Imperial Navy Battleship

From 1d4chan

"A magnificent ship no doubt, but I would rather have a crew who knew their airlaps from their transons."

– Admiral Rath, on viewing the Emperor-class Battleship Dominus Astra

The biggest and heaviest ship class available to the Imperial Navy, the Battleship is often the flagship of the Admiral during a campaign. These ships are often the heaviest hitters of any armada,with guns, armor, fighter and bomber support, and torpedoes a-plenty. Properly supported by its fleet, a Battleship can easily turn the tide in an engagement. Just don't expect them to get anywhere quickly, due to their relatively ponderous speed.

Many Battleships are centuries or even millennia old, with rolls of honor to match. The loss of any Battleship is keenly felt by the fleet in question, with each a near-priceless relic that cannot be easily replaced, even by a Forge World like Mars.

Battleships typically come in three flavors: Ordnance ships (armed with a majority of Macrocannons), Lance ships (armed mostly with Lances), and Carriers (carrying mostly Fighters and Bombers).




The Posterboy of the game, right there.

The poster-ship for Battlefleet Gothic, the Emperor carries four Launch Bays worth fighters and bombers, which are supplemented by a suite of macrocannons for ship-to-ship combat. Hence, it is more accurate to state that the Emperor is a Carrier Battleship Battlestar rather than a true Aircraft Carrier due to its heavy armaments. This means that the Emperor can reliably put the hurt on enemies at extreme range, and in-universe accounts for the versatility and self-sufficiency of the class.

It is also one of the oldest designs still in use, due to the discovery of Divine Right fused into a Space Hulk for some ten thousand years.

Fun fact: despite having a third gun/lance/launch deck compared to the Vengeance, its castle (the butt with the engines and stuff) is not significantly increased to correspond with the obviously greatly increased needs and crew.

In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 1 & 2, the Emperor has the longest Identification Range of the ship type, shared only by the Oberon-class Battleship and Widowmaker-class escort.

  • Length: 8-12km
  • Mass: 60 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 155,000 crew, 28,000 pilots and support personnel; approx
  • Acceleration: 1.8 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx


A literal hand-me down bootleg of the Posterboy above.

A modification of the Emperor-class, the Nemesis adds two more Flight Decks, to a total of six, in exchange for some of its guns. It is a relatively cost-effective way for the Imperium to re-use old Carriers into something viable.

In many ways, the Nemesis functions like an actual Aircraft Carrier found in the 21st century rather than the Carrier Battleship layout of the Emperor; a vessel that primarily hosts aircraft and is minimally armed with CIWS whilst dependent on being defended by a carrier group.

Therefore, due to its mode of 'construction', the Nemesis is another rare class in-universe, as all existing Nemesis were created from damaged Emperor-class ships. On an interesting trivia, the Nemesis Class Fleet Carrier was originally a fan-designed ship by Matt Sprang.

It is arguably better than the Emperor-class, though. Can carry massive numbers of attack craft including a mixture of Fury Interceptors, Faustus Interceptors, Starhawk Bombers and Shark Assault Boats, freeing up lesser ships from wasting a deck for launch bays, yet still has the dorsal turret weapons for adding long-range firepower and blasting escorts stupid enough to attack it.

  • Length: 8-12km
  • Mass: 57 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 162,000 crew, 42,000 pilots and support personnel; approx
  • Acceleration: 1.8 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx

Lance Ships[edit]


Reach out and hurt somebody.

The long-ranged sniper of the Battleships, the Apocalypse carries a Nova Cannon and Lances a-plenty, this makes it the bane of small fast ships. In-universe it's one of the oldest Battleship designs available, and fairly rare, so much so that it is widely believed to be the precursor of the Retribution-class battleship.

Due to the Imperium being unable to replicate the Lance tech it uses, the rarity is further exasperated. Some naval strategists believe that these ships were created to deal with the threat posed by the growing number of Grand Cruisers and battleships from the Eye of Terror, a role at which the Apocalypse excels.

The Apocalypse has a small weapons battery on its dorsal section, and banks of lances down the port and starboard hull. Normally the weapons batteries would be used to collapse the shields of an enemy ship, before the lances rip into the ship directly. Instead, the Apocalypse uses its big dick Nova Cannon when closing in on the enemy.

Ironically in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 1 & 2, the Lance batteries of the Apocalypse had a shorter range than its Battleship brethren. One has to use its Overload Lances ability to bump up the range of its batteries up, which makes no sense as it should have had those ranges at base. Even odder is that this can't even be excused by the needs of game balance, as the stance that activates its overloaded lances is the one that should always be used with lance boats anyway. The only possible justification is that if a ship's deck is disabled it's locked out of stances, which is... incredibly dumb.

  • Length: 8-12km
  • Mass: 59 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 160,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 1.9 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx


When you have a broadside of lances, you are bound to vapourize a fool or two.

Another retrofitteed class of Battleships.

An attempt to recreate the Apocalypse-class with less fancier tech, the Victory is essentially a Retribution with its Broadside macros replaced with Lances, and its Torpedo tubes replaced with a Nova Cannon.

Its exact origin nonetheless remains unclear, as the Techpriests of Mars refuse to disclose the classes records due to the obvious and borderline heretical attempts at modifying the Retribution. The Victory-class is known to have existed as far back as the Great Crusade.

Much like the Apocalypse, it's good at sniping, and getting rid of pesky escorts.

It looks like it has replaced the parent archetype’s dorsal weapons batteries with lances, so in raw firepower it perhaps matches or even surpasses the Apocalypse if not range.

  • Length: 8-12km
  • Mass: 61 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 158,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 1.9 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx

Ordnance Ships[edit]


No, it's not as invincible as it says it is. Unless you send it against the enemies it was designed for, then it is essentially invincible.

A "fast battleship" class, the Invincible was designed with the pursuit of Xenos and Chaos raiders in mind. It was the brainchild of Admiral Kisher, this vessel was designed to hunt Chaos and Eldar Corsair raiders at the speed of a Light Cruiser. Despite protests from the Adeptus Mechanicus over inherent design flaws in the internal compartmentalization and issues with the back-up systems and power distribution grid, Kisher went ahead with the concept, citing the ship could kill anything that could outrun it, and outrun anything that could kill it.

Featuring the speed of a Dauntless on top of the usual weaponry of a Retribution, the Invincible was quick as it was deadly and its close external appearance to the Retribution caught many would-be attackers off guard. Finally, humans got to wipe those smug grins off the faces of Eldar and turn their tears of laughter into tears of terror.

Unfortunately, this speed came at the expense of protection, which meant that in a straight battleship duel the Invincible-class despite the name, suffered the same fate as the Battle cruisers used by Terra's various ocean navys and crumpled like wet cardboard (also not helped by some Admiral's foolishly using them as front line sluggers and the tactics given for it specifically detailing how to use it and placed in the Tactica Imperialis). Despite this, the ship was deemed successful enough to mass-produce.

  • Length: 8-12km
  • Mass: 64 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 171,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 4.3 gravities max sustainable acceleration


Crit all day everyday.

What one gets when you cram as many macrocannons on a hull as humanly possible, with some lances and torpedoes for flavor, the Retribution is as close to the Imperial Navy can get to a bruiser, capable of comfortably duking it out with opponents at medium-to-long ranges. The class as such, is a true ship of the line, being able to deliver a devastating broadside assault on the enemy, but is also equipped with impressive defenses.

The Retribution features the distinctive armoured prow of the Imperial Navy which allows it to speed headlong at the enemy fleet, ignoring all but the heaviest fire brought against it. The ship is also as fast as the main cruisers of the Imperial Fleet. Being able to keep up with them gives extra support that can be vital in a fleet engagement.

In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 1 & 2, the Retribution is actually the fastest Battleship type available to the Imperial Navy (probably as a nod to the Invincible-class). It also has arguably the highest damage potential of the available Battleships in the games; a full broadside plus successful ram is capable of crippling or even destroying ships the size of Cruisers or smaller.

  • Length: 8-12km
  • Mass: 66 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 169,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 2.3 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx



Maybe why we rarely see this thing in action, is probably because it resembled too much like Lorgar's pet Death Star.

An old-school Battleship that should not be confused with the lesser Gothic-class Cruiser. It is notable for its unique look, appearing a bit too much like the Abyss-class Super Battleship, what with its trident-shaped hull and all. One must wonder who got that idea from...

The Gothic-class Battleship is the mainstay of the Imperial Fleet and Gothic squadrons which form the core of most Imperial battlefleets. Despite this, they never really appear in any media save for the old-school Battlefleet Gothic tabletop. Gothic battleships bring both the protection and authority of the Imperium to the star systems they visit.

They operate in either squadrons or single-file, as their presence is more than enough to bolster the defence of an unprotected Imperial star system and to remind the planetary governor on who is actually in charge of this domain. Hell, some Gothic squadrons are more or less permanently stationed in one star system. In Segmentum Obscurus, for example, they form part of the fleet stationed around the Eye of Terror, defending the Imperium from attack by Chaos fleet sand raiding Chaos Renegades.

Other squadrons move from star system to star system, staying for a few months or years to complete their mission, refuel, and resupply before making the jump to their next destination. During the squadron's assignment to a system, a large flotilla of sub-stellar craft constantly surround the battleships, moving to and from the system's planets and moons. They supply the ships with food, fuel, ore, raw materials, personnel, and all the other necessary supplies, that these huge spaceships, each the size of a large city, require for their upkeep. In battle, the long-range of a Gothic battleship's vortex torpedos make it a dangerous opponent, often able to launch one or more attacks before an enemy ship can get within range to return fire.

When it does close with the enemy, the Gothic battleships powerful laser batteries are fully capable of destroying an opponent with just a few broadsides while its own strong shield defences protect it from enemy attacks.

  • Length: 8-12km
  • Mass: 62.5 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 155,400 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 2.0 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx


Giant fucking battering rams in SPESS.

Ironclads were a classification of Imperial Battleship that have since been largely retired from service.

Ironclads, also known as Adamanticlads much like their contemporary counterparts, are vast 8-kilometre vessels that lack the void shielding of their counterparts in favour of metres of adamantium plate armour. These ships, built before the advent of void-screen technology, have since been phased out of production, for the main part, to be replaced by more modern designs.

However, those remaining in service have been re-commissioned for a variety of purposes; various pattern ironclads may be retrofitted with gargantuan, ship-, station- and even planet-killer cannons running the entire length of the ship's keel, linked directly to the stern fusion reactors; others may simply be braced and reinforced for the purpose of ramming into - and through - enemy vessels. These ships are rare in the Imperial Navy, due to their archaic design and the lack of facilities still capable of repairing, let alone producing them.

  • Length: 8km
  • Mass: 57-75 megatonnes; approx depending on configuration
  • Crew: 45,000-130,000 crew; approx depending on configuration
  • Acceleration: 2.3 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx


Take all comers.

The Oberon was an early variant of Emperor Class Battleship designed to be able to deal with any threat and therefore does not need to be escorted by a squadron of frigates. Not that frigates help against anything that can take on a battleship. And destroyer swarms aren’t so effective when your prey can wipe you all out literally hours or more before you’re in range for your torpedoes.

The Hybrid of the Battleships, the Oberon features heavy Lances, Macrocannons, and two fighter bays carrying your dog standard Fury Interceptors, Starhawk Bombers and Shark Assault Boats, on top of its usual Torpedos. A somewhat rare class of ship in-universe, the Imperial Navy still considers the Oberon a success due to its self-sufficiency. While it may not be able to duke it out in a straight fight with other Battleships, its armaments make it a terror to smaller ship classes. That said, if there are other carriers with it (which there probably would be due to it only having two attack craft hangars), then it'll probably be able to hit like an Emperor-class but also with a lance deck.

Nevertheless, the Oberon is now rarely used in major fleet engagements, the more specialised ships being preferred by many Imperial Admirals. It is used instead for patrolling dangerous areas, where its ability to multi-task comes into its own. It can be a base for patrolling squadrons of attack craft, then taking the fight directly to the encountered enemy. It's also equipped with a superior long range sensor probe which allows it to detect and analyze threats long before being detected by the enemy, granting it a significant tactical advantage in such circumstances. Due to this, it can patrol large areas with only a small, or no escort, freeing those ships for other duties.

In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 1 & 2, the Oberon shares the same Sensors ability that the Emperor has, increasing its Identification Range. This means that it can work in tandem with its Carrier cousin and support its fighter and bombing runs, while at the same time being able to snipe with its Lances.

  • Length: 8-12km
  • Mass: 57.2 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 135,000 crew, 20,000 pilots and support personnel; approx
  • Acceleration: 1.9 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx


Move out of the way! Grandpa Vanquisher is going out for a stroll.

The Old Man Henderson of Battleships.

The Vanquisher is a super ancient class of Imperial Battleship even by the standards of the Imperium. One particular ship, the Vae Victis, was constructed towards the end of M32 at Hydraphur at the request of Lord High Admiral Javor. Following the losses of the battle at Circe, it was brought back from being mothballed along with the other 3 surviving examples of the class. It had also served in Ultima Segmentum as part of the Dominion Fleet of the Ultramarines.

Due to their age, they are also rare. So damned rare that the entire Imperial Navy currently operates just four Vanquisher Class vessels; all are currently undergoing rearmament and crew training before their return to active service.

Because of this, Vanquishers are regulated as trainer-Battleships so that newly appointed crewmen know how to properly operate a true Battleship.

  • Length: 8-12km
  • Mass: 59 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 120,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 1.8 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx

In Battlefleet Gothic[edit]

Powerful, well-armored, and well-shielded, Battleships are the centerpieces of a fleet, regardless of point size. However they're are also slow and expensive (you can get about two Cruisers for one Battleship). A player may deploy one Battleship for every three Heavy or Regular Cruisers in their battlegroup.

Positioned properly and kept adequately screened by smaller ships however, and Battleships are well their worth in points.

In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 1 & 2[edit]

Battleships are the most powerful non-unique vessels available to your fleet, and potent threat. All battleships are enormous, lumbering vessels with low manoeuvrability, and can't use the high-energy turn. As a result, despite their immense power they're not great brawlers, and are most comfortable engaging in broadside duels at mid-range.

The Retribution is your ordnance-boat battleship. The combination of plasma macrobatteries and lance turrets give it a powerful broadside at long range, making it an effective sniper, while eight torpedoes per salvo mean it's surprisingly capable of breaking up enemy formations, and it's the only battleship which can keep up with your cruisers in terms of speed. Compared to the Overlord, you're paying 25% more for 50% stronger broadsides, making it much more cost-efficient.

The Apocalypse is your lance-boat, and a bit like an inverted Retribution with lance batteries and macro turrets. At first glance, it might seem a bit disappointing, as its lances are very short-ranged; however, uniquely, it has access to the 'overload lances' ability, which adds a colossal 13,500 units of range to their range when in the lock on stance. Given lances' perfect accuracy, this can actually make it a more effective sniper than the Retribution - and a death sentence for any enemy ship that loses its generators.

The Oberon is your first carrier battleship. Though it scrambles fewer strike craft than the Emperor, it makes up for this with a withering array of long-ranged macrobatteries and lances which allow it to safely contribute to a fight once its strike craft are launched. Probably the most versatile of your battleships, and a great option for players looking to spread strike craft out across their fleet. Just remember the lack of an armoured prow if you need to charge in.

The Emperor is your other carrier. Though a pair of heavy plasma macrocannons mean it can contribute to a fight from a safe distance, it's focused first and foremost on being a carrier, sporting four launch bays of strike craft. However, if all you want is fighters, the Exorcist carries just as many, is faster, and somewhat cheaper, so think carefully about whether speed or durability is better for your plan.

Vessels of the Imperium of Man
Space Station Space Station (The Rock)
Battleships Battle-barge - Battleship (Gloriana) - Ark Mechanicus
Cruisers Light Cruiser (Imperial Navy - Adeptus Astartes - Adeptus Mechanicus)
Cruiser (Imperial Navy - Adeptus Mechanicus)
Strike Cruiser - Battlecruiser - Grand Cruiser
Escorts Escort (Imperial Navy - Adeptus Astartes)
Logistics Imperial Navy Logistic Ships - Adeptus Mechanicus Maintenance Ship
Dropships Devourer Dropship - Tetrarch Heavy Lander
Space Marine Landing Craft
Combat Spacecraft Boarding Torpedo - Fury Interceptor - Faustus Interceptor
Shark Assault Boat - Starhawk Bomber
Hiveships Mobile Hiveships
War Machines Colossus War Machine - Cyclops War Machine - Ordinatus
Mobile Commands Leviathan - Capitol Imperialis - Mobile Cathedral
Logistics Harvester - Macro-Hauler - Titan Train
Armored Trains Land Train
Titans Warhound Scout Titan - Dire Wolf Heavy Scout Titan - Reaver Battle Titan
Warbringer Nemesis Titan - Warlord Battle Titan - Warmaster Heavy Battle Titan
Emperor Battle Titan
Troop Transports Spartan Assault Tank - Coronus Grav Carrier - Gorgon - Mastodon
Superheavy Tanks Typhon Heavy Siege Tank - Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer
Baneblade - Fellblade - Astraeus
Rigid Airships Overlord Armoured Airship
Aerospace Vessels Orion Gunship - Thunderhawk - Stormbird - Overlord Gunship
Oceanic Battleships Oceanic Battleship
Submarines Harvester Submersible