There's a lot more to Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War than just gory, over-the-top, cinematic violence. This real-time strategy game had a lot of strategic and tactical depth to it. Instead of just sitting back in a base, collecting resources, building up a huge army, and swarming your enemies with sheer numbers, Dawn of War forced you to attack early to seize and hold territory. The combat got even more intense as larger and more ferocious units joined the fray. In the upcoming stand-alone expansion, Dark Crusade, the designers at Relic are adding a new strategic campaign to link the battles together. You'll battle for control of the planet Kronus as one of seven Warhammer 40,000 factions, and your goal will be to wipe the other factions off the face of the planet. In earlier previews, we covered the tau, the necrons, the space orks, and the eldar. Now we finish our look by examining the space marines, the chaos space marines, and the Imperial Guard. Dark Crusade will ship later this year.
The elite space marines are genetically modified defenders of the Imperium of Man. Organized in chapters, the space marines forces are often on the front line against the enemies of man. The Blood Ravens, the chapter involved in Dark Crusade, have arrived on the planet Kronus to uncover lost secrets of their chapter. Since the planet is important to the Blood Ravens, the space marines are determined to evict the other factions by force.
Leading the Blood Ravens on Kronus is Brother-Captain Davian Thule. Being a faction hero, Thule can be equipped with war gear, special weapons, and equipment, which are unlocked throughout the course of a campaign. The Blood Ravens have established their base in the artic lands of North Vandea, which is also home to a ruined Blood Raven temple. If North Vandea falls, the Blood Ravens will be forced to flee the planet, and their mission will have ended in disgrace.
Chaos Space Marines
The chaos space marines were originally space marines thousands of years ago, but they were corrupted by chaos and splintered away from the Imperium. Settling into the Eye of Terror, the chaos space marines have flourished, and they continue to battle the Imperium.
Kronus was one of the battlefields during the brutal civil war, and the chaos champion Eliphas the Inheritor still seeks to conquer the planet. Eliphas is a Black Apostle who seeks the favor of the four chaos gods. He can win that favor by defeating the other factions on the planet, thus avenging an ancient chaos defeat.
The chaos space marine stronghold is on the Deimos Peninsula, a tropical region that has since been corrupted to look like the chaos vision of hell. The forces of chaos have opened a warp gate in Deimos. If another faction can conquer Deimos, the chaos space marines will have no way of reinforcing their position and will have to flee.
Kronus used to be peacefully shared between the Imperium of Man and the tau empire, but the rise of the soulless necrons on the planet upset the balance of power. The tau began to assert more control, and the Imperium responded by dispatching the Imperial Guard.
The Imperium comprises a million worlds, with a vast population that offers countless recruits to the Imperial Guard. The forces on Kronus are led by Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander and his 1st Kronus regiment, and they seek to make the planet their new home. The Imperial Guard is headquartered in Victory Bay, the old Imperial capital. There the guard recovered the mighty Hellstorm cannon brought to the planet long ago by the techpriests of Mars. However, if Victory Bay should fall, the Imperial Guard will be defeated.