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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Conquest Warlord Focus: Ragnar Blackmane

Ragnar Blackmane. The warlord with a name that sounds like it came from an intermarriage between a Norse god and a Game of Thrones character. With a name like that you know this guy isn't going to be diplomatic with his enemies.

This warlord can definitely bring the pain in the Conquest card game. With a superb warlord ability and access to the best that the Space Marine faction has to offer, he's truly a force to be reckoned with. Let's dive into what makes him so great!
Ragnar was the first warlord to be released after the initial introduction of the core set warlords, and he immediately made an impact by opening an avenue for victory that had previously been difficult to achieve: warlord assassination.

Ragnar's ability can really get into an opponent's head when they're deciding where to commit their warlord every turn. Warlord commitment is already the most stressful part of the game, but Ragnar raises the stakes to a huge degree. Most of the time, that two damage will be assigned to an enemy warlord, but it can just as easily be used to snipe hard-hitting but fragile units, such as Honored Librarians and Wraithguards

Wherever you decide to send Ragnar, help will never be far behind with these guys. They're an excellent signature unit, even more so because they only cost 2 resources. They're extremely flexible, and synergise very well with their warlord. Not much more to say: they're great!

Frostfang is a very interesting attachment. It's a relic, so it precludes a Ragnar player from using Iron Halo. The attack bonus is obviously nice, but not exactly unprecedented. However, the HP bonus is very important. Both the attack and HP boost will only occur so long as Ragnar is at a planet with an enemy warlord, which means that while it's possible for Ragnar to remain unbloodied with 8 damage for a time, as soon as he or the enemy warlord retreats to HQ then he will become bloodied.

The game designers made it abundantly clear what Frostfang is meant to do: kill warlords.

In case you still haven't gotten the hint, Ragnar's signature support essentially tolls the death knell for enemy warlords. Even the lowly Sentinels will be swinging for 4 attack against an enemy warlord! That said, this location costs 3 resources, and is probably not a good play early on in the game.

There is no escape from Ragnar. You may be able to hide for a time, but eventually he will find you and, Liam Neeson-style, he'll kill you. This card is a game-winner, especially late in the game when there simply aren't enough planets for an enemy to choose from. This leads well into my overall summary of Ragnar...

He can, if needed, win a game on his own. Now, before you misinterpret that, you can't just throw him down and expect to win every battle for the entire game. What I mean is that, even if you have a bad turn, even if your forces are wiped out in a bad battle, Ragnar can still lead you to victory. His attachment and support cards turn him into a one-man wrecking crew, while also boosting his signature units.

On top of that, he has access to the normal might of the Space Marines faction. I'm talking about Drop Pod Assaults, Honored Librarians, Crushing Blows, Indomitables... and on and on. Plus, allying him with Astra Militarum will allow you to further boost the attack strength of your units with Catachan Outpost.

He's versatile, powerful, and looks like a wolf... what more do you want?

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