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 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.

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


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.

  • Length: 8-12km

Lance Ships[edit]


Reach out and hurt somebody.

The long-ranged sniper of the Battleships, the Apocalypse carries 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 had to use its Overload Lances ability to bump up the range of its batteries up, which makes no sense to people, as it should have had those ranges at base.

  • Length: 8-12km


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.

  • Length: 8-12km

Ordnance Ships[edit]


No, it's not as invincible as it says it is.

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.

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.

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 various ocean navys and crumpled like wet cardboard (also not helped by some Admiral's foolishly using them as front line sluggers). Despite this, the ship was deemed successful enough to mass-produce.

  • Length: 8-12km
  • 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 ordnance capabilities.

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



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 which 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


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.

The Hybrid of the Battleships, the Oberon features heavy Lances, Macrocannons, and two fighter bays, 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 threat 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


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. The class is believed to have been constructed circa M32 at Hydraphur at the request of Lord High Admiral Javor. These ships have often 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 to bolster Battlefleet Ultima in the aftermath of the Battle of Macragge.

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

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.

Vessels of the Imperium of Man
Space Station Space Station (The Rock)
Battleships Ark Mechanicus - Battleship (Gloriana) - Battle-barge
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
Logistics Harvester
Armored Trains Land Train
Titans Warhound Scout Titan - Reaver Battle Titan - Warbringer Nemesis Titan
Warlord Battle Titan - Warmaster Heavy Battle Titan - Emperor Battle Titan
Troop Transports Gorgon - Mastodon
Superheavy Tanks Baneblade - Fellblade - Astraeus
Rigid Airships Overlord Armoured Airship
Aerospace Vessels Stormbird - Thunderhawk - Orion Gunship - Overlord Gunship
Oceanic Battleships Oceanic Battleship