Infused by the Warp

Preview the Chaos Faction from Warhammer 40,000: Conquest


Beyond the boundaries of physical space, unrestricted by time or causality, there is a dimension utterly incomprehensible to mortal minds. It lies on the other side of nightmares, infinite in scope but without form or structure. The denizens of such a realm are terrible beyond all Humanity’s collective imagination.

The Imperium of Man, dark powers of Chaos, and xenos beyond number engage in the battle for the Traxis sector. In Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, you have the opportunity to determine the outcome of these battles, claiming planets and establishing the utter dominion of your faction.

In our series of previews for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest thus far, we’ve examined the process of deploying armies, winning the command struggle, and engaging in battle, including an example of a battle. Since then, we’ve begun our previews of individual factions within the game, starting with Space Marines and continuing to the Astra Militarum and Orks.

Today, however, we pass into the Immaterium, braving unspeakable horrors and atrocities to explore the terrifying powers of the Warp. The Chaos Gods are restless, and their corrupting influence is spreading into the Traxis sector. Preview the Chaos faction below!

A Sorcerer’s Power

In the Core Set for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, the Chaos warlord is Zarathur, High Sorcerer (Core Set, 4). This fearsome Psyker of Tzeentch is a master of dark magics and sorcery and his powerful Interrupt brings your armies to new heights. Whenever damage is assigned to an enemy unit at the same planet as Zarathur, his Interrupt triggers, and the assigned damage is increased by one. Damage increased by one point can easily make the difference for destroying a unit, and dealing damage directly to enemy armies is Chaos’s specialty, maximizing the power of this ability even more.

You’ll find plenty of ways to incinerate your enemies in Zarathur’s signature squad. The squad begins with four copies of a Daemon, Zarathur’s Flamers (Core Set, 77). In addition to any damage this army does in battle, you can sacrifice this unit to deal two damage to any non-warlord unit at the same planet. If Zarathur is at the planet when his Flamers are sacrificed, this damage becomes even greater, and since you can sacrifice the unit at Action speed, you may even attack and sacrifice the unit before your opponent strikes back.

Zarathur’s signature squad also includes two copies of the event, Infernal Gateway (Core Set, 79). As a Combat Action, you may play this event to put a Chaos unit with printed cost three or lower into play at a planet. If that unit is still in play at the end of the phase, you must sacrifice it, but if you’re planning to sacrifice the unit anyways, you’re just getting another unit for a discount. By using the Infernal Gateway, you can get armies like Zarathur’s Flamers into combat and causing damage quicker than ever, and you also gain the element of surprise, allowing you to potentially lure your opponent into a trap.

The next card in the signature squad is the Shrine of Warpflame (Core Set, 78), a support with a powerful Reaction. After an enemy unit is destroyed, you may exhaust the Shrine of Warpflame to return the topmost Tzeentch card from your discard pile to your hand. Since both Zarathur’s Flamers and the Infernal Gateway events have the Tzeentch trait, you’ll be able to recur either of them after use, as well as any other Tzeentch cards in your deck.

Mark of Chaos (Core Set, 80) is the final card in the signature squad, and it offers another way to spread damage directly to your opponent’s armies. This card may be attached to any army unit, and bears the text, “Interrupt: When attached unit leaves play, deal 1 damage to each enemy unit at this planet.” Obviously, you’ll want to be able to control when this attachment triggers, so one of the best uses is to attach Mark of Chaos to Zarathur’s Flamers. Since you can sacrifice the Flamers whenever you choose, you may activate the Mark of Chaos at the most opportune moment, causing widespread damage that becomes even more powerful with the presence of Zarathur.

The Immaterium’s Corruption

Even beyond Zarathur’s signature squad, the faction of Chaos provides you with ways to corrupt and vanquish your opponent’s army units. The Soul Grinder (Core Set, 91) is a powerful Daemon, deadly in combat, but its most potent application may lie in the command struggle. If you can win a command struggle at the Soul Grinder’s planet, your opponent must sacrifice a non-warlord unit at that planet. Winning command struggles with the Soul Grinder offers you an excellent way to destroy your opponent’s units before the opening salvos of battle.

The Warpstorm (Core Set, 93) event gives you another way to target your opponent’s army units. During the combat phase, you may play this card to deal two damage to every unit without attachments at a planet or headquarters. Whether you use this unit to clear a planet of armies or strike at the heart of your opponent’s headquarters, the Warpstorm is sure to create a swath of destruction through your foes.

A more targeted event is Tzeentch’s Firestorm (Core Set, 94). This event has the variable cost ‘X’ and by paying X resources, you may deal X damage to a target non-warlord unit. As a way to remove a threat to your conquest, Tzeentch’s Firestorm is unparalleled. Even better, this event has the Tzeentch trait, meaning you can recur it with the Shrine of Warpflame.

A final card that deals damage directly to your opponent’s army units is the Tzeentch-traited Dire Mutation (Core Set, 97) attachment. By attaching this card to one of your opponent’s armies, you force that unit to take one damage whenever it exhausts. In addition, this attachment possesses the Ambush keyword, meaning that you may deploy it during the combat phase rather than the deployment phase, reducing your opponent’s ability to play around it. Unless your opponent can find some way to avoid your punishing events and abilities, he will quickly fall to Chaos.

The Allure of Chaos

Devote yourself to the power of Chaos and draw upon the magic of the Warp to destroy any army that stands in your way. Will you accept the corruption of the Immaterium, or will you stand against it? Make your choice and preorder Warhammer 40,000: Conquest today!

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