Today we do over the villainous traitors of the Genestealer Cults army, the Brood Brothers Infantry Squad.
The Brood Brothers Infantry Squad are Guardsmen that have turned their backs on the false Emperor to embrace the glory of the true Four-Armed Emperor. This units is the cheapest Troops choice available to the Genestealer Cults, so you can get a lot of bodies for a cheap cost. They do not get access to a number of the abilities and stratagems of the Cult, but they don’t really need these to be effective for what they want to do. A unit of 10 Brood Brothers costs 40 pts, and you can have up to 20 models in the unit.
I would rate the Brood Brothers Infantry Squad as Competitive. They are a really cheap troops choice, which has a lot of benefits in the army; increased board control, easily filling out detachments for CP, and cheap ablative wounds for your support characters.
Wargear and Abilities
Brood Brothers Tactics
Brood Brothers are essentially just Guardsmen with +1 Leadership. As such, they have modest offensive and defensive capabilities. One change with the release of the codex is that Brood Brothers are now one of the few Infantry units with access to “Imperial” heavy weapons such as the Mortar, Missile Launcher or Lascannon. Previously, the Neophyte Hybrid units could take such weaponry, but they are now restricted to mining weapons. As such, the Brood Brothers Infantry Squad does allow you to access some of these more powerful weapons if you wish.
The Brood Brothers Infantry Squad has many advantages for a Genestealer Cults army. They are a very cheap Troops choices, coming in at only 40 pts for a unit of 10. This makes them great for filling up the Troops slots in detachments for minimal cost to access more CP.
The Genestealer Cults has access to a wide number of useful support characters that are essential for getting the most out of the army. One of the limitations of the force is that you cannot take more than one of each character in a single detachment. This means that in order to take multiples of each character, you will need more than one detachment. For HQ units, you could use a Supreme Command Detachment to take up to three additional characters. However, you could also take a Battalion filled with Brood Brothers Infantry Squads for only an extra 120 pts. This not only gives you an extra 30 bodies for board control, screening or objective holding, but gives you an extra 4CP to use in your army, which is a nice bonus for a CP-hungry force such as the Genestealer Cults.
I would tend to keep the Brood Brothers squad as cheap as possible, not going for many, if any upgrades to the unit. The only one I would really consider is the Mortar, allowing you to still add a little firepower to the force while hiding the unit out of line of sight.
There are some disadvantages to the Brood Brother Infantry Squad. As Brood Brothers, they do not gain access to any Cult Creeds in the army. Some of these would be useful to help with their durability or contribute to their effectiveness on the battlefield. Also, as they lack the <Cult> keyword, they do not gain the benefit of many abilities or stratagems that can be employed for other units in the army. However, they do get access to Lurk in the Shadows, which is great for keeping your unit from being targeted by enemy firepower, if for example you need them to survive to hold an objective.
One other option to consider for the Brood Brothers is that you can take an Astra Militarum Detachment to add to your Genestealer Cults army as a Brood Brothers Detachment. Although you only get half the number of command points for such a Detachment, there are many other bonuses to using them in your force.
First off, you do get access to a wide number of special rules and stratagems for the Astra Militarum with the Brood Brothers (simply not Regiment-specific ones). This can greatly increase the firepower and mobility of your Brood Brothers squads, through the orders they can access, as well as allowing you to use useful stratagems such as Take Cover!
Where the Brood Brothers Infantry Squad does gain an advantage is they have the Cult Ambush rule. This allows you to keep your units hidden from the enemy forces and choose the optimal position based on your opponent’s deployment or moves on turn 1.
I would tend to field the Infantry Squad bare bones, with little to no upgrades. As mentioned above, the Mortar is a nice, cheap option for the squad to help them contribute some firepower while hiding or staying at the back of your deployment zone. I wouldn’t bother taking more than 10 in the squad, as this simply makes them more susceptible to morale problems.
There are a number of uses for which the Brood Brothers squads are suited to contribute to your army.
A major use for the Brood Brothers squad is for board control and ground control. As a cheap Troops squad with poor offensive capabilities, they are ideal for sitting on objectives for much of the game. It doesn’t matter if they are hidden out of line of sight and don’t get to fire or attack for much of the game, at only 40 pts per squad, they are not eating up a lot of points for sitting doing nothing for most of the game. These types of units are great for sitting back in your deployment zone and holding objectives, either in cover or out of line of sight.
They are also useful for a number of secondary objectives, such as Engineers or Recon, allowing you to hide them in your deployment zone and help you wrack up those secondary points. The only issue with using them for Engineers is that the squad is pretty easy to kill. They cannot benefit from Lurk in the Shadows in this role, but keeping them out of line of sight is great for helping them survive for longer, only having to fear from weapons that can target units that are not visible.
Another useful role for the Brood Brothers Infantry Squad is guarding Genestealer Cults characters. Many of these characters provide powerful buffs and abilities to nearby units that are very useful for getting the most from the Cult. Not only can you use the Brood Brothers to provide a barrier to prevent your opponent from charging and shooting these characters, you can also use them for Unquestioning Loyalty saves. This ability allows you to pass wounds from characters onto nearby units for the loss of a model for each successful save. As a cheap unit, the Infantry Squad is ideal for acting as ablative wounds, improving the durability of your key characters.
The Brood Brothers Infantry Squad is also great as a cheap screening unit for your army. As they have access to Cult Ambush, you can keep your deployment hidden and choose the optimal position to deploy based on enemy deployment or movement. The way the Cult Ambush counter system is used can also work to your advantage in this role. If you go second (an advantage in many ITC missions), your opponent cannot move within 9″ of any Cult Ambush marker.
Once you reveal a unit from Ambush, you have to deploy within 1″ of the counter with the first model, then the unit within 6″ of that model. If you deploy that first model directly away from an enemy unit and within 1″ of the counter. you are now turning a 9″ charge on the counter into a 10″ charge on the unit, increasing the odds of a failed charge. Unless your opponent has the ability to re-roll a charge or way to increase their charge range (+1 or 3D6 charge), they are unlikely to be able to make a first turn charge.
Even if you do not use the counter to deploy a unit, it still prevents your opponent from moving within 9″ of the unit, allowing you to screen off large areas of your deployment zone and making a first turn charge impossible for units deployed behind them. This helps shut down extra movement abilities, such as the Death Company’s Forlorn Fury, as even with the extra move, they cannot come within 9″ of the counter.
Countering the Brood Brothers
The Brood Brothers Infantry Squad is pretty easy to take out. They are simply Guardsmen that don’t have access to a number of useful Astra Militarum and Genestealer Cult abilities and stratagems. With dedicated firepower, they will fall quite easily to most firepower or combat attacks that your army can muster.
The +1 Leadership over regular Guardsmen can make them a bit more durable to morale. However, the Brood Brothers Infantry Squad does not have access to a number of the other buffs that <Cult> units do, such as the re-rolls to morale tests for Acolyte Iconwards or +1 Ld from the Clamavus. This makes them a bit more susceptible to morale effects than other Cult units, so with sufficient damage, the rest of the squad will melt away. They do still benefit from the Patriarch’s ability to automatically pass morale tests within 6″ though, so watch out for this and don’t rely on morale to finish off a squad.
Thanks to Unquestioning Loyalty, Brood Brothers squads can be another hurdle to targeting Genestealer Cults characters, allowing them to pass on wounds to nearby units. As a result, you always want to target and eliminate these squads before targeting the Characters with any sniper weapons you have, or before moving in for an assault.
Given how easy they are to kill and the large numbers they are likely to be fielded in, this makes them a perfect target for scoring objectives such as The Reaper and Butcher’s Bill, allowing you to wrack up secondary points without too much expenditure of firepower from your force.
The Brood Brothers Infantry Squad is a cheap and effective choice for a number of roles in the Genestealer Cults army. They provide a mass of bodies for board control and objective grabbing for a cheap points cost. They are fairly easy to kill off, but every shot targeting the squad is not going after your more powerful units such as the Acolyte Hybrids or Aberrants.
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