Hi everyone, Michael here with part 1 of a review of the Cult Creeds in the new Genestealer Cults codex. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.
The Cult Creeds are the “Chapter Tactics” of the Genestealer Cults army. These apply to any <Cult> Infantry or Biker model in the army. However, they do not apply to “Genestealer” units in the army (Purestrains and the Patriarch) or to Brood Brothers units. This is annoying, as some of these benefits would be great for Purestrain Genestealers or the Patriarch. I can understand why they do not apply, but it is a little annoying to not get such great benefits from the army.
This article will take a look at the first three Cult Creeds available to the army. This review will also take a look at the Creed-specific warlord traits, Relics and stratagems available for each Creed.
Cult of the Four-Armed Emperor- Subterranean Ambushers
Until the end of the first battle round, add 1 to Advance and Charge rolls for units with this creed. From the second battle round, if a unit arrives from reserve, it adds 1 to its Advance and Charge rolls until the end of the turn.
This is a very strong trait and one that I think will be quite popular (due to it’s Creed-specific stratagem in many cases). This is great for units arriving from reserve, meaning you will need an 8″ charge rather than a 9″ charge for many units. This gets even better when added to the ability of the Clamavus, giving you a further +1 to your charge range. The combination of the Creed and Clamavus means that you only need a 7″ charge for most units when arriving from reserve. This is a huge boost for an army that primarily depends on reserves manipulation and close combat to do the most damage.
The Creed stratagem is called “A Plan Generations in the Making”, costs 3CP and can only be used once per battle. It is effectively the Cult’s version of Agents of Vect. The stratagem is played after your opponent uses a stratagem. On a 2+, they cannot use their stratagem and get the command points back (unless you roll a 6). This is an incredibly powerful stratagem and can put a real crimp in your opponent’s plan. I find it particularly useful for blocking any “Auspex Scan”-type stratagems that could decimate one of your units that is coming in from reserve. There are obviously various uses for such a stratagem that can be game winning in the right situations. It is only one use per game, however, so you need to use it in the right situation.
The Creed Relic is the Sword of the Four-Armed Emperor. This is a Bonesword (or Locus Blade) that is strength User, AP-3 and 1 damage, that gives the bearer four additional attacks. This will be used most often on a Primus, giving him 8 attacks at S4. This is great for taking on hordes that are T4 or below. However, this is not a type of unit that the Genestealer Cults have an issue dealing with. The big drawback here is that it is limited to strength user, so you will struggle against tougher units in most situation. I prefer the other Relic Bonesword thanks to the increased strength and damage.
The Creed Warlord trait is Inscrutable Cunning. This gives you a free re-roll to hit, to wound or saving throw while your warlord is on the table. In addition, you gain D3 command points before the game begins if your army is battle-forged. This is not my first choice of warlord trait, as there are simply better ones available. However, it is not without its uses. Using the Broodcoven stratagem, you can give a walord trait to a Patriarch, Primus and Magus in your army.
I find this a great choice for the Magus, as there are not a great number of traits that suit them overall. Even if you roll a 1 for the number of command points, you are essentially getting the Broodcoven stratagem for free, as well as an additional re-roll.
Overall, I think the Cult of the Four-armed Emperor is a very strong Cult Creed. Not only does it have one of the best stratagems, it also gives a boost to charge rolls, which is key in a Genestealer Cults army. The Relic is not the best and the Warlord Trait is a nice addition if you take the Broodcoven stratagem.
Pauper Princes- Devoted Zealots
You can re-roll to hit rolls made for melee weapons with this unit in the turn that it charged, was charged or performed a heroic intervention.
This is a very strong Creed for the combat-centred Genestealer Cults army. This is going to be a huge bonus for Acolyte Hybrids and combat characters, or units such as Aberrants. Unfortunately, again it doesn’t apply to Genestealer units, which would be very strong for the army. Genestealer Cults units hit hard from reserves, but can easily melt away to enemy firepower in the following turn. Getting the most out of your ambushing units is key for success, so bonus re-rolls in combat are going to be a big boost.
The stratagem is called “Vengeance for the Martyred” and costs 1CP. It is used when an enemy unit destroys a Pauper Princes Character in the army. For the rest of the battle, add 1 to hit rolls for friendly units that target the enemy unit that was destroyed. This is a decent stratagem, giving you good bonuses against a selected enemy unit when they kill a character. This could also be useful for suiciding one of your cheap characters against a big unit, such as an Imperial Knight, giving you a nice bonus against the enemy unit in both shooting and assault.
The Relic is the Reliquary of Saint Tenndarc. All Pauper Princes units within 6″ automatically pass morale tests. In addition, each time an infantry or Biker model within 6″ is slain, on a 4+ they get to make a shooting attack with one weapon or a single melee attack as if it were the fight phase. This is a solid relic for me. Morale can be a big problem for Genestealer Cults, as their poor toughness and armour save makes them very susceptible to enemy firepower and morale. Getting another bubble that ignores morale is a nice boost to the force. The chance to strike back in combat when a model is slain is also a good bonus. The bonus shooting attack is nice, but I wouldn’t really expect it to do much, as the firepower of the army is not great.
The warlord trait is Beloved Grandsire and gives you +2 to Unquestioning Loyalty rolls for your warlord. This means that your warlord can pass on damage on a 2+, which is a big boost for aiding their survivability. If you are planning to throw your warlord into melee, this is a good trait to have. Surrounding them with enough cheap bodies to pass the wounds on to will work well in combination with this warlord trait.
Overall, another strong Cult Creed. Acolyte Hybrid units can put out a lot of strong attacks thanks to their Rending Claws and Heavy Rock weapons. Re-rolls to hit in combat are a big boost for this unit and will also make the most of strong units, such as Aberrants.
Hivecult- Discipled Militants
If a unit with this creed fails a morale test, halve the number of models that flee (rounding up). IN addition, the unit can still shoot when it falls back, but at -1 to hit.
Another decent creed. Genestealer Cults units have a good leadership value, but can be susceptible to morale penalties, especially in larger units. Getting to fall and back and still shoot is a strong ability in many armies, but I don’t think it is particularly strong in the army, as they are not the strongest of firepower armies, in my opinion.
The Creed stratagem is Chilling Efficiency and costs 2CP. Used after a Hivecult unit has caused a wound to an enemy unit in the shooting phase. Add 1 to hit rolls for attacks made by other friendly Hivecult units that target the same enemy unit. This has the potential to give the army a good firepower boost for taking on tough enemy units. This is particularly useful for Acolyte or Jackal units that use Demolition charges, giving you more of a chance of doing some very strong damage in a shooting phase. This gets even better when combined with the Jackal Alphus’ similar ability, allowing you to hit on a 2+ in most cases. The downside is that this cannot be used with Heavy Weapons Teams or the Leman Russ, two units you probably want to get a bonus from their shooting.
The relic is Vockor’s Talisman. This allows you to re-roll to hit rolls for attacks with the bearer’s melee weapons when targeting enemy characters. In addition, each time you roll a to wound roll of 6+ with the attacker’s melee weapons, the target suffers one mortal wound in addition to any normal damage (unless they are a Vehicle or Titanic). A decent relic that gives a boost to your combat characters. Most Genestealer Cults combat characters are hitting on a 2+ anyway, so there will only be a few times this is of use. The chance of doing bonus mortal wounds is a nice boost, but will not come up all that often. Probably a Relic I would avoid in most cases.
The Warlord trait is Hivelord. This allows you to re-roll to hit rolls of 1 for Hivecult units within 6″. A nice bonus, however, Genestealer Cults armies are not well known for their firepower output. Could come in handy for Demolition charges or heavy weapons fire from Neophyte Hybrids.
One of the poorer Cult Creeds for me. The Creed is decent enough, though I think there are better ones available. The stratagem, warlord trait and relic are so-so for me, probably not ones I would bother with in most cases.
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