Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus


This launched yesterday and I picked it up on a whim and I absolutely love it.

Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus, Bulwark Studios’s tactical dungeon crawler based on the Games Workshop mega-universe is out now. It pits the Adeptus Mechanicus (an especially barmy bunch of cyborg engineer-cultists) up against the Necron; what you’d get if you put Warhammer Fantasy’s Egyptian undead and The Terminator in a blender. Systems-wise, it’s a blend of FTL’s choice-filled exploration and XCOM-like tactical combat, with your squad of mad monks facing down waves of robot mummies. Below, a launch trailer and a longer peek at its systems.

As big as Mechanicus’s maps look, they’re not procedurally generated. The game contains a total of 50 missions, though it seems not all can be tackled in a single playthrough, and there are multiple possible endings. An interesting way to do things. Once you’ve picked your mission and equipped your squad, the game is broken into two halves. Exploration has you working your way half-blind through Necron mazes, making decisions and occasionally rolling the dice against your squad’s stats. Some devices have Necron symbols that you have to manually decipher, too.

I actually thought they might be procedural - that is a shame, but like it says, you won’t get through all the missions on one play through because of the way things branch and play out.


Bump into baddies and it all goes a little bit XCOM, and zooms into a close tactical turn-based combat mode, although with seemingly far less focus on cover. Warhammer 40k is all about standing proud in the middle of the battlefield anyway, so it makes sense. The Necron being the self-resurrecting swarm that they are, it looks like you’ll be greatly outnumbered in most cases. I’m curious just how much of a battle of attrition this will lead to, although from the little I’ve seen of its combat so far, there are some satisfyingly room-clearing area of effect attacks.

Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is out now on Steam and Humble and costs £23/€30/$30. It’s published by Kasedo Games

I’d say it is definitely worth the £23. I’ll post up some impressions under this.


I have it on my wishlist.

Throw up some initial thoughts and I’ll probably get it.

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Brain fart first impressions/thoughts:

This is XCOM meets a shallow D&D.

Firstly, the way the game works isn’t well described anywhere. It IS very XCOM but there are differences.

You have the ‘Apocalypse’ timer from XCOM 2 which is a percentage bar that ticks up to 100% for Necron awakening as you do missions - the longer it takes you to complete a mission or the worse it goes the quicker the Necrons will awaken. I don’t know what happens when they awaken.

You have a world map but not exactly like XCOM. You interact with missions through portraits of various senior tech priests in the command centre of your ship. These priests are located on different parts of the world you’re on and offer variations on each others’ missions (explore, recover, fight, etc). Similar to DOW2, the more missions you do for each priest the harder their future offerings will get, introducing new enemies, larger numbers of enemies, stronger enemies, time constraints, events, new objectives, etc.

This is where it really differs: When you’ve chosen a mission you command the mission from the command centre through a holographic map. You see a top down view of each room in the Necron tomb you’re exploring and see holo representations of your team as well as known enemy positions, points of interest and your final objective.

There are usually two ways to your objective with some routes being a complete mystery where you’ll be chancing your luck (could be a smooth ride, could end up as hell) and others offering definite confrontation but against known enemy.

There is an encounter with a ‘check’ in each room that varies from discovering new technology, to the remains of an old team, to opportunities for research, etc, etc. They work like speech checks. You are presented with a scenario and then have two or three possible courses of action that can mean you try to avoid a confrontation, to full on battle, to researching a new piece of tech, taking readings, stealing tech, pay respects to a fallen priest, scrapping a fallen priest, etc.

The outcomes seem to be random with a mixture of good and bad ranging from receiving a reward, to being damaged, giving the Necrons in future encounters bonuses/boosts, speeding up your run, etc. Each one of them tries to pack a bit of story/lore in as well and so far have both saved and doomed me later in the ‘dungeon’.

This is about 2/3rds of a mission, the other 3rd is the actual combat. This is fairly standard XCOM but uses command points instead of ammo/stamina/etc. You start by positioning your forces on to a starting grid in the map. Your party is made up of primary Tech Priest units that you unlock and that level and can be customised in the usual RPG fashion and support units that you unlock and have different roles and associated costs to field. In a mission, you will need command points to field a support unit. Your command points and health carry over between battles so if you go in to a fight with no command points you’ll only be able to field your priests in the first deployment phase.

As you generate more points in the battle you’ll get to the beginning of a new turn and get to do another deployment phase where you can call in your support units and place them close to your existing units for a point cost (better units have higher costs).

These points are also used to carry out certain actions or extended the amount of actions you can do in a round. The points are collected from pylons, fallen enemies or from certain actions and your priests can be upgraded to generate points during a battle. These points can let you extend your base movement range and are used by some actions (like scanning, interacting with the environment, completing and objective, etc) and weapons (Nice big plasma beam weapon I have that can one shot necrons needs THREE points). The points are in a pool which can be upgraded but you start only being able to carry 4 at a time which really does squeeze you during some turns.

Another difference to the battles is the enemies: Necrons don’t die. You have to ‘kill’ them twice at which point they’re teleported away. The first ‘kill’ is to knock them in to repair mode giving you three turns to then further damage them to the point where they teleport away to be reconstructed elsewhere. If you don’t get to them in time (Standard is 3 turns) then they resurrect with some or all of their health and armour. You can end up with certain debufs that make them return to the battle quicker.

The enemies are all lore friendly and I’ve come against:

  • Warriors - Beastly starting enemy with slow movement but long range and high potential damage. Must be ‘killed’ and then phased out.

  • Scarabs - Packs of three that come from vents and can attach and poison you (status effect which deals long term damaged unless healed) or heal other Necron units. Really irritating little buggers. Kill em once.

  • Flayed ones - Warriors with claws instead of a gun. Hard as nails, really bad news if you let them get in to close combat. Must be ‘killed’ and then phased out.

  • Immortals - Warriors on steroids. Slower moving again but have an AOE version of the warrior weapon that has a wider damage potential but can hit really hard and over a decent area. Higher armour and health, need to be killed twice.

  • Lords - Immortals mixed with flayed ones and given meth. Hard as nails, have abilities like teleport, lots of different attacks. Nasty. Must be ‘killed’ and then phased out.

  • Destroyers - Immortals on a hover tank body. EVEN harder than nails. Fast and far moving, long range, line of sight weapon with very high damage, nasty piece of work. Must be ‘killed’ and then phased out.

  • Destroyer Lords - Destroyers with a Lord body on top instead of an Immortal. Literally cannot get passed their armour as my characters haven’t been levelled enough. Run, don’t fight. Must be ‘killed’ and then phased out if you can even dent their armour.

  • Death Marks - Sniper versions of warriors that can teleport. Very accurate and high damage but about as strong as a warrior. Must be ‘killed’ and then phased out.

  • Crypteks - Tomb Spiders on steroids. Move fast and far, high ranged damage, high melee damage. Bad news. Must be ‘killed’ and then phased out.

That is all I’ve come against so far.

I’ll go through some stuff on upgrading your priests when I’ve learned it a bit better.


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So, basic yay or nay?


Words n stuff

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Really enjoying this.

I absolutely do not know how a ‘dungeon’ run will turn out. I’ve been battered in Easy missions but then go in to Normal and dominate.

The strategy element and the initial disposition and later spawn points of the Necrons really play a big role. My Plasma gunner is useless if I have no command points and/or he’s out of range but he’s a monster in the opposite case.

Remembering to finish off Necrons quickly is also a key thing to remember - I’ve left some downed Necrons while I deal with what looked like more imminent threats only to have it take two turns to deal with another threat and then find myself with a resurrected Necron in the midst of my party.

Loving it


Unlocked a bunch of support units:

  • Servitor Level 1
  • Skitarii Vanguard Level 2 (Ranged)
  • Skitarii Ranger Alpha Level 1 (Close Combat)
  • Skitarii Ranger Level 1 (Ranged)
  • Kastelan Robot Level 1

Up to four Priests:

Magos Leonardus:

Magos Driocus:

Magos Jeremiah:

Magos Manarius:

Come up against a few more units but nothing has yet given me more trouble than the Destroyer. Absolutely minced me a few times so I’ve taken to ignoring everything until the destroyer is dead when I’m facing one.


After showing off my new toys…I rage quit my first game.

A ‘Normal’ mission gone Pete Tongue after a string of failed checks in previous rooms, ended up buffed with several lots of +initiative, -resurrection turns and extra necrons.

Spawned in to what was essentially a pincer move with, I shit you not:

  • 1 Destroyer (Fuck destroyers)
  • 2 Scarabs
  • 6 Warriors
  • 5 Immortals

Oh yeah, and every fucking one of them had high level armor and shields so my shots were doing almost nothing to them.

My Castelan goes down in a single Necron turn having hit nothing. My two ranged Skitarii get mangled by an Immortal that took three rounds of shooting from a priest and the two skitarii before it went down only for a warrior buddy of its to spawn behind my messed up skitarii.

Tried hugging cover with my other three priests to try and do something about the destroyer. Get muntered taking it down only for the necron buffs on the mission to have it right back up the next round - oh, and it can move and fucking shoot when it gets res’d.

Alt+F4’d when the Destroyer came back and one shotted my highest level priest and I noticed that every other member of the party were one shot away from death.

Normal mission my arse.


From RPS review: “It’s so close to being fantastic it hurts”

Yeah, I’ll get this this evening via a steam voucher. I have a voucher card I have to use up, so I’ll grab some steam wallet funds I reckon.

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Just read that, the points they make about it being too easy don’t reflect my experience.

I think that the random factor embedded in the various mechanics really does change the experience for each player because I’m having games that are waffle-stomp easy and others that are just unfair.

The reviewer seemed to be having an easy ride.

Very good game thought.

Well, bought it on Humble Bundle and created a backup in the office, so I’ll give it a blast over the weekend :slight_smile:


So I got a shipment of Necromunda stuff yesterday, it came with a coupon for the Omnissiah Edition Upgrade.

Does anyone want it or need it?

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I now have 2 upgrade codes as I received a box (a whole box) for a single pack of gang cards from GW just now…

I am thinking of getting it in the not too distant future. So if no one else want, please could i :slight_smile:

It’s only a code to upgrade to the Omnissiah edition, rather than the full game, just bear that in mind :slight_smile:

Yep understood. i want to get the full game next week :slight_smile:

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