The player is immediately called upon to take charge of a detachment of Space Marines led by Captain Agrippa of the Ultramarines in an attempt to establish a foothold on Volistad. Attacking Zhukov, the sector the Orks overran last (poorly defended as a result,) the player must succeed here or Volistad will be lost to the Imperium. If the player is successful then the game advances to the campaign map for the first time. The Space Marines depart after their victory so any casualties incurred are not felt by the player. If the player loses, then the planet is destroyed to deny its use by the Orks and the campaign ends in defeat.
Following the player's victory, Commissar Holt then arrives to act as your second-in-command and chief advisor. Congratulating Agrippa on his victory (yours really,) he places units of the Mordian Iron Guard at your disposal. Ranging from Thudd Guns to Chimeras, these are more than enough to make an assault on Volistad's spaceport at Kotslev and bring in reinforcements from across the Imperium as a result. Should the player lose, then the campaign ends in defeat once more. There are two different endings depending on whether Holt dies with those under his command or not.
From here the player is in complete control of which direction they would like to take. A good tactic is to split your forces and send Holt's regiment North to liberate the Capital (Borodni) and tank factories at Port Kosygin while simultaneously driving into the Eastern provinces with Eberhardt's army that joined you after taking the spaceport.
It is a good bet to attack as often as you can to minimise the chances of an Ork counterattack. This will also bring in additional resources the player can use to recruit more units to his/her regiments.
See Cutscenes for more information on when these are triggered during the campaign.
- As the campaign progresses, more regiments will join your forces. See the campaign map for a detailed description of these units.
- At some point during the game, the space hulk designated the Sanguinius Terra crash-lands onto Volistad. This gives the Orks an additional army they can use to launch attacks on the player and is best attacked before it can attack itself.
- When the player nears the Temple of the Emperor, Ork units will try their hardest to stop them from taking it.
- After the player liberates the Vorkata Reaches it transpires that the area is home to an Adeptus Mechanicus Forgeworks and at least one Warlord Titan.
- The Orks will launch several counterattacks throughout the course of the campaign.
- The final battle features Warboss Skroll and, usually, the same forces you will always face here.
- When the player liberates the Capital Hive, Commissar Holt relieves the Planetary Governor of his duties for incompetence and laxity.
- As the campaign progresses, it is possible to lose games and still win the campaign.
- The name 'Volistad' is loosely based on a combination of Holistic Designs Inc. and the Russian cities Stalingrad and Leningrad (containing the same 'olist' letters in sequence and sounding similar to 'grad.')
- The province named 'Zhukov' is named for Field Marshal Georgy Zhukov, a Russian hero and adept military commander who helped lead the Red Army to victory in the Second World War.
- 'Port Kosygin' alludes to a fondess certain regiments of the Imperial Army have for a certain type of drink.
- Commander Eberhardt is named for John Eberhardt, the producer for Strategic Simulations Inc.
- 'Carpathia' is named after the cruise liner of the same name.
- 'Gorbatov' is named for Mikhail Gorbachev, a former statesman of the old Soviet Union.
- The 'Bukharin Peninsula' is named for Nikolai Bukharin, a Russian Marxist and rival of Joseph Stalin.
- 'Molotakaz' is named for Vyacheslav Molotov, a Soviet politician and diplomat.
- 'Tartar' is named for the highly resilient and skilled ethnic group living in present-day Russia.