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Imperial Emperor-class Battleship

The Emperor-class Battleship is a slow and ponderous voidship that serves as one of the mainstay capital ships of the Imperial Navy. The Emperor-class dispenses with the normal armoured prow and instead carries a mass of sensor probes and forward turrets.

The Emperor-class also may carry eight squadrons of Shark Assault Boats or other common Imperial attack craft, which serve as its primary offensive punch.


An Emperor-class Battleship in action.

The Emperor-class is one of the oldest Imperial starship designs still in use, due to the discovery of the Emperor-class vessel called the Divine Right that was fused into a space hulk for some ten thousand Terran years.

Emperor-class battleships along with the Retribution-class battleships are known to have a huge golden monument relating to the Imperium atop their bridge. The Emperor-class' monument is a cloaked angel with a sword and shield.


The main armament of the Emperor-class is made up of its 8 squadrons of Shark Assault Boats or other common Imperial Navy attack craft, though the vessel has used its bulk to ram enemy warship on more desperate occasions. These attack craft are able to roam far from the battleship and engage enemy capital ships that would otherwise be out of range of the battleship's main batteries.

Void Shields

The Emperor-class Battleship Revenge

Void Shields on Imperial vessels (and enemy vessels for that matter), are larger and more powerful versions than those found on Titans and other war machines.

A Void Shield is created by a single generator that creates a sphere of protective Warp energy around the voidship that protects it from direct and indirect enemy fire. It prevents damage from energy weapons and actual critical structural damage occurring to the ship.

Any vessel large enough to be built with a Void Shield Generator thus has a shield but directed energy weapons overload the generators so once enough fire has been absorbed, the Void Shield collapses. The shield regenerates several solar minutes later assuming the voidship is not attacked again and that subsequent attacks do not damage the shield generator.

Ordnance like torpedoes and the weapons payloads of aerospace fighters are not affected by the effects of Void Shields and can do direct damage to the warship's hull unless engaged by its defensive turrets. The Emperor-class battleship possesses four shield generators and thus generates four separate Void Shields.


An Emperor-class Battleship in space dock.

Every Imperial voidship is equipped with a Plasma Drive for normal propulsion through the depths of realspace.

Running up to a third of the warship's length, the aft section of the Emperor-class is a mass of drive tubes, engine compartments and nuclear fusion-based Plasma Reactors.

Most Imperial Navy starships employ Warp-Drives to breach the barrier that separates realspace from the Immaterium and allow for interstellar travel. Damage to or misuse of this technology can result in the implosion of these drives and the creation of a volatile Warp rift.

Notable Emperor-class Battleships

The Divine Right, flagship of Battlefleet Gothic

  • Divine Right - The Divine Right was an Emperor-class Battleship whose hull was recovered from the space hulk Inculcate Evil that was captured near the Charos System by Captain Jacobus in the 36th Millennium. The ship was reintoduced into Imperial service after an extensive refit at Cypra Mundi. It served first as the flagship of Battlefleet Artemis, and later as the flagship of Battlefleet Gothic. The Divine Right won great renown during the Gothic War.
  • Dominus Astra - The Dominus Astra played an important role in defeating Hive Fleet Behemoth and ending the Battle of Macragge during the First Tyrannic War.
  • Indomitable Wrath
  • Inomine Veritas- The Inomine Veritas took part in the Third War for Armageddon.
  • Intolerance - The Intolerance took part in the Battle of Veras during the Gothic War. It was protected by the two Firestorm-class frigates of Gold Squadron. The Intolerance was able to complete the despatch of twenty-four bomber wings against the Chaos Desolator-class Battleship Eternity of Pain during the battle.
  • Legatus Stygies - The construction of the Legatus Stygies began in orbit of the Forge World of Stygies VIII in the Vulcanis System in the 30th Millenium. Heretics seized the world during the Horus Heresy, and work on the Legatus Stygies likely only resumed in the 32nd Millennium. There were further delays due to Warp Storms and Chaos raids, delaying the vessel's commissioning until the very end of the 32nd Millennium. During the Gothic War it survived a suicidal ramming attack in the Battle of Calavell, was one of the few ships to survive the disastrous purgation of Ulthanx, destroyed the Chaos battleship Black Pain at Arriva and served as the flagship of Fleet Admiral Mourndark at the Third Battle of Savaven.
  • Lord of Light - The Lord of Light was part of the fleet of Lord Commander Solar Macharius. Following the near-destruction of his flagship Pax Imperium, a Mars-class Battlecruiser, at the Battle of Charaxdis, his senior staff persuaded Macharius to transfer his flag to the Lord of Light. Following Macharius' death, the Lord of Light was decommissioned and now orbits the Shrine World of Macharia as a tribute in his honour.
  • Mercy of the Blade - This battleship was part of the Imperial defence fleet protecting the Solari Anchorage Star Fort, which was located within the Metalica System. When the Charadon Campaign began, Lieutenant-Heraldus Lihua Sheradane departed with most of the fleet to engage the Chaos forces commanded by the Death Guard Chaos Lord Typhus. A small fleet, led by the Mercy of the Blade, remained to guard the Solari Anchorage, which was under the command of Rear Admiral Vordkin. This proved to be an inadequate defence when Typhus' fleet surprised the Imperial defenders by invading the Metalica System through The Sore, a Warp tunnel created by Death Guard Sorcerers under Typhus' command that directly connected the Obolis Sub-sector's Chaos-held Alumax System to the Metalica System. The tunnel's terminus had suddenly materialised within the system, and caught its defenders off-guard, as the forces of Chaos moved to assault Metalica directly. But first the Death Guard intended to eliminate anything that stood in the way of a successful planetary assault, including the Solari Anchorage. Real Admiral Vordkin knew his fleet could not stop the invaders and, rather than let them be destroyed in a fruitless last stand, he ordered the Mercy of the Blade to escape. The battleship soon departed with as many other vessels of its fleet that could escape in time. Shortly after, the Anchorage was taken by the Death Guard.
  • Revenge - The Revenge was the flagship of Battlefleet Demeter and played an important role during the Pandorax Campaign fighting against the fleets of the Black Legion and the Red Corsairs.
  • Pax Imperalis - The Kingmaker was a Chaos-corrupted Exorcist-class Grand Cruiser thought to have been lost in the late 41st Millennium while on patrol near Agripinaa, but it appeared four Terran years later as part of a Black Legion fleet that destroyed an Imperial convoy between Cadia and Belis Corona. Afterwards, the Pax Imperialis was charged with destroying the Kingmaker and this began a two-solar-month pursuit that ended in the asteroid belts of the Crinan System. Though normally a grand cruiser would be no match for a full battleship, the Kingmaker had been corrupted by the power of Chaos and managed to hold out long enough for reinforcements to arrive. This caused the Pax Imperialis ' commander, Vice Admiral Chanke, to order a retreat. While the battleship was able to escape, it was forced to leave behind its voidcraft that had been launched to deliver the final blow to the Kingmaker. When the 13th Black Crusade began, the Kingmaker was among the Black Fleet's warships that attacked the Imperial forces defending Cadia. It was there that the grand cruiser clashed with the Pax Imperialis once again, but this time it was the Kingmaker that was forced to retreat, after the battleship severely damaged it. However, when Cadia was lost to Chaos, the Imperial forces escaped from the Cadian System and it is not known what became of the Kingmaker.


  • Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), Rear Cover
  • Battlefleet Gothic Rulebook, pp. 83, 88, 106, 113
  • Cadia Stands (Novel) by Justin D. Hill, Part 3, Ch. 14
  • Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pg. 33
  • Warhammer 40,000: Assault on Black Reach (Booklet), pg. 22
  • War Zone Charadon - Act I: The Book of Rust, pp. 38-39
  • White Dwarf 139 (US), "Space Fleet: Rules Expansion," pp. 8-36
  • White Dwarf 140 (US), "Space Fleet: Additional Background, Rules, Data Cards & Counters," pp. 46-75
  • White Dwarf 141 (US), "Space Fleet: Spaceships, Flagships & Scenario System," pp. 50-72
  • Pandorax (Novel) by C.Z. Dunn
  • Battlefleet Gothic Armada (PC Game) (Image)