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Imperial fleet tactics part one: ship classes
The imperium is a massive organisation spanning an awesome area across the galaxy. And much like every other mighty sci-fi empire its fleet has a large number of different class types to perform the vast number of roles required of it. Im not one for elaborate openings so that’s about as much you’ll get from me on this
In this article I plan to give semi-in-depth look at the imperial fleet’s ships and how to employ them in battle. I’m sure everyone has their own ideas and opinions on this subject but if I don’t cover them feel free to PM me with you’re ideas and ill look to adding them to this. I will only be looking at the blue book imperial ships however as these are the only ones I have any experience with.
Ill start off with the mainstay of the imperial fleet. The cruisers. These mighty ships make up the bulk of most players fleets and have the most diverse choice of classes accordingly. So with no further waffling (meh I tend not to waffle a lot) on with my guide!
Lunar class: fluff wise it’s the workhorse of the imperial navy and its choice of weapons reflect that. It is the jack-of-all-trades master of none in the imperial fleet boasting a fair balance of lances, gunbatts and torpedoes to give it a nice rounded stature. Generally you should have at least two of these ships in your fleet at anytime and they should be teamed with a gunship like the tyrant or a lancer like the gothic to let it reach its full potential. More on ship combo’s later however (see section two for more on ship combinations. Coming soon)
Gothic class: the ultimate support cruiser. This thing is your left uppercut to your right hook sporting a lance armourment unmatched by any other main line cruiser. It however suffers for this evil weaponry by being a rather poor ship when on its own. Best thing to do with this vessel is to team it with another ship which is equipped with gunbatts. The gunbatts knock down the shields on the enemy ship while the gothic uses its lances to attack the enemy’s damage points.
Tyrant class: a powerful gun ship that gives the imperial fleet a longer ranged arm. I don’t generally see this ship a lot on the table top as it is normally replaced with its shorter ranged but more powerful sister ship the dominator class. I do see a lot of uses for this class but it will need to get that upgrade to be effective.
Dominator class: the only cruiser in the imperial fleet that sports the nova cannon as standard the dominator is a very powerful support ship using its nova cannon to pull you’re foes to you. This ship again tends to perform poorly without support, as its gunbatts alone will rarely cause a huge amount of damage on most ships. It is however a good anti eldar vessel if you are ever to catch those evasive elves in your weapons range.
Dictator class: this is the imperial fleets cheep carrier ship. Sporting 4 launch bays and some effective gunbatts this class can supply the fighter and bomber support that most imperial admirals want. It also has a Strength 3 gun battery which is unmatched in the imperial fleet out side the battleship range this makes it a very good bomber duellist as in a 1v1 sortie vs. another carrier the higher turret rating can really help it out.
Dauntless light cruiser: the smallest cruiser in the blue book this thing is the pit bull terrier of the imperial cruisers. Almost as fast and mobile as escort ships this class packs a powerful prow lance armourment and has some acceptable gun batteries down its sides. This ship works well when supporting escorts as it tends to draw a bit more fire than the escorts letting them survive longer.
Battle Cruisers: I’ve given the battle cruisers their own section as they are quite different ships and perform somewhat different roles.
Mars class: this is probably one of the best ships we can get our mitts on. The mars class features probably the most varied assortment of weapons in the imperial fleet sporting lances, gunbatts, launch bays and the mighty nova cannon. An ideal low point flagship the mars class is one of the few imperial ships that can hold its own in a 1v1 engagement. It however much like all imperial ships work best when grouped and is a very good sister ship for dictators.
Overlord class: a very powerful gunship and the cheaper of the two class available the overlord sports battleship range weaponry with a fair amount of firepower to back it up. Best used to lead your squadrons the overlord is a good ship with more firepower and range than the standard cruiser. Very much worth the purchase and should be grouped with more specialised ships like the gothic.
Battleships: these are the ships everyone wants. Sporting immense firepower with just as mighty resilience battleships are wonderful line breakers and often act as players flagships to make them more effective.
Emperor class: by far the more popular of the two the emperor class is a super carrier. Sporting 8(!) Launch bays and an insane gun battery strength not to mention being the only ship in the imperial fleet with access to assault boats. It lacks the armoured prow of most imperial ships however and tends to come of less well in a head on assault. It does however have a huge turret rating making it all but immune to enemy bombers. The ship is also quite slow and if its in contact with blast markers it cant turn so be careful with this behemoth.
Retribution class: this is your other choice in the battleship section and tends to be looked over a lot. Sporting a modest weaponry array this battleship does its best as a hammer used to shatter a tight enemy formation at the head of a cruiser group. Wielding a huge torpedo salvo and an effective gunbatt array the retribution class tends to be under gunned for its price being more expensive than the emperor class yet having less damage output. It does however benefit from the 6+ armoured prow and a pretty nippy speed for its size.
Escorts: I have for a long-time overlooked the escort section generally preferring to max out on cruisers going for firepower rather than mobility. That was until I did some math. 2 sword class frigates and 3 firestorm class frigates turn out to have firepower equal to a retribution class battleship for almost half the price. (15 point difference.)
Sword class: all escorts need numbers to be effective. Everyone knows that. But when 3 of these ships sport firepower 12 you start to see the advantages of these guys. These ships are more flying gun platforms rather than frigates and it begins to tell once you bring the unit strength above 3 and they begin to outgun battleships.
Firestorm class: these ships are generally considered overpriced but I quite like them. On their own they are pretty unspectacular but when teamed with sword class frigates you turn them into a scalpel. The swords and the firestorms gunbatts remove shields and deal some moderate damage while the firestorm’s lances cause mayhem. Overpriced? Maybe, but invaluable for a cruiser hunting squadron in my opinion.
Cobra class: the ordinance nuts dream. These are the cheapest escort available to the imperial fleet and are the most fragile. Yet they sport the greatest potential for mayhem. For the price of a lunar class you can deploy 6 of these ships which when combined give you a strength 12 torpedo salvo. The equivalent of two cruisers! These guys are at their best about turn two once the enemy fleet has gotten closer and finds it a lot harder to deal with the torpedoes.
End of part one
coming soon: squadrons, how and which.
(hmm just realised my misstype in the title.... bugger)
Last edited by Arklite; May 11th, 2006 at 18:05.
spambot kill tally: 79
[16:19] <@Alzer> Arky's right though
[16:20] <@Kaiser-> I know he is.
[16:20] <@Kaiser-> He usually is.
[16:20] <@Kaiser-> Sometimes it's intentional.
[00:01] <+zubus> i love you, ya skirt wearin nothern monkey! ^_^