[[caption-width-right:350:There is no peace among the stars...]]

What happens when the people behind ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' decide to make a game about spaceships.

''Battlefleet Gothic'' takes everything [[RuleOfCool cool]] about [[StandardStarshipScuffle naval combat]] [[AnachronismStew throughout history]], and mixes it with the gothic aesthetic and unending, chaotic [[MemeticMutation grimdarkness]] of the ''Warhammer 40,000'' universe. Joyfully embracing SpaceIsAnOcean in every way possible, the game throws together vast hypertech spaceships, Napoleonic line tactics and broadsides, torpedoes and torpedo boats, sailing, [[EarthShatteringKaboom planet-splitting]] weapons, ramming and boarding actions, {{Old School Dogfight}}s, sea shanties and alien monsters.

The Imperial Navy, the focus of much of the game's art and background, is the very definition of CoolButInefficient. Imperial capital ships are millennia-old vessels resembling kilometres-long Gothic cathedrals, with spikes and spires for sensor masts, covered with pointless bling in the form of giant skulls or mile-high statues of eagles made of solid gold. They are filled with millions of press-ganged ratings and chanting priest-mechanics, loading gigantic shells by the back-breaking labour of thousands and unloading broadsides from gun decks the size of towns. Maintenance is ritualised, tech-adepts praying to machines they don't understand, anointing them with sacred unguents and beating them with holy wrenches. Warships are so old, so vast and so complex they develop their own cultures; entire societies of feral humans, the descendents of lost crewmen, lurk in forgotten decks.

The rulebook focuses on one campaign in particular, the twenty-year Gothic War, one of [[TabletopGame/BlackLegion Abaddon the Despoiler's]] [[GeneralFailure many, many]] diabolical attempts to take over the galaxy. This scheme involves the Gothic Sector being cut off from the rest of the Imperium by warp storms, a ''lot'' of spiky warships, and six ancient space stations known as the Blackstone Fortresses...

As with all of Games Workshop's {{Gaiden Game}}s, ''Battlefleet Gothic'' enjoyed several months of publicity in stores and ''Magazine/WhiteDwarf'' magazine before essentially dropping off the radar, new rules and models only occasionally being brought out. It was published by Games Workshop's Specialist Games division (and was, generally speaking, their most successful game) until it, along with the rest of the Specialist Games line, was discontinued in 2013.

There are two video game adaptations- a RealTimeStrategy game for PC titled ''VideoGame/BattlefleetGothicArmada'', and a TurnBasedStrategy mobile game, ''VideoGame/BattlefleetGothicLeviathan''.

Being set in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe, the game features a large number of the tropes on that page, as well as employing setting and gameplay tropes of its own.
!!''Battlefleet Gothic'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Abaddon captaining a ship, along with his retinue of [[EliteMooks Chaos Terminators]], gives it a bonus against boarding actions.
* TwoDSpace: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], or at least [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality necessary]]; it's pretty damn hard to play a tabletop wargame in three dimensions. On top of this, the rulebook explains that the ships actually occupy an infinitesimally small dot at the exact center of their base stands and allows them to move 'through' each other to represent the fact that they are at differing 'altitudes'. It also mocks the need to represent 3D combat as 3D -- as the book puts it, 3D is basically just a range modifier. Yeah, there's a bit more to it, but shut up and buy the plastic already.
* AncestralWeapon: Ancestral spaceships.
* ApocalypseHow: From the main batteries of most cruisers, which can inflict regional catastrophes, to the combined efforts of three Blackstone Fortresses, which can supernova a star, Gothic has one at every level.
* AsteroidThicket: Present in the game as "terrain" to fight around. Anything unguided (a space hulk, torpedoes and so on) is automatically destroyed upon entry. [[SpaceFighter Attack craft]] have a 1 in 6 chance of destruction and full space ships ([[StandardSciFiFleet from escorts to capital ships]]) must take a command check, and if they fail it they can take crippling damage in a single instance.
* BadBoss: Abaddon, per standard. Aside from the YouHaveFailedMe below, Chaos Lords can't be used on the same ship as him because they're too scared of him.
* TheBattlestar: Every single ship in the game which has strike craft launch bays is also fitted with a healthy compliment of traditional guns.
** All but one class of Tau capital ship has at least some launch capacity, due to their entire combat philosophy emphasizing strike craft and guided missiles. Doubly so, as they even feature "gravitic hooks" used to tow and launch entire warships.
* BreakOutTheMuseumPiece: Imperial Navy Revere Fleets consist of many old and obsolete classes of ship that are no longer used in regular Navy Fleets, including many that are more commonly seen fighting with Chaos Fleets such as the Repulsive-class Grand Cruiser and the Carnage-class Cruiser. The Imperial Navy is reluctant to use these fleets to their ships lack of regular maintenance and their hastily assembled crews have a tendency to be unreliable at best, if not outright mutinous. The game rules represent this by allowing the player to choose certain ships from the Chaos Fleet list but makes all Reserve Fleet Ships more likely to disengage from combat or, when fighting against Chaos, defect to the opponents control.
* CasualInterstellarTravel: The Eldar use the Webway to travel, rather than flying through hell, and during the Gothic War allow Imperial ships to use it. Necrons have inertialess drives to attain FTL speeds.
** Otherwise averted, because, y'know, you're ''literally [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace going through hell]].'' Except the Tau, they just skirt around it, with the result of being much slower than other sides (their drive speed is typically 1/5 of Imperium's), but being ''much'' safer, more reliable (speed is relatively constant), and doesn't need psychic on board to guide the ship (which Tau lacks).
%%* CoolShip: Every ship.
%%* CoolButInefficient: ''Everything.''
** Chaos warships are essentially Imperial vessels ten thousand years past their use-by date, with added mutations, daemons and an internal culture of insanity, backstabbing, blood sacrifices, torture and random slaughter.
** Eldar ships are fragile vessels with solar sails, needing to be angled to the nearest sun to work most efficiently. Yes, ''tacking'' in ''space.''
** Ork ships are essentially improvised weapons (that work because the Orks ''[[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve think they can work]]''), bolted together out of scrap by lunatics.
** Tyranid "vessels" are living organisms, with much of their armament being claws, blades, teeth and tentacles on a ridiculous scale. ''Even in space'', they try to jump on you and bite your face off.
** Imperial ships are mile-long space cathedrals packed with impossibly advanced weaponry... but their building-sized gun batteries are loaded ''by hand''. Hundreds of hands per gun, to be precise.
* CombatTentacles: Tyranids mount these on ''spaceships''.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Planet Killer]] specializes in these.
** Two Blackstone fortresses working together can destroy a planet. Three cause a sun to go supernova. According to game rules (specifically, the Exteminatus! scenario) a single Activated Blackstone Fortress is sufficient to at the very least destroy all life on a planet.
* EliteMooks: Space Marines and their Chaos counterparts, as putting them on a ship gives it a better leadership rating as well as boarding and hit-and-run attack ratings. Among them there are also Terminator marines, which improve hit-and-run attacks even further.
* EnemyMine: Anybody siding with anybody against anybody, with the sole exception of an Adeptus Arbites ship (yes, they have one) siding with the Imperial Navy. Even the Astartes don't like working with the Navy.
* FixedForwardFacingWeapon: Some ships have a nose mounted main cannon. Ork ships quite often have a large main gun, and the Imperium has the Nova Cannon, which is a massive mass driver that runs through most of the ship and fires building-sized projectiles at relativistic speeds.
* FragileSpeedster: Eldar ships go faster than anyone else's, but have next to no armor or damage resistance.
* GaidenGame: One of several "Specialist Games" in the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe.
* GalacticConqueror: Abaddon the Despoiler, were he not a GeneralFailure.
* GlassCannon: The Eldar can dish it out. They can't take it. Pretty standard for them
** The Tau would also qualify, with extremely powerful long-range ordinance, but weak broadside firepower and a vulnerability to boarding actions.
* GrandTheftPrototype: The Chaos Fleetís Infidel-class Raiders were created from designs for a prototype heavy escort vessel stolen from the Monsk shipyards and have proven to be a thorn in the Imperiumís side ever since.
* HomingProjectile:
** Seeking torpedoes are special torpedoes upgraded with logic engines and matriculators that enable them to identify targets and change their trajectory so that they are more likely to hit. The game represents this by allowing seeking torpedoes to make a turn towards the nearest enemy ship at the beginning of the Ordinance Phase rather than traveling in a straight line like other forms of torpedo.
** The missiles used by the Tau Fleet in place of torpedoes are fitted with artificial intelligence similar to that used by Tau AttackDrones. In game this is represented by the missiles being able to alter their speed and course when they move.
* HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace: "Scary" does not even ''begin'' to cover it...
* LightningBruiser: Necron ships, which has the fastest movement consistent movement, pack a heavy punch, and are pretty durable.
* LivingShip: Tyranid ships.
* LongRangeFighter: The Tau take this to the point of CripplingOverspecialization, where they have only minimal broadside firepower and are extremely vulnerable to boarding actions. However, maneuvering to take advantage of those weaknesses is tricky, because the Tau will do their best to use their devastating long-range [[FixedForwardFacingWeapon spinal armaments]] and extremely [[MacrossMissileMassacre smart and nimble missile salvos]] to cripple anyone who tries an uncoordinated charge.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Many ships can fire salvos of torpedos across the gulfs of space. While these can be devastating when they hit, they travel slowly compared to most weapons, and can be shot down by SpaceFighter squadrons and capital ship point defense while en route. The Tau, added in a later supplement, are especially good at these.
* MadnessMantra: The Chaos warship Killfrenzy, so named because it continually broadcasts an endless loop of "KILLFRENZY KILLFRENZY KILLFRENZY" on all channels.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: ''[[UpToEleven All over the place]]'' among the various fleets:
** Imperial Navy: Ship classes like ''Tyrant'', ''Dominator'', and ''Firestorm'', and individual ship names like ''Bloodhawk'', ''Flame of Purity'', and ''[[KillItWithFire Incendrius]]''.
** Chaos Fleet: ''Despoiler'' Class Battleship, ''Repulsive'' Class Grand Cruiser, and ''Styx'' Class Heavy Cruiser, and ship names like ''Heartless Destroyer'', ''[[GratuitousLatin Malignus Maximus]]'', and ''Despicable Ecstasy.''
* NegativeSpaceWedgie: The Eye of Terror, through which Abaddon and the Chaos fleets attack the Materium; rules for a number of other "celestial phenomena" are featured, few of them pleasant.
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: The Demiurg often act as mercenary forces for other races, [[ArchEnemy especially those under threat from Ork raids]]. To represent this, in-game, any fleet, except [[OurOrksAreDifferent Orks]], [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Tyranids]] and [[RobotWar Necrons]], are able to hire Demiurg cruisers as mercenaries. [[OnlyInItForTheMoney Due to their lack of investment in the battle]] however, these mercenary ships will attempt to disengage from combat should they suffer too much damage.
* RammingAlwaysWorks: Many Imperial and all Ork vessels have heavily armoured prows, designed with intimately connecting with other warships in mind. The Ork "Brute" ram ship is designed ''specifically for ramming'', consisting of a gigantic armoured prow, a powerful engine and minimal weaponry, they are perhaps the least subtle device in the entire 40k universe.
* RamScoop: [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame Demiurg]] capital ships are equipped with electromagnetic force fields around their prows designed to scoop up interstellar hydrogen that is then used to power their engines. This effect can also be reversed to produce a powerful, if short ranged, cutting beam that the Demiurg use for [[AsteroidMiners mining operations]], as well as to cut up enemy ships.
* RuleOfCool: Reigns supreme.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Very carefully averted. The actual models are [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality completely out of scale with the rest of the game]], distances being measured being from the centre of the ships' bases so that you can have nice looking miniatures without also requiring a spare country to play the game in. Base-contact in the game is "close range", generally of the order of ''tens of thousands'' of kilometres. This is also the reason you need a command check to ram another ship - the captain not only has to order a potentially suicidal course of action and make it stick with the crew, he also has to hit a target equivalent to headbutting a pinhead from a mile away...
* ShoutOut
--> War is Peace
--> Freedom is Slavery
--> Ignorance is Strength
--> -''[[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Inscription across the ceiling of the Chapel Primus on the Divine Right]]''
* SleeperShip: The Dhows utilised by the Tau Empireís Nicassar subjects are primarily sleeper ships, each containing a hibernating extended family of the semi-nomadic Nicassar as they slowly travel across the gulfs of interstellar space.
* SolarSail: Eldar Craftworld and Corsair starships are propelled by large solar sails. In game this is represented by Eldar ships having three movement speeds representing whether they are moving towards, away from or parallel to the sun, meaning that they have to tack like a sailing ship in order to get the best speed across the battlefield.
* SpaceIsAnOcean: Taken to unbelievable levels. Some series call spaceships "boats", BFG has masts, sails and ''space shanties''.
** That said, the physics of space are at least ''acknowledged''. Mostly.
%%* SpaceOpera
* SpacePirates: Orks and some Eldar, there are rules for the other factions to field a piratey force, excepting Space Marines.
* SpaceSailing: Eldar ships, who fill their sails with solar winds. This means they need to adjust their movement based on their position respective to the system's sun, and can ''tack in space''.
* SpikesOfVillainy: Chaos ships, much like Chaos everything else.
%%* StandardSciFiFleet
* StandardStarshipScuffle: The game is built around this trope, with its space combat firmly grounded in the SpaceIsAnOcean setting.
* TractorBeam: The Ork Fleets Grunt Assault Ship is a more sophisticated version of the Brute Ram Ship that incorporates a massive traktor field reactor that not only increase the damage done when it [[RammingAlwaysWorks rams]] into an enemy but also allows it to stick to the enemy vessel so that the mobs of Ork Boyz it carries can perform a more effective [[BoardingParty boarding action]]. On the downside, the poorly distributed mass of the ship considerably reduces its manoeuvrability.
%%* TurnBasedStrategy
* UnnecessarilyLargeInterior: The interiors of Imperial ships are the size of cathedrals, and adorned like such. {{Averted}} with the actual crew quarters, which are cramped and crowded, and crammed in any leftover pocket of space on the ship.
* UnitsNotToScale: And then some! Specifically, the rulebook flat-out admits that the models are not to scale with the game environment (or necessarily with each other), but that they're designed in such a way that you can build and paint them to look pretty. Actual distances are measured from the "stem" which holds the actual model to its base, representing the much smaller area of space the ship actually occupies. Ships in base-to-base contact are "close" (i.e., a few thousand kilometers apart) while the shortest-range of weapons, 30 centimeters, may be capable of firing across ''millions'' of kilometers of space.
* WaveMotionGun:
** The Armageddon Gun mounted on Abaddon's flagship, the ''Planet Killer'', is one of the most powerful weapons in the game capable of destroying anything and everything in its line of fire.
** The Warp Cannons of the activated Blackstone Fortresses unleash a beam of pure Immaterium, bypassing a ship's shields and tearing apart anything it hits. When multiple Warp Cannons combine their fire they are even capable of destroying stars.
* WeWillUseManualLabourInTheFuture: On Imperial ships, the enormous shells are loaded into the cannons by crowds of press-ganged sailors.
* YouHaveFailedMe: An actual rule for Abaddon. If one of his vessels fails a command check with his re-roll, his ship will ''fire on it''.
** If it happens on his ship, it takes damage because he and his retinue slaughter a portion of the crew. The Special Rule detailing this is even called [[ShoutOut "You have failed me for the last time. . ."]]