Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II is a great game featuring three excellent story campaigns out of the box. Now it’s time for the fourth campaign to be added and while it is entertaining, I can’t help but feel it is just more of the same we have already seen before.
As an old tabletop player and miniature collector, I have spent loads of my allowance in laying my grubby hands on something special for my faction or saving up to try a new one altogether. Having shiny new units to paint and deploy on the battlefield didn’t change much in how I played with my friends, it was just fun to play around with some new things. We knew we were being ripped off, of course. Collecting and playing tabletop games is an expensive hobby for a kid to have. Additionally, Games Workshop was and still are kings in squeezing every penny out of adolescent nerds. Why yes, I’d like to pay $30 for a single commander unit and some ounces of paint.
The Chaos Campaign DLC for Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II has had me thinking about those past days of spending an exuberant amount of money just to get some new tiny plastic dudes to put in my army. Not that the DLC is overly expensive, especially compared to the amount of money I spent on the damn things back in the day. No, it is rather that, by itself, just like the plastic models, the DLC adds little of value to the gameplay itself.
There aren’t really any new units aside from some command ships and there is little difference between playing Chaos in the campaign and playing them in Multiplayer or Skirmish. You’re here for the campaign and the story and that is it. That said, going about and viciously murdering old allies has a certain charm to it by itself.
The structure of the campaign is largely the same as before, although you now have the option of sacrificing worlds to one of the five Chaos Gods. This bloodletting will grant favors, which you use to recruit new flagships and fleets of the god you sacrificed to. Other than that, there really isn’t much new to how the Chaos campaign plays. Sacrificing a world doesn’t render it useless either. You still get income from it somehow; I suppose the Daemons are good at paying their taxes in the Warhammer universe. The only penalty you get is that the cost of upgrading that world is slightly increased.
That aside, this expansion will give you some great cutscenes and the same well-acted radio drama we are used to in the base game. It is also a fairly long campaign that will keep you entertained for many hours — if you feel like diving back into largely the same gameplay and campaign as before, that is.
How much value you put in this expansion comes down to how much you like playing as the Chaos and listening to their endless bragging about how many innocents they will slaughter. The Chaos leadership’s constant need to one-up themselves in how they want to murder and kill everything and how much they revel in carnage can sometimes be a bit much, to be honest.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the convoluted and constipated dialogue in Warhammer 40k as much as any bloke, but they might just be laying it on a bit too thick here at times.
Coinciding with this expansion is a big update to campaigns in general, and it ended up stealing the show a bit. The new update lets you change and control parameters and aspects of the campaign yourself. So, if you are tired of certain side-missions or aspects of the game’s campaign, you can change them. You can even mess around with income and upkeep values if you want things to take a longer or shorter time to accomplish. And this patch does a lot more to shake up the campaign and the gameplay than the Chaos expansion ever comes close to.
The Chaos Campaign is fun and well-made, but it has very little to offer if you have grown tired of the way Battlefleet Gothic: Armada II structures its campaigns. Much like the countless unit packs Games Workshop makes for their tabletop games, this is a fun addition but only if you are already sold on the Chaos faction as it is.