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Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Tindalos
Release Date: April 21, 2016

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


PC Preview - 'Battlefleet Gothic: Armada'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on July 28, 2015 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada is a real time strategy adaptation of Games Workshop's famous tabletop game.

In its original form, Battlefleet Gothic was a tabletop game that was an extension to the Warhammer 40k universe. It may have been discontinued in 2013, but it can live on in the upcoming video game adaptation. At E3 2015, it was one of the many games that I checked out, and it seems to have a pretty solid foundation. Taking place during the Black Crusade, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada seems to be nailing its place within the lore of Warhammer 40k.

In the demo, a battle was set up on the procedurally generated map between two fleets. The battle was balanced by assigning ships to the opposing sides of the conflict, with each ship consisting of a total number of points. These ships cannot exceed the point limit for the side, so it is important to pick and choose your ships carefully. The five classes of ships consist of battle cruisers, battleships, cruisers, escorts and heavy cruisers, though all are fairly massive vessels.

You deploy ships into the starting area before the battle begins, setting them up in the formation you think is best. Ships can also be linked together, making them move in formation and cruise together. The game is more about fleet maneuvering than that of dexterity, and though combat can play out quickly, it is usually won by who had the better strategy than by who had the faster fingers.

However, though you are the admiral, your ships aren't exactly under your full control. You can decide to order your ships to fight to the death, but your captains are still their own men, and in some situations can refuse your orders. In these situations, you are forced to make a tough decision: Do you have the commissar execute the captain for insubordination and lose his experience, or do you spare him and gain tolerance points? In the world of Warhammer 40k, tolerance isn't exactly a commendable trait, and though no details were given, it was implied that such points would be detrimental later in your campaign.

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada certainly has layers of gameplay options on the surface in the UI as well as under the hood. It certainly looked incredibly complicated but in such a way that gives the player plenty of options to control how ships engage with one another. In any case, without getting some hands-on time, it's difficult to tell, but it seems to echo the tabletop game's emphasis on strategy. Armada will be out in early 2016 for the PC, and it'll be single-player only.

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