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Video Game / Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2

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"An icon will fall. A God will awaken. A Primarch will rise. The galaxy will burn."

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is a 2019 space battle Real-Time Strategy developed by Tindalos Interactive, based on Games Workshop's specialist game Battlefleet Gothic and set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It is the sequel to 2016's Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.

Largely expanding on the groundwork laid out by the first game, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is a full-blown sequel - bigger, richer, more impressive and more ambitious than the original game. It will include, at launch, all 12 factions from the original tabletop game and its expansion Armada it is based on: the Imperial Navy, Space Marines, Adeptus Mechanicus, Necrons, Chaos, Aeldari Corsairs, Aeldari Craftworld, Drukhari, the T’au Merchant and Protector Fleets, Orks, and finally, the Tyranids.

Set in the Aegis Ocularis - the collection of fortified Imperial territories surrounding the Eye of Terror - over eight-hundred years after the events of Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, the second game covers the events of Abbadon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade; the defining conflict of Warhammer 40,000's 8th edition.

With bigger battles, refined gameplay, improved multiplayer modes and features for a better and more balanced online experience, improvements across the board and even more customization options for fleets and ships, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 promises to be the ultimate Warhammer 40,000 space battle experience.

An expansion featuring a campaign with the player taking control of the forces of Chaos was released in June 2019.

This game provides examples of the following:

  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Near the end of the Imperial campaign, Roboute Guilliman appears in the Eye of Terror to assist you, being so impressed with your prior exploits he even places himself and his flagship Macragge's Honour under your command, just in time to bring the fight directly to Abaddon's stronghold.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Near the end of the Chaos campaign, Abaddon gifts Malos Vrykan his flagship, the Vengeful Spirit, which immediately replaces Vrykan's former flagship for the rest of the campaign. It's actually the second Titan you get after Huron Blackheart's Blackstone Fortress, but the Vengeful Spirit is much more tactically flexible and useful under any circumstances.
  • 2-D Space: Zigzagged. While the gameplay plays it straight with the ships moving on a plane grid, the cinematic and cutscenes involve more three dimensional actions.
  • A Commander Is You: Like its predecessor, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 allows you to control several of the iconic factions of the galaxy, this time involving all 12 main spacefaring factions present in the original game, each with their own playstyle, strengths and flaws.
    • As the de facto protagonist faction, the Imperial Navy is the Balanced and Generalist faction. They have the second most varied selection of ships to choose from when building a fleet, with at least three models for each class of vessels from escorts to battleships and these variants having their own specialties without excelling at them. Overall Imperial Navy fleets can be tailored to the enemy but have no signature playstyle, although they prefer mid-range and close-range encounters and are rather slow but well armoured.
    • The Mechanicus fleets have less variants of ships than the Imperial Navy, but their ships are faster, have better range and have powerful guns thanks to their advanced technology, one of their gimmicks being the powerful Nova Cannon that deals lots of damage over an area (after a delay so enemies can avoid the blast). However, the are relatively poor at close range, being vulnerable to boarding actions and their ramming capabilities being subpar. Overall they tend toward the Ranger faction.
    • The Adeptus Astartes fleets are on the Elitist side. They have more expensive ships (and thus meaning smaller fleets that are likely to be outnumbereed) that are well armoured, somewhat faster than average and have superb morale. Since they also transport the famous Space Marines, their boarding actions are some of the most redoubtable ones among all factions. On the other side, their ranged weaponry isn't on par with other fleets, they have fewer hull points than other factions, and their reduced number means that a sustained battle will turn against them.
    • Chaos fleets are a more aggressive yet more fragile counterpart to the Imperial Navy, using antiquated and badly maintained ships. Although they have poorer armor and firepower, they are on average faster, have strong and precise weaponry at long range and have access to more launch bays of squads of bombers to pick off isolated targets. Thus Chaos Fleets tend to prefer long range battles, maneuvering around the battlefield to keep their distance and chew away at the enemy.
    • The Aeldari Corsairs play as a Technical faction that has great potential as long as the commander has mastered how to use their fleets. Corsair ships have low hull points and armour yet cost a lot. Moreover, their holofields are effective against ranged weapons but do not protect from boarding actions like ordinary shields and need constant movement to work. Thus, letting the enemy approach them too long spells doom for the Corsairs. However, they have powerful advanced weaponry, good morale and are very mobile, allowing for devastating hit-and-run tactics.
    • The Asuryani have a quite unusual variant of Eldar fleet in that they can only field the smallest classes of spaceships. Like the Corsairs, their ships are fast and maneuverable, have powerful weapons, but are costly. However, they are better armoured than the Corsairs. Thus, they play more as an overall Elitist faction that requires a good deal of micromanagement, relying on skill to coordinate the relatively dispersed firepower of the Asuryani (as they lack the typical very powerful but slumbering batteships of other factions) and maneuver them around to avoid the enemy shots.
    • Fitting their pasttime as raiders, the Drukhari play as a highly aggressive Guerrilla faction. Unlike the other Eldars, Drukhari crews are good at boarding actions on top of having powerful guns and being fast. Their ships are naturally stealthed thanks to their Shadowfields (as long as they keep moving), but have little protection against incoming attacks if they become visible. They also are more easily demoralized. Drukhari fleets are here to approach undetected, utterly crush a target and retreat before the rest can retaliate.
    • The Orks are unsurprisingly the Brute faction, befitting their straightforward and brutal way of life. Unlike the first game, Orks fleet now field a good variety of ships that are well armoured, do well during boarding actions, pack a lot of dakka, and while slow on average, can get a dramatic acceleration if they push a Big Red Button. Because of their armour and acceleration, Ork ships are good at ramming too. Because of poor accuracy and low range, Ork ships should rush toward the enemy fleets and fight at very close range (not that they would want otherwise). Their morale also happens to be shaky.
    • Necrons play as an Elitist and Turtle faction. Their ships are outrageously expensive and will inevitably be outnumbered; in addition, they are quite slow although their instant teleportation technology allows for some surprising maneuvers. However, Necron ships are also very tough (and can regenerate hull points), they have very powerful weapons and abilities, and have great morale. Necron fleets will have difficulty getting close to their foes but once in range, they will annihilate anyone foolish enough to expose themselves.
    • The Great Devourer is played as a Spammer faction which may tailor its fleets from a huge variety of hive ships that, unlike all other factions, are made from Organic Technology. As a result, Tyranid ships are more living nests with their unique strengths and weaknesses. Their bio-ships excel at boarding actions and ramming (having specialized abilities linked to these two actions) and are naturally stealthed until they enter at detection range; moreover, they are relatively cheaper and thus tend to outnumber opponents. On the other side Tyranids tend to have subpar firepower and have a glaring weakness in that they lose coherency if their synapse ships are destroyed.
    • The T'au Protector Fleet or Kor'or'vesh plays as a Ranger faction that packs good firepower especially at long range thanks to their railguns or seeker missiles that are more accurate than torpedoes (but which need to be pointed at a ship so no blind firing and predictions). Moreover, they have a good number of carriers and launch bays, so are capable at taking air superiority with numerous squadrons of fighters and bomber. T'au vessels prefer the enemy forward where their most powerful guns point to and away from them, but they are also supported by their auxiliaries, such as the Kroot warspheres that offer good boarding action opportunities or the more durable and stronger Demiurg vessels.
    • The T'au Merchant Fleet or Kor'vattra is a Turtle faction fielding tougher but slower warships. Merchant Fleet ships have good armour all around, and more hull points on average. Like the Kor'or'vesh, they have a good number of carriers and launch bays and so are capable at taking air superiority with numerous squadrons of fighters and bomber. However, unlike the Kor'or'vesh who excels at the front, Kor'vattra battleships have their firepower dispersed at 360° around them, thus negating any weak point although their ability to damage is also diminished. Likewise, the auxiliaries ships are here to support the T'au.
  • Action Bomb: The "plasmatic medusae" creatures that will occasionally infest your battle zone, gargantuan space jellyfish that detonate with ship-rending force if you so much as sneeze on them.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: When a battlefield is subject to the Solar Eruptions modifier, a giant wall of yellow plasma fire will periodically sweep across the map, killing shields and setting multiple fires aboard every ship or station it touches. Hiding in Space Clouds or Asteroid Thickets protects from the effects, and since the AI isn't really coded to deal with these hazards, solar eruptions can make a battle much easier... unless you're fighting Aeldari, who are completely immune to them.
  • The Aesthetics of Technology:
    • Imperial Navy warships look like flying Gothic cathedrals with massive white and gold prows on the front, festooned with statues and other Imperial iconography. Astartes ships are essentially flying bricks with Bling of War, coated in chapter markings to show their allegiance. Mechanicus ships look like Ace Custom versions of Imperial Navy ships with more technology... and guns.
    • Chaos ships are a dark parody of Imperial vessels, angular and spiky ships that have long since been retired from Imperial service, retained by the servants of the Dark Powers. Thousand Suns ships are blue and gold and illuminated in arcane glows, World Eaters ships are covered in skulls and dried gore, Death Guard ships are coated in rot, moving tentacles and buzzing with flies, and Emperor's Children ships are decorated with garish Slaaneshi imagery.
    • Ork ships are floating hulks of scrap metal, ramshackle collections of parts that clearly come from different ships. Tribal fetishes and slapped-on plating cover the hull, while large, smoke-belching engines move the ship through space.
    • Aeldari Corsairs have elegant ships that look like glistening tropical fish, with shining solar sails and clean decks. Asuryani ships follow a similar design philosophy, but appear more like sailing vessels. Drukhari ships on the other hand are totally unrecognisable as Aeldari in origin; their ships are decorated with wicked-looking blades and driven by powerful propulsors, like the terrestrial Reaver jetbikes.
    • T'au ships are rounded and utilitarian with little decoration, a hallmark of their pragmatic mindset - if it serves no real purpose besides looking cool, it comes off. Protector ships look modern and are shaped like rays, whereas Merchant ships appear older and follow the Standard Human Spaceship design.
    • Necron ships appear very arcane, black with glowing green Tron Lines. Crescents are a recurring shape across the classes.
    • Tyranid "ships" are rather giant floating lifeforms, propelling themselves through space with flapping wings and tentacles instead of engines. Their forward prows are giant toothy jaws and snapping mandibles, and they are armoured in thick chitin.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: There's no hiding from AI fleets in this game. Even if you only have a single ship, in stealth mode, hidden in a nebulae, all hostile ships will make a beeline for it the moment the battle starts. Fortunately, stealth still remains useful because even though the enemy knows where the ship is, they can't actually fire on it until it is revealed.
  • Always Accurate Attack:
    • Lances have 100% accuracy no matter the distance. It makes them ideal for extreme-range sniping, coupled with the most reliable damage output available, but at the cost of lower per-shot damage compared to macro-weapons and similar ballistic weaponry.
    • Ork Zap Kannons also have 100% accuracy with an impressive long range. This is to compensate for their ships slow speed, and their other weapons that have greater damage with miserable accuracy.
  • And the Adventure Continues: For the Imperium's campaign. After Abaddon's defeat, there still remains the Cicatrix Maledictum and many Heretic Astartes fleets scattered across the galaxy. Admiral Spire knows this and alongside his declaration that there is still only war in sight, we see Macragge's Honour and its escort fleet departing toward a new campaign.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The four campaigns all treat the same major events from different perspectives, and you need to play all of them to get the full picture. For instance, Admiral Spire has no clue why the Ork warboss he's come to kill is suddenly attacked by another greenskin space hulk. Playing the Chaos campaign reveals that Malos Vrykan and his cabal pulled a Divide and Conquer strategy by manipulating this second ork warlord into starting an Enemy Civil War. That said, there are a few inconsistencies between the campaigns... which just makes it consistent with how WH40K generally operates.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: Doubling as Gameplay and Story Segregation, the Blackstone Fortress' gigantic Warp Cannons have a damage rating of 800. Although this is by far the most powerful single-shot attack in the gamenote , the only thing it can reliably one-shot is escorts, and even then only when their shields are down. This is a weapon that, in the fluff, can destroy planets in a handful of shots and can even blow up stars when multiple Blackstones combine their firepower. Even more ridiculous is the fact that a weapon of this magnitude is mitigated by the target's armor rating, so its 800 points of damage are usually reduced to 400 or less, which is weaker than what a decent bomber squadron can inflict.
  • Arc Words:
    • "As it should be" for the Necron campaign.
    • To a lesser extent "Faith and fury" for the Imperium campaign.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Lance weapons and a handful of other guns ignore 25 points of the target's armor value. While this trait does give them an edge over heavily armored factions like the Imperial Navy, Chaos forces and Orks, they're much less effective against the Eldar's paper-thin armor of 25, although their unfailing accuracy still provides a valuable asset against the Space Elves. Imperial ships can be given an upgrade for their macro-weapons that gives them the same ability, but only at short range (which, considering the Navy's mediocre accuracy, is their preferred range anyway), and without the accuracy bonus.
  • Artifact Title: The Gothic War that Battle Fleet Gothic Armada takes its name from happened many centuries before the events of this game, and the Gothic Sector is nowhere near the locales covered by this game. The only connecting thread is the returning main character, Admiral Spire. You can deploy Battlefleet Gothic flotillas against the 13th Black Crusade, but the only difference between them and the other fleets like Battlefleet Solar is their color scheme.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The Ship AI, while still relativley competent, can have a bit of trouble handeling ships that are close together, causing unecessary self ramming damage if your Escorts are near a Grand Cruiser or Battleship whenever the latter two turn.
    • The Tyranids in AI hands tend to ram each other, and can result in their escort ships dying literally within the first 10 seconds of battle.
    • The AI is unable to comprehend boarding overkill, as they will happily waste all their boarding actions on a single, low cost and low crew escort, instead of only sending in the proper two or three needed to completely kill an escort's crew. This lets you simply retake control over your escort with a single transfer crew action, while retaliating with your boarding actions.
    • Asteroid fields are practically solid walls to non Ork or Tyranid AI controlled ships. The AI would rather risk standing still, or fly in a very easy to predict way around an asteroid field. This lets you easily land timed skills with huge damage like plasma bombs, rad tempest devices or nova cannons, instead of flying through and taking some minor damage from said asteroid field.
    • When Larger AI ships enter a gas cloud, if they are shooting at something, they will usually remain stationary until they are detected. They will make no attempt to move until detected, even if there are 3 nova cannons lined up dead center or a rad tempest device is unleashed upon the gas cloud.
    • The AI also doesn't understand environmenetal effects well, and will happily charge through a gas cloud during a plasma storm, or eat a solar eruption wave without seeking cover. They also ignore the giant volatile and VERY explosive jellyfish and stupidly let them wander near, allowing you to blow them up when you feel the time is right.
  • Ascended Extra: The Adeptus Mechanicus, who were only represented through ship upgrades in the first game, have been Promoted to Playable.
  • Asteroid Miners: The Demiurgs at the service of the T'au are this, living exclusively in space and mining ore from asteroids. Thanks to their experience, their vessels are immune to damage when entering an asteroid field.
  • Asteroid Thicket: The battlefields can contain localized Asteroid Fields, which usually act as obstacles and inflict damage to any ship that wants to gor in them, but all immobile ships are considered hidden if they are inside, making the fields useful for ambushes. Likewise, the background is sometimes littered with fields of gigantic asteroids.
  • The Atoner: Master Osmadiel of the Fallen Dark Angels will call for your help in defeating Chaos fleets, but the Imperium does not look kindly to traitors, even reformed ones. Admiral Spire can choose to either side with Osmadiel or the Dark Angel Master Korahael in destroying the Fallen.
  • Beam Spam: Chaos fleets that don't focus on launch bays tend to be lance-heavy instead, and the Chaos roster offers ships that carry (almost) nothing but lances in all classes except escorts and cruisers. A fleet composed of Desolator battleships and Executor grand cruisers, with some escorts for spotting duty thrown in, spams unfailingly accurate ruby laser death from so far away that many factions will have trouble even spotting the Chaos vessels, let alone getting close enough to retaliate. Their broadsides don't hit particularly hard, but they hit reliably and with a high chance of dealing lots of Subsystem Damage very quickly. That they also lack special abilities for you to micromanage makes them Boring, but Practical.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: In the Tyranid campaign, Imperial Navy admiral Catalia winds up used as cannon fodder by the Adeptus Mechanicus when the promised AdMech reinforcements purposely fail to show up. Funnily enough, nobody seems to hold much of a grudge about it, which might have something to do with Catalia's incompetence during the battle for Cadia.
  • Big Bad: Abaddon the Despoiler once again, as he leads the Forces of Chaos during the 13th Black Crusade. Abaddon and the forces of Chaos are the greatest enemies to be faced for both the Imperium campaign and the Necron campaign.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Alongisde the Heretic Astartes, the Segmentum Obscurus is threatened by an Ork infestation, the awakening of a Necron dynasty and a stray tendril from Hive Fleet Leviathan. You get to play all three factions as Villain Protagonist in their respective campaigns.
  • Boarding Party: Boarding Actions are an important part of the game which virtually consists of sending your troops inside of a nearby enemy ship to purge the enemy crew or disable key systems. There are several ways to perform boarding, from drop pods to faster teleportation, and not all factions are suited to boarding. A T'au ship for instance may want to keep the Battle Barge and the army of Space Marines waiting in their drop pods very far from it.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Most factions have ships with specialized, often directional abilities like torpedoes or Nova Cannons that can deal a lot of damage at the cost of additional micromanagement. Conversely, there's usually also a bunch of ships that carry nothing but gun batteries, gun batteries and even more gun batteries. These aren't nearly as fanciful as the first group, but all you have to do to use them to their full potential is to activate a suitable stance, set their optimal engagement distance and let them loose on the enemy. They won't actually kill anything very often, but the sustained, reliable damage they deal throughout the battle is nothing to sneeze at, and it allows you to focus your attention on the specialist ships that require it.
    • A Tyranid 1st-tier upgrade (meaning it's immediately available and applies to all ships regardless of veterancy) allows Tyranid vessels to reload their bio plasma and pyro-acid cannons at double the normal rate while in gas clouds and asteroid fields. This allows the normally not-very-shooty Tyranid ships to simply sit in a convenient asteroid field (which doesn't damage Tyranid ships and conceals them to boot), force the enemy to come to them through a rain of plasma fire, and fight the Tyranids at close range.
    • Escort Ships are just(relatively) tiny ships that may as well be using feather dusters when it comes to actual damage, but their ability to scout out the enemy and flush out stealthed ships hiding in gas clouds/asteroids to keep tabs on where the enemy is ensures your big ships can actually shoot at something. Without them, the enemy can run rings around you if they are using a stealth build. Their cheap cost and fast speed also makes them good sacrificial ships to tank damage for your more vulnerable ships, and when reinforcing a battle they can get to the frontlines quicker than lumbering cruisers or battleships.
  • Boss Battle: Basically every mission that involves a Titan-class vessel of any sort, with the most prevalent example being the Tyranid annihilation mission to kill the Ancient One. Titans are always Flunky Bosses, and if you're lucky enough to have a Titan of your own, an epic Behemoth Battle might ensue.
  • Call-Back: While assessing the carnage in the wake of the Battle of Cadia, Admiral Spire wishes that he still had men like Captain Abridal at his command. For those who didn't play the first game, Abridal's Heroic Sacrifice ensured the Imperium's final victory in the Gothic War.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The Word Bearers certainly don't seem to shy away from it, to the point of calling their Dark Apostle "malevolence" as a term of respect.
  • The Cavalry: Several times during special operations, a new fleet will appear at an opportune time to lend assistance to Spire. That happens exclusively when the scenario causes a part of your forces to disappear or some named enemy vessel appears.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: About halfway through the Final Battle of the Chaos campaign, Akryst Vane appears at the helm of the Monarchia Redeemed Titan-class vessel. He initially supports you in mopping up the remaining Imperial forces, but the moment Spire's flagship goes boom, Vane turns the giant ship against what's left of your fleets.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Missions don't have checkpoints at all, some are very long and/or throw vastly superior forces at you, and screwing up at any point almost always means you can start over from the very beginning. This is particularly annoying in the "Chalice of Entropy" mission of the Chaos campaign due to its Unexpected Gameplay Change.
  • Civil Warcraft: In most campaigns, in the Imperium's case after Spire sides with the Aeldari and Inquisitor Darkhammer turns half the Navy against him.
  • The Collector: In his video game debut, we have Trazyn the Infinite. In the faction trailer, he monologues how the other faction's motives, beliefs, ideals or struggles matters not to him. All that matters is how they can be new additions to his "carefully curated collection".
  • Colony Drop: The Fall of Cadia prologue ends with Black Legion ships ramming the carcass of their destroyed Blackstone Fortress to push towards the planet, understandably threatening to kill everyone on Cadia. Heck, the planet even explodes.
  • Crosshair Aware: Every targeted ability with a circular area of effect is glaringly visible to everyone on the battlefield when it is used, giving ample opportunity to move ships to safety before the attack goes off.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Admiral Catallia is on the receiving end of one of these after attacking the Vengeful Spirit, who only has to fire one salvo to kill six ships of varying classes. Resulting in the destruction of all but one of her ships and the loss of countless Imperial Lives. Not a great idea to attack the legendary ship that has the durability to withstand Chaos Horus and the Emperor himself fighting inside it.note 
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The famous prologue cutscene that shows Abaddon's Vengeful Spirit annihilating a whole battlegroup of Imperial ships in a single salvo is a textbook example. The massive vessel was eventually made playable as a Titan-class ship for Chaos fleets, but although it certainly is immensely powerful, the only ships it has a reasonable chance to destroy in one hit are escorts, and even then not so many at once.
    • The same cutscene shows fighter craft (not bombers, fighters) knocking out an undamaged frigate in a single strafing run; something absolutely impossible in both normal gameplay, and in-universe lore.
  • Deface of the Moon: The world Mordax Prime was captured by the Orks, who create a massive Ork skull on the planets surface.
  • Devoured by the Horde: The Tyranids, obviously: their strategy is to disable to opponent with spore clouds and boarding actions, then converge on the battered hulk and finish it off. The Necrons can also do this with their fighter squadrons, which deal constant damage as long as they're swarming an enemy ship. They can't do it for very long normally, but their Grand Cruiser is especially good at it.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Launch bays are among the most difficult ship weapons to use properly, but can be devastating if you master them. They key is timing the launch and arrival of fighters and bombers so that the fighters engage first to keep the point defense turrets busy until the bombers have successfully delivered their payload. Screw up and your bombers are shot down to no effect. Do it good and you'll blast a huge chunk out of the target ship's health bar. Do it perfect and you don't even lose any of your launch bay "charges", allowing you to repeat this indefinitely.
    • Targeted abilities like torpedos and bombs take a fair bit of practice until you've learned to account for their travel time / trigger delay, but the damage they can deal on a good hit is nothing to sneeze at.
    • All Eldar factions are this due to their fragility and even heavier emphasis on micromanagement. New players will usually fail miserably the first time they give them a try, but experienced players can tear any other faction a new one easily.
  • Downer Beginning: The prologue ends with Abaddon throwing the remains of the Will of Eternity straight at Cadia as a final middle finger to the fortress world that had denied him for so long, destroying the planet and, far more importantly, the Cadian Null Array just as it was fully powered. Without the Necron technology suppressing it anymore, the Eye of Terror expands into the Cicatrix Maledictum that rends the Imperium in two.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • The base game only offers grand campaigns for the Imperium, the Necrons and the Tyranids. A fully fleshed-out Chaos campaign was released as paid content in June 2019, and time will tell what else will be added in the future.
    • Several smaller features, like the Massive Fleets mode and the Titan-class ships, were released for free as part of regular game updates.
  • Double Unlock: Level 3 ship upgrades in the campaign are quadruple unlocks even. First you need to unlock all preceding Level 1 and 2 upgrades. Then you need to find, secure and fully evolve a specific planet to activate a certain upgrade option. Then you must invest an upgrade point in them, and then you have to keep your ships alive long enough to reach Level 3 themselves so they can actually make use of the upgrade.
  • Early Game Hell: Barring the prologue that serves as a dedicated tutorial, every single campaign begins by dropping you smack into the middle of a battle of the scale you'll be seeing throughout the game. You will then be charged with learning the ins and outs what is more than likely an entirely new faction with all their quirks and weaknesses in the middle of a pitched fight. Chaos, for instance, is an Escort Mission where you must get at least five (out of ten) transport ships from A to B...through two Ultramarine line ships and seven or eight escorts. You have two line ships with no special offensive abilities like a launch bay, and four escort ships. Get this initial hurdle out of the way, and the game becomes far more lenient: you can start customizing and adding to your fleet, capturing sectors and reaping planetary benefits, and moving at your own pace.
  • Easy Logistics: The campaigns usually brush over the herculean task of creating, manning and supplying kilometers-long warships. You only need worlds that will supply nondescript resources without a hitch, and shipyards only need said resources and enough docks to immediately create new fleets, repair ships and replenish lost crew. In the long run, the only thing restraining you is the number of admirals you can assign a fleet to.
  • Enemy Civil War: During a mission, Spire faces off a huge Ork fleet containing two Space Hulks, one of which would be already a dreadful enemy alone. Fortunately, the two Warbosses on each Space Hulks hate each other's guts and begin shooting at each other immediately, softening each other so that Spire may defeat both.
  • Enemy Mine: The forces of the Imperium on Cadia are bracing for Abaddon's 13th Crusade but at the beginning, they are also joined by Necron forces led by Trazyn the Infinite who intervenes to raise the Cadian Null Array in time. Over the course of the campaign, trailers have shown that the player character Admiral Spire will meet the Ynnari and may join forces with them to control the Eye of Terror, until the Eldars successfully use Spire to annihilate the more xenophobic Imperials of the Segmentum to successfully flee from the Eye aboard their Craftsworld, leaving you to your own devices. Perfidious Eldars indeed. That is until Yvraine's forces come back to help Spire defeat Abaddon, as even the Aeldari see that they must ally with the Imperium to put Abaddon down.
  • Escort Mission: The campaigns have a few, and the June 2019 update introduced a bunch of randomized secondary mission objectives, one of which also revolves around this. You can deactivate the secondary escort missions during campaign setup if you don't want to put up with them.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: All of the playable spaceships tend to explode when their health bar is depleted, leaving behind a scorched hulk. It may be explained for the Imperium's ship because they use plasma drives, which can explode if their containment system is too damaged. And the Orks because they're, well, Orks.
  • Evil All Along: Lord High Admiral Drang is purported as the Big Good and Spire's immediate superior during the first parts of the imperial campaign. However, he eventually sets Spire up into a trap. By the time Spire survives the encounter, Lord Inquisitor Darkhammer has already executed him for being a traitor sworn to the Alpha Legion. While Darkhammer is sketchy enough himself to leave the judgement in some doubt, the Chaos campaign confirms that Drang was a Mole in Charge (though he's retconned to be a servant of the Word Bearers instead).
  • Faction-Specific Endings: The Imperium, Chaos, the Necrons and Tyranids each have a campaign with a specific ending in which they manage to conquer the Segmentum Obscurus.
  • Final Boss: All campaigns have one last powerful obstacle to face in the final mission, typically a Titan-Class ship or some equivalent to give the player's fleets the toughest challenge possible.
    • Imperial Campaign: Warmaster of Chaos Abaddon The Despoiler at the helm of the Vengeful Spirit, standing against the Imperial retribution fleet led by Spire invading his homeworld.
    • Necron Campaign: Chaos Lord Huron Blackheart at the helm of a Blackstone Fortress, the last threat to the Nepheru Dynasty deploying the Dark Throne and securing their dominance proper.
    • Tyranid Campaign: Lord Commander Robute Guilliman at the helm of the Macragge's Honour, making a Last Stand with his Ultramarines at the ruins of Cadia.
    • Chaos Campaign: Lord High Admiral Spire, The Hero of the first game and Imperial campaign, leading the remnants of the Imperial defenders against Malos Vrykan's all-out assault to conquer the Segmentum. The True Final Boss is actually Arkrist Vane, Vrykan's own Treacherous Adviser, who turns on him after Spire's flagship goes down and attempts to kill him with his Titan ship the Monarchia Redeemed, a stolen and Chaos-corrupted version of the Macragge's Honour.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Everything, as the game is portraying the events that saw the end of 7th Edition (and the status quo that the setting had been under) and the beginning of 8th Edition. Cadia will be destroyed when Abaddon throws his last Blackstone Fortress into it. The survivors will trek to Ultramar and reawaken Guilliman with the help of the Eldar. Guilliman will lead a rag-tag fleet through the nascent Cicatrix Maledictum to reach Terra and be crowned regent of the Imperium. This only applies to the Imperial campaign, of course — not being canon, the Tyranid and Necron campaigns gleefully take advantage to throw things into radically different directions.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Zigzagged. Standard ship weapons can't hurt allied ships. Torpedoes, Nova Cannons and generally everything with a blast radius, however, don't differentiate between friend or foe, and these attacks hurt. A lot. Allied ships can also crash into each other, with all the damage that entails, although they usually try their best to avoid it at standard speed. At full speed, they'll barrel ahead in a straight line with no regard to what's in their way, environmental hazards, ships or otherwise.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • After defeating the Space Marines as part of the Tyranid campaign, a cutscene will play wherein a Mechanicus servitor relays that all space marines in the sector were eventually devoured, as they refused to fall back against the Tyranid onslaught. In game, Space Marine vessels are completely immune to morale damage and as such cannot under any circumstances be made to run (although they can technically make a tactical retreat if the player commands them... which they don't in this case, as they're playing the Tyranids!)
    • The Blackstone Fortresses are hypothesized in-story to have been created during the War in the Heavens to battle the Necrons. In-game, it's one of the best anti-Necron weapons out there: normally, a shot from the warp cannon will only damage the hull if the target has no shields: even the slightest bit of shielding will nullify all damage, though it will be blown out in process. Since Necron ships have no shields, they'll take hull damage with every single shot.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: When you start reconquering the Eidolon Sector in the Chaos campaign, many of its worlds can be offered to the Chaos gods as usual, but the game places few restriction on who you can offer them to. This can result in things like Nurgle's Plague Planet being dedicated to his archenemy Tzeentch, and vice versa. You can also offer the Word Bearer's homeworld to any one god although the Word Bearers are the most fanatical worshippers of Chaos Undivided.
  • General Failure: The Battle of Cadia shows Admiral Catalia make one disastrous blunder after another: she, in order, brings her fleet out of Warp travel smack into the crossfire, has the Commissar shoot the Captain of one of her ships for suggesting they disengage and regroup, and botches what could have been a unified assault on the Vengeful Spirit by rushing her fleet in to face it alone. This last decision leaves only her flagship left, and it's such a shattered wreck after Abaddon's counterattack that it's in no condition to intercept the Chaos vessels on a ramming course with the wreckage of the Blackstone Fortress. In short, Cadia fell in no small part to her incompetence.
  • Generation Ships: During the campaigns, the player will have the occasion of crossing path with the Os' Tara craftworld, a continent sized ship designed to house millions of Eldar. It is never playable but can be seen in the background, intervening with powerful shots that may destroy battleships in only a handful of hits.
  • Geo Effects: Every battle can be subject to one of about a dozen of these, randomly chosen from a list of those you've already encountered in your campaign, and they all have the potential to turn the battlefield on its head in their own unique ways. Examples include drifting space jellyfish, solar eruptions or random asteroid strikes passing through the battlefield. Most can be used to your advantage if you know how, and their random nature means they're often good for a laugh when they, say, blow up enemy reinforcements in the middle of their Trash Talk simply because they were in the right place at the right time.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The mission to recover an Aeldari spirit gate from a Tzeentch sorcerer's flagship suddenly turns into one, trapping your fleet in an endlessly repeating cycle that starts over every time you "complete" your objective. Fitting of course, considering who you're dealing with. Breaking out of the loop has been a serious case of Guide Dang It! for many players - see below.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The game has minimal documentation about ship stats, weapons, abilities, and the role of each ship and given the large number of ships this game has, you are going to need an outside guide to know which ship does which. This is particularly bad in the Tyranid Campaign: after the scantiest of tutorial missions, the player is left to figure out the various Tyranid ship types and their unique mechanics with no guidance whatsoever (the Hive Mind apparently isn't big on dispensing advice).
    • The campaigns have some rather crucial gameplay tricks that the game itself only alludes to, but never outright tells you. Chief amongst them is the fact that the urgency gauge, which incurs a Non Standard Game Over if it fills up completely, is reset to zero every time you complete a primary mission objective (the game only says that it gets reduced, which is a decidedly non-trivial difference). Not knowing this usually results in players losing huge amounts of time that they could've used for upgrading worlds, gathering resources and building new fleets before tackling the next chapter/sector, often falling prey to the Unstable Equilibrium as the campaign progresses.
    • Launch bays have been the subject of confusion from day one because, unlike all other weapons, their potential damage rating is mentioned absolutely nowhere. That they're also among the most expensive ship components point-wise has left many players wondering if they're actually worth it. They are - bombers squadrons deal tremendous damage if they make it through the enemy's fighter screens and point defense turrets - but it's hard to realise this without extensive testing or an online guide. A later update eventually added a tooltip with the missing info, but you need to load up an actual battle to see it as it doesn't show up in the fleet manager or ship builder interfaces.
    • In the Imperial campaign, the mission to recover an Aeldari artifact from a Tzeentch-aligned Chaos warship, the Phoenix Ashes, has left many players wondering how to progress once the mission's special quirk activates. One needs to initiate an emergency warp jump with Spire's flagship, and although the button starts flashing at some point, it's still a very counterintuitive thing to do since the battle has been ridiculously easy so far, so there's no reason to disengage a probably intact and fully armed ship.
    • Campaign missions in general often throw wicked curveballs at you that require highly specialized tactics and fleet compositions to deal with. Prepare to restart a lot of missions because your initial/favorite fleet setup turned out to be utterly unsuited to the task.
  • Hate Sink: It's 40,000, so all the characters have at one or two moments of 'villainy' to at least some degree, but even so there are a few characters who are clearly written for the express purpose of being hated: Threxos Hellbreed is a cowardly Glory Hound who despite serving Khorne seems more interested in throwing his weight around as a member of Abaddon's Chosen and forcing others to do his dirty work for him than going out, getting his hands bloody and collecting skulls. The Imperium meanwhile has Inquisitor Darkhammer, who insults and threatens Spire every chance he gets and basically acts like a petty dick for no clear reason but to flex his authority. It's telling that in both cases, they end up under the guns of their own side in the Chaos and Imperium storylines respectively.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: When the "Legends of the Past" mission of the Chaos campaign puts your protagonist Malos Vrykan, Abaddon the Despoiler and Roboute Guilliman on screen together, the following battle can appear almost boring after their glorious efforts to out-ham each other.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Shadow-captain Ajaz Solari of the Raven Guard and the crew of his battle barge perform one against the Dark Throne, the World Engine of the Nepheru dynasty. He plunges his battle barge right into the mechanical planet, guns his way through the Necrons until he reaches the chamber that powers the whole Engine, and sets off his vortex bomb just as his position is overrun, kiling himself but taking the Dark Throne with him.
  • Hero Must Survive: Each campaign's protagonist must take charge of any special operation that pops up in his campaign, and if his flagship is destroyed by any means, it's Game Over. Better watch out for those enemy bomber squadrons...
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard:
    • You can lower campaign difficulty settings to your liking by fiddling with a whole bunch of parameters, but if you do it wrong you can actually make the game harder instead of easier. For instance, if you increase the action cost of enemy fleet movement on the strategy map, hostile fleets will never move out of heavily garrisoned systems, which is the opposite of what you want. Upping the command limit also tends to favor hostile fleets over yours because the AI is much better at microing such large numbers of ships than the average player.
    • If you're careless with your targeted abilities, don't be surprised to suddenly find your own ships in the blast zone. Take special care to not let this happen with the Planet Killer's Armageddon Gun. Amusingly, that last one tends to be a real problem for the AI, which doesn't give a single damn about collateral damage. It's not uncommon to see half the enemy fleet combust simultaneously because the Planet Killer in the back ranks decided to fire its main gun while a densely packed cluster of its buddies were charging at the enemy right in front of it.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Performing warp jumps is a dangerous proposition no matter how brief the voyage may be. During the campaigns, ships have a small chance to be destroyed when jumping from one system to another to represent the occasional loss. Indeed, sailing across a parallel dimension inhabited by the Chaos Gods and the myriads of Daemons who want to kill you and devour your soul is not without risks.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Trazyn the Infinite appears before Spire, telling he has a tip. When the officers understandably rebuke him, he snarkily says that in that case, he won't tell them about the World Engine hidden in this particular sector.
  • Interface Screw: Certain battlefield modifiers mess with your HUD and radar by spawning dozens of false sensor echoes that move slowly across the map, or by blanketing the battlefield with periodic radiation waves that break sensor locks.
  • Interface Spoiler: Related to the above, if the Sensor Echoes event takes place, enemy ships can be told from false returns at any time by clicking the red dots. False echoes can't be activated whereas ships show their usual targeting interface in the lower left corner. It won't stop your own ships from going after the closest contact they detect, so the Auto-Engage function remains useless under these conditions, but it sure helps the player to figure out where the enemy is.
  • Late to the Tragedy: In the main campaign, Admiral Spire warps out in the aftermath of the Fall of Cadia, arriving just in time to gather the scattered survivors and begin a retribution campaign upon the forces of Chaos.
  • Lead the Target: Torpedoes travel in a straight line once they leave their tubes, and targeted abilities like Nova Cannons or the three types of bombs explode exactly where you aimed them after a ten-second delay, regardless of whether the target is still there or not. All of these things deal tremendous damage if they hit, but it requires a fair bit of practice in estimating the enemy's speed and most likely trajectory to use them to their full potential.
  • Level Grinding:
    • In the campaign, Renown is required to unlock new ship tiers, upgrades for your ships, and additional fleets. However, despite what the tutorial teaches the player, it actually punishes anyone who does the sensible thing and only commits to battles when they have overwhelming force on their side. Renown rewards are significantly lower in this case, and you need a lot of it to even unlock battleships at level 9 of 16, so if you like to play it safe, prepare to grind countless fleet battles for minuscule Renown rewards. It's so bad that players have taken to sending the weakest ship they have alone against massive enemy fleets, only for it to warp out as soon as the ability comes off its cooldown, which for some reason awards quite enormous Renown even though you officially lost the battle.
    • In multiplayer, half the admiral/flagship skills are locked behind an experience bar. You get 100XP for every victory and 50XP for every defeat, which amounts to 55-110 battles played if you want to unlock everything. Now, each faction has their own unique skills and progress bar, and there's twelve of them. You do the math.
  • Living Ship: Tyranid bioships are more giant spacefaring creatures than ships, befitting their style. Tyranid bioships typically have less ranged weaponry, but have appendices to attack and tie up nearby vessels.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Chaos escort ships primarily rely on Roboteching missile barrages to deal damage at long range. Being low-level weapons, they don't hurt all that much individually, but the sheer volume of highly accurate fire adds up quickly if the ships are left to their own devices for too long.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Excess damage to shields isn't transferred to the hull, so no matter how powerful a shot is, if the target has even one point of shielding left, it'll survive until the next shot hits.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The standard cruiser is about 5 kilometers long and so are the equivalent vessels for all other faction, but then there are Gloriana class battleships being more than 20km long. Still, there are even bigger ships in the galaxy.
  • Morale Mechanic: The game implements one, morale occupying a bar just like health. Skillful commanders will watch for their ship's morale, as one that has lost its morale will have its efficiency reduced, mutiny, and start fleeing to the edge of the battle map, whereupon they disengage. If all of a fleet's surviving vessels are undergoing mutinies like this, the battle automatically ends. In keeping with lore, certain factions are resistant or outright immune to morale loss: Astartes, for example, famously 'know no fear' and thus lack morale bars entirely, while Tyranid morale bars can't drop to zero as long as there is a single synapse ship (read: flagship) in play. Destroy all Tyranid synapse ships, and the fleet will rapidly degenerate and rout.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Following Admiral Catalia's failed attempt to destroy the Vengeful Spirit, upon realizing that her brash attack had not only failed, but resulted in the loss of 65,000 crew, the destruction of every ship in her fleet save her own, and left her ship all but crippled in the face of an approaching Chaos battlegroup.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Chaos warships have this as their default... The Planet Killer, Vengeful Spirit, etc.
  • Nintendo Hard: Battles in this game are extremely heavy on micromanagement. Simply sending your fleet(s) at the enemy and hoping for the best will result in a Pyrrhic Victory at best, but more often a Total Party Kill instead no matter how heavily you outnumber and outgun the opposition. Carefully managing your ships' facings, stances, abilities and morale at all times is absolutely essential to claim victory. Otherwise you won't make it out of the starting sector in the campaign even on the lowest difficulty. Fortunately, single-player allows players to slow or outright pause the action, catch their breath, strategize and issue commands.
  • No Canon for the Wicked: Given the outcomes of the Necron, Tyranid and Chaos campaigns, it's safe to assume that none of them will affect the larger canon in any way.
    • Though by the end of the Necron campaign, it is hard to say you are really "wicked."
  • Not as You Know Them: The composition of Abaddon's Chosen is slightly different than the ones in canon: Skyrak Slaughterborn and Devram Korda, the Lord Corruptor and Lord Purgator respectively, are in their canon roles. Lord Ravager Urkrathos is replaced by the (still Khorne-worshipping) Threxos Hellbreed, but Ygethmor, the Tzeentch-worshipping Lord Deceiver is bizarrely replaced by Zagthean the Broken who in-canon worships Slaanesh and was repurposed into a devotee of Tzeench.
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range:
    • Some factions like the Imperial Navy, Space Marines, Tyranids and of course the Orks are built around the concept of engaging the enemy from as close a range as possible.
      • Navy vessels have mediocre accuracy that drastically reduces their effectiveness beyond mid-range, and their most ubiqitous weapon type can be upgraded with armor-piercing shells that deal increased damage at short range. Their torpedos are also much easier to aim, and much harder to intercept, when launched point-blank. Last but not least, many Imperial ships mount spurs for added punch during ramming actions.
      • Space Marines' main purpose in space warfare is their boarding strength, which increases in effectivity the closer they are to the target because the enemy has less time to shoot the boarders down.
      • Tyranids simply excel at chewing their targets to pieces. Period.
      • The Orks' combination of Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy, boarding strength and Ramming Always Works philosophy naturally results in this. Plus, they're orks.
    • This is also a consequence of the game's visuals. In the fluff, space battles happen at distances where ships can't even see each other, but since this would be impractical in gameplay for a number of reasons, ships in BFG:A 2 tend to duke it out close enough to touch each other by simply turning around.
  • No-Sell:
    • All (once-)human factions can take the Supercharged Voidshields upgrade that makes their flagship's shields invincible for 10 seconds. It also confers immunity to most special abilities that don't pierce shields, with the exception of the shield-killing Disruptor Bomb.
    • Aeldari and Necrons are completely immune to Solar Eruptions.
    • Space Marines lack Morale bars, making them impervious to Morale-damaging effects like Chaos's torpedo upgrade or the Ancient One's psychic scream.
  • Not So Stoic: Captain Tor Garadon of the Imperial Fists is usually very calm and has nerves of steel as befits a Space Marine captain, but even he is horrified at the sight of the Monarchia Redeemed, a corrupted Macragge's Honour that Vrykan deploys during the last mission of the Chaos campaign. He also goes down raging and screaming when the Phalanx is destroyed under his command in the Necron campaign.
  • Obviously Evil: On the Imperial side we have Lord Admiral Drang, simply by the oily way he talks to Spire, makes little effort to conceal that he's no longer on the Imperium's side. True enough, he ends up stabbing Spire in the back by sending him into a trap. On the Ynnari side we have the Dark Eldar, who are every bit as depraved as they've ever been despite working with the (sort of) heroic Yvraine, and on the Chaos side we have...well, literally everyone.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Due to the focus of the game on spaceship battle, almost none of the ground-based conflicts or whatever happens during boarding actions are focused on. One of the most significant examples so far in the game is the boarding of the Wolf Lord Sven Bloodhowl on Abaddon's Will of Eternity, who with the Astartes of his Great Company, volunteers from other Chapter forces decimated during the opening exchanges of the Black Crusade, as well as Mechanicus ground pounders, manage to survive inside the hostile Blackstone Fortress full of enemies and who manages to take down its shield, tipping the duel between it and the Imperial Fists' Phalanx in the Imperium's favour.
  • Old-School Dogfight: Larger vessels can launch squadrons of space fighters and bombers to attack ships from afar. If enemy squadrons cross path, then a dog fight will ensues, the commanders being free to follow the fighters maneuver around leaving colored trails.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Quite difficult for most factions to pull off against anything larger than escorts, with one exception: Abaddon's Planet Killer. Justified of course - this enormous vessel's main weapon is purpose-built to kill planets in a single shot, so the chance of any playable spaceship surviving the blast is zilch.
    • The Asteroid Rain battlefield modifier sends giant asteroids passing through the map from above at random locations. Any ship that doesn't escape the target area in time is destroyed no questions asked. Can make for some situational hilarity in the rare case that you manage to immobilize an enemy ship (the larger, the better) in an asteroid's path with a Stasis Bomb. Bonus points if it's the flagship.
  • Outside-Context Problem: A rogue tendril of the tyranid hive-fleet 'Leviathan' enters the Segmentum Obscurus midway through the campaign, appearing without warning during a battle at Belis Corona. From there, tyranid fleets periodically invade sectors from outside the campaign map, possessing no initial systems in any sector. Even in their own campaign, the tyranids simply start at Belis Corona, and their opening mission is a Perspective Flip of the level that introduces them in the Imperial campaign.
  • Planet Spaceship: Necrons take the cake with the planet-sized World Engine of Phaeron Kephrekh the Unbroken, a ship so huge it counts more as a mechanical planet than a real vessel. During the Imperium Campaign, you do not actually get to fight it but instead support the Raven Guard in taking out its defences while the Astartes make planetfall to destroy it. The end of the Necron campaign also shows that the World Engine is equipped with a warp-repelling cannon so powerful it actually erases the Eye of Terror for good.
  • Portal Cut: An Imperial vessel that was half way out of the warp was cut in half when a wave of the Tyranids psychic scream disrupts the warp.
  • Power-Up Letdown: Tech tree upgrades vary wildly in their usefulness. Most are pretty awesome (+25% speed for the Mighty Glaciers of the Imperial Navy is immensely helpful in any situation), but then there are examples like +2% armor. Imperial ships already have a minimum of 67% damage reduction on all facings, so the additional 2% will hardly ever make a difference. To add insult to injury, this is a Level 3 upgrade that's buried deep in the tech tree, and there's a planet bonus that does the same without hogging valuable upgrade points.
  • The Purge: A non-political example happens in the Imperial campaign when a battle against Nurglite forces leaves almost half of Spire's fleet infected with one of Grandfather Nurgle's diseases. Spire orders a full quarantine and the Emperor's Mercy for every "martyr" that needs to be put down. The result is an additional 50% troop loss on all ships that partook in the battle.
  • Ramming Always Works: Played with. All ships are capable of ramming one another, as one ship only needs its prow touching another for it to count. However, some factions like the Orkz or Imperium are more suited to ramming than others, and there are ways to increase the damage of a ramming action (such as one's front armour, aiming for the engines or accelerate at full speed) but also to alleviate a ramming (taking the "Brace For Impact" stance for instance), so whether ramming works or not will depend on the race and skill of the commander.
    • Ork and Tyranid ships are built around ramming - Orks hotwire their ships to provide bursts of thruster power at the press of a button, while Tyranid bioships are capable of a single rapid turn followed by a Deadly Lunge.
  • Real-Time with Pause: While the strategic layer is Turn-Based Strategy, the actual fleet battles happen in real time with four speed settings (x0.3, x1, x2, x3) and a pause button for precision microing, with the default key bindings assigning the slow speed setting to the space bar instead of the full pause.
  • Regenerating Shield, Static Health: Most ships in the game have Deflector Shields that negate attacks and slowly regenerate over time, protecting the real health that doesn't naturally regenerate. However, shields are a system like any other on a ship and if the generator is disabled for one reason or another, the ship is left vulnerable. Inverted with Necron ships, which totally lack shields and instead rely on tons of armor and a Healing Factor.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: The treacherous High Admiral Drang receives this treatment in every campaign he appears in, which explicitly includes the faction he's working for.
  • Rewarding Inactivity: The Tyranids have a special ability called Vanguard Fleets in their grand campaign that lets them target any and all known systems with off-screen vanguard forces for a minor cost in resources. These forces gradually weaken their target system over the course of several turns until eventually an infested Space Hulk is drawn in, conquering the system for you in one fell swoop without the player having to lift a finger and without the enemy being able to do anything about it. This means that, assuming you have the time and resources available, conquering the entire map in the Tyranid campaign can be done without ever fighting a fleet battle (enemy fleets will still attack your territory while you wait, naturally). The only thing you have to take care of yourself are story missions. Just keep in mind that letting the vanguard forces do all the work makes it next to impossible to properly level up your actual fleets.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The Tyranids have the strongest fighter squadrons of all factions, which means ultrahigh-tech wings of space interceptors with missiles, lasers and whatnot get curbstomped by flocks of winged beasts fighting with teeth, claws and the occasional organic gun.
  • Save Scumming: The outcome of battles resolved through the Auto-Battle feature is hugely randomized, but fortunately the game also offers a neat quicksave function. Abusing this even mildly can make the difference between losing half your ships or losing none at all. The game also automatically saves just before the start of any combat and right before you end a turn.
  • Scenery Porn: The static map backgrounds have some damn impressive visuals, with many unique examples tailored to their specific system. A few veer into Scenery Gorn instead, but they're still a sight to behold.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: The campaign doesn't have a difficulty curve but rather a difficulty mountain range. Generic fleet battles on the strategic map are simple affairs that most players resolve via the Auto-Battle button, and if they do play them personally, it's unusual to lose more than a single lightweight ship. But then you start a story mission and immediately get your arse kicked. These missions usually throw two to three times your own fleet strength at you, spiced up with special battlefield conditions and mission objectives. The internet is full of forum threads about how to beat specific missions because they're so damn unfair that some factions consider them downright unwinnable.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Any ship turned into a drifting hulk can be scuttled by overloading the generators, turning it into a destructive and expensive bomb whose blast will deeply hurt anything close.
  • Serial Escalation: The first game hinged on the control of the Blackstone Fortresses, but its sequel shows that there are meaner and way bigger ships in the galaxy. The prologue alone showcases the Phalanx, the giant space-bound fortress of the Imperial Fists, designed to house a whole Space Marine legion and dwarfing Abbadon's Will of Eternity in all aspects.
  • Skewed Priorities: Lord Inquisitor Darkhammer is somehow convinced that the Eldar represent such a threat that even if Chaos on the Imperium's doorstep, they must be annihilated while they represent a potential ally against the Great Enemy.
  • Space Clouds: The battlefields usually contain several Gas Clouds, localized zones full of gas inside of which a ship can hide. They have their uses as hiding spots and can be used for ambushes.
  • Space Whale: A special mission lets you encounter a pod of Space Titans or "void whales", enormous void-faring beasts that are hunted by Orks. They act as a moving hazard during your battle to purge the Orks out of the system.
  • Standard Starship Scuffle: The heart of the game. Battlefleet Gothic is all about commanding your flotillas of battleships, cruisers or escort ships. You will need to maneuver them around to approach the enemy, avoid hazards and turn them so that their best weapons can face the enemy. You will also have to manage the morale or your crews, deploy your best tricks at the right moment, decide where and when your boarding units or fighters must be deployed and if need be, ram your foes.
  • The Starscream:
    • The Chaos expansion features the new Word Bearer character Malos Vrykan as its protagonist, and unsurprisingly ends with him openly calling out Warmaster Abaddon to a duel.
    • Vrykan has his own in Akryst Vane, his Dark Apostle and right-hand man. Vane serves loyally throughout the campaign but is obviously advancing his own agenda at the same time, which comes to a head when he turns the Monarchia Redeemed against your fleets in the Final Battle.
    • Chaos ship captains in general are just waiting for you to screw up so they can pull this on you, if their lines in battle are anything to go by. Thankfully they never go through with it.
      Chaos Captain: We follow your command! For now...
  • Stealth in Space: There are several ways a ship can be stealthed in space. Common ways of becoming stealthy and thus invisible and untargetable is to run silent, lowering the heat signatures to a minimum, or hiding inside of an asteroid field or gas cloud. The Drukhari and Tyranids are always stealthed because of their technology or their status as bio-ships.
  • Straight for the Commander: Losing the flagship inflicts heavy morale damage on all other ships of its fleet, prevents the use of admiral abilities and makes it impossible to stop mutinous ships from leaving the battlefield. This makes focusing down the enemy flagship first a useful tactic against most factions except Space Marines (who are immune to morale damage), but especially against Tyranids and Orks due to their peculiar handling of ship morale. Conversely, this very approach can lead to very sudden mission failures in the campaigns because the AI just loves to throw everything it has at your flagship, and some of these attacks, like the Vengeful Spirit's enormous bomber squadrons for instance, can annihilate even battleships in disturbingly short order.
  • A Taste of Power: In the Prologue, you first control a Battleship, which ends up swatted aside by the Blackstone Fortress. Then you start the next mission controlling three Light Cruisers... on a scouting mission for the freaking Phalanx, which blasts that Fortress into a ruin (or simply rams it apart).
  • Teleport Interdiction: Lightning Strikes, which is just another term for Teleport Assaults, can't be performed while the target's Deflector Shields are up, unless the attacking ship is an Ork Space Hulk. These things have a special Lightning Strike with incredible range that goes right through shields. The Space Marine ship ability "Honor the Chapter" is a short-ranged lightning strike that also ignores shields.
  • The Dreaded Dreadnought: Every campaign involves some sort of ridiculously huge enemy boss ship, and the player will eventually get one of their own. Played with in that the game is actually based on the tabletop game Dreadnought. Fans of historical steam and iron naval wargaming will find a lot of familiar mechanics in BFGA 2.
  • The Speechless: The Tyranids don't have any dialogue at all. Their campaign instead has the opposing factions voice their thoughts aloud.
  • Timed Mission: A few campaign missions have time limits. While that wouldn't be so bad per se, the devious part is that most of these don't have an on-screen timer. You merely get a few lines like "you have three minutes to [insert mission objective]" from someone on the battlefield, and that's it. That the game has four speed settingsnote  makes it nearly impossible to judge how much time has passed, and you wouldn't be the first to suddenly see the Mission Failed screen without knowing why.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Akryst Vane's idea of a coup against his Chaos Lord consists of attacking the latter's fleet with one ship. Granted, that ship is the Monarchia Redeemed, an incredibly powerful Gloriana-class battleship formerly known as the Macragge's Honour, but it's still just one ship against three entire fleets that can field two Titans themselves, one of which is a friggin' Blackstone Fortress. The result tends to be filed under "Curbstomp Battle".
  • Tractor Beam:
    • Ork battleships have a special ability called the Traktor Kannon Shot which fires a tractor beam at a chosen target. It is more subtle than it appears as the Traktor Kannon can force a ship to move in any direction, possibly even causing friendly rammings with some skill.
    • Necrons can get an upgrade in the campaign that gives this ability to all ships with Lightning Arc weaponry.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Akrist Vane is one to Malos Vrykan. A somewhat sycophantic but reliable advisor, Vane reveals his true colors at the end of the Chaos campaign and attempts to murder Vrykan with his ship the Monarchia Redeemed.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Chaos campaign has two examples.
    • "The Chalice of Entropy" is a bona-fide stealth mission. You only have two ships (Vrykan's flagship and a Nurglite grand cruiser) that you need to sneak past Necron sentries to steal the eponymous artifact from Trazyn the Infinite's collection. If either of your ships is identified even for a split-second, it's Game Over.
    • The Final Battle is a Massive Fleet Battle. Although its point limit is not quite as enormous as in multiplayer's MFBs, it's still high enough to let you field both of your Titans plus a bunch of line ships simultaneously.
  • Units Not to Scale: Averted in normal gameplay, but the various Titan-class vessels aren't nearly as gigantic as they should be. In the fluff, Gloriana-class battle barges like the Vengeful Spirit or the Macragge's Honour are three to five times as long as regular Imperial battleships, which doesn't quite translate into this game. The Blackstone Fortress and the Phalanx are also way too small. note 
  • Unstable Equilibrium: An incredibly brutal example. If you take too many losses in the first couple of missions (which will inevitably happen to new players), resources are too scarce to replace them while the clock keeps ticking against you, forcing you to advance on enemy forces you can't hope to defeat or face defeat by Non Standard Game Over. This way it's very easy to founder in the starting sector. However, if you do well in the opening engagements and prioritize your planet and fleet upgrades smartly, leaving a fully upgraded sector behind when you move on the next one with your fleet capacity maxed out, the campaign becomes much, much easier in the long run.
  • Villain Protagonist: The whole 40K universe runs on Black-and-Grey Morality at best, but as far as the game's campaigns go, playing the slightly-less-evil Imperial Navy, Aeldari, or a particularly merciful Necron Lord can be contrasted by assuming the mantle of the Tyranid Hive Mind or, with the appropriate DLC installed, a Chaos Lord.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Averted for most of the vessels, even the biggest ones. They make do with cannon batteries, torpedoes, squadrons of bomber and similarly conventional weaponry to chip away at the hull of enemy ships. Two big aversions are the aptly named Planet Killer, whose five main cannons are powerful enough to destroy anything in a column in front of them, and the Blackstone Fortress.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: As usual for the 'verse, even the Imperial portion of mankind isn't exactly pulling together much of the time, and Spire can end up fighting other Imperial Navy armadas depending on your decisions at crucial plot points.
  • We Have Reserves: Campaign missions occasionally drown you in enemy reinforcements until you've completed a specific objective, which usually means taking out a special character's flagship. Case in point: in the four missions to neutralize Abaddon's Chosen, every ship you destroy is instantly replaced by another one of the same tonnage for as long as the respective Chosen's flagship is still active.
  • The Worf Effect: Done twice in the tutorial campaign. First, your Space Wolf Battle Barge that you just spent a whole mission stomping all over Chaos Escorts and Light Cruisers with eats a direct shot from a Blackstone Fortress' Wave-Motion Gun. Then, that same Wave-Motion Gun suffers a colossal No-Sell against the Phalanx, which casually pulverizes the Blackstone Fortress and its entire attendant fleet into dust.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: The effects of time in the Warp are bizzare and unpredictable. Admiral Spire, from the first game, returns from warp travel to real-space, but discovers that centuries have passed since the Gothic War.
  • Zerg Rush: The M.O. of the Tyranids. Most of their 'escort ships' are cheap in price and point count, allowing them to field huge numbers of them, and incredibly squishy even by escort ship standards. Their only attack is to ram the opponent, and they usually can only get one successful strike off before they die. The issue is, that when these escorts die, they leave behind deadly spore clouds that slowly damage enemy ships and slow their movement to a crawl. Once the initial Zerg Rush passes, the board is filled with these clouds, and the bigger, nastier Tyranids move in to finish off the crippled enemies.


Video Example(s):


Daemons Invade Cadia

On the planet of Cadia, legions of daemons and traitors hailing from the Warp do battle with the human guard for control of the planet.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheLegionsOfHell

Media sources: