I never used to be a big fan of rts gaming, favouring the first person shooters. I still do prefer the first person shooters but after Dawn of War and the follow on Winter Assault I have to say I’m getting hooked. I recently got hold of Dark Crusade and recently the collectors edition of Mark of Chaos landed on my desk. Having played the role play and board games from the Warhammer genre as a kid, these games gain an advantage in the fight for my affections ;0)
For Mark of Chaos, expect to pply a little by way of tactics. Storming the gates of a city all out will cost you a lot by way of troops and you’ll find future missions pretty tough when there’s just you and a horse against 500 seasoned Orks. There’s no resource management required here, but you do need to ensure you assign your heroe’s experience points wisely and you can do this during battle phases as you win skirmishes and your experience increases. You’ll also want to make sure to upgrade the armour and weapons of your troops, things will obviously go well for you if they are all on the best kit. (hint hint Mr Blair).
Dark Crusade for me represents risk on steroids. Those of you that are seasoned rts players will know the format well. you can skirmish so you get used to how the different factions operate and find the strengths/weaknesses. you also get to play on different maps and terrains so it shouldn’t get too boring. The main game phase consists of attacking adjoining territories on a global view map. when you attack or are attacked the game moves into the battle phase which is pretty much like the Dawn of war games we know and love, you start with the need to build up resources, get your soldiers up and then go kill some [insert bad guy here].
One of the things I love about Dark Crusade is that you don’t need any of the previous Dawn of War games to play it, but if you do then you can unlock extra races and extend the game, I think this is an awesome feature.
All in all it’s great fun and if you are into the Warhammer genre, you’ll love them all.