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Dawn Of War II Wargear: Choose Your Weapon

by: M.S. Smith ; edited by: J. F. Amprimoz ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

One of several RPG elements included in Dawn Of War II is Wargear. Wargear is basically another name for items, such as armor and weapons, which can be added to squads. Wargear isn't hard to grasp, but the lack of documentation on Relic's part means that some nuances are often missed.

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    Suit Up

    One of the more interesting gameplay features included in Dawn Of War II is Wargear. These items, which include various weapons, armors, health packs, and grenades, are usable in both single-player and multi-player. Then have a major effect on what your squads are capable of. Choosing certain pieces of Wargear over others will make a squad stronger in some areas and weaker in others. Wargear can also unlock special abilities that can turn the tide of battle.

    Despite this, Dawn Of War II is not exactly keen on explaining what Wargear does. Players getting into the game will immediately notice that the way Wargear works in single-player is completely different than the way it works in multi-player. This guide will help you understand how to use Wargear, so that you'll be better in both single-player and multi-player.

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    Finding Single-Player Wargear

    The single-player campaign of Dawn Of War II includes elements that have been borrowed directly from the RPG genre. Your individual squads are identified by their leader, who is also a main character in the campaign. For example, your scout squad is lead by Cyrus. Your squads will level up like characters in a standard RPG, and you can also customize squads with items, or Wargear.

    Wargear is essential if you plan to get good ratings in every campaign mission. Of course, you can't equip Wargear unless you have it, so you will want to look out for it. You will always be rewarded with some type of Wargear when you complete a mission, and the Wargear which you'll be given is outlined at the beginning of the mission. But you will also often find Wargear randomly dropped by defeated opponents. Keep an eye out for this, as some great Wargear can be had this way, and it is easy to skip over a Wargear drop when under assault by a mass of Tyranids.

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    Using Wargear in Single-Player

    You can outfit your squads with whatever Wargear you choose between missions. In the early campaign this is simple, as you won't have many Wargear options. As the campaign moves on, however, you'll gain a larger and larger collection of weapons, armors, and other equipment. Choosing the right equipment can mean the difference between victory and defeat, particularly in the storyline missions, which often throw a specific challenge towards you. Luckily, you can prepare. The mission summary usually offers some kind of hint which will tell you if you're going to run into a specific threat. If the hint suggests that missiles are great against vehicles, then it is a good bet that you'll run into a Wartrukk or Wraithlord. Also, the missions usually pit you against one type of enemy. If its Tyranids, bring weapons that a good at taking out swarms of melee enemies. If its the Eldar, you should probably veer towards heavy-hitting ranged weapons that will be good in a shoot-out.

    Finally, make sure that you use classic RPG common-sense when out-fitting your squads with Wargear. Just as in any RPG, you'll want to specialize and coordinate your Wargear use not only with your objectives and the enemies you face, but also with the things a squad is best at. A new bolter may look awesome, but sticking it on your Force Commander isn't a good choice.

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    Multi-Player Wargear for Squads

    Unlike single-player, multi-player Dawn Of War II has no leveling element. The squads you have are truly nameless whoevers, as is often the case in RTS games, and their existence throughout different games is not persistent. As such, Wargear can't be collected like in single-player and isn't out-fitted before the mission. Instead, each type of squad has pre-determined Wargear options already available, and those options can be chosen in exchange for resources. There are also many tech level restrictions. This same system applies regular squads and to hero units, but hero units have far more Wargear options and their Wargear acts a bit differently, as will be explained.

    On normal squads, Wargear is simply a way of upgrading your unit. The Tactical Marine Squad is a perfect example, due to its multiple Wargear options and how greatly the Wargear you pick effects what the Tactical Marines can do. When you start the game you have a single option - flamethrowers. If you have the resources available to buy flamers, and you do so, then that is the weapon the squad will be stuck with. You can't change to Missile Launchers later on. You can add a Sargeant, however; not all Wargear upgrades are exclusive, but weapon upgrades usually are.

    Wargear works differently for heroes. Like with regular squads, you must pay for Wargear, and some options are locked until you've researched the appropriate tier back at your HQ. Once you pay for an upgrade, you will gain access after a short interval. The Wargear cannot be refunded, but it can be changed out. Let's say, for example, you have an Eldar Warlock. Early on you encounter a Force Commander with a Iron Halo shield, making him difficult to take down. In response, you buy the Merciless Witchblade Wargear upgrade, which has the ability to drain energy and thus take down the Force Commander's shield. However, you find yourself getting swarmed by Tyranids later in the game, and wish you had the Witchblade Of Kurnous instead, which has a great AOE attack. No problem! Just buy the Witchblade Of Kurnous, and you can use it. What's better, you can switch between the weapons! This is often missed by new players, but it is very important. The only penalty for switching is that it takes about twenty seconds to switch between the weapons. The same is true for all other pieces of Wargear. If what you've originally bought simply isn't working, then change it out for something new.

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    Multi-Player Wargear for Heroes

    Wargear works differently for heroes. Like with regular squads, you must pay for Wargear, and some options are locked until you've researched the appropriate tier back at your HQ. Once you pay for an upgrade, you will gain use of it after a short interval. The Wargear cannot be refunded, but it can be changed out.

    Let's say, for example, you have an Eldar Warlock. Early on you encounter a Force Commander with an Iron Halo shield, making him difficult to take down. In response, you buy the Merciless Witchblade Wargear upgrade, which has the ability to drain energy and thus take down the Force Commander's shield. However, you find yourself getting swarmed by Tyranids later in the game, and wish you had the Witchblade Of Kurnous instead, which has a great AOE attack. No problem! Just buy the Witchblade Of Kurnous, and you can use it. What's better, you can switch between the weapons!

    This is often missed by new players, but it is very important. The only penalty for switching is that it takes about twenty seconds to switch between the weapons. The same is true for all other pieces of Wargear. If what you've originally bought simply isn't working, then change it out for something new.

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    Experiment!

    These are the basics of Wargear. The concept is fairly simple overall. However, as is often the case with seemingly simple gameplay mechanics, there is a wealth of potential here. Using certain combinations of Wargear can create outstanding results; for example, using Heart Of Darkness for the Eldar Warlock along with his Psychic Shield makes the Warlock much stronger than he would be if Psychic Shield was used by itself.

    Keep experimenting to find more of these superb combinations. Just remember - Wargear is Relic's means of giving you a way of customizing your squads. If you do not like how a squad is performing, then try to adjust the Wargear you use. There may be other combinations that will better fit your playstyle.

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