Twice a month we’ll be taking a look at a new strategy or wargame with the help of Slitherine, purveyor of more wargames than you could hope to count. We’ll be interviewing developers, going hands-on, and rounding up the latest strategy news.
If you're after more in the genre, check out the best strategy games on PC.
This week, we’re taking a look at Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon - Da Orks. This second instalment in the series switches the perspective of the Armageddon Wars, letting you conquer – or possibly fail to conquer – the planet at the head of an Ork invasion and turn the Space Marine chapters into canned food.
Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon - Da Orks
Just because you’re in charge of a sea of green-skinned marauders, it doesn’t mean strategy and tactics fly out the window, especially not when you’re fighting in the hostile world of Armageddon against the stalwart armies of the Imperial Guard and Space Marine chapters.
Traversing difficult geography, keeping units alive so that they can fight in the next battle, stronger and wiser, picking the right weapons and the best warriors for the job – there’s a lot more to it than hurling insults at Humies.
Da Orks boasts over 400 unit types thanks to the vast number of guns that make the Ork troops more specialised. Each unit can haul up to three guns with it, and when ordered to attack, they unleash any that are in range.
Take the malevolent looking Gutrippa, for instance. Its main weapon is the Gutrippa Kannon, which does a significant amount of damage and has a range of one to three. So you can hang back and hammer enemies from a distance. It doesn’t have much ammunition, however, so you might find yourself risking an up close and personal battle using the Gutripper’s mean pincer blades, which only work on foes standing in adjacent hexes.
And putting an important unit at risk is a serious decision. Units that survive a fight gain experience and can be upgraded with new weapons, so you’ll want to keep them around for the next battle and the one after that, not just for the climax of that single mission. If you lose your heavy-hitters and start losing battles, you might end up losing the war. It’s a dynamic campaign, so defeat is a possibility.
Each map – and there are a lot of them – hides a tactical puzzle underneath their barren deserts and volcanic mountain ranges. Scouting and planning trumps brute force, because a huge army is just as vulnerable as a tiny one when it’s crossing a bridge single-file, with nothing but the unknown on the other side. Hello, artillery!
As well as charting Ghazghkull Thraka and Co’s three-act war across Armageddon, Da Orks also comes with 18 scenarios that range from capturing hive cities to the deciding conflict in the war, each with specific objectives that range from holding territory to escorting secret weapons to the frontlines.
If you get tired of the Orks – as if that was possible – then you can just dive into the PBEM multiplayer as take the reins of any of the five factions, from the Steel Legion to the shiny, blue Ultramarines.
In other news…
- Sengoku Jidai is already expanding, taking a trip 300 years further back with the Gempei Kassen DLC
- Cossacks 3’s release date has been announced: it’s coming out in September. Not long to go!
- Urban Empires is attempting to combine 200 years of urban development and politics.
- Order of Battle: Winter War is out today, so warm yourself up with some wargaming.
That's it for now! Come back in a fortnight for the next instalment…