Goatboy 40k: Top 10 Cool Genestealer Cult Things

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Today I promise no copy and paste lists and instead want to look at the top 10 things I think are pretty cool about the new Genestealer Codex.

Welcome to another bit of 40k chatter brought to you by ever lovable Goatboy Currently I have no plans to build an army as while I like what I see – it just doesn’t interest me.  It doesn’t help that a ton of Chaos stuff looks to be coming down the pipeline so I am saving any extra time I have for myself with some new “bad” guy stuff.  Still the book is cool and I think it can do some work – just not enough work to break through the Death Stars plaguing 40k right now.  With that let’s look at my list.

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10. The Books artwork is very good.  There isn’t really a whole lot of bad artwork shown in the book.  Each piece is pretty interesting and I like how while it is obviously a newly designed book – it still has the old school feel from the early 90’s GW games.  I really like the listed banners for some reason as I feel the style, the logos, and the whole presentation is really top notch and sets this book apart from other releases.  The photography is also very good as it really emphasizes the cult mentality as these monsters burst from the shadows and surround their enemy.

9. The models are some of the best I have seen from GW.  The Tank itself looks like it would fit in any grim dark universe, the units themselves have a lot of flavor, and every model seems to have a ton of Character to them.  This is one of those armies that can look pretty and clean, damaged, or even Blanched out and really still look amazing on the table top.  The sheer amount of extra bits and other things involved in the kits really showcase how good GW is at cutting and printing these expensive toys.  The model that stands out every time I see it is the “masked” hybrid.  He looks pretty dang nutty.  The Hybrid that is carrying two bundles of Dynamite also screams old school GW to me as well.

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8. I really like how the army itself feels like a fully realized army.  It feels like GW is learning from some past mistakes and has really tried to make these new releases fully usable armies.  It might not be the strongest option – but you can completely go full hog in a Genestealer Cult and have something that works without allies/friends/enemies.  I really hope they rework the Harlie book as well as the Admech books and create something that isn’t just a collection of formations or a single page GW army list.

7. Speaking of army building – this is one of the few times that the Cult Host/Battle Host/Etc is 100% the way to play this army.  You could do a CAD if you wanted too – which is good this book allows it – but the real power comes in from some of the Formation combos and ways they click and flow together.  One of the books coolest rules go from being neat but not usable to actually a decent threat with just this one formation/army building set up.

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6. Did we finally get a “fixed” Genestealer?  The new one is the same point cost, different faction, and with the added abilities of Stealth plus a 5+ invulnerable save.  Sure its great they always have a save I just feel like to get this type of assault unit to work it takes a lot of things going right.  If you get a few 6 rolls on the ambush table with some Pure Strain mixed with a Patriarch then we might have something to talk about.  Still it seems to be going in the right direction and hopefully an upcoming Tyranid update will get some love.

5. Speaking of Tyranids – while the lack of Battle Brother is annoying it does make a lot of fluff sense.  The book talks about how the Cult thinks the upcoming invasion is a great thing and how they will join up with their “gods” and become one.  Little do they know they were basically just spiced up a bit by their brood father.  I am sure they are wondering why they suits are filled with cheese and smoked meats.

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4. The unit sizes are pretty dang impressive and with their low point costs you could see huge blobs of guys popping up and coming at you.  The Hybrids sit at a cheap point cost and with their ambush, rending claws, and upgrade abilities it makes the idea of this horde army working pretty interesting.  The idea of a complete horde army that can just magically appear all over the table is a very interesting design.  Also the army has a ton of weapon options over all the units.  You have mixtures of decent but short ranged weaponary (mixes well with their ambush abilities) and a ton of really unique close combat weapons.  The unit design is really just very interesting and is obviously built for a player that likes to customize their army and make it their own.

3. The overall design of how the army works is also very impressive.  It doesn’t feel like any other army on the table top which is a pretty neat feat.  It doesn’t feel like a Tyranid book, nor an Ork horde, and even a crazy Daemon horde build.  It feels unique and while it doesn’t shake up the choke hold the Death Stars have it could give them some issues – by blocking off hit and run and utilizing large fearless blobs of guys to keep them locked down.  The Ambush and retreat into the shadows rules gives this book a completely unique set of deployment options that ebb and flow throughout the game.  I love how the deployment isn’t deep strike and completely unique for this list.

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2. Their psychic powers are also a nice evolution of style.  They have a few things pulled from other powers that help them out but with added on abilities.  The Relentless plus run and assault power could see some serious play.  They also get a version of Daemon summoning that will be a very annoying power to play against.  The power allows you to bring them in with any upgrades – so creating specialty units based on what you are facing will be a hugely powerful weapon.  Do you need some mining lasers to pop that Knight?  How about a few snips from the jaws of life style weapon.  Lucky for us – the amount of psykers isn’t going to be too damaging and with no way to get more then 2 rolls per character you probably won’t see the return of massed “daemon” style summoning.

1. The number one interesting thing is they are actively trying to set up their game to be competitive and working correctly.  I know this army list won’t break down all the death stars we see – but its designed to work together as a whole.  I have a feeling Battle Brothers are not going to work the same way so having an army that has the potential to answer most threats without having to utilize a friend/ally/enemy to work is a great thing.  I am hoping we see the Eldar eventually pulled back and actually get back to a “competitvely diverse” game we all want 40k to be.

While I am not planning on painting up an army for myself I get the feeling a few friends will hit me up to quickly burn through a ton of cultists in the upcoming months.  I think the army will work well in ITC and other MSU branded formats and most likely will see a ton of them on the battle field.  It is nice to see an old army show up and get a release that feels unique and looks pretty dang good.

~How good of a job do you think GW did with the game’s newest army?

  • Pete McGwire

    They took 2nd place at the Mugu GT this weekend.

    • VBthesmall

      do you know the list?

  • uatu13

    I love this book, but I have to say the Acolyte Hybrids are some of the most expensive units per point out there! It would have really been nice if GW at least gave you 10 models instead of 5 in the set. It’s hard to run this as a true hoard army unless you want to drop a grande before you even hit the table.

    • benn grimm

      The hybrid acolytes/metamorphs are pretty expensive, possibly prohibitively so, but the neophytes are a pretty good deal, same price per model as the old IG kits, but far nicer looking.

      • Karru

        “Far” is an understatement of the year in this case. I really hope that they’ll do new sculpts of similar calibre for IG once they get a new book or release.

        • benn grimm

          Far can be a long way…;)

          • euansmith

            Plastic Solar Auxillia would be lovely.

          • benn grimm

            I think looking at what they’ve produced of late, redone catachans/Cadians would be pretty awesome too. Or maybe a whole new regiment? We can but dream…:)

          • euansmith

            The issue I’ve long had with both Catachans and Cadians, is that they aren’t very grim dark. Both look very much like mid to late 20th Century military. It would be great if they could bring out some sort of squad with lots of hat options.

          • benn grimm

            You make a valid point, though I think seeing that real world influence helps to place the IG as just your average human soldiers, who have to deal with all the horrors of the void, despite looking like they just got back from Berlin/Saigon. I like the Vostroyans personally, the bionics/cool steam punky vibe coupled with Cossack coldness ticks a lot of boxes for me. On the other hand the tempestuous zions just look a bit silly ((and down right awful compared to the old storm troopers imo), so I really hope they steer clear of that particular style of interpretation of grim-darkness.

          • euansmith

            Yeah, I think that the IG really need to play up the hapless souls trapped in the meat grinder angel. The Catachans look a bit to pumped up for me; more like Space Marine Scouts than anything. The Vostroyans are pretty much the best version of the IG GW have yet made.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            I liked steel legion, talharn, and valhalan. and the ever loveable praetorian! Although all are based off real militaries.
            What I hope for is they do like you said multiple heads and or torsos to make like a (cadian/catachan Mordian,eylsian, etc) box and a long coat box with options to do things like (valhallan, krieg, vostroyan, steel legion, etc)

          • grim_dork

            Having played guard as my main army since 3rd ed I can certainly attest to the utter haplessness of being trapped in a meat grinder angel, who in 7th seems to be flapping her wings mightily.

          • Edouard Decaen

            I miss the kasrkins so much…

          • benn grimm

            Such nice models…

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Call me old fashioned but I really dug the 3e pig iron faced troopers. However I do have 40 of the old 2e troopers for my Vietnam style catachan army.

          • Edouard Decaen

            actually they were the “regular storm troopers”. The Kasrkin were the cadian version. I agree they were nice even though they would have needed a little rework. I had a small squad and I gave it away to a friend… Idiot

          • Severius_Tolluck

            I have a large section of ST’s from every flavor except the newest scions. Yes the Kasrkin are cadian only, but the thing is the Cadians became the overall replacement to all guard visually. They stopped selling the pig face ones pretty shortly after. I just switched them to inquisitorial only.

          • Grypyhon

            I never seen the old storm troopers to compare Ben, but I do like the tempestus scions. It’s the first time the IG looked futuristic. Maybe not in a too Grim Dark way, but futuristic all the same.

          • benn grimm
          • Grypyhon

            I’d like to see a new regiment. The Imperial guard isn’t just the Catachans/Cadians and Tempestus Scions.

          • benn grimm

            Yeah new regiment would be cool. My vote would be for the Necromundan Spiders.

          • Though Star Wars Galaxy is 2xFar, so that gives an upper bound …

          • Patriarch

            I’d read that as “far squared”. It is a different galaxy after all…

      • Jeremy Larson

        Agreed. I grabbed the book and built a couple of test lists. It’s easy to go over a hundred models fast, and about half of them will be the acolyte kit.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      I think I will use crypt ghouls with genestealer heads.

      • euansmith
        • bobrunnicles

          Blimey there’s a blast from the past lol.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          Those are the fellas!

          • euansmith

            I do have the image icon for some reason. I use a PC rather than a mobile device, so maybe it is that. But then I view the page in mobile format because I like the big letters 😉

            The other alternative is to view the conversation in notification view and just paste the image link directly in to your comment.That seems to work, but relies on someone responding to your comment.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Thanks, will try that.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            ahah, now I’m on a PC I have the image duberry back 🙂

          • euansmith

            Observation, Hypotheses, Experimentation… Solved with Science!

      • benn grimm

        Great idea! May have to steal it shamelessly 😉

      • I had that on my list prior to the new cult stuff coming out, using a combination of genestealer bits and ghouls to make some hybrids, but now the boxes come with so many extra heads that converting extra models is pretty easy. I am planning on doing some to use as metamorphs and aberrants. Or even just as a big group of mutants. 😉

      • Ben_S

        I’ve seen those conversions done, but Genestealer parts look very large on Ghoul bodies.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          True, but the hybrid parts are smaller. Even just a paint job might be enough.

    • Paul Jan

      The Overkill box is probably the best place to start for everything, and get a box of each of the hybrids for bits to kitbash them.

      • Andrew Thomas

        Especially if you want Aberations.

      • uatu13

        Yeah, it’s definitely a good place to start, but you can only have so many of the same sculpt for a model before things start looking weird no the table.

    • Firemind

      Well, they are $40 for 5 models. Wich means they’re cheaper than most 5 man squads. I don’t really see the issue.

      • uatu13

        Except for the fact that pretty much every other squad that is $40 for 5 models isn’t 8 points a model, and don’t come in blobs of 20, and don’t have armies that require 2-3 squads per formation…It’s basically like they sold gaunts for $40 for 5 guys at that rate, except there’s not really anything expensive to pad out the army other than leman russes.

  • Old zogwort

    I love this army the story, the rules, the models everything about it is cool. This is the best and coolest horde army out here right now. It is just a shame that I can’t afford it.

    • ZeeLobby

      Haha. Yeah. Could be a long time til mine gains any mass. KT until then.

    • Commissar Molotov

      The prices are crazy expensive. Lovely models, but $40 for 5 Acolyte Hybrids/Hybrid Metamorphs? I’m glad I have old Space Hulk hybrids to convert.

  • benn grimm

    I think they really hit the ball out of the park with this one, the acolyte hybrids are nice, a bit overpriced for the points, but that’s nothing new and tbf, if you already have some guard (or cultists) laying about, a copy of space hulk/box full of stealers you’re good to go right off the bat.

    I love that they’ve put so much into a release which is so niche. I love that they’re exploring parts of the universe which have been barren for so long and I love that they found a way of making genestealers awesome again. Well played g-dub, well played.

  • Karru

    I don’t have the book and I’m in no hurry to get my hands on it, but from what I’ve gathered, it’s great. Everything about the book is basically amazing. The models are superb, theme of the army is reflected amazingly in the rules and they look fun and balanced!

    Only problem right now is the price of the army, but that will most likely get a lot better once they get a Start Collecting! Box. Now, if they only put the same guys that wrote this to do the next CSM codex, I’ll be happy since they seem to know how to reflect the lore of the army in game!

  • Diagoras

    This really does feel like a step in the right direction. It’s an absolute knockout in regards to interesting fluff, great aesthetics, and new and fun rules that don’t break the game (as if it could be broken further).

    I’m also going to be passing on it in the hopes of future Chaos, but a few of my friends are absolutely delighted by this Codex, and their joy and enthusiasm are enough to breathe some much-needed life into what was becoming a stale hobby.

    Now if only they can maintain this level of effort and care in their subsequent releases, they may be able to not only fix this broken mess of a game, but move it into new and interesting places.

    Eugh. Was that… optimism? That’s not right…

    I’m sure they’ll go right back to not giving a f*** in their next release.

  • SupPupPup

    Its releases like this that make me remember why I still love GW.

    • ZeeLobby

      It is pretty sweet. Makes me wish the admech release would have been one book. I think when combined they have the same potential to be a clearly defined force, just annoying that they were separated.

      • euansmith

        But, when they join, they should form a massive robot…. with a sword.

        • ZeeLobby

          Defintelyu!

  • jcdent

    While I hate nids and don’t care about genestealer cults (outside of them being a faceless horde of enemies for the Imperial heroes to cut down), the models are really cool.

    Goliath <3

  • Painjunky

    The design team has finally labelled their elbows and assets and produced something special but not ridiculously OP… the problem is they know it..

    This army will be soo expensive that people will just kitbash it rather than sell their organs.

    Oh geedubs. So close yet so far.

    • Viktor Julian

      One can`t help falling in love with the Goliath.

      • Andrew Thomas

        The Rockgrinder for sure. Always fun to run chumps over. Demo Claw is an obvious hard counter to Canoptek Harvest.

  • Ross Allan

    Been reading through me book, and I can’t find anything which replenishes units that ‘Return to the Shadows’ – yet I’m sure this was mentioned in a GW video, or at the very least rumoured?

    Am I missing something?

    • SittingInACorner

      its part of their big detachment, D6 models return every time they reenter combat (works with sentinel squadrons in one formation too)

      • Ross Allan

        Thought I must’ve missed it. Either that or my book is wonky!

      • Andrew Thomas

        Sentinels only get Cult Ambush, not Return to the Shadows, so you can get the out of sequence Shooting or charges from Reserve, but they can’t recover their numbers.

        • SittingInACorner

          you’re totally right, my bad

  • jasonsation

    The number 1 coolest thing is that the 4 Armed Emperor is love, and the 4 Armed Emperor is life!

    • euansmith

      And the 4 Armed Emperor is forewarned.

      • Commissar Molotov

        *groan*

      • Severius_Tolluck

        That got a chuckle.

  • ZeeLobby

    Rarely have I had an issue with GW’s internal balance within a codex. It’s more their lack of external balance and play testing where the problem arises. Their consistency between codexes.

    That said the models and internal balance look like a home run (from what I hear). I’ll be picking up my book today

    • Ross Allan

      I’m yet to bash out a list from my book yet, but I’m thinking it’ll either be all on foot, or all on trucks. Not sure how well it’ll work in a mixed bag….

    • Nyyppä

      Codices CSM, Nids, DE and AM might not agree. 😀

      • ZeeLobby

        To be honest, those are pretty ancient. I play DE, and it’s really not that bad. They’re just obliterated by every other faction, so you have to build the best every-time or never stand a sliver of a chance. But their new codices have been pretty solid, internally at least, Tau, Eldar, Admech, Necrons, Deathwatch, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Space Marine. They’re all pretty internally solid. CSM, CD and AM are exceptions, and they’re all in need of a refresh badly. DE are internally decent, they just need a power boost across the board.

        • Nyyppä

          Seems legit, though KDK is also internally pretty bad because, you know, units from CSM. The daemon part seems pretty ok though.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, KDK was like a weird combi-codex. And it’s not like GW has supported it’s structure going forward (though making 4 god specific books would have made sense). But yeah, i’m not even sure at this point, they could fix the internal balance and then we may find the internal issues.

      • Andrew Thomas

        3 of those Codices I feel no urge to gripe about, because they have ways to make themselves viable that don’t involve allies or premium expansions, vis-a-vis Forgeworld.

        • Nyyppä

          There is that. Then again, so do the other armies so….I think it’s easier to skip FW. Last time I checked at least the nid book was not available. Unless that has changed FW is really not there for them. CSM has nothing to cheer for (neither did nids though). AM has more super heavies and some meh stuff and DE is something I know nothing about.

          • Andrew Thomas

            Being able to spam Scourges and Reavers is good enough, especially if you don’t get too invested in HQ and Troops choices. And nobody likes Scouting/Outflanking/Deep-Striking Pain Engines, especially with access to accurate Haywire, Melta, and Lance.
            Vanguard does give you some options to make Nids trouble, as does Shield of Baal, but neither really contain any silver bullets, Sporefield aside.
            And the Cadian Formations give plenty of useful things, so long as you ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the room.
            Bottom line, these dexes are rewarding to a particular kind of player, and while they may not be the best armies in the game, or the easiest to play, compared to CSM, the handicaps for them are easy to deal with.

          • Nyyppä

            The vanguard provides lictors whics are useful only with mawlock spam and even then it’s iffy. Shield of Baal is just a way to spam Flyrants. These provide essentially 3 units that can be used and out of those 2 are highly situational.

            The eldar are the one well designed army in the game so let’s use that for comparison and let’s forget the power levels for asecond.
            If you make a list of unit’s in eldar codex, make it so that there is one of every gear and upgrade combination available and randomly pick a unit from that list it’s going to be good or better. If you do the same for nids and add all the post releases too there is maybe 1% chance you will get something viable. And this is not tournament winning quality we are loiking for but rather something that can be used in a casual game without it being just dumb.

          • Andrew Thomas

            I wouldn’t call that being, “well designed,” but rather overpowered. There are several perfectly good units and Formations at lower tiers that work in pick-up games.
            And 3 Flyrants at 1850 points is hardly spamming.

          • Nyyppä

            The eldar are the most internally balanced codex with 2-3 broken options. That’s the best 40k designing has seen so far.

  • Joka

    What i actually don’t get is giving such significant buffs via formations… it will always feel wrong to me. Some of the formations’ benefits are so vital to the armies they should be core: like the Blood Angels’ red thirst GW basically says us “Play it as intended or GTFO!”. Wich still IS better than formation who give random ramped up stuff (Space Marines and Tau mostly)

    • Countdiscount

      Hopefully 8th edition has you pay for formation rules like AoS does in the General’s Hand Book.

  • rtheom

    They almost got the fluff right. What we currently have is a sort of mix between old (they are subsumed) and new (they run in fear) to fit the needs of the alliance chart. It’s kinda lame to warp fluff to make sure that you’re not putting neophytes into sporocytes and gaunts into trucks, but I can live with it.

  • Blight

    Well can get 3 rolls with a magus and the relic familiar.

  • Defenestratus

    Goatboy just can’t help disparaging the Eldar at every opportunity.

    • Diagoras

      As well he should.

      F***ing space elves.

    • Andrew Thomas

      True, not all Eldar are OP, but some are.

  • Edouard Decaen

    What i like the most is the fact GW willl realize they could make money with things that are not Space Marines. The really weakness of the hobby is that is space marine centered.