Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus
Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is a turn-based strategy game about the Adeptus Mechanicus finding a Necron Tomb World and trying to ensure that shit doesn't hit the fan too hard. The story for the game was written by Ben Counter and it's one of the few good 40k video games alongside the likes of DOW and Battlefleet since GW started handing the licences out to everyone who asks.
It has since received an expansion pack, Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus - Heretek.
Set some time after the creation of the Great Rift, Magos Dominus Faustinius, the commander of Ark Mechanicus: Caestus Metalican, discovers an old transmission from the planet of Silva Tenebris sent by a magos, who reports of an intriguing discovery on the planet. As a squad is sent down to the planet, they discover a Necron tomb, and that the magos who sent the message managed to wake them up, with your squad accelerating the process. Unable to receive reinforcements due to the Warp rift, the members and crew of Caestus Metalican must do everything they can to stop the Necrons from completely waking and causing troubles for the Imperium at large.
Cast & Enemies
The Crew of Caestus Metalican
Aside from the Magos Dominus, the other important characters, and mission givers, are:
- Tech-Acquisitor Scaevola
- "Calculating mission: +++Technology +++Artifacts +++Materials. Benefit > Risks. [Request] Mission commencement."
- Your very mechanical, as in removed her emotions completely and talks like a computer, advisor. Perhaps the most stereotypical of all Techpreists seen so far in any book or game since, her speech patterns are almost like crude computer code than proper English. She lusts after alien technologies, doesn't care at all about the lives of her underlings, and in the pursuit of her missions it quickly becomes clear she just wants lots of shiny technology, and doesn't care about where it comes from or how many Skitarii have to die to get it. Completing more of her missions will result in the xenarites flocking to Silva Tenebris in order to study the Necrons, while ordering exterminatus will result in her scuttling away to whine to her Order, the Xenarites.
- Lector-Dogmatix Videx
- "And when at last he came upon the vehicle, he perceived the distress of the engine therein and forthwith struck the rune and it was good."'
- Imagine your highly religious grandfather, or just an old, religious person, and you've just about got Videx. The opposite of Scaevola, in that his augments enhance his emotions and is more focused on the priest part of tech-priest. Acts as the spiritual advisor and is generally quoting one of the over 560,000 books stored in his mind. It's... difficult to say how much his methods work, as broadcasting binary prayers and filling the Necron tombs with incense smoke probably shouldn't do a damn thing. Yet, oddly enough, such methods work much more often than they should. Completing more of his missions will result in him being satisfied along with the more conservative parts of Mars, whilst preserving Silva Tenebris will result in him threatening to file charges of Heresy upon you.
- Sub-Domina Khepra
- "I dread to think of the cost. But if it is your wish, Magos, it shall be so."'
- The leader of the Skitarii of the expedition. She hates those who would regard them as just mooks to be thrown into the grinder. Her missions involve helping her skitarii in fighting against the Necrons better. In short, the most understandable and likeable leader, who is not afraid to throw shade to the others.
- Quartermaster Rho
- The person in charge of your ship and its supplies, and is prone to redundancies in his speech. He gives missions to ensure you've got enough supplies and that your ship can function.
- Prime Hermeticon Caprix
- "Sharpen the spears. Bay the hounds. The hunt is on."
- The one in charge of seeking high priority targets, and giving missions to kill them. Acts like a really weird hunter and speaks in one of the most ridiculous manners ever to be uttered by a Skitarii.
- Xenobiologis Tiresus
- A novice magos, who has been trained by Faustinius. His missions only appear if you press the Spacebar (activating the Noosphere vision) while in the Missions screen. Completing all seven will unlock a secret (and pretty powerful) Canticle to use.
- Servo-Skull Reditus
- An unusually chatty Servo-skull who probably drifts a bit close to tech-heresy canonically, but he narrates the intro so we'll let him off. Formerly a Magos Dominus before becoming a floating head, and may actually BE the former Magos floating around as a skull.
Like any Techpriest, you have the option to bring with you various meatheads of varying price (paid in blackstone) to support your Techpriests in battle. Although not as versatile or as powerful as your Priests they have specialized roles that can fill gaps in your squad very effectively.
- Servitor: Your initial troops. Cheap and expendable with no armor, five hit points, and a weak melee attack. They cost zero Blackstone, use only one CP to summon and also give CP if they get damaged. Useful as a meat shield the Servitor's only purpose is to tie up other units and die in battle. They are only capable of fighting Scarabs one on one but can swarm lone Necron warriors and do a lot of damage surprisingly quickly. Their first upgrade gives them a short-ranged taunt that also gives them some armour, while the second gives them a bit more health. Both increase their damage by a point, so they can end up remarkably useful even at the end of the game.
- Skitarii Vanguard: A mid to late game ranged unit that has a ranged attack that does decent physical damage. Although they originally used Arc Rifles an update changed the name to Radium Rifles. Pretty good, considering that they can be leveled up to have two physical damage attacks every three turns. Their second upgrade gives them 2 points more damage. Unlike the Ranger, they do not reveal enemy stats after firing.
- Skitarii Vanguard Alpha: Despite the name, Vanguard Alphas are just Melee based infantry. Unfortunately the focus on Melee often results in them having to get in close and nasty which, considering they are up against Necrons, is a really bad idea. They use Lightning Mauls which do energy damage and can arc between targets making them powerful against horde enemies like Flayed Ones or Scarabs, but they lack the punch to deal with nastier Necrons. Once upgraded, they can immobilise targets, but that still isn't enough to make them really useful.
- Skitarii Ranger: An early to mid game unit, these bad boys are your early standard infantry. They have a half decent energy attack (despite using Galvanic Rifles) but reveal enemy stats when they shoot them, and can be leveled up to have an ability that disables an enemy attack for it's next turn making them extremely useful support even in late game missions. Just keep in mind that they are fairly fragile with only 9 HP and weak energy shielding. Their second upgrade makes them always crit, making them a reliable source of armour-piercing damage.
- Skitarii Ranger Alpha: The less sucky version of the Skitarii Vanguard Alpha. Ranger Alphas cause physical damage and are potent crowd control with an AOE attack that does decent damage. Unfortunately again they are rather fragile for dedicated melee units and will die very quickly if sent into the front lines. Once they get leveled up though, they are able to fight in melee far more effectively.
- Kataphron Battle Servitor: Kinda meh. While they do great area of affect damage, they generally suck bringing down anything better than a flayed one. Combine this with their lack of range that can even damage you if you are not careful, and are too big to fit in some places, along with huge size and deployment cost. They are useful in the Tomb Of Ubjao but that's about it.
- Kastelan Robot: The big boys! What their flamethrower doesn't kill, their punch will. They can be quite expensive to call upon unless you go for secutor build to drop them (for free) on an unsuspecting necron. They got good defence and can be used as cover (its not optimal in most case, but still good to know). Overall a great late game troop, but at the stage of the game that you will use them, your techpriests should already be strong enough that they feel kinda overkill. Their upgrades give them a charge that immobilises targets, and a second flamethrower that hits everything in a circle around them. Gloriously excessive, just make sure that you don't set your precious cogboys on fire.
- Sicarian Ruststalker: A somewhat slow and squishy melee unit that has two main uses inside of combat: its attack pierces all armor, making it potent at dealing with tough units like lychguards that relying on shielding rather than raw hp. The second is that it gains critical hit chance for every attack, (and after upgrades gains 1 damage as well) meaning that the ruststalker can technically scale forever, sometimes doing 20-30 damage with a 60% crit chance in practice. This causes the ruststalker's opportunity attacks to be remarkably deadly, and it can shred though light enemy units for easy buffs. Ruststalkers benefit from the servo-skull buffing their movement since they struggle to close in on ranged combatants before being shot down, so the speed boost helps them close the distance.
- Sicarian Infiltrators: A really odd unit. They start untargetable until they make an attack, and with upgrades can return to cloaked every three turns. An excellent ability for getting your high-damage melee units in stabbing range... except that the infiltrator is only armed with a piddly little physical-damage gun. That 2-health scarab swarm will never know what hit it!
- Overlord Szaregon: The tyrant of the Silva Tenebris tombs, he talks a big game and is pretty scary, with two turns, teleports and a high-damage scythe. However, his lack of armour means that he'll likely end up realising pretty quickly why you don't fight fully-equipped techpriests while outnumbered.
- Vizier Mehlob: A big scary looking Necron Cyptek. He's not much of a threat in combat whatsoever, but he drains all cognition every time he has a turn which can delay some of your bigger guns. His boss arena has you marching slowly down a corridor full of energy barriers while he monologues and sends Triarch Praetorians to harass you. Hope you have some refractor fields!
- Grand Architect Neftusk:This Cryptek sits on a Canoptek body that can't be targeted by melee and mocks you a lot. He's got 30 HP and 13/13 shielding, which supposedly makes a direct attack impossible. He draws power from three generators around the map; each destroyed generator damages him for 10 HP and activates two heavy gauss turrets... Or you can invoke the Litany of the Electromancer so that your next (2, 3, 6) attacks will ignore all armour, then blast his smug ass to pieces with ranged fire.
- Ubjao, the Corrupted King: The third boss. A Necron Lord infected with the Flayer Virus, he has painted himself in blood, and donned a cloak made from the skin of his victims decorated with bones and skulls. He is completely mad and can no longer tell the difference between dreams and reality. He sits at the top of a spiral monument and sends hordes of Flayers backed up by Deathmarks. Every time you kill a Necron he gains four hit points even beyond his maximum, and worse yet, there is no way to get CP except killing his troops. This makes abilities that grant free CP valuable, and it is wise to swap out CP intensive weapons for more basic gear. Luckily, he has no armor himself meaning that even the most basic of guns and axes can hurt him.
- Void Admiral Agrolekh: The first Necron character your crew encounters, and the commander of the dynasty's space fleet. Arrogant even for a Necron. Convinced of his own superiority Agrolekh orders the construction of many monuments, statues, and murals dedicated to his glory, only to later demand them dismantled and replaced with even finer statues. He's a Destroyer Lord armed with a warscythe. His Nightmare Shroud makes him shift his formidable defense stat between Physical and Energy every round. Pound on him with the appropriate damage type. Relentlessly. Or- wait until the turn he's at 0 defense vs whatever you stack the hardest, and kick his ass then.
- Lord Astronomer Ekropis: A Necron lord convinced that he can read the future in the stars, but his star charts are either massively out of date, completely fabricated, or are plans for how the stars should be. He also likes to toy with you and mock you, and first introduces you to a new type of Necron capable of teleporting itself in the place of any other Necron (including Ekropis) makig it difficult to pin down your intended target. Very annoying and very obnoxious, Ekropis' death comes quickly enough as he is not as powerful as he thinks he is, as is only fitting for such a delusional mind.
- Warriors: The first enemy you will encounter.
They can't melee attackSince the release they have been updated and now are capable of doing opportunity melee attacks. They do 1 physical damage. They're relatively slow. Can spawn with both physical and energy armour, but usually don't have much of either. Kill them like you'd kill any Necron: focus your fire and keep shooting/chopping until they're gone, not just dead. They will always attempt to walk out of melee range on their turn, so if you can get up close then you'll get a free opportunity attack.
- Flayers: The basic melee enemy. Will rush towards you to hack at your troops. They have very low health and don't spawn with any armour. They will always run toward the last unit that attacked or killed a necron, so you can lead them into opportunity attacks fairly easily. Bring a flamer if you're hitting the Tomb of Ubjao and wipe them all out.
- Immortals: An improved ranged enemy. His Gauss Blaster or tesla carbine punishes you hard as it can do a fuckton of dmg to a single target or an area blast that also slows. They have decent health and usually spawn with at least 2 points of energy or physical armour. Treat them like you'd treat warriors: focus fire, and get up into melee for tasty attacks of opportunity.
- Deathmarks: A sniper unit, they can phase shift around the map (ignoring opportunity attacks) and do so automatically when they get hit, they also get overwatch, which means they shoot units that move in their firing arc. High priority target, as they've got low health and essentially two attacks per turn.
- Triarch Praetorians: One of the first actually dangerous enemies, that can take a low level techpriest in a 1v1. They use jetpacks to move around the map super fast, and have quite strong melee attacks. They also have a little shitty beam ranged attack you'll be glad to see them use. They usually spawn with both kinds of armour. Later on you'll start seeing Triarch Praetorians with voidblades instead. These ... are exactly the same.
- Lychguard: One of the strongest enemies you can face. The Lychguards are a melee enemy that have a bunch of HP and a crap load of armour, usually at least two of each type. They have a nasty ability called "Counter-attack", which does exactly what you think. If you attack them, they'll walk towards you and take a swipe. Remember that they can and will take attacks of opportunity: if you shoot one with a pistol from anything but maximum range they'll walk up, attack, then attack again when you back off. To make matters worse they'll go into a rage mode when at half health or below, doubling their offensive damage. Finally, their counterattack does not stop if their attack is disabled by something like a Ranger, so don't bother trying. Single them out and kill them with high-power ranged weapons or armor-breaking axe hits. Or, abuse the fact they walk towards whoever shot them to parade them past your melee and opportunity attack equipped magi and cohorts.
- Vargard: Annoying bastards. They carry war scythes and teleport themselves to swap places with other nearby Necrons. This trick is not exclusive to a certain cowardly Necron Lord. Frequently has significant armor of just one type. No special defenses on these guys; kill them with whatever's at hand.
- Crypteks: A necron support unit. They dont do much on their own, having only a weak melee attack, but they can heal fellow necrons, give them armour and steal your cognition. The most powerful ability they've got is to shave a turn off a Necron's reanimation protocol, which can result in a powerful foe like a Lychguard standing back up when you least expect it. They often spawn with both kinds of armor. Frankly, they're rather unimpressive; the healing is meagre and their attack is no better than that of a warrior. Kill the real threats first and make sure to double-tap.
- Destroyer: A big 4 tile beefy enemy. They have the same kind of attacks as the Immortals but they are much beefier. They usually spawn with 3-4 points of energy armor. Best countermeasure: their 2x2 size and lack of a melee attack makes it easy to box them in. Two turns per round doesn't help when there's a servitor sitting in its way. Get up close and laugh.
- Heavy Destroyer: Basically the Destroyer with a bit more damage and more health. They need to charge their attacks, but they also get two moves in one turn. You don't meet these very often and they aren't that much stronger than their lighter buddies. Their upgrade is actually range: a heavy destroyer can fire from across the map, given nothing in the way. As with destroyers, stand in their face and hit it with an axe.
- Canoptek Scarab: The small, annoying enemy. Can repair enemy troops and his attacks cause acid damage to your troops every time it's their turn. They have pitiful hp and no armour. Flamers work, and so does anything else.
- Canoptek Spyder: A decent threat, the Spyder can spawn Scarabs, boost nearby units' energy armor, and also melee attack. They are usually quite tanky and fairly hard to kill, frequently getting both kinds of armor. If you don't have flamers or other area-of-effect attacks these can be seriously problematic.
- Canoptek Acanthrites: An enemy with a sucky melee and ranged attack that exists simply to steal your cognition. Kill these obnoxious things so that you can use the cognition for the
EmprahOmnissiah. Like Scarabs, their attacks cause acid damage. Thankfully low-health, and rarely have more than 2 armor of one type.
- Canoptek Wraith: A somewhat unimpressive melee enemy. They seem to be immune to scanning, so hit them with weapons that ignore armor or do enough damage to not care.
In the early game, health is an issue and command points are an issue. Use Servitors as meat shields and CP generators until you level up a bit and get access to armor and extra HP. Throw in two ranks in Xenerite to get regeneration and a nice equipment.
Equip Mechadendrites that can heal you. Skip any healing equipment that costs CP until you have enough of them or until the other healing equipment gets much better than two of these cheap thingies.
Try not to use chants the first easy missions to get some better ones unlocked. Then do whatever you want. A good combination is to heal the current unit, to deal much extra damage with the next attack (for some alpha strike or last chance moment) and to get free CP.
Equip weapons that deal area of effect damage. Ensure that you yourself have high armor against this type of damage. Ensure you have a high critical chance. This also allows you to deal damage even if the armor of the enemy outranges your weapon damage (i.e. don't get fooled when "Damage 0" is shown for an attack). This way the piss poor weapons from the start can be used for a long time until you can equip Martian Deathrays and other nice things. Having at least one non-CP ranged weapon ensures you can send some Xenos back before they reanimate.
Skip all event rooms that are not necessary to cross. Instead go for glyph rooms and the ones you obviously need to finish the mission. In combat note that the "scan or destroy" objects are worth checking out in nearly all missions. Scan them first by standing in front of them to get extra Blackstone, then shoot/axe them to reduce the current alert level of the Necrons. That means faster level ups and more missions to do.
Only do the easiest missions first that reward most Blackstone or most useful equipment. Kite enemies, attack ranged guys in melee and vice versa: Standing right next to a ranged enemy with a Power Axe forces him to move for shooting, which results in a free attack.
Do all missions that grant extra CP until you have 7-9 CP. Don't start the Heretek DLC (the mutiny missions) though until you are really tanky - you cannot attack the enemies until they attack you first and they have hordes of units. The first mission is labeled Easy by the Developers. That strategy though works very well for your Tech Priests. With the proper equipment enemies cannot target you until you attack them. Combine this with CP exploitation and the game will be a peace of cake. You can even win missions without a single attack (a scan or destroy mission allows you to go for the scan with one Tech Priest and move back to the flee zone in one turn - too bad there is no pacifist achievement).
One way to exploit CP is the following: Use the Lexmechanic skills Extraction Protocol and Overcharged Cognition and the chant to grant 3/6/9 command points to get CP galore. Also equip Mechandrites that give you CP on use - one Priest with two Mechandrites that grant 3 CP each is nice to have (then think about up to three having them) - just poke objects/enemies with them; that obviously works well with close combat builds. Having the Cognition Freedom skill of the Tech-Auxilium on all Tech Priests allows you to build some fast and hart hitters: this makes all weapons with the requirement of 2CP to be used for free (once, until the cooldown wears off but all enemies are probably dead by then). Use your skills to carry over as many CP into the next room as possible. It is nice to start with a full CP bar.
With these skills you can wander to the Xenos you need to purge and do so before they even had a turn. Hit that pesky special units that are pain in the exhaust first; it even works with Overlords. With this Blitzkrieg setup you won't even need much healing equipment later. Be prepared to improvise though, as some bosses might screw with that strategy (e.g. by locking you into a room, forcing you to fight or swapping bodies).
It is also nice to let a Secutor drop some troops and let them shoot your target. Or drop a close combat unit in contact to a Destroyer. Skitarii Alpha are good for that; use the free close combat attack while the Destroyer moves into shooting range, then dodge his shot. By the time you should be there to back your guy up.