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Battlecruisers stem as far back as the early days of the Terran Confederacy. While there are many classes of battlecruisers, all are armed with lasers and protected by neosteel armor. These laser weapons consist of multiple twin-cannon laser batteries for aerial defense and surface bombardment, located across the battlecruiser's hull. Its air-to-air guns—not as powerful as its air-to-ground ones—are equipped with advanced optics and sensors to deal with fast moving targets. The vessel's air-to-ground guns make use of electromagnetic coils to increase the potency of their shots.
Battlecruisers were employed during the Guild Wars when space engagements were fought by capital ships and medium-sized gunships. The development of anti-capital ship starfighters, such as Wraiths, did not spell the end of battlecruisers. The large warships adapted to carry strike craft which augmented and complemented the combat value of both. Battlecruisers continue to be an integral part of terran space forces as general purpose warships and command ships during extended campaigns.
Gravity accelerators are also found on all battlecruisers. Warp drives are also fixed on battlecruisers, allowing it to achieve FTL travel. Besides the standard set of safety features, some battlecruisers have a secondary, short range warp drive to reduce wear and tear on the main one. It also serves as backup in emergency situations, such as the need to effect a blind jump, which is a very risky endeavor, to retreat from a hot zone. The shorter range reduces the likelihood that vessel and crew will end up stranded for years in a remote location. When operating in atmospheric conditions, battlecruisers are kept aloft through antigravity technology.
Battlecruisers are not unlike self-contained cities, and house crews ranging in size from 4000 to 7000. Besides the standard facilities required by a warship, battlecruisers boast an assortment of cantinas and rec rooms.
Battlecruisers use force fields for protection, but because they consume vast amounts of energy, these are only used when a battlecruiser is vulnerable, such as leaving warp space or entering an atmosphere. Otherwise the battlecruiser relies on its heavy armor for protection. In the case of an emergency, battlecruisers are outfitted with jump-pods, allowing the crew to abandon the ship and survive in deep space for days at a time.
Battlecruisers are sometimes referred to as "battleships."
The Leviathan-class was uncommon at the start of the 26th century, having largely been supplanted by the Behemoth-class. The Leviathan could travel in warp space. Auxiliary craft docked at hydraulic ports. The ports were perilously close to the bridge, making the class vulnerable to enemy boarding actions.
The Behemoth-class was the most common type during the Great War, representing a noticeable improvement over the Leviathan. It can travel through warp space, operate within atmospheres and land on planetary surfaces. Hyperion, a souped-up Behemoth, can make warp jumps from within planetary atmospheres. Second Great War-era Behemoths had crews of 6000.
The class is armed with burst laser batteries and nuclear warheads. Older ships did not have side firing arcs for the laser batteries. The batteries were also vulnerable to interceptors. Some warheads were reserved for orbital bombardment rather than for space combat, though some Behemoths were armed ten-kiloton tactical warheads designed for both ship-to-ship combat and ground bombardment. The Yamato cannon entered service aboard the Behemoth just before the Great War. Battlecruisers received the Colossus reactor to better meet the cannon's enormous energy requirements.
The Behemoth-class is protected by standard neosteel armor and energy shields, It is less vulnerable to enemy boarding actions. A hit from a Yamato cannon can cripple a Behemoth. Behemoths are powered by fusion reactors, but these are regarded as outdated when compared to the fusion technology utilized by the Minotaur-class. Efforts are being made to retrofit old vessels. To this day, many battlecruisers belonging to the old ex-Confederate guard still use antiquated reactors—poorly maintained or jury-rigged to yield higher energy outputs—that have a tendency to leak. The bridges of Behemoths during the Brood War and before had a lower profile, with port and starboard view decks to ensure maximum visibility in the event of an attack such as a zerg ambush.
A Behemoth can carry hundreds to thousands of troops and their equipment., deployed by dropships and shuttles carried in the docking bays, along with up to two dozen starfighters.
The Behemoth has proven be an enduring design and continued to serve into the Second Great War. It received periodic upgrades and its hammerhead design inspired succeeding types. Planetary defense forces such as the Knights of Tyrador continued to use Behemoths well into the reign of Valerian Mengsk.
The Hercules-class entered service after the Brood War. The Hercules could be equipped with plasma torpedoes for saturation ground bombardment. Like the Yamato cannon, the plasma torpedo system also had a large energy requirement.
Minotaurs can be upgraded with a variety of tactical systems. This includes the Type-V Yamato cannon, energy shields, anti-aerospace missile pods, and a defensive matrix. By the End War, terran engineers had been able to devise new technology for the ship, allowing it to teleport across great distances.
These battlecruisers have personnel quarters, a brig, a mess hall and a bridge. Their fusion reactors are cleaner and more efficient than the outdated reactors of the Behemoth-class. This includes the lack of leakage.
In 2503, Dominion Minotaurs were suddenly withdrawn to be refitted for interatmospheric combat at Korhal IV. The battlecruisers were ordered to abandon their current assignments, disembark passengers and cargo on nearby habitable worlds, and proceed immediately to the Dominion capital.
- Excerpt from the Dominion Marine Corps Combat Handbook: Infantry Edition(src)
The Gorgon-class battlecruiser is the most powerful warship ever fielded by the terrans of the Koprulu sector. It is larger than the Behemoth-class. The interior includes a bridge, and extensive crew facilities which include cantinas and rec rooms. They are equipped with thousands of optic sensors, multiple laser batteries, and can field a crew complement of 6,000—8,000 terrans. Gorgons can withstand multiple Yamato cannon hits.
|Power||Class 10 Fusion|
|Shield||Active for Warp and Orbital Insertion|
|Range||Variable; Standard Equip: Koprulu Sector|
|In-System Speed||1 AU per Cycle|
Moirai-class battlecruisers were developed for the Dominion Special Forces during the reign of Valerian Mengsk, and an upgrade over their predecessors. They had a lengthy research and testing period, and were made exclusive to the Special Forces. To accommodate their design, a special fusion core was developed for the special forces with quadruple the energy output but with no increase in its heat signature.
Mercenaries have made use of very heavily modified battlecruisers, using scrapped materials to improve performance and make their ships more intimidating.
- For StarCraft gameplay information see: Battlecruiser (StarCraft).
- For StarCraft in-game quotations see: StarCraft Battlecruiser Quotations.
This article or section contains information about StarCraft: Ghost, which has been declared non-canon. Elements may be taken as 'flavor lore' however.
- For StarCraft II gameplay information see: Battlecruiser (StarCraft II).
- For StarCraft II in-game quotations see: StarCraft II Battlecruiser Quotations.
Heroes of the Storm
- Main article: List of battlecruisers
- Gray Tiger
- Huey Long
- Iron Fist
- Jackson V
- Theodore G. Bilbo
- Venerable Monk
Other or Unknown Classes
- Dominion's Revenge
- Iron Justice
- Jackson's Revenge
- The Kimera
- Kimeran Juggernaut
- Valor of Vardona
Known Battlecruiser Commanders
- Admiral Gerard DuGalle
- Vice-Admiral Alexei Stukov
- General Edmund Duke
- General Arcturus Mengsk
- General Horace Warfield
- Colonel Alexander Davidoff
- Commodore Georg Darabont
- Captain Bolshev
- Captain Buzan
- Captain Hogarth
- Captain Robert Mason
- Captain Matt Horner
- Captain Roger Merriman
- Captain Rourke
- Captain Elias Tudbury
- Captain Everett Vaughn
- Colonel Jackson Hauler
- Commander Hale
- Commander Haley
- Commander Jim Raynor
- Major Tom Hawkins
- Major Spaulding
- El Kang the Quixotic
- According to Bob Fitch, the battlecruiser design was largely inspired by Galactica from the Battlestar Galactia series.
- Most battlecruiser classes share their designations from various mythologies—the Leviathan and Behemoth are of the Bible, while Hercules, the Minotaur, the Gorgon, and Moirai stem from Greek mythology.
- "Super-battlecruisers" are designated as such, without the "class" designation. This may be indicative of an different type of ship altogether. However, it has been listed on this page to avoid a stub article.
Different sizes for battlecruisers have been given from differing sources.
- A Behemoth-class battlecruiser was stated as being two "leagues" long in StarCraft: Uprising. Most league measurements would have put the battlecruiser as over 9 km (5.6 miles) in length.
- Bucephalus, a Gorgon model, has been stated to be 560 meters long and 82.4 meters wide. This puts the two figures at odds, as Bucephalus has been stated to be larger than Hyperion (a Behemoth-class), and that White Star (another Gorgon) has been stated to be "the largest vessel ever constructed by humanity."
- Compounding this further is that while the sizes figures for Bucephalus have remained constant, its depiction has altered. In Wings of Liberty, a holographic display depicts it as being a Minotaur-class, while it was depicted as a Gorgon-class in Flashpoint. In the StarCraft Field Manual, the Behemoth-class can be approximated as being 1km in length, and 243 meters in height.
- Mega Bloks planned to make 3,000 battlecruiser models as part of its StarCraft toyline. A poll was opened as to which model(s) fans would like to see them represent. A 2011 limited edition set was released.
- Dark Horse released a 15" battlecruiser model in May 2020, as well as two six inch versions, a "regular" one and a special Knights of Tyrador battlecruiser to be released later in the Fall.