Waaagh! Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon Released

SPOICE MURINES?

Games Workshop have been a bit weird with their licensing since the fall of THQ and the end of Relic’s glorious Warhammer 40,000 games, greenlighting an unexpected variety of games. Sure, this has lead to humdrum oddities like WH40K: Storm of Vengeance, but I can’t imagine they’d have given 40K: Armageddon the go-ahead before either.

It’s a serious-looking turn-based strategy game by the folks behind Panzer Corps, recreating the Second War of Armageddon across a big campaign with hundreds of different units and variants. And it’s out now. Come watch some orks get squished in an hour of livestreamed action.

Armageddon’s not a recreation of the tabletop game, using its own serious strategy rules with stats galore – Panzer Corps with Space Marines, basically. Players are commanding Imperial Guard forces on the planet of Armageddon, fending off a huge ork invasion with a little help from several Space Marine chapters. Units are persistent across missions too, gaining experience and new gear; I do always enjoy the triumphs and tragedies of becoming attached to particular units.

It’s also got multiplayer via hotseat and Slitherine’s asynchronous play-by-e-mail-inspired PBEM++ system. And a map editor so folks can make their scenarios. Huzzah!

I’ve been looking for a way into more serious strategy games, but find the typical historical settings overwhelming as I feel I’d need to learn a lot about the background before I even started on the game. I don’t know my Panzerfaust from my Panzer Maus, me. I can, however, tell you all about Terminators and Titans. I’m not proud of this.

A launch discount brings Armageddon to £22.49 on Steam or £20.99 direct from Slitherine, who also chuck in a boxed copy if you pay £30.99. Have a launch trailer on me:

Slitherine also livestreamed about an hour of the game last night, which I would embed but the video is very insistent upon autoplaying.

55 Comments

  1. Wowbagger says:

    Looks a bit shit maybe? Certainly out of the blue for me. Where’s my Dark Omens HD remake?

    • emperor_nero says:

      The steam forums are hard to decipher at the moment, because you either have Slitherine fan boys attacking anyone who says anything negative and then you have your usual steam trolls making things messier. From the few sensical posts I’ve read it seems to be a Panzer Corps re-skin with some more unit types and a couple of new stats. The videos I’ve watched show that a lot isn’t explained well.

      • Premium User Badge

        teije says:

        That’s exactly what it is. If you enjoyed Panzer Corps or that type of thing, you’ll like this. Otherwise, not so much.

        • emperor_nero says:

          I enjoyed the old Panzer Generals and I enjoy 40k lore, but I am not going to drop $40 on it, the way Slitherine/Matrix representatives (not the devs themselves) treat users in the Steam forum is a huge turn off for me. Right now I could probably get all of the rest of the 40k games on steam for the same price with the sale and what-not.

          • gnodab says:

            To be fair they are awful everywhere, even on their own forums. They are quit famous for pairing unfathomably high prices with a complete lack of customer support and generally have no problem with selling defunct products.

            Which is really a shame, since they have some really interesting titles in their catalog. I’d love to buy Distant Worlds and I’d gladly throw money at Dominions for Bruce Geryk’s writing alone….
            Well maybe they’ll end up on GOG or Gamersgate, until then I just can’t purchase them.

          • Shadow says:

            I remember getting Distant Worlds on Steam for 40-something dollars on a sale, which was a pretty decent price for the game with all its numerous expansions.

            I’ve been eyeing Panzer Corps for months, but I can’t really accept an 80-dollar price tag for the whole deal.

            The problem with publishers like Matrix Games is that they think they must charge exhorbitant prices to get a profit from their niche market’s presumably smaller volume of sales. It’s true the age range they go for (older grognards as opposed to the average gamer) is generally associated with higher income and such, but I don’t know how their strategy is working out for them.

          • malkav11 says:

            Dominions isn’t published by those guys anymore, is on Steam and Gamersgate both, and regularly gets majorly discounted as a result. So you should absolutely pick up Dominions 4.

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            teije says:

            Yeah, the prices are pretty steep comparatively. I can afford it, but then again, I’m old and well employed. Time is my limiting factor. But if I was back in my 20s, their games would be out of reach.

            @shadow, I read an interview with the Matrix CEO several months ago and it sounds like they’re doing quite well financially, and they have no plans to drop their pants on pricing. So they think the strategy of high prices for their niche works out for them.

          • Baines says:

            Slitherine/Matrix prices aren’t high because they feel it is the only way to make a profit on a niche audience, but rather because they feel it is the way to make the most profit.

            Slitherine/Matrix’s view is that they sell niche games that do not have a wide appeal, and thus lowering prices will not draw enough new purchases to match what they can make by charging higher prices to a smaller dedicated audience.

          • gnodab says:

            @Malkav11 Good to hear! But i don’t think Dominions 4 will come with the manual by Bruce Geryk, or will it?
            If so I am going to buy it asap.

          • emperor_nero says:

            Unity of Command did well at it’s price point, and I really like the dev. He seems like a genuinely good guy who has an interest in the game – not just the profit maximizing strategy. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want games for free but I don’t want to be looked down upon because I am not an old grognard with a disposable income. I’d love to pick up some of their titles, but there is a huge risk associated with it. I can buy 1 $80 game that I might get 50 – 60 hours out of if I really enjoy it or I can buy 4 – 8 other games that I can easily get 30 – 40 hours out of each and all different experiences. To be fair I just dropped nearly $300 on Warmachine/Hordes miniatures and paints/supplies for them but I know I am going to get easily my moneys worth out of just assembling and painting them. It is a relaxing experience. Then I get to go hang out with some friends and battle it out. I mean for that $300 I know I am going to get 5 – 10 hours of building, 40+ hours painting, and then countless battles out of them so another 30+ hours. After all of that I can turn around and resell them to recoup my investment. I guess it is all in how much you value entertainment. I love cinema with a deep passion, but I don’t pay $20 to go see a new film.

      • Archonsod says:

        They’re working on improving the UI to give more info.It’s not so much that there’s a lot unexplained, more that most of the useful information is stuck somewhere silly (unit accuracy is only displayed on the unit purchase screen for example), that said though if you’re at all familiar with the 40K background it’s not too hard to fudge it since most armaments act like you’d expect – lascannons being good against tanks, less so against infantry.
        It’s close to Panzer General, although given the setting and the mechanics it’s very reminiscent of the old Final Liberation (regrettably lacking the live action cutscenes between missions, instead making do with hammy voice overs rather than hammy acting).

        I’ve played a fair way through the tutorial campaign and am quite enjoying it so far. It’s not so much one more turn as one more mission, and there’s a whole host of units on each roster (if it does get a little WTF at times – SMURFs being the cheapest and weakest space marine units for example). The graphics aren’t exactly stunning (but then that’s not really the point of a hex-based wargame) but they do serve the purpose of letting you distinguish the units on the battlefield. The only real complaint I’d have at the moment is that it’s limited to Imperial (Space Marine, Guard and Titan Legion) and Orks, though I suspect as usual we’ll be seeing additional races in expansions/DLC.

    • sith1144 says:

      It’s been announced a year and a half ago? anyway, this was made by the same people that made Commander: the great war, which is great, so hopefully this is good.

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      The graphics are not *the best* sure, but Slitherine publishes superb strategy games, and this is essentially a Panzer Corp reskin and update with a WH40k flavour. A patch or two to bring in some of the same tweaks that Pz Corp has (naming units, stat comparison etc) and this will be even better.

      If you liked Pz Corp this is a win for you, but if you’re the type of gamer who believes the Firaxis remake of X-Com was actual strategy then you should move along.

      • Shadow says:

        Can’t a perfectly fine strategy gamer like both games (and the original X-COM to boot)? I never understood the need for that kind of segregation.

        • airmikee says:

          How dare you like something that he doesn’t like? Are you insane? Do you know what happens to people that follow their own preferences instead of following the directives and life lessons that Viggo hands down from his throne in the sky? You are playing with powers beyond your comprehension.

      • Bull0 says:

        Well I really liked XCOM and I really like this too, so I mean… nobody listen to Viggo.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        I really enjoyed the old Xcom, the new Xcom, Civ1, Civ 5, and Panzer General series (especially Fantasy General).

        Not every game needs to be the same.

  2. sabrage says:

    Augh… Why does the twitch video auto-play?

  3. OpT1mUs says:

    Setting with dozen of races, nope here’s some hot SM on SM action… fucking yawn

    • Andelect says:

      You can have space marines but by the looks of it, it mainly follows the Imperial Guard and commissar yarrick.

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      It’s limited to Orks/Imperials because the game is focused on one of the Armageddon Wars (the 2nd?), and not the whole 40k universe in general.

      So don’t expect death by a thousand DLC cuts as they rinse your wallet for all the other races and so forth because they are not within the scope of this Armageddon campaign.

      Which is actually a good thing because I *hate* DLC and the Berkshire Hunts that peddle it.

      • Napalm Sushi says:

        I loathe it when GW or those licensed by them create a conflict in the 40k ‘verse and then try to contrive reasons for every species in the galaxy to have a stake in it. It cheapens the scope of the setting when every war in it represents a full cross-section of it.

      • Archonsod says:

        The Second War for Armageddon was one of the GW Summer Event campaigns from a few years back, so the fluff reflects that. Every race did indeed have some involvement (although IIRC the Nids and Necrons only in Battlefleet Gothic).

  4. Andelect says:

    This actually looks really interesting, I’ve always been hoping for an online version of the the 40K wargame. But Games Workshop would never allow it, it might dent their miniature sales.

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      If you’re looking for an online version of 40k, check out ‘VASSAL’, its a game engine for building and playing online adaptations of board games and card games and there are WH40k sets out there that faithfully recapture that top-down battlefield scene.

      Don’t expect much graphically, but the translation is faithful.

      • Bull0 says:

        Bear in mind you need all your own rulebooks, etc. Vassal is essentially online MS paint with dice when it comes to playing Warhammer.

        • Loyal_Viggo says:

          True, but any discerning gentleman can find what they need on the interwebz by many a means.

  5. Gothnak says:

    The world and setting is quite fun, but they seem to have removed it all and just have names and stats. At least the ork unit names are fun, but i’d much rather play the non-space marines. Why can’t someone just make 40k or Warhammer Fantasy Battles, i’d love to play a turn based version of that.

  6. Napalm Sushi says:

    The price tag has me on the fence, but this gets props for seemingly using Forge World as its basis. I’ve heard the folks behind the Forge World line have experience in military history and, if true, it shows in both the models and fluff they produce. While the core line is busy resolving questions like “what if a Space Marine put on his power armour and then got into a bigger suit of power armour?!?!” Forge World are producing all kinds of vehicle models and variants that show the kind of iterated development and chassis repurposing that you see in real military hardware.

    On a massive tangent: how long do we have do wait for someone to finally make a Titan piloting game?

    • Grendel the Dog says:

      You know those guys who take genuine cockpits from 747s and such and kit them out for flight simulators? I want to see that done for your hypothetical Titan piloting game! I think I’ll pass on the obligatory IV drip of space-future-methamphetamine though (there’s a Black Library novel on Titan pilots and they’re super drugged and psychic-stimulation-ed up).

  7. coburnAlpha says:

    I saw a Titan. I’m sold.
    Thank feck it’s pay day tomorrow!

  8. revan says:

    Game is great as a Panzer Corps title. Doesn’t feel much like Warhammer 40K though. Voice-overs are a total miss. It doesn’t have that gritty, grimdark feel I’ve come to expect from such games. You don’t really get the sense of a hopeless struggle like in some other WH40K games. I guess I’m just used to Relic-made Warhammer 40K. This feels a bit like a let-down.

  9. Monggerel says:

    SPESS MEHREENS
    TODEH TEH ENEMEH ES AT AHH DOAAAHHH
    BLUD REHVENS
    PREPEHH FOAHH BETTEL

  10. Stellar Duck says:

    So, how does this stack up to Final Liberation? Because I liked that one a lot, despite not being sure it was a good game.

    • Bull0 says:

      They’re very different, presentation wise. Units don’t bark and aren’t animated. Cutscenes are static images and text with (in my opinion reasonably good) voiceover. I’m enjoying it but it has flaws, the most important one being disparities between the rules in the manual, in the tutorial advice, and in the game itself, so it’s very hard to actually understand the combat at the moment- which is quite hard to forgive, but fixes are supposedly on the way.

  11. notenome says:

    Alice, I’d suggest Unity of Command as a good ‘gateway’ wargame. It contains all the basic concepts of wargames in very streamlined form.

    Barring that, I’d suggest the SSG games (Korsun Pocket, Across the Dnepr etc).

    • wodin says:

      Alice my suggestions are the superb Flashpoint Campaigns Red Storm or the more newbie type wargame Battle Academy 2. Flashpoint Campaigns is prob one of the best computer wargames released, def up there in the top 5 I reckon.

  12. Gap Gen says:

    The Second War for Armageddon: Armageddon Really Mad Now

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    Neurotic says:

    Anything that lets me play as the Imperial Guard gets my money.

  14. Truck_Rockpec says:

    Everytime I read about a new 40K game coming out, I need to check Wikipedia to get some idea as to what’s going on. And then a couple hours have gone by, and I’m trying to figure out who the two unknown Primarchs are, and whether or not Cypher is really a traitor, and thinking that maybe I should get a couple pots of paint and some models and…

    • thanejaw says:

      Same here, I love the fluff and, with the new plastic molds they bring out, think the new models are awesome. I just can’t afford to drop 100 squid to get into something which I know will gorge me down the line. It’s an abusive relationship i’m happy to walk away from

  15. C0ntnu1ty says:

    There is a temptation to say “Hi, Games Workshop, are you sick? Come-on man, this isnt you.”

    It just sorta looks….well crap, like they couldnt find a dev that gave a damn, same with there mobile games. Ok yes 40k Carnage is kinda fun but its a dumb freemium infested infinite runner.

    seriously GW, what happned to you? I know that grief is a difficult thing but…..THQ is dead, you need to find another partner man, stop dating these tramps.

  16. Shadowcat says:

    Am I the only one expecting Commander Zod to make an appearance in that first screenshot?

  17. Thurgret says:

    I just spent a few hours playing this, and it is rather good indeed. That still doesn’t excuse Slitherine’s pricing policy.

  18. Detrian says:

    Yeaaah… I dunno. Even Panzercorps got boring for me after a while and this looks like more of the same, perhaps even lazy considering it’s been a few years since Panzercorps. Slitherine was also pretty shitty with the billion DLC so I’d rather not.

  19. bill says:

    “Armageddon’s not a recreation of the tabletop game”

    This is always the case. This always makes me sad. I guess there will never be a recreation of the tabletop game as they don’t want to risk losing miniature sales (dumb imho). But every time they announce a version of their strategy game which uses new totally different rules from their already existing rules I’m a little confused.