Battlefleet Gothic is a strategy game based on the board game (part of the Warhammer 40k universe) Battlefleet Gothic. Abaddon the Despoiler, part of the Chaos faction, attacks the Gothic sector and the player, in the role of the human faction, controls the last line of defense.
Each turn, the player has the choice between multiple missions, usually one story and multiple side missions. Solving them successfully rewards renown and publicity points. Renown is used to repair/upgrade ships and publicity improves the general's personal level (which determines what ship types and side missions are unlocked). Since humanity is at a clear disadvantage, they will lose planets each turn - the question is how many. Each lost planet results in negative repercussions such as higher cost for repairing ships or lower glory results. The campaign is dynamic and even allows to fail story missions - of course with heavy disadvantages.
The missions itself are played in real time with a slow motion function. The ships move on a two-dimensional map and move relatively slow - maneuvering and tactics could be compared to regular ship combat. There are a seven different mission types: cruiser clash (kill all opposition), convoy (a convoy of transport ships need to cross the map), planetary assault (bring enough ships to certain points in time), space station assault (destroying a space station), breakthrough (breaking through a blockade), assassination (destroying a marked ship) and data recovery (gather data from a special ship). All missions except cruiser clash have a defense and attacker version.
Besides the campaign, players can also participate in skirmish (one player against the AI) or multiplayer (1v1 or 2v2) matches. Here they have access to all four factions (Human, Chaos, Orc, Endar) and get to level up a new general.