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Offline Zelnik

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Grog's Guide to BFG 2.0; part 1, The Imperial Navy
« on: May 05, 2011, 02:45:48 PM »
Hey folks, I got a lot of requests to repost the Grogs Guide since Port Maw collapsed, and since the new rules came out, I felt it was time to remake them all, enjoy, discuss and argue!

Imperial Navy (non-battlefleet bakka)

universal 6+ armor on the prow for cruiser levels, some light cruisers and battleships
Torpedos everywhere
The Nova Cannon
Extremely versitile escort craft
Gap-filling upgrades
no vessel can be deemed "useless"
bazillions of fleet lists
good fleet coherency
Can get a 1500 fleet for just over 100 bucks

Does not lend itself well for independant ship action
Isolated ships die quickly
Common fleet, many know how to fight it effectively.
commonly outnumbered by enemy fleets
ships are expensive by comparison to other "standard fleets"

Crack:Nova cannon spam. Counter with lots of fast moving ships to flank and destroy at short range.

The Imperial navy is one of the first four fleets in the game, and because of this, it has received a lot of love over the years from the rules makers. Easily the most upgrade-happy fleet, if you cannot find a way to make a fleet exactly 1500 points, your doing something wrong.  Commonly viewed as the most popular of all the fleets, with absolutely gorgeous minis to back up the rules, the Imperial Navy is probably the most collected fleet in the game. With tough ships, cheap purchase price and damn good rules, it shows.  The greatest advantage to the fleet is its low cost, shared by three other fleets (grey knights, forgeworld tau and Chaos), you can quickly build a large fleet for minimal impact to your pocket book, and still beats 40k in price efficicency by at least 3:1.

The Ships

Battleships: Note that Bakka ships are handled in another section. Imperial battleships tend to take the mentality of "Consolidate a tactical variable into one ship, so the rest of the fleet can do the rest with more flexibility".  this is shown in their armaments, but the price they pay is flexibility. The Apocalypse will always fare poorly against eldar, the Emperor is entirely dependant on Reload.  The Retribution will always be underpowered as a price for its flexibility and the Oberon suffers from range shortfalls.  These ships were not meant to be flown alone, and require the support of an entire fleet to function properly.

Retribution: It is ironic that I start with the oldest warhorse of the fleet, and also the least useful battleship the standard navy has to offer. With the most recent updates, the Retribution continues to fade into the background as the other battleships replace it.  The only advantage it has is its low cost at 345 points, good range, and good speed.  After that, it simply cannot compare to the other Battleships the IN has to offer, and especially now that Overlord battlecruisers can purchase a left column shift.  It is not without use though, it is still an Imperial battleship, and more then capable of causing damage. Just recognize your only getting what you pay for.
Pro: Not reliant on special orders to function well, Fast moving, cheap
Con: not really spectacular at anything

Emperor: The darling of the Imperial fleet, and probably the most commonly taken Imperial battleship.  The capacity to compress 8 launch capacity into a single vessel, and upgrade it with shark assault boats makes it an extremely potenet vessel. Its powerful weapons battery also allows it to function as firing support at long range.  This, however, is not a battleship of the line and usually spends the game well away from enemy attention.  Unlike the other imperial battleships, this vessel is entirely dependant on passing leadership checks to do its job, and a single botched roll can ruin your tactical advantage.
Pro: Good weapon battery strength at great range. consolidates 8 LC onto one vessel. +1 ld to the commander.  
Cons: Relies entirely on Reload Ordnance, Expensive, juicy target, slow.

Apocalypse: The big daddy of big guns. Designed to wreck enemy vessels at just about any range, this is really the first vessel that is entirely not reliant on special orders to do its job. With the new rules update, the vessel functions spectacularly at close, medium and long ranges for minimal sacrifice, and a nova cannon gives it very effective long range firepower when closing with the enemy.  Well priced, hard to kill and armed to the teeth, I would recommend this vessel to anyone who really wants to take the hurt to their enemy.
Pro:Great firepower, tough as nails, updated rules regarding lance range. does not rely on special orders
Con: Expensive, slow.

Oberon: Debate about this vessel rages on to this day, and for good reason.  Its an amazing battleship, the cheapest standard imperial battleship with great firepower, launch capacity, and a bonus to leadership.  By taking this vessel, you are saving at least 50 points on your commander alone, giving you lots of wiggle room for the rest of your fleet. It hurts a little on range, but typically the enemy likes to close on you, so it does not effect games much.  with the port and starboard lances, it functions well on either reload or lock on.  
Pro:Overall jack of all trades vessel, +1 leadership, cheap, does not rely on special orders.
Con: slow, low LC, medium range dorsal and prow guns.

Grand Cruisers: Grand cruisers are for eccentrics. That's why I love them. "Battleship" scale firepower at strange ranges and really cheap prices. Some are more useful then others, some are designed for use in squadrons. Others are simply a tougher platform then normal carriers. with the fact that they ignore prow damage, they gain a boost to usefulness since that used to upgrade to engine damage.

Vengence: The standard grand cruiser avaliable to both IN and Chaos.  Great range but slightly underwhelming firepower. What you get for the low price though is a tough ship with 60cm firepower.  Squadroned in a pair of two as a replacement for battlecruisers is a devistating combo, and I highly recommend it.  Remember, these vessels are broadside only!
Pro:60cm range on a 10 hit 3 shield cruiser hull
Cons: slightly underwhelming firepower.

Avenger: Looks so good on paper, so hard to use effectively. Another squadron ready ship, these are meant to get in close and cause a LOT of hurt. However, they are also big juicy targets that are forced to drive headlong into the enemy to be effective.  
Pro: Phenominal firepower
Con: itty bitty living space

Exorcist: Probably the most useful of the three imperial grand cruisers, especially now that it can take shark assault boats (making it a good companion for the Oberon), it has decent firepower at short range. The benefit to this ship is the tough carrier platform, which makes it easily as useful, if not more so, then the Mars.
Pro: A 10 hit 3 shield 3 turret carrier that can take sharks
cons: big target

Battlecruisers: An alternate design theory to the Grand Cruiser. Instead of a tougher platform, these elect for stronger firepower. The new rules sprinkle lots of upgrades onto these ships, making every one of them a great choice for a standard navy fleet.

Overlord: from garbage sow to corvette! All it took was a 10 points point reduction and a ten point upgrade to make this ship just as good (if not better) then its counterparts. Good alone, better if taken in a squadroned pair, these ships do the job of long range heavy firepower, able to send 4 lances and a st 16 left column shift shot 60cm away, followed by a st 12 torpedo.  The turret upgrade is a nice touch too
Pros: Great range, great firepower, cheap upgrades, good price, great ship!
Cons: Cruiser hull.

Mars: one of the tailor made "basilisk in space" vessels, designed to hold back and use its nova cannon all game while launching bombers.  A good concept, but sometimes difficult to use effectively, since it has a very high operating cost and is considered a high priority target by most enemy fleets. its new turret upgrade is nice, it is not dependant on reload to be effective, and the left column shift is cool.
Pros: nova cannon and bombers, you can't go wrong!
cons: big juicy target on a cruiser hull, expensive.

Armageddon: This has always been the ship designed to wreck enemies with extreme prejudice.  While its crowning position as the best battlecruiser is now challenged by the overlord, it still is the most heavily armed at medium range. Its new nova cannon option is a nice touch, and the points reduction for a vanilla vessel is also good. It is one of the two vessels strong enough to function well in all situations without being in a squadron.
Pros: good range, amazing firepower, nova cannon upgrade
cons: can be expensive, cruiser hull, juicy target.

Cruisers: The bread and butter of the Imperial Navy, Like the battleships these vessels are designed for specific tasks. focused on "batteries", "Lances", "Carrier" or "flexible". The cost is that they tend to lack really overwhelming firepower alone and require squadroning to be effective.

Lunar Cruiser: Our first flexible vessel. It has a little bit of everything, and a lot of not much.  Alone these ships cannot hope to do much without torpedos or the nova cannon. But like any thug, give it a friend and it b ecomes a devistating combatant.  I typically squadron these with gothics, dominators or other lunars to make an extremely dangerous wedge.
Pros: has a little of everything, nova cannon upgrade
cons: lacks penetrating firepower.

Tyrant: What happens when you offer too many upgrades? Only really effective when squadroned with other tyrants due to its range, it is an expensive choice for medium range batteries on a cruiser hull.  It is also the only battery boat you can take outside the gothic fleet.
Pros: lots of upgrade choices, decent range when upgraded. nova cannon option
cons: underwhelming firepower for its cost

Gothic: Our first specialist cruiser, it is designed for lances, lances, and more lances. because of this, it functions best alone with a small footprint to support other ships, dealing damage to vessels with shields knocked down by other vessels. Functions well with lunars, gothics and dominators.
pros: works well independantly, does not rely on the gunnary table
cons: without support it tends not to deal a lot of damage.

Dominator: The unique vessel to the Gothic sector, it is the cheapest nova cannon platform you can buy. It has good short range firepower and can defend itself well, or in a squadron.  Be wary, its a juicy target and not easy to field outside the gothic list.
pros: cheap nova cannon, good firepower
cons: Only avaliable in the gothic list.

Dictator: this vessel sets the standard for combat carriers across the game. While it is entirely dependant on Reload ordnance, the special order refreshes two powerful weapon systems at the same time. On a cruiser hull, this is a very useful perk. While you CAN squadron this with a lunar, gothic or dominator, I would suggest flying these in squads of two. These ships make for an excellent alternative for the Emperor if your more interested in close-in slug matches, or you want to reserve your battleship for more combat oriented positions. While its weapons battery is rather weak, combined with a twin can make it a force to be reckoned with, and reduces its reliance on special orders.
pros: gold standard for combat carriers. Reloads torps and bombers in one roll. great in pairs
cons: negligable firepower if you don't reload.

Light Cruisers: These ships, like the battleships, tend to have a distinct focus in the fleet. The Endeavor family tend to function as cruiser support and replacement, while the Dauntless family tends to function as "Super" escorts

Dauntless Light Cruiser Family: Fast, powerful, and highly specialized, both versions of this craft are immensely popular, and for good reason.  It is quick, manuverable, and works well supported by escorts (especially the lance varient with firestorms).  It is not without its weaknesses, the torpedo varient is dependant on reload to be effective and suffers heavily from being crippled. One shield and one turret make it a tastey target for bombers and enemy fire.  The lance varient is more versitile but has less capacity to cause raw damage. The best advantage to the lance dauntless is that it is still 66% effective when braced or crippled.
Pros: Huge firepower on both accounts for very small points cost.
cons: Torpedo dauntless is dependant on special orders, delicate, does not work function like you would expect a cruiser to function.

Endeavor Light Cruiser Family: This family of light cruiser suffered heavily in its early years. Slow, underpowered and with limited access to its more interesting varients, they desperately needed the benefits they received from the 2010 FAQ.  With the option to take a 6+ prow at the cost of 45 degrees, along with new deployment rules for the Endurance and Defiant, there is a much greater chance we will see these on the table in the future.  Unlike the dauntless, these vessels are designed to be cruiser support, attached in a squadron to other cruisers to bolster torpedo and weapon battery/lance/launch capacity.  If teamed up in packs of two or three, they can function as effective glass cannons against much larger vessels.
Pros: Good firepower for cost, good in packs or teamed up with a cruiser.  Upgrade options make it more versitile then the dauntless
Cons: slow, delicate, expensive minis unless you go third party

Escorts: The imperium is blessed with some of the best escorts in the game. While they are not fast, they tend to be tough and hard to remove from the board. Well priced, well defended and easy to use, many consider the Imperium escorts to be the gold standard of escorts in BFG.

The Sword: Easily the most popular escort. Decent speed, decent firepower and two turrets. This vessel is designed to dish out pain and remain reliable under any circumstance.  At 40 points, it is cheap and effective for the benefits you get.
Pros: good firepower, 2 turrets
Cons: slow for an escort

The Firestorm: basically a sword with a lance duct taped to the front. It has all of the benefits of the sword, only they attached a lance to the front. Very effective craft, but most stop at the 40 point cost of the vessel.  This ship was designed to take on larger craft. This vessel has many analogues in other fleets that can perform similarly and for lower cost/greater benefit, and at best is an average escort. Average does not mean it is not effective.
Pros: Punchy in numbers, 2 turrets
Cons: weak in small groups.

The Cobra: A very popular little escort, cheap as dirt with huge firepower for its size. Dependant on reload, but can unlesh utter hell on an unprepared ship.
Pros: stupid huge firepower for its size, widowmaker option, fast moving
cons: constructed of tissue paper.

The Falchion: The red headed step child of the sword and cobra. Trying to be a middle ground between the two escorts, it can be said it does it marginally well, but with only a st 1 torpedo, it typically finds itself regulated to torpedo interception.  Its firepower is nothing to scoff, but with only 1 turret, the only real benefit is its low cost at 35 points.
Pros: decent firepower, efficient torpedo interceptor
cons: not really spectacular at anything, 1 turret.

***Battlefleet Bakka ships***

Okay, first things first, I was a huge advocate against these ships being added. Mostly on the principle that they serve no real purpose that the older ships provided. Expect certain levels of snark when it comes to these vessels.


Victory: This ship signs the death knell for the retribution. Just as fast, better weapons, torpedo option, and same (if not cheaper) cost. This ship still does not compare to the raw destructive power of the Apocalypse, especially with the apocs new rules backing it up.  I am not a fan because it effectively renders the retribution useless.
Pros: better then the retrib, nova cannon/torpedo option, cheap, can be free of reload ordnance, fast
cons: questionably balanced, renders the retribution useless against any foe but eldar.

Vanquisher: The imperial navy now has a cheap battleship.  Very cheap. Very slow. Decent firepower, but its prow armament is weak and dorsal is nonexistant. 5 turrets is nothing to frown at for a measly 300 points though. This is more akin to the grand cruiser family then anything else
Pros: cheap as dirt
Cons: about as good as dirt.


Jovian: I hate this thing. It is totally contrary to all of the established fluff involving the imperial navy and carriers.  I think this was created to placate the poor fools who put four spare carrier bays in a cruiser before looking at the rules. It is effectively an imperial styx with none of the character. good thing it is only allowed as a reserve in this fleet only.
Pros: good launch capacity, +2 when enemy is on special orders
cons: virtually unarmed.

Dominion: The unholy bastard child of a Mars and Armageddon battlecruiser. Providing an alternative to the Mars for a carrier battlecruiser, it takes up the armageddons role as a ship crusher and adds carrier capacity.  I can't say that I HATE the vessel, since it follows the torpedo-launch capacity mix of the Dictator, along with three turrets standard.  The question is, would you sacrifice the survivability and flexibility of a mars for something designed to get close and personal? does this ship provide something the Mars and Dictator do not?
Pros: Absolutely devistating combonation of weapon systems for 10 points cheaper then a Mars
Cons: lacks flexibility, expensive.

Mercury: This vessel makes me weep inside. It takes the purpose of the nova cannon and twists it, instead of using it as a basilisk, the Mercury pushes you to use it as a battering ram.  Not a particularly bad option, and it has great speed for a cruiser vessel.  The balancing factor is the Overlord, who has that left column shift.  Let's be frank here, this is a Tyrant upgraded to battlecruiser status the same way the Armageddon is a Lunar upgraded to battlecruiser status. Unfortunately, it does not have the flexibility of the Tyrant. Its speed makes it difficult to keep it back as artillary, forcing you to fly directly at the enemy to close, making the 60cm weapons and upgrade effectively useless. If you stay back and use its battery, your probably going to limit the arc of your nova cannon.
Pros: Fast, good range
Cons: not as flexible as its cruiser counterpart, contrary weapon design, expensive vessel to push close to an enemy.

Light Cruisers

Endeavor family: these are just modified with an additional turret, the defiant is not present.  
pros:even more turrets!
cons: no defiant

Silurian: Its firepower profile places this vessel strictly in the Endeavor family as the upstart little brother.  Equal in firepower to an Enfeavor without the torpedos and upgrades. The best description I can give of this vessel is "the bastard child of an endeavor and a dauntless".  It has the firepower of an Endeavor and the profile of the Dauntless.
Pros: cheap and punchy
cons: no mini, 1 turret.


Havoc: For some reason, the devs thought making a better sword for the same cost as the sword was a good idea.  Then they placed the sword in the same fleet.
Pros: same stats as a sword, better firepower.
cons: you try "de-chaos" modding an infadel.

Viper: I hate this thing as much as I hate the jovian.  A 3 torpedo escort is just silly, and completely renders the cobra useless.
pros: 3 torpedos for 35 points
cons: 4+ armor

Offline Zelnik

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Re: Grog's Guide to BFG 2.0; part 1, The Imperial Navy
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 02:57:54 PM »
Imperial Tactics:

The Imperial navy is one of the less flexible fleets in the game, requiring cruiser cohesion for survival. Due to their comparatively weak port and starboard firepower, they are easily flanked if isolated from the rest of their fleet. Unlike most other fleets, however, they are the only navy that works extremely well with squadroned cruisers in packs of 2. 

My tactics typically resembles a greek phalanx, moving standard cruisers (lunars, tyrants and gothics) in formation towards an enemy while firing torpedos, while long range firepower (battleships, overlords) stay in the rear and support at long range. This can be modified with escorts and light cruisers, but they typically are best suited for flanking forces and surprise attacks.

When building your fleets, ask yourself these questions "Where is my carrier/lance/battery/close range/long range strength coming from?".  If you can answer all of these questions, you probably have designed a well balanced fleet.

An important point to make is you need some kind of long range support, be it nova cannons or 60cm weapons. A 30cm fleet simply does not have the reach to survive against most opponents. 

Offline Vaaish

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Re: Grog's Guide to BFG 2.0; part 1, The Imperial Navy
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 06:31:19 PM »
Since you talk about the amount of lists for IN, I think it would be worth mentioning that the Emperor is the most points efficient IN carrier and easily available to all IN lists outside of bakka.

Retribution should be noted as the go to battleship when 2x dictators are taken although the combination is not quite as efficient as the single Emperor for getting 8ac.

CG: a HUGE pro for them is they are 20cm speed rather than 15cm which makes the extra hits and shields even better.

Vengeance: actually has equal or better firepower than the avenger as well as the bonus of shooting most stuff at 60cm.

Avenger: really offers nothing outside of price you don't get with the Vengeance. If you consider this phenominal firepower, the vengeance shouldn't be rated as underwhelming.

Cruisers: Never again mention squadroning ANYTHING other than a CL with a gothic. There just really isn't any explanation or benefit to this 95% of the time.


Offline Zelnik

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Re: Grog's Guide to BFG 2.0; part 1, The Imperial Navy
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 06:46:13 PM »
Hey, we are allowed to disagree.

I call it underwhelming because you never get good dice numbers at max range with only st 10.  The lances are nice though.  Also, you typically only ever get to shoot one arc at a time.

Offline Vaaish

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Re: Grog's Guide to BFG 2.0; part 1, The Imperial Navy
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 07:25:56 PM »
True and totally irrelevant; those dice numbers still exceed the Avenger at 60cm and 45cm. At 30cm, look at the numbers. The avenger against a closing capital ship @30cm has only a fraction of better average hits than the Vengeance and anything worse, those lances help out quite a bit.

The point here being you have effectively the same firepower level on the Vengeance and the Avenger, but the Vengeance gives you far more flexibility in overall application. You can use the vengeance like the avenger but you can't use the Avenger like the Vengeance. Because of that and the relative equivalence in firepower, you can't call the vengeance underwhelming in firepower if you call the avenger phenomenal.

Offline Zelnik

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Re: Grog's Guide to BFG 2.0; part 1, The Imperial Navy
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2011, 09:40:53 PM »
then it becomes situational.  I have never been able to use them to full effect. If you claim they are equal, then they are equal! i won't argue your point, but I am functioning off of my own experience here.

Offline horizon

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Re: Grog's Guide to BFG 2.0; part 1, The Imperial Navy
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 06:39:46 AM »
You adjusted some things opposed to Port Maw.
Isn't it?

Offline Zelnik

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Re: Grog's Guide to BFG 2.0; part 1, The Imperial Navy
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2011, 05:53:00 PM »
We all grow and learn, and since the rules have changed, I added and modified the guide as such