Black Lab Games introduced the first paid DLC for W40K: Battlesector that looks lacking at first glance but there is more underneath the humble appearance.
Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector recently got two DLC packs, both of which are paid and each of them brings two new units, one for Blood Angels and the other for the Tyranids. So are these units worth paying for? Here is my breakdown of what the DLC packs bring to the table, compared against the costs and the overall conclusion.
What you need to know
- Each of these DLC packs introduces two units, at the price of $1.99 / €1.59 / £1.69 apiece
- You can use Blood Angels units in the singleplayer campaign but it's not mandatory
- Both released on the same day, more are probably in the works
Elites DLC impressions
Each of the factions gets quite the bump in power when they purchase the aforementioned units, which may spell out "pay-to-win" from the get-go. However, these units are appropriately expensive and can be played around. For example, Blood Angels' Terminators and Sanguinary Guard squads each cost 195 points and should someone choose to incorporate them into the army, they will likely have to forego a Dreadnaught or another powerful unit.
That said, when used properly, these units are extremely deadly. The Sanguinary Guard are extremely mobile and have the firepower to rival Inceptors or melee capabilities that exceed the Assault Marines. With 80 HP per unit, they are not as squishy as Assault Marines but not as sturdy as Inceptors. Their ability guarantees additional AP upon killing a model if used close to an HQ unit on top of increasing accuracy and crit chance for their already powerful weapons.
On the flip side, if you were to pick an Assault Marine squad and an Inceptor squad instead, you would end up with:
- 35 points left for army creation needs,
- ability to attack with ranged and melee weapons in the same turn
- access to Krak Grenades, Assault Tactics and Death From Above
- Total of 600 HP instead of 400 HP across all units
The Guard can attack twice in the same turn but it's not guaranteed and their loadout can make them highly efficient against heavy units and swarms. Then again, if you go for the Inceptor and Assault Marine combo, you can do the same, depending on their loadouts.
In other words, picking the Sanguinary Guard is a tradeoff that you can choose when creating an army and depending on your skill and knowledge, it will either be the wind in your sails or a bad gambit.
Similarly, you can go for the Terminators who pretty much rival the power of a Lieutenant but their mobility through teleportation is both a blessing and a curse. It's extremely powerful, letting the squad jump deep into the enemy territory as it allows a traversal of up to 10 units but the tradeoff is that you can only use it once during a deployment. This makes them a fantastic counter to Exocrines who might be taking potshots from two planets away.
However, these Terminators are strictly melee combatants and they can be countered by kiting and picking them off with long-range weaponry. While sturdy, a combination of a powerful shot and a Venomthrope can take them out as if they were made of wet tissue.
The same goes for the new Tyranid units - powerful uses with clear weaknesses that can be exploited by the vanilla models. Broodlords are immensely powerful melee units that can shut down Overwatch and Pistol Reaction shots or outright kill more than half a Blood Angel squad with the melee attack and high base mobility. On the other hand, each one of these powerhouses costs 320 points. Without proper support from other units, it can easily fall prey to the likes of Hellblasters who will spend time out of its range.
Speaking of Hellblasters, the other Tyranid addition is a direct counter to them. Hive Guard is costly, at 150 points per squad, but they have the exact same range and optimal range as Hellblasters. The difference is these units can ignore partial cover, so if you're looking to kill an enemy squad of Hellblasters, just jump into a cover of your own and enjoy your superior accuracy. Hive Guard's most painful counter will be mobile melee units, of which there are plenty in the Blood Angels.
Delivery and monetisation
As you can see from the unit impressions above, it is hard to argue the addition of these units is pay to win. With a very good balance overall, all these new units do is add flavour and options to your army creation, instead of spearheading the meta. Black Lab Games deserve a lot of praise for this because they could've easily made these units too powerful in order to drive sales.
On top of that, the DLC costs next to nothing and definitely adds a lot to refresh the game for the fans. When you couple that with the fact that Battlesector price itself is sitting at almost half the regular AAA rate, there is no viable conclusion other than that the DLC pricing is nothing but fair.
Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector - Blood Angels and Tyranid Elites DLC adds a lot of flavour to an already impressive game and doesn't even cost much to purchase. The quality of the new units is enough to push you into replaying the campaign while the impact on multiplayer so far looks simply fair and far from pay to win practices.