Preview the Command Struggle from Warhammer 40,000: Conquest
Mankind is not the only race to tread the stars. There are hundreds of civilizations amid the star-strewn pathways of the galaxy, whose threat is only contained through Imperial might. Some of these races are ancient beyond Mankind’s reckoning. Others are newborn powers, stretching forth for the first time. All must be fought tooth and nail for the survival of our race.
Are you prepared to enter the grim future and battle for the stars in Warhammer 40,000: Conquest? This new Living Card Game® thrusts you into combat over the planets of the Traxis sector, testing your strategy and military might as you attempt to destroy your opponent and rise to victory. Whether you control an Ork Waaagh!, utilize the ancient technology of the Eldar, or serve at the behest of the Emperor as a Space Marine, you can lead your warlord and his armies to conquer the Traxis sector!
No campaign consists purely of massive battles though, with glorious victories and crushing defeats. A worthy warlord must consider every possible outcome of his actions, balancing the resources needed to support his army, the possibility of reinforcements, the desire to claim a decisive victory, and the morale of his troops. In our first preview of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, we looked at the deployment of units across planets. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the consequences of that deployment by showing how to commit your warlord and win command struggles across the sector.
Into the Fray
At the beginning of the command phase, each player secretly selects which planet to send his warlord to using the servo-skull dial. You must make several important considerations when deciding where to commit your warlord. Firstly, if your warlord is the only warlord present at a planet, you automatically win the command struggle, which is vital for gathering cards and resources, as described below. In addition, battle takes place at the first planet and at any planet with a warlord, meaning that committing your warlord to a planet is your only way to force a battle beyond the first planet.
Although only the first planet can be claimed for a player’s victory display, triggering a battle at another planet with your warlord can be an exceptional way to remove a future threat or activate the planet’s Battle ability. Because any army units at your headquarters move to your selected planet along with your warlord, your warlord can also lead your armies into battle at a critical juncture, when you expect the battle to be hotly contested.
The Spoils of War
After both players set their dials, the dials are simultaneously revealed, and the warlords moved to the selected planets, along with any units at your headquarters. The command struggle now begins, representing a strategic battle for resources and influence throughout the Traxis sector. Normally, the command struggle at each planet is resolved by tallying the number of command icons on both player’s ready units, but if your warlord is present, you win the command struggle automatically – assuming your opponent’s warlord is not present. If your opponent’s warlord is present, command icons must be counted to determine the victor of the command struggle.
Each unit in Warhammer 40,000: Conquest may have a number of command icons depicted on its card between the artwork and the text box. For example, the Land Raider (Core Set, 17) has three command icons that will count towards your side’s total, provided the Land Raider is ready during the struggle.
The winner of the command struggle at a given planet receives the rewards of his superior planning and strategy by gaining the card bonus and resource bonus listed on the planet card. The planet Plannum, for example, contributes both one card and one resource to the player who wins the command struggle there, as shown by the symbols in the lower left and right corners of the planet card. Every planet offers different rewards, some inviting you to draw extra cards, whereas others are rich in resources to fuel your war. These bonuses are claimed immediately, and can play a key role in the remainder of the round. Even if you previously had no event cards to affect the course of combat, or lacked the resources to play them, you can plan ahead and either gain resources or draw more cards in the command phase, potentially receiving the cards and resources you need to turn combat in your favor.
A Grand Strategy
For an example of a command struggle resolution, refer to the image above, depicting a command struggle about to resolve on the planet Plannum. There are no warlords present, so the victor of the command struggle must be determined by counting command icons. The Space Marine player has a ready Land Raider, and an exhausted 10th Company Scout (Core Set, 12). The 10th Company Scout’s command icon is not counted, since it is exhausted, so the Space Marine player has a total of three command icons.
On the other side, the Ork player has two ready units on Plannum: a Goff Nob (Core Set, 59) and Nazdreg’s Flash Gitz (Core Set, 54). The Goff Nob has no command icons, while Nazdreg’s Flash Gitz has one command icon, giving the Ork player only one command icon. The Space Marine player wins the command struggle decisively, counting three command icons to the Ork player’s one command icon. As the reward for his strategic placements, the Space Marine player immediately claims the bonuses granted by Plannum, drawing one card and claiming one resource.
You can find ways to get even more out of the command struggle by using certain units that can raise your bonuses for winning the command struggle at a planet. For example, if you win the command struggle at a planet where the Rogue Trader (Core Set, 171) is present, you’ll collect one additional resource. The Void Pirate (Core Set, 170) offers a similar reward, allowing you to draw one additional cards. By using these units to aid your struggle for command of the Traxis sector, your conquest can grow quicker than ever before.
Prepare to Charge
The command struggles resolving at the planets of the Traxis sector give you the resources and cards you need to continue your assault on your opponent, seizing planets in the name of your faction and claiming victory. The command phase is followed by combat breaking out on certain planets, as we’ll examine in a future preview. Can you plan for the future, gathering necessary resources and still attain glory on the field of battle? You’ll find out in the Traxis sector!
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