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  • Annoying Video-Game Helper: 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 Boss doubles his initial Hit Points. Worse still, the Chaos forces respawn indefinitely.
  • 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 O'res is not much of a fighter and goes down quickly. Then again, no one ever accused the Ethereal Caste of being good fighters — they're civil leaders and inspirational speakers, mostly, not frontline warriors.
    • 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.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Dawn of War II was this through and through — at least, in the context of the previous Dawn of War installment. Relic put six out of the nine armies available in Soulstorm on a bus, including most of the ones fans viewed as infuriatingly overpowered, while adding the one major race that never made it into the first game outside of a handful of clever game mods (the Tyranids). Of those removed, two would later be added back, but only the ones with a large enough fanbase to not provoke a Broken Base.
    • Indrick Boreale's voice acting in Soulstorm was variously considered Narm and So Bad, It's Good, and his strategy in the Stronghold was generally regarded as wasteful and idiotic, as it inevitably leads to his forces getting destroyed piecemeal. Relic acknowledged this by canonically stating in Chaos Rising that he had lost the war for the Kaurava System and perished as a result, the Kaurava campaign is considered an in-universe embarrassment for the Blood Ravens, and his disastrous leadership was a major contributing factor to the Chapter's lack of manpower.
  • 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.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Indrick Boreale. It really depends on how seriously you take the game; people who want the game to be dark and the Marines to be badass generally hate him, people who appreciate the franchise's camp value consider him the funniest character in the series. Absolutely nobody thinks he's very good at his job, though.
    • The Tau and the Necrons. Insanely overpowered, or reasonably balanced? Bland and uninteresting, or just not utilised properly? The fandom has no particularly strong consensus on this.
    • Some were happy to have the Sisters of Battle in the game, but for every 1 of them there seems to be 2 who received them badly. The most common causes for complaints are that they were portrayed with a surprising lack of nuanced characterisation (seemingly unable to be anything except the same old pyromaniacal Tautological Knight Templars) and that their stronghold level is ridiculously difficult to complete.
  • Breather Level:
    • The Ork Stronghold in Dark Crusade, compared to the other stronghold levels in the game. 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 to rebel and attack the other Orks on the map, and a lucky player can even see an Ork rebellion destroy another banner on its own.
    • The Necron Stronghold in Soulstorm, since it only requires the destruction of the Monoliths. Especially if playing as the Imperial Guard: Just three Basilisks with Earthshaker rounds positioned on the westernmost part of the map, and the stronghold's map-scan ability, and the mission can be cleared with relative ease.
    • Playing Necrons makes several stronghold missions far easier, since their Lord can teleport, revives at the position he was slain, has an invulnerable Super Mode with the Essence of the Nightbringer, and almost every such mission requires the destruction of only one particular building or unit. In other words, teleport in, start killing, revive as needed and kill again until the target is down. The Imperial Guard stronghold in Dark Crusade suffers particularly from this, since the Lord can just teleport over small islands along the river which otherwise prevents enemies from directly marching toward their headquarters, the only required target to destroy.
  • Complete Monster: Chapter Master Azariah Kyras, through Chaos Rising and Retribution, steadily reveals himself to have long fallen from his noble roots while authoring all the conflict and death in the series. Kyras, centuries ago, pledged himself to Khorne and dedicated himself to "freedom" by means of mindless bloodshed and the slaughter of countless billions, achieved by his manipulation of all the chaotic events plaguing the sub-sector of Aurelia in order to provoke Exterminatus on the entire sector and offer the resulting annihilation as tribute to Khorne. All throughout, Kyras manipulates and betrays everyone within his own Chapter, corrupting his own battle-brothers and flagging those who resist as heretics, before finally revealing his true nature to even his own devout follower Apollo Diomedes and proclaiming billions shall scream and burn as the ultimate culmination of his service to Khorne. Kyras stands unique even among the servants of Chaos through his sheer unchecked fanaticism and madness, willing to shed blood on scales unprecedented even for Khornates and musing over the beauty of the senseless death he's wrought as he watches an entire inhabited planet engulfed by the Exterminatus—a gift he eventually plans on sharing with every living soul in the galaxy once he ascends into a Greater Daemon.
  • Contested Sequel: While Dawn of War II and its expansions received good reviews, a lot of players would really rather see a proper sequel in the style of the older, more traditional RTS Dawn of War. Specifically, a sequel to Dark Crusade with actual love put into it.
  • Crack Pairing: Die-hard shippers have been known to pair up Farseer Taldeer with a Vindicare assassin, Gorgutz with the Living Saint, and Administrator Derosa with either Farseer Idranel or Sergeant Avitus (thankfully for the latter, Canon caught up to him and put the kibosh on that.)
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Gorgutz. He's the only commander in Winter Assault who doesn't need the Titan to beat the Necrons.
    • Kaptin Bluddflagg, an Ork Space Pirate *headasplodes* with the voice of Garrosh Hellscream and half an Irish accent.
    • Spookums tried hiding in lava once.
      • Which is overshadowed by what his offensive skills result in. Imagine an Ork appearing out of nowhere screaming "I AM STEALTHY!!!" while throwing 3 dozens of various grenade types around him.
    • Brikkfist. "Wot I wouldn't give ta strap one a' dem huge zog-off planet-krumpin missiles to me back..."
    • Mista Nailbrain. Having destroyed an enormous battlewagon (named Daisy) from a rival Waaagh, he asks the Kaptin if they can keep it, exactly as a kid asking to keep a large, hairy and potentially destructive animal as a pet.
    • Hell, the fucking Orks in general!
  • Creator's Pet: Apparently, many of the developers of the first Dawn of War were Eldar fans, which goes a long way to explaining why they were so flagrantly broken.
    • Despite that, they are usually portrayed as losers in the story.
  • Creepy Awesome:
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • 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.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • 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. If you were to ask who the most memorable Chaos character was, chances are Eliphas wins by a landslide even if you take into account fellow darkhorse Araghast and memetic legends of Carron and Bale.
    • There's also Warboss Gorgutz 'Eadhunter, who is able to present himself as outright hilarious, at the same time a profoundly normal member of his species, and yet he's also very unusually intelligent for an Ork leader and also very witty. He has been granted Joker Immunity and has appeared in every expansion of the first game, and then was confirmed to have canonically won in Soulstorm, as stated in Dawn of War III.
    • 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).
    • Sergeant-Major Merrick is VERY popular, despite being only a supporting character in Dawn of War II and Chaos Rising. He becomes a playable character in Retribution, much to the fandom's pleasure.
    • Kaptin Bluddflagg, the Ork Space Pirate in Retribution quickly became popular due to his similarities to Gorgutz and generally being ridiculously Crazy Awesome. Having the Ork accent crossed one of a stereotypical pirate accent also helps, along with being perhaps one of the smartest members of his species that's ever been seen.
    • 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 awesome voice.
    • 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. This is likely helped by Ronahn and Veldoran, whose characterizations' don't put much emphasis on the usual Eldar qualities that annoy fans.
    • Sindri, although he's only in the Dawn of War campaign and is apparently Killed Off for Real, is likely the most popular Chaos character aside from Eliphas (granted, until Chaos Rising, all the other Chaos characters were rather poorly received) for his voice (to the point where the popularity of Scott McNeil being brought back in Chaos Rising) and brilliant schemer tendencies.
    • Gabriel Angelos having the most fully formed personality of the marine Captains in the original gave him the largest following.
    • Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander from Dark Crusade has a small amount of fans who like him for his accomplishments, and is still well-liked despite being not as manly as either Sturnn or Stubbs. Some were visibly saddened that he died either in the hands of the Blood Ravens or to the Tau in the opening cinematic of Soulstorm.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Eliphas, Sindri and the Chaos faction in general.
    • The Orks, especially Gorgutz.
    • The Necrons, overpowered or not, will gladly keep the player well-stocked on Nightmare Fuel while blasting everything in sight with green lightning guns.
    • The Tyranids from II, if only because of the difference in playstyle they require and facilitate compared to the other factions in the sequel.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Farseer Idranel in Dawn of War II seemed rather... pleased after your first fight with her.
    • Autarch Kayleth would appear to return the favor to Inquisitor Adrastia in Retribution.
    • "Vindicare Assassin cannot fire upon Eldar Farseer due to love"? note 
    • Gorgutz becomes fascinated by the Sisters of Battle after he defeats them, including the Living Saint, to the point of ordering his Mekboys to find a way to make him a set of wings like hers.
  • Fountain of Memes: Boreale, responsible for "SPESS MEHRINES", "THE EMPRAH", and more.
  • Game-Breaker: Now with its own page.
  • 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 in Retribution. His rockit launcha obliterates vehicles, and melee units that attack him get teleported out of the room you fight him in when they hit him, so if you're relying on melee, this guy can take forever to kill.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • 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.
    • Flamers generally deal little direct damage; their main duty is to break enemy infantry's morale. However, Tau Crisis battlesuits in Dark Crusade can be equipped with heavy flamers that deal absolutely devastating damage to anything caught in the fairly large AoE. They're the only flame weapon with a three-digit damage rating, and the conspicuous zero at the end implies an oversight that wasn't intended this way. However, since Tau AI players rarely, if ever, upgrade their Crisis suits with anything, few players complain about this highly useful close combat asset for an army that's sorely lacking in viable close combat capabilities.
    • 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 and all of its expansions occasionally has corpses float up for no reason, eventually leaving for high orbit.
    • Orks in Dark Crusade can get 80 additional troops for saving and reloading, which causes it to lose count of their Waaaagh resource spent. Of course, this is entirely in character for the Orks.
  • 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 publically acknowledged as a low point in the series by Relic, that both 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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • 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.
    • In Dark Crusade, a Necron Lord can be possessed by the essence of the Nightbringer. This is kinda funny now that 5th Edition rectons state the Necrons and C'Tan don't get along.
    • In retrospect, Avitus has always been an angry Space Marine type.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Whenever a character who's popular gets killed, this inevitably happens. This is why the fanon ending to Retribution is basically cobbled together from all the faction endings, where the Blood Ravens win, but Eliphas gets away and becomes a Demon Prince, Bludflag gets his krooza, the Eldar get Taldeer's soul stone, and so on, since every other ending would result in the whole gang except one faction dying. Araghast is also a victim of this; one video shows him being "acquired" by the Blood Ravens instead of being killed.
  • Love to Hate: Eliphas the Inheritor, Araghast the Pillager, Sindri, Kaptain Bludflagg and Gorgutz. Hell, pretty much any well-liked bad guy.
  • Meme Acknowledgment: One level has an ork referring to the invading army as magpies, the Fan Nickname for the Blood Ravens due to their large collection of non-Blood Ravens wargear.
  • Memetic Badass: Vance "Motherfucking" Stubbs, according to the /tg/ section of 4chan. Inverted in one minor instance, as Vance "Motherfucking" Stubbs is also known for having lost 100 Baneblades. (He didn't really lose them, but that's how the fans like to think of it.) And until Dawn Of War III officially confirmed that Gorgutz conquered Kaurava it was thought Stubbs won.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • From Soulstorm, we have Indrick Boreale's infamous SPESS MEHREENS! speech, and Firaeveus Carron's rant about METAL BAWKSES!(The Cowards, THE FEWLZ!!!) From the same voice actor, no less.
    • "SINDRIIIIII!!!" (Two-fer from the same voice actor above: Scott McNeil voices both Lord Bale, the one talking; and Sindri Myr, the one being talked to.)
    • The Inquisitor has many... 'questions', to ask.
    • 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 supposedly 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.
      • The Codex Astartes calls this maneuver "Steal Rain".Explanation 
    • Retribution's Captain Apollo Diomedes is now the spiritual successor of Indrick Boreale, due to his hammy speech patterns and pronunciations. (BRUVA, AH AM PINNED HERE!!!)
      • More infamously from the same game's second campaign mission as the Space Marines: IT IS THE BAAAAAANEBLAAAADE!!!
    • Noise Marines Dubstep!
    • "X is for the weak!", replacing X with "Sanity", "Subtlety", "Sleep" etc.
    • The fact that quite a number of them is depicted without ISO Standard baldness lead to a meme of it's own, Force Commander Aramus is the worst offender, leading to a Fan Nickname of Force Commander Vanilla Ice and Captain Hairgel.
  • More Popular Spin-Off: The Last Stand, particularly when it was updated in Retribution, was arguably the most popular thing to come out of Dawn of War II. To this day, you will find more players playing The Last Stand than the game's standard multiplayer, and Relic even released an all-new DLC character for it (the Necron Overlord) in 2016, more than five years after Retribution's release. It even got a separate release called The Last Standalone which allowed you to buy just that mode for considerably less than Retribution itself.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The sound of the assault cannon firing in DoWII.
    • The Badass Baritone of the Dreadnought and Wraithlord in DoWII.
    • Hearing a huge mob of Orkz doing a WAAAGH! just as they charge into enemies.
    • Gabriel Angelos' voice, especially when it confirms his survival at the end of Retribution's Space Marine campaign.
    • The arrival of the Tau Ethereal, especially if you're following the path of Kauyon and want every passive boost you can get.
    Ethereal: Banish your fear.
    Ethereal: Take heart — the Ethereal Caste is with you.
    • The announcer calls when you use your faction's nuke:
    Eldar Announcer: Let the power of the Eldar wipe our enemies away.
    Space Marine Announcer: Orbital batteries, fire!
  • Narm: The setting of Warhammer 40000 is prone to Narm Charm, but these games, especially Soulstorm provide more than a few some examples of sheer ridiculousness.
    Boreale: We have failed... *overly long beat* The Emperor...
    • The epilogue for the Imperial Guard stronghold in the Dark Eldar campaign. The narrator describes the battle with a tree analogy that he takes way overboard.
    • The Tau stronghold defeat cutscene in Soulstorm, where the Ethereal somehow ended up isolated at the map's Relic, shows him being gunned down by the victor's soldiers, then zooms back to the Shas'o (who's actually at the main Tau base where the Ethereal should have been), having an emotional breakdown over the Ethereal's death.
    Shas'O Or'es'Ka: Aun'Ro'Yr! Noble Ethereal! Oh, we have lost you—we have lost all!
    • The Imperial Guardsmen's "STORM THEM!"
    • Crull. His hamminess in all his scenes coupled with nearly every line he says having to do with dismemberment or mutilation means he almost never comes off a threat.
    • Diomedes continues the proud tradition established by Boreale of a ridiculously over the top voice.
    • The Sisters of Battle Stronghold mission has Canoness Agna chewing the scenery with great vigor.
    • An accidental one in Retribution's IG campaign, where one of the lines you'll often hear from enemy Guardsmen is "Never thought we'd be fighting our own men!" Really dude? You hang around with heretics, Chaos Space Marines and daemons, but you never thought the Imperium would react?
    • When Gabriel charges Kyras, he screams "For the Blood Ravens!" in a voice that makes it sound like he's been at the Space Wolves' mead.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The servitor strapped into the Exorcist looks like he's grinning.
    • The Sister strapped into the Penitent Engine doesn't have proper quotes. Those that are just sound effects aside, her only responses (when either selected or given a command) are a pained groan or a muffled sob.
    • The pre-ascension speech from Azariah Kyras in Retribution cranks this Up to Eleven, where he talks about slaughtering billions of people in Khorne's name. The passion and fury he puts into it makes it even scarier, moreso quoting the Arch-Traitor Horus Luprecal with total aplomb at the end thereof.
  • Player Punch:
    • The inter-Imperium infighting from Dark Crusade and Soulstorm. Both Davian Thule and General Alexander espouse respect for each other, admitting they don't want to fight and offering the other every chance to leave peacefully, which neither of them can do because they have orders to follow. Presumably, none of the three factions wanted to fight each other that much during the Kaurava conflict either.
    • 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.
      • In terms of the II example? Just makes it all the more uplifting when Davian turns out to have been interred into a Dreadnought and makes a Dynamic Entry right when you need him the most. He's Back, baby!
    • Gabriel's apparent death at the hands of Azariah Kyras in the final mission of Retribution.
    • Whoever turns out to be the Heretic in Chaos Rising. Gruff-but-loveable Cyrus, idealistic Thaddeus, stalwart Tarkus, cranky old Avitus, Science Hero Martellus, nothing but a backstabber who lost sight of the Emperor's Light and fell to the depredations of Chaos. Worse, this is your fault for giving them Corrupt wargear for combat bonuses and taking the easy-out options.
    • As mentioned above, the Imperial Guard in mirror-matches state they can't believe they're fighting their comrades.
  • 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.
    • For some, the Eldar campaign in Retribution was a saving grace for the Eldar.
  • The Scrappy:
    • The Force Commander, albeit mostly because of his relatively pristine features and youthful looks. Cries of 'HAIRESY!' and 'Force Commander Vanilla Ice' are often raised. Personality-wise most don't have anything to say about him, largely because neither does he.
    • 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, Ronahn and Veldoran, were much more well-received. For some she got an Alas, Poor Scrappy moment after the Exterminatus on Typhon, which broke down her arrogance and snark, leaving her saddened, vulnerable and all too aware of her terrible mistake.
    • Crull seems to be the least popular Chaos character for having no character traits besides being a Blood Knight (and not even a very good one, if the fact that Gorgutz murdered him is any indication). He wasn't badass enough to be cool like Eliphas, Araghast or Sindri, and he wasn't incompetent enough to be funny like Carron or Bale.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • 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.
    • Infiltration has always gone one way or the other. In the original game and Winter Assault, it was an activated ability and you couldn't do anything apart from simple movement while using it; if you tried attacking something or capturing a stategic point, it would be deactivate and put on cooldown. This was a pretty much useless ability since your only possible need for it was scouting, which made them a waste of resources and precious population at any point except the very start of the match. The overhauled mechanic from Dark Crusade onwards makes it a passive ability that's always active — units with the infiltration ability can remain unseen indefinitely while attacking nearby units with impunity. While making Eldar Rangers useful again, Tau Stealthsuit teams could become Goddamned Bats. Since Stealthsuits are available right from the start, you will have to put up with your soldiers standing around idly checking their weapons while a Stealthsuit team slooowly whittles down their health until you can get a detector unit to their position.
    • 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 (which, you know, goes completely counter the point of a defence mission), forcing you to restart almost from scratch. (Fortunately, there's a mod now which solves this problem.)
    • 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.
      • Perhaps the worst part is that it does not recognise that the game may have crashed. It records that you started a mission, but did not complete it, so marks it as a loss.
    • A very simple mechanical one: the unit pathing in Dawn of War II absolutely abysmal. Units will get in each others' way, tanks will slowly trundle backwards rather than turning around or will turn around and expose their vulnerable rear armour just to make minor positional adjustments, and you will tear your hair out as half your army seems to get lost on the way to the battlefield. Trying to give precise orders to a large force is like trying to herd an army of stoned cats.
  • So Bad, It's Good: 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.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix:
    • Someone made one for Boreale's quote-unquote Rousing Speech.
    • With the introduction of Apollo Diomedes in Retribution, he got immediately paired with Boreale for... "Bald Brothas."
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Winter Assault to Dawn of War. While the game is seen as a good game and expansion pack its campaign is also a lot harder. The "Order" campaign makes you take control of both the Imperial Guard and Eldar, the latter of whom are very difficult to play properly (let alone well), while throwing waves of Orks and World Eaters at you unlike Dawn of War which introduced new units every mission. The "Disorder" campaign is slightly easier but not a cake walk either.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • This was probably why they made sure to kill Crull off at the hands of Gorgutz himself even though Gorgutz didn't win on Lorn V.
    • Some interpret the quiet disappearance from playability of the armies considered way too powerful between Soulstorm and Dawn of War II as this.
    • And There Was Much Rejoicing when Iron Lore removed the Eldar's ability to teleport their structures around the map using Webway Gates in Soulstorm.
    • A very subtle one is how most of the Ork buildings, Pile O' Gunz especially, have a lot of Ultramarine helmets and loot as decoration. Any time perusing the 40K pages should let you know how the Ultramarines are perceived by the fanbase.
  • 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 and Soultstorm. All these missions start you off with the same low-tier base and tech level every other map does, while the enemy has several bases covering most of the map, and will send a huge early game rush that will basically slaughter you if you don't at least have an Honor Guard unit or two. Worse still, said rush can consist of vehicles in some Strongholds, and anti-vehicle weapons aren't available at the starting tech level.
      • The Tau Stronghold in Dark Crusade. It has a stronger early game rush than the other maps, the army of Fire Warriors throughout are all fully upgraded from the start 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 Necron Stronghold in Dark Crusade, because you're dead if you don't have any anti-vehicle Honor Guards to deal with the early rush. In addition, 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 be this as the Orks, since the level contains pillars that create shockwaves that instantly kill infantry, the backbone of the Ork army, all transports can only carry one elite infantry squad, to which Ork Watrukks are no exception.
      • The Sisters of Battle Stronghold in Soulstorm, because they have an invincible Living Saint who also grants invincibility to their other units nearby. The only way to make her vulnerable is to destroy four shrines scattered across the map, and she flies in to defend them when they're attacked. Pretty much the only way to win the level is attack multiple icons at once and sacrifice at least a share of your forces to the Living Saint, or carefully poke one of the shrines with a diversionary force and hope like hell that she just doesn't fly over to your real force. When there's one icon left, hope that you can throw a sufficiently survivable force at the Sisters' main base to lure the Saint away and distract her while you wail on the last shrine.
      • The Chaos Stronghold in Soulstorm. 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 destroy all five Bloodthirster statues first, 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.
      • The Imperial Guard stronghold in Soulstorm. Lots of vehicles, a city full of heavy turret defenses and a turtling AI who has large numbers of troops and control of the only Relic on the map. In addition, there's a side-objective involving supply convoys that allow the enemy to deploy Baneblades if you don't stop them, and a super-sized Basilisk cannon shelling your base thanks to the targeting provided by the infiltrators they repeatedly send.
      • Worse still, if you're playing as the Sisters of Battle, the only way to get anti-vehicle Honour Guard units is to take over the rest of Kaurava I, then leave General Stubbs alive while you head off-world to conquer a territory that unlocks one, leaving him free to attack your territories. If you don't do that, you have to spend a minute-and-a-half whilst fending off vehicle attacks with anti-infantry weapons to upgrade your Headquarters before you can train non-Honour Guard versions, which aren't exactly cheap.
    • No mission got as many requests for help in Dark Crusade as trying to take Hyperion Peak with Chaos. The level is actually fairly easy to beat with Necrons (in their case - extremely easy but time-consuming), Space Marines, Eldar, Tau and IG while Orks have to deal with some annoyance. These factions start off with 2 Relic units and a lot of other powerful units and also some upgrades (Space Marines can upgrade many units to get Assault Cannons while the Necron Overlord can get a resurrection orb). Chaos gets a unique situation, they don't get any Relic units. So instead of a pair of Bloodthirsters, they instead have a single Demon Prince which is far weaker. And it gets worse... note 
  • That One Boss: Ulkair in Chaos Rising. He's an absolute nightmare that has more than double the HP of even the closest contenders and 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.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • The Tau and the Necrons in Dark Crusade are both considered overpowered and therefore frowned upon in online games. In Soulstorm the worst Necron exploits were toned down, but the absurdly powerful Necron Lord got even more toys via the Relics system; the Tau were left largely unchanged. The Dark Eldar and the Sisters of Battle suffered some of this as well, due to the Dais of Destruction's Dark Scythe and an infinite resource exploit respectively.
    • The Eldar are also considered to have their problems, as well as the backing of the developers.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The first Dawn of War was a great start to the series. Winter Assault was a great sequel to the first game. Dark Crusade is considered the best of the first series. But then came Soulstorm which flopped terribly and ended Dawn of War I on a low-note. To be fair, even if Soulstorm had been created lovingly and with extreme care, it would still have had its work cut out for it to succeed comparatively more than its predecessors. It probably bears mentioning that some of those predecessors suffered from Early Installment Weirdness, but that was perfectly forgivable.
    • Dawn of War II held its own quite well, followed up by the decent expansion Chaos Rising and the fantastic Retribution. Unfortunately, this meant that when Dawn of War III finally arrived, it was saddled with the rather difficult task of living up to the standards set by II and its predecessors... not helped by how Dawn of War and Dawn of War II, generally speaking, had distinguished themselves via conflicting design philosophies; Dawn of War was grand strategy and base building, while Dawn of War II changed the focus to squad-level tactics and stripped the base building away.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Captain Angelos' sudden change of voice for Dawn of War II can cause this in two different directions. If your introduction to him was in the sequel, the return of Paul Dobson for Chaos Rising and beyond can be very jarring. However, if you remembered the deep, rumbling voice he had in the original Dawn of War, the switch to Brian Dobson sounds just as wrong.
    • 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.
  • Vindicated by History: Two months after its release, the general consensus among fans was to decry Dawn of War III as a base-breaking failure that lacks the engaging strategy and entertainment value that the first two games had. In fact, Dawn of War III was considered so bad that it makes Soulstorm look like a great game.
  • Watch It for the Meme: Pretty much the main reason to play Soulstorm is to watch General Stubbs lose 100 Baneblades, Commander Boreale give his SPESS MAHREENS speech, and FEHL THE EMPRAH, and Chaos Lord Carron rant about METAL BAWKSES.
  • What an Idiot!: The Eldar get two of these in Retribution's campaign when they fight... the Eldar. Kayleth goes to greet the Biel-Tan Eldar, they try to kill her, vaguely saying something about her being prophesied to kill them. Kayleth decides they're working for Kyras. At the end of the level, you've destroyed their Seer council, which was conducting some kind of ritual, which Kyras gleefully informs you was slowing the Exterminatus fleet. Kayleth having successfully ensured the annihilation of both Typhon and the buried Craftworld's Infinity Circuit, she investigates the site again when the rest of Biel-Tan announces they're going to retreat and blow up the access tunnel. Instead of, y'know, calling them to ask that they wait, Kayleth once again slaughters her way through the Eldar, the mission ending when the fatally wounded Biel-Tan exarch turns into the Avatar of Khaine.
    • It's one for the Biel-Tan Warp Spider Exarch even moreso. At least Kayleth tries to reason with him. Rather than try to explain himself properly — even the Tyranids would have the wherewithal to recognise the danger Exterminatus poses — he just turns his warhost against you and orders your forces killed.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: The Tyranid "Hive Mind" in Skirmish and multiplayer that serves as the announcer. No creepy telepathic whispering, no Voice of the Legion, just the Exposition Fairy from the campaign with a bit of echo.


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