Beat back the Bloom with this Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate — Daemonhunters guide


Daemonhunters is here, and it's really rather good. But in a game where you're expected to tackle a galactic plague with a creaky old ship, a squabbling crew, and a mere smidge of manpower, the task at hand can seem daunting.

Should you get new gun batteries for your ship or a nice meditation chamber in which your Grey Knights can unwind? What's the best way to gather Bloom Seeds? And how much do you really need to worry about those blips of Bloom popping up all over the cosmos? My Chaos Gate — Daemonhunters guide to this threatened galaxy will answer all this and more.

Ship upgrades

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How to get Servitors, and the ship upgrades to get first

The Manufactorum is where you'll be making improvements to your ship, which will have an impact on everything from your ship's speed traversing the cosmos to wound recovery and research rates.

You upgrade your ship using Servitors, which you get in a couple of ways:

  • As rewards for completing certain missions (always check the rewards before travelling to a Bloom outbreak).
  • Passively generate them by building an Augmentation Chamber, which you can then upgrade to increase their rate of production.

There are three separate sections of the ship to upgrade. Here are the things within each section you should try to get early on.

Defence Systems

How many Servitors you spend here will depend on how involved you want to get in space combat. You can gain Requisition and other rewards by fighting the Death Guard Plagueships crossing the star map, but they're also easily avoided.

If your hull takes damage, consider upgrading your Void Shields instead of directly repairing your ship. That way you increase your ship's maximum defence at the same time as restoring a point of defence.

Support Systems

The key thing to focus on early here is the Augmentation Chamber, which provides a nice drip-feed of Servitors (the sooner you do this in the game, the more Servitors you get in the long run, so it's one of those 'investment' upgrades). 

You may be anxious to upgrade the Warp Drive to speed up your ship and tackle those initial Bloom outbreaks, but realistically it'll spread in the early game anyway, so it's not essential.

Personnel Systems

A Meditation Chamber will establish a 50 percent XP gain for your marines, so the earlier you do it the more it benefits you over the long haul. 

If you prefer to powerlevel a small number of marines rather than rely on a bigger rotation, then you may want to build the Regeneration Unit to help them recover from injuries 50 percent faster. You could complement this with the Surgical Unit, which ensures that critically-injured marines come back with Augmetics, granting them permanent upgrades upon recovery.

Combat

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Remember these combat tips on Daemonhunters' battlefields

Use the environment

The environment is one of your few friends in Daemonhunters. It's mostly destructible, and filled with pillars and explosive nodes with which you can take out swathes of enemies at once. You can cause chain reactions, too, so pushing a pillar onto an ammo cache will blow it up, while an enemy that's knocked back into a fire chalice will knock it over to set the ground alight.

There are plenty of chasms on each map that enemies can fall into (particularly around the edges), and a well-placed grenade can send several plummeting to their deaths simultaneously. Every marine has a grenade stashed in their starting equipment and in the early game it's good to have several grenades in your squad before you start specialising their gear and abilities later on.

Monitor enemy patrol movements

Fight the enemy on your terms: the last thing you want is a roaming patrol wandering into an existing skirmish. Patrols will appear in your fog of war as green circles, and the arrow on the edges of the circle will tell you which direction they're heading next turn. This lets you anticipate enemy patrols, and decide whether to evade or engage them.

Unless they've spotted you, patrols won't come through building doors, so if they're on the other side of a building wall to you, they won't spot you even if they're nearby.

Move rear units first between battles

Levels in Daemonhunters are vast, and you'll be doing a fair bit of travelling as you march towards your objectives. If your knights are far apart from each other after a skirmish, start by moving the ones furthest from your objective towards, otherwise you risk starting a new skirmish with some of your marines miles away from the action.

Bloom Seeds

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How to collect Bloom Seeds

Bloom Seeds are the research currency in Daemonhunters, and they're required to progress the plot and improve your Stratagems and Prognosticars. You also use them to upgrade individual weapons and armour.

There are several ways to collect Bloom Seeds, not all of which are immediately clear. They are:

  • Land a critical melee hit on a Seed Carrier (who’ll have an icon above their head denoting the kind of seed they’re carrying) to get their seed. Of course, there’s always the risk that you won’t land a critical hit and kill the Seed Carrier instead, making this the most risky method. 
  • The ability ‘Hammerhand’ guarantees you a critical hit in melee, which in turn guarantees that you’ll extract the seed from a carrier.
  • Get the “Extract Seed” Ability for your Apothecary. This will guarantee that any of his melee strikes, (critical or not) will extract seeds from Seed Carriers.
  • Research Advanced Seed Access to get the “Extractor Servo Skull” in your Wargear. This extracts Bloom Seeds from enemies at up to 15 Range, and doesn’t cost any AP to use.
  • Research Advanced Seed Extraction to extract an extra seed from each carrier. Given that you extract one seed per carrier by default, that’s pretty much doubling your seeds per mission.
  • In missions, keep an eye out for Bloom pods from which you can extract seeds.

Research

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The technology you should research

Now it's time to put those seeds to good use. They come in five different colours, reflecting their particular flavour of Corruption. Each tech you research in the Libris Malleus will require a specific seed strain (or in some cases several different strains), so check which strain each tech requires. Also check which strain is present on a star system before travelling to it.

Prognosticars

Prognosticars are created in the Manufactorum, but are upgraded and improved through research in the Libris Malleus. They let you create webs of up to six systems on the star map, within which you'll get various bonuses when undertaking missions. You can improve Prognosticars by researching upgrades that slow down the growth rate of Warp Surge each turn, grant your troops a WP boost upon War Surge events, and other in-mission boons.

The thing is, Prognosticar upgrades only work within a Prognosticar's zone of influence on the star map, and seeing as you probably won't have more than one Prognosticar until later in the game, you probably won't get that much use from upgrading them early on.

Stratagems

The other direction to take your research is Stratagems, special cards that you can use once (or more, with the right research) per battle to drastically turn the tide. You'll get a lot more use out of these in the early game than Prognosticars, so focus on them first.

The first Stratagem you unlock is Quicksilver, which gives one Knight two extra action points for one turn. Of the first batch of Stratagems you research on your lonesome, Gate of Infinity stands high above the rest. It teleports your entire squad to any visible location on the map, which is great for surrounding a boss or getting everyone to a defensible position when awaiting extraction.

Note: If you're going on a mission within a Prognosticar's zone of influence, you'll get an extra Stratagem slot for that mission. Make sure to fill that extra slot with a Stratagem card.

Fighting the Bloom

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Don't worry about the Bloom's spread at first

As you struggle to keep up with the Bloom spread in the early game, you may get that 'XCOM' feeling: when your game gets into an unwinnable state, but you're still playing (and for what?). But the reality is that the Bloom is meant to spread early on, so that you get the satisfying feeling of pushing it back way later. It's that way by design.

It's okay for you to quell just one or two Bloom outbreaks for every three or four that pop up. The key is to always complete at least one mission during an outbreak.

When an outbreak occurs, keep an eye on how many points of Corruption a planet is gaining. Usually it's just the one, but it can sometimes be two or three. In addition, if a solar system already has three points of Corruption, then any further increases will cause it to spread to neighbouring systems. 

Always prioritise the missions with the biggest potential Bloom increases.