Design and abilities
The War Machines were box-like and incapable of advanced movement or any great speed, travelling slower than an average walking speed. They had two mechanical hammer-headed arms for short-range attacking, two guns for striking further distances, and a tank-like central track seemingly for movement. They had flashing lights on the front of the box. (TV: The War Machines)
The War Machines were robots designed by the super-computer WOTAN and built by its human slaves in its plot to conquer Earth. WOTAN processed the thoughts that machines should become the dominant force on Earth and removal of humans was necessary. Out of the twelve War Machines that WOTAN ordered built, only two of them were activated.
The first War Machine attacked and killed many of the soldiers in the army detachment Orange Patrol during the raid on the warehouse and was undamaged as it jammed the soldiers' weapons using some form of neutalizing power (the men's guns failed to fire and grenades lobbed at the machine did not explode). Before it could kill the remaining soldiers and the First Doctor, it shut down because it was unfinished. The second War Machine, (TV: The War Machines) Valk, (PROSE: The War Machines) was captured by the Doctor in a magnetic field. He then reprogrammed it to destroy WOTAN, which it did. (TV: The War Machines)
Centuries in the future, historians of New Jupiter mistakenly believed that the War Machines were designed by the General Post Office to deliver mail. Consequently, replicas of War Machines were part of the Twentieth Century section of EarthWorld. (PROSE: EarthWorld)
In the video game Happy Deathday, played by Izzy Sinclair on the Time-Space Visualiser, a War Machine was among a host of "every single enemy" that the Doctor had ever defeated, who were assembled by the Beige Guardian and pitted against the Doctor's first eight incarnations. (COMIC: Happy Deathday)