Genestealer Cults are here. Let’s take a look at some of the deadly tricks they can pull off. Warning, these won’t win you any friends.
The Genestealer Cults are finally poking their mutant heads out of the underhives of Imperium and bringing the battle to the surface. They are back with new units and hot new rules that I’ve been pouring over the past couple of days. I have to say GSC look like they are probably the trickiest army out there, both to play and to play against. They have an Imperial Ton of tricks to pull on the enemy, from simple unit loadouts to multi-faction combos, Today let’s take a look and some the dirty things you can do to your enemy.
Full Disclosure: these are not all super nice and may not be something you want to pull out in a casual game.
The Jackals’ Strike
The Atalan Jackals are one of the hot new units in Codex: GSC. These gals and guys ride some really rad motorbikes into battle and combine amazing models with some solid rules. Hidden among their stuff is a really killer combo. You see Jackals all come armed based with an auto pistol and blasting charges (their name for frag grenades). They then have to pick two weapons from an available list. The list has mostly close ranged options, like shotguns or melee weapons. One of the options on there is a little more potent than the rest: Demolition Charges. At 5 points Demo Charges are a steal with a solid profile: Grenade d6, 6″ range, S8, AP-3, and Dd3. The only down sides are:
- They are grenades so only one model can throw them a turn.
- They are one use only.
So nice to throw one or two on a unit, but you wouldn’t want a whole unit with them, would you?
To answer that let’s take a look a nice new Stratagem called Extra Explosives. For 1 CP this lets up to 10 models in a unit throw grenades, though only five can use Demo Charges (oh dang). OK, so five demo charges at once are pretty nasty, but can it get better? You bet ya. First let’s throw in a Jackal Alphus, their ability can give the Jackals +1 to his a nominated target, helps out when you only have BS4+. Next, add on the Drive-By Demolitions Stratagem. This is locked behind the Rusted Claw Cult, but since its, the one you want for Bikers anyway it’s not a big deal. This gives a unit of bikers +1 to hit and wound when throwing grenades for a phase. Also after they shoot they can make a full standard move. Lastly, you can use the Cult Ambush ability and the Lying in Wait stratagem to have them pop up anywhere on the table outside of 3″, well within range of their demo charges.
All that together is pretty nasty. For a mere 75 points, you can have a five bike unit pop up almost anywhere on the table and unload 5d6 Demo charge attacks, hitting on 2+s and with a +1 to wound, on a target and them have them boost away to safety. With a bigger unit you could add in 5 frag grenades, not so bad with the +1 to wound, and three heavy flamers, then come back and do it again next turn with the units remaining demo charges. Nothing is safe from this deadly unit.
The Kelermoprh is a pretty rad model and a great addition to the army. This is a pretty minor combo, but assuming you don’t have a patriarch in your army, you make a Kelermorph your warlord. Giving them Bio-Alchemist warlord (Twisted Helix Cult) will up their pistols to Damage 3. With the number of shots, they get that’s not something to scoff at all!
One Punch Man
What if I told you, you could kill a Warlord Titan with a signal attack? This has got to be one of the craziest combos I’ve ever seen, so here is how it goes. First, take a GSC Patriarch, he has to be your warlord so give him the Inspiring Leader Warlord Trait (this is a generic trait from the Rulebook that anyone can take). Next place him by a Clamavus. Those abilities combine for a 2+ LD aura, making the Patriarch LD12. Next, you need an Astra Militarium Detachment using Brood Brothers. You’ll have a Primaris Pysker from that detachment cast Terrifying Visions on your target, giving them -2 LD. After that, you’ll need an allied Nid detachment. From that, you can have someone cast The Horror on your target, for another -1 LD. Lastly, you need either a Hive Fleet Jormungandr monster with infrasonic roar or a GSC Locus near your target for yet another -1 LD.
Now for the killing blow. Have your Patriarch cast Mental Onslaught on the target. This spell has you and a target model roll off, adding your LD to the dice roll. If you win the target takes a mortal wound, and you roll again. You keep going until the target is dead or you lose the roll off. Here’s the thing. With your Patriarch at LD12 and the enemy at -4, even an LD 10 model to start CANNOT beat you on the roll off. As long as your LD is six better than the target’s – you kill them. This can take down almost any single model, from a Warlord Titan to the more common knights. Only a handful of models can get better than LD 10 (Ultramarine’s can), and they rarely do because it’s not often needed.
I’ll add that some people are arguing that you can’t take BOTH a Brood Brothers AM detachment and a Nid one in the same list. Even if that’s true this combo still works. Dropping the Nids and using the Locus means anything LD9 or less will die to your Patriarch. Knights are LD 9, AM Superheavies are LD8, as are Riptides and Stompas. It’s deadly. And you want to add insult to injury, try Mind Controlling the target first, have it kill its friends before you put it down.
Smoke And Mirrors
The new Cult Ambush mechanic allows for some interesting cat and mouse set up. While your enemy can see how you are deployed, they won’t always be able to tell what is set up where. If you want to mess with the other player however you can pull some real tricks and simply not be where they thought you were – at all. You can start with Scanner Decoy, a 1 CP start that gives you three extra blip tokens. Next mix in They Came From Below; this lets you pull their units there were set up as blips off and place them in reserve. If you only had three units ambushing this alone would mean you could line your front deployment zone with six blips, effectively preventing first turn charges and then pull them ALL off.
Assuming you don’t want to do that, however, you can add in Meticulous Uprising, a 1CP stratagem that lets you move three tokens up to 12 inches before setting up the units. Last you take up to 3 Nexuses, each one giving you the ability to move another token (after they’ve been set up). All this together lets you have six fake tokens and move up to another six before setting up the units. That’s more than enough to completely transform your set up, possibly removing an entire flank or getting you out of LoS of enemy ranged units.
Through the Brood Brother’s ability, you can take Crusaders in your list while this was possible before I don’t know anyone who did it. Since Crusaders have Acts of Faith, this means your GSC gets itself some tasty faith points. Gotta love the Four-Armed Emperor. To kick it up there is some debate on how the Brood Brother’s ability work. Some people say it means you can’t use AM Orders at all; I don’t agree with this. Other players are saying the wording of the rule now allows you to give orders to units that normally couldn’t be given them, such as Crusaders and certain others. We are going to need an FAQ on this one, but if that’s how it ends up then between orders and AoF, you could have Crusaders than get to attack three times a turn. Pretty silly!
Just The Start of The Uprising
As you can see this is a book full of tricks just waiting to be used. I’ve only been reading it a few days and have found a ton of nasty combos in it, as well as just some solid units. I don’t know if all of these combos are intentional, or if they will get FAQ’d away, but for now, they are just waiting for you to take advantage of them. RISE UP BROTHERS!
Let us know what dirty trick’s you’ve found and what you think of these, down in the comments!