Dawn of War: Basic Commands

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Dawn of War logo.jpg This article is part of the Dawn of War Player's Guide.
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Unlike some other strategy games, most units in Dawn of War can still fire their weaponry while moving, known as Fire on the Move or FotM (see Fire on the Move). FotM comes with a severe accuracy penalty, however, so it is best to keep your troops stationary whenever they're in combat. If you expect to win an engagement, it may be better to move your troops closer than necessary so they can get more parting shots on the enemy before they flee. This can be accomplished more easily, and certainly safer, by using transports.

A squad will always move at the speed of the slowest squad member. For example, attaching the Force Commander (speed 16) to a Scout Marine Squad (speed 20) or a Commissar (speed 16) to an upgraded team of Kasrkin (speed 21.3) will force both squads to move at a speed of just 16 even though some squad members can move faster.

Attaching commanders will not prevent the charge and leap attacks of units like Grey Knights and Kroot Carnivores. However, the commander may physically block the direct charges of Grey Knights and the Sister Repentia Squad.

Attack Move

An attack move will order your units to move to the targeted location, but stop and fire at any enemies they come across along the way. In order for a unit to stop and fire at an enemy target, the center of the unit or squad must be within a certain radius of the enemy. Although this value is generally set to the unit's maximum weapon range in Soulstorm, this value is almost universally set to 35 in Dark Crusade, although it is longer for artillery so that they will automatically fire from their maximum range. This means that a Fire Warrior Team will close to a range of 35 when performing an attack move even though they can fire at a range of 50 after both of their weapon upgrades. If you want to use the maximum range of your units, either leave them idle so that they can pick their own targets, prematurely halt their attack move using the stop command, or manually give them specific targets.

Researches and Add-ons

Most researches are performed at designated research buildings, although some, such as the resources researches at generators and listening posts, are distributed elsewhere. Once complete, the effects of a research are permanently applied and remain even if the research building is destroyed.

Add-ons, on the other hand, only take effect as long as the building upon which they are constructed still stands. The upgrades at the various HQ buildings are all add-ons, so losing those buildings will cause the loss of the add-on effects. If an ability requires the add-on to be used (such as Execute) or a unit needs the add-on to be built (such as the Chaplain), the ability or unit will be inaccessible until the building and add-on are replaced. In the case of the HQ, this could send a player back to Tier 1 even if Tier 3 buildings, such as the Orbital Relay or Daemon Pit, have been constructed, almost certainly losing him the game. Turret and listening post upgrades are add-ons as well.

Eldar Aspect Stones and Imperial Guard Temples, Depots, and Quarters have even more stringent requirements. In order for the unit they unlock to be built at the structure, the add-on must be constructed at the building itself. For example, if an Eldar player has two Aspect Portals but only one has a Dark Reaper Aspect Stone, the other Aspect Portal cannot train Dark Reapers until it too has a Dark Reaper Aspect Stone. The advantage to these local add-ons is that even if the HQ is destroyed, as long as the add-ons are already built the units can still be produced, making it difficult to de-tech an Eldar or Imperial Guard player just by destroying one building.

Deleting Units

There may come a time when the player is strapped for resources and needs a quick infusion of requisition or power to quickly get out new units. In these cases he can delete his own buildings by selecting them and pressing Delete on the keyboard to get back a portion of the resources spent on their construction.

Deleting an incomplete building will return the entire build cost. Many players use this trick to almost complete the construction of a turret, then redirect the builders elsewhere just before it's finished. If the player gets rushed by the enemy, he will quickly polish off the turret to throw back the attackers. Else, he'll delete the turret once no attack appears and get back the full investment for other uses.

Once a building is complete, it will return only 50% of its resources. Some buildings, such as power generators, HQs, or Barracks, will return only 10% of the build cost. This value is adjusted for the amount of damage a building has sustained, so deleting a building at half health will return only 25% or 5% of its build cost, depending on the return rate. Check the building's page in the wiki to see its return value. Constructing an add-on does not affect the return value of a building. Any in-progress resource expenditures; including unit construction, researching, or reinforcing a squad; are canceled and return their full value.

Deleting infantry and vehicles never provides a resource return other than freeing up the squad/support cap the unit was using. This is occasionally necessary to bring out the Tier 4 tanks and uber units such as the Leman Russ or Avatar of Khaine.


Overwatch is a means of automating some of the more mundane tasks while building units and upgrading squads. Overwatch is activated and deactivated by right clicking instead of left clicking on a unit to train, a reinforce button, or a heavy weapon upgrade weapon. While overwatch is active, the selected action will be automatically repeated whenever the build queue for that unit or building is empty and resources are available for the action. For example, by right clicking on the Space Marine Squad at the Chapel-Barracks, whenever the Chapel-Barracks' build queue is empty the training of a new Space Marine Squad will begin as long as Resource requisition.gif 190 are available.

When multiple overwatches are set on a single unit or building, such as training two units or reinforcing and upgrading a squad with heavy weapons, the two actions will alternate as long as resources are available to do so. Overwatch will automatically disable if the limit on the unit produced, the size of the squad reinforced, or heavy weapons capacity of the squad has been reached.

To globally manage all of your overwatch queues, use the small pause button in the bottom left of the screen to temporarily halt all overwatch. Actions already underway will finish, but no new overwatched actions will be started. If you've been too aggressive using overwatch, this can be a quick way to halt the drain on your resources. Clicking on the button again will resume overwatch. The stop button will cancel the overwatch settings, but as with pausing overwatch any existing actions will still be finished.

Aside from the obvious advantage of simpler micromanagement of your army, overwatch also allows you to avoid pre-paying for units. For example, purchasing two consecutive Space Marine Squads without a delay in between would require an immediate investment of Resource requisition.gif 380 . By using overwatch, Resource requisition.gif 190 will be spent on the first squad, and the second squad's resources will only be spent when the first squad finishes. This frees up the second squad's resources to be spent on some other immediate use while the incoming resources will be used for the next Space Marine squad to be built.

The Dawn of War Player's Guide

The Dawn of War Player's Guide - Thought of the day: Knowledge is power, guard it well.
Space Marines Chaos Eldar Orks Imperial Guard Tau Necrons Dark Eldar Sisters of Battle



Scout Marine Squad

Space Marine Squad

Assault Marine Squad

Grey Knights

Terminator Squad

Assault Terminator Squad

Skull Probe


Force Commander





Cultist Squad

Chaos Space Marine Squad

Raptor Squad

Khorne Berzerker Squad

Horror Squad

Possessed Squad


Chaos Lord

Chaos Sorcerer

Daemon Prince




Guardian Squad

Ranger Squad

Howling Banshee Squad

Dark Reaper Squad

Fire Dragon Squad

Warp Spider Squad



Seer Council

Avatar of Khaine



Slugga Boy Squad

Shoota Boy Squad



Nobz Squad

Flash Gitz

Mega Armoured Nobz

Mad Dok

Big Mek



Techpriest Enginseer

Guardsmen Squad

Heavy Weapons Team



Command Squad




Vindicare Assassin


Earth Caste Builder

XV15 Stealth Team

Vespid Stingwing Strain

Fire Warrior Team

Kroot Carnivores

Kroot Shaper

Pathfinder Team

XV88 Broadside Battlesuit

XV8 Crisis Battlesuit

Kroot Hound Pack

Tau Commander


Shas'Ui Bodyguard


Builder Scarabs

Necron Warriors


Flayed Ones



Necron Lord

Essence of the Nightbringer

Essence of the Deceiver


Tortured Slave

Mandrake Squad

Warrior Squad

Hellion Squad

Scourge Squad

Wych Squad

Warp Beast Pack




Ecclesiarchal Servitor


Battle Sister Squad

Seraphim Squad

Celestian Squad

Death-Cult Assassin

Sister Repentia Squad


Avenging Angel


Living Saint

Space Marines Chaos Eldar Orks Imperial Guard Tau Necrons Dark Eldar Sisters of Battle



Land Speeder


Hellfire Dreadnought

Land Speeder Tempest



Land Raider


Chaos Rhino


Chaos Predator

Hell Talon


Falcon Grav Tank




Shuriken Grav Platform

Brightlance Grav Platform

Fire Prism




Killa Kan


Looted Tank







Marauder Bomber

Leman Russ



Devilfish Troop Carrier

Skyray Missile Gunship

Drone Squad

Drone Harbinger


Hammerhead Gunship


Greater Knarloc


Tomb Spyder

Attack Scarabs


Heavy Destroyer

Lord Destroyer

Restored Monolith


Reaver Jetbike





Dais of Destruction


Rhino Transport


Lightning Fighter


Penitent Engine

Space Marines Chaos Eldar Orks Imperial Guard Tau Necrons Dark Eldar Sisters of Battle



Listening Post

Plasma Generator

Thermo Plasma Generator



Machine Cult

Sacred Artifact

Orbital Relay

Heavy Bolter Turret

Mine Field


Desecrated Stronghold

Listening Post

Plasma Generator

Thermo Plasma Generator

Chaos Temple

Chaos Armoury

Sacrificial Circle

Machine Pit

Daemon Pit

Heavy Bolter Turret

Mine Field


Webway Assembly

Listening Shrine

Plasma Generator

Thermo Plasma Generator

Webway Gate

Aspect Portal

Soul Shrine

Support Portal

Support Platform

Mine Field



Da Listenin' Post


Bigga Generator

Waaagh! Banner

Da Boyz Hut

Pile O Gunz!

Da Mek Shop

Mine Field


Field Command

Listening Post

Plasma Generator

Thermo Plasma Generator

Infantry Command

Tactica Control

Mechanized Command

Mars Pattern Command

Heavy Bolter Turret

Mine Field


Cadre Headquarters

Listening Post

Plasma Generator

Thermo Plasma Generator

Tau Barracks

Path to Enlightenment

Kroot Shaping Center

Vehicle Beacon

Kauyon Command Post

Mont'ka Command Post

Coalition Center


Dormant Monolith


Plasma Generator

Thermo Plasma Generator

Summoning Core

Forbidden Archive

Greater Summoning Core

Energy Core

Gauss Turret


Kabal Fortress

Tower of Loathing

Plasma Generator

Thermo Plasma Generator

Slave Chamber

Hall of Blood

Haemonculus' Laboratory

Dark Foundry

Wych-Cult Arena

Soul Cage


Ecclesiarchal Chapel

Listening Post

Plasma Generator

Thermo Plasma Generator

Adepta Sororitas Convent

Pristine Sanctuary


Holy Reliquary

Shrine of the Living Saint

Inferno Turret

Purgatus Mine Field