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The dual-mode siege tank concept was a Terran Confederacy 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. 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.
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 relatively 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.
The AAV-5 was in service by 2491, renowned throughout the Confederacy for its heavy firepower and stalwart emplacement/advance tactics. It had a crew of three: gunner, driver, and commander/navigator, though could still be crewed by a single operator. The crew compartment could get hot enough to be uncomfortable.
In addition, the Arclite could serve as an APC of sorts, carrying personnel into a hot zone and deploying them via side/rear hatches.
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. 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.
Arclite armament consisted of twin 80mm PPG-7 plasma cannons when mobile and the 120mm Shock Cannon when in siege mode. 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. Such weapons were sometimes used for "scorched earth" operations.
By the aftermath of the Brood War however, the AAV-5's "tank/assault mode" left much to be desired. Its armament and armor was too light to either advance, or hold a firebase from close-quarters assault, without significant support. The Crucio was developed to address these shortcomings.
The Crucio was designed as the AAV-5's replacement, and had entered Dominion service by 2502. By the Defenders of Man Insurgency, the Umojan Protectorate had acquired access to Crucios.
The Crucio features superior protection and armament compared to its predecessor. The Crucio was designed for increased survivability, with an enlarged, reinforced turret and hull. The turret layout also features an upgraded Tank-Mode armament package, allowing the Crucio to defend itself more successfully in open battlefields. The Crucio is costlier than its predecessor, but its increased versatility justifies the expenses. The treads of the Crucio are made out of modular, heavy-duty neosteel plates. Unlike standard tracked vehicles, the Crucio boasts a multi-track configuration with two extra tracks for added stability. Historically, tracked vehicles have a drawback, for the loss of a single tread segment results in immobilization. To prevent this, engineers have added a series of tubes in the chassis and bogies of the tank that pump a fast-drying gel onto the affected area. Said gel replaces lost tread segments, and allows the Crucio to remain operational after suffering damage that would cripple vehicles lacking this technology. In siege mode, the Crucio’s main tracks turn outwards and the secondary tracks slide into the hull, while thick hydraulic outriggers (also called legs) deploy from the sides of the tank. Once the legs are locked in, they push against the ground for added stability. The base of the outrigger, known as the pad or foot, is similar to a large claw. It comes with retractable talons that activate on rough terrain, and microscopic weep holes which secrete a rubbery substance for greater grip on metal and pavement. While the system is generally reliable, the legs stick from time to time.
Like the Arclite, temperatures of the Crucio's crew compartment can become uncomfortable. To offset this, all Crucios come equipped with a set of heavy compressors that regulate the air inside the cabin, taxing the engine in the process. Some veteran tank operators, and a few borderline obsessive rookies, opt to modify the climate control system, paying out of their own pocket for additional performance.
By way of armament, the Crucio's turret has a dual-mode weapon system. In assault/tank mode, the Crucio utilizes twin 90mm plasma cannons. These are the Crucio's main line of defense, and are effective against enemy armor. Yet, the true might of the Crucio lies in its siege mode. On activation, the twin plasma cannons become the dreaded 180mm Shock Cannon, and just the roar of this weapon has been known to send enemies of the Dominion into full retreat. The shock cannon fires super-heated tungsten in an area larger than the 120mm version. The weapon can fire a diverse range of munitions, like armor-piercing Maelstrom shells
Dominion infantry soldiers are universally convinced that Crucio operators inflict more damage on friendly forces than on the enemy. Consequently, Crucio operators stick together during shore leave. LarsCorp addressed this issue by developing a "smart shell" for the Crucio that scans for allies on impact and adjusts its detonation to minimize damage to friendly units. Field tests have shown that this shell reduces friendly fire fatalities by 75%, though due caution is still recommended when walking into a fire zone. Siege tanks can be outfitted with spider mines.
- For StarCraft gameplay information see: Siege tank (StarCraft).
- For StarCraft in-game quotations see: StarCraft Siege Tank Quotations.
This article or section contains information about StarCraft: Ghost, which has been declared non-canon. Elements may be taken as 'flavor lore' however.
In StarCraft: Ghost, Nova was able to call down artillery support from siege tanks by identifying targets. Siege tanks were player drivable in multiplayer, and were able to run over and crush other players and vehicles.
They were present as early as one of the earliest builds of the game.
- For StarCraft II gameplay information see: Siege tank (StarCraft II).
- For StarCraft II in-game quotations see: StarCraft II Siege Tank Quotations.
Heroes of the Storm
Known Siege Tanks
Notable Commanders and Crewmen
- General Edmund Duke
- General Martin
- Captain Marius Blackwood
- Sergeant Forest Keel
- Sergeant Bama Kowalski
- Sergeant Wendell Sovens
- Private Armstrong
- The 120mm Mjolnir cannon may be a reference to the hammer of the Norse god of thunder, Thor.
- Crucio is a Latin word which means "I torture."
- Artwork from StarCraft: Ghost Academy: Volume 2 depicts Crucios being in use during the Fall of Tarsonis. This contradicts all other sources of information and is likely an artistic error.
- An arcade game named Siege Mode 3 cameos in Overwatch. Per its namesake, it features a siege tank as an apparent antagonist to the player's character (a marine).