Some help coming your way!
Type: Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Genre: Strategy, 4X
Developer: Proxy Studios
Publisher: Slitherine Ltd.
Release date: 19 Oct, 2018
The first content DLC for Gladius was released a few months after the game itself was launched and brings five new units to the game, one for each of the factions that were available at launch, and an additional neutral unit that you’ll encounter out in the wild.
The four new units that you can construct are the Tempestus Scions for the Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum, Immortals for the Necrons, Flash Gitz for the Orks and the iconic Land Raider for the Space Marines, and they are very different from each other. There’s no real theme running through this pack, they’re just a random smattering of mostly iconic units, found at different places in the tech tree for each faction, with the Immortals being a really early game unit, and the Land Raider being a really late game unit.
The Tempestus Scions might at first glance just look like elite guardsmen, who are similar but better, and that might in some ways be true, they’re still armed with range 2 las weapons and they’re still infantry. But they serve a somewhat different role, as their guns have surprisingly high armour penetration, and they can move through terrain better than regular gaurdsmen. This is a unit that will be available in the late early game, or early mid-game and they’re useful, but not overpowered.
Necron Immortals are somewhat of a disappointment. They look like stronger and tougher Necron Warriors, but their guns leave a lot to be desired. At 2 range they have the same range as Necron Warriors and they are a little bit stronger, but the lack of armor penetration and rapid fire makes them deal less damage than you would expect in most situations, making them under-perform, and they’re not that much harder to kill than Necron Warriors.
Flash Gitz fill a glaring hole in the ork roster. Orks really suffer against lighter units that they can’t hit with their choppas (melee weapons) in the earlier parts of the game, and this makes Psychneuein, the neutral wasp creatures, a real pain in the rear for orks to fight. If you’re unlucky several groups of Psychneuein might appear near your starting base, which can really hamper your expansion, and while grenades might do the job adequately flash gitz are just so much better at dealing with these pests. Flash gitz also have the advantage of allowing the second line of the ork army be able to contribute in chokepoints, and their firepower is nothing to scoff at.
Finally there’s the Land Raider, a big metal box bristling with heavy guns. The Land Raider is an iconic 40k unit that’s been around since the early days of the game and it’s remained largely the same since day one, barring some visual changes . Land Raiders are heavy transports and can help space marines advance quicker and prevent congestion near chokepoints in the late game, and they’ve got more heavy guns than many main battletanks. It does show up very late though, being the second to last tier of the tech tree.
As for the neutral unit, the Neophyte Hybrids, they’re another light infantry unit, similar to guardsmen or cultists, armed with a ranged 2 rapid fire weapon, though what sets them apart is that they, like Psychneuein, can give themselves a temporary damage reduction, making them somewhat hardy. And unlike cultists they won’t randomly turn into a daemon prince if they kill something (something that was added for the neutral cultists with the Chaos DLC).
This is one of those “nice to have” DLCs that don’t really change much. Apart from the Flash Gitz, which can help turn what would be an awful start for orks into something more bearable none of the units feel necessary, which I guess ultimately is a good thing. Other than the Immortals, the units all serve a role and are different enough from what’s already available that they neither overshadow what’s already there or feel superfluous. But the Flash gitz should probably have been added for free to the orks just to fix their potential early game woes, and not locked behind a DLC, though that’s more of an issue with the base Gladius base game than this DLC in particular.