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. INTRO 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 etc. 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. Lascannon Not as versatile as MLs but point destructive. Try it out on a unsuspecting CSM on the other side of the map. Splurt. Multimelta 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 A/Cs. 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. INTRO TO ADVANCED TACTICS 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 grenades/HTH. Room-clearing: Smoke. Enough said. Doors: 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 grenade. 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 guys. 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 (+25 AP) is known as THE ULTIMATE DARN HIGH-SPEED BAD BOY EVER. You'll 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 directions. 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 whatever. 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, too. 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 troops. 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. TERRAIN: 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. Hills: 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. Indoors: 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. FRIENDLY VEHICLES: 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. ENEMY VEHICLES: 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 rip. 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. PRIORITIES: 1. Enemy hvy weapons. 2. Enemies too close for comfort. 3. Enemy vehicles. 4. Moving people up to Mighty Hero level. THE VERY FIRST CAMPAIGN MISSION: ...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. GRIPES: 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 connection. 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.