The Dominator-class Cruiser is a Cruiser of the Imperial Navy. The Dominator-class Cruiser is an unusual class of warship originally built to act as a fleet support unit for major engagements and planetary assaults. It was designed to hang back and use its massive Nova Cannon to bombard the enemy at extreme range.
Dominator-class Cruisers are far more common to Battlefleet Ultima than Battlefleet Obscurus, the vast majority being built at the fleet base at Kar Duniash. Though the Dominator-class' flanking weapons batteries are as powerful as those of a Retribution-class Battleship, the Dominator does not possess the longer range of the larger vessel's Macrocannon macrobatteries.
The Dominator-class was originally conceived as a planetary assault and fleet-support vessel, built around the colossal energies of the graviometrically-driven Nova Cannon. The ship was designed to remain behind the main fleet line, using the Nova Cannon to bombard the enemy at extreme range. The majority of Dominators are constructed in the Ultima Segmentum at Kar Duniash, and are relatively rare in the sector battlefleets of the Segmentum Obscurus. However, after the impressive performance of the Dominator-class Hammer of Justice during the Gothic War, the other Segmentum Battlefleets showed a renewed interest in the Dominator.
The Dominator is relatively rare in Battlefleet Calixis, with only one example, the Astrum Astae, remaining in service. In part, this is due to the relatively peaceful nature of the Calixis Sector; while at a planetary level it may seethe with cult activity and apostasy, there have been relatively few fleet-level actions for some three standard centuries. The Dominator's prized Nova Cannons are therefore relegated to more turbulent sectors, or to one of the massive Imperial Crusades grinding down heretical forces across the galaxy. To construct a Dominator, shipwrights begin with a standard Lunar-class Cruiser hull, and equip it with an Armoured Prow Component and a Stygies Pattern Nova Cannon. Dominators typically mount Macrocannon macrobattery broadsides instead of individual Lances, as the additional power generated by this change is needed for the Nova Cannon.
Notable Dominator-class Vessels
- Astrum Astae - One of the few remaining examples of the Dominator-class within the Calixis Sector.
- Depth of Fury - During the Kathur Reclamation, the Dominator-class vessel Depth of Fury, commanded by Captain Straden, defended the Shrine World of Kathur to death from the Forces of Chaos. During its valiant defence, it came close to destroying the infamous Death Guard Traitor Legion vessel Terminus Est. The Depth of Fury managed to vaporise multiple decks and destroyed a number of its escort vessels before finally succumbing, with all hands lost.
- Hammer of Justice - The only Dominator-class vessel serving in the Gothic Sector at the outset of the Gothic War was the Hammer of Justice under the command of Captain Grenfeld. Although it had always performed poorly on exercises and had an undistinguished prior history, the vessel rose to the challenge of full war and fought with vigour and resolution at every opportunity. The potency of the somewhat cumbersome Nova Cannon was ably illustrated by Captain Grenfeld at the Port Maw blockade and the raid on Alios. Indeed, over the course of the war a number of other vessels undertook major refits to replace their prow armaments with a Nova Cannon.
- Battlefleet Gothic Rulebook (Blue Book), pg. 111
- Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronus (RPG), pg. 25
- Cadian Blood (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden