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Warhammer 40k Conquest

Yes. These problems were pretty evident in the core set meta, but the first cycle has allowed people to make much more effective and consistent decks across all factions, and more theory/deckbuilding time has led people to cheaper cost curves that give more reliable command starts.

Space Marines are certainly good but not dominant, and as player skill increased cards like Doom became much less relevant. Doom is in fact frequently omitted even from decks that can take it, and is usually only a 1x in those that decide to keep it. Exterminatus (another early problem card) is almost never played anymore.

Cato is strong but nowhere near as strong as he once was. He’s probably still in the top tier, but he has a lot more competition. Even among Space Marine decks, there’s a big debate as to whether Cato or Ragnar is better, and Space Marines are no longer the clear best faction. The “top tier” warlords right now are Cato, Ragnar, Kith, Eldorath, and Zarathur, with Coteaz, Baharroth, and Aun’shi close behind. Of those, I think Cato is probably the worst right now.

My main interest in Netrunner is to scratch my cyberpunk itch, but there are still a bunch of things that bug me about it. I’m much more confident in the design and direction of Conquest and I think it will almost certainly remain my “main game”. IMO the first cycle in Netrunner basically failed to hit several key objectives, while the first cycle in Conquest has been pretty awesome, and the upcoming Tyranids look to provide some really interesting new shifts to the meta.

Overall, I like the symmetry of Conquest, prefer only having to build one deck instead of two, and I think Conquest weights success more heavily towards play skill rather than deckbuilding skill when compared to Netrunner.

That said, Netrunner is also an awesome game, and I look forward to having the best of both worlds! :slight_smile:

For real, though. Netrunner seems, at least to me, to have more luck and more deckbuilding/matchup-sensitivity than Conquest. I think I’ve played about two Conquest games ever where I clearly got lucked out and couldn’t win, whereas in Netrunner I’ve had a lot of games where I or my opponent win off of lucky desperation runs, no-ICE starts, etc.

In Conquest the unpredictability that the warlord commit/battle effect provides often lets you pull yourself out of a desperate situation, and the cards you get are themselves more flexible (most units can be used for either fighting or economy, events can be used for their effects or for shields, etc.), allowing you to make better use out of the cards you have. In Netrunner, cards are usually confined to pretty specific effects or uses, Aesop decks aside.

To put things another way, a very skilled player of Conquest will win more games against normal players than a very skilled player of Netrunner will.

Yep, especially ones backed by evidence. :wink:

Yes please. Although I agree with you Spags, (I find Conquest much more RNG) argue with evidence not spamming.


I’d be interested in hearing more (perhaps after a thread split?) about why Conquest would be more RNG than Netrunner. I think it has one annoying feature in this respect (the 1x signature attachments and supports, which are sometimes very good), but that aside there seems to be much less chance to get screwed.

For instance, the Conquest equivalent of the no-ICE start is the no-unit start, but you’re usually looking at 28+ units with a 7 or 8 card starting hand, so the odds of a no-unit start are much less than those of a no-ICE start. Similarly, it’s a lot harder to randomly/luckily win a planet than it is to randomly/luckily score an agenda.

Also, empirically my winrate is very high in Conquest with basically any deck other than Urien, who is the worst warlord in the game by a large margin. That winrate is significantly higher than what I usually had in Netrunner, even with highly tuned ahead-of-the-meta decks, and certainly more than what I would get with unpopular IDs. While I’m a better Conquest player than I am a Netrunner player, I think most of the difference comes from Conquest’s relative lack of luck.

Thanks for the reply!! I always relish good summaries from people who actually play the game.

I think this is probably true mostly because it’s a newer game. The longer people play and theorycraft, the closer in skill the highest-level players get, leading the game to appear less luck-based simply because the players are of more similar skill level and the deciding factor becomes luck more often than if one player were a lot better than the other. Once people get conquest figured out, I suspect it will turn out to be less skill-based than Netrunner, but as long as the player pool is small and relatively inexperienced, it’s going to be a lot easier for the best Conquest player to win consistently than the best Netrunner player.

One thing that’s happened while you were gone is that there has been a huge increase in the number of world-class Netrunner players. Gonna have to step your game up.


That’s a good point (though I suspect you meant to say “appear more luck-based” in your second sentence). My own suspicions continue to lie with Conquest being the more skill-based game, but it’s definitely true that Conquest doesn’t have as much established thought and that there’s a bigger difference between players among the top (and probably among top vs. average players too) than there is in more established games.

It’ll be interesting to see how this progresses as Conquest comes into its own, and whether Conquest can hold its weight as more expansions come out. I currently feel that Conquest is in a much healthier place after its first cycle than Netrunner was after its own first cycle, but there’s a long way to go between there and where Netrunner is at present, and Netrunner has done a remarkable job of maintaining an interesting and varied metagame throughout its development (even if there have been some bad patches).

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The strongest indication that this isn’t the case for me personally is just how hard Conquest snowballs off a decisive turn 1 (and, by extension, a lucky/unlucky opening draw). Netrunner has great comebacks from virtually hopeless games, Conquest doesn’t.

In a game where both card draw and resource generation are contingent on board position, there isn’t really any space left for comebacks.


I’ve found the opposite to be true - I make more comebacks (and IMO more impressive comebacks) in Conquest than I do in Netrunner. Warlord positioning and battle effects often let you claw your way back from an otherwise very bad position. For instance, in a recent tournament I won a game where I spent the first two turns winning only one command struggle, with my opponent winning three on the first turn and four on the second. By the third turn, though, we were even, and I took the advantage afterwards, ultimately winning on turn 5.

The decisive factor was that I was able to trigger more beneficial planet abilities than my opponent did, and use those to pull myself back into the game. One planet in particular lets you gain three cards or three resources if you win a battle there while you have fewer overall units than your opponent, and this is quite useful for making comebacks.

I’ve had wins from one-unit and even zero-unit starts because of how important setting your dial and sending out your warlord can be. However, I think one problem with Conquest is that the strategy behind this is very much not apparent to new players, and can lead to frustrating early experiences. I notice a lot of new players sending their warlord to planet 1 by default, which IMO is very often wrong - I find it much more effective to use my warlord to win commands that I would otherwise miss.

What you’re describing very much matches my experiences with playing Conquest against opponents less skilled than myself. With even skill, though, the narrative changes - simply because the opponent can accurately calculate which planet you’d need to send you warlord to in order to get a reasonable benefit, and then just counter-play that, leading to a slow but sure choke-out.

Actually, if they got a dominant board position in turn 1, they’ll be able to counter-play the two most beneficial options you’ll have - god knows they drew enough cards and got enough resources to manage… aand that’s the snowballing problem I’m seeing with the game.


I find there’s usually more than one strong option of where to send the warlord and that you can keep people guessing, especially if the “trigger any planet” planet is in play. Also, sending your own warlord to a planet where you have control is a risky move unless you have an extremely dominant position, because it means that unless you guessed right you wasted your warlord’s ability to win a command struggle (and perhaps your ability to get a useful battle effect as well).

You have to have a really dominant position in order to be able to lock things down like that, and in practice that doesn’t happen all that often when two skilled players who are aware of the importance of command and position as well as planets face off.

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Is this thread about coming back to Netrunner or about how good Conquest is?

If it’s the latter, I have to throw in my own biased opinion and have to say WHC is pretty much a game mechanics mash-up of all previously released LCG’s (hey there Eric M. Lang) and brings nothing new to the table. I get that some tabletop veterans are hyping the shit out of it because of ye olde memories but sooner or later this will go to the shelf like Warhammer Invasion. Balancing what like 8 or 9 factions won’t be easy, especially for a company like FFG who hasn’t the manpower design-wise to keep things in check. Have fun while it lasts.

There are definitely a lot of similar mechanics to those in previous LCGs, but I think Conquest has a good deal of interest and innovation there - in particular, the way the warlord and dial system works is great. Besides, not every game has to be extremely innovative! Flash Duel is a great game despite basically being an upgraded En Garde, and Conquest is a great game despite basically being an upgraded Call of Cthulhu/SWLCG.

As for balance, FFG has IMO done a much better job with balance/design for Conquest than it has for Netrunner.

For instance, the Genesis cycle in Netrunner was supposed to focus on link and trace, but it basically failed - by the end of it, nobody played any link cards except for IDs, and no Corps played trace cards except Making News decks and the occasional Caduceus. Of the IDs introduced in Genesis, only two (Chaos Theory and NBN:TWIY*) were reasonably balanced when they came out - Andy was too good, and every other Genesis ID was terrible for months or years.

The Warlord cycle in Conquest was supposed to focus on making warlord assassination more relevant as a win condition and warlord placement more important in general, and it strongly succeeded. People are now much more aware of this condition. Even decks that don’t focus on hunting now often include a few cards that play to this or help defend against it - for instance, I’ve seen several Zarathur decks running Nurgling Bomb instead of Warpstorm so that they can potentially use Nurgling Bomb to send their warlord back to HQ if a hunt deck has them dead to rights on some planet.

Of the seven new warlords in the cycle, one is very weak (Urien Rakarth) and the rest are in line with overall balance. Further, the different warlords (and the signature squad mechanic) lend themselves to very different styles of deck, encouraging overall diversity - compare to Genesis Netrunner, where Gabe and Andy decks were almost exactly the same, except that Gabe usually ran Sneakdoor and Andy didn’t.

Generally speaking, I think FFG has created a more balanced and interesting game with Conquest than they have with Netrunner, and I have more faith in the Conquest design team than I do in the Netrunner one. We’ll have to see whether FFG can keep things going in the long run - as you say, having 8 or 9 factions could well lead to craziness - but overall I have a good deal of confidence in where Conquest is going.

Is there a I enjoy both games option, although I really hate the signature deckbuilding /powerful 1 ofs thing they have going on with Conquest., but other than that…

I don’t think the balance is quite as perfect as your making it out to be Kingsley, but you have a lot more games in Conquest then I do so I can’t really argue it, its just a feeling I have and I can’t justify it. It is in a pretty healthy spot right now(first box should shake things up pretty soon though, uniques + new faction).

. I think Netrunner is kind of in a weird spot with NRE just being released, the meta is in flux sort of at least here. Pre NRE I was really enjoying the meta, and didn’t find the balance to be too off. Criminal is in a bad spot, but they had a lot of time in the sun and are still winning regionals. I had a blast at regionals yesterday. Conquest I do feel like there are a few mistakes, just like Netrunner had/has, that need to be accounted for(mostly Klaivex is just insane value for cost compared to everything else that isn’t signature)

Aunshi is just a blast too play, I love all the little tricks you can do, and there are all sorts of sweet cards now like staging ground. The interactive cards for each faction seems to be increasing a lot, which is just great, much better then core. I played a bit of core and really didn’t like it, it wasn’t until first few packs came out that I started enjoying it. If any Netrunner players haven’t played since core, and enjoy lots of tactical tricks. Try Aunshi, just so much fun.

Got another regional this upcoming weekend taking on @ossa for a second time :), should be a fun one.


I’ve tried out Warhammer and I can’t help but feel that netrunner has so much more depth

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Two complaints I had about the game:

  1. The player base for 40k isn’t big enough yet. It’s a lot harder for me to find a game of that compared to netrunner. As someone who has little time to devote to these kinds of things, it’s a limiting factor.

  2. The card game just doesn’t feel 40k enough. It’s got the basics, but it just doesn’t feel enough like the Grimdark awesomeness that I got from playing the tabletop game.

Maybe they will change these things going forward.

Well, and Ash. Genesis was certainly hit or miss. Spin was arguably worse, and quite Corp sided (although now it’s looking a bit better, in both regards).

Things have really changed since early Lunar. I think FFG is getting their sea legs, and it shows. The two biggest balance/anti-fun problems (Siphon and Astrotrain) have both been addressed in multiple ways. In faction differences have been quite exaggerated - the closest right now would probably be Kim v. Whizzard, and they still play quite differently.

Another thing that felt off to me about conquest is the underlying economies of the factions felt to similar. The units and whatnot felt great (the Space Marines are badass, the Guard is numerous lemmings, the orks are ORKS etc) but the engine powering them was the same. Contrasted with Netrunner, where you have Pre-paid economies, Career Fair packages, Security Testing, Cache-Shop, Supplier, Opus, Au Revoir+Snitch, Oracle May Doubles, etc. Slightly less diverse on the corp side, but each deck is given a different tempo just by it’s method of resource acquisition. Maybe I’m talking out my ass here, but Conquest didn’t seem to do that.


When did you play conquest ? In Core set for netrunner… most android netrunner economies looked similar as well regardless of faction … you played all the economy cards available because you just needed too. In similar fashion, there just aren’t that many economic options for the cards yet. The only econ engine you list that has been around since core is Opus, and the only other one that is still seeing play is Desperado + Datasucker. None of those other economic engines existed until at least the second cycle. Warhammer hasn’t got it’s first big box yet. Think of the first big box netrunner cards… Dirty Laundry, Professional Contacts, Daily Casts… Same Old Thing(ok corp not so great but yeah, these are all huge cards and 3 of them are still staples, pro co just won nats…)

Corp side I played Beanstalks for the longest time out of faction just because I had too…

I’m not even sure what economies your talking about in warhammer, since most of the economic supports aren’t played and the economic battle really takes place in the command struggle, which is a pretty interesting dynamic and one of my favorite parts of the game. If your argument is that every faction lives and dies by the command struggle, I see your point, I’m not sure how to win on certain planet flops(where you can’t win in 3-4 planets) without participating in the command struggle game. So yes everyone has to play cheap units and participate or get crushed, people still manage to win regionals with big Chaos units somehow though.

Warhammer needs a bit more to hook people into it I agree, it doesn’t have that really cool asymmetric netrunner feel, it doesn’t have as strong of a theme/thematic hook except for people already into warhammer 40k(I’m personally not, this is my first experience with 40k) but it’s still actually a pretty decent game and the mechanics are fairly solid. There is a LOT of places to mess up in this game, and skill really does show through imo. (Although I still think Netrunner is extremely skill intensive, I am going to refrain from getting in the argument of which one is better fpr testing skill I think its silly. I think good players consistently win in both games and that is enough for me)

I play / have played upwards of 12+? ccg/tcg/lcg, and I don’t know of a single one where a really really bad draw won’t screw you. In Netrunner there is really bad agenda flood(remember they printed jackson howard at some point … don’t count out conquest cards of that nature in the future to deal with being command screwed early)… in Magic you got mana flood/screw(its really hard to win when you play 4 spells and they play 14), and then in Conquest you can not draw any units(happened to @Ossa once). Some games are worse about it then others, but I haven’t found Conquest to be particularly bad. As the power level of non-signature cards increases over time, I feel like the impact of the 1 of signatures that I find to be a little bit too powerful lessens. I really wish we could free deck build but oh well.

Conquest isn’t in my top 2 games I play even, but I thought I’d give it some love in this thread cause everyone is so down on it :D. Everyone go play Aunshi, Eldar, Coteaz, or Zarathur, ( I find all of these to be interesting). I’ve heard good things about the new eldar mobile guy. If you want to win a regional Kith is a good choice :D.


Several games, one getting a demo at a convention, and another few locally with someone who had just bought core. So definitely not experienced at all.

Actually, there was already a debate starting early on between Opus/Aesop’s for shaper. The first tournament was won with an Aesop’s deck, if memory serves.

But even when you were playing every econ card you could (and part of the core set’s problems involve Jinteki and NBN getting the shaft here) each engine felt different.

I like the command struggle - it felt really cool. However, if that is the primary econ, (which is defensible design decision, don’t get me wrong) then it’s going to give decks very similar flows, if that makes any sense.