Warhammer 40k: Battlesector’s Space Marines

Battlesector, a new turn based wargame from Black Lab Games and Slitherine set in the grim darkness of the dark grimness of the far future of Warhammer 40k, is fast approaching. With it comes the digitization of a good chunk of the new forms of Space Marine goodness that have been gracing tabletops for a few years now. Here’s a primer on all the best new forms of battlefield destruction for the uninitiated.

Now, I’m an old school 40k player. My Plague Marines are mono-posed pickelhaube sporting statues sized about 3 times too small for the current battlefields of the 41st millennium. So, I’m a little behind the times. Back in my day, Cadia was a planet, Necrons were 1 dimensional terminators, and Abadon the Dispoiler was attempting his 13th crusade for only the second or third time. (Who remembers?) But, and I say this with as much seriousness as anyone can when they’re discussing ‘roided-out space Nazis and their poor diplomatic choices: I. Love. Warhammer.

Warhammer was one of my first fantasy worlds. As a grade schooler fresh out of a showing of Fellowship of the Ring in theatre, I saw a shiny starter set for Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings game in a hobby storefront. Entering saw me bowled over by the colour, the character, the majesty of Warhammer in a way that I think only grade-schoolers can feel. There were rat monsters, hulking armoured warriors covered in spikes, resplendent elves and dirty humans. It was awesome. Then I found the sci-fi section and was blown away again. Orcs, in space? Yes please. So began a life-long interest in the hobby and the silly fantasy worlds of warhammer and 40k. They are silly, extremely so, but silly in the best way. So, for those who have no idea what I’m talking about but are interested in what looks like an excellent upcoming tactical wargamer, prepare to get educated, straight from the publisher:

Primaris Space Marines in Battlesector

The Primaris Space Marines are a new breed of the Adeptus Astartes, genetically-engineered super warriors and defenders of the Imperium. They have been developed in secret by Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl, on Mars, on order of Primarch Roboute Guilliman. They are bigger, more resilient, more powerful and are faster compared to the original Astartes.

Inceptors

Inceptors fill the role of spearhead troops. They hit the enemy in one sudden and overwhelming blow, leaving them reeling as follow-up waves of Space Marines drive home the attack. It can use its Jump Pack to move rapidly across the battlefield and leaping above obstacles, and even use its ability Death from Above to jump and dive into an enemy, dealing armor-piercing splash damage. They can be armed with either Assault Bolters or Plasma Exterminators.

Aggressors

Clad in heavy Gravis armour, Aggressor Squads advance on the foe as walking fortresses of ceramite.  An elite unit with a squad size of 3 of heavily armed and armored Primaris Space Marines, they are capable of unleashing devastating fire on their enemies with their ability Hail of Fire. They are armed with either Boltstorm Gauntlets or Flamestorm Gauntlets, and Fragstorm Launchers.

Furioso Dreadnought:

The Furioso Dreadnought is death incarnate, a towering war machine whose fearsome weaponry is guided by a pilot buried deep within its shell. It is capable of using its Frag Cannon to fire 3 grenades in a single turn and Furioso Fists for powerful melee attacks. It will explode on death, dealing ample damage to all nearby units. It can be armed with either a Storm Bolter, a Heavy Flamer or a Meltagun.

Techmarine

Primaris Techmarines stride selflessly through oncoming fire to soothe the machine spirits of wounded war engines, deftly peeling back damaged armour plates to repair burnt-out cabling and bending warped panels back into shape with their servo-arms and mechadendrites. He is capable of invoking the Omnissiah’s help to heal mechanical units and vehicles, increase the armor of nearby units and even buff a single nearby mechanical unit by giving it more accuracy and damage through their Invoke the Machine Spirit unique ability. He is armed with a Bolt Pistol and a Power Axe.

Librarian

Through many years of learning and practice, a Librarian is a potent Space Marine Psyker capable of channeling the Warp. He can use the Wings of Sanguinius, and temporarily grow blood wings which will allow him to leap across the battlefield. Through Vision of Angelic Fury he can terrorize all enemies within a certain radius, and even conjure and throw a Blood Lance which will damage all enemies on a straight line. He is armed with a Bolt pistol and a Force sword.

Seems a lot has changed since my days on the tabletop battlefields of Warhammer, but I’m actually really interested to see how these new units shake up the gameplay of Battlesector. I’m a fan of Armageddon and Gladius, but both were a little more couched in the lore that I remember, so this is a whole new can of space worms for me. What do you think of the new lore direction and the new units?

Warhammer 40,000 Battlesector will be available on PC in May 2021, and on Xbox/PlayStation some weeks later.

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