Space Marine Battle-barge
A Battle-Barge is a large capital ship employed by Space Marine fleets. With the exception of the mobile fortress-monasteries employed by some Chapters, they are the largest capital ships available to the Space Marines. A Chapter will generally have two or three, though some have more (e.g. the Ultramarines have five and the Space Wolves have EIGHT). They are usually smaller than Battleships at around 6-7km due to the general lower troop count for most Space Marine Chapters.
The term itself is more of a ship type than a specific pattern; the Adeptus Mechanicus does produce a special pattern of ship just for Space Marines, but any ship can be used as a battle barge so long as it has enough capacity to launch vast quantities of Thunderhawks and Drop Pods and enough weapons and armor to protect them. A standard battle-barge has the facilities for three entire companies to operate out of, including support staff and logistics, such as vehicle repair.
No matter what they start as, or what they look like, battle-barges (like all Space Marine starships) are specialized for planetary assault. They have relatively little long-range firepower, but instead have enough hangar and torpedo bay capacity to launch three full companies of Space Marines at once, perform an orbital bombardment, or even commit Exterminatus.
Like its smaller cousins, the Battle-barge also comes in two distinct patterns.
The Battle Barge Mk.I has slightly less dps and crit output as the Mk.II variant, with the Mk.II creating those numbers using lances as opposed to full macros. On top of that, the macro bay being plasma with extended range, means the mark two actually has a far higher practical damage output than the mark one, at least one it comes to direct fire weaponry.
Either option of Battle-Barge you take comes with a trio of launch bays, just enough to be able to overcome turret defences without backup squadrons. As with all Space Marine vessels that combine torpedoes with launch bays, the Battle Barge Mk.I can use its torpedoes as cover for bombers or vice versa with fighters covering its torpedoes. Unfortunately taking more than one of these large and expensive ships would severely limit your fleet numbers and make you susceptible to swarm attacks.
It is armed with 6 Torpedo Launchers, 1 Super Heavy Launch Bay carrying Stormhawk Interceptors, Thunderhawks, Space Marine Landing Crafts, Drop Pods and Boarding Torpedoes, 2 Heavy Macro Battery Weapons and 3 Bombardment Cannon Turrets.
- Length: 6-7km
- Mass: 50.2 megatonnes; approx
- Crew: 65,000 crew, 10,000 pilots and support personnel; approx
- Acceleration: 2.1 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx
The Mk.II swaps out the ordnance and goes all-in with plasma and lance weapons.
As mentioned above, while possessing almost the same raw dps values as the Battle Barge Mk.I, the Mk.II has a much higher practical DPS with a much longer range when you consider that a big chunk of output comes in the form of lances that can't miss and treat armor at 50% no matter what the range is. Because of this, the Battle Barge Mk.II is utterly devastating against small ships and armored targets that need to close range to do damage, such as the Ork ships. Once those vessels finally do get in close range, the Mk.II maintains it's full dps while adding all of it's powerful assault actions to the mix.
One interesting fact about the Battle Barge Mk.II is that while typically plasma macros drop some crit chance and damage to get their extended range, these ones manage to get the range bonus with none of the downsides.
It is armed with 2 Heavy Lance Artillery, 1 Super Heavy Launch Bay carrying Stormhawk Interceptors, Thunderhawks, Space Marine Landing Crafts, Drop Pods and Boarding Torpedoes, 2 Plasma Heavy Macro Battery Weapons and 3 Lance Turrets.
- Length: 6-7km
- Mass: 49.8 megatonnes; approx
- Crew: 53,000 crew, 13,000 pilots and support personnel; approx
- Acceleration: 2.1 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx
Notable Battle Barges
The Bucephelus is a giant, golden Battle Barge used by The Emperor himself as his flagship during parts of the early stages of the Great Crusade. It was apparently so large, it generated it's own gravity field.
One of the 3 vessels known to have been the Emperor's flagships, he eventually dumped the Bucephelus and eventually used the "Imperator Somnium" as his flagship, which was even larger. Despite it's sacred history as being the personal steed of The Emperor himself and one of the Mechanicus' priceless works of art: nobody knows what happened to it, as if The Emperor just dumped it in a space parking lot somewhere and left it to rot while cruising in his new ride. However, considering the Imperial precedent for ignominious defeats, if it ever were lost in battle, it's even odds that everyone would just agree not to talk about it. The Siege of Terra reveals that it was still in use by the Siege of Terra and was used as a massive distraction carnifex to cover Corswain's Dark Angels' landing to retake the Astronomican. It's exact size isn't known but considering that it mounted 10 Nova cannons on it's prow - when even Battleship sized craft can only mount one - it's got to have been pretty huge.
Confusingly, it has been described as having been created on Terra before the Crusade even started.
Daughter of Tempests
A Lamenters Battle Barge deployed during the Corinth Crusade, in support of the Ultramarines.
While crusading the glorious motha-fukas of the most put upon Chapter in Imperial history learned of an Ork slave world cheerily named Slaughterhouse III. When the Lamenters were told that no other forces could be spared to free the world from the greenskin menace, they took it upon themselves to do so. When Daughter of Tempests jumped to the system, she intentionally emerged from the warp absurdly close to the Orkish defenses of the planet; the greenskins were taken by surprise and didn't get a shot off before the Daughter had disabled the orbital guns and deployed 300 yellow armored Sons of Sanguinius to the surface. She then assisted in the evacuation of 3 million survivors before the Lamenters declared Exterminatus to deny the Orks access to the planet's resources, including billions of other human survivors who could not be evacuated in time, but willingly chose to stay behind to allow the remaining Lamenters to escape the planet before being overrun by the Ork reinforcements..
She was taken as a prize during the Badab War by the Minotaurs who ambushed the Lamenters Chapter Fleet and brought the chapter to its knees during a brutal 17 hour boarding action.
The Minotaurs would later lose the ship to the Necrons during the war for the Orpheus sector.
When "Those Knife Eared Assholes" swiped the Salamander Strike Cruiser Forgehammer from Real Space and stashed it in their City, Vulkans Wrath lead a fleet Of Salamanders, Howling Griffons, and Silver Skulls into Commorragh itself to rescue their brothers. With the forces of 3 Chapters of Space Marines wreaking havoc in the streets, the missing cruiser was located, held down by an Electric Spire. Terminators deployed from Vulkan's Wrath teleported to Forgehammer's decks and loosed the cruisers missile battery on the spire. With Forgehammer free, Vulkan's Wrath lead the strike group out of the Dark City and into the safety of Imperial space.
The Flag Ship of the Astral Knights.
Tempestus was the battering ram on which the Astral Knights rode to their Glorious Destiny in the battles against the World Engine.
After the destruction of the World Engine and the entire chapter, Tempestus was salvaged and converted into an Imperial Shrine dedicated to the 772 Heroes of the Astral Knights on the world of Safehold, the last planet scoured by the World Engine.
Introduced in Battlefleet Gothic, the Seditio Opprimere is an Ultramarines ship that alarmed the Administratum and the Imperial Navy due to the modifications done to it in the wake of the First Tyrannic War. Y'see, the Seditio is a dedicated Lance boat, with many of its launch bays replaced instead by massive Lance batteries.
While the Ultramarines gave (a perfectly valid) excuse that the modifications were for clearing the space-lanes of Ultramar of any and all lingering Tyranid bio-ships in the wake of Hive Fleets Behemoth and Kraken, in practice this meant that the Smurfs now had a dedicated battleship killer, which the Space Marines (at that time of fluff) shouldn't have.
And kill battleships on the tabletop it did. It was so killy that it had to eventually be nerfed, with its Lance batteries replaced instead by much shorter-ranged Bombardment Cannons. Guess what? It didn't stop the rape train, it just made it less range but more FUN
In Battlefleet Gothic
The Battle-barge is the biggest available to Space Marine fleets, comparable to an Imperial Navy Battleship. Due to the lack of Lance weaponry (ignoring the Seditio) however, the Battle-barge is more geared towards mid-to-short range brawls, and despite the forward-facing Torpedo tubes it gets by default, a player will mostly rely on its Weapons Batteries, Launch Bays, and Bombardment Cannon to do its work.
Due to its armor and shields, plus the Space Marine crew, its more than capable of getting in close and dealing pain.
In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada (1 & 2)
The Battle-barge is one of the toughest ships available, with excellent armor and shields. Due to its Space Marine crew, the ship is immune to Morale Loss, and much more effective at boarding actions.
The ship comes in two flavors in-game, with one featuring the "classic" close-range brawler weapons configuration of Torpedoes (standard or Boarding), Macrocannons and Weapons batteries, while the other gets the Seditio suite of long-ranged Lances on top of the Torps. Both versions retain their Launch Bays for fighter or bomber support.
Regardless of your choice, it's best to keep in mind the point costs, as these ships are also much more expensive than their counterpart in the Imperial Navy.