|This article contains generic information about the title. For in-game statistics, walkthroughs and such, please visit our Dawn of War: Winter Assault portal.|
Winter Assault adds 12 more missions of campaign play and the Imperial Guard as a fully playable faction for both single-player and multiplayer. Major multiplayer balance changes were made as well. The expansion functions as a mod for the original game and cannot be run without it.
Winter Assault contains two new single-player campaigns, one for Order (Imperial Guard and Eldar) and one for Disorder (Chaos Space Marines and Orks). Each campaign has five missions with two alternatives for the final one, meaning a total of 12 if all options are explored by the player.
In the Order campaign, the player will control both Imperial Guard and Eldar troops in the first three missions, switching between factions at scripted key points. In the fourth mission, the player can switch freely between factions. The faction that wins this mission will proceed to the fifth mission, which has two different versions for the Guard and Eldar. The Disorder campaign is much the same with Chaos and Orks; factions are force-switched for the first three missions, then freely switched in the fourth, and the winner goes to their version of the fifth mission.
The fifth mission features the first appearance of the Necrons in a Dawn of War title. They only have two units – the Warrior and the Monolith – and are unavailable in multiplayer. However, the next expansion (Dark Crusade) would soon introduce them as a full faction.
The campaign missions in Winter Assault are markedly more challenging than the original Dawn of War missions, requiring the player to cope with limited units, time limits, or overwhelming enemy waves.
- Imperial Guard added
- Unit upgrades limited
- Chaplain for Space Marines
- Mega Armored Nobz for Orks
- Fire Dragon Squad for Eldar
- Khorne Berserkers for Chaos
Although the game has several endings there is a canonical ending to the game, as established by its sequel Dark Crusade.
- Farseer Taldeer is still alive, as she leads the Eldar in the Dark Crusade Campaign, suggesting that she either was successful in reaching the Titan before the Imperial Guard or she somehow survived the massacre of being left behind by the Imperial Guard. She dies in the Chaos and Ork factions' storylines.
- Warboss Gorgutz lives to fight another day, literally. He can be seen in Dark Crusade, leading the Orks again. It says that Gorgutz is forced to retreat from Lorn V by the Imperial Guard, but not before killing Lord Crull and taking his skull with him.
- The Chaos Lord Crull's skull was taken by Gorgutz and can be retrieved in Dark Crusade, given to Eliphas the Inheritor should he be successful in the campaign.
- Should the Eldar defeat the Imperial Guard in Dark Crusade, the narrator states that Farseer Taldeer was branded "an enemy of the Imperium" after her manipulation of the Cadian 412th regiment on Lorn V. Lucas Alexander's regiment was ordered to pursue the Eldar and that "this long chase was finally over" when they faced off at Victory Bay.
- Conversely, if Governor-Militant Lucas Alexander defeats the Eldar in Dark Crusade, the narrator states that his "original mission was at an end", suggesting that his original primary mission was to hunt down Farseer Taldeer for her treachery on Lorn V. His new mission of Liberating Kronus was only given after discovering the Hellstorm Cannon at Victory Bay.
- In the Imperial Guard campaign of Dawn of War 2: Retribution, a description for "Shield of Sturnn" armor says: "The Shield of Sturnn is a suit of armour that belonged to General Sturnn of the 412th Cadian, who heroically led his Regiment to recover the fallen Imperator Titan Dominatus on the planet Lorn V."
Reviews for Winter Assault were generally positive, with a 85% rating from Metacritic. No major flaws or issues were complained of, and some reviews considered it one of the best RTS games ever.
- Metacritic: 85% 
- Gamespot: 8.3/10 
- Gamespy: 4.5/5 
- IGN: 8.5/10 
- 1UP.com: A  and B+ 
- The expansion was also published in an alternative box that mentions the "Game of the Year" title won by Dawn of War
- The Gold Edition bundled Winter Assault together with the original Dawn of War (March 31, 2006)
- The Platinum Edition added Dark Crusade to the bundle in November 2006
- Dawn of War: Anthology was the Platinum Edition in a different box, relesed in 2006
- Dawn of War: The Complete Collection added the final expansion, Soulstorm, in March 2008