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Spotlight: Doctrines

Find out how doctrines affect your playstyle in Dawn of War III.

In Dawn of War III, we’re making sure you can build an army that plays your way. Each facet of the game lets you tailor your army - from how it looks on the field to how it operates in battle. We’ve already touched on how features like mastery skins and the Army Painter let you put a personal stamp on your troops. Now, we’re going to talk about the decisions you can make to unlock new gameplay strategies: doctrines.

How Do Doctrines Work?

After picking your faction and your Elites, choosing doctrines creates an even deeper layer of tactics, allowing you to enhance and refine your playstyle. Before a match, you’ll be able to select from dozens of different doctrines applying to both your Elite units, and army as a whole. Doctrines can add abilities to your units, or have passive (sometimes conditional) effects on the battlefield. Their effects can be profound, and significantly inform how you tackle each encounter.

Elite Doctrines

The first Doctrines to select are your Elite doctrines. Each Elite unit in your army can equip one Elite Doctrine, for a total of three per match. There are two types of Elite doctrines you can equip: Command and Presence Doctrines. Command Doctrines take effect when the Elite is equipped in your army, while Presence Doctrines are applied only when the Elite unit is deployed on the battlefield.

Equip Gabriel Angelos with the Slam Barrier doctrine, and your Dreadnought’s Slam ability gains a new feature – a temporary barrier that absorbs shots and reflects projectiles.

Eldar Farseer Macha’s Last Chance doctrine allows her to help out fellow Elites. When other Elites reach zero health, instead of dying they’ll temporarily enter stasis and heal.

Gorgutz’s Keep Trukk’n doctrine makes it so that units ejected from Trukks gain a temporary shield and taunt in a circle.

Army Doctrines

After you’ve equipped your Elites, next you must prepare your army! Army Doctrines empower subsets of your army with various effects, buffs, and abilities. Army Doctrines are unique to each faction, enhancing the strengths that the Space Marines, Eldar, and Orks bring to the table. Players will choose and equip three Army Doctrines before each match:

The Ork doctrine Slice ‘Em upgrades the Defkopta’s Buzzsaw Blitz ability. They’ll now attach to the first building or unit they collide with, slowing and damaging them over time.

The Space Marine doctrine Scout Strike lets Scout units in stealth cover do bonus damage on their initial attack.

The Eldar doctrine Webway Holo-field gives Webway Gates the ability to activate a large holo-field, granting Stealth to the Webway Gate and to units within its radius.

A World of Difference

With dozens of doctrines to choose from for your Elite units and army, there are thousands of combinations to help you forge your path to victory.


Build your army, play your way, and create your own legacy of war.

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