Sanctus Reach is a 3D Turn Based Strategy Game set in the Warhammer 40,000 Universe, here’s what we think of it.
Warhammer video games aren’t a new idea at all. In fact they’ve been making 40K video games for a long time, all the way back since Space Crusade in 1992. While these games have covered a lot of different genres and types, many of them have been turn-based strategy games. This makes a lot of sense when you think about it, 40K is its self a turn-based strategy (or maybe tactics) game, so it lends its self well to such adaptations. In recent years however many of the games have focused more on squad based combat, or RTS and shooter mechanics. Sanctus Reach, from developer Straylight Entertainment and publisher Slitherine, takes 40K back to its roots as a larger scale wargame. Slitherine was kind enough to send us a copy of the game to play, so here is what we thought of it.
Sanctus Reach is a turn based strategy game in which players control armies and attempt to achieve objectives, such as capturing or holding points, or simply destroying enemy units. Games are fought with fixed forces picked at the start of a battle. The base game, which pit Orks agasint Space Wolves, came out in January 2017. Since then 3 expansions have come out:
- Legacy of the Weirdboy (July 2017) – Let you command the Greenskin horde.
- Sons of Cadia (Nov 2017)- Puts you in charge of the Astra Militarium.
- Horrors of the Warp (May 2018) Brings back the Space Wolves, this time fighting Chaos Demons.
Individual games focus on the battle, there is no base building or recruitment once the battle starts. You can play single player or multiplayer skirmishes or through a number of single player campaigns. Over the course of battle units can level up, gaining more power and abilities. In the campaigns you can sometimes carry over units between battles. Battle are fought on a grid (not hexes) and game play is very intuitive if you’ve played other turn based strategy games.
40K On Your Computer
Dead bodies and burning vehicles everywhere? Must be 40K!
Out of the many recent 40K games, Sanctus Reach is one that feels the most like playing a game of 40K. Not that its direct adaptation of the tabletop game to a video game, but it does the most to try keep the feel of the table top. In the game you’re command a large sized force, in a pitched battle. Each player takes turns to move and fire all their units, the it’s the other players turn. While the actual mechanisms are different from the tabletop, the feel is very much the same. It also looks very much like the tabletop game, with meticulous rendered models fighting their way across the battlefield.
What I Liked
You mean I don’t have to paint them??
Sanctus Reach was easy to pick up and play, yet has a good amount of depth. There is a wide verity of units for each faction, and each does something different. The game has a good level of depth and complexity, there is a good bit to dig into in the number crunch department if you want. You also won’t be super punished if you’d rather drive around and set stuff on fire. The game looks great, and feels steeped in 40K lore. The campaigns offer a fun way to tie games together into a larger whole. In addition the game is stable and ran well for me with no issues. The factions are well fleshed out and game play was quick and fun.
Still Room to Grow
My biggest complaint with Sanctus Reach is simply that I want more! While I enjoyed the game a lot, the fact that their are only four factions, Deamons, Astra Militarum, Orks and Space Wolves is a bummer. I don’t know what the future plans for the game are, but I would love to see other races added to the game. In particular I don’t think T’au have ever been in any of the 40K strategy games. Hopefully we will see the game keep growing and expanding.
Outside of that the few issues I had were small. The controls could be a little fiddly at times (I found it hard to deselect my units sometimes. You can double right click to do it, but I would often try to just click on a new unit to select it and that only works sometimes). Some of the things I have problems with in most TBS games, having to wait for the enemy to process a whole turn, etc., are present here, but thats an issue more with the genre than the game.
A Strong Entry
If you like turn based strategy games and Warhammer 40K then you should check this game out. It follows in the footsteps of 40K classics like Final Liberation and Rites of War. If you’ve liked those other games, or are looking for something new to try out this is a game for you. You can get easily get sucked into the combat of Grim Dark in just a few moments.
I give Sanctus Reach a solid 10 out of 13 Space Wolves Great Companies for solid game play and great looking models
You can pick up Sanctus Reach on Steam right now!