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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Conquest Warlord Focus: Nazdreg, Warboss of da Bad Moons

Welcome back to our continuing series of articles for each warlord from the Conquest core set. Today we're going to take a look at the Ork faction's warlord, Nazdreg. He's the warboss of 'da Bad Moons' (ed. note: there won't be any more 'ork speak' unless it's the actual title of a card), and actually has a bit of character development in the 40k universe.

In the 40k canon Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub is the leader of the Bad Moons Klan, a band of Orks known for their love of loot and gadgets. It was Nazdreg and his klan who perfected 'tellyporta' technology that nearly won the 3rd War for Armageddon. Interestingly, Nazdreg is portrayed as an Ork who is obsessed by loot and riches as opposed to the goal of sheer conquest, and is said to speak fluent Imperial Gothic. His tactical guile culminated in his capture of an Imperial battleship with a Trojan Horse-type scheme.

In sum, he isn't your average Ork, and I think understanding this background will go a long way toward understanding the current Ork play-style.

First, let's analyze that warlord card shown above:

His base stats, 2 attack and 7 hit points, place him at the stronger end of the spectrum for the core set warlords. Of course, the true measure of a warlord is found in their special rules, and Nazdreg's is certainly interesting;

Each other unit you control at this planet gains Brutal. (Each unit with Brutal gets +1 ATK for each damage on it.)

First of all, this rule applies to each other unit, so Nazdreg himself won't be able to benefit from this. Second, his ability can boost Ork units up to crazy levels of attack, but will also leave them vulnerable to the counterattack. It leads to a strategy that is surprisingly subtle for an Ork, until you remember that Nazdreg is not your typical Ork warboss - his own fluff indicates a cunning, subtle mind (for an Ork, at least).

Ork players will need to balance the desire to attack with the necessity of survival. It won't do any good to boost a unit's attack with a bunch of wounds just to have it die to a wimpy ranged unit before it gets a chance to fight.

It's important to remember that Nazdreg's ability is applied to every unit you control, not just to every Ork unit. This means that beefy Chaos allies and even some Guard allies can become combat monsters under the right circumstances.

The two above cards are normally marginal, but can become fearsome with Nazdreg

Luckily there are plenty of Ork cards with large numbers of hit points, and there are several ways to get additional damage onto Ork units.

The point I'm trying to make is that Nazdreg does not lead a stereotypical Ork faction. It's going to take practice and subtlety to perform well with this warlord. Luckily Nazdreg's command cards help synergize his ability with the rest of the army.

Nazdreg's Flash Gitz x 4 - They're on the pricey side, but combined with Nazdreg's ability you can get a lot of mileage out of this unit in a battle. Oftentimes your Flash Gitz will be able to attack twice at a planet, but their ability also let's them ready after arriving to a planet from your HQ. Having this kind of action advantage can be critical in Conquest, and your opponent will often have to choose between targeting a more valuable unit or letting the Flash Gitz attack again. Either way, you're dictating the fight.

Bigga is Betta x 2 - This is a fantastic event to play on a beefy unit during the turn that you have initiative. Just make sure that the unit either already has Brutal or that you'll be sending Nazdreg to back it up.

Cybork Body x 1 - Each faction has an attachment similar to this one, but I think that the Orks may have the best one. Doubling hit points is huge and can push Nazdreg's ability to its furthest limit. The main drawback of this card is that you only get one of them in your deck, so it's impossible to rely on this card as part of a crazy combo.

Kraktoof Hall x 1 - Another card that you'll only see one copy of, but it's a good one. I've most often used this as a point of healing for Nazdreg, and I can then take that one damage and place it anywhere I want. Either I'll boost the strength of one of my own units, or I'll snipe an enemy. I've heard of people using this card to sneakily bloody a warlord, but I've never been lucky enough to pull off that dream scenario.

That just about does it for Nazdreg and his command cards. What are your thoughts on this greenest of warlords? Reach out to me via Twitter @piflamesofwar and let me know what I missed!

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