Greetings, citizens,  

With Supreme Commanders becoming a more regular and recognisable feature in the game, it’s was about time we gave some more formal commentary on who and what they are and how they work in game.

With this being the first formal blog fully covering the topic, let’s start with a quick rundown of what defines a Supreme Commander. First and foremost, a Supreme Commander embodies the ultimate authority and leadership within their faction, whether they’re a Primarch, Royalty, or the Warboss of the mightiest WAAAGH! These leaders reign at the pinnacle.

While not a novel concept in Warhammer 40,000, in the 10th edition, each Codex is released with one character bearing this distinguished title. In Combat Cards, this translates to a Warlord card that surpasses a standard Warlord in power, boasting elevated stats, special rules, and a higher points cost. Much like the Lord of War cards, a Supreme Commander requires a minimum of 80pts, is always of Legendary rarity, and features a special rule comprising at least two parts.

It’s worth noting that Supreme Commanders can coexist alongside other versions of existing cards, whether they’re bodyguards or warlords. In cases where an existing card of that character already exists, both versions will become available for collection separately. For bodyguards, this means the Supreme Commander and the bodyguard cannot be included in the same deck. Since only one Warlord can be taken, there’s no conflict in deck building between a Supreme Commander and an existing Warlord. Supreme Commanders will always be introduced as new cards, so no copies of existing cards will carry over or contribute to their leveling.

As for why we’re adding multiple versions of these characters, there are several reasons. When considering existing bodyguard cards, the new Supreme Commander typically assumes a distinct role, often featuring different stats or traits compared to its bodyguard counterpart. We will always aim to avoid drastically reworking or removing bodyguards that players use, enjoy, and have invested in and the release of the new Supreme Commanders is no exception. Regarding Warlords, since these cards are significantly more expensive and possess notably different rules, we don’t want to disrupt players’ familiar decks or play styles. Including an 80pts+ Warlord in your deck significantly alters both playstyle and deckbuilding, hence treating these cards as entirely separate entities makes sense.

To drill a bit deeper, who becomes a Supreme Commander is decided by the tabletop ruleset. There is one Supreme Commander per codex, and that is what we will be looking to emulate. It makes it simple to understand and aligns perfectly with the 40k universe as a whole. There is an argument to be made to re-brand existing Warlords, making room for the new Supreme Commanders by changing their model art and name. However, more often than not the special rule is designed around the theme and feel of that specific character and it’s how the players identify them. This kind of change would often then either feel off, or forced, or result in a total rework of a key piece of player’s collection and effort. Also worth noting, although perhaps a lesser issue, some factions just do not have the same wealth of options to draw on for characters, named or otherwise, and fitting the correct or appropriate model into an already established Warlord slot can be challenging or even impossible. Ultimately these cards, Warlord and Supreme Commander, will be totally different in all respects, and so while they may carry the same name, they will work, feel and fit completely differently into new and existing decks, providing a whole new experience.

Hopefully that clears up a lot of questions around what makes a Supreme Commander, how we select them, and how they fit in with existing cards in the game. With that covered, keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming blog detailing the latest Supreme Commander!