Monday, March 28, 2011

5 Minute History: Hellhound

The Hellhound falls into the fast-attack category of the Imperial Guard in the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game. The tank, which uses the Imperial Guard Chimera chassis, is an interesting unit in that it has heavier armor than the standard chimera, yet it falls into a better speed class despite that fact. The standard Hellhound is armed with an Inferno Cannon, which amounts to a high-pressure flamethrower mounted in the turret, and a hull-mounted Heavy Bolter. With the release of the fifth edition codex, the choice of Hull-mounted weapons was expanded to a include the Flamer or Multi-Melta in addition to the Bolter.

The Hellhound was first released in 1996 as a composite plastic-metal boxed set for the second edition of Warhammer 40,000. The set consisted of the chassis and turret assembly of the Chimera, while the Hellhound's additional armor plates, Inferno Cannon and external fuel tanks were included as metal conversion parts. These additional metal parts were included in a plastic 'blister' pack, exactly the same was the plastic cases used for characters on the Games Workshop peg-board displays, that were easily added to standard Chimera kits.

Rules for the Hellhound were first published in the February 1996 edition of White Dwarf, in addition to being included in the boxed set as "vehicle datafax cards". The 3rd edition Imperial Guard Codex was the first to include the Hellhound as an official unit choice. Since then, the tank has remained a stalwart unit in the Guard's arsenal. In early 2006 by Forge World released some alternate versions that incorporated a thicker turret as well as a large gas chamber on the back.

Hellhounds in Epic are functionally similar to their 40k counterparts, and are especially adept at flushing enemy infantry formations out of entrenched positions due to the vehicle's main gun having the game-ability to ignore cover.

The fifth edition Codex also introduced two new variants, the Devil Dog armed with a Melta Cannon, and the Bane Wolf with a Chemical Projector. They have the same hull weapon options as the original. A new version of the plastic model was released in August 2009 to enable commanders to field these two variants in addition to the standard Hellhound. The trade off for the consolidated kit however, was the loss of ability to build a standard chimera from the kit as the new Hellhound kit no longer contains many of the parts required to build a standard Chimera.

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