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Homing Beacon

  • XaosChaos likes this

Homing Beacon

Homing Beacon

Type: Support
Faction: Tau
Cost: 1
Traits: Upgrade.

Reaction: After a unit you control moves to your HQ, exhaust this support to gain 1[Resource] or draw 1 card.

Set: The Howl of Blackmane Number: 21 Quantity: 1
Illustrator: Jacob Atienza
Recent Decks Using This Card:
Want to build a deck using this card? Check out the Warhammer 40,000: Conquest Deck Builder!


So far, only confirmed to work with the Ethereal trait reaction, not just normal movement to HQ, so this isn't playable until the 3rd War Pack. Prelate in first pack has it but... no.

Does this work when I use the retreat action? How about when I retreat my Warlord? What if one of my units gets routed?

Does this work when I use the retreat action? How about when I retreat my Warlord? What if one of my units gets routed?

This only works with actions/effects that specifically say move. Neither Rout or Retreat say Move. See RRG 13 & 14.

So, even winning a battle at the first planet wouldn't trigger this, correct?  (Where surviving units are considered back at the HQ)


RRG: Page 26: His surviving units at that planet are then returned to his headquarters, 

So, even winning a battle at the first planet wouldn't trigger this, correct?  (Where surviving units are considered back at the HQ)


Correct. If it doesn't say move it does not work.

    • mischraum and Zilvake like this

Bummer...so you can only use it with the Prelate that comes in this set for now, eh? Do any other cards give you the ability to move someone to your HQ?

I dont understand guys, Aun’ui Prelate says Forced Reaction: After this unit resolves its attack, move it to your HQ. Same warpack.

Yes it works with the Prelate because he uses the exact word "move to" your HQ. But he's the only card in the game right now with which this works.

    • Killax likes this

4/5 with Aun'Shi and probably not really used by other decks because of the move keyword. However it's fantastic with Aun'Shi. For sure a 2 Support include in his deck.

Is it possible to trigger multiple Homing Beacons off of one move? Example: Aun'Shi attacks and moves to HQ, am I able to use say 2 Beacons to get 2 cards and the last 1 to get a resource?

Feb 03 2015 08:23 PM
    • Zilvake likes this

Limited slot contenders: Cost reducer, promotion, recon drone, This

Doesn't sound too exciting to have a dead card in your hand :(

Mar 10 2015 10:05 AM

The idea that starting at a planet and then, for one reason or another, ending up at HQ does not count as moving is completely counterintuitive. I understand that the rules for Retreat and Rout say that the unit is placed in HQ, and the rules for Move only mentions card effects, but logic dictates that if something was at Point A, and ends up at Point B, then it's moved from A to B.

I completely agree, but it seems that "move" is a specific rules term that is defined in a non-intuitive way. I think we just have to accept that this is one of the less intuitive aspects of the rules, and play it as designers intended

However if you don't consider "move" a game term silly things happen, like you aren't allowed to touch the cards on the board unless it says move or nurglings trigger everytime a card is touched, exhausted, the table gets bumped, etc.  It is a detail that could be clearer (I got it wrong at first) but there is a reason for it.

Mar 10 2015 05:02 PM

Actually I think the opposite is true.  "Move" is far too generic a term covering too many different types of movement to be used in specific card rules.  "Travel" could represent the act of moving from one planet to another/HQ or vice versa. "Commit," "Rout" and "Retreat" are all forms of movement.  Although, they could each be considered travelling too, but at least "travel" implies voluntary choice, whereas "retreat" and "rout" are involuntary actions.


I suppose my main issue with the terminology is that "move" is defined as a game element moving thorugh an effect.  Archons Terror is a card whose effect forces a non-unique army unit to be routed.  The routed card goes back to HQ - if this isn't being moved by an effect I don't know what is.

    • Lightbright likes this

Yes, I agree with that. Move should just mean that game elements move from one game-defined place to another. For example, moving damage, and so on. I'd say drawing should be defined as moving a card from the top of the deck to your hand, for example.


It would have been much less clumsy and far clearer for the current cards to call out specific types of movement that they interact with. So for Nurglings, they could have said "When a Unit commits to or moves with Mobile to" and left it at that. And for THIS card, they shoulda just made it "when a Unit you control moves from a planet to your HQ" and gone with the intuitive definition of that, to include Aun'shis abilities AND retreating. It wouldn't have broken this card to make it one that Shadowsun and allied warlords could get benefit from!

Mar 10 2015 09:41 PM
..or whenever a Unit moves for any reason at all to HQ this card triggers. Dang thing exhausts hardly game breaking but would of made this card much more enjoyable to play with.
    • theamazingmrg and Friman like this

Right, and if they wanted to keep it away from non-Tau warlords, it could have just been made loyal.


Having this be a non-loyal card that only has any chance of triggering in an Aun'shi deck makes it a signature card in disguise, and isn't great design, in my view.

    • theamazingmrg and Lightbright like this

Anyone getting great mileage out of this card? 1C 1R to play, requires two move actions just to make up your investment cost. Then on the 3rd move, you start to see payoff. If you're not getting this support out in the first few rounds, you're not going to see much of a payoff. Playing it in Round 5, 6 or 7 is a waste. Seems more like a juiced-up Prometheum Mine. Nice to have maybe but not that necessary. 

It is by no means a bad card, and a card each combat phase, starting with the turn you play it, is undoubtedly a solid effect that many factions would kill for. However, as noted, its only good for Aun'shi, and its Limited keyword makes it compete directly with Recon Drone and Promotion.


Recon Drone is the best limited Tau card by far - all the command economy of a Promotion, but without the card disadvantage of potentially losing 2-for-1 if a promoted unit gets killed. Also, Aun'shi loves to have extra Tau units about, even if they're attack 0, as the Orbital City moves can't trigger a battle ability unless there's a unit there at battle end, and even a Recon Drone can start dishing out armourbane damage once you ambush platform an attachment on it, or play a Prelate, or play an Ethereal Wisdom.


But what about Promotion vs Homing Beacon? Thats a tougher call, but I'd say Promotion is better, as winning command to draw cards is better than just drawing cards. The logic here is that if you promote a unit and win a command, thats +cards and +resources for you, but also the same denied to your opponent. Also, of course, Promotion is zero cost!

However, Promotion doesn't tend to keep giving all game (eventually get sniped, or returned to HQ), and the addition of synapse creatures to the meta makes it more valuable to have non-command based card and resource generation. To me, its only the lower cost that makes promotion better.


Thus it seems clear to me that 3 recon drones and 3 promotions is a strong include in a Tau deck.


So what about adding Homing Beacons on top of that?


At that stage, Limited starts to be a problem. You'll have a good chance of Limited collisions causing dead cards in hand, and only Promotion can be ditched for a shield.


Truly, if Recon Drone didn't exist, I'd say every Aun'shi deck should have 3 Promotions and 3 Homing Beacons. As it is, I'd say Homing Beacons are hard to run at all. Its not that they're bad cards in isolation, but rather that the overall deckshape makes them hard to play successfully. However, I would say that if you tend to play an aggressive Planet 1 heavy Aun'shi game, it might be that Homing Beacon is better for your playstyle than Promotion, as you need an upstream unit to use Promotion well, whereas Homing Beacon can stand alone.


So, what would make this a stronger include than Promotion?

I'm thinking a global attachment hate effect, or a Tau-based support synergy. Neither exists at present, and in fact, attachment synergy is more a Tau thing. Who knows what the future card pool may bring, however?

    • XaosChaos likes this

Homing Beacon is a card that I'd really like to like but.. I mostly agree with Aklepios.

I'll add that Promotion synergises with ECT whereas Beacon doesn't, and that's a thing to be considered since with 3xRD 3xPromotion the technician is just plain amazing.

Finally, Beacon might be a solid answer against a Kith trying to choke you as its bonus cannot be denied and allows you the flexibility to choose between cards or resources; however Tau command game is pretty good, so it's less likely the choke will be complete, and if the choice you have to make is between this and Promotion there's no doubt the latter is better: if you draw a HB in round 3 it's probably too late for it to be worth playing unless you're really desperate for cards, whereas Promotion always makes an impact, is free and might also be used as Shields.

I again agree with Asklepios: HB is worth including if you forsake command almost entirely but you still need to draw it early to reap some benefits.

Worth noting as well that it can be denied, a couple of ways.


If you bloody Aun'shi and there are no other Ethereals in battle, then there may be no way to hit the triggering condition.


Likewise, if Aun'shi never gets a chance to strike (for example because he faces no opposition) then it won't trigger either.