"In the grim dark future there is only war." Warhammer 40K doesn't mess about when establishing the tone of its brutal, galaxy-spanning fantasy. "There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods."These are the words, the mantra, that lure fans of Games Workshop's venerable tabletop game into its bloody embrace. It's a promise: an invitation to a hell of endless combat, religious zealotry and constant sacrifice where violence is the only constant, death is the greatest honour and the prose is always deliciously purple. Storm of Vengeance is, apparently, a "lane strategy game" which is a fancy way of saying "a bit like Plants vs Zombies". Instead of plants you have the Space Marines of the Adeptus Astartes, and instead of zombies you have a rabble of greenskin Orks. To be even more precise, it takes its gameplay pretty much wholesale from Eutechnyx's own 2013 iOS game Ninja cats vs samurai dogs, while its Warhammer credentials supposedly come from the 1997 Storm of Vengeance tabletop campaign. Fans are unlikely to recognise much beyond the name. So, for example, you’ve got two Comms stations generating the main, unit-building resource. Then you’ve got one Drop Pod making standard Space Marines (slowly), one fixed-position Stormraven making the jump pack-sporting Assault Marines (more slowly) and one fixed-position Rhino making Devestator Marines (even more slowly). Meanwhile, Orks of assorted flavour are marching at you from the other end of the – hell, let’s just call it a pitch, and being Orks are cranked out rather more quickly than the individually beefier Marines. Which Marines do you put where? Do you slow down build times and increase cost by adding weapon upgrades or special abilities such as Grenades? Do you sell a building in a desperate need for instance cashback resources? And do you pause unit spawning in order to have buildings generate the second resource, which enables assorted special troops and abilities? While the soldiers essentially manage themselves once spawned, there’s no laurel-resting – it’s micro-management all the way. You need to get yourself into a situation where you’re more focused on what units are coming up and what you’re going to be doing in a couple of minutes’ time than on the health and safety of those in play, although you will need to be manually triggering a grenade lob or activating a healing field when your deployed Marines are in a tight spot. For all the automation, it’s a game to keep one busy, and it’s certainly not casual-inclined despite a tablet-focused UI and some commonality with Plants vs Zombies.
Billed as a ‘lane strategy game’, This 2014 game involves two opposing forces auto-marching (think Swords & Soldiers) at each other along five fixed paths, trying to destroy the buildings at the opposite end and claim the lane. If either side loses three lanes, their opponent wins that match. To stop this happening, you need to choose which units to deploy when and where, with which upgrades, and to constantly seek a balance between two different types of resource generation.
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