Battlefleet Gothic Armada Coming to PC
Tindalos Interactive and Focus Home Interactive is bringing Battlefleet Gothic Armada to a PC near you. The game won’t be a direct copy of the tabletop game, but will be more than just a linear RTS in a Battlefleet Gothic skin. At launch the game will have 4 factions – Eldar, Ork, Imperium and Chaos. The creators are promising a dynamic campaign with options to call in Exterminatus orders and captains with unique personalities and skills development as the game continues. Captains can even disobey orders, leaving you with a hard choice of what to do next and ultimately even the option to execute the captain to restore order to your fleet! These unique mechanics gives us an idea as to what kind of game Tindalos is trying to make. Check out the video teaser below:
Firstly, the game is in real-time and no turn-based option will be available. The idea is however to set the pace of combat so that you can carefully plan your engagements and ensure that your ships stick to your battle plan. Tactics will be more important than micro controlling your whole fleet and their guns. Manoeuvering your ships to be able to launch a broadside attack or setting up ramming and boarding actions will be what wins you battles. I like the sound of this as micro managing a whole fleet can be a bit overwhelming.
You control the Admiral’s ship and every other ship in your fleet will follow a set of behaviors you assigned them. You can however directly take control of a ship if needed. The idea is that you choose and set the behaviours for your fleet on a ship level before a battle, but you will also have the ability to alter them in a mission to ensure the battle goes your way without having to micro manage every little detail.
One example of these behaviour options is a set of disengagement options which allows you to instruct a captain when to pull out of combat. For instance inf you value the the ship and the captain and see them as an integral part of your campaign success then you can set them to disengage from combat as soon as a specific damage threshold is reach. The captain should then activate his warp drive and flee the battle as soon as his ship has taken enough damage.
This brings us to the captains. Captains can disobey an order if for instance he is feeling brave and would rather fight to the death than flee a battle. This will leave you with a choice, let the captain do as he pleases or force him to submit to your orders. Both of those actions will of course carry consequences.
Do nothing and you might lose the ship and captain, intervene and you will cause dissent among the other captains making them more likely disobey your orders in the future. A captain will however receive a ‘Blame’ point when he chooses to disobey an order and if/when he accrues three points he will be up for a public execution. The execution will quell the dissent in your fleet at the cost of the captain and all his experience. Nothing screams “Imperium” quite as well as a good old fashion execution 😉
It’s possible to target specific ship systems during combat, which can result in them being damaged and ultimately disabled. It will cost resources and time to repair ships as well as have an impact on your battle. For instance if a ship’s warp drive gets disabled then that ship can’t escape the battle. One does also have the option of evacuating the crew of the ship, leaving behind the vessel. This brings some more difficult decisions to the fore. Do you abandon one of your prize ships to save an experienced crew or hope that they survive the battle and maybe lose both.
Boarding actions play out similar to the tabletop game. You can’t capture a ship but can rather disable it. So it might be a good idea to sent you marines to take out a powerful enemy vessel without having to risk engaging it with your ships. So many choices – I like it!
All four factions will be available in multiplayer. You will be able to be customize your fleet and you will keep your fleet from one battle to the next. Your characters will gain experience and skills, and ships can be upgraded with new equipment like weapons and other subsystems. There will be roughly 60 upgrades for the ships and Chaos players will be able to assign a Chaos Mark to alter the appearance and abilities of their ships.
Only the Imperium fleet will be available in the campaign. Which can be played as a single player or 2 player co-op. The campaign map will be dynamic, with non-player Imperial fleets in action alongside the invading forces. I expect the campaign to contain all the hard choices mentioned above presented in an engaging story.
The campaign starts with the whole system under Imperial control. Your goal will be to keep it that way and rebuff the advance of 3 enemy fleets. The campaign map itself is turn-based and this plays a part in Exterminatus orders. When a planet is marked for Exterminatus, it could have fallen to the Orks, a countdown will start which will give you that many turns to reclaim the planet or see it and all its resources lost.
Abaddon the Despoiler and his Black Legion will be an integral part of the final chapters of the campaign. All the factions will have story related missions and these should shed some light on the different races and their goals.
So what is everyone saying about the game:
“Armada has enough good ideas and smart mechanics to be a great space strategy game.” – Rock Paper Shotgun
“Tindalos seems to have a good handle on how to translate the measured, strategic boardgame into something a bit more action-packed without losing the essence and character of the game.” – GameWatcher
“If you were looking for a new old-school space RTS – this is one to keep an eye on.” GameReactor
It’s still early days and the game is only expected next year, but I’m being left feeling really optimistic about Battlefleet Gothic Armada. It sounds like Tindalos is off to a good start and I hope they deliver a unique 40K experience with this game. From the first impressions above it does look like they are doing something right 😉