Genestealer Cult + Chaos = AWESOME


What happens when a Genestealer Cult hooks up with the Ruinous Powers? GW has an answer.


We are going Waaaaay back to 1991 for this one boys and girls so get ready.  Back then 40K was young and the galaxy of fluff and armies were exploding at a crazy pace. The rule of cool was in full swing and you you could feel the creative juices bubbling inside Nottingham HQ across the globe.

Genestealer Cults were new. In a world that produced the amazing dual Chaos hardbacks Lost & the Damned and Slaves to Darkness – the question must have come up:

What happens if a Genestealer Cult Patriarch turned to Chaos in desperation and invited daemonic possession?

G512 - Rogue Trader Genestealer Patriarch on Throne '89 11-08-30

“I’m bored. Perhaps today I will turn to Chaos…”

GW made an entire armylist to answer that question and it is without doubt one of the nuttiest armies of the era if not all time in Warhammer 40K lore.  Take a look at this:


Ok, some ground rules. The Patriarch is now an “Oracle” and you get to modify his stat profile based on what type of daemon possessed him. The best part – you have to ROLL for it. Pick your patron power and get out 2D6. Maybe he made a good deal and got possessed by a Bloodthirster, or got suckered and got a Nurgling – LOL!


Once the possession of the Patriarch…umm Oracle takes place, he hands over the daemonic weapons to the Magus and the Purestrains get mutations.


The Hybrid initiates get some mutations and of course all these elite units get to tool around town in those SEXY Coven Limos. That’s FREE limos.

gc-chaos-4With the coven elites behind us, it’s time to get into the riff-raff and this is where you are going to really get the cool vibe of this armylist.  Rogue Psykers and Brood Brothers with chaos mutations lead the way. Note you have different weapon options for the Brood Brothers based on the technology level of your world.


Yes you’re heretic eyes aren’t lying. That’s mutated Beastmen and Mutand bands. Of course all these units come in the appropriate sacred number of models based on who which chaos power possessed the Oracle. If your Oracle is extra mean you can equip these plastic dudesmen with explosive collars to keep them in line.


Ahh the innocent early days back in the 90s when you could put human bombs in a game and no one would bat an eye.  I think the mutant bombs aren’t coming back but you can have some plain old daemons to fill your ranks while you wait.



Spawn, Horses and Vehicles round out the Chaos Cult. Note the horse entry is just that – Horses. You buy them here and dole them out to eligable models from other units. If you get lucky some might even be trained Warhorses! Note this is also the first appearance of a 40K chart with vehicle stats for civilian vehicles pressed into battlefield use. That chart has City Cars, Trikes, Tracked Vehicles and more.


I have to say that this is one of the most unique and creative armylists ever put out by GW and its a great example of what the early days of the game were like.

+1000 Internets to anyone who tries to make such a monstrosity work within the current allies and ruleset!

~So just remember, no matter how fringe you think an army is, or how unlikely an allied matrix armylist combo may seem – the galaxy is a big place…


  • sjap98


  • wibbling

    Those were great days. Bonkers, absurd and incredibly complicated but great days. It makes me laugh when kids wail about wanting ‘tight balanced rules’ (read as cheating for advantage) and thinking back to conundrum like calculating TRR.

    • Iconoc1ast

      Look at those stats!!
      i kind of miss the crazy and the dark humour. dont get me wrong though, i do like the fact that things are being streamlined/ironed out and it is great that GW is resurrecting some of the more forgotten parts of the 40k universe. i mean there were lots of things that just did not have models that were in production or a great selection to choose from. good times are here again though.

    • ZeeLobby

      Lol. “Something I don’t understand = cheating”. There he goes again folks!

      • Jabberwokk

        I suppose to the uneducated such things appear as ‘magic’.

        F@#$ing Magnets! How do they work?

        • euansmith

          “F@#$ing Magnets”? Is that how they breed? I wondered where they all came from! I thought the answer was, “aliens”.

          • Iconoc1ast

            Its always ‘aliens’

    • Hell yeah, this old school, bizarre, completely unconcerned with balance approach is my favorite, ideal form of GW.

      • ZeeLobby

        Buts its not what got 40K where it is. Once they started streamlining and balancing rules and defining factions and forces is when 40K boomed. The problem is thay they aren’t exclusive. That’s just something fanboys and fanhaters created to point at each other.

        • Exclusive? No, but GW suck at delivering for people who want even power levels, it’s just a problem they have. I don’t mind, I certainly don’t like everything they do (AoS has lead to some sculpting abominations that drive me crazy), I just don’t get disappointed by it, and do primarily miss the old RT/2nd ed aesthetic

          • ZeeLobby

            The degree of suck-i-ness has not always been the same though. It is in a much worse state today than it has been in the past. Because of this there are many more people asking for it today, then in the past. I don’t think anyone expects GW to produce the most rule-tight game ever (though they do have more resources to do this than any other company), I think many people (myself included) would just like to return it back to the days of: There’s one or two power builds in a faction that just wipe everything. Instead of: There’s one or two factions that wipe everything.

            I think narrative people have suffered the least from the new direction at GW, but that doesn’t give them the right to call those who’d like a tighter game “childish” or “cheaters” (not saying that you did).

          • Charon

            This. There was no issue with BA rhino rush armies or IG leafblowers as these could be easily identified and called out.
            It is much harder to tell whats cheese today. Does it start with playing Eldar? Is the Aspect Host ok? May I use warpsiders or scatterbikes at all? What about Wraithguard?

          • ZeeLobby

            Exactly. Throw in the hundreds of formations that can drastically throw the switch on power level, and it’s really just a mess. It used to be “I won’t take my nob bikers and we’ll have a close game”. Now you’re asking people to no longer play their factions, or to take ONLY the worst units in their codex. Or to avoid multiple formations. It’s pretty bad.

            I mean having to change rules in the faction codexes is just a bad requirement to returning to balance: “put back in the 1 in 3 can take a scatter laser”.

          • Muninwing

            plus, if i bought into a neat Biel-Tann army back in 4th, and the rules finally give me a fun list to play, should i *not* play my army because it is too powerful?

            that was my conundrum when the rumor went out that Ward was doing the DA book for 6th… i wondered how much flack i’d get for playing it if he treated them to some of his normal doings. but the rumor was false, so who knows…

      • Charon

        That worked in 2nd and RT as the model count was exttremely low and next to everything was random. That has a fascination of its own but at the end of the day most people realized that they do want to have a game where their interaction matters and not just a dice game with miniatures.

        • The game is now at its closest point to that in more than a decade, I love it. I just hope they get around to arbites.

          • ZeeLobby

            Which honestly would be fine if they brought it back down to low model counts. The problem is that they’re creating this hundred faction whacky rule game and then expecting people to go out and spend $1K+ and build/paint 100 minis to play it. I think that’s a tall order for most people. As opposed to OG RT days where you’d make a warband of 10-20 models costing maybe $1/200 dollars and it didn’t matter how random it was because the investment is small. In many ways the randomness balanced the game because even strong units could disappear on a roll. Currently the points values seem to be the only randomization with whole factions winning or losing.

          • Muninwing

            i think the hard thing to remember is that GW doesn’t set the size of your games…

          • ZeeLobby

            Except they kind of do though. Minimum squad size. Squad size requirements for weapons. Formation/Detachment requirements. Box contents. Recommended sizes. Battle reports. Etc. I mean all of that is basically guiding players to play games of that size. Especially considering the inability to individualize single members (something RT/2Ed allowed you to do).

          • Charon

            They kinda do with mandatory requirements. The main difference to 2nd is point costs. They did not scale everything down. A space marine was 30 points. An imperial solider was 5 points. Now we see the marine at 15 while the solider is still at 5.

        • Shinnentai

          2nd edition got rid of all of the randomness in army creation, though did still have quite a lot of random in gameplay (esp for unusual weapons but even standard stuff like rolling jams on sustained fire dice or vehicle damage).

          2nd Ed had a lot of failings but I still feel that in some ways the base rules provided a more solid foundation for giving players tactical options than 3rd ed onwards does.

          • Charon

            Dont get me wrong I loved 2nd (and I really hated 3rd for its lack of depth and variety) but there was a lot of random involved on single, critical dice rolls.
            Starting by the expensive cyclon that could easily blow up your terminators, to bikes that go out of control and ram their squad mates resulting in even more bikes going out of control, deathtrap transports, jams, total power and surge,…

          • euansmith

            “Don’t push dat Red Button!”

          • Charon

            Virus bombardment, Tyranid infestion tables

          • memitchell

            Titan killing Vortex grenades. Yes, I played games with my Armorcast Titans. Yes, they were killed by Vortex grenades.

          • Charon

            Vortex grenades on Eldar autarchs with wings

          • memitchell

            Virus routinely killed 2/3rds of any IG or Ork army before the game began. Blind grenades dominated every game. Ragnar was literally a one-man army. Yes, it was both Grim and Dark, my friends.

          • jeff white

            i built an ork looted medusa for exactly this reason.

          • euansmith

            One of my Orkz pushed dat button, tankshocked a unit of Assault Terminators, survived the Death or Glory roll, and then escorted the shamefaced Space Marines right off the table over a couple of turns 😀 Such fun.

          • Muninwing

            random shenanigans is still a regularly-quotes hatred of chaos players.

            and some of it doesn’t even make sense. i have a unit of Possessed… who have the option for transport… but might get wings as a mutation. they wouldn’t have thought of that before suiting up for battle?

            i get the fun aspect of it. but they really should make random events an optional set of rules. they can add some real flavor to a game, or they can be distracting and useless. and they have little place in a competitive environment like a tournament.

          • Charon

            There is “good random” and “bad random”.

            I would consider the vehicle damage table as bad random for example.

            The point with 2nd was that EVERYTHING was random. Every army. That is kinda fun because the results are hilarious.
            If random is one sided (as in only chaos is random, space marines are reliable) it gets annoying.
            Also 2nd had a much better risk vs reward system that is missing in a lot of bad random tables nowadays.

          • Muninwing

            i’m curious… why the vehicle damage table as bad random, when it’s a parallel to the effects of wounding (which is another randomized occurrence)

          • Charon

            Penetration would be the equivalent to wounding. The damage table is bad because it ranges from “next to nothing” to “your 300 points just went poof”
            A multi wound model only ever loses 1 HP (unless confronted with ID, which is not random)

          • jeff white

            i still count psychic powers and warlord traits as random. these should be paid for in points and modeled WYSIWYG

      • euansmith

        I think that that is how GW still expect people to play; hence their total disregard for any sort of meaningful balance. I’m waiting for 8th Edition to come out without any points 😀

  • Donaldosaurus

    Power weapon: 7 points
    Daemon weapon: 500 points


    • Patriarch

      Back then your daemon weapon could insta-kill anything with a single hit, even another greater daemon. Bit awkward when a 1,400 point Lord of Change gets vapourised by your axe.

      And if you were only fighting chaff units, you could instead summon the daemon out of the weapon to fight alongside your army. Back then a 500 point Greater Daemon was something of a bargain…

      • Iconoc1ast

        ahhhhh! nostalgia……

      • Every Axe of Khorne contains a Bloodthirster wielding an Axe of Khorne! Bloodthirsters FOREVER!

        • Shinnentai

          Very Age of Sigmar XD

        • Patriarch

          Yo, I heard you like daemons so I put a… etc

          • I thought of using him as terrain for epic/pocket 40K

  • Crevab

    I miss grim dark art. What would we have on these pages today; A picture of the model or an MS Paint drawing?

    • Randy Randalman

      That art was far sloppier and goofier than anything today. I get a kick out of people who keep claiming it was “grim dark” when in reality it was just poor and without color.

      • ZeeLobby

        John Blanche’s artwork was really the grim dark stuff, and sadly now it is mostly model glamour shots and cartoons.

      • Vorropohaiah

        Look at something by Ian Miller or Stephen Tappin or Adrian Smith and compare it with the PS art work they use today, and you know what people mean by grim dark. Some of the old Chaos artwork was quite messed up. Nothing against digital art at all, it just seems as though the quality in general has dipped in the past 10-years.

      • Come on, I have slaves to darkness sitting in front of me, it’s full of full color art

        • ZeeLobby

          Randy-GW-Randalman and GWibbling just put on blinders and attack anything that might be derogatory to present day GW.

        • Bayne MacGregor

          Yeah i bought it because of how good so much of the art was.

      • Commissar Molotov

        I think Randy prefers the more “modern” look of AoS:

        • Muninwing

          that’s the worry i had when they alluded to going high fantasy instead of low… that it was going to get cartoony quickly.

          they haven’t really disappointed in that respect. though even with the slightly ridiculous over-the-top-ness, they still have some models i wish they’d released back when i played their fantasy line… like the WoodElf on the giant beetle? awesome model.

      • Bayne MacGregor

        You clearly missed the good stuff, the amazing cross-hatch disturbing stuff like this picture of loyal techpriests

  • Kritarion

    Does the book-cover show a Stormcast Eternal with a bolter?

    • *shakes fist*

    • manouel35

      MY GOD XD >< !!!
      it's dante !!!!!!!!


      • Patriarch

        It’s really proto-Tycho. He originated with the model that painting is based on (pushes glasses up nose)…

        • Iconoc1ast

 i can just remember the battle report that basically wrote the history for him.
          As i was a BA player back then it was kind of upsetting to see him killed by an ork weirdboy.
          I think GW had big plans for him as he returned when Codex angels of death was released in 1996 with a badly mangled face and a hatred of the ork.
          he has finally met his end now but he was definitely one of my favourite characters growing up

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            It was great that they had him finally slip into madness and join the Death Company. Made him seem like a real person, tragic but real.

        • I have that model in my supplies for when I paint my lamenters, it’s so out of scale though, I dunno what to do with it

          • euansmith

            Stick him atop a pile of corpses. He’ll look great.

          • I actually recently acquired some older (I think 2nd ed) metal assault marines, if I could find another similar jump pack I could probably stick him with them

          • euansmith

            Smaller Marines just contain the same amount of righteous indignation squeezed in to a small can. This gives them the Small Man USR, which grants them Hatred: Universe.

          • Iconoc1ast

            1000 upvotes for this

          • Iconoc1ast

            that is a really good idea

          • Patriarch

            With models like that (1st edition Avatar) I mount them on a pedestal and paint them as statues for scenery. That way they continue their honourable service to the game.

  • Evilkipper

    To be precise, all those vehicles are in the Rogue Trader rule book, so it’s not really the first appearance of civilian vehicles. #grognard

    • euansmith

      Ah, the good old days of the Deodorant Stick Hover Tank… finally a reason for a gamer to purchase a deodorant stick.

      • Iconoc1ast

        oh yeah!!!! i remember that article!

        • jeff white

          and i always hated that model…

  • Sonic tooth

    I liked it when genestealers werent connected to tyranids

    • euansmith

      And Zoats were the mysterious warrior-druid-centaur agents of the Old Ones.

      • Patriarch

        Once they’d eaten their zoatibix….

  • Wayne Molina

    This was the past though. The game has moved on, people should as well.

    • miteyheroes

      Yes! The game has moved on from silly things like Genestealer Cults.

      • Wayne Molina

        Chaos genestealer cults, sure. The cults themselves I think are a really cool idea that was sorely missed. I have fond memories in 2nd edition when my brother and I had just picked up 40k, I chose Ultramarines and he chose Tyranids, and when we discovered the Cults he had a group of them too, the idea being that there was an uprising on a world, my Ultras were dispatched to handle what they thought was a generic revolt, and then boom here come Tyranids. It was fun back in those days.

    • Are you implying that a struggling GS cult wouldn’t make pacts to achieve their ends? Cause that seems wrong

      • euansmith

        Daemon to Ruinous Power, “Yo, boss, we’ve managed to corrupt and possess one of those creepy Genestealer Patriarchs!”

        Patriarch to the Hive Mind, “We have infected the Warp as you ordered.”

      • Wayne Molina

        I think they would, but a lot of things from the RT days don’t translate well to the modern day. Chaos-marked Genestealer cults seem to be one of those things. But there’s a lot of things that sound cool in the background of 40k that don’t translate well to the actual game, too.

    • Commissar Molotov

      Maybe that’s why GW’s offerings suck so much lately. They forgot how to have fun.

      • ZeeLobby

        You can really feel a lack of “fun”-centered content recently. It all feels very business-like. I don’t think we’ll ever see it return either, as now that it’s publicly traded, it’s much more a business then ever.

      • Wayne Molina

        No, I think it’s more that GW has a very narrow definition of fun with their games that, while is laudable and sounds great, is not experienced by what I would guess to be the vast majority of their customers. So there is a fundamental disconnect between how the GW design team plays the game, and how most everyone else plays the game.

  • AnomanderRake

    House rules for a Chaos Genestealer Cult would consist of finding a way cost handing out the Daemon rule, I’d think. Once you’ve got that you’re pretty much done.

  • Iconoc1ast

    this was the cover of my very first issue of white dwarf
    issue 133 jan 1991.

  • Funny thing, inspired by this old school bizarreness, my genestealer cult are a component of my Renegades and Heretics army, I can’t wait to expand them with this new release

    • Iconoc1ast

      it is crazy how much of the rogue trader style humour is bubbling up as well.

  • Davor Mackovic

    I am liking these Daily teasers. What is that in the background?

    • euansmith

      I think that might be the “new kit” hinted at in the teaser video. Fingers crossed. It could be great to get a “civilian vehicle” at last for the grim darkness.

  • euansmith

    “Up to 3 Coven Limousines per Coven at no points cost”

    Feckin’ formations! They’ll ruin the game with their free transport options!

    • ZeeLobby

      LoL. And the circle is complete!

  • memitchell

    You kids have it so easy these days! Unbound lets you use ANY models in your collection. Back then we were FORCED to use random models that were NOT in our collection. Internet? Ebay? No! If you rolled up a hybrid on a horse, you had to order it from England. The long-distance phone charges were greater than the cost of the model. And, the English DON’T speak English!

    • Patriarch

      “You rolled up ‘extra tentacle’? Great, now learn to sculpt!”

      My captain now has a D-cannon? Where am I going to buy one of them from????

  • Bryan Ruhe

    Tzeentch and hybrid cults are a match made in the Warp.

  • Benderisgreat

    “Yes you’re heretic eyes aren’t lying.”

    Who are you calling “heretic eyes”, buster? Your ice, the ice you’re skating on, is getting thin.

  • VOX

    He started off on the genestealers, that led him on to harder stuff, he’s now into chaos, poor guy. I can’t believe he let this happen to himself.

  • gwensdad

    In 2nd I had based my Genestealer cult as one that had infiltrated and taken over a Slaaneshi cult. I want to paint up many of my cultists I have now to be either Chaos or Genestealer. Either way, done with the Emperor for favor from our masters from beyond.

  • Agent OfBolas

    I love the Patriarch model… and I love the graph in this book … so beautiful, so unique.

    I love GW from 90s…

  • KingThrogg

    Back when the game development wasn’t directed by the marketing department.