The Imperial Vengeance-class Grand Cruiser straddles the line between earlier and later Imperial warship design. The ship can be seen with the beginnings of the characteristic armoured prow, although as yet the extra armour of later vessels has not been added. Today, the Vengeance remains part of the Imperial Navy's fleet reserve, regarded by most Admirals as an old warhorse, past its best days.
Vengeances have also been identified as part of the Traitor warfleets, dating back to the mass mutiny that split the Imperial fleet in half during the Horus Heresy. Since then, Imperial warship design has slowly evolved, but within the Warp, where time does not follow a linear path, ships can survive untold millennia as if it were only yesterday. Within the Eye of Terror, ships which actually fought in the great battles of the Great Crusade and the Heresy still exist.
The active Vengeance-class Grand Cruisers that are part of the Segmentum Obscurus's Battlefleet Obscurus are generally deployed in squadrons whose ongoing mission is to patrol and defend the star systems lying around the Eye of Terror in a constant vigil against Chaos incursions. Other Vengeances are scattered across the Imperial fleet reserves throughout Segmentum Obscurus and Segmentum Pacificus as second-line units, replacement squadrons, and mothballed as war reserves.
Several patrolling squadrons of Vengeances have, whilst engaged in routine duties, strayed into the Eye itself, either lured there in pursuit of Heretic raiders or caught in a sudden and unpredictable flare or expansion of the unpredictable Warp rift. Such patrols are never seen again, although reports of Vengeance-class Grand Cruisers supporting Renegade raids and even Black Crusades have been on the increase.
- Exorcist-class Grand Cruiser - The Exorcist is a variant of the Vengeance design that was originally developed as a long-range patrol vessel, capable of self-sufficiency for long periods of time away from fleet support as long as it was accompanied by two or three squadrons of Escort vessels.
- Executor-class Grand Cruiser - The Executor is a variant of the Vengeance-class Grand Cruiser no longer used by the Imperial Navy. As this particular class dwindled due to attrition, the remaining squadrons of Executor-class vessels disappeared into the Eye of Terror while defending the Cadian Gate from a raiding Chaos Fleet. Five Terran centuries later these vessels emerged as a part of a Chaos flotilla.
- Battlefleet Gothic Magazine 3, pg. 11
- Battlefleet Gothic Magazine 4, "Vengeance Class Variants," by Warwick Kinrade, pp. 2-3