport


  • Intent: To create a radically different style of vehicle for Archangel. As it is used by droids many of the concerns inherent with organics can be ignored in favour of something with true surprise potential. This transport is heavily armed and protected, but slow and somewhat vulnerable on the surface.
  • Image Source: Here. From Phyrexian Dreadnought Magic Card. Art by Pete Venters.
  • Canon Link: Karakorum species (and thus this sub) based on Sand Burrower.
  • Restricted Missions: N/A
  • Primary Source: N/A
  • Manufacturer: Archangel Research & Design.
  • Model: AA-HM
  • Affiliation: Closed-Market (Archangel and approved buyers only)
  • Modularity: No
  • Production: Minor
  • Material: Durasteel, alusteel, Agrinium reinforcement, electronic components.
  • Classification:: Underground transport.
  • Role: Surprise attack tunnelling transport.
  • Size: Very Large
  • Weight: Very Heavy
  • Minimum Crew: Droid brain
  • Optimal Crew: Droid brain
  • Propulsion: Decapedal
  • Speed: Very Slow (Above Ground)
  • Maneuverability: Very Low
  • Armaments: High
    Front mounted plasma drill array.
  • Front mounted dual heavy laser cannon (retractable).
  • Carapace mounted dual concussion missile launcher (retractable).
  • Each of the ten legs can pierce, crush or smack infantry around.
  • 8 x automatic blasters akin the Millennium Falcon’s ‘Ground Buzzer’ weapons. These weapons are mounted one at front and rear, and three each side to cover approaches. (Retractable)

[*]Defenses: Very High
[*]Vehicle deflector shield (only operates when fully above ground).
[*]Very heavy armour plating especially on front, top and sides.
[*]Advanced encryption protocols.
[*]Ion protection/hardening
[*]Squadron Count: Very Low: 4
[*]Passenger Capacity: Up to 32 infantry droids. Larger droids take more space. The largest which can be carried is approx. the size of a droideka if it curls up neatly. In canon terms it could carry 32 battle droids, 16 super battle droids or destroyer droids, or any combination therein.
[*]Cargo Capacity: Small

  • Front mounted drill can bore through sand, mud, rock and concrete. Can travel underground and emerge beneath the enemy.
  • Carries a full platoon of droids, which exit from ports along the side and bottom.
  • Has a deflector shield which operates only when fully above ground.
  • When fully above ground, can contract into an armoured shell, becoming immobile, but extremely difficult to damage.
  • Detailed scanners and sensors to find the most efficient paths through the ground.
  • Has an Ionization Buffer to help protect against that form of attack.
  • Subterranean. Able to travel underground, the Hellmaw can ignore many traditional defences, appearing from beneath the enemy’s feet, or in unexpected locations inside a fortress or city.
  • Transport. Each Hellmaw carries droids which can be dropped off to attack the enemy as soon as it emerges. Alternatively, these droids can use the massive vehicle as cover.
  • Armament. Featuring mainly anti-personnel weapons, the Hellmaw’s head also features a very powerful dual heavy laser cannon and the mining drill. This drill can tear through most vehicle armour with ease.
  • Defences. The Hellmaw is very well defended, with armour, shields and its sheer bulk making it hard to pin down.
  • Shell. When required the Hellmaw can enter a static shell when above ground. Its weapons are retracted and the armour plating completely covers it. This mode cannot attack but is almost impossible to crack without massive firepower.
  • Speed. Above (and even below) ground, the Hellmaw is very slow. It’s top speed is a sedate 20km/h. It is also quite slow and clumsy to turn due to its length.
  • Tremors. A vigilant enemy will know something is coming from the growing sound of the drill and the crushing of rocks coming from below. Even if they don’t know where it will emerge it’s hard to conceal unless a diversion covers it.
  • Legs. Though they too are heavily armoured, the legs are the weakest part. Explosives, lightsabres or heavy impacts can shatter a leg. Destroying half the legs will render the Hellmaw immobile.
  • Range. Aside from the concussion missile launchers (which are primarily for air defence) the Hellmaw is short ranged. The blasters and plasma drill have a relatively short range. The Drill is ineffective over 100m, the blaster cannon accurate to only 500m.
  • Ion. The bane for all droids and machines is ion/EMP attacks. Though it does have protection from personnel carried weapons or light vehicle weapons, heavy ion artillery or bombs can pierce its defences and render the Hellmaw at least immobile or possibly destroy it.

When most people see thirty foot sand worms consuming and rampaging, they are driven to fear, possibly awe. [member="Enyo Typhos"] took notes; here was something she could use, once the erratic organic flesh had been stripped away.

Therefore, the Karakorum sand worm inspired Enyo to create a mechanical monstrosity which would be capable of burrowing underground, emerging and disgorging a full platoon of droid soldiers into the fray. In appearance it looks like a ten legged centipede (a decipede if you will) with armoured carapace and terrifying alien form. It is capable of doing things no organic piloted craft could do such as operating in the jolting, airless, claustrophobic ground.

The key component was a rotating plasma drill on the head which allowed it to vaporise material whilst its many segmented legs propel it through the ground. Sand and soft soil are obviously the easiest to do through though it can penetrate hard rock and concrete too. When it emerges from the ground its drill becomes a formidable weapon to penetrating buildings or vehicles, whilst weapons and droids emerge from it to complete the attack. When above ground, the Hellmaw is equipped with a deflector shield and can retract into an immobile shell. It cannot attack in that state but it has incredible resilience.

The main weaknesses of the Hellmaw are that once it is above ground it has lost the element of surprise. It is slow above ground and not equipped to deal with heavy armour except close by. If not supported once it makes its deep strike the Hellmaw can be overwhelmed by enemies, or shot down by heavy artillery or ion bombs. It is important therefore for the breakthrough it causes to be supported and reinforced by fresh troops.
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