Top Critic Average
Is it disappointing that units in Warhammer 40,000 are so simple in presentation? Sure, especially when you consider how monotone many of the "apocalyptic" environments are. But given the choice between a game like this an a major studio producing a Warhammer game that fails to even understand where the real appeal of Warhammer lies, I'll take a game like Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon any time.
Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon is an interesting mix of the complex universe created by Games Workshop and the mechanics of the Panzer Corps which should offer fans of either of the two products hours of fun tactical engagements.
There is a solid wargame here, as you'd expect from the Panzer guys at Slitherine. Warhammer fans will be able to lose themselves down the rabbit hole of unit loadouts and Armageddon pattern variants, tinkering with constructing the perfect battalion, and there's even a map editor bundled with the game (which I found to be a little more complex than it needed to be). At the moment, I can't help but feel that a full-price ticket is a little ambitious for a game that looks for the most part like it could be handled by a web browser, but once the price comes down a little it's a worthy gateway drug to the world of really crunchy wargames.
Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon is a bit skinny for a wargame. I can't deny that I've missed getting stressed about logistics or big picture strategy, and it certainly hasn't set my heart aflutter in the way that I hoped a Warhammer wargame would. But there aren't very many wargames that are this easy to dip into, either. It's got a focus and simplicity that's often lacking elsewhere, and it could be indispensible for anyone looking to dip their toes into the genre.
Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon is a 40,000 fan's dream come true for the attention to detail given with the variety of units. Lore-nuts will enjoy the telling of the Armageddon War, and armchair Generals will find their mettle tested on a regular basis here against the utterly relentless green horde of Orks. Where it fails to attain a higher score is in its lack of accessibility, documentation, polish, and, particularly, the ambitious price point. Most would want a manual book that is appropriately accurate on release day for any price, let alone a game costing £30.
For a full-price game, though, Wahammer 40K: Armageddon feels lacklustre and slightly cheap, more of a re-skin of Panzer Corps than its own beast, and lacking the sense of grandeur that the setting requires. There's a great turn-based 40K out there somewhere, but this isn't it.
Thankfully the issues with Armageddon are eminently fixable and since Slitherine has stated that the game will expand in a similar vein to Panzer Corps, with the addition of new campaigns, units and races to be released as DLC over the next couple of years, it's not beyond the bounds of reason to expect core feature to evolve too. For now though, unless you're desperately aching to play a new turn-based 40k wargame - which is entirely understandable given how long it's been since the last one - we'd advise waiting on the outcome of one or two necessary patches before joining the fray.