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Made in de
Pyromaniac Hellhound Pilot


I continue working on my fluff and have a question I hope BFG players or other veterans can help me with. I'm looking for Imperial ship types that roughly fit the stereotype "Old reliable" on the brink of outdated, but relatively cheap and easy to produce and maintain. Preferably ship types not bigger than light cruisers. Imagine what would fly around protecting a system that while having enough worth to the Imperium to deserve protection and enough industrial capacity to build/buy some ships, but that is still a backwater system not very high on the priority list.

I checked the online Lexicanum and found the Claymore Class Corvette which seems to fit the bill, but the fluff to the different ship classes there is a bit thin.

Also on that note some questions:
1. Is it normal to have destroyers, frigates and maybe even light cruisers in a System defense fleet or do those only ever have light defense boats?
2. Are systems responsible for constructing their SDF or do they get some assigned by the Imperial Navy? Or are they "bought" from a Forgeworld/shipyard?
3. Similarly: I sometimes read (like in the Gaunts Ghost novels) of Navy ships specifically accompanying the transports of a Guard Regiment. Are these provided by the Navy or does the planet raising the Regiment have to provide/pay for them?

~5750 build and painted 
Made in gb
Member of a Lodge? I Can't Say

An outlier system would probably rely either on System Defence Monitors, which as far as I can tell are just dropped off at the colony along with the rest of the equipment needed, or they would have to wait for protection by a Navy patrol or relief force. For a larger area they might have their own Navy squadron assigned and that would include at least one capital ship, likely a Light Cruiser, and an escort squadron.
As for you other questions:
1 - In system defence, no. Anything larger than a Fire Ship or Defence Monitor is used by Navy fleets.
2 - A planets' SDF ships seem to just get dropped with the rest of its supplies at the beginning of colonisation. Of course a more important system would have more ships built for it.
3 - The Navy provides all off-world transport (including Valkeries and Lighters) to the Guard. They are distinctly separate so that a traitor Regiment can't leave a planet and a traitor Squadron can't conquer one.
Made in de
Pyromaniac Hellhound Pilot

Thanks, that already helped. I wasn't aware of the Monitors, I think that is what I was looking for to protect the system.

Nontheless for the Navy ships accompanying my dudes: any input on which Navy classes fit the bill as "simple, low maintenance reliable workhorses"?

~5750 build and painted 
Made in gb
Member of a Lodge? I Can't Say

Escort classes such as the Sword/Havoc/Cobra classes would be pretty simple (relatively speaking when it comes to kilometers-long starships).
Made in gb
Battleship Captain

Swords specifically:

"The Sword-class Frigate is an iconic Imperial Escort ship. A staple design amongst the various fleets of the Imperial Navy, Sword-class Frigates have a reputation for being solid, dependable warships, earned over their ten millennia of service.

The Sword-class is a very old design, which has seen service since the earliest days of the Imperium. A staple class upon which many other variants of Imperial Escort have been based, all its components have been tried, tested, refined and if necessary redesigned over innumerable engagements."

Termagants expended for the Hive Mind: ~2835
Made in au
Regular Dakkanaut

^ This. The Sword is to frigates, as Lunars are to cruisers. Both are the simplest and most reliable designs of their classes, built all across the Imperium. Largely in forge worlds of course, but there would be some imperial worlds that supply vessels to the navy.

In terms of local system defences you'd be looking at ground based assets:
- Macro cannons and missile silos. I can't recall if they build ground based lance weapons. I would assume it's possible but it's definitely the most complex option.

Next would be planetary orbitals. Think anything from simple armed satellites, clusters of space stations, to planetary rings surrounding an entire planet.

Not all of these might be armed, some could be used for hydroponics, repairs for local void vessels, processing shipments of ores and metals harvested from asteroids/moons or other planets in system.

The ones that are used for system defence would most likely house macro cannons and/or lance batteries, others might be dedicated to squadrons of attack craft.

Lastly is system monitors. These don't have a specific class. They can vary in size massively but are typically no larger than an Imperial Navy frigate at their largest. Whilst they are both also typically slower and incapable of warp travel they are actually impressively armed for their size. Because they don't need to waste space on things like food storage for potentially years long patrols, don't need as many crew amenities or crew redundancies, don't need space for navigators, etc.

There's also system defence boats. Which their name kind of already implies their size. They're very lightly armed, but make up for the speed of slow defence monitors.

Lastly there's also armed merchant ships and Q-ships (which are merchant ships with more weapons, that are typically hidden behind fake walls in order to trick an enemy into engaging them). Q-ships are effectively vessels with frigate grade weaponry on a platform with the durability of a merchant ship. These merchant ships may actually have access to warp drives.
Made in eg
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame

Cairo, Egypt

The Battle Fleet Gothic X ruleset (a fan update) or Rogue Trader RPG (Now OOP ) are good resources.



The good things to keep in mind are:

The Imperium is vast and old, any rules are more like guidelines
Rule of Cool trumps all
The Imperium's number one fear is a Horus Heresy level rebellion and everything is aimed at avoiding that, including hamstringing PDFs and IG.
To that aim the Imperium does not want governors to have warp ships, especially armed ones. So warp ships are controlled by the navy or trading families.
They also do not want governors to have anything that could challenge the navy.
So most governors are limited to non-warp monitors and system ships along with orbital defenses. I can see some of them getting escort level warp ships either under their control or an ally, but anything bigger will raise too many eyebrows.

Made in de
Pyromaniac Hellhound Pilot

From what I have in mind I think that should fit, as I intend the SDF not being under control of the governor. Currently the in system Situation looks like:
a) a Forgeworld that could not feed itself, but has a Big F****** Laser that could blow up another planet
b) a civilized world that has the manpower, IG Regiments + unarmed transports and pays most of the Tithes
c) an Agriworld that feeds everyone and
d) a big refueling and dockingstation under Navy command that has the system defense fleet + a very small detachment of void capable ships (maybe one frigate, a handful of destroyers and corvettes and an outdated Fighter carrier or something like that)

My picture is that these while usually cooperating are kind of balancing each other out. They need each other, but none of them has the power to control the others. From what I heard here I would design the relation between the Navy guys and the rest of the system a lot more distanced. So underlining that the small "fleet" is first and formost imperial navy and do not feel the other planets to be their brothers.

~5750 build and painted 
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