WH40k: Sanctus Reach shows turn-based strategariting

Dawn of War 3 may be 2017’s big exciting Warhammer 40,000 real-time strategy game but I’d forgotten that more ponderous 40k is coming too. Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach [official site] arrives before Dawn of War, later this month, and its strategerisating is turn-based. Sanctus Reach will see the Space Marine space viking Space Wolves scrapping with those lovable Ork space hooligans. Yes, yes I know we’ve got bland 40k games up the wazoo but Sanctus Reach publishers Slitherine do at least know a thing or two about turn-based stratagerating. Here, check out the new trailer which reminded me of this game’s existence:

Those are Orks and Space Wolves all right! Both will have their own campaigns, by the by. And it may look a bit rough and ready but hey, this is Slitherine’s new Archon engine so it’s as good as they can do.

Sanctus Reach isn’t based on the 40k ruleset but does have some similarities. You’ll build your own army to a ‘points’ total by picking units costing different amounts, for one thing. It looks to have a fair spread of units, from diddymen and blokes on wolves to aircraft and robuts.

Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach is due to launch via Steam on January 19th. Straylight Entertainment are the folks actually making the game. And yorp, it will support Slitherine’s fancy play-by-e-mail multiplayer for folks who like to take it easy.


  1. Chiron says:

    Supposedly this is meant to be more Chaos Gate than Dawn of War, a prospect I’m excited about.

    I’ve also read on the Steam discussion that its mod friendly, in which case this is the game I’ve been wanting for like 20 years.

    • Ross Turner says:

      Yeah that makes it sound like the game that would never have been greenlit by 90s/2000s Games Workshop for fear of cannibalising the miniatures sales.

  2. Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

    Looks like the Battle Academy engine. I’d be all right with a 40k themed BA, even better if it’s anywhere near Chaos Gate territory. Thanks for the heads up, I didn’t even know this thing existed.

  3. largo_lagrande says:

    I used to collect Space Wolves when I was 13, but this stuff now makes me want to curl up into a solid ball of cringe. I mean, that video features bearded men in power armour riding wolves while wielding electric axes. At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, that is not cool. Why this middle-school stuff is so popular on the internet is beyond me.

    • cpeninja says:

      Strong miniatures sales suggest that the majority of people think otherwise. 40k is about excess, after all.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Because the internet is full of echo chambers created by people who never matured past middle school.

      Those echo chambers then spill out into general internet forums given the impression of a general consensus opinion.

      Nobody wants to not be cool so many people just follow the general consensus opinion.

      Those who disagree draw the ire of the echo chamber and are drawn into a battle of attrition against a multitude of online personas who are passionate enough that such an argument is worth their time. That fight will always be won by the echo chamber.

      The echo chamber winning that argument further reinforces the general consensus opinion.

      • KingFunk says:

        Really struggling to not call hipster on this one, which will, of course, reinforce your argument.

        However, the view of the internet you present here doesn’t seem to leave much room for people genuinely liking things for genuine reasons that have nothing to do with (im)maturity or following the crowd. This is a little cynical for my liking and I would suggest that one of 40K’s most appealing aspects is escapism which often embraces the ludicrous for its own sake.

        Indeed, I’m sure it’s possible to find a place to stand where one can cynically view pretty much any fictional universe as ludicrous, but that doesn’t sound like a fun place to be…

        • karnak says:

          One of the best definitions I’ve ever read, defining the majority of human interaction in WWW.
          Thank you.

      • lordcooper says:

        Or maybe some people just like stuff you don’t?

        Shocking idea, I know.

      • magogjack says:

        Preach !

    • KingFunk says:

      Bearded men + power armour + wolves + electric axes = Not Cool?

      Are you sure?

      EDIT: Also, the last time I checked, the coolest way to be cool is not giving a damn if anyone else thinks something is cool and just doing it anyway. Ergo, COOL.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        I approve of both these statements. Of course, you won’t care about this if you’ve sufficientlly levelled your Cool attribute

      • Jakeb Smith says:

        I liked Space Wolves when they were a little-known indie chapter but they sold out after Leman Russ died.

        • Ghostwise says:

          Yeah, I still have their first album. It was only released on bootleg tapes. You wouldn’t have heard of it, of course.

    • Bull0 says:

      I bet the stuff you like is really effortlessly cool. Like, black and white movie of a smoking Mime in a cafe cool.

      • largo_lagrande says:

        Ah, you see, you’ve fallen for the same trap as the 40k guys. While any single element can, handled well, be cool (beard, axe, wolves, smoking, cafe, black and white… maybe not power armour and mime) shoving them all together is trying too hard, which is the least cool thing.

        • Bull0 says:

          As for “middle-school stuff”, “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

          Few things mark you out as immature quite like deriding others for being childish.

          • largo_lagrande says:

            Interesting that you should use that quotation, which is about fairy-tales. The brothers Grimm were far more successful in crafting stories and creating worlds than Games Workshop. The whole problem with this stuff, to my mind, is that it’s like a kid who desperately wants to be grown up and thinks the best way to do that is chain-swords and scowls, and heavy-metal imagery.

          • Bull0 says:

            It’s a quote by C.S. Lewis who in turn is channelling a bit from Corinthians.

            I think your reading of warhammer as an IP is very basic and too coloured by your own hangups about “appearing childish” to be worth engaging with in any detail, just my 2p

          • largo_lagrande says:

            I’m not at all obsessed, I made one throwaway remark in my OP (because I myself was that age when I liked this stuff). You’re the one who seems defensive. I have nothing against childish things per se, I just think this particular one is stupid and weirdly lionised on the internet.

    • Viral Frog says:

      I’d say people enjoy things like this because not everyone’s imagination died a slow, horrible death after grade school was over.

      • largo_lagrande says:

        “In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war.” And I’m the one lacking imagination? Besides, I like my fictional universes to be less than 95% male.

        • Premium User Badge

          Drib says:

          “Besides, I like my fictional universes to be less than 95% male.” So, the entirely female army Sisters of battle already sets that over 5%, but then what? Daemonettes are female, the main (combat) leader of tau is, plenty of female elder units and leaders, etc etc.

          But keep on pretending you’re making sense.

        • Nauallis says:

          Yes, let’s make fun of a tagline that’s more than 25 years old, and originated during a period of the 20th century with a very different worldview on warfare and futurism.

          It’s fine to not like things, but being a dick about it and continuing to respond with dickhead comments to anybody calling you out about it just makes you look like a jackass.

          • largo_lagrande says:

            He said my imagination was dead. That’s not a very nice thing to say, especially just because I don’t like the same fantasy as him.

  4. Da5e says:

    ‘that is not cool’

    Bloody is. 40K is ludicrous, and that’s a good thing.

  5. emotionengine says:

    Hmm… not sure about that voice and the accent there, tbh. I know it breaks with the stereotype of over dramatised RP delivery by the likes of Mark Strong and soundalikes, but I think I would even take generic WH Focus Trailer guy over this one.

    Also those animations look awfully stiff. I know it’s turn based but more fluidity (and variety) wouldn’t hurt. Here’s to hoping they nail the gameplay though.

    • Bull0 says:

      I blame the pissweak writing as much as the accent, that is a cringey trailer. “Listen carefully for knowledge is half the battle”, said no Space Wolf ever, and he then proceeds to explain that “the planet” is under attack by Orks but not to worry because they can be defeated with bolter fire. Ok, thanks!

      • A Wanderer says:

        “Listen carefully for knowledge is half the battle”
        “There is something out of a battle ?” That’s what a true Space Wolf would answer, I guess.

  6. kraidful says:

    This was out of my radar, thank you, I like turn based strategy and with a coat of paint of 40k, that’s just my thing, if its mod friendly I hope someone makes some adepta sororitas

  7. mitthrawnuruodo says:

    After watching some gameplay videos, this looks a lot more interesting and better thought out than Dawn of War 3’s generic gameplay..

  8. Viral Frog says:

    Never knew this was going to be A Thing. I’m intrigued after watching the trailer. The animations do look a little stiff as emotionengine mentioned above, but I could easily give that a pass if the gameplay is enjoyable. I’ll have to keep my eye out for reviews.

  9. biceps says:

    The author of this story jokes around with the use of the word, “strategize” – reminds me of the COO of a large company I used to work for who would get up in front of all 2000 employees and talk about the need for everyone to “stratetize”. I worked there for a decade, and no one ever corrected the poor numbnut. In this article it was funny, in real life it was just kind of sad.

    • stiffkittin says:

      This is the funniest comment I’ve read all year – thanks!