Retribution: In the mission on Calderis, no matter your faction, you have to kill the corrupt Blood Ravens attacking the village in order to get information on The Ascendant (like the Chaos sorcerer says, you can always destroy it yourself once you've got what you wanted). But this gets an additional advantage while playing Chaos, because the attackers are Space Marines in loyalist armor: What better way to gain cultists than save the villagers from the false emperor's betrayal?
More Fridge Brilliance hit me while reading up on the Blood Ravens on Lexicanum, which says their battle doctrine relies on knowing what the enemy is going to do ahead of time and then hitting them at just the right moment with just the right combination of forces. That suits their psyker-heavy fluff, sure, but doesn't it sound just a bit like an RTS gamer playing their favourite scenarios over and over again?
That is the point. Check the Blood Ravens page; their tactics are supposed to be similar to an RTS player's.
One of the characters that most annoyed me in Dawn of War II was Avitus, the violent, cruelBig Guy of your squad. But I grinded my teeth and ignored it, figuring it was part of all the GRIMDARK of the setting I've been hearing so much about. Then, as I was rifling through the Mood Dissonance and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming pages, the stuff written there helped me realize- everytime Avitus was acting in a particularly mean or spiteful fashion, the other squad sergeants angrily reprimanded him. His cruelty helped bring out the other Marines' inherent kindness and decency, which probably wouldn't show if it didn't resonate against his nastiness.
With Retribution it is generally accepted that Avitus is the canon Chaos Rising traitor. Relic was foreshadowing it the whole time.
I suddenly realised that according to the Latin-based conventions of the human language in WH:40000, the name Avitus can be interpreted as A-vita = Non-life/anti-life. Basically, it means "Killer"! Now, that's an appropriate name for the bastard!-Gess
When playing the Chaos Rising I decided to give Chaos a try, but it turned out eventually that Being Evil Sucks and that the majority of infernal powers were more of a liability than an edge, draining life force out of my men, costing me squad members or even entire squads, or having such long cooldowns I couldn't rely on them in the tactical sense. All in all an utter dissappointment. I felt betrayed. Ripped off. I initially blamed Relic for giving the new feature poor consideration, but then it hit me: I've stroke a Deal with the Devil, well, what exactly did silly me expect - fulfillment?-Gess
Forgive me if this seems a bit harsh, but... this seems less like a case of Fridge Brilliance and more like you not knowing how to play Chaos.
The Tau's Relic unit in the first game is a Kroot warbeast. This makes little sense... until you realize the Tau are Flat Earth Atheists: relics and other religious symbols mean nothing to them (nearly every other relic unit has a religious connotation), but very likely hold significance to the Barbarian Hero Kroot (as all Kroot species are derived from the basic one, it could be a form of Ancestor Worship).
Carron's defeat is inevitable when you take into account all his boasts about his temples dedicated to Khorne. Khorne emphatically does not want his followers to build temples to him, as time spent building stuff is time not spent spilling blood. Carron, having unknowingly lost the support of the god he worships right from the start, is doomed.
In addition, he at one point starts yelling that they will be Khorne's hand and strangle the enemy. Strangling, aka a method of killing that does not spill blood, and does not end with the head separated from the body. Did Carron fail Basic Ruinous Powers 101?
Let's just cut the middleman and say that Carron is one of Khorne's worst worshippers ever.
As the Dawn of War II entries demonstrate (especially Retribution), the Imperial Guard are capable of making their own field repairs without the need of a Tech-priest. This would technically be considered an affront to the machine spirits if not the Omnissiah (something that Guardsmen themselves dryly note). But given what they do and the conditions of the battlefield, it'd make sense that they're forced to understand everything about their equipment and make the most of them. At the same time, this also emphasizes the Guard's professionalism.
Once you play Retribution, every misfortune that's befallen the Blood Ravens now makes sense once Kyras's betrayal is revealed. Going to aid a planet that holds a daemonic artifact, which Kyras might know about and want them to either release the daemon or bring it back to the Chapter? Going to Kronus and engaging in a costly war there that results in the deaths of millions, as well as suspicion being thrown on the Loyalist Blood Ravens by the Inquisition? Sending half of the Chapter to Kaurava at the command of an incompetent Commander, getting them all killed and grievously weakening the Chapter as a result, as well as resulting in more deaths? It all makes sense! Kyras was behind everything since the beginning!
For one mission of Chaos Rising, you have to explore a Space Hulk, and if you spend too long doing so your characters will start to fall under the influence of the Warp, and can be heard arguing with non-existent people or muttering to themselves. Although what they say seems to be random mutterings when you first play through the game, when you play through a second time you realize their comments actually foreshadow their reasons for possibly being the traitor! For example:
Jonah can be heard screaming for somebody to "Get out!" If Jonah is the traitor, it's because he's been possessed by a Daemon.
Thaddeus can be heard sobbing "I've done what you asked, no more!" If Thaddeus is the traitor, it's because he's being forced to uphold a bargain he made with Ulkair.
Cyrus can be heard grumbling "He leads us in circles. Why does he lead?" If Cyrus is the traitor, it's because he feels all the Blood Raven commanders are incompetent.
Avitus can be heard yelling "Kill them all, Let there be Blood!" If Avitus is the traitor, it's because he succumbs to his hatred/bloodlust.
Tarkus can be heard mumbling how "It must be mine, then I will have the power..." If Tarkus is the traitor, it's because he wants to use Corrupted/Chaos wargear to become powerful enough to destroy all the Chapter's enemies.
In Retribution as well as the preceding Dawn of War 2 games, the notion that a psyker like Azariah Kyras would be an aspiring servant of Khorne would initially seem like an oversight if not an Ass Pull on the part of the writers. That is until one realizes that while Khorne has no love for psykers or sorcerers, neither does he actually care about whose blood is spilled (let alone how), only that it does.Using the Exterminatus as a sacrifice to the Chaos God definitely helps his ascension to daemonhood too.
Hang on. The Eldar's plan was to stall the Tyranid invasion on a few planets on the Eastern Fringe, because the swarm's next target would be Craftworld Ulthwé itself...which is orbiting the Eye of Terror on the other side of the galaxy. A possible Author's Saving Throw in Chaos Rising: When you go down to kill the Avatar, the Eldar make mention that there is a "ruined Craftworld" buried on Typhon that was uncovered by the Tyranid invasion.
It should be noted that the Eldar usually take the long view on events. So it's likely that they were thinking about a few centuries down the road. That's right, the Eldar planned on screwing over an entire sector because the Tyranids were going to attack one of their Craftworlds in a century or so. The Eldars are dicks like that.
It is possible the Eldar lied about protecting their Craftworld; as Tarkus notes, the Eldar lie whenever it suits their agenda. In this case, the "invasion of Ulthwé" was a lie to coverup the relics on Typhon, by convincing the Space Marines that they had thwarted the Eldar. This is doubly true when you realize that the Eldar probably know parts of the Blood Raven chapter are actually traitors; they would probably treat Spirit Stones as Scooby Snacks for demons.
Chaos Rising does address this, somewhat. The Tyranid attack on Typhon Primaris uncovered Eldar ruins buried beneath the surface. The Eldar wanted to protect something long hidden there, and if that something was a webway gate that they were unable to seal, that could spell disaster should the Tyranids get through it.
Also, Taldeer's original prophecy, which gets this whole ball rolling back in Dark Crusade, was a prophecy about Necrons, not Tyranids, laying waste to Craftworld Ulthwe. The most logical assumption is either Idranel misspoke of the Tyranids causing all the damage, or she misinterpreted the prophecy.
Exactly what are the chapter relics from a dozen or more different Space Marine chapters doing, spread around on the recruiting worlds of the Blood Ravens? Logically, the invading Orks, Eldar and Tyranids wouldn't be bringing those with them from where they came from, which meant they picked them up somewhere on the recruiting worlds during the campaign. Makes you wonder if that 'raven' should be a 'magpie', doesn't it?
The Blood Ravens are certainly not above looting dead marines from other chapters. One fairly early armor you can find in DOW II (I forget the name) was originally from a Grey Knight Justicar who died during the Kronus campaign. The Blood Ravens were said to have taken it to prevent it from falling into the "traitorous Imperial Guard hands".
I assumed everyone was a scavenger to a degree because of the used future
The ending to the Space Marine Campaign in Retribution has Diomedes and Angelos finishing the purge of heresy on the chapter, and Angelos ascending as the new chapter master in front of a crowd of Marines. Considering how high the Blood Raven casualties have been over the course of Dawn of War II, that may very well be all that's left of the chapter.
Man, if that group has Tarkus and Cyrus in it, how many more marines do you even need?