The Retribution-class Battleship is a heavy capital ship of the Imperial Navy. The class is one of the oldest patterns of Imperial Battleship still in service, built in the Martian orbital shipyards of the Ring of Iron. They are notable for mounting an all big gun armament, with a dorsal Lance battery. Battleships of this class mount the heavily armored prow and torpedo tubes of a capital ship. Ships of this class are considered the backbones of the Imperial Navy and often serve as a flagship, however, the lack of an enhanced sensor suite make the Emperor-class Battleship the preferred choice for this mission type. These are employed in large scale engagements, where the sheer wight of firepower spewed from the broadsides makes up for lack of lance batteries. Due to poor maneuverability, however, they require plenty of Escorts to deal with fast-moving threats.
The Retribution-class battleship's traditional armoured prow and the distinctive multiple-tube plasma engines mark them as products of the Martian shipyards. Retribution Battleships along with the Emperor-class are known to have a huge golden monument relating to the Imperium atop its bridge. The final note on appearance is its engine fins. Emperor and Retribution-class Battleships have long fins to the port and starboard sides of the main engines sitting vertically with some additional thrusters built into them with a third vertical one sitting in the middle between the engines.
The Retribution-class is able to deliver a devastating broadside assault on the enemy and is also equipped with impressive ordnance capabilities. The main armament of the Retribution class are its rows upon rows of mighty weapon batteries lining the sides. These are able to fire a devastating spread over extreme ranges, crippling enemy ships before they even get within range to return fire. If closing on an enemy vessel, torpedoes fired from the Retribution are equally capable of causing extreme damage. As with many Imperial battle craft, the ship is also equipped with a series of Lance turrets along the dorsal of the ship. These are more accurate than the flank batteries, but their numbers are fewer. They are normally used for finishing off an enemy ship that the main weapons have crippled, or providing return fire when the battleship is closing on its foes. Many a ship have fallen to the power of a close range broadside of a Retribution-class.
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 energy around the ship that protects it from direct and indirect enemy fire. It prevents damage from energy weapons and prevents actual critical structural damage occurring on the ship. Any vessel large enough to be built with a shield generator thus as a shield but energy weapons overload the generators so once fire as been absorbed, the void shield collapses. The shield regenerates several minutes later assuming the ship isn’t attacked again and that subsequent attacks do not damage the shield generator. Ordnance like torpedoes and fighters are not affected by the effects of shields and can do direct damage to the ship unless engaged by turrets. The Retribution-class has four Void Shield generators and thus has four shields.
Every Imperial starship is equipped with a plasma drive for normal propulsion through the depths of space. Running up to a third of the ship's length, the aft section is a mass of drive tubes, engine compartments and plasma reactors. Most Imperial Navy ships employ Warp drives to breach the barrier that separates realspace from the Immaterium and allow for interstellar travel. Implosion of these drives can lead to the creation of a Warp rift.
Famous Retribution-class Ships
- Cardinal Boras - Retribution-class Battleship which fought in the Gothic War.
- Bloodhawk - Retribution-class Battleship which took part in the Gothic War.
- Pride of Fenris - Retribution-class Battleship that serves as the flagship of the Great Wolf of the Space Wolves.
- Saint Augusta - Retribution-class Battleship that fought in the Battle of Callavell during the Age of Apostasy in the 36th Millennium.
- Nolandia - Retribution-class Battleship that served the Loyalists during the Horus Heresy.
Application in the Imperial Fleet
The Retribution-class Battleship is best employed in one of two ways. Firstly, one can make use of its superior long range firepower, out-ranging the weaponry on most enemy vessels. Alternatively, one can close quickly and unleash a devastating broadside at close range, an attack which can cripple an enemy Cruiser in a single salvo. However one must be wary of making sudden changes of course as the ship is slow to maneuver.
- Battlefleet Gothic Rulebook, pg. 107
- Grey Hunter (Novel) by William King. pg. 107
- Garro: Sword of Truth (Audio Book) by James Swallow