Holy Ships: Battlefleet Gothic – Armada Announced

Cathedral ships, ahoy! Focus Interactive have announced that they will publish a real-time strategy adaptation of Games Workshop’s Battlefleet Gothic. Armada is already in development and we’ll be taking a closer look in very near future but the first details emerged moments ago. Fleets will be drawn from four forces – Imperial, Chaos, Eldar and Ork – and ships will be fully customisable, from their weaponry to support sub-systems. Admirals and crew will gain experience from one battle to the next, but the initial press release doesn’t contain any details regarding campaign or mission structure. Giant images await below, in the Warp.

Click to see the full majesty of the pics, including the one at the top of the article.

These ships really couldn’t be any more goth, could they? Sure, you could add eyeliner and big hair but that would cross the gothic streams and we’d end up with Robert Smith measuring out space for a flamboyant arch around his bedroom niche.

Developers Tindalos Interactive have previous in the space-based RTS space, most notable with Stellar Impact, which pleased Brendan back in 2012.

I had a brief dalliance with tabletop Battlefleet back in the day, as I did with most things Games Workshop. Weirdly, despite my preference for dark futures, I preferred Man O’ War, mainly because I knew a couple of people who had stacks o’ ships for use in its seafaring skirmishes. As is usually the case with 40k, I love the aesthetics but I don’t remember the specifics of the ruleset well enough to intelligently ponder how much will be jettisoned in the move to computerised realtime. I’m looking forward to finding out though and will tell you all about it in due course.

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87 Comments

  1. Volcanu says:

    Oh please don’t suck, please dont suck, please dont suck.

    • Alberto says:

      It will.
      Our money.

      I just hope it’s so terrible I am absolutely determined not to buy it. If it’s a bad, in a not-catastrophically-just-bland way, game, we’ll fall for it.

      Just to see the ships shooting and warping.

    • varangian says:

      Seconded.

    • Shadow says:

      Thirded. Here’s hoping, perhaps too much, for a sort of Dawn of War 2 IN SPACE.

      I had been wanting to play the tabletop version of Battlefleet Gothic for a while, but as it’s usually the problem with me and tabletop games, I lack the necessary playerbase. So with any luck this game will satisfy a very specific need of mine.

    • Seth_Keta says:

      Have you played Stellar Impact? That’s what I thought. This game is going too suck. Saying they have “experience” in the genre means absolutely nothing when they *abandoned* their own game.

    • Phier says:

      …please don’t suck… please don’t suck….

      Someone was making a mod like this for Sword of the Stars, but sadly his RL got in the way.

  2. crowleyhammer says:

    Now we are fucking talking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Boards the Lord Solar Macharius

  3. Hanban says:

    FINALLY!

  4. thekeats1999 says:

    So we now have Space Hulk and Warhammer Quest. Mordheim is in early access and this is in development. That just leaves Necromunda, Inquisitor, Dread Fleet and Epic to be made.

    • Chiron says:

      Epic mod for Wargame: ALB when

      Because seriously, fuck yes.

      • LexW1 says:

        I would kill so many people for an Epic-based game that was actually like the early Epic, where everything was super-detailed and everything was destructible (with computers, you wouldn’t need the simplifications of later Epic), and army choice was ultra-diverse. God that was good. I’d miss the Squats if they didn’t bring them back, though, they were a real presence in Epic in a way that they weren’t in other lines.

        • horus_lupercal says:

          Well said though I’d be very surprised if the Squats appeared seeing as GW retconned them out of existence AFAIK. I’ll still have Watsons Inquisition War trilogy I s’pose :-(

          • colw00t says:

            The squats were eaten by the Tyranids, not retconned. They used to exist, they just don’t any more.

          • Asurmen says:

            colwo0t, it’s a mix of both. Tyranids were used as an explanation for a while, but then Squats never existing was GW stance and all mentions of Squats removed from book reprints. They’re now back into official existence as they’re mentioned in the 6th Ed Rulebook.

          • horus_lupercal says:

            Both you gents are correct and me simply saying they were retconned was incorrect. They gave an in-universe reason, they were nommed to death, to explain why they weren’t bothering with the Squats anymore when they wanted to move away from the fantasy in space feeling.

            I’ve heard that they altered the inquisition war books to make the Squat a tech priest but that could just be internet hearsay.

            I am curious though Asumen – what kind of mention do they get in the latest edition? I stopped following the editions back when 3rd ed. came out (a bad experience at a GW shop event put me off the hobby for years and now I don’t have the disposable income to get back into the core line). I’ve heard Demiurgs where the new squats but I get my lore/fluff from Black Library novels (I know) and the RPG line so I don’t know much about them

          • colw00t says:

            From the 6th edition:

            link to i.imgur.com

            Seventh apparently includes them in a similar list of known abhuman types.

            I think “retcon” is a bit strong to apply to what happened to the squats. They were written out of the game after 2nd edition and only occaisionally mentioned here and there, but they weren’t retroactively non-existent, they were just dropped. GW couldn’t really make them work in the 40k setting at a time when they were trying to get away from the “warhammer fantasy IN SPAAAACE” design.

            1d4chan has a pretty good note (too long to copy here) from Jervis about why they dropped the Squats, but it boils down to they couldn’t think of anything more interesting to do with them than “Dwarves, but IN SPAAAAACE” and the only thing that made them stand out was only in a specialist game (Epic) rather than the basic game.

            My hazy memories tell me that gameplay-wise, the Squats were just sort of awkwardly between the Imperial Army and the Space Marines and didn’t really have much on-table to distinguish themselves. Land Trains were cool as hell but only available in Epic.

          • Asurmen says:

            colw00t, how do you explain the removal of them from all sources?

    • csuzw says:

      An Epic games does exist: link to en.wikipedia.org . I seem to recall enjoying it but I don’t think it got a great reception.

      • tattertech says:

        Final Liberation was amazing, I’m not sure how well it sold but it was pretty well regarded I think. It’s probably the #1 PC game I’d love to see show up on GOG.

      • gorgonaut says:

        Final Liberation was one of my favourite games at the time. The intro was super cool. I spent 8 years looking for the soundtrack, and finally found out one could extract it from the game files, thanks to some mysterious command-line tool. They live on my phone, the intro song waking me up each morning.

    • Rindan says:

      It is hard for me to articulate how badly I want a Mass Effect style RPG where you are an inquisitor with a motley band of aids from Space Maines to psykers to the odd alien.

  5. AngoraFish says:

    May, or may not, want. Nice art though, might have a new desktop there…

  6. Janissaire says:

    Sadly,it’s made by the dev of stellar impact,they droped the stellar impact game(no more server maintenance),and,they still try to scam ppl into buying it.

    Evil dev is evil.

    • 0positivo says:

      They’re really anything but. You can thank the publisher for stuff like that. The guys at Tindalos are fantastic, and very humble too. Back then, they accepted that their game had problems, asked around to their community what would make it better, and went ahead and made the whole thing flow so much smoother

      Stellar Impact was an awesome game, for the time it lasted. Holy spaceballs, looking forward for this so badly now

      • Janissaire says:

        Man,those screenshot are not even lore friendly,hell,they don’t even look Grim.

  7. unitled says:

    SQUEEEEEE! Man, am excite.

    Now, to really make the dream come true, they need to follow it up with a Rogue Trader RPG that lets you take command of a single ship and explore unknown reaches of the galaxy…

  8. Tremble says:

    I’m already having some problems with these screenshots.
    The numerous bright neon lights seem like a stellar opposite of the typical 40k spaceship artwork.
    Also I feel the models don’t give a very good sense of scale in regards to how huge these ships are supposed to be, there should be much more small scale details all over the models as reference points.

    link to warsmalta.org
    link to vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net
    link to vastulisto.com
    link to vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net

    • Rascal says:

      that´s because what you see on screenshots from the game are mere frigates or escorts, which are considered small ships in BFG universe, pictures that you post are mostly battleships, which are biggest capital ships in BFG, there are also cruisers, which are like middle class ships

      so, those screenshots are smallest class of ships outside of interceptors/bombers and they still have freaking cities on top of them, yet they dont capture the size enough? ;)

      • Asurmen says:

        Frigates aren’t that big.

        • Kadaeux says:

          @Asurman: Actually Frigates ARE that big. Destroyers are approximately 1km in length, Frigates are between 1.5km and 2+km in length, Cruisers are 5km long, Battleships bigger ;p

          • Asurmen says:

            So not city sized at all aka not that big ;) Frigates in 40k are just tiny specks of things. 1-2km barely covers a decent sized town in a straight line. The Gloriana class however, yeah those have cities on top :D

          • Kadaeux says:

            @Asurmen: Actually it is city sized when you factor in verticality. Think about it. They’re basically cities around 5km long, but also just under a kilometre high.

          • Asurmen says:

            How? If they’re about 1-2km long then the height barely adds anything. Frigates and destroyers are nothing like cities on any sense of scale. My home town is about 2km wide and it only has a population of 20k.

      • Kadaeux says:

        Not true, all three images depict Overlord Class Battlecruisers (As you can tell by the forward torpedo armament, macrobattery armaments and dorsal lances)

        • Hanrohan says:

          I agree, they certainly appear to be Overlord class Battlecruisers. Squished somewhat, and with a rather bulbous ram.

        • Volcanu says:

          That’s a shame. I was hoping they were some of the smaller class warships.

          Looks like they might be going for the slightly cartoonified aesthetic, ala Dawn of War. Whilst I dont actively dislike that, it does look and feel a bit off.

          For my money,the only game to nail the aesthetic and atmosphere of 40k bang on remains (the now impossible to find) Chaos Gate. Luckily I have my original disc, which I guard like a Relic of the Emperor himself.

          • Napalm Sushi says:

            The recent Armageddon game by Slitherine gets it pretty right, though with the detached and abstracted strategic viewpoint and total lack of animation in anything but the pyrotechnics, I’d understand if you don’t think it counts.

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            JamesTheNumberless says:

            IMO 40k is perfectly suited to a cartoon graphical style. The miniatures themselves are somewhat cartoony, with bright colours and exaggerated space opera themes and characters.

            Furthermore the style compliments the grimdark setting by its contrast. Having a grim world acted out by grim characters in a grim tone is a bit like having a triple Belgian chocolate muffin. Ok but never going to be as good as a raspberry chocolate tart.

            Oh God I’m so hugry. Which Chaos power do I have to sell my soul to for some chocolate? Slaanesh presumably… Does that involve mandatory buggery as well?

          • Asurmen says:

            James, the colours are as dark or as bright as you wish them to be…

    • Jackablade says:

      I think the big lights are art of what makes the ships look small. They put one somewhat in mind of car headlights. If they had more really fine detail, even if it wasn’t to the ridiculously greebly extremes of the concept art, I think it’d help sell them as the utterly massive ships that they’re supposed to be.

  9. Kollega says:

    In my on-and-off quest to poke holes in the “no, really, you have to take our setting at face value!” attitude of computer-based Warhammer 40k games (as opposed to having a sense of irony towards the over-the-topness of the entire affair), I’ll just leave this here.

    • Bull0 says:

      More on than off, really

      • Kollega says:

        Now let’s be fair, I haven’t posted on Warhammer articles for a long while, but this opportuinty was too good to miss :P

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      Zekiel says:

      That is truly marvellous!

    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      On the topic of 40k administration and budgeting, this is an actual real piece of lore from GW:
      link to suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com

      • Kollega says:

        Which year is that from? From what I know of Warhammer, such darkly hilarious tidbits were all the rage during the second edition, but in the modern incarnation of it you’ll be hard-pressed to find something in this style, sadly enough.

        • Premium User Badge

          Snidesworth says:

          I think it came from a White Dwarf in the first few years of the 3rd Edition of 40k. Either that or it came from a mailing list conversation from forever ago.

        • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

          The place I first found it tells me White Dwarf 227, apparently it was sent in by someone and they (well, Andy Chambers, which shows how old it is) liked it so much they made this image and printed it in the magazine. And yes, the sense of humour does seem to have gone.

          • sonofsanta says:

            I had no idea, until Googling just now, that ANDY CHAMBERS of the MAD HAIR and the GODLIKE POSITION OF AUTHORITY TO TEN YEAR OLD ME is now at Blizzard.

        • Kollega says:

          Well, that explains it. I haven’t been keeping up with any Warhammer news, obviously, but from what I read on 1d4chan, in the recent years such humor (and any kind of humor, really) was removed from the story almost entirely. This bureaucratic reply actually reminds me of Paranoia… and I effing LOVE Paranoia.

  10. voorsk says:

    After some dodgy Games Workshoppery, I’m a bit dubious of how it’ll turn out. To be on the safe side, instead of putting my pants on my head, I’ll wear them around my neck like a y-front cravat.

    ooh – the skidmark looks like a jewel!

  11. Chiron says:

    It’ll suck, probably, and not be that good, but for the last 10 minutes I’ve felt like 9year old me did when he opened White Dwarf 178 and read about Titan Legions.

    So hyped it fucking hurts.

    Gah.

    • horus_lupercal says:

      oh man that brought back memories. I still have most of my White dwarfs squirrelled away in a box except I’m missing that issue. I loved it due to the lore about the Heresy (one of my first encounters with said lore outside the Blood Angels) and likely lent it to someone and never got it back.

      Now I feel sad.

      • Chiron says:

        Its in tatters in a shelf in my living room, its survived 6 moves, attempts by both gf and mum to bin the fucker. I reread it for the first time in years the other day along with the dog eared Codex Imperalis, and bloody hell they were awesome

        • horus_lupercal says:

          I swear I’m not jealous, I’ve just got a touch of Hulkitis!

          I love the tone of the older stuff and occasionaly dig out my old issues just to read some of the fluff articles and the dialogue for the battle reports.

  12. Drake Sigar says:

    It is perfectly normal to drool.

  13. Bull0 says:

    Deeply exciting. I’d love it if they brought the tabletop incarnation back, though, or gave the tabletop license to FFG. A man can dream.

  14. utharda says:

    Ships just got real.

  15. Hunchback says:

    SHIPS MADE OF CATHEDRALS!!!!11 OMG

    Sorry, i got super excited there.

    But yes, this looks sick, i sooooo hope it won’t suck! There hasn’t been a decent space RTS since Homeworld!
    Ok, there was Hegemony, but not nearly as good as Homeworld…

    Btw, what happened with that new Homeworld project, where you salvage ships?

    • Azhrarn says:

      Still ongoing, however it is worth remembering that the game you mention would not be set in space, but on the surface of a world if I recall correctly.

    • Werthead says:

      HOMEWORLD: SHIPBREAKERS. Gearbox recently added it to their website, which was encouraging after about a year of silence on the subject. I suspect we’ll hear more about it once the HOMEWORLD 1+2 remakes are released, which is supposed to be in the next few months.

      • Cinek says:

        I already made my preorder for Homeworld Remastered Edition. In November(?) they finally enabled them for Europe.
        Here’s a video published back in September with some samples: link to youtube.com

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Shipbreakers, unless they’ve completely changed the game since it was called Hardware, is still a ground RTS.

  16. No Excuse says:

    This, alongside the announcement of TOTALHAMMER leaking earlier in the week is too much for a man to bear.

    Auto-destruct sequence initiated.

  17. Azhrarn says:

    I’ll echo the reaction of most others here: Please don’t suck!!

    This is looking pretty nice, very curious how they’ll go about it with the actual gameplay. :)

  18. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I have begun the ritual shriving of my hard drive in anticipation.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    The position of the asteroids in the header image makes the foreground ship look like it has front legs. Which in addition to everything else, would also be awesome.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Of course it has legs. They’re for CHARGING AT THE ENEMY, and possibly for KICKING ENEMY SHIPS. How is a ship supposed to wear skull-toecap boots without legs?

    • Jackablade says:

      They look more like pedipalps. Useful for popping airborne debris into it’s mouth, I guess.

  20. Zrzosaar Xun 12 says:

    Battlefleet Gothic happens in a 1:2000,000,000 scale. For example the scene on the cover of the 1st edition tabletop game happens on a stem of a cruiser base with the broken ship far away in the background being 0,045cm from the central molecule of the stem.

    I wish there would be an option to switch to graphics mode that would show the incredible scale of BFG warfare.

    • Zrzosaar Xun 12 says:

      Wait, it was 0,0225. Forgot that I calculated it thinking it was in 1:1000,000,000 scale, not 1:2000,000,000 as shown by detailed scale explanations in Rogue Trader.

  21. Danarchist says:

    Squeeeee! Spent hours playing this game on tabletop and painting those annoying little ships. Cannot wait, hopefully does not stuck

  22. rps666 says:

    No release date? To kill time I guess I’ll have to live my Warhammer 40k dreams in StarMade.

  23. TheMopeSquad says:

    Epic seems like the next logical step, everyone please buy this to make the magic happen.

  24. Mr Eyl says:

    I may have weed a little when I saw this headline.

    • Mr Eyl says:

      I take it back. I saw that it’s Focus. And realtime.

    • Asurmen says:

      You did drugs when you saw the headline?

      Well that escalated quickly.

  25. Billzor says:

    This is cool, but like Adam I will completely dork out over a Man o’ War game. Someone kickstart that, please.

  26. Premium User Badge

    JamesTheNumberless says:

    “These ships really couldn’t be any more goth, could they? Sure, you could add eyeliner and big hair but that would cross the gothic streams and we’d end up with Robert Smith measuring out space for a flamboyant arch around his bedroom niche.”

    ^ could be one of the best things I’ve seen written anywhere.

  27. Premium User Badge

    JiminyJickers says:

    Please have single player, I will be so disappointed if this is multi player only.

  28. Zabi says:

    FOR THE IMPERIUM OF MAN!

  29. malkav11 says:

    RTS? Eh. I’d probably be all over it if it were turn-based, but I find RTSes usually desire a level of micromanagement and reflexes that I neither have nor have any wish to develop. And singleplayer is so often an afterthought, too.

    If it turns out as well as the Dawn of War games, I’ll be in, otherwise no thanks.

  30. Kadaeux says:

    Is there a way to save copies of the pics btw? There is no “save image as” when I look at the full-screen and I want to DL them to use as my background :p

    • Frosty840 says:

      Try dragging the un-expanded image to a new tab. That opened the big picture in a new tab, for me.