Here’s a sneak peek at the factions duking it out in Warhammer 40K Gladius: Relics of War

By Ian Boudreau 05 Jul 2018 0

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war. And also dakka. Lots and lots of dakka. You might say that there’s always room for more dakka. Warhammer 40K Gladius: Relics of War is due out July 12, and we’ve gotten a chance to look at some of the units that will be appearing (with dakka) in Proxy Studios’ upcoming grimdark 4X.

Slitherine has published two blog entries that provide details on some of the units you’ll find in two of Gladius’ four factions. So far, we’ve seen the Astra Militarum (more often known as the Imperial Guard), and the ever-present Space Marines. Now we’ve had a peek at some of the units for the Orks and Necrons as well.

GladiusImperium Bullgryn


The Necrons are a race of ancient automatons who have been asleep for millions of years – for Warhammer Fantasy vets, these are basically 40K’s spin on the Tomb Kings. Being that this is the 40K universe, the Necrons’ goal is to exterminate all organic life, which is a well-established tradition for hordes of robotic monstrosities. They’re tough, they can heal themselves on the go with the Necrodermis Repair trait, and if they’ve got the right supply setup, they can raise massive armies very quickly. Slitherine says the Necrons will be a “unique and challenging” faction to lead, so we’re keen to get our hands on these evil murderbots.

Necrons bring some devastating late-game units to the field. There’s the Monolith, a gigantic war monument that fires gauss rifles and swings a devastating particle whip for close-range combat. Night Scythes are a stealth vanguard type unit, with high maneuverability and speed. They’re able to penetrate enemy defenses and can beam other Necron units well ahead of the front lines. Then there’s the Tesseract Vault, a floating prison that contains a Transcendent C’tan whose powers are twisted to be used as a weapon of mass destruction.



The Orks in Gladius are recognizably Orky, with an influence mechanic that gives damage bonuses to leaders who do the most fightin’. Conversely, they’ll suffer leadership penalties if they go too long without the invigorating battle of WAAAGH! Ork units also scavenge scrap from defeated enemies, which means Ork players will be mechanically and thematically drawn into conflicts to fuel the war machine and keep da boyz happy.

In Gladius, the Orks will be bringing their Deffkoptas – flying bomber-skirmishers that can provide quick strikes and harassment. They’ve also got the literal pinnacle of Ork technology, the massive Gorkanaut – a towering metal mass of spinning blades and claws surrounding the toughest of Ork fighters. Finally, Dawn of War players will recognize the Gargantuan Squiggoth, a huge, tusked cousin of the lowly but vicious Squig. These carry a howdah filled with boyz on their backs and are covered with armor plating, which makes them much less friendly than any of Hannibal’s irritable elephants.

GladiusImperium Baneblade

Astra Militarum

The Imperial Guard’s troops may be the ham-and-eggers of the 40K universe, but what they lack in size and courage they (usually, at least) make up for in sheer numbers and devotion. Astra Militarum players will have to keep an eye on their formations, and potentially make examples of fleeing troops to keep morale strong. They’ll also be able to bring field artillery to the battle, and are the only faction that has this kind of long-range capability.

The Imperial Guard also has a few handy high-tier units. There are the Bullgryns, large mutant soldiers who wear armor made from Leman Russ tank tracks. They can draw fire and protect their comrades as they lurch into battle. The heavy Marauder Bomber can provide long-range support, while the gigantic super-heavy Baneblade tank can act as the tip of the spear in any Imperial offensive.

GladiusSM Stormraven

Space Marines

We’ve all seen a lot of Space Marines by now, but Gladius has a few mechanics that help set these armored super-soldiers apart from the other factions. First, Space Marines can deploy aid directly from orbit by using their unique faction resource, requisition. They can also employ unique Chapter Tactics, which provide buffs to specific units in the heat of battle.

Space Marines have their beefed-up Terminators available for battle, and these are capable of handling unsupported missions in enemy territory. But if things start to go south, the Stormraven Gunship can be scrambled to provide close air support with flak cannons, bolters, and heavy ordnance. Should the Space Marines run into a particularly tough fortress, they’ve got access to the Vindicator siege tank, which can bring down walls and lay waste to enemy pillboxes.

Warhammer 40K Gladius: Relics of War will hit digital shelves July 12, and you can pre-order the deluxe edition on and Steam.



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