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An Apocalypse-class Battleship of the Imperial Navy.

A battleship is the type of warship that is the largest and most powerful available to any space-faring military fleet. The battleship is the master of space combat.

These massive spacecraft are protected by nigh-impenetrable defences, carry enough firepower to obliterate a lesser warship, and usually have launch-bays for attack craft as well. The only weaknesses of a battleship are its expense and poor maneuverability.

However, when accompanied by cruisers and escorts to offset these disadvantages, a battleship becomes a nearly unstoppable addition to any fleet.

Imperial Battleships[]

The conduct of the Great Crusade required vessels by the thousands, vessels that could not only carry armies and bring apocalyptic destruction to bear, but that could also endure the perilous transit of Warpspace and endure the titanic forces and hardships of the Empyrean and the deep void both.

Military vessels were needed, not only to replace losses, but meet the ever expanding demands of the expeditionary fleets, the Imperial Army's Armada Imperialis and, on a lesser scale, the Rogue Traders and local system defence navies.

To satisfy this constant need, a bewildering variety of classes of warship were developed to fulfil an equally bewildering variety of roles. The principal (or capital) class of warship in the Great Crusade and the mainstay of the Imperial battlefleets was the battleship, with more than a thousand such mighty engines of war in operation at the height of the Imperium's expansion in the early 31st Millennium. They are intended to form the "line of battle" during fleet engagements and have armaments capable of smashing continents from orbit and controlling entire star systems by force of arms.

Battleships are vast constructs, ranging commonly between 8 and 12 kilometres long (although some far larger vessels have been constructed) and can hold tens of thousands of crew, troops and hundreds of war machines as well as swarms of smaller attack craft depending on their design.

Battleships were only threatened in ordinary circumstances by others of their own type and direct celestial phenomena like Warp storms, and as such were the mainstay of both the expeditionary fleets of the Great Crusade and the wider Armada Imperialis. In the 41st Millennium battleships still represent the foundation of the various segmentum and sector battlefleets' combat power in the Navis Imperialis, serving as their all-important ships of the line in any major void engagement.

Imperial Navy Battleships[]

  • Infernus-class Battleship (Great Crusade era)
  • Mortis Rex-class Battleship (Great Crusade era)
  • Tiamat-class Battleship (Shield Bastion) (Great Crusade era)
  • Ascension-class Battleship (ca. M33)
  • Torrent-class Battleship (ca. M33)
  • Majestic-class Battleship (ca. M41)

Space Marine Battleships[]

  • Chapter Barque

Adeptus Mechanicus Battleships[]

Chaos Battleships[]

  • Captured or turncoat Imperial battleships

Craftworld Aeldari Battleships[]

Necron Battleships[]

Ork Battleships[]

The Orks do not have any classes of true battleship per se, but there are some individual ships that rival "true" battleships in size and firepower.

T'au Empire Battleships[]



Tyranid Battleships[]

See Also[]


  • Battlefleet Gothic Rulebook: Ships of the Gothic Sector
  • Battlefleet Gothic Armada: Vessels of the Imperium
  • Battlefleet Gothic Armada: Xenos Fleets
  • Battlefleet Gothic Armada: Traitor Fleets
  • Battlefleet Gothic Armada: Necron and Tyranid Fleets
  • Battlefleet Gothic Armada: Tau Fleets
  • Battlefleet Gothic: Ships of Mars
  • Battlefleet Gothic: Doom of the Eldar
  • Battlefleet Gothic Magazine 13
  • Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronus (RPG), pg. 101
  • Imperial Armour Volume Three - The Taros Campaign
  • Planet Killer Preview in Warpstorm
  • The Horus Heresy - Book Three: Extermination "Warships of the Great Crusade," by Alan Bligh, pg. 15
  • Shadow Point (Novel) by Gordon Rennie
  • The Emperor Expects (Novel) by Gav Thorpe