Dawn of War II is the official sequel to Relic's previous RTS series, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. It uses the same graphics engine as Relic's other RTS title, Company of Heroes, inheriting several elements of that game in the process such as directional cover.
The Relic Formula
Dawn of War II, like Dawn of War 1 and Company of Heroes, is a game of territorial control. Instead of gathering resources from sites around the map, the battlefield is covered with strategic points. Each strategic point has one of two functions: it either adds to your resource income or it is victory point, necessary for a control point victory. In a standard match of DoW2, each side begins with 500 Victory Points. For each Victory point your team controls, the opposing team gradually loses points. If a team reaches zero victory points, they lose.
The basic unit of conflict in DoW 2 is the squad. This is a group of 3-5 soldiers with a similar tactical role. They are ordered around as a unit and behave as a single unit, manuevering with each other for cover and line-of-sight as closely as possible. Each soldier in an individual squad is actually an independent entity with its own HP bar and gun; the squad's members act quite independently of one another, but their attentions are always on a single target and cannot be split. As soldiers are lost, the squad can be retreated back to base for reinforcement, bringing the squad back to full strength. Through creative manuevering and positioning of squads, points are taken and victory assured.
Each squad has a list of individual upgrades available to it. These weapons serve to diversify or specialize that squad--a Tactical Marine Squad might procure a Rocket Launcher to improve their anti-vehicular capabilites or instead opt for the Plasma Gun to generally improve the squad's damage output. Appropriate use of heavy weapons is vital to effective countering as these weapon upgrades usually do massive damage when compared to the basic weapons of their type; they can also allow the squad to use new abilities that increase your options in combat, such as suppressive fire modes or stealth.
Cover is the summation of terrain advantage in DoW. A squad is in heavy, light, or no cover at all times. Squads that are in cover take greatly reduced damage from non-explosive weapons. Effective use of cover (and circumvention of the enemy's) is the deciding factor in many conflicts. It is still impossible to construct cover in Dawn of War 2, as it was in Dawn of War 1, but it is now possible to destroy nearly all environmental cover, unlike in Dawn of War 1, making cover a less reliable mechanic than it was in the prequel.
The majority of the base building in DOW2 has been discarded, putting an emphasis on squad customization and in-combat tactics. Each player's base consists of one unit production facility and two turrets for protection against raids. The main base structure has two upgrades that function as the only "teching" the game has to offer; these upgrades allow the main base to construct newer, potentially superior, units as well as increase the options for equipment on all units.
Power strategic points have been added to the game, replacing the more freeform power generation that was possible in DOW1. By capturing and then upgrading a Power Point, one can choose to build additional Power Generators in its vicinity to increase your power output. The same idea applies to the normal requisition points. This change moves the "base building" further onto the battlefield, making your production lines a lot more vulnerable.
As units kill or assist in the killing of enemy units they are now capable of levelling up, improving statistically in the process (i.e. more HP, greater weapon accuracy). This increases the gravity of squad loss; older squads become less disposable when they are superior to newer troops. As in Company of Heroes, if any member of a squad survives combat the entire squad retains its veterancy level.
While the concept of weapon upgrades did exist in the original Dawn of War, each commander now has a large array of potential items to equip themselves with rather than the simple upgrades of the past. A commander can wear three pieces of wargear at a time: a weapon, armor, and an item generally tied to their speciality. Don't worry about wanting to switch to another item as the game progresses; not only can you buy other items filling the item slot but you can switch back to the older upgrade for free if desired.
Single Player Campaign
The single player campaign of Dawn of War II is played from the perspective of the Space Marines in the Aurelia Sector. The story follows the adventures of a newly promoted Force Commander and his crew as they take back and crush invading legions of Orks, Eldar, and Tyranids (the other three factions in multiplayer).
Dawn of War II's singleplay focuses on controlling squads headed by unique character types. Players will select their squads and loadouts before a battle and then select a conflict zone from a world map to engage the enemy. Rather than build bases and amass gigantic assault forces, players will instead use their initially selected units and squads to essentially complete the entire mission. By the end of the campaign, 6 squads become available for deployment but only 4 can be selected for each mission. The squads available to the player are:
The Force Commander "Aramus"
A newly promoted Commander is sent to the Aurulia sector to lead the Blood Ravens' darkest hour. His reputation is such that the chapter expects that his leadership will be enough to tip the scales and save the Calderis system. A man of few words, he is known for keeping calm in tense situations always managing to find a path through to victory in the face of overwhelming odds. In battle he wields his Chainsword and Bolt Pistol or Two-Handed Thunder Hammer and uses Battle Cries to intimidate and command.
The Devastator Squad " Avitus"
The Devastator squad is let into battle by Avitus, a man famous for his hatred for the enemy, he distinguished himself in battle during the assault against treasonous Imperial Guard forces in Victory Bay during the Dark Crusade. Most of his squadmates did not survive the fighting causing Avitus to hate the Guardsmen and he continues to see them as traitors and weaklings to this day. In battle his squad wields the Chapter's heaviest weaponry such as Heavy Bolters and Plasma Cannons to support Assault and Tactical Squads, they are most commonly found in key positions with good fields of fire engaging the enemy from great ranges.
The Scout Squad " Cyrus"
The veteran scout Cyrus has chosen to dedicate his life to training the Chapter's newest initiates who serve as the Blood Ravens' Scouts honing them into fully-fledged Space Marines. Cyrus leads the lightly armoured Scouts and rely on stealth to gather intelligence, assassinate key targets and initiate surprise assaults. Few in the chapter will admit the need for cloak and dagger tactics but Cyrus' actions has brought countless victories in battle.
The Tactical Squad " Tarkus"
Tarkus, the leader of one of the Chapters tactical squad, is a veteran of centuries of campaigning and is renowned for his cool under fire, confidence and steely demeanour. Tarkus and his squad repelled wave after wave of Necrons in the Catacombs of Kronus during the Dark Crusade campaign earning Terminator Honours. The Tactical Marines are the mainstay of Space Marines Chapters, versatile front lines units who bear the brunt of all operations, they wield a wide variety of weapons such as Bolters, Flamers and Plasma guns and can absorb an amazing amount of punishment from enemy fire.
The Assault Squad " Thaddeus"
The recently promoted Sergant Thaddeus made his name battling Orks on Calderis and Typhon. He now leads the Chapter's Assault Marines into close quarters combat using their jump packs to close with the enemy dropping from the sky into their ranks.
As the saying goes, even in death Captain Davian Thule still serves. Having been cured of Tyranid poisoning well enough to keep him from succumbing to its effects, the venerable Captain is now permanently housed in a giant mobile sarcophagus with two powerful claws, a flamethrower, and a chain gun. Due to the Dreadnought's mechanical nature, Thule doesn't heal naturally like the other squads and does not benefit from the stimulant pack; he must instead be healed manually by another squad wielding a repair kit. He has vehicle armor, making most combatants ineffective against him, save those with missile launcher and other anti-vehicle weaponry; as they are capable of doing severe damage to him while he plods through the ranks spinning around and crushing his opponents to death.
Players are rewarded with wargear during missions, which then carry over into subsequent battles. Players will also earn skill points which they can use to level up attributes of their squad leaders, unlocking special powers and abilities.
Matches in multiplayer can be Team Battle, Head to Head, or Two on Two. A Team Battle pits two teams of up to three players or CPU's against each other. A Head to Head match is a match between you and one other player, either CPU or Human. A Two on Two battle is two teams of two players or CPU's against each other.
- Victory Points - You can win the game by capturing Victory Points. The team that controls the most victory points will run down the opposing team's Victory Counter. Win the game by running the enemy Victory Counter down to zero points.
- Annihilate - You can take the fight directly to you opponents and destroy their bases. If you eliminate all enemy bases, you will win the match.
You will requisition and power to purchase units and upgrades for your army. Capture points on the map to increase the amounts of requistion and power you are earning.
- Requistion - Requistion is the primary resource used for purchasing units. Be sure to capture requistion points.
- Power - Power is required for advanced units and upgrades. Capture Power nodes to increase your Power income. You can upgrade the Power Nodes and build up to three generators at them to generate even more resources for you and your team.
Four factions have been announced for the game so far, with the Tyranids being a new race to the Dawn of War series. The single player game follows a Space Marines campaign, whilst the multiplayer game will allow you to play any one of the factions.
"With this and Faith, I am unstoppable!"
Mankind's most powerful and feared warriors. They are men that has through genetic modification, psycho-conditioning and rigorous training been turned into superhumans. They are organized into small independent armies called Chapters and are loyal only to the the Emperor of Mankind and their Chapter. In the Dawn of War II campaign we follow a task force from the Blood Ravens Chapter and their fight to restore peace to the sector. Although few in numbers, the Adeptus Astartes are a force to be reckoned with.
The Apothecary specializes in healing and excels at supporting from just behind the front line with his abilities. Grants a regeneration bonus to nearby allies.
- Force Commander
The Force Commander is a melee specialist who can inspire allied troops around him to boost their effectiveness.
The Techmarine is a defensive specialist. He constructs turrets to defend territory and a teleporter relay to reinforce allies.
- Assault Squad
Equipped with a powerful jump pack, this unit excels at close combat. Upgrades include Blind Grenades and Melta Bombs.
- Devastator Heavy Bolter Squad
A three-man heavy machine gun team, good for suppression. Can be upgraded to do damage to light vehicles.
- Scout Squad
A cheap, fast unit that can be upgraded in several ways including combat shotguns or sniper rifles which give the unit the infiltrate ability. Can use frag grenades with the addition of a Sergeant.
- Tactical Marine Squad
A highly versatile infantry section. More effective at range but capable up close. Can be upgraded with rockets, flamers and plasma rifles.
- Devastator Plasma Cannon Squad
Three-man artillery team. Effective at dislodging enemy troops and vehicles from dug in positions.
Powerful melee vehicle that can be upgraded with an assault cannon for ranged attacks. The sight of a Dreadnought killing enemies inspires nearby troops and temporarily increases their weapon damage. Comes with the Emperor's fist ability and can be upgraded with an assaut cannon and the Dark Age of Technology upgrade.
Transport unit that allows nearby squads to reinforce. Includes light weaponry good against infantry.
- Predator - Heavy battle tank. Uses ranged weapons that are effective against both infantry and vehicles.
- Venerable Dreadnought
A more powerful Dreadnought. Highly effective in melee combat. Available through special powers.
- Terminator Squad
Powerful heavy ranged infantry units. Immune to suppression and can teleport.
- Terminator Assault Squad
Powerful heavy melee infantry units. Immune to suppression and can teleport.
"He who sees his own doom can better avoid its path. He who sees the doom of others can deliver it."
An ancient race that once ruled the galaxy as a vast empire, but are now scattered across the stars and fighting for their survival. They are few in number but still a powerful force, as they are amongst the most technologically advanced races in the galaxy. Their tactics are that of guile and speed, and they generally rely on their superior maneuverability to outwit their opponents. Their people are a proud, warriorlike race with an affinity to birthing powerful psychers.
A master psyker, the Farseer is a support caster who provides disruptive melee and strengthens troops with her spells.
An offensive psyker, the Warlock specializes in damage spells and front line combat.
- Warp Spider Exarch
The Warp Spider Exarch is able to hit and run with his teleport ability. He can also teleport allies bringing them to and from battle.
- Howling Banshees
Agile melee infantry. Upgrades include faster speed, the War shout ability and anti-vehicle damage.
- Guardian Squad
Weak unit but has the ability to use Plasma Grenades and Energy Shields. Can be upgraded with warlock leader to greatly increase combat effectiveness.
- Shuriken Cannon Weapon Team
Mobile weapon platform armed with a suppression weapon. It requires time to set up and has a limited firing arc.
Light infantry with long range weapons. Good against garrisoned units and heavy infantry, and can detect infiltrated units such as the scout. Upgrades include Infiltration and a Cloaking Field.
- Bright Lance Weapon Team
Mobile weapon platform armed with an anti-vehicle cannon. Like Devastator Marine it requires time to set up and has a limited firing arc.
- Warp Spider Squad
Ranged teleport unit good for ambushes and rapid deployment. Upgrades include an anti-vehicle grenade and better damage.
Light skimmer tank and troop transport.
Heavy walker unit. Upgrades include an anti-vehicle ranged weapon, and the ability to regenerate health.
- D-Cannon Weapon Team
Mobile weapon platform armed with a powerful artillery weapon. It requires time to set up and has a limited firing arc.
- Fire Prism
Skimmer tank armed with an energy cannon. Capable of high-damage focused shots or mid-damage disruptive shots.
Incarnation of the "Bloody-handed" Eldar God of War . Powerful melee unit that enhances nearby troops, making them resistant to ranged damage and immune to supression.
- Seer Council
Powerful melee units. Projects an aura that increases energy regeneration of nearby allied units. Only available with Farseer hero.
"Orkz is made fer two fings! Fightin', and winnin'!
The Orks are a green-skinned, savage and the scourge of the galaxy. They were created by an ancient, long gone race to work as a biological weapon for them, a past they share with the enigmatic Eldar. They live only to fight and brawl, as much amongst themselves as with the other races. Even though they use ramshackle and slapped-together equipment, they still manage to be a great force in the galaxy through sheer toughness, fearlessness and numbers.
The Kommando is a stealth expert that ambushes his prey.
Meks are responsible for maintaining the machinery that the Orks use. They also can enhance troops with their technology.
The largest and most powerful Ork, he excels at melee combat.
- Shoota Boyz
Standard ranged unit with the upgrade Aiming? Wotz Dat? ability.
- Slugga Boyz
Melee unit equipped with Choppa and Slugga weapons. Can be upgraded with Burna's and with a Nob leader can unlock the Recklessness ability.
Light Armoured melee and grenade unit. Has stikkbombz and stun bombz.
Jump pack unit good for forcing ranged enemies into melee combat. Can learn the Bommaboy ability with the Improved Jump Packs upgrade.
Heavy anti-armour units. Capable of firing rockets down with the Rokkit Barrage ability.
- Deff Dredd
Slow but powerful melee unit. Effective again infantry and vehicles. Has the rampage ability which allows it to move faster but takes damage. Can be upgraded with reinforced plating.
Fast, anti-infantry, transport. Can detect infiltrated units.
Suppression unit with a limited firing arc. Can be upgraded with the Beamy Deffgun(anti-vehicle).
- Kommando Squad
Weak ranged unit. Can use Infiltrate and detect infiltrated units. Other abilities include Luv da Dakka, Smoke Grenade and Burna Bomb.
- Nob Squad
Heavy unit made of large orkz that can do very high damage against infantry. Upgrades include 'Uge Hammers, Nob Leader and the Nob kit, which grants the Frenzy ability.
- Looted Tank
Slow ranged tank. Effective against infantry, vehicles and buildings. Can be upgraded with reinforced plating.
"I know you may find the Tyranids physically repellent to look at but believe me, you don't want to let them out of your sight."
The Tyranids are a nomadic, space-dwelling race that has immigrated to the Milky Way from a unknown galaxy. They live only to devour and absorb any bio-mass they can find, incorporating anything they slay into their already great numbers. They are known for striping whole planets of life and leaving nothing but empty, dead rocks behind.
- Lictor Alpha
The Lictor Alpha’s camouflage allows it to ambush and disrupt enemy infantry.
- Ravener Alpha
The Ravener Alpha tunnels under enemy lines opening up strategic tunnels for allies to use.
- Hive Tyrant
The Hive Tyrant is a large and powerful Tyranid that directs the swarm with powerful synapse abilities. The Hive Tyrant is immune to suppression.
- Hormagaunt Brood
Excellent at overcoming enemies in melee with their large numbers. Become much more deadly under the effects of synapse.
- Termagaunt Brood
Attacks from this unit cause the target to temporarily weaker to all further attacks. When under the effects of synapse, enemies hit are knocked down.
- Ravener Brood
Weak, high-damage melee unit. Good against infantry and can burrow under ground. Can be upgraded with the Devourer, an infantry effective ranged weapon.
- Spore Mines
Floating, mobile mines that explode a cloud of poisonous spores.
- Warrior Brood
Powerful melee unit that can be mutated to use ranged weapons. Their synapse aura increase durability of nearby Tyranids.
Massive creature of destruction that is impervious to small arms fire. Can be upgraded to have thornback armour.
Slow, weak, artillery unit. Includes the Focused Warp Blast and Warp Field abilities.
- Venom Brood
Heavy infantry with anti-vehicle damage.
Assassin unit that includes infiltrate ability and flesh hook attack. Detects infiltrated units.
A Carnifex with a venom cannon instead of big claws. Its cannon is good against all targets.
- Ripper Swarm
Cannon fodder unit. Good at soaking up ranged damage and protecting more important units. Cannot be suppressed while under the effect of synapse.
The first full expansion pack for Dawn of War 2 was announced on the PC Gamers UK podcast. It's named Chaos Rising and will feature at least one new race, the Chaos Marines, which were an original race in the first Dawn of War.
There is Only War - Update
There is Only War was released on July 30th ( Patch Notes)
Relic announced that patch v1.5 was currently in production on June 18, 2009, dubbed "There is Only War". This has been the biggest update yet introducing a number of balance fixes. The patch focused on re-balancing and/or re-purposing units with a higher emphasis on Tier I combat. This change will allow Tier I units to stay relevant in mid-late game instead of rushing to Tier II as soon as possible.
They have also added a number of new features including:
• Added the World Builder how-to guide to the root directory
• Fixed a bug where adding a horizon-mesh would cause World Builder to crash
• Pressing ESC now gets rid of the observer/replay attention arrow. If a unit is selected and an arrow is present, pressing ESC deselects the units. Pressing it again removes the arrow
• Selecting the HQ displays the player’s current tech tier
The Last Stand - DLC
October 14th, Relic released downloadable content for Dawn of War II called "The Last Stand." The Last Stand is a co-op survival mode where players take control of a single Hero unit (Eldar Farseer, Ork Mekboy, or Space Marine Captain) against overwhelming odds. Exactly three players (Heroes may be repeated) position themselves around a map and fight wave after wave of Tyranids, Orks, Eldar and Space Marines, while trying to survive and score as high as possible. The map has two strategic locations that increase the party's Score Multiplier and enemies will try to capture them. If a Hero falls in battle, he remains incapacitated until one of his teammates revives him. The game ends when all three Heroes are incapacitated at the same time. When the game ends, a screen displays an overview of the players's stats for that game (number of kills, deaths, etc) and the players are awarded equal experience depending on how far they got.
Levelling up in The Last Stand does not strictly increase a Hero's stats, but instead gives them new Wargear that they can equip to give them certain traits (passive) or abilities (active). For example, the Ork Mekboy receives "Electric Armor" at level 18, which has a higher Armor Rating than his starting armor and grants him the "Damage Aura" trait which damages all nearby enemies. The Eldar Farseer, on the other hand, starts off with the "Pistol of the Doomseer" which grants the "Eldritch Bolt" ability, which deals huge damage to a large area of enemies at the cost of Energy. After about the 4th wave, each new wave is vastly more difficult than the previous one and players will likely fall if they are not properly equipped and do not work together.
After getting a hero to level 20, the player has an option to upgrade that hero to "Elite Status". When the player chooses this option, the hero's level is reverted to 1 and an Elite Token is placed in their inventory. This requires the player to grind back up to level 20 to get all the Wargear again, but gives any players seeking a high score an advantage.
The first time a hero is upgraded, the player receives an Elite Token commander item. This token must take the place of an otherwise useful normal commander item. It grants the team a 5% increase in points scored when equipped. Upgrading the hero's status a second time resets the hero's level again and grants an accessory token. This must take the place of an otherwise useful normal accessory, and grants 3% increase in points scored when equipped.
- OS: Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista SP1
- Processor: P4 3.2 GHz (single core) or any Dual Core processor
- Memory: 1 GB RAM (XP), 1.5 GB RAM (Vista)
- Graphics: A 128MB Video Card (Shader Model 3) - Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT / ATI X1600, or equivalent
- Hard Drive: 6.5 GB of uncompressed Hard Drive space
- Other Requirements: Online play requires log-in to Games For Windows - Live
- OS: Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista SP1
- Processor: AMD Athlon 64x2 4400 or any Intel Core 2 Duo
- Memory: 2 GB RAM (XP and Vista)
- Graphics: A 256MB Video Card (Shader Model 3) - Nvidia GeForce 7800 GT / ATI X1900, or equivalent
- Hard Drive: 6.5 GB of uncompressed Hard Drive space
- Online multiplayer 2-6
- Co-op 2
Vista Experience Index
- Game Recommended Rating - 5.0
- Game Required Rating - 4.3
The game's music was composed by Doyle W Donehoo. Several months after the games release, Relic released the games soundtrack online through the games Steam page. It also comes free with the UK 'Game of the Year' edition of the game.
- There Is Only War (opening title) - 2:55
- Angels Of Death (Space Marine Theme) - 3:02
- Primarch's Honour - 4:37
- No Mercy No Respite - 4:39
- March Of The Waaagh! (Ork Theme) - 3:05
- Purge The Xeno Scum - 4:39
- Forged In Battle - 4:39
- Ancient Rites (Eldar Theme) - 3:05
- The Green Horde Rises - 4:40
- Khaine's Wrath - 4:35
- Attack Of The Heretics - 4:38
- Xeno Presence (Tyranid Theme) - 3:04
- For The Craftworld - 4:41
- They Come In Waves And We Push Them Back - 4:40
- The Great Devourer - 4:36
- To Battle Brothers - 4:43
- Hunting The Hive Tyrant - 4:42
- The Emperor's Victory - 2:05
- Show Me What Passes For Music Among Your Misbegotten Kind (credits roll) - 13:31
- Meridian Nights (Noobie's Grim Dark Future Remix) - 2:36