Dawn of War II – Retribution Announced

Waaagh and Peace would have been the pun title, but there's no room and it's terrible.
This news breaks as sharply as the sound of a bolter-magazine being slammed into place by the palm of the righteous. Just announced is that there’s a second incoming expansion for Dawn of War II. Set a decade after Chaos Rising, rather than being stuck with the Blood Ravens, you get to choose your side. Which sides do you get to pick from? Well, as you may surmise from the enormous jaw bellowing at you above, one will be the Orks. Also promised are new multiplayer units and a whole new faction. Which sounds like a cue to link to our Dawn of War 2 sweepstakes article again. Go Jokero! Anyway – the expansion will be out in the first “bit” of 2011 and the first trailer follows…

Those certainly are some Orks. And here’s another one. Click for full size:


  1. Mr Chug says:

    The Orks always got the short end of the stick in DOW2- the closest they get to a compliment is saying that ‘they might have been able to hold off the Tyranids’ after your low level squad has completely crippled them in about 5 missions.

  2. ChaK_ says:

    good gods YES !

  3. TotalBiscuit says:




  4. TCM says:

    That is an Ork in a pirate hat.

    I will never play another race ever again.

  5. LMN8R says:



  6. Burny says:

    You get to choose your side?


    Let’s hope the campaign of this addon is a bit more than a few dozen glorified skirmish matches held together by no story at all. I’m looking at you, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm!

    • ChaK_ says:

      DOW 2 was ok story-wise, and chaos rising was very solid. i’m extremely confident

    • Gritz says:

      Dark Crusade was excellent. Who plays games like this for the story?

    • subedii says:

      I actually felt that Chaos Rising had a decent story, it managed to keep me interested, which surprised me. Despite the lower budget, at the very least the dialogue was better than Starcraft 2.

    • MWoody says:

      NO. FUCK THAT.

      The last DoW had a campaign that pretended to have strategic options, but in reality, the metagame was completely gone. Just not there; it had all the choices of the overworld in Mario 3. I would GLADLY sacrifice story – I mean, seriously, you’re a large angry man killing bugs/robots/green things, who cares? – if they’d go back to your choices about which mission to tackle and when would have some weight again.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Woody with the exception of one or two because I didn’t really care, I was able to do every side mission I wanted before it timed out.

    • TCM says:

      Dark Crusade’s only strategic option was “which of these overpowered bonuses will let me finish this torture fest faster”.

      I refuse to speak about Soulstorm.

    • Vinraith says:

      I enjoyed DoW2’s campaign, to my surprise, but agree that I enjoyed Dark Crusade’s more. At the end of the day, in a strategy game, I’ll take strategic options and strategic context over story any day. Honestly, strategy games are NOT a good story telling medium, but they’re a great medium for letting you tell your OWN story.

    • Archonsod says:

      I though Dark Crusade handled it well. You had the strategy map to play with, and key scenarios gave you a bit of banter between the characters. Pretty much all I’d want from a 40K game.

    • Burny says:

      Why did I have the feeling, that the story I “told” by playing DC, was the one about a guy playing a dozen skirmish matches, then?

      Also, I think the Blizzard RTS games since SC have shown impressively how such games can tell a story. Even if the story is pure cliché. Starcraft 2 even goes back to Wing Commander like sequences and that should be more than any writer needs to bring his story across.

      That’s not my main issue however, because as a former (and hopefully future, if time permits) 40k tabletop (Tyranid) and DoW 1 (vanilla, wa, dc) player, I have completely given up the 40k universe as a source of compelling video game stories. The stories about terribly heroic oversized warrior monks waging epic wars across the galaxy for the emperor, some chaos god or just for survival, might have given me something at the age of 15 when I started. However, they don’t do this anymore.
      For me, the complete lack of human emotion, I could identify with, is one part of the problem. After all, I am no monk, standing 2,4m tall, created to die in the name of some half dead emperor figure, whose personal interests are praying, killing the enemies of man and the then praying some more. The other part is the permanent dealing in absolutes (survival or extinction). There SHOULD be more than enough opportunities to tell more subtle stories in the 40k universe and still find an excuse for eternal war, but the DoW games have certainly not taken them. Story wise, I didn’t find DoW vanilla or WA any more interesting than DC, so that’s not my issue.

      But all that doesn’t prevent me from enjoying a game. After all I love Nintendo games and their stories are usually no more than mere excuses for hopping across a level or to unriddle another temple.

      My main issue with DC was the mission design. While DoW vanilla and WA did at least try to give every mission a theme (although I think only Blizzard’s SC1/2 + WCIII actually really succeed there), DC was mainly pure skirmish with some excuse of tactical options. Which, I think, can largely be blamed on the premise of being able to choose your race. Once you’ve got seven races and probably a bit of a tight budget compared to people like Blizzard, there is no way you’ll handcraft a campaign with a handful of compelling missions for each race.

      I’ve got a lot of other issues with the DoW series and no hope, that Relic will ever address them in any addon or sequel. Some I mentioned above and the others go a lot deeper than the usual complaints about poor patch support or the “OMFG you haz ruined my DoWz”-attitude some people have towards DoW II.
      So, more painting minis for me. ;-)

    • Henrik J says:

      What i liked about DC was that you got to play some of the newer races, the thought of being to play as the Orks isnt exactly appealing or anything we havent tried a million times, give Space Marines, Orks and Chaos a rest and do something cool with the more interesting armies.

  7. Coded One says:


  8. Eversor says:

    How can you ever return to your commander Vanilla Ice, when you have the option to play a glorious ork pirate?

  9. Kronyx says:

    Sweet mother of mercy.


    On top of that a PIRATE Ork? This is the best thing ever.

  10. westyfield says:

    Half of me is in shock at the terrible, terrible accent. The other half is overjoyed at the pirate ork.
    Overjoyed half is winning.

  11. DarthNader says:

    I just got a little bigga.

  12. Mungrul says:

    Please let there be Weird Boys with their associated retinues of Mad Boyz.

  13. The Hammer says:

    If Gorgutz returns, then I’m in.

  14. DarkFenix says:

    I look forward to the campaign, those have always been good in DoW2 and Chaos Rising. A shame the multiplayer will remain the piece of dumbed down monodimensional crap it has been since they threw out all the good ideas they had in DoW1.

    Also, this expansion reeks of not even adding another race.

    • TCM says:

      “Also promised are new multiplayer units and a whole new faction.”


    • subedii says:

      Quiet, you might disrupt his raging.

    • Dante says:

      Also, what?

      I’m struggling to think of what they’ve taken out of the multiplayer from DoW 1, and they’ve certainly added the whole cover/destructible battlefield thing.

    • TCM says:

      Base Building, I guess.

    • subedii says:

      Some people were upset that there wasn’t as much base building as in the original.

      Personally I loved DoW2’s multiplayer, spent loads of time with it. When you’ve got good teams going, 3v3’s can become some really epic affairs.

      That’s a point, now we’ll be able to play 3v3’s with every player a different race. Should look pretty awesome.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Ok total reading fail on the extra race thing, but why don’t you go troll somewhere else subedii.

      Yeah it was basically the castrated unit rosters and complete lack of base building that pissed me off with DoW2. The game is just so shallow, consisting of a single tactic: rushing. You have to rush around and play a game of cat and mouse capping, losing, then recapping each point. The battles are tiny too, with the pop cap also reduced to almost nothing.

      I like to play RTS games in a far more deliberate fashion, using slow burning strategies. DoW2 is an extremely shallow game tactically, limiting your options to a barebones few that Relic ‘let you’ use.

    • subedii says:

      I wasn’t trolling, I just said you were getting ragey, which you were.

      Back to the topic at hand, I could just as easily say Starcraft is a game about “Rushing” too, but that’s only really an accurate descriptor in the vaguest terms. Likewise, DoW2 is a tactical level game, but there’s a tonne of depth. You might not like the style of gameplay espoused in DoW2, but that’s not the same as saying there isn’t any depth to it.

      There’s a huge focus on constant motion and outmanoeuvring your opponent. Harassment is pretty key, there’s a large element of denying them resources where possible. Flank attacks are crucial against entrenched positions, especially when you consider not just cover, but suppression as well. Strategic decision making comes into play not just in what points to attack / defend / hold, but with constant scouting of your opponent and what equipment / units they’re using, and countermanding it. Number of units available per side is about the same, but wargear options (and crucially, combinations) are more meaningful now, especially with the choice between commander units in play and how they can completely change the capabilities of an army. The commander / faction specific Global abilities factor into that as well.

      As for squad sizes being reduced, well yeah, they have been. That was a move they made to make it more in keeping with the TT game. I can understand if you don’t like that, but In terms of visuals, a 3v3 still looks ridiculously over-the-top with units pouring out everywhere. In gameplay terms it doesn’t really make much difference, except you get a better sense of scale with horde races like Orkz and Tyranids.

      I mean in a game of DoW1 the gameplay was always heavily focussed on offence, and was very much a tactical level game, not really a strategic level one. You talk about how DoW2 dropped “strategy” compared to DoW1, but DoW2 largely just streamlined things by switching to 3 tech levels as opposed to multiple buildings. A decent multiplayer game in DoW2 can be fast paced (although interestingly, I find a good Starcraft match much faster paced), but then the same was true of a decent game of DoW1.

    • Tim Ward says:

      [quote]Yeah it was basically the castrated unit rosters and complete lack of base building that pissed me off with DoW2.[/quote]

      Dawn of War 1 invented base building? Or is this not about the “removal of the good ideas they had in Dawn of War 1”, but the game moving away from the familiar RTS structure and therefore out of your Starcraft comfort zone?

      There’s a lot wrong with Dawn of War 2 multiplayer – mostly that it’s just uninteresting and basically completely shit – but the lack of base building is among the faults.

    • Tim Ward says:

      (“is *not* among its faults”)

    • Steven Hutton says:

      You think the multi-player in DoW2 is shit? I mean, really? I am completely taken aback. Any chance you could tell me what’s wrong with it? I love DoW2.

    • Tim Ward says:

      Endless scrabbling for purposeless pieces of metal which claim to be “strategic” points but which are, in fact, nothing more than litter is not my idea of a compelling 40k experience.

      I fucking hate the whole “competitive” RTS scene, with it’s “mirco” “build orders” and “metagame”. I just do not give a shit about that stuff. Dawn of War 2 multiplayer is designed, explicitly, to be that kind of game. Now, I recognize that while I hate the whole click-clickity RTS scene there are many people who love it and they deserve to have games made that cater for them too. However: why waste the 40k franchise making a game which is, fundamentally, not like 40k? Why not make a new franchise where the setting is built around the conventions of highly competitive, micro-oriented online RTS play (“starcraft wannabe” for short) and the all important game balance isn’t hamstrung by having to play lipservice to the 40k fluff. Then make a 40k game which is actually like 40k, not what is fundamentally a fairly abstract strategy game with a 40k paint of coat. Think something like World in Conflict.

    • subedii says:

      I don’t mean to be argumentative, but I do wish to disagree there.

      Personally I would’ve actually said that WiC is less focussed on overall strategy than DoW2, at least when it comes to individual players. WiC actually depends a lot more on individual unit micro and is altogether more reflex based as well. Snap decisions make or destroy whole squads in literally seconds, and it’s still very much based around the whole “capture points” mechanic. You talk about scrabbling for capture points in DoW2, that is very much what you’re doing in WiC as well. The reason that some games go with a capture points mechanic is because it creates points of contention and make for a faster paced game (nobody can afford to sit back and wait). There’s the reinforcement mechanic (which doesn’t depend on a base, just drops), but in real terms it’s still a means of trickling your units to you over time once they’ve been destroyed. Instead of teching to give escalation to the gameplay, you’ve instead got the build up of and usage of tactical aids as more carnage ensues.

      The meta-game in WiC is there, but because each player is fulfilling a very specific role, it depends a lot more on your team mates coordinating everything together, Not that it doesn’t work when it happens, but for the most part it plays out more like the RTS equivalent of CS (which was actually one of their stated design goals). Most of the time in WiC multiplayer though, it’s a pretty big mess since there’s lots of players and not much cooperation.

      Also, with the comparisons to Starcraft, DoW2 doesn’t really have near the kind of micromanagement oriented gameplay of something like Starcraft 2. Just for comparison, high tier SC2 players regularly have an APM (Actions Per Minute, something they obsess about a fair amount in SC2) somewhere in the region of 150-200. They need that just to be able to manage the game at a high level. I remember a diamond league player talking about this, he mentioned a high level DoW2 clan mate of his, whose APM was measured more along the lines of 90. Which is what you’d need just to be average at Starcraft 2. In general, the way the gameplay is designed in DoW2 doesn’t really require hefty bouts of micromanagement, which is also why you don’t really hear about players obsessing over APM when it comes to DoW2. After all, we’re talking about a game that has pretty much foregone base building (and fine tuning of base building and unit production is still micromanagement, whatever SC2 players may say) and is instead focussed primarily on the squad level tactics.

      If we were to draw a line, I’d definitely place DoW2 far closer in gameplay style to something like WiC than I would SC2.

      However, if you’re arguing that the gameplay should actually be closer to the TT game, then I can sort of see where you’re coming from. However, I don’t really see how they could move to get any closer to the TT version than they currently are, apart from turning it into a TBS game. As it stands though, I felt that the DoW series to date has made really good use of the franchise as given. They’ve managed to do a good job of reflecting the universe and what makes it “cool”, in real time, while giving the gameplay its own unique spin on the RTS.

  15. Fumarole says:

    More dakka is a good thing.

  16. wyrmsine says:

    Not enuff dakka.

    Okay, to be fair, it’s never enuff. Beats the hell out of the joyless Space Marines, though. Looking forward to this.

  17. Skusey says:

    Ork pirates are better than Lady pirates.

  18. Shubb9 says:

    At least we’ll have story campaign that’s not Blood Ravens again, wish they’d have done this with the last expansion. I was gagging to for a decent Chaos campaign after thoroughly enjoying the Dark Crusade choose your faction and RISK your way across the planet stuff.
    Also given what Dark Fenix said about the lack of new races, could Retribution be redolent of any other races? Seems to me the ‘I’ in the Retribution logo looks to me like the type thats been used for the Inquisition (Dan Abnett etc.) in various GW stuff

  19. laikapants says:

    I’m so many kinds of okay with this. That said, I really need to finish the base game and Chaos Rising.

  20. pkt-zer0 says:

    Insane rip-off, 150$ (and possibly more!) for a single game, clearly this evil is Activision’s doing…

    oh, wait.

  21. ChampionHyena says:

    ‘ere we go, ‘ere we go, ‘ere we go.

    • oatish says:

      Hey some one knows what the Freebooterz are!

      Finally the “clan-less” orks getting some love.

  22. modulus says:

    Sooo…inquisition ‘I’ at the end of the trailer: Ordo Hereticus again?

  23. Dirk says:

    That one letter in Retribution reminds me of Rosette of imperial inquisition. Coincidence or not?

  24. Kirian says:

    Not enuff Red Wunz fer moy likin’. Wot is doze Meks finkin’, da dozy buggerz?

    Honestly. Freebooterz iz’ cool an’ all, but Speed Freakz would make my day.

  25. Spoon says:

    I’m going to guess that the inquisition’s I in the logo is there for a reason. New side = one of the ____hunters armies?

  26. ScubaMonster says:

    Too bad hardly anybody will be playing online. A few weeks back I hopped online. Not many custom matches and I didn’t even bother using matchmaking as I have better things to do than stare at my screen for an hour waiting for it to find a game.

    • Primar says:

      I/we’ve never waited more than a minute or so to find a normal MP game. Perhaps you live in a timezone/location where there aren’t many players?

  27. Shubb9 says:

    RPS hivemind has four Inquisition mentions in the space of 8 mins. Its a shoe in, heard it here first

    • subedii says:

      Considering how Chaos Rising played out, the Inquisition wouldn’t be a surprising addition.

  28. Meat Circus says:


    I love you, Relic. No, really.

  29. Out Reach says:

    Seeing it’s an Ork Campaign I’d probably put my money on the Imperial Legion being the new race, just because they are the guys the Orks spend most of the time killing (other than each other of course).

  30. Shubb9 says:

    “Taking place years after the events in Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising, this title allows players to choose their perspective with the first multiple-race single player campaign in the Dawn of War II series. The first race to be revealed is the savage Orks, but no matter which race is chosen players will be taken on an epic journey through each story arc, revealing the answers to many questions left open in previous Dawn of War titles.”
    The way I read the piece by Kieron at the top was that it was only the Orkz getting a single player campaign. Reading the official press release pleases me greatly

    • Fox says:

      Nice, though that’s a big “expansion pack” if they do end up having campaigns for several (more than 2) races. Still hoping for Eldar myself.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      The phrase “Expandalone” does leap to mind.


    • Sir Derpicus says:

      please let there be guardsman I want guardsmen this is a tactical DOW game why do we have no guardsmen did I mention I want guardsmen it would be really nice if we get guardsmen guardsmen are awesome they use artillery and tanks I like guardsmen come on please let there be guardsmen you already have the goddamn models why not just do it it’s not like anybody likes the taus anyways space communists are lame just add the guardsmen already

  31. bleeters says:

    Pirate hat? So it’s a WAAAA-AARRR, then.

    …don’t hit me, I bruise easily :(

  32. stojg says:


  33. subedii says:

    This proves it, the only ones dominating PC gaming now are the pirates. Jim Raynor’s space pirates, Orky WAAAGH pirates, the odd Patrician…

  34. danarchist says:

    I love playing Orcs, back in my old table top dayz I ran what my friends called the “Random Army”. Bunch of weirdboyz, pretty much any unit that had a hilarious random effect in combat. It wasn’t so much winning to me as laughing my butt off as my squiggoth turned and rampaged through my own ranks. I liked to think of it as my own personal handicap to even it out for my more stoned friends ;)

  35. coldwave says:




  36. subedii says:

    Shacknews has screenshots of what looks like the Ork campaign equipment screen, showing four of the squad leaders. Inluding “Kaptin BluddFlagg”, the pirate of the piece.

    link to shacknews.com

    Look, ‘e even ‘as on da proppa pie-rate trousa’s!

  37. Navagon says:

    So there are still people alive in the Blood Ravens’ system? But anyway, this is good news. Even if I have yet to grab Chaos Rising I’ll still be getting both eventually.

  38. coldwave says:

    Next Addon – Ork Ninjas.

  39. michaelar says:

    Obligatory awesome Ork quote:

    “A WAAAGH! is a cross between a holy crusade and a pub crawl, with a bit of genocide thrown in for good measure.”

  40. ira says:

    My body is ready.

  41. measurements says:

    I played DOW 2 sp campaign twice (and all of the dow 1 titles but winter assault lots too). But I haven’t purchased chaos rising… yet. The reason being that I am clearly missing something with that game. Because I would rage quit the single player. Only on bosses, though. But when you’re really trying for five stars on the single player levels and a boss can simply one shot pretty much any of your units from a massive range, without warning, seemingly with no cooldown, it pissed me off. I would wonder what I had failed to avoid or not thought about doing. I also wondered what the point of melee was, seeing as any melee encounter with a boss meant watching my force commander and or assault squad get skewered like cheap kebab meat and flung into a corner to decompose.

    I’d simply love for someone to point out exactly why I’m a whining noob and how I could avoid such epic failings. Perhaps then I could muster some excitement for the game and actually get stuck into it and it’s expansions, instead of playing skirmishes on soulstorm (which I didn’t have any problem with, unlike some here). Because I really do love the warhammer 40k universe. I want to want to play. Help me.

    • subedii says:

      Well not trying for a 5 star rating would be a start. Just play the game.

      More importantly, play it co-op if you possibly can, the game really does shine in co-op when you’ve each got control of two squads, you start using them to the most of their abilities. And you also move them about more freely and precisely during boss fights, instead of tending to group select and move.

      The boss fights vary, some are stupid cheesy (like the Avatar), some aren’t. Chaos Rising largely has much fewer boss fights, and instead has a greater focus on a more structured campaign. I still found the end boss fight in CR a bit too cheesy.

      Other than that, nobody can make you like DoW2, you either do or you don’t. Personally I found the campaign average in DoW2 (but a LOT more fun when you co-op it and set the difficulty a notch higher), but I enjoyed the SP campaign in Chaos Rising much more. Although realistically, I spent the vast majority of my playtime in DoW2 in the multiplayer, so YMMV.

    • Csauli says:

      So he asks “What can I do to try and get 5 stars without the game slapping me in the face?”, and your reply is “Stop trying.”?

      Wow. That is awesome, Subedii. Really helpful, and I’m sure he’s very grateful to you. You really are a good person!

    • subedii says:

      So what exactly am I supposed to say? Some of the boss fights were poorly designed, and he’s right, they are frustrating. Trying to 5-star them for no reason is pointless, and just adds to frustration. The only thing 5 starring it on everything gives you is more points on your end screen, and possibly an extra deployment. But those aren’t really necessary either and they’re easily enough earned simply by defeating all the enemies in the level or something.

      I’m sorry I can’t give you some magical solution to make the boss fights more fun and easy to beat, short of dumping it down to easy mode. The other solution is just cheesing everything (like say, abusing Thaddeus jump-in invulnerability by spamming it constantly), but that’s not fun either.

    • sebmojo says:

      Jeez subedii that’s two completely unwarranted NERDRAGESTRIKES against you. That will certainly teach you for being helpful and providing useful information in a calm and non-frothing manner, eh? In the grim darkness of the RPS forums there is only GRARRRRR.

      Personally I love DoW 2, though as noted above notching the difficulty up a bit makes a big difference. Chaos Rising is getting snappity snapped up at the next Steam sale, that’s fer dam sure.

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      Heh. Commenter bitchiness funny.

      In all seriousness in the boss fights try hovering your finger over x (the run away squealing key) and dont be afraid to do it early. Also, have two melee units active and just keep them running away, healing up then running back in a cycle. You’ll eventually wear them down.

      Also, yes. Five stars in all categories? Well that’s just a little bit precious (no offence, just a ‘reality check’). Clearly if the game is set at an appropriate challenge level it should be very hard to do.

  42. Sarlix says:

    So do Ork pirates not Adorne parrots like regular pirates? Or do they have some sort of Orkish alternative?

    I’m a bit disappointed. They don’t even have peg legs. I suppose the shoulder pads make up for it to some degree, but I really think that pirate classification has become too lax in recent years. I remember at one time becoming a pirate involved such rigors as being shot in the knee caps with flint-locks. etc

    Arrr, the good old days.

    • TheFlyingWooly says:

      Could have a squig I suppose.

    • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

      Indeed. I was most shocked to see both legs intact when they showed the full picture. Bah! A fancy hat on an ork a pirate does not make.

  43. TheFlyingWooly says:

    Defiantly an Inquisition symbol replacing the I on retribution.

    Wonder what branch will be in game.

    Malleus – Grey Knights?

    Hereticus – Sisters of Battle?

    Xenos – Deathwatch?

  44. LRVG says:

    Check out the I in “Retribution” at the end of the trailer.

    Inquisition as the new faction?

  45. Jon says:

    “I” specualtion – Grey Knights would fit into the DOW2 campaign style rather well.

  46. Orange Required says:

    I’m hoping the new faction will be Inquisitor-recruited Imperial Guard with unique and crazy Inquisition elites as leaders.


  47. Archonsod says:

    Inquisition would make sense in terms of title and imagery.

    I was hoping for the Guard myself though.

  48. BigMeh says:

    Imperial Guard with Inquisition attachments is my guess.

  49. PaulOHara says:

    Looks like my 2011 game purchases just went up by one. Really like the Dawn of War series.

  50. Davie says:


    Pirate orks are a mighty incentive for me to revive my graphics card so I can play the damn game again. EXCITING STUFF.

    I better see some Imperial Guard or Tau though. I want my railguns and Baneblades again.