Thoughts on Winter assault

Discussions about Real-Time Strategy games, such as Dawn Of War & Command and Conquer

Thoughts on Winter assault

Postby Hyperion » 26 Sep 2005, 09:20

Ok I got this friday and sat down to the campaigns first of all. I have only run through the order campaigns so I dont know what the chaos ones are like.

It plays the same as Dawn of War and feels the same. I still wish I could zoom out a little bit further than I can but you cant have everything.

The gameplay is still as fast and frenetic as ever, and im quite glad for the pause key. Shame its all the way up on pause. (although im certain I will get slated for using that key). Giving commands whilst paused though gives no feedback on what you are doing which doesnt seem right, but ok I was using pause.

The Imperial guard as a race are very distinct and different to the other races in Dawn of War. Which is good as no two races play the same.

How I found the IG, well they seem to be a fairly turtle heavy race, but they seem weak on infantry. The basic infantry is the standard guard, they come in squads of up to 10, or 11 if you attach special units. And can upgrade guns to grenades or plasma rifles. I prefer plasma rifles as it takes less micromanagement. These are all the troops that the IG get until tier III. They are ok, there are lots of them to counter the fact that they are light infantry. They seem better than cultists, they will die to orks in hand to hand, they seem on a par to guardians I think. But you are stuck with these to tier III and thats a long way off.

By tier III though you get Kasrkin and Ogrins. Ogrins are your heavy hand to hand group, they look like they could go toe to toe with most things.

Kasrkin are the heavy infantry, basically very similar to the guard, more armour but again get plasma rifles or grenades. 2 less people in the squad. I havent tested but they aren't up to space marine standards.

However at tier II the guard get vehicles. Vehicles are where the guard are at. You get the chimera a transport vehicle with some serious anti infantry ability, please note the chimera wants to have at least a squad in it to man the side turrets. The hellion (I think) burn the enemy infantry.
A whacking great big artillery piece with the largest range on the battlefield for any race, a sentinel walker which is superb against vehicles, but its a shame it has fairly weak armour. You get a leman russ tank which has a huge range. and the baneblade. Not as good as four leman russ tanks, but it makes up for it in sheer armour.

This brings me on to the IG racial difference. Nearly every building has turrets like orks do, but they wont fire unless you have a squad inside manning the guns. This is like the chimera, if it has a squad in its awesome, without the squad its pap. So you can pretty much keep your weaker troops hidden behind vehicles and buildings the whole time... which you should do.

Also the IG bases have tunnels from building to building, so you can move your troops pretty easily and quickly around your base just like the eldar do but it works from any building. Buildings though are limited to one squad in them at a time except for the troop bunkers, they can have three.

The other differences here are that the IG troop bunker (produces troops) also adds 6 to the infantry population up to a total of 20. Basically you should move these bunkers to your front lines and stick a squad in to fire out as they sit next to turrets. The same works for the vehicle bays, they add to your vehicle pop total up to 20. So it encourages the guard to have lots of production areas. Another thing is each building will increase the sphere of influence or area that you can build in so bases will spread out.

As well as this the IG has a lot of special characters to tailor squads, you have commisars to add morale to squads and make them more combat heavy. You have psykers to add two special attacks lightning and strip soul (strip soul kills one enemy but can blow the psyker and the squad up... YAY) And you have your priests to whip your troops up into a religous fervour.
This part does tend to start making the IG quite a micromanage race. You want to move troops into buildings, vehicles start bolstering them with special leaders and so on.

Your commander is particularly nice, a good strong character, you cannot add him to any squad but you can build a command group around him of commisars, psykers or priests, so the command squad can be tailored to your needs.

Good points for the IG they are a cheap (as in resource cheap) race to use. So reinforcements wont be short on the ground. Nice vehicles, adding squads to buildings or the chimera adds to the firepower. The enginseers are strong units as well as builders, can repair anything very quickly.

Bad points about the IG, infantry really isnt there strong point. The guard will get ripped to shreds if they even think about leaving there base area unless they go in force or using there vehicles. You are stuck with basic infantry until tier III. You are only allowed 3 enginseers to stop those builder rushers. Edit forgot bad point for IG is they seem to be a micromanage intensive army. If you dont like to micromanage heavily SM's are better for you.

Tactics for these guys should be to consider building up choke points with turrets, which are amazing and have lots of armour, and barracks to hide the troops in. Chimera's should be used to move troops about as they will rip apart infantry squads, but back these up with sentinels so you can easily deal with dreadnoughts and the like. Really consider bolstering defences and start blasting people with those huge artillery pieces.

Things to consider every other race out there will eat your guardsmen for breakfast. But there buidlings take a punishment and can hold your guard safe. A command squad running around can wipe out lots.

The eldar changes I noticed where the seercouncil being reduced to a total of 9, but they still seemed as nasty as ever. The other big one is the fire dragons. Now previously Eldar could really hit problems with vehicles. The eldar vehicles arent fantastically strong and wither and die fast. Eldar like troops and there specialised squads would get ripped apart fast if someone liked spamming lots of vehicles at them. The fire dragons change this. dreadnought pah, tank pah, buildings? boom. Dont use fire dragons against infantry save them for when your opponents start spamming dreads. I figure that in most online games the research order for eldar will be Howling banshees, 3 squads, and then either dark reapers or fire dragons, I would put fire dragons third in the troop list to get as by that point you normally haave a dread or two about. 2 squads of firedragons though will solve most vehicle problems.

As for the ork choas and sm changes I havent tested them yet.

Overall a fantastic expansion to a great game.
Last edited by Hyperion on 26 Sep 2005, 09:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Mammoth » 26 Sep 2005, 09:36

very helpful review hype, thx for that... gonna have to buy that soon
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Postby Demonicrabbit » 26 Sep 2005, 10:19

sounds very interesting
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Postby Hyperion » 26 Sep 2005, 10:27

The single player campaign was quite fun. Will try the Chaos one next. At least the Order campaign needed heavy use of the pause button on one particular mission.

I do feel a lot of people will be thrown by the use of the IG in multiplayer as they are not very good with infantry. The fact you are limited to guardian level squads until tier III mean you will be having to use your turrets and your vehicles heavily. However it looks like the chimera should be the most useful vehicle for assaults for the IG. they cost 1 vehicle cap and with a squad in them deal some wonderful firepower. (they can hold three but I dont think the firepower goes up if you put more than one squad in) The way I can see assaults with the IG will be to drive in with chimeras, whilst you have backup of those sentinels. Then start popping your squads out the chimeras as they start taking damage. If you can keep the fire off the sentinels they can take out enemy vehicles whilst the chimeras mop up the squads.

This tactic may suffer if you walk into fire dragons though. Itll be interesting to test but IG will have to concentrate on hitting tierII fast and pulling out vehicles fast. Hopefully faster than Chaos Orks, or SM's get rockets.

Its nice that the IG can out artillery any other race though, which will be a big problem for everyone else. But there infiltrator class assassin is tier III tech, agghhh.

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Postby Nubbins » 26 Sep 2005, 10:48

very very good hype, i got this on day of relase and played as IG i will second you on the weakness scale of the gaurd but if you have enough of them then most squads will die b4 they get in range of the gaurds. the baslisk is just there for pure mayhem tbh.
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