The Mercury-class Battlecruiser is a powerful capital ship of the Imperial Navy. In the waning years of Abaddon the Despoiler's 12th Black Crusade in the early 41st Millennium, the Adeptus Mechanicus Artisans of Bakka and the officers of Battlefleet Tempestus faced a dilemma. In supporting Battlefleet Obscuras, the problem with pirate bands had become acute and the lack of speed among the standard Imperial Cruiser designs meant that the tactical initiative remained with the pirates.
At the direction of Admiral Knightsbridge, the Magi of Bakka set about to construct a new battlecruiser design fitting for the strategy and tactics of the battlefleet yet be able to meet this threat. Through a rather straightforward merging of existing technologies, the Adeptus Mechanicus were able to devise a solution in less than two standard centuries. It is widely believed that this is the fastest a new capital ship design has ever come to fruition in several millennia, and thus the Mercury-class Battlecruiser came into being.
Built from the keel up to prosecute raiders and armed with a prow-fitted Nova Cannon, the Mercury combines a basic Cruiser layout with the engineering suite normally used on a Battleship. The result is a faster much more powerful Cruiser with the speed to keep up with the raiders and the firepower to deal with them as an independent unit without Escorts. All this improved performance came at a price, however. While the engines produced Battleship power, the armour protection remained only that of a Cruiser, leaving the Mercury more vulnerable than other Imperial Battlecruisers of similar size. Despite these shortcomings, many Bakka naval officers aspire to someday lead one of these fearsome warships.
Notable Mercury-class Battlecruisers
- Gorgon - The Gorgon claimed the Eldar Shadow-class Cruiser Swift Striker while protecting a vital Imperial supply convoy.
- Nemesis - The Nemesis destroyed an Ork Terror Ship and three Ravager Attack Ships single-handed.
- Long Serpent
- Medusa - The Plasma Drive overload that destroyed the Medusa also shattered the Lunar-class Cruiser Lord Chalfont, leaving a convoy of transports to the mercies of an Ork raiding squadron.
- Scylla - When hit by multiple salvos from Chaos raiders in 467.M41, the Scylla suffered a powerful Warp-Drive implosion, destroying her entire squadron of assigned Escorts and heavily damaging the Battleship Mailed Fist.
- Battlefleet Gothic Compendium 2010, pg. 41