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PC Game Review
Games Workshop has continued to expand and refine their Warhammer franchise, turning many of their original tabletop games into respectable PC games. Set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada takes the original tabletop RTS and places you in charge of one of the human fleets...
The story reflects that of the original game, being set in the Gothic Sector. As admiral you have to take your ships out and fulfil various missions. These could involve you in a hunt and destroy mission, defence, espionage or recovery. At the beginning of any mission you are given a number of fleet point with which to assign to ships and a number of ship slots. The bigger the ship the more slots it takes up and so this limits the overall number of vessels you can take into any given combat.
Prior to the mission you get a nice little animation before you have to place your ships. Here the game shows it origins as the gameplay is essentially 2D, you place your ships just as you would have done on a table, but this time with more decorative graphics.
Looking at your ships it becomes obvious that there is a little more than a hint of pirates in space as the ships fire in the same way that galleons do, along their sides, so not only do you need to get within firing range of the enemy, but you must do so side on.
Moving the ships is just a matter of a mouse click. When you are underway you can launch probes at any incoming objects to highlight their origin and stats. The game has four races; apart from the humans you have the chaos race as well as Orcs and the Eldar. Each race has their own particular fighting style - getting rammed by an Orc ship for the first time is a sobering experience - as well as their own strengths and weaknesses, so it is best advised to alter your tactics according to who you are fighting.
Within combat the you can control how near to the opponent you allow your ships to go. As well as your normal weaponry you also have torpedoes, but these only shoot in a straight line, so take a little practice to get right. You can board your opponents, engage in lighting strikes as well as prioritise what you are trying to destroy; you can get your ships to target specific things like the opponent’s weaponry or their engines.
Win your round and you’ll be rewarded with an increase in your stats and reputation, which can be spent towards buying and upgrading your ships. There are a variety of both passive and active upgrades as well as crew improvements which can be made.
Unlike similar games you do not have to worry about marshalling the resources of the systems you defend, this game is purely about tactics and fighting in highly customisable ships. As well as the four factions to try out, with their distinctive ship designs, there is a good collection of modes to try, including campaign, customisable, multiplayer and skirmish.
It is a massive game which should keep you entertained for many hours.
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