FAQ/Strategy Guide by P. Lans

Updated: 01/25/02 | Printable Version

Chaos Gate GameFAQ update 25JAN2002
Game Credits:
SSI (part of ubi-soft these days)
Random Games (ditto The Learning Co./Broderbund)
[NOTE: The author is in no way associated with any of the above companies
 or Games Workshop. Most of the terms used in this document are trademarks
 copyrighted to Games Workshop. The opinions expressed are those of the
 author and no-one else. I bear sole responsibility. Email:
 PARL2001@yahoo.com This document copyright 2002 P. Lans, USN]

Many thanks to Mr. Keeleslie for his humorous and informative FAQ.

Resources you should be aware of if you are interested in Science Fiction,
 Chaos Gate and Games Workshop WH40K products:

_Deathwing_, a truly magnificient novel recently back in print available
 from amazon.com, published under the Black Library section of Games
 Workshop (see GW's website for other offerings, I recommend reading some
 stuff on the Inquisitors for background/atmosphere)

The Portal, a website on geocities dedicated to Chaos Gate/Rites of War
 with the only collection of missions that I have ever seen for download. I
 do not know if the original chaos gate website had downloads as it has
 been downsized since Broderbund/Ubisoft/TheLearningCo took over SSI/Random
 Games. Hard to find this gem but a search on yahoo for portal or chaos
 gate should do it.

_Blood Quest_, an upcoming completely-CGI movie from some boys in the UK
 who are dedicated to really bringing our heroes to life. It will not hit
 the big screens but looks at least as good as Final Fantasy: The Spirits
 Within did, prob on about one hundredth of the budget that production had.
 Links to their site with animations and CAD/CAM-looking images are on the
 GW website.

Portent.net seems to be the generally accepted BMOC as far as GW-related
 news are concerned. Even has a separate section for rumours.

WARHAMMER 40,000 rulebook, is actually for the tabletop game but has
 exquisite reading in it and a lot of cool stuff that people have wasted
 millions of man-hours putting together just 'cause it's so cool.

SPACE MARINES sort-of separate source/army/background book(let) which I
 will be purchasing shortly so I can get everything right for my upcoming
 short story.

Fol to be considered for advanced users of CG and tactical nuts only, who
 would prob be the only jacks still coming back to this oldie from 1998.


Too bad if you're running Windows XP on a laptop.

Why is CG better than MW4 and most other tactical sci-fi games?
1. If you end up losing someone it really counts.
2. Atmosphere.
3. Seamless integration of background material, campaign, sounds, music
4. Space Marines are the original cool space dudes.
5. Solid tactics are rewarded. Ambushes are rewarded. Thinking is rewarded.
 Charging in with guns blazing never works on the realistic settings. This
 is a thinking man's game.
6. After getting halfway through the campaign on the Mighty Hero setting
 you end up really caring about your guys. Rename them from the start to
 all your friends/colleagues' names and you'll really feel it.

ISSUES with respect to the previous FAQ:

Walking along slowly increases to-hit probability, possibly both ways.

The second (middle) number on your red target reticule is the AP cost of
 your next shot at this target.

Melta Bombs are extremely useful in the right circumstances.

Antiplant Grenades have limited usefulness, but can provide an essential
 element in opening FOF on people coming at you in swamp/jungle areas. SOP
 use is to leave hvy bolter-equipped marine kneeling on overwatch, have the
 other guys throw two Antiplants in an arc in front of him.

Plasma pistols vs. Hand flamers - judge for yourself.
I maintain that both have their place, the chief problem with the Hand
 flamers being their lousy range, somewhat compensated for in the Special
 Weapon version. Plasma pistols have good armor penetration but also an
 ammunition problem.

Plasma Gun vs. Hvy Bolter vs. Hvy Plasma Gun
Dev. squads cannot carry the regular plasma gun which is an excellent
 anti-CSM weapon at regular bolter ranges. Reason being of course its
 higher Armor Penetration rating. Definite ammo problem here, so if you
 take it, have boys in same platoon carry extra ammo for it.
Hvy Bolter has crucial long range and continuous fire capability but lousy
 armor penetration. Needs lots of APs to be sure of taking down a CSM. In
 general it is preferable to the Plasma Gun, at least until you have the
 one Veteran with high AP/BS so he can guarantee hits with each shot of the
 Plasma Gun, at which point the high armor penetration rating makes the
 armor superior at regular bolter range on armored foes, esp. enemy termies
 and CSMs.
Hvy Plasma Gun can be counterproductive if, like me, you occasionally
 forget that you put everyone on overwatch and have bad guys get real close
 before the guy with the big heavy gun fires. Oops. There went my Mighty
 Hero Librarian. Darn.

Missile Launcher
Simply indispensable on open ground. Don't forget to take min. one rack
 Smoke to play safe. Make sure to save his shots for enemy Hvy weapons
 carriers, and if you cannot be sure to take out a hvy weapons CSM with
 first or second shot put smoke on him continuously or Krak! goes one of
 your blue boxes with legs. High AP character a must at later missions to
 enable multiple shots in a single turn.

Not as versatile as MLs but point destructive. Try it out on a unsuspecting
 CSM on the other side of the map. Splurt.

Quite useful inside cathedrals, fortresses and the like. Short range but
 good on hvy targets that need to go out in a hurry, e.g. C-Terms with

Flamers/Hvy Flamers
Hvy Bolters work better in most missions, one of the Termies can take the
 Hvy one instead of the nyuk-nyuk stupid storm bolter. Use storm
 bolter-equipped Termies to soak up damage and guarantee that cultists/CSM
 won't get close enough to throw grenades.

Crouch a lot.
Try not to move very much and fire in the same turn. Advance slowly,
 ensuring that single enemy troops have several of yours in a good firing
 position on them as soon as they move towards you.
Consider a concave formation with the focus being on the area where you
 expect the guys in red to show up.
Consider _walking_ your troops forward a little at a time in line abreast
 if nothing much is happening. Make sure all troops have min. 30 APs left
 for overwatch at the end of your turn if doing this, ensuring three
 reasonably good bolter shots.
Watch which way your boy on overwatch faces.
Fire continuous-fire weapons once at low percentage-hit chance then switch
 to Aimed shots for the rest of your firings.
It is absolutely vital that you take out enemy Hvy Weapons first.
Inexperienced assault troops bite donkey in HTH combat but can jump in,
 drop a Melta Bomb and jump out for deadly effect. Again and again or
 better yet following each other in the same turn.
Inexperienced non-Termies better stay out of HTH unless with cultists only,
 no matter how much the odds are with you.
If you lost one single guy on that extra mission you accepted, then it was
 a total waste of manpower and time. You cannot afford to lose people on
 things like hurrying along, advancing too quickly, walking past corners
 without checking a scanner etc. You will lose enough people from
 legitimate combat without having to worry about stupid mistakes costing
 you aggregate experience or worse, Veterans/Heroes/Mighty Heroes.
The AI that controls your boys' route-choosing is fundamentally
 inefficient. In sticky situations it pays off Xmas-bonus-well to
 double-check for things like extraneous quarter-face turns and the way it
 calculates its way around objects. Try several options, midpoints and
 endpoints before committing.
Advancing with Smoke may be tedious but saves lives.

Corners:Throw Smoke after scanning, then either line up and sit and wait in
 overwatch until the smoke goes away or move in using anti-overwatch

Smoke. Enough said.

Line up on opposite side with as good an arsenal as you can muster,
 preferably at longest range.
Have one guy open door with switch/melta bomb and get the hell out of the
 way, let your stationary units take care of business in overwatch. Alternative
is smoke, open the door, smoke again and HTH with T-Hammer and
 Storm Shield-type units.

Do not rely on overwatch to the exclusion of taking good shots that happen
 to present themselves. Play the percentages. Use the
 one-regular-shot/several-aimed-shots combination. Check percentages for
 both before firing at all. One shot that actually hits is usually more
 useful than two shots that aren't 100% (judgement calls in order here).

Play to win. (duh?)
By this I mean that you should and must play like a Chess Grandmaster who
 has just won one single pawn from his opponent. If subsequent to that he
 plays solid technical chess with tactics that he is certain of, then he
 will (and must) win in the end, but if you try to press your advantage
 quickly with tactics you are not absolutely positively sure of, well
 then... bite the wiener with relish.
Being flashy and cool may have its place in gaming, but certainly not in a
 legitimate tactical simulation. "Everybody makes it home" is an easy rule
 to remember. If they don't you screwed up. FYI it's like that in
 real-world ops too. If you have won just one small little advantage then
 you must end up on top if you play solidly, alt. your tactics are
 questionable. BTW Alekhine's Defence rocks.

When in deep doo-doo consider taking all high-percentage shots that present
 themselves and then covering yourself in smoke.

When in deep doo-doo consider retreating and taking on the enemy piecemeal
 so you can concentrate fire. This is also done in the real world.

Always always always keep pref two min. one hex (yes the game is hex-based
 even though the terrain is cubical) lateral _and_ diagonal patrolling
 interval or an enemy psyker or grenadier will get you good. Bla bla...real
 world, esp. Vietnam historically. You will feel this keenly when you open
 a door with your super-concentration-of-fire right in front of the door
 and all of a sudden see that lovely little animation of a CSM throwing a

Keep damaged blue boxes a hex or two to the rear as the meanies will take
 highest percentage shots always.

When certain that you will take some incoming fire be sure to spread it
 out, two damaged blue boxes is better than one dead. This is done by
 making sure at least two or three boys have approx. same range to bad

You will fire more and better if you stand still.

Use cover.

The first and best Psyker power is Quickening. With it your Librarian can
 become a killer bunny rabbit on speed, Rambo-ing his way through
 Berzerkers and CSM with impunity (until he hits on a grenade thrower in
 overwatch or such like). Q-ing doesn't just give you more APs, it'll stay
 with you for a while and increase your Initiative, Weapons (Melee) Skill,
 Melee Attacks etc. This also can enable heavies to fire say, two missile
 shots instead of one when you really need it. Incidentally you get more
 experience from killing chaos dudes in HTH than with ranged weapons, so
 your Accountant or Bookkeeper or whatever his name is (Aah, Librarian,
 that was it...) will be sure to be swimming in numbers at the end of your
 mission. That is, if you don't leave yourself with a Hvy Plasma Gun in
 overwatch just as your one-man army with the axe is rushing back from his
 foray pursued by a bunch of dudes in red (could this game be construed in
 an anti-communist context?).
A MH assault squaddie equipped with a Reaper axe (+20 AP) and high on Q
 have so many APs you won't know what to do with them. Run from one end of
 the map to the other just for fun.

A very very deadly spell is Vortex. You should be aware that three times
 now I have watched several of my own hard-gained Veterans or Heroes get
 slurrpeed by this vexing whirlpool of whiplash while waiting behind the
 witch. You will feel mighty heroically stupid when it happens to you.

Do not use the Dev-squad bug that enables you to get a whole squad of hvy
 weapons. If you read the background material on WH40K or White Dwarf or
 any of the many books that have been written on and of the Space Marines
 you will realise that SSI and Random Games have been faithful to an
 incredible degree to the original vision of the Games Workshop crew. If
 all you want to do is beat the game or one of the scenarios at The Portal,
 then just set the difficulty to Novice or Easy or I Have No Sense Of
 Tactics Whatsoever or whatever the lowest setting is. Oh, and BTW stop
 reading this, it wasn't meant for you. It can also be argued that it would
 be more unethical to use this bug if you didn't stumble upon it yourself
 or spend large amounts of time trying to figure it out from unclear

Not using the ammo reload bug is somewhat more difficult to resist, but I
 seem to manage these days.

The only way I have yet found to increase someone's AP without shooting at
 real targets is having the Librarian throw spells after the battle is won.
 Feel free to do it. You'll get tired of clicking real quick and'll move on
 to the next mission.

Anyone who can take the first few missions without losing a man should be
 able to beat the campaign without cheating.

If you leave Aimed Shot 'On' at the end of your turn then I believe _all_
 your units in overwatch will follow these orders. Can't have some firing
 Aimed Shot and some firing regularly in overwatch, thusly.

Get used to swapping weapons, checking bodies and redistributing
 ammunition. It is indispensable if you ever happen to play a mission that
 I set up, because you'll need every advantage you can get. More often than
 not if you play the percentages right and try to get experience where it's
 needed those numbers-getting boys will be using up ammo like fireworks on
 4th of July.

Note on Ammo:
Have you ever known a regular Marine to run out of ammo for his bolter
 during a mission? That's right, he starts off with way too much ammo. For
 most missions, drop it down to just one or two (or possibly none) extra
 magazines, load up on extra First Aid kits, Smoke (can we stop calling it
 'Blind', please?), Krack, Plasma grenades and Melta Bombs. Or why not
 extra ammo for your point man with the Plasma Gun?

Always give a scanner to the first or second man in each squad for easy
 identification of who has it and quick access when you need it. One in
 each squad also gives you options for who will take care of scanning when
 you have injured players on your team.

Depending on relative difficulty of the mission you will end up organizing
 your squads as follows:

You are confident:
Termie with A/C - designated exp-getter
T-hvy flamer 	- just a guy
regular T's	- whoever has a CT
Dev. squad	- hvy weapons to people who need the exp. Regulars
Tac. squad	- same
Ass. squad	- if you're planning much use offensively need to be fairly
 elite troops, otherwise the Melta Bomb assault trick works pretty good,

You are not so confident:
Termie with A/C - high AP, high BS
T's		- bring hvy flamer only if warranted, use your medium-best
Hvy Weapons	- high AP, high BS (as in relative to the average level of
 your troops).
Ass. squad	- if you're gonna bring them, better make them count, that
 is, your very best.
Use your T-a/c as your magic wand and give him support. Save cool stuff
 like Stasis, Rad and Vortex for the big demons or a huge concentration of
 enemy Termies.


Doors, rooms and corners have already been discussed, but what about all
 the other ones?

Open areas:
Get his heavy weapons and the rest is like taking candy from a kid. To get
 his heavy weapons concentrate fire if within range of bolters/hvy bolters,
 if that does not work try MLs, lascannons and if all else fails nail his
 position with a smoke missile that will keep him quiet for the next few
 turns. Just don't forget to check back once in a while to make sure you
 can't see him, since he therefore can't see you. A krack missile from him
 can kill one of your guys outright.

It is better to work your range advantage with a bunch of hvy bolters and
 one ML than to try to get quickly within range with your bolters. The
 enemy has bolters too, so you might just lose doing that, unless you can
 concentrate all your bolter fire with overwhelming odds. Guys with bolters
 should be loaded with smoke to cover your ML after he shoots, then the
 next turn the ML guy is the second man to walk out of the smoke to let rip
 with a Krack or smoke missile. He's the second man out of the smoke
 because the computer AI puts people in overwatch, too...

Scouts are useful, but just be sure they can make it back before they get
 spanked harder than their little blue bottoms can handle.

The most important turn of the game is the first one, which is when you
 take out at least one of his heavy weapons and then get back in cover or
 throw smoke on/around/in front of whoever can't make it back to cover. A
 mission in which you take no chances is a good mission.

Are good for getting LOS or LOF on opposing forces, but really you'd be
 much better off waiting behind it for the evil guys to crest it, as long
 as you're out of grenade throwing range, that is. Beware of having just
 one guy out on the corner of a hill as he will very likely be the one
 single point where all your enemies' weapons come into range first.
 Nothing quite so freaky as when your computer opponent AI starts
 concentrating fire on _you._ But there's no ghost in the machine here,
 most of the time it's just an accident of weapons ranges, it seems.

Scan, throw smoke and scan again. Don't let your boys stand right next to
 each other. Get in position, overwatch and wait for the smoke to clear.

Fortified positions:
Crenellated walls are a pain and take some time. Get most of your units at
 the edge of their range, try to max possible high-percentage shots via
 overwatch, use MLs with smoke or Krack to reduce your opponents short-term
 options. An enemy Psyker behind a fortified wall is a Hellfire waiting to
 happen to your carefully nurtured and well-positioned blue boys in
 overwatch with heavy weapons. It is possible to fly in Assaulties to do
 their thing and get out, but expect losses unless you hit very lightly
 before flying out to a reasonably safe posit in the same turn. Watch APs
 you have to budget for this, your guy can land a little out of position
 and have to turn and run in order to do some damage. If all else fails
 make sure he has a smoke cloud he can get into. Occasionally you may need
 to switch missile types while the rest of your platoon stands there and
 waits for your ML-trooper to finish his business, which may take up to ten
 shots when you really need to finish that guy with the hvy bolter at the
 other end of the map. Consider switching to Plasma missiles if your
 Krackers only hit the wall in front of him.

Don't use them unless you expect to take immediate casualties otherwise.
 However, taking out the enemy hvy weapons is obviously more important than
 wringing every last point of experience from a mission. This also helps
 speed things along when you just want to get done with it. They have
 absolutely no effect on the campaign other than take the heat off of your
 precious band of killer commandos. "Us few, us happy few, for he who sheds
 his blood with me..." ...er, never mind.

Smoke both at ground level and one to two levels up (all vehicles are 3x3x3
 boxes, as opposed to the 9x9x9 behemoth Klumps that the readme.txt file on
 the CD-rom claims). MLs is no cure-all since enemy Predators have hvy
 cannons, but are still your best bet. The Termie A/C can sometimes do the
 trick but takes time to get in position. Assault squaddies and five or six
 Meltabombs in a single turn can sometimes make things happen. That darn
 Librarian cat can make miracles when he's high on Q-ing, but is likely to
 expose himself to enemy overwatchers if he tries it. Don't even bother
 with haywire grenades, they could possibly work on your grandma's mobile
 phone but that's about all they're good for. If you've nailed an enemy
 Pred way too long for it to still be alive try hitting different parts of
 the 3x3x3 box. Or walk up a T-Hammer 'n Storm Shielder to it, he he.
 "Knock, knock, who's there? WHACK!"

STRATEGY (as opposed to tactics, the study of the immediate)

You will take losses, therefore ideally you would have more veterans/H/MH's
 than you can fit in your allotment for each separate mission.
When starting out, make certain to get just a few guys up to MH immediately
 so you can keep them in reserve if things get sticky. When up deep
 monkey-vomit without a paddle (cred to my h.s. probabilities teacher for
 that one) just back off, have your Mighty Hero drop his bolter and ammo,
 pick up his neighbor's Hvy Bolter and go to town on the commie b's.
Many people firing and hitting a target results in more aggregate
 experience earned than just having your boy with the Hvy Bolter let 'er
A man at MH level has nothing further to gain than a CT, so keep him in the
 background unless you need him for survival purposes.
HTH combat results in more exp. but is tons more riskier. If you're gonna
 use the Librarian trick be very, very careful what you wish for, you just
 might get a little too much of it.
Once you Librarian is up to MH train up a new one, no matter how much you'd
 like to keep the original. What really bites is not having a good one in
 reserve when you lose your MH Librarian in the mission right before the
 last one. Yep, I did that one too.
For every man you bring along on a mission you should have two smoke
 grenades on average, and everyone that can should carry them. Jacked
 situations get unjacked real quick that way.

1. Enemy hvy weapons.
2. Enemies too close for comfort.
3. Enemy vehicles.
4. Moving people up to Mighty Hero level.

...is also one of the best missions in the game in that it forces you to
 think, to plan ahead and to work with very limited and vulnerable
 resources. Before even beginning make sure that out of all the people you
 have available, the five guys with the most APs are in the squad for the
 first mission. These guys will be your designated exp.-getters that you
 farm out to your Dev-squad for hvy weapons duties in a few missions. After
 they work up to it one of them will probably end up providing leadership
 for your assault squad, too. Obviously these five guys must work together
 and take things very slow in order to avoid embarassing deaths in the
 first mission. Make darn sure to concentrate your fire, but you must
 balance this requirement to lower your risk-exposure against the need to
 promote one or two guys as fast as possible to Mighty Hero, which would
 lead them to take point too often.

Warhammer-online is gonna be just another MMRPG like Evercrack. Why not
 leave that side of the business to the professionals and concentrate on
 the GW core biz of wargaming? Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay was a good
 system, and the world is incredibly detailed and varied, but I've been
 with GW as a fan for over fifteen years now, and an Evercrack me-too was
 not what I expected. You will need constant stable highspeed connex and a
 very large regularly available amount of time not to mention money in
 order to be a large part or get very good at it. So much for me who
 actually does war stuff for a living and don't have the time or
Turn-based systems are by their very nature simpler, easier to program,
 easier to modify and add to than RTS systems (but also less sexy to the
 people in the marketing dept). Add Freeze-time a la Space Hulk and a lot
 of easily-available-nowadays polygon graphics and there is your warhammer
 the wargame in a MM wargame online. Add mods, graphics options and some
 clever directing from the staff and there's your huge world-encompassing
 conflict with player-designed armies/skins/banners etc. fighting it out in
 true world-altering epic battles. Obviously you would not need an
 incredible level of graphic detail when talking about the original
 warhammer scale, as long as players can modify their own bitmaps to be
 pasted onto the polygons.

That said, I'm very glad GW is still in business, and I hope they make much
 money with all their ventures so I can get the stuff I want. Right now
 I'll be very happy if I can just get CG to work on my XP-equipped laptop.
 And maybe finish that short story.

If you haven't read Mr. Keeleslie's FAQ, do it. It is much more complete
 than this is, and a much better introduction to the game, not to mention a
 fun read, and an eye-opener even if you've been playing WH40K/CG for a
 long time. Don't take the Gripes section too seriously. "May your soul
 FEEEL the light of the Emperor!"...er, never mind.