Slitherine Announces Gladius - Relics of War

They’re not dissimilar. The big difference is that this is a 4x, not a panzer general clone. So you build units and claim territory. No diplomacy, though.

So I tried the Chaos Marine faction and found them a bit underwhelming from a gameplay POV. From a flavor POV they are awesome but game-play-wise they seem very fiddly without the kind of cool iconic excellence of the first four factions. My view on them after a couple of hours is similar to my view of the Tyranids: they captured the flavor of the faction from the source, but in terms of gameplay, didn’t really add much.

Oh well. It may just be that the first four factions hit the sweet spot (Space Marines are the Ur-Infantry, IG are the Ur-Armor, Necrons are the Ur-Special Talents, and Orks are Orks.) and none of the new factions can really carve out a good gameplay space.

The Tyranids were the non-dakka, non-elite, pro spam, turn the earth to useless rock faction. Plus they introduced the hive mind mechanic to encroach grouping and fiddle with activation timing. Now, how well that all worked is debatable, but the faction was pretty different.

I can’t speak on Chaos yet as I have only watched some LPs. They are looking surprisingly squishy. The ‘Mark of’ is a sort of twist, but kind of feels like a single gear item slot for everyone.

Also, for a twist, patches have made the Orks more Orky by fleshing out the fungus mechanics.

Got a 41% off coupon from Matrix so I bought this, and the DLC (the hive mind opinion seems good, and it’s a type of game I like). Have not tried it yet though.

Just got my face caved in as Chaos on hard in a 3 player free for all. I had no idea what to do with their economy, and my forces were pathetic next to the AM’s tank horde. I don’t know what the answer to that is supposed to be, but Havocs ain’t it.

Also, my Lord was turned into a spawn which was thematic, but not so great for me?

I think you might have to sacrifice one of your first cultists just to get your city up and running. Or make an early second city. Maybe both.

From my experience with Gladius economy, I think the “both” option is likely the winner. Dual build queues is pretty big. The only exception is loyalty issues.

I can’t say about the AM problem. From videos, Chaos looks to have the Tyranid problem in that they are squishy and crumble before most forces let alone armor.

I’ll give it a shot. I will say that my chaos forces were absolutely taken apart by Leman Russ tank fire, with even the chaos dreadnought guys simply being torn to shreds. Cover did nothing. I need to look into ways to buff my troops’ defense, because it was just a blender out there.

Well, in truth, there’s not much in this game that can stand up to a concentrated battery of Leman Russ fire. If you’ve allowed the IG player to tech up and build up to fielding a company of tanks, you should probably consider placing your lips upon your posterior and bidding yourself adieu.

They’re tech level 6 of 10. In a three player game, I don’t think I can realistically stop them from getting there without dying at the hands or claws or whatever of the other guy :(

Some updates:

Started a new Chaos game. This time I pushed for econ heavily and even though my economy is a mess in general, it’s at least a productive mess. Which is on brand!

Speaking of brands, one of the big things I missed before was the marks of the various Gods: my boys Nurgle and Khorne are definitely making my early game army better in a brawl.

The Master of Possession is a really cool hero: when he deals the killing blow to an enemy, they are replaced with a Chaos Spawn, which is actually kind of a Big Deal early on. Chaos Spawn hit moderately hard and have incredible world traversing speed- they either die immediately, soaking up bullets meant for the rest of you, or they become light cavalry, a force that Chaos definitely needs.

My tech feels like it’s moving slowly, but I don’t see the enemy having much more than I do. We’ll see. Right now I have seized a strong central position and have completely crushed an attacking Necron army- those Spawn really make the difference in stopping retreats.

One final thing, all Chaos Cultists have the wire clear ability. Now, maybe everyone gets this and I just forgot, but it’s really quite neat, and indicative of a rather greater work ethic than one might expect Chaos Cultists to have. Now I feel like a bigot :(

Great fun, in any case!

I imagine Chaos, having city builders at the start, will be superior at grabbing specialized tile/ ideal city spots to maximize their economy. I’d look to whatever solid bonuses you can ink out by building 2 to 3 three tile cities right from the start that have maximum boosts. That is, find an ore special tile with ore tiles and make it your ore production/ armor. Then do the same but for food/ infantry etc. Just remember to claim the special tile into your city and not just step on it for the flag. Also that percent bonus is only for the city it is part of so specialize accordingly.

I’ve done this with other factions (not Marines obviously) to great effect, but they all have to wait a bit for tech and then units. Chaos seems good to go from turn 1. Just watch the loyalty. Always aim for positive loyalty, the higher the better. This is true over other resources as it multiplies (or divides) everything. Then again, being Chaos, they might have a different loyalty mechanic.

Sorry if this stuff is obvious Gladius 101 stuff.

So I’ve played a little with this. I do like it, though the color palette is icky.

Was playing the AM folks and thought I was doing pretty well, pushing back some local life forms, some of those horrible robot things, and the like, when…boom! Ran into a horde of Chaos Marine folks, I mean, twice as many units as I had and twice my level. Oops.

I lost again. I just couldn’t handle the two “strong” AIs hitting me at once. Next time I will try to econ better. I did get a sneak preview of sorts of two units: Helldrakes and Obliterators. The latter were great, and their weapons kept switching just like the tabletop. The turkey was… I’m sorry, it was just awful. I guess it does AA and scouting work, though it comes pretty late in the day for scouting. Its damage was worthless, it felt like a tier 2 unit. No range, either. I don’t get it.

I believe the Heldrake has a weapon that scales up with unit size so its good to hunt and kill stuff like termagaunts and Ork Boyz. But, yeah, seemed weak. The only Chaos Marine unit that really impressed me overall was the Obliterator, and I didn’t have much of a chance to test it.

As far as impressive units, I dunno… The berserkers are solid, reliable melee troops. I dig the Master of Possession, as noted. The Chaos Lord is solid. The Rhino can’t kill anything but it is very versatile once upgraded. Cheap too. That’s what I got as of now.

This game has like the worst title.

Worse than, say, “Shower with your Dad”? Really?

I haven’t gotten that far playing Chaos (turn 57) but the Chaos Spawn unit seems crazy good in the early game. It’s just a huge damage sponge at 36 hit points and with a speed of six it runs around the map faster than just about anything else. Plus it’s free and created automatically by the 2nd Tier Chaos Hero (Master of Possession) when he kills an infantry unit – does take 2 energy to maintain though. It does great damage against infantry – no armor penetration though. Seems like it could still be okay late game just as a response force that can move quickly and suck up a major amount of damage until slower better armed units can get into the fight.

“Shower with the Corpse Emperor.”

I’m discovering that the main tactic for large scale battles seems to be the shuffle. The AI runs in and unless I can kill something outright, simply swaps in a full strength unit the next turn and wears down my static, outnumbered defense.

Yeah, people who play multi are gonna lean heavily into the Spawn, I bet. They might never build standard chaos marines at all.