An unknown planet, a bloody war between Blood Angels and the Tyranids and strategical and tactical battles…this is that Warhammer 40K: Battlesector offer to us. From Black Lab Games comes this interesting strategy turn-based game based on the world of Warhammer.
The campaign starts with the Blood Angels, under the orders of Sergeant Carleon, looking for lost units on an unknown planet, and in a few minutes, you are fighting against the species who kill your companions, the Tyranids. The story continues exploring the planet, looking for more info about your fallen comrades and exterminating this new threat.
Preparing your units for the new threat
Before each campaign mission, you will have time to prepare the units for the next battle. Every unit cost several points, and you have a limit of points to establish your group. There are several types of units at your disposal: heavy units (aggressors), assault units, ranged units (intercessors) and vehicles, among others. In addition, you will unlock more troops progressing in the story.
There are special units, the HQ units AKA the bosses, like Captain Sergeant, with special abilities and commands. When you unlock one, you will have access to new skills for your troops. After complete a mission, you will receive tokens, and, if you complete all the targets, you will receive extra quantities. You can distribute your tokens as you wish; you can restart your organization from zero if you want to try new strategies.
Time to fight
The battles are turn-based, with a classical grid system, and they have an interesting complexity. Every troop can use movement (MP) or action points (AP). Asides from the movement and the normal attacks, melee and/or ranged, depending on the unit, there are other commands, evade and overwatch.
If you are surrounded by enemies, you can use Evade, a retreat to another point of the map. The enemies will attack you, but you will obtain an upgrade to the evasion of the unit, receiving the less damage possible, and, of course, you will attack too.
You can use Overwatch if you want to wait for the enemies’ movement. This command consists of mark a tile to watch, and, if the enemy moves over it, your units will attack. You can keep watching the same point with several troops, and the enemy will receive all the attacks, dying before attacking you in some cases. These commands cost AP and momentum to your troops.
You will receive momentum every time you attack your enemies or use some positive skill on your allies. When a unit reaches 100, it can obtain a new movement point to use immediately on the turn, or it can surge, levelling up, getting better stats, however, this upgrade only lasts until you complete the mission.
Determined units have unique commands and weapons, for example, Sergeant Carleon and the assault troops can use a jetpack to move further on the battlefield, or the Aggressors (heavy infantry), have artillery, melee attacks and a grenade launcher with a long-range attack. However, these skills have a recharge time, so you can’t use them every turn.
HQ units have a special gauge, you fill it when you deal damage or when your troops suffer attacks from the enemies. When this indicator is full, you can use a commander attack. For example, Sergeant Carleon can release a devastating attack in the row that he decides, damaging everything in its path, including allies.
Finally, but not less important, there are a couple of remarkable characteristics: Some points of the battlefield can be used as covers to difficult receive damage from the enemies, and of course, other points will facilitate your attacks; also, you can order the units continuously, for example, when you order one to move to a certain point, meanwhile when is moving, you can order another to attack an enemy.
The first time that I saw this game remembered me to Incubation, a classic strategy game from 1997 which I played when I was younger and my memories about it are still good, and in a sense, I feel like playing that game, but with tons of upgrades, of course, we are on other video game era. The blood angels remembered me to the incubation squadrons, as the enemies, you fought with an alien race too.
Battlesector is an interesting and entertaining strategy game. It has an adjusted difficulty, is not easy but is not hard enough to desperate you, so it maintains your interest in playing it. Also, you have to check several factors when playing, being this depth a nice incentive to still enjoying it.
It has some deficiencies, like the translation, the unique complete language, for the moment, is English, I tried to play it in other languages, but some texts are missing.
The camera needs an improvement, the battlefields are big, and the action is developed at different sectors, so when the enemy acts, you have to look for them. You can jump to the active unit with the keyboard, but sometimes you will have to switch from one end to the other, which is annoying when you play, especially when there are many troops left alive. The same applies to your units.
What to expect
On TBL, we had access to the current state of the game, it seems very polished, but some things still missing. The only accessible modes were the campaign and the tutorial, both bearable and recommendable. There are a couple more, skirmish and multiplayer, but we could not play them at the current moment of the development. Also, it seems that you will control the Tyranids too because in one of the tutorial missions you use them, but, for the moment, the only available campaign is the Blood Angels’ one.
The battle system seems solid, and it has an interesting depth when you play. For the moment, the game looks well, especially if you are into the Warhammer 40000 world and if you like turn-based strategy games with a decent tactical component. The game will release on 15th July, let’s see how the final version comes.