Showcase: Genestealer Cults Codex


Join us as we take a first peek at the Genestealer Cults Codex!

Hey BoLS Readers! We have a special treat today – Codex: Genestealer Cults landed in front of our studio cameras and we got to take a peek inside. We cover a lot of the Lore in the book as well as some of the awesome new art and Cult Armies. We also tease a few of the key new things we’ve all been waiting for like the “Decruion-style” Detachment.

The Genestealer Cult is going to a very different army to play than Tyranids or Astra Militarum. Based on what we’ve seen (and we’ve got the Codex, remember) they are going to be able to have a lot of cheap units, some pricey-er elites, and some serious armored support.


The Metamorphs and Acolytes are going to be your more “assault” focused units with their short ranged fire power and their access to tons of rending claw attacks. Plus all the unique wargear you’re going to want to put on them. Watch out for the  “Snip” Rule…


Neophyte Hybrids are your cheap bread-and-butter ranged units. They have some decent ranged options, very similar to Guard. But they also have access to all those cool mining lasers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more than a couple of these units pop-up in transports like the Goliath and flood the table. Chaos Cultists, eat your heart out!

We’ve already teased the Goliath so I won’t get into that too much. But it’s a cool looking transport and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. There are two versions of that the “basic” Goliath and the Rockgrinder Goliath. These are very similar to the Rhino/Razorback. You trade transport capacity for fire power.

Now for a few extra bits that we didn’t show off but I wanted to confirm for you fine folks:

Astra Militarum Units include:

  • Sentinels
  • Armored Sentinels
  • Chimeras
  • Leman Russ Tanks

Tyranids and Astra Militarum are Allies of Convenience for Genestealer Cults. For all other armies they are Come the Apocalypse.

There is no new “Flyer” in the Codex. You’ll have to get that air-to-air support from one of your allies conveniently.

There are no other ground transports listed in the Codex. Just to confirm – No “Limo” at all. Sorry folks.

The Genestealers in the Cult book are going to make regular Genestealers very jealous.

Genestealer Cult has a LOT of access to pulling units off the table and putting them back into Ongoing Reserves – be prepared to cover your objectives when facing them…

And the biggest rule coming from the Codex is the Cult Ambush Table. Blood Angels and Chaos Marines aren’t the only army getting access to assaulting after Deepstriking.


That’s all for now. We’ve got lots more teasers and coverage all week! The Genestealer Cults are HERE!

Codex: Genestealer Cults $50


Vile chanting fills the air, marked by blood-chilling shrieks of alien beasts – the xenos creed shall rise! Thousands of cultist voices are raised in prayer to their Patriarch, a living god from beyond the stars. Shadows in the distance become a seething tide, a living wave of hybrid creatures that boils out from dank and slimy lairs. Vehicles modified with whatever weapons can be cobbled together careen around the horde’s flanks, delivering yet more terror. Sinister, charismatic leaders cast dominion over their enemies as well as their underlings. The Cult has long-prepared for this day of reckoning, and its swollen ranks will surely conquer the world.

This 104-page, full-colour hardback Codex features a wealth of gaming content:

– comprehensive information on the Genestealer Cults, the gruesome and frankly unsettling story of their rise from a single organism to unstoppable, planet-devouring insurrection;
– rules for Genestealer Cults miniatures, the scavenged weapons they use to slaughter their victims, and army-building lists allowing for Hybrid and Brood Brother cultists drawn from the Astra Militarum;
– formations that make use of both the Genestealer Cults and Astra Militarum ranges, with notes on the wargear that Genestealer Cults scavenge and use for their own sinister ends;
– 6 new Tactical Objectives and the complete Broodmind Discipline: new Psychic Powers used by Magi and Patriarchs;
– the Cult Ambush rule: dependent on a dice roll, Genestealer Cults units can set up anywhere on the table, deploy and charge in the same turn, and burst from their hidden lairs to surprise and engulf the enemies of the Cult;
– a showcase of beautifully-painted Citadel miniatures, presenting the colours and icons of the Cults that lurk below.


That dozerblade on the Rockgrinder is a lot like the Ork Deffrolla in more ways than just looks…

  • Benoit Tremblay

    No limo makes me sad.

    • ZeeLobby

      Can always convert one, but yeah, I’ll miss the mobster-style of the GC. The mining theme is probably more realistic, but the old school always felt like bad guys out of Spawn, and that was pretty cool.

      • Commissar Molotov
        • ZeeLobby

          Oh don’t worry. I’ve already got ordering one sitting in my backlog. After all the boss has to occasionally check with his union boys down at the mine.

      • benn grimm

        The mining theme is cool, but somewhat limited; what about all the cults who don’t happen to work in mines or live on planets with mining facilities? I’m guessing there are quite a few of them.

        • Commissar Molotov

          Yeah, I liked ’em better when they were just funny looking hivers.

          • benn grimm

            I think I’m going to try and go that route, the whole seven dwarfs vibe is cool n all, but not for me. It’s fine for the cult on the mining moon of whatchamecallit, but my cult are going to be a little more….refined… 😉

    • memitchell

      Make one for yourself. Call it a Goliath, but lower its stats and lessen its rules. Or, go with the original rules: Open topped, AV10/10/10, no weapons, carries 6 wound equivalents. It will get your Patriarch and Princelings to close combat about two turns later than if you don’t bring one. If they survive.

      • benn grimm

        Or don’t call it a goliath. Or don’t call it a chimera, call it whatever you want, make it look like what you want. Make it look nice, talk to opponent, job done.

    • TB0N3

      I would measure a goliath, then bulid some Limo-Hummer.

    • Ed Butlar

      The Limo was awful, the same as when noise marines had electric guitars. The new vehicles are fat more fitting.

      • Bayne MacGregor

        Yes cause the pope, the president, the prime minister, the brutal dictators of various countries would never drive around in an armoured limo in the real world… oh wait!

  • memitchell

    C’mon guys. GSC predates Tyranids (both in real game terms, and 40K background).. There never was a GSC codex, because their last independent GSC rules pre-date the codex format. The last time GSC had any army rules (in the back of a Tyranid codex) was 26 years ago.

    But, don’t let that stop CSM and SoB players from whining about being neglected.

    • Ben_S

      Not that long ago surely – it was in 2nd edition and that only came out in 1993 I believe.

      • lorieth

        Indeed. My copy of that Codex Tyranids is (c) 1995, so “only” 21 years ago.

        This release sounds like they’ve managed to keep the flavour of the army whilst updating it enormously, and that’s no mean feat. It sounds like the Genestealers themselves have been much improved too, which is crucial for how this army will feel but also bodes well for Tyranids. Mind you, they’d be even better if they’d borrowed one more thing from my 2nd Ed. codex and let them use Land Raiders!

        • Bayne MacGregor

          Or gave them back the 2nd wound the strength 6 and the 3AP (or in those days -3Sv mod).
          But i like that the old -1 to hit if they moved 10+ inches (when most armies could only manage 8) is now an invulnerable save from their dodging reflexes. That’s a nice way to bring back an old effect in the new mechanics.

    • Shiwan83

      CSM is not neglected. It’s openly hated by the company that releases more and more nerfs to it each time it has a CSM related release. Proof? Well, first it was terminators and a lord that did not have to be BFF, then the became BFF with double fearless and after that there was the triple hatred.

    • mysterex

      The rules were printed in the Citadel Journal in 2000 over two consecutive issues. I’ve still got them along with some of the old metal & plastic hybrids.

      • memitchell

        Those were fan written rules for 3rd edition 40K. The Studio gave those rules a reassuring “don’t need permission from an opponent, to use them” official blessing. Again, only available in Citadel Journal. I like’d that army list. Fairly generic, but usable. They were somewhat limited, and slightly flawed. For instance, without bringing “Brood Bothers” (i.e. Imperial Guard) you could find yourself completely unable to damage a Dreadnought.

        Your (and my) old metal & plastic hybrids pre-date those rules by 10 years.

  • Mr.Gold

    i was shocked: “We’ve already teased the Goliath so I won’t get into that too much.”…

    • orionburn

      It’s just because there will be a different article later this evening about the Goliath. “Now with pictures from a different angle!”

      Teasing aside I am happy for confirmation of the Allies of Convenience for Nids and at least some Imperial stuff.

      • Dan Wilson

        Three different articles…

      • Shiwan83

        Might I ask you why you think it’s good that nids are not proper allies to the cult? The fluff does not support that view.

        • Mike Salamandrin

          By fluff the cultist would be consumed by the hive fleet when the invasion is in full swing, besides the patriarch they are outside the hive fleet’s synapse, and they would not be able to take each other’s transports

        • Statham

          Because the Cult should basically be the equivalent of Tommy Lee Jones at the end of Men In Black, bellowing ‘EAT ME!’ at an angry giant cockroach-looking bug alien, when the Hive Fleet is descending.

          • Shiwan83

            That’s one way to do it. Would also mean that they are BBs.

          • Drpx

            Not should, is.

      • Commissar Molotov

        Unless my eyes deceived me, the regular Goliath looked to be open-topped but wasn’t allowed to transport purestrain genestealers.

        • orionburn

          Also looked like it was only 11 on the front armor. The Rock Grinder variant had 12.

        • Andrew Thomas

          true. No figure on Purestrain minimum numbers, but a small enough brood could board the Rockgrinder.

    • Carey_Mahoney

      That one just made my day.

    • Andrew Thomas

      Spoilers: the basic one is an Open-topped Rhino with twin Autocannon and Stubber standard, can get a Demo Charge, and doesn’t care much about terrain or the bottom half of the Vehicle damage table.

  • darkwynn

    Wait is this GW doing Marketing 0.o ? This is kind of impressive. they should of been doing this stuff years ago…

    • ZeeLobby

      Er. Pretty sure BoLS has been selling their stuff for years

  • jexinator

    Oh no battle brothers available ….
    For me, this is the least fun part about this codex.

    • Rainthezangoose

      It actually is, going to be bitter about Tyranids not being battle brothers for years to come. Literally lost me. Wont be touching it because it. Very nice models tho.

      • Keaton

        It makes more sense than battle brothers.

        • Drpx

          Right, meanwhile the Space Wolves love the Inquisition and Grey Knights are “familiar and used to fighting with” to all the people who don’t know they exist and will be executed/mind wiped when it’s over.

          • georgelabour

            ‘Has an understanding and working relationship that insures they all do their duty’ is not the same as being ‘grimdark teletubbies with one another’.

          • Drew_Da_Destroya

            And the Dark Eldar just love hanging out with their Craftworld Cousins!

          • lorieth

            … all set to music; it’s a marvellous evening!

          • Keaton

            What’s that saying about two wrongs?

      • Ed Butlar

        Why? Tyranids have never been battle brothers or allies of the Genestealer cult. The Tyranids destroy them just like any other race they come across.

        • Bayne MacGregor

          Actually that’s incorrect:
          1st edition white dwarf tyranid update army list.
          Advanced Space Crusade Boardgame.
          Tyranid Attack Boardgame (essentially a new edition of ASC).
          2nd Edition main boxed set Rulebooks army lists.

    • Carey_Mahoney

      Agreed. It really doesn’t make sense.

    • Graeme Donaldson

      It makes sense though, other races that don’t like each other can put that aside to fight together when they need to. Tyranids view Genestealer cults the same as any other race, the only way they can work together is by the cultists keeping out of the Tyranids way as the invasion decends and helping out where they can, they certainly wouldn’t be actively working together. When the battle is won (and possibly even during the battle), the Tyranids will round up the cultists and kill them so they can go into the bio-mass vats again. That’s the fluff and it’s how it’s always been. Allies of Convenience is a massive gift compared to how they probably should be.

  • Anyone else think this codex will make an awesome count as codex for the Lost and the Damned?

    • TB0N3

      I would use some of the FW lists instead, but the truck would look cool in Chaos colours

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      IA13 is already excellent.

    • Andrew Thomas

      IA13 and the Vraks update are better. But I’m leaning more toward making a Warboys army.

    • Bayne MacGregor

      the neophyte sculptor tweeted that the arms and heads are the same size as Skitarii. So you might want those hooded Ranger heads to make cultists out of Neophytes perhaps.

      • benn grimm

        Cool, cheers for the tip off 🙂

  • Drpx

    No battle brothers for Nids? Hahahaha they must have some awesome psychic powers or leader bonuses. Meanwhile there’s a Librarius conclave and an Inquisitor in every Imperium army.

    • Andrew Thomas

      Free Hordes of Heavily armed Infantry, making Storm Surges/Broadsides/Riptides/Wraithknights shoot their buddies at a lower WC cost than Cabal, Relentless and Fleet running and shooting, and ridiculously good mind bullets, so yeah.

      And bubbles of character-granted USRs, including Adamantium Will.

      And then there are your Elite Transports that can Ram at an average effective Strength 9 AP 2, pretty much guaranteed to insta-gib anything slower than a Marine and less hardy than a Plague Biker, and 2+ all the rest, especially if the decide to Death or Glory but don’t deliver.

  • Carey_Mahoney

    Still would be nice to be able to include some of the new GSC gear in my Inq. army. Ordo Hereticus acolyte with rock saw? F**K YEAH!!

    Maybe counts-as servo arm or power axe…

    • Bayne MacGregor

      Read the Deathwatch Ignition short story about Cassius….
      It has some implications you might find thrilling/terrifying/heretical in the extreme….

  • MechBattler

    I think I just found a decent use for all those Space Hulk Genestealers…

  • Andrew Thomas

    Found another formation/unit that can straight-up eat Canoptek Harvest’s lunch: Demolition Claw/Rockgrinders. Add a Baneblade for extra laughs.

  • Matthew LeBlanc

    I noticed that there was no extra armor for the vehicles. Did anyone else?