Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 (opens in new tab) seems to have grand strategy ambitions, judging by the new campaign trailer above. Where the first game features a single, Imperium-only campaign that linked the space battles together, Armada 2 boasts three ‘grand’ campaigns for five out of the 12 playable factions, full of systems and worlds waiting to be conquered before fuelling the endless war.
The combined forces of the Imperium, the Necron Empire and the Tyranid Hive each get their own campaigns, stories and accompanying mechanics. The tyranids, for instance, can seed worlds with their gruesome spawn before invading them, laying the groundwork for their visit, and rather than settling worlds, they simply consume them. The galaxy is big buffet.
On the grand strategy spectrum, it looks closer to Total War than Europa Universalis, with the main focus being building up fleets of warships and sending them into real-time space battles. There’s the hint of empire management, too, and you’ll need to think about where you’ll expand. Worlds have different attributes, including shipyards and research stations, while some might be hive worlds, agricultural worlds or some other type, each with different bonuses.
While the factions fight over territory, there’s another threat waiting in the wings. Not unlike Total War: Warhammer’s Chaos invasion, 40K’s own Chaos menace is gearing up to swallow the galaxy, so their arrival needs to be prepared for by fortifying worlds and recruiting new leaders to command an armada powerful enough to stop them.
Focus also announced a second preorder beta, kicking off on January 15 and running until launch. It will feature the first sectors in the Imperium and Necron Empire storylines, as well as multiplayer and skirmish battles.
Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 is due out on January 24.