I've been playing Conquest on and off for a few weeks now. Losing mostly, but that's because my opponents have bought more than one starter and at the moment I can't afford to do so. Even so I am finding it a very entertaining game although I wish I could get my head around exactly what I need to do with each faction to win. This is my thoughts on the factions available right now.
I love Space Marines in 40K and always have so I have been trying to get these to work more than any other faction. On paper they seem quite strong and the area effect mechanic that some have is really good. Some units seem a little over costed though but I have that issue with most of FFG's card games.
Space Marines seem to be the faction to go all out on securing the three planets first and foremost. Hard hitting enough to snatch one early on and force your opponent to catch up.
Sorry, not calling them Astra Millitarum. They are the Imperial Guard. At first glance this faction looks good but in truth they seem weak in actual play. So much so that I've used them as allies in my Space Marine deck because I don't think they'll work as the primary for now.
Lots of cheap-ish units that allow you to deploy over multiple planets thus allowing you the chance to secure resources before trying to snatch planets from your opponent.
As in the war game the Eldar faction is a little too good though not broken. A mix of handy units though low in wounds as it should be. Eldar seem more driven to wasting your war lord than winning through planets which I find irksome. If I remember right they are also the only faction that can easily return cards from the discard which gives them a big advantage.
Eldar are able to go straight for the Planet win or play the long game gathering resources. My experience is that they tend to just go for your war lord and win that way though. Boring.
I haven't played this faction yet but have played against it many times. This faction isn't very strong at the moment but it can be very infuriating. They exhaust (tap) units and reduce attack values until your forces are worthless. As I say, it makes playing against them just frustrating and boring to play against. They do work well as an ally for the Eldar making them even worse.
I'm sure exactly how Dark Eldar should be played. I am guessing they go for the long game or the war lord kill same as the craftworld Eldar.
The Ork faction is an odd one. By looks of it your units should get themselves wounded and then run roughshod over everything your opponent has. My experience is that they get to do it once and then get killed off meaning that you have to play things in waves almost. At the moment I am more likely to play them as allies to Chaos or the Imperial Guard.
Orks are like Space Marines in that they are probably best played to snatch the first planet as quickly as possible and force your opponent to catch up.
Chaos seems to be to be the strongest faction in the game right now. A mix of very hard units and some extremely powerful combos involving daemons should see them smash through any non-Chaos opponent. They are another faction that I really don't want to play against until I can get some more cards or another starter. It may well be that if my regular foes were using one starter that Chaos might not be so bad.
The Chaos faction seems to have the ability to go for the first planet win, capture resources and focus on the enemy war lord making it difficult to handle them.
I quite like Tau from playing them in a couple games. They seem comparable to Space Marines but with more shooting and less area effect cards. They really need a second starter though to get the important cards. I've seen them played with some effect as allies to Eldar and Space Marines so maybe for now that is the way to play them.
Tau look like they are better at securing resources first and foremost before trying to grab planets. With enough resources they should be able to plonk down their big units and annoying cards and win.
Now to wait for the first set of expansions and the arrival of the Necrons and Tyranids.