Review of Mechanicus

Alright I wanted to share my thoughts on Warhammer 40,000 Mechanicus. Why am I a month late? I wanted to take the time to play it and give it some real thought. So here is what I came up with. I did plan to have this done for last weekend, but I over estimated the amount of time I had to get assignments done and all that. What else is new? Before we get into it I want to set the mood, so watch this video of the opening.

This was what they also used as their teaser trailer, it is the same thing you see when you open the game, but still sets the mood perfectly. It gets me hyped right up and ready to be part of the Adeptus Mechanicus!

Story

Story? There really isn’t much of one, but that is okay since you are given lots of atmosphere and interesting missions from your various advisors. The story boils down to this image right here:

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Well put.

Essentially it is as Faustinus puts it and you end up finding out it is a Necron Tomb World leaving you to deal with them before they all awaken. The intro mission shows you everything you need to know and has you encounter one of the big baddies of the opposing force.

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Need a game based on the War in Heaven.

The game gives you all the reason you need to start delving and fighting Necrons, that is all I need.

Missions

Every mission plays out in a similar manner, you are greeted by this holographic map of the area you are investigating for the mission. Every mission has its offerings of rewards as well as showing you what difficulty it will be and what enemies you can expect. Now it is very important to note that there is no starting difficulty and it is measured by mission. So you want a harder experience? Go for harder missions, but I will touch on the overall difficulty near the end.

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You will have to deploy your units, choose your canticles, and jump right into it. I will touch on the specifics of units and canticles later.

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Sure you can fit everyone in there?

This is the map you are met with on starting a mission.

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Green = Glyphs and Exclamation = Event.

From this map you have objectives you need to accomplish and little events along the way. The green symbols are glyphs that have you picking one of multiple options to get either a beneficial or detrimental effect. These can vary from healing a unit, to giving you resources, to increasing the awakening level. Glyphs always have a set effect and it allows you to start figuring out which ones you want to be avoiding which is nice. The exclamation points on the map give you a little event that also has you picking an option, but in a more narrative way.

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Tough choice.

These events like the glyphs can result in positive or negative effects pending on your choice, but are far harder to guess what they will do. It will constantly keep you guessing as you will never know what is always the right choice.

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Finally these yellow diamonds represent your objective which will always play out in a battle that can have different objectives like activate a terminal, survive, or just straight up slay all the enemies. Good variation in these missions and they aren’t too terribly overwhelming. Caution is always advised as sometimes when you run to an objective you will activate others and put yourself in a bad situation. So take it slow, and no need to rush, well except for the fact that the Necrons awaken more the longer you take.

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These levels of awakening will give the Necrons various buffs and contribute to the overall percentage that they are awakened in your play through. So you want to get through at a brisk pace, but not too fast as to cause yourself issues.

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Once you get that Awakening to 100% there that is when things come to an end more or less, but you can also defeat their head honcho earlier if you like. Anyway at the end of a mission you are rewarded for enemies slain, deducted for tech priests damaged or troops lost. So the better you do the better you are rewarded, that is the way things should be right?

Battles

Now everyone likes to compare it to XCOM, and I feel that is a decently accurate comparison. They are both of the tactical turn based RPG genre and both have a similar feel. Mechanicus takes all the good things of XCOM and leaves behind many of the annoying things. Like in Mechanicus all your characters actually know how to use their weapons effectively and don’t have a percent chance to hit. I get that this is part of the allure of XCOM and the difficulty of it all, but it is gets damn right frustrating. Moving on, the combat in Mechanicus is pretty much what you would expect form something compared to XCOM except for the lack of cover and everyone being generally stronger. Never will you feel like you are just weaker than your opponents because you are very strong in your own right. There are two damage types, energy and physical, so balancing the two damage types out in your group is important because if you say brought all energy weapons and were fighting enemies with high energy armor you are going to have a bad time.

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You are also unable to use ranged weapons while you are engaged in melee, making it pretty true to the core material. It allows you to deal with pesky ranged units by disabling their ability to use their deadly ranged weapons when you run at them in melee. This is especially handy if you build one or more of your priests to be proficient in melee combat.

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You are also able to charge up the machine spirit of weapons through using them allowing additional effects for the next time you use them. Like the Skitarii Vanguard whose weapon will do extra damage while the machine spirit is charged.

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There are several mechanics that are noteworthy, but this is one of the most important; cognition points. Now these points are generated through various actions, scanning things on the field, collecting them from downed enemies, and from Tech priest abilities. Now this cognition allows you to use abilities, weapons, and move your tech priests more. They are represented by the little gears on the bottom of the screen. As you do more missions you can have more at a time, and they allow you to use your best tools.

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An example of collecting cognition points.

Your management of cognition is incredibly important to your success and good management will have you win battles lopsidedly. Cognition is also used for the deployment of your basic troops, and the varying troops have different costs. Canticles are also something vital to success in battle and are something you can only use once per mission. The effects of canticles vary from healing to ignoring armor and overall are incredibly important.

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You can only take three Canticles at a time so you better choose wisely. They are also unlocked from achievement style progress.

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Lame canticle imo.

So you are able to utilize Canticles in many different ways to augment your preferred play style.  The battles have varying objectives from killing all enemies, using a terminal, or surviving, so you will get some decent variety.

Your Units

The next big thing to talk about is the amount of unit variety and customization you get. Your troops have their own load outs and abilities based on their level that can be raised after completing certain missions.  So you can take various kinds of troops that fulfill different roles and tackle the battles in the way that best suits you.20181214232627_1.jpg

Now the tech priests are where the real customization comes in, as they can be upgraded down various trees, equipped differently, and given different abilities. You have your choice of six different disciplines that have their own combat specializations. Often you will end up dipping into multiple trees to optimize your priests and make them as strong as possible.20181213152512_1.jpg

You will also get specific gear from a skill line that makes them better at what that specific discipline does, for example being better at ranged combat with gear from the Dominus tree.

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As you can see there are very many choices for equipment you can get, and I didn’t even get them all. Overall you have so many options for your priests to make them into your preferred kinds of killing machine and is something I very much appreciate. I loved dropping a Kastellan Robot on my enemies who loved ranged combat and forcing them to face down my big robot… good times.

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He isn’t ready for this.

My only gripe is that you can’t change their portraits that are randomly assigned to them, and they seemed to randomly change whenever I loaded the game (they might have fixed this since I tried it last though.)

Design

Now the music and graphical design are top notch, everything bleeds tech priest and Adeptus Mechanicus. The music makes you feel like a tech worshiping zealot from the 41st millennium. With its mix of vocals and techno, man I really like the soundtrack, it fits so well. The weapons also all look and feel like they should, which is very important in a Warhammer 40K game, especially if you have ever heard what some people have done to Bolters in some games.

All in all the game looks and sounds fantastic, big points for nailing that.

Conclusion

In conclusion Mechanicus is a fantastic game, and is more than worth its lower price point. The game play is fun and the atmosphere feels right at home with anyone 40K fan or not. The difficulty got to be on the easy side once I got my priests kitted out in the right way, but there is nothing wrong with being rewarded for building your characters the right way. I definitely recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of tactical RPGS or of 40K in general. This along with Gladius are a big turning point for 40K video games as these two are of great quality and make me hopeful for the future.

EDIT, December 17: They released a balance patch that fixes a lot of bugs, and changes weapon characteristics. Most importantly they make the final boss have more health which should definitely help with him being more of a threat. Definitely worth checking out the changes.

Start of month update.

As we start December I figured it is time for an update of my goings on and thoughts on some things.

Kill Team

My group of friends and I began drafting up our Kill Team campaign so we can get it started in a couple of weeks here. So far the factions we got are Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Astartes (Space Wolves), Thousand Sons, Heretic Astartes (Night Lords) and Harlequins. So a mostly typical Imperium versus Chaos narrative by the looks of things, with a splash of clown troupe. Can’t say the direction the narrative will take is necessarily set in stone, but with two newer players I don’t foresee it being any too crazy. Those newer players will probably be more scared to set out on their own, and likely try to do alliances/teamwork where they can. We have highlighted that people can do this within the narrative as long as it makes sense, IE; no chaos and Imperium alliances. We isolated the kind of worlds that made sense, then did a vote out of those most ideal ones, and ended on a Forge World. I voted to do a Shrine World, but I am honestly more than happy with doing . The idea that was floating around is that it is an abandoned Forge World that has ancient knowledge and tech to offer the teams that have come to the world.

So the next thing, why Thousand Sons? Why not my favorite Deathguard? Well there are a couple answers to that question. For anyone who follows my posts have decently will see that I have quite a few options at my disposal for Kill Team, Blood Angels, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Grey Knights, Death Watch, Thousand Sons, Death Guard, and soon to be Genestealer Cults. Safe to say I have an issue, but point is I have a lot of choice. I really like the lore behind the Thousand Sons and I feel like playing Deathguard with a bunch of new players would be kind of mean. They are strong, hard to kill, have incredible weapon versatility, and their tactics are really good. I think the only option that would be less kind is the Deathwatch, Frag Cannon spam in particular. It would be an easy way to frustrate everyone at the table, especially when we have a couple people who aren’t as experienced. Besides the opportunity to do a narrative around Thousand Sons fighting Space Wolves is very intriguing to me. Now that is all I got for my thoughts on my Narrative Campaign that is in the works. Once there is more progress I will have more to talk about for sure.

Mechanicus and Inquisitor

I recently have finished Warhammer 40,000 Mechanicus and officially started playing Warhammer 40,000 Inquisitor: Martyr. I had planned write a small review about Mechanicus, but I am for now sticking with me saying that I did enjoy it and I would recommend it. Now about Inquisitor I originally decided to not get it on release as it sounded all over the place and not entirely worth the full price point. Though after some time, some patches, new content and the recent 25% off sale, I figured it was time to give it a shot. Now one thing I understood going into it is that it is at a slower pace when compared to other ARPGs like Diablo or Torchlight. I have played Diablo 2, Diablo 3, Torchlight, Torchlight 2, Path of Exile, Titan Quest, and now Inquisitor; so I have experience in the genre and understand that their faster pacing. I am okay with Inquisitor being slower and aiming to be more tactical than others of its genre. Just have to go into it with that understanding that it will be slower. I am having fun with it so far and will have something to write about that in the future.

That is all I had planned for this post, just some rambling about my Kill Team plans and my gaming endeavours. Will definitely have more to write about Mechanicus next weekend and get a proper review of it written up as I feel it definitely deserves that. Until next time everyone!