Bencarminedeath "Sarge?...I hurt."

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"And now we go and do it all over again. Another pointless battle. Another bereaved family. Another year of war. And the UIR does exactly the same. Someone has to break the cycle. Someone has to create weapons so powerful that if politicians want to wage war, they'll face the same death as the men and women sent to fight it. A deterrent. A damn big deterrent. I can build a deterrent that'll bring governments to their sense. An orbital weapons system. That's my duty now."
—Captain Fenix envisioning the Hammer of Dawn

The Hammer of Dawn was a COG (part UIR) Imulsion-energized, orbital, satellite-based laser.[1] Its key components were invented by the UIR scientist Mauris Ivo[2] and completed by professor Adam Fenix after it was stolen during Operation: Leveler. Its first test was in the Garadaner Test Ranges when two low yield beams destroyed the mock town on the island test range. Its first real military use was at the Battle of Bonbourg where the Hammer obliterated four large UIR ships in seconds, winning the battle for the COG and forcing Premier Yori Deschenko to the negotiation table.[3]

It was first used as a strategic weapon as a deterrent by forcing politicians to rethink their decisions[4] but would eventually be forced to become a tactical weapon for asset denial and tactical operations in the Locust War, when the Horde was only a few days away from Ephyra city. The Hammer of Dawn Counterattack burned 90% of Sera, killing any Locust or Human that was still on the surface.



Adam discovering his true path.

Pendulum WarsEdit

The VisionEdit

"Orbital weapons platform.. that's what we need. Reliable surveillance. Satellite targeting that can take out a single tank or a whole city."
—Adam Fenix having the first idea about the Hammer of Dawn

The Hammer of Dawn was first envisioned by the then Captain Adam Fenix after the Battle of Ragani, where Fenix discovered a need to create a deterrent in order to end the Pendulum Wars and force politicians to rethink their decisions. Adam would leave the army and join the Defense Research Agency in 17 B.E. as deputy head of the weapons research division.[5] Adam hoped that he could create an orbital weapon that would end all wars. With his aide, Dr. Nevil Estrom, they worked on the Hammer of Dawn for thirteen years until the UIR scientist, Dr. Mauris Ivo, published an article in Engineering Today, discussing how super-pure crystals could help with satellite accuracy. This made Adam Fenix realize that the UIR were in the weapons race for orbital satellites and winning.[2]

Operation LevelerEdit

"We got the Indie research. My dad says it's saved him years of work."
—Marcus to Dominic
Hammer of Dawn blueprint

Hammer of Dawn blueprint stolen from the UIR.

With the fear of the UIR winning the weapons race while the COG's orbital satellite-based lasers were just blueprints and computer models, Chairman Tomas Dalyell ordered General Jolyon Iver and Director of Special Forces Major Hoffman to find a way to steal or destroy the Indie satellite plans. Adam Fenix objected to killing the UIR scientists who couldn't be captured, much to Hoffman's disgust. Hoffman felt that Fenix was too squeamish. The COG Army's 26 RTI Special Tactics Group were able to successfully steal the technology from the UIR and Adam Fenix would continue to reverse-engineer the data and use it to create the Hammer of Dawn.[6]


The Hammer of Dawn destroying the several UIR ships.

Ending the Pendulum WarsEdit

In the last year of the Pendulum Wars, the Hammer of Dawn was completed and was being phased into military use; the Garadaner Test Ranges, which was an island off the coast of Tyrus, was picked for the first practice target. The Hammer of Dawn fired two low-intensity beams at a mock town on the island. The COG military command was satisfied with the Hammer of Dawn and ordered it to be used to end the Battle of Bonbourg where the UIR Third Fleet was inflicting losses on the COG Army that were occupying the city. The UIR Third Fleet took up positions off the coast of Orsitin and preventing any COG movement inside the city of Bonbourg. Before being used on the Indie ships, Adam Fenix asked that the Chairman give the Indies one final chance to surrender before the Hammer was used. The UIR refused to surrender and its Third Fleet was targeted. The Hammer of Dawn was used to great effect and destroyed four Indie ships in seconds, forcing the UIR to withdraw from the combat zone.[3]

The Hammer of Dawn sent shockwaves into the UIR leadership and forced Premier Yori Deschenko to the negotiation table. The war ended soon after while some Furlin units believed the ceasefire was a propaganda trick. While the Gorasni High Council vowed to continue fighting, the Pendulum Wars mostly came to an end for the people of Sera. Adam Fenix was awarded the Octus Medal for his works.[7]


Adam's blueprint for the Hammer of Dawn.

Locust WarEdit

The Destruction of Halvo BayEdit

After the surprise attack from the Locust on E-Day, the Hammer of Dawn was used to help defend COG held cities like Halvo Bay. During the destruction of Halvo Bay, many small scale hammer strikes occurred over Old Town in an attempt to quell the heavy Locust presence around the area. The sky was alive with bright red laser beams. At one point, Kilo Squad was at risk of being hit by one of the strikes; they had just over 5 minutes to clear the area and get out of range.[8]

Burning SeraEdit


The Hammer of Dawn razing a Seran city.

A year after the Locust invasion of Sera, newly elected Chairman Richard Prescott was elected after Tomas passed away from a heart attack.[4] Chairman Prescott acting out on information that the main Locust forces was based in southern Tyrus would overrun the heartland of the COG in a month, tried organizing one final offensive to rid the Locust Horde. But several heads of states including former UIR leader Yori Deschenko refused to lend any soldiers to the offensive stating no troops could be spared from their home nations defenses. Only the South Islands offered military aid.

So Prescott fell onto his last option; using the Fortification Act as a legal argument, Chairman Prescott decided that the Hammer of Dawn must be used to stop and deny the Locust Horde any military assist. Prescott announced his decision to a small group of COG military elite and professor Adam Fenix. After the Chairman "won" the debate on using the Hammer of Dawn he gave into the idea of allowing three days for all civilians to retreat into the safe zone on Jacinto Plateau before unleashing the Hammer of Dawn. Several COG heads of state condemned him for abandoning the member states of the Coalition for Tyrus. After the three day wait, the Hammer of Dawn was unleashed on all of Locust occupied Sera. The Hammer burned 90% of Sera, killed billions of Humans and an untold number of Locust on the surface, leveled thousands of cities, and decimated scores of plant and animal life. The attack did not stop the Locust but instead prolonged the war for another fourteen years. The survivors of the Hammer strikes abandoned the COG and began to call themselves "Stranded", thinking they had been abandoned and left for dead. The entire planet fell into severe environmental degradation in the aftermath of the attack, due to the firestorms that swept across the landscape.

Evacuation of IlimaEdit

"You grubs are gonna love this..."
—Michael Barrick, as he's about to use the Hammer of Dawn's command center to take down the Locust attacking their evacuation outpost.

When Ilima city came under attack by Locust forces led by General RAAM, they began overrunning several COG outposts, including the one guarded by Zeta-Six. After several failed attempts to stop the Locust, Lt. Minh Young Kim requested permission to use the Hammer of Dawn. After being allowed to do so, Cpl. Michael Barrick headed for the command center of the Hammer and used it to kill waves of Reavers, Boomers, Grinders and Drones. The Hammer of Dawn was used against a Brumak that Zeta spotted but it failed to kill the creature and destroyed the nearby buildings instead in a trigger happy frenzy.

Later, during the evacuation, Lt. Kim came up with a plan to clear up communications by using the command center inside the City Hall. After killing all enemy forces outside the building, they entered the command center and used it to destroy the Seeders outside.

The Treason of Marcus FenixEdit

"You dicked around and cost men's lives, Sergeant. You cost us Jacinto. Your father just snapped his fingers, and bang, you leave your men and stroll off with the targeting laser. You think that doesn't make you an asshole, at the very least? You got a buddy like Dom, who'd shit his last drop of blood for you, who put you first even when his wife went missing, and you do that to men depending on you?"
—Hoffman to Sgt. Fenix, after the Evacuation of North Gate at Wrightman Base

In the tenth year of the War, Ephyra the COG's capital was attacked. The Locust attacked the city with over ten-thousand troops from the underground metro tunnels. COG forces were pushed back all the way to Chancery Bridge where Sgt.Marcus Fenix, armed with a Hammer of Dawn targeting laser, was fighting the Locust with his squad until he heard his father's distress call. Marcus abandoned his men and took the targeting laser with him, leaving his men to die. Marcus was unable to save his father and allowed the Locust to overrun the bridge. Only two Gears survived the battle on Chancery bridge. Half of Ephyra was captured by the Locust and the Horde was able to get a footing on the Jacinto Plateau.[6]


Marcus Fenix using the Hammer on a Berserker in the Conservatory.

Lightmass OffensiveEdit

During the Lightmass Offensive, the recently freed Marcus Fenix took part in a coordinated military operation to deploy the Lightmass Bomb, with the intention of completely destroying the Hollows. While fighting inside the House of Sovereigns, Locust Seeders blocked all communications and inked the sky, thus forcing Lt. Minh Young Kim to deploy the Hammer of Dawn in an effort to eliminate the Seeders and the Drones protecting them.

Later, Marcus and Dom quickly used it on a Berserker in the grounds of the Tomb of the Unknowns before there was no more satellite coverage. During the charge through the East Barricade Academy, Delta used it against more Seeders and Locust troops. They later faced a second Berserker in the conservatory. By tempting it to run into the walls and shatter the glass roof, they managed to get a clear enough sky to use the Hammer on the beast.

When a third Berserker appeared on the Tyro Pillar, Marcus asked for use of the weapon, but it couldn't be used as Nemacyst were inking up the sky too much, and they were also a moving target.[9]

Last Days of JacintoEdit

After Operation: Hollow Storm, the COG discovered that the Locust planned to sink Jacinto City, but if they sunk it first, they would drown both the Locust Horde and Lambent threat. Marcus Fenix was able to clear a way for the COG using the Hammer of Dawn to cut his way through the Siege of Jacinto and reach the sinkhole until he came across a Brumak. Utilizing the Brumak, Marcus cleared an underground path and the COG was able to send a King Raven with a Lightmass Bomb to destroy the foundations of Jacinto city but a Lambent Brumak destroyed the Raven and Marcus used the Hammer of Dawn to vaporize the Lambent creature and sink Jacinto City. The sinking caused them to lose humanity's last sanctuary, but it flooded the Hollow and drowned most of the Locust Horde.[10]

Lambent PandemicEdit

"She's down! Drop the Hammer!"
—Anya Stroud during the battle with Queen Myrrah

In 15 A.E., the Lambent attacked Vectes island after the COG retreated there after Jacinto was lost. The COG and their new UIR allies joined and unified under the COG banner and had to fight the local Stranded population. Three Lambent Leviathans attacked Vectes Island and damaged several COG ships until the COG dropped the Hammer of Dawn on the Leviathans, taking them out and destroying 1/3 of New Jacinto.

A few weeks later, another Lambent Leviathan attacked Vectes. The Hammer of Dawn was employed to try to stop it, but failed because there were not enough surviving satellites to target accurately.

When Delta rescued Dizzy Wallin from an overwhelming force of Queen's Guards, Marcus Fenix discovered a Hammer of Dawn targeting laser in the supply bay. He used it to wipe out the Reavers and Guards.

During the defense of Anvil Gate, Damon Baird was tasked with repairing the fort's built-in Hammer of Dawn targeting system. He repaired the system just in time for it to be used on an increasing Lambent presence, including a Lambent Berserker. The Lambent Drones and Drudges were destroyed, but the Berserker survived a direct hit.

At the Endeavour Naval Shipyard, Marcus Fenix came across another targeting laser at a control room while searching for some Imulsion to fuel the CNV Adamant. After loading the fuel, he used it to fend off several Reavers, Bloodmounts and Guards.

During the Second Battle of Azura, the Hammer was employed to kill the Tempest and defeat Queen Myrrah. The Tempest was powerful enough that it took several hits to take it down, but it was finally killed. It was indicated that the Hammer of Dawn was the only weapon powerful enough to kill the creature.

Swarm WarEdit

Following the end of the Locust War and Lambent Pandemic, the Hammer of Dawn went permanently offline, impossible to access. As one of her goal as First Minister, Anya Stroud forbid the re-activation of the weapon as she didn't want the tragedy of the Hammer of Dawn Counterattack to ever happen again. After Anya stepped down, her protege Jinn carried on her wish. In 42 A.E., during the first days of the Swarm War, JD Fenix asked First Minister Mina Jinn if he and Delmont Walker will be able to use the Hammer of Dawn during their mission to Orzabal Crater. She categorically refused. Once Damon Baird became aware of the dire situation in the crater, he offered Jinn fixing the system and deploying it in the Orzabal Crater in order to save the trapped Gears and contain the Swarm forces emerging from the Locust burial site located there - his suggestion was also rejected.

One week later, the two met again in a DB Industries factory, where Baird, once again, urged Jinn to use the Hammer while discussing the COG's strategy for the struggle against the Swarm. Jinn refused again, explaining the current status of the system and her will to keep it offline. After returning to his estate that day, Baird entered his hidden lab and together with his AI assistant, IRIS, browsed the files of the disc Adam Fenix gave him 25 years earlier, looking for information regarding the Hammer of Dawn. During the search, Baird found something he had either missed or overlooked before connected to the Hammer, something that he didn't understand the meaning of: Azura.[11]


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The reformed Delta Squad travels to an Abandoned Research Facility on Azura to reactivate the Hammer of Dawn by launching a satellite still on the island. However, the Hammer of Dawn malfunctions when fired. Later, the team travels to Vasgar to launch Hammer of Dawn satellites prepared by the now-defunct UIR to restore the system.

Battle of Old EphyraEdit

During the Battle of Old Ephyra, the COG attempts to use the restored Hammer of Dawn to defeat the Swarm forces, in particular, the Kraken. However, the Hammer of Dawn targeting beacons are destroyed and the weapon can't be fired without potentially destroying half the city. JACK hijacks control of the Hammer of Dawn from Damon Baird and flies himself into the Kraken's mouth to act as a targeting beacon. JACK fires the Hammer, destroying the Kraken and himself and saving the city.

Drawbacks and UsesEdit

"You still got Hammer of Dawn control, Colonel? You know, the big dangerous one?"
"I do, but the targeting system's screwed. Can't risk it.
Baird and Victor Hoffman during the defense of Anvil Gate

The Hammer of Dawn could only be used if a targeting laser or a Hammer of Dawn Mobile Command Center was able to paint a target with clear skies overhead. A larger version of this targeting system was also built into the command center at Anvil Gate. 

The Locust could successfully stop the Hammer from being used with their Seeders by having the Nemacyst ink the skies.[9] The design of the Hammer of Dawn was originally meant for strategic warfare but later became a tactical weapon. By 15 A.E., the Hammer of Dawn satellites began breaking down and malfunctioning due to a lack of maintenance, for obvious reasons, noticeably eroding accuracy and the overall reliability of the system.[4]


Hammer of Dawn schematics.


  • In the first two games, when the Hammer of Dawn is available, the player has unlimited fire as long as they have satellite coverage. In Gears of War 3, the Hammer of Dawn has to be reloaded after two sustained bursts, particularly while fighting the Tempest.



  2. 2.0 2.1 Gears of War: Unsaid
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gears of War: Promise Me
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Gears of War: Jacinto's Remnant
  5. Gears of War: They Also Serve
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gears of War: Aspho Fields
  7. Gears of War 3
  8. Gears of War: Judgment
  9. 9.0 9.1 Gears of War
  10. Gears of War 2
  11. Gears of War: Ascendance
The Weapons and Equipment of Gears of War
Rifles EMBAR Railgun · Enforcer Submachine Gun (Shock variant) · GZ18 Markza Sniper Rifle (Marksman variant) · Longshot Sniper Rifle · Mark 1 Lancer Assault Rifle (Police variant) · Mark 2 Lancer Assault Rifle (Custom variant) · Mark 3 Lancer Assault Rifle (GL variant)
Shotguns Gnasher Shotgun · Overkill Shotgun · Sawed-Off Shotgun
Sidearms MX8 Snub Pistol · Talon Autopistol
Grenades Beacon Grenade · Bolo Grenade · Flashbang · Incendiary Grenade · Shock Grenade · Smoke Grenade · Stim-Gas Grenade
Heavy Weapons Booshka Grenade Launcher · Buzzkill · Cryo Cannon · Dropshot Munitions Launcher · Hammer of Dawn · Longspear Rocket Launcher · Mortar · Mulcher · One-Shot · Rocket Launcher · Salvo Rocket Launcher · Scorcher Flamethrower · Tripwire Crossbow · Tri-Shot Chain Gun
Other Adrenaline Injector · Auto-Turret · Blow Torch · Brader · Chain Gun · Chainsaw Bayonet · COG Armor · COG Tag · Combat Knife · Commando Knife · Fire Extinguisher · Flechette Guns · Gas Mask · Gut-Puncher · Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon · Industrial Staple Gun · Lightmass Bomb · Lightmass Missile · Machete · Molotov Cocktail · Musket · Stomper · Twin-Barrel Turret · UIR Armor · Ultra-Violet Turret · Venom Bomb · Vulcan Gatling Gun
Rifles Breechshot · Claw Light Machine Gun · Hammerburst Assault Rifle (Gorgon variant) · Hammerburst II
Shotguns Elite Sawed-Off Shotgun
Sidearms Boltok Pistol · Gorgon Submachine Gun
Grenades Bolo Grenade · Ink Grenade · Kryll Grenade
Heavy Weapons Boomshot Grenade Launcher · Breaker Mace · Butcher Cleaver · Digger Launcher · Torque Bow
Other Boom Shield · Dual Chainsaw Staff · Multi-Turret · Nemacyst · Thumper · Troika Heavy Machine Gun
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