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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]


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

- Siege tank pilot(src)

An Arclite siege tank

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.[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 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.[1]

By the Defenders of Man Insurgency the Umojan Protectorate appeared to be using siege tanks, a number of which were infested by the zerg on Jarban Minor.[3]

A Dominion Special Forces siege tank

During the reign of Valerian Mengsk, the Dominion made improvements to the Crucio siege tank model, adding reinforced plating and heftier cannons. These tanks were used by the Dominion Special Forces.[4]


AAV-5 Arclite

"There’s nothing scarier than a fleet of Siege Tanks, their Mjolnir 120 mm Shock Cannons poised to unleash a torrent of destruction."

A modified Arclite tank

The AAV-5[5] was in service by 2491,[6] 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,[5] though could still be crewed by a single operator.[6][7] The crew compartment could get hot enough to be uncomfortable.[8]

In addition, the Arclite could serve as an APC of sorts, carrying personnel into a hot zone and deploying them via side/rear hatches.[6]

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.[6] 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.[6]

Schematics of the upgraded AAV-5

Arclite armament consisted of twin 80mm PPG-7 plasma cannons[9] 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.[9] Such weapons were sometimes used for "scorched earth" operations.[10]

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.[11]


"This bastion of the battlefield stands as the crux of a Terran force’s fortitude, fending off enemy forces from afar and repelling even the most formidable of ground units."

The Crucio was designed as the AAV-5's replacement,[11] and had entered Dominion service by 2502.[7][12] By the Defenders of Man Insurgency, the Umojan Protectorate had acquired access to Crucios.[13]


Crucio schematics

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.[14] 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.[8]

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.[8]


A group of Crucio tanks advancing

By way of armament, the Crucio's turret has a dual-mode weapon system. In assault/tank mode,[11][8] the Crucio utilizes twin 90mm[11] plasma[15] cannons.[11] 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.[8] The shock cannon fires super-heated tungsten in an area larger than the 120mm version.[16] The weapon can fire a diverse range of munitions, like armor-piercing Maelstrom shells[8]

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.[16] 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.[17] Siege tanks can be outfitted with spider mines.[18]

Other Information

The following section contains information from Heroes of the Storm that is ambiguously canonical.

Some advanced models of siege tanks can be outfitted with the ability to fire napalm shells, as well as utilize a massive blunt force gun.[19]

Game Unit


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

StarCraft: Ghost

Plasma rounds being fired

StarCraft Ghost Logo2.jpg

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.[20][21] Siege tanks were player drivable in multiplayer, and were able to run over and crush other players and vehicles.[9]

They were present as early as one of the earliest builds of the game.[22]

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.[11]

Heroes of the Storm

Heroes DevLog2.jpg

The following section contains information from Heroes of the Storm and is not canon to StarCraft continuity

Sgt. Hammer appears as a playable siege tank in Heroes of the Storm.[19]

Known Siege Tanks

An Arclite tank



Commanders and Crewmen

A Crucio siege tank operator


An Arclite siege tank

  • 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."
  • Early lore had the Crucio with a 120mm Shock Cannon.[11] This was later altered to be 180mm.[16]
  • 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).[24]


  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. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Nova Covert Ops, Night Terrors (in English). 2016-08-02.
  4. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Collections Tab: Skins. October 17, 2016
  5. 5.0 5.1 Arclite Siege Tank. StarCraft Compendium. Accessed on 2008-01-09
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Neilson, Micky. StarCraft: Uprising. New York and Toronto, Ontario: Pocket Books, December 2000. ISBN 0-7434-1898-0 (eBook only).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Knaak, Richard A. and Naohiro Washio. "Thundergod." In StarCraft: Frontline: Volume 1, pp. 48–93. Tokyopop, August 1, 2008. ISBN 1427-80721-3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "SC:FrntLn_V1_TG" defined multiple times with different content
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 2014-10-10, Siege Tank Science. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2014-10-18
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Source: BlizzCon 2005 StarCraft: Ghost information. Terran Vehicles. Artist: Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2007-09-08.
  10. Corey Konieczka, Robert A. Kouba, Dan Clark (December 17, 2008). StarCraft: The Board Game: Brood War. Fantasy Flight Games. ASIN 1589945034
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Crucio Siege Tank. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2008-01-08.
  12. April 6, 2010. "Timeline". StarCraft II: Heaven's Devils. Simon & Schuster (Pocket Star). pp. 311 - 323. ISBN 978-1416-55084-6.
  13. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Nova Covert Ops, Night Terrors (in English). 2016-08-02.
  14. Crucio Siege Tank, Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed on 2010-12-05
  15. 2008-06-29. Samwise Didier, Dave Bergain. WWI 08 Coverage - StarCraft II Art Panel. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed 2008-06-29.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Armory units (in English). 2010.
  17. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Armory upgrades (in English). 2010.
  18. Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft II. (Activision Blizzard). PC. Mission: Nova Covert Ops, Enemy Intelligence (in English). 2016-03-29.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Blizzard Entertainment. Heroes of the Storm (Blizzard Entertainment) (in English). June 2, 2015
  20. 2004-05-11. Calling down support. IGN. Accessed 2008-01-09.
  21. Goldstein, Hilary. 2003-03-31. Starcraft: Ghost Details. IGN. Accessed 2007-09-01.
  22. July, 2016, STARCRAFT: GHOST: WHAT WENT WRONG. Polygon, accessed on 2016-07-08
  23. Gerrold, David (w), Fernando Heinz Furukawa (p, i). StarCraft: Ghost Academy: Volume 2 (paperback binding). Tokyopop, August 10, 2010. ISBN 978-1427-81613-9.
  24. Blizzard Entertainment. Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment) (in English). February 29, 2016