The Planet Kronus.
Beset on all sides by the tides of war, this once-quiet colony became a savage battlefield.
Seven armies clashed on this one world, each refusing to back down, each convinced it was in the right.
From beneath the sands of Kronus's central desert came the Necrons--
--ancient machines bent on eradicating all life.
But another evil already had its eyes on the planet.
From the depths of the Warp, the daemonic forces of Chaos arrived to enforce their claim.
To oppose these fearsome powers--
--the planet's rulers in the Tau Empire sent their elite soldiers and sophisticated battlesuits into the fray.
From the mighty Imperium of Man came the Imperial Guard--
--there to secure Kronus for the glory of the God Emperor.
Like a green tide, the Ork horde descended on Kronus--
--caring little for others' claims and sowing destruction in its wake.
The Eldar, ancient enemies of the Necrons--
--emerged from their Webway to pursue their own agenda on Kronus.
And last came the Space Marines, finest and most uncompromising of the Imperium's soldiers.
Seeing a world beset by aliens and heretics, they undertook a great purge.
A Dark Crusade had begun. It could only end with the total victory of one of these factions, and the total defeat of all others.
Hey, welcome this Dark Crusade LP! Dawn Of War is a really sweet RTS series made by Relic Games that I somehow missed upon its initial release and only got into long after everyone else had moved on. I'm skipping the original game and it's first expansion, Winter Assault, for its second expansion, Dark Crusade. I would argue that this one is the best of the series, refining a lot of the mechanics for multiplayer and offering one of the most engrossing and satisfying single player campaigns I've ever seen in an RTS.
If you're wondering what we missed in the first game here's a quick plot dump: Space Marines go to a planet, fight some Orkz and Chaos Marines, then some Eldar show up, and whatever. Winter Assault throws the Imperial Guard into the mix.
Okay, now that you're caught up on the backstory, here's where we are now (warning, I know literally nothing about Warhammer 40k--all that I know I have learned from my exposure to the Dawn Of War games--if you are a Warhammer 40k fan and I mess up this explanation, please correct me, I like learning about this nutty universe): somehow there's this planet Kronus, see? It was colonized by the Human Imperium thousands of years ago, but more recently the Tau Empire have captured and ruled it for the last two centuries. It was pretty peaceful, but something went wrong when some dickhead human, Thomas Macabee, went digging around old grave sites trying to figure out mysteries of the planet's past. Pro-tip, thread: if you live in universe where Chaos monsters can literally rip through space and time to destroy your world, don't dig around grave sites. Ever. Anyways, he accidentally awoke the legions of Necron forces that slumbered beneath the planet's surface. Yeah, turns out that Kronus was a Necron Tomb World before the Imperium colonized it. Now this is where things start to go nuts: Eldar forces show up, having detected the Necron's awakening. The Eldar hate the Necron, they're like sworn enemies or whatever. So they show up to wipe the Necron from the face of the planet. Only these Eldar have annoyed the Imperium recently, so the Imperial Guard shows up, chasing them, and decide they oughta reconquer this planet from the Tau. Only problem was, a whole bunch of Chaos Space Marines showed up as well. They're still upset about losing to the Space Marines hundreds of thousands of years ago back when the Imperium first colonized Kronus and decided now is the perfect time to exact their revenge. Now if this wasn't confusing enough, a detachment of Space Marines, the Blood Ravens, arrive on the planet looking for sacred artifacts. They're under strict commands from their superiors to purge the planet of heretics and aliens in order to preserve the sanctity of blah blah blah--they're gonna scorch the planet to bury their secrets. Only problem is the Imperial Guard isn't having any of it--the Imperium of Man suffers from massive bureaucratic troubles. Both the Imperial Guard and the Blood Ravens are acting on orders from their superiors, so although they are technically on the same side, they now have orders to kill each other. Oh, and to top it off, a bunch of Orkz land on the planet looking for a fight.
So here you have this planet, Kronus, and it's now the battlefield for seven massive armies. SEVEN massive armies.
It's fucking awesome!
To the LP, though--
We're gonna be playing on the hardest difficulty. You (the posters of the Something Awful LP Subforum) are going to be my war advisers. The campaign of Dark Crusade is really awesome in that it plays out like a big ol'game of Risk. You get this map of Kronus and each army takes turns moving around the map trying to conquer territory. Each attack or defense is played out real-time, as this game is an RTS. Each of the seven armies has a home base that must be destroyed in order for them to be eliminated. However, each army can upgrade their forces and their commanders by taking over territories and performing awesome feats in battle. I will be playing out the RTS matches for the LP, but you will be deciding where and when I will attack, and what strategies I will utilize. We're gonna be on hard mode, so keep that in mind when you give me orders.
Before we can continue any further, though, we have to decide which of the seven armies we will play as. For those of you who aren't super familiar with Warhammer 40k, I've done my best to give a description of how each army functions in Dawn of War:
The Tau Empire
Space Communists. The Tau are a highly advanced species that have united several other species, creating a vast Empire that fights for "The Greater Good". The Tau infantry are great long ranged marksmen, but have weak constitutions and are terrible in close combat. Thus, they employ Kroot and Vespid (member species of the Tau Empire) auxiliaries to compliment their soldiers. Tau Tech is awesome, so they get the benefit of stealth technology and limited flight for infantry. Their vehicles also boast some of the most powerful energy weapons in the universe and, being hover vehicles, are some of the quickest. Again, however, armour is limited. Overall, the Tau are glass cannons.
Space Marines, The Blood Ravens
Space Knights. Space Marines are the ultimate human warriors. Clad in heavy armour, they can take obscene amounts of punishment. They're also all highly competent in a variety of weapons. Their vehicles are similarly massive machines that can take tonnes of punishment and deal out pain in kind. They make a great jack-of-all trades army, but don't excel in any one area like other armies do. That might sound like a drawback, but it actually makes them one of the more dangerous armies, able to remain a threat throughout the duration of a match.
Space Orkz. Imagine the orcs from The Lord Of The Rings were in space, and had cockney accents, and were a bloodthirsty horde concerned only with fighting, and were actually fun, and were nothing like the orcs from The Lord Of The Rings. Boom, you have da Orky hordez. Their weapons are literally just garbage slapped together that somehow functions because "Orkz". Their ranged weapons aren't great, but Ork infantry excels in melee combat. Most of their vehicles are more trash slapped together and painted red, but they've got some stolen vehicles from other armies that can dish out and take ridiculous amounts of pain. Really, the Orkz shine with their infantry, able to make literal waves of Orkz to overwhelm and crush the opposition.
Space Undead. Do you like the idea of legions of skeletons slowly marching forward and crushing their enemies? Well how about terminator robots doing the same? Cause the Necron are basically terminator skeleton robots. They're super resilient, with even their most basic infantry able to take massive amounts of punishment. However, they're extremely slow. Like, they can't move faster than a slow walk or shamble. They do have some cool unique abilities. Being undead robots, they sometimes come back to life, restarting themselves, after being "killed" in battle. Many units also enjoy sweet teleporting abilities. Their vehicles are a mixed back. Though many are fast, they aren't as tough as you might want them to be--however, they have a vehicle that can scavenge dead bodies after a battle and use them to build new Necron soldiers on the fly. Oh, and their main base eventually turns into a flying, teleporting monolith that rains down death and destruction upon all who oppose.
The Imperial Guard
Space Humans. Weak, weak infantry. Let's just get that out of the way. The weakest. They're strong in massive groups, as you can rain down laser fire on enemies--but they're not very durable. Also, their morale is easily broken, which other armies can exploit. However, they have some of the best vehicles in the game, bar none. Awesome, awesome walker vehicles and tanks and APCs. So awesome. Like, game breakingly awesome. So much armour. So much firepower. They're also a great defensive army, able to hide within buildings and still fire upon enemies. Weak individually, they can overwhelm most enemies with their superior numbers (they don't quite match they impressive size of the Ork hordes).
Space Elves. The Eldar's infantry aren't quite as weak as the Imperial Guards, but many of them are quite fragile. That said, they do enjoy many benefits, such as stealth, teleportation, and various psychic attacks that can make up for these drawbacks. They also have some of the fastest infantry in the entire game. Most of their vehicles are similarly fragile, but they deal massive amounts of damage and can disrupt enemies to mitigate damage. Also they have teleporting stealth bases. Like, their bases can turn invisible and teleport around the map if you get attacked.
The Forces Of Chaos
Space Demons. The bulk of their army are corrupted Space Marines, so they enjoy a lot of the same benefits that Space Marines have: strong infantry that can take damage as well as deal it. More advanced infantry get the benefits of demonic corruption to give them more specialized and power roles. Being Chaos demons from another dimension, they also get sweet psychic powers, and teleporting, and stealth magic that allow them to one-up their enemies. A lot of their vehicles are surprisingly fragile, despite looking like monstrous hell machines, but they do employ one of the better tanks in the game. I would suggest that they're another decent starting army for beginners who don't want to start as Space Marines.
Whichever army gets the most votes will win the day! Let's have some fun playing Dawn Of War
The War Journal of Shas'o Kais
The Kronus Campaign
- Day 01, Or'es Tash'n, Planetfall (Voting)
- Day 02, Or'es Tash'n, Boot Camp
- Day 02, Or'es Tash'n, War Council
- Day 02, Or'es Tash'n, Agamar Desert Reconnaissance Report from Shas'ui Ka'buum
- Day 03, The Panrea Lowlands, Attack (Victory)
- Day 03, The Panrea Lowlands, Report on the State of the Tau Empire's Government from Shas'ui Nu'mars
- Day 04, The Ariel Highlands, Attack (Defeat)
- Day 05, The Demes Northlands, Attack & Defense (Victory)
- Days 06, 07 and 08 - The Panrea Lowlands, Or'es Tash'n, The Agamar Desert
- Day 09, The Hyperion Peaks, Attack (Defeat), Day 09, The Demes Northlands, Defense (Victory)
- Day 10, The Western Barrens, Attack (Victory)
- Day 11, The Van De Mar Mountains, Attack (Victory), Day 11, The Demes Northlands, Defense (Victory)
- Days 12 & 13, Pavonis, Attack (Victory), Day 12, The Demes Northlands, Defense (Victory)
- Day 14, The Eres Badlands, The Hyperion Peaks, The Panrea Lowlands
- Day 15, The Pavonian Heartland, The Demes Northlands
- Day 16, Thur'Abis Catacombs, Attack (Part 1)
- Day 16, Thur'Abis Catacombs, Attack (Part 2)
- Day 16, Thur'Abis Catacombs, Attack (Part 3)
- Day 16, Thur'Abis Catacombs, Attack (Victory)
- Days 17 & 18, The Demes Northlands, The Pavonian Heartland, Tyrea, Attack
- Day 18, Tyrea, Attack (Part 2)
- Day 18, Tyrea, Attack (Victory)
- Day 19, The Vandean Coast, Attack (Victory)
- Days 19 & 20, The Vandean Coast, The Pavonian Heartland
- Day 20, intercepted communication from the Blood Raven Chapel-Barracks
- Day 21, North Vandea, Attack (Part 1)
- Day 21, North Vandea, Attack (Part 2)
- Day 21, North Vandea, Attack (Victory)
- Day 22, The Murad Swamplands, Attack (Victory)
- Day 23, The Deimos Peninsula, Attack (Part 1)
- Day 23, The Deimos Peninsula, Attack (Part 2)
- Day 23, The Deimos Peninsula, Attack (Victory)
- Day 30, The Deimos Peninsula, Slacking Off And Playing Heroes Of Might And Magic III
- Day 31, The Western Barrens, Attack (Victory)
- Day 31, The Morriah Coast, The Western Barrens
- Day 32, The Pavonian Heartlant, Victory Bay
- Day 32, Victory Bay, Attack (Victory)
- Day 33, The Green Coast, Attack (Part 1)
- Day 33, The Green Coast, Attack (Part 2)
- Day 33, The Green Coast, Attack (Victory)
- Day 50, Or'es Tash'n, Interlude
- Day 53, Or'es Tash'n, Defense (Part 1)
- Day 53, Or'es Tash'n, Defense (Defeat)
Aun'o Blinde Sal'lee's Practical Guide To Warfare And Understanding Your Enemy
The Kronus Campaign Fan Fiction, by Shas'ui Vel'oxyll
Fio'O Ni'ne Ge'ar C'row Unearths Abominable Blood Raven Texts