Imperial Navy Light Cruiser

From 1d4chan

The Light Cruiser is a class of warship used by the Imperial Navy. Smaller than true Cruisers, they are nontheless much more heavily armed and armored than an Escort, with some classes having the speed to keep up with the latter. Compared to their bigger cousins, Light Cruisers are much easier to build and operate.

Light Cruisers serve as the flagships of Escort patrol squadrons, as they secure the space lanes of Imperial space against raiders. Likewise during times of war, Light Cruisers can also serve as raiders, striking quickly into enemy-held territory, then quickly getting out.

During fleet actions, they can also serve as heavy escorts to larger warships, where their greater firepower compared to Escorts can actually contribute to the battle outside of just torpedo boats or just being dedicated to destroying said torpedo boats.

Think of it this way: you know how sections of guns or lances on a Lunar-class cruiser get swapped out when it’s a different class? A light cruiser is basically one of those sections as its own ship. Which is as pretty darn useful as it sounds, but more fragile. Much like how two Lunars can rival the firepower of a battleship but not survive the fight without more support.

Light Cruiser Classes[edit]



Don't underestimate this.

Imperial scout cruisers have generally always had enough firepower to fight off a determined attack by escort-sized ships and can hold enough supplies to remain autonomous for months at a time, the Dauntless being no exception.

The fastest Light Cruiser class available, the Dauntless is also quite versatile thanks to its weapons load-out of weapons battery broadsides, prow-mounted Torpedo tubes, and front-facing Lance batteries. To maintain such speeds, it forgoes the traditional armoured prow of the Imperial Navy, this makes it substantially faster and more manoeuvrable than a full-size Imperial cruiser. Due to the need for power savings and to conserve supplies, the Dauntless has about half the shielding and turret cover of a full-size cruiser, but given its expected opposition, this is sufficient protection.

Woe to the foolish skipper that underestimates a Dauntless due to its size, and few ever live to make that mistake twice. It’s a faster, up-gunned Endeavor-class with a bit of lance, basically. Like an anti-light cruiser light cruiser.

The Battlefleet Gothic: Armada games give you two variants of the Dauntless, where one gets the Lance battery, and the other gets the Torpedo tubes.

  • Length: 4.5km
  • Mass: 20 megatonnes approx
  • Crew: 65,000 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 4.3 gravities max sustainable acceleration


The quintessential bodyguards for all your Merchant needs.

More of an Escort ship than a true Cruiser.

The Defender-Class Escort Cruiser is a class of Light Cruiser used by the Imperial Navy. Popular as convoy flagships, these ships are ideal at fighting off pirate and Ork raiders attempting to capture Merchant Fleets.

The Defender is armed with a variety of weapons, including broadside weapons batteries, prow-mounted lance and three dorsal fleet defense turrets. Some Defenders are fitted with prow torpedoes instead of lances.

  • Length: 4.5km



Captain's first carrier.

A carrier variant of the Endeavor, the Defiant-class replaces the Macro turrets with a pair of small Lance turrets and Launch Bays. As such it is the smallest ship capable of providing Fighter, Bomber, or Assault Craft support.

It can even go into silent running stance like other light cruisers.

The Defiant is used as an escort for larger ships, and/or as a convoy strike craft carrier. Despite being a versatile class, its usefulness is hampered by its lack of defensive firepower. This relegates it to a support role in fleet actions, usually accompanied by other Light Cruisers to defend it.

Also, the Defiant is somewhat common. Perhaps the sizes of space battlefields means that having more numerous, smaller carriers ranging around to extend the reach of attack craft is more important than wet navies’ preference for fleet carriers. It does make sense.

This class is an escort carrier. In space.

  • Length: 3.8km
  • Mass: 22 megatonnes approx
  • Crew: 61,500 crew, 6,100 pilots and support staff, approx
  • Acceleration: 3.8 gravities max sustainable acceleration


When you want to keep the Planetary Governor in line.

Essentially a police ship.

A mix Carrier-Cruiser akin to the Emperor-Class Battleship. The Enforcer-Class System Control Cruiser was designed under the Gareox Prerogative, these Light Cruisers are intended to maintain the control of Imperial space at the System level.

The Enforcer uses its combination of Attack Craft squadrons and Lance weaponry to intimidate planetary populations and Governors into remaining in-line with the Imperium. The ships are effective against pirates and rebellious fleets but is less successful in large-scale ship-to-ship engagements. A shame no one had the brains to put them to use in helping the Imperial Guard.

  • Length: 3.8-4km



Half of a Cruiser still hits as hard.

Less common than the other Endeavor variants, the Endurance-class retains the light Macro turrets and Torpedo launchers of its parent class, but exchanges the Macro batteries with a Lance deck and two torpedo tubes. All these systems are short-ranged, making the ship vulnerable to a larger, longer-ranged ship, with weapons that can outrange it as the larger ship can attempt to stay out of range, whilst plastering the hapless Endurance with fire from a standoff range

Less effective on its own, it's normally paired up with an Endeavor to bring the effective firepower of a true Cruiser to bear.

However, far more Endeavor class ships are produced, so in practice, often three or four Endeavours are grouped with a single Endurance, providing a fearsome pocket of resistance for any enemy Admiral. The Endurance is often seen operating with the Defiant Class Light Cruiser as well as the Endeavour class.

  • Length: 3.8km



The OTHER half of said Cruiser.

Coming with Macro turrets and batteries, plus Torpedo launchers as standard, the Endeavor-class is much more heavily-armed and armored compared to the Dauntless. The large weapons batteries of the Endeavour class mean it can hold its own in a fleet engagement, usually equaling the fire-power of a full-size cruiser. These batteries have only a short-range, equaling that of the shortest cruiser battery ranges, this is sufficient however for the Endeavour's role as a heavy escort. Its small torpedo compliment serves merely as a distraction, rather than a serious threat to a capital ship; escorts, however, would do well to avoid them.

On the flip side, it's also much slower, which makes it less capable in the anti-piracy role compared to its contemporary. This means that outside of fleet engagements (where they take the role as heavy escorts) Endeavors are normally found as the flagships of convoys instead.

Both the Endurance-class and Defiant-class are built off the same hull as the Endeavor.

  • Length: 3.8km
  • Mass: 22 megatonnes approx
  • Crew: 67,500 crew; approx
  • Acceleration: 3.9 gravities max sustainable acceleration


The aborted fetus of light cruisers.

A very old and rare class of cruiser and a fuck ugly one at that.

The Siluria-Class Light Cruiser is an ancient design much older than the Dauntless Class Light Cruiser, numerous refits to surviving ships have kept them in service. These ships sports rows of Weapons Batteries over Lance armaments and are best suited to supporting fleets rather than undertaking independent missions.

However, a full broadside from one of these ships is still capable of causing significant damage. They are commonly well-screened during battle until the moment arrives for them to unleash its arsenal of weaponry.

It also does not showcase the armored hull of most Imperial Navy ships, so it won't do hot in close combat, despite having weapons meant for close combat.

  • Length: 3.8-4km

In Battlefleet Gothic[edit]

Cheaper than a regular Cruiser, Light Cruisers are used to bulk up ship numbers without sacrificing firepower by bringing Escorts. One can bring two Light Cruisers for the points of a single Battlecruiser.

Just a fair warning though: the weapon ranges of the Light Cruisers are fairly short especially compared to regular Cruisers, so plan accordingly.

In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 1 & 2[edit]

Just like on the Tabletop, the Light Cruisers in the video games are an economical way of filling out one's fleet, gaining a fast-moving unit without losing out on formidable firepower.

As far as actual in-game utility goes however, the Dauntless variants see much more use, due to their faster speeds.

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