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Table-Top Gaming

DoW II: Retribution review

Loyal fans of Dawn of War or Warhammer 40k in general, rejoice! Retribution has finally and with it, the Imperial Guards. That’s right folks, if you didn’t know already; the Imperial Guards are the latest race to be added in the repertoire of playable races in DoW II.

Well since I am on the topic of new stuff, every race is getting a playable campaign and like Chaos Rising, a new unit. That is, if you didn’t already know that. So what are the new units?

Space Marine – Land Raider Redeemer

Tyranids – Swarmlord

Orks – Battlewagon

Eldar – Autarch

Chaos Space Marine – Noise Marines

Imperial Guradsman – Everything

Finally go that out of the way, now back to the review proper. I’m only going to be covering the Single Player portion of Retribution as multiplayer is essentially the same as the original DoW II with new units thrown into the mix.

As Relic has promised, Retribution’s Campagin has gone back to its RTS roots, will kinda. Each race has access to 4 heroes, except for the Tyranids. Your main commander, aka the main character, is usually a melee oriented tank, or in the case of the Imperial Guards, a competent marksman. The rest of your hero rentinue will fill the roles of, sneaky git, range dps and crowd control.

Like DoW II, your heroes’ gain levels as they go through the missions, with ever level, you get a skill point as well. Skill points are used to purchase traits/abilities.

Instead of the long Skill Tree we are familiar with from the first DoW II game, we now have a simpler and more streamlined Skill Tree.T he Skill Tree is divided into 3 different branches, Stamina, Offense and Will. There are a total of 15 unlockable traits and abilities, 5 in each respective branch.

Every Skill Point in a branch will immediately unlock a new trait or ability, powerful abilities are of course are the furthest spectrum of the Skill Tree, requiring you to fully invest in a particular branch to gain access to these powerful abilities.

What is different from the traditional Dow II game is the fact that every trait you get, actually benefits your army. This of course requires the players to put the heroes in the side lines and pick up an Honor Guard.

So let’s talk about the Honor Guards, they are essentially powerful units, taken in place of the heroes. Honor Guards are the same units you have in your army except they are stronger and fully ungraded, choosing Honor Guards will also give you extra population count to increase your standing army during missions. As I mentioned before, choosing Honor Guards will also grant your army access to special buffs from the replaced hero, significantly increasing the effectiveness of your army.

As I have mentioned earlier, Relic going back to its RTS roots. This means that players can now capture Requisition points and Power Nodes; however these points only grant you a onetime bonus to your resource. This is the main difference between the Multiplayer mode and the campaign. Big huge army versus an elite smaller army lead by supped up heroes, choose your poison.

The missions within the Campaigns are essentially the same across the races; the only difference is the loot you get and the foes you might face which unfortunately don’t happen all too often. The mission can get repetitive but luckily, the distinctive style of each race helps somewhat negate this fact.

The other thing worth noting is the fact that units are unlocked every mission, well 2 new units and a wargear to be exact. At the end of every mission, players are given a choice between the choosing a new unit, a unit upgrade if you already have the unit or a piece of wargear.

Say, if you already unlocked Tactical Marines, you can now unlock Missile Launcher upgrades etc etc or you could unlock the Assault Marines you have been eyeing but then the new piece of armor would really make you hero more dakka. This is basically the conundrum you will be facing most of the time.

Having played through all the starting mission of each race, the one you should really play would have to be the Space Marines’ Campaign. They are after all, the canon storyline. As for the story, it is pretty straightforward.

When we last left Aurelia, the Greater Daemon of Nurgle, Ulkair was defeated but it was revealed that the Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens was in league with Chaos. Ten years later, we are still hunting the rouge Chapter Master Kyras but now an Ordo Malleus fleet approaches to destroy all the planets in Aurelia. Exterminatus.

I’m not gonna spoil if for you but let’s just say the end mission is the same and it is just a matter of which race you want to kill the big boss with, and of course watch said races’ ending cinematic.

So how did I find DoW II: Retribution? I actually rather enjoyed it, even though it is essentially the same game as before. Don’t fix it if it is not broken as they say.

I finished the game with Imperial Guards first and I went along the lines of quantity over quality. Worked pretty well but it made the game a micromanagement hell, for me anyway. It kinda became a game of attrition as you get resource refunds whenever you lose a unit. Eventually, it became a game where I just keep sending Imperial Guardsmen to their deaths at the frontline. Hey wait a minute! That is exactly what they do with Imperial Guardsmen in all the 40k lore! I approve!

Right now, I’m finishing up the campaign as an Ork Freebooter. In contrast, I went for a quality over quantity and even then I’m still making decent progress on the hardest difficulty.

All in all, it was pretty fun playing all the races, refreshing to play something else other than biologically enhanced super soldiers. So here are the scores.

Graphics: 8

Gameplay: 9

Story: 7

Overall: 8


My Retribution

I know it has been awhile since I’ve written anything substantial. This is probably the part where I tell you how busy with some big project I’m working on and the whole elaborate details. The truth is, I’ve been loafing around playing King’s Bounty. Steam tells me I’ve spent an ungodly 84 hours on it and I’m only 3/4 to finishing it. I really should be doing something more constructive shouldn’t I?

Oh yes people, I just got my copy of Dawn of War II: Retribution, Collector’s Edition of course. Yes I know, I’ve manage to grab my copy 4 days earlier, I didn’t know that till I tried installing it on Steam though… Talk about Retribution, but hey watch out for my review/reviews.

Which hunter is the Witch Hunter

Yes, yes, super pun times. Anyways, I’ve recently…, fine, that is not entirely true. Some time back, I received a comment on my Witch Hunter costume post, the commenter actually made a Witch Hunter costume and even left a link to the pictures.

I can’t say for sure that it was my post which inspired him to do it, I hope it did, but I have to say it was a great attempt. Here are the pictures, you can view his full album over at this link. http://s646.photobucket.com/home/demonic_ken

Gaming 2011

Yes folks! It is time once again to take a look at the movers and shakers of the gaming world in 2011, these are games I can’t wait to get my hands on, so lets get the ball rolling!

  1. DC Universe: Online – 11th Jan 2011
  2. Dead Space 2 – 25th Jan 2011
  3. Two Worlds 2 – 25th Jan 2011
  4. Dragon Age 2 – 8th March 2011
  5. Dungeon Siege III – 22nd March 2011
  6. Crysis 2 – 22nd March 2011
  7. Darkspore – 29th March 2011
  8. Dawn of War II: Retribution – March 2011
  9. Alice: Madness Returns – 1st Quarter 2011
  10. Fable 3 – 1st Quarter 2011
  11. Portal 2 – 18th April 2011
  12. The Witcher 2 – 17th May 2011
  13. Star Wars: The Old Republic – 2nd Quarter 2011
  14. Deus Ex: Human Revolution – 2nd Quarter 2011
  15. Jumpgate: Evolution – 1st September 2011
  16. Warhammer 40k: Space Marines – 3rd Quarter 2011
  17. Batman: Arkham City – 3rd Quarter 2011
  18. Guild Wars II – 2nd November 2011
  19. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 11th November 2011
  20. Mass Effect 3 – 4th Quarter 2011
  21. Postal III – TBA 2011

As you can clearly tell, lots of awesome games will be hitting the stores in March, a time of financial woe and geeky bliss. 2011 looks like a good year to be a gamer!

Power From Pain

The tantalizing taste of fear lingered in the air as blood dripped from the wicked blades of the warrior. The warrior leaned in close to the dying man. “Your suffering is most exquisite Mon-keigh“, with a throaty laugh, the lithe warrior garbed in armor of midnight black, drove his serrated blade into the man’s chest.

With a snort, the warrior drew in the escaping soul essence, enriched with pain and despair, it was most potent in its powers. Shivering with pleasure, the lithe warrior traced the blood trail he had made, into a hall. With eyes sharpened by the intoxicating pain of the man, he surveyed the room with nerves afire.

Come out little one, I know you are here“. The soft inhalation of breath caught his heighten senses. “Yesssss” The warrior uttered in a low sibilant voice. “Yesss, little one, hide… Your terror will be all the more sweeter when I find you. I shall flense the flesh from your bones, and your screams shall invigorate me. There is much power from pain, and your pain will be most delightful to me

Pain, suffering, anger. They are all emotions and feelings one would consider negative, destructive even. To me, they are a source of power, a source of inspiration, there is no language more universal then pain and suffering. The aching within your breast, the impotent rage that fills your lungs, the debilitating despair that drive grown men and women to their knees, such is the power of pain.

Most of my poetry are written in states of heightened emotions, negative emotions, and into my works I channel them. I thread a fine line however, as it is so easy to be consumed by such emotions, I channel the destructive potential of such feelings into something constructive, a message, a plea perhaps and maybe even a warning. Such is the power of pain that even the best of us will still fall prey to its influence. As Yoda once said “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering ”

Thread lightly my friends, though suffering can be a powerful creative force, it is all too easy to be consumed by it.

Ultramarines: The Movie

I have finally been able to catch Ultramarines, a Warhammer 40k movie that had been in the works for some time. All I can really say is, I’m disappointed. The storyline was weak, the dialogue was weak and the action did not invoke the “O-M-F-G EPIC!” reaction that it should have. Perhaps I’m too harsh but I’m left with this feeling, it is like an unsatisfying meal, you know it wasn’t filling but you don’t really feel like eating more.

Whereas the movie itself lacked good storyline, the Ultramarines lacked common sense. Sending 12 Ultramarines into an area where a hundred Imperial Fist Space Marines could not be contacted is just plain dumb, it is only logical to think that something happened to the garrison and that something must be substantial to even dream of taking on 100 Space Marines.

That is not the end of it, oh no, the movie even go as far as having a Chaplain Psyker, by the Golden Throne! How does that even work? I know of Psykers, especially those from the Ordos Hereticus, who can channel the powers of the Emperor to smite heretics but a Chaplain Psyker is unheard of! It is heresy!

Well, the graphics for Ultramarines is passable, nothing special, was rather cartoon y at times. Would have worked for a video game but as a movie, expected more. Here are the scores.

Storyline: 3

Graphics: 6

Audio: 6

Overall: 5

When Games go Minority Report

I have not slept for more than 24 hours now so I’ll make this post a quick one. If you remember *Which is highly doubt so* when I first started this blog, one of my first few post was about technology and how it can and is being integrate into games, as you can see here. Yes, I am talking about the touchscreen technology and gaming. I recently came across an article on Kotaku that was covering the same topic.

Took them awhile if you ask me. In all honesty, I am extremely excited at the possibilities it can bring to both the boardgame industry and the video game industry. But I’m kinda sad that in the end as this technology progresses, we will no longer have actual dice to toss, game pieces to move. The total assimilation of video game and reality is the ultimate goal of gaming immersion. Which leads me to the other article on Kotaku. Total immersion of games. Pretty interesting read.

Witch Hunter Costume Revisted

Due to the overwhelming response of my earlier Witch Hunter costume post, I have decided to revisit this topic and go in-depth into making the costume as authentic as possible. Prepare yourselves warriors of Sigmar. The Empire depends on you and it is really gonna be taxing.

First up! The basic look of the Empire’s much vaunted Witch Hunters. As you can see from the picture above, courtesy of Warhammer Online, a Witch hunter costume. At it’s most base, is made up of several pieces of clothing. The look primarily revolves around medieval and renaissance time period, so for best effect. Look for clothings from this time period. You might also notice how the Witch Hunter kinda looks like a swashbuckler, so pirate costumes would work too. You have to be careful not to be overtly piratey though.

Basic Witch Hunter Look

1) Breeches / Hosens / Pants

2) Doublets / Vest /Shirt

4) Medieval BootsRenaissance Boots /  Pirate Boots / Misc / Alt

5) Leather Belt

6) Flintlock Pistol

7) Rapier

Ok, sure it would look like a Witch Hunter but I doubt it would impress. So let us throw in some armor and other accessories. I advise wearing the Duster first then put everything over it.

Medium Witch Hunter

1) Leather Baldrics

2) Leather Pauldron / Full Arm Armor

3) Duster Coat

4) Daggers /  Boot Dagger

4) Pilgrim Hat

If you really want to go all the way or you just have too much money to spent you can do a Witch Hunter decked out in his/her finest wargear.

Heavy Witch Hunter

1) Breastplate (Wear the Breastplate first and everything else over it)

2) Steel Pauldron (replace the leather pauldrons)

3) For final touches, get some purity seals and scrolls to hang over the armor.

The intricate carvings and designs are not replicated in this most financially ruining guide to a witch hunter costume, you have to find a local embroider/artist to get it done. This is a quick guide for those too lazy to maker their own costume from scratch so don’t expect it to be expected it cheap. Cheers!

Warhammer Witch Hunter Costume

Click here for a more indepth look

Sweet huh, I’ve recently been thinking of getting a Witch Hunter costume. Great for Halloween costume if you ask me. NOBODY EXPECTS THE SIGMARITE INQUISITION!!  So  a few click here, a little research there.  Here is a break down of the cost it will set me back by if I choose to make a Witch Hunter costume.

Flintlock Pistol replica: SG$ 126

Rapier/sword replica: SG$ 500+

Duster: US$ 59.97 – 69.97

Pilgrim Hat: US$ 12.99

Breeches: US$ 25

Buccaneer Boots: US$ 155

Undershirt: US$ 40

Yeas so it is gonna hit close to 1000 bucks and it will only look something like this.

If I’m ever gonna get this outfit, I’m definitely gonna get a fake mustache !

The MMO Tsunami

Staring at the sunrise, I realized that this might be the last sunrise I will see for ages. Something is coming, I can feel it. The ground trembles as MMOs upon MMOs sweep across the world subsuming it with geekdom.  Stock your larder, buy a comfy chair, get the your energy bars and your trusty computer. We stand at the threshold of an age, an age of MMOs.

Jokes, aside. A pantheon of awesome looking MMOs are coming our way. From this 2010-2012, we will get a line up of new and totally sweet MMOs. So brace yourself, initiating jump drives!


Black Prophecy AUGUST 2010—

Gameplay Trailer


Jumpgate Evolution SEPTEMBER 2010—

Gameplay Trailer


Battlestar Galactica OCTOBER 2010


LEGO Universe 26th OCTOBER 2010

Gameplay Trailer


World of Warcraft: Cataclysm —NOVEMBER 2010


DC Universe Online —NOVEMBER 2010

Gameplay Trailer


The Secret World DECEMBER 2010


Blade and Soul 2011


Star Wars: The Old Republic 2011

Gameplay Trailer


Guild Wars 2 — 2011

Gameplay Trailer


Dungeon Keeper Online2011


Dark Millennium 2012