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"Across the plaza, past a hastily erected barricade of dead cars, an Arclite siege tank had planted itself firmly between two buildings. It sat square in their path, fully deployed, its side pontoons firmly set in the asphalt. The shock cannon sent blistering rounds overhead, and its twin 80’s raked the debris of the fountain."

- Confederate siege tank in action during the Battle of Tarsonis(src)

The siege tank is a terran vehicle that can be configured to fulfill both the armored support and the long-range artillery support roles.[1]


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An Arclite siege tank

The dual-mode siege tank concept was a response to the Guild Wars and the goliath. Prior to the war, work had progressed on a static "final defense" cannon. However, the conflict demonstrated the need for mobility and as a result an effort was made to make the cannon more mobile. The solution was creative. An existing tank design was modified so that it could operate as a conventional tank in addition to being able to deploy the cannon and become a static artillery emplacement at will.[1] Mobile siege tanks were in existence by 2480, several years before the official beginning of the Guild Wars. These tanks were able to be fueled by oil.[2]

Siege tanks function in two modes. First is the "tank" or "assault mode" in which the vehicle may be used in the familiar armored support role using relative light weapons. The second is the more radical "siege mode" in which the vehicle becomes a static emplacement able to deploy a much more powerful and longer ranged weapon.[1]


AAV-5 Arclite

"I'm about to drop the hammer and dispense some indiscriminate justice!"

- Siege tank pilot(src)

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A modified Arclite tank

The AAV-5[3] was in service by 2491,[4] renowned throughout the Confederacy for its heavy firepower and stalwart emplacement/advance tactics.[1] It had a crew of three: gunner, driver, and commander/navigator,[3] though could still be crewed by a single operator.[4][5] In addition, the Arclite version could serve as an APC of sorts, carrying personnel into a hot zone and deploying them via side/rear hatches.[4]

The Arclite made navigation easy via its interior viewscreen, although a top hatch still existed should a crew member wish to survey the area personally and/or signal fellow soldiers.[4] The tank also provided a targeting computer, which not only keyed in on heat sources, but also identified their range, notably whether they were in range or not via visual and audio indications.[4]

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Schematics of the upgraded AAV-5

Arclite armament consisted of twin 80mm PPG-7 plasma cannons[6] when mobile and the 120mm Shock Cannon when in siege mode.[1] Later on this was upgraded to the 120mm Mjolnir Artillery Cannon, which fired plasma shells in contrast to the standard explosives of the Shock Cannon.[6] Such weaponry was sometimes called upon to instigate scorched earth tactics.[7]

Experience found the AAV-5's protection and "assault mode" armament to be inadequate. This inhibited its ability to advance and establish a "siege mode" fire base. Furthermore, once in "siege mode" it became difficult to repel a close-assault by any enemy forces taking advantage of the "deadzone" formed by its artillery cannon, and even in the AAV-5 transform back into "tank mode", it was relatively undergunned and lightly armored. As such, it has been replaced by the Crucio variant, which has a more powerful "tank mode".[8]


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Crucio schematics

The Crucio was designed to correct the perceived deficiencies of the AAV-5 and entered Dominion service as the AAV-5's replacement following the Brood War.[8] In use by 2502,[5][9] the new turret layout featured an upgraded assault-mode armament package allowing the Crucio to better fend for itself on an open battlefield. The new tank was significantly more expensive than the older Arclite[10], but the increased versatility more than compensated for the additional expense.[8] The Crucio featured twin 90mm cannons and a 180mm Shock Cannon. The new 180mm cannon scattered superheated tungsten over an area 50% larger than the old Arclite's 120mm cannon.[10]

The Crucio is equipped with a plasma gun.[11]



For StarCraft gameplay information see: Siege tank (StarCraft).
For StarCraft in-game quotations see: StarCraft Siege Tank Quotations.

The siege tank has many stereotypical, military quotes. The driver of the tank is seen as a large man in body armor who speaks in military lingo. Several of his quotes are obviously taken from the classic Vietnam War films Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now.

StarCraft: Ghost

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Plasma rounds being fired (SC:Ghost)

StarCraft Ghost Logo2

This article or section contains information about StarCraft: Ghost, which has been declared non-canon. Elements may be taken as 'flavor lore' however.
The content may be significantly out of date. Please do not add speculation to this article, and remember to cite a published source for details.

In StarCraft: Ghost, Nova was able to call down artillery support from siege tanks by identifying targets.[12][13] Siege tanks were player drivable in multiplayer, and were able to run over and crush other players and vehicles.[6]

StarCraft II

For StarCraft II gameplay information see: Siege tank (StarCraft II).
For StarCraft II in-game quotations see: StarCraft II Siege Tank Quotations.

The siege tank in StarCraft II represents the Crucio type.[8]

Known Siege Tanks

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An Arclite tank

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A group of Crucios advance

Known Siege Tank Models

Known Siege Tank Commanders and Crewmen


  • The 120mm Mjolnir cannon is a reference to the hammer of the Norse god of thunder, Thor.
  • Crucio is a Latin word which means "I torture."

External Links/References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.
  2. McNeill, Graham (December 30, 2008). StarCraft: I, Mengsk. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). ISBN 978-1-4165-5083-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Arclite Siege Tank. StarCraft Compendium. Accessed on 2008-01-09
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Neilson, Micky. StarCraft: Uprising. New York and Toronto, Ontario: Pocket Books, December 2000. ISBN 0-7434-1898-0 (eBook only).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Knaak, Richard A. and Naohiro Washio. "Thundergod." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 1, pp. 48–93. Tokyopop, August 1, 2008. ISBN 1427-80721-3.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Source: BlizzCon 2005 StarCraft: Ghost information. Terran Vehicles. Artist: Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  7. Corey Konieczka, Robert A. Kouba, Dan Clark (December 17, 2008). StarCraft: The Board Game: Brood War. Fantasy Flight Games. ASIN 1589945034
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Crucio Siege Tank. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2008-01-08.
  9. April 6, 2010. "Timeline". StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 311 - 323. ISBN 978-1416-55084-6.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Armory units (in English). 2010.
  11. 2008-06-29. Samwise Didier, Dave Bergain. WWI 08 Coverage - StarCraft II Art Panel. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2008-06-29.
  12. 2004-05-11. Calling down support. IGN. Accessed 2008-01-09.
  13. Goldstein, Hilary. 2003-03-31. Starcraft: Ghost Details. IGN. Accessed 2007-09-01.
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