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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)

Hammer and Anvil

This is the first fantasy-novel that I have read, which contains both the Sisters of Battle, and the (totally-alien) Necrons, from the Warhammer 40,000 universe:

Hammer and Anvil - James Swallow
Hammer and Anvil - James Swallow

I like the fact that the novel makes use of two distinct writing styles. The first style is used for most of the book, and is as you would expect: clear, concise and logical. The second style is in stark contrast to the first: as it's bordering on insanity - with the ravings of a mad woman (as is appropriate for the character Decima). I can relate to the idea of the primary plot within this novel: the fact that all communication is lost with a remote (Sisters of Battle) outpost, with the Sisters only being free to investigate (as to why) once the so-called bureaucracy of the Imperium has been overcome. I like the fact that the Sisters of Battle adhere to a strong regimental-style faith - which has them striving to overcome the (dire) odds that they face when they encounter the Necrons. I had two draw-dropping moments: one when I realised exactly what the Obsidian Moon is, and two, when I realised exactly who the Revenant is (although I had my suspicions about her all along). I don't like the fact that the supporting Adeptus Mechanicus have their own (secret) agenda - although there was a brief moment when I believed that (their leader) Tegas had turned over a new leaf. It is not until the end of the book that you realise who/what/where the Hammer and Anvil is, a fact which although (at first) I found frustrating, eventually transformed into almost continuous page-turning (especially as the book features a fair amount of mystery). Overall: I enjoyed reading this novel, and like the fact that the book goes to great lengths to build up the invulnerability/dominance of the Necrons, even if their downfall is owing to their own technology (which the Sisters of Battle are eventually able to exploit). At four hundred and ten pages, it may take you a while to read this book!

| Victorian HawkPermalink | Web: Hammer and Anvil

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Dawn of War - Dark Crusade - PCHammer and Anvil