Culexus Assassin in Action.



Hey everyone, Reecius here to share my experiences using the Culexus Assassin. Be sure to check out the Tactics Corner for tactics articles!

First of all let me just say it: the dude’s a beast! He absolutely lives up to the hype.

In my first test game with him, I was using him vs. a quad Ritpide Tau army with no psykers and he was still a boss. His psychic shooting attack does work even with just the 1-3 shots you get from your own warp charge. If you get get him next to a few units that generate warp charge to beef up his gun, it can be devastating. As is, with just my own latent warp charge pumping into his weapon, he shot a Riptide to death! With Infiltrate and MtC, he typically will be in range to shoot on the first turn. And as he shoots in the psychic phase, it means he is able to run in the shooting phase, which gives him the ability to get closer or to hide after shooting. Much like Eldar Battle Focus, it is extremely useful.

His Etherium defense is extremely good. Being hit on WS and BS1 makes him a tough cookie. Even in the face of Nova-charged HBC Riptides with Marker Lights, he still survived a round of shooting. He can jam around outside of a vehicle and is still very quick and tough to hurt. Don’t tempt fate with him of course, but, he is able to operate solo and will cause an immense amount of disruption.

In combat, he is almost always hit on 5’s, which makes him much more durable and with his Life Drain attacks, he is pretty deadly. He ignores armor and inflicts ID on a 6 (all attacks are ID against Psykers). He pimp-slapped another Riptide to death in assault! 2 Riptides by himself, not bad! The Culexus definitely keep the pimp hand strong.

Basically, the Culexus is a bad ass. He/she can function solo but, don’t slap the assassin into a SAFH and toss him out there solo and expect great results. My list was 60 Scouts and all of the Assassins, so, I had a LOT of threats to overwhelm my opponent’s target priority choices. In that context, the Culexus can really thrive. Running around unsupported, I think the results would have been a lot less impressive.

However, when used well, this model is absolutely a game changer. You are fast, deadly in shooting and assault, and if put into position to shut down a psychic unit, can be game winning. But as this example illustrates, even in a game where you don’t have any psychic targets to buff him up, the Culexus is still extremely good. I plan on using mine further and really enjoyed the Assassin formation in general terms. It worked really well with my Scout army. The Vindicaire was also a bad ass, just putting that key wound where needed or putting a hurt on a vehicle as needed.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

79 Responses to “Culexus Assassin in Action.”

  1. droozy September 15, 2014 8:46 am #

    Hey Reece, how do you think the Calexus would fair in a drop pod list? Would that type of list benefit most from more support from other assassins or could the Culexus be useful on its own?

    • Reecius September 15, 2014 9:12 am #

      Yeah, he would work well in a pod list. Drop down some psykers if you have access to cheap ones and beef up his gun. Or, just run him as is. He will help to shut down enemy psykers and especially against a psychic deathstar, will allow you to take away their defenses and then smash them with your pod Marines. I think he would function solos, but honestly, all of the Assassins are quite good.

      • Km September 15, 2014 10:27 pm #

        I’ve found that he works quite well in a drop pod alongside other threats, only kharn managed to stop his rampage last game and only then because he rolled low, he still took 2 wounds off kharn in one round of combat

      • droozy September 17, 2014 8:12 am #

        Thank you sir, I will give it a try. Any rumblings about new models for assassins coming out?

  2. greggles September 15, 2014 8:55 am #

    Really great point on the running/shooting. I had completely forgot about the gun shooting in the psychic phase. Lot of mobility then!

    • Reecius September 15, 2014 9:10 am #

      Yeah, he is surprisingly mobile. He shoots and scoots and by turn 2 in most cases is in a position to assault.

  3. iNcontroL September 15, 2014 9:10 am #

    Interested to see how he performs overall though! Assaulting tau isn’t much.. that shooting attack is cool though.

    • Reecius September 15, 2014 9:13 am #

      Assaulting Tau isn’t much, but killing Riptides in assault is. They are pretty damn good in assault, surprisingly.

      • iNcontroL September 15, 2014 9:38 am #

        I don’t think anyone has ever described a Riptide as “pretty damn good in assault” until now.

        • jy2 September 15, 2014 11:30 am #

          Honestly, they (riptides) are the reason I no longer even try to assault with my flyrants. I’ve gotten into combat multiple times against riptides with my flyrants and almost every time, my flyrant has lost due to A) invuln’s on the tides (nova-charged to 3++) and B) just bad dice on the part of my flyrants.

          So do not under-estimate a riptide in combat. He may not be the best, but he damn sure is better than a lot of the Tyranid MC’s in combat.

          • Reecius September 15, 2014 11:32 am

            Yeah, as Jim pointed out, they’re certainly not pushovers and usually can fight their way out of surprisingly tough matches. I’ve lost my Wraithknight to a Riptide in a fight =(

          • iNcontroL September 15, 2014 12:54 pm

            Sorry guys, Riptides aren’t “pretty damn good in assault.” Yes this is a dice game and they can make nice save rolls and eventually do 1 or 2 wounds a combat to something that is also not “pretty damn good in assault” like a Flyrant or even kill something that is like a Wraith knight. I wasn’t arguing they are horrible in combat I was just finding the statement “pretty damn good in combat” funny is all. The writeup is good and I’m sorry if I offended you guys with your assault Riptides that everyone is talking about 😉

          • TinBane September 15, 2014 9:10 pm

            I think it was more in the context of “Assaulting tau isn’t much”. Assaulting tau isn’t scary, but assaulting a riptide is (relatively speaking) a lot more scary. They can stick around pretty darn well, and wear you down over time. For the Culexus to take it out in one round is pretty impressive.

            It’s probably better than most chaos lords can do, unless they chase down the riptide after wounding it a few times. 😛

          • TinBane September 15, 2014 9:14 pm

            And don’t reply with “Murder Sword” 😛

  4. jy2 September 15, 2014 9:27 am #

    Quick! Someone! Break out the Culexus against GTA’s seer council. 😉

    • Reecius September 15, 2014 9:30 am #

      That needs to happen!

      • Hotsauceman1 September 15, 2014 8:14 pm #

        Reeeeeeece, use the aquila lander for the culexus

  5. jesus September 15, 2014 9:37 am #

    C U L E X U S

  6. Emmett September 15, 2014 9:43 am #

    Hey guys… glad that the Culexus is working out for you.

    One thing, though… can we please stop using ‘pimp slap’ and ‘pimp hand’ so nonchalantly?

    I come to these sites for grimdark, it’s true, but little phrases like these can quickly get my back up.

    As much as I enjoy the content you guys produce, I feel like it’s important that we as a community actually embrace feminism, and this means that we should avoid using phrases that would seem to praise a toy soldier for his skill in abusing prostitutes.




    • Novastar September 15, 2014 10:18 am #

      That was very sexist of you, when ever I pimp slap the bitches I’m referring to my male gimps lol

      • Emmett September 15, 2014 10:50 am #

        Thanks, Novastar… an excellent addition to the discussion.

        Also, you’ll note that I used the non-gendered ‘prostitutes’, and never directly referenced the gender of anyone thus struck by a ‘pimp’. My objection was to the nonchalant use of domestic/workplace violence slang as a way of celebrating the abilities of a toy soldier.

        Remember: feminism helps everyone! Even male prostitutes!



        • iNcontroL September 15, 2014 11:01 am #

          But you specifically referred to feminism, correct? That would mean when you take offense and refer to the victims as “prostitutes” you are in fact suggesting that prostitution is a solely feminist issue and as such cannot argue that you were being gender neutral in your statement. We can get into the muddy waters of “well feminism doesn’t necessarily mean solely women” but I would argue that when speaking on a public forum the vast majority (99%) will understand “feminism” to mean you are referring to the female sex/gender/identity.

          I don’t mind people defending feminism but if you are going to do it at least be up front about your motives. You are not looking to defend male prostitutes and you most certainly were not being gender neutral.

        • Novastar September 15, 2014 11:05 am #

          When you use feminism and prostitute in the same sentence you must forgive me if I assumed you were talking about woman. Though in our modern gaming vernacular we have taken a phrase that meant one thing and have made it our own, so much that most people hearing the phrase “pimp slapped” would first think of giving your opponent a sound thrashing rather then the abuse of a sex worker

          • iNcontroL September 15, 2014 11:36 am

            In his defense the argument against using language that is intrinsically tied to harmful activities is that it desensitizes and diminishes the magnitude of that act. Same reason durogatory terms for homosexuals or minority groups is especially looked down upon. Yes it’s hate speech but even if used in another way it makes it seem “less important” and suggests the term can be used more actively which would increase the frequency of it being used in proximity to someone that IS offended by it etc.

            The bottom line is he is right.. using “pimp slap” or other language is mostly not great and we can be more clever about using it.

            My only issue is if you are going to take offense and try to make a stand against it you have to pick your fights and go about it the right way. He was polite and level-headed, check. That said “pimp slap” is around the lower end of the spectrum.. much like calling a under shirt a “wife beater.” MOST people are in fact not referring or condoning the specific act and it is usually used seldomly and always light-hearted. Necessary? No. Do you sound like a try-hard when you get offended by it and speak out? Yeah.

            Just my 2 cents 🙂

            ALSO: WARHAMMER!

          • Emmett September 15, 2014 12:52 pm

            Yes… indeed, I WAS making this about violence against women, as that is indeed the connotation of the phrase.

            Mostly, your initial comment to mine seemed to be wholly ridiculous and an evasion of the actual issue. It contained, however, the seed of a good point, which is that unthinking usage of violent phrases hurts everyone, and that men can be abused just as women can.

            This is precisely the point, however, ‘taking one thing and making it another’ within an in-group does not inclusive language make… what YOU ‘think first of’ is not what another will think first of.

            As a case in point, a very dear friend of mine would often reference a South Park episode wherein conspiracy theorists or some such constantly ‘blame… THE JEWS’ for everything. He would jokingly mimic this attitude. I know him to be a pacifist, open-hearted and kind person.

            Yet, every time he made that joke, I would cringe inwardly because, despite knowing him for decades, MY immediate reaction was to tense up and force myself to see him for who he was rather than the terrible attitude he was adopting in jest. I told him this, and he immediately stopped making that joke.

            In retrospect, I think my violence against women radar is working overtime this week, in light of the whole Ray Rice debacle…

            But still, the attitude that says ‘I pimp slap my gaming opponent in the same way a good pimp keeps his prostitutes in line’ smacks of poor taste at BEST, and a deep-seated misogyny at worst. This being the internet, I have NO IDEA which one it is… which is why I’d prefer a little less violently sexualized colloquialisms (points to Adam below for correctly identifying the TYPE of poor taste in question) in my reviews of soulless killing machines.



        • droozy September 16, 2014 5:50 am #

          Strange place to make a stand. We all love this site too, and enjoy colloquial metaphors. Being offended by, let’s be honest, a very tame phrase and trying to push your own cultural values in a way that is stifling to our enjoyment is not fair of you. I’m here to talk about Hamm.

        • Deuce11 September 16, 2014 6:38 am #

          @Emmett: please don’t bring this PC crap into my hobby. We are all inundated with PC in our daily lives. Let it be. If you don’t like it, move along.


    • Reecius September 15, 2014 11:38 am #

      Hey Emmett, thanks for sharing your opinion. While I understand your position, and empathize, I hope you can understand that we use expressions like that as humor and not to encourage the actual act of being a pimp or prostitution. It’s used here purely as a funny turn of phrase, and while the humor may strike some as off color, it is no more than that.

      Walking the line between funny and offensive is difficult and everyone’s barometer for what is or is not one or the other varies by individual.

      • Adam ( September 15, 2014 11:59 am #

        I think there’s a word for this…

        noun: colloquialism; plural noun: colloquialisms
        • a word or phrase that is not formal or literary, typically one used in ordinary or familiar conversation.
        • the use of ordinary or familiar words or phrases.

      • Simon September 15, 2014 12:09 pm #

        Keep doing what you’re doing Reece. Strong is the Pimp slap-in you.

      • Emmett September 15, 2014 12:12 pm #

        Hey Reecius,

        Thanks for your reply,

        I certainly understand that the expression was used ‘as’ humour – I’m not trying to shame you, or call you an actual violent person in word or deed.

        Indeed, the ‘pimp’ thing can be weird… ‘pimpmobile’ as one commenter termed an Achilles is not that big a deal at all… it plays off the OTT ostentatious style choices of certain people in that profession, and not their penchant for violence.

        This one is pretty small potatoes, it’s true… but mostly I figure using the term in a positive way, as you did, is simply unnecessary.

        You’re right – it IS up to each individual to make up for his or her mind what is or is not funny. However, as the pillar of this community that you are, I’d hope for a little more thoughtfulness in the future.



        • kontraktkiller September 15, 2014 12:51 pm #

          Emmett how bout you live your life and let everyone else live theirs? I don’t go around telling feminazis like you to shave their legs and armpits, it simply isn’t worth my time and all it does is piss off all those involved. Go back to complaining about ray rice on twitter.

          • Emmett September 15, 2014 12:56 pm

            Why? Because I generally enjoy frontline gaming, and wish to see them succeed. I am a wargamer. I am a feminist. If frontline gaming wants my page hits, they ought to expect the odd dollop of criticism, up to and including criticism on the ‘jokes’ they make.



          • Novastar September 15, 2014 1:06 pm

            Honestly bro, I used to let all the little shit bother me too, and then I started letting the petty crap go and life has been a lot better

          • Reecius September 15, 2014 1:18 pm

            No need to attack him for expressing himself, guys.

        • Reecius September 15, 2014 1:17 pm #

          Fair enough, I see your point. Honestly it came to me as the Culexus doesn’t have any weapons and actually does slap/punch his opponent’s. It was funny to me when it occurred to me, but the actual act of hitting someone in order to force them to do things against their will is clearly terrible.

          I appreciate you voicing your opinion, though.

          • Emmett September 15, 2014 2:18 pm

            Thx Reecius.

            I seem to have stirred up a few trolololols, so I’ll be on my merry way.

            Stay classy, San Diego.



          • Novastar September 15, 2014 2:52 pm

            I think anyone trolled you

          • Novastar September 15, 2014 2:52 pm

            I think don’t anyone trolled you

          • Novastar September 15, 2014 2:55 pm

            Drat you slow internet connection at work!!!

            “I do not think anyone trolled you good sir”

        • Simon September 15, 2014 1:34 pm #

          There is no need to bring potatoes into this

        • jamie September 18, 2014 1:47 am #

          quick solution you don’t like it don’t comment

    • Alaster September 15, 2014 1:37 pm #

      Excuse me, you seem to be lost, Tumblr is that way—->

  7. Noah D September 15, 2014 9:55 am #

    I think dropping him in a Stormwolf or Stormraven would be amazing. The bubble it would have at shutting down psychic powers would be huge. Curious to see how it might affect the meta.

    • Reecius September 15, 2014 11:34 am #

      I think it will have quite an impact on the meta, personally. The Culexus is a great tool vs. Psychic Deathstars.

  8. Alan September 15, 2014 10:31 am #

    Night Lords get “preferred enemy: Assassins”, right? 😉

    • Reecius September 15, 2014 11:34 am #

      Lol, they should! haha

    • TinBane September 15, 2014 9:20 pm #

      Ha ha ha ha!
      Yeah, totally!

      If you play night lords, and you come up against a force with assassins, you have to use the word “vindicated” or derivatives, in every single sentence. 😛

  9. Jy2 September 15, 2014 10:43 am #

    I keep mine in his fully decked-out pimpmobile, the Achilles. Of course that would mean no allies in the BAO format, but at least I can still run the centstar.

    • Reecius September 15, 2014 11:35 am #

      Why would you not be able to the Achilles?

  10. jy2 September 15, 2014 11:37 am #

    You could the Achilles. You just can’t run other allies as I believe the assassins take up a formation themselves.

    Basically, my idea was to run the Adamantine Lance formation with Space Marine allies and an assassin. Either that or Grey Knights with centurion allies and an assassin, but I believe that configuration is currently illegal under BAO rules.

    • Reecius September 15, 2014 11:39 am #

      Ah, yeah, you would not be able to do that, no.

      • D-ManA September 15, 2014 11:58 am #

        If you look at the adepticon list building rules then its legal 🙂

        • Adam ( September 15, 2014 12:03 pm #

          Yeah, different events, different rules. It seems that most BAO formats are 2 total detachments. Adepticon has different rules (any number of detachments, but all detachments are 0-1), which seems interesting, but it’ll be interesting to see the results.

          • Reecius September 15, 2014 1:19 pm

            I have a feeling it will be such an array of heinous lists. There will be some awesome, creative lists, too, but a lot of ultra crazy combos.

          • jy2 September 15, 2014 1:59 pm

            Ouch. That’s going to make for some nasty lists. Grey Knight centurionstar with Adlance triple-IK’s, assassin and Coteaz/Inquisition and other shenanigans are going to make Adepticon really hardcore competitive. Even Nova won’t be able to compare in terms of lists shenanigans.

          • Reecius September 15, 2014 2:08 pm

            The thing that is going to annoy the hell out of me is when Nids have a Culexus and Coteaz, etc.

            Last year, 50% of the finalists had Coteaz, this year it will be at least that many if not more. The only thing I can see stopping that is if GW nerfs Coteaz in the new Inq. book rumored to be coming out.

          • Jural September 15, 2014 3:18 pm

            Nids with Knights! Finally the ultra-fluffy team up hinted at in the generations of 40K stories can be realized on the battlefield!

            I would sooooo field a Knight with my ‘Nids if it were allowed. For fluff reasons of course.

          • Reecius September 15, 2014 3:27 pm

            Ah yes, that fabled old team-up!

          • Suijin September 15, 2014 7:40 pm

            What makes Coteaz so good still?

            He only lets you take 3 acolyte squads now. He doesn’t provide any kind of scoring for them either anymore.

            His only feature that appeals to me now is the ML2 Psyker.

          • TinBane September 15, 2014 9:23 pm

            Wait, at adepticon you can use “come the apocalypse” allies? So I could run CSM/IG?

            I can understand why they nerfed it out in the 7th edition core book. I mean just the idea of massed chaos space marines combined with hellhounds is an abomination of power gaming… 😉

          • Reecius September 16, 2014 9:46 am

            Yeah but how often do the AM players use Hellhounds? I feel like I am the only one, sometimes =P

          • TinBane September 17, 2014 1:06 pm

            Yeah, I quite like them! One unit, most often just the base unit with a heavy flamer rather than a variant. Fast + Torrent means a fair whack of armour saves to make, and against eldar its fun until it gets blown up 🙂

  11. Dash2021 September 15, 2014 11:57 am #

    How’d the other assassins fair? Vindicaire is about as point and click as a model gets, so no surprises there.

    I really want to hear the Eversor did work, but not really expecting it. Especially against super overwatch tau. Callidus might have the same issue as well I expect. But did you find them to be suitably tough to justify being there? I’d honestly be ok w/ my Eversor dying in a storm of bullets then blowing up mid-field as long as he took pressure off the rest of the army for a turn or so.

    Just curious. Eversor was one of the first models I ever got, and I’ve got a soft spot for him. I really want him to be a fieldable chainsaw again.

    • Reecius September 15, 2014 1:22 pm #

      The poor Eversor and Callidus got killed in overwatch =(

      Gah, I hate Tau overwatch so much, lol, it is way overkill. The Eversor was in a great position, too, ready to smack some backfield units. Unfortunately that is as far as it got. My opponent rolled hot and I failed all my saves and FnP. Waa, wahhhh.

      The Callidus did ok, she fried a lot of Drones and Crisis suits with her Shredder. She failed to get into combat that even with fleet, I rolled so badly, lol! She tried to assault again turn 3 and got killed with overwatch.

  12. Novastar September 15, 2014 12:11 pm #

    So question on the culexus, since the rule says you always are at BS1 when shooting at the model how would that work against marker lights? Would they work normal or would you add +3 from the marker lights etc and then be back at BS1 since the the culexus’s rule says ALWAYS at BS1?

    • Reecius September 15, 2014 1:19 pm #

      We played it that the Marker Lights bumped your BS up from 1.

      • Morollan September 16, 2014 3:46 am #

        Markerlights don’t work as the modifier process puts set values as the last step. So you’d have your markerlights increase the Tau BS and then the Culexus knocks it back down to 1.

        On the other hand, Seeker Missiles ignore that restriction as they also apply a set value (BS 5) and, as long as the Tau are firing them in their own turn, they would get to choose the order in which the set values are applied and would therefore choose to have BS 5. Hit on 2+, wound on 2+, Ignores Cover. So 50/50 chance of ID on the Culexus.

  13. Black Blow Fly September 15, 2014 5:31 pm #

    I’m liking the ability to use multi sources. Nidz and Knights not so much. I guess I’m a fluffy bunny.

    • Jural September 16, 2014 10:08 pm #

      But all of the stories about ‘Nids and Knights(1)! All of references in other codexes(1), going back to Space Hulk(1) and even before(1)! Nothing personifies fluff like this grouping.

      They are basically the Frog and Toad of the 40K universe.

      (1) citation needed

  14. the_guy September 15, 2014 7:00 pm #

    Will the dataslate of one assassin count as a second source at LVO?

  15. SoulMan September 16, 2014 11:50 pm #

    I used all 4-from the data slate against a wacky triple monolith list. the Callidus was shamazing (if not a little lucky) forced a panic check on 17 necron warriors with fully pimped out lord and ran them down like the dirty dogs they are!
    She also kept the reserves from coming on giving me enough time to take the game beyond my opponent.

    Evasor took down a monolith with melta bombs

    The vindicare surprisingly did jack but i think it was poor deployment on part as he spent at least two turns with no real target other than necron warriors. i could imagine he could be a game winner especially if he makes it into late game, pinging people of objects and causing panic/pinning tests etc…

    Despite playing a non psyker toting army the Culexus was great the gun even with just the three shots is great and he/she/it took out a lord in combat with ID and was a general pain in the ass

  16. Ronin September 19, 2014 6:36 am #

    Quick question about the Callidus. It says that it disrupts the first reserve roll but does that mean it only disrupts one unit that has to roll for reserves or all units in reserves for that first turn? I played it using the former method, but I could be wrong.

    • Reecius September 19, 2014 11:41 am #

      I read it as the very first reserve roll, just the one unit.

  17. Nathan November 10, 2014 2:19 pm #

    Based on this, I think I might sell all my Tzeentch Daemons. Also based on I need some money….to go buy some Assassins 🙂

    • Reecius November 10, 2014 2:38 pm #

      He will not disappoint you, I promise you that!

  18. Ewan June 15, 2015 4:59 am #

    Have the rules changed? I was just reading your article and it is not possible for a Culexus Assassin to shoot a riptide to death in one turn.

    You get at most 3 shots with him against Tau so he can do a maximum of three wounds and averages less than two if you take into account the need to wound and invul and only one if they have fnp.

    Regardless an absolute maximum of three wounds to a five wound model.

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