The warhound is a terran walker.
Activated through a fingerprint scanner as part of its pilot security template, and protected with light neosteel plating, and a steelglass cockpit, the warhound is designed for close anti-vehicle and anti-armor work, with some anti-air capability. Their legs are designed to move over tough terrain, possessing wide and flat feet, with gimbaled toes designed for traversing many types of terrain. An onboard computer can give the pilot updates on the status of their vehicle, and the warhound is equipped with telescopics. Handholds are fixed to the vehicle, allowing the pilot to climb up and down from the cockpit. The warhound's chasis bears resemblance to that of the SCV, but unlike the SCV, the warhound's operator is contained entirely within its torso, with neural interfaces allowing the pilot to control the vehicle's limbs and armament systems. The pilot is equipped with a safety harness.
Missile racks are mounted on the warhound's shoulders, and cannon barrels are located on the end of its arms. The missile racks are capable of firing either anti-air cyclone missiles or haywire missiles, functioning as an anti-armor weapon. For close-range anti-vehicle work, the warhound possesses a railgun that fires directed plasma field-charged slugs (DPFs), which are also capable of dealing with infantry and structures. The warhound is capable of near-instantaneous toggling between DPF and anti-air ordnance systems, to address quickly changing threats in battlefield situations.
The warhound is not effective against the zerg in that, as per it being designed for close-range anti-vehicle combat, it would have to close in on the zerg to be effective. Its feet, while adaptable when crossing over terrain, aren't designed to be effective against zerg in close combat, though a skilled operator can still kick or step on zerg ground strains. Warhounds are (or can be) equipped with neutralizer spray, which can minimize the effects of zerg acid against their structure.
The concept of the warhound began with Yakov Iliev, an engineer working on a backwater planet. The mine he was working on was experiencing trouble with local bandits, and to deal with the issue, he outfitted an SCV with different armaments. When the bandits returned, they got a "surprise." Despite his actions, his employer was irate, as they had subcontracted security out, and his actions made them look bad. Before they could fire him however, the Axiom Corporation bought out the company. Iilev's plans and designs for the modified SCV were included in the purchase. Years later, Iilev was stated to have retired, but Ottmar Drenthe suspected that he had been forced out and his designs stolen under the pretext of some fine print in the acquisitions agreement.
The warhound was developed after the first phase of the Second Great War after analysis of the battles fought, in order to better improve the terran war machine. It was developed by Axiom Corporation, and prototypes were produced on Bukari V. The test was successful, in as much that the warhounds were able to display their firepower. Unfortunately for Axiom, the disgruntled workers turned their vehicles on the factory complex.
The warhound saw action in the Second Great War on both Char and Korhal, where it was fielded against the zerg in both cases. During the conflict, Project Blackstone conducted work on the warhound. Engineer Red Quinton stripped out the pilot security template to allow for quicker construction and an overall boost in power. Dr Daniel Rothfuss pointed out that this act "left the keys in the ignition." Quinton responded that the zerg and protoss either could not, or would not pilot the warhound. The modifications were submitted to Axiom. They were not incorporated.
Sometime after the ascension of Valerian Mengsk, a rumor spread among the Dominion Marine Corps that a shipment of Warhounds was captured by the protoss and zerg, but that the two races then used them for mining.
Warhounds were fielded by Moebius Corps during the End War, and were deployed in their raid on Ulnar. The Terran Dominion continued to field Warhounds as part of their standing forces well into 2512.
The warhound's unit portrait depicts a surly, military commander figure—akin to a younger more toned down version of the battlecruiser's unit portrait. The suit and the pilot room strongly resembles goliaths. The warhound also has the ability to dance.
These missiles are in addition to its regular anti-ground attack.
The following section contains information from a previous version of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm which is no longer valid.
The warhound is an anti-mechanical unit that was originally supposed to be available in skirmish games. It was expected to be a core unit in terran vs. protoss games due to the latter faction's reliance on mechanical units. It was of limited use against the zerg however due to their complete lack of mechanical units. It did not have an anti-air attack.
The warhound was originally called the "merc commander."
As of June, 2012, the development team was looking to find a way to make the warhound useful in terran vs. zerg matches. However as of September, 2012, the warhound has been completely removed from the game. The development team originally did not clearly state as to whether the warhound may or may not have returned later in the beta, but as of March, 2013, with the closing of the beta, it has been permanently removed from multiplayer but was eventually used in the campaign.
Like the hydralisk and the roach, the warhound had a different attack animation for melee range; it punched targets with its shield arm.