Goatboy’s 40k: Genestealer Cult Hopes



Goatboy here again and today I want to chat about the imminent Genestealer Cult release.

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

Initially, while I like the models from the DW game set – I wasn’t too interested in the army.  I sorta missed the old Genestealer Cult release as I came into the game at the tail end of 2nd and started into 3 and 3.5.   From there I just have a few memories of looking at some ugly metal models sitting in chair.  Beyond that I thought the idea of them was interesting enough and found the narrative thoughts to be the coolest.  Who doesn’t like the idea of creating these Tyranid like Villains that can have personality beyond just the overall need to consume and reuse.


Now I really thought the new models looked good.  They had an old school vibe to them but still had the sharpness you see in hard plastic kits.  Each little monster seemed to have some kind of personality. This is always a nice thing in any army as it feels like you are painting a little story as you build each unit.  It also fulfills something that isn’t just – oh no Chaos has infected me and the warp is gonna eat my butt.  But enough of the narrative – let’s get out the crystal ball and see if I can guess some of the new rules for these monsters.  It does help we have the “free” rules GW released for the Board game and those will be the shell I build my thoughts on.


First of all – we know it will be a full codex.  It will have at least something in all the force org charts.  GW has learned from its past mistakes (Harlies and the Mechnicum) that building books who can’t take a normal CAD is not the best.  Plus the rules from the board game have HQ’s and Troop choices so I know will at least those in this given book.  This lets your army feel like an actual army instead of some kind of combo generator or ally farm.  The added new set of psychic powers also give the book a feeling of a full fledged force as well.  This is great as having a new “bad” guy army is always a good thing when we are pretty well dominated by the “good” guys.

The question I have is what kind of universal Army rules could they have?  Tyranids have Synapse and while it could be interesting to have that – it doesn’t really fit with the army.  I would think Stubborn or other abilities if leaders are near them might work.  I would also think some kind of Stealth or other hiding ability would make sense.  Army wide infiltrate – while fitting – would be better left to formations and other things that would come into play.  Just like the formation from the board game where you get to take a bunch of different things and all of a sudden you get some sweet rules.


Unit wise the HQ section already looks filled out – it has a Hybrid leader, the Spell caster, and the giant Genestealer.  I doubt will see any special characters and will most likely just have some focus on some upgrades, relics, and special powers.  I wonder if they will lose access to Telepathy and just have their own Brood set of powers.  If they lose it – like the Tyranids got there will have to be some kind of Telepathy overlap.  There should be some kind of Shriek, Shrouding, and some other “Terror” based powers.  I bet the Genestealer Broodlord power – the Horror will show up in some way.  Or maybe they will use this as a way to help “fix” the Tyranids and give them a much more “beneficial” set of powers.  There are a lot of directions they can go and I am sure will see the leaks next week.  I really like the Commissar/Leader option that has Zealot and some cool close combat options.  You join him up with some Acolyte Hybrids and you have a rough hitting unit.

The Elite choice will be interesting – as the initial two we have are both ok – just could use some work.  It would be neat to see a full fledged Genestealer option at the elite choice.  A Broodlord for the army could be really good and maybe they could set this up to be like the special Genestealers that can pop out of reserves and attack.  Heck throw in the rule disorderly charge and I think you have something fitting.  The other Elite choice shown so far are the big mutants.  They seem cool but again they are slow and without a formation to give them better rules it makes it hard to see if it worth wile.  I could see some kind of special elite command squad to go here – bad ass Hybrids with a ton more weapon options each.  I would love to see the psychic guy get put here but I suspect will just see some special upgraded guys with the normal add ons.  Boneswords, lash whips, and crazy chainsaws seem to be what is shown on the minature box.  I would love to see some power in the elite slot as a lot of armies are regulated to this slot either being a tax they have to take for a formation or something that shows its power when given Objective secured in an formation.


The Troop choice right now seems pretty dang neat.  You get the regular “guardsmen” with some cool options.  Their points are pretty cheap so you could easily cover the table if you wanted to buy a bunch.  They have some decent weapon options in the shorter range Lascannon, grenade launchers, and actual grenades.  I would think they might get some other weapons like a flamer and a heavy chubber.  The real decent troop choice are in the baby genestealers that while not nearly as strong they still throw out a ton of attacks. They sit at weird point cost in the 12 man squad but maybe they will sit around 6-8 points apiece with some kind of leader.  Strength 4 rending on a cheap body can do a lot of damage to a unit.  Give them some kind of reroll to hit and even a knight is worried it might lose a few hull points (4+6+D3 = max 13).  It will be interesting to see how they end up if they can get some different weapons and other options to help them out.  That crazy saw thing and Bone sword/Whip could make a really annoying leader.

There isn’t any released Fast Attack options just yet but pictures of a Limo show up in the artwork.  It looks like some kind of Tauros update with wheels instead of tracks.  I am guessing Open topped assault vehicle with a bunch of heavy chubbers.  There is chatter they might get a flyer to let them play with the Death from the Skies.  It might be like a Valkyrie or some kind of light Transport option.  I am not sure what they would get as the army is mostly living in the hives and sewers.  There hasn’t been any leaked jump troops and while it could be cool to see flyers – normal jump options haven’t been setting the game on fire lately.  I get the feeling will at most see some transports for this force org choice.


Finally we have the Heavy option and this could be interesting too.  If they get some kind of Devastator option or maybe the heavy Mutants holding big laser guns.  A converted/stolen Leman Russ can sit here and never be used like the other options.  It would be neat to see a pet Carnifex or other big Tyranid beastie here to help them out.  It gets hard to fully think about as normally the fluff doesn’t have crazy big heavy stuff and seems to rely on hordes of converted bodies to convey the army dread.

Formation wise there should be some kind of assault out of reserve unit.  They have done it for the last few books and it would ripe for them again to use the disorderly charge rule to make this type of assault not nearly as brutal as it could be.  There is going to be a big ole core formation with a ton of Hybrids in it – will probably have infiltrate and shrouding for the first turn. I bet some kind of psychic council as well – using some of the Magus with an attached Patriarch to create an annoying unit.  Its pretty easy to figure out the formations as they just either give you 2-5 choices and a leader or at least a mixture of all the fun things into one.


The Relics could be interesting as a few Tyranid ones would make sense.  They could have a Norn Crown with some added on rules and abilities.  A Fearless bubble and maybe some kind of Psychic dread would be neat.  Maybe there will be some kind of mutating option to allow the leader to be more like the Patriarch.  There should be some kind of Banner as it is shown on the box art.  It could give extra attacks or hatred.  The weapons will show up – the special Bonesword and lash whip or maybe some kind of pre Carnifex upgrade.  Maybe there is a way to get better Familiars as well that do more for you too.  There is a lot of little things that can come out of it – and as it is a new army steeped in old traditions it gets hard to really go crazy with them.  After all they are just guardsmen with some extra strands of DNA.

Overall I am excited to see a new army that isn’t just a refresh of the Space Marine.  I think the models look pretty dang cool and hope it actually ends up working.

~Are you excited to see the new Genestealer cult coming?  Do the whispers at night scare you?



  • Inian

    Is this article late? It seems to speculate about things we know, like the flyer (there isn’t one), and the Goloath (a.k.a. Limo) that we now know isn’t open topped.

    • euansmith

      Are they not going to get access to Valkyries from their PDF buddies?

      • Inian

        Haven’t seen anything about the PDF in the codex. They do get some Astra Militarum units, but those are limited to Chimeras, Sentinels and Russes. With special rules in the GC codex. Maybe they will be allowed to ally with normal Astra Militarum, but I highly doubt it.

        • euansmith

          Genestealers leaping out of a Valkyrie would be cool. 🙁

          • Commissar Molotov

            “It’s raining ‘Nids!”

          • nurglitch


        • Commissar Molotov

          Yeah, looks like they’ve gotten rid of “Brood Brothers” and just have Hybrid Neophytes, who seem to be two-armed bald guys. “Shoot the bald ones” has replaced “shoot the big ones!”

    • orionburn

      Thought the same thing. Some of the leaked photos already show some of the psychic power options and more info on the Goliath.

    • Old zogwort

      They know that we know that they know what is in the book. So why the charade.

      • Inian

        I’m gonna go with “for dramatic flair”.

    • Randy Randalman

      Well, we know the Rockgrinder variant isn’t open-topped.

    • SYSTem050

      Have the rules been leaked? It looks open toped to me

      • Inian

        Randy already said it below, but the Rockgrinder version is not open topped (yes the rules have been leaked). While it is possible the other version is open topped I doubt it, they look extremely similar except for weapon options and the Drilldozer blade.

        And the rules are strange, I would have guessed open topped as well but it seems that the entire top is the access point. So no assaulting after moving, but no disadvantage on the vehicle damage table either.

        Since they also get access to Chimeras though it would be really nice if the normal Goliath is an assault vehicle, since the moving box role is already filled.

    • memitchell

      The way these things are leaked and released,it’s hard to match informed speculation with the actual timeline. I like the intent of the article (if not the timeliness). It encapsulates what might have been, juxtaposed with what will be. IF we had ever actually believed this army was actually going to get a full revival, we could have had this discussion four or five times over the last two decades. Each time updated for the current structure of the game. When there is a two decade gap between army lists (and models, and theme, and mythos), you don’t talk about the army like you would speculate on the next Ork codex.

    • Andrew Thomas

      Technically isn’t open-topped. You can still use the Rock Crusher like a slower, stompier Venom, as your entire squad can fire from the back, and it’s an HtG Tank.

  • euansmith

    I’m thinking it will be good with a few Knight, maybe five or six; and an allied Knight Formation.

    • paxter


    • Insert_nickname_here

      You clearly a fluff bunny, no allied librarian conclave?

      • Patriarch

        And some allied grav weapons. And a firedrake. With a webway portal and scatter lasers for everyone.

  • Imrahil

    Excited I am! I waited so long for this! Time to build the cult ^^

  • Mike Salamandrin

    …I too fear the heavy chubbers 😀

  • An_Enemy

    That truck just doesn’t look good to me. Like something from Playskool.

    • wibbling

      So convert it to something you like, or just don’t buy it, using a different vehicle to represent it.

    • Nathaniel Wright

      It’s like the toys look like mining equipment or something.

      • NovaeVox

        Hmmm. Reminds me of something(s)… 🤔


        • Nathaniel Wright

          So like a $900 concrete saw. Noted.

        • ZeeLobby

          replace the head, and that’s exactly what they look like. lol.

          • NovaeVox

            Well… Time to start doing Genestealer/Iron Warriors/Rescue Heroes conversions.

            Sounds like a Goatboy army.

    • ZeeLobby

      Some parts of it look great. And then some do look over-exaggerated.

      • NovaeVox

        If by “over-exaggerated” you mean “Tonka-tough.”

  • Mike Salamandrin

    Unless they introduce a new nid organism, lictors and death leaders are suppose to active at this stage of the invasion

    • Inian

      Indeed, usually when the cults reveal themselves the hive fleet is already near enough to drop down larger creatures for the initial attack. Lictors may or may not have been there before though, it depends on how the genestealers arrived.

  • ZeeLobby

    I just wish we still had an AM player in our group. I guess the cult will just have to infiltrate one of the 4 space Marine chapter monasteries. It’d be tough for them to infiltrate the 3 craft worlds.

    • euansmith

      Maybe the Craft Worlds have been allowing humans immigrant workers to do the crappy jobs; like clearing Webway Plaque, only to discover that normal humans don’t actually look like that after all? Maybe the Marines ancillary staff have become infected?

      • ZeeLobby

        Lol, yeah, I mean there’s ways, just tough when the only players left seem to only play a sliver of the galactic possibilities.

        • euansmith

          Time to break out the Kroot Mercs with their Hrud allies… plus three Knights and a Librarius Conclave with Tiggie.

          • ZeeLobby

            What?! No Eldar jetbikes ?!@?!

    • SYSTem050

      Maybe an imperial mining colony in orbit around a eldar maiden world has been infected. Maybe a previously hidden eldar gateway or artifact has been dug up by colonists. Maybe farseeres believe that crushing a genestealer colony here will ensure that the nid fleet heads in a different direction. Or maybe more from darkly the eldar want to capture a dozen cultists to seed to other human colonies to bring about their destruction.

      Plenty of narrative options

      • euansmith

        Or the usual reason for anyone fighting anyone else in 40k.

        “Do you wanna play a game?”

        “Sure. 1850pts?”

        “Okee dokee.”

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah, I just imagine AM vs GC to be like the traditional starting salvos, with the eventual tyranid hive and SMs showing up as it escalates. It’s hard to make the narrative you want when half the people you played with have moved on from their neglected factions :/

    • Damistar

      Remember the original Deathwing story? One of the Dark Angel recruiting worlds had been taken by a Genstealer cult so there you go.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. True. I guess I just expect both those races I listed to be observant enough not to let a cult form right under their noses.

        • SYSTem050

          It’s the absentee parent syndrome. Long hours on the rock frequent trips away not noticing what’s happening on the recruitment planet

          • euansmith

            All it takes is a slightly board recruiter, and the Cultists might find themselves undergoing induction in to a Marine Chapter. Before you know it, there is a request going out for three armed suits of power armour 😉

  • Old zogwort

    We all know some of you blos guys have the book. It was paraded on Facebook. Why didn’t they you just give poor old goatboy a peek? He could be writing cool how to powergame the max out of this codex articles, while the competition would still be reposting WD pictures.

  • Simon Chatterley

    I do love goat boys articles but I swear there are 3 or 4 personalities going on in there. This one speaks of fluff and narrative when the others just spam the hardest hitting option….then add a knight and a conclave.