Reviews - Updated on March 30, 2022

Despite the vigorous activity of the Games Workshop company, which allows almost everyone to create games in the 40000 universe, we have seen few really good tactical strategies. One of them is Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach, which I wrote about four years ago. And in July, Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector was released by Black Lab Games, the creators of Battlestar Galactica Deadlock. Both of these games turned out to be surprisingly similar (even the publisher is the same – Slitherine, well known to all connoisseurs of wargames) – both in their pluses and minuses. It was Battlesector that became the first computer game where a new generation of space marines appeared – Primaris.

Primaries and Seconds

If in Sanctus Reach we played for the Space Marines from the Space Wolves Chapter, who defended the planet Aleric Prime from the orcs, then in the Battlesector their brothers from the Blood Angels are in the foreground. They are clearing Secundus, a satellite of their home planet Baal, of the tyranids. This happens after Baal attacked Hive Fleet Leviathan, and the sudden appearance of the resurrected Primarch Roboute Guilliman’s Crusade became the salvation.

There is only one campaign in the Battlesector (there were two in Sanctus Reach), it has only Space Marines and Tyranids and fewer missions, but almost every one of them is intense and unique in its own way. Including due to the fact that events unfold on a variety of maps – there are ruins, and industrial complexes, and desert lands, and much more.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

Even in the snow you have to fight.

The tasks are typical and understandable – capture something (for example, a bunker with weapons), then hold, recapture, accompany the Librarian to extract the gene-seed of the fallen Space Marines, free and protect the dreadnought, and at the end, in almost all missions, you need to beat the remaining tyranid forces. The plot is served with static pictures and dialogues, but in them, and in general in the game, a very correct degree of brutality is felt – including thanks to the extremely expressive voice acting, atmospheric music and competent work with sound.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

The art is atmospheric too.

Well, in general, the campaign is interesting – a new threat of Leviathan’s return appears, the Primaris come into action, and new allies gradually join the main character, Sergeant Caerleon, for example, Sanguinary priest Aeturo, Techmarine Kroginax and others. And dialogues unfold between them, in which, in particular, doubts about Primaris slip through – devoted fans of the Warhammer 40,000 universe will be pleased with such attention to detail.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

The game has been translated into Russian, but those who are unfamiliar with the universe will still not really understand anything.

Magic tokens

As in Sanctus Reach, before each mission we form our army, starting from the points limit, adding some units and removing some. The limit is gradually increasing, but still it is noticeably limiting – you have to reluctantly leave many in reserve, focusing on the cost of the detachment. It is influenced, among other things, by more advanced equipment, which we open for tokens issued at the end of missions. For example, a dreadnought can replace its standard armament with a flamethrower, annihilates can be given a heavy plasma incinerator, and Aggressors can get fiery gloves that will replace rocket launchers.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

There are many improvements, but few tokens.

For the same tokens in the “HQ Improvements” menu, we open active and passive skills, which, for example, increase the number of Primaris units or, when used in battle, give bonuses to accuracy and damage in melee attacks. These bonuses are divided into branches, for which the main characters of the game are responsible: for example, Sergeant Caerleon, among other things, upgrades squads of defenders, Sanguinary Priest Aeturo improves Primaris and Destroyers, and Brother Quindar improves dreadnoughts. You can also learn individual abilities for each hero.

At the same time, specific units are not pumped and do not become veterans – the above-mentioned bonuses, skills and new equipment apply in general to one or another type of troops.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

Explosive grenade launcher is available to Aggressors immediately.

impulsive tactics

The main achievement of the Battlesector, as was the case with Sanctus Reach, is actually tactical battles. They are, of course, step-by-step: first we go, then we give the go-ahead and wait for the enemies to take their actions. Each unit has separate movement points and action points, and heroes have more AP.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

Before the start of the mission, you can choose how to place units.

Here it is important to decide where to move the fighters, given that the distance affects the accuracy of the hit, that there are covers, zones of control that allow you to attack moving opponents, as well as a surveillance function. As a result, if you correctly place the troops, then the opponents can be pretty beat up on the way, while they really haven’t done anything.

This is how it looks like.

Pleased with the abundance of types of troops, each of which has its own characteristics, skills and specializations. Someone is more vulnerable to poison or melee attacks, someone poisons everything around, someone knows how to fly on their jetpacks or throw bombs at enemies. In addition, cover adds tactical tension – we see how some shots hit them, while others reach the target.

Plus there are heroes, heavy vehicles and unique elite units. It is clear that some fighters may seem more useful than others – for example, dreadnoughts. But they are not issued immediately, and in principle the main thing is that the game gives a rich choice.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

The battles look great.

All units for killing enemies accumulate momentum points, and when they accumulate enough, they can spend these points to improve the ability or for an additional action. If the units end their turn in observation or with unspent AP, then momentum points are removed – this is how we are forced to act actively.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

The more momentum, the higher the chance of a critical hit.

In turn, the heroes accumulate command points – they are given out when allies die or we complete important story missions. For this resource, we call in air support – as an option, powerful artillery strikes with Typhoon missiles.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

First, all this must be learned for tokens between missions.

We want more

Like Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach, there are only two factions in the Battlesector. Moreover, you can play as tyranids in skirmish, as well as replay story chapters – this is really interesting. Tyranids, of course, have their own units with unique features, and among the elite, the Hive Tyranid and Exokrin stand out (in the Blood Angels, the Death Company and the Bhaal Predator can be noted). But they all accumulate momentum in the same way.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

Tyranids love poison and claws.

One campaign, two factions, the absence, as in Sanctus Reach, of a global mode – yes, the game gives reason to rebuke it for a small amount of content. Plus, it’s unnerving (as you know where) having to wait long enough for the enemies to leave. The ability to speed up this process does not help much.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector Overview

The game is beautiful.

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector, like Sanctus Reach, is not the most catchy and polished, it does not have much content. But it is full of pathos, brutality, units and heroes (including the Primaris themselves!) and there is a real tactical tension. And the fact that the game is niche, in this case, is only for the better – your own people will feel at home in it.

Pros: a story that you want to follow; many units with their own characteristics; exciting tactical battles; interesting impulse system; Russian translation; the atmosphere of Warhammer 40,000 is conveyed as it should; neat picture, pleasing with details, gothic architecture and animation; almost exemplary work with music, voice acting and sound in general.

Cons: little content; poor directing; a long wait for enemies to finish walking; lack of pumping and customization of specific units that go with you from mission to mission.

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