In the Warhammer 40,000 universe the Space Marines represent the poster children of humanity but the true might of the Imperium of Man comes from the Astra Militarum. The countless soldiers of the Militarum are numerous and expendable, a theme that is carried over well into the Warhammer 40,000: Conquest Living Card Game. In my first article, Buying Guide – The Basics, I talked about the LCG format and how to get started in general, today I’m going to focus on getting started with Astra Militarum in particular.
As a Faction the Astra Militarum rely on the many cheap units they have, bolstered by their excellent supports and powerful multi card combos, to wear down opponents. Many card abilities trigger when guardsmen leave play leading to great potential from the loss of a single unit. While AM aren’t the simplest to play, new players will likely enjoy the faction most if they have experience with other card games, enjoy attrition focussed play styles, or wantto have powerful multi-card combos.
Zogwort’s Curse (Warlord Cycle)
The thirs War Pack of the Warlord cycle, Zogwort’s Curse brings three excellent cards for any AM warlord to use. Steel Legion Chimera exemplifies the faction’s attrition warfare making all of your infantry last that much longer. Tallarn Raiders is one of the staple cheap units giving a great and efficient option for both combat and command. Finally Staging Ground adds an opportunity to deploy units only when needed to surprise your opponent.
Boundless Hate (Planetfall Cycle)
The second War Pack of the Planetfall cycle, comes with three more great options to include in your decks. The first, Sa’caellum Shrine Guard, is another staple cheap unit. Like the Tallarn Raiders this army gives a good combat and command option for minimal cost. Troop Transport is another support that allows for great mid combat utility. Lastly Front Line ‘Ard Boyz is a common Ork card that increases your defensive capability.
The Threat Beyond (Warlord Cycle)
The third War Pack I would suggest to purchase is The Threat Beyond. This War Pack comes with the second Astra Militarum warlord, Torquemada Coteaz. As a play style Coteaz exemplifies the AM combo play style, and leans toward more aggressive strategies. He is a somewhat difficult warlord to use though and I wouldn’t recommend new players bring him to competitive play with getting a good feel for the game and this warlord first. The pack also includes great ally options in the way of Snakebite Thug, Evil Sunz Warbiker, and Firedrake Terminators.
The Core Set warlord, Colonel Straken, was one of the least popular warlords released in the box. At this point Straken is still reasonably unplayed but he has a lot of possible combos waiting to be built into a great deck by an enterprising player. Style wise the Colonel focusses on buffing his troops and persistent attrition. Combining him with Space Marines opens up the damage prevention and attrition aspects of his signature squad, while using Orks leads to a much more aggressive builds.
Like I discussed previously both Boundless Hate and Zogwort’s Curse provide a number of staple cards for Astra Militarum, this is no exception for Colonel Straken. His buff ability is most efficient when used on large numbers of low cost units and both the Tallarn Raiders and Sa’caellum Shrine Guard are great for this. Additionally the Steel Legion Chimera and Front Line ‘Ard Boyz are great defensive card that increase Straken’s ability to take a beating.
Deadly Salvage (Planetfall Cycle)
The third War Pack of the Planetfall cycle comes with several great options for your Straken deck. Deadly Salvage includes Death Korp Engineers and Vanguard Soldiers, both well costed units with good stat lines and strong abilities. Additionally the pack has Inspirational Fervor which allows aggressive Astra Militarum decks to carry their momentum through the game.
The second warlord released for Astra Militarum is the Inquisitor Torquemada Coteaz. He is a far less straight forward warlord than most in the game and I would generally not recommend him to a player who is completely new to competitive card games. That said, in the correct hands he is a force to be reckoned with and an ambitious newbie shouldn’t shy away from him but needs to be ready for a steep learning curve. A player might find Coteaz interesting if they enjoy multi card combos and aggressive play styles.
The Threat Beyond
This War Pack is a bit of an obvious choice if a player is interested in Torquemada. Not only does it come with the warlord and his signature squad, but it also has Snakebite Thug and Evil Sunz Warbiker both cheep and very effective units.
Much like for Straken and the faction in general, Zogwort’s Curse is excellent for Coteaz. Tallarn Raiders and Steel Legion Chimera are as good for Coteaz as they are for any other AM warlord, but Staging Ground has extra utility in his decks. Being able to hold units in hand and deploy them as needed in combat assists players in using this warlord to the fullest.
Gift of the Ethereals (Warlord Cycle)
Another excellent War Pack for Astra Militarum in general Gift of the Ethereals has several great tools to use with Coteaz. Mystic Warden a unit that has limited use in most decks is excellent for our inquisitor as a cheap target to sacrifice. The other notable AM card, To Arms!, is an excellent option for both the two shield icons and the powerful combo potential with cards like Catachan Outpost. The War Pack also comes with Ammo Depot, White Scars Bikers, and Crushing Blow, all great cards depending on your ally and battle plan.
The newest Militarum warlord, and quite possible the most competitive so far, Broderick Worr excels at decks using mostly or only Astra Militarum units. Worr is a very flexible about what AM units he uses and his play style in general, and as a result is probably the best AM warlord for a new player to use. Worr excels at buffing his own units, applying consistent pressure, and unit efficiency.
Decree of Ruin (Planetfall Cycle)
This War Pack is a must as it includes Broderick Worr himself along with his signature squad. Unfortunately because this warlord uses mainly AM units there really aren’t any additional cards worth using.
Boundless Hate & Zogwort’s Curse
I’ve covered both of these War Packs already and most of what I’ve said hold true for Worr also.