Warhammer 40,000 Conquest Tau Empire Preview!

September 26, 2014 by crew

The final faction preview has come for the much anticipated release of Warhammer 40,000 Conquest from Fantasy Flight Games. This will be the last faction preview focusing on the youngest race but by far the most technologically advanced race of the cosmos of the grim dark future of Warhammer 40,000. The Tau and their warlord, Commander Shadowsun.

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest Box

For The Greater Good!

In this weeks’ preview, we receive another fan of cards showing off a little bit of what we can expect from the Tau forces.

Tau Empire Card Fan

In this fan, we see some very juicy cards from the Tau. We see just a glimpse of a Recon Drone of zero cost with two command icons, which will surely see a lot of play in all Tau decks. We also see an Ion Rifle that is a 1 cost attachment that increases the attack value of the attached army unit by +3 ATK! The most exciting card out of the fan is the Crisis Battle Guard. This card is exciting and notable because it is an Elite unit (having a cost of 5 resources or more) with the mobile keyword that allows attachments. Not only can this unit benefit from an Ion Rifle but it can also jump between planets if necessary to be involved in a fight that is more important. I expect to see this unit in all Tau decks for the foreseeable future.

Up next is the center of the deck. Commander Shadowsun!

Commander Shadowsun

Commander Shadowsun starts with the typical core set warlord setup with 7/7 with 1 attack value and 7 hit points. What makes her particularly powerful is her warlord ability that allows you to put a Tau attachment with printed cost of 2 or lower, or the unit Shadowsun’s Stealth Cadre, into play from your hand or discard pile at an eligible unit at the planet that she commits to. This puts Commander Shadowsun in more of a support role to boost the abilities of her units in play to create a force that, at one moment seems lackluster, into a formidable powerhouse.

Shadowsun's Stealth Cadre

As mentioned in before with Commander Shadowsun’s ability, Shadowsun’s Stealth Cadre is the premier unit in her signature squad. At 2 cost with 2 attack and 2 hit points and 1 command icon, this unit’s stats are very mediocre but this unit is unique in the fact that it is not intended to be a unit. Shadowsun’s Stealth Cadre’s text reads “This card may enter play as an attachment with the text, ‘Attach to a non-vehicle army unit. Attached unit gets +2 attack and +2 HP”. This really puts Commander Shadowsun’s ability in perspective. Buffing your units for 2/2 is a sizable buff in any card game and she can do it for free when she is committed to a planet. This is a very powerful ability and this combo may be my favorite of all of the previews so far.

Communications Relay

Communications Relay is the support card of Commander Shadowsun’s signature squad. At 1 cost, it gives you the very powerful ability to, when exhausting this support, to cancel the effects of an ability that targets a unit you control with 1 or more attachments. This will protect your units that you have invested attachments to from all of the unwanted effects that can potentially ruin your battle plan.

Squadron Redeployment

Squadron Redeployment is a zero cost event in the signature squad that gives you the action to exhaust an army unit with 1 or more attachment to move it to a target planet. This is potentially very strong. This event will give you the flexibility to pull your important unit from one planet to the other to get them either away from a sticky situation or into the fray to be the turning point of battle.

Command Link Drone

The final card in the signature squad is the attachment Command-Link Drone. This attachment comes at zero cost and gives the attached unit +1 attack. It also gives you more flexibility with your attachments, allowing you to pay one resource to attach it to a different unit. What is important about this ability is it does not specify planet and since this is an attachment with the Drone trait, it will also attach to your elite vehicle units that do not allow wargear attachments. This can turn you battle of weak units into a versatile damage dealer.

The Tau have an attachment theme and are sure to come with more cards to support this theme within the core set. The ability to turn your units into surprise powerhouses is a very strong ability and my personal favorite out of all of the core set warlords. I expect to see a lot of Commander Shadowsun in all forms of play after this game launches.

Looking Ahead To The Battlefield!

With the closing of this preview, all of the factions have been previewed from the core set but the fun is not over. The LCG (Living Card Game) model of distribution does not have randomized packs but more focused card packs called “Battle Packs” within these battle packs will come three copies of each card that is specific to the battle pack in question. So you will not have to search for cards or rares. This model of distribution really focuses on the card player and his/her deck building skills. I will get more into this in another post but rest assured, there will be more previews coming soon. Including the new warlords that have been announced to come with the first cycle of Battle packs!

Now that all of the factions have been previewed, what is your favorite faction or warlord? When this game launches, what will you be playing? Let me know in the comments!

Charles Smith

Charles is a blogger who runs the site Quest 2 Live as well as a co-host of Adeptus Podcastus, a podcast dedicated to Warhammer 40,000 Conquest.

If you would like to write an article for Beasts of War then please contact me at ben@beastsofwar.com!