Exactly who a Genestealer Cult can ally with is dividing the community in half. Let’s wade into the circus:
We are going to have to take a look at several pieces of evidence to get an idea of the lay of the land:
First it’s time to familiarize ourselves with the rules on factions (p.118 40K rulebook)
Genestealer Cult Allies Rules
Now look at what the White Dwarf says about Genestealer Cult allies:
Here is the faction symbols used in the game so far:
This logo appears atop every Genestealer Cult unit and formation entry:
The default Warhammer 40,000 Faction logos (p.118 40K rulebook)
RAW vs RAI – FIGHT!
RAW makes its case:
In one corner we have the RAW argument. It goes something like this:
- Genestealer Cults are their own new faction “Genestealer Cult”
- Genestealer Cults have their own distinctive faction icon
- Genestealer Cults ally “in exactly in the same way as Tyranids” and Tyranids cannot ally with anyone outside of their faction.
Thus Genestealer Cults can ally only with themselves, just like Tyranids.
RAI makes it’s case:
In the opposing corner we have the RAI argument. It goes something like this:
- The White Dwarf rules clearly mean to show how to “ally the Ghosar Broodkin with OTHER factions”
- Genestealer Cults are clearly a part of the Tyranid faction
- The Genestealer Cult icon is clearly a variant of the Tyranid faction icon
- Genestealer Cults ally “in exactly in the same way as Tyranids”, thus as the same faction…
Genestealer Cults and Tyranids can ally with each other as Battle Brothers
What I Think…
While I am a RAW person in general – I have to say I come down on the side of RAI on this one. My points:
- Tyranids are the ONLY faction in the game that has no allies – a sore fact that players have been grumbling over since 6th edition let every other player in the game get away with cross codex combo insanity. Genestealer Cults are really the only way a second army could be added to the game that the Tyranids can justifiably ally with. Do you really think GW would make the new list, then purposely not allow them to ally with each other?
- Purposeful obfuscation is not GW’s way. Yes many times they have unclear rules. But, for the Cults and Hive fleets to NOT ally with each other you have to believe that GW specifically put in the mention of the “Tyranids” in the ally rules – to make players first discover that Tyranids have no natural Battle Brothers, then apply that restriction to the cult. The much simpler solution would be to write “Genestealer Cults” form thier own faction and have no allies”. Why bother to even mention the Tyranids in the ally description only to pull them away like Lucy swiping the football out from Charlie Brown. The GW Design Studio may be unclear from time to time, but they aren’t cruel and sadistic.
- All of you non-Tyranid players who have been enjoyed the last few years of ally hi-jinx shouldn’t be so fast to take the same opportunity you have enjoyed from your bug brothers. In short enjoy the game – and don’t be a jerk.
~What say you, what will you allow at your gaming table?