Are Genestealer Cults Better than Eldar?! FTN

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Genestealer Cults have infiltrated our podcast and we think they are going to have a BIG impact on the tournament scene.

Hey Guys,
Just like you, we were anxious to see what GW had in store for us with a completely new army.

I was a little apprehensive at first thinking it was just going to be a hodge podge of units mashed into a new codex but it isn’t!  The Genestealer Cults offers some brand new ways to play with their Return to the Shadows and Cult Ambush rules.

We get right into the thick of it and explain why we think these two rules, combined with a very effective and durable Troop unit, will make an immediate impact on the meta.

For not a lot of points you can have units that bounce on and off of the table – insulating them from taking a ton of casualties, and 17% of the time they can come back on the table and assault.

The assault is quality…  A full squad of guys in this Acolyte unit can swing in with 80 RENDING attacks.  This is something armies like Tau and Eldar do not want to see.  Are these guys finally going to be the balance the game has been waiting for?

 

 

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Credits:
Paul Murphy – Host
@warmaster_tpm

Panelist:
Justin Troop – troopsmash
Christopher Morgan – captain morgan
Adam Abramowicz – Beyond the Brush Studios
Andrew Whittaker

  • Ebsolom

    “…80 RENDING attacks. This is something armies like Tau and Eldar do not want to see.”

    What army would WANT to be on the receiving end of that?

    • ZeeLobby

      Lol. Exactly.

    • Commissar Molotov

      “80 rending attacks, eh? You have fallen into my trap!”

    • Doug Christensen

      i would throw 50 plague zombies at that

    • BT

      Possibly Demonkin. ‘Oh nos, you killed my unit? Here comes a Str D Thrister that I got from the blood tithe for it! Blood for the Blood God and all of that.’

      The other is a summon Demon army where they can just keep popping out units to fill in those killed. A front line of high Int Demonetts that might strike first might be something these guys wouldn’t want to run into. These guys also do not care about Rending due to invuln saves.

      The third possible option is a Green Tide list with big mobs of Ork boys. Rending doesn’t matter because they have no armor anyways. They would just drown them in bodies and they would have a metric ton of attacks back. Heaven forbid Orks get a chance to charge them first.

      And yeah, I am semi-serious.

      • ZeeLobby

        The thing is, these guys are cheap just like Orks. But are a lot killier. In order to generate enough blood tide through death you’d end up sacrificing a significant portion of your army and probably more importantly, board position. KDK is a strong army, but not 80 rending attacks strong.

        • BT

          Sure, but we are talking a single unit. The roll to pop out and to go back into reserve is also not automatic. That may leave these guys hanging in the wind long enough to be counter charged… and they can’t afford the losses, while 2 of the 3 examples I gave could afford the losses because they have ways to generate more units.

          Maybe not ideal, but possible.

          • Liam Worswick

            Genestealer cults also have a summoning power to generate more units with free upgrades. It’s pretty tasty

    • lorieth

      Only the most twisted bunch of masochists. So there are a few armies looking forward to it.

  • ZeeLobby

    I’m not sure an army stronger than Eldar is going to return balance to the game. If they beat eldar, then they most likely destroy everything else.

    • Ebsolom

      They’ll do well on tables with dense terrain, other tables not so much.

      • ZeeLobby

        True.

      • euansmith

        Do the GSC have a Formation called something like “City of Death” that allows them to plop a bunch of ruin terrain down on to the table? This could be a great way for GW to move a whole bunch of terrain kits.

        • Andrew Thomas

          Just Second in a CAD or Stronghold Defenders Detachment and go nuts.

        • lorieth

          Ah, that reminds me of my mate’s favourite joke: What’s big and grey and if it fell from the sky it would kill you? A car park.

    • bonesaww666

      It’s not that they will be stronger than Eldar, it’s more that they are an excellent counter, they have the ability to show up where least expected and pin down the spam of Eldar and actually make them commit to a fight.
      Tau may actually have to move off the back table edge and start using transports and more field aggressive tactics which will result in list changes to accommodate the threat of Gene Cults.

      I think they will be good for the game, just because something can counter something doesn’t mean it’s auto lose for everyone else, that mindset is self defeating.

      • GiftoftheMagi

        Yeah I feel this too. Personally I see WAY too many Tau armies forming battle lines on the far end of the board and sitting there, blasting away at max range. Knowing that you could pop a nasty HTH assault out of nowhere right on top of their Crisis Suits and such, ignoring the range while the rest of the Cult bares down on you could force Tau players to be more pro-active and use the small amount of mobility they possess. And this is a good thing.

        • nurglitch

          It’s why formations like the Skyhammer, the Raptor Talon, and the Shadowstrike Kill Team are good for the game, because they require armies like Tau and Eldar to cover the board rather than sitting back. Tyranids did something similar to Imperial Guard back in 5th edition.

          • GiftoftheMagi

            I am a great believer in acting instead of reacting. In acting, you control the flow of battle. In reacting, you are being controlled. Being pro-active, even with risk, allows you to at least a degree of control.

    • Randy Randalman

      It’s a bit of rock-paper-scissors, really. Eldar are a strong single codex, but get rofl-stomped by Space Marines with grav and a death star. Tau, meanwhile, straight up lose if a Wraithknight is in the same town.

      If these guys can disrupt and even defeat some speedy and gun line style armies, it allows other armies to punch through too. A shift in an otherwise broken meta is ALWAYS good.

      • ZeeLobby

        True. But balance was probably the wrong choice of words then. At most it’ll be a 4th army in the top tier, not a balance to the game. I fail to see how their addition will somehow make the garbage factions competitive again.

    • Charon

      This is from a tournament perspective. If an army arises that handily counters Warpspider/scatterspam, it already shakes up the meta. Not because it is overall stronger than Eldar but because it counters a strong build. By countering this build it gets used less, allowing other builds that were supressed to resurface again.

      • ZeeLobby

        Really? I just see it as a 4th top dog in the ring. I don’t exactly see how 80 rending attacks will fair any worse vs any other opponent. I mean it may take the top 3 armies and increase their number to 4, but I wouldn’t consider that balancing the game. I think people are desperate enough to hope that any change to the meta will somehow magically balance things.

        • Charon

          No, it won’t. But this was not the topic of my post. All it does is stirring up the meta a bit and perhaps allowing a few different builds to enter the meta (that is a little bit like the lictor shame that was used to counter the Serpent Meta)

          • ZeeLobby

            Right. OK. I guess I was confused because you responded to my comment, which balance was the topic of with something off topic. I agree with what you put here.

    • lorieth

      He thinks they might be the army prophesied to bring balance to the forc– er, forty K. That sort of thing always works out well.

  • MarcoT

    Who knows. But the formation that allow multiple roles on the Cult Ambush table, combined with the 3 character formation sure seems nasty. 20 acolytes with banner and with 3 characters gives us hatred, preferred enemy, ws5, stealth, shrouded, adamantium will, fleet, counterattack, infiltrate, furious charge (iirc) and probably some more for almost 400 points, that get three attempts to get the assault from ambush result (if the warlord threat didnt just guarantee it). Not bad. Not bad at all.

    Not sure if they are better than Eldar, but they seem equiped to deal with them. Necrons might be tough still, and coverignoring Tau.

    • Matthew LeBlanc

      I think by the balance they mean that they won’t win all the time against those armies but they will win enough to make them fun and put them on their tose. But I can see them be hard to deal with them in objective base games.

    • BT

      I think Necrons will always be tough to deal with because of their ability to just ignore dying. But a melee list that can do enough damage to break them and run them down could wipe them before they get a chance to come back.

    • Andrew Thomas

      Demo Claw is a hard counter to Necron’s hardest formation (Canoptek Harvest), due to the good amount of accurate, high-strength, low-AP shooting you get out the Formation, and the ability to force RP on 6’s when Ramming. And loads of Crowd Control.

  • Xodis

    Ah, picking out rules and specific items that may “destroy” either the meta or another army….Remember the days when skill won the games…Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    • Commissar Molotov

      Eh…I dunno if it was down to skill. Stuff was just so random back in the old days. Virus cards, vortex grenades, the Tyranid mishap table…you couldn’t build a “perfect” list because sheer randomness would always end up poking you in the eye.

      • Xodis

        If everyone is screwed, no one is screwed…..right? lol

      • ZeeLobby

        I agree. Maybe it’s because of that but I remember good players showing up with the occasional underdog army and still placing well. Rarely see that anymore.

        • Power Gap between the armies is too big for that now

        • Karru

          I witnessed this multiple times in Finnish tournaments during 5th edition. Veteran players with Deathwing armies or Black Templars would just destroy net-listing players that went for an “easy” win. This was thanks to the fact that they knew the game and had learned their own weaknesses and knew the weakness of other armies they could exploit.

          • euansmith

            It must require a fair amount of work these days to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the massive maelstrom of factions, formations and allied options available.

          • nurglitch

            It’s less than you might think.

          • Karru

            Indeed, all they really have to do is pick Imperials if they are not that experienced since they can ally with any other Imperial faction without problems. Then they just look at which unit combination breaks the game hardest and stick to it. Not really that difficult these days. For example, just with a glimpse I could see that the Iron Hands Detachment from the AoD book can abuse the system hard. Command Squad escorting a Chapter Master with Shield Eternal, Bike and Artificer Armour has a 2+/3++/3+FNP and Eternal Warrior with Toughness 5. Throw in a Psyker with divination and boom, suddenly you have nigh invincible Character.

      • Karru

        I don’t think that this was the case during 5th. I don’t remember RNG being a huge factor back then (outside the normal dice rolls that are in this game). During those days it was more the case of preserving your Troops and actually using them for objective grabbing. There was also cover saves back then so manoeuvring around the board was a big thing to keep your units alive, instead of just sticking to one board edge and blowing your enemy away with insane amount of fire power.

        Also, since Assaulting was a thing back then, taking a full ranged army wasn’t the automatic choice so actually charging the enemy was a valid tactic. I also witnessed some tournaments where the winning lists weren’t the internet copy/paste lists, instead they were Deathwing army that was used by an experienced player to destroy the opponent.

        6th and 7th took RNG to the max and ruined a big part of the game and killed the rest of skill requirements with allies. For me allies and multiple detachment with just HQ/2 Troops tax killed, buried and spat on to the grave of skill. No longer does the CAD restriction mean anything, you can just spam all the slots you want since basically all armies have cheap HQ or Troops. Then if your army lacks something or has a massive weakness, just ally it away. No need to think about ways around it or practice. Just look at the weakness and remove it with allies.

    • bonesaww666

      If skill is irrelevant, why is it generally the same people winning GT’s?

      • Andrew Thomas

        Ah, but are they winning with radically different lists?

        • Karru

          Spoiler, they don’t. It’s the same list with maybe slight variation of a single unit. Seems like Bonesaww666 belongs to the group of people that just looks at the name of the player and army but not the list.

      • Xodis

        -Do the same people win with the flavor of the month?
        -Do the same people win against the same opponents?
        -Are GT’s a true representation of the game as a whole or the entire player base?
        -Do you really feel GT’s are the standard of a GW rule set?
        -Do GT’s play the game as its meant to be played (RAW) or is there arbitrary rules they (THE JUDGES) decide to better balance the GT?

        I think my point has been made, or I can give more questions to further destroy this “Skill must be relevant because GT’s” fallacy.

      • jcdent

        Because they have a well-trained knee to break the game over?

        • euansmith

          And the winner of the Excellent Analogy Award is…

  • Kevin Maloney

    I’m thinking it’s a bit early to be crowning GC as the new Eldar. Let’s wait a month and see how they do in actual games before we judge how competitive they are?

  • Andrew Thomas

    I’d love it if they’d show us the viability of comboing the Demolition Claw with the Emperor’s Fury Super-Heavy Company, just to embrace the Gonzo, EFF the Canon ridiculousness you can get out of the list.

  • OolonColluphid

    Rending is still not D strenght melee/ranged attacks. Until than, GC being better than Eldar is a now.

    • Walter Vining

      you do realize that unless its a large template, D isn’t really all that scary?

      • OolonColluphid

        Anything smaller than a LOW still shouldn’t have it, nothing screams munchkin like a squad of Wraithguard.

        • Andrew Thomas

          Multi-wound per hit attacks mean little to single-wound models, because dead is dead.

        • lorieth

          He was lost on the Path of the Seer, forever doomed to commune with the long-dead in their wraith-tombs. In his mind’s eye the Path stretched before him like an endless golden road, and his ears echoed to the wraith-music: “Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the yellow-brick road.”

  • Byungwook Kim

    80 rending attacks IF they ever make it in to combat. Which they will never do.

    • bonesaww666

      Unless you roll a 6 and can assault out of ambush, in which case it will.

      The Cult opens new avenues to assault that are going to force people to re-evaluate list design, which is good.

    • BaronSnakPak

      Lvl 2 Magus + invis on acolytes = making it into combat

  • MightyOrang

    So how do they deal with tons of scatter laser Sam Hain hugging the middle of the board?

    • Andrew Thomas

      Massed Eradicator/Clearance Incinerator/Seismic Cannon fire, Mind Control-assisted betrayal, and shooting twice before they get overwatched?

      • Karru

        Exactly. People seem to forget that unlike other armies, GC can, with the help of formations, appear where they want and make sure that those Eldar Bikes aren’t getting anywhere. Also, small units of Acolytes can soak the Overwatch shots and then the remaining big units chomp the Eldar. Then we have the problem that those Scatter Lasers would have to chomp trough 20-50 guys in Overwatch, something I find very unlikely.

        Also, using small units of Jetbikes causes severe problems since you cannot possibly protect them all from massive volumes of fire that the GC can bring to bear. It’s the same problem people seem to ignore with Guardsmen. Sure 10-20 shots from Str 3 AP – gun isn’t much but when that amount around 30-40, you see even Terminator squads dropping.

        • BT

          I have to disagree with the Guard example. With normal shooting, you have a 50% miss chance because of BS 3, then you only have a 33% chance to cause a wound to a T 4 Terminator, then they have to roll 1s. Heaven forbid they have some other BS going on like FNP that will drop those numbers even lower.

          Only way Terminators are dropping is if the guy rolls bad or you roll way above average. That is something no player can count on, tourney or fluff.

          What will help the GC player is a massed disorganized charge that catches several units, because most scatterbike units are small 3-5 man squads. But they have to roll that 6… and that is far from a given.

          Hey, I have seen Terminators roll a ton of 1s and I have seen guys never roll a 6 for a whole game. That is part of the game. Just like folk talking about invisibility… sure, you might get it 1 out of 3 games… if you are lucky. But what if you get it against a army like GKs or Demons that can just shut down your Psyker phase with a fraction of their dice? Folks just have to stop assuming this is a sure-fire thing. It is a chance, nothing more. Heck, you have a better chance with a Blood Angel army to charge after DSing in than with these guys…

          • Karru

            I was referring more to the point that people seem to completely ignore the sheer volume of fire and attacks these guys can dish out. It doesn’t matter how much damage those Jetbikes can dish out when they first have to survive an insane amount of shooting from “mere acolytes” and then survive the charge.

            Also, regarding my Guard example, I’d like to remind you that it was just one unit. One unit out of around 3-6 that dish out that much fire. Suddenly those 30-40 shots turn into 90-240 Lasgun shots.When buckets of dice are being rolled.

            My entire comment was aimed towards MightyOrang’s comment regarding the “how to deal with Eldar Jetbikes” and the implication that GC wasn’t capable of doing this. People seem to forget that quantity is also a trait, not just quality. GC counter a major trait of the Eldar, Mobility. The Eldar player can’t just run circles around the board and keep the Jetbikes out of threat range of the opponent when the entire board is being threatened by the Ambush rule. This also gives GC an considerable advantage with Maelstrom missions and normal Objective games.

          • euansmith

            “People seem to forget that quantity is also a trait, not just quality.”

            Well put, sir.

  • GiftoftheMagi

    I am an Eldar player and I am fine with this. My force depends on mobility and flexibility, so unlike the Tau I do have HTH options to at least slow or tarpit the advance. And if they do get too close, I need to be able to react, and if not I did not do my job. It may force some Eldar players to think a bit beyond the meta of today and that is a good thing.

    Personally I think this force hurts Tau far more. They depend so heavily on long-range shooting, that they have almost no defense at all up-close. We may see a return of more Kroot units, or Tau taking more Allies as buffers, but ultimately the force itself is IMHO the weakest again the Cults if they can get into melee.

    • Karru

      I can see Eldar suffering from this as well, even if it isn’t as much as Tau. As you mentioned, the Eldar have their mobility and flexibility. This is useful when you start from your side of the board and your opponent starts from his, but it gets a lot harder when the opponent can just appear out of nowhere right next to your units. The Eldar player cannot just run circles around the board edge since even those are now a threat.

      It’s not going to “kill” Eldar armies, but they will most likely need to change their basic tactics. It has potential to have a positive effect on the meta and switch things around, but it’s not going to be a magical fix.

      • GiftoftheMagi

        Which isn’t a bad idea and the Eldar are one of the few armies that can do that. It also points out one of the flaws of the Cult system: taking objectives. Yes they can ambush any point on the board but they have to STAY on the board to keep it. Once out, they can be quickly targeted and eliminated if you are fast enough.

        And yeah I see the need for either a lot of cheap troops or mobile, tough assault units as the counter for this. Dedicated Cult assault troops are not going to be all that cheap and likely to suffer in the shooting game. And yes the enemy COULD appear out of nowhere and assault, and yes there are ways to increase that chance, but then what? Even if you win, if you don’t back it up you are exposed. Worse if they survive the assault and now you have a full-up Banshee or gods help you Wraithguard/Ghost Axe squad on you…and suddenly that kitted assault group is exposed, alone and in trouble, and unlike the Tau, the Eldar CAN fight back.

        But you have to play differently. You can’t go all Scatterbike and Wraithknight. A broader and more flexible army is needed.

        • Karru

          Indeed, that is the thing we needed for the Eldar. Most armies I see only use Jetbikes for HQ and Troops. In a rare case I may see Dire Avengers, but that’s about it.

          One of the reasons why I have such a high win-rate with my Eldar I guess. I don’t use Jetbikes at all and my Troops are filled with Guardians and Rangers. The remaining points are used for Wraithguards, -lords and Aspect Warriors like Scorpions and Swooping Hawks. Heavy Support usually has Dark Reapers to deal with pesky 3+ saves.

          • GiftoftheMagi

            I run a similar force, except for Fire Prisms and soon, a Warp Hunter.

          • Pyrrhus of Epirus

            not trying to be a dick, but your not doing well in tournaments with rangers, guardians and striking scorpions in your list. Im sure that list is fine for friendly type games, but lets not kid ourselves about their tournament readiness. A standard eldar list would obliterate lists filled with these units.

          • Karru

            Oh don’t worry, I couldn’t care less if those units won the tournaments or not. I don’t attend tournaments to play, I may visit them to see beautiful armies or possibly skilled players, but that’s about it. I’m not a competitive player in the least.

    • BT

      Might see the return of more balanced Eldar lists, with more melee units included. Maybe a return of Wraithguard lists, specially with the D Flamers. Just put them between you and the terrain the Cult might pop from to screen your main attacking force.

      Heck, maybe I can dust off my Scorpions and triple flamer Storm Guardian squads.

      • Karru

        I still love my Guardians and I aim to use them as much as possible. I’d go so far as to say that we might see more Guardians on the board thanks to the GC, I’ve witnessed the effectiveness of those Catapults against all targets, not just the squishy ones.

        • nurglitch

          Particularly on overwatch.

      • GiftoftheMagi

        Hells to the YEAH. I love my Scorpions.

      • Andrew Thomas

        Another reason to field Rockgriders, D or no.

  • jcdent

    Is “better” the new spelling for “more broken”?

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      In this article it is according to the author. I don’t worry about this codex until we see it in action for a few months.

  • BT

    So… run with 50% grav guns, 25% melta guns, and 25% flamers instead of 75% grav and 25% melta?

    Will GC just bring back more flamers to the game?

    • Karru

      Flamer? Now there is a name I haven’t heard in a looooong time. I thought it was removed when 6th edition hit. Was this not the case?

      • BT

        Flamers of Tzeentch are back baby!

    • nurglitch

      It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

  • Aaron

    it doesnt help anyone but nids catch up….