The Let's Play Archive

WarHammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade

by Blind Sally

Part 13: Day 14, The Eres Badlands, The Hyperion Peaks, The Panrea Lowlands

my dad posted:

Eres Badlands followed up by Hyperion Peaks since we'll get the second attack right away. Then, we're ready to start culling the herd.

chiasaur11 posted:

I feel a bit uneasy about using a chaos artifact, but heck. Our glorious leader's done this before. It should be fine.

Eres Badlands followed up by Hyperion Peaks.

theblastizard posted:

What's wrong with a tasteful shrine in the service of the Greater Good, symbolizing the glory of combat and severing of the enemies heads?

Sure, sometimes they get a little carried away, and the pile of blood and skulls becomes a little unsanitary, but the army will perform so much better with such a shrine reminding them of their past victories!

Eres Badlands followed up by Hyperion Peaks.

Right, let's see if we can secure Eres Badlands, then we'll talk about Hyperion Peaks.

We have half-an-hour to secure enough kills to activate whatever this doohickey runs on.
It's strange, Shas'o, a machine that's powered by dead bodies?
Who knows if it works. Probably another "Warp Myth".
Should be easy, though. We'll take up a defensive perimeter and kill all the Necron that come out of their stinkin' holes!
Yeah, it'll be easy, but not for that reason. As we've discovered, the Necron take forever to field an army. We're gonna be spending a lot of time just searching out for something to kill.
Here's the plan, the Pathfinder's recon says there are three bases, east, west, and north of our position. We'll split up our forces and camp at the exits of each base and kill whatever comes out. Honour Guard, head north. Earth Caste Drones, build a base and sent all recruits East. I'll hold off the west on my own. Honour Guard, while en route, scout out this "Chaos Relic" and secure it.
Of course, Shas'o.

We are nearing the approximate location of the relic. The decor leaves something to be desired.

Found it. There's nothing here but a strategic point.
Stingwings, keep watch over that location. Surely it's important in some way.


We'll get your relic.
Shas'o, there's a lot of creepy shit out here.

Hahaha, the Necron Lord thought it could take me in a one-on-one firefight!

Where's it coming from? How could plasma bolts be striking me from nothingness? Hahaha!
Get better tech, you over-sized VHS cassette tape player.

Oh, and here come your Necron Warriors. A little late, your Lord is already deactivated. What have you got to say to that?

Haha, uh, wait, did you say something? Got a burst of static there. Oh, uh, sorry, Stealthsuits, what was that?

We have one relic, taking another. There's, uh, some creepy stuff here, though.

Like, piles and piles of dead bodies, some strung up on--

Sorry, what was that last part? I couldn't hear you, there was the oddest burst of static.
Huh, maybe this relic is affecting our comms?

Fought our way to the northern base. Not much resistance. We'll hang out and wait for them to spawn more units.

Shas'o, can you hear me?
Yes, but you keep cutting out. All that static. Weird. Try changing comm channels?
Will do.

Kroot, here, we are advancing on the eastern base. We've found all your Necron battle units.

It's about time. Necron Lord to the west has reactivated and brought reinforcements.

It insists on bringing a lot of Wraiths, for whatever reason. Heavy Infantry, can't be reinforced. It's fast, can upcapture strategic points, but not capture them. It's a detector, takes reduced ranged damaged, and has a brutal melee. Can also temporarily phase out of reality allowing them to avoid enemy fire (though they can't attack while in this form). Sound dangerous, but they're not, really. Don't know why the Necron Lord bothers when it could field more Flayed Ones.

Haha, Shas'o, the Necron have advanced to our outpost. We shall rack up the body count for you.

I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you. What is with all this static?

Ah, well, we've achieved the sufficient body count. Took long enough, lousy Necron. Vespids, has the "artifact" shown any change?

Uh, yes, Shas'o. Requesting permission to get far, far away from the artifact.

Well done, Shas'o, how do--
Sorry, can't talk. I feel great and I need to take, no, I MUST take the Hyperion Peaks!

Wot's that? Someone wake da boss, dere's a bunch'o dem grey-skin fellas comin' in!
Now where'z dey gettin' to? We ain't even had no fightz yet!
Buncha grotz, dey are.
Let's try something a little more unorthodox this time. Battle group, head east! Capture that relic and prevent the enemy from holding it!

My plan is to leave nearly my entire army here to guard this relic. If the Orkz can't get it, they can't field Squiggoths. That'll give me the time I need to destroy their production facilities. You see, here's the fun fact about this map: you can't build anything but Listening Posts on it. Yes, yes, and that restriction holds true for attackers AND defenders. Anytime I take down a Barracks or a Stronghold, that's one less possession that the Orkz can never get back. Now, the Orkz are unique in that they are also allowed to build Waaagh! Banners, but those are more of an annoyance than any real threat to the mission. Now, let's get on with it.

I'll start in the northern base. The Orkz have few detectors, for whatever reason. No sign of their Warboss, and any Big Mek can easily be avoided. I've been blasting the Ork units to herd them backwards in the event that I do get detected, that way they can't swarm me and prevent me from jetpacking away--which is something they can do. Enough melee attacks will prevent me from activating my jetpacks entirely, but a well placed rocket can also knock me out of the sky.

That takes care of all the northern base's production buildings.
Da basez! Deyz all explodin'! Did youse weird boyz muck up da buildin' planz or sumat?
What we'z builded is da best! Don'tcha never goez trashin' on our stuffz or we gonna bash yer head'in!

Broadsides, here, we're doin' alright.
The Broadsides were too slow to make it to the relic with the rest of my army, so I left them just barely out of sight near a popular Listening Post. Without a specific Tau Cadre HQ to hunt, the Orkz in the Peaks are especially stupid. Hopefully they won't notice the Broadsides melting them.

Aaaaand here is where I run into trouble. It turns out I had forgotten that there were TWO relics on this map. I forgot about the one to the south. *sigh* No big deal.

Only the Warboss and his Orkz hordes are patrolling the centre of the map, so I'm going to have to take the long way around to an undefended sector. Oh, and Waaagh! Banners aren't normally a problem--but these upgraded Waaagh! Banners are a nightmare. Their detection range and rockets can match my own range, meaning I'm going to have to risk being visible to blow them up. Not while the Warboss is nearby, so I'll skip these for now.

By the Ethereals! We're trying to join you, Shas'o, we really are, but we keep running up against fields of Waaagh! Banners!
Yeah, keep jetpacking. See, with no ability to build real buildings, the Gretchins can't replace those structures I knock down. Yet, they want to keep building to prevent me from winning this attack. Their response is to create massive clumps of Waaagh! Banners in secluded places.

Shas'o, we're done for! We've been--
Heh heh, thought we'z wouldn't notice, dinchya?

We've made it through, Shas'o. You keep advancing, we'll keep the second relic out of enemy hands.

Good. South base down. That's two, one more to go.

That's it, that's the last base. Now the Orkz can't replace their squads. They can reinforce existing ones, sure, but they can't build new ones. No new squads, no new vehicles, no new Gretchins.

More Waaagh! Banner fields.
Right, so this has been going on for a while (completing this mission against the Orkz is prime reason why people shouldn't do VLPs of RTSes), so it's at this point I risk a gamble--

--I decide to throw what remains of my army against the Ork hordes to try and finish them off quickly. Or, at least wipe out their strongest units.

If I can wipe out the Squiggoth, the Leman Russ tanks, the Killa Kans, the Warboss, and the Mega Heavy Nobs, it's enough for me. If I can, for a moment, explain why this mission is particularly difficult for Tau: we get shafted on units. The tank column provided is predominantly Kroot. Not a problem, as they're great in melee, but they don't provide any Fire Warriors. Not one. In fact, here's a list of units the Tau don't get: Fire Warriors, Stealthsuits, Crisis Suits, Devilfish Carriers, Drone Squads, Drone Harbingers. Granted, I get that the Harbingers aren't included because they're too costly power-wise, but everything else could have been at use here! The Kroot have no fire support! The Hammerheads can sort of fill that role, but damn, this map would be so much easier with a few groups of Fire Warriors. I hope you have a fleshed out Honour Guard, otherwise you're gonna lack many of these units.

Anyways, I finally get to see the true size of the Ork Horde and immediately regret my decision. Ah, well, let's give'em a show.
Boss, dere dey are!
Grrr, back agin, are ya? Chop'em up, boyz!

You ever see a Skyray Missile Gunship do its thing with a fully upgraded Missile Barrage? It's a work of art!

Absolutely beautiful. Between that and the Gnarlocs, the Squiggoth is dead--which is good. It would've taken ages for me to kill it by myself.
Not me Squiggoth? Youze grey-skins are da real monstaz here.

However, the Kroot are overwhelmed and the Orkz push through to my vehicles.
Yer little bird boyz ain't nuthin' to me'n my boyz.

This is all that remains of my ill-advised distraction. They only succeeded in wiping out the Squiggoth, the Leman Russ tanks, and some Big Meks. The Warboss, Mega Heavy Nobz, and Killa Kans are still around.

With no means of production, this map turns into the most boring game of "find the last Waaagh! Banner". My Fire Warriors and I will slowly eliminate the roving remains of the Ork Horde--

--while the remains of my tank column take out Waaagh! Banners from a safe distance.

It'z you! Youze ruin'ded ever'thing! Gorgutz iz gonna have me head if I'z let youse leave diz place, so don't thinkz yer goin' no where! Oi'm Boss Toe Choppa and I rule diz mountain fer Gorgutz! Me! ME!
Uh, uh, uh, uh, S-s-shas'o?!

Yes, yes, concentrate fire, kill the Ork.
It wuzzn't s'ppozed ta end dis way!

Ugh, and it looks like we missed a Big Mek, slowing us down even further.

Fortunately, I find the final Waaagh! Banners.

I feed it to the Gnarloc. By the Ethereal, I almost circumnavigated this mountain looking for it.

Shas'o, with the Fury and Forward Base upgrades, our attack is going to be unstoppable!
New reports are coming in.
Oh, yes! The Imperial Guard have finally taken back their territory from the Necron.
It's nice to hear about the little guy getting a win for once. So much for the Necron being big bad scary space horrors.
Shas'o, you have a--
No! Stop! I don't care if I have a call, it can wait.
But Shas'o--
Besides, you really need to learn how to screen calls.

The Necron tried to take it back, but were repelled.
Yup, they really are kind of useless.
Quiet! What else?

Davian Thule is attacking the Panrea Lowlands with all his combined might.
Shas'o, I have Davian Thule on hold. Would you like me to take a message?
Ha, tell him to "frig off". Let me know how the reports go, I'm sure this won't take long.


Oh, boy.

These are Terminators, the most veteran of Space Marines. Extremely slow, but they carry incredible weaponry and can withstand similarly incredible punishment. The do have the ability to teleport short distances with the proper upgrades.

This is a Grey Knight. Not sure what their deal is, I don't think they're even part of the Blood Raven chapter. They're a brutal melee unit, fast with a lunge ability, and have their own Psyker powers. They're specialized to combat the Chaos Daemon units, but can be dangerous pretty much anywhere. Their morale is unshakeable.

There's "Tool" himself. Standing behind him is a Chaplain, a command unit with powerful melee that increases healing of nearby Space Marines. To his left is a Land Speeder. It's fast, can hop short distances, and is great at cutting down infantry. Hmm. The Panrea forces could be in for a fight.
Alright, men. We do this for the Emperor. Rush their base. Dismantle it. Then dismantle the aliens! O'Kais will rue this day.

Alright, first Fire Warrior squad ready! Oh, uh. W-who are they? Why are they running towards us?

Crisis Suits, joining the battle. B-by the Ethereal, there are so many! Why are there so many?

Ah, we don't often get to see the Air Caste since they're mostly preoccupied fighting the naval battles in orbit, but here's an Air Caste vessel dropping off some equipment. All Tau vehicles are brought in by the Air Caste to our Vehicle Beacons.

Our range doesn't work if they keep running up to us!

This planet shall be purged. Of the heretics, the mutants, and you, xenos!

Broadside Battlesuits are helping clear the battlefield.

The devastation is remarkable.

No time to gawk, take out their Chapel-Barracks!

Incoming heavy armour!
The Dreadnought is part armoured support platform and part siege weapon. It's very powerful regardless, but can also be upgraded to specialize in anti-infantry or anti-vehicle combat.

Fire Warriors have located one Space Marine base. We will destroy it!

Really? You're the xenos that the Blood Ravens have had so much difficulty with?
Drones reporting that the Space Marines are reinforcing from the west!

"I don't like playing as the Tau", they said, "they don't have any turrets", they said.

Drop-pods incoming!
That's not all, alien. Contact our fleet in orbit. Have them bombard the planet at these coordinates.

Something's happening--


By the Ethereals. Ready a transport, get me to that battlefield!

Did you think you had defeated us all, alien scum?
We welcome the target practice!

Welcome this, xeno! Swarm those Battlesuits!

I have arrived on the battlefield.
O'Kais, how nice of you to join us. I was worried you wouldn't come.
You're wasting my time, Thule.
What, no stupid joke? No inane reference to ancient human popular culture? Did you lose your idiotic caricature of me?
Well actually, Thule, I never left! I've been inside you all along!
*spits* Filthy xeno scum!

Hmm, Thule brought Predator Tanks. Lots of armour, great at cutting down infantry. When fully upgraded, it's effective against everything. Vehicles, buildings, you name it. Broadsides, cut it down quickly.

No matter how many of us you cut down, alien, we shall return to see the Emperor's will done!
Soooo, your Emperor wants to see you cut down by plasma fire?

O'Kais, I will finish you! Do you hear me? Finish you! FINISH YOU! I WILL RIP YOUR--
Hey, Thule, I bet my Broadsides can knock down your last base before you have the chance to warm up your orbital cannons.

Heh heh heh.

Alright, War Council, here's the scoop: that took a lot out of me. (And it has become a massive update). So in the future, despite us having the Fury bonus, only select one target at a time. Otherwise updates are going to become kind of unwieldy.
Unless one of your turns is simply a movement to get the army in place to attack a Stronghold. We will accept that.
With that in mind, where to next?