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Gladius Prime was known to Imperial scholars as a planet of archeological interest. During its colonization ancient relics were found, revealing hints of a shrouded past. But it was more than relics. Something awakened, an unspeakable horror from an ancient past, and the citizens of Gladius found themselves trapped in a terrible war for survival.

Gladius Prime was once a planet of peace. Now there is only war.
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Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War brings you to a world of terror and violence. Factions will engage in a brutal war for dominance over the planet’s resources, in the first 4X turn-based strategy game set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000.

The game launched with four iconic Warhammer factions (Astra Militarum, Space Marines, Orks and Necrons), each with their own unique playstyle and technology tree. Downloadable Content later added Tyranids, Chaos Space Marines and the T'au Empire to the mix. Each world is randomly generated and filled with special features and threatening wildlife that can crush your troop's morale. Powerful ancient artifacts cane be captured to grant you an edge against rival factions.

Construct cities, buildings and fortifications to expand your empire and produce an army to vanquish your foes. Harvest resources and research new technologies to fuel and upgrade your machinery of war.

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Progress through a different storyline with each faction as their destiny on Gladius Prime, a world tainted by the warp, unfolds. In the end, when all the dust has settled, only one faction can emerge victorious.

Command a wide array of devastating weaponry, issue city edicts and deploy tactical operations. Recruit hero units that possess distinct special abilities and can be equipped with items, ranging from advanced grenades to mighty relics of the past. As they become more and more powerful with each rank, they turn into true champions of your cause.

The game was released on July 12, 2018 for PC.


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Warhammer 40,000: Gladius contains examples of the following:

  • Adaptational Wimp: Almost every unit gets hit with this as a result of the game's simplification. For example Terminators are stuck with storm bolters and power fists, with no heavy weapons options such as the assault cannon, Khornate Berserkers only get chainswords plus bolt pistols and the Predator only gets a single twin-linked lascannon - it'll take some of the highest tier research to get a pair of heavy bolters to back up that lone lascannon.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: Gladius Prime is ridiculously important and the Imperium has barely scratched its surface. Besides being a Necron tomb world, it was also a colony for both the Old Ones and the Eldar (unknown to almost everyone except Chaos, Gladius Prime has Infinity Circuits full of souls).
  • After the End: The Gladius Prime that you fight over in the game is the shattered husk of a once thriving Imperial world which got hit with the triple whammy of an Ork invasion, warp storms and a Necron awakening. Ruins of old cities dot the landscape, and flavor text for certain terrain types will mention tribes of feral humans trying to eke out an existence among the ashes.
  • Alpha Strike: While many units have multiple weapons, units have only one action per turn, and so must dump all of their firepower on whichever enemy they target. The few exceptions are units with items or special abilities that don't consume an action to use, such as Jokero digi-weapons.
  • Ancient Tomb: One drawback to the Necrons, they can only build a city on the site of a Necron tomb.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: In this game, armour gives you an 8% percent damage reduction for each point of armour you have with a maximum reduction of 80%. This gives well-armoured factions like Space Marines and to a lesser extent Necrons, a big boost in a fight especially against base infantry which have no armor-piercing weapons. Previously the earliest weapons to start penetrating armour are heavy bolters as well as the hot-shot lasers and snazz gun that DLC units Tempestus Scions and Flash Gits use. The Doom Scythe's Death Ray will bypass any armor that's less than that of a Terminator, while a pair of Vindicators that are adjacent to each other will completely ignore armor!! Currently, starting units that had weapons with slight armor-piercing in the Tabletop game now get a single point of armor reduction - benefiting Space Marines and Necrons while Imperial Guard still can't pierce armor with their lasguns.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Hero units, naturally, which are all drawn from the various factions upper echelons of leadership, though the level off asskicking available depends upon which type of hero they are. Warlords deal the most combat damage, Casters rely on unusual special abilities, and Buffers won't deal much damage on their own, but magnify the fighting ability of the troops around them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Baneblade is tied with the Tesseract Vault for the most health and boasts unmatched firepower. However it's so slow that infantry walk faster than it. Enemies can often move around it, but no matter what there'll always be a high demand for Baneblades and Tesseract Vaults. In the Astra Militarum campaign, your final mission is against an enemy full of Kastelan Robots and Hydras that have hunter-killer missiles on them and they're all in a good defensive formation. The enemy will easily be able to kill anything less than the Baneblade in its first turn.
    • The Tesseract Vault itself has a similar issue with slowness and in most cases, Monoliths and Doom Scythes are enough. However the Tesseract Vault makes up for its sluggishness by having a power that reduces the speed of an enemy, allowing your other units to trap a foe for the Vault.
    • Obliterators have assault cannons (Yay!!!) and they also have heavy flamers to go with their power fists (Yay!!!). Unfortunately they have to alternate the weapons each time, so an Obliterator that shot someone from far range will then need to fight someone in melee before their assault cannon is ready and vice versa. In addition, Obliterators are one of the only infantry units that aren't Champions of Chaos so they can't get mutations. Despite having the weaker autocannon, Havoc squads are the preferred choice for ranged Chaos infantry as they can at least shoot every round and earn rewards from the Dark Gods.
  • Back from the Brink: All factions, upon victory, start to rebuild.
  • Beam Spam: Necrons gauss weapons fire green energy beams. Monoliths and Doomsday Arks in particular fire wildly in all directions whenever they use their secondary gauss arrays. The Astra Militarum are also very fond of laser weaponry, ranging from the humble las-gun carried by their infantry to the las-cannons and multi-lasers mounted on vehicles.
  • Brainwashed: Enslavers are psychic creatures from the Immaterium that can take control of (organic) units, and force the mind controlled units to attack their own allies. The Necrons are immune to their powers, being mechanical beings who make use of anti-warp technology. Meanwhile the Tyranids' animalistic nature and hive-mind, make them immune too. Also since the mind-control works by attacking morale, units with the Fearless trait are immune (Chaos Space Marines can make any of their infantry immune with the Icon of Vengeance). Killing the Enslavers will free mind controlled units from their grip.
  • Bonus Boss: If you have the Lord of Skulls DLC, if you play long enough (this could happen dangerously early when you're barely scraping into the 4th tech tier) then all players can get a surprise quest to slay the Lord of Skulls, which will appear near the current strongest faction and go on a rampage until destroyed. Its a Humongous Mecha that's tougher than a city, goes berserk when damaged, can one-shot most opponents with a single one of its three weapons and it has a strong Healing Factor. For some factions beating it almost requires a few of units from the highest tech tiers; but if you win, you get a massive three-digit experience award for units in the area and a global 10% damage reduction bonus.
  • Call-Back:
    • As tiles in a Necron City get built up, you will be able to see structures from Dawn of War: Dark Crusade emerging, such as Summoning Cores, Obelisks and Forbidden Archives.
    • Space Marines use Requisition (in lieu of Food and Ore) from the Dawn of War games.
  • Can't Catch Up: The biggest drawback of the Space Marines. They're still viable mid-way through the game, provided they're careful about conserving their forces, but if the Marines didn't dominate early they'll fall off badly late game as their single city ultimately can't match the economy and production of other factions. The most advanced Space Marine units are also comparably weak (for example the Land Raider is only a bit mightier than the Leman Russ tank, despite one being the faction's final unit and the other middle tier, and the Land Raider is only available from the Reinforcements DLC). About their only saving grace is that their early game units can stay slightly competitive with new abilities and weapons, such as Land Speeders becoming decent anti-armor with their Multi-Melta upgrade.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The "Bodge Jobz" upgrade states that mekboyz can increase production by, essentially, building life-sized Hot Wheelz toys that only work because everyone thinks it's a real car. This works due to the Waaagh! making ork belief reality.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Besides each factions' assault option (ie Bullgryns or Assault Marines), a number of units like Ork Boyz and Apothecaries can only attack targets in an adjacent hex - the sidearms they wield are so short ranged that the only difference between shooting and pure melee is that they can hit flying targets in a pinch. Likewise the vast majority of Tyranids and most heroes are stuck hitting enemies up close.
  • Chest Burster: Psychneuein have a special rule that causes enemies they attack (even cities and necrons, somehow) to spawn another horde of wasps, provided they die within one turn of being infested.
  • Civil Warcraft: That the Space Marines and Astra Militarum are two branches of the same Imperial war machine does not matter; it's still Hard-Coded Hostility between them, and even different factions of their own organizations.
  • Combination Attack: Some units when paired with each other have their attacks improved. Examples include the Predator's Kill Shot and the Vindicator's Line Breaker which makes both the affected unit's attack far better against armor.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Almost every Tyranid is bristling with venom-coated weapons and many of them are Monstrous Creatures that can batter through most armour. But only a few can shoot at a distance and they're almost all units needing high-tier research.
  • Damage Reduction: Some units take a significantly less damage from range, melee or both after deductions are made from armor. For example Castelan Robots originally took 30% less damage from ranged attack because of their defense grid passive ability, while the Space Marine Captain takes 50% less damage from everything because of his Iron Halo.
  • Dangerous Terrain: Spaces infested with Wire Weed will damage any unit unfortunate enough to end their move there, and will force land units to stop moving when they cross. By the same token, players can create damaging tiles with research into portable minefields.
  • Death from Above: Jump troops are present and accounted for, it just wouldn't be Warhammer without them. Space Marines can drop down a Fortress of Redemption from orbit, surprising your foes with a pair of lascannons on the next turn (great for spooking neutral units). They also, as a mid-game upgrade, can launch units anywhere on the map via orbital drop pods.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • The Necron quest ends with them using an artifact from the Silent King and Old Ones technology to rip apart the Deceiver and turn him into a bunch of shards for the Tesseract Vaults.
    • If you defeat the Lord of Skulls, the quest results say that your faction couldn't believe you just downed that behemoth, and neither could the Lord of Skulls as its Bloodthirster occupant gets hurled back to the Warp.
  • Difficulty Spike: The faction quests come in 4 parts. Part 1 and 2 are usually some kind of fetch quest or earn enough resources, do research. The third part of the quest usually involves dealing with some minor invasions. Before you go any further, it's recommended that all the other factions are wiped out and you control all the map's resoures and build up an epic army because you then deal with a full-scale onslaught. Additionally difficulty in the final quest varies by race - with the Orks perhaps getting the rawest deal as they could end up facing Space Marines, Astra Militarum and Necrons at the same time .
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • If you have the Chaos Space Marines DLC, it's rare but it happens. As Chaos, you're given 4 units of Cultists to start with since they're so weak. However unlike the table-top game, Cultists are considered Champions of Chaos and have a chance of becoming either a Chaos Spawn (which are surprisingly decent early on, but really fall off against things that hit hard) or mighty Daemon Princes (one of the two Chaos final tier units). You could luck out and have one or two Daemon Princes running around when every faction is still using the early stuff.
    • For all factions, getting a Jokaero Digiweapon means an almost guaranteed victory for that hero. Even enemy cities take a lot of damage from a single attack by one of those and best of all using one doesn't count as an action. Having one of these is as early as getting your first hero and 160 Influence points to buy one.
  • Downloadable Content: There's one to add the Tyranid faction and one to add Chaos Space Marines. The Reinforcements DLC adds a new unit type for the original factions - for the most part it's just some elite infantry like Tempest Scions to add a bit of flavour but for the Space Marines, they get the Land Raider!! Without this, the Space Marines got screwed when it comes to the final units.
  • Drop Pod: Available to the Space Marines. It allows them to deploy their soldiers from their city by teleporting them up to their orbiting Battle Barge, who then loads them into a pod and shoots them to where they're needed.
  • Dungeon Shop: Nearly every type of vile Xenos you can imagine may be waging war against one another, but the Jokaero Trading Post stays open all the time to outfit a hero with nice equipment. Everyone from Marines to Orks, and even the Tyranids can, for some reason, show up to shop.
  • Early Game Hell: You begin the game with a few basic infantry units and a whole heap of hostiles knocking on your door. You generally won't even encounter another faction for a few dozen turns and will instead have to battle off Kroot hounds, roaming Enslavers, and a whole host of neutral nasties. If the game is feeling particularly dickish, you'll get a pack of wandering Kastellan robots, which are entirely capable of flattening your base before you have weapons that can do more than annoy them.
    • This goes double for the Astra Militarum, since their troops lack the durability of the Space Marines, the regenerative powers of the Necrons or the raw strength of the Orks. You'll need a fair amount of research in order to produce units who have a job other than "try not to die too quickly".
    • The new Tyranid faction also get a Hard rating in-game. Like the Astra Militarum, the starting infantry are weak - you get three units of Termagants who are even flimsier and while their guns are stronger, they're only usable against targets in the adjacent hex and unlike Ork Boyz - they don't have a melee Dual Wielding attack. In fact, the only (non-hero) unit that can shoot further than 2 hexes is the Tyrannofex and that's in the final tiers of research - otherwise there's only a few units that can shoot further than up-close and of those, some of them have weak attacks at range.
    • Averted with Chaos Space Marines, yes the starting Cultists are weak but you get 4 of them and each are builders. So you can get 4 cities up and running without too much difficulty. Additionally if the Cultists do defeat some of the local wildlife, there's a chance they can become Chaos Spawn or a powerful Daemon Prince (at a time when other factions don't have their first hero yet).
  • Elite Army: The forces of the Deceiver are brutal for the factions unlucky enough to face him. Against the Necrons, he has a Level 10 Tesseract Vault plus a significant number of high level Obelisks and Monoliths. These are further backed by a Doomsday Ark, a Tri-arch Stalker, some Doom Scythes and scattered numbers of Heavy Destroyers and Tri-arch Praetorians - these foes are all experienced to varying degrees too. Before you start that final quest, be prepared and load up on your mightiest units and deck out your heroes. Other factions that face a Necron invasion will be facing forces that are only marginally weaker than the Deceiver's own.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: The Space Marines accept that to stop the evil tainting Gladius, they'll have to resort to performing an Exterminatus on the planet while they're still on it. However, before they do so they create a Geneseed Bunker to safely store geneseeds for the eventual revival of their Chapter. Indeed, their faction epilogue mentions that, because of your courage and tenacity, the Chapter lives on and, by the time of Guilliman's return and the Indominus Crusade, they've recovered to their full strength.
  • Fragile Speedster: Chaos Spawn are an odd case of this. They are extremely fast and capable of moving at a whopping 6 (7 if they have a Mark of Slaanesh) when 4 is considered quick. Chaos Spawn also have a LOT of health. However they have an Armor rating of 1, which means everything does heavy damage to them when it hits. Additionally since they're not a "Champions of Chaos" unit, they can't get the Mechanoid or Crystalline Body mutations to improve this (though they can get Marks/Icons that give an infantry unit some invulnerable resistance).
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Like most 40k media, instant travel/ visible beam subtype. However, it only produces a fuzzy white ray of excited air, rather than a solid red or green beam.
  • Gameplay Randomization: This is the big schtick of the Chaos Space Marines, unlike other factions that have predictable results depending on their actions, Chaos does things more randomly. Almost all of their infantry have a mechanic where after they kill an opponent, they can get a benign mutation, turn into a Chaos Spawn or turn into a mighty Daemon Prince. The Helbrute also has some randomness towards its actions, each round the Helbrute has a chance of disobeying your command and instead opts for its own choice - often with a bonus (an example, the Helbrute may stand still and decide to frenzy with its autocannon - it'll get significant damage bonus to shooting but can't charge nearby enemies).
  • Genius Loci: What the Chaos Space Marines does to Gladius Prime in their story ending. They succeed in a ritual that not only turns their commander into a Daemon Prince of Chaos Undivided and destroys the rest of their warband - the ritual causes the new Daemon Prince to sink into the planet and possess it after consuming all the souls in Gladius Prime's Infinity Circuits. He awakens as a unique planet-sized Daemon Engine and a new major power in the Warp.
  • The Ghost: Averted as, at long last, creatures which have been fixtures of Warhammer lore but were never depicted finally appear on screen. Enslavers, Psychneuein, Ambulls and Catachan Devils can be found as hostile creeps, while Grox pastures are quite useful resources.
  • Glass Cannon: Fire support units, as a general rule, are designed to sit behind tougher but less offensively optimized units and dish out death.
  • Got Volunteered: Forcible conscription on pain of death is one the Astra Militarum's primary tools in ensuring they have a steady supply of new recruits. What this means for you is increased infantry production.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: All the Necron units can regenerate, one reason why they're a top-tier faction. Malanthropes also have regeneration, while large Tyrannid creatures can regenerate with highest-tier research. Most of the Daemon Engines from the Chaos Space Marines DLC have a even stronger regeneration ability called "It won't die". The Space Marine Captain is almost unkillable in early game because he combines high invulnerable resistance and a high power self-healing ability. Space Marine heroes have an ability called "Healing Surge," which restores 30% of their HP upon use.
  • Green Rocks: One Necron structure is a mine for them, too. It's called "Al-Khemic Quarry."
  • Hold the Line: The final story mission for the Space Marines, which requires them to hold a specific relic against endless swarms of Necrons for twenty turns.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: If you spring for the Tyranid DLC. Also one of the Creeps you encounter are squads of Genestealer cultists.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Actually used as a boast. Space Marines are... unimpressed with the Necrons as a concept.
    Space Marine: "Ancient revenant machines? Far darker things yet live within the hearts of Men."
  • Land of One City: The primary limitation of the Space Marines, they can only have one city. They can still exploit distant resources by dropping a Fortress of Redemption near it, but the Space Marines have to deal with placing their city in an area where they can USEFULLY expand their borders (never build near a coast or edge of the map) and mobilizing their units against distant enemies (they get better once they research orbital deployment).
  • Living Structure Monster: Tyranid "cities" and "buildings" are actually Norn-Queens (starship-sized, sessile Tyranid Hive Queens) and their "organelles,' compared to "a person and his limbs" in the Flavour Text. They're usually safe within their Hive Ships, but the Warp Storm grounded or destroyed nearly every ship except for the Marines' Battle-Barge.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Almost every Astra Militarum and Space Marine vehicle gets all of the advantages and none of the disadvantages of this trope, once you research the Hunter-Killer missile. This missile has by far the longest range in the game and potent stats. Unlike the table-top game, you have unlimited reloads (though there's a significant cool-down time). The AI on quests LOVE to teleport in a ton of vehicles to bombard your cities, heroes and high-tier units with these if they have them.
  • Magikarp Power: In contrast to the Space Marine's early game strength and late game decline, the Astra Militarum are easily bullied in the game as their humble Guardsmen struggle to survive. But the moment you research the Basilisk and later Leman Russ, the Imperial Guard keep climbing to new heights as ever more powerful vehicles and upgrades keep getting added - including the mighty Marauder and Baneblade. Only the Necrons can match the Astra Militarum in the late stages and the odds are still on the Imperial Guard at that point.
  • Mêlée à Trois: While neutral units never fight each other, they will fight the different factions (just like the factions battle against each other). Very funny to see a blurb about the Imperial Guard wiped out without ever encountering them and then reading further it turns out that their last holding was taken by Kroot Hounds.
  • Mighty Glacier: Few things can crack open your enemies and soak hits like the Baneblade, Tesseract Vault and Obelisk. That said getting them to their target is a test of patience, if the foe doesn't run away first.
  • Morale Mechanic: Units which see their allies suffer heavy casualties will have their combat efficacy reduced, eventually breaking and becoming almost useless. Orks will, at low morale, start suffering additional damage from infighting. Tyranids have a unique morale system where they take no to morale damage while in the presence of a synapse creature, but lose morale and will start taking damage when outside the range of a synapse creature (this does mean synapse creature are effectively immune to morale damage).
  • More Dakka: There's plenty of in-game units that can throw up a hailstorm of shots, but the most trigger-happy are the Ork's Gorkanaut (Deffstorm Megashoota, twin-linked Big Shoota and some other weapons), Space Marines Stormraven (assault cannons, heavy bolters, hurricane bolters and a missile) and the Necron Obelisk/Tesseract Vault which does so many hits with its Tesla Spheres that it can knock a Monolith down to half health in a single attack, despite the Obelisk/Vault not having any armor-piercing weapons.
  • Neutrals, Critters, and Creeps: The map is stuffed full of unaligned creeps that exist to harass your scouts and uncap your undefended resource points, and much of the early game is spent slowly clearing them out. Your initial starting area is simply full of kroot hounds, but venturing further afield will put you up against ambulls, catachan devils, psychneuein and kastelan robots. You will also find enslavers, which exclusively guard artifacts. Expansions later added more creeps to the mix, such as neophyte hybrids, chaos cultists and vespid stingwings.
  • No Range Like Point-Blank Range: As befitting the Warhammer world - for some ranged units, including most starting infantry, shooting up close is extra damaging. One example is the Scout Bike from the Space Marines. The bike itself has twin-linked bolters so it gets the rapid-fire ability when up close, but also the scouts themselves are carrying shotguns which only work up close. So while a Scout Bike does decent damage at range, it's up close where it can really up the damage.
  • Percent Damage Attack: The Necron's gauss-based weaponry will scale up the minimum damage to match the target's maximum health. This makes the humble Warrior unit surprisingly deadly against vehicles and buildings, especially if you get it in range to use its rapid-fire ability.
  • Power Fist: Except for a few items, these are the only weapon relics you get - there's the power glove and lightning glove which are both power fist weapons which upgrade only your melee damage (so some heroes get screwed). Also you can get Jokaero Digi-weapons to give your fingers some more firepower.
  • Red Baron: Whenever a unit earns a level, there's a random chance it can earn a random title unique to its faction such as "Avenger of Cadia" or "Shadow of the Outsider". Currently its just a fancy name, but the developers say that in the future versions these titles can grant a small boost to stats or a minor ability.
  • The Remnant: Every playable faction is this, with varying degrees of severity.
    • The Space Marines are attempting to rebuild what used to be their prosperous chapter homeworld, after the orks invaded and their fleet was obliterated by the warp storm that followed. When the game begins, the chapter is reduced to their isolated fortress-monastery and a single, crippled spaceship in orbit.
    • The Astra Militarum are a mix of local survivors and off-world reinforcements trapped by the warp storms, seeking to restore Imperial rule to the world.
    • The Orks are the remains of the Waaagh! which brought the storms in the first place, having since collapsed back into tribal infighting.
    • The Necrons get it double, being both those whose bunkers weren't shattered by the churning upheaval of the planet, and by being the desperate survivors of a dynasty that had been nearly destroyed during the War in Heaven.
    • The Tyranids are elements of Hive Fleet Kraken that were captured for study by the Adeptus Mechanicus, only to escape containment amid the chaos of Gladius Prime's devastation.
    • The Chaos Space Marines are a warband that was participating in the 13th Black Crusade, only to be trapped in the immaterium during interstellar travel. The ship and most of the warband were promptly possessed by daemons and wiped out almost everyone else on board, forcing the survivors to flee planetside once the ship finally emerged from the warp.
    • The T'au Empire are represented by the decimated remains of a Fourth Sphere colonization fleet that was thrown off-course in the warp and flung halfway across the galaxy to Gladius Prime.
  • Rpg Elements: Units and heroes will level up as they destroy enemy units, with their attack power and morale increasing as they grow from raw recruits to hardened veterans, and heroes gaining powers and abilities. Units can also receive cosmetic commendations which grant them spiffy new titles for accomplishing mighty deeds. Heroes get abilities, as well, such as the Space Marine's "Deeds of Glory," which generates Influence when the hero gains XP.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Tyranid Cities are actually Norn-Queens, who can only be fielded in Epic-scale WH40K games attached to a Dominatrix Bio-Titan, or in Battlefleet Gothic, where they're deep within a Hiveship.
  • Sentry Gun: While all factions have their Headquarters packing weaponry, the Space Marines and the Imperial Guard have the Fortress of Redemption and Imperial Bastion respectively. The Imperial Bastion can brutalize most enemies with 3 Heavy Bolters, while the Fortress of Redemption gets a pair of lascannons to dent individual targets and at high tech tiers can be upgraded with a long-ranged missile battery for artillery strikes. The Fortress of Redemption is also the only way the Space Marines can use resource percentile bonuses - taking over the map with fully upgraded Fortresses and then mass-producing only high tier SM units like Terminators and above, is the main way to easily do the final Space Marine quest.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slave Race: The Necrons don't think too highly of humanity's technological prowess, but they do feel the need to remark on how mankind makes for very high quality slaves.
  • Sincerest Form of Flattery: Necron troops will speculate that Kastellan robots or even the Space Marines were an attempt by humanity to imitate them. If so, they are most definitely not flattered..
  • Squishy Wizard: Generally played straight, the spellcaster heroes tend to have lower armour values compared to other heroes and most spellcaster heroes only carry a single weapon of medium power, which limits their close combat ability. Averted to a degree with the Space Marine Librarian as his armour has a good rating and he carries a bolt pistol as well in close combat. Strongly averted with the Transcendant C'tan and especially the Tesseract Vault. A starting Tesseract Vault is even tougher than a Lord of Skulls and can use the C'tan's powers. One on one, the Vault could end up scaring the Lord of Skulls away especially if you have other units approaching the battle. And with the DLCs, there are additional hard-as-nails magic-users like the Tervigon and Daemon Prince.
  • Stat Sticks: Except for those items that give you an ability to activate, items for your heroes just give a passive bonus - which is why all the hero items for every faction is the same regardless of how humanoid they are.
  • Support Power:
    • The Space Marines have access to the Orbital Command, which allows them to air-drop forts and (with research,) units, call in Orbital Bombardments, and fire off Tactical Doctrines.
    • Astra Militarum cities have Edicts, such as a recruitment drive and increased quotas for manufactorums and soylens viridian farms.
  • Take That!: The popular "'Fix Bayonets!' makes Guardsmen indecently happy" meme is mocked by their Heavy Weapons Team unit.
    "Ever tried fixing a bayonet to a missile launcher?"
  • Timed Mission: The Imperial Guard's final quest is to prevent a renegade Techpriest from escaping Gladius. The mission would be easy as you only face Kastellan robots and Hydra flak tanks, while you probably have loads of Baneblades, Basilisks, Leman Russ tanks and Marauders. Unfortunately you only have a limited amount of time and you must kill everything, additionally the Hydras have Hunter-Killer missiles so they can easily shoot down any aircraft that chases after them. What really makes this a Luck-Based Mission is that the enemy is in random places on the map, if you're lucky they'll be near some of your cities and close to the bulk of your heaviest units...if not good luck chasing them down in time.
  • Torture Always Works: The Necrons find this out the hard way. The Chaos Space Marines are given a quest from the god Slaanesh, to torture and pleasure the Necrons to point where it destroys their minds despite the Necrons being robots. They succeed after discovering the electronic pleasure/pain centers in a Necron body.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Hostile Kastellan robots can be found wandering the wastes of Gladius and attacking anything that moves, including their former Astartes and Astra Militarum allies. Space Marines will say this more or less verbatim when in the presence of such a machine.
  • Undesirable Prize: The prize for one later Space Marine quest is...a unit of Ambulls. Cute but almost useless for the heavily ranged yet very muscular Space Marines, especially when their next quest is brutal.
  • Useless Useful Noncombat Abilities: Terminators have the "Slow and Purposeful" trait, it gives them the ability to move and shoot heavy weapons without any penalty. Unfortunately, Terminators don't have heavy weapons, so the trait is meaningless. Other units have similar issues.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Predator tanks and Bastions of Redemption need research to use heavy bolters, which they usually have by default almost everywhere else in the franchise (unless Predators are equipped with a different sponson gun). Infantry units also need research to throw different types of grenades. In most cases it's given a Hand Wave: All of the factions are struggling to rebuild after the cataclysm, so in many cases "research" is simply rediscovering equipment that was lost in the chaos of Gladius Prime's destruction. The tyranids, however, have lost nothing, but the Hive Mind might decide that, for example, poison glands aren't worth the resources when fighting against robots or the *good* fleshborers aren't needed against Puny Humans wearing t-shirts.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: The basic resources in the game are food, ore, energy, research and influence. Not every faction follows this pattern, however:
    • Space marines combine their food and ore resources into the nebulous requisition, which represents the ability of their companies to request access to the chapter's limited resources.
    • Necrons, being machines, have no use for food and instead sustain their infantry upkeep with ore. Conversely, most necron units are purchased primarily with energy, since necron units are not built but rather re-activated within their tombs.
    • Tyranids, being a Horde of Alien Locusts with Organic Technology, only need biomass (food) to create units and structures, forgoing ore and energy entirely.
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