Warhammer 40K: Tacticus is a turn-based strategy game with deep themes and a rich cast of characters. In a sci-fi setting, plucky marines fight against orc and xenon threats across the galaxy, and each character has their own backstory in this vast, expanded universe. But most players come for the battles, and it doesn’t disappoint.
In Warhammer 40K: Tacticus, everyone will find a fight. The Arena brings you PvP combat, while Guild Raids offer epic boss fights. You can go on rescue runs and assaults to collect valuable equipment, or participate in campaigns to delve deeper into the history of each faction. But whichever path you choose, you’ll need to improve your customization and overcome various obstacles in order to compete. Below you will find combat tips to help you in your first Tacticus games.
Setting up your battles
Before entering some fights, you can get an idea of their toughness by checking the Combat Difficulty.
In the campaign levels, you will have a skull level. For example, a score of “four skulls” means “very difficult” combat. This is based on the strength of the enemy and the best possible combat power you can take. So as your characters level up, the difficulty of these old battles will decrease (they don’t scale).
It’s the same in the PvP arena, you’ll see a power rating next to each potential opponent. This can be a useful way to gain XP for your weaker units by deploying them into battles where you have a big advantage in strength. However, remember that units lost in battle receive only half the experience.
Warhammer 40K: Combat Strategy Tacticus
Before starting a battle, carefully consider the initial placement of your units. If you’re going to split into perhaps two flanks, look at the enemies on each side and make sure you have the right foil for them on that side of the battlefield. Similarly, where would your healer be best deployed? Do you have a good mix of ranged and melee damage on each flank?
And will the units be able to quickly get into the attack zone or into the strongest positions in their part of the battlefield? For example, if you let the enemy take the high ground, the battle will be literally tough.
There are a few considerations that you always need to keep in mind during a battle:
You always go first: Click the ‘Enable Danger Zone’ icon in the lower right corner of the battle screen before you start. This will show you if every enemy unit is available – vital for planning your positioning and early moves. You may be able to forgo your first move, allowing you to activate skills such as Death from Above (Bellator) or Observation (Certus).
Ascension: If you can attack an enemy from above, your damage is increased by 50%. It’s huge, so use every opportunity to get to the high ground.
Cover: Terrain, such as tall grass, provides cover, reducing the number of hits a unit takes from ranged fire when targeted. This can be critical, especially for melee units approaching ranged units.
Adjacent enemies cannot use ranged attacks: When attacking, try to corner ranged units with melee units, as this will drastically reduce their damage. Similarly, try not to let your own ranged units get cornered. If you do, try to eliminate the criminals with other units before using this character to free them.
Barbed wire. Barbed Wire does not deal direct damage to you, but adds 50% to all incoming damage – which can be fatal. When attacking, be aware of special skills such as Mortis Round (Certus), which can knock units back a square, which can make them more vulnerable. It can also push units out of cover or high ground.
Skulls over Enemies: When you aim at an enemy, it shows how much damage you will deal to them – both as a number and as a percentage of the health you remove. They may also have a skull or skull with a black fissure above them. Remember that the damage dealt will be between -20 and +20 percent of the number shown. A skull means that killing a unit is within that range, while a cracked skull represents a hit that can kill a unit. Overkill is very important against enemies that can regenerate after being hit, as it negates this ability.
Unit placement: range of motion is extremely important. Many units have close range or limited range, especially where there is height, so see where everyone can get before you start your round. Can a wounded unit get close to your healer and keep attacking? Who can take their turn next to Varro Tiberius to take advantage of his psychic fortress ability?
Remember that each character has a special skill – but it can only be used once per battle. These special skills can make all the difference in your squad composition and often decide the outcome of a battle, so be sure to use them wisely. It can be tempting to use them early on, but some are definitely better to hold onto until the end of the fight.
For example, Varro Tiberius’ Storm of Wrath can deal damage to three nearby targets, so is often ideal early on when enemy units are likely clustered together. But Ballater’s Death From Above is much more effective later on, as each round of combat adds another potential unit to the number of summoned.
Keep an eye out for Mission with Special Powers too. This daily quest rewards you simply by using your character’s special abilities multiple times a day. If it’s active but you don’t have much time to play, don’t forget to use all your abilities in every fight, even if they won’t make a big difference. Those bonus coins, shards and experience are worth it.