Space Marine Strike Cruiser
A Strike Cruiser is a class of warship used by Space Marine Chapters. They are the workhorses of an Astartes fleet, and are often seen spearheading the planetary assaults that the Space Marines are famous for.
Strike Cruisers are essentially scaled-down versions of Battle-barges, designed to transport and support a Battle Company's worth of Astartes and their equipment. Because it is not as armored or shielded as a Battle Barge, the Strike Cruiser has to rely instead on its speed to get its complement of troops to wherever they are needed.
Once at a hotspot, a Strike Cruiser can then quickly deploy its Space Marines through various means -- drop pod, thunderhawk, or even teleportation -- before re-positioning to another part of orbit, ready to retrieve the Marines on-world or provide other means of support. Said support often involves Orbital Bombardment, which thanks to its armaments the Strike Cruiser is well-suited to.
Strike Cruisers can carry up to one full company of Space Marines and their equipment.
Strike Cruiser Classes
Adeptus Astartes Strike Cruisers
Like their Light Cruiser brother, the Adeptus Astartes Strike Cruiser comes in three Marks. The first, the Mk.I, shares the same on paper dps and crit chance with the MK.II variant thanks to the similar weaponry outside the Launch bay or in the MK.II's case, the torpedo launchers.
The MK.I isn't much of an improvement weaponry wise over the Vanguard Light Cruisers, specifically the MK.II, since it only carries two launch bays, the same as all the Space Marine Light Cruisers and has a significantly higher points cost.
The benefit to paying that extra price does come in the form of significantly stronger assault actions which are nothing to disregard, and a significantly higher hull point total that makes the Strike Cruiser MK.I much more survivable.
- Length: 4km
The Strike Cruiser MK.II carries the same macro weaponry as the other vessels of its weight class, and sharing the same on paper dps and crit output as the MK.I due to the lack of extra direct fire weapons on that vessel.
Where the MK.II really offers its selling point is its cheap cost, just barely above the Light Cruisers, while possessing stronger assault actions, stronger DPS and a 6 wide torpedo tube over the Vanguard MK.I's 4 wide set.
Taking multiple MK.II Strike Cruisers means a really bad time for your enemies if you can be on top of your torpedo use and boarding actions unless they happen to have fighters to spam for days, which still won't last forever when you begin deploying your own fighter cover or move in close with your defence turrets to assist.
- Length: 4km
The guns-heavy of Strike Cruisers.
The Strike Cruiser MK.III is the first and only line ship in the Adeptus Astartes' fleet that carries no special weapons at all, putting all its weight into direct fire weapons. Compared to the other Strike Cruiser variants, the weapons are pretty similar with the exception of the Heavy Lance replacing either the launch bay or torpedo tubes.
Because of this focus on regular weapons, the MK.II has the highest on paper dps and crit ouput comparable to other ships of other factions in the same point cost/weight class. Lances are also pretty rare on Space Marine vessels, so this is a good option if you need to take a few.
- Length: 4km
Grey Knights Strike Cruiser
Strike Cruisers of the Grey Knights are noted to be more advanced than anything fielded by their contemporaries, being faster, tougher, and heavier armed. Not only that, but their hulls are shielded against daemonic influence, and are piloted by the finest Navigators available. If their existence was more widely known, these ships would be the envy of the greater Imperium.
Because of their advanced engines and Warp Drives as well as their highly trained Navigators, Grey Knights vessels are the fastest ships in the Imperium and can respond to a Daemonic incursion long before other Imperial Forces.
The Grey Knights' fleet of Strike Cruisers is based at Broadsword Station, an orbital dockyard over their Homeworld of Titan.
- Length: 4km
Other Strike Cruisers
The Punisher is variant used by the Adeptus Arbites. Primary a patrol vessel, the Punisher class features less armor and heavy weaponry compared to Astartes Strike Cruisers. In return, it gets a specialized scanning array used to locate pirate strongholds or heretic bases on the frontier.
Because of the rarity of Arbites ships in general, the Punishers don't normally engage in fleet actions, though it is more than capable of defending itself thanks to its torpedo tubes, attack craft, and Bombardment Cannon. Even at the relatively small numbers, a dozen or so per sub sector is more than enough to ruin any pirates/xeno raiders day while being able to delay larger fleets for the Navy to respond.
The Castigator class of the Calixis sector is a probable variant of the Punisher, lacking the torpedo tubes but otherwise serving the same role in the sector Arbites. Whether this is because the Calixis sector is such a shithole that the torpedo ammo storage is needed for extra prison space or because they were removed for no reason and the ships lost a lot of punch due it being banned to not be retarded in Calixis is unknown.
- Length: 4km
Inquisitorial Black Ship
Normal ships of the Imperium have armoured prows, for protection upon ramming, or closing with an enemy ship, and have grey-steel paint schemes. Other ships of the Imperium also run with lights on at all times, to prevent collisions, and turn more lights on during warfare, to "illuminate the enemy." Black Ships have none of these: they run without lights, with black paint, and have blunt prows. Typical armament includes a dorsal Bombardment Cannon, port weapons batteries, Attack Craft prow launch bays, and prow Torpedoes.
They were first created by Inquisitors who felt that over-reliance on the Imperial Navy or Space Marines for their duties was unacceptable and potentially dangerous. Combining the power of a Strike Cruiser with a Navy Battlecruiser, Black Ships are secretive vessels which normally operate alone. They will sometimes operate alongside the Imperial Navy or Space Marines, forming the core of a formidable battlegroup for dealing with rebellions or heresy.
- Length: 4km
In Battlefleet Gothic
The Strike Cruiser is a Light Cruiser, and equivalent to the Dauntless-class used by the Imperial Navy. Due to its lack of Lance batteries, the class is less effective at long-range battles, and have to close in to get most of its damage done.
Its standard armament is two weapons batteries, a flight deck capable of launching two Thunderhawk Gunship squadrons, and the Bombardment Cannon. Though it can equip a second shield it rarely helps, unless you have some squadron shenanigans in mind.
Funny enough, just as the larger version it boasts 6+ armour on every side, and can basically laugh off battleship-size battery shots when showing it's side (yeah, GeeDubs thinks shooting at exposed broadside is much much more difficult than aiming at an enemy running away or charging prow-in (it actually is, when counting in ranges and lead, Battlefleet is 'played')).
So while being a light cruiser in terms of hit points and shields, it simply laughs at batteries, torpedoes and bombers, and if a squadron of these "light cruisers" does get into range, BOY YOU BETTER LUBE UP because they will go in dry, first derping you with boarding parties from their thunderhawks (that are not just uber-fat fighters but also assault boats or bombers), then bring down your shields (and most likely get some crits on top because BOMBARDMENT CANNON thinks every foe is an elfdar ripe for critting).
And then they will teleport assault you for even more crits.