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Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution!*


Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Sunday at 10AM Pacific Time
Community Announcements - Relic_Noun
Smokey Village

 

This weekend new troops are being sent to the Eastern Front as Company of Heroes 2 is having its first ever Steam Free Weekend.

Starting today and running until Sunday January 19th all Steam members will be able to play Company of Heroes 2 for free. No conditions, no catches, it’s the full Company of Heroes 2 experience and it’s a click away for all Steam members. Players will be able to experience the full single-player campaign, the single player and co-op Theater of War experience in Operation Barbarossa and of course the CoH2 multiplayer.

Veterans of CoH2 will not only have new allies and enemies to faceoff with in multiplayer this weekend, but as an additional bonus we are unlocking all of the game’s paid DLC commanders for four days of play. So if there’s been a Commander you’ve wanted to try on the battlefield then this is your chance.

As an additional bonus multiplayer automatch games will be awarding ten times the experience all weekend. Yup, that’s right 10x XP all weekend long for any automatch game.

Have a friend who you think would love Company of Heroes 2? This is the weekend to get them playing the game. And as an added bonus the game will be 66% off on Steam, allowing everyone who loves playing it for free to keep it for a very low price.

Welcome to Company of Heroes 2, we’ll see you on the front lines.
Community Announcements - Relic_Noun
Smokey Village

 

This weekend new troops are being sent to the Eastern Front as Company of Heroes 2 is having its first ever Steam Free Weekend.

Starting today and running until Sunday January 19th all Steam members will be able to play Company of Heroes 2 for free. No conditions, no catches, it’s the full Company of Heroes 2 experience and it’s a click away for all Steam members. Players will be able to experience the full single-player campaign, the single player and co-op Theater of War experience in Operation Barbarossa and of course the CoH2 multiplayer.

Veterans of CoH2 will not only have new allies and enemies to faceoff with in multiplayer this weekend, but as an additional bonus we are unlocking all of the game’s paid DLC commanders for four days of play. So if there’s been a Commander you’ve wanted to try on the battlefield then this is your chance.

As an additional bonus multiplayer automatch games will be awarding ten times the experience all weekend. Yup, that’s right 10x XP all weekend long for any automatch game.

Have a friend who you think would love Company of Heroes 2? This is the weekend to get them playing the game. And as an added bonus the game will be 66% off on Steam, allowing everyone who loves playing it for free to keep it for a very low price.

Welcome to Company of Heroes 2, we’ll see you on the front lines.
Community Announcements - Relic_Noun
Smokey Village

 

This weekend new troops are being sent to the Eastern Front as Company of Heroes 2 is having its first ever Steam Free Weekend.

Starting today and running until Sunday January 19th all Steam members will be able to play Company of Heroes 2 for free. No conditions, no catches, it’s the full Company of Heroes 2 experience and it’s a click away for all Steam members. Players will be able to experience the full single-player campaign, the single player and co-op Theater of War experience in Operation Barbarossa and of course the CoH2 multiplayer.

Veterans of CoH2 will not only have new allies and enemies to faceoff with in multiplayer this weekend, but as an additional bonus we are unlocking all of the game’s paid DLC commanders for four days of play. So if there’s been a Commander you’ve wanted to try on the battlefield then this is your chance.

As an additional bonus multiplayer automatch games will be awarding ten times the experience all weekend. Yup, that’s right 10x XP all weekend long for any automatch game.

Have a friend who you think would love Company of Heroes 2? This is the weekend to get them playing the game. And as an added bonus the game will be 66% off on Steam, allowing everyone who loves playing it for free to keep it for a very low price.

Welcome to Company of Heroes 2, we’ll see you on the front lines.
Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Warhammer 40,000 fans, your prayers to the Emperor (or Gork, Mork, Isha, or whichever vile daemon you heretics worship) have been answered. A turn-based strategy adaptation of Games Workshop's grimdark tabletop wargame is coming, but not from the usual source. While Relic developed and THQ published the 40K RTS series Dawn of War, this is by specialist strategy developer and publisher Slitherine.

We don't know much, though. Yesterday's announcement said it's being made for multiple platforms with "best talents in design and development" available to Slitherine. And that's about all.

"Slitherine are clearly established and successful masters of their genre of games, and there are many fans of their work here at [Games Workshop]," head of licensing Jon Gillard said in yesterday's announcement. "It's a pleasure to work with such like minded individuals who share our passion for strategy games of all types."

As well as the Slitherine brand, the Slitherine Group includes Matrix Games and Ageod.

This isn't the only turn-based 40K game in the works either. Space Hulk is in development for PC, Mac and iOS at Frontline Tactics dev Full Control, complete with co-op.

Relic was working on a Dawn of War III, but it ended up sidelined while the studio focused on Company of Heroes 2. Relic was bought by Sega in the great THQ shutdown sale, and it's not yet clear what will happen with 40K there now.

[That image up top is from Relic's Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution]

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to What we want to see from the Creative Assembly Warhammer game">Warhammer







We learned recently that the creators of Total War, The Creative Assembly, have scooped Games Workshop's Warhammer fantasy license. This is tip-top news. Warhammer is all about massive battles, Creative Assembly are really, really good at massive battles. It's a great match.



CA have set up a new develop team to produce games for the "multi-title" deal, but what would such a series look like? We're rather fond of Games Workshop's game of little fantasy men doing dice-war on tabletops, so we've rounded up a few features we'd love to see from an proper, epic Warhammer fantasy videogame.



Massive armies







When it comes to depicting clashes between thousands of men, the Total War series has few rivals. The Creative Assembly have steadily increased the detail and fidelity of Total War's skirmishes, and for Rome 2 they've built a massive mo-cap studio to make soldiers' movements more realistic. This makes them a perfect fit for Warhammer, which has always been about massive battles with massive units massively killing each other without remorse or restraint. They've got the tech to push well beyond Mark of Chaos' scraps, let's see it happen.



Powerful heroes







Warhammer generals wade into battle wielding weapons that have slain demigods, clad in armour that can turn aside cannon fire. Why would an ordinary soldier turn up to fight such a being? Extreme drunkenness, probably. Whatever the scale of the battle, it wouldn't be a Warhammer barney without some absurdly powerful power dressers taking out entire units single-handedly. The Creative Assembly worked some hero units onto Shogun 2's tech trees to mixed reaction from fans. An extension of the loadout functions on show in Shogun 2's profile avatars could be a good way to work in hero customisation. Relic's Dawn of War 2 heroes are a good model for gear systems that keep champions interesting and powerful over a long campaign.



Unit customisation and champions







Painting Warhammer's tiny models takes bloody ages. Tabletop armies are commonly fielded half-daubed in undercoat, shedding flock from poorly layered bases. Putting the time in to field an army that you're invested in really pays off in the long run, though, so let's have some of that. Virtual paint jobs can be applied with the click of a button in a game, and there should be room for players to design their own banners and name units.



I'd like to see Total War's the unit veterancy system leveling up unit champions, picking out heroic individuals from squads as a campaign progresses. If they become accomplished enough, you should have the option to promote them to General, giving players a way to foster new leaders in the heat of battle instead of a tepid menu screen.



Mega units







This is a greater daemon called the Bloodthirster. He's like a giant cow with wings, an axe and a flair for the dramatic. According to Games Workshop, "the skies turn the colour of blood" when he appears and "the ground erupts with skulls and fountains of gore around it." He's the angry, fighty embodiment of a heavy metal album cover, and he's pretty much the reason you play as the corrupted race of Chaos.



Warhammer stretches familiar fantasy cliches to absurd extremes. That's a big part of the appeal. These monolithic juggernauts of mass destruction aren't just show pieces, though. They embody the personality of the race they represent. The Bloodthirster is a living avatar of the the bestial rage of his kin. The Wood Elves deploy a ten foot tall green hobo because they have spent years consuming Athel Loren's kaleidoscopic selection of mushrooms and don't know what's real anymore. Lizardmen fill a box full of dinosaurs and then bolt it to the back of a giant Triceratops. Creative Assembly strapped cannons to the backs of elephants in Medieval 2, so they're almost there already.



Randomised campaign twists







Rome: Total War worked a game-changing twist into its campaign that kept its twilight turns interesting. CA have experimented with similar ideas in Fall of the Samurai, which required factions to settle down and declare allegiance for nationalist or renegade forces for a final all-out territory scrap. This is good stuff, but it funnels the campaign into a prescribed final scenario. This is useful if you're trying to maintain a degree of historical authenticity, but a fantasy license should allow for boundless outcomes. The Wood Elves should be able to break out of their wood and occupy Brettonia. The Skaven should have the opportunity to consume and spread disease across the entire map, as is their wont. My favourite Total War stories are the ones I made myself in the vast, glorious sandbox that is Empire: Total War (much improved since launch thanks to CA updates and work from the terrific TW modding community). It'd be a treat to have similar opportunities on the Warhammer world map.



Those game-changing campaign twists may still have a part to play, mind. Terrible things can happen quite suddenly in the Warhammer universe. An unnoticed Orc WAAAAGH (an unstoppable angry green mob that grows bigger then more it loots and pillages) could roll in from the mountains and start washing through territories. A necromancer could get his hands on a long-lost item of power and start raising the dead in your homesteads. The incidental social events and scenarios that popped up in FotS could be expanded to deliver exotic challenges with more tangible rewards (claim territory X to gain a heart-seeking sword for your general), introduce new antagonists, and convey more of the exuberant character of the Warhammer universe.



A sense of humour







What has two legs, two tails and a thousand teeth? A LIZARD ON A DINOSAUR. Look, it has a MACE. And the dinosaur is WEARING A HAT. Warhammer is famous for its grimdark portrayals of eternal war, but it's often hilarious. Orcs and Goblins are considered to be the race of choice for generals who enjoy ridiculous, unpredictable battles, but the sense of humour that gives us units like Squigs and the Doom Diver Catapult can be found throughout the Warhammer universe. It's tough to work in wisecracks when you're presenting the brutal historical meat grinders of Rome and Shogun, but the Warhammer license gives Creative Assembly good opportunity to cut loose a little. Lizards riding dinosaurs. LIZARDS RIDING DINOSAURS.



ONLY WAR







I'm all in favour of a complex meta-game playing out on a strategic world map, but much of what makes Total War's infrastructure management interesting just doesn't fit into the Warhammer setting. If I'm in control of the Empire, I don't care about taxation rates, or ideological niceties like education and wellfare, I want to build the biggest damn steam tank my engineers can think of.



Many of Warhammer's races are just too weird to conform to the economic norms of a historical strategy game. Does an Orc Warboss tax his Goblin workforce? Of course not. If someone asks him for a pay rise, he'll probably just eat them. Do Dark Elves build schools for little Dark Elves? How efficient are they at mining ore? Nobody cares.



The only infrastructure we should be concerned with is the infrastructure of WAR. I want to build better spies to figure out where I should do war next. I want to research new tech to do war better. I want to find out how to breed demonic steeds so that I can do war faster. I want to build sacrificial pits and pledge souls to Nurgle to do war dirtier. Even when you're not waging war, you should be preparing for war, which is why you also need...



Fragile alliances







Everyone hates everyone else. This is a central tenant of Warhammer fantasy and GW's futuristic edition, Warhammer 40,000. Nobody has any real friends, but uneasy alliances can be wrought, and should. Some races, like Chaos and The Empire, are mortal foes who just can't be in the same room together without someone smiting someone in the name of Sigmar/The Mighty Khorne, but you should be able to tag along with a roughly aligned group to put down threats, and it'd be especially nice if they fought alongside you in battle from time to time.



The alliances should feel painfully fragile. If a spell goes awry and wipes out an allied unit, there's a chance they could turn on you there and then. Imagine if the process of cementing treaties had your generals marching out in front of opposing armies to seal the deal, giving both armies present the opportunity to betray their would-be friends and get in a surprise attack. That'd move those diplomacy screens back into the battlefield, letting you hash out terms in the fraught atmosphere of a military standoff.



Magic that backfires







Magic is extremely powerful in Warhammer. Mages can move scenery around to crush their enemies, speed up entire armies with a word and tear chunks out of the earth with great lashes of elemental energy. There's a twist: Warhammer's spell casters are incompetent.



According to the lore, magic is a wild force that can be directed, but not tamed. A pompous High Elf mage can miss a syllable and send that hill crashing into his own knights. Goblins shamans can get carried away and physically explode, taking out friends and foes nearby. Chaos sorcerers who misjudge a demonic pact can melt into a fleshy puddle or become warped beyond recognition by a possessing spirit. A streak of luck can decimate the battlefield, or gift your foe a great advantage.



There will be a temptation to tone down magic in the name of balance, which is probably wise, but part of me wants to experience the full, chaotic representation of Warhammer's magic system. The wonderful, crunching impacts of Fall of the Samurai's off-map bombardments could be incorporated into some delightful spells.



Alternatively, just make Mordheim







Perhaps there is no grand Total War-esque RTS on the way. Maybe The Creative Assembly are working on something smaller and more manageable with the Warhammer fantasy license. That's okay. It'd be great to see a proper High Elf force dice up the Empire en masse, but Warhammer presents good alternatives for smaller scale conflicts.



I've been a nerd for quite a while, and I reckon that Mordheim is the best thing Games Workshop have ever done. You control a small squad of about a dozen characters as they scour the ruins of a cursed city in search of precious Wyrdstone. Your warriors gain personality traits and terrible injuries as they level up between battles. If your general takes a terrible beating he can become horribly scarred and cause fear among is foes in future fights. Your men can lose arms and legs, or perform courageously enough to be promoted. As you amass a bit of coin, you can start hiring freelance mercenaries with their own strange back stories.



Imagine XCOM, but with much more emergent character development between missions, set in a dark, ruined city full of giant rat men, devout witch hunters and battle-hardened glory hunters wielding flintlock pistols. It was a bit of a pain as a tabletop game, as you needed a ton of scenery to represent the city. A game would do a much better job of representing Mordheim's warped, sinister cityscape and the evolving state of the treasure hunters camped within.



Those are our thoughts. What would you like to see from Total Warhammer?
PC Gamer - PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to PC Gamer UK Podcast: Episode 84 – Nuclear Idiot">Chris DOUBLE TOMS







This week, Chris and Toms Senior and Francis talk Teleglitch, SimCity, Crysis 3 multiplayer and more. Includes our thoughts on the troubles at Gas Powered Games, Jon Blow's next game, and your

questions from Twitter.



You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, or download the MP3 directly. The YouTube version will be going up early next week as I've, er, got a train to catch.



Follow PC Gamer UK on Twitter to be informed when we're putting the call out for questions. Here are our individual accounts:



Chris - @cthursten

Tom F - @pentadact

Tom S - @pcgludo



Show notes



Gas Powered Games' Wildman Kickstarter and Matt Barton's interview with Chris Taylor.

Our collected thoughts on Crysis 3 multiplayer, plus The Hidden: Source mod.

/r/GuildWarsDyeJob, the Guild Wars 2 dress-up subreddit that Chris is weirdly excited about.

The Dota 2 character art guide.

The nascent Twitter feed for the Absolute Bedlam Dota 2 tournament.

Try a round or two of Cheese or Font.



Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Do you enjoy playing video games on your personal computer, and have a few dollars spare? Then you have probably bought the Humble THQ Bundle already. If not, though, the pay-what-you-want bundle is now an even bigger bargain, as the publisher today threw in Relic's RTS Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War on top of the many other fine games already in it. It ends Wednesday, so get your skates on.

Everyone who bought the bundle before this announcement will have Dawn of War added for free, but newcomers will need to beat the average price to get it.

So, to sum up, for as little as $1 (which you'd surely pay more than), you get Steam keys for Company of Heroes, CoH: Opposing Fronts, CoH: Tales of Valor, Darksiders, Metro 2033, and Red Faction Armageddon. If you beat the average price, which is $5.63 as I write this, you'll get Saints Row: The Third, Titan Quest, and now Dawn of War too. So, lots of video games.

Unsurprisingly, the first AAA bundle from Humble Bundle has been pretty popular. It's sold over 750,000, a record amount for HB, but the average price paid is unusually low. Macateers and Linuxnauts usually pay more than Windowsheads but none of these games are for their platforms, which will help drag this down. Plus, of course, some are none too pleased about Humble Bundle joining up with a big publisher and briefly stepping away from its core tenets of multiplatform and DRM-free, but will still want to buy the games.

Oct 6, 2012
Announcement - Valve
This Weekened only, save 50% off THQ's entire catalog* and even bigger savings on select titles each day, now through October 8th at 10am Pacific Time.

Today only, save 75% off the Dawn of War Franchise.

Plus, check out the THQ Hit Collection for even bigger savings on THQ's biggest hit titles!

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more great deals and special offers.

*Discount does not apply to Company of Heroes 2.



PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Now Playing: Violating the laws of nature to beat Dawn of War 2: The Last Stand">Dawn of War 2 Retribution ork punch thumb







This article originally appeared in issue 228 of PC Gamer UK.



Of the 20 waves of enemies that make up Dawn of War 2: Retribution’s Last Stand mode, wave 16 is the most important. In every other wave your team of three heroes face overwhelming odds. In wave 16 there are only three enemies, but they’re the most powerful opponents you could ever face. Exact clones of you.



The solution is to intentionally build weaknesses into your own team – which is why I’ve teamed-up with two friends to take two poorly armoured Chaos Sorcerers into battle alongside one rock-hard Space Marine captain. Trust me, it all makes sense.



The Space Marine captain can punch the air so hard it sends out a shockwave that makes nearby enemies explode. He can summon a 12-foot robotic behemoth from orbit. He is officially a badass.



The Chaos Sorcerers are not. Their showy armour may as well not be there and their melee attack wouldn’t bother a dog. But, they can clone enemies. If films and TV have taught us anything, it’s that cloning things never ends well. Come wave 16, we’re planning to clone our own enemy clones. In the grand list of things you should never, ever do, this definitely falls into the Very Bad Shit category.



The early waves pass without a hitch. The Space Marine’s Dreadnought protects our Sorcerers while the captain deals all the real damage. Every time the stone gates around the arena descend, more powerful foes emerge. Eventually, it’s wave 16.



Our doppelgangers charge toward us. We’re shouting over voice chat. “Clone the captain! Clone the captain!” Both Sorcerers clone the captain. There are now four Space Marine captains. Drop pods crash down from orbit, one after the other. They explode, unleashing their deadly cargo. There are now four Space Marine captains and four Dreadnoughts. Voice chat is filled with our horrified gasps. “What have we done?” one of us cries, “what have we done?”



We have to act fast. If we don’t kill everything in the arena in the next few seconds, their Chaos Sorcerers could clone our captain, and those clones in turn would summon more Dreadnoughts. This is the Very Bad Shit I mentioned earlier. Our Chaos Sorcerer doppelgangers need to die, and they need to die now.



Our captain charges into combat with the nearest enemy Sorcerer. Our clones of the enemy captain do the same. Seconds later, everything is dead, except for the enemy Dreadnought.



Our three Dreadnoughts punch it to death.



Our cheers abate as the gates lower again. One minute later wave 17 is a charred paste on the arena floor. Our Dreadnoughts waddle around looking pleased with themselves. Wave 18 comes and goes, leaving more than a hundred dead Orks in its wake. In wave 19, our Dreadnoughts go down, but our cloned captains just summon more. We’re on the verge of wave 20. We might just do this.



There’s a thunderclap. It starts raining blood. A mighty Chaos Lord emerges from a ring of fire in the centre of the arena and demons attack from every gate. Our Dreadnoughts are swarmed, our cloned captains fall in seconds. Our survival now depends on one simple question. Is it possible to clone the final boss of the game?



The answer is yes. In the space of approximately three seconds the tide of battle is turned. Our two newly recruited Chaos Lord clones smother the battlefield in searing warp fire. The demons are all dead. It all comes down to a fist fight between the enemy Chaos Lord and two more powerful clones of himself. It’s a battle he’s never going to win. We’ve done it. We’ve beaten Last Stand.



Our reward? A text pop-up. “You are victorious!” it says. It feels like the greatest prize in all gaming.
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