Monday, April 11, 2011

5 Minute History: Basilisk

The Basilisk has been the primary artillery weapon used by the Imperial Guard in the Warhammer 40,000 wargame since 2nd edition. It appears similar to real-life self-propelled artillery howitzers and most closely resembles the US M107 8-inch self propelled howitzer. Essentially the Basilisk is an artillery piece mounted to a stripped-down chassis of another Imperial Guard vehicle, the Chimera. Since its introduction during the game's second edition, the Basilisk has mounted one of the longest-ranged weapons in the entire game, the Earthshaker Cannon.

Original Basilisk Box set, yes those are Tallarn crew!

Unlike other vehicles released around the same time that use the Chimera chassis such as the Hellhound and the Griffon, the original Basilisk boxed set was released in early 1996 as a full-plastic kit: the only metal parts in the set were the crew. The official rules were published in the March 1996 issue of White Dwarf in conjunction with its launch. The vehicle has since appeared in every Imperial Guard army codex since then. Forgeworld has also released an 'Armageddom Pattern' Basilisk with fully enclosed crew compartment as part of their Imperial Guard line of vehicles.

The Basilisk also appears in Epic 40,000, both as a self-propelled gun and as a fixed weapons platform. Outside of the tabletop miniature games, the Basilisk has appeared in at least two computer games based on the Warhammer 40,000 franchise. The first one, Final Liberation, included entire Basilisk squadrons as available unit choices for the Imperial player. In the RTS game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, the Basilisk is one of the vehicles available to the Imperial Guard faction, introduced in the expansion Winter Assault.


  1. nice one :) its a bit of a shame that the Basilisk has been thoroughly overshadowed in the latest edition of the Codex by all the new artillery and and Hydra. Last edition they were very powerful indeed.

  2. Yes, shame that the Medusa basically killed the Basilisk... I even shelved mine in favor of the cheeper Medusa and the reduction in range has yet to affect my games at all.