Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is a real-time strategy video game adaption of the classic tabletop game with the same name developed by Tindalos Interactive and published by Focus Home Interactive on April 21, 2016 for Microsoft Windows.
The game takes place during Abaddon's 12th Black Crusade, also known as the Gothic War, where players must defend the Gothic Sector from the Orks, Chaos, Eldar Corsairs and traitorous factions of the Imperial Navy. Later downloadable content added two other factions, the T'au and the fleets of the Space Marines, to the game.
Players take control of 4 factions, including the Imperial Navy, Chaos Fleet, the Eldar Corsairs and the Ork Freebooterz. Each faction possesses their own unique warships and favoured playstyle. Players can also customise their warships' weapons, crew, subsystems, and Void Shields.
A level up system is in place where players gain experience from battles in which they earn more experience when they win but gain less if they lose. After gaining specific levels, players access better ship classes, various equipment upgrades, and crewmen.
In order for the players to customise their ships they must first earn renown points before they can buy upgrades. Every ship in the game possesses a limited number of slots for upgrades, with the exception of the Orks'.
Players take control of an Imperial Navy captain named Spire on a mission to investigate the sudden communication blackout from Orbital Station Aleph. While there to investigate the blackout, an unnamed Commissar suggested sending a boarding party to investigate the orbital station. After the boarding party entered the station, they reported signs of fighting from within the facility, and after a search, they discovered the entire station crew had been slaughtered.
In fact, Imperial Navy armsmen turned Traitor were responsible for the murders. Now servants of Chaos, they next sought to ambush the Imperial boarders. The entire boarding party was slaughtered to a man in the unexpected assault, while Captain Spire's ship came under attack from a Chaos-controlled defence platform. After destroying the defence platform the Chaos forces sent Escort ships to eliminate the Imperial threat, but Captain Spire and his valiant crew destroyed them first.
After eliminating the Escorts, a massive Chaos Warfleet arrived under Abaddon the Despoiler's command. Captain Spire attempted to warn Battlefleet Gothic's Fleet Command of the Chaos threat, but unfortunately, the enemy forces jammed Spire's communications, and the only way to send a warning was to risk an emergency Warp jump close to a star.
The Imperial ship successfully escaped to warn Fleet Command of the impending danger. Captain Spire's actions were then closely scrutinised and he was put on trial by Inquisitor Horst to determine if he was telling the truth about the encounter, or deceiving Fleet Command because he had been corrupted by the influence of Chaos.
Spire was exonerated at the trial and promoted to the senior rank of Admiral by Lord Admiral Cornelius von Ravensburg. Spire is next sent on several missions that prove crucial to defending Imperial worlds from rebellions and an Ork incursion. Finally, Spire is tasked with repelling a Chaos invasion of the entire sector, leading into the final events of the Gothic War and the Battle of Schindelgheist that brought that conflict to an end.
- Lord Admiral Cornelius Von Ravensburg - Commander of the Imperial forces stationed in the Gothic Sector who is tasked with its defence against Abaddon's 12th Black Crusade, Ork and Eldar incursions. He personally aided Admiral Spire in several missions, including the final confrontation against Abaddon the Despoiler.
- Admiral Spire - Before the start of the 12th Black Crusade Spire was Captain of a Dauntless-class Light Cruiser whose task was to patrol the sector from hostile threats until a scouting mission to explore an Orbital Station, that Sector High Command lost contact with, unleashed an unexpected series of events. After dealing with the Chaos-controlled Defense Platforms and Chaos Escorts, he and his crew escaped a pursuing Chaos fleet and warned Imperial High Command of Abaddon's whereabouts and invasion course. After Spire's mission, Lord Admiral Cornelius Von Ravensburg promoted him to the rank of Admiral and tasked him with defending the Gothic Sector against Abaddon's 12th Black Crusade.
- Inquisitor Horst - An experienced agent of the Inquisition, Horst's extensive knowledge of Chaos allowed him to deduce many of Abaddon's stratagems before they were put into play. This allowed the Imperium to prepare counter-measures, or even waylay the Despoiler's plans, at several key junctures.
- Captain Tiberius Solarian - A Space Marine Brother-Captain who hails from the Imperial Fists Chapter, Solarian responded quickly to petitions for Astartes aid from the Gothic Sector. He now leads a Chapter fleet to grant assistance to the Imperial Navy and Imperial Guard in defending the sector from Chaos, Ork and Eldar incursions, both in space and on the ground of many beleaguered worlds.
- Fabricator Cambrius - A senior member of the Adeptus Mechanicus, Cambrius serves as its representative to the Gothic Sector Council during the Gothic War, and he was fully committed to supporting the Imperial Navy in their efforts to defend the sector.
- Prince Eldrathain - Eldrathain was an Eldar Corsair Prince who led a sizable Corsair fleet during the 12th Black Crusade. Depending on the player's choices, he will aid the Imperial Navy against Abaddon's forces, or alternatively, the player must eliminate him along with the Forces of Chaos and the Orks.
- Imperial Navy - The Imperial Navy fields the staple of Mankind's technology. Their warships are not the most powerful or the fastest, but millennia of war against countless enemies made them tough nuts to crack, with very effective Void Shields and strong armor. They are able to adapt in a pinch to any kind of encounter and battle situation. What target is not destroyed by their barrage of torpedo strikes or devastating Nova Cannon blasts will be finished off by the powerful broadside armament they embark, while their thick armor and strong Void Shields ensure they survive the encounter. The vessels of the Imperial Navy possess heavy armor and make use of heavy weaponry like Lances and Macro-cannons on its capital ships. The Imperial Navy utilises many more vessels that can fire torpedoes at the cost of speed. Most Imperial warships are ineffective at longer range.
- Chaos Fleet - Over the millennia, many ships and their crew have betrayed the Imperium to join the Traitor Legions. As such, a big part of the Chaos Warfleet is composed of ancient warship designs that have long since been decommissioned from service in the Imperial Navy. But make no mistake, this does not make them less fearsome. While not as heavily armoured, Chaos ships are faster than their Imperial counterparts, and out-range them with extensive use of weaponry such as Lances and Attack Craft. This lets them whittle down opposition from afar, before finishing off survivors in close-encounter brawls. The Chaotic fleet is largely composed of warships with many Attack Craft launch bays at the cost of less-heavily armored capital ships being available for deployment. The Chaos Fleet has weaker capital ship weapons compared to the other factions and it has fewer capital ships that can make use of torpedoes.
- Orks - The Orks are not your typical space-faring species. Their warships are usually built from scrap, hulks of other voidships, and in some rare cases even from asteroids. While most of their contraptions should not even work, let alone allow interstellar travel, the sheer will of the Orks, and their shared belief that it will work, actually make them functional. What their ships clearly lack in reliability is made up for with sheer firepower and particularly strong prow armor. "More Dakka" would be their motto, and charging forward, all cannons blazing and ramming the enemy ships is probably one of the most "complex" tactics that would come to the mind of an Ork kaptain. And don't forget: the red ones go faster! Ork Freebooter fleets possess heavy armor, but unlike the vessels of the Imperial Navy, Greenskin warships are more resilient. Every Ork ship can be upgraded further than that of their foes, allowing for tactical advantages in battle. The Orks possess stronger boarding parties than most of the other factions at the cost of their captains more easily becoming insubordinate in battle. Ork weapons and equipment are unstable and may backfire. As a result, Ork warships have the poorest accuracy and range of all the factions.
- Eldar Corsairs - Fitted with the best technology has to offer, Eldar warships are fast and highly manoeuvrable spacecraft, and pack serious firepower with great damage projection and application. They are, however, lacking in the armor department with the exception of their battleships, since their craft do not embark Void Shields, instead relying on Holo-fields in conjunction with their speed and agility to avoid incoming fire, making them extremely hard to track and hit with conventional weaponry. The Eldar are a race on the brink of extinction, their number dwindling by the day. They cannot afford losing ships -- or crew -- and therefore rely mainly on hit-and-run tactics, going in for a swift strike before quickly extracting themselves out of battle -- if their target was lucky enough to have survived the brutal onslaught. Eldar Corsair warships excel at these tactics since they possess the fastest and most manoeuvrable vessels in the game. The Eldar are the faction with the best fighter and bomber Attack Craft and the least likely to have insubordinate commanders. However, Eldar warships are very fragile, and are equipped primarily with frontal weapons, lacking broadside Lances. This makes Eldar vessels highly vulnerable to boarding tactics.
- The Tau - The Tau's fleets excel at long range, with powerful weapons dealing massive amounts of damage from afar. Skilled Tau admirals can eliminate the bulk of an enemy fleet before they can even get within boarding distance. The Tau were added to the game in downloadable content after the game's release, and were not tied into the single-player campaign.
- The Space Marines - The Space Marines are a tough-as-nails faction who specialise in close-ranged battles using well-armored ships such as Strike Cruisers and Battle Barges. They have two unique faction traits: one that makes them immune to insubordination techniques (as if anyone would be crazy enough to disobey them in the first place) and another that lets them prioritise attacks on different subsystems when boarding enemy vessels. The Space Marines were added to the game in downloadable content after the game's release, and were not tied into the single-player campaign.
During the course of the single-player campaign, skirmish and multiplayer modes, a variety of game types are possible:
- Convoy Escorts - Attackers must destroy half, or if possible, all of the convoy ships escorted by the defender while the defender wins if they manage to reach an escape route without losing any convoy ships or only 1 is destroyed while the rest escape.
- Space Station Assault - Attackers must destroy a space station in order to win while the defender wins if they manage to destroy or rout the attackers.
- Breakthrough - The defenders must protect orbital platforms and destroy or rout the attackers while the attackers must destroy or rout the enemy fleet while also destroying the defenders' platforms.
- Data Recovery - The defender must escape while protecting crucial strategic data from boarding actions by the attacker. The attacker must steal the data from the defender and escape to achieve victory.
- Assassination - Defenders must defend their admiral from the attackers until the admiral's flagship escapes from the battle.
The game has received positive reviews and has a score of 79% on Metacritic. IGN awarded it a score of 7.1 out of 10, saying "Battlefleet Gothic: Armada's promising space tactics are bogged down by excessive obscure details." PC Gamer awarded it 80%, saying "A tubthumping tribute to the 40K universe, with perfectly grim design. Multiplayer definitely needs work on its balance though."
- Battlefleet Gothic: Armada (PC Game)
- Battlefleet Gothic Armada Official Website