Battleships are the most heavily armed and armored type of ship of both the Alliance and Syndicate Worlds fleets. They are designed to inflict punishing blows on an enemy force and defend their smaller companions in battle. Because of their enormous bulk, their mass-to-thrust ratio is low in comparison to other capital ships. Thus, their offensive and defensive capabilities come at the cost of acceleration and manoeuvrability. In space combat, the vast distances and speed between the combatants make it in most cases impossible for a combatant to force a fight with an enemy, unless that enemy chooses to fight as well. This quirk of space combat affects battleships even more than other combatants, as their lower mass to weight ratio means that they cannot match the acceleration of other units.
In the Alliance Navy, it is the unofficial practice of the fleet to assign battleships to officers considered second-rate; those who are cautious, uninspired, or simply difficult to work with. It is believed that the battleships' capabilities would make up for their commanders' defects and ensure their survival in battle. This was in contrast to the battle cruisers, who were commanded by the most outstanding officers despite their lower power projection, on the assumption that their defects would be canceled out by their commanders' natural ability.
This policy baffled Geary, who had been in suspended animation when this policy had come about. In his time, command of a battleship was the most prestigious assignment an officer could hope for, and every captain's dream. Only the best of the best could receive one as opposed to the modern fleet's less capable commanders. Geary also noticed that the policy protected the least valuable officers on their safer battleships while the best officers went to battle cruisers and subsequently were more likely to die earlier due to their ships weaker defences.
There is at least one known class of Alliance battleship, the Guardian class.
A battleship has more than 2000 crew members. A bridge controls the ship, but there are central control stations for weapons control as well as engineering. Syndicate battleships also have heavily armoured citadels protecting the bridge as well as weapons and engineering controls as a last-ditch fallback in case of boarding or mutiny.