Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade
|Series||Dawn of War|
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade is the second expansion pack to the real-time strategy computer game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. Dark Crusade offers new features such as larger maps of Kronus, a non-linear single-player campaign, and two new fully playable races – the Necrons and the Tau.
Dark Crusade is a stand-alone title that doesn't need the original Dawn of War to install and play. A valid Dawn of War CD key is only required to use the Space Marines, Eldar, Orks and Chaos Space Marines for online play, likewise, a valid Dawn of War - Winter Assault CD key is only required to use the Imperial Guard online.
- Brother-Captain Davian Thule, commander of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Blood Ravens companies on Kronus.
- Word Bearers Dark Apostle Eliphas the Inheritor.
- Ork Warboss Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter.
- Farseer Taldeer, commanding the Ulthwé forces.
- General Lukas Alexander, commander of the 1st Kronus Regiment.
- Shas'O Kais, commander of the Tau forces.
- Necron Lord of Kronus, leader of the Necron army on Kronus.
Other notable characters
- Tomas Macabee, the Necron Pariah adviser and spokesman for the Lord of Kronus.
- Aun'el Shi'Ores, the Ethereal tasked with returning Kronus to the Tau Empire and immediate superior to Shas'o Kais.
Single Player Campaign
Dark Crusade does not follow the standard linear campaign structure of the previous instalments. Instead, it employs a dynamic meta-map structure where each faction defends a "home region" of the planet. The player's faction starts with only its home region, while the AI factions control the rest of the map. Each turn, the player is allowed to move to a neighbouring region; if another faction controls that region, the player may attack, initiating the traditional Dawn of War game.
The player starts each map with just a headquarters building, a builder unit, the army's main character, and whatever Honour Guard purchased. Most regions have the single objective to destroy the enemy headquarters building, but some have special objectives that will grant the team that reaches it first a special bonus for as long as they control that region. Home regions are heavily entrenched and have numerous secondary objectives to make achieving victory easier. Defeating an enemy faction in its home region takes it out of the game; though it retains any regions still under its control, it can only defend held territory. Should the player's faction lose its home region, the game is over.
AI factions can attack player-held regions. When this happens, the player may choose to defend the region or "autoresolve" the attack, which makes the computer determine the outcome based on the defending region's reinforcement value. Should the player defend manually, play returns to that map with the player's structures standing as of the end of that map's last battle; infantry and vehicles not reinforcing the region must be requisitioned again and any strategic points held in the attacker's deployment zone are removed from the player's possession. This creates strategic elements for placing structures and reinforcements over simply rushing the enemy headquarters.
Single Player Features
Each region the player's faction holds grants a value of planetary requisition. This resource is required to deploy reinforcements in held territories and to train Honour Guard, more powerful versions of their regular equivalent but only come as single units (a First Company Veteran Space Marine, for example, is a single Marine and cannot increase his squad size like a regular Marine squad). When certain regions are controlled, requisition can also be used to deploy early-game structures when attacking or the cost to deploy may be reduced.
Commanders earn wargear for achieving certain milestones (number of regions held, successful defences, factions destroyed, and kills) to enhance their statistics in health, ranged and melee damage, speed, and even granting teleportation.
Though the Dark Crusade singleplayer camapaign is non-linear, the series of events that precipitated the seven-way conflict on Kronus can be pieced together by accessing 'Archive' data from each of the meta-map provinces and the introductory cutscenes that play each time the player begins a campaign as a certain faction.
The conflict first began when archaeological explorer Tomas Macabee led a scientific expedition beneath the Thur'Abis plateau and accidentally triggered the awakening of the Necrons. All of Tomas's expedition were killed save Macabee himself, who was captured and had his flesh stripped away and replaced with necrodermis but allowed to retain his mind and speech function, though altered. Macabee then began serving as the voice of the Necron Lord of Kronus, who commanded the Necron army but could not speak and thus could not communicate with his enemies.
The awakening of the Necrons caught the attention of Eldar Farseer Taldeer of the Ulthwé Craftworld, who led her forces to the system on her ship Vision of Liliath. She established a base via teleportation gates in Kronus's frozen northland Tyrea and prepared to make war on the Necrons. Unbeknownst to her she was being tracked by General Lukas Alexander of the Imperium, who had been tasked with keeping an eye on her following her intervention in the Imperial campaign on Lorn V (the singleplayer campaign from the previous Dawn of War expansion, Winter Assault). General Alexander touched down on Kronus in the ruins of Ironworks Bay on the eastern coast, and his original mission of bringing Taldeer to heel was superseded by his discovery that the human population of Kronus languished under the alien rule of the Tau, and that the arm-cannon of an Imperator Titan lay in the city. Communicating with Sector Command, Alexander was promoted to Governor-Militant of Kronus and charged with conquering the world for the Imperium to liberate to human population and secure any further relics there. He renamed Ironworks Bay (which had been the Imperial capital of the planet until the Tau conquest) Victory Bay and his men were formed into an Imperial Guard regiment, the 1st Kronus Liberators. He began his invasion with an aggressive propaganda campaign inciting Kronus's humans to turn on their Tau masters.
Kronus's Tau rulers, threatened by Alexander's invasion and the awakening of the Necrons, sent for reinforcements. Their call was answered and a Tau military fleet led by Shas'O Kais and Ethereal Aun'El Shi'Ores departed from T'au. The Imperial Guard got wind of this and sent a fleet to intercept the Tau before they could land on the planet, leading to a vicious space battle above Kronus. Into the midst of the battle appeared a fleet of Ork space hulks, which deployed roks that plummeted through the battling fleets to crash into the Green Coast. The rok containing Warboss Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter and his veteran Boyz crushed the chieftain's hut of the local Ork tribe and they were attacked by the local Orks upon emerging, but Gorgutz's battle superiority cowed the local Orks into joining his Waaagh!. Meanwhile, despite the Imperium's efforts the Tau landing ships broke through and set down in the Tau capital Or'es Tash'n, where O'Kais and Shi'Ores led a triumphant parade before declaring that they would defend the world from all invaders before a jubilant crowd.
In a former resort on the Deimos Peninsula, a group of Chaos cultists performed a sacrificial ritual to summon Dark Apostle Eliphas the Inheritor and his following. The ritual succeeded and Eliphas emerged, and soon the once idyllic Deimos Peninsula was twisted into a nightmarish wasteland inhabited by daemons, cultists and Chaos Space Marines. From there Eliphas set out to conquer Kronus for Chaos.
Last of the forces to arrive were the Blood Ravens Space Marines led by Brother-Captain Davian Thule. Setting up a base in North Vandea, Thule ordered Governor Alexander and his men to withdraw from the planet, but Alexander refused, forcing the two Imperial factions into conflict with each other as well as their xenos and Chaos foes.
The existing factions are given additional units:
- Eldar — Harlequins
- Space Marines — Grey Knights
- Ork — Flash Gitz
- Chaos — Daemon Prince
- Imperial Guard — Heavy Weapons Teams
- Official Dawn of War website (Accessed 2010.03.18)
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade at THQ (Accessed 2010.03.18)