Frequently Asked Questions

Mod Basics

What are Tyranids?
The Tyranids are a race not specifically good or evil. They are bestial dinosaur-like/insectoid creatures, ranging from the small, dog-sized Rippers to the massive Trygon who makes tanks look like toys.

Tyranids exist as part of a Hive Mind, a psychic presence broadcast from orbiting Hive Ships and spread by specific Tyranid creatures, such as Hive Tyrants and Tyranid Warriors. They project the thoughts of the Hive Mind to the lesser Tyranids, who simply exist to kill.

Tyranids exist to devour planets - dropping thousands of spores from the sky to begin the digestion proces, accelerating plant and animal growth to rapidly strip the planet of its resources and using their larger creatures to remove any resistance. When this process has been completed, the Tyranid hivefleet moves on to another planet, leaving nothing in their path but a lifeless ball of rock.

What does this mod do?
This mod adds Tyranids as a race option in Dawn of War.

Basically, you'll be able to play as a small Tyranid incursion force - helping to begin the digestion of the local environment and destroying any resistance.

What? You're not including [insert favourite unit here]?
Due to the nature of DoW, we can’t just have every single unit on the Tyranid army list. Due to a combination of time and labour restraints, we can't include everything - nor would necessarily be useful to do so.

We've included the majority of core units; excluding those that don't really add much to the game. Relic have done similar for the standard races as well. For example, Space Marines don't include techmarines, bike squadrons, attack bikes, vindicators, etc and it has hardly impacted on the game’s playability.

So what's the full list of units you're not including?
The following is the list of units we decided not to include (in alphabetical order):
Death Leapers
Genestealer Cultists
Norn Queens
Old One Eye (redundant - there's a regeneration upgrade)
Tyrant Guard
Red Terrors

We also don't intend to include anything from the Forgotten Fleets conversion list, or the Biodiversity Project. Please don't try and argue with us about any of these, we do have good reasons, and it's a bit tiresome to have to repeat the same arguments every time someone asks.

What versions of Dawn of War is the Tyranid Mod currently compatible with?
The latest version of the Tyranid Mod has been released for Dark Crusade and Soulstorm.

Note: The Dark Crusade release has a patch (which we strongly recommend you install), the Soulstorm version does not.

I can't get the Dark Crusade version of the Tyranid Mod to work!
The Dark Crusade version of the Tyranid Mod was originally designed for the 1.0 version of Dark Crusade and although we've upgraded it to be 1.2 compatible, some people may still experience trouble getting it to work after patching Dark Crusade.

If "Tyranid Mod" is not listed in your game manager, try the following:
1) Open the folder you installed Dark Crusade to.
2) Open the "Tyranids.module" file in notepad.
3) Where it says:
DllName = WXPMod
;; DllName = WXPMod_DCMod

Change it to:
;; DllName = WXPMod
DllName = WXPMod_DCMod

Then save and close.

If the mod still doesn't display in your game manager, try asking for help in the Tech Support board.

What versions of Dawn of War will the next Tyranid Mod release run on?
The next release of the Tyranid Mod is planned to only be compatible with Soulstorm.

We're aware that this is a potentially unpopular move, however there are fundamental changes in Soulstorm that work much better for our designs than the systems available in Dark Crusade.

We may go back and replicate our next release in Dark Crusade once we've completed the final Soulstorm version, but we don't know yet. Doing the same things in Dark Crusade would be much more difficult and time-consuming, and the final result wouldn't be as effective.

Will you guys be modding Dawn of War II?
The current official mod team stance is no.

According to the information we have, Dawn of War II will not be moddable in the same way Dawn of War is. Plus Tyranids are gonna be in it anyway, so why would we need to?

Why are you taking so long?
The mod team subscribes to Hofstadter's Law, which states:

"It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law."

Bugs crop up, real life issues get in the way, mod team members have come and gone... there's a lot of stuff that slows us down. Sometimes things which we expected to only take a week wind out taking a month or two (or even longer). We don't have a way of predicting whether we'll be able to stay on our tentative schedule or not.

If this were our job it'd be a lot faster because we could dedicate a lot more time to the mod, but we're doing this in our free time and that means we suffer a lot of setbacks.

Can I use the Tyranid Mod in my own Dawn of War mod?
Generally we'll say yes to this question, but before we do, we need more information:

1) What is your mod? (what is it you actually want it to do? what's your vision for your mod? why are you making it? etc)
2) Is your mod just for you and your friends, or are you going to publicly release it?
3) Are you asking us whether you can take parts of our mod and copy them into your mod, or are you asking whether you can make a mod with an inter-mod dependency on ours?

Our biggest concern is that we don't own all the components of our mod (the mod is made up of the contributions of many people, each of whom owns their own work), and we have to get permission from those people who contributed to it but aren't in the Mod Team anymore before we can agree to give mod assets to you for your own use.

If you want to ask, don't PM an administrator about it. Make a thread in the General board in the Mod Stuff section, be specific about all the details we'll need and then the Mod Team will get back to you. It's not one person's decision, and it's not something we really like saying yes to unless it's something awesome. That said, as long as your mod is reliant on our mod (and we can show you how to go about doing that), rather than actually taking our mod and changing it, we probably won't mind.

Is there a good example of how not to ask if I can use your mod in mine?
To date we've only actually turned down about four or five such requests. The first (and now, sadly, only the second worst attempt) can be read here. This serves as a good example of how not to ask; it was highly disorganised (honestly, we still can't decipher what it was he was intending on doing - or even whether he intended on making one mod or two), and when we asked for more detail we were given none (and even had our "common sense" questioned).

Even further, after being given a no, he decided to start PMing us to continue the conversation because he didn't believe he'd received an "honest no". Apparently he also felt we needed a "stern talking" (his words), and ultimately it devolved into him rudely accusing us of... something (not really sure what it was, but it was clear there was an accusation in there)... and the statement that we were "biased because of hate".

However, his messages also demonstrated that he'd forgotten to mention things (like that he also wanted to include the Mobilise for War mod - something mentioned nowhere in his thread), and ultimately proved to us that he didn't want to take the time to think through what he intended on doing so he could articulate it. He also seemed to be of the opinion that asking was an unnecessary formality, and that he could just use our modellers' and coders' work without their permission if need be (something we firmly disabused him of).

Eventually, after repeatedly being told that we did not wish to continue the conversation via PM, after the suggestion of getting someone else (who might be better at putting his idea into words) to front for him, and after the very clear statement that he should take at least a 24 hour period of not messaging us so he could coordinate what it was he actually wanted to ask, we were forced to ban him because he refused to do all of these, arguing that if we banned him, he would be proven "right" and we would be proven "wrong" (and again, we still have no idea what exactly he was "right" about).

So the basic gist of this example is:

1) Be clear about what you want to do, and articulate it. If we ask for more details, it's because there's some ambiguity in your statements that we'd like to clear up. Elaborate. Talk at length. We want to know what you're thinking after all! But don't just repeat yourself; if we needed more information the first time, the second time's not going to make it any better.

2) You're asking us for help on your mod - there's no need to be rude if we do ask for more details. And certainly, if you're trying to get us on your side, it won't help your case to be difficult.

3) If we say no it's not because we hate you as a person (we don't know you!), it's probably because we don't know what it is you intend on doing with our work.

3b) That said, if we do start hating you after only 4 or 5 posts, then clearly you're doing something horribly, horribly wrong.

4) Don't PM us. Firstly, PMs are annoying; it feels like pestering, and this sort of thing needs to be a whole mod team decision. Secondly, the entire mod team will be watching your thread, so if they disagree with what another mod team member says they'll say so. Otherwise, assume the mod team member who answers speaks for the whole mod team - so there's no need to resort to PMs to question what's been said.

5) If we say no, sorry, but we really mean no. We'll tell you why when we say no - so if the circumstances surrounding that answer change, feel free to ask again, but otherwise a no is a no.

Addendum: As a cautionary tale, in the example given the individual requesting the use of our mod went off to the FoK forums to trash-talk our response. However, recently we discovered that after being banned he also hopped onto DoWfiles to try and "get ahole od the mod team" because he "need[ed] to let the whole team know exactly what [he] said". The mod team knew what he said, because his private messages were cross-posted into the mod team board, but he still was of the opinion that he was a victim of "a totally biased Administrator who thinks he's God".

Don't be that guy. We're very good at keeping each other informed of what people are saying and doing, we try to keep everyone in the loop and we want to help people who ask us for favours or assistance. If you're acting sensibly and putting in the effort to explain yourself, you won't go wrong.

Are you guys updating the mod for [x]th Edition Tyranids?
The Tyranid Mod has been going for a while now. We started back in 3rd Edition, and made the transition into 4th when they re-released Tyranids back in 2004.

Doing so required us to update every single unit model we had and add a new one (the Broodlord).

It's important to remember though that at the moment we're sitting at a point where we've given players a lot of unit options to manage. We've cut very few units, but the units we cut were removed because they didn't add anything significant for the amount of extra room (and mental space for the player) they take up.

So we do keep track of new edition releases, we do spend time thinking up ways of updating with them, but what the mod team decides to do may not be what the public expects.

Gameplay Basics

So Tyranids have bases now?
Yes. One of the downsides of the Dawn of War engine is that players need something equivalent to a base - something to spawn units and research technologies in.

We have considered the option of wandering production creatures, but we thought it a little too reminiscent of Night Elves from Warcraft 3... and besides, most creatures prefer to lie down for a while after being in space for a long time.

So basically in our mod, Tyranids operate out of a base of what are mostly landed hiveships. We've given them a slight edge, in that they can pretty much build anywhere because of this.

What's with the resources?
In the 0.45 release, Tyranids only use one resource: Requisition. Requisition represents the locally collected biomass available to you, and is thus produced by Reclamation Pools, not Spore Chimneys.

In the next release, we'll be adding a second resource: Influence, which will be produced by Spore Chimneys. Influence will work like the Sisters of Battle Faith resource, and represent the amount of control you've gathered over the local environment. You'll be able to spend it to land new buildings, perform certain researches and activate some special abilities.

How are you including Tyranid evolution and mutation?
In the release after 0.5, we intend to include the option at Tier 1 to radically alter the gameplay style you're using. A series of five completely optional (but mutually exclusive) technologies will be available to choose between (or not choose at all), which will give access to tech-tree variations which represent different kinds of hive fleets.

The basic variations on top of standard play will be:
• Infiltration focused
• Swarm focused
• Big bug focused
• Ranged focused
• *cough* focused

So hopefully that will be a lot more interesting to play, and give more of that unique evolving feel.

How does Synapse work?
For those who don't know, Synapse is the term given to the control of the Hive Mind, and creatures that relay that control to lesser creatures of the swarm are sometimes called "Synapse creatures". In the tabletop game, non-Synapse creatures who are not under Synapse range revert to random animalistic behaviour, hence why this is an important question.

In-game, you won't ever lose control of your units - the game doesn't allow it, and we tend to think that losing control of your units like that would kinda suck anyway.

We've made Synapse into an aura effect given off by the Broodlord, Warriors, Zoanthropes and the Hive Tyrant (indicated by the flashing Ripper symbol under their feet). Non-Synapse creatures generally have easily broken morale and will often attempt to fall back to safer ground after taking fire, but while under the influence of a Synapse aura (indicated by a flickering blue ring surrounding and covering them), their morale is boosted significantly and even when decimated will rarely fall back from a fight.

What do Tyranids sound like?
Tyranids mostly sound like animals. They don't use any real form of communication - most of the time, they're just one mind spread across many creatures.

Of course, this is impractical for the player a lot of the time - particularly with sighting sounds, it's important to have a way of letting the player know what race of enemy their units off-screen have encountered. We're planning on having the enemy sighting sounds be audible to the player, so that way you'll be able to hear your enemies respond to you, in true Tyranid fashion.

Can I use my own hivefleet colours?
Of course! We're doing our best to make each unit as easily modifiable in the Army Painter as possible. You can even do all-pink Tyranids if you'd like.

Will there be a campaign?
We hope so.

Beta Basics

What do Beta Testers do?
Beta Testers make sure that the mod works, that the mod is balanced and that it feels right.

We put together updated versions of the mod and the Beta Testers put them through their paces, testing for faults, flaws and exploits. They also run through individual unit-vs-unit tests to make sure that each creature type is generally the appropriate strength level, and occasionally run multiplayer tests as well.

How much work is Beta Testing?
It's a reasonable amount. We expect you to be available for, and to give feedback on every test release we put up.

People who don't regularly give feedback or disappear without any warning get removed from the Beta Testing team.

Do I need anything special to become a Beta Tester?
You'll need a copy of Dawn of War: Soulstorm, enough free time to regularly test what we need you to and the ability to think strategically.

Beyond those three things, no, you don't need anything special.

How do I go about becoming a Beta Tester?
Send a Private Message to either Krishach or Dimand. They'll put you in the Pre-Beta trial group to see whether you're cut out for it.

If you make sensible and understandable points, you'll probably become a Beta Tester relatively quickly.

Forum Basics

Where should I post?
It's almost always best to use the search function (top right of your screen) to see if there's already a thread on the topic you wish to talk about - and if there is, it's often best to post in there. If you think the thread necromancy rule might apply or if it's not quite what you're after (or if you can't find anything), post a new thread.

The forum is divided up into boards for specific topics, please try to create new threads in the appropriate board (the General board is not the Chat board and so on). Occasionally we'll move a thread to a more appropriate board if we feel that it's not in the right one - but it's only if you seem to have ignored the entire forum layout that we'll get annoyed about it though.

If you need to ask a question but don't think it requires an entire thread to itself and you can't find the appropriate thread to ask it, PM a moderator.

What's thread necromancy and why am I not meant to do it?
Thread necromancy is posting in a thread that's been dead for a month or more. We don't like it when people do this, and generally we'll give warnings out for doing it.

There are notable exceptions to the necromancy rule - that is, if a thread is stickied or in the Balance board it doesn't count, and it doesn't count if there have been significant new developments on a thread's topic and thus it's worth adding to the thread.

However, if a post does not fall into either of those two categories, then chances are it's going to be spam - and spamming in a dead thread gets people's hopes up that you might have said something interesting or important and most people will find it rude if you haven't. That's when we'll give warnings.

Why do people around here hate noobs?
We've had essays on this subject before, and the proper answer is relatively detailed.

In short: It's because we're busy.

Basically, we're continuously trying to move the Tyranid Mod forward and get things done. We don't mind that people might not know what's going on - that's actually to be expected - but regularly having to repeat the same stuff over and over because some newcomer is too lazy to read through the information we put up to help people keep up to speed becomes remarkably aggravating when it happens on a daily basis. We've literally had thousands of people come through our website over the years we've been doing this. And we've had to answer the same old questions many, many times.

If you want to make us happy, look around. It's that simple. Look around, read the information we put up to help you. Once you've read it all through and still have questions, then feel free to ask.

Y r teh m0dz t3ll1ng m3 0f f0r mi sp3llink?
We like the forum to be readable.

Apart from the fact that we like being able to understand what people are saying, a lot of people on the forum don't speak English as a first language and if you write in a legible and coherent manner it makes it easier on them too. Strangely we find that people who aren't native English speakers tend to be easier to understand than a lot of people who come from English-speaking nations, since they actually pay attention to their spelling and grammar.

So no txtspeak or 1337speak and try to spell decently. We understand that not everyone can spell properly - at least one of our members is dyslexic - but please at least try and make yourself understandable.

What's wrong with double-posting?
Making multiple posts in a row is a pain to read. We much prefer it if you use the edit button to edit the post you've already made and just put everything in it.

So unless someone's already replied to your post, please don't make another - just use the edit button.

What are flaming and trolling?
Flaming is intentionally posting offensive material - whether aimed at someone specifically or just generally attacking a whole group of people. Trolling is repeatedly flaming people or baiting them into what will become a flamefest (or just generally being intentionally disruptive).

Flaming can earn you anything from a warning up to an instant ban and trolling will easily earn you a ban. We have a forum of people of multiple races, faiths and backgrounds - all of whom are human (or so we assume). Treat each other like humans.

What is spam and why will it get me in trouble?
Spam is any post that is void of meaningful content or is made intentionally ignoring of a conversation topic.

Posting spam repeatedly is liable to get you warnings because it uses up forum bandwidth and is just plain rude. In addition, getting rid of it gives more work to the administrators and moderators who'd much rather be doing something productive.

I want to post download links on the forum for games and stuff!

As a general rule of thumb, posting download links for games (or music, or software of any sort) is a bad idea. We don't allow people to post links to download copyrighted material as this will get the mod team in trouble. Unless something is specifically stated as being freeware, please don't post download links.

For the record, no, abandonware is not legal. There is no such legal term or status for any game. Unless the game was made prior to 1964 or hasn't had its copyright renewed for 28 years, or unless it has officially had its copyright relinquished or made public domain or freeware (and no, copyrights for companies that no longer exist don't count and neither do copyrights that are probably owned by can no longer be traced), it can't be freely transfered or downloaded.

Is there anything else I shouldn't post?
Apart from games, music and software there are a few things we'd prefer you didn't post.

Firstly, no Zerg references. You wouldn't believe how many times we've had people tell us that Tyranids are like Zerg, or that we should (or shouldn't) do something because that's how the Zerg do it, and so on and so forth. Yeah, we know they're similar. It's not helpful.

And for the record, as far as we've been able to discern, neither Zerg nor Tyranids are based on each other. Nobody stole anything from anyone (except from H.R. Giger) - alien infestations are just a science fiction archetype. There really doesn't seem to have been any GW/Blizzard deal to make a 40k game that got changed into something else at the last minute. It's probably just a myth someone made up.

Secondly, please don't make posts telling us what we "have to do" or "have to include". We appreciate suggestions but don't insist that your idea is the only way of doing something, or that we have to do it because you want it that way, or start voting on what we ought to be doing. It's rude and generally ignores the ton of work we've put into designing the feel and balance of the mod.

Thirdly, no one-line posts unless you are really good at condensing important information into a single sentence. Single word posts, single sentence posts and the like wind up taking up space and saying not much of anything - in other words, are spam. You don't like spam emails, we don't like spam posts.

Fourthly, don't advertise unless we say you can. It's kinda rude to come to someone else's forum and start saying "hey, come over here!".

Finally, no porn. It's a fairly obvious one - if it's not safe for work, it doesn't belong here.

Basically just use your common sense.

What's the deal with warnings?
If you break a forum rule, moderators will generally tell you to stop doing it. If you keep doing it, they'll give you a warning. A warning will last 90 days before it disappears. If you get three warnings, you automatically get a 5 day ban. Also, if you earn too many bans, we'll just get sick of you breaking the forum rules and ban you permanently.

In short, don't earn warnings.

OMG! That moderator was mean to me!
Chances are you broke the forum rules and that's why they were "mean".

If you have a problem with a moderator, or think they're being unfair - doing things to you or others even though no rules were broken - send a PM to an admin and talk to them about it. Don't start a thread about it listing your griefs against a moderator, that's just a good way of ticking people off.


I thought the DoW Engine couldn't handle enough models for a proper Tyranid swarm?
This is a myth.

While it's a correct assumption that more models on screen will require more intensive processing by the engine, it's the FX that tend to take up the most processing of all - something many Soulstorm players will have noticed when they found out that a single unit of Sisters of Battle can do more to lag their game than a screen full of units from any other army.

We've actually run tests ourselves involving a screen full of gaunts (a 1680x1050 screen too, not your regular 1024x768 screen - so a LOT of gaunts) and repeatedly overlaid FX to see at what point it becomes unbearable, and our mod has been written such that it should never reach those levels.

I thought the DoW Engine couldn't handle six-limbed creatures?
Again, a myth.

Sure, there are a limited number of weapons the game will let you stick on a unit. But each unit specifically has that coded into it. So long as we have enough room for all the needed weapon selection buttons, we can stack as many weapons as we want onto a single unit.

Similarly, the animations are done before you ever play the game. The engine doesn't have to think about that - it simply applies the individual attack animations and attack FX we've built for each weapon as it needs them.

I thought the DoW Engine didn't work right for a Tyranid economy?
This is true - it doesn't.

Tyranids eat whole worlds. They strip every single resource they can get from a planet, package it up, and take it with them. Not only that, but they recycle better than anyone else in the galaxy, so they don't waste any of it when they use it later.

Basically, we're talking a race that hits planets with many worlds worth of resources in one go, then scoops all that back up (plus the entire planet they just hit with it) and leaves. There's no way in hell any balanced game that allows you to play as Tyranids could portray that properly. This is the reason why Relic left Tyranids out of Dawn of War, and also the reason why they suck so horribly in Dawn of War II's multiplayer mode. They're very difficult to accurately portray as anything other than a ridiculously overpowered challenge for you to fight off (which, incidentally, is why the Dawn of War II singleplayer campaign was so good - because that's what they were).

If you check over in the Gameplay Basics section, you can read how we're trying to deal with this issue in a manner that still lets you feel what it's like to have all that power backing you up without simply throwing game balance out the window.

Arguing Basics

Arguing basics? What the crap?
Yes, arguing basics. Zaha has studied university-level politics, sociology and psychology and thus by necessity has a rather strong focus on logic and how to argue properly. He's happiest when people are actually using logic to argue and make coherent sense and grumpiest when people mangle logic and reasoning, hence this section of the FAQ.

If you want to be able to improve your ability to make a point (or honestly want to have a chance of winning an argument against Zaha), keep reading.

How is an argument structured?
An argument is basically divided into three sections - the premise/assumptions, the reasoning and the conclusion.

The premise or assumptions are the starting point. Basically, this is where you say "this is what we know to be true". If you do the reasoning and conclusion correctly, this should be the only part of your argument that people could disagree with. And if your conclusion is amongst your assumptions, you're doing it wrong.

The reasoning is where you link the assumptions together with your clever web of logic - "because of these things, we can also say...". This is also where you attempt to negate or counter the possibility of any conclusion other than your final conclusion.

The conclusion is your summary. It's the end point of your reasoning. If your reasoning is solid and you haven't missed anything, there should be no other potential conclusions.

Also, throwing in some sort of related evidence that supports your argument, at any of these three stages, never hurts.

Following this pattern not only means that other people can understand your thought processes, it also generally makes your reasoning stronger and helps you improve your argument.

Remember: an argument is a structured piece of logic, it is not endlessly repeating the same assertion over and over.

Define your terms and stick to them
The worst possible flaw in an argument is a vaguely defined word. Unless you are very specific about what you mean, you're likely to cause arguments where you and the person you're arguing with are actually arguing about two different things.

For example:
One person says "feminism is good, it promotes women's rights and has given women the vote, better jobs, higher pay and better living standards". Another person says "feminism is bad, feminists hate men and don't take into account the natural differing strengths of each gender".

They could argue like that all day and get nowhere, because they're talking about different concepts and issues, but both using the same word (feminism) to represent them. So it's very important that when you begin your argument, you're specific about what you mean. If you do that, you'll eliminate half the problems you'd otherwise have to deal with. Similarly, it'll help you keep in focus what it is you're trying to say.

Lack of proof isn't proof
A very important point to remember, which often gets ignored in religious debates:

Just because something hasn't been proven true, doesn't make it false. And just because something hasn't been proven false, doesn't make it true.

Many people will attempt to argue that someone's god doesn't exist, because they can't prove it to. Many people will attempt to argue that their god does exist, because nobody can prove it doesn't. Both of these arguments are called "appeals to ignorance" and are inherently flawed.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: the scientific method is not that something is false until proven otherwise. The scientific method is that nothing can be truly known about a subject until there is some evidence to support a theory on it.

Similarly, if you want to prove something is false, it's not the other person's job to try and prove it true first. If you want to prove it false, prove it false on your own.

That person's an idiot!
Congratulations, you've just failed to prove your point.

Whether an argument is right or not doesn't depend on how smart the person saying it is, nor what other things they believe. An argument is right or wrong based on the merits of its logic.

So if you feel the need to call someone an idiot, save it for when you've dazzlingly disproven their argument. It's not a counter-argument on its own, and attempting to use an insult as a counter-argument will not only lose you the discussion but also probably earn you a warning from one of the moderators.

But so-and-so says...?
No, that doesn't work as an argument.

Unless the person you're using as justification for being right also happens to bring a well-reasoned argument to the table (which you provide for everyone else's benefit), the fact that a person you admire said something doesn't mean that it's right.

Remember: "can" and "do" are two different things
Just because something can happen doesn't mean it will happen or is happening.

Although this kind of argument may not come to a false conclusion ("Relic can release a sequel to Dawn of War, thus they will"), the argument itself is fundamentally flawed. Just because the capability for something to happen exists doesn't mean it will be used or will automatically happen.

Godwin's Law? What's the deal with that?
Godwin's Law, in general terms, states:

As a discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.

Chances are that if you make a reference to Nazis or Hitler (in a topic not otherwise about them), some idiot will respond with something like "Godwin's Law, I win". The basic premise of this argument is that when someone resorts to mentioning Nazis, they've lost the argument.

This is actually flawed shortcut logic. Godwin's Law is not about winning or losing a discussion. It's about whether an argument has gone on too long.

In practical terms:
• If someone brings up Nazis in a thread not otherwise related to the subject, the thread's probably gone off-topic.
• If someone uses the term "Nazis" as an insult (by comparing someone or their position to the Nazis), they've ceased arguing and have started flaming.

Either way, Godwin's Law is a specific-application guideline to whether the discussion needs reining in - so if you feel the need to bring up the Nazi party or Hitler, think very carefully about why you're doing it.

A final point to remember...
For every opinion there is someone yelling an equally loud opposite opinion.

Be open to being wrong.