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Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector is a tactics game starring the ultimate goth space marines

Author : lasonyaplacek040
Publish Date : 2021-04-07 10:29:29
Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector is a tactics game starring the ultimate goth space marines

I started collecting an army of Blood Angels in 1993, so if you take one look at Battlesector and tell me there are too many Warhammer 40,000 videogames about space marines already, I will not care. Because these aren't any old space marines: these are the warrior-philosophers cursed with a red thirst that drives them to frenzies and death, and they are my special little guys.

In the last few years modern Games Workshop's profligacy with its license has given us games where you get to be orks, tech-priests, and Necromunda gangs, so we're due for another turn-based tactics game about shoulderpad fetishists. And it seems to be a competent one. Though I only have access to two missions and some tutorials in this beta, I'm happy to report the models look real nice when you zoom in, the voice actors confidently declaim their nonsense in gloriously macho fashion, and although some of the animations and sound effects seem unfinished, it's competently assembled and just works. With Warhammer games, that isn't always a guarantee.

What if war, but too much?

Battlesector is a tactics game with a scale somewhere below Dawn of War's mass conflicts and above Dawn of War 2's skirmishes. You've got 10-25 units in any given mission, probably including a couple of vehicles, multiple five-man squads of marines in various flavors, and some heroic individuals to lead them and call in the air strikes.

Movement's on a grid, and you can move units while the previous ones are still jogging into place like in Space Hulk. Which is nice if you're impatient. Everyone's got one or two action points to spend on attacks, buffs, going on overwatch, or moving an extra square. So far, so standard. 

What's unusual are the momentum points, which you earn by scoring kills with bonuses for getting up close. Whether it's with a flamer or chainsword, what matters is that you look the aliens in the eye when they die. The more momentum a unit has, the more crits it scores, and when a unit hits 100 momentum you can spend the lot for an extra action or a skill upgrade. Thing is, momentum dribbles away when you're not killing, and it costs 10 points of momentum to go into overwatch. (As a reminder of its importance, "Momentum +1" notifications scroll away above the heads of units as they earn it. I could do without that to be honest, but though there are options to have more visible notifications on enemy turns, there's no way to see less of them.)

Momentum encourages aggression, appropriately for the Blood Angels, and similar rules affect your enemy, the aliens who make all their tech out of living biomass called tyranids. It's apt for them too, as a species who are basically The Very Hungry Caterpillar if it ate entire civilizations instead of fruit. 

Though momentum makes you want to get close, shooting is still a good idea. Overwatch fire can cause suppression, stripping away action points. And ranged weapons are particularly effective at specific ranges, highlighted when you mouse over weapon skills. It's worth taking a step back before shooting with long-range plasma guns or medium-range bolt rifles. Depending on the makeup of my opponent's force and the mission's objectives, I find myself switching between playstyles, rather than following the XCOM rule of "always be overwatching".
Speaking objectively

 

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