Gloriana-class Battleship

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A Gloriana-class of the Iron Warriors compared to a Cobra-class escort

The Gloriana is a rare class of Battleship fielded during the Great Crusade. Created to be the flagships of the Emperor's sons and their Space Marine legions, each and every one is armed to the teeth and heavily armored, on top of being customized depending on each Primarch's needs. At least two different patterns of the class were made as a base to build on, with the Scylla pattern being slightly larger than the Circe pattern. The four largest Glorianas were stated to be the Iron Blood, the Conquerer, The Hrafnkel, and the Vengeful Spirit.

It's important to not understate how massive each individual Gloriana was. They were capable of holding entire expeditionary forces and their support staff and equipment complement. Many of them could hold a sizeable portion of a Titan legion inside them, something that normally requires a single dedicated ship to do so. The entirety of a full-strength "modern-day" Chapter of Space Marines would have trouble filling out even a tenth of their cavernous holds. They were built to such exacting standards that it took nearly 10% of Mars' entire production output working flat out for years to build them.

Not only that, but their firepower was immense as well, with enough lance turrets, macro-cannons, torpedo tubes, and fighter launch bays to fight off entire fleets, with a good chance of the Gloriana coming out on top. Indeed historically, the only way to take out a Gloriana was either through sheer numbers and/or weight of fire, or with another Gloriana. In reality, there were several exceptional ships, like the Terminus Est, Infidus Imperator, and the Abyss Class Super-Battleships that could give Gloriana Class a run for their money.

Chariots of the Primarchs[edit]

During the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy, each Legion had at least one Gloriana class warship as their Legion Flagship, except for the Imperial Fists who had the larger and even more deadly Phalanx (and the Alpha Legion which secretly had two flagships).

  • Dark Angels: The Invincible Reason (Survived the Horus Heresy and serves as the Dark Angels' flagship.)
  • Emperor's Children: Pride of the Emperor (Crippled during the Battle of Thessela, one of the few battles Girlyman lost. No further updates on it's status)
  • Iron Warriors: Iron Blood (Unknown, probably some reconstructed as a Space Station or Perturabo keeps it in reserve on Merdengrad)
  • White Scars: Swordstorm (Became one with the speed force at Catallus, after Jaghatai attempted to use it as a trap to kill Mortarion.)
  • Space Wolves: Hrafnkel (Galaxy's largest space tavern, known only to Fenris people who don't want to talk about it)
  • Imperial Fists: Eternal Crusader (Currently serving with the Black Templars, as the Imperial Fists have the Phalanx.)
  • Night Lords: Nightfall (Last seen during the Siege of Terra. Nobody knows it's current status, making it a Grimdark version of the Batcave.)
  • Blood Angels: Red Tear (Sanguinius asked a woman to park it. As a consequence, mostly because she was driven mad by Chaos, it crashed on Signus Prime and got transformed into a fortress. It was later towed back into space, repaired, and served in the Horus Heresy. No other activities after that)
  • Iron Hands: Fist of Iron (Was severely damaged by the Pride of the Emperor after Fulgrim failed to turn Ferrus. No details about it's ultimate fate)
  • World Eaters: Conqueror (Formerly Adamant Resolve. Continues to be in active service after the Horus Heresy, last being seen during the 13th Black Crusade.)
  • Ultramarines: Macragge's Honour (Girlyman's space chariot/boat. Actually doing stuff for the Imperium.)
  • Death Guard: Endurance (In service to Nurgle, so its a big garbage truck)
  • Thousand Sons: Photep (Was sent away by Magnus with a contingent of Thousand Sons marines before the Burning of Prospero. Later got stolen by Tzeetch, who never gave it back.)
  • Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus: Vengeful Spirit/Magna Tyrannis (The Vengeful Spirit is currently used by Failbaddon whenever he has astupid temper tantrum. The Magna Tyrannis is currently renamed as the Harbinger of Doom, and serves as the Spirit's equally competent but more obscure sibling.)
  • Word Bearers: Fidelitas Lex/Chronicle of Ashes (The Fidelitas Rex was destroyed by the Ultramarines over Nuceria during the Shadow Crusade. Role as flagship was taken over by the Trisagion. The Chronicle of Ashes was captured by the Ultramarines during the Great Scouring and after being expunged of chaos taint: was renamed the Lex Talonis and given to the Nemesis Chapter, an Ultramarine successor.)
  • Salamanders: Flamewrought (Disappeared after the Dropsite Massacre. A Battle Barge named in it's honor later served as the Salamanders' flagship.)
  • Raven Guard: Shadow of the Emperor (Destroyed by the Terminus Est during the Dropsite Massacre)
  • Alpha Legion: Alpha/Beta (Alpha was last seen during the Battle of Pluto. Beta was last seen under the command of Omegon after Alpharius supposedly died on Pluto. Much like the Alpha Legion: both ships seemingly disappeared out of thin air.)

Swords of the Emperor[edit]

There are few Gloriana-class still in active duty in the modern-day Imperium, and in all cases these honored relics are in command of Astartes Chapters rather than the Imperial Navy. Needless to say, these old survivors have near-legendary reputations or honor rolls that would fill the libraries of entire planetary systems.

The Eternal Crusader, formerly of the Imperial Fists Legion, still lives up to its name, serving as the mobile Chapter-monastery of the Black Templars. Up until recently it had been in pursuit of the infamous Warboss Ghazgul, but has since then been deployed for the Cardinal Worlds Crusade in the wake of the formation of the Great Rift.

The Invincible Reason still remains the flagship of the Dark Angels, though in practice it mostly serves as the escort of The Rock in its travels through the galaxy. Much like the Rock, it's currently deployed in Imperium Nihilus.

The Macragge's Honour of the Ultramarines by comparison spent much of the intervening millennia as a spaceborne shrine to their Primarch, and has only relatively recently returned to active service. For a time it was lost to the Red Corsairs in the wake of the disastrous Terran Crusade, but has since then been recovered, and once more serves as the Lord Commander's flagship.

Finally there's the Chronicle of Ashes, formerly of the Word Bearers, it was captured, renamed the Lex Talonis, and had since then served the Nemesis Chapter as their flagship. One can only imagine how long it took and how hard it was to cleanse such a huge vessel of chaos taint, and there's a good chance the depths of the ship still aren't completely safe.

Echoes of the Old War[edit]

Still as deadly as ever

There are several Gloriana-class ships known to be still in service to the dark powers.

The most infamous of them all, the Vengeful Spirit, flagship of the archtraitor Horus Lupercal, still bedevils the Imperium well into the current age. Now under the command of his successor, the Warmaster Abaddon the Despoiler, the ship leads the fleets of the Black Legion in their rampage out of the Eye of Terror after the fall of Cadia.

Likewise the Magna Tyrannis, renamed the Harbinger of Doom, flies the colors of the Black Legion and serves as the second flagship of the Black Fleet.

Mortarion still commands the plague-ridden Endurance, and used it during the Plague Wars to terrorize the worlds of Ultramar, exchanging a couple broadsides with the Macragge's Honor before retreating. Likewise the Conqueror still remains under the control of the World Eaters, who use it to wreak havoc in Khorne's name, presumably Angron takes command when he is summoned to the Materium.

It's conceivable that the Alpha and Beta of the Legion that doesn't exist are still in operation, but given how that Legion functions, no one knows for sure.

In Battlefleet Gothic[edit]

The Gloriana-class was not statted out when the specialist game was first released. Eventually we were provided the stats of the Vengeful Spirit, but it was underwhelming to say the least, being a slightly more boarding-effective Chaos Battle Barge. It doesn't even get Chaos-specific benefits, especially compared to the other Chaos God-aligned battles barges statted out (see the Terminus Est of the Death Guard).

Not exacly reflecting its reputation as a ship capable of fending off entire Loyalist fleets, and enduring the world-breaking duel between the Emperor and Horus.

The sidebar to the Vengeful Spirit also mentions its equivalents still serving the Imperium are considered "relic" Battle Barges that can customize their weapon load-out before deployment for free, and come with a Space Marine crew by default. Again, a far cry from what's expected of a ship class that can fend off fleets on its own.

In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2[edit]

The ship class makes its debut in the sequel game, with Macragge's Honour representing the Imperium while the Vengeful Spirit appears on the Chaos side. Each is easily twice as powerful and durable as a "regular" battleship of their faction. Just don't send them without escorts however, as they can still be overwhelmed by multiple ships ganging up on them.

Hilariously, if you play the Chaos campaign: there's a mission that has you defeating the Macragge's Honour, taking Guilliman prisoner (somehow). This results in the Word Bearers gleefully corrupting the Macragge's Honor and re-christening it as the "Monarchia Redeemed".

Homebrew Stats[edit]

The lack of "official" stats that reflect the actual capabilities of the class hasn't stopped players from trying to create some of their own. The following statistics are one of the more reasonable tries at this:

Class Pts Type/Hits Speed Turns Shields Armour Turrets
Gloriana 750 Battleship/14 20 cm 45 degrees 5 6+ 4
Armament Range/Speed Firepower/Str Fire Arc
Port weapons battery 60cm 6 Left
Starboard weapons battery 60cm 6 Right
Port weapons battery 45cm 6 Left
Starboard weapons battery 45cm 6 Right
Dorsal Lance turret 60cm 6 Left/Forward/Right
Port Launch Bay Thunderhawk 20cm, Stormhawk 30cm 3 Squadrons -
Starboard Launch Bay Thunderhawk 20cm, Stormhawk 30cm 3 Squadrons -
  • Relic: The Gloriana-class is an irreplaceable remnant of a better but bygone age. The loss of such a ship is considered a grievous blow to the Imperium as well as the Forces of Chaos. The Gloriana gives 50% more Victory Points if Crippled, and 200% more Victory Points if Destroyed.