These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Dawn of War
Anti-Climax Boss: The Alpha Hive Tyrant in the Dawn of War II campaign. It pretty much just appears at the end without any buildup, and while it certainly isn't weak, you have all of your squads by this point of the level, and if you did the optional missions with the Avatar of Khaine and the Warboss, you'd have 3 sets of Terminator armor, and even you don't, you have Gabriel Angelos who can temporarily give invulnerability to multiple units.
Aun'el Shi'ores: He's not much of a fighter, and goes down quickly. Granted, you do have to go through what is probably the hardest stronghold to get to him.
Sindri in the original campaign. He is the strongest unit in the game, even surpassing Relic units, but he's still only one unit, and you have access to the full-tech tree for the Space Marines by this point, and in earlier levels, you had to fight Relic Units without access to the full-tech tree.
Awesome Music: Just check the official soundtrack yourself. It's free to download here. It's safe to say that the entire soundtrack qualifies as Awesome Music, which is a CMOA for the composer, Doyle W. Donehoo.
Badass Decay: In Retribution, the boss of the first level for the Blood Ravens campaign is Eliphas. In the Chaos Space Marine campaign, the boss of the first level is Dreadnought Davian Thule. Either one is killed as a starter boss.
Breather Level: The Ork Stronghold in Dark Crusade, when compared with the other stronghold levels in the game at least. Once the player survives the initial rush that comes from the start of the level, they can deal with most of the Ork bases by destroying the Big Banners, since destroying them causes the respective clan/base there in rebel attack the other Orks on the map, and a lucky player can even see on Ork rebellion destroy a banner on its own.
In "The Last Stand" mode, Wave 8's freakin' Zoanthropes. They have long range, an ability that effectively gives them two lifebars, recycle about as fast as your heavy weapons and their shots can knock your character sprawling unless you're "Unshakable," so I hope you weren't trying to revive anyone or take a point. The kicker? Their shot is powerful enough to instantly kill you again when you've just been revived.
It's remedied somewhat with the inclusion of the Lord General in Retribution, as a General equipped with a Sniper Rifle can take a Zoanthrope down with one high-powered shot from long range, but they're still a pain in the ass if you don't have him on your team.
In the Dawn of War II campaign, the Eldar ranged Seer Council on Primarch difficulty. Without Cyrus' stealth to deal with them, you'll have to get everyone to attack them just to make sure someone survives their ridiculously long-ranged knockback lightning attack to actually kill them. Anyone else trying to deal with them alone will probably die.
If you're playing on Primarch without Cyrus at all, virtually EVERY boss can seem like this.
A less egregious example are vehicles during the campaign, at least until a certain point in leveling. Of particular note among them are melee Carnifexes, which are much more dangerous than their ranged counterparts. They both can't be meltabombed (an effective anti-vehicle weapon which doesn't penalize a squad's anti-infantry ability, which would be perfect against the infantry-heavy Tyranids) since they're organic, which makes them even harder to bring down, especially when there are many of them. The easiest way for a boss to gain the title of That One is to employ 'fexrush as a defensive feint.
Eliphas the Inheritor is universally loved by the fan base for his dark charisma, to the point where his appearance in Chaos Rising is due to fan demand and nothing else.
There's also Warboss Gorgutz 'Eadhunter, who is able to present himself as outright hilarious, but at the same time is a profoundly normal member of his species. Despite never canonically winning, he has been granted Contractual Immortality and has appeared in every expansion since Winter Assault (not counting Dawn of War II).
General Stubbs, the only character from Soulstorm that is actually popular for the right reasons (unlike, say, Boreale, who is also popular, but for all the wrong reasons).
Kaptin Bluddflagg, the Ork Space Pirate in Retribution quickly became popular due to his similarities to Gorgutz and generally being ridiculously Badass and Crazy Awesome. Having the Ork accent crossed one of a stereotypical pirate accent also helps.
Despite being in the same game as Eliphas (and not even being that important to the plot), Araghast the Pillager also managed to win a good number of fans, mostly due to his awesomevoice.
The entire Ork campaign in Retribution. It's widely considered to be the best campaign in the game, and between the immensely likeable Crazy Awesome protagonists, insane battles, frequent injections of dark humor and one-liners, it's not difficult to see why the fandom holds this view. The Eldar campaign was also very well-received by many players, which is surprising given how the Eldar are generally a "love or hate" faction in the Warhammer 40000 fandom.
The Eldar campaign's reception is likely helped by Rodahan and Velderon, whose characterizations' don't put much emphasis on the usual Eldar qualities that annoy fans.
Sindri, although he's only in campaign and is apparently Killed Off for Real, is likely the most popular Chaos character aside from Eliphas (granted until Chaos Rising the Chaos characters besides them were rather poorly received) for his voice (to the point where the popularity of Scott Mc Niel being brought back in Chaos Rising) and Magnificent Bastard tendencies.
Gabriel Angelos having the most fully formed personality of the marine Captains in the original gave him the largest following.
Gateway Series: The original game is sometimes accused of being a big marketing project for the tabletop game (just look at the review on this very wiki). Whether you consider it true or not, it got quite a few people interested in the tabletop Warhammer 40000.
Genius Bonus: The Summer Steam Sale item for Retribution is a special golden helmet for the Force Commander. Said helmet is under a color scheme called "Blood Ravens, Veterans of Aestas". Aestas was an obscure Roman goddess of summer.
Goddamned Boss: The Mad Mek Retribution. His [[BFG rockit launcha]] devastated vehicles, and melee units that attack him get teleported out of the room you fight him in when they hit him, so if your relying melee, this guy can take forever to kill.
Chaos Rising has a bugged skill in the form of Command Mastery. It drops the energy cost of abilities for anyone who gets the Force Commander's Battlecry buff. The thing is, it doesn't reset when the Battlecry buff fades. And it's self-stacking. Perhaps the Force Commander's really an excellent bard in disguise—who'd have guessed, what with that whole Silent Protagonist thing.
The Tau have one in Dark Crusade where the Vespid Stingwings take only a few seconds to build. They're not that strong, but when your base is being destroyed it can make a sizable difference.
An amusing one in Winter Assault's campaign, where attaching Lord Crull to a squad and detaching causes him to respawn at your base. You can use the new Crull to attach and detach from a squad until you have an entire attack force of Lord Crull(s).
In the next-to-last Disorder mission in Winter Assault, Taldeer's defenders and the Eldar base you need to destroy consider each other as enemies for some reason, meaning you can have a unit kite the defenders into the base and watch the Eldar attack each other. People disagreeing with your vision, Taldeer?
Soulstorm has one in the Necron stronghold where the Deceiver steals your ground forces. If it claims your hero, you can rebuild him and have them fight.
Dawn of War II occasionally has corpses float up for no reason, eventually leaving for high orbit.
Harsher in Hindsight: During the epilogue for the Blood Ravens in Dark Crusade (that is to say, the canonical ending), the Narrator mentions that the "darkest days of the chapter" were to follow their victory on Kronus. The Soulstorm expansion, which chronicled the next campaign for the Blood Ravens, was a low point in the series that players and in-universe characters alike won't acknowledge.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, that line would turn out to be true in-game, as well as out of it. Relic had the decency of not unhistory-ing the Blood Ravens' campaign in Kaurava, but did mention that they lost about five companies worth of soldiers in that campaign, leaving them critically undermanned and in danger of going extinct by the time Dawn of War II started.
Certain specific sounds if they're not on your side: Vindicare Assassin firing/using the scope, that siren-sound heralding a Bloodthirster, railguns firing, psykers using their lightning attack, the very distinctive sound of a Baneblade firing...
Random collapsing walls/barrel explosions in a DOWII skirmish match, echoing out of the Fogof War. It could signify a big Commander Unit heading your way or a vehicle.
The dialogue between Eliphas and Thule in the Chaos campaign of Dark Crusade becomes retroactively hilarious after Thule becomes a Dreadnought in Dawn of War II. Moreso for the fact that Eliphas will be back for Chaos Rising.
In a copy of White Dwarf, Gabriel Angelos was listed as the Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens, which disrupted canon (this was prior to Dawn of War II). Now the Chapter Master has been revealed to have fallen to Chaos in Chaos Rising, if the chapter is to survive, they need a new Chapter Master and the best choice is...Gabriel Angelos, who refused to turn to Chaos and, depending on your actions, will give you command of the 4th Company, be marked as a renegade with you, banish you from the chapter for 100 years, execute you or vow to hunt you down and kill you for turning your men to Chaos and becoming a lord of the Black Legion.
And if Retribution's Space Marine campaign is canon, he has officially become the Blood Ravens Chapter Master.
Azariah Kyras manipulated the entire events of the first two games, namely, a major Tyranid incursion and a Chaos Crusade. No one was the wiser until Retribution. Even then, he manages to retain more than half of the Chapter's loyalty and converts a great deal of them to Khornate worship.
Mister Nailbrain's classic Ork Flash Git accessory, known as the 'gitfinda' has been subject to this.
Slowly, but surely, Lord Araghast's badass boast is being turned into this. From outright parody to him just opening up with 'X, HEAR ME! I AM ARAGHAST THE PILLAGER' while talking about things like the Lord Inquisitor to the new Black Templar codex. Listen for yourself.
The Blood Ravens are now called "Bloody Magpies", running on the Fridge Logic of the amount of ridiculously rare loot you can get in Dawn of War II that was given to the Blood Ravens from other chapters when one would assume those other chapters would be instead very keen to hold onto them - so, the Blood Ravens must be a bunch of lying thieves who frequently claim their plunder was "gifted" to them.
Diomedes is now the spiritual successor of Boreale due to hammy speech patterns and pronunciations.
When Davian Thule gets mortally wounded by the Tyranid Warrior in Dawn of War II and when Eliphas kills him in Retribution's Chaos campaign.
Gabriel's apparent death at the hands of Azariah Kyras in the final mission of Retribution.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: While the Ultramarines are very much The Scrappy for many players of the tabletop game, they don't attract any of that hate here due to them not being forced into the spotlight and only playing a supporting role, not to mention pulling off an inspiring Hold the Line moment.
The Scrappy: The Force Commander. However, this is mostly because of his relatively pristine features and youthful looks rather than his behavior. Cries of 'HAIRESY!' and 'Force Commander Vanilla Ice' are often raised. This is actually somewhat brought up in-game, as it's mentioned in a loading screen that his appointment to Force Commander was contested by a number of Blood Ravens.
Autarch Kayleth from Retribution. Due to her constant mouthfuls of very condescending and at times hypocritical snark at humans, many players were tempted to say "Screw You, Eldar!". The other Eldar characters, Rodahn and Veldoran, were much more well-received.
Originally, Dawn of War and Winter Assault used a system where units firing on the move had their accuracy reduced to 50%, a clever mechanic which made moving units less effective, but still capable of dishing out the hurt. When the game mechanics were overhauled for Dark Crusade it was reduced to a mere 15% (less than a unit rendered combat ineffective by broken morale). Although this stopped units with powerful, fire-on-the-move weapons (like plasma gun-equipped Tactical Marines) from simply dancing around melee units indefinitely, it also made ranged weapons on melee troops (such as Dreadnought assault cannons) utterly useless.
The overhauled stealth mechanic from Dark Crusade onwards; infiltrator units can remain stealthed indefinitely and still fire. While making Eldar Rangers useful again, it turns Tau Stealthsuit teams into Goddamned Bats. Since Stealthsuits are available right from the start, you will have to put up with your soldiers standing around idly checkingtheir weapons while a stealth battlesuit team slooooooooooowly whittles down their health, until you can finally get a detecting unit out (which can take some time).
In Dark Crusade's campaign, captured points and built structures stayed on the map, which made defending it a lot easier. In Soulstorm, all captured points and all buildings not pre-built from the overworld map are removed, forcing you to restart almost from scratch.
For Dawn of War II, the retreat mechanic has caused some problems, which some see now as an inherent flaw in the gameplay - to help replicate the 'Sweeping Advance' rule from the tabletop, retreating units take extra melee damage. Thus, it is very difficult to not take heavy losses once a melee unit gets tangled with your own infantry (or between you and your home base), and with such a small unit cap these losses hurt. In contrast, ranged units can be easily nullified by hitting the retreat button and making losses quite minimal.
In addition, any half-decent player on the ladder will abuse retreat paths so that your bleeding, battered squad will stumble conveniently into a squad of heavy melee units. Or aim/time grenades into said retreat paths.
Another thing found annoying for players of the sequel is the AI automatically taking cover. This was carried over from Company of Heroes, which was almost always good since cover worked against everything that wasn't flamethrowers (though there were options which ignored cover, only flamethrowers made cover more dangerous than not having it). In Dawn of War II, a ranged unit spending time to take cover instead of standing still is potentially valuable time lost shooting when up against a melee unit running toward them whose ranged damage is absolutely minimal anyway - sometimes the unit can take automatically take cover which makes them move closer to the melee units running up to them.
The inability to save during a campaign mission in Dawn of War II irked some players; for example, having to quit the game for one reason or another near the end of the mission results in a loss, and if you want to avoid this you'll need to back up your saved games. This was a deliberate design choice by the creators to prevent Save Scumming and to make the stakes a little higher during battles.
All it does is make boss level missions incredibly boring and frustrating. The worst example being the Great Unclean One at the end of Chaos Rising which has a 15 minute vehicle section of boredom, a 40 minute section of boring infantry grind tagging along with Blood Raven NPC's, and then a ridiculously overpowered boss who does little more than one-shot characters and have 2 million hitpoints. And the fellow mariners you helped save? They sit around doing nothing.
So Bad, It's Good: Dawn of War: Soulstorm is regarded as this. The gameplay is buggy and poorly balanced but the bad voice acting can sometimes cause people to play just to listen to the level of Epic Fail present.
Stop Helping Me!: In the last mission of Chaos Rising you first receive a couple of Predator tanks to command and when your squads are finally deployed, they are backed by several dozens of NPC Space Marines. While the area does hosts much more Chaos troops than usual, it's still nothing your max-levelled Marines couldn't take on by themselves, whereas the tanks are short of a hindrance and the auxillary Marines do little except create confusion and inevitably get slaughtered, whereby the Final Bossdoubles his initial Hit Points. Worse still, the Chaos forces respawn indefinitely.
Thaddeus's response to Avitus' contempt for the Chapter and the very notion of hope.
"Perhaps, but I will cling to hope for a while longer, I think. And if the secrets of the Chapter cost me that? Well, then I will stand stand with my brothers... all of them."
Despite being possessed by a greater daemon, Jonah Orion does not fall easily. With all his will, he fights the control of the daemon just long enough to deprive him of his powers and for his brothers to deal the finishing blow. The daemon also claims that if Jonah is slain, he will have nothing to protect him from being dragged screaming into the Warp. Tarkus replies:
"The man who has nothing, can still have faith."
From Dark Crusade, the ending to the Tau stronghold mission is heartbreaking. After fighting valiantly to protect their planet, Kais sees the Ethereal die, loses hope and solemnly leaves with the rest of his troops.
"We will return Aun'El to T'au for burial... there is nothing left for us here."
There's also your second mission to Aurelia in Chaos Rising, where you take Captain Thule along because one of the dead Blood Ravens was his second-in-command. Also a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, as even when under attack by a horde of Eldar, Thule refuses to leave Endymion's body. Once the last of the war host is killed, he says:
There... now Endymion can rest...
That One Level: Hyperion Peaks in Dark Crusade. A Baseless Mission where you lead a force of warriors to take out three separate enemy bases, with limited resources and no upgrades, repairs or heavy weapons. The only reason to play this level is because it gives the best ability (prefabricated buildings) and you get two relic units.
The fourth mission in the Disorder campaign in Winter Assault. It's timed, and you not only have to stop an Imperial Convoy from reaching the end of the level, but you also have to stop an invisible teleporting Eldar base that you can easily forget about.
Most of the stronghold missions in Dark Crusade, apart from the Orks which has an easy to win, mentioned above, especially you're playing as the Imperial Guard. All these missions start you off with the same base and tech level every other map does, while the enemy has bases that covers most of the map, and will send a huge early game rush that will basically slaughter you if you don't have an Honor Guard unit. Special mention go to the Tau and Necrons. The former has actually has a STRONGER early game rush than the other maps, the army of Fire Warriors throughout are all fully upgraded, and there are two command posts on opposite ends of the map that will spam high level units if you leave them alone and can render the map unwinnable if you do. The latter isn't as bad, but you're dead if you don't have any anti-vehicle Honor Guards to deal with the early rush. The rest of the level has a set of beacons that do things like make the Necron units invisible or mind control your vehicles.
The Chaos stronghold in Dark Crusade can this as the Orks, since all ork trukks can only carry one infantry unit and take up far more vehicle slots than they should, and the level contains pillars that create shockwaves that instantly kill infantry.
While strongholds in Soulstorm are arguably even worse than their Dark Crusade counterparts, special mention goes to the Sisters of Battle, because it has a version of the Living Saint that's invincible, and makes other Sisters unit near it invincible. The only way to make it vulnerable is to destroy four icons throughout the map, and it teleports to them when they're attacked. Pretty much the only way to win the level is attack multiple icons at once and sacrifice a wave to the Living Saint, and hope that when there's one icon left that you can throw a force at the Sisters' main base to lure the saint away.
The Chaos stronghold from the same game might not be as hard as the Sisters' stronghold, but it's just as annoying. The main problem is that the field is shaped like a big ring, with the main Chaos base in the center, the player's base in the south corner, and mandatory objectives up in the northern sectors. You can't just rush the base in the middle of the ring, you MUST take the time out to destroy all five Bloodthirster statues, the strongest of which is in the northern corner AND defended by a mini-base, all while fending off Chaos flyers acting as spotters for packs of building-hungry daemons that keep trying to sneak inside your base. It's a difficult bout of multi-tasking, is what we're saying.
That One Boss: Ulkair in Chaos Rising. Probably as a Take That, Audience! to how the Alpha Hive Tyrant in the vanilla campaign was too easy, he's an absolute nightmare that has more double the HP even the closest contenders in the first two campaigns, does an insane amount of damage, along with his powerful special attacks that include the ability to kill a target instantly. Even the Avatar in the vanilla campaign is seen as an easier fight than him.
Uncanny Valley: Slightly unusual in that it's a verbal, rather than visual, example but in Chaos Rising, Gabriel Angelos' voice - it's oddly uncomfortable to listen to if you're familiar with the previous performances.
In the intro scene for Dawn of War 2, the line "you lost this war before you started" is not lip-synced even remotely correctly.
Fixed in Retribution, as the voice heard is suitably creepy. It doesn't explain, it doesn't really even talk, just give a menacing few words that manage to convey enough information to be understood. Very Creepy Awesome.