Invasion: Verdicon appeared to be Sabertooth’s major attempt to rectify the oppressive “extra-BA” strategies that were prevalent prior to the expansion’s release. In many of the expansion’s cards, corrective mechanics sought to punish or deny extra BAs, not least in the set’s sectors, in which 2 of the 5 deny extra BAs. One of the set’s signature cards was Planetary Defense Cannon, an uncommon fortification with a high floor that demanded respect from players still trying to use extra BAs in their decks.
Chaos was clearly one of the primary targets of the anti-BA reckoning. In addition to having several of its cards banned from tournament play, Chaos players now had to deal with a bevy of anti-BA cards and strategies. Although it could be argued that Chaos didn’t really need help given how strong the faction was, they did get a new role player in the Verdicon rare Squad Tanium.
As far as stats go, Tanium is solid, with a 3/1/4 standard Terminator stat line and a 4-die. The CL is a little mediocre but not unplayable, especially when Chaos is slightly lacking in firepower-boosting tactics. The text box, however, is where the money’s at.
Command Bunker is a PP rare with immensely powerful abilities. Denying tactics can be brutal against factions like Space Marines and Imperial Guard, who rely on stat-boosting tactics to win battles. Traditionally, though, Command Bunker wasn’t a synergistic fit with Chaos, a faction that would rather play more of its high-quality units.
Squad Tanium now gave Chaos players an incentive to play fortifications. Tactic denial was too good of a tool to pass up. But, which fortifications would Chaos want to play? I discussed Abandoned Quarry (MH) in a previous SCD, which is reasonable candidate. What if I told you there was a better one?
The pairing of Squad Tanium and Bunker Complex is too good to be true. Chaos already thrives on cards that reduce an opponent’s die rolls, such as Chaos Space Marines (PP) and Squad Sethos (DE).
When you pair Squad Tanium’s tactic denial with Bunker Complex’s firepower reduction, you essentially cancel your opponent’s shooting at a sector. With a 4-die and a more-than-serviceable CL, Bunker Complex instantly became a new method of griefing for Chaos decks.
There are other options to include, depending on what decks you intend to face. Force Field Generator counters infiltration, while also giving you the ability to rally your own units through cards like Khorne Bloodletters (PP), Chaos Obliterators (PP), or greater daemon cards (PP). Communications Bunker is another punishing fortification that demands an answer, lest your opponent lose their command hand to the discard effect.
For my money, however, Bunker Complex is the clear standout for Squad Tanium. I happily play this combo in my own Chaos deck, and if anything is evident, it’s that Chaos doesn’t need extra BAs to be obnoxious.