Codex Gamicus

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War is a real-time strategy video game, developed by Relic Entertainment and published by THQ, set in the universe of the Warhammer 40,000 table top game.


There are four playable factions in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War; Space Marines, Chaos Marines, Orks and the Eldar. The Imperial Guard is in the game but they are a non-playable faction.

Space Marines[]

Space Marines are elite, highly skilled superhuman soldiers of the Imperium. Their units have high morals and they are extremely powerful.

Chaos Marines[]

The Chaos Marines are traitors that turned against the Imperium, in what became known as the Horus Heresy; they worship the Blood Gods. They are similar to the Space Marines, but the main difference between the two is that the Chaos Marines use demons.


Orks are ravenous green-skinned humanoids who live for battle, and would control the entire galaxy through sheer weight of numbers were it not for vicious infighting within their ranks.


The Eldar are the mysterious former rulers of the galaxy, whose rigorous military program and eldritch technology somehow prove inadequate to retake it.

Expansions to the game (Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm) add new playable teams.

The game's style seems to revolve mostly around the Space Marines, since quotes from the Space Marine's religious doctrines are offered on the Main Screen, and the single-player campaign has the user lead a company of the Blood Ravens, one of the (supposedly) thousand Space Marine chapters.

Gameplay Mechanics[]

Different Game Modes[]

There are two different gameplay modes; Campaign and Skirmish. The Campaign is a linear series of single-player scenarios, while Skirmish allows you to play on any map that is in the game, against both AI and human players.

There is a multi-player option in the game, but due to the game's age, the online servers have been shut down. As a result, the only working online feature in the game is over LAN. LAN, short for Local Area Network, requires users to be on the same internal network connection. Skirmish is the only multi-player mode in the game.


Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War preserves most of the classic real-time strategy elements. Unlike most RTS games, this game has a squad mechanic; infantry units are automatically part of a squad. One of the unique features of this game is its morale system; every infantry squad has a morale pool, similar to the unit's health pool. When a unit begins to lose a battle, morale drops; when there is no morale left in the squad, it breaks and is then less effective in combat. The game has three different types of units; Builders, Infantry and Armour. Units can be upgraded to make them more effective; these upgrades can increase the amount of damage that is inflicted upon enemy squads; they can also raise a squad's morale, and make squads more effective against certain units.


There are two resources, Requisition and Power. All four teams gather each resource the same way. There is no impetus to create swarms of "villager" type units to gather resources; instead, Power is gained simply by building Power Generators (which go by different names among the different teams but operate in exactly the same way), while Requisition is gained by holding different types of control points scattered around each map.

In this way, the game blends micro- and macro-management because the way to capture these control points is of course with troops. In the same way that games like StarCraft demand that the player immediately builds several worker units and set them on the nearest resource pile, it is prudent in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War to immediately to build a few squads of light infantry that can quickly capture points and increase the flow of Requisition.

A squad is rendered immobile and defenceless while capturing a point, and a captured point is only slightly less vulnerable than a neutral point, in that it takes slightly longer to capture by an opposing team. To help protect a player's "economy", two of the three types of points, Strategic Points and Relics, can be given a minor defence upgrade by building Listening Posts on top of them; these may then be strengthened with additional defensive options, such as turrets.

Critical Locations may only be protected with units in the area, and are thus usually centrally-located on the map so as to provide greater opportunities for conflict. While Strategic Points and Relics both produce Requisition at the same rate, each team possesses high-level units in their tech tree that may only be produced if that player controls a Relic. Thus, Relics are normally found some distance away from player starting locations (though there are exceptions in some Skirmish maps) and there are never as many on the map as there are Strategic Points.

Both Strategic Points and Critical Locations are key to the victory conditions in Skirmish games (you win by holding 50% of all Strategic Points for eight minutes, or 66% of all Critical Locations for six minutes), and since these two conditions can be turned on and off independently, the relative importance of the different types of points is variable.


Imperial Guard[]

The Imperial Guard have three units in this game: Colonel Brom, Imperial Guardsmen and Leman Russ.

Space Marines[]

The Space Marines have sixteen units in this game: Scout Marines, Space Marines, Space Marines Assault Squad, Rhino Transport, Dreadnought, Hellfire Dreadnought, Chaplain, Terminator Squad, Assault Terminator Squad, Apothecary, Librarian, Predator, Whirlwind and Land Raider.


The Orks have fifthteen units in this game: Warboss, Big Mek, Shoota Boy Squad, Slugga Boy Squad, Stormboyz Squad, Nob Squad, Mad Dokk, Tankbusta, Mega Armored Nobz, Squiggot, Looten Tank, Killa Kan, Wartrak and Flash Gitz.


The Eldar have twelve units in this game: Farseer Taldeer, Guardian, Ranger, Falcon Grav Tank, Seer Council, Harlequin, Shuriken Cannon Platform, Brightlance Platform, Avatar, Vyper, Wraithlord and Fire Prism.

Chaos Marines[]

The Chaos Marines have eleven units in this game: Lord Bale, Cultists, Chaos Space Marines, Korne Berserkers, Chaos Rhino Transport, Horror Squad, Possessed Squad, Chaos Predator, Chaos Sorcerer and Defiler.

Minimum & Recommended Specifications[]

Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows Minimum/Recommended Specifications
Minimum Specifications Recommended Specifications
Operating System Windows 98
CPU Intel-logo.svg Pentium III 1.40 GHz
AMD Logo.svg Athlon XP
CPU Intel-logo.svg Pentium 4 2.20 GHz
RAM 256 MB RAM 512 MB
DirectX 9.0b-compatible
Hardware T&L-compatible
GPU NVIDIA.png GeForce 3
ATI-Logo.svg Radeon 8500
Graphics RAM 32 MB Graphics RAM 64 MB
Storage 2.0 GB

See also[]