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I have been playing Warhammer 40k, Dawn of War for sometime now and I like the game. I have finally come up with a strategy that seems to work out fairly well.

My Strategy: I am used to setting up my base in the beginning by creating a few units mainly for capturing flags. They cannot put up much of a fight. In the meanwhile I start also create a few fighting units for support but not much because resource is limited and I'm also doing research. Meanwhile the AI is also doing a similar thing - capturing flags, upgrading, creating fighters.

The problem: After a few missions that idiotic AI has changed. So now, instead of capturing flags it first creates a few fighter units and directly sends them to my base. So when the game starts I have barely captured 2 flags when I start having enemy after enemy continuously on my base. And this ruins the fun completely. I can create more fighting units initially but it will just make a slow start not only for me but also for the stupid AI where we both capture flags very slowly to keep fighting.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do? I don't want to extend the level with a slow start. After a few tries I have started using a trainer. So at the start of the level I use the trainer to quickly create some fighting units and then I continue my normal strategy and switch off the trainer. But I don't want to play this way. Any idea what can be done?

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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The AI in Dawn of War is pretty shocking at the best of times and frequently gets stuck at the first tech level spamming small weak units in an attempt to complete a "tech 1 rush". Typically you will find if you can hold off the initial wave the rest of the game will be a piece of cake seeing as you will have vehicles and they will still only have infantry.

My main point of advice would be to use lots of little squads instead of upgrading one squad (i.e. I would rather have 3 different marine squads of 4 men as apposed to 1 big squad of 10). This means you can engage multiple targets at once and if someone gets drawn into melee when you didnt really want them to you have another couple of squads to help clear the trouble).

As for how to hold off this initial wave it depends on which army you are playing as and which you are fighting. For any army I would definately say make sure you build a command unit as your first or second attacking unit seeing as the extra HP will definately give you a bit more thinking time (this is especially true of necrons seeing as the necron lord is the best unit you have at your disposal) ... from here its a matter of who you are fighting and knowing how they will rush you.

Marines / Choas - Will usually play a solid game with decent AI - harras you a little at the start with marine squads but continue to push through tech levels so you will need to keep up with them technologywise. With choas be careful of cultist squads because they have a tendancy to engage multiple squads in close combat at once and leave them prone to fire from another unit.

Elder - they will typically throw guardian squad after guardian squad at you and then throw the occassional farseer whenever they have enough spare rec (strategy = get heavy bolters out asap - or whatever your armies equivielent is).

Orks - Similiar to elder, will begin by throwing squad after squad at you but with the added danger of a big mek. This guy can be a pain in the ass because of his teleport ability which will get him to you sooner. (Strategy = you will definately need a commant unit to deal with an ork rush). If orks manage to get to get to tech 2 they are likely to start throwing wartraks at you, counter these with vehicles because their rockets will constantly knock your regular troops over.

Imperial Guard - Again similiar to elder, will throw lots of little units at you as well as the command squad which can be a pain because its quickly regenerates powerful units. Heavy bolters (or similiar) are the way forward again.

Necrons - On big maps these guys will hardly have the chance to rush you because they are so slow, but you will need to be careful of the necron lord seeing as his teleport power recharges very quick and he can get to your base super fast because of it. Engage this guy with a command unit and have everything else you have shot at him. Probably best to keep his body surrounded as well because when they rebuild him it will revive in the same place it was last killed.

Tau - Watch out for the krut rush, these can be nasty especially if they have feral leap. Lots of seperate units will help with this one so that all squads are not simultaneously having to engage one squad.

I didnt ever really play that much soulstorm so cant realy say more about sisters / dark elder.

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Excellent! I wish I could upvote this answer multiple times. FWIW I was stuck at the first appearance of the Orks. I tried to battle them but failed miserably. Finally I used a trainer to clear off the level and even then it took me about 45 minutes with infinite resources and level caps removed, thanks to their constant rushing. But I had been doing the exact opposite of what you suggested. I had been upgrading each team to full before sending them. I'll try it the way you're suggesting. –  Mugen Mar 1 '11 at 5:12
    
If you are playing as marines or choas heavy bolters are definately your friend against the ork rush, even 2/3 can be a great asset. If they start to use stormboys it might be an idea to switch to plasma rifles as you will be able to remain shooting even as you are running your troops around (also the existance of stormboys probably means that Nobs are not far away). –  Craig Pilgrim Mar 1 '11 at 8:46
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I don't know anything about that specific game, but the behavior you are describing is generally termed "harassment" and it is a standard part of RTS gameplay. The purpose of harassment is to disrupt your opponent's strategy and slow them down so that you can get ahead of them in macro. To deal with it, you need to find the minimal amount of defense that you can build that will stop the harassment without unnecessarily slowing down the rest of your growth. You call this a slow start, likely because it slows down when you get to build the big, cool units. But it is also a faster start in terms of when you have to start conflicting with your opponent. It certainly makes things more difficult, but there is no way to remove it from the game. You just have to learn to adjust your strategy to handle it.

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I think this answers my question so I'm going to mark it as answered. Not sure whether this is the correct practice though or whether we actually should wait for more answers. Thanks for your help. I'll modify my strategy. :) –  Mugen Jan 15 '11 at 11:32
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