Darren, David and Tim are Devtesters here at Relic. Their job revolves around assessing balance, gameplay, and providing feedback. Unsurprisingly, they’ve played A LOT of Dawn of War III, and they’re annoyingly good at it. No, seriously. So, to keep them from stomping us in multiplayer matches, we asked our warfare wizards to take a time out to share tips to help you take your game to the next level.
Because they’re so full of useful information, we’re splitting their sage advice between two blog posts. This first post will focus more on their observations and general pointers, while the second will cover their strats, playstyles, favorite selections and more. Let’s kick things off with what to do when you lose that first, early match fight.
“If your enemy controls more of the map, they will probably spend more resources trying to upgrade all those points,” says Tim. “Not only does it cost them to upgrade nodes, it costs them exponentially more for each node they control of that type.”
The team explained how this creates a window for recovery, where if you concentrate on your army, you can quickly rebuild a force to rival your opponent. So, if you're trying to come back from an early game loss, you should turn to harassment to buy yourself some time.
“If your enemy takes the middle points, their rearward points generally aren’t as well protected,” says Darren. “If you can get scouts or another stealth squad behind them to destroy some of those expensive add-ons, that’s going to be great for your team.”
David pointed out that “a fair number of players don’t harass effectively. Don’t send wave after wave of units at my well-defended middle point, attack me where I’m weakest.”
“Yeah absolutely,” adds Tim. “If you’re playing from behind, you need to keep your enemies busy so that they don’t just gather their bigger force and roll over your army and your points, it’s about guerilla tactics.”
Another common mistake our experts have noticed is that some players stick with basic units for too long. Darren points out, “if you don’t transition fast enough to deal with threats from tier two or tier three, you’re going to lose every match. Once your enemy has got that next tier counter, a bigger wall of tier one units is not going to solve your problem.”
A classic example of this is relying too heavily on an effective early game unit *cough* Eldar Ranger spam *cough*. You’ll probably be doing pretty well, until your opponent techs up to Land Speeders or Nobz in Trukks, and melts your entire army.
Having said that, the gang made the point that all units have utility at any stage of the game, just not always as the backbone of your force. To make good use of them, the key thing is to realise is that unit roles change throughout the match. Squishy Rangers or Ork Boyz can still get things done in the late game, it’s just about giving them the right job.
All three maestros agreed that preordained build orders are overrated. Darren says, “build orders are very reactive, it’s not something you can just follow and see success in this game, especially in a 2v2 or a 3v3 against good players.”
Building units based upon what your opponent has, or better still, what you think they’re going to have, is almost always the better option. David elaborated saying, “that’s why scouting in an RTS game is so important. I have my favourite units but I don’t default to them blindly.”
Everyone knows that economy management is critical. However, Tim pointed out that unit upkeep is particularly relevant in the early mid-game and is often overlooked. “Units cost you resources to build, and they cost you resources to have due to upkeep. If you’re not using them, you’re wasting resources every minute that they’re idling.”
You can take advantage of an opponent’s higher upkeep costs by focusing on teching up, which costs no upkeep. David says this “allows you to do more with less, and you can surprise your enemy by bringing out a tier two unit quickly.”
That’s it for part one! Keep an eye out for part two when the guys talk their favourite strats, their playstyles, hero selection, micro vs macro and more!