My Recipe For the Perfect DoW II Match

7 Apr


Gordon Ramsey can tell you how to concoct the most delectable scrambled egg breakfast your taste receptors will ever have the pleasure of touching, but he doesn’t know jack shit about online videogames.  Here’s where I come in — this is the recipe for the aneurysm-free multiplayer match.  This is specifically for Dawn of War II, but go ahead and apply it to whichever game you might be playing online and you’ll get similar results.

To start off get familiar with a thing called matchmaking.  Good.  Now never touch it again.  Think of matchmaking like one of those robot arms at the carnival that picks up stuffed animals, but instead of stuffed toys this matchmaking claw grasps at a fetid pit full of nuclear waste and mutated ghouls.  This is generally the sort of partners matchmaking will arrange for you.  

So, the best thing to do is to go and grab some friends.  OK.  So you don’t have any friends.  I thought as much.  Well then, you’re stuck with matchmaking — and you’re going to need some guidelines.

1. Realize your rank/skill meter isn’t worth your time.  If you enter a game and find yourself partnered with human detritus who can’t seem to figure out how to work the mouse, just quit.  It will save you a trip to the ER.

2. Find a book, or move your television closer to your computer.  You’re going to be jumping in and out of games more than you’ll be playing anything, so it’s best to just do something else while you wait.

Now, if you’ve been patient enough, you should find yourself in a game.  If one of your teammates hasn’t crashed the game because they’re connecting to the game from Beijing, you’re set.

The first thing you’ll want to do is use your troops.  Move them around.  Tell them to capture things.  If you’ve read that and you learned something, then I’m afraid you’re one of the inept peons that dwell within the matchmaking pit.

If you’ve made it this far you’re well on your way to a perfect match of DoW II.  Everyone should be capturing points with their starting troops.  Good, now while you’re capturing those points you should be making a new unit.  Now you might be saying “But Nick, where should I send the new unit?  Should I send it to die?”  While that’s a common mistake, no.  Place him somewhere safe.

You’re going to want to remember that there is a way to move around, using the mouse or the arrow keys.  With a little help from your hands your eyes will be able to look all over the place!  When you hear the dying screams of the infantry brigade you sent behind enemy lines and then forgot about, make sure to see where it is that they died — you’ll want to remember to stay away from there until a bit later.

Now, at some point someone is going to want to fight you.  It’s dirty work, but you’ll have to actually select your units individually and tell them what to do — it’s quite likely you’ll have to do this more than once as well.  It’s tough to wrap your head around, I know, and it sure requires a lot of seeing and clicking, but it’ll pay off in the long run, trust me.

Now if you’ve managed to control your units, and your commander hasn’t been killed on his knees while he captures a point in the middle of a laser battle, you’re going to want to upgrade him.  Yes, the little man advertised as the hero (who you’ve sent into the darkness to be eviscerated alone time and again) actually is a hero, but only after you’ve leveled him up a bit.  The way I usually go about this is having my commander kill the heretics, while having him avoid being hewn by an alien chainsaw axe.  You might find another strategy more comfortable, such as sending him on a wild deathcharge; use whatever works for you.

By now you’ll notice some of the little men onscreen aren’t trying to kill you; these are actually your teammates.  You’ll want to quickly assess whether they’re competent or not, so you can either help them or avoid them.  Here’s an easy checklist:

  • Are his troops clustered into a big bunch?
  • If his troops are clustered, are there plasma missiles being fired into their midst?
  • Are his troops fighting a tank with their bare hands?
  • If his troops are fighting a tank with their bare hands and they’re being torn to pieces, is he sending more troops to join the tank slapping?
  • Are his troops currently under supressive fire?  Are they walking into it?

If yes to any of the above, steer clear.  It might even be pertinent to just kill all of his men yourself using the attack ground command with heavy weapons.  It’s more fun than quitting, and he won’t know you had any hand in his demise, because he doesn’t understand what’s happening in the first place.

However, consider this checklist as well:

  • Are his troops bigger than yours?
  • Does he have tank support, and if so, could your troops hide behind them?
  • Is he currently cleansing an alien world with hellfire?
  • Does he have guns that fire things you don’t understand?
  • Is his hero knee deep in bodies and swinging a hammer?

If yes to any of these, go hide behind his tanks.  Of course, this could cause the flank you were holding to collapse and all your forces could be consumed by the wave of death the enemy will rain down on you, but you can probably piggyback on his success for a little while before any of that happens.

You should be nearing the end of your perfect match now.  If you’ve remembered to capture the points on the map and kill the enemy, then you should be in good shape.  If you’re winning you should notice all but one of the players on the opposing team have quit, leaving you to fight computer-controlled enemies that are perhaps dumber than most DoW II players.  Let your teammates push back the staunch, elite forces of the one remaining human player while you decimate the mindless drones the computer sends in front of your guns*.

*Your guns should, hopefully, be facing them.

Rinse and repeat.  Have fun!


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