Goatboy here again with some Genestealer Cult thoughts. I’ve had time to test out the codex and it’s a gamechanger.
Locally, my buddy Ben “Bad Touch” Mohile is testing out some builds utilizing the new Cult. So far the results appear to be promising with the threat of crazy assault phased turns and brutal retaliations on the army if things don’t go right. This has led me to think of a few interesting things about the book and I want to throw out some thoughts.
We’re purple under these masks – we swear!
Get Used to Counts-as
First – I don’t think you will every see a real Genestealer cult model army. The way it is working out has me think this army becomes the poster child for counts as – whether it is saving money or just not having much of a like towards the models – it isn’t going to actually be Genestealer cult. The current ideas for counts as either has you running a “Blood Axe” Ork army or a rad Catachan mash up. I actually like the models and the army built – it is just the threat of painting 100+ models leaves me not wanting to grab any. Still this is the army I see getting chosen and then intermixed with some 3rd party models. Getting a 20 man unit of hybrids is just a very expensive option right now – with even the Overkill box only giving you 16.
Move over Daemons
The next thing I noticed is that they have probably the most interesting summons power in the game. We all know how powerful and annoying Daemon summoning can be. This is like that – but with the added benefit of giving you the perfect “counter” to whatever you are playing against. Oh you see some Knights on the table – summing some hybrids with Rock Saws to cut the knight at the knees. Oh is that objective going to get away from you? How about you get some Neophytes out there to hold it down. Oh wait – you need better shooting too? Hey you can give them all Mining lasers and go to town. This power is extremely versatile and I can see a lot of games getting won by a random summons and a roll of a 6 on the ambush chart.
Surprise! BOOM BOOM
Speaking about the Ambush chart – there is nothing in the rules saying you reroll any doubles. Psychics and other abilities tell you to reroll but this one doesn’t. I think this is a lock on keeping one of the formations from getting really nutty and always fishing for that 6. Remember this when you play against them that whatever they roll they have to keep and pick from. So if you see three 1’s they are coming from their table edge.
I hope we get some direct answers on what Servo skulls do to the army. I personally think they do nothing to stop the Cult Ambush. The rule stats they set up during the infiltration phase of set up – not that they set up by Infiltrate rules. You can always see this in how they answered the initial FAQ question based on the Overkill formation. Of course they could look at this as a simple nerf and let the skulls mess them up.
We got these lasers for FREE!
Any unit upgrades seem to not be worth it. The basic Hybrid is extremely powerful as they are cheap, have decent stats, useful USR’s, and the added ability to hurt just about anything in the game. Seeing a unit of 20 charge in, reroll all their hits, come in at strength 5, and start at 80 attacks is a scary thing. This is what it should be like who hit by a wave of Genestealers. I think the basic 20 man blob of rending jerk holes is going to be the best thing in the book. There is no need to add any rock saws, weapons, or other upgrades as you can always summon those weapons for free later if you need too. 180 points for 20 guys is a steal. What isn’t a steal is 40 bucks for 5 of those said jerks.
This army really feels like a big flip of the finger to the Tyranids. Their troops are better and a decent cost. They have access to better weaponry. Their psychic tree is extremely useful with mostly decent spells. Their HQ choices are cheap and useful beyond an angry flying MC. Their rules feel a lot stronger with interactions that are more then just a constant push to get killed with mediocre options. I don’t know how to fix the Nids with this book in mind but it is something to really think about when we stop getting upset at the injustice doing to the Chaos Space Marines.
The HQ choices are extremely powerful. The bubble buffs they throw out are all good – with the Magnus being the “worst” of the bunch but since he is attached to a cheap lvl 2 caster he is ok. The Primus is the key to the first turn table army with the Patriarch keeping everything running smoothly. The only upgrades I see worth it is when you get your casters to Level 2 and adding a few familiars to spice each leader. The ability to always pass off a wound is also very frustrating as while they lack an invulnerable save – you will just end up killing all their bros as they keep slashing you down. Hatred bubble effects is amazing as is the Fearless rule giving by the grand daddy of the Genestealers.
The Great Father says don’t slow-play!
Building Lists & Using the Cults
This army will bring a lot of turn 1 tablings at events. They will also get beaten on turn 1 as well – when the ambush table doesn’t work out. If the army runs with the Uprising and gets a few 6’s rolled for the ambush table will end a lot of armies. I don’t see a Tau player surviving nor an Eldar player. It is just too many bodies coming in, having assault grenades, and hurting anything they touch. Though they will have a fit when someone seizes on them, kills everything and just slowly mops up the army. It is going to be like a Daemon army – give you 4 or 5 really good games but will end up taking a lose due to the weight of the dice.
I think a lot of armies will need to pull in a CAD to get some pinpoint Objective secured troops to steal things from your enemy. So far the builds are heavily utilizing the Decurion as the formations within really showcase the armies power. This leads me to another soapbox rant that says if you take the Decurion that should be all you take – no other CADs/Allies/etc – just the options listed in there. We’ll see how 8th will pan out but this type of army building is here to stay for now.
A big hit against this army is that it will take a long time to play. You have a ton of rolls, a ton of different set up options, and even extremely long assault phases. This is probably going to keep this out of a massed rush to the top as while it is a good army – it is not an easy army to play. You will have to have your set up down and ensure you are giving your opponent and game enough time. There are so many options in each turn and anything to slow it down will lead players and people giving you a hard time for slow playing it. Just know this before you start – get a lot of practice with the cult before you start taking over cities for the 4 armed emperor.
~ How impressed are you with 40K’s latest army?