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Warhammer 40K: Genestealer Cults – Mastering the Hivecult

5 Minute Read
Aug 2 2022

Today we take take a look at another Cult Creed for the Genestealer Cults, the Hivecult and how to master it on the tabletop.

Cult Creed- Disciplined Militants

Units can shoot in a turn in which they fell back, suffering -1 to hit. Units with this Creed can perform an action in a turn in which they Fell Back or Advanced, and can shoot without that action failing.

The ability to carry out an action after falling back or advancing is very powerful, and great for scoring a number of secondaries. This is particularly useful for something like RND, allowing you to advance to get 6″ away from another quarter if you find yourself near the barrier for this action. Falling back and shooting is also a nice boost if your units happen to survive combat. The -1 to hit can be easily counteracted by adding a Crossfire marker to the target unit. However, the firepower of the GSC is not so potent for most units. Will be useful for the vehicles though, allowing them to choose other targets than simply those that they were engaged with.

This ability also pairs well with the Psychic Stimulus power, allowing you to also fall back and charge, further boosting the utility of your units.

Warlord Trait- Hivelord (Aura)

While a friendly Cult Core unit within 6″ makes a ranged attack, each hit roll of a 6 scores one additional hit.

The firepower of the GSC is not generally that potent, but can be buffed by a number of special rules and stratagems. Probably not worth spending the CP on this warlord trait, as a 1 in 6 chance of an extra hit is unlikely to be that useful over the course of the game with such mediocre firepower.

Relic- Vockor’s Talisman

Each time the bearer makes a melee attack, an unmodified wound roll of 5+ does not allow saves to be taken (armour or invulnerable).


A nice boost to your damage output, and could be useful for getting through units with high invulnerable saves or armour saves. Probably best suited on a Patriarch, where the volume of attacks and ability to re-roll wound rolls means you can fish for 5’s and 6’s if you really need to get through an invulnerable save. A decent relic, but again, not sure it is worth the CP cost to purchase, when there are better traits available to them.

Stratagem- Fire Discipline (1CP)

Use when a Crossfire unit is selected to attack in the shooting phase, and targets an enemy unit without a Crossfire marker. That enemy unit gains a Crossfire marker before any attacks are resolved against it. Until the end of the phase, models in the unit can only target that enemy unit.

A decent strat for placing a Crossfire marker on an enemy unit, either that you wish to target with shooting, or use the marker in a subsequent phase with some of the other powerful GSC stratagems. A decent stratagem that pairs well with a Nexos for putting multiple Crossfire markers on key enemy units in a turn. A useful one to keep in mind, but probably not going to be used too often.

Psychic Power- Psynaptic Blast (WC5)

If manifested, roll one D6, adding 2 for each Hivecult Core unit within 6″ of the psyker. Targets the closest visible enemy unit. If the D6 result is less than their movement characteristic, they suffer D3 mortal wounds. If the roll is equal to or greater than their movement, they suffer 3 mortal wounds.


This is a boosted version of Smite. If you have a single unit bodyguarding the Psyker, then a roll of a 4+ will cause 3 mortals on most infantry units (with standard move of 6″). Having 2 nearby units means that you will do 3 mortals to most infantry on a 2+. This is a nice power for causing additional mortal wounds, on top of a smite.

Hivecult Overall

The Hivecult has some decent rules, but is certainly not as powerful as Four-Armed Emperor or Twisted Helix. The main issue is that a lot of their special rules are centered around the shooting phase. The GSC have some pretty mediocre shooting. Sure, it can be boosted with some stratagems and Crossfire markers, but it requires a lot of resource to raise their shooting to just ok. With games becoming more CP-starved, there are a lot better stratagems to spend your CP on than boosting the shooting of your attacks.

The ability to advance or fall back and carry out actions is probably one of their biggest boosts. However, if one army is able to play board positioning for actions well, it is GSC. The Underground mechanic means that you can deploy almost anywhere on the board, in optimal position to get RND, so you probably won’t need to advance too often to get it.

If you want to focus on a firepower-heavy Cult, then Rusted Claw is probably the better option.


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Reece Robbins
Author: Reece Robbins
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