Imperial Navy Escort

From 1d4chan

No, not that kind of escort.

Escorts are the smallest armed vessels available to the Imperial Navy. Lightly-armed and armored, with barely any shields, these ships are extremely fast to compensate.

Incredibly common in fleets, these ships are normally assigned sector patrol duties or perform as escorts for much larger ships. In fleet engagements they will also act as scouts, ranging out in front of their armada to verify enemy ship numbers and locations, as well as operating in wolf packs to harass enemy vessels.

In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 1 & 2[edit]

All escorts come with the Sensor Sweep ability, which allows a player to ping nearby enemies and keep them identified and targetable for half a minute, even if the target would normally enter stealth.




One of the smallest ship that could be combat worthy.

Corvettes, in general, are a bit smaller and less powerful than Frigates, but are better equipped than some other ships, such as light Raider vessels.

Essentially a Sword-class used by the private sector, the Claymore is used to protect troop transports and cargo haulers from opportunistic raiders. Extremely common on the spaceways, due to how easy and cheap they are to construct and maintain.

More than fifty of these ships were built during the Angevin Crusade in the Calixis Sector to help ease losses in the Sword-Class Frigate squadrons. Large quantities of these ships can be made with haste by Mechanicus mobile shipyards and small civilian shipyards.

Few Claymore vessels remain in Battlefleet Calixis at present. They were rewarded for their bravery during the Crusade by being sent to reserve fleets almost as soon as the Crusade ended, or sold to Rogue Traders. Which Calixis probably now regrets as their sector is plagued by huge numbers of alien and heretic pirates.

  • Length: 1.4km
  • Mass: 5.9 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 21,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 4.6 gravities max sustainable acceleration




Small but deadly.

Fast and slight, the Cobra is a dedicated torpedo platform. Cobra-Class Destroyers are often seen fighting alongside Space Marine formations.

Armed only with a small Macro turret and two Torpedo tubes. The weapons battery is a purely defensive measure, for when the Cobra is attacked by enemy escorts. However, due to its small size, large engine signature, and relatively poor armour, a single Cobra is incredibly vulnerable on its own. Furthermore, the Weapons Battery is short-ranged and is almost never used to attack a capital ship, as it simply is not powerful enough to do any real damage.

This shouldn't be a problem, however, due to the long-range of a torpedo. Moreover, as part of a squadron of three however, those torpedos suddenly become a threat even for slower and larger ships. Just don't allow them to hit you back. Like their imperial navy counterparts, the Ad-Mech Cobra is also a dedicated torpedo platform that functions nearly the same.

There is a special variant of Cobras called the Widowmakers, which drops its macro turret for an enhanced sensor suite that increases its sensor range immensely. In this regard, it can serve as a long-distance spotter for other ships, and with its small profile and high speeds, allows it to detect enemies, then zip away out of danger without being seen in return.

  • Length: 1.5km
  • Mass: 5.7 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 15,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 7.6 gravities max sustainable acceleration


When you have too much Torpedoes for your own good.

The Viper-Class Missile Destroyer is a converted Cobra Destroyer.

Carrying Boarding Torpedoes over their standard armament by adding more torpedo tubes, the conversion program was pushed by the Gareox Prerogative. The experiment was not a success, however, as the destroyers could not carry enough crew to man the torpedoes and fight the ship.

As a result, most of the Vipers have been converted back to their standard armaments but use the extra Torpedo tubes to carry more offensive armament. These ships have since been designated as Missile Destroyers and are organized into separate anti-ship flotillas by the Imperial Navy. They are most often employed for mass torpedo attacks, proving ineffective in convoy protection duty.

Squadrons known to contain Vipers are the 59th Rat Runners and 76th Silver Spears.

  • Length: 1.5km
  • Mass: 5.9 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 17,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 7.6 gravities max sustainable acceleration




Imagine an entire ship constructed out of Flak Armor.

Havoc-Class Merchant Raiders, also known as the Havoc-Class Frigate are small Escort-sized spacecraft used most commonly by Pirates, particularly in the Calixis Sector. However, despite its piratical nature, it is a ship designed and used by the Imperial Navy as well.

An old design, the Havoc is primarily used for plundering against Imperial Merchant Fleet shipping. A typical Havoc Raider has fast engines, sizable cargo space, and enough firepower to rival many frigates.

However, their armor is relatively weak, meaning that they tend to have a hard time going toe-to-toe with a comparable naval vessel. This weakness has earned them the nickname "glass cannon".

Due to its age, the Havoc-Class is rarely seen in the Imperial Navy but they do nonetheless see some service.

  • Length: 1.5km
  • Mass: 5.1 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 12,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 8.1 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx


The reliable one.

Common and reliable, the Sword-class is also armed simply, with two double barelled macro turrets to do the Emperor's work. These turrets are also unique in that they are able to fire to both sides, or forward with full strength. This class is a very old design, dating back to the earliest days of the Imperium. All its components have been redesigned, refined to a high level, tried and tested in innumerable engagements.

Being an escort, the Sword is expected to come under fire, and so is designed with this in mind. Its bulkheads are thicker than would be expected, and the beams and supports that hold the ship together have redundant copies nearby, that will take the load if the primary beam or support fails. Due to this, the Sword can take more punishment than would be expected for a ship of its diminutive size.

Although much bigger than the Cobra, it does the same sort of fleet duties, such as being outriders of bigger ships, or deterrents to incoming fighters or torpedoes. Sword-Class Frigates are often seen fighting alongside Space Marine formations. Because of their performances, they are also valued by Rogue Traders who usually convert them in order to have their merchant needs suited. Likewise, the Adeptus Mechanicus also find value in them as a nice support Escort meant to protect their heavier Cruisers.

  • Length: 1.6km
  • Mass: 6 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 26,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 4.5 gravities max sustainable acceleration


Unlike the Viper, this one actually does its original intended role.

The Tempest-Class strike frigate is an Escort ship used in Calixis and surrounding sectors.

A heavy Frigate configured for close-ranged action, with shorter-ranged broadside batteries and Assault Boats for boarding actions. In order to get near to the enemy ships without suffering much damage, its prow is triple-armoured and its plasma drives are boosted.

Since all those features require a lot of space, it is larger than a Sword Frigate and its components can be rearranged to suit commercial purposes. Compared to Sword Class Frigates, they are less manoeuvrable and they do not match their turret rating, nor their detection systems. However, they benefit from a stronger hull integrity and armour.

  • Length: 1.5km
  • Mass: 6.1 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 30,500 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 4.7 gravities max sustainable acceleration


The rabbit's foot of ships.

A "heavy" Frigate, with armor comparable to Cruisers. The Turbulent-Class was brought from the Scarus Sector for use as a heavy naval escort in the Calixis Sector at some point near the beginning of the Angevin Crusade. The few surviving Turbulent Class ships in the Calixis Sector never returned after the Crusade had ended. As of now, a Turbulent is considered to be a rare vessel among the Calixis Sector.

Used primarily to range ahead of fleets and eliminate any enemy scouting force they encounter, the class has gained a reputation for being lucky. Although why it is considered 'lucky', we don't really know. Its standard comms equipment is somewhat antiquated, however, made for durability rather than user-friendliness. The Turbulent is designed to drive ahead of the fleet to engage enemy scouting ships. The tactics an Imperial Navy Captain of a Turbulent employs are said to be aggressive and piratical for the most part.

Some Admirals do not think fondly of the Turbulent, stating it has comparatively inefficient energy weapon transfer systems and the vessels contains ancient internal communication systems of brass vacuum pipes and electric lights. At the same time, several senior Admirals in Battlefleet Calixis have served aboard these ships and think of them in a better light.

  • Length: 1.95km
  • Mass: 7.5 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 25,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 4.3 gravities max sustainable acceleration



Bring the fight to them.

A modified Sword-class, the Firestorm trades one of its laser batteries for a prow-mounted Lance battery. The latter weapon gives the Firestorm options for hurting bigger, and much more heavily-armoured ships. It is one of the many Escort ships that is also used by the AdMech on certain ship-hunting occasions.

It is not uncommon to see a squadron of Firestorms supporting independent squadrons of Swords and Cobra Class Destroyers. In situations like these, it falls to the Firestorms to deal damage to capital ships, and rival escorts once the other two classes have lowered the enemy's shields. Firestorm Class Frigates are often seen fighting alongside Space Marine formations. Pirate fleets are known to operate Firestorm Frigates as well.

In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, the Firestorm is ironically more suited to hitting smaller and faster ships at long range (due to the fact that its Lance battery can't miss) over taking potshots at Battleships or Cruisers. Go figure.

  • Length: 1.8km
  • Mass: 6 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 25,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 4.4 gravities max sustainable acceleration




All ahead full.

A somewhat newer class, the Falchion was designed primarily to protect larger ships from enemy escorts. In this role, it uses Torpedoes and laser macro-turrets to chase off any incoming attackers and has found a role within the Explorator Fleets of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Mostly constructed by the Forge World Voss Prime. It is an escort ship and as such are individually weak and therefore operates paired with three or four ships; sometimes up to six ships are grouped together in a single squadron.

The pattern's operational successes have tended to be in a defensive, rather than an offensive role where it is used to clear ordnance threats to the more ponderous capital ships, however in a stand-up fight it simply cannot compete with the damage potential of the much more widespread Sword Class Frigate that is found in most fleets (even though it uses the same guns, has more of them, and has torpedoes whereas the Sword does not). It is loosely based on the Endeavour, Endurance, and Defiant classes of light cruiser.

It is armed with 2 Torpedo Launchers and 3 Light Macro Turret.

  • Length: 2.2km
  • Mass: 6.5 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 27,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 4.6 gravities max sustainable acceleration


Defence Monitor[edit]

The PDFs of the Imperial Navy.

The Planetary Defence Force of the Imperial Navy.

The Defence Monitor has two jobs. The first is to die horribly to make the opposing enemy vessel look cool. The second is to defend its star system. Defence Monitors are dedicated Imperial defense ships designed for short-ranged combat. Due to this, Defence Monitors usually defend in low-orbit or in-atmosphere around a planet, whereas System Ships duke it out in the void.

Their lance and massive weapons batteries make them a threat to ships closing in to attack a planet but at the cost of being too slow to fight effectively in open space. These diminutive ships, therefore, should not be underestimated.

They were best known and shown during the intro of SPESS MEHREEN: THE VIDYA, where several of them were shown getting their ass handed to them by Grimskull's Kill Kroozer.

  • Length: 601m
  • Mass: 800-900 kilotonnes; approx
  • Crew: 6,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 3.5 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx

System Ship[edit]

The armed militias of the Imperial Navy.

A bunch of willful civilian ships ready to forward the cause of the defence of their star system.

System Ships are a mix of short-ranged vessels incapable of interstellar travel. They have civilian crews and do not have the advanced equipment (engines, weapons targeting systems) more commonly seen in Imperial Navy warships. However, they can pack a good punch when massed and used effectively. Another sensible use would be as anti-pirate patrols when the actual fleet is busy with battle.

As civilian vessels, they don't last too long, but the sheer amount of them makes them a very dangerous distraction indeed. As they are not Warp-capable, System Ships are often the first line of defence when an invasion occurs.

  • Length: 700m; approx
  • Mass: 1.1 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 9,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 4.1 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx

Recommissioned Escort[edit]

This week on Pimp My Ships...

As its name implies, a Recommissioned Escort is a retired Imperial Navy Destroyer or Corvette-class ship that has been repurposed for more...private hands, to defend their precious cargo.

Being the opportunistic individuals they invariably are, it is not uncommon for Rogue Traders to "acquire‟ decommissioned Navy vessels or those relegated to a Segmentum‟s reserve fleet. Despite typically being in poor condition, it is well within most Rogue Trader's means to refit and restore such a vessel, sometimes using systems and technology quite unlike its original components.

Due to the weapons mounted by such vessels such as torpedo tubes, an experienced crew is needed to man true warships such as this. Rogue Traders will typically recruit mercenaries, retired Naval ratings and able spacers or even deserters and mutineers.

  • Length: 1.3km
  • Mass: 4.6 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 18,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 5.6 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx

Fire Ship[edit]

When you want to blow the opposing fleet the fuck up. Accept no substitutes.

Giant kamikaze ICBMs.

No really, these are considered as one of the most cost-effective ways for the Imperium of Man to repurpose its ships no longer considered viable in the line of duty; where even a retrofit into a different class is no longer viable.

Like the Fire Ships of old. 40k's Fire Ships are old vessels that are packed with incendiary explosives and then guided into the heart of an enemy fleet and detonated. The resulting explosion causes massive damage to any nearby ships. Although, it’s not a suicide mission as the skeleton crews are provided with plentiful escape pods/boats. Some captains or crews decide to stay to the end anyway to make sure they get into just the right detonation position.

Fire ships were first used in the Gothic War during the defence of Delos, when Commodore Kurtz used two of them to cripple the Unforgivable. You'd think someone would have reinvented this Age of Terra technique way before the 140's M41, considering the sheer amount of vessels that must have become unsalvageable over the millennia. If anything, M41 seems more like the millennium after The Scouring than the War of the Beast did.

  • Length: 1-8km
  • Mass: 0.9-24 megatonnes; approx
  • Crew: 50-300 crew
  • Acceleration: 5.6-7.1 gravities max sustainable acceleration; approx

In Battlefleet Gothic[edit]

Escorts are the cheapest ships available, and there's no limit to how many Escorts can be included in a fleet list. Escorts work better as part of a Squadron however, so bring them in pairs or in threes.

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