If you’ve played Combat Cards, one thing you might have noticed is that we’ve deviated from tabletop Warhammer 40,000 in letting you take mixed faction decks. What I mean by that is the game will cheerfully let you take a Chaos Warlord with a mix of Necron, Space Marine and Ork bodyguards in a single deck.
It’s true that the current 8th edition of 40K allows you to mix the ‘factions’ you include in your army to a degree, but even if the rules allow it, I’m not sure how many players push this to extremes – it just seems wrong to go against the game’s background like that. After all, getting to battle in the richly detailed 40K universe is part of the reason we play the game, right?
So why do we allow it in Combat Cards? To be honest, we went back and forth on this for a while, so let’s look at the pro’s and con’s:
- Mixed faction decks give players – especially new players who don’t have many cards yet – more flexibility when building their decks. Without mixing factions you simply may not have enough cards in a single faction to use all of your deck building points.
- In the 40K background, some factions do fight together (Space Marines and Servants of the Emperor), others are occasional allies (T’au and Aeldari), and Orks don’t care, as long as they get to fight.
- On the other hand, it’s very much against the lore to have, say, Chaos and Aeldari as allies, while Tyranids don’t ally with anyone (unless you expand the definition of ‘ally’ to include ‘have for lunch’).
- But, as discussed in earlier blog posts, we want Combat Cards to have a player-driven, evolving metagame, and allowing mixed faction decks supports that goal. For example, with mixed factions it’s easier to try things like creating all Psyker decks, or choosing cards with a specific set of traits which form a devastating combo.
So in the end, we decided it was too restrictive to simply ban mixed faction decks outright, but that we would reward players if they do decide to make their deck single faction. This means you can weigh up the rewards of a single faction deck, versus the benefits of mixing multiple factions.
We’re giving these rewards through the ‘special rule’ that each Warlord has. These all take the form of a boost or benefit you get when using cards of that Warlord’s faction.
For example, Genestealer Patriarch Ghosar boosts the melee stat of all your Tyranid cards. Therefore, you’re not required to only take Tyranids in your deck when Ghosar is your Warlord, but the special rule’s reward increases with each one you do take.
We’ll go through each Warlord’s special rule in a later post, but they’ve each been chosen to A) reflect how their faction fights on the tabletop, and B) give each Warlord within that faction a variation on that single theme.
For example, all the Space Marine Warlords have special rules around the rapid deployment of cards to the battlefield, while the Chaos Warlords are about them personally attacking their foes.
In conclusion, while we’re aware that allowing mixed faction decks may annoy some 40K fans, we feel the benefits outweigh that downside, and hopefully this post gives an insight into why we made the decision to deviate from the tabletop rules here.