Sci-fi Empire X vs Sci-fi Empire Y


I have seen a few of these topics on a couple forums around the inter webs and there seems to be a general consensus that the galactic empire would win-
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Okay, let’s be clear here, this is an interesting topic, but one prone to spawing a bunch of threads. So here it is, which universe wins? Keep the battle in this one for now, and we’ll see what happens. So far the power ranking is:

  1. Imperium of Man - Warhammer 40k
  2. Galactic Empire - Star Wars

Undetermined Contenders:

  • Pretty much the entire Galaxy - Mass Effect
  • United Federation of Planets - Star Trek

As for the rules: Prove it. Consensus of the People rules.

Warhammer 40k vs Mass Effect
Warhammer 40k vs Star Trek

I’ve seen this debated elsewhere before and I always assume that the people saying the Empire would win have zero clue about 40k. The Imperium of Man alone spans millions of worlds and is populated by 50 to 100 Quadrillion citizens. Yes, for those reading this I meant to type Quadrillion. The Imperium controls nearly an entire galaxy and has trillions of troops at its disposal, not to mention the limitless size of its fleet.

Warhammer 40k is way over the top in scope and power, Games Workshop intentionally wrote the universe that way, because there is no peace in the 40k universe. There is only war and all the races constantly fight each other over star systems. In the Imperium every planet is devoted to the war effort and science has devolved into a kind of religious communion with technology, and all technological advancement is focused on advancing better ways to exterminate xenos (other races). Humans are xenophobic to the extreme and there are no alliances in the 40k universe, a member of the Imperium would slaughter an Eldar infant (Elves basically) just as quickly as they would shoot an Ork in the head.

The Empire in the Star Wars universe is large, but very tiny compared to the Imperium of Man. I suspect 1 Space Marine Chapter and a few Imperial Guard regiments would be able to conquer the Empire.


The Galactic Empire would win: not because of superior numbers (because it doesn’t have those), or better weapons (it doesn’t have those), or a preponderance in mind-wizards with bullshit psychic powers and glowing swords (because it certainly doesn’t have that), but for one reason and one reason only:


For all of the Imperium’s bolters, macro-cannons, cyclonic torpedoes, and virus bombs - for all the endless numbers of the Imperial Guard and the PDF (who will, of course, resist valiantly, before being killed to a man), for all of the unstoppable ranks of the Adeptus Astartes, the Galactic Empire has the ability to cross a galaxy in a matter of days, if not hours, on a basis so reliable that “working class” starship captains like Han Solo can do it on a regular basis. In contrast, the Imperium has The Warp, which is neither fast, reliable, or safe.

Ultimately, this means that for all the Empire’s inferior weaponry, equipment (and possibly numbers, though we have no idea how big the Imperial Army outside of the Stormtrooper Corps is), it has the most important advantages: superior logistics and a smaller decision cycle. If a squadron of ISDs drop over a planet and manage to push past the local defences in place (which, granted, would require a great deal of doing) they’d effectively have uncontested control of space for months, if not years as the Imperium prepares a response which, thanks to the vagaries of The Warp, take decades to arrive, or may arrive three hundred years early, or get eaten by daemons. Likewise, if one of the God-Emperor’s fleets tries to hit an Imperial system, assuming that said fleet is not detected months in advance by some long-range scanner technology which the SW universe has (or which the Empire has reverse-engineered, but more on that later), that fleet would be facing retaliation by possibly a good chunk of the whole Imperial Navy within 24 hours, something which I’m almost certain Imperium naval doctrine would not be prepared for (seeing as most of their enemies use The Warp for travel as well).

End result: The Empire would be able to reinforce and supply its forces faster, and it would be able to respond to situations reliably in days while the Imperium might take anywhere from 300 to -300 years.

On top of that, you have the fact that within the Imperium of Man, technology is religion. The possibility of reverse-engineering hyperdrive in any viable time-frame would be almost nil, because scientific inquiry (as opposed to the replication and refinement of technology) is dead. Unless the Imperium were willing to find a way to rope enough Hereteks (and when is that ever a good idea?) into looking into an Imperial hyperdrive, it’d probably never get done at all.

Palpatine’s empire, in the meantime, is full of scientists: mad scientists, questionably sane scientists, even a few with ironclad rules of ethics. How long before Kamino manages to manages to reverse-engineer a Black Carapace, or Sienar Fleet Systems reproduces a Void Shield? Judging by the, frankly, ridiculous speed at which new engines of war are turned out in the Star Wars universe? Not very long.

Long story short: yes, in a straight up fight, the Imperium of Man would win, hands-down - yet war is not a straight-up fight, and wars are not necessarily won by weapons, but by tactical doctrine, cultural biases, logistical flexibility, and speed.

-And those are the Galactic Empire’s advantages.


Well first of all, even if we assume that the imperium wouldnt be able to at least hold a front and is defeated by the significantly under powered in comparison galactic empire you still have the other races and empires to deal with…specifically the Tau.
((im not sure why in these debates the imperium seems to be the only thing put up or why the galactic empire is the only force used from the star wars universe…for instance the old.republic which is a far more comparable empire to the imperium.))
I think perhaps given your points on why you believe the galactic empire would win the tau may be a good response to that…they dont have that cumbursome practically self defeating religious doctrine that prevents them from acting sensibly when confronted with superior technology that obviously outstrips their own.

The tau military is far more mobile than imperium forces and they are not burdened by the massive logistical issues facing the imperium…they dont have to defend millions.of world’s with a deteriorating military that is so spread out it can barley manage any significant offensive.

That being said the imperium would be able to at least manage a stalemate with the empire. At least the core worlds hive planets and idustrial centeres…the sheer magnitude of some of the forces the imperium has at play…even though the imperium cant replace its largest capital ships those same ships dwarf anything the empire has short of world eaters and the super battle stations and theres only one or two of those.

You do make a good point about the advantages a workable hyper drive offers however its not like the imperium has no response and it manages to respons to threats quickly enough often enough it would be able to defend itself.

The imperial guard alone feilds more.foot soldiers than the entire population of the star wars universe.


Yeah thats kind of what games workshop did to ensure their baby would be able to stomp other sci fi universes.

However @Cataphrak did bring up a pretty good point as far as hyperdrive go…i think the imperium would have a rather hard time responding in a relatively timely manner. However like i side there is its sheer magnitude and the.other races to consider.


1: “Fronts” imply that one side is able to stand off against another. With the decision cycle of Palpatine’s Empire so much quicker than the Imperium’s, the Imperial Navy would be able to assemble a decisive concentration of force at one point, and break through before the Imperium can respond. In effect, the Imperium’s “front lines” would be so porous, that the Imperial Navy would be able to penetrate it with impunity.

2: The Tau actually have slower FTL than the Imperium does, that’s why they don’t have to worry about their fleets getting eaten by daemons, but it also explains why their empire is so small. They’re more mobile on the tabletop, certainly, but when it comes to strategic speed, moving from system to system, the Tau aren’t even capable of matching the Imperium.

3: Stalemate would actually be against the Empire’s best interests. The best strategy would be an aggressive series of raids, to goad the Imperium into committing the Guard and the Segmentum Battlefleets into response, either via punitive expeditions, or reinforcement of important worlds. Then, with those fleets in transit, the Empire would be able to hit those same bases and recruiting worlds of those same fleets and regiments, and continue hitting them quickly before the Imperium could respond, and crippling the Imperium’s ability to even maintain their fleets and armies?

4: An interesting thought one of my friends brought up: the Empire also has the ability to communicate instantaneously in real time, the Imperium has to rely on warp ships, which means the Imperium wouldn’t be able to coordinate a response in any kind of meaningful time to begin with.

A pretty good comparison would be the Wehrmacht against the Allies in the Battle of France: inferior equipment, but superior command and control, against superior numbers and equipment and inferior command and control, only with the differences magnified a thousand-fold.

P.S. That same friend brought up an interesting thought: the Sith code runs on emotion - as does Chaos.

What happens when Khorne reads the words “Through passion, I gain strength” and makes Palpatine a Chaos Warmaster?


There is also the fact that the Imperium’s ability to travel the warp at all is concentrated in the body of one crippled man entombed on his throne. The only “front” that matters on the outbreak of war is Holy Terra. As @Cataphrak pointed out, the Empire’s fleet can lure Earth’s protection away and then “envelope” (as much as such terms might apply in space…) the Imperium’s forces. Imagine if they still had the Death Star…


Of course, Holy Terra does have fixed defences and void shields as well. Whether a decapitation strike is feasible depends specifically on the comparative abilities of those defences and the Death Star, or the Sun Crusher, or the Starkiller Device…


The imperium of man does posses a number of factions and organizations capable of responding fairly quickly to threats…id like to see the GE ground troops try to cope with a few chapters of extremely pissed off space marines dropping in. On the ground the imperium utterly crushes the GE hands down the majority of the time. @Cataphrak

I meant the imperium holding the empire at a stalemate, given the sheer size of the imperium it isnt far fetched to imagine this.

I would hope that khorne would be smart enough to recognize palpatine as a wanna be god and a threat . however the philosophical similarities are pretty interesting.

The scale difference here is an issue as well


First :stuck_out_tongue: , terra has special fleets assigned to it that do not leave under any circumstances
Even if the rest of the imperium is literally imploding. So that is not exactly a viable strategy …thats not counting forces and emplacements on luna and mars that would at least attempt to aid terra.

Ahhh the death star. The massive battle station blown up by a tiny guerilla strike force. Even if they had a new model or the death star two.was completed theres only one of them . the imperium has equivalent firepower although its not typically somethings they can re produce.

@Cataphrak @SixesWoW @cascat07

Lets assume the GE manages to beat a couple of battlefleets allowing them to initiate ground conquest of imperium worlds , they would be very hard pressed to take them …even harder pressed to keep control of more that a few and would find it impossible to hold more than that…the GE simply dosent have the numbers or logistics to follow up on a space victory or two.

I would love to see palpatines empire dealing with orcs , tyranids ,eldar…necrons amd TAU .


Three words: “Base Delta Zero”.

Palpatine wouldn’t need to take these heavily defended worlds to cripple the Imperium’s warmaking ability, all they would need to do is deny them to the enemy.


Starkiller Base is another example. Forget the GE give me the pitiful Last Order remnant. It destroyed four planets from the other side of the galaxy. I’m pretty sure, since a rinky-dink base like Hoth had enough of a shield to stop bombardment from a Imperial battle fleet, that planetary shields are a pretty normal feature of most developed worlds. How is the Imperium supposed to destroy a sun eating superweapon that can destroy core Imperium planets from outside the range of the Astronomican?

Better yet just eat the Sun and hyperdrive away…


Somehow i doubt the imperiums gargantuan military forces are just going to lie down and take GE fleets glassing entire worlds and thats assuming the fleets can make it past those worlds.defense forces.

Again we are forgeting the rest of the galaxy.


Whats this? Dinky hoth can defend itself with one cannon and few dozen badly trained infantrymen some towers and a sheild, but the entirely of the imperium of man with enough military force to equal the GE’s twice over again is helpless in the face of the much larger GE for…ah yes thats right our much loved over exaggerated galactic empire can not muster that level of force.

That superweapon has to get into the warhammer galaxy first but once it does your right the imperium and all other races will follow their long standing track record of rolling over in the face of invading forces .

Because the emperor of mankind is just going to alow this to happen. Or the eldar who would go absolutely berserk at the thought of the sith let alone the empire…and the eldar can equal the mobility of palpatines little empire.


That is assuming that the Imperium’s mobile defences are going to do nothing, mostly because some of them would be in transit, and the rest would be unable to even know that these attacks would be going on until they received news of it via courier warpship, a process which could take weeks, if not years. As for the fixed defences, that would take quite a bit of doing, but this is a force that could concentrate its entire fleet in a week, and one which built tens of thousands of ISDs in a decade. The Galactic Empire is working on a whole different timescale than the Imperium.

As for the rest of the galaxy, that’s where things get complicated. As I mentioned, there’s nothing stopping Palpatine from becoming a minion of one of the Chaos gods (Khorne and Tzeentch seem like good candidates), there’s nothing stopping the Eldar or the Necrons, or the Great Enemy itself from taking advantage of a sudden shift in the Imperium’s priorities. There’s nothing stopping the Rebel Alliance or the 'Vong from doing the same. By that point, we’ve thrown in so many variables that things could go either way, although I’d reckon the Imperium would be worse off than the Galactic Empire, given the fact that the former is already strained to the limit facing its extant enemies, whilst the latter (at least as of 0 BBY) possesses reasonably secure borders and governance.


I really don’t know enough to properly weigh in on this discussion, but what I do know is this:

  • The Hutt Cartel is going to profit on this war.
  • Mandalorians are going to fight, because it’s war.
  • Ships are gonna be shot down, people are gonna be stranded on planets, and if they’re really unlucky Rakghouls will be there.


Here let me save time for all of us.

Go down to the comment section and start reading from page 3 onward.


I’m not sure how much help that particular debate would be. We’ve already established that:the Imperial Guard (let alone the Sororitas or the Astartes) would likely demolish the Stormtrooper Corps, either by numbers, better aim, or simply the fact that they are considerably more versatile in equipment and doctrine.

This is, of course, assuming a “quality” regiment from Cadia, or Valhalla, or Catachan, or the like. The 519th Inbred Bluebloods and their feral-world atlatls would probably get stomped flat pretty quickly.


You make a valid point about speed, but your determination that it would take decades to arrive somewhere is way off unless the warp is in utter turmoil. According to GW an IoM fleet takes between 6 years to 30 years to travel through the warp and cross the entire 40k galaxy. That’s 75 thousand light years across. There is a lot of variance, I’ll give you that. However, you’re assuming Chaos would want to slow the Imperium in an invasion of the Empire, rather than speed it up to watch hundreds of billions die. However, even if we say 50% of the fleets sent to destroy the Empire were lost or slowed in the warp, you’re still looking at thousands of fleets striking every Imperial planet over the course of ten years.

Now as far as your idea that fleets could be detected in transit, that’s not possible. The Warp doesn’t exist in Star Wars, so just like their lightspeed and amazing jump capabilities are unknown to the Imperium, there would be no way for the Empire to detect ships in the warp until they emerge above Imperial worlds. Even after they suffer the first strikes, they would not be able to detect ships in the warp, because they have no psionics or psykers. The first move for the Imperium of Man would be to obliterate Coruscant and hit any shipyards they known about. The Empire cannot sustain the loss of those, unlike the Imperium, which has thousands of Forge worlds and Forge Fleets to replace armament lost in war.

Imperial ships are faster, but less firepower. They can respond in days or weeks, huge advantage. However, Imperium ships are much larger, more powerful, and more resistant to damage. Yes, the Empire would be able to respond quickly, but then what? Even if the entire Imperial Fleet convened on a forewarned world, they will sustain losses, which take years/decades to replace…logistically the Empire would crumble if Coruscant was obliterated and their core shipyards were hit, which of course they would be repeatedly targeted.

Militarily speaking the Imperium is not only tougher, more battle-hardened (10,000 years of constant war), but they’re fiercely loyal to the Emperor of Mankind. The same cannot be said of Imperial troops, and given how easily Stormtroopers seem to rout I see ground combat, when it comes to that, a stomp. It wouldn’t even be close. The Empire would watch world after world fall to hordes of billions.

That is if the Imperium of Man wanted to conquer rather than exterminate. The Empire is not the only one in this hypothetical battle than can destroy worlds. The Imperium can as well and they would have no qualm destroying planet after planet if it meant victory. They could issue Exterminatus Extremis from orbit, destroying the entire planet’s population, biosphere, and make formerly lush worlds utterly incapable of sustaining any type of life. They have done this numerous times to their own worlds to stop the Tyranids, so killing billions of people is no big deal. The Imperium of Mankind is fanatical, and would never stop fighting. The Empire lost heart when the Death Star was blown up.


Absolutely. Were the Imperium of Man able to somehow get their shit together and assemble enough surplus ships, and regiments, and Astartes chapters to launch a mass-invasion of every single major world of Palpatine’s Empire, and do so in a way where it was unable to make good its losses (either by somehow landing every single blow within a few months of each other, or managing to land their blows on the Empire’s fleet yards and training worlds first) then the Imperium would win. The Imperium is by far superior in space combat, and especially in ground combat, and if the Galactic Empire is cornered on its home territory, it is dead.

The problem is, that would never happen.

The Imperium’s warpships are only able to get from point a to point b because they navigate through the light of the Astronomican. That light has an effective range, and no Imperial citizen alive would dare go beyond it: remember, the Macharian Crusade screeched to a grinding halt specifically for that reason. If the Imperium were to send a fleet or army beyond that light, it would become lost, and very likely eaten by daemons. This means that the Imperium’s operations are limited to the Milky Way. That restricts them to a defensive war, and here the very size of the Imperium works against them (because when the hell does the size of the Imperium of Man ever not seem to work against it).

This is actually incorrect: the Galactic Empire lost heart when Palpatine was blown up (well, thrown down a bottomless pit), so in that sense it and the Imperium of Man have one thing in common: they will implode without their heads of state. Unfortunately for the Imperium of Man, Palpatine is both mobile, and far out of range of the enemy’s forces. The God-Emperor of Mankind is neither.


It took me so long to respond because i brought out some books that came with my tabletop sets and video games just to confirm information on the forums and wikis .

Really , i think most of the imperium has enough local force to at least provide a decent amount of resistance… Part of the reason for this opinion is that a standard imperial star destroyer is roughly the size of the smallest class of ship possessed by the imperiums military force’s, a imperium capital ship dwarfs almost anything the GE has besides a executor class star destroyer (( theres only one of those around during palpatines reign)) and the death star. Most of the weaponry mounted on the imperiums ships would absolutely blow a star destroyer out of space in a relatively short time span .

The imperiums navy also dwarfs what palpatine would be able to muster…the force around most core worlds combined with the local sectors military force which unlike the rest of the imperium would be able to respond fairly quickly.

So while the GE would be able to wreak havoc around the imperium most of the core worlds and sectors would be able to at least make a GE victory pyhric enough that after one or two such conflicts palpatine would need to recall his forces or at least call a halt to expansion . this would allow nearby imperium forces to respond .

You do make a realy good point …im not sure though how useful their much more workable timescale would be given that they would have trouble
Palpatine would probably try to dominate the chaos gods…theres no way he is going to accept anything with authority greater than his…Espically not over his person and his empire .

That being said the necrons would pose a huge problem for GE ground forces…they would already be devastated trying and failing to fight the imperiums ground forces , add to that the eldar remnants that would inevitably take issue with the GE and likely attack them…really the orks would probably be the one race the GE wouldnt have as much trouble with…even then it would be a shock.


@Cataphrak made a point, nothing the GE has can really equal the ground forces the imperium possess , think about the largest and most imposing ground vehicle palpatine has that can be fielded on any significant level the AT-AT and its not that great of a design yo start with…the imperium has literally sky scraper sized battle automatons called titans…they could literally pick up a foot and stomp the AT ATs the imperium has by far the massively superiority in armor…baneblades come to mind. Not to mention space marines amd their armor the sisters of battle …imperial guard etc each of those could handle the GE ground forces with relative to complete ease .


Id imagine that given enough time palpatine would be able to figure out a way to do what physkers do , still thats just one man vs billions.

I think it would amount to a stalemate at least initially.

This is mostly due to @Cataphrak s argument the GE would be able to hit the imperium fast enough that they would be able to score some intial probably relatively successful victories…defeating local forces and glassing the planet…assuming they are lucky enough to strike the correct world or manage to figure out the best place to strike.

The other major industrial planet in the GE devoted soley to ship production is KUAT. They have a few more but nothing on the scale of the imperiums forge worlds . it also takes around a year or so to produce a star destroyer…by the time the imperium is able to respond they wouldnt be able to produce more than a dozen of them which still wouldnt able to defend against a large imperium fleet.

However this imperium offensive is assuming that they can spare enough force to deal.with all their current threats on top of defending against the GE . and send yet more ships to the star wars universe. They would defiantly be able to spare the ground force its the naval forces that will pose a problem…mostly due to the lack of available ships not already needed to defend the imperium.


I honestly doubt that the Galactic Empire would commit to ground operations after realising what the Imperial Guard (once again, let alone the Sisters of Battle and the Space Marines) were capable of. They’re stubborn, not suicidal. A company of Leman Russes (let alone a bloody Titan) could probably eat a legions’ worth of AT-ATs with minimal trouble.

Once again: the Imperium of Man has no ability to operate beyond the light of the Astronomican, and if Palpy ends up a Khornate puppet, then the Chaos Gods have even more reason to make sure that the SW Galaxy becomes like another Eye of Terror, periodically spewing forth ships (only these ships would be more and more advanced. Considering the SW Universe’s propensity for mad science, they’d probably be able to reverse engineer a great deal of the Imperium’s tech rather quickly) while remaining impervious to the Imperium’s counter-attacks.

Then the question becomes not whether the Galactic Empire has enough resources to destroy the Imperium (although as @cascat07 has mentioned, they might be able to do that with a decapitation strike by a Starkiller-like device) but whether its lightning raids would be enough to weaken the Imperium enough for it to be tipped over the edge by its extant enemies, foreign and domestic, who have far more motive to wipe out the Imperium of Man (by virtue of being “slaves of the corpse-king”, the closer source of slaves/opponents, or being on their lawn) than any potential extragalactic enemy.


I never really comsiderd a offensive into the GE galaxy…at least not by the imperium.

I would hope not…as you mentioned it would be near suicide…a single titan would be able to swallow an entire GE ground offensive with relatively little support…i doubt if palpatine could even manage to have one destroyed without using space based weaponry or the force…and we havent even discussed what certain beings in the 40k verse will be able to do with the force.

Id give my right arm figuratively speaking to see one titan dropped onto the GE capital .

Well lets if palpatine does submit to the ruinous powers then logically id be forced to agree the imperium would at the very least be in for a very very hard time . it would open all sorts of opportunities for palpatine not least of which is acess to the warp .

However if he continues to stick to his long established personality he likely wouldnt be willing to submit.

But what about pure sith…i mean the original badasses the weakest of which make palpatine look like a kid playing with matches…and they arent dissimilar from the original forces of chaos either…now that would interesting.

I get where @cascat07 is coming from its just the effectiveness of this alone wouldnt be enough to topple the monolith …combined with other efforts it would probably cause a near collapse of the imperium…but total collapse?

The GE still has an issue holding anything that they take…if they can even take it…if they start glassing worlds that temporarily solves that issue…until the inevitably become bogged down and overrun or at least halted…but as you said if our dear lord sidious becomes a puppet for the dark gods then this goes to a entirely new level. To start id assume the imperium would try to react in a similar way they did to the original eye of terror .

Palpatine would be more likely to try and dominate everything thoug, at least in my opinion.