This article will be the first in a series regarding Warhammer 40,000 Conquest: The (Living) Card Game. I’m doing a number of overview for a friend who runs his own online board game store – Dicing on the Cake!
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Now that we’re one chapter pack into the game with a deluxe expansion on the way – let’s take a look at some Factions and their Warlords.
First up – Astra Militarum!
Or ‘Imperial Guard’ to those of you not worried about the fact that you can’t trademark something called ‘Imperial Guard’.
In the table-top game, The Guard quite often could be seen using mass-numbers as a tactic over specialised units, however in the card game this is dialled down somewhat. With units spanning a range of cost bands, Imperial Guard seem to favour a Combined Arms approach, utilising key Army units that span across troops, and vehicles, with a high number of support options and some supporting mechanics in the form of deck search and sacrificing units.
They are also one of the four factions that currently have access to token units – the other three being Dark Eldar, Orks and Chaos. When the Tyranid-themed ‘Great Devourer’ expansion comes out next month (we think?), the new faction will also have their own set of Token Units – Termagants.
Unfortunately, unlike factions like the Dark Eldar and Orks, the Imperial Guard token units are fairly underutilised at the moment. There are no cards outside of Warlord signature cards that can summon tokens to the field. Coteaz, the newest Warlord, has a single signature Support card that allows you to draw tokens, while Straken has a Support card and four signature Army Units that can get tokens into play. They are a great asset for the smattering of sacrifice mechanics you see in the Guard line-up, but it’s a shame they are not catered too more.
The new Warlord coming with the second Warpack cycle however shows some promise in this area.
Colonel Straken was the Warlord that came with the Core Set. He’s a fairly simple Warlord to use – his ability allows every Soldier or Warrior card to get +1 to Attack. Simples. You don’t have to do any complex manoeuvring or plays to get his ability to work, so from a deck-building perspective just make sure you throw in a lot of keyword-matching cards. Orks are a good ally for Straken, since they have a lot of Warriors and Soldiers amongst their non-loyal pool, and many of them are quite cheap as well.
Straken’s not very useful when it comes to the Guard’s most powerful plays though. The Infantry Conscripts – which relies on having a lot of supports on the field – only has the ‘Conscript’ keyword, and while not as powerful as the Space Marines, the Guard does have some pretty awesome vehicles as well, such as the Assault Valkyrie, Lemon Russ Tank and the Steel Legion Chimera. None of these benefit from Straken’s ability however.
By comparison, Torquemada Coteaz is a far more engaging prospect to lead your Guard forces into battle. His combat action is all about sacrificing units to boost his attack –so you’ll want to go with a deck that’s largely filed with disposable 1 cost or 2 cost units. Personally, I like to beef up the mid-cost range with some Chimeras and a couple of Tanks or Valkyries, but with cards like Staging Grounds, you’ll want to keep the majority of your units cheap. Again, Orks are a great ally here, as they have some pretty good cards that are 2-cost, and even an event called Made Ta Fight which, when you read it, sounds more suited to a Guard deck than an Ork deck anyway. It’s a shame they don’t do more with ‘Inquisitor’ as a keyword, but it’s still early days yet.
You have to be careful with Coteaz though, as sacrificing units means you have less attacks per round, even if the +3 usually makes Coteaz better than the card you’re sacrificing. Catachan Outposts and Staging Grounds are essential in a Coteaz Deck, as is To Arms! Which is a good ‘support’ Event for Supports.
Hope you enjoyed today’s post – we’ll go through all the factions, posting surface thoughts and ‘drive-by’ analysis of the various decks, to give you a brief overview as to what you can expect. More in-depth analysis may come later!
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