Goatboy’s 40K: Genestealer Cult FAQ Questions


Goatboy here to look at some big questions we have on exactly how the Genestealer Cult works.

This codex doesn’t follow the normal traditional rules for armies so there are a few things that are coming up.  I am sure will have something come out from GW – but with a rather quiet digital week will have to wait and see.  I suspect they are gearing up for a big “splashy” release covered in Tzeentch flames.  Will see as we hurtle towards the normal no new only bundle releases we normally see after Black Friday.

Well list out the questions I have in no particular order.  Some are more “important” to the armies power level then others.  I think overall the book is going to cause a lot of losses on the competitive front – but feel it spoils more of the top players than really wrecking specific army types.

The biggest army it hurts is Eldar – which is not a bad thing for a lot of players.


How does the Cult Ambush chart work with Servo Skulls?

Since it works sorta like an infiltrate would the skulls stop you from showing up and getting the jump on an opponent?  We have some precedence to having the skulls not effect it from the initial Genestealer Cult FAQ and the one Overkill full formation.  They had a rule that allowed them to set up as infiltration and assault turn 1 – and the  FAQ stated Servo Skulls did not stop it.  I am under the impression that Cult Ambush – while setting up initially in the Infiltration phase, is not an infiltration set up so the Skulls would not stop the effects you roll.  But again – in the initial set up phase they go down at the Infiltration phase so it would imply that it is an Infiltration set up – thus the Servo Skulls would rat them out to the Inquisitor.


Subterranean Uprising Reserves?

The next question deals with one of the “problem” formations in the Subterranean Uprising.  The big thing is that they have to set up by Infiltration/Cult Ambush. Does this mean they can’t start in reserves at all?  It’s implication that Cult Ambush is the same as Infiltration is reiterated again here.  Beyond the forced deployment – it also has the issue of does the effect of Cult Ambush set up last beyond the initial deployment phase? Cult ambush has rules stating the unit cannot move in the movement phase – but as you are setting them up in the deployment phase and not during a “turn” they wouldn’t have to worry about the not being able to move rule of Cult Ambush.  They would still be “infiltrating” thus they couldn’t assault unless they rolled a 6 – but they could roll the 6 – move 6 inches and guarantee their assault.  After talking with some friends I think they would be able to move as the deployment phase doesn’t happen during a turn – thus when they start their turn they are “fresh” and can still move.  If they couldn’t move the formation would be pretty weak and would have to always start in reserve.


Subterranean Multiple Rolls?

The same Formation has another question involved in how it interacts with multiple rolls on the Cult Ambush chart.  Some people think you would reroll doubles for the cult ambush roll.  Nowhere in the rules does it state you have to reroll any double effect unless it specifically states you do.  The ones that have you reroll are Psychic Power generation rolls, Warlord Traits (Iron Hands), and Daemonic Gift Rolls.  The other effect that lets you roll twice on a chart but not rerolling doubles would be the new Traitor’s Hate Warband formation and detachment that lets you roll twice on a Chaos Boon chart but having to pick one out of the two you roll and not rerolling a double effect.  I am under the opinion the only time you reroll anything is when it tells you that are you are able too.  If it doesn’t say in the rule – then you have to pick one of the effects out of the 2d6 or 3d6 dice.


Cult Insurrection ICs?

Next up is how the Cult Insurrection detachment works with their extra rule Numbers Beyond Counting.  The rule allows a unit that comes back from reserves to get back d6 models that were previously slain.  The question comes in how IC’s work attached to the unit – especially the Broodcoven formation that has 3 of the HQ’s mixed into a pseudo unit.  Does this mean you could say – return a dead Magos that died the turn before or the Patriarch?  We think that since each one keeps the IC rule that when it dies it is now “unattached” from the unit – thus it doesn’t go back into reserves as it is dead.  I don’t know how powerful it would be – because again I think each of the guys would count as a KP due to still having the “ic” rule.  It is an odd unit as it has verbiage that says it stays together but still has some of the rules that allow it to join, move, and change units.  This all comes down to the oddness about what a unit becomes when it joins up with other IC’s etc.


Broodcoven Killpoints?

Speaking of the Broodcoven – how many Kill Points does it counts towards?  The other forced into one unit options either have something stating how many KP it is worth (Greentide) or they don’t say anything about it (Seer Council).  The one that don’t say anything specifically state the units that had IC lose that and can’t join other units.  Look at the Heralds of the Great Wolf and how they lose IC and thus fully imply they are a single unit of characters.  Brood coven is built with still keeping IC and having the ability to join units thus it makes me think they are at least 3 KP worth of love by killing the unit (or in reality killing everything else around the unit).


Mind Control Targets?

The Mind Control power is also weirdly worded.  It is a Focused Witchfire – which normally implies the caster can pick the model.  The wording has Unit in it but then the rest of it implies model for shooting.  So the question is – does it work like the Cabal power where it can shoot the entire unit or does it only effect a single targeted model?  The White Dwarf talked about the Terminator shooting its Assault cannon thus implying just a single model – but again it is kind of broad.  The Focused witchfire rule implies a single model is picked and thus I think it should follow that ruling.  It makes the power a lot weaker unless you are just casting it at a Single Riptide or Storm Surge.


Astra Militarum / Knight Allies?

Finally we have another question dealing with the Astra Militarum ally.  Now that the regular Knights are now a Knight Formation choice – how do the FW Knights work?  They can be taken as a Lord of War choice in the AM army – but as they are part of the Knight faction – are they Come the Apocalypse with the GSC?  If so this would make it where you can’t take them in ITC – as well as make sure the GSC can’t deploy near them.  It again points to how GW needs to define how different things are bought for the army, what faction they are aligned too, and how things like combining a bunch of IC’s into a unit work.  I am sure 8th might have a better “answer” to all of this but will see.


Are there any other rules issues you see with the Genestealer Cult?  I tried to think of as many based on the internal questions I have within a Facebook chat.  Most of the time we err towards balance over overpowered nonsense.  Still this book is a completely different “monster” when compared to the other newer releases so it becomes a lot harder to figure out what GW meant.  Hopefully next week we have some Chaos stuff to talk about with the coming on Fenris Part 2: Revenge of the Chew Toy.

~How are you handling these question in your playgroup?

  • Simon Chatterley

    I was getting worried but then right at the end Goat tried to tag a Knight on.

    It’s not a Goat article without a Knight tagged on

    • Bayne MacGregor

      Yeah but look at the insignia for Epic Knight House Mortimer, (a nice plump Genestealer Cult icon!) and tell me there’s not a really valid call about Knights and Genestealers (oh and as Genestealers have taken over Forgeworlds that means Genestealer Cults with Titans are fluff-acceptable!)

      • Simon Chatterley

        I agree there may be fluff there but Goat just loves Knights and as a Tourney player tends to go for strength over fluff nearly everytime

      • Andrew Thomas

        Or Shadowswords, or Dominus Bombards, or Praetors, if you aren’t playing ITC.

  • Byor

    I’m missing one of the most asked. Did Cult Ambush count as moving?

    • Karru

      Does coming from Reserves count as moving?

      • Byor

        What about deploying using Cult Ambush in the infiltrators turn?

        • Karru

          Rule as written, Cult Ambush works like Reserves, even when “Infiltrating”. This means that they should arrive on your first turn, or if you are not satisfied with that answer, behave like they arrived just arrived from reserve on your first turn.

      • Andrew Thomas

        Yes, because RAW, you literally move the models that arrive from Reserves from the table edge onto the battlefield as if they began their turn just beyond the table edge. These units are always the first models you move in the Movement Phase.

        • Karru

          Thus this means that Cult Ambush counts as moving, in the first turn and the turns after.

    • Commissar Molotov

      Yeah, we’ve been arguing that one ourselves. I hold to the “counts as moving” side because of the “move” language in the rule, but I could see it played either way.

  • Karru

    Some of these are super easy to answer to, even if I don’t have the book.

    Cult Ambush rule: Units with this special rule that Infiltrate, or that arrive from Reserve or Ongoing Reserve, can choose to roll on the Cult Ambush Table, opposite, instead of deploying or arriving from Reserves normally. Unless otherwise specified, ambushing units move onto the table as described for other Reserves and cannot move any further during the Movement Phase of the turn they deploy or arrive on the battlefield. Units cannot use the Cult Ambush special rule whilst they are embarked inside a vehicle.

    So, let’s get one MAJOR thing clear. Cult Ambush rule does not equal Infiltration. This is clear as day. When deploying Infiltrating units, they are using the said rule UNTIL you choose to use the Cult Ambush rule. When you decide to use the Cult Ambush rule, consider it like Infiltrate is now completely gone. It is replaced with the Cult Ambush rule. Also, they are now arriving from reserve even if they are “Infiltrating”. To quote the rule “Unless otherwise specified, ambushing units move onto the table as described for other Reserves and cannot move any further during the Movement Phase of the turn they deploy or arrive on the battlefield.”

    So with that out of the way, let’s hop into these questions.

    1st: Question answered in the clarification above. Cult Ambush rule is not Infiltration and thus Servo-Skulls do not work on them. As I pointed out, the Infiltration rule is replaced with Cult Ambush, when you decide to use it.

    2nd: As I am not 100% sure what the issue here is, I’m going to post what I believe is the solution to the issue as I understood it. First of all, the formation GIVES all units within it Infiltrate special rule. Acolyte Hybrids and Neophyte Hybrids do not have this rule. This means that normally when taken by themselves, they cannot deploy on the first turn using the Cult Ambush special rule as they cannot Infiltrate. This means that now they have it and thus can and have to deploy using the Cult Ambush special rule.

    This is the part where I got confused very fast. What is the issue here? They don’t Infiltrate, they deploy using the Cult Ambush special rule that follows all the rules that Reserves do. This means the following. THEY ARRIVE ON THE START OF YOUR TURN. This means that even if you would normally Infiltrate, you now have to Cult Ambush them. You cannot place them onto the board until your Turn 1 starts and your Reserves come in. This means no extra movement as is stated in the rule.

    3rd: Easy asnwer, no re-rolls. It does not state you re-roll duplicates. Your choice is either Dice #1 or Dice #2. It doesn’t matter if the they are the same result, you have to pick one or the other.

    4th: As I do not know the exact wording here, this will be my take on it. No. You cannot bring back your dead IC’s. When the Independent Character is part of a unit, he counts as a part of the unit for all rules purposes. When he dies, he is no longer part of the unit. Simple.

    5th: Obvious Answer is the following, unless the exact wording says completely otherwise, they count as separate killpoints.

    6th: Suuuuuuuper simple if you actually read the rules. Focussed Witchfire states you CAN choose a single model in the unit and if you exceed the required Warp Charge cost it is resolved with the chosen model as the target. If you don’t exceed it, your target is now the closest model in the unit. No wording issues here.

    7th: Come the Apocalypse, as they are not able to ally with Knights and Knights cannot ally with GSC. So however the grand ruling works, Knights count AM units as Battle Brothers and GSC as Come the Apocalypse.

    • ZeeLobby

      Nailed it! +5 internets for you my friend!

    • Walter Vining

      wrong on all counts. Thanks obama

    • Andrew Thomas

      I agree with everything but number 4, but short of a clarification from GW, I’d accept whichever way my opponent decides to go.

      • rtheom

        No, he’s absolutely correct on #4. Once the model is no longer on the table in the unit, the game considers it as it’s own unit. The only time you could make an IC join a unit off of the table is during setup and even then, the game still looks at it as it’s own unit that just acts with another.

      • Karru

        I’d like to hear your reasoning behind this one, I’m always ready for a conversation. As I mentioned, the way I see it, he does not come back as he is a separate unit when he is removed as a casualty. Independent Characters act as their own units as long as they are not part of a unit. This is why they count as a separate kill point when killed, even if they were part of a unit. Once they die, they stop being part of the said unit. This means that you cannot bring them back, because they are no longer part of the unit at the exact moment you get to roll the D6 models back.

        It’s basically the same situation as was with Morgan Peck’s question regarding the Demo-charges. You don’t get the Demo-charge back if the model that used it is killed and brought back. He is no longer the same model as he was before he threw it. This is basically the same situation with the Independent Character. Once he dies, he stops being part of the unit, he is detached from the unit.

        • Andrew Thomas

          Judging by the way Numbers Beyond Counting is worded, it’s likely intentional that ICs are excluded, rather than a typo in quantifying how useful that power is when dealing with the effects of taking Damage on your multi-wound models.

  • Nyyppä

    The one really awesome thing I can think of these new good but not broken codices giving us is the silence of the tryhards. It’s been a while since some genie tried to conjure power out of nothing to prove that some of the lost and forgotten children of this setting could actually put up a fight against the brightest stars…as long as they had no units from those factions and as much everything else as possible.

    The honesty and logical consistency of these articles is down right refreshing.

  • Morgan Peck

    My question is this: If I throw a Demo-charge, die, and then Return to the Shadows: would I get the Demo-charge back when I come back via Numbers Beyond Counting?

    • Karru

      I would say no. They are One Use Only items and thus don’t get them back since they technically don’t have them any more once they have used them.

      • Morgan Peck

        I kind of agree, but the question boils down to is the “Numbers Beyond Counting” replacement the same model?

        • Karru

          They replace the same models.

          Numbers Beyond Counting: Each time a unit from this Detachment arrives from Ongoing Reserves, it is reinforced – you can return D6 models to the unit that were slain previously during this battle.

          For example, you lose the guy with the Demolition Charge who has already thrown it. A model that still has the Demo-charge is a different model than he is.

          • Morgan Peck

            I agree, that is definitely RAW. Which in the absence of FAQs, is what to go with.

          • Karru

            I usually just answer to these types of questions with pure logic. It’s sometimes very funny and quite sad to look at some of the FAQ questions, since some of them are plain ridiculous or obvious. It’s good to see that there are people that take the same approach.

          • Andrew Thomas

            The fact that it does not stipulate whether or not it returns with all of the wargear it started the game with kind of sounds like a no to me.

  • Morgan Peck

    The wording on Demolition Specialists is a bit unclear (demolition Claw Formation). Do you have to be on the Rockgrinder to re-roll scatter for Demo-charges, or just for the cache?

    • Andrew Thomas

      Both. Your using the Rockgrinder like a Fortification with an attached Ammo Dump, with the caveat that it only applies to Demo Charges.

  • Devourer

    Maybe it is just the german translation but I wondered if I understand the entry for cache of demolition charges correctly. In german codex it says (roughly translated) that a model that is embarked on a vehicle with cache of demolition charges can throw a demo charge in the shooting phase. This seems to be very very powerful for the points to me 😮 Soooo many pie plates from just one troop riding into the enemy lines

    • Andrew Thomas

      1 model, so at most you’re getting 3 per turn, which while great in Demo Claw is really risky outside of it.