For the novel by Walter H. Hunt, see The Dark Crusade. Dark Crusade is the second expansion to the PC-based RTS game Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War dawn Of War Mods by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ.
Based on Games Workshop’s popular tabletop wargame, Warhammer 40,000, Dark Crusade was released on October 9, 2006. The expansion features two new races, the Tau Empire and the Necrons.
Including the Imperial Guard from Dawn of War’s first expansion pack Winter Assault, this means a total of seven playable races in this expansion. Unlike Winter Assault, Dark Crusade is a standalone expansion that does not require prior installation of Dawn of War or Winter Assault to play, allowing the user to play as all seven factions in both single player Skirmish and Campaign modes.
Parallel to the release of Dark Crusade, THQ also released a triple pack of Dawn of War, Winter Assault, and Dark Crusade, dubbed Dawn of War Anthology. The case is embossed with images of all the faction leaders of the campaign dressed in their respective wargear. Khorne Berzerkers attacking an Imperial Guard listening post. Each player starts off with a base and wins by fulfilling mission objectives.
There are multiple tiers of technology, with each allowing for more powerful units and upgrades. The Tau fighting the Necrons for a Control Point. Squad caps may be increased using methods differing between races. Most units have a melee attack and a ranged attack.
Units are often specialized to be better using one attack type. There are six types of units: commanders, infantry, heavy infantry, daemons, vehicles, and Titans.
Commanders are hero units, and can usually only be built once. If they perish, they may be rebuilt.
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- A sub-class is the semi-commander unit, which has many abilities like the commander unit but may be built multiple times.
- Infantry are foot soldiers, and may either be regular or heavy, with heavy infantry being much tougher than normal infantry.
- Vehicles are heavy weaponry and transports, and include tanks, artillery, troop carriers and walkers.
Titans are end-game units, mods usually require the highest tech level and a captured relic. Titans appear as dawn the other unit types depending on Factions. Commanders they of only be built once and may war rebuilt.
All units, aside from titans and most heroes, builders and vehicles, come in squads. These are groups of infantry that are commanded as a single entity. They may be reinforced with additional members, equipped with special weapons, or be attached to hero units.
Some squads have special abilities, such as grenades, teleportation, and stealth, unlocked with research or leader units. Unit longevity is determined by their health and morale points, which govern a squad’s fighting effectiveness. The Necrons have the ability to reassemble themselves and spawn again. Players may either connect directly by IP connection, or play on their LAN.
There are eight game modes available for online skirmish play, such as Annihilate, which requires the player to destroy every enemy buildings capable of unit production or Sudden Death, which causes a player to be eliminated if another captures one of their strategic points. Multiple game modes may be enabled, calling for multiple winning conditions. Due to its nature as a standalone expansion pack, the player may only play as the Tau or Necrons in multiplayer. They may enter their original Dawn of War CD key to gain access to the original four races.
Likewise, a Winter Assault CD key is needed to access the Imperial Guard. The expansion features a «Risk-based strategic layer», a campaign including a «meta-map», similar to that in Westwood Studios’s Dune games as opposed to the programmed, linear storylines of previous versions. If the player wins the campaign, a cinematic is played that depends on which faction the player was controlling.
The player may pick a faction to play as, and then engages in turn-based combat with the other A. There are multiple provinces, which are conquered by fighting a regular skirmish match over them. These may either give a special bonus or supply special ‘honour guard’ units, which are powerful, non-trainable versions of regular units. They may only be made on the main battlefield overview screen, and, like provincial reinforcements, cost planetary requisition, a resource gained on a per-turn basis based on how many provinces the player controls.
Honour guard units transfer over provinces and may be used repeatedly. The Tau commander, equipped with a majority of wargear upgrades. Also, a race’s commander unit may be upgraded with special «wargear», unique, customizable upgrades that vary by race. These are awarded at battle milestones, ranging from a certain amount of kills to conquering many provinces.
Campaign scenarios are persistent, meaning that all player structures are ‘saved’ when a game is won. For example, if a player builds a base and conquers a province, only to have a neighbouring faction attack aforementioned province, the player will start out with his previous base, with the exception of having no technology researched.
Also, the CPU always starts out in the same spot, rather than being random. If you build a defense around the CPU’s starting point and it’s too close, it will be removed at the beginning of the defense match.
Players may also choose to garrison provinces with units that are instantly available should the province be attacked. These are bought with planetary requisition. All five of the pre-existing factions gain new units, and two new playable races are available. One of the two newer races, the Tau are unique in multiple ways.