Forming the backbone of the Nietzschean military, the Nietzschean Battlecruisers are the primary capital ships behind their war efforts. Though the exact dimensions are unknown, it is clear that ships of this design are considerably smaller than Glorious Heritage Class warships, or any High Guard warship for that matter. To counter the effects of the vessel's shortcomings, they are often employed as part of a large taskforce, using superior numbers to overwhelm enemy targets. In addition, the average Nietzschean battlecruiser has squadrons of Garuda class heavy fighters under its command.
The Nietzschean Battlecruisers were first introduced during the Battle of Hephaistos, the first conflict in the First Systems Commonwealth Civil War, where there were a 1000 battlecruisers along with their accompanying complements of Garuda class heavy fighters. They were set up to ambush High Guard vessels, mostly military and relief ships, using overwhelming firepower to destroy them quickly, before a signal could be sent out to alert the rest of the Commonwealth of the betrayal. It was also believed that these battlecruisers were created from starliners and transports that were under Nietzschean control, or those that they could find and convert to warships. Due to the Nietzscheans' concept of constant maneuvering and fighting, these ships could have been outfitted the same way, having very limited defensive abilities. These warships were probably used throughout the entire Civil War as the main warships within the Nietzschean warfleet, helping them destroy the High Guard forces until the Battle of Witchhead. After the Battle and the beginning of the Long Night, the Nietzschean prides continued to use these as their main warships in the fights amongst themselves and against any outside forces. It could stand to reason that these ships were upgraded from the original modified freighters and transports that were used 300 years prior.
Starships of this design appear to utilize forward mounted missile batteries in combat. Although the exact specifications are unclear, it is also likely that the ships have an array of Electromagnetic Launch System missile tubes commonly used by most capital ships in the known worlds. It was also possible for the Nietzscheans to add special weapons like a gamma ray burster to the ship, even though this could carry great risk. At first glance, the battlecruisers appear to be nothing more than transports to those unaware of their design configuration, giving them the element of surprise against enemy forces, who would not likely open fire at first sight of them.
Since the vessels are relatively small these ships seem to have no known ablative armor or Battle Blades, as are often seen on High Guard battleships. These battlecruisers probably depend on Point Defense Lasers for protection against enemy fighters and projectiles.
- It should be noted that all of the information of this article is based on observation and speculation based on the events of the television series. In addition, the term "Nietzschean Battlecruiser" does not appear as the official name for this design of starship in the series. However, since the class is unnamed, the term "battlecruiser" is used for lack of a better word. This design is also used by a ship referred to as a Destroyer.
- The confusion about the size and classification is similar to the real-life ship classifications based on political reasons.
- The treaty battleships were created to evade the restrictions imposed by the various naval treaties of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
- The Deutschland-class cruisers used new construction techniques and falsified records to evade the Treaty of Versailles.
- The US navy reclassified its designations due to the “cruiser gap”.
- Many warships, such as battlecruisers and capital ships, often have blurred designations. The primary reason is the role of the ship does not mesh with the size of the ship. A ship classified as a “battlecruiser” may have the armor of a cruiser and the weaponry of a battleship.
- The Kirov-class battlecruiser is called a battlecruiser due to the size. The Russian designation is ”heavy nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser”.
- There is overlap when classifying the: corvette, fast attack craft, frigate, littoral combat ship.
- There were several heavy cruiser, battlecruiser, and capital ship designs that had conflicting designations due to armor, speed, and weaponary.
- The Anaxes War College System for the classification of capital ships had conflicting class designations based on varying specifications.
- The overlapping combat roles of the blastboat, bomber, and gunship.
- The Subjugator-class heavy cruiser was classified as a heavy cruiser, had the length of a battlecruiser, and the weaponry of a battleship and a dreadnaught/dreadnought.
- The various definitions of the dreadnaught/dreadnought, star dreadnaught/star dreadnought, superdreadnaught, and super star destroyer.