The Endeavour-class Light Cruiser is one of the smallest classes of Light Cruiser in the Imperial Navy, though it is also one of the slowest due to its large array of heavy armament, giving it an offensive punch above what its tonnage would suggest.
The Imperium is a vast domain, and throughout its history, the Imperial Navy has been stretched thin simply trying to maintain lines of communication as well as the countless patrols and show of presence required in a galaxy beset by treachery and conflict form within and without. To do this, the Imperium has relied on a countless number of Light Cruisers to conduct these lonely patrols. As capital ships, such vessels tend to be lighter and more agile than their larger cousins, and they are easier and cheaper to construct as well. As a consequence, while there are only several dozen different approved patterns throughout the Imperium from which all the various Cruiser and Battlecruiser classes utilised by the Imperial Navy are derived, there are literally hundreds of different Imperial Light Cruiser patterns constructed throughout the galaxy.
A design first manufactured in the orbital shipyards of the famed Voss Forge World, the Endeavour-class Light Cruiser has a markedly different mission profile from the far more common Dauntless-class Light Cruiser. Given its relatively slow speed and heavier armour, the Endeavour is typically used as a stop-gap ship of the line, convoy flagship or Battleship Escort in large, set-piece naval battles. The captains of Endeavour-class vessels must be careful not to bite off more than they can chew, for the ship lacks the firepower of a true Cruiser, yet often finds itself in confrontations better suited to vessels of that type. Several Endeavours serve in the Imperial Navy's Battlefleet Calixis that protects the Calixis Sector, as there is proportionately less need for true ships of the line; many routine patrols in that sector and others consist of an Endeavour accompanied by a pair of Frigates.
The Endeavour-class, lacking the speed for anti-pirate operations, is preferred as a convoy flagship or a heavy Escort to larger capital ships of the line. Its heavy gun batteries can almost match the firepower of larger, true Cruisers and it is capable of holding its own in the midst of a pitched battle. Many Endeavour-class Light Cruisers were sent to Battlefleet Armageddon during the latest Ork invasion of that strategic Hive World in 998.M41, where, during fighting against Ork vessels, the Endeavour’s relative slow speed for its class was not found to be a hindrance. The Endeavour, and its sister vessels, became a staple of Battlefleet Armageddon as replacements for ships lost to the Greenskins.
Rogue Trader Use
While many Rogue Traders aspire to acquire the vast behemoth that a Cruiser-displacement vessel represents, others find that a Light Cruiser is more suited to the kinds of missions they undertake and the operating expenses they can absorb. The Endeavor is one of the oldest and most common of the many Light Cruiser classes operating throughout Imperial space. As such, there is a great surplus of decommissioned Endeavor Light Cruisers in a large variety of patterns available throughout the Imperium, and it is not unusual for many of these to find their way into the hands of Rogue Traders or the merchant families that fund their exploits.
It is also commonplace for the Imperial Navy or even the Adeptus Mechanicus to lend one or a small number of these vessels to a Rogue Trader expedition. The Adeptus Mechanicus in particular operates a large number of these vessels, modified in various ways with all manner of advanced technology they have at their disposal, and they are quick to detail them on such Rogue Trader exploratory missions in their never-ending quest for technological perfection.
Notable Endeavour-class Light Cruisers
- Leonid - Fought against the massive Ork fleet during the Third War for Armageddon
- Sacrament of Judgement - Once, the name of the Sacrament of Judgement proudly adorned the victory banners hanging in the chambers of Port Wrath. Now, the name has been struck from all rolls of honour, obscured with the smeared ashes of martyred Navy bosuns. The Sacrament of Judgement committed a naval vessel’s vilest sin—mutiny. Until such time as the venerable Lord-Captains of Battlefleet Calixis can consign the mutinous Sabina Alsunet and her renegades to the void and bring the ship back to Port Wrath under a prize crew, her name can only be spoken as a curse. While part of Battlefleet Calixis, the Sacrament of Judgement served as a long range escort and patrol vessel; a perfect task for an Endeavour-class light cruiser.
- Sanctis Legate - Fought against the massive Ork fleet during the Third War for Armageddon
- Sword of Voss - Fought against the massive Ork fleet during the Third War for Armageddon
- Hull: Light Cruiser.
- Class: Endeavour-class Light Cruiser.
- Dimensions: 3.8 kilometres long, 0.5 kilometres wide.
- Mass: Approximately 22 Megatonnes.
- Crew: Approximately 67,500 crew.
- Acceleration: 3.9 gravities maximum sustainable acceleration.
- Battlefleet Gothic Armada, pg. 18
- Battlefleet Gorhic Compendium 2010, pg. 84
- Rogue Trader: Battlefleet Koronus (RPG), pg. 26
- Rogue Trader: Twilight Crusade (RPG), pg. 117