Imperial Navy Space Station
The Imperial Navy needs a base of operations where their space cathedrals with rocket engines could dock for maintainence, refits and crew shifts. These space stations are one such example and are often immobile hunks of metal that are often quite large. A few of them, however, are advanced enough to become mobile, such as the famous The Phalanx and The Rock, both of which, coincidentally, are the Fortress-Monasteries of the Imperial Fists and the Dark Angels respectively.
Class of Space Stations
Orbital Defense Platform
Not to be confused with another Orbital Defense Platform from another Sci-Fi franchise that both function the same. Orbital Defense Platforms as their name implies, are orbiting Space Stations used by the Imperial Navy and Planetary Defense Forces for the defense of a world against enemy spacecraft.
They are deployed within a planet or moon's gravity well and are armed with a variety of weapons. The most sophisticated Orbital Defense Platforms, those used to defend Adeptus Mechanicus worlds and key planets, have no crew at all and use complex logic engines to detect and fire at enemy vessels that do not broadcast the correct identification codes. There are a few types of ODPs listed here:
- Orbital Weapons Platforms: The most common type of ODPs, these usually mount several laser batteries capable of striking at the enemy before they get too close to the planet. They are more of an annoyance than a threat due to their immobility.
- Orbital Defense Laser Platforms: Different from the normal ODP's laser batteries by the sheer fact of having a bigger gun. They are armed with massive Defense Lasers, large laser cannons capable of penetrating a capital ship's armour. Built around a powerful plasma reactor, a defense laser platform is armed with several of these large cannons, giving it the ability to fire them in every direction. Defense laser platforms are particularly effective at destroying fast-moving escort craft sent ahead of the main enemy fleet to conduct reconnaissance and raiding.
- Orbital Torpedo Launchers: These ODPs launch either torpedo or missile batteries and are one of the greatest deterrents to an enemy intent on attacking an Imperial world. They can attack from a distance to disrupt an enemy fleet's advance and deliver a lethal blow against vessels that approach too close to a planet. They have proved effective against attacks by Ork and Chaos forces.
Dimensions can be seen here:
- Length: 1-3km approx
Your average Imperial Space Station.
Large and immobile, the term "Imperial Space Station" covers a wide variety of orbital installations that cover an equally wide variety of roles, including shipyards, Adeptus Mechanicus research stations, naval command bases, and simple orbital habitats.
But on a whole, the one you're looking for are sizable and well-armed. Additionally, all space stations have docking facilities, with most only able to handle a single Cruiser or Escort squadron at once. The greatest, however, can accommodate multiple ships.
Most shipyards are controlled by the Imperial Navy or Adeptus Mechanicus but, a few worlds, such as Luxor and Verstap in the Gothic Sector or Port Wander in the Koronus Expanse, operate independent ones of their own for defense and service to the system fleet.
During the Gothic War, control of space stations was of critical importance, as the constant battles led to high demand for refit and resupply facilities. This importance made the various space stations the centre of many great battles during the conflict, with an extreme example being the eighteen battles fought for the Chrysalis Shipyards over Arimaspia.
- Length: 5-10km approx
Star-forts are mobile battle fortresses that are a force to be reckoned with, even when faced alone. The Ramilies Class Star-forts are one such class of gigantic semi-mobile space stations capable of moving through warp space. This class of star-fort exists in scant supply and are vital to the Imperial Navy as forward fleet bases, each one is capable of shortening campaigns by decades through its deployment.
The Ramilies is so large that it does not have conventional drives, and has to be towed through the warp by other vessels to relocate it. Each quadrant of the fort has masses of powerful weapons batteries and lances, and the central basilica houses many torpedo silos providing powerful salvos to offer extra support to each quadrant.
There are four pairs of Attack Craft launch bays, one for each quadrant. They facilitate docking points to anything up to cruiser size to resupply and repair, even amidst the heat of battle; as Ramilies tend to only be deployed in massive engagements. So there is enough fire-power from the fort and other ships to ensure the repair crews are not disturbed during work. Only well known and successful admirals, or Inquisitors, are entrusted with a Ramilies, as they can take centuries to build.
The Phalanx is the most famous of these Star-forts and is monstrously large and powerful, even when compared with the already colossal Ramilies.
- Length: 30km approx (standard star forts only)
In Battlefleet Gothic Armada 1 & 2
In Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II, Space Stations come in two varieties. The first is the ODP, which acts more like a stage hazard than an actual enemy. Whilst more of an annoyance than a threat, they do threaten smaller Escorts if they are within range. The second is the Star-fort, of which the Phalanx is one. The Phalanx is an absolute wrecking ball with a metric shit ton of attack crafts, lances and batteries to hold its own quite well against an entire fleet. Only the Planet Killer could one-shot the Phalanx with its main guns.