On Our Honor

Preview the Space Marine Faction from Warhammer 40,000: Conquest


“On our honor and for the Emperor, we shall not fall!”
   –Brother Vandius, Ultramarines

The planets and stars of the galaxy are enveloped by darkness in the 41st millennium, caught in a maelstrom between xenos, heretical traitors, and the darkness emanating from the Warp. Yet despite the encroaching darkness, a light still burns in the forces of the Imperium of Man, devoted to the Emperor – a bulwark against the grasping hordes of Chaos and complete annihilation.

In Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, you have the opportunity to take command of the battalions of the righteous pledged to the Emperor’s service. In past previews of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, we’ve looked at different aspects of gameplay, exploring the rules for deployment, the command struggle, and combat, and we’ve also looked at an example of a battle. Today, however, we’ll begin delving into the factions of Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, starting with the Space Marines themselves.

Defenders of Humanity

The Space Marines warlord included in the Core Set is Captain Cato Sicarius (Core Set, 1) of the Ultramarines. Like other warlords, Sicarius determines both your starting hand-size and resources, granting you seven of each to begin the game. Sicarius also bears a powerful Reaction, granting you the ability to gain a resource whenever an enemy unit is destroyed at the same planet as Sicarius. Your warlord is sure to be in the thick of battle throughout the game, so if you can keep Sicarius hale and unbloodied, you’ll secure a steady inflow of resources, powering your army’s deployment.

Like every other warlord, Captain Cato Sicarius comes with an eight-card signature squad. These eight cards must be included in a warlord’s deck, giving you a strong foundation to your deck. The Space Marine warlord – Captain Cato Sicarius – is a fearsome warrior, but he is also a brilliant tactician, and his signature squad rewards you for outthinking your opponent amid the heat of battle. The signature squad begins with four copies of Sicarius’s Chosen (Core Set, 8), an army unit that thrives in battle. This unit has an attack value of two and three hit points, as well as a command icon, but like Sicarius himself, the true value lies in its Reaction. This army unit’s ability reads, “Reaction: After this unit enters play, move a target enemy army unit at an adjacent planet to this planet and deal it 1 damage.” Whether you use this unit to divert your opponent’s heavy-hitters, quickly eliminate weakened units, or pull enemy units into battle.

The signature squad also includes a single copy of Cato’s Stronghold (Core Set, 9). Captain Sicarius plots his battles and campaigns from this impregnable fortress, and you can use it to seize a tactical advantage in battle. By exhausting this support after an enemy unit is destroyed, you can ready any Space Marine unit at the same planet, potentially allowing your strongest or most dangerous unit to strike twice in one combat round. Clever utilization of this card can make the difference between winning and losing a battle.

Sicarius’s Space Marines are devoted to battle, and there are few tools for taking your opponent by surprise and crushing a unit equal to The Fury of Sicarius (Core Set, 10), which has two copies in Sicarius’s signature squad. By playing this event when a Space Marine unit damages an enemy non-warlord unit, you can immediately destroy the attacked unit. Since most players won’t expect a small amount of damage to spell their unit’s demise, they may choose not to shield, allowing you to destroy the unit with The Fury of Sicarius. Successfully using this event also allows you to trigger Cato’s Stronghold, enhancing your battlefield advantage over your opponent.

The final card in this signature squad is the Tallassarian Tempest Blade (Core Set, 11), a Relic and a Weapon of prodigious power. Relics are limited to one per player, but when you attach the Tallassarian Tempest Blade to one of your unique units, it grants that unit an increased attack value and the Armorbane keyword, meaning that shield cards cannot be used when that unit attacks. With this attachment enhancing one of your unique units, including Sicarius himself, you’ll become even more dangerous in battle, forcing damage through to your opponent and opening the door wide for other cards, including The Fury of Sicarius and Cato’s Stronghold.

Two Steps Ahead

Tactical knowledge runs throughout the Space Marines faction, and the Core Set offers plenty of other key ways for the Space Marines to demonstrate their grasp of tactics with units like Veteran Brother Maxos (Core Set, 19). This unit has the ability to summon reinforcements as an Action in the combat phase, paying the printed cost of any Space Marine unit in your hand to put it into play at Veteran Brother Maxos’s planet. By dropping in unexpected units, you can swing the tide of battle abruptly in your favor.

Some units require no assistance from Veteran Brother Maxos to leap into combat. One such unit is the Eager Recruit (Core Set, 20), who bears the Ambush keyword, allowing you to deploy this army unit during the combat phase. The Eager Recruit is not a massive unit, but even a small shift in the battle can be significant. If you play your cards right, the Eager Recruit just might be the unit you need to claim a critical planet for the glory of the Imperium.

Players looking for more ways to suddenly deploy armies in the combat phase would do well to consider launching a Drop Pod Assault (Core Set, 24). By playing this event, you can search the top six cards of your deck for any Space Marine unit costed three or lower. That unit is then put into play at a planet of your choice, enabling you to deal out the Emperor’s wrath on the xenos of the galaxy.

Sometimes, however, even the combined might of the Imperium’s Space Marines cannot demolish the swarming hordes leveled against mankind. At these times of crisis, you need to have the power to call for Exterminatus (Core Set, 26) to punish your opponent for attempting to avoid battles. By leveling this obliterative power at a target non-first planet, you can destroy all non-unique units there with a single blow. Although this power can’t be used on the first planet, you can certainly upset your opponent’s foothold on another planet in the Traxis sector. With the finest tactics and technology the Imperium can offer, the Space Marines stand prepared to keep Mankind’s hope alive in their struggle for survival among the stars.

The Service of the Emperor

Lead your Space Marines for the glory of the Emperor throughout the Traxis sector! Join us next time as we explore the militarized ranks of the Astra Militarum, and preorder Warhammer 40,000: Conquest at your local retailer today.

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