The Greater Good

Preview the Tau Faction and Download the Rules for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest


“I have received your messages, informing me that these worlds belong to your Emperor. In return, I am to declare that the said worlds belong to his Ethereal Majesty, Aun’O Bork’an Vral, by right of settlement. Should you wish to gain similar rights, you must submit yourselves to my master’s wisdom as members of the Tau Empire.”
–Por’El Tau’n Ukos, Water Caste Negotiator

No empire in the galaxy can resist the tactical significance and material riches of the Traxis sector. With such a prize hanging in the balance, these planets will soon be ravaged by battles and war. In Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, it’s up to you to command a warlord and the armies of your people in battle, securing footholds throughout the sector and crushing opposition wherever you may find it.

Past previews have offered a closer look at the gameplay of our newest Living Card Game®, beginning with army deployment and the command struggle, and moving into an explanation and an example of battle. More recently, our previews have turned to the factions within Warhammer 40,000: Conquest: Space Marines, Astra Militarum, Orks, Chaos, Dark Eldar, and Eldar. Today, we conclude our exploration by looking at the rapidly expanding Tau empire!

In addition, the learn-to-play rules (pdf, 2.2 MB) and reference guide (pdf, 13.6 MB) for Warhammer 40,000: Conquest are now available on the support page! Download the rules, and read below for more on the Tau’s advanced technology and battle tactics.

Shadowsun’s Guile

Tau forces in the Traxis sector are under the command of the warlord known to the Imperium as Commander Shadowsun (Core Set, 13) – one of the most brilliant tactical minds in the Tau empire. Known as the “Spearhead of the Greater Good,” Shadowsun’s keen grasp of technology serves her well in her conquests. Commander Shadowsun bears the Reaction, “After this warlord commits to a planet, put a Tau attachment with printed cost 2 or lower or ‘Shadowsun’s Stealth Cadre’ from your hand or discard pile into play attached to an eligible unit at this planet.” These attachments are put into play, meaning that you won’t have to pay the cost on these attachments that you bring into play, boosting your armies’ potential without compromising your ability to play more units. You can even recur these cards from your discard pile, equipping even more armies with Tau Wargear.

Although it is not an attachment, the first four cards in Shadowsun’s signature squad can also be attached to an army through Shadowsun’s Reaction. Shadowsun’s Stealth Cadre (Core Set, 146) can be deployed normally as an army, but it may also enter play as an attachment for a non-Vehicle unit that grants that unit a raised attack value and increased hit points. Since you can recur Shadowsun’s Stealth Cadre from your discard pile using Shadowsun’s ability, you can be sure that these Soldiers won’t remain in your discard pile for long.

The next card in the signature squad is a support card: Communications Relay (Core Set, 147). Whenever your opponent triggers an ability that targets one of your units with at least one attachment, you may exhaust Communications Relay to cancel the effects. Attachments naturally give your army units increased power and abilities, but with the aid of Communications Relay, you are also able to protect these units by canceling effects that may incapacitate them.

Two copies of Squadron Redeployment (Core Set, 148) take up the next slots in Shadowsun’s signature squad. This event is free to play, and as an Action, it allows you to exhaust an army unit with one or more attachments to move it to any planet. This event card grants your units with attachments unparalleled mobility, inviting you to tailor your combat formations in the heat of battle. You can use this event to rush a unit out of danger or to bring a powerful army into the fight, staying one step ahead of your opponent.

The final card in Commander Shadowsun’s signature squad is the Command-link Drone (Core Set, 149). This attachment is free to play and can be attached to any unit. The Command-link Drone grants a unit +1 ATK, but its true power lies in its Action ability. By paying one resource, you may attach the Command-link Drone to a different unit. Giving a unit +1 ATK won’t win you every fight, but sometimes, you just need a unit to have an attachment to reap the benefits of Squadron Redeployment or Communications Relay. The Command-link Drone gives you an easy way to fulfill the conditions of those cards.

Two Steps Ahead

Options for getting your attachment cards into play and granting you benefits are not limited to Shadowsun’s signature squad. With the help of the Earth Caste Technician (Core Set, 157), you can find your most powerful attachments quicker than ever. After the Earth Caste Technician enters play, you may immediately search the top six cards of your deck for an attachment or Drone card. This card is revealed and added to your hand, with the other cards placed on the bottom of your deck. Whatever the keen minds of your Earth Caste Technicians may excavate, it’s certain to benefit your troops and the expansion of the Tau empire.

It may be more difficult to make the most of your attachments without the Command-link Drone flitting across the battlefield, but the best commanders always find a way to Even the Odds (Core Set, 162). Playing the event allows you to move an attachment to another eligible unit controlled by the same player, granting you an easy way to make sure your troops have the equipment they need.

One example of such equipment is found in the Repulsor Impact Field (Core Set, 165). This attachment can be attached to any army unit, and its Reaction makes any enemy think twice about attacking. After the unit with the Repulsor Impact Field is damaged by an attack, two damage is dealt to the attacker, which in many cases could finish off the attacker. Being able to call in Wargear like the Repulsor Impact Field with Commander Shadowsun give the Tau a definite edge in many battles.

An Ambush Platform (Core Set, 168) may also prove useful for getting your best gear to your armies as quickly as possible. The Ambush Platform possesses an Interrupt that reduces the cost of any attachment you deploy by one. This support not only makes your attachments cheaper, though. It also allows you to play them outside of the deployment phase. By exhausting the Ambush Platform during the combat phase, you may deploy an attachment from your hand, granting you a surprise advantage over your opponent’s forces.

Calculated Strikes

The Tau empire’s expansion lies in your hands. Will you lead dauntless warriors into battle with bleeding-edge technology, or will you make your stand to keep the Traxis sector out of the hands of the Tau?

Battle for the Traxis sector for the first time at GenCon Indy 2014! Download the rules to prepare for war, and preorder Warhammer 40,000: Conquest at your local retailer today.

Back to all news