Monday, March 11, 2013

Dawn of War II - Squad Build - Force Commander

(Click here for a list of all our posts on Dawn of War II.)

Squad Build - Force Commander
(NOT for Chaos Rising)


The Force Commander can use all but the heaviest ranged weapons without having to take a Trait. This theoretically means you can choose the proper weapon for the proper situation, but in practice not being able to change weapons in the field means you will outfit your squad quite generically for most missions.
The Force Commander starts as a melee build, and has strong melee traits you can get such as the invincibility from Relentless and healing from Blessing of War. However, because we prefer ranged combat overall, we instead went with Deadly Aim and a flamer, and made sure he had support when engaged in melee.
No skills are required to use Terminator Armour (like Tarkus), but using Terminator Armour disables the Commander Accessory slot.
He starts with only one Accessory slot, while Tarkus has two. So we swapped his Stimpack with Tarkus's Grenades, and later gave Tarkus the Master-Crafted Grenades.
The traits we aimed for were in this order: Deadly Aim, Battle Cry, Commander's Load Out.


Starting Skill
  • To Victory! - Charge to a specified location with the Chapter's vigor, smashing through objects and knocking enemies back.
    • If you are suppressed, this is a fast way to instantly shake it off, reposition, and disrupt your attacker, all in one move.
    • Affects all enemies from the time you start charging. Great if you can come at them from the flank or if there are a lot of them (e.g., Tyranids or during a Defend mission). Suddenly you're behind them and they are between you and your shooter squads.
    • If there is a structure you cannot destroy in the way, such as a building or vehicle, your charge is aborted (?).
    • Some maps deliberately put cover type barriers to block passages (such as the defensive enclosure where Davian Thule starts in "The Defense of Argus Gate"). You can use this to burst through, but only if you start with the end point within range at the time you invole the power. Otherwise, the Force Commander will path-find around the barrier.
Other than getting more Health (on top of whatever you automatically get for free when your level increases), the main skill here is Relentless, and then only if you focus on melee.
  • Zealous - The charge range of To Victory! increases while its Energy cost decreases.
  • Unshakable - The Force Commander becomes highly resistant to knockdown.
  • Relentless - After using To Victory!, the Force Commander becomes invulnerable for a short time.
    • This makes To Victory! a weaker version of Thaddeus's Aegis of Fury.
    • Invulnerability moves can be important and powerful, but in Primarch you will probably be using it to get out of trouble, especially as it's hard to tell how long the invulnerability lasts.
  • Indomitable - Gain a significant chance to instantly regain consciousness when incapacitated. When doing so, the Force Commander regains health and gains a brief speed and damage increase.
    • Theoretically a great skill, except that our tactics should revolve around not being incapacitated in the first place.
There is really only one useful Trait here: Deadly Aim.
  • Ranged Specialist - The Force Commander can fire plasma guns and flamers while moving.
  • Heavy Weapons Aptitude - The Force Commander can equip heavy bolters, missile launchers, and plasma cannons.
    • Weapons with backpacks, such as Heavy Bolters, cannot be used with Commander Accessories.
    • Unless you also have accessories you can freely use, equipping something like a missile launcher or plasma cannon means your Force Commander will mostly be idle due to their low fire rate.
  • Deadly Aim - Every shot fired has a chance to deal a killing blow to most infantry targets. (When active, Battle Cry increases this chance).
    • This would seem to be good with Heavy Bolters, but Heavy Bolters cannot be used with Commander Accessories and in any case only has a base 18% chance to hit. Instead, use a Flamer, which is 100% guaranteed to hit. Damage is not important in Deadly Aim: We are looking to trigger the chance to auto-kill a target, and a Flamer not only always hits, but affects an area, allowing us to trigger this feat quickly against an entire enemy squad. The range of a flamer is shorter, but about the same as grenade-throwing range.
    • Be careful about the Force Commander wandering about when using a Flamer. There is a tendency to move forward toward cover while reloading, and sometimes you really want them to stay put so they don't get too close and end up in melee.
    • You'll know it worked when your enemy suddenly explodes. Doesn't seem to work against Heavy Infantry such as Tyranid Warriors With Barbed Strangers and Warp Spiders (or the chance is extremely low).
    • Seems to rarely activate unless you have Battle Cry.
The attack-related effects require that you have an actual melee weapon, not just using your ranged weapon to fight in melee. The other effects do apply, however. So Battle Cry with a Flamer will mean you won't get knocked down for the duration of the Battle Cry.
  • Battle Cry - For a limited time, the Force Commander performs special attacks with every blow, dealing damage and knocking enemies to the ground. Additionally, the Force Commander cannot be knocked down for the duration.
    • Immunity to knockdown works even when you do not have a melee weapon.
    • Great against StormBoyz when you hear them launch at you, or Eldar Banshees that leap at you.
  • Righteous Fury - When performing a special attack in hand-to-hand combat, strike with a fury that deals additional explosive damage.
    • This lets you wipe weak enemies quickly, which can quickly restore you to full health in conjunction with Blessing of War.
  • Blessing of War - Regain Health when killing an opponent in hand-to-hand combat.
    • Unlike Thaddeus's Zeal, you must KILL the opponent, so this really only works well against swarms of weak enemies like Rippers, but not so well if you are in attrition against Heavy Infantry such as Tyranid Warriors.
  • No Mercy. No Respite - While Battle Cry is active, the Force Commander's hand-to-hand strikes deal killing blows to most infantry (other enemies are knocked back).
    • Not clear if this works against stronger infantry like Tyranid Warriors, Raveners, and Zoanthropes. If it only works on weak infantry, then it is rather useless because Battle Cry already knocks down enemies, and strong melee weapons should already let you kill the weak enemies, probably even without Righteous Fury. Still, if you are focussing on Melee, you might as well go all the way.
The Force Commander is the only one who can use Commander Accessories such as Iron Halos that can project a force field. For this reason, you might want to maximize Will despite the boring Traits.
  • Commander's Load Out - Accessory Slot added. Additionally, the Force Commander regains Energy when killing an enemy.
    • Iron Halo force fields use Energy and stop your Energy Regeneration while activated. This helps you extend its usefulness.
  • Orbital Command - Equipped Drop Pod Beacons and Orbital Bombardment Beacons can each be used twice in a single deployment.
  • Inspiring Shout - Battle Cry now restores Energy to nearby allies. If Battle Cry is not unlocked the Commander gains the Inspiring Shout ability which does the same.

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