Battlefleet Gothic – The Fleets

There are three projects, that I'll take on with my 3d printer. Epic 30,000 was already introduced with my Imperial Fists, and Battlefleet Gothic so far only teased with the terrain article.

Battlefleet Gothic

I have talked about it in my parking lot theory article, and I don't have any space battle games. I do have naval battles with Black Seas, and faster, skirmishes with Cruel Seas (both only covering the miniature range, not bound to the rule set) in my collection, but as I said, no sci-fi space battles. Of course, there are plenty on the market. There is Full Thrust by Ground Zero Games (a game with an incredible support in the German community), there was / is Firestorm Armada by Spartan Games (Warcradle picked it up again), Star Wars Armada (which I somehow count more like a board game) and is OOP from my point of view. And then ... there was Battlefleet Gothic in 1999 - introduced via White Dwarf and later released as an boxed game.

The question is more about aesthetics, as I can use the miniatures for any rule set there is. They don't go bad and I could easily use a fleet of BFG ships with Full Thrust, A Billion Suns or the living rule book / remastered rule sets of BFG. Beside being the range that speaks to me the most, using Battlefleet Gothic miniatures / designs, would give me the option to tie in the games with other Warhammer-themed systems, that I have, similar to the way I can combine Bolt Action with Cruel Seas and Blood Red Skies.

Where to start?

Well, you can obviously try to get your hands on the old White Dwarfs if you're a absolute purist. Or go for one of the rulebooks above. But as Battlefleet Gothic is a former Specialist Game and went OOP, the community did, what it did with many of those and picked it up again and continued support in various forms like a Living Rulebook. You can find a lot of ressources on the old Specialist Games website or use the Battlefleet Remastered set (hosted among other places on DakkaDakka). There is even a free to download BFG starter kit on reddit, incl. rules, tokens and even some STLs for you to print. And if you want to go specifically for the Horus Heresy / 30k - there is a supplement called Battlefleet Heresy.

Battlefleet Gothic - Remastered Erste Schlacht

That's the rules, you can pick them up for free in digital form (I'd love to recommend going on eBay, but the prices on BFG items are bonkers and shouldn't be paid) or if you're fine with one of the alternative rule sets, they are either free (as Full Thrust for example) or start rather reasonable around 12-15 EUR.

What do you need to play Battlefleet Gothic?

Not that much. Most of the terrain you own from other systems probably won't suit this setup. But with Battlefleet Gothic being a space game, you don't need that much terrain at all, a few asteroids would be enough to begin with. And as BFG is two dimensional (you don't need height information, as everything is measured from the stem of the flight base, you could make it work with cut outs and don't need three dimensional / plastic terrain. So, a flat surface, 4 by 4 is fine for the beginning and a few ships (a small 500-750 point fleet is a good starting point). Surely a one digit number of models.

The community starter kit is a great set to look into, as it covers tokens and even terrain to begin with, incl. a first scenario.

The biggest challenge will actually be the miniatures. OOP BFG miniatures go for ridiculous amounts of money, I've seen things like 80 EURs for the chaos plastic cruiser boxes and other shenanigans. And some of the fleets repeatedly offered on eBay or other market places are clearly recasts at completely irresponsible prices. There are other manufacturers like Vanguard Miniatures, who offer "classic" resin and metal cast miniatures with their Battlegroup Helios range. But with the latest of technologies 3d printing is simply the largest market and somewhere between cheap to just barely reasonable.

Among the first things I did try out, when I got myself a 3d printer, was printing some BFG models, to see for the scale itself (as that was something that Dystopian Wars messed up in my opinion) worked for me. So I went with the classic original scale of the game and some microfleet scaled models. Details were amazing and I decided to go for the original scale, to be able to play with others and not just my own two fleets. There are several STL producing artists, who offer gumroad, patreons and other means like Cults3D to sell their files. I can not honour ItalianMoose enough for his support for this game. He has a Gumroad Store as well as licensed traders, who offer his models printed, along with free files (like the ones below) for you to have go.

Battlefleet Gothic - Test prints Size comparison

What am I going to do?

As I want to keep it the way I do it with the other systems, having two factions to be able independently host a game, I have to choose two fleets. Goonhammer did a proper sum up on the core fleets (Imperial Navy, Chaos, Eldar Corsairs and Orks), and with having some solid, not too fancy or complicated to get into, I went with the classical set up of the Imperial Navy vs. Chaos. Especially as this would give the option to cover conflicts in 30k as well as 40k (the differenciation in design isn't that big of problem), that I could tie in with the EpicAU and Adeptus Titanicus projects during the Horus Heresy, as well as a side game with my 40k retro projects (Imperial Fists vs. Black Legion) or even boarding action using Space Hulk or skirmish rules.

Battlefleet Gothic - Imperial Navy

Imperial Fleet / Space Marines

If you read my article on the EpicAU Imperial Fists, who would be the Third Sphere forces, commanded by Seneschal Efried, for this project - at least for its 30k identity the warfleet of the Second Sphere defenses during the Solar War, would make sense, as they were commanded by Fleet Master Halbrecht (he commanded the Battle Barge Monarch of Fire). The Imperial Fists had to make the best of what they were given / the ressources they had, so a lot of Imperial Navy ships and not just Astartes vessels were recruited into this Second Sphere defense fleet, giving me the option to have a combined Imperial fleet. From what I understood from the lore, it was mostly Imperial Navy under the command of the Astartes, so I'd use the fleet list of the Imperial Navy and swap some vessels model wise for Astartes counter pieces (because, to be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of the design of the Astartes fleet).

To connect the overall story arch to 40k as well, I want the Imperial vessels to belong to the "drafting worlds" of the Imperial Fists, meaning those would belong to Necromunda and Inwit. With this, the theme of the Imperial Navy would be a warfleet under the command of the Imperial Fists, and depending on the timeline either the Second Sphere defenses under Fleet Master Halbrecht or part of the Battlefleet Solar, who most recently (in the 40k timeline) sent warships to the Cadian Gate against Abaddon the Despoiler's 13th Black Crusade. I am aware, that Battlefleet Gothic is set in the 12th Crusade / Gothic Wars, but that's just my freedom and I assume that the Battlefleet Solar did support the Gothic sector the crusade before as well. Army lists and intended models will be covered soon - but the project name is simply the Imperial Navy.

Battlefleet Gothic - Chaos Fleet

Chaos Fleet, supported by Dark Mechanicum vessels

A combined chaos fleet is the perfect opponent for this setting. With the 30k timeline, the Imperial Fleet in the Solar War was in battle with the Alpha Legion at first (and that would give me incredible amounts of freedom model wise, as the Alpha Legion would never use a large battleship with the hydra on it) and later a huge warfleet under the command of Perturabo himself, bringing the Iron Warriors - the eternal Nemesis of the Imperial Fists - into this. With the connection to Adeptus Titanicus and EpicAU, I wanted to include the Dark Mechanicum on the side of traitors, and with Mars still being under siege and the Dark Mechanicum trapped on that Forge World, I thought a few vessels of the Dark Mechanicum would be an interesting idea to bring some variety to the fleet. But in a similar way, the Astartes vessels would be included in the Imperial Navy, this fleet would be a regular Chaos Fleet with some models replaced with Mechanicum models (painted accordingly). But overall a Chaos Fleet loyal to the Warmaster, with individual ships showing Legion iconography (like Iron Warriors for example) and the mentioned Dark Mechanicum vessels.

The 40k timeline would be similar, as with the introduction of the Imperial Fleet further above, Abaddon's 12th Black Crusade, which is part of the narrative of Battlefleet Gothic would be a vast military campaign by the Arch Traitor, bringing a massive chaos armada into Imperial Territory, and thus not using just the Black Legions vessels, but allies of all kinds - among them the Dark Mechanicum who fled into the Eye of Terror and other traitor legion vessels. Giving me the option to use the same models / iconography across this timeline as in the other. And just like the Imperial Navy, I'll add the army list and models in a separate article of their own, but it will be the Chaos Fleet.

Battlefleet Gothic - Test prints Battlefleet Gothic - Test prints

I have the core fleets of both factions written down and checked with the community. As well as reached out to MegaSonicPunch for printing services, as some of the larger ships are simply too large for my Mono 4K to properly be printed (or at least be done in a reasonable amount of time), so this is going to be next step. The introduction of the fleets, the choice of miniatures (Italian Moose is great, but there are other amazingly designed STLs out there to at least take a look at) and well assembling resin etc., so bare with me.

Posted by Dennis B.

Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Have seen those on the reddit. Great work! Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Trackbacks are disabled.