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Turn-Based Marines: Warhammer 40,000 Sanctus Reach

Warhammer strategy games are thick on the ground, and my current favourites cover both the Fantasy and 40k settings. In Fantasyland we have Total Warhammer and in the grimdark future, there’s Armageddon, the hexy wargame from publishers Slitherine. Dawn of War III brings RTS to the 41st millennium again soon, but Slitherine have just announced that they’ll be returning to the eternal war as well. Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach [Steam page], running on the company’s new 3d Archon engine, looks like it might be the closest thing to a digital version of the tabletop game we’ve seen yet.

The game will be out before the end of the year but is only being announced today, so I’m going to jump straight to the press release for details.

Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach is a 3D turn-based strategy game like you’ve never seen before: fast, immediate, deep, impressive to look at and incredibly fun! Lead the Space Wolves in their struggle against the Orks through two uncompromising and long story-driven campaigns: Stormclaw and Hour of the Wolf.

Command several dozen different authentically crated units and heroes, each with unique and extremely detailed 3D models that bring the world of Warhammer 40,000 to life. The gameplay is rich and varied: spend your points, make your list, choose your deployment, and fight!

Units at your disposal have different abilities, strengths and weaknesses, can level up and are carried over between scenarios. Choose among many different types of weapons, watch your flanks and make wise use of the terrain: any tactical choice will be vital.

This sure does sound like Warhammer 40,000 as I remember it from my teenage years, and what a lovely alternative to Dawn of War III it could be if it all comes together.

Along with the two campaigns, there’s a skirmish mode and a map generator. Each of the factions – Space Wolves and Ork Goffs – has thirty units, including Gorkonauts and an Imperial Knight. Mostly, I’m just delighted by the screenshots. I can almost smell the paint.

I’m pretty sure I made those exact walls using styrofoam. And whenever I see a Squig, it’s a happy day.

Sanctus Reach will be the first game from a brand new studio based in Elgin, Scotland, a beautiful part of the world with one of the finest cathedral ruins you’re ever likely to see.

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