Tabletop Game: Battlefleet Gothic
There is no peace among the stars...
What happens when the people behind Warhammer 40,000
decide to make a game about spaceships.Battlefleet Gothic
takes everything cool
about naval combat throughout history
, and mixes it with the gothic aesthetic and unending, chaotic grimdarkness
of the Warhammer 40,000
universe. Joyfully embracing Space Is an Ocean
in every way possible, the game throws together vast hypertech spaceships, Napoleonic line tactics and broadsides, torpedoes and torpedo boats, sailing, planet-splitting
weapons, ramming and boarding actions, Old School Dogfights
, sea shanties and alien monsters.
The Imperial Navy, the focus of much of the game's art and background, is the very definition of Cool, but Inefficient
. 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 Abaddon the Despoiler's 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 Games
, Battlefleet Gothic
enjoyed several months of publicity in stores and White Dwarf 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.
In 2015 a video game adaptation was announced, titled Battlefleet Gothic: Armada. It is being developed by Tindalos Interactive, and published by Focus Home Interactive
Being set in the Warhammer 40,000
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: