Of all the strategy games out there, the Warhammer 40,000 series is one of the most intimidating. Not only is it set in a dark universe plagued by perpetual warfare, but there are so many aspects to keep track of, making it super complex. This also adds a great level of detail, and is immersive but can drive away a more casual audience. This is something that Snowprint studios has taken into account when creating Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus. This upcoming strategy gacha game is putting the lore and statistics of the grimdark universe into a mobile and more accessible form.
The lore of Warhammer 40,000 is extensive, with a huge list of races and factions clashing to survive or carve out a livable peace of space in the universe. In Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus, the story focuses on one faction that has come to be the face of the series: The Ultramarines. As you begin, you start off as one Ultramarine who has been splintered from his squad while fighting mechanical enemies called Necrons. As you fight your way through, you'll come across other Ultramarines and lone warriors fighting the same fight. Recruiting them, building your strength, and taking the fight to the enemy are enough to draw you to battle.
When it comes to strategy games, it's all about deploying the right tactics. Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus achieves some tactical accomplishments in its presentation. The first is its faithfulness to the source material. The Ultramarines are one of the most well-known factions in the series with a lot to define them both in appearance and motivation. As you gather different units of different classes, you'll see a lot of that true Ultramarine flair coming through in their dialogue and actions. It may be a distilled form of the overwhelming ocean of lore it draws from, but it does so in an easy-to-follow way while still keeping it epic and having quality graphics.
Then there are the elements that go into the strategy. Like other gacha games, you can make a party of five heroes that will fight on a hexagonal grid-based battlefield. Each unit can be powered up in various ways through equipment, icons, leveling up, and upgrades. This is all presented in a way that gives you a lot to work with, but doesn't feel like snowballing. The decision to set battles on a hexagon board with elements such as high ground and cover really adds to the immersion and level of strategy. It feels good to rout the enemy, and it encourages you to chase after more victories.
Even when you have a strong army and a strategic mind, flanking is a classic manoeuvre that can take down the toughest groups. During its development, Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus has been flanked by a couple of elements. The main one is the balancing between character stats and abilities. Each character has a very detailed screen showing everything that goes into creating them. However, when they're in battle, it comes down to movement, their basic attack, and their active ability. When you don't have a lot of characters unlocked, it can become stale quickly to use the same tactics, abilities, and units as you go through the map in a somewhat repetitive fashion.
Then, there's the overhanging issue of this having some gacha aspects. The game presents many different activities and achievements to do, provided you qualify and have enough energy or money to buy it. Thankfully, this isn't a huge detriment to gathering characters (the best part) that can be earned through consistent gameplay and grinding which the game is built to accommodate so you don't have to constantly visit the shop. There's a decent amount of playing to do before the game plateaus and leaves you few options to build strength quickly. Just know what you might be getting into as this game can definitely hook you with how satisfying battles can be.
Warhammer 40,000: Tacticus is a gacha strategy game following a story in the Warhammer 40,000 grimdark universe. With great visuals, presentation of the lore, and detailed but approachable mechanics, this makes for a great tabletop game-turned-mobile strategy. It's got some gacha game elements that will require time and money for faster progress and could use more variety in unit behaviour in battle, though. Still, if you've always been interested in Warhammer 40,000 but couldn't find a casual way to get into it, Tacticus is here for you.