A couple of weeks ago I took a plunge into the grim darkness of the far future where there is only death and came out of the warp overjoyed, such is the fantastic endeavour Slitherine undertook in publishing Warhammer 40,000 Battlesector. Fast forward a couple of weeks and I’m back fighting the synaptic menace of the Tyranids in the moon of Baal.
It’s my sincere belief that there’s no point in going over what the game is, how it plays and what it’s focused on. If you want a brief overview of the entire thing, I’ve written at length in my previous article so make sure to click on the image below to check it out.
Done reading? Ok, let’s go back then. In this new preview the fine folk at Slitherine provided to me, the focus was on showcasing the campaign mechanics with army units where experience is persistent across 6 different missions.
Army manager is primarily composed by three tabs: an “Add Unit”, that will display units available to lay down their existence for the Emperor. Next is the “Units Under Command” which features those whose life will be definitely be laid down for the greater good of Mankind. The “Reserves” tab is where your units whose unimportant continuation is given another day before facing their inevitable end. Select a unit to bring’em over to inspection and their stats are laid bare: HP, unit members, action points, movement points, weapons, campaign history and abilities.
An RPG-style upgrades screen also exists, popping-up between missions and allowing the Blood Chapter commanders to vastly upgrade the units at their disposal with various improvements. These range from basic flat boots of +HP, +Melee Accuracy, +Movement etc. to command and unit active abilities. The first being your average commander skills and the second things like Frag and Krak Grenades.
Also, if bolting xenos to walls with single shot rifles isn’t metal enough, the game will allow the outfitting of other alien gutting equipment. So far I’ve only managed to unlock bolter machineguns for my Intercessors but I’m suspecting something will be available for other classes. These changes not only reflect on stats but also on the visual side of things. This might seem minor for some reading this but to me, visual feedback, even in the smallest detail is extremely relevant. It showers the games with a layer of authenticity and shines bright and true a level of care and attention on the developers side.
Games are, inherently, a visual meaning and if I can immediately identify what kind of weapon certain units is carrying at a glance, my playtime is not focusing on reading endless sub-menus and tabs, allowing me to spend my time pondering my decisions with little fiddling, this also helps the games overstaying their welcome as people are more inclined to try again and again if the decisions they’re about to make can be taken swiftly and with little to no hindrances. But I’m losing focus…
On a last note, sticks and stones might break the line of vision but it needs to be made more clear how physical cover works. The terrain has an impact in units taking shots, that much is true. What is wish to be made clear is that if the hit chance percentage takes into account the terrain standing between the units taking the shots and their target or not. Because I could swear I’ve taken multiple shots of units standing near large boulders with 60% hit chances and all their shots going against the rock and in other occasions shots going through the terrain. I wish only for this to be clear and is, at the moment, my only gripe with Warhammer 40,000 Battlesector. Here’s hoping this gets ironed out before the final build.
Final thoughts: If you have a passing interest in Warhammer 40K this is the best entry level game. It’s the closest thing Warhammer lovers got to an X-COM experience right now. I doubt I’ll get the time to make a complete review but here’s my endorsement so far: I can’t wait for the final release, when the only simpathy these xenos are ever going to get is getting relieve of their disgusting existence.