Warhammer 40,000 Sanctus Reach, the new turn-based strategy game from Slitherine is set to launch on January 20th. We recently previewed the game and found it to be a solid strategy experience that Warhammer 40k should be interested in checking out. We managed to grab a sit down with the developers of the game for a little Q&A about the title.
GameWatcher :For those who are unaware of what Warhammer 40,000 Sanctus Reach is all about, can you explain what the game is?
Sitherine: The orks of the Red Waaagh have come to the Sanctus Reach and death follows them. Grukk Face-Rippa and his green tide fall upon Imperial worlds, it falls to a few warriors to stand against them. The player commands the Space Wolves and the noble Knights of Alaric Prime for their epic stand against the alien hordes as they struggle to repel the greenskin invaders from their planet. The campaign itself is based off the series of Warhammer 40k novels and campaigns that follow this series.
GameWatcher : How did the project come about? why choose to create a Warhammer 40k game?
Sitherine: We’ve all worked commercially within the games industry for a very long time now, but collectively as a new company, and only being a team of four this was a great opportunity. We are all huge Warhammer fans going all the way back to Chaos Gate and Shadow of the Horned Rat so this felt like a dream come true. We also felt this would be a good springboard for expanding into other parts of the Warhammer 40k universe tackling other great stories and the Space Wolves is a fantastic new start.
GameWatcher : Why did you choose to focus on the Space Wolves and Orkz?
Sitherine: We love space marines but the Space Wolves are primal having an energy and character that some others don’t have. The Space Wolves also felt like virgin territory that hadn’t been explored thoroughly like the other larger chapters and also - what is there not to like about Space Vikings. On the other hand we wanted to do more with the orks. They’re such a colourful, rich group from Flash Gitz to Mega Nobz and we wanted to represent them as accurately as possible, we love the orks and their abilities, they’re just so full of fun, like a kebab toting Saturday night rabble.
GameWatcher : Can you tell us a little about the core combat mechanics and why you choose a turn based system?
Sitherine: It was really important for us to keep it turn based, with other titles coming we wanted to retain the feel of the table top as best we could and Games Workshop have been amazing for letting us do such a thing. The hero characters are incredibly important, all with unique abilities and wargear and as units gain experience they will also randomly unlock new equipment and abilities. Reaction fire is key to inflicting as much damage as you can in the enemy’s turn which is reliant on your unit’s facing direction so setting up kill areas is important.
GameWatcher : When I previewed the game, I loved the army selection screen and point based system which made it feel like the tabletop, how much inspiration did you take from the tabletop?
Sitherine: The tabletop was a huge inspiration to the design and look of the game, even studying the miniature paint colours for our unit textures. There were obvious limitations we had to place upon ourselves for design purposes but we’ve tried to emulate where we can in our own unique way: like the point system for units as mentioned but we also have a reaction fire system akin to overwatch. Those familiar with the tabletop will also recognise a lot of the wargear and ability names which are lifted right from the tabletop.
GameWatcher : What modes will the game have?
Sitherine: We have a series of story based campaigns which are built from randomly generated defend and attack missions with pre-designed story focused missions spread throughout. We also have a multiplayer system and ‘jump-in-and-play’ single player skirmish missions for those looking for a quick game as either the Space Wolves or the Greenskins.
GameWatcher : Can you expand on the single player side, what can people expect in terms of length and story content?
Sitherine: The two main campaigns in the game are Stormclaw and Hour Of The Wolf. Stormclaw is a smaller campaign with a length of over 8 hours but the second is humongous with 3 story branches for each Space Wolf hero.
GameWatcher : How does the multiplayer work?
Sitherine: The Archon Engine uses the Slitherine PBEM++ (play-by-email system) which is perfect for this style of game.
GameWatcher : What kind of post-launch support is to be expected?
Sitherine: We plan to support the game with any balancing tweaks and bug fixes that are required after launch and aim to release a number of extras.
GameWatcher : Will there be DLC for the game such as new campaigns and new armies to play?
Sitherine: We'd like to complete the story by introducing the Imperial Guard army, Daemon Army and a large story based campaign for each. Both these new armies could be of equal size to the ones present in current game and its something which we’re really excited about.
GameWatcher : When can we get our hands on the final product?
Sitherine: Sanctus Reach will be available on Steam and Slitherine’s store page on the 19th of January.