A Vanguard Cruiser is a variant of the standard Adeptus Astartes Strike Cruiser that has been refit for long-range operations without the benefit of Escorts or other naval support. This is a variant that is primarily used by fleet-based Chapters of Space Marines that often need to send detachments of Astartes on long-duration missions far from the main Chapter fleet.
Notable Vanguard Cruisers
- Red Harbinger (Fire Hawks Chapter) - The Red Harbinger was at first disabled and then captured by the Mantis Warriors Chapter in 350.904.M41, an incident that helped to initiate the internecine conflict between Space Marine Chapters of the Imperium known as the Badab War.
- Obsidia (Salamanders Chapter) - In 838.912.M41, during the Badab War, the Executioners Chapter Cruiser Night Hag and the Executioners Battle Barge Phaeton's Wrath were hunting a pair of damaged Sons of Medusa Strike Cruisers in an asteroid field on the edge of the Eridayn Cataract when the Salamanders Vanguard Cruiser Obsidia suddenly interposed between the two sides and requested a ceasefire. After a tense stand-off, the Sons of Medusa withdrew and the Executioners agreed to parley with the Loyalist command. This action led to the eventual withdrawal of the Executioners from the conflict on the side of the Secessionists and their restoration to the Emperor's grace.
- Battle Barge
- Gladius-class Frigate
- Gloriana-class Battleship
- Nova-class Frigate
- Rapid Strike Vessel
- Hunter-class Destroyer
- Strike Cruiser
- Imperial Armour Volume Nine - The Badab War - Part One, pp. 22-23
- Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two, pp. 46, 201
- Battlefleet Gothic Armada, pg. 23