This game has been played for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, and the secrets of winning it have been passed on from generation to generation. The wisest of the wise were fond of it, but not every one of them was able to achieve perfection. And this game will outlive us all, while inevitably significant changes will occur. If one is to believe Games Workshop, it will continue to be played in the 30th and even the 40th millennium, when earthlings go far into the depths of the galaxy. Chess will change their name, they will have a lot of new dynamic elements, but the essence will remain.
Books on the Warhammer 40,000 universe described the game as two chequered boards, where one houses “kings” and the aristocracy, and the other was just an insanely complicated game of chess with rules complicated three-fold. And since there was a place for chess in Warhammer 40,000, why not release a full stylized game for PC? Master enthusiasts from Hammerfall Publishing also asked the question, and have, in fact, got it done.
It is important to remember before the game, that the Regicide described in the books is very different from what the authors have made. They simply made a game of chess based on the universe, not cunningly spun version of the game with patrols running across the map and two gaming locations. There are no kings, no Emperor, not even an Empress – all the figures are replaced by the more suitable variations of Space Marines and Orcs.
The second thing you should know, if you want to run this minute to purchase the new Warhammer 40,000 Steam game, is that at this stage the game is pretty sparse on content. The campaign is not yet ready (instead it only has an atmospheric teaser), there are no “locations” apart from the classic chess board, and there are only two modes: Regicide, and classic chess.
While the classic mode is clear-cut, the Regicide game mode is a much more difficult and interesting thing. In fact, the rules seem the same as in “simple” chess, but they have introduced additional elements of a full-fledged turn-based strategy. The player makes to move a figure, but that’s not the end of their turn. They still have five action points, and they can spend them as they deem fit. They can order figures to dig out trenches, they can order soldiers to shoot enemies, or they can cast mass spells on the map. In this mode, it’s not necessary to checkmate the king – you can simply shoot him down or bury him under a rain of grenades, as he and all other figures have a life bar. Because of this, every enemy pawn that’s still alive becomes a very serious threat, capable of weakening your best figures from turn to turn.
As a result, we are left in a very positive mood. The figures beat each other up, blood is flowing, Psyker Librarians are tearing enemies apart with the force of their minds, orcs make funny comments, and the whole game looks like a game of Warhammer 40,000 should despite a low budget, adjusted for the small scale of the project and its objectives. Hopefully, when the game finishes early access, it will show itself in all its glory. A better variety of maps, more modes and modifiers (I hope), more armies (White Scars, Blood Angels, and one unit of Orcs – that’s all that there is at the moment). And the campaign, of course – I’m anticipating it more than anything. Maybe by that time they will correct problems with the multiplayer as well, which at the moment is as empty as the void between worlds.
So, all lovers of chess, of the Emperor of Mankind, and Gork and Mork – be sure to pay attention to this humble work of skilled folk. They have coped brilliantly with the task, and all that remains is to fix the result.
A new look at chess
Another nice little game in the W40k universe
The game will be twice as big by release date
At this stage, very little content
There are problems with animation
Lack of players in multiplayer