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    Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector review

    Need to Know

    What is it? Battle-scale turn-based tactics in the 41st millennium
    Expect to pay: $50/£32
    Developer: Black Lab Games
    Publisher: Slitherine
    Reviewed on: Windows 10, Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060
    Multiplayer: Two-player online, hot-seat, PBEM
    Out: July 22
    Link: Official site (opens in new tab)

    $8.99 (opens in new tab)View at Amazon (opens in new tab)$11.62 (opens in new tab)View at Eneba US (opens in new tab)

    Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector is turn-based and about space marines, which means it’ll rile up those who want more 40K games to be real-time and action-packed, as well as those who are sick of every 40K game being about space marines. Thing is, the last 18 months have given us games about the setting’s bounty hunters, giant robots, punk gangs, fighter planes, and fighter planes but with orks. Thank Games Workshop’s free-and-easy licensing for the variety, which is why I’m fine with Battlesector reprising one of the more classic themes. 

    I’m also fine with it being turn-based, because I remember the days when every 40K game was real-time and we complained about that instead. For everything there is a season. It’s a little-known fact that when The Byrds sang Turn! Turn! Turn! (opens in new tab) they were actually singing about turn-based strategy.

    (Image credit: Slitherine)

    That’s not just because the story kept me at a distance, but because units are entirely replaceable. While HQ units have skill trees, a squad that’s been with you from the beginning is the same as the limitless fresh ones you can pick. There’s so much character in the rest of the game, it’s odd to find it missing here. Plus, the Blood Angels lend themselves to a progression system, veteran units getting tougher but potentially succumbing to the Black Rage each time they’re used. In Battlesector, the Death Company is just an option you select if you’ve got enough points for them.

    Meanwhile, the points limit of each battle is a number you only learn after you’ve left the army management screen, which means either going back to edit your list after the pre-battle narration has begun, or having to delete excess squads to get the math right while you’re choosing where to deploy them.

    That’s kind of a quibble, and while I’ve got a few more of those—I got sick of hearing the same tyranid screams over and over, and of hunting for the last enemies on each map after completing the main objective—this is still a thumbs up. Battlesector is an evocative take on 40K, and a pacey tactics game that sometimes made me scratch my chin and consider flanking manoeuvres, and sometimes made me go “fuck it”, activate the jump packs and spin up the chainswords.

    TODAY’S BEST DEALS$8.99 (opens in new tab)at Amazon (opens in new tab)$11.62 (opens in new tab)at Eneba US (opens in new tab)

    As seen on PCgamer

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