Video Game: Dawn of War
aka: Warhammer 40000 Dawn Of War
"None Shall Find us Wanting."
"On the battlefield there is but one commandment: Thou Shalt Kill."Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War
is a Real-Time Strategy
game by Relic Entertainment, the same people who eventually would be behind Company of Heroes
and who previously brought us Homeworld
and Impossible Creatures
, and the series is, unquestionably, the single most successful interpretation of the Warhammer 40,000
universe in video game form in the history of the franchise.
The original Dawn of War
takes place on the planet Tartarus
, which is under attack by a horde of Orks
that are tearing through the planet's population and Imperial Guard
garrison. The player is in charge of the reinforcements, Space Marines
of the Blood Ravens
chapter, but after a few missions slaughtering greenskins it becomes apparent that things on Tartarus are more complicated than they seem: the Eldar and the Chaos Space Marines of the Alpha Legion are working behind the scenes, and a Warp Storm
is incoming and expected very soon.
The first expansion pack, Winter Assault
, takes place on the icy planet
of Lorn V, and expands the Imperial Guard into a full-fledged fighting force of its own. In this story, two factions on each "side" team up
temporarily to defeat the other two and secure the power of a massive wrecked Imperator class Titan
that is lost somewhere on the planet.
The next expansion, Dark Crusade
, is set on the planet Kronus, where seven
different factions all are all trying to conquer the same world, or in some cases are trying to prevent
another side from taking over. What follows is a free-for-all fight for various pieces of Lost Technology
and Forgotten Superweapons
taking place over a "Risk"-Style Map
. Besides the more open-ended campaign, Dark Crusade
introduced two new armies: the Animesque
and Beam Spamming
Tau, and the implacable, robotic Necrons
A third expansion pack, Soulstorm
, upped the ante by featuring a nine-way free-for-all campaign
over the four worlds of the Kaurava system, in which even the three Imperial factions were at each others' throats (all located right next to each other), and introduced the Sisters of Battle
and Dark Eldar
as playable armies.
The sequel, Dawn of War II
, is a reboot of sorts. The player is a newly-promoted Force Commander, leading a few squads of Space Marines against an Ork invasion threatening the Blood Ravens' recruitment worlds, and therefore the future of the chapter itself. Once again, the Eldar are working behind the scenes to instigate the conflict, hoping to buy time against the incoming Tyranid hive fleet
to save a Craftworld. While still an RTS
, the game eliminates base-building
altogether and greatly simplifies resource-gathering
, while focusing more on squad-based tactics rather than huge pitched battles, and also incorporating RPG
elements in the form of unit experience, wargear, and skill selection. The game is built on the same engine used in Relic's World War II
RTS, Company of Heroes
, with plenty of graphical enhancements and gameplay tweaks, mirroring the history Dawn of War
shares with the Impossible Creatures
An expansion titled Chaos Rising
adds Chaos Space Marines to the multiplayer and as antagonists in the campaign, along with powerful wargear that can be used by your Space Marines
, though they may lead to corruption
. A second expansion named Retribution
expands on the single player campaign system by reintroducing campaigns for all the playable factions, and brings back the Imperial Guard as a playable faction.
Besides these official games, the Dawn of War
series has spawned numerous mods
, from simple tweaks to damage and health values, to ambitious projects that add new units and factions (complete with voice acting and unit models), or even attempts to make the game more closely mirror the rules of the Tabletop Game
it is based on.
The franchise's fate following the 2012 bankruptcy of its publisher THQ
is hazy: Relic was purchased by Sega on January 22, 2013,
and it was confirmed later that month
that with it came an exclusive license to produce games based on Games Workshop
has since confirmed they will be continuing the series but it's unknown what form Dawn of War III
See Warhammer 40,000
for the tropes used in the universe itself, although Dawn of War
naturally has its own spin on many of those.
Tropes are power. Guard them well battle brothers:
open/close all folders
- Acceptable Breaks from Canon: Mostly for gameplay reasons. Krull's Blood Legion using Sorcerers despite being descended from the World Eaters (who slaughtered all their psykers on falling to Chaos) is a pretty big example.
- A Commander Is You:
- Space Marines and the Sisters of Battle are the balanced factions.
- Chaos Space Marines are mostly balanced but incorporate some guerrilla elements as well.
- Orks are Spammers and Brute Force.
- Necrons are Brute Force. Got some of the toughest units in the game but are slow moving and take a while to get up to speed.
- Eldar are Elite and Technical. They require a lot of micromanagement to use effectively. Well...in theory. In practice they are easily the most powerful race due to continued tweaking by Relic, with units that hit harder than their counterparts in opposite forces, units that are immune to moral damage, and the ability to build buildings that instantly teleport units around the map, giving the Eldar unsurpassed mobility, durability, and strength in departure from the tabletop.
- Tau are the Rangers. If it doesn't involve blasting enemies to pieces with long-range guns it's not the Tau's forte.
- The Imperial Guard are a combination of technical and ranger. Ranger in the sense that they have some of the best ranged attacks, including by far the longest-ranged and all-around best artillery. Technical in that they have excellent special abilities, but their main units have lousy base stats.
- Tyranids are Spammers and the Gimmick faction (small units get buffs when paired with big ones).
- Actually Four Mooks: Imperial Guard Heavy Weapons teams in Dark Crusade are shown as a single soldier burdened with a heavy backpack when mobile, but when deploying a second soldier will suddenly appear to help setting up, reloading, and packing up the weapon. The second soldier vanishes upon packing up.
- Adaptational Badass: Some of the units in these games, for purposes of needing something to fit out a role for the game, are much stronger than in the tabletop.
- Great Knarloc in the first game, which is turned into a super unit for Tau since Relic couldn't think of much else. While strong, it's still not considered especially useful in here or the tabletop due to it only be able to attack stuff in melee with no abilities.
- The techmarine in the second game, which is turned into a commander unit.
- Adaptation Distillation: Some believe that the game neatly captures the feel of WH40K without needing a player to get all the sourcebooks. According to some early developer interviews, the Games Workshop people told Relic that they did not have to stick too closely to the word of the rules as long as they captured the spirit of them, and that they should feel free to make any changes that improved gameplay as long as they stayed within that constraint. For players who would prefer to follow the tabletop rules more strictly, several mods have been made to convert the system.
- Dawn of War II gets a bit closer to the tabletop, focusing on tactics and combined arms while doing away with base construction entirely. Buildings may still be present on a map as static objectives to capture, destroy or defend, or as terrain to occupy for cover and firing positions (Just as in the tabletop game).
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Multiple, simultaneous and devastating defensive deep strikes!
- Advancing Boss of Doom: The second mission in Retribution has you fleeing from a stolen Baneblade until you can find some weapons to deal with it.
- Alignment-Based Endings: Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising has multiple endings depending on the corruption of your squads (which fills in for the Karma Meter in the game) as well as several choices you make over the plot of the story. They range from your Commander replacing Davian Thule as captain of the Fourth Company and helping Gabriel Angelos and Apollo Diomedes cleanse the Blood Ravens of corruption to your Commander fleeing with your squads into the Eye of Terror and joining the Black Legion.
- The All-Seeing A.I.: In the first Dawn of War the computer is unaffected by fog of war and will always know where your units are, even the ones that are infiltrated (A.K.A. Invisible). The computer even abuses this advantage by dropping Jump-capable or Teleport-capable units on top of you at any given opportunity.
- Dawn of War II A.I. changes this slightly in that they will always go for your resource points, but will go to any lengths to avoid your exact line of sight. Simply placing a unit where they can see the point will deter the computer's efforts until you move, of course.
- Ambition Is Evil: Of course it is, it's 40K. The most triumphant example is Isador, who wanted to claim the Maledictum and use its powers for good.
- Several of Vance Stubbs' AARs indicate the good general sees the whole campaign as an excellent career opportunity.
- Ammunition Backpack: Carried by Space Marines with Heavy Bolters and Ork Flash Gits.
- Amusing Injuries: Cultists are quite fond of yelling "AUGH, MAH SPLEEN!!!"
- Anti-Air: Averted in most cases, any ranged unit can hit a flyer, so there's no need for a dedicated anti-air unit. Necron Attack scarabs are the exception, as they can only hit air units.
- Apocalypse Wow: Exterminatus.
- Apocalyptic Log:
- The opening cutscene for Dark Crusade, as well as a few of the location descriptions on the "Risk"-Style Map.
- Chaos Rising has a few creepy ones from the Judgement of Carrion.
- The Tyranid ending in Retribution is done like this. Ultimately, the Exterminatus fleet is driven away by the Hive Fleet, 94% of the Imperial Guard stationed in subsector Aurelia die before the surviving forces withdraw, and all loyalist Blood Ravens are killed while making a Last Stand.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit:
- In the first game, separate headcounts for vehicles and infantry, as well as caps on various units in Dark Crusade and Soulstorm.
- In Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising, the campaign has a limit of four squads per mission (out of a total of six and seven, respectively) and multiplayer has a 100-unit cap that effectively limits your force to about 9-10 squads. Retribution uses the multiplayer system for its campaign, with a lower 30-unit cap that can be increased by capturing certain buildings and/or using Honor Guard units in place of your Hero Units.
- Artificial Limbs: Lord General Castor of the Imperial Guard has an augmetic right arm, which he uses to hold and operate two-handed guns in one hand while holding an officer's power saber in the other.
- Artificial Stupidity:
- The Assassination victory condition causes loss if your Hero Unit dies, so the computer will always attach it to the first squad it builds. However, it never switches them, keeping them attached to their weakest unit for the rest of the game. For that matter, they always let said hero join attack heavily-defended bases instead of hiding them away.
- Any unit told to attack a fallen unit will do so in melee, including those that have no business being in melee like Fire Warriors. Similarly, telling them to attack a squad that's been scattered will result in them moving forwards until they can attack the whole squad.
- The Imperial Guard and Chaos AIs are prone to getting their tanks stuck behind their own buildings. The Eldar do the same with their Avatar, though in this case it's not as stupid as keeping the Avatar alive gives better bonuses than combat.
- Tau armies always send their Ethereal into melee, never give the Commander extra weapons, and never increase their Kroot squads' HP through cannibalism.
- The computer abuses their ability to see the whole map by dropping Jump-capable and Teleport-capable units on top of your nearest ones. This is normally devastating if the attacked unit is alone and bad at melee but it becomes a minor annoyance if you have overwhelming superiority in numbers.
- The AI also seems to be scripted to jump or teleport to the lowest-health unit it can see as soon as it is in range. This can result in scenes like a Necron Lord completely ignoring a wall of Firewarriors in favor of the lone Earth Caste Builder behind them, teleporting to the Builder, hitting it once, then aggroing onto the Firewarriors.
- Your artillery units will gleefully fire into swarms of your own infantry to hit a single enemy scout, scattering your infantry and destroying their morale.
- Infantry in II automatically Take Cover on their own to free up some micromanagement. Unfortunately, they may do so even as a ranged squad under attack by a melee squad which is pitiful at range, causes them to waste time running into cover when they should just be shooting continuously... and the cover they choose to get behind can be closer to the enemy melee squad, making it easier for the melee squad to tie up the rest of the individual's squad and force them all into melee combat (which, as a ranged squad, they will probably lose at).
- A.I. Opponents in II will also do this aplenty in Multiplayer mode. Difficulty primarily dictates what units the enemy will build. Easy will have the enemy send in their most basic troops to be sacrificed on the guns of your own. Normal let's them use some of the more powerful infantry. Hard starts adding in vehicles (typically, a transport or two, and their top level, limit 1 vehicle/monster.) Expert has them willing to use all units, and tend to be a bit more aggressive at pushes.
- Which leads us to the second issue. The A.I. appears to have three combat "strategies". Strategy 1, they trickle units towards your base, one at a time, and form a neat orderly line. Sometimes this is of some concern (Say, Ork Killa Kans, or a Battle wagon.). Most of the time though, they'll be content sending an infantry unit, no matter how poorly suited they are for the task, to try and take tiny little nibbles out of your base's H Ps. Say, Ripper Swarms happily accepting the Emperor's fury at small annoying creatures, via two to three Twin Linked Heavy Bolter Turrets, in less than 5 seconds. Strategy 2, has them run about capturing Power and Resource nodes, then immediately retreating, with no defense left to overwatch them. Strategy 3, and perhaps the most annoying especially in Annihilate victory conditions (and one commonly seen when they have allies), is to just sit at their base, and build units, sending only their Commander unit, and maybe a heavy unit or two out to do anything else. It's annoying because it means you'll take heavy loses, unless you have a forward respawn unit with them, and keeping everyone healed and repaired, but once you bleed the enemy out of a lot of expensive units, it becomes easy to start blasting apart anything that does get called in at their base. Plus they tend to group up so nicely together for Orbital Bombardments.
- Artistic License – Religion: In-Universe. Fireavous Carron is quite possibly the least knowledgeable Khornate ever, what with building temples to Khorne (Khorne explicitly does not want temples built to him, as time spent building them is time not spent fighting and shedding blood) and claiming that they will choke the enemy to death (a method of killing that results in no bloodshed and no skulls to take). To make matters worse, the aforementioned temples are used to project a shield (because that's totally how to endear yourself to the god of courage, hide behind a shield) that poisons any non-Chaos units that step inside it (again, no blood or skulls).
- Ascended Extra: Sgt. Merrick, a Mauve Shirt Imperial Guardsman from the Dawn of War II campaign who was present at the Tyranid incursion at Angel Gate as well as supporting the Blood Ravens during their suicide-mission strike at the heart of the Hive Fleet, becomes a playable hero character for the Imperial Guard faction in the Retribution expansion.
- Ascended Meme:
- Order the Commissar Lord Hero into a Chimera (an APC) and he will say, "Drive me closer! I want to hit the enemy with my sword!". This is a reference to an image depicting a Commissar waving his sword from atop a Leman Russ with the line captioned underneath.
- One of the Ork's beamy deffguns is called the "Box Smasha", described as being used for taking away the humans' "metal boxes", which means that the meme note has gone full recursive.
- Retribution also a Tau Crisis Suit Commander as a hero unit in The Last Stand mode, available through DLC. He has a couple of associated Steam achievements, one of which is called "Dynamic Entry", in reference to this popular customized tabletop model.◊ The achievement requires that he duplicate the action in that picture by landing on and killing a hundred different units, and is rewarded with an additional piece of wargear for doing so.
- As You Know: Indrick Boreale's memetic speech in Soulstorm has him saying it word for word when reminding his troops about their reinforcements in space, who are prepared to quickly drop onto the battlefield.
- A-Team Firing: The Orks of Warhammer 40,000 generally don't really 'aim', but Dawn of War II has an ability for the 'Shoota Boyz' squad called "Aiming? Wot'z dat?" if they are upgraded with a Big Shoota, which allows them to suppress an enemy squad (because their previous aiming abilities, or lack thereof, apparently made their fire not all that threatening. Strangely, it also reduces their damage until the squad is suppressed, so More Dakka was apparently working for them pretty well.)
- Attack Pattern Alpha: "Initiating attack protocol 23" and "Phoenix pattern, initiated".
- Eldar Webway Gates can be upgraded to provide a healing aura.
- In Retribution, the Imperial Guard can build bunkers, which can be upgraded with medical stations to provide a similar healing aura.
- Awesome but Impractical:
- An undeniable case would be sync kills from Dawn Of War II onwards - they look very cool, and the unit performing it cannot die until the animation is finished, but they still can change your sweeping advance from annihilating to just devastating against retreating units, or make it easier for the unit to be killed by retaliation due to being forced to be completely stationary for a couple of seconds instead of retreating.
- The Tau's Knarloc is, for all intents and purposes, a T-Rex that eats enemy units alive and makes satisfyingly loud booms as it approaches. Unfortunately, it has the least HP of any relic unitnote , has no ranged attack at all, and is so slow it spends most of its time turning around.
- Autocannons in Dawn of War II look cool and fire explosive rounds but are actually worse than Heavy Bolters because they do not suppress the targeted group. They're something of a jack-of-all-stats that can deal with both vehicles and infantry but not as well as dedicated weapons.
- Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Orks have the Trukk; the Marines, Sisters of Battle, and Chaos Marines have the Rhino (Dawn of War II and its expansions have the Space Marines using the Razorback variant, and the Chaos Marines stuck to foot-slogging); and the Imperial Guard have the Chimera. Space Marines also have the Land Raider (Redeemer variant in Dawn of War II). Tau Devilfish, while invisible, are decidedly non-boxy, as are the jump-capable Eldar and Dark Eldar transports.
- Awesome McCoolname: Gabriel Angelos
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: In the final cinematic for the Space Marine campaign in Retribution, Gabriel Angelos becomes Chapter Master.
- Bald of Awesome: Subverted Trope - despite it being close to a standard among Space Marines, the Blood Ravens' squad leader Player Characters of II all have hair, save for Tarkus.
- Bad Ass Boast: Everyone, and every single unit. Except for the Chaos Cultists.
- In addition to the requisite "I fear no evil, for I am fear incarnate!" speech from Space Marines, the Vindicare Assassin unit of the Imperial Guard gets a good one.
Assassin: They will quake at my shadow.
- Merrick gets a brilliant one in Retribution, made better for being just a regular soldier preparing to engage the Big Bad.
Merrick: He might be waiting for us, but he isn't ready for us.
- Let's not forget Governor-Militant Alexander's opening address to you when you attack his stronghold in Dark Crusade
Alexander: "Enemies of the Imperium, hear me. You have come here to die. The immortal Emperor is with us and we are invincible. His soldiers will strike you down. His war machines will crush you under their treads. His mighty guns will bring the very sky crashing down upon you. You cannot win. The Emperor has given us His greatest weapon to wield, so make yourselves ready, we are the 1st Kronus Regiment, and today is our Victory Day!"
"Ready to unleash eleven barrels of Hell!"
"Who's DYING NOW!?"
"Despair for I am the end of days". That said as an introduction!
"They hear their doom approaching".
- Eliphas, not content to have the sexiest voice in all of Do W, speaks like the fearless Bad Ass he is:
"I WILL SHATTER THEIR SOULS!"
"Can no one offer me a challenge?"
Davian Thule: "We will send you back to your craftworld in a tomb!"
"Neither killing nor dying frightens me. Feel my wrath, humans! [...] Feel the force of a disciplined mind!"
"I am the deadly shadow and the bird of prey! I am the poisoned dagger that brings sweet death!"
- Bad Ass Normal: Sergeant Merrick of the 85th Vendoland in Dawn of War II and its expansions. This guy survived a Tyranid invasion, fought through The Corruption, lived through the next 10 years of constant war, and even survives being mauled by Tyranids and an Earth-Shattering Kaboom in Retribution's Imperial Guard campaign.
- Bad Ass Teacher: Cyrus gets VERY angry when the Black Legion starts attacking initiates (many of whom he had personally trained). So angry that not letting him join to kick their ass causes corruption.
- Bad Boss:
- Chaos Lord Bale has a cultist that delivers bad news.
- Chaos Lord Krull orders the execution of a Chaos Space Marine that got stepped on by Gorgutz.
- Abbadon, when he appears in Retribution, also fits, no surprise given all the fluff goes into what a jerk he is, threatening to kill Eliphas every time he talks to him.
- Eliphas himself counts towards Kain and Neroth. Given that he constantly derides their fighting prowess and he basically kills them in the ending for his campaign.
- And of course, Commissars can restore morale not only to their squad but surrounding ones as well by executing a random soldier in it.
- Bag of Spilling:
- In Soulstorm, all captured points and non pre-deployed buildings are removed when you beat a map, forcing you to restart almost from scratch. Averted by Dark Crusade, where all buildings and points stay as they are.
- Most of the loot acquired in the Dawn of War II campaign is missing if you import a completed campaign into Chaos Rising. Justified since the Strike Cruiser they were stored in self-destructs during the final mission. You also begin with your Terminator armor damaged and unusable until you acquire Martellus to fix it.
- In Retribution's Space Marine campaign, Cyrus has lost not only all of his equipment, but all of his skills as well.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- In the intro to Dawn of War II; there's a point where the Space Marine Sergeant is being chased by a pair of Eldar Howling Banshees, and then a Dreadnought that wasn't taking part in the early fight shows up out of nowhere (literally bursting through a cliff face!) and kills both of the Eldar.
- This is based on the opening for the original Dawn of War, where Orks are trying to overrun a Space Marine position down a hill. When jumping up to attack, automatic fire literally blasts them away. Then, a Dreadnought shows up and joins the fight.
- Gabriel Angelos and the chapter fleet couldn't have picked a better, more dramatic moment for their arrival, really.
- Lampshaded in an early mission in the same game; one of the squads you pick up introduces himself by dropping in via Jump Pack and slashing up a mob of Orks attacking you from a cliff. He then jumps down and properly joins your force.
Tarkus: "Ork gunners on the ridge! Take cover!"
- While the Hive Tyrant isn't exactly difficult unless you're underleveled, seeing Davian Thule, newly entombed as a Dreadnought, deep striking into the battlefield and absolutely wrecking the Tyrant's shit singlehandedly is undoubtedly impressive.
- The Tyranid campaign in Retribution has this done by the Hive Fleet, which comes to the sub-sector with enough force to drive the Ordo Malleus Exterminatus fleet back.
- Beneficial Disease: In Retribution, the healing of Chaos units is done through the powers of Nurgle, by means of Nurgle's Rot. The infected units get back to the fight as their senses get numbed to the pain and their wounds get sealed by cancerous growths.
- BFS: Usually wielded one-handed by Space Marines. The Eldar Avatar of Khaine has the biggest one of all, though.
- In Dawn of War II the Wraithlord wields a sword about half as big as itself.
- BFG: Several of them, but the Assault Cannon used by the Space Marine Terminators deserve special mention. In Dawn of War II, the Devastator Space Marines gain access to Plasma Cannons, which certainly qualify (even by Space Marine standards!). Also, the Sniper Rifle Cyrus carries is almost as big as he is.
- Blood from the Mouth: The Carnifex horks up a veritable torrent of vomit and blood when killed.
- Blown Across the Room: Air strikes, artillery, grenades and some of the less subtle guns can knock down and scatter most infantry squads. Punched Across the Room happens on occasion as well.
- When a Tyranid synapse creature like a Warrior or Zoanthrope dies, it sends out a shockwave that does this to nearby Tyranids.
- Bigger Is Better: Shoota Boyz actually say this when upgraded with 'Big Shootas', which are clear improvements from their regular Shootas.
- Big Bad: Generally one or two per game.
- Chaos Lord Bale for Dawn of War until his role is usurped by SIIIINDRIIIII!!!
- In Winter Assault, either Chaos Lord Crull or the Necrons as a whole.
- Dark Crusade had a campaign for each faction, but either Eliphas the Inheritor or the Necron Lord of Kronus could be considered.
- Chaos Rising has Ulkair, the Great Unclean One and tainted Blood Raven Chapter Master Azariah Kyras.
- Kyras is once again the Big Bad of Retribution. It is revealed that he has been collaborating with the daemon released from the Maledictum in Dawn of War, and they both have secretly manipulated the events of the entire series up to that point.
- Bigger Bad: Aside from the Chaos Gods, the Nightbringer is mentioned fairly heavily with the narrations with the Necrons in Dark Crusade. Kyras could be considered this during Chaos Rising, we hear about him, but dealing with him is left as a Sequel Hook. Abaddon could also be considered this, being Eliphas' Bad Boss that stays in the background.
- Big Good: Gabriel Angelos in Dawn of War II and its expansions. In Retribution's Space Marine campaign, he becomes the new Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens after Kyras is destroyed.
- Big "NO!": Gabriel Angelos invokes this trope during the final mission of Dawn of War.
- Bling of War: Some of the higher level armor that the player can equip in Dawn of War II and its expansions goes into this territory, such as having inlays of elaborate gold sculptures. The Force Commanders from Dawn of War and its expansions have this by default.
- Blown Acrossthe Room: Several attacks deal huge knockback, such as Whirlwinds, Burna Bombs and Fire Prisms.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Played straight twice, and subverted once.
- Near the end of the Order campaign in Winter Assault, your side pragmatically realizes that the other side will probably turn on them once they've found the Titan. Rather than endanger their own people, they leave their temporary allies sealed behind a forcefield facing a tide of enemies and wave good-bye. However, General Sturnn is Badass enough to fight his way out and turns up to help fight the Necrons in the final mission.
- When the Eldar stronghold is conquered in Dark Crusade, Farseer Taldeer will have one of these. In a slight subversion, her fate is revealed to the player in all but one case.
- Subverted in Dawn of War II, when your troops, having succeeded in poisoning the Tyranid Hive Mind, are left in the center of an endless swarm of enemies with their evac ship blown up. They prepare to go out fighting when Gabriel Angelos, the hero from the first game, shows up with the Blood Ravens fleet, delivers some macho dialogue, bombards the hell out of the advancing horrors, then joins you to fight the last boss and take you home.
- Body Armor as Hit Points: In Dawn of War and its expansions, armor upgrades increase unit HP, instead of reducing the damage received outright. Averted in Dawn of War II onwards.
- Bond One-Liner: Dawn of War II forwards, this was a fairly common way for units to announce a confirmed kill.
- Bonus Boss: The Ork Warboss and Eldar Avatar of Khaine in Dawn of War II. Notable in that they're very hard, far harder than the Final Boss! Also notable in that beating them gives 30 Gamerpoints and a suit of Terminator armor each.
- Boom, Headshot: Units with Sniper Rifles can one-shot many infantry targets.
- Boring but Practical: For all the awesome units the Space Marines can get throughout the series, you'll nearly always find yourself having a use for your Tactical Marines.
- Especially in the campaign of Dawn of War 2. Sergeant Tarkus and his Tactical Marines may not have the best weapons or explosives, but they can be upgraded to be the toughest troops in your entire strike force.
- Boss Arena Idiocy:
- In an early level in Retribution, blowing up targeting cogitators causes nearby turrets to fire at the player's enemies. It might not be such a good idea to park your Baneblade in a potential crossfire between them.
- The Deadly Dodging that helps beat Daisy the Battlewagon more easily, though if you have something that can stun it, you can just keep Cherry Tapping it forever.
- Bottomless Magazines: Everything that can shoot, can do so indefinitely. Cleverly subverted in Dawn of War II onwards, where units frequently stop shooting to reload (although they still never run out of replacement magazines). Several weapons in the various campaigns do not require reloading and can keep firing indefinitely, though this is usually offset by shorter range or having to set it up. For instance, The Never-Ending Hail of Devastation item never has to reload. There is no good explanation for this aside from making it all the more impressive as an Infinity+1 Sword among heavy bolters.
- Bring It: One of the Space Marines battle quotes.
Blood Raven: Come! Show me what passes for fury among your misbegotten kind!
- Bug War: The main plot of Dawn of War II. Still happening on a smaller-scale in Chaos Rising, which also has a classic redux of Space Hulk, and Retribution, which also lets you play it from the Bugs' point of view in the Tyranid campaign.
- Butt Monkey: The Imperial Guard, played seriously. Consistently low/bottom tier in the first game, they have in-game models in the second game but were not playable, except for the latest expansion pack, Retribution. Cue Fan Dumb, Broken Base, and copious amounts of raging fans not expecting the Imperial Inquisition.
- Cannibalism Superpower: Downplayed from the canon, where kroots can extract and assimilate genetic codes to their liking. Here it gives a permanent health bonus to every unit of Kroot Carnivores.
- Catchphrase: The Blood Ravens get one in Retribution. It's even said in their appearance in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.
"None shall find us wanting."
- Canon: The Dawn of War series' multiple endings have always been vague with its canon, but a few things are known.
- Gabriel Angelos "won" the first game on Tartarus, releasing the Daemon in the Maledictum in the process.
- The Eldar won Winter Assault, since Dark Crusade mentions the 1st Kronus Liberators were initially assigned to hunt Taldeer down for vengeance. Gorgutz is defeated but survives to fight in Dark Crusade and Soulstorm, killing Crull and taking his skull in the process.
- The Hammer of the Emperor sourcebook for Only War mentions that the 412th were betrayed and driven off the planet by the Eldar after reaching the Titan and fending off the Necrons, according to the few survivors. Sturnn was among the casualties from this betrayal.
- The Blood Ravens won in Dark Crusade, and slaughtered pretty much everyone else, including the Imperial Guard, in the process.
- The Blood Ravens were defeated and lost half their chapter in Soulstorm, leaving the chapter dangerously undermanned.
- The Blood Ravens manage to stop the Tyranids in Dawn of War II.
- In Chaos Rising, the Force Commander slayed Ulkair with a Thunder Hammer, then vanished. Avitus despaired at his role in the Kronus campaign and betrayed the Blood Ravens. Tarkus killed him then took a vow of penance. Diomedes is not killed.
- The victor of Retribution is uncertain, but we know that neither Eliphas nor the Tyranids won since the Blood Ravens appear in the subsequent Space Marine, which also mentions the Aurelian Crusade.note
- The Deathwatch sourcebook, Honour The Chapter includes rules and fluff for the Blood Ravens and mentions the events of Retribution and Angelos' ascension to Chapter Master. While a sidebar mentions that the RPG's setting material assumes a campaign set in 817.M41 (at least a century or so before the Dawn of War games), this does make it seem that the Space Marine ending is the canonical one. It would also fix that mis-print in White Dwarf around the first game's release that referred to Angelos as Chapter Master instead of a Captain.
- Canon Immigrant:
- The Blood Ravens chapter of Space Marines were specifically created by Relic for exclusive use in the Dawn of War series. Since the series began, they have been acknowledged as a small part of the wider WH40K canon, being mentioned in a few novels and having their color scheme displayed in the core rulebook.
- In a combination of this trope and Defictionalization, Games Workshop produced a miniature for the Eldar Bonesinger, introduced in the first game.
- Casting Gag: The fact that the Commissars in the first game are voiced by the same guy who did M. Bison in the Street Fighter cartoon is probably not a coincidence.
- The Cavalry:
- Played with in the canon ending of Winter Assault, where Sturnn and the Imperial Guard show up with the full intention of fighting the Eldar, but Taldeer convinces them to help her fight the Necrons instead.
- Whenever a Leman Russ is deployed in Dawn of War's expansions:
- Chainsaw Good : Many units have a Chainsword, but of note is the Imperial Guard Priest, armed with an Eviscerator model.
- Character Exaggeration: The Memetic Mutation over Indrick Boreale - his accent is very obvious and a bit silly, but the jokes over it make it sound like his voice actor was on helium or something.
- Chunky Updraft:
- Tau and Space Marine orbital bombardments, followed by a Pillar of Light from the Kill Sat.
- Eldar Farseers (and other psykers equipped with certain wargear) have powers that work like this in Dawn of War II.
- Church Militant: The Sisters of Battle in Soulstorm. There's also the Imperial Guard Priest, who wields an Eviscerator, improves squad attack power, and can temporarily make the squad he's attached to completely immune to damage.
- Civil Warcraft:
- Excluding the intra-Imperium battles, Orks engage in in-fighting in Winter Assault, while the Eldar in Dark Crusade hoodwink some Chaos forces that the playable Chaos faction can take on.
- In Chaos Rising, you finally get to fulfill Avitus' dream and smash some traitor Guardsmen (that use equipment identical to that of the loyal Guardsmen).
- Also in Chaos Rising: one mission has you leading your squads against another company of Blood Ravens. How you choose to handle this can have grave repercussions on your corruption rating.
- In Retribution, you will be fighting your fellow Space Marines or Imperial Guardsmen who have (knowingly or not) turned traitor by following Kyras, or Eldar forces fighting against other Eldar. Chaos fighting against other Chaos forces and the Freeboota Orks fighting against other Orks won't be marked as a spoiler; Chaos is, after all, Chaos, and it's to be expected that Orks fight each other.
- Clown Car: Played straight with some transport units in Dawn of War II onwards, which can also reinforce nearby infantry squads. Presumably soldiers are disembarking from the transport to reinforce understrength squads on foot, but those transports never run out of replacements to deploy as necessary unless the player is out of resources.
- Cold Sniper: Besides the Vindicare, Cyrus in Dawn of War II goes into this... though played with in that Cyrus is clearly the most worried character about the Tyranids.
- Colon Cancer: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Winter Assault
- Combat Pragmatist: The Blood Ravens' approach to warfare is very much like those of good RTS players. Unlike the Space Wolves' or Blood Angels' ferocious charges, the Blood Ravens focus on analyzing and targeting weak points in enemy lines, applying pressure where needed to break apart far larger forces with minimal casualties. The best example of this comes from Dawn of War II's campaign, where a strike force consisting of 11 Marines, 3 Scouts and 1 Dreadnought was able to hold off a sector-wide Tyranid invasion (with Ork infestations and Eldar interventions on top of that) by striking at key targets until the much larger relief force arrives.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
- Conspiracy Redemption: The 'pure' ending of Chaos Rising flat-out states that this will be happening to the Blood Ravens. This being Warhammer 40,000, the ensuing civil war will probably cripple the chapter beyond recovery, but hey.
- Construct Additional Pylons: Averted from Dawn of War II onwards (you only ever have the HQ building you start with), but in earlier games, certain support structures need to be constructed to raise the unit cap during gameplay for most factions.
- Continuity Nod:
- In the Space Marine campaign of Retribution, there is a Thunder Hammer called 'Hammer of the Nameless'. Its description implies that this was the weapon the Force Commander used to banish Ulkair.
- If you defeat the Eldar as the Blood Ravens in Dark Crusade, the narrator notes that the Blood Ravens have had to deal with Eldar machinations before, both in the first game on Tartarus, then in the novels on Rahe's Paradise.
- Hints at Taldeer's actual prophecy, which compelled her to act in Dark Crusade, are mentioned in more detail in the Eldar campaign in Retribution.
- The Imperial Guard campaign in Retribution has some wargear referring to Imperial Guard commanders from the previous games, namely the Hand of the Governor-Militant, Alexander's Livery (both from Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander from Dark Crusade) and the Shield of Sturnn (from General Sturnn from Winter Assault).
- The hostile Space Marine, Eldar, Ork and Chaos forces encountered in Retribution's campaigns are primarily from the same subfactions as the ones present in the campaign of the very first Dawn of War (Blood Ravens, Biel-Tan, Bad Moons and Alpha Legion, respectively).
- Cooldown Manipulation: Most hero units' ability cooldowns can be reduced by around 20 percent with the Veteran and Hero upgrades.
- The Imperial Command Squad has a variation: it can have one general and up to four Psykers/Priests/Commissars (five if the general dies and is replaced), having multiples of the same unit doesn't affect the global cooldown (so you can cast the same ability up to five times in a row before the actual cooldown sets in).
- If an Eldar Farseer is attached to a Seer Council, her cooldowns are shortened (stacking with the Hero and Veteran upgrades).
- Every Incubus added to a Dark Eldar Archon's retinue reduces his abilities' cooldowns by 10%.
- The Dark Eldar have the Rekindle Rage soul power, which resets a single unit's cooldowns (does not work with the soul powers' cooldowns, obviously).
- Some characters in Dawn of War II have abilities that completely negate the cooldown of others for a short period.
- Coup de Grâce: In some sync kills. Most are more... excessive.
- Critical Existence Failure: Played straight as an arrow throughout the series. Justified in the case of Space Marines and Chaos Space Marines, as their augmented physiology and decades of training will keep them up and fighting until a mortal blow is struck. Also justified in the case of daemonic units like Bloodthirsters, Bloodletters and the Avatar of Khaine, who are maintained with a warp presence, and once they take a certain amount of damage, their otherwise unharmed physical bodies simply fall apart.
- Crippling Overspecialization: Normally avoided as described in the article but most units have a clear preference of using either melee weapons or guns and won't survive long when fighting in the wrong element. For a demonstration of this, try winning a firefight with Khorne Berserkers or Nobz, or a melee with Dark Reapers or Fire Warriors.
- Faction-wise, Tau units can destroy nearly anything from afar, but don't last long in melee. While they do have auxiliaries decent at melee, they're not quite as good as the equivalent melee units of the other factions.
- The Imperial Guard is in the same boat, more or less. Guardsmen squads have good firepower, especially once they have been fully upgraded, as do Kasrkin, but the former are quite poor at melee, and the latter are only a little better. Furthermore, unlike other factions, the Guard has no vehicles that are any good at melee; whereas, say, the Eldar have the Wraithlord, and the Imperial Space Marines have the Dreadnought, the Guard Walker, the Sentinel, is only good at ranged. The Guard, therefore, has only two units that are any good at melee: one single Ogryn squad, and the single command squad, especially if it has a lot of priests. Pretty much the only time you want to use the Guard in melee is against the Tau.
- The Eldar Infantry of Dawn of War are almost a pure embodiment of this trope. Come Winter Assault, however,this was no longer the case
- Several vehicles in Dawn of War give you the option of upgrading their weapons. They usually start with a set of weapons made for the same target (Anti-Infantry for the Chaos Predator, Anti-Tank for the Ravager) that can be upgraded to do the opposite (lascannons for anti-tank on the Predator, Splinter Cannons for anti-infantry on the Ravager). This allows the players to choose if all of the weapons are specialized against one target, or if they want to bring a balanced mix. The upside and downside of course is that there isn't enough of these units for you to bring an even mix that is also effective, but overspecializing leads to the usual problems.
- Crosshair Aware: Tau missile barrages leave a big honking crosshair on the ground.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Doesn't usually apply, considering that everyone in the 40K universe is inherently badass to a degree. But Martellus, a minor character from Dawn of War II, earns special mention by becoming a major character in Chaos Rising. In the first game, the most he ever did was pilot Thunderhawk Two to deploy power generators and Tarantula sentry guns for you. In Chaos Rising, it turns out he actually survived the final battle against the Tyranids and held his own against Ork looters for at least a year. If none of your other squad leaders become corrupted he turns to Chaos and serves as That One Boss by driving a huge and powerful tank - which he probably built himself, considering he's a Techmarine. According to Retribution, this is not Canon and Martellus goes on to become a playable character in the Space Marine campaign.
- Cruel Mercy: Kaptin Bluddflagg refuses to kill Adrastia at the end of the Ork campaign in Retribution. While she is happy about this, not being thought worth fighting is the worst insult in Ork culture. He did steal her hat, though.
- Culture Clash: In Dawn of War II, this is brought up by Administrator Derosa when you first arrive on Meridian.
"This is not the hinterlands of Calderis or Typhon, Commander, so a certain amount of discretion would be appreciated."
- Crucified Hero Shot: The pilot of the Sisters of Battle Penitent Engine is constantly in this position. Given that it's the Sisters of Battle, this is probably not a coincidence.
- Cutscene: Mostly using the in-game engine, but there are rather magnificent CGI cinematics at the beginning of both games and some of the expansions.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: For the first DOW, during the mission where the Land Raiders are introduced, there'll be a number of scripted battles before you can do anything. One of these has an Assault Squad jump to a location where they will be ambushed by a squad of Possessed Marines. The Assault Squad will be eating so much pavement while Possessed Marines would be considered unlucky if they lose a single man. You can prevent the Assault Squad from getting completely massacred if you take manual control of the survivors and flee long enough for your jetpacks to get ready for a jump out of there.
- Cutscene Power to the Max:
- Oh, how the intro cutscenes are guilty of this, except in Dawn of War II, which plays out almost exactly like some multiplayer matches might feel.
- When sync killing, units show abilities not normally seen (like Tau guns being rapid-fire, Boom, Headshot, etc.).
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul:
- Subverted: When Davian Thule is revived as a Dreadnought, he initially misidentifies teammates, believes he is fighting somewhere else, and is nearly catatonic outside of combat. This is not because of the cybernetics, however, but because he's delirious from a nearly fatal dose of Tyranid venom. Later in the game, he returns to mostly normal (mostly, since for some reason he has to....pause frequently...when he...speaks).
- Played straight with Thomas Macabee, a.k.a. the Necron Pariah spokesman from Dark Crusade.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: In Dawn of War II, squads deployed in a mission are automatically assigned numerical hotkeys (which the player can override if desired) and placed in positions on a unit selection bar on the right side of the screen (which the player cannot override.) Typically, four player chosen squads are deployed to any given mission. However, there are times when a particular mission might deploy specific squads instead of player chosen ones, or other squads might deploy mid-mission which the player then gets command of. This can be difficult when the player usually assigns certain squads to certain hotkeys and expects them to occupy specific slots on the unit selection bar, confusing the control scheme somewhat.
- Dancing Mook Credits: In Dawn of War, if you replace "dancing" with "getting viciously sync-killed".
- Danger Deadpan : The Chaos Hell Talon from Soulstorm always talks like this, sounding like a servitor, rather than screaming loudly like every other Chaos unit. Amusingly, this is because it is piloted by a servitor according to its fluff from the Imperial Armor books.
- Dark Secret: The Blood Ravens have a motto, "Knowledge is power, guard it well." They fulfill this, first by having a scholarly bent that drives them to seek out and record information, particularly as relates to the lost knowledge of their chapter's origins, and second by guarding that information jealously, hence a great deal of secrecy. In particular, some of the uncovered knowledge about their chapter is implied to be things that the Blood Ravens would rather nobody know. Captain Thule, for example, found relics and information about the early days of the chapter on Kronus, which he promptly destroyed and would share with no one except Captain Angelos.
- Deadpan Snarker:
Thule: "The Blood Ravens will not be driven back by one such as you!"
Taldeer: "Take solace at least in facing defeat at the hands of your betters. There is no dishonour in that."
Thule: "We have yet to meet our betters, alien, certainly not on this forsaken world! All we have seen here are tyrants, heretics and alien scum."
Taldeer: "You should have looked beyond your mirror then."
- As good as Taldeer is, she can't hold a candle to Eliphas:
What a rousing little speech, Governor. Unfortunately, your False Emperor can't touch us here. Alexander:
Cleansing the Imperium from filth like you will be a pleasure. Eliphas:
Oh, I assure you: the pleasure will be all mine
You won't hold that for long, demon-spawn! Eliphas:
Demon-spawn? One so hopelessly clueless about his origins shouldn't be so quick to insult another's parentage, "brother". Thule:
We are not
brothers, heretic. Eliphas: (chuckles)
Of course not. My mistake.
- Avitus takes this role in the team in Dawn of War II. Most of his lines are one-liners of various kinds, most of them snarky as Warp.
(Upon defeating a Tyranid brood threatening the already small population of Typhon)
"Those who fear death can emerge from beneath their beds now."
- Every Eldar character from Retribution seems to be in competition as to who is the snarkiest, although Ronahn definitely takes the biscuit. Taldeer's brother is almost as snarky as she was.
: "This is the transmission, much good may it do you. Human communication is not far removed from shouting." Kayleth
: "So then, Ronahn, let us see how your mastery of subterfuge stands to solve this riddle with but one victory on Meridian." Ronahn
: "Even now, Kyras' response is likely on-route. But it's encoding may not be as primitive or easily-heard from afar. We strike here, at the source of the message. Slay them all. Then, we wait dutifully for Kyras' message to arrive." Kayleth
: "Hmmm... Deviously efficient, probable success, and an immediate egress. Well plotted." Veldoran
: "Yes, we are fortunate your years of running have gifted you with some wit." Ronahn
: "Do remember your ancestry, Veldoran. The only Eldar that live to this day are the ones who ran."
(Upon capturing a strategic point) "OK, your little flag is up. Now what?"
(Ordered to move to new position) "Oh, you want me over there now, do you?"
- Death Is Cheap:
- Eliphas the Inheritor has canonically killed at least twice, neither of which stuck. He's offed a third time in the Space Marine campaign of Retribution, but that probably won't stick, either.
- Killing a Hive Tyrant or another vital or large Tyranid creature will disrupt a Tyranid swarm and cost the Hive Fleet valuable biomass. They'll just keep making more large Tyranids to replace them. Very true for the smaller Tyranids.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: While really hard to do, possible from Dawn of War II onwards. Very upsetting should your Terminators get offed by mere Shoota Boyz via Scratch Damage, although it is very easy to retreat from them.
- Death from Above: Assault Marines (who even shout "Death from above!" when they deploy), and their Ork Stormboy/Chaos Raptor counterparts. Equipped with: pistol, melee weapon, jump-pack, and berzerker rage. Warp Spiders from the Eldar do largely the same thing, but with teleportation instead. Also, Whirlwinds ("His wrath falls from the heavens!"), Basilisks ("Shatter their sky!") and the various bombardments that commander units can call down.
- Soulstorm adds bombers for some races, fighters for others. If you count Soulstorm.
- Dawn of War II and its expansions have a particularly nasty one in form of Tankbustaz, who, if none of your units are in their line of sight but some of them are in a certain range, will rain down rokkitz upon your head until you can engage them directly. One of these tucked away in a hard-to-reach place while you are beset by enemies can easily make a battle much harder.
- Terminator squads in Dawn of War II onwards can be equipped with Cyclone missile launchers, allowing them to rain down a powerful missile barrage on enemy heads. They keep all their other weapons and armor, so they can still slaughter units without using it.
- The 'Skyleap' ability for Autarch Kayleth in Retribution.
- Instead of the Basilisk, the Imperial Guard has the Manticore in Retribution. It can fire 4 missiles, which are all targeted individually within a small area.
- Death Seeker: As with the general 40K lore, Dreadnoughts are honored to continue to serve the Emperor in death. Chaos Dreadnoughts, on the other hand, feel imprisoned in their walking tombs and beg for death. This is to the point that a Chaos player's announcer will report one's death as "A Dreadnought has escaped into death."
- Decapitated Army: The "Assassinate" victory condition.
- Defector from Decadence: In Chaos Rising, part of the Blood Ravens' third and fourth companies rebel against their tainted chapter master. If Avitus was the traitor, which canonically, he is, he expresses similar sentiments as a reason for his actions.
- Degraded Boss: The Daemon Prince (Final Boss of the first game) returns in Dark Crusade as an upgrade to the Chaos Lord, with aabout four times less HP and half the size.
- Department of Redundancy Department:
Eliphas: Soulless automatons! You cannot prevail against chaos!
Necron Lord: ...
- From Winter Assault: "Behold your new god! Is he not terrible to behold?!"
- Didn't See That Coming: Idranel knew the Blood Ravens would attempt to prevent her from destroying Angel Forge. Unfortunately for her, she didn't count on Tarkus' squad showing up in Terminator Armor.
- Difficult but Awesome: Cyrus. Mastering him seems to be required to beat Primarch. Bringing him along makes the last Calderis mission in Chaos Rising MUCH easier if you want to remain pure.
- Difficulty Spike: In Winter Assault each campaign is less then half the length of the original (5 levels each in Winter Assault, 11 in the original), but the later levels are equally difficult, i.e, difficulty shoots up very quickly.
- The fourth level of both WA campaigns deserves a mention, as in the order version you are under almost constant attack by infinitely spawning enemies and in the disorder version it's a race against time to stop both enemies completing their completely independant victory objective causing you to lose automatically.
- Discontinuity Nod: In Dawn of War II it is revealed that the Kaurava system campaign (Soulstorm) is remembered as a shameful and epic failure for the Blood Ravens, and that it should never be mentioned again. If Cyrus turns out to be the traitor in Chaos Rising, he actually mentions this as a motivation for his Face-Heel Turn to Chaos
- The Ditz: The Ogryn definitely count if their selection and order quotes, and general battlefield chatter are anything to go by:
"Sir, yes... uhh... sir!"
<Kills Ork> "Bye bye, Ork!"
<Capturing a point
> "We got the, uh... *Beat* thing!"
- That said, what they lack in minds they overcompensate in brute strength and durability, resulting in some of the toughest troops in multiplayer.
- Do Not Run with a Gun: Averted. All but the heaviest weapons can be fired on the move, but expect sharp accuracy drops. The Seraphim unit is notable for not running, but flying while firing Guns Akimbo, and doing it more accurately than anyone else possibly could.
- Ironically inverted by Avitus, the heavy weapons specialist, and the only Space Marine character (in Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising) with a sprint ability. He can't fire while doing this, of course.
- A trait that Tarkus can learn allows him to avert this with special weapons like Plasma Guns, though it's still not very accurate.
- Dual Wielding: Seraphim squads and Death Cult Assassins use twin bolt pistols and katanas respectively. The Kroot Shaper uses two blades in melee.
- Drop the Hammer: The Space Marine Force Commanders along with Assault Terminator Squads can get access to Thunder Hammers that can stun victims.
- Dub Name Change: The French version renames the Dark Eldar Archon to Great Voivod, since Archon is already used for Eldar Warlocks. And the Reaver Jetbikes are renamed Raptor Jetbikes despite Raptors already being used for the Chaos unit.
- Dynamic Entry: In Dawn of War II, the Blood Ravens have decided that using their drop pods to squash Orks is absolutely hilarious, and take every opportunity to do so.
- The Assault Marine squad has the "combat jump" ability, which allows them to Goomba Stomp enemy infantry.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Before the release of Chaos Rising, Dawn of War II received a new game mode called "The Last Stand". Those who managed the feat of reaching the final wave would find themselves facing a Chaos Lord and Bloodletters, which would not make an appearance until Chaos Rising.
- Don't forget the final mission of Winter Assault, where you must face off against the Necrons before they became a playable race in Dark Crusade.
- More Dakka: An actual upgrade you can research for the Orks in Dawn of War, while also applied to some weapons. The sequel instead has 'More Dakka' as a multiplayer ability you can use if you chose the right Ork commander which makes weapons have no fire cooldown (but still have to reload, sadly), and an ability called 'Luv da Dakka' for Kommandos, whose tooltip is: "Hold down da trigga fer maximum carnage! Knocks over enemies hit by your shots.". It still does more damage.
- Musical Assassin: In Retribution Slaanesh's followers finally make an appearance in the form of Noise Marines, Chaos Marines who fight anyone and everyone with The Power of Rock.
- Multiple Endings: One for each campaign/sub-campaign. That means four in Winter Assault, seven in Dark Crusade, nine in Soulstorm, six in Retribution.
- Chaos Rising has several, depending on how far you slid down the slippery slope, if you did at all. It also depends on some of the actions you take during the campaign, such as killing Diomedes or Eliphas.
- Never Found the Body: In the Eldar campaign of Retribution, they mention that despite their defeat on Kronus, the Eldar's subsequent mission to discreetly recover the soulstones of the dead around the Vandea region was a resounding success, with the Space Marines never suspecting their presence and all fallen Eldar accounted for except for the spirit stone of Farseer Taldeer, of whom no trace could be found...
- Nice Hat: Kaptin Bluddflagg◊, in Retribution. He also demands Inquisitor Adrastia's badass inquisitor hat as payment for a merc job, but she refuses. He then mugs her for that same hat when she hunts him down to kill him in the Ork campaign's ending cutscene. The achievement for winning the Ork campaign? Nice Hat, of course.
- When a certain named Commissar is killed by an Ork player assaulting Victory Bay in Dark Crusade, Gorgutz will exclaim "I liked dat Kommissar's hat. Too bad it blew up with his 'ead!"
- For players who preordered Retribution with the Imperial Guard bonuses, General Castor gets a very spiffy hat that he can equip. When you see the bonuses it gives him, you'll never want him to take it off.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The ending of the original Dawn of War.
- And true to form, it does come to bite them in the ass many years later, with Adrastia saying to Diomedes that Angelos' confessing what happened there is actually damning evidence against the Blood Ravens.
- Pretty much all the factions when they put an end to the Biel-tan Eldar ritual on Typhon, big time. Special mention goes to the Eldar of Alaitoc when they inadvertently cause the Infinity Circuit of a dead craftworld they were trying to save to be destroyed by the Exterminatus fleet.
- Nightmare Face: This is Warhammer 40,000, but Great Unclean One Ulkair's face takes the cake.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Avitus, if he is the traitor, which he canonically is.
- Before the final battle of Retribution, Kyras proudly declares that the senseless violence committed by the followers of Khorne is the only way to truly be free, as life and the universe is ultimately meaningless.
- Nintendo Hard: So you tried 'Hard' mode in the campaign mode of Dark Crusade and Soulstorm? Good. Now try Dawn of War II's Primarch mode; the first few missions intended to get the player adjusted to the campaign's gameplay have the potential to kill you outright if you're not careful. And it only gets worse...
- The Dark Crusade campaign is absolutely merciless on any difficulty above Easy. Structures you build during a battle remain on the map if you win and will be present at the start of the next battle on that map... but this applies to the AI too. Territories at strength 8 or above start with multiple fully-built bases and since the AI is scripted to attack you the instant its military rating is better than yours, it will rush you with vehicles before your first structure even finished building. If the AI's commander is also present, expect a full honor guard visiting your base within 30 seconds in addition to whatever else is already on the way.
- No Campaign for the Wicked: In the vanilla versions of Dawn of War and Dawn of War II, only the Space Marines are playable. Averted in the campaigns for Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm, where all factions are playable in some form.
- No Canon for the Wicked:
- The official winners of Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm are the Eldar, the Space Marines and the Imperial Guard respectively.
- The campaign for Chaos Rising officially ended with the second best ending, in which Martellus isn't the traitor, since he is a playable squadmate alongside Cyrus.
- No Indoor Voice: The vast majority of Chaos units yell, and only yell. Even the Orks don't yell as much.
- Noisy Guns: The Commissar's standard-issue bolt pistol makes a Dramatic Gun Cock every time he uses it to do a summary execution.
- Orks are all about their noisy guns, particularly the Snazzguns used by Flash Gitz. Orks consider the noise a gun makes to be a vital part of it's functionality.
- The Vindicare's gun makes a very loud noise when using the scope for no real reason except to tell you you're about to see some Pretty Little Headshots.
- No One Could Survive That: In Chaos Rising, Eliphas the Inheritor isn't quite as dead as his fate in Dark Crusade seemed.
- One ending cutscene in Chaos Rising might count as well. If you killed Eliphas in the final campaign mission, he apparently can regenerate his body somehow.
Ulkair: "His refusal to accept death is an insult to Grandfather Nurgle."
- The Blood Ravens also get rather exasperated by Eliphas' ability to come back from the dead twice so far. Davian Thule lampshades this as he and Eliphas fight in Retribution's first Chaos mission.
Davian Thule: "I've grown rather adept at killing you, Eliphas."
- No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Most levels in Retribution. Thought you could use jump-capable infantry to Sequence Break? Think again.
- Not So Different: The Tau commander in Soulstorm is somewhat unnerved at the Sister's fanatical zeal, as it is uncomfortably close to what the Greater Good demands of the Tau.
- Non-Entity General: Some commander units, such as the Warboss and Farseer, will address the player when you select them.
"Why's you givin' me orders?"
- Averted big-time, however, by Dawn of War II's singleplayer. There, the Force Commander is explicitly stated to be the player's character.
- Dawn of War II's multiplayer still play this trope straight however. If you are playing as the Eldar, your units still refer to you as "Farseer" (even if the commander you chose, that is on the field, is a Farseer); the Force Commander in the multiplayer acts if you are commanding him; while Orky players are still da Boss of all da boyz.
- Played straight by the Tyranids, who obey the Hive Mind.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The Imperial administrators of Meridian take this all the way into Genre Blindness territory. Seriously, the Tyranids are about to ravage the sector and you only want to spare one tenth of one percent of factory production?! Administrator Derosa does get better once she realizes the gravity of the situation however.
- It's hinted at being more than that once you find out the Governor had Blood Ravens relics hidden near Angel Forge. Chaos Rising goes on to confirm that Governor Vandis has connections with Chaos.
- Obviously Evil: Chapter Master Kyras. His portrait even has a demonic red aura around it along with the impression that something just isn't right with him. Captain Diomedes is oblivious to this for a good chunk of the campaign. To be fair, though, this is the 41st millennium.
- About half of Isador's cutscenes consist of him listening to voices, surrounded by hallucinations of Sindri, and once orders a squad of Marines to follow him on a secret path without telling anyone because "It's a surprise".
- Off Model: Some commanders look rather off without pieces of their iconic wargear. Gorgutz without his bosspole just seems short.
- Oh, Crap: One of the Orks in the intro movie of Dawn of War, right before he gets shot in the face. Also Necron Pariah Thomas Macabee in Dark Crusade, when he spots the bomb that your troops have planted at the heart of the Necron tomb complex.
: "My lord! The living have -" BOOM
- Dawn of War II: This describes Cyrus' reaction when he realizes that communications are being impaired.
- Everyone shares this moment on Typhon when it's subjected to Exterminatus.
Mr. Nailbrain: "Not a good place to be! Not a good place to be!"
- Eliphas has one when Abaddon decides to have a word with him the first time.
"Lord Abaddon, it cannot be you!"
- Imperial Guardsmen react very calmly to meeting most enemy forces. Examples: "Orks inside the perimeter." and "Those are Eldar? I thought they'd be taller." However, on bumping into Necron forces, they respond with a terrified "Oh no! Not them!".
- Omnicidal Maniac: Taken Up to Eleven with Chapter Master Azariah Kyras in Retribution.
- Honorable mention goes to Eliphas in the same game, who lets Kyras's plan go through, just with him in Kyras's place in the end of the Chaos campaign.
- One-Liner: Seems to be most of Avitus' dialogue from Dawn of War II.
- One-Man Army: Averted by Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising: rather than a single Space Marine facing hundreds of attackers, you're in control of nearly a dozen Space Marines facing thousands of attackers. This is still enough for the job at hand, as long as you use the same combined arms and defeat-in-detail tactics as the "real" Space Marines.
- One-Winged Angel: Considering that this series involves at least two seperate attempts of characters ascending into daemonhood this is pretty much inevitable for some Final Boss sequences.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Kaptin Bluddflagg's accent veers all over the place, floating somewhere between the classic pirate accent and a quite stereotypical irish accent.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: In the first game, Force Commanders wielded a normally two-handed thunder hammer with one hand and a gun in the other. The sequel now limits the thunder hammer to a two handed weapon, with the one-hand version limited to Terminator armor.
- One-Hit Kill: The Vindicare Assassin can one-hit-kill almost any infantry unit with his Exitus Rifle. Some Commander units and some super-heavy infantry like the Crisis Battlesuit can survive the first shot, but few can survive the second.
- Orbital Bombardment: On both tactical and strategic levels.
- The Space Marine Force Commander has an Orbital Bombardment power, which has the Astartes' orbiting Battle Barge fire multiple Pillars of Light into the general area of the selected location. In Dark Crusade, you can hijack the Orbital relay, letting you use the ability on the Space Marines (they fire one on their own base in the ending).
- The Tau have the Orbital Strike ability, which fires a single massive beam on one point, which then spreads out. In Soulstorm, the Ethereal orders the Air Caste to fire into their base as a desperate maneuver. The Ar'ka cannon could be considered a variation, since it serves as a lunar-based planetary bombardment system (it can strike any of the four planets in the system).
- Dawn of War II: Retribution demonstrates Exterminatus on Typhon Primaris.
- Papa Wolf: Cyrus. Gods help you if you mess with his initiates.
- Pistol-Whipping: The Vindicare Assassin uses his Exitus pistol as a rapid bludgeon in melee combat. It's very powerful, more so than many melee-oriented units. Activating the Assassination Scope ability makes it do even more damage, somehow.
- Planetville: Averted throughout the first three titles of the series. Dawn of War and Winter Assault both take place on one single planet and in Dark Crusade the Narrator will describe just how the defending faction was defeated and killed/driven off the planet once you conquer their stronghold. Soulstorm plays it partially straight with the factions traveling through the webway between four planets and three moons, although the planets admittedly have multiple large, separately-captured zones each.
- Dawn of War II has you leaping between three different planets to choose your missions. Played pretty straight, as your fight to save entire planets (and the rest of the game's events) are taking place on a small patch of land on a side of said planets. It is justified since you're leading a small strike force against important targets like enemy commanders and the like, while your brother Blood Ravens and the Imperial Guard Hold the Line.
- Players Are Cthulhu: The Chaos units seem to believe the player to be one of the dark gods.
- Power at a Price: In Chaos Rising, there are some very powerful items. The catch is that they are tainted by Chaos and corrupt their users.
- Power Echoes: Eldar (both regular and Dark) and certain Chaos commanders tend to speak with a reverb. Daemon Princes and Living Saints take it even further.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Of course, WH40K being the place that it is, this applies to the protagonists as well. Lord General Castor in particular gets a moment of this:
Castor: "A guardsman's life is to die. I take them to a place where they may die. I am not afraid to spend their lives, but I will not waste them."
[...] "Now, you may continue with your attempt to kill me, but as I said, I will not waste the lives of my men, and executing you for insubordination would be... wasteful."
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "ACCEPT OUR DOMINION." RRRAAATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATATA~
- Jonah Orion also delivers one when he makes his entrance, "No more Blood Ravens fall this day, NO MORE!"
- Araghast responds back to one of these with a one-liner of his own.
Tarkus: "Your end is at hand."
- Eliphas arguably gets the single most epic one in the series at the end of the Typhon Exterminatus.
"THE ETERNAL WAR ENDS FOR YOU THIS DAY!!!"
- Psycho for Hire: Chaos Space Marines. They won't even deny it.
"Sanity... is for the weak!"
"I feel the Warp overtaking me...it is a good pain!"
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In Retribution, as you wait for the Tyranids to attack on a mission on the Judgement of Carrion, the Space Hulk's machine spirit will point out: "They. Are. Here."
- Ranged Emergency Weapon: Many melee specialists have a ranged weapon or an upgrade that gives them one.
- Rated M for Manly: In the grim darkness of space, there are only BIG MEN.
- Red-Headed Hero: Popular among Eldar Farseers - Macha in the original, and Taldeer in Winter Assault (although hers is literally red rather than auburn). After that long hair seems to go out of fashion so you can't tell for the helmets, but the trope makes a return in Dawn of War II where the Eldar Farseers again have red hair.
- Redshirt Army: The Imperial Guardsmen are ordinary humans in a world filled with genetically engineered Super Soldiers, omnicidal robots, and aliens with high technology and/or terrifying Psychic Powers. They are surprisingly Genre Savvy about this, meaning that infantry have crap morale because they know exactly how expendable they are. Fortunately, these morale problems can be solved by using superior numbers, propaganda and Commissars executing soldiers to motivate nearby troops to fight harder. Once fully upgraded however...
- Reliable Traitor: Sindri explains this trope in the first game, that Orks can be relied on to betray them as soon as they defeat the enemy in front of them. Cue a Gilligan Cut to the Ork leader explaining that exact plan to an underling.
- The Remnant: In the Tau campaign of Dark Crusade, when the Imperial Guard are defeated, the narrator mentions that many of the survivors continued to stage guerrilla attacks against the aliens. Also, in the actual game, the forces remaining in any enemy-controlled province after their main headquarters on the "Risk"-Style Map has been captured probably count.
- Destroying all of an AI player's builders and H Qs will leave them building only basic troops in large numbers. They go around the map capturing points, but they really have no hope of being anything but a mild annoyance.
- Ret Canon: Dawn of War introduced and popularised the use of two-handed Thunder Hammers by Space Marine Commanders in power armor - at the time, not even doable in the tabletop.
- Ridiculously Fast Construction: Hand Waved in that most factions airdrop, teleport or otherwise summon more or less complete buildings into the battlefield, which simply need some final adaptations to become functional.
- "Risk"-Style Map:
- Dark Crusade and Soulstorm both feature a strategic map where the different factions fight for territory. Whenever a faction moves into another faction's territory, a battle starts.
- In Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising, the player is tasked with traveling to different hotspots scattered across three different planets, as well as a Space Hulk in Chaos Rising. Some of these have time limits attached, so it's the player's call as to what takes priority.
- The Reveal:
- RPG Elements:
- All campaigns except for those in Dawn of War and Winter Assault feature character customization to some extent. Dark Crusade and Soulstorm feature wargear that changes how a particular hero plays in the field, while Dawn of War II and its expansions, Chaos Rising and Retribution are as much about character customization as they are about strategy: squads gain experience and can choose talents and traits over the course of a given campaign, and certain enemy squads will randomly drop wargear color-coded by rarity and value. This combined with co-op play can make Dawn of War II and its expansions feel like a very strange session of an MMORPG.
- Keeping units alive is central to the multiplayer in Dawn of War II, as both hero units and normal units gain experience and become more effective as they gain levels.
- Chaos Rising adds a Karma Meter to its campaign. Depending on what the player has done and how high it is, the last few missions play out differently, and the ending changes.
- Road Cone: The events of the Winter Assault, Dark Crusade, Soulstorm and Chaos Rising expansions are all dictated by later expansion packs in the series. Winter Assault was won by the Eldar, Dark Crusade by the Blood Ravens, and Soulstorm was a SPESS MEHREEN, er, Blood Raven defeat with an unconfirmed victor, widely believed to be the Imperial Guard. Diomedes survived the events of Chaos Rising, and The Ancient aka Tarkus reveals that Avitus was the traitor.
- Rousing Speech: In Dark Crusade several leaders give you one of these in response to you attacking their stronghold (often doubles as a Sedgwick Speech, as you usually defeat them regardless). Same for Soulstorm, though with a higher chance of Narm. Indrick Boreale gives an especially bad speech wherein his accent (and liberal use of As You Know) dulls the intended effect.
- In the Retribution expansion for the second game, 'Inspiring Speech' is actually an equippable item for Imperial Guard campaign heroes. It restores energy to all nearby units.
- Royal Decree: The Exterminatus in Retribution is initiated with one of these.
"We have arrived, and it is now that we perform our charge. In fealty to the God-Emperor (our undying lord) and by the grace of the Golden Throne... I declare Exterminatus upon the Imperial world of Typhon Primaris. I hereby sign the death warrant of an entire world, and consign a million souls to oblivion. May Imperial justice account in all balance. The Emperor protects."
- Rule of Fun: "The Last Stand" mode in Dawn of War II and its expansions, which has you and two other players survive against waves of enemies of... many different species, while the players themselves don't even need to be from the same faction. Relic doesn't even try to justify it, it's just for fun.
- Running Gag: In Dawn of War II, using drop pods to squish Orks.
- Say My Name: "SIIINDRIIII!"
- Scenery Gorn: Dear Emperor does this series love this! Explosions leave scorched craters, heavy firepower chews up cover, objects are crushed beneath the treads of massive units, buildings get bits of masonry knocked off them before eventually collapsing... The aftermath of a big battle in the game can drastically alter the look of the terrain, bearing all the scars of war proudly.
- Screaming Warrior: Every single unit.
- Eldar Howling Banshees canonically weaponize this trait. "Our cries herald the coming of great pain!"
- Separate, But Identical: Players are distinguished from each other with "army schemes". The default ones reflect existing sub-groups of the different factions, but the in-fluff differences between these groups are not reflected, not that this has stopped fans trying to make mods that reflect the proper way things are. In the first Dawn of War however, playing a skirmish match against the computer resulted in all the players of a faction using the same scheme.
- Shared Life Meter: As of the Soulstorm expansion, the total health of squads is visible (the earlier games only showed it when the squad was down to a single unit), though individual unit's lifebars are still visible.
- Shoot the Messenger: During the Dawn of War campaign, a Chaos cultist brings warning to Lord Bale and Sindri that the Space Marines approach. Bale goes out to meet them, telling Sindri:
Bale: "And dispose of this idiot!"
Cultist: "But... how have I failed!?"
- Shout-Out: To Prince, of all things, in the original game. Mouse over Sindri in the final mission and look at the bulletpoints in the description box.
- In Chaos Rising, if the Ork Weirdboy gets a kill with the Foot of Gork ability he'll usually say this.
- Bloodletters also say the above after killing a unit or a squad.
- Some of the loot you get in the Ork campaign in Retribution has names and descriptions similar to certain memes, and they're all written in Orky English, which at times bears more than a passing resemblance to kitty pidgin.
Chopped Up Armour description: Dis looks chopped! I can tells from some of da hack marks, and from seeing quite a few chops in me time.
Double Shootah Description: Double Shootah All Dah Wayz! Worr, that's so intense...
- "It's dangerous to go alone! Take this!"
- "My chief weapons are fear and surprise."
- This may be a bit of a stretch, but Lord General Castor also, at some points, says that perhaps the enemy will appreciate their "Devotion to the Emperor, and ruthless efficiency." Notably, he says this right after saying that they have lost the element of surprise and that the enemy doesn't fear them.
- "Get to da Valkyrie!"
- On occasion, Catachan Devils utter "I love it when a plan comes together!" upon killing an enemy unit.
- When an Ork vehicle kills a human, they sometimes say "Humie killed, dat's five points!"
- This one is a stretch, but the Eldar Avatar of Khaine in Dawn of War II has an ability called "Khaine's Wrath".
- When Stormboy Nob Brikkfist is downed, he sometimes mutters, "Urge to kill fading... fading... gone."
- Retribution has a Tau commander as a playable hero character in The Last Stand available through DLC. When reviving another player's hero, he sometimes says "Even a broken sword can still cut." This phrase was used to describe Shas'la'Kais in the Novelization of the franchise's earlier game Fire Warrior.
- One of the items Space Marines can unlock in Retribution is a Power Fist called Polaris Fist. Unfortunately, it's just a shout out in name only without any special abilities.
- The title of the first expansion pack of the sequel was likely a shout out to a certain Cirith Ungol song. Further emphasizing that Chaos is the very definition of Heavy Metal.
- Retribution adds 'Barbarisater' as an equippable weapon, noted in its item description as being the very same blade once used by Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn.
- Schrödinger's Gun: In Chaos Rising. There's a traitor amongst you — who it is won't be decided until the mission when he reveals himself.
- Shotgun Dance: Referenced by Flash Gitz who have "Dance, 'umie! Dance!" as a quote. Of course, they're not shooting at their feet, but ork shooting being what it is, they might as well be.
- Sissy Villain: The sorcerer, not so much in the way he is dressed but his voice (in some versions).
- Smoke Out: In Dawn of War II and its expansions, Cyrus can be upgraded to have this as an ability, dropping a smoke bomb that stuns enemies as he enters and exits stealth mode, making this both a Smoke Out and a Smoke Entrance.
- Smug Snake: Lord Bale from the first game. Despite being Alpha Legion he's focused more on strength than the manipulation that his Legion is famous for, which leads to his downfall by Sindri's hands and eventual death by Gabriel Angelos.
- Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: In Dark Crusade, the ending cutscene of the Necron stronghold mission has the pariah discover the (faction-specific) explosive just before it goes off, obliterating him and collapsing the tomb.
- SPESS MEHREEN: An entire faction of them, with their Evil Counterparts making up most of another faction.
- Space Irish: Kaptin Bluddflagg's accent has distinct Irish elements to it.
- Space Pirate: Kaptin Bluddflagg, complete with pirate hat and pirate accent.
- The Starscream: Sindri Myr is a painfully obvious one in Dawn of War (although this is because he is entertaining himself by dropping hints that he knows will go over Lord Bale's head). Archon Tahril is this to Asdrubael Vect in Soulstorm. In fact, it's a good rule of thumb for every single member of the Dark Eldar faction.
- Staying Alive: Eliphas at the end of Chaos Rising.
- Storming the Castle: Stronghold missions in Dark Crusade and Soulstorm. Also the final missions of Dawn of War II and its expansions.
- Straight for the Commander: In Dawn of War II, this is represented by having the Tyranids start attacking each other.
- The "Assassination" victory condition in Dawn of War: as soon as the enemy hero dies, they lose. Some AIs make an effort to keep their commanders alive, others... don't.
- Suddenly Shouting: Chaos Lord Carron, during the Space Marine stronghold mission in Soulstorm.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: "Squads Broken!" will "Keep Firing, Keep Firing!" nevertheless and won't "Fall Back And Regroup!" without player intervention. However, in Dawn Of War II, a suppression mechanic was added, meaning that while the unit may be staying in the same spot, when under heavy firepower, they'll be pretty much ducking their heads and looking like they wish they'd be allowed to run. They will also move slower and attack less often. Some campaign heroes in Retribution add even more debuffs.
- Parodied by the Baneblade in Winter Assault and Dark Crusade when attacked:
I think some fool just shot at us!
- Surrounded by Idiots: Taldeer's opinion of the Imperials' efforts at the start of Winter Assault. This leads to two short sections playing as the Eldar where she "fixes" their problems for them.
- Taldeer uses this mindset again as a justification for Ulthwe Eldar taking to the field of battle in Dark Crusade, realizing that the forces on the planet already aren't going to be able to defeat the Necrons, in her not-so-humble opinion.
- Gorgutz's and his Nobz' helpful suggestions. "I'z gonna call that wun Plan: Stupid. I named it after ya'! [and then later] Oi! Why's you grinnin'?" "'Cuz ya' named a plan after me!"
- Sword and Gun: By many troops made for close-combat, though some use things other than swords...
- Tactical Withdrawal: Units whose morale have been broken in the first game are only good for this. Dawn Of War II gives most infantry a button to retreat back to their base with, a system from Company of Heroes. However, now you have to make sure melee units don't get too close to your retreating units, since retreating causes them to take extra melee damage.
- Said word for word by the Space Marine Force Commander in Dawn of War if his morale is broken:
- Take Cover: Certain types of terrain provided defensive 'cover bonuses' in the first game and it's a major feature of the series. Directly drawn from the tabletop game.
- Take That: Apparently the team that did Dawn of War II shared many players' opinions about Soulstorm. Not only is Brother-Captain Indrick "SPESS MEHREENS" Boreale confirmed as being killed in action, but Scout Sergeant Cyrus calls the entire Kaurava campaign a "mistake" that dangerously depleted the chapter's manpower.
- There's a slightly more subtle strike on one of the loading screen tips: Cyrus' highly successful tactics - based on ambush, planning and precision attacks - were fiercely resisted by Indrick Boreale, but Captain Thule ignored Boreale's complaints.
- And yet... Boreale is namechecked in a specific piece of wargear in Dawn of War II; a Sniper Rifle called Cold Mercy used by the man himself during his Scout Marine days, with the flavour text mentioning how Boreale remained unmoving for days in sub-zero temperatures for the opportunity to (successfully) take out his intended target. Perhaps it soured his view on such tactics, or he could have been a better commander had he learned more from Cyrus and that experience.
- Compared to the other unlockable Sniper Rifles you can get, Boreale's is not very good.
- In Chaos Rising, Cyrus uses this as an explanation for his turn to Chaos, if he is the most corrupted unit in your force.
- If you look closely, nearly all the trophies taken from Space Marines (Pile O' Gunz, helmets on the Knarloc and Warboss) are taken from the Ultramarines chapter, considered a Creator's Pet by many 40k fans.
- Tank Goodness: The Imperial Guard Leman Russ and Baneblade, and the Space Marine Predator and Land Raider.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Various units get teleportation abilities.
- The Eldar get warp gates, which can be built almost anywhere and can be used to transport units. Their builder units can also teleport long distances.
- The Imperial Guard have a similar-in-spirit ability, their infantry units can be moved from one of their Garrisonable Structures to another, though there's a delay.
- Tempting Fate: In the very first part of the Tyranid campaign in Retribution, Sgt Merrick says this before he is mauled by the Hive Tyrant:
"If you're careful, these Tyranids are no more dangerous than Meridian razor slugs."
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Some of the sync kills, most notably one where the Ork Warboss grabs an enemy and REPEATEDLY slams it head first into the ground.
- Throw the Pin: The Orks have to remind themselves "Hold on to the pin. Throw the other part."
- Took a Level in Badass: The hilarious cultists that no one could take seriously of Dawn of War I transform into the cold, grim, and downright badass Heretics in Dawn of War II.
- Tragic Villain: Who the traitor is in Chaos Rising varies, but he always comes off as being rather sympathetic.
- Tarkus feels he is being Necessarily Evil in order to save the Blood Ravens from extinction. An Evil Weapon isn't helping. But it can still be a Tear Jerker when he's questioned by Thaddeus.
Thaddeus: "Explain yourself Tarkus! What power could possibly be worth betraying us all?"
Tarkus: "The power to save you."
- Thaddeus made a deal with Ulkair in order to help defeat the Tyranids by helping the chapter fleet arrive... or so he thinks. Jonah is convinced the daemon was only lying to him.
- Jonah is possessed by a daemon, and isn't in control of his actions. He's still Fighting from the Inside.
- Avitus cracked after learning that Chapter Master Kyras was corrupted and that he wars in the name of a minion of Chaos. His actions are implied to be Suicide by Cop. Avitus is all but stated to be the canonical traitor.
- Cyrus grew disgusted with the incompetence of the Blood Ravens' command staff, and wants to reform it by any means necessary.
- Martellus was only trying to survive.
- Treacherous Advisor:
- "SIIINDRIIII!" has become a catch-all term for Tzeentchian backstabbing in 40K fandom, as it's Lord Bale's last words to Sindri as he runs off, leaving him to fight the Blood Ravens alone.
- Eliphas in Chaos Rising leaves Araghast to die while surrounded by angry Blood Ravens.
- Units Not to Scale: To a degree, although from Dawn of War II onwards, you get a much more believable difference in size. Transports, however, are always apparently Bigger on the Inside (The scale offset is consistent with the tabletop, though).
- Unorthodox Reload: Scout Marines in Dawn of War 2 and its expansions equipped with Combat Shotguns use the typical action hero reloading method with Sawn Off Shotguns; using the weight of the shotgun to pump it.
- Unreliable Narrator: The narrator in Dark Crusade is an Imperial scholar. For some reason, fans of the series disregard this (and the fact that this particular planet has a history of rebellion) and take his alarmist speculations about the human population drop on Kronus in the Tau victory movie as absolute proof that the Tau sterilize the non-Tau populations of their worlds.
- Unstable Equilibrium: You get resources for taking points. So whoever can take more points, for example by pushing his opponent off a point and capturing it for himself, has an advantage.
- Justified in that were this not the case, matches could very well go on for hours, given two combatants of roughly equal skill.
- Useless Spleen: In the first game, Chaos Cultists sometimes yell "Ow! My spleen!" if sent airborne by a heavy blow.
- Villainous Breakdown: Lord Carron takes the destruction of his temples very badly. If you ever wanted to hear a Chaos Space Marine cry...
- Villainous Valor: the AAR for the Dark Eldar mentions that the Chaos forces resisted heroically.
- Violent Glaswegian: The drivers of the Imperial Guard APCs and tanks in Retribution.
- Wall of Weapons: The Orks' Pile O' Gunz!
- We Can Rule Together: In Chaos Rising, if Cyrus becomes the traitor he will make this offer to your team when you confront him, though it will be quickly rejected.
- We Have Reserves: The Imperial Guard General in Retribution is so cavalier about the massive casualties his army suffers constantly that it's occasionally shocking.
- Welcome to Corneria: Most units in the first game have two to four lines for each action (movement, attacking, morale loss, et cetera). The Sisters of Battle in Soulstorm have one line per action on all their units. Averted in the sequel and its expansions, where units have significantly more lines depending on action and context.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Tarkus, if he becomes the traitor in Chaos Rising.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Thaddeus, Davian Thule and Elena Derosa are given no mention in Retribution. Subverted with Tarkus, who is actually The Ancient.
- Thule does show up in the Chaos campaign, where he is the first boss and is killed.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: The Chaos Cultists of the first game had such an accent, which coupled with a hilariously squeaky voice has become one of the Memetically Narmy things of the game.
- There is also Indrick Boreale and his oft-mocked pronunciation of "spess mehreens."
- Who's Laughing Now?: Imperial Guard infantry start off weak, but then they start to roll out the bunkers, plasma guns, morale upgrades, and lots and lots of tanks. One of the responses of the Baneblade, their most powerful unit, is literally "Who's dying now?!"
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Brother-Sergeant Thaddeus. Yes, really. The other Space Marines do find it a bit naive. He's very young (he doesn't even have a single service stud yet) - one of the youngest leaders to be promoted to squad leader. Ironically, he's also a former ganger.
- Do note though that "very young" is relative. Thaddeus left Meridian to join the Blood Ravens over eight decades ago.
- Wolverine Claws: Imperial Guard Generals in Winter Assault to Soulstorm, and Space Marine Assault Terminators.
- They come as equippable items in Chaos Rising, with sets both for normal and Terminator armour.
- The Worf Effect: Dark Crusade and Soulstorm open with movies of Necrons wiping out Space Marines and Battle Sisters ignoring Tau pulse fire respectively.
- Chaplain Varnus establishes his credentials by smiting a Bloodthirster single-handed.
- There's non-cutscene case of this in the final Imperial Guard level in Winter Assault. When the Necrons show up, they will outright slaughter the Chaos and Ork bases, giving a pretty good idea of what will happen if you try and fight without the Titan's guns.
- This also happens to certain characters in Retribution depending on which campaign you play, as a main character from one of the other races will appear as an appropriately weak tutorial boss.
- World of Badass: It's Warhammer 40K, do you really need further elaboration on this?
- World of Ham: Nearly every unit that talks is as hamtastic as possible. Dawn of War II toned it down a bit, which some fans were disappointed by. Fortunately for them, the villains in Chaos Rising bring the ham. It's like a Saturday morning cartoon with blood and gore!
- Let's just say this is the hammiest RTS ever.
- Worthy Opponent: The Blood Ravens take no retributive action on the surviving Guardsmen in Soulstorm. The Imperial Guard return the favor to the Blood Ravens: the small number of survivors they return to Segmentum Command, while burying the dead ones, whom they themselves just killed, with full military honors. Inverted with the Dark Eldar Tahril, who considers every enemy but Chaos and the Eldar as idiots.
- Would Not Shoot a Good Guy: One mission in Chaos Rising involves having to go up against another company of Blood Ravens to destroy a specific building in order to expose a mole, and those other Blood Ravens have orders to shoot-on-sight. The player is encouraged to avoid unnecessary bloodshed during this mission and play this trope straight. However if the player averts this trope and gets aggressive, it results in corruption points.
- You Call That A Wound: Trope Namer by way of the Imperial general in the first game, who says it when revived.
- You Have Failed Me:
- Eliphas' fate when his stronghold is destroyed. Which doesn't stop Popularity Power bringing him back in Chaos Rising (luckily this can be hand waved by death being cheap in the Warp). He lasts all the way up to Retribution.
- In Winter Assault, a meeting between Gorgutz and Crull ends with Gorgutz casually tripping a Chaos Space Marine as he leaves, just to show he can. Crull orders his Sorcerer to "[e]xecute this fool for EMBARASSING ME!"
- A random cultist who's the Bearer of Bad News:
- You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again: Units who get knocked down can't be targeted directly until they get up again.
- You Require More Vespene Gas: Although the exact dependence on the various resources varies between factions, there are two resource types that form the basis of the first two games' economies: Requisition and Power. Requisition is directly tied to the number of Control Points the player holds, as well as how developed the controlling structures are, and is generated quickly. Power is generated by building generators, and is generated slowly. Requisition is typically spent in far greater quantities than Power, although Power is required in ever-greater amounts as the player accesses the more advanced parts of the technology tree; as a result, there is rarely enough Power to go around for everything.
COWARDS DIE IN SHAME