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Set in the Warhammer 40,000 Universe, this RTS puts you in charge of the Imperial Space Marine Chapter "Blood Ravens" as they try to contain rising numbers of Ork invaders on the planet Tartarus. Leading your forces through an epic single-player campaign with eleven scenarios you discover the true reason for their presence on this world, and find out which roles the evil Chaos Marines and the mysterious Eldar play in this affair. And when the struggle is over, endless challenges await in the Skirmish and Multiplayer modes...

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War is a real-time strategy game with a heavy focus on real-time tactical combat, base-building, capturing strategic points and researching. In the main campaign the player takes control of the Blood Ravens space marines and, from time to time, some units of the Imperial Guard as well. In the Skirmish and Multiplayer modes it's possible to control any of four available factions:
  • Space Marines - these elite warriors of the Imperium are genetically and cybernetically modified to withstand the harshest of punishments. They are generalist soldiers, not specialized in anything in particular, but are resilient, possess a high morale and are the best long-range army in the game. They also have anti-daemon weaponry.
  • Chaos Space Marines - during the Horus Heresy nearly half of all Space Marines turned against their brothers and the Imperium to serve the forces of Chaos instead. This faction is similar to the original Space Marines because they don't excel in anything in particular and they are battle hardened as well. On the other hand they are focused on assaults using mobs and close combat units such as possessed marines, bloodthirsters and even daemons.
  • Orks - a widespread race in the galaxy and one that loves nothing more than war, the Orks rely on sheer numbers to overwhelm their opponents. They focus on close combat, but have little armor and resistance to damage.
  • Eldar - the remnants of a fallen empire, the Eldar are still one of the most technologically advanced races in the galaxy. They enjoy a wide variety of abilities, such as teleportation, and fast speed. Their units are highly specialized in one type of combat, meaning they may be bad at everything else.
To win in the campaign missions, the player needs to fulfill the main story-based objectives, while in Skirmish and Multiplayer it's necessary to meet any of the set victory conditions such as controlling over 66% of all strategic points, taking and holding at least half of all critical points, destroying all of the enemies' HQs, or even assassinating the enemy commander. Every strategic point, critical point or relic held generates requisition, which is the main resource of the game used for building structures, researching and recruiting units. Different buildings and units that make heavy use of technology also require another resource, power, produced by plasma and thermal generators.

Researching new technology and upgrading existing structures can give the player access to new things. In certain cases the upgrades improve the statistics of the respective unit or building. For example an upgraded listening post has increased firepower for the gun emplacement plus it generates extra requisition points. An infantry unit can receive better weapons, such as plasma guns, grenade launchers or flamethrowers. The order in which the buildings are constructed and the tech tree is explored defines the player's strategy: either focusing on mobs to overwhelm the enemy or on technology in order to exploit a specific weakness.

It's not possible to create infinite troops because there is a squad and vehicle cap in place. That's why the player needs to decide which unit to create based on its skills and the strategy employed, however it's very easy to kill your own squads in the game in order to free up space. All units have limited health. Once it reaches zero for a vehicle, it is destroyed; in the case of squads the members die one by one, so it's possible to replace the fallen soldiers with other recruits before the team is completely annihilated. Infantry units have another stat called morale--once it reaches zero the squad is broken and they do little damage to the enemy, however the player retains control over it. There are some leader units which can be attached to squads, such as the force commander, the librarian or the apothecaries. Besides bringing extra firepower they also have special abilities like boosting morale, orbital bombardment and others.


Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Windows Build a HQ add-on to open up further options for your base and teams
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Windows Kill all orcs!
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Windows Wartrukk
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Windows A closer look at the enemy base under attack

Promo Images

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Wallpaper
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Wallpaper
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Wallpaper
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Magazine Advertisement


Alternate Titles

  • "ๆˆ˜้”ค40000๏ผšๆˆ˜ไบ‰้ปŽๆ˜Ž" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "Warhammer 40,000: Los Albores de la Guerra" -- Spanish title
  • "DoW" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Fast and furious jaXen (257623) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

Critic Reviews

GamePro (US) Nov 04, 2004 5 out of 5 100
Worth Playing Oct 05, 2004 9.5 out of 10 95
IC-Games Oct 02, 2004 93 out of 100 93
DreamStation.cc Dec 01, 2004 9.1 out of 10 91
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Dec, 2004 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
GameSpot Sep 21, 2004 8.8 out of 10 88
PC Games (Germany) Oct, 2004 85 out of 100 85
JeuxVideoPC.com Oct 19, 2004 16 out of 20 80
Game Critics May 11, 2005 7.5 out of 10 75
Thunderbolt Games Nov 17, 2004 7 out of 10 70


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1001 Video Games

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Blood Ravens

The Space Marine chapter that features in the Campaign, the Blood Ravens, were originally created for Dawn of War. They have since been integrated into the Warhammer 40K tabletop.


  • 4Players
    • 2004 โ€“ Best PC Multiplayer Game of the Year
  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 2005 (Issue #249) โ€“ Strategy Game of the Year (Real-Time)
    • March 2005 (Issue #249) โ€“ Best Opening Cut-Scene of the Year (Real-Time)
  • GameSpy
    • 2004 โ€“ #7 PC Game of the Year
    • 2004 โ€“ Best Use of License of the Year (PC)

Related Web Sites

Cadorna (222) added Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (Windows) on Oct 07, 2004
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