Hi everyone, Michael here with part 2 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 review will also take a look at the other three Cult Creeds, as well as the Creed-specific warlord traits, Relics and stratagems available.
The Bladed Cog- Cyborgised Hybrids
All models with this save have a 6+ invulnerable save. Models with this creed that have an invulnerable save already, increase it by 1 up to a maximum of 3+. In addition, infantry models with the creed that move don’t suffer the penalty to their hit rolls for moving and firing Heavy weapons.
An army-wide 6+ invulnerable save is a nice bonus for a force, allowing you to block a few wounds over the course of the game. Oddly, there are not many non-Genestealer units that have an invulnerable save. This bonus does not apply to the Patriarch or Purestrain Genestealers. This gives the Kelermorph or Locus a 4+ invulnerable save that should be a nice boost for their durability.
The stratagem is Overthrow the Oppressors, costing 1CP. Use when a Bladed Cog unit is selected to fight (excluding Genestealers once more) in the Fight phase. Until the end of the phase, each unmodified roll of a 6 to hit allows you to make an additional attack with that weapon (these bonus attacks cannot generate further attacks themselves). Against Imperium units, you generate an extra attack on a 5 or 6, against Mechanicus units you generate extra attacks on a 4, 5 or 6. This is a fantastic stratagem against Imperium or Mechanicus armies, giving you great odds of getting further attacks in combat. Given the volume of attacks that many Genestealer Cults units can put out, you should even be able to get a few bonus attacks against other armies as well.
The Relic is Mark of the Clawed Omnissisah. This gives the bearer a 4+ invulnerable save. In addition, each time the model finishes a charge move, select one enemy unit within 1″. On a 2+, they suffer a mortal wound. This is a nice way to give your character an invulnerable save, which many Genestealer Cult characters lack. This gives most characters a 3+ invulnerable save thanks to the Cult Creed, which is a big boost to their durability. Even though the Patriarch does not get the Creed bonus, it is still a useful relic to give them access to a 4+ invulnerable save.
The warlord trait is Single-Minded Obsession. After deployment, but before the first battle round, pick an enemy unit. All Bladed Cog units within 6″ of your warlord can re-roll failed to wound rolls against the selected target. This is a great boost for big threats to the army, such as an Imperial Knight, giving you a nice bonus to potentially taking it out in the shooting or fight phase.
Overall, a pretty solid Creed. Almost army-wide 6+ invulnerable saves can be a nice annoyance when they stop powerful shots or let you survive a bit longer. The relic and warlord trait are decent. The stratagem can be very effective against selected armies, particularly those of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Any Adeptus Mechanicus Imperial Knights could be in big trouble against a particularly tooled-up combat unit, as the combination of effects means taht you could be getting additional attacks on a 4+ and re-rolls to wound against it if your warlord is nearby. For Aberrants with Heavy Power Hammers or Acolytes with Heavy Rock weapons, these could pose a potent threat to many enemy units.
The Rusted Claw- Nomadic Survivalists
When making armour saving throws for a model with this Creed, add 1 to the save against attacks that have an AP value of 0 or -1. In addition, Biker models do not suffer the penalty to hit rolls for moving and firing heavy weapons or advancing and shooting assault weapons.
This is a pretty solid bonus for an infantry-heavy army, giving your infantry units a 4+ save against AP 0 weapons. This is a big boost for the durability of your infantry models. It also works out well for the new Biker units in the army, allowing them to have some more accurate firepower on the move. Units with this Creed in cover will be hard to shift with small arms fire, giving them a 3+ armour save against most basic weapons, doubling their durability in most cases.
The stratagem is Drive-by Demolitions for 1CP. A Rusted Claw Biker unit adds +1 to hit when using Grenade Weapons in the shooting phase. In addition, once all the shooting attacks have been resolved, the unit may move again as it if were the movement phase, but may not charge. A solid stratagem for a unit of Jackals loaded up with Demolition charges. When paired with Extra Explosives (allowing up to 10 models to fire grenades, or up to 5 Demolition charges), this gives you a very strong firepower unit for drive-by attacks on tough enemy units, hitting on a 3+ in most cases (or 2+ when paired with a Jackal Alphus). Just be aware, that if you deploy the Biker unit from reserve, you cannot use this stratagem to move in the same turn.
The Relic is the Metallophagus Staff. This is a Force Stave that is strength +2, AP -5 and D3 damage. In addition, each time you roll a 4+ to wound a vehicle, it suffers an additional mortal wound (or D3 mortal wounds on a 6+). A pretty strong weapon for a Magus. However, the Magus is not the greatest of combat characters, so you probably don’t want them in melee all that often. A nice bonus against vehicles with the chance to do additional mortal wounds, but a Magus on his own is going to struggle to do much damage to a vehicle (as he is only S5 even with the Staff).
The Warlord trait is Entropic Touch. Each time you roll an unmodified to wound roll of 6 within 6″ of the warlord, the AP of your attack is improved by 1. This has limited use for models armed with Rending Claws, are you are already AP-4 on a roll of a 6 to wound, so going up to AP-5 is not a boost in most cases. Useful for attacks with Cultist Knives or for other weapons that are AP-3 or less in the army.
I think this is one of the stronger Cult Creeds in the army. The boost to your durability against shooting attacks and in combat will be great for the army. A 4+ save against any AP 0 or AP-1 attacks is not to be discounted against a wide range of opponents.
Twisted Helix- Experimental Subjects
Add 1 to the strength characteristics of models with this Cult Creed. Also, add 2 to advance rolls for the unit.
Again, a really powerful creed for an infantry melee army. Going up to S5 for the Acolyte Hybrids is going to greatly boost their combat potential, allowing you to wound most infantry on a 3+. Even Neophyte Hybrids at S4 are going to be able to put up a fight against enemy units now. The Abominant now goes up to S7, allowing it to wound most vehicles on a 2+ with its Power Sledgehammer. The bonus to advance moves is also a nice boost, allowing most units to go a minimum of 9″ when advancing, great for moving about to grab objectives.
The stratagem is Monstrous Bio-Horrors for 3CP. This allows a Twisted Helix Aberrant unit to fight again at the end of the fight phase. In addition, until the end of the turn, enemy units within 6″ are at -1 Ld. A great boost for Aberrant units to fight once more to cause maximum damage to an enemy unit. I only wish this could apply to any units, as Genestealer Cults would really benefit from the ability to fight again in the fight phase, like many other armies have access to.
The Relic is Elixir of the Prime Specimen. This increases the Attacks, Toughness and Wounds of the bearer by 1. This is a great boost for a Patriarch, taking it up to T6, 7 wounds and 7 attacks. It is also a nice bonus on a Primus, Abominant, or any of the other combat characters in the army.
The Warlord Trait is Bio-Alchemist. This increases the damage characteristic of weapons (other than Relics) carried by the warlord by 1. Again, a nice bonus for a Patriarch, taking his monstrous rending claws up to damage 2-4. Also pretty strong on the Abominant, taking the damage from the Power Sledgehammer up to 4-7.
Overall, I think Twisted Helix is one of the strongest of the Cult Creeds. The main combat potential of the army, the Acolyte Hybrids go up to S5, allowing them to wound most basic infantry on a 3+. This is a big boost to their combat potential. The stratagem is nice if you are fielding Aberrants, but obviously useless if you are not. The Relic and Warlord Trait are also big big boost for a combat character, especially when used in combination to create a combat monster.
The Cult has access to some very powerful Creeds. For me, Cult of the Four Armed Emperor, Twisted Helix and Rusted Claw are among the best choices. They really boost most of the army’s combat potential or durability, which is something the Genestealer Cults need.
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