Hi everyone, my Genestealer Cults army returns to the battlefield to take on some Iron Hands Space Marines in a maelstrom of war mission. For reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
This week’s battle report sees my Genestealer Cult army take on Yaro’s Iron Hands Space Marines. We would be playing the maelstrom of war mission, Targets of Opportunity. This is the mission where you draw three cards per turn, but must discard all your current cards at the start of your next turn. This means you only have a single turn to try and score your cards. I was looking forward to this mission, as it is the way I tend to play my maelstrom games anyway!
My army consisted of:
- Patriarch- Mass Hypnosis (Pt)
- Magus- Force Stave, Might from Beyond (M)
- Primus- Needle Pistol, Bonesword, Toxic Injector Claw (Pr)
- 10 Neophyte Hybrids- Mining Laser, Grenade Launcher, Autogun (N1)
- 10 Neophyte Hybrids- Mining Laser, Autogun (N2)
- 10 Acolyte Hybrids- 2 Heavy Rock Cutters (A1)
- 10 Acolyte Hybrids- 2 Heavy Rock Drills (A2)
- 10 Acolyte Hybrids- 2 Heavy Rock Saws (A3)
- 5 Acolyte Hybrids (A4)
- 15 Purestrain Genestealers- Purestrain Talons, Rending Claws (PG)
- 4 Aberrants- Power Hammers (Ab1)
- 4 Aberrants- Power Picks (Ab2)
- Scout Sentinel- Heavy Flamer (S1)
- Scout Sentinel- Heavy Flamer (S2)
- Scout Sentinel- Multi-laser (S3)
- Goliath Rockgrinder- Heavy Stubber, Clearance Incinerator (GR1)
- Goliath Rockgrinder- Heavy Stubber, Clearance Incinerator (GR2)
- Cult Leman Russ- Battle Cannon, 3 Heavy Bolters (LR)
12 Command Points
I would like to say that I kept my army the same in order to test its strengths and weaknesses, but in all honesty, I simply didn’t have time to make up a new list for the game, so used the same one as my last game with the Cult.
I realised when writing this up that I had played the Rockgrinder as a Goliath Truck without realising! This the problem of proxying models. Apologies to Yaro for the mistake. I really need to get the second one built and painted.
Yaro’s army consisted of:
- Chapter Master- Power Fist, Shield Eternal
- Librarian- Force Axe, Bolt Pistol, Might of Heroes, Null Zone
- Techmarine- Bolter, Lightning Claw, Servo Harness
- Contemptor Dreadnought- Combi-Bolter, Kheres Pattern Assault Cannon
- 9 Sternguard Veterans- Special Issue Bolters, Sergeant with Power Fist
- Venerable Dreadnought- Twin Lascannon, Storm Bolter
- 2 Attack Bikes- Heavy Bolters
- 5 Scouts- Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles
- 5 Scouts- Camo Cloaks, Sniper Rifles
- 5 Tactical Marines- Sergeant with Combi-Melta and Power Fist, Meltagun
- 5 Tactical Marines- Sergeant with Combi-Flamer and Lightning Claw, Flamer
- Rhino- Storm Bolter
- Land Raider Redeemer- 2 Flamestorm Cannons, Twin Assault Cannon
- Inquisitor- Chainsword, Plasma Pistol
- 5 Legion of the Damned- Sergeant with Plasma Pistol and Power Axe, Plasma Gun, Bolters
7 Command Points
His warlord Captain took the Iron Resolve warlord trait, giving him +1 wound and a 6+ feel no pain roll. He also spent the three command points to upgrade the Captain to a Chapter Master. I would be interested to see how my army fares against a Space Marine force.
As an added bonus to the game, Yaro had a great looking Iron Hands force featuring a lot of great conversions and some fantastic free-hand painting on his tanks.
As mentioned above, we were playing the Targets of Opportunity maelstrom mission, with the Search and Destroy deployment type (table quarters).
We set up the objectives as shown below:
We then deployed our forces, starting with Yaro.
I was able to force Yaro to deploy most of his army first thanks to my reserves drops. I put my Acolytes, characters and Aberrants in reserve.
I deployed my Leman Russ at the back of the board, making sure to leave no space for Yaro to bring reserves in behind. I put a unit of Neophytes behind the ruins in front of them. I put two Sentinels on the left, with one on the right. The Rockginders went towards the centre, trying to keep them out of line of sight as much as possible.
Yaro set up his two Dreadnoughts at the back of his field, also making sure that there was nowhere for me to bring reserves in behind them. He put the two transport vehicles further forward, with the Attack Bikes behind them. He then cleverly used his Scouts and Daemonhosts as a buffer to stop be getting in too close with my ambush.
Yaro won the roll for first turn and I failed to seize the initiative. Before the first turn, I used the Scout Sentinels’ Scout move to move them forward towards the Iron Hands Scout units on each flank.
TURN 1- IRON HANDS
In his first turn, Yaro drew Big Game Hunter (destroy an enemy vehicle with 10 or more wounds), Defend Objective 5 and Psychological Warfare (force a failed morale test).
The Daemonhosts moved up on the Cult Sentinels, while the Inquisitor that summoned them moved up an objective. The Librarian disembarked from the Land Raider, advancing alongside it as it moved towards the Cult lines. The Rhino also moved up towards the centre of the battlefield, using its smoke launchers as it advanced.
In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Might of Heroes on the Land Raider, making the hardened vehicle even tougher. He then attempted to cast Null Zone, but failed to manifest the power.
In the shooting phase, the two Daemonhosts opened fire on the Scout Sentinel, both hitting and wounding and causing two damage.
The Attack Bikes opened fire on the Rockgrinder, hitting but failing to wound. The Land Raider fired on the Goliath Truck, wounding it twice, but both wounds were saved.
The Scouts squad on the right flank fired at the wounded Scout Sentinel, doing one mortal wound on it. The second Scout squad fired at the Scout Sentinel on the left flank, doing another mortal wound to the vehicle. Finally, the Venerable Dreadnought fired its Lascannons at the Scout Sentinel. Both shots missed. Yaro used a command point to re-roll, but was still unsuccessful.
The Daemonhosts tried a long charge on the Scout Sentinel, but failed the charges. Fortunately, they were out of range of the Heavy Flamer, so suffered no damage from overwatch.
At the end of the turn, Yaro scored no points.
TURN 1- GENESTEALER CULT
In my first turn, I drew Secure Objective 2, Defend Objective 4 and Area Denial (have no enemy units in the centre of the board).
On the south face of the battlefield, the Scout Sentinels moved up on the Scouts, joined by the Rockgrinder and Goliath Truck. On the right flank, the Scout Sentinels moved up on the second unit of Scouts.
The Aberrants decided to launch their ambush. One unit disembarked from the Rockgrinder and moved up on the Scouts, while the second squad arrived from Cult Ambush to go after the Rhino. The unit of 5 Acolytes had to set up 9″ away out of line of sight of the Scouts in the ruins.
On the other flank, the Magus led a unit of Acolytes (with the Rock Cutters) on the Scouts in the ruins. They rolled a 5 on the table, so were able to move up a little on the enemy unit.
In the psychic phase, the Magus cast Smite, killing two of the Scouts in front of him.
One of the Scout Sentinels opened fired on the Scouts in the ruins and was able to kill the squad with his Heavy Flamer. The second nearby Sentinel fired its Multi-laser on a Daemonhost, wounding it once. The Rockgrinder added its firepower, wounding it twice with the Incinerator and killing it with the Heavy Stubber.
The other Scout Sentinel on the right flank fired at the Scouts in the ruins, wounding once but failing to get past their save. The Leman Russ fired at the Rhino. The Battle Cannon hit four times, but faield to do any damage. The Heavy Bolters managed to strip a final wound from the enemy transport.
In the charge phase, the Aberrants charged the Rhino. I failed the charge with a 3, but used a command point re-roll. I only rolled a 4, but it was enough to get them in. On the left flank, the Scout Sentinel, Acolytes and Aberrants charged the Scout Squad.
The Aberrants struck at the Scouts and were able to wipe them out with their Power Pick attacks. The second squad of Aberrants attacked the Rhino. They hit with several of their attacks and wounded twice. I used another Command Point to make it three wounds. Yaro failed his saves and the Rhino was destroyed. Two of the Marines perished as they disembarked from the wreck.
At the end of my turn, I scored First Blood, Secure Objective 2 and Area Denial for 3 points. Yaro also scored Defend Objective 5.
Iron Hands- 2
Genestealer Cult- 3
TURN 2- IRON HANDS
In his turn, Yaro drew Area Denial, Death From Above (kill an enemy unit with a unit that has Fly or arrives from reserve) and Assassinate (kill an enemy character).
The Techmarine disembarked from the Land Raider, moving to support the Tactical Squads on his left. The rest of the passengers of the Land Raider moved out towards the Cult forces amassing on the south side, the Librarian moving up to join them.
The Inquisitor moved up on the Scout Sentinel, as the two Tactical Squads moved past the Aberrants that had destroyed their transport vehicle.
To the south, the Daemonhosts moved up on the objective. Their daemonic presence thinned reality around them, causing a rift to open and the Legion of the Damned emerged from the warp to aid the Iron Hands forces. The Venerable Dreadnought moved up to support them.
The Librarian cast Might of Heroes on the Land Raider once more, perilling on a 12 and taking a mortal wound in the process. He was still heady from the warp power coursing through him, as he then cast Smite on the Rockgrinder with an 11, taking four wounds from the enemy vehicle. On the other flank, the Inquisitor cast Smite, taking three wounds from the Scout Sentinel.
The Legion of the Damned fired on the wounded Scout Sentinel, overcharging their Plasma Gun. Yaro rolled a double 1 to hit, using a command point re-roll to hit with one shot, but still slaying the gunner. The Plasma fire was enough to destroy the Cult Sentinel. It blew up, wounding the nearby Daemonhost and the second Sentinel.
The Sternguard Veterans fired at the unit of Acolytes in front of them. Using the Masterful Marksmanship stratagem, they were able to slay 9 of the unit, leaving only one left. The Daemonhosts fired on the Scout Sentinel in front of them. One hit and caused a single wound.
The Contemptor Dreadnought fired on the Power Hammer Aberrants, killing one of the squad. The Attack Bikes opened up with their firepower, killing another 2 of the squad with their Heavy Bolters, while the Bolters did one wound on the last remaining member of the squad. The Land Raider fired its two Flamestorm Cannons at the survivor and easily killed him in a torrent of flame. Its Assault Cannon fired at the squad of 5 Acolytes and was able to also wipe them out as well.
The Inquisitor fired at the Scout Sentinel, hitting with his Plasma Pistol, but failing to wound. The Tactical Squad fired on the Aberrants, killing one of the squad. The other Tactical Squad added their firepower, killing one more. The Techmarine fired at the squad, killing another of them and leaving only one remaining,
The Venerable Dreadnought fired at the Rockgrinder, hitting twice with his Lascannons but only wounding once. The shot managed to do two damage, but one was blocked by the rugged construction of the Cult vehicle.
The Tactical Squad and Techmarine tried to charge the surviving Aberrant, but failed to make the distance. The Inquisitor charged the Scout Sentinel, taking one wound from its Heavy Flamer. One of the Daemonhosts charged the other Scout Sentinel, the second also failing the charge.
The Daemonhost failed to hit the Scout Sentinel. The Inquisitor managed to do one wound on the other Scout Sentinel. In reply, the Goliath Truck and Scout Sentinel managed to do a single wound on the Daemonhost.
In the morale phase, the last of the Acolytes fled the battlefield. I used two command points to pass morale on the Aberrant, as I wanted him to go after the Inquisitor.
At the end of his turn, Yaro scored Death From Above and Area Denial. I also scored Defend Objective 5.
TURN 2- GENESTEALER CULT
In my second turn, I drew Secure Objective 5, Master the Warp (cast a psychic power) and Overwhelming Firepower (kill an enemy unit in the shooting phase).
The Neophytes disembarked from the Goliath Truck, moving into the ruins. The Scout Sentinel and Truck fell back from combat with the Daemonhost. The flank was joined by a unit of Acolytes that moved on from the battlefield edge.
On the other flank, the Primus brought in the Purestrain Genestealers (after using the Stratagem and getting a 6 on the table), moving up on the Tactical Squad and Techmarine and going after the objective. The last Aberrant moved up on the Inquisitor in combat with the Sentinel.
The Rockgrinder and Magus moved up on the Sternguard Veterans.
The Magus cast Smite on the Sternguard Veterans. I rolled a 4 and a 1, using a command point to re-roll the 1 and get another 1! The Librarian was easily able to block the power. I was hoping to roll higher to cast the power and score my maelstrom card, but my dice were against me again.
In the shooting phase, the Neophytes fired on the Daemonhost, killing him. The nearby Acolytes fired at the other Daemonhost, wounding it once with their pistol fire.
The Rockgrinder fired on the Sternguard, killing one with their Clearance Incinerator. The Leman Russ fired on the further away Tactical Squad. The Battle Cannon scored 7 shots after using a Command Point re-roll, killing two of the squad. The Heavy Bolters accounted for another 2 from the squad.
In the charge phase, the Genestealers and Magus charged the Tactical Squad and Techmarines. The Flamers of the squad managed to do 9 hits. Yaro used a command point re-roll on one of the shots, re-rolling a 1 as another 1! The shots managed to kill three of the squad. The Aberrant charged the Inquisitor.
On the other flank, the Magus and Rockgrinder charged the Sternguard, the Rockgrinder having to use a command point re-roll to make the charge. The Acolytes attempted to charge the last Daemonhost, but failed. The nearby Neophytes charged into combat with it instead.
The Purestrains attacked, wiping out the Tactical Squad and putting two wounds on the Techmarine. They consolidated into the Land Raider to stop it from firing in the following turn. The Techmarine attacked, but failed to do any damage, while the Land Raider managed to crush two of the Genestealers beneath its treads.
The Aberrant struck at the Inquisitor, killing him (after I used a command point to wound).
The Rockgrinder rammed the Sternguard, killing one of them, while the Magus was unable to cause any damage. The Sternguard struck at the Magus. The Sergeant wounded him three times with his Power Fist, while the rest of the Sternguard were able to finish him off.
The Neophytes struck at the Daemonhost, wounding him once, while the Daemon was unable to cause any harm to the Cult squad.
In the morale phase, I spent the two command points to pass the morale of the Purestrain Genestealers. At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 5 and Overwhelming Firepower.
Iron Hands- 4
Genestealer Cult- 7
At the end of the second turn, things were still in the balance. Both armies were bloodied, but still had a lot left. I was slightly ahead in maelstrom points, but things could still turn the other way.
TURN 3- IRON HANDS
In his third turn, Yaro drew Priority Orders Received (Objective 6), the Emperor’s Retribution and Hold the Line.
The Sternguard Veterans and Daemonhost fell back from their respective combats. The Legion of the Damned moved up on the Neophytes. The Land Raider fell back from combat away from the Genestealers, while the Chapter Master moved back to seize the objective.
The Librarian and Attack Bikes moved up on the Purestrain Genestealers. The Librarian cast Null Zone, then cast Smite, killing two of the Genestealers.
The Attack Bikes split their fire. One fired at the Scout Sentinel, killing it, while the other fired at the Goliath Rockgrinder, but to no avail.
The Legion of the Damned fired at the Neophytes. A Frag Grenade from the squad killed two of the squad, while the Bolters killed one more. The Daemonhost fired at the Rockgrinder (it had gained the Fly keyword this turn), but missed. The Venerable Dreadnought fired on the Rockgrinder, hitting once with the Lascannon, but failing to wound once more.
In the charge phase, the Iron Hands launched their attacks. The Legion charged the Neophytes, while the Librarian and Attack Bikes assaulted the Purestrain Genestealers, but the Attack Bikes failed to make the distance.
The Librarian struck, killing two of the Genestealers, while the Attack Bikes did no damage. The Techmarine was able to kill another of the squad. The Legion of the Damned attacked the Neophytes, killing 2 of the squad.
The Purestrains struck back at the Space Marines. They attacked the Techmarine, wounding him three times. They got past his armour, but then Yaro made all three of his 6+ Iron Hands saves! The Genestealers attacked the Librarian and was able to wound him twice.
On the other flank, the Neophytes actually managed to kill two of the Legion after some poor saves from Yaro (for once!).
In the morale phase, one Neophyte fled the battlefield, while one of the Purestrains was also lost. At the end of his turn, Yaro scored four points for Priority Orders Received, as well as scoring the Emperor’s Retribution and Hold the Line. That had scored him a great 6 points this turn, putting him in the lead for the first time in the game.
TURN 3- GENESTEALER CULT
A great last turn of scoring from Yaro had seen me go behind. I needed a good draw in this turn. I drew Secure Objective 4, Assassinate (kill an enemy character) and Supremacy (hold 3 objectives). I could possibly score all three this turn and a good roll for Supremacy could see me regain the lead.
The Acolytes moved up on the Sternguard, as the last surviving Sentinel and Goliath Truck moved to secure the objective. The Rockgrinder moved to grab the central objective, and on the other flank the Aberrant grabbed another objective.
The Patriarch led the last unit of Acolytes out of ambush. I used the Meticulous Ambush stratagem in addition to a command point re-roll to get a 6 on the table, allowing me to move up on the Land Raider and Techmarine. My plan was to sent the Patriarch after the Techmarine, while trying to stop the Land Raider from firing overwatch thanks to Mass Hypnosis. This would have allowed the Acolytes to charge the Land Raider and stop it from shooting in the following turn.
The Patriarch tried to cast Mass Hypnosis, but failed in the attempt. Unfortunately, I was out of command points to try a re-roll.
In the shooting phase, the Rockgrinder fired on the Sternguard, killing one with its Incinerator. The Truck also fired at the unit, killing three of the Veterans. The Scout Sentinel added its firepower, the Multi-laser killing another one. The nearby Acolytes fired their pistols at the Iron Hands’ Veterans, but failed to do any damage.
To the north of the field, the newly arrived unit of Acolytes fired at the Attack Bike squad, hitting them once, but failing to wound. The Leman Russ fired at the Land Raider. Its Battle Cannon managed to take two wounds from the mighty vehicle.
The Acolytes charged the Sternguard and Daemonhost, the Goliath Truck also charging the Daemonhost. The Patriarch charged the Techmarine, while the other unit of Acolytes charged the Attack Bikes, not wanting to risk the automatic hits of the Flamestorm cannons on the Land Raider.
The Patriarch attacked the Techmarine, hitting four times but only scoring one wound despite needing a 3+. The one strike caused three damage. Yaro failed his armour saves, but made two out of 3 of his 6+ Iron Hands saves to leave the Techmarine alive on one wound!
The Acolytes struck at the Attack Bikes, killing one of the squad with the Rock Cutter.
On the other side of the field, the Truck managed to kill the Daemonhost. The Acolytes struck at the Sternguard, but only managed to kill two of the squad with their Rock Drills, the normal attacks of the Acolytes failing to find the weak spots in the armour of the Veterans.
The Genestealers then attacked the Librarian and Techmarine. The Purestrains managed to wound the Techmarine once, but Yaro once again made his Iron Hands save! The Genestealers were able to kill the Librarian with their claws.
The Legion of the Damned struck at the Neophytes, killing three of the squad. The Primus then attacked the Techmarine and was finally able to slay him.
The lone Sternguard Sergeant attacked the Acolytes, killing three, while the Attack Bike was able to kill one of the Acolytes that they were engaged with.
At the end of my turn, I scored Assassinate, Secure Objective 4 and Supremacy for only one point.
Iron Hands- 10
Genestealer Cult- 10
After a great third turn from Yaro, he had managed to pull back a draw. I would need to see if the Cult could hold out to secure a win.
TURN 4- IRON HANDS
In his fourth turn, Yaro drew Secure Objective 5, Secure Objective 1 and Honour the Chapter (kill an enemy character with a Space Marine character).
The Contemptor Dreadnought moved up on the Goliath Rockgrinder. Yaro was hoping to make a 10″ charge on the Rockgrinder, destroy it and grab the objective.
In the shooting phase, the Legion fired their pistols at the Neophytes, wiping them out. The Venerable Dreadnought fired on the Sentinel, destroying it with its Lascannon.
The Land Raider fired its Flamestrorm cannon at the Genestealers, killing three of the squad. Its Assault Cannon picked out the lone Aberrant, killing him. The Contemptor fired at the Goliath Truck, wounding it four times, but I made three of my 5+ save and only took one. The Storm Bolter managed to do a single wound on it as well.
In the charge phase, the Legion of the Damned charged the Acolytes and Goliath Truck. The Contemptor failed its charge against the Rockgrinder, taking a single wound in overwatch.
The Legion killed one of the Acolytes, the Sternguard Sergeant failing to do any damage. The Acolytes were able to kill the Veteran Sergeant and one of the Legion, while the Goliath Truck was actually able to slay the last of the Legion of the Damned!
The Attack Bike managed to kill one of the Acolytes, while the Acolytes did two wounds to the Attack Bike.
At the end of his turn, Yaro scored Objective 5, putting him one point in the lead.
TURN 4- GENESTEALER CULT
In my turn, I drew Blood and Guts (kill a unit in assault), Secure Objective 6 and Kingslayer (kill the enemy warlord).
With time running out, I knew this would be my last turn. I decided to go all out and go for the big win. The Patriarch advanced on the Iron Hands Chapter Master. The Primus moved up on the Attack Bike, while the Acolytes moved to engage the Venerable Dreadnought and the Rockgrinder moved up on the Contemptor Dreadnought.
The Patriarch cast Mass Hypnosis on the Chapter Master. I don’t know why I never cast Smite to whittle him down and make him easier to kill in the assault phase. Guess I just wanted to give him a sporting chance.
The Leman Russ fired on the Land Raider, taking another two wounds from the transport vehicle. The Rockgrinder fired at the Contemptor, taking two wounds from it.
In the charge phase, the Patriarch made his charge on the Chapter Master. The Primus charged the Attack Bike, while the Acolytes charged the Venerable Dreadnought.
The Primus struck at the Attack Bike, killing it. The Acolytes struck at the Dreadnought, doing one wound with the Rock Drill and getting another mortal wound on it.
The Patriarch then struck at the Chapter Master, doing 4 wounds on him. The Shield Eternal saved three of the wounds and the Chapter Master took 2 damage. The Chapter Master struck back, wounding the Patriarch twice. The Venerable Dreadnought killed one of the Acolytes.
At the end of my turn, I scored Blood and Guts and Linebreaker.
Iron Hands- 11
Genestealer Cult- 12
My first win with the Genestealer Cult, albeit the narrowest of wins!
Thanks to Yaro for a great game. It was intense and close right up to the very end.
This game featured a lot of line of sight blocking terrain than I am used to playing with in 8th edition. I think this is a key feature for the game now, as limiting the effect of heavy firepower armies makes for a much more enjoyable game in 8th edition. I would encourage you all to up the amount of terrain in your games, regardless of the army you play.
I think this game went pretty well for the Cult. I had to hold back most of my reserves for a turn in this game, thanks to Yaro’s placement of his Scouts. If they had all arrived on turn 1, I would have had a long slog to get to the enemy lines and probably would have got shot to pieces before making it in to combat. The Primus matched with the Meticulous Uprising Stratagem is great, practically ensuring that a key unit gets to where it needs to go with the Cult Ambush. This is great for the Genestealers, as this unit hits incredibly hard in combat and really needs to make a charge on the turn that it arrives.
I also got more use from the Patriarch in this game. He wasn’t that great in combat, but was really useful in his automatic passing of morale tests bubble that he has, keeping my central units fighting without losing more models to morale.
I also enjoyed the maelstrom mission. You really need to go all out to try and score your objectives as you only have a single turn in which to score them. As I said at the start, this is normally the way I would play a maelstrom game, going after the cards above all else and discarding any that I can’t achieve quickly. It was good to be forced to play this way thanks to the mission, it’s one I hope to try again in the future.
With a few games with the Cult under my belt, I need to look at painting and adding a few more units to the army so that I can change up the force that I play.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!