Slitherine Announces Gladius - Relics of War


All the talk about Warlock has encouraged me to buy this and I can see what people mean. I’m playing as the guard and greatly enjoying the game except for the slow rate of development. I should probably build extra barracks to churn out troops but it’s taken me about 30 turns just to build all the basic factories. As it is, I have two factories building two units every four turns but I’m losing many more units than that in combat. I’m recreating the German collapse in front of the Siberian reinforcements during winter '41. It’s pretty gripping in it’s own way but I have a gut feeling that all of the unique resources I’m giving up in my flight will just continue to tilt the balance against me.


Don’t lose units! Even as the Imperial Guard, I think you really want to keep your guys alive. I just lost a four player game after about a hundred or so turns (one of the scripted story beats did me in!), and it was encouraging to see on the line graph how well the AI kept its units alive.

Also, Peter, if it’s too slow for you, there’s a speed setting when you start a game. It adjusts the rates of development, research, etc.



In my second game as Space MarinesI’m at turn 71 or 72 and I’m now just back filling on the tech tree. This is more than a little disappointing. The fact that there’s no Civ IV style upgrades for all units doesn’t make sense. This is the one time to actually use them (I like the Civ IV mechanic but it’s an odd fit for a civ game). I like being able to upgrade heroes with special gear finds and all that.

But overall this is leaving me feeling a bit cold. Some interesting ideas - I love the faction asymmetry, I don’t understand why more 4x games aren’t properly exploring this as a mechanic - butI don’t feel like there’s enough there.


Against a force of about 16 necrons, you gotta lose quite a few units, even when running away. I almost formed a decent line of defence but then one of their leaders carved his way through me. I definitely lost the resource race somewhere.


Some tips I have accumulated after my first game:

  1. Try to end turn with your scouts in cover. The neutral forces will savage them if they are caught in the open.

  2. Keep yourself alive! Veterancy matters a great deal, and be prepared to fall back to preserve the lives of your units.

  3. Locate the enemy bases as soon as possible and use that information in picking where to expand. You do not want to be caught between two enemy forces.

  4. Be sure you understand how the weapons work on each of your units. Space Marines and Necron Warriors, for example, have the rapid fire rule, which means they fire twice as many shots at close range. Dreadnoughts do amazing damage in melee, but are mediocre at range.

  5. You must be continually either scouting or expanding with the object of seizing a resource. Preferably both. Complacency will get you killed. In the grim dark future of the 40th millennium there is no turtling.

  6. Combined arms rule the day. The different units fill very different roles.

  1. Try to keep your forces concentrated. Killing an enemy unit grants experience to EVERY friendly unit in a 3-4 hex diameter. Your entire army can be gaining exp from each enemy kill.

  2. Look for terrain to setup a kill-zone with good lines of sight/fire and cover for your units. Then send one tough/fast unit to PULL the enemy into your trap. Works well with #7


So don’t ask why but I thought there were 6 tiers only (like I had tried to move the mouse to keep going and it didn’t). So I was wrong about that. Warming up as I see the unit variety ticking upwards.


You might have found this by now, but there are upgrades like this! Not many, and some of them are specific to weapons instead of unit types.



So I have found:

  1. “Hero stuff” you either buy from one of a number of Home Depots located around the planet (purchased for influence, I think that’s the resource name), or get from I’m not sure what (ruins diving? Killing stuff? I don’t recall exactly but I have gotten stuff I didn’t purchase from Home Depot).

  2. Stuff in the tech tree that e.g. “infantry can throw an anti vehicular grenade”.

And that’s all well and good. I guess what I’m saying is I would also like it if individual units also had some form of “spend your hard earned level up to improve something”, a la Civ IV/the hero units, as well. I guess I was still hoping to customize my SPACE MARINES the way I could in Dawn of War. So this one has heavy plasma, that one heavy bolters etc (I realize there’s devastators to fill the anti-vehicular infantry role) (no flamers cause I have other units for that).

If there’s other stuff out there, I haven’t seen it. I know artifacts(?) can give you stuff (I’ve currently got a hp bonus, a bonus to health regen, and +1 view distance from the spinny pyramid thingies).

The upside is I now have a scout bike, 2x space marines, 1x devastators, apothacary, a predator, Dreadnaught, the thunderbolt guy, a librarian, and my award winning Chaplain with a flying thing on the way. I want to go back and get speeders too. But no vindicators, because fuck those guys.

My jump jet marine dudes keep not making it :/


Sounds like a great mix of troops. The Marine flyers are excellent, too, as you may have learned already.


I had a strange situation yesterday where one of my Space Marines had a bad-ass melta bomb, but I’m not sure where he got it or why my other dudes didn’t get it. But I lost the game shortly thereafter to an Enslaver invasion, so I wasn’t able to investigate further.

But, yeah, it would be cool if there was some sort of Civ-style upgrade with veterancy where you could configure your guys as they leveled up. Make difficult choices between a heavy bolter for better range or a chainsaw for more damage to adjacent targets. That sort of thing. I suspect that might undermine some of the unit balance, though. And as you noted, I think that’s what the hero units are supposed to do.

Home Depots! I’m not going to be able to get that out of my head now.



Tactical (not Assualt or Devestator) Marines get the melta bomb from a mid-tier research project.


It was.

And then the western front went sort of like this:

  1. I move next to a hidden “neutral” imperial emplacement (I don’t believe it was another race’s but it said something like Imperial Guard tower despite being grey in color). It unloads on my Dreadnaught.

  2. I move SM and Devastarors up, Apothacary on backup. The Thunderbolt is behind them. End turn.

3.The DN is unloaded on again and is not in good shape. Four gigantic millipeedscorpiomonsters appear.

The DN was heroic but didn’t make it through. The infantry all got wiped out (and I’ll be damned if they didn’t do a good job making sure they got those Devastators ASAP; the Devastors do great damage to these things). The Thunderbolt was the only survivor. What saved the front was a a combination of a Librarian I had en route who needed to do some quest stuff anyway. Picked up the + health/+ regen thingy from Home Depot on the way. And then I got those first fliers over there in a hurry. They’re terrific.

I’m reinforcing right now; Another DN coming, Sm and Devastators deployed, another Apoth coming too. I’ll take out that tower thingy next. Oh, and I have another Chaplain out there now and he’s heading that way. I’ve actually got to get some more stuff out for my northern expansion. I was behind claiming territory for the city but I’ve more than caught up and the economy is healthy (and getting stronger). Rigth now it’s my original Chaplain, Termanators, and a Predator. They work fine because my original Chaplain is basically my original Fallout character at this point. Everything has to ask him for permission before it dies.

I’m playing on a huge map and with only 4 people (myself included), wildlife on max. I rather enjoy the classic D&D feeling of stepping outside the walls and the entire universe is immediately hostile and trying to kill me.

What makes this so much better than e.g. Civ V for me is (1) the AI has some idea about what it’s doing which makes front tricky (and sometimes temporary) affairs (2) even with the regular veterancy for regular units, everything feels a little more personal than just “oh, hey, it’s these pikemen” (3) there’s much cooler stuff to find when exploring and even though I’ve only played SM (4) I love the differences I’ll deal with once I get around to trying other races.

So yeah, this is growing on me with each passing turn. I’m in something of a glut right now with PoE, Octopath, and now Gladius: Relics Warring. I’ve got land speeders ready to join the fray (and they have upgraded Melta cannons). I back filled a few techs (wanted Meltas to go along with the Krak grenades for help with vehicular slaughter), and I’m going to be jumping into something like T9 research soon (part of my economic expansion was getting a few more library thingies up and running). Hey, the Space Marine mechanic if getting to build 3 things per hex is clever, isn’t it?

Complaints with the UI:

  1. The tech “tree” UI is shit.

  2. I can’t tell what any of these special resources are doing. Where do I get that information, and more importantly why can’t I see it somewhere on the main UI?

  3. The “readouts” for the SM city showing you what’s being produced in your queues is great. But some of the numbers don’t stand out well to me, and zooming at all makes this little readout go a bit wonky to me. That they’re showing it right there by the city is awesome. But this could be even more awesome, and how great would that be.

  4. I can’t always tell if I am going to have LOS when moving. But this might be my fault as I stopped using the right-click preview feature.


Oooh, I like that idea. I enjoy the feel of it being a hostile world, and it certainly fits the Warhammer 40k grimdark vibe. But even more hostile? Hmmm.

It’s not quite at Brian Reynolds’ Alpha Centauri level, but it’s close.

The tooltip! A special resource pretty much gives you +2 resources when you claim it. When you incorporate it into your city (or use a Fortress of Redemption if you’re a Space Marine), it also adds +20% to buildings that generate that resource (or +10% each if there are two separate resources).

I’ve had a few weird situations where I did or didn’t have line of sight. I think sometimes elevation blocks LOS? You can check elevation as the third number on the x,y,z coordinates for each hex.



Have you guys tried out the Devestator Space Marines yet? B/C I looked at em and was like “eh, another flavor of Space Marine.” Then I built one and I was like “eh, it moves really slowly and has crappy accuracy if it moves and fires in the same turn.” And then I actually deployed one in a good spot in a big battle with lots of enemy armor and… the baby Jesus cried. It was a beautiful thing. It’s like this: the Devestators do roughly twice the damage to heavy armor that a Melta Grenade does, and Melta Grenades are nasty, AND the Devestators can do that every turn they don’t move.

It’s a great example of a combined arms unit: in many situations, Devestators are not so hot. But in the right circumstance, with the right mix of friendly forces and targets, it brings a tear to my min/max eye.


Devastators are great, except that the AI knows Devastators are great. It seems to focus fire on them. Mine don’t seem to hold up that well. Maybe I need to do a better job of ensuring they are very well protected.


I use a triple line of Devastators with an Apothecary (healer unit) to wreak major havoc. They are my primary anti-armor units as well as what i use to kill city capitals.

I REALLY do not like enemy units turning ‘neutral’ when i kill the faction. It’s really annoying to lose an army group AFTER defeating an enemy.




I am torn. On the one hand i do want to get this because it’s been a while since I’ve had my over the top space genocide fix (DoW3, to be precise, and that was…well it was what it was).

On the other hand, £30 asking price, for what is, consensus says, a warlock/Civ 5 skin…


Well, it’s way better than Civ V by virtue of the fact that the AI has an inkling of how to play the game. That said, I think it’s more interesting mechanically across the board.