Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade is the second expansion pack for Relic's hit game Dawn of War. Released October 9, 2006, Dark Crusade introduces players to two new races from the Warhammer 40,000 universe: The Necrons and the Tau. Another major departure from previous Dawn of War titles is the overhaul to the single-player campaign. Rather than playing through multiple story-linked missions, players instead choose a Commander and take control of a specific army in order to take control of the planet, Kronus. The campaign is similar to Risk: players have their commander that acts as an attacking force and must go out and engage other adjacent territories. Declaring an attack prompts the player, who receives a choice of playing out a scenario against the opposing army for the territory, or having the game auto-resolve the scenario. Auto-resolution runs greater risks and may result in larger casualties. Capturing territories will grant players either an elite "Honor Guard" unit that will accompany their Commander into battle or a special ability, such as the ability to strike at any province during your turn. Players are driven into, and subsequently experience, story missions by declaring an attack on an opponent's "Stronghold." Completing a stronghold mission eliminates that race from the game.
Relic also included a map editor with the game that can be used to made custom mods and maps.
Dark Crusade was followed by Dawn of War: Soulstorm on March 4th, 2008.
The Necrons are an army of ancient, robotic followers of the C'tan. In exchange for a chance to defeat their enemies, the Old Ones, the Necrontyr, or Necrons, offered their being to the C'tan and were incased in the Necrodermis, a "Living Metal," of their own design. What the Necrontyr gained in lifespan, they lost in free will. Dulled in mind and senses, the Necrontyr became an army of slaves for the C'tan. The C'tan led the Necrons to victory after victory against the Old Ones, but eventually turned on each other. In the C'tan's brief moment of weakness, the Old Ones created the Eldar to combat the Necrons' Gods themselves. As a last measure against the Necrons, were they ever to take over the galaxy, the Old Ones also created the Orks to combat the Necrons but their creation was unpredictable and they lost control of it. It is at some point after this the Necrons descend into their many "Tomb Worlds" and begin a slumber that will not end until they are once again needed by their gods.
Now, in the 41st Millennium, the Necrons have begun to awaken from their eon-old slumber, summoned by the C'tan to strike at the warring races in the galaxy. The Necrons strike without notice and disappear without a trace before their enemies can regroup and counterattack, leaving untold numbers of casualties in their wake. The Necrons have no clear objective, but this is only a glimpse of the untold numbers that the Necron war machine has. In the case of defeat, a Necron army can "phase-out" taking all troops, fallen or otherwise, back to the nearest Tomb World to be rebuilt by the Tomb Spyders that lie within.
In Dawn of War, The Necron are one of the slowest races. They only have a single production center, their Monolith, and are very susceptible to early attacks because of it. To make up for their lack of speed and early production, the Necrons need only one resource: Power. Capturing Strategic Points increases the speed at which the Necrons can build units, rather than give them a resource like other races. The gauss technology of the Necron makes their weapons pack a formidable punch, and many Necron units have a chance of reassembling themselves once destroyed. Left to their own machinations, the Necron can awaken their Monolith, turning it into a juggernaut of destruction.
The Tau Empire
The Tau Empire is the youngest race thrown into conflict in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. In the 35th Millennium, explorers from Adeptus Mechanicus discovered a life-bearing planet that would later come to be known as T'au. At the time, the fledgling societies that existed had only just begun to master the use of fire and tools. Unfortunately, the explorers marked the world for cleansing and colonization, and the Tau seemed doomed to extermination. The colonization fleet dispatched to T'au was, in a fortunate turn of events, obliterated by a sudden warp storm, isolating T'au from the Imperium. By the 37th Millennium, the Tau had discovered many technologies, including gunpowder and stone fortifications. It was during this time that the Tau fought amongst themselves, nearly driving their race to extinction. But one night, several mysterious Tau approached the warring fortresses and spoke of "the Greater Good" for the first time. These mysterious Tau came to be known as the first of the Ethereals, the leading caste of Tau. It was on this night that the Tau were brought together and formed the Tau Empire.
It has been 6,000 years since their first encounter with the Imperium of Man, and the Tau have made huge technological leaps. Now in control of several star clusters, the Tau have been brought into conflict with the other factions of the galaxy while on their mission to spread The Greater Good. And while they do fight to protect their ways from the other races, they are perhaps one the more accepting races in the galaxy. The Tau Empire is not made up solely of those who originally inhabited T'au, with the most prominent outsiders being the Vespid and the Kroot.
In Dawn of War, the Tau play similarly to the other races, but rather than having a tech tree that is advanced through research alone, the Tau advance in tech tree by constructing specific buildings. And while the Tau have several strong close quarters units, they excel in ranged combat, making use of railguns and missile gunboats. In times of crisis, the Tau can call upon the Ethereal, a support commander who gives the Tau global bonuses and can call in air-support from the Air Caste, raining down destruction over a large area, much like the Space Marine's Orbital Bombardment.
The single player campaign of Dark Crusade takes place on the planet Kronus, a world on the edge of Imperial space. Kronus has been a Tau-controlled world for some time, but the forces of the Imperium have begun to mobilize against the Tau. The Chaos Word Bearers Legion has been attracted to the planet because of purported relics hidden on the planet. The Space Marine Blood Ravens chapter similarly wishes to find these artifacts, and will cleanse all those who stand in their way, including their brothers-in-arms, the Imperial Guard stationed on Kronus. An exploration group from the local Guardsmen company sent into the caverns all around the surface of Kronus discovered a dark secret: Kronus is a Necron Tomb world, and their intrusion seems to have awoken the slumbering army. Quickly, the Eldar from Craftworld Ulthwé arrive to combat the Necron threat. Noticing the commotion that has begun on the planets, local Ork tribes have begun a Waagh! against the other races. The Tau, seeing their planet in danger, mobilize to combat the sudden influx of threats. Players must choose which of the armies they will take control and will command them to victory against the other invaders.
Players take turns with the commanders of the other races, moving their army from its initial point on their Stronghold to the fringes of their territory and subsequently attack and defend as each round goes by in an attempt to be the first race to knock everyone else off of Kronus. Most battles play out like a standard match in Dawn of War, the main difference being the relative size of each force's starting base. Small forces attacking a well fortified defender will likely face heavy resistance early on into the match while a strong attacking force with a large forward base may easily overwhelm any defender. The overall goal is to proceed to an opponent's stronghold and defeat them in the unique mission that accompanies an attack on that territory. Total domination is the player's goal and nothing less will bring them victory. During stronghold battles against other races then during the game play the commander of the opposition will insult you or cry out a battle cry which usually signals an attack, and upon completing a stronghold battle a cutscene is given showing the defeated race's final moments as well as a debrief after the cutscene that glorifies your race in their victory.
Dark Crusade added two new races (Necrons and Tau) and several new multi-player maps. Each already existing race also got a new unit to add to their army and new abilities for them to use.
- Chaos: Daemon Prince (As seen in Campaign of original game, Chaos Lord transformation, supremely powerful melee unit)
- Eldar: Harlequin (Secondary Commander, close combat based, good at disrupting infantry)
- Imperial Guard: Heavy Weapons Team (Entrenchable fire support, sandbags provide large defense bonus, has anti-infantry and anti-vehicle upgrades)
- Orks: Flash Gitz (Ranged units, give Orks much-needed ranged firepower, similar to heavy-bolter marines but stronger)
- Space Marines: Grey Knights (Close combat specialists with unbreakable morale, especially effective against daemons)
|Windows 2000/XP||2.4 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent|
|DirectX 9.0C (included on disc)||512 MB system RAM (required for 8-player multiplayer games)|
|2.0 Ghz Intel Pentium 4, AMD Athlon XP or equivalent processor||nVidia GeForce 3 or equivalent with 64 MB of Video RAM|
|512 MB RAM||Sound Blaster X-FI series|
|3.5 GB free hard drive space|
|4x CD-ROM drive||1 disk per computer|
|64 MB DirectX 9.0b compatible AGP|
video card with Hardware Transformation and Lighting, DirectX 9.0b compatible sound card, 16 bit
|Internet: Cable modem, DSL modem, or better for online multiplayer play|
|Keyboard||Network: LAN or broadband WAN|