Warhammer series is quite a unique phenomenon in the world of gaming. It started as a table board game created back in 1987 and introduced a completely new gaming realm. It is heavily influenced by works of J. R. R. Tolkien, H. P. Lovecraft, and such pieces as Dune and Paradise Lost. The world we have as a result is astonishing and engaging as you step into its territory. Now we’re going to talk about one of the most interesting video game installments of the series – Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III. Why? It follows the same mechanics as its table ancestor – real-time strategy and battle arena that you can play on your PC.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War was developed by Relic Entertainment and Sega in 2017. With mostly positive reviews and critical recognition, this strategy game allows you to experience matches similar to ones you can play in real life. So, how to play Warhammer 40k? Let’s see how you can easily begin playing this game and enjoy it.
How to play Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War? Read our easy ten steps guide below.
Table of Content
- How to play Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War? Read our easy ten steps guide below.
- Get acquainted with the lore of the universe
- How to play Warhammer 40k: Play the campaign
- Learn about your factions
- Learn about doctrines
- Yet, don’t be discouraged to play with doctrines
- How to play Warhammer 40k: Some combat tips
- Don’t be passive
- Try previous installments of the series
- Communicate with your teammates
- Play, play, play
- Conclusions: video games are as good as original table games
Get acquainted with the lore of the universe
If you want to understand how to play Warhammer 40k, it is important to deep dive into the game’s lore. We all expect more than just mechanics and following rules when we get involved in something. What we can say, there’s a lot to unpack, and it would seem too much of a backstory for the unprepared mind. Even when you play only one of the installments, you must understand how the whole world operates. The canon includes hundreds of books and other installments that expand our understanding of the franchise. You can pick any of them to submerge into the lore further, aside from just learning the main timeline and Warhammer 40k rules.
Warhammer is set 40,000 years in the future, where neither magic nor science dominates. It is rather a mix of these two phenomena. The world is violent and far from being optimistic about humanity and civilization. But along with astonishing visual aesthetics, it provides you with the world you would love to explore.
How to play Warhammer 40k: Play the campaign
The Dawn of War III campaign allows you to join the game and learn the game mechanics of the faction you play. Most importantly, it allows you to learn how to play Warhammer 40k without having to worry about your beginner level. As you progress, you will understand the basic mechanics and objectives and get used to the controls. At the same time, the campaign provides you with the possibility to gain Skulls. Skulls are the in-game currency that you need to unlock new elites and doctrines.
Before every match, you equip three elite units and three army doctrines, which you can purchase with Skulls. So, a single-player campaign gives you not only the important insights on gameplay, but it also rewards you. It is important to be patient with it, and it seems like a lot of commitment before stepping into the multiplayer, but you will understand its relevance later.
Learn about your factions
If you want to learn how to play Warhammer 40k, it is always important to learn factions that are available for you. While there are more than 20 options, you have the opportunity to play as one of three factions: Space Marines, Orks, and Eldar. Space Marines are strong melee fighters, Orks have the unique ability to collect scrap and create upgrades to the specific squads, Eldar are the wide range shooters.
The Orks are the best to be used for a fun rampage run; it is hard to count how much of them can be summoned for the battle. Eldar units can teleport their buildings anywhere on the map and warp their armies between any two, while Space Marines can drop a factory from the sky, which will cause quite some damage to the enemies who weren’t lucky enough to run away from it.
During the campaign, you had the opportunity to play as each one of these factions and you might have noticed the major differences between them and how each feels to play. Don’t shy away to replay the campaign if something is not clear.
Learn about doctrines
You can read what elites and doctrines your faction has and how you can spend your currency beneficially. It is similar to classic Warhammer 40k rules, where you learn some things for the benefit of your future matches. Some doctrines are tied to specific elites and units, and if you fail to use them, your resources will be worthless. At the same time, some doctrines add special abilities to the units you have. You can carefully investigate the two types of those that you have: Elite Doctrines and Army Doctrines. They are also split into four categories: infantry, vehicles, and walkers, structures, and faction mechanics. All three factions have access to various doctrines, but only Space Marines can use Faction Mechanics Army doctrines. In their turn, the doctrines fall in distinct sub-categories:
- ability – doctrines of this type add abilities to the unit;
- ability modifier – this type modifies existing abilities, increasing their damage, length or reducing their cooldown;
- attribute addition – these doctrines add an attribute to the unit;
- buff – they increase unit stats, i.e., damage, health, shield, and others.
- conditional buff – these doctrines increase unit stats under certain conditions, i.e. better vision in Stealth Cover.
Yet, don’t be discouraged to play with doctrines
This tip may look like a joke, after the tip to be careful with doctrines you choose. But we should be honest with you – no one knows what will work the best specifically for you. Although there is some degree of predictability (like in Fallout games and perks they have), you have the possibility to create your unique approach to what you have.
As a beginner, it is better to focus on cheaper Elite Point units. Often, the start is rough and bumpy, so you don’t want to be wasteful. Similar to Warhammer 40k rulebook that you have to read and follow, here you make sense of the game along playing it. Therefore, pay attention to the doctrines you want to unlock. Even if you fail to make sense from this aspect right away, you still have a possibility to improve (without any guides or friend’s help).
How to play Warhammer 40k: Some combat tips
Everything comes with practice, but we have prepared some advice on how to increase your chances to win in the battle with the lowest losses on your side.
- Protect your elite units – you can summon elite units again if they are killed in combat, but their respawn time depends on how many times they have died.
- Do not move your army in the tight formation when attacking the opponent’s turrets – it is better to scatter your units to avoid increased damage from turrets.
- Plan in which order you will summon elite units – it is worth waiting to summon stronger units.
- Keep track of wounded squads – it is important to send units back to the base to heal because it costs too much to replace the lost troops.
Don’t be passive
It is better to move around the map. Staying on your base and waiting until your perfect army is generated is a bad idea, as you miss out on many events that can happen. That’s why it is important to check what your enemy is doing and examine the territory around you. The enemies are recruiting units at the same pace as you are doing it. Try to predict your enemies’ strategy and diversify your units with melee or heavy-armored units.
Understanding your enemy is a piece of great advice for any player, regardless of which game you are actually playing. If you try to avoid any confrontation, then what’s the point? You came here to win the battles and take all rewards the matches have to offer you. Of course, it depends on your initial strategy, but you have to be one step ahead of the opponent for achieving the goal.
Try previous installments of the series
Dawn of War is a series of games, where you have to try out all parts of it to decide which one represents the best mechanics. It is another essential step in your journey on how to play Warhammer 40k. The first Dawn of war was a real-time strategy, which focused on capturing and holding the strategic locations on the map. You managed battles with a certain amount of control points or by destroying your opponent’s army bases. The second Dawn of war was a little bit different talk, as it still was a real-time strategy-tactical, but the elements of role-playing changed the mechanics a bit. Also, the game introduced an additional faction of Tyranids, along with lead three factions. Overall, the series underwent some changes, and if you play them gradually, you can follow the logic of the developer and enjoy it in full.
Communicate with your teammates
Communication in MOBAs is essential. Dawn of War 3 is no different; you have to understand what your goals are and how you can achieve them. The multiplayer allows you to join 2v2 and 3v3 matches, so don’t worry if it seems that you have nothing to do in co-op. That’s when you need to call your friends and ask them out to the rendezvous in Warhammer’s cold and unfriendly universe. It sounds far from being exciting, but you get the jest.
This game allows you to train your skills and get prepared for some upcoming titles by Games Workshop. Compared to other multiplayer entries in the series, Dawn of War 3 seems to be the most advanced one, following the Warhammer 40k rules and tradition. As you remember the rules, the team is everything and therefore has to be the communication.
Play, play, play
How to play Warhammer 40k? You have to actually spend quite some time playing it, even though it sounds painfully obvious. Practice makes it perfect, and dedication returns with astonishing results. As you play, you become more efficient in your strategy and understand how to navigate the map and complete missions with the least damage and more bonuses. There’s no limit on how you can make each of your matches a completely separate story, trying out different strategies. As we mentioned before, you can try out the previous titles from the series to versatile your experience, or you can switch it with some other MOBA games.
Although the last update was made back in 2017, it doesn’t make it less exciting to rewrite your unit’s history from scratch. Some legends never die, and it is the case of Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War 3.
Conclusions: video games are as good as original table games
It is hard to make a detailed how-to-play Warhammer 40k guide and not spoil any essential elements and plot aspects. Honestly, it would be quite a long-read if we dived into the universe, army classes, all nuances with powers, and all other things. It is not a must, but you can really try to begin with the lore before starting to play Dawn of War 3, just to appreciate it in full. After all, Warhammer is quite welcoming to newcomers (don’t listen to people who say otherwise), you have the possibility to learn the universe from different perspectives.
We tried our best to make this guide engaging and easy to follow. We would appreciate your feedback and thoughts on the series in the future. Do you think the Warhammer series is one of the most astonishing phenomena out there? What is your favorite installment besides Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 3? Do you think that for full immersion, it is better to play table games before playing a video game?
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