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The Victorian Hawk Dragon has currently reviewed the following:

Dawn of War - Dark Crusade - PC

This is the first computer game that I have played, which allows me to take control of the (totally-alien) Necrons, from the Warhammer 40,000 universe:

Dawn of War - Dark Crusade
Dawn of War - Dark Crusade

Necrons - the word that strikes fear into many a Space Marine Commander ... I like the fact that this game is massive - both in terms of its armies (Blood Ravens Space Marines, Word Bearer Chaos Space Marines, Eldar, Imperial Guard, Orks and Tau) and in terms of its maps (Just one more hour! Just one more hour!). Necrons - their green energies ripple across the battlefield, corrupting, distorting ... I think the graphics are stunning - explosions in green, with lightening of death, and rain from above, grinding the enemy, into the ground! Necrons - the Great Sleep is over, emerge, emerge, from the Crypts of Time. I like the fact that I don't have to wait: an alien race without requisition (power instead) and a fully-featured campaign manager (where I can choose which provinces to attack, defend and/or reinforce). I love the fact that this game has two continuity features - (both of which) allow me to hit-the-floor running, when attacking/defending provinces. The first: I can earn/win units that make up an Honour Guard. These accompany my commander from mission to mission, allowing me to grab a quick foot-hold (on an enemy territory). The second: I can upgrade my commander (by equipping them with war-gear), which helps to improve their fighting capabilities. For example, in the case of the Necron Lord, he may be equipped with items (such as, but not limited to): Reinforced Body (making him harder to kill) and Skinning Blades (making him stronger during attack). Unfortunately (or is that fortunately?), delusions of grandeur are not far off: as I often like to move my Necron Lord around the battlefield, by himself, as he's powerful enough to be off having fun, by himself! My favourite tactic (when attacking with Necrons) is: to build as many Necron Warriors (including Flayed Ones) as possible, teleport my (mobile) Necron Monolith directly into the heart of an enemy city, then summon my Necron Warriors/Flayed Ones to the Monolith, then sit-back and watch the carnage be unleashed! I have found this tactic to work (pretty-much) all of the time on easy (level of difficulty), and about fifty percent of the time on normal (level of difficulty). Don't be fooled though: there's good variation of game-play/tactics (even within the campaign mode). For example: try teleporting your Monolith when your attacking the Imperial Guard Stronghold - there's only one relic (which is required for a teleporting Monolith), and its right in the heart of the Imperial Guard City (which is not going to be easy to get to!). When playing as Necrons, it's possible to exceed the squad limit (that other armies have to adhere to). You do this by using the Resurrection Orb, and grinning at the same time! I have found it hard to return to playing as Space Marines (after having played as Necrons) - because other races have to (basically) walk between locations (as opposed to the Necron Warriors/Flayed Ones, who can be summoned, to another, Necron structure). Even so, I still feel a state of panic ensuing when I encounter both a Chaos Daemon Prince and a Chaos Bloodthirster (Greater Daemon of Khorne) - as both of these units are well known for their hand-to-hand combat abilities! I admit that I have only completed the campaign on easy - which I feel was time-consuming enough (in a good way), and I can only imagine how long it would take on normal (let alone hard!). My favourite unit (for looks) within the entire game has to be to the Imperial Guard Baneblade: a massive armoured tank that (I believe) should be wielded by the Space Marines as well! Overall: This is a game that will take forever to complete (especially if you wish to complete it for all seven armies on a normal/hard difficulty setting). The game plays right into the desires of those that enjoy/lust to conquer and there's only one way to do that (in my opinion): capture every strategic point/relic on the map! This may take longer, but it will allow you to better defend your provinces, if some enemy (such as Chaos), decides to attack it (how dare they!). A very enjoyable game, that could see you disappearing for an evening/weekend (especially when it's cold and dark outside).

| Victorian HawkPermalink | Web: Dark Crusade (Trailer)

Dawn of War - PC

This is the first computer game that I have played, which features both Space Marines, and alien races (such as Orks and Chaos), from the Warhammer 40,000 universe:

Dawn of War - PC
Dawn of War - PC

The above intro/video sequence has to be one of the best that I ever seen! My favourite part is when the Blood Ravens Dreadnought engages the Orks - as the footage easily conveys the power (and vulnerability) of such military units. I like the fact that this is a (real time) strategy game, which sees you having to manage both troops and resources (such as requisition and power). At times, this management can seem overwhelming (e.g. when you have to fix-up an existing Space Marine city - as you may find yourself wondering what to upgrade first), yet for the most part, you shall soon fall into city building that works: stronghold, chapel-barracks, armoury and plasma generators (that generate power), whilst building up your army! The campaigns first chapter (Planet Fall) sees the Space Marines Commander offering advice (in a non-annoying fashion), which will help you get up to speed (although there's also a tutorial - which I never actually watched). The games controls seem to be supportive of battle, and I like the fact that I can group my combat units based upon number (e.g. ctrl plus 1, 2, 3, etc. allows me to quickly organise my forces). My favourite forces layout has to be: all of my Space Marine infantry in group one (with as many missile launchers as possible), with all of my heavy support in group two (such as two Land Raiders and five Dreadnoughts). I find that this combination works well in the heat of battle - especially when you have (approximately) thirty-two missile launchers backing up your Dreadnoughts (although the game has defeated this tactic in the past, especially on a hard difficulty setting!). Even though I prefer such a simple forces layout - it still makes sense to leave a squad behind (to guard your city, just in-case the enemy sneaks through). The game relies upon your ability to capture strategic points and relics (as these affect your requisition rate, which in-turn, affect the speed at which you can build/train). Once a point has been captured, I love to upgrade it to a heavily fortified position, and have been known to build nine bolter turrets around it! The Campaign is intermixed with video, which had me wondering about the Librarian from day one: he seems a little too keen to draw battle (for my liking). I like the fact that the game illustrates how god-like the Space Marines are - especially when compared to the (expendable) Imperial Guard (who form the core of the Imperium's armies). Overall: I find this game to be very addictive, and the amount of times I have said - just one more level, is (almost) beyond count! I think that the graphics are stunning, especially with the variety of explosions that appear (e.g. when the enemy is under extreme missile fire). I also think that the maps are suitably sized, and are also suitably detailed (e.g. with the remnants of Leman Russ battle tanks, within the ruins). This game has been known to keep me up, to all hours! Only one thing remains to be said: Walk softly and carry a big gun!

| Victorian HawkPermalink | Web: Dawn of War (Trailer)

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