Last month we took a look at the preview of Real Time Strategy game Warhammer 40K game Battlefield Gothic Armada and today it’s getting it’s launch. In the late 1980’s Warhammer 40K launched as a tabletop strategy game. Set in the 41st Millennium is has fleets from numerous alien and human polities battle it out in a 2d environment. Battlefield Gothic: Armada takes this original concept and computerizes and updates it.
When you start you’re given a bare couple of ships and can manoeuvre them around the virtual tabletop and engage in slowly increasing battles with your foes. Armada has two different aspects to this – preparation where you can pick, customize and build your fleet and units and the actual combat where you give your ships orders and engage in combat. The different fleets have different ideal styles of play from fast manoeuvrable but lightly armoured to rammers to ships that seem almost unkillable if they could catch their enemies. If you’re looking for fast-paced combat where every second count you’re going to be disappointed. Armada is designed for the thinking strategist and as almost the first part of the tutorial introduces it encourages the use of slowed time and ship specialization.
The game follows two separate tracks – the single and multiplayer.
Single player is designed to be played first and after teaching you the basic game mechanics sets you in the path of a Chaos fleet invasion with a whole host of other complications from other policies. For a game that seems to sell itself on it’s multiplayer abilities, I was very favourably surprised by the length and depth of the campaign and the ability (normally!) of the AI opponents.
Multiplayer lets the player fight in 1×1 or 2×2 matches either paired with an AI or a combination of AI and human opponents. There have been a number of scenarios built in – breakthrough, planetary assault, cruiser clash, convoy, assassination, data recovery, space station assault and they can be played as either the defender or attacker. I’ve been playing against mainly AI opponents pre-launch and it remains to be seen how well matching of players and fleets works but the developers have seemed to get it right so far.
Retailer: Steam +:
About Game Workshop, Focus Home Interactive (publisher) and Tindalos Interactive (Dev)
Game Workshop is the owner of the 40K universe and Warhammer and is best known for their tabletop gaming and books.
Focus Home Interactive is the publisher based in France and has been involved in a number of well-known games over the last few years. This list includes The Walking Dead, Cities XXL, Farming Simulator and many more.
Tindalos Interactive is the developer who is based in Paris. They’ve made several scifi themed games including Stellar Impact and Etherium which are clearly precursors of Amanda. Tindalos also have a second speciality in 3d modelling which is clear in their visuals.
- Genre: 2D Tabletop real time strategy.
- Recommended length of play sessions: individual games usually last from 15 to 30 minutes. Pause is possible at any time in solo play
- PEGI 12
- Platforms: PC
- Number of players: single player and network multiplayer
- Difficulty settings: Easy, normal, hard, heroic
- Controls: Complete mouse, complete keyboard or combination control. Keyboard keys all remappable.
Environment & People
Warhammer 40K is set in a very dystopian future where the Imperium of Man is a totalitarian theocratic empire controlled by a comatose immortal psychic Emperor. Start delving into the backstory and it’s clear that it’s not that simple. 40K is an interesting take on the future but one that most of us would rather avoid.
The game has a combination of very good and poor accessibility. From a physical perspective, the game can be controlled almost completely with a keyboard or mouse but plays best with both. Controls are remappable. It’s possible to slow the action down to a crawl at any point to work out your strategy which makes it far more cerebral and means you don’t need quick reactions. That’s the good.
The bad is the UI. Armada has a neo-gothic appearance and feeling to fit with the story and universe and while it works at this it’s created a UI that can be very confusing, often inconsistent and difficult to navigate. In addition, the 2D tabletop the ships move around in is superimposed on space scenes in the background which while very pretty can be a little confusing trying to work out what’s wallpaper and what’s on the table.
Armada is available for just under £30. This puts it midway between the typical indie cost of up to £20 and under the AAA cost of £40 plus. There have already been announced two extra DLC fleets (Space Marines and unknown which will be paid additions within a few weeks and a few months respectively.
There’s a lot of gameplay here with a single player campaign followed by multiple factions PVEs and a replayable tactical PVP and the price is justifiable.
OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
Processor: AMD FX-4100 X4 (3,6 GHz)/Intel Core i5-2500 (3,3 GHz)
Memory: 4 GB
Graphics: 1 GB, DirectX 11, AMD Radeon HD 6850/NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 10 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX compatible
Additional Notes: Internet connection required for online gaming and game activation
Processor: AMD FX-8350 X8 (4,0 GHz)/Intel Core i7-3770 (3,9 GHz)
Memory: 8 GB
Graphics: 2 GB, DirectX 11, AMD Radeon R9 270X/NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
Battlefield Gothic: Armada is designed for two audiences. Warhammer 40K fans and tabletop space strategy games. 40K fans have been waiting for something that was true to the feeling and lore of the universe and tabletop gamers have been waiting for an accurate reproduction of their style of game on the PC.
Both are going to be very very happy today as Amanda is exactly what they’ve been waiting for. Highly recommended.
The review is based on the Battlefield Gothic: Armada kindly provided by Focus Home Interactive.
Click to read more about our eco icons and access icons used in this review. This article was first published on 21st April 2016.