Dawn of War 3, the latest in Relic Entertainment’s rendition of Games Workshop’s gothic military sci-fi setting, introduces some interesting new mechanics for RTS fans to get to grips with. One of the coolest new elements of DoW3 are the Elite units.
Unlike its predecessor, DawnOfWar3 doesn’t have persistent RPG elements or wargear that carries over from one mission to another. However, there are special units that gain experience as they rack up kills across the campaign and multiplayer. These are the ”Elites” devastating units that can often turn the tide of battle.
lite units gain experience as they kill units in single player and multiplayer games. The XP unlocks new doctrines that can be equipped, which often provides a specific buff to a single unit or class of units once they’re on the battlefield.
Each of the three factions: Space Marines, Eldar and Orks, have different Elites with abilities that complement the fighting style of their race. Let’s break down the Elites available to Warhammer 40K’s meanest and greenest: the Orks.
‘Dawn Of War 3’ Ork Elite Units
Aside from their formidable battlefield prowess, Elites in Dawn of War 3 also enable Doctrines, which are buffs to particular units that can modify their abilities or grant new ones. The ‘Command’ type Doctrines, upon reaching Level 8, become unlocked as Army Doctrines.
All Ork units, including their Elites, are able to upgrade themselves with scrap collected from wrecked enemies, or called down by Waaagh! towers. In addition, each possess unique abilities that will determine the overall strategy of your force. Let’s break down the options:
Gorgutz ‘Ead’Unter has been a beloved recurring character in the Dawn of War games, and in Dawn of War 3, he’s back, bigger and badder than ever. Mega-armored Gorgutz is well ‘ard, and he’s more than capable of wrecking enemy units with his huge kustom power klaw.
- Grapplin’ Klaw: Gorgutz fires his klaw and jumps to the target position (or first enemy it collides with). Causes damage and taunt in a circle.
- Spinnin’ Klaw: Gorgutz extends his klaw, spinning it around and absorbing shots. Causes damage over time and slow in a circle. Gorgutz is slowed and cannot melee while active. Enables Wreckin’ Klaw ability. Gorgutz slams his Spinnin Klaw to the ground, causing taunt, damage and knockback in a circle towards the target position.
- Dirty Fightin’: Passive. Gorgutz crushes opponents with his klaw. Causes damage and reduces damage output in a circle.
- Critical Strike: Extra-powerful blow every 6th melee attack that causes damage in a line.
- Gorgutz Command – Keep Trukk’n: Units ejected from Trukks gain a temporary shield and taunt in a circle.
- Gorgutz Presence – Healin’ Waaagh!: When Gorgutz is deployed, a successful WAAAAAAAGH!!!! heals in addition to usual effects.
Stormboyz are a classic Ork assault unit which returns in Dawn of War 3 as an Elite choice. Aggressive and reckless even for Orks, these warriors strap ramshackle rockets to their backs in order to get to grips with the enemy as soon as possible.
- Suicide Bomma: A Stormboy suicides on the target position, causing damage and stun in a circle.
- Jump: Squad jumps to target position, causing knockback and damage in a circle.
- Critical Strike: Stormboyz deal a powerful strike every 6th melee attack that causes extra damage.
- Loot: Stormboyz loot scrap, temporarily upgrading Suicide Bomma. When cast, it causes a Stormboy to fly in the target direction, suiciding on first contact with an enemy. Causes stun and damage in a circle based on distance travelled.
- Stormboyz Command – Suicide Bommas: When loaded with units, Trukks eject a Stormboy, suiciding on the target position, causing damage and stun in a circle.
- Stormboyz Presence – Kamakazee: When Stormboyz are deployed, Ork vehicles can enter a crazed state. Increases speed and grants a shield, but explodes after a delay, killing itself and causes damage and stun in a circle. Automatically activates when a unit is about to die.
Ork Meganobz in Dawn of War 3 are like regular Nobz, but, y’know… more mega. More armor, more dakka, more killiness in general, these big boyz are the best of the best. They’ve got big guns, but like most Ork units, really excel in melee, in particular, against heavily armored opponents.
- Elektrik Wall: Meganobz create a wall at the target position that blocks movement and absorbs shots. Increases ally movement speed and slows enemies in a line.
- Kombi-Rokkits: If switched on, one of the Meganobz begins firing homing Kombi-Rokkits, slowing and damaging enemies. Each shot removes a charge, which can be regenerated by looting.
- Loot: Loot scrap, restoring Kombi-Rokkits.
- Meganobz Command – Betta shout: Boyz chain a shield while channeling Shout.
- Meganobz Presence – Explosions are Fun!: When Meganobz are deployed, explosions from Nobz Explosive Armor heal in a circle.
This well-equipped fellow in Dawn of War 3 is a one-man (Ork?) army that specializes in infiltration and disrupting enemy lines. The Kommando can stealth, lay stun traps and use scrap to create bombs.
- Stun Trap: Plants a mine at target location that explodes on proximity. Causes stun in a circle until it expires or is destroyed.
- Sneaky: Throws a stunbomb at target position. Stealths the Kommando for a duration, increasing his speed and causes stun in a circle.
- Boomstick: Passive. Kommando unloads blast from his speshul shoota, causing damage in a cone. Causes knockback if fired from stealth. Must reload after every 2 shots.
- Kommando’s Command – Warning Grot: The Deffkopta plants a stationary Gretchin that shoots a flare based on proximity. Provides vision and stuns in a circle.
- Kommando’s Presence – Rokkit Jump: When Da Kommando is deployed, Tankbustas and Killa Kans fire their rokkits at their feet, propelling them into the air. Causes them to jump to target location and stealth.
Dawn of War 3 loves great big mechanical walkers, and the mighty Gorkanaut is the Orky answer to the Space Marine Dreadnought. Packing some seriously heavy firepower (is that a minigun made of miniguns?), the Gorkanaut is both tanky and effective against all kinds of enemies.
- All Da Dakka: Fires deffstorm mega-shoota in a cone in the targeted direction. Each shot causes damage in a line between Gorkanaut and max range.
- Rokkit Fist: Gorkanaut fires its rokkit fist into orbit and slams a rok into the ground. Causes damage and stun in a circle. Until fist is returned, melee attacks are disabled.
- Gorkanaut’s Command – Get to Da Waaagh!: Waaagh! Towers enable reinforcement of allied squads around them.
- Gorkanaut’s Presence – Tuffa Boyz: When Gorkanaut is deployed, a successful WAAAAAAAGH!!!!!! reduces incoming damage in addition to usual effects.
Dawn of War 3‘s Weirdboyz are psychic Orks, capable of channeling the gestalt Waaagh! energy of their race into devastating spells. Zappnoggin’s powerful brain is literally too big for his skull, so you know he’s going to bring the pain to the enemy. Collects scrap that orbits around him, providing a shield and enhancing his abilities.
- Scrap Blast: Fires scrap shards in target direction, grants shields and causes damage in a cone. Each charge of Scrap Shield increases range.
- Ere We Go: Zapnoggin teleports to target position. Causes damage over time in a circle. Upon completion teleports allies in his original location to the target.
- Fist of Gork: Consumes a charge of Scrap Shield to manifest a giant fist at target position that causes stun, immobilize and damage in a circle.
- Scrap Shield: Toggle to enable auto-collection of scrap. Each charge increases Shield and range of Scrap Blast.
- Loot: Loots scrap and generates a charge of Scrap Shield.
- Zappnoggin’s Command – Bigga Scrap Shield: The Deff Dread creates a barrier of extra bitz around itself which absorbs shots in a circle.
- Zappnoggin’s Presence – Tower Recall: When Zappnoggin is deployed, Lootas can teleport to the nearest owned Waaagh! Tower.
New to Dawn of War 3, this absolute monster of a dreadnought sports a pair of huge drills, perfect for burrowing into position and unleashing devastating ambushes on the enemy.
- Tunnel: The Mad Dread digs a tunnel between itself and the target position. Allies can right-click on either side to teleport to the opposite end. Upon exiting the tunnel, the Mad Dread does damage and knocks enemies back. It can also run through enemies for a short duration.
- Loot: The Mad Dread heals when he walks over scrap.
- Rampage: Upon taking lethal damage, the Mad Dread gains a temporary shield and generates Fury based on the damage it deals. Reaching maximum Fury heals him. If the shield breaks, it will die. The Mad Dread cannot heal from scrap while in this state.
- Cleave: Passive. The Mad Dread attacks in a cleave, damaging all nearby enemies.
- Critical Strike: Every sixth melee attack is a devastating blow, damaging all enemies in a circle around it.
- Mad Dread’s Command -Hit n’ Run: Killa Kans gain a shield when they have a full load of rokkits and increased speed when they have none.
- Mad Dread’s Presence – Even Longa WAAAAAAAGH!!!!!: When Mad Dread is deployed, buff duration of WAAAAAAAGH!!!!! is increased.
Big Mek Wazmakka
A new Ork character in Dawn of War 3, Wazmakka is a mechanical expert who excels in a support role, making even more use out of salvage scrap and disrupting the enemy with powerful traktor beams.
- Traktor Beam: Wazmakka attaches his traktor beam to a target. Grants a shield or damages and slows. Re-activating knocks back the target to Wazmakka. If scrap is targeted, Wazmakka jumps to its position.
- Orbital Scrap: Calls down junk from orbit, causing damage in a circle and creating scrap on impact.
- Scrap Turrets: Converts the 5 nearest piles of scrap into turrets. Turrets expire when ability ends or they are destroyed.
- Loot: Loots scrap and generates a charge of Orbital Scrap.
- Wazmakka’s Command – Scrap Sight: Destroyed structures, vehicles and squads temporarily provide vision around their last position.
- Wazmakka’s Presence – Scrap Turrets: When Wazmakka is deployed, wrecks left behind by your units temporarily become turrets that automatically engage targets.
Beauty Da Morkanaut
Morkanauts are massive battle engines that double as effigies to the Ork god Mork, just as the Gorkanauts pay tribute to Gork. While the Orks don’t sweat much over theological questions, in Dawn of War 3, the Morkanaut plays out differently from the Gorkanaut. Beauty Da Morkanaut is a unique Morkanaut, piloted by Wazmakka, a vain and kunnin’ Big Mek with a fondness for traktor beams.
- Reinforcement Point: Enables nearby allies to reinforce.
- Loot: Loots scrap to generate a Gretchin Repair Squad.
- Kustom Force Field: Creates a force field that absorbs ranged fire and causes damage over time in an area around it. Enables the Mega-Blast ability. Each shot reduces the health of the main shield but spawns a smaller force field on impact.
- Rokkit Fist: Beauty fires its fist at the target position, stunning and damaging in a circle. The fist can be recalled, bringing back any enemies or allies caught in its grip. Knocks back all units it passes through. Until the fist is recalled, melee attacks are disabled.
- Gretchin Repair Squad: For each charge, Beauty summons a squad of Gretchin to heal it over time. These Gretchins can be given other orders.
- Beauty’s Command – Kustom Force Fields: Waaagh! Towers project a barrier that absorbs shots while WAAAAAAAGH!!!! ability is channeling.
- Beauty’s Presence – Betta Repair: When Beauty is deployed, Gretchin repair significantly faster and target takes reduced incoming damage.
The Power Of The Waaagh!
These are the top tier units that Dawn of War 3‘s Orks can throw into the fight. Like the baseline army, these Elites are tough and aggressive, and can be upgraded with looted scrap. Contrast these scrappy brutes to the Elites available to the stalwart Space Marines and tricksy Eldar to see what your Waaagh! is up against.
The Elites you choose will play a big part in determining army strategy, as their presence and careful use of their abilities, adequately supported, will be the focus of the decisive actions on the battlefield.
Which of the Ork Elites are you most looking forward to using?
This article originally appeared on video games magazine site NowLoading.co. The site is no longer online, but I’ve uploaded a few articles from my time as a staff writer there (2016-2017) here as portfolio samples.