Warhammer 40K Tacticus: Essential Battle Tips

Quick Links

  • Setting Up Your Battles
  • How To Pick The Right Balance Of Units
  • Warhammer 40K: Tacticus Battle Strategy
  • What Are The Best Ways To Use Special Skills?

The Warhammer 40K: Tacticus turn-based strategy game is deep in theme and rich in characters. The sci-fi setting sees brave marines struggling to contain the threats of Orks and Xenos across the galaxy, with each character given their own backstory in this huge, expanded universe. But what most players come for are the battles, and it doesn’t disappoint.

There’s a battle for everyone in Warhammer 40K: Tacticus. The Arena brings you PvP combat, while Guild Raids offer epic boss battles. You can go on Salvage Runs and Onslaughts to pick up valuable gear or follow the Campaigns to dig deeper into the stories of each Faction. But whichever paths you choose, you’ll need to perfect how to set up and take on various obstacles to compete. Below you’ll find battle tips to help you in your early plays of Tacticus.

Setting Up Your Battles

Before entering some battles, you can get an idea of their toughness by checking the Battle Difficulty.

In Campaign levels, you’ll have a skull level. For example, a four-skulls rating equates to a ‘very hard’ battle. This is based on the power of the enemy versus the best possible battle power you can take. So, as you level up your characters, these old battles will reduce in difficulty (they do not scale).

Similarly, in the PvP Arena, you’ll see a power ranking next to each potential opponent. This can be a useful way to gain XP for your weaker units, by deploying them in battles where you have a big power advantage. However, remember units that are lost in the battle only gain half XP.

How To Pick The Right Balance Of Units

If you are wanting to maximise your XP, or need three medals for a Campaign level, make sure you include a Healer in your squad. Early on, Incisus is perfectly serviceable. But you’ll soon gain access to Isabella, who has the added advantage of being able to revive a unit. If you are battling multi-unit enemies, include units that do multiple hits with their attacks such as Bellator and Vindicta.

Also, consider the size, complexity, and elevation levels on the battlefield. Which of your units will best be able to traverse the battlefield, or use its size to their advantage? Slow units (especially with two movement points) can really struggle on tight, winding maps. While those with Flying, such as Bellator, can shine. Tight maps with a lot of melee enemies can make it hard for your ranged units to maneuver, or force them into bad hexes (low elevation, or razor wire) to get their shot off.

Finally, think about the kind of battle you’re entering. Salvage runs are made for ranged units, who can stand on one piece of loot while shooting another. Or if you’re looking for a Lightning Victory, can you leave your healer at home in sacrifice for more immediate damage?

Warhammer 40K: Tacticus Battle Strategy

Before you start the battle, consider the initial placement of your units carefully. If you're going to be split up, perhaps on two flanks, look at the enemies on each side and make sure you have the right foil for them on that side of the battlefield. Equally, where is your healer going to be best deployed? Do you have a good blend of ranged and melee damage on each flank? And can the units get into attack range, or to the strongest positions in their part of the battlefield, quickly? If you let the enemy get the high ground, for example, it will quite literally be an uphill battle.

There are several considerations you always need to have at the front of your mind during battle:

  • You always go first: Click the ‘Enable danger zone’ icon on the bottom right of the battle screen before you begin. This will show you whether you’re reachable by each enemy unit – vital to planning your positioning and early moves. You may be able to forgo your first move, allowing skills such as Death From Above (Bellator) to build or Overwatch (Certus) to trigger.
  • Elevation: If you can attack your enemy from above, your damage is increased by 50 percent. This is huge, so take every opportunity to get to higher ground.
  • Cover: Terrain such as long grass gives cover, reducing the number of hits a unit will take from ranged fire when targeted. This can be crucial, especially for melee units moving in on ranged units.
  • Adjacent enemies can’t use ranged attacks: On offense, try to corner ranged units with melee units as it will drastically reduce their damage. Similarly, try not to allow your own ranged units to be boxed into corners. If you do, try to eliminate the offenders with other units before you use that character, freeing them up.
  • Razor wire: While it doesn’t damage you directly, razor wire adds 50 percent to all incoming damage – which can be lethal. On offense, remember special skills such as Mortis Round (Certus) that can push units back a space, possibly making them more vulnerable. This can also push units out of cover, or off of elevated spots.
  • Skulls above enemies: When you target an enemy, it will show you how much damage you’ll do to them – as a number and as a percentage of health you’ll take down. There may also be a skull above them or a skull with a black crack in it. Remember that damage done will be between -20 and +20 percent of the number shown. The skull signifies that killing the unit is within that range, while the cracked skull represents a hit that can overkill the unit. Overkill is very important versus enemies that can regenerate once downed, as it negates that ability.
  • Unit placement: Movement range is hugely important. Many units have short-range or limited options, especially where there is elevation, so see where everyone can get to before you start your round. Can an injured unit move to within range of your healer and still attack? Who can finish their move next to Varro Tigerius to take advantage of his Psychic Fortress ability? These small things added up, can be the difference between victory and defeat.

What Are The Best Ways To Use Special Skills?

Remember that each character has a special skill – but it can only be used once per battle. These special skills can be crucial in your squad composition and will often decide the outcome of the battle, so be sure to use them wisely. It can be tempting to use them early, but some are definitely better held back for later in the fight.

For example, Varro Tigerius’s Storm of Wrath can damage three adjacent targets, so is often perfect earlier when enemy units are likely bunched together. But Bellator’s Death From Above is much more effective later, as each combat round adds one more potential unit to the number summoned.

Keep an eye out for the Special Ability Mission too. This Daily Quest rewards you for simply using character special abilities a number of times each day. If it is active, but you don't have much time to play, remember to use all your abilities in each battle even if they're not going to make much of a difference. It will be worth it to grab those bonus coins, shards, and XP.

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