Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War

Jhoh "Creexul" Cable and Jsoh "Joosh" Cable 11/3/2006 

Dis is a mighty fine waaa we got goin on here.

If I had shadows on, you could probably get a sense of people flying through the air.
This is the ideal RTS, because basically everyone is the bad guy and the purpose of all life is to die fighting enemies. While the gameplay is a more modern mix of the usual victory by total domination, it really fuckin shreds like a dunting guitar by putting this kind of gameplay into a game universe that is most suited for it (an insane one). Apparently in the year 40,000, there's a lot of war, mixed with the occasional cutscene of hero units screaming all of their dialogue. Night elves are gay.

The closest thing that the Warhammer 40,000 universe has to a "good guy" race is the Eldar, only because they whine a lot and seem to have some sort of purpose against stopping the various evil forces. I guess that makes them sort of like an elven race, especially because their arrogance is matched by their total fawkin incompetence by having themselves as a race completely fucking ruined and almost wiped out from their own actions before this game even takes place. The human race in this game fights evil, but at the same time they're some kind of weird ass crazy imperial totalitarian uh uh imperium mixed with a technological religion. Also they're all dicks to each other, and hate each other for being dicks, that is when they are not PURGING THE GALAXY OF THE TAINT OF THE FORCES OF CHAOS. O_________O Much like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the PS2 where I've never heard so many n words flying out of my game console (and on to my property where I have to run them off with a shotgun and some yelling), Dawn of War will throw the word "taint" at you about 5 times per cutscene.

Crazy ass story

The actual events of this game sort of take a backseat to the universe itself, where all of humanity is a non stop war machine yapping for thousands of years about the emperor and cleansing heresy and inquisitions and shit. The "heresy" in this case is the totally batshit insane forces of chaos, which comes from something called "the warp," which is like an alternate plane of space or dimension or something that is tapped in to by psychic forces to create faster than light travel and stuff. Thinking of Event Horizon helps. Also, reading the backstory on some Wikipedia website helps. Lots of crazy ass stories about THE HORUS HERESY and other stuff that makes it look like humanity is reliant on psychic powers and energy and shit, putting them constantly at the brink of turning into chaos forces and weird demon shit. But you don't need that to play this game, or understand it, or care.

The actual "forces of chaos" in this game are basically space marines, but all evil and weird. And hilarious! ^_^ The best part of the cutscenes in this game is watching the ridiculous chaos heroes get way over the top line delivery for everything, from Lord Bale's constant snarly gurgly screaming of everything, to Sindri's ridiculous ultragay demonic inflections and hissing. Perhaps like a crazy merging of Truman Capote and Cookie Monster. So these crazy motherfuckers stand around planning to manipulate the orks into killing humans for them while they try to free an imprisoned super demon, while turning one of your human hero units to evil. They do those things and then your main human hero unit by the end is like "psh so?" Then the game basically ends, leaving room for a billion expansion packs and possible mods.

The orks in this game are what you might know as "orcs" in other games, because they are green and big and swing axes a lot, and have snarly voices. Except that's increased by a few trillion percent in this game, where they all have UNBELIEEEEEEEEVABLE cockneyish accents and the only thing that interests them anywhere is WAAAAAGH which is I guess "war" to them, but in that crazy sort of Warhammer 40,000 ork way where every possible goal is achieved by hitting or shooting something until it explodes. Also they really like the color green, which is the same color they happen to be! ^_^

Meanwhile, in Dawn of War: the video game, you start with your force commander hero unit, and he has a possible mysterious past where he ordered an "exterminatus" on his own home planet, which would be killing every person, man woman and child. Apparently because the planet was being corrupted by chaos or something, whatever. I guess those things just sort of happen (psh perhaps?). But he might feel guilty about it, and he doesn't want to talk about it to Imperial Lackey #1 in the cutscenes. Meanwhile an inquisitor (which is like a super high ranking dude who would be like Internal Affairs and the IRS combined) visits because he doesn't like what's going on on this planet, and he might be getting too old for this shit. Also involved is your commander's friend, a "librarian," another super high ranking warrior dude with psychic abilities. He keeps getting haunted by that Sindri chaos dude, and you can tell from the librarian guy's voice acting that he could so go chaos soon, what with the second guessing of MY MAIN MAN's orders and the occasional saucy inflection.


In an RTS, you aren't really unleashing carnage unless you have fuckin guns spraying all over. Anything less might as well be armies throwing paper airplanes at each other. WITHOUT THE PAPER CLIP EVEN.
This game has more micromanagement than normal RTS games, but not in unit development. In fact, building up your army is easy as fuck. Instead of creating single units, and bunching them up, you create a squad of space marines (your standard RTS "dude") and hitting the "reinforce" button (the one that's just a couple of plus signs) on each squad to add more dudes to them. Space marines do basically everything, so they're the only infantry you need (you really don't need scouts or rocket soldiers, especially because you can't give them the heavier weapons and shit). They start with 4, you can increase it to 8, and then you can attach bonus units, such as your force commander or healer units to these squads to make them even stronger or give them special attack powwas. And you don't even need to hit the reinforce button 4 times to max your squad, you just right click it, the button will glow and continuously reinforce it until it's full, which is especially handy right in the middle of battle when your squads are losing guys. This works for most of the build buttons in the game, from adding special weapons to a squad to building squads and vehicles from the buildings. Meanwhile you have tons of upgrades available from the buildings, and all you have to do is click a bunch and forget about them (providing you have the resources) because they just queue themselves up no matter what they are. You don't even need to find buildings that need upgrades, because there's a button by the minimap that automatically selects the next building that has an upgrade available, along with a button for selecting your next builder unit and one for the next fighting unit. If you keep your squads up to snuff, you barely ever have to make new ones from your barracks, which eliminates having to go back to your buildings to keep pumping out troops.

The super streamlining of things like that in the game help counterbalance the more complicated natuuuuuuuuuure (OOPS TAINTED BY CHAOS FOR A SECOND THERE) of the game. You really need sergeants for all your squads (a sort of bonus unit upgrade you have to unlock by teching up the tech tree), because there are morale bars for each squad, and if their morale hits bottom, the squad breaks and they become really shitty, but the sergeant can counteract this with a "rally" skill that maxes your morale out again. Meanwhile you can add special weapons for your squads that do bonus morale damage to your enemies too, like flamethrowers, giant explosions that throw people everywhere, chainsaw swords or whatever scary shit. You have to add rocket launchers to your squads so they can fuck up buildings and enemy vehicles, and add plasma guns and gatling guns to do more damage to infantry. There's a button that changes stances and battle tactics for your squads, and if you get a hang of handling this you can really crank the damage you do way the fuck up, right up all the enemy's asses (taint?). I usually start by having all my dudes get in "assault" stance so they'll run in shooting and go to melee when they're face to face with enemy troops, then switch to "ranged" stance so the front guys are slashing with their crazy chainsaw swords or whatever (doing more damage) while the guys who would have to walk around everything just to get a space to fight will instead stand back and hose everything with gunfire. Still, you can have individual squads on assault and others on ranged and leave it like that, but this could cause a traffic jam anyway. This gets really tricky when you and your giant army get into giant battles with other giant armies, sometimes Eldar and Orks or Orks and Chaos both attacking your dudes at the same time. If you keep reinforcing your troops, watch morale, make sure you added weapons, keep upgrades up, handle your stances, and rotate phase modulation (to keep the borg guessing), you will basically be "roleplaying" "in character" as the super duper powerful army you are supposed to be.

In the future, people shoot each other.
The resource system in this game is weird, but not at all tricky to handle. Instead of having a string of guys bunching up at a gold mine, you just have a squad throw a flag down onto a capture point. This brings in "requisition resources." Apparently in this universe, resources are more of a symbolic thing. Clearly they got tons of space marines waiting to be fired all the way from the imperial ships in orbit directly onto your barracks, or one of those handy construction set buildings enclosed in some nice scaffolding, ready to be fired through the atmosphere and slamming into the ground throwing up dirt all over the place (which is pretty funny to see when you're starting the game) so you can get to work on it and get to winning the war. But why should the imperium give a shit? UNLESS you have a flag down! Woa okay, you put down a flag in that spot, you are worthy of more stuff and maybe it'll help cut through some of the bureaucratic red tape. Good for you! Don't bother yelling at the imperial emissary that you need more men, they're killin us down here you sons of bitches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! because the game won't care. You can tell this is a cool universe for an RTS because it is totally insane on a logical standpoint all the way down to the resource system. And I like that. ^_^ What gets you rich in this game isn't building a second base at the OTHER gold mine but running a handful of squads around capping multiple flags, which the maps are always full of, and having your builders envelop the flag in a special flag fortification. The actual resources work normally, you get points and spend them. Also your "lumber" in this would be power generated by plasma generators that you have to build. The tutorial really goes over this shit, but it's all delivered in a developer's calm soothing sort of "hey, you should do this ^_^" voice, instead of a general screaming at you about how you are wasting his TIIIIIIIIIIIMUH.

Once you got a handle on how this game works out, it's really pretty easy, even on "hard" mode which is in the "normal" mode's spot like in C&C Generals. Normal might be a good place to start though, because the battles in this game can be so huge that keeping track of all your squads and keeping them intact is full time work that involves staring more at your command buttons than the actual war. It can get really tiring, especially after a long mission where you've pinned the enemy down to the last corner of the map, and you just want to run your dudes in and wipe them out. Instead, you'd still have to right click that plus button and make sure that the guys in the back aren't set to assault stance so they aren't running into the backs of their friends in front of them trying to get a chance to slash at some sick alien fucks.

While the maps load, you can see the enemy forces coming right towards you, smooshing everything in their way. Also people might be hiding out in churches.
One small note, as an easter egg it seems that there are special animations that play when a hero fights an enemy hero, or when a hero or giant unit like a mech takes out an infantry, where they will pick them up and punch the shit out of them, or flamethrower them while in a mech grip, or the Eldar avatar who impales a guy on a sword and then flings him off (those avatars really fuck up your infantry quick). Pretty cool to watch.


The patching for this game is really weird, and each patch keeps fucking the game up or changing this or that. All I can say is if you're going to play single player, install Winter Assault so it will patch it up to the Winter Assault edition. I think it helps clean up some of the mess and bugs, and makes the whole assault and ranged stances easier to handle. On the other hand, I think the patches removed being able to zoom and swing your camera all the way to ground level. That kind of sucks, because you used to be able to just go right in to stare your units in the face, and now you can only watch from straight overhead or parallax view. I would recommend not trying online games immediately, because further patches apparently keep fucking the game up more and more.


Only tried it once or twice, but I assume it would be like the same Starcraft we've all played a billion times, but more complicated and possibly way more intense and perhaps awesome with guys fuckin each other up. Also, it's the only way in normal Dawn of War to play as the other races (chaos, orks, fags), until the Winter Assault expansion. Aside from that, apparently there are lag issues, and trying to play online will make you auto download the latest patch. If you want to play a crazy online RTS though, I don't see why you wouldn't play this.


It looks like the satellite view is shorting out, but this is basically what the planet looks like by the end.
Lots of micromanagement, but it is in an insane universe full of giant battles where your troops switch from guns to fuckin crazy ass chainsaw swords on the fly. Tons of cool shit makes keeping a handle on the game a lot easier than it could've been. Even the loading screens are cool, as each progressing mission shows an orbital view of gigantic red circles of ork forces swallowing up the continent of a planet that the game is taking place on with enemy and civilian movement in arrows all over the fuckin place, until by the end it is a giant red blob surrounding a tiny circle where you are, which is torn up by big glowing molten scars of evil fuckin chaos demons and uh uh uh fuckin uh (fuckin) insane war fighting shit.

Continue to the next page to read the Winter Assault review!

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