Genestealer Cults: Codex Review: Part 2: Wargear and Infantry Units

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Hey everyone Chandler here with Part 2 of my Genestealer Cults Codex Review.  For more reviews, analysis, and battle reports check out the Tactics Corner.

In Part One I went over the army special rules and the HQ units.  This review will focus on the wargear that is unique to Genestealer Cults as well as the infantry units that make up the army.Genestealer Cults have several unique pieces of wargear available to units in their army.  First up, let’s take a look at the Ranged Weapons:

Clearance Incinerator
Template S5 AP4 Assault 1, Torrent

Demolition Charge
Range 6″ S8 AP2 Assault 1, Large Blast, One Use Only

Grenade Launcher
Frag Range 24″ S3 AP6 Assault 1, Blast
Krak Range 24″ S6 AP4 Assault 1

Leman Russ Turret Weapons
Eradicator Nova Cannon
Range 36″ S6 AP4 Heavy 1, Large Blast, Ignores Cover

Exterminator Autocannon
Range 48″ S7 AP4 Heavy 4, Twin-linked

Vanquisher Battle Cannon
Range 72″ S8 AP2 Heavy 1, Armourbane

Mining Lasers
Mining laser Range 24″ S9 AP2 Heavy 1
Heavy Mining Laser Range 36″ S9 AP2 Heavy 1

Mortar
Range 48″ S4 AP6 Heavy 1, Barrage, Blast

Needle Pistol
Range 12″ Sx AP6 Pistol, Poisoned (2+)

Seismic Cannon Weapons
Seismic Cannon Range 0-12″ S8 AP3 Heavy 2, Resonance or
Range 12-24″ S5 AP4 Heavy 4, Resonance
Heavy Seismic Cannon Range 0-12″ S8 AP3 Heavy 3, Resonance or
Range 12-24″ S5 AP4 Heavy 6, Resonance

Resonance: To Wound and Armor Penetration rolls of 6 are always resolved at AP1

Web Weapons
Web Pistol Range 12″ S3 AP* Pistol, Blast, Cocooned
Webber Range 16″ S4 AP* Assault 1, Blast, Cocooned

Cocooned: The AP of a wound caused by this weapon is equal to the current Strength characteristic of the model it was allocated to.

Overall some really nice ranged weapons options are available to Genestealer Cults.  Particularly the Mining Lasers and the Seismic Cannons stand out as capable of laying down some pretty heavy firepower especially out of Infiltrating with Cult Ambush.  And the Leman Russ Vanquisher Battle Cannon is brutal with 72″ AP2 Armourbane.
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Next up, the Melee weapons:

Bonesword
S user AP3 Melee, Life Drain (rolls of 6 to wound cause Instant Death)

Heavy Rock Cutter
Sx2 AP2 Melee, Two-handed, Unwieldy, Snip
Snip: When a model takes an unsaved wound it must pass a separate Toughness test for each wound suffered or be removed from play.

Heavy Rock Drill
Sx2 AP2 Melee, Two-handed, Unwieldy, Pulverise
Pulverise: When a model with this weapon makes its close combat attacks, it can instead make a single pulverise attack which is resolved as S10 AP1

Heavy Rock Saw
Sx2 AP2 Melee, Two-handed, Armourbane, Unwieldy

Lash Whip and Bonesword
Same as Bonesword with added rule of Lash
Lash: A model equipped with this weapon has +3 to Initiative during the Fight sub-phase.

Metamorph Weapons
Metamorph Claw S user AP5 Melee, Crush
Metamorph talon S user AP5 Melee, Scythe
Metamorph whip S user AP5 Melee, Lash
Crush: +2 bonus to Strength during Fight sub-phase
Scythe: With one talon add +1 to Weapon Skill in Fight sub-phase. With 2 talons add +2 to Weapon Skill instead

Patriarch’s Claws
S user AP3 Melee, Rending, Shred

Power Hammer
S+3 AP2 Melee, Concussive, Specialist Weapon, Two-handed, Unwieldy

Power Pick
S+2 AP3 Melee, Unwieldy

Rending Claws
S user AP5 Melee, Rending

Scything Talons
S user AP6 Melee

Some pretty amazing melee weapons available here. Particularly interesting are the weapons that increase the Strength and/or weapon skill of the wielder.  This helps mitigate some of the mediocre stats of many of the Genestealer Cults units.

Of course, the Patriarch’s Claws are pretty impressive on the Patriarch.  Rending and Shred on AP3 weapons which will likely swing before the opponent due to the Patriarch’s high initiative means he is an absolute character assassin.

The Heavy Rock Cutter is also an amazing melee weapon because of the Snip special rule. Pass a Toughness test or be removed from play. This is a great way to counter those pesky Eternal Warrior models.

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Now, onto the Special Issue Wargear:

Blasting Charges
Follows rules for Assault Grenades

Cult Icon
All models in a unit have +1 Weapon Skill while the bearer is alive

Genestealer Familiar
Two additional S4 AP- Rending attacks per model equipped

Sacred Cult Banner
Friendly Genestealer Cults models within 12″ have the Furious Charge special rule

Toxin Injector
When equipped with rending claws they gain Poisoned special rule.

There are some very nice options here as well. Obviously the Cult Icon and the Sacred Cult Banner stand out.  This army is all about providing strong army wide buffs and the icons do a great job in boosting your units up when they make that charge.  The Genestealer Familiar is also awesome allowing you 2 extra Rending attacks on a model equipped.

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Next up is the Cult Vehicle Equipment:

Cache of Demolition Charges
In the Shooting phase one model embarked upon a vehicle equipped with Demolition Charges can choose to throw one instead of firing it’s weapon. The profile is the same as the Demolition Charges above.  Also, each time a vehicle equipped with demolition charges suffers a penetrating hit, roll a dice. On a 1 the vehicle suffers a further S8 AP2 hit after any initial damage has been resolved.

Drill Dozer Blade
Auto pass Dangerous Terrain tests. Add an extra d6 to the Strength of the vehicle when it Rams another vehicle.  If that Ram causes a penetrating hit add 1 to the vehicle damage table roll.

When performing a Tank Shock, each unit that would be hit must take an Initiative test before rolling the Morale check.  If it is passed nothing happens. If failed, the unit suffers D3 Strength 10 AP2 hits.  If an enemy unit makes a Death or Glory attack and fails to stop the vehicle the unit suffers an additional D3 Strength 10 AP2 hits in addition to the damage they normally suffer for the failed attack.v

The Cache is interesting as you can have your vehicle rolling around tossing out short range grenades that are extremely deadly.  That short range means they could very well scatter back onto the vehicle and cause even more damage than normal however, so there is a risk involved.

The Drill Dozer Blade is also pretty strong as you can tank shock enemy units forcing them to take those initiative tests or take some massive damage.  And the bonus to the Ram almost always guarantees a major advantage to get through the opponent’s armor.

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Troops:

There are two Troops options available to the army. The Acolyte Hybrids and the Neophyte Hybrids.

Acolyte Hybrids: Cost 40 points for 5 models in the unit.
They have a pretty average statline for a cheap troop option:

WS 4 BS3 S4 T3 W1 I4 A2 LD8 Save 5+

Wargear: Autopistol, Close Combat Weapon, Rending Claws, Blasting Charges

Special Rules: Cult Ambush, Return to the Shadows

  • You can add up to 15 additional models at 8 points per model
  • Any model can replace their autopistol with a hand flamer for 5 points.  For every 5 models in the unit, 2 of them can replace their close combat weapon and rending claws with either Demolition Charges for 20 points, Heavy Rock Drill for 20 points, Heavy rock cutter for 25 points, or a Heavy Rock Saw for 25 points.
  • One model may take a cult icon for 10 points.
  • One model may be upgraded to an Acolyte Leader which has one more attack and Leadership 9.
  • The Leader can replace his close combat weapon with a bonesword for 20 points.
  • He can replace his close combat weapon and autopistol with a lash whip and bonesword for 25 points.

The unit can take a Goliath Truck as a Dedicated Transport.

This is a cheap Troops unit that can hit like a freight train.  At only 10 points, the Cult Icon is a must take to boost that WS up to 5 for the unit.  Hitting with Rending Claws and a close combat weapon means they are swinging 4 attacks on the charge at Strength 4 with Rending.  Keep them close to a Sacred Cult Banner and they are hitting at Strength 5.  Their Initiative 4 means they will usually get to swing at least at the same time as most enemy units and their grenades means they won’t be hindered by terrain in assault.  Throw in two Heavy Rock Cutters and this becomes a pretty deadly unit to face.

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Neophyte Hybrids: Cost 50 points for 10 models in the unit

Again another average statline for this unit

WS3 BS3 S3 T3 W1 I4 A1 LD8 Save 5+

Wargear: Autoguns, Autopistols, Close Combat Weapon (leader only), Blasting Charges

Special Rules: Cult Ambush, Return to the Shadows

  • You can add up to 10 additional models at 5 points per model.
  • You can either give two of them a weapon from the Heavy Mining Weapons list, or Two of them may form a Neophyte Weapons Team that must take items from the standard Heavy Weapons list.
  • Additionally two more models may take weapons from the Special Weapons list (which includes a Flamer for 5 points, Grenade Launcher for 5 points, or a Webber for 10 points).
  • Any model can replace their autogun with a shotgun or lasgun for free.
  • One can take a cult icon for 10 points.
  • One model can be upgraded to a Leader with 1 extra attack and Leadership 9.
  • He can take items from the Pistols and/or Melee Weapons list.

The unit can take a Chimera or a Goliath Truck as a Dedicated Transport.

Another cheap hard hitting unit, the Neophytes are your mutated Guardsmen essentially.  Whereas the Acolytes hit hard in melee, the Neophytes do most of their damage in shooting.  Being able to take two Mining Lasers or Seismic Cannons combined with Cult Ambush can make for a bad day for the opponent.  Not to mention throwing a couple of Flamers in the squad on top of the Heavies.  This unit is capable of putting down some devastating firepower.

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Elites:
The Elites section has three units available: Hybrid Metamorphs, Purestrain Genestealers, and Aberrants.

Hybrid Metamorphs: Cost 45 points for 5 models in the unit
Statline is the exact same as the Acolyte Hybrids

Wargear: Autopistol, Rending Claws, Metamorph Talons, Blasting Charges

Special Rules: Cult Ambush, Return to the Shadows

  • You can add up to 5 additional models to the unit for 9 points each.
  • Any model can replace his standard Rending Claws and Metamorph Talon for a pair of Metamorph Talons for free.
  • Or replace a Metamorph Talon with either a claw or whip for 2 points each per model.
  • One may take a cult icon for 10 points.
  • Any model can replace its autopistol with a hand flamer for 5 points.
  • You can upgrade one model to be a leader who can then take a Bonesword for 20 points.

The unit can take a Goliath Truck as a Dedicated Transport.

This is essentially a slightly harder hitting version of the Acolyte Hybrids.  Their wargear is overall slightly better, but is limited to the Metamorph variants or their Rending Claws.  The claws are the best choice here as you’re getting a lot of Strength 6 attacks out of this unit with them, which can be absolutely devastating after a charge from Cult Ambush.

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Purestrain Genestealers: 70 points for 5 models

Their statline is that of the Genestealer

WS6 BS0 S4 T4 W1 I6 A3 LD10 Save 5+/5++

Wargear: Rending Claws

Special Rules: Cult Ambush, Return to the Shadows, Fleet, Infiltrate, Move Through Cover, Stealth, Hyper-reflexes (gives a 5++ Invulnerable Save)

Brood Instinct: Only a Patriarch can join this unit. When joined, the unit gains Furious Charge

  • May include up to 15 additional models at 14 points each.
  • Any model take Scything Talons for 3 points per model.

This unit really is the meat and potatoes of the Genestealer Cults army.  Having Infiltrate and Cult Ambush means they can deploy using the Cult Ambush rule, even outside of a Cult Insurrection Detachment and gives them the potential to get a first turn charge. The biggest drawback to these guys is the lack of assault grenades which means most of the time they will be swinging at Initiative 1 as savvy players will hide hard targets in terrain.  These units will usually be fielded in giant blobs of 20 models with the Patriarch attached.  Getting a stealth bonus for cover really helps them along with the 5++ Invulnerable. Their Move through Cover and Fleet gives them the speed to make it into combat.  With the Patriarch attached they gain Furious Charge with 4 attacks each at Strength 5 with Rending.  Enough to tear most infantry units apart quite easily.  Tyranids players have been begging for years for Genestealers to be good again, and now they are.

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Aberrants: 120 points for 4 models

Their statline is not bad but not great either

WS4 BS1 S5 T4 W2 I2 A2 LD8 Save 5+

Wargear: Power pick, Rending Claws

Special Rules: Cult Ambush, Feel No Pain, Stubborn, Return to the Shadows

  • May include up to 4 additional Aberrants at 30 points per model.
  • May replace their Power pick with a power hammer for free.

I suppose there should be at least one less than stellar unit in every Codex and this is the one for Genestealer Cults. These guys are just way overpriced in comparison to the other cheaper options in the Codex. It is not necessarily that they are bad, it’s just that the other unit options are so much better. Toughness 4 with 2 Wounds is ok, but they can easily be killed with Strength 8 weapons and with a 5+ save they have very low survivability. The Power Pick and Rending Claws are nice as it gives them a lot of high strength and/or Rending attacks, but with absolutely no shooting attacks whatsoever, you’re pretty much relying on getting that 6 on Cult Ambush for them. If there is one unit in this book I’d say to keep in the box, it would be the Aberrants.

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Overall there are some solid choices here.  The troops are very cheap even with the upgrades available to them, and they are capable of putting down some massive damage in either shooting or assault, but that is mainly due to the Cult Ambush rule and their ability to get where they want when they want. Issues like Line of Sight, Range, etc don’t really become much of an issue for them because Cult Ambush lets you get so close to the enemy you can usually take full advantage of say a weak rear armor on a vehicle, or troops trying to hide behind a building.

The army is just chock full of crazy good options. I’m looking forward to seeing it on the table soon.  In Part 3 I’ll cover the Vehicles and Relics.
And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!

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About Chandler

Sometimes I play 40k. Sometimes I drink beer. Oftentimes I do both. I host an annual ITC Grand Tournament, Come the Apocalypse GT, as well as a podcast called Come the Apocalypse - a Warhammer 40k Podcast which you can find on iTunes or the Google Play Music store.

26 Responses to “Genestealer Cults: Codex Review: Part 2: Wargear and Infantry Units”

  1. Hugz November 3, 2016 10:49 am #

    Pretty sure Acolyte Hybrids can take as many hand flamers as they want, just like Metamorphs, rather than just one.

    • Chandler November 3, 2016 10:54 am #

      Correct. Has been updated.

  2. Davis Centis November 3, 2016 10:56 am #

    Agreed with Hugz above, pretty sure that’s the case. Also, the Abberants really benefit from the Iconward, as their Feel No Pain goes up to 4+, and they hit HARD in close combat.

    Something I haven’t seen anyone discuss yet that I hope you cover in these reviews; when in the “decurion”, all models with Infiltrate gain Shrouded. Well, ALL the Genestealer Cult Independent Characters have Infiltrate! This means these guys have Shrouded. And you only need one model with Shrouded in a unit for them all to benefit, so putting the Iconward with these guys in that formation ALSO gives them Shrouded! Have them pop up in any terrain from Cult Ambush and you have a VERY resilient unit!

    • Chandler November 3, 2016 11:09 am #

      Yes corrected the mistake on the Acolyte Hybrids and will definitely cover all the fun amazing things they can do when I write up the review on the Formations and Detachments. Coming in the next few days.

  3. WestRider November 3, 2016 4:06 pm #

    From what I’ve seen, it’s really the Acolytes, not the Purestrains, who are the meat and potatoes of the list. At just over half the price per Model, they get durability in numbers that beats what the Purestrains get from the Invul, WS5 (Cult Icon) is usually just as good as WS6, I4 with Assault Grenades beats I6 without a whole lot of the time, and the Pistol/CCW on the Acolytes actually puts them on par in terms of Attacks per Model.

  4. MidnightSun November 4, 2016 2:52 am #

    So… where’s the actual insight in this review? I’m not posting this to be a troll, or to be snarky, but this article (and indeed most of the recent Codex Review articles) seems to me to be a copy of what’s written in the Codex with a couple of pretty basic conclusions drawn from it (T4 W2 5+ armour is fragile and very vulnerable to Str8, while true, is also kinda obvious). I might be on my own in this but I’d much rather see half as many articles but with twice as much actual content in them.

    • Chandler November 4, 2016 4:58 am #

      Basically what I’m doing in this review is breaking it down unit by unit in this series. Going over the units and how they function, etc. I’ll be writing a review in the coming days that will be a little more in-depth on the Formations and Detachments and how these units interact within them.

      Not everyone has had a chance to pick up the codex and this series is just a basic breakdown on what’s in it. I’ll tie it up nicely with a bow on top in the end 🙂

      • MidnightSun November 4, 2016 7:02 am #

        I disagree with the term ‘review’ – you’re not ‘reviewing’ Genestealer units, you’re listing them. That, in itself, isn’t a problem for an article; however, I’d make the suggestion that to save yourself a lot of time, write one article. For a tight, well-written introduction to a new faction, I’d highly recommend AbusePuppy’s introduction to Harlequins (http://www.3plusplus.net/2015/03/the-day-the-clown-cried-codex-harlequins-review/).

        You and Michael Corr in his comment below make a fair point in that it’s a new army, people don’t know what it does yet, but just listing all their stats and rules and other specs that bloat the writing out into half a dozen articles doesn’t actually help very much in that regard. I have no idea what the Initiative stat of a Daemon Prince is. Higher than anything I care about. They’re WS9 – I remember that because you hit ’em on 5s. I have no idea what the statline of a Kataphron Destroyer is other than BS3, T5, 4+ armour and a Slow and Purposeful 6-shot Grav Cannon. Are they I2 or I3? Are they A1? I don’t know, but I don’t really care, because you don’t need to know if they’re merely ‘awful’ or ‘laughably atrocious’ in combat, I just know that they’re useless at punching people.

        The linked article handles it much better, in my opinion; “(the Solitaire) has got a pretty crazy-high statline most places, but with S/T3 he will struggle to hurt most things in melee and suffer a disproportionate amount of damage in return”. What *is* the WS of a Solitaire? Eh, I don’t know. He hits on 3s. You probably hit him back on 5s but he’s T3 3++ so he dies to any real combat unit either way.

        Writing out the entire Codex long-hand is a waste of your time, because most every new GW release gets scanned and uploaded to the internet at large within a few days of release, and if you take away all of the copy-paste jobs from the Codex you haven’t actually got any *content* (which is entirely understandable, don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t want to write another word after typing out a whole Codex, and the articles are already a full page long).

        If you halved the number of articles but doubled the amount of actual meaningful content in each, I think it’d make much better reading, be much more helpful to people who read it, and generate a lot more discussion and interaction in the comments sections as there’ll actually be an opinion to discuss, rather than a dry statement of fact that anyone who cares about will have read in the Codex months ago 🙂

        • Vercingatorix November 4, 2016 7:49 am #

          I definitely agree and you put everything I’ve been thinking about these “reviews” into better words than I could manage. I use to read every 40k article that was published on frontline but I see another “review” for a unit I’ve played again once or twice and I figured I won’t learn anything new. It’s really a summary of the unit stats. It’s like a reporter saying “a new law has passed that says xyz”. While correct, it doesn’t really help me as a news consumer. I want to see that reporter saying “this law will affect xyz because it this will no longer be allowed”. I’m trying to get a feel for how this army will play, if I want to buy the models, how I can beat it. I would love to see an article that included how they actually operate and how the author thinks they’ll affect the meta or even just something funny that happened to them while using the unit. For instance, EVERY guy can take a flamer in that one unit? How does running all flamer squads popping around the board work, are they too weak? Is it too tough to rely on rolling those random numbers?
          While I think it’s great to write these lists out on the literal mechanics of the unit I think people would comment much more on the articles if they included conclusions. I have a feeling if you looked at the number of comments on reviews that included opinions and conclusions rather than just codex stats that the conclusions are much more popular.

          • Chandler November 4, 2016 8:03 am
            #

            Thanks for the insight and comments. The entire scope of the review really is pretty big and I understand the format may not be to everyone’s liking. Where I am really going to get into the meat and potatoes with how the army works will be when I review the Formations and Detachments. Tricks to use them, etc. My point in doing it this way is so that when I describe how assaulting with a unit of Acolytes with Rock Cutters is awesome people who read aren’t scratching their heads going “what the hell is an Acoylte and what is a rock cutter?” It’s quite different when we are talking about a review featuring units we all already know with wargear we all already know. This faction is entirely new. In order to have a baseline understanding on how best to use the units, and combat against the units, readers might want a basic understanding of what the units do.

            I have covered a small bit on best options and what have you within each unit, but it all comes together when the Formations and Detachments come into play. Perhaps I am breaking it down on too much of a finite level than I should however, based on the feedback here and it is definitely something I’ll note for future reviews and articles. I appreciate all the discussion and hopefully when we get into the actual tactics part of the reviews you guys will find it much more to your liking.

          • AbusePuppy November 4, 2016 9:43 am
            #

            I think there is some middle ground to be had- especially for a new codex like GSC that has a lot of similar or confusing units. Just going through the options and special rules available to them does have some value.

            However, I also feel that MidnightSun has a very valid point here. “Review” implies more than just listing out the raw numbers of a unit; it presumes some degree of analysis and interpretation. There’s lots of potential ways to organize a review, but you’re already ~8,000 words (or more?) into the series and you haven’t really touched on anything beyond the most absolutely basic of the basics for the army. Frontline is typically read by a more competitive and more experienced audience than BoLS, Dakka, etc, and I think that writing should reflect that- it’s much more important to spell out the _why_ and than it is to explain the _how_.

            There’s lots of ways to organize a review, and breaking it into a “here are the raw mechanics” part followed by a “here is what they result in” part is a perfectly legitimate way to do things; however, as with all writing the key is clarity and organization. If what you intend to do is discuss only the basic rules of units, make sure that is obvious to the reader early on.

          • MidnightSun November 4, 2016 2:11 pm
            #

            I’m not allowed to reply further down the chain, apparently – fair enough Chandler, that’s a logical way of structuring it – I’ll admit, I’m building a Cults army at the moment, I’ve read the Codex cover to cover, and I still don’t know what some of the wargear items and formations do! As AbusePuppy suggests, I’d probably do a broad sweeps article *first*, as a kind of “first impressions” on the faction to blitz through all the stuff that leaps out (the Cult Ambush/Shadows combo, the psychic powers, the army’s affinity for HQs that project buff bubbles with auto-LoS, perhaps the First Curse and Subterranean Ambush formations as the most relevant, and a quick rundown on units), then proceed as you’re doing with this review with a few stat-crunching articles followed by the more in-depth analysis. That first article can be just a few lines on each; it’s easier with GCs than a lot of other armies as the USRs are absolutely what defines the army, and the units are fairly easily summed up once the full impact of their Cult Ambush/Shadows combo is made apparent (Neophytes; they’re CSM Cultists, but with I4 and heavy weapon options!).

            I’ll pipe down and await the second phase of your review structure, sounds like we’re in for a treat when you hit formations and detachments 🙂

        • Chandler November 4, 2016 2:17 pm #

          @MidnightSun – I’m working on it right now. Should be finished by this weekend and hopefully up sometime next week.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr November 4, 2016 5:14 am #

      It is always useful to have the basic information I a review as well. Not everyone is familiar with every army and there may be beginners who wish to know how to use units effectively or what their vulnerabilities are.

  5. zyekian November 4, 2016 6:14 am #

    Excellent review. Love all the colorful options . While some choices seem more like auto-takes than others, overall there’s not much bad stuff here.

    Can’t we just nuke these guys from orbit? 🙂

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr November 4, 2016 6:23 am #

      Nope, the Imperium needs the tasty resources from the planet. Plus, who would want to nuke those sweet Goliath trucks?!?

    • Chandler November 4, 2016 10:37 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed it, man. I think they are going to be a pretty nasty army to contend with.

  6. AbusePuppy November 4, 2016 9:57 am #

    For as far as it goes, I think the review so far is fairly accurate. However, there’s definitely some things I might take issue with.

    I think you’re selling Aberrants short. Yes, they lack the shooting options that Hybrids get, which is a definite disadvantage; and not having grenades as well is another strike against them, though since their main melee weapons are Unwieldy it could certainly be worse. However, they are actually _more_ survivable than Genestealers point-for-point, so long as they aren’t being shot by S8+ weapons (which are actually relatively rare these days)- FNP is basically the same as a 5++, but then they can also take a regular save as well and are only 1pt/wound more expensive than the ‘Stealers. Also, as noted above, they benefit from the Iconward far more than most other units do- 2+ or 3+ cover followed by 4+ FNP is pretty rough to break through. Also note that they benefit far more from Return to the Shadows than most units due because of their high value-per-model; even just getting back one guy adds a significant boost to the squad.

    I’m also a lot less impressed by the basic Genestealers than you seem to be. I6 Rending attacks aren’t bad, certainly, but even with Furious Charge and/or psychic buffs, they really aren’t as scary as everyone seems to think. Rending is really, really unreliable and while a unit of 20 is certainly going to clear out most things, for 280+ pts they had damn well better. Given their limited survivability (even with Shrouded and a 5++), most of the time you’re gonna be down a LOT of guys in the squad, and 5-6 Genestealers charging into something isn’t nearly as scary. Also, no grenades. Lack of grenades is _balls_ on a unit that relies on striking first to hurt things.

    I’m with WestRider here- Acolytes are where the real meat of the codex is, because they are incredibly cheap Rending attacks that also can have shooting options and fully benefit from the multitude of rules in the book. ‘Stealers themselves might be stronger in a fight, but Acolytes are far more flexible and will usually be enough to handle “basic” squads that most armies field.

    I think a stronger discussion of morale/leadership and its implications for the army is also needed. GSC have access to some morale boosts, but I can guarantee you that the enemy will be making them priority targets because once those go down suddenly you’ll find that a lot of your units aren’t doing what you want them to. Getting swept in combat is a big deal for GSC because it permanently gets rid of the whole unit, as does falling off the board. Pinning, though rarer, is also an issue for them, and Fear can be absolutely backbreaking- nothing sucks like seeing a WS6 unit fail a Fear check.

    • Chandler November 4, 2016 10:17 am #

      I just think that Aberrants are far too expensive for what you’re going to get out of them even with the buffs. 30 points per model for T4 guys with a 5+ is a lot even with FNP added on. Yes you can boost their WS and get boons on them same as the rest of the army but why do that when, as you point out, you can get those same buffs to Acolytes who, point for point, probably will do more damage? As I said in the review, they aren’t a bad choice, it’s just that the other options are so much better.

      I think genestealers are the better unit overall in the book simply because they provide a Patriarch with 20 5++ ablative wounds. That’s pretty amazing. With the furious charge bonus from the Patriarch they are slinging a lot of attacks that rend and they are more survivable in combat. Add in an acolyte iconward nexus bonus and they get FNP on top of it and let’s face it with a 24″ bubble it’s going to happen. And due to the way the game goes, you’re not going to be charging into terrain every single time with them. You’re going to catch the enemy off guard as the game progresses because “terrain” only makes up maybe 35% of a board if that especially in the competitive environment. They will have plenty of chances to rip units to pieces with their higher initiative.

      Don’t get me wrong, Acolytes are amazing and will make up the bulk of a GSC army. Genestealers with a Patriarch, however, have the ability to deal some serious damage to the enemy. But are you going to see a GSC army with just genestealers everywhere? No. Acolytes will be all over the place and are capable of cranking out a nasty amount of damage in their own right.

      • Hugz November 4, 2016 11:55 am #

        Some good points all around I think. For what it’s worth, a unit of Aberrants has value if only because s10 in melee can be a very handy thing to have access to (s5 +3 from hammer +1 from FC +1 from Might from Beyond power), and again, regaining models from the detachment special rules is extremely valuable on them (and as the only Stubborn unit in the codex, they are probably the least likely to be swept). Another little note, the First Curse (the absolute best use for Purestrains in the book) will only ever benefit from the regular, 12-inch bubble from the Iconward, as the 24-inch version only affects units from his Brood Cycle, so not quite guaranteed to be in effect.

      • AbusePuppy November 4, 2016 7:27 pm #

        >30 points per model for T4 guys with a 5+ is a lot even with FNP added on.

        But you seem to consider 14pts for a T4 guy with a 5+ save and no FNP (as well as half as many wounds) to be exceptional, as per your discussion of Genestealers. I don’t really understand why you think the one is great and the other is not. The 5++ is a nice boost, but if all you want is ablative wounds there are far better ways to get it in the codex- and, as I said, even with Furious Charge each Genestealer really isn’t doing that much damage.

        The Acolyte Iconward’s FNP bubble is NOT 24″- the extended range only applies to units from within his formation.

        I’m just not impressed by ‘Stealers all that much, at the end of the day. Unless they get the 6 result on the table, they cannot do anything the turn they arrive (whereas other units can typically at least take some shots.) They die badly to Stormsurges and Imperial Knights, despite having near-deathstar pricing for a full unit. Their advantages are _heavily_ contingent on board position and especially with a big unit like that it will be near-impossible to avoid clipping terrain. There’s just a lot of obstacles to them ever getting to do their job.

        • Chandler November 4, 2016 8:11 pm #

          @abusepuppy you have your opinion and I have mine. Genestealers are the better unit point for point than Aberrants in my opinion.

          By the way, the Genestealers do get the 24″ extended range considering the Brood Cycle has a requirement of 1 squad of Genestealers which is part of the formation.

          Aberrants don’t have move through cover. They don’t have fleet, etc. Again, I don’t know how many times I have to reiterate this, it’s not that Aberrants are bad. It’s that other options are better. Hell I’d take Acolyte blobs for ablative wounds with a Patriarch before I’d pay the points for Aberrants.

          That is just my personal opinion. You are entitled to yours and I respect that. If you want to run Aberrants by all means run them and crush face with them if you can.

          • AbusePuppy November 4, 2016 10:14 pm
            #

            Sure, everyone is allowed their opinion, but the point of a discussion is to compare the reasons and evidence supporting an opinion and (hopefully) come to a consensus on what is true, or at least understand where the fundamental disagreement is. If a discussion is nothing but “I cannot legally prevent you from thinking that,” it’s not very helpful to either party.

            Aberrants do lack the “support” abilities of Genestealers, as you say, and those aren’t trivial things- however, those aren’t the reasons you have repeatedly cited for them being lackluster, either. You have repeatedly focused on their supposed fragility- but as I’ve pointed out, they’re actually _tougher_ than Genestealers against the vast majority of weapons out there, on a point-for-point basis. And while the army has plenty of ways to get high-Initiative Rending attacks elsewhere, it does not have any other access to consistent AP2 or S10 attacks- having your entire army fold up to a single Imperial Knight is a very, very bad plan.

  7. Chandler November 4, 2016 10:29 pm #

    @Abusepuppy – I disagree that they are tougher than Genestealers entirely. For various reasons I’ve sited repeatedly. I do not see how a 2 wound T4 model with a 5+ save is better than a single wound model which is cheaper and has a potential 2+ cover and 5++ base.

    The Str 10 attacks are indeed a point to note, but I don’t believe they would ever get into combat with a knight or at least not without just sheer luck on the cult ambush table. Not to mention Might from beyond is not a guarantee anyway. Usually you’re looking at STR 9 on these guys anyway with power hammers. Aberrants are not awful, I just think there are better options overall for again the reasons I’ve listed.

    Now I will say this, in my next post I do give Abberants some love. I’m not entirely dismissing their effectiveness at all. They can gain some good bonuses (Endurance for one with a 3+ FNP is nothing to scoff at on these guys) and definitely can hit hard.

    • AbusePuppy November 5, 2016 3:37 am #

      > I do not see how a 2 wound T4 model with a 5+ save is better than a single wound model which is cheaper and has a potential 2+ cover and 5++ base.

      On turn 1, yes, the Shroured (presuming they are in the decurion) is pretty big- but, as others have noted, it isn’t hard to get Shrouded on them by sticking a character in with them, so I think that can only be counted as a marginal advantage.

      Outside of that, the math of the whole thing is simple. Against any weapon that does not deny any saves (armor or cover), the Aberrants are tougher- they will get to roll the same save that the Genestealers do, then also get FNP beyond that.

      Against any weapon that denies cover saves as well as armor saves (where the Genestealer’s 5++ is nominally at best effect), the Aberrants are just as tough, since the Genestealers will take their 5+ invulnerable and the Aberrants will take their 5+ FNP.

      The only times that Genestealers will be tougher than Aberrants are against attacks that deny cover (including melee attacks) AND are S8 or higher- and those attacks are quite rare in the meta for the most part and those units which do have them will tend to vaporize either target quite easily, like a souped-up Stormsurge unit or Thunderwolf deathstar.

      >Aberrants are not awful, I just think there are better options overall for again the reasons I’ve listed

      And I’m not trying to argue they’re great, but against most targets they hit harder than Genestealers and against most guns they are more resilient than Genestealers. Force Org and formation considerations aside, I think they are generally more useful than their little brothers.

      I’m also curious what options you think the codex should be taking in preference to them for high-Strength attacks to down stuff like superheavies and T5 multiwound. Mining Lasers are okay for that sort of thing, but especially on BS3 models they are hardly exceptional and the codex doesn’t get access to Meltaguns or Meltabombs for the most part. The Rock Drill/Saw can be used, but given their expense I’m not highly impressed with them.

  8. AngryPanda November 5, 2016 6:24 am #

    I’m glad someone else mentioned the quality of the reviews first because I realy hate being the negative troll so often. But damn it we are now at the point there I’m not even bored enough at work to bother since it realy is just a “this is in the Codex” and that is a shame, at least for me. Maybe this is useful to some people but realy things like what a Land Speeder does belong into something titled a beginner’s guide or such.
    And if it is just an overview on what unit does what it could be put in way fewer words to provide that efficiently. Abusepuppy’s reviews have been mentioned above and those realy do get to the point in a rather pleasant direct way.

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