Grogheads Impressions! Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector

WH40k Battlesector Hellblaster Vs Hormagaunt final 1920x1080
frontier wars 728x90 KS

It is no secret that we at Grogheads just love Warhammer 40,000! We are shameless fanatics and our loyalty to the Emperor is without bounds.  Personally, I’ve been obsessed with 40K from the moment I looked up and saw the original Rogue Trader rule book on the store shelf in 1987.  Over the next two and a half decades, there has been no turning back and although I sadly no longer play any table top, I otherwise,  like the Great Devourer, mindlessly consume all things 40K – PC and mobile games, books, movies, animation, etc.  So, when a new PC title is announced, we obviously get pretty revved up  around here.  When Slitherine and Black Lab Games announced a new turn-based strategy game set in our beloved Games Workshop universe, we dropped to our knees and broke out in praise to the Emperor of Mankind!

Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector (“Battlesector”) is described as a “battle scale” turn-based strategy game that takes gamers to the battlefields of the 41st Millennium. Players will pick a force, develop it into a highly capable army led by mighty heroes and will use them to fight for victory by applying superior stratagems, awesome capabilities, and devastating weaponry, all in turn-based action on grid style maps.

Battlesector will be released on PC in May 2021; with console versions (Xbox One and PlayStation 4) following in the summer. Grogheads was lucky enough to get access to an early preview build and so far, this one has left us very excited for the refreshing take this title looks to be bringing to the genre.

WH40k Battlesector Hellblaster Vs Hormagaunt final 1920x1080

By: Craig Handler

As noted above, Battlesector revolves around army sized turn-based strategic battles so it appears that this title will take place on a larger operational scale then recent 40K offerings. However, it does not seem that this game will approach anything close to the scale of Epic, which matched up dozens of vehicles and hundreds of troops. Instead, most battles in Battlesector will be fought btween armies of 10 to 25 units, where a unit can range from a single model, to a squad of five to eight.


Army deployment phase

Only two factions will be available when the game is first released, the Blood Angels Space Marine chapter and the Tyranids xenos race.  Like most games published in this universe, it has a modular design permitting the future introduction of new factions, units, heroes and tilesets.


Blood Angels vs. Hive Fleet Leviathan

The base game will ship with the 20 mission “Age of Crimson Dawn” campaign, set in the immediate aftermath of the Devastation of Baal, when the Blood Angels fought for their very survival against Hive Fleet Leviathan on their homeworld, Baal.



Sergeant Carleon of the 8th Company tests the skills and stability of the new Primaris Space Marines, brought to Baal Secundus by Roboute Guilliman’s Indomitus Crusade.


A preview mission from the campaign

Other ways to play include skirmish mode, one-off battles against an AI enemy army on a map of your choosing  (where the player can play a the Tyranids) with completely customizable armies made up of hand picked units, heroes and loadouts.  There will also be three different ways to play against friends, live online multiplayer, play by e-mail and hotseat.


Weapons Loadouts & Abilities

Most units have access to multiple weapon loadout options and between 1 and 4 unique special abilities. These vary a lot depending on the type of unit, with Heroes obviously having the most powerful abilities of all.


A Space Marine Hero

Detailed Stats for every unit and weapon

Each unit type is unique and has its strengths and weaknesses and can carry specific weapons. Stats like squad size, health, movement points, action points, armor, evasion, unique abilities, weapon strength, status effects and more ensure that players will need to learn how to best employ a specific unit if they hope to succeed.



Take Cover

You can take cover behind environmental objects as well as other units to gain cover bonuses during battle, and you’ll protect your units from enemy fire.


Shooting at Tyranids in the open is very satisfying


You can set up overwatch on your firing units, so that any enemy unit which enters your field of fire during their turn will be fired upon.  Some weapons, like pistols have automatic overwatch capability.


Overwatch triggered

Melee and Charges

When you enter melee combat with a unit, they are engaged and locked in combat. Each time you will attack in melee, the enemy unit will strike back in the same turn, except when you’re doing Charges. If you have an uninterrupted straight line of movement to an enemy unit, you can charge them, attacking them in melee with a bonus and without giving them the chance to strike back. Also, by charging you have a chance to push the enemy unit back by one tile.


A purging blast of flame followed by revving chainswords

Zone of control and Attacks of Opportunity

When you try to retreat from melee combat, you will grant an attack of opportunity to your enemy, which is basically a free melee attack they will automatically deal on your retreating unit.


Assault Marines jumping into combat

Furthermore, any unit gets a free Attack of opportunity on any enemy unit that tries to walk past their zone of control (the tiles immediately adjacent to the unit).


A dose of plasma

Air Support

The HQ Command system lets the player call in faction-specific air support. Use Command Points to call in a Blood Angels Stormraven that can obliterate xenos with a missile barrage, or deep strike a unit of veteran Assault Marines behind enemy lines. Meanwhile, the Tyranid Harpy can devastate the enemy defenses with its Sonic Screech, or scatter the battlefield with its deadly Spore Mines.


Tyranids have air support too


The Momentum system lets units surge on the battlefield, allowing them to perform superhuman chains of actions, or upgrade their abilities. Each faction has a different approach to Momentum, for instance the Blood Angels gain Momentum by killing their enemies up close, which in turn allows them to A) deal more critical hits due to their Red Thirst unique ability; B) the player can decide to use all the Momentum of a unit to allow for that specific unit to Surge, to either gain more action points or upgrade an ability.


Large angry Tyranid on the charge

Carry-over your units in the campaign

When you play the campaign you will be able to carry your troops from battle to battle, as long as they survive. After each battle you’ll be able to spend points on new units & loadouts.


Most scenarios require key units to survive

Campaign HQ Command Points

Campaign HQ Command Points let the player unlock abilities, weapons, and unique passive bonuses. Each Hero has a specific set of HQ Command perks they can unlock, some will upgrade the specific Hero and others will upgrade and give bonuses to all units in the army. You can gain HQ Command Points by completing objectives in the campaign.


Forge Your Armies

Command iconic units like the Sanguinary Priest, the Librarian Dreadnought, and the Hive Tyrant to annihilate your foes. Use over 60 abilities and 50 weapons to orchestrate your opponent’s bloody demise.


Tech Marine and a Librarian Dreadnought!

The preview build is limited to only two sample missions and a brief tutorial that is still in the works. However, we are absolutely loving the mechanics and satisfying feel of the game so far. This one is looking to be a solid, challenging entry into the growing line-up of 40K digital strategy games. Stay tuned to Grogheads as we get our hands on more information. We will be sure to share more impressions as we get closer to release in May!


Losing sight of critical objectives




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