The campaigns in Gladius are an interesting addition to the standard 4X formula. They can often be a source of frustration rather than enjoyment due to large amounts of hostile forces attacking you. There’s nothing quite like losing a long game just as you were on the cusp of victory because of an event time limit or a massive invasion force.
There are three main campaign mission types:
During Explore and Produce missions, it’s frequently possible to put your campaign progress on hold while you deal with AI enemy factions or build up your forces, but you rarely know what the campaign will ask of you next.
In this guide, we’ll take a quick look at the Eldar campaign chapters to make it easier for you to decide when to march forward through the campaign and when to hold back.
Chapter 1: Through the Webway
Once you produce one Autarch, you’ll gain some influence and move on to the next part of the chapter.
You now need to destroy an “Umbra” enemy. This is one of the more dangerous neutral unit enemies in the game and at this early stage it will likely be overwhelming. Feel free to hold off on kill the Umbra until you’re ready to battle it. Rangers and Fire Dragons will help a lot with killing it quickly and safely. Once you defeat it, you’ll gain some energy.
Chapter 2: Anaris, Lost and Found
This mission involves production, battle, and exploration, but the part that’s easiest to do on your own terms is the explore piece. You can delay your progress to the next chapter indefinitely until you visit the highlighted tile with a unit of Rangers.
The combat portion of the mission is a nest of Tyranids. It will included at least 1 unit of Termagants, 1 unit of Gargoyles, 1 unit of Zoanthropes, and 1 unit of Tyranid Warriors. That’s a small threat for an Eldar army, but it will devour a lone unit of Eldar Rangers. Make sure you have sufficient forces nearby before trigger the enemies.
Chapter 3: The Oubliette of Heaven
This is another mission with no time pressure. There are 3 Vaul Sentry units for you to collect, but the next part of chapter 3 is a sizable invasion force. You may want to leave one behind if you’re already fighting a war on multiple fronts and come back when you’re ready. Keep in mind that these units have weapons and can help you against invaders for as long as you have them and can keep them alive.
Next is a Necron invasion with 5 waves of enemies that appear every other turn. Each wave has four or five units that are a mix of Necron Warriors, Flayed Ones, Immortals, Heavy Destroyers, Tomb Blades, Annihilation Barges, and Triarch Stalkers.
This is an invasion style event, so the enemies are not particularly well-organized. They appear in scattered positions, which can be both good and bad depending on the map layout and the units you have at your command. You’ll want to be at a moderate tech level and decent sized force to deal with them easily. In the game I played, Fire Dragons and Prism Tanks made short work of any trouble makers.
Chapter 4: The Anvil God
This is another good time to take a campaign break during another “do everything” mission. Yes, you need to produce a Farseer Skyrunner and battle a small Tau army, but progress stops until you choose to visit one particular tile with a Farseer Skyrunner.
The T’au army seems to consist of 1 unit each of Fire Warriors, Pathfinders, Stealth Battlesuits, Crisis Battlesuits, Ghostkeel Battlesuit, Piranha, Devilfish, Sky Ray Gunship, and Hammerhead Gunship. Many of those units also launch drones, which are only active temporarily but can be a nuisance. This army is one cohesive army but isn’t too difficult for a prepared army to eliminate. Again, with Fire Prisms and Rangers, utilize your 3 tile attack range to do damage from relative safety.
Once you’ve eliminated the T’au, make sure you are prepared for a timed battle with a much larger army before you have your Farseer Skyrunner step under the yellow arrow.
Timed. 20 turns is a long time in Gladius, but if your entire army is off fighting Orks and Space Marines, 20 turns may not be enough. On top of the Daemon Prince, my experience included the following units: 10+ Chaos Cultists, 6-7 Chaos Space Marines, 5 Khorne Berzerkers, 8+ Havok Squads, 3 Chaos Rhinos, and 7 Hellbrutes.
If you had trouble defeating the earlier T’au army and pressed the big yellow button before rebuilding, you’re in some trouble. Fortunately, despite those impressive numbers, there’s a lot of fodder in that army, and they’ll struggle to inflict many casualties on higher-tier Eldar units. Make sure to split the focus beam down on your Fire Prisms when attacking weaker units like Cultists to inflict maximum damage.
Chapter 5: Cegorach’s Twin
At this point, the difficulty will start spiking heavily. You’ll soon be facing multiple high tier end game units. Make certain your tech is advanced, and your economy is stable. The quest won’t progress until you’ve produced an Avatar, but by this point in the game, there’s a good chance you already did, making this “mission” nothing more than a screen of lore before the real next mission begins.
If you do already have an Avatar, you’ll move immediately into a large battle with mixed units. It’s led by a C’Tan from the Necron roster and my opposing army had more Imperial Guard units than Chaos units, but it’s another big army with plenty of Chaos.
My playthrough featured the following units: 7 Wyrdvane Psykers, 8 Tempestus Scions, 6 Bullgryns, 8 Hydras, 3 Leman Russ Battle Tanks, 5 Warp Talons, 8 Obliterators, 8 Venomcrawlers, 1 Transcendent C’Tan.
Be careful of your unit placement as you can lose multiple units in 1 turn to the impressive firepower of what you’re facing. Also, don’t forget about using the Vaul Sentry units to help fight and do damage.
Chapter 6: Umbra
Wait, more battle? Of course!
After gaining victory over the previous army battles, it’s time for yet another invasion style battle with scattered enemies. This interminable campaign mission features ten waves of enemies that appear every other turn.
Each wave has six to eight units that are a mix of Umbra, Wraithblades, Wraithknights, Hemlock Wraithfighters, and a solitary Avatar (in wave 7).
Though smacking down a couple of Umbra or Wraithblade units at this point should be no problem, some waves have three Wraithknights each. That’s a lot of opposing health to chew through. I’m not sure a single other mission in Gladius includes so many waves and units to kill. Try to make sure you have multiple cities (as the units seem to split their targets) and equivalent units to what you’ll be fighting. Also having multiple Spiritseer heroes to heal your units can make a huge difference, but aware that almost everything you’re fighting can kill a Spiritseer in 1 hit, so be very careful with your unit positioning.
When you’ve survived, you are victorious over the Eldar campaign. Contratulations!
As with all quests, you can choose to do this after your game ends in a normal victory if you don’t want to risk also being attacked by another player.
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