Fantasy Flight Games announced Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, a brand new Living Card Game just minutes ago. This game casts two players into a head-to-head battle for the Traxis sector!
In every game, players take the part of a warlord, leading armies into battle against their opponent in a bid to claim glorious victory. Even as they lead their bravest warriors into battle, they must plan for the future, establishing a presence on planets before the tides of war consume them in blood and fire. players must conquer the Traxis sector by strength of arms, for in the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.
At the beginning of a game of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, the Traxis sector lies open before the players, with planets awaiting the tramp of armies on the road to war. Each round begins with a player and their opponent preparing for battle. Planet cards are arranged in a row between the players at the beginning of the game, and the planet farthest to the left of the starting player is the first planet. Each round, players will clash at the first planet, and the victor will capture the first planet. Capturing planets is a players ultimate goal in Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, and is explained further below.
Players deploy units to establish their faction on planets across the sector and increase their warlord’s armies. Army units deploy to planets to establish their command of a world and do battle for their victory. Only the first planet in the row is eligible for capture each round, but a player must carefully consider every planet. By deploying to other planets, they take the first step in securing them for future domination. After players deploy, they bring their warlord’s might to bear against one planet by secretly selecting their choice on a servo-skull dial.
Once their warlord sets foot on a planet, the command struggle begins across the sector, representing a strategic battle for resources and influence at each planet. players both compare the number of command icons on their units at each planet. Whoever possesses the most command icons wins a command struggle at the planet, claiming additional card draw and resources as the spoils of war. These added cards and resources prepare a player to play event cards during combat and swell the ranks of their army next round.
After the command struggles, combat begins at one or more planets. At the onset of a battle, the player with initiative exhausts one of his/her units to strike. Every unit has two numbers on the lower left border of its card. The top number is that unit’s attack power, while the bottom number is the unit’s hit points. The Soul Grinder, for example, has an attack power of four, and six hit points.
Whenever a player’s unit strikes, they may choose which of their opponent’s units is the target of the unit’s attack. If they attack with the Soul Grinder, for example, they would potentially deal four damage to a chosen enemy unit at the planet. The course of battle is unpredictable, however, and an opponent can always react. A host of special abilities, keywords, and event cards allow both players to modify combat.
There is no mercy in Warhammer 40,000: Conquest! On each planet, units exhaust to strike until every unit there is exhausted. Then, every unit at the planet refreshes, continuing the battle until one side retreats or is utterly destroyed. Once all battles are resolved, players both receive resources and draw two cards before a new round begins.
War Is Timing
To achieve victory in Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, players must demonstrate their superiority and dominion over the sector. Some planets possess essential materials necessary for the armies of the 41st millennium. Others offer strategic advantages to those who hold them, while yet others are home to great technological wealth. Each of the planet cards possesses one or more symbols in the upper left hand corner, designating that planet’s assets. A planet like Elouith, for example, possesses only the Tech symbol, whereas Iridial has all three symbols: Material, Strongpoint, and Tech. These symbols grant no abilities by themselves, but the first player to collect three planets sharing a common symbol dominates the sector and wins the game.
Just because a player can’t claim a planet immediately doesn’t mean they should ignore it completely. The bonuses granted to the player who wins the command struggle on a planet provide a vital infusion of resources or additional card draw. The world of Osus IV, for instance, grants two resources to the player winning the command struggle, whereas the strategically important forge world of Iridial only allows you to draw a card.
Winning the command struggle on planets across the sector is critical to victory. Not only do players have the opportunity to build up attack forces for future battles, these planets are their principal means of gaining more resources and drawing more cards than an opponent. But they cannot neglect the first planet and the battle there. Dividing attention between the present and future is crucial to every game of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest.
Traitors, Xenos, and Heretics
Possible decks in Warhammer 40,000: Conquest are divided between seven distinct factions, each with its own unique flavor of play. Players can lead the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes in glorious combat or command the combined forces of the Imperial Guard. Take on the role of an Ork boss and drive their Waaagh! to unlimited savagery, or devote themselves to the dark powers of Chaos. A player can tailor their fate as the Eldar, expand their empire as the Tau, or strike from the shadows with the Dark Eldar. No matter whom a players chooses, the goal remains the same: conquer the Traxis sector in the name of your people!
Deckbuilding is built around a player’s warlord – the heart and soul of their army. A player’s warlord grants powerful special abilities, determines their starting resources and hand size, and serves as a vital part of the army. For example, Captain Cato Sicarius shows his strategic genius by allowing a player to gain a resource whenever an enemy unit is destroyed at the same planet. Sicarius also shows two small numbers at the bottom of his card, indicating that a player begins the game with seven resources and seven cards.
Although warlords are powerful, they are not invincible. If a warlord takes damage equal to his hit points, he becomes bloodied, causing his power to decrease and removing his special ability. For a bloodied warlord, danger lurks in any confrontation. Defeating an opponent’s bloodied general is another way to claim the honor of victory. Warlords are no cowards, however, and players can’t simply leave them behind at headquarters. A warlord must commit to a planet every round. Although the warlord has the option to retreat quickly, he must still face the risks of battle.
Building an Army
Each warlord in Warhammer 40,000: Conquest comes with eight special cards, known as his signature squad, that form the beginning of a player’s deck. Each of these cards pairs naturally with the warlord’s special ability and play style, giving a player a natural foundation to begin building a deck around. The signature squad forms a starting point, but from there, the player customizes their deck by using any of the cards from their faction and one of their allied factions.
Even in the constant warfare of the future, players need not fight alone. Alliances may form between factions brought together by mutual cause or benefit. In Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, each of the seven factions has its place in the alignment wheel. When creating a deck, a player may choose one of the two factions adjacent to their warlord’s faction to serve as an ally. They may include cards from the chosen ally’s faction at will, although certain cards are designated as loyal. These cards represent particularly loyal units, special wargear, or unique tactics, and may not be included in another faction’s deck.
The options for modifying a deck are limitless, and this system of deckbuilding also means that players will never know exactly what they’re facing in a game of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest. A player might see that their opponent has a Chaos warlord, but they don’t know if he’s playing a pure Chaos deck, or if he’s included cards from the Ork or Dark Eldar factions. Oh the intrigue!
Release: 3rd quarter 2014