Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Elites: Clamavus

HI everyone, Michael here with a review of another of the great support characters for the Genestealer Cults, the Clamavus. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

Overview:

The Clamavus is the hype man of the Genestealer Cults army, rocking a killer soundsystem and providing some very strong buffs to the army. He gives nearby units bonuses to their charge roll and Leadership, while also preventing enemy reserves from landing nearby. The Clamavus costs 55 points.

I would rate the Clamavus as Competitive. He provides a great bonus to the charge roll of nearby Genestealer Cult units, as well as other useful abilities for a very modest points cost. A Genestealer Cults army should have at least one of these in the list, if not more.

Wargear:

  • Autopistol

Abilities:

  • Cult Ambush
  • Unquestioning Loyalty
  • Scrambler Array- Enemy units that are set up on the battlefield as reinforcements cannot be set up within 12″ of this model. In addition, at the start of your Shooting phase, roll a D6 for each enemy unit that is within 6″ of any Clamavus from your army. On the roll of a 6, that enemy unit suffers 1 mortal wound.
  • Proclaimer Hailer- Add 1 to the Leadership characteristic of <Cult> units whilst they are within 6″ of any friendly Clamavuses. In addition, add 1 to Advance and Charge rolls made for <Cult> units that are within 6″ of any friendly <Cult> Clamavuses when the roll is made.

Tactics:

Much like many of the Genestealer Cult characters, the Clamavus is a great support character to boost nearby units. He has a modest statline, with WS and BS 3+, toughness and strength of 3, four wounds, 3 attacks and a 5+ save. He comes only with an Autopistol and no combat weapon to speak of. As a result, don’t expect much from him in the shooting phase or fight phase. He is also pretty easy to take out with enemy attacks, but does benefit from Unquestioning Loyalty being useful to keep him alive for a bit longer.

However, it is not his combat prowess that makes the Clamavus such a valuable addition to the army. It is his special abilities that make him such a worthy support character and an essential tool for the Genestealer Cults.

For me, his best ability is the +1 to charge and advance rolls for units within 6″. This is great for helping your units get into combat, especially when deploying from reserve. With the ability to Cult Ambush, you can generally deploy the Clamavus where he will be most effective, supporting your other combat units and helping to ensure that they can make a successful charge.

This ability is even better, as it can be combined with several other such abilities in the Genestealer Cult army to help you get off a successful charge. When added to the Cult of the Four Armed Emperor Cult Creed, you now need a 7″ charge on turn 1, or on a turn in which the unit arrives from reserve. You can add these abilities to useful stratagems in the army (such as A Perfect Ambush) or the specialist detachments (Anointed Throng or Deliverance Broodsurge) to help ensure that your units can get into combat.

I tend to field at least 2 Clamavuses in my Genestealer Cult army. This allows me to maximise their effectiveness and help as many reserve units to get into combat and do maximum damage. The combination of a Clamavus and Primus provides some very strong buffs to nearby units, maximising their combat effectiveness.

The +1 to Leadership for nearby units is also a strong bonus for nearby units, as morale can be an area where Genestealer Cults suffer. This gets better when combined with an Acolyte Iconward for the re-roll to failed morale tests.

The Leadership bonus is also great for the Mental Onslaught psychic power. With the high Leadership of the Patriarch and Magus, this further increases the odds of doing mortal wounds on an enemy model, seriously harming or even slaying them.

The ability to restrict enemy reserves from deploying within 12″ can also be a big bonus for shutting down counter-assaults on your own reserves units. With proper positioning, you can prevent your opponent from bringing in reserves to grab table objectives or secondary objectives.

The ability to do mortal wounds to nearby enemy units in the shooting phase is a nice bonus, but I honesty don’t think it has ever come up in my games. It is a good ability to have and could contribute a few wounds to nearby enemy units if you can remember to use it.

I don’t tend to bother with a warlord trait or relic on the Clamavus. He is too fragile to be your warlord and tends to get up close to the enemy army to have maximum effect, leaving him vulnerable to being taken out.

Counters

When facing the Cult, the Clamavus is one of the support characters that you may want to target for elimination to reduce the effectiveness of nearby units. Given his low toughness and armour save and only 4 wounds, the Clamavus is quite susceptible to most shooting and combat attacks. Even standard infantry units will have little trouble taking out the Clamavus if they can get him on their own.

The only stumbling block for taking out the Clamavus (other than the character rule) is Unquestioning Loyalty. This allows characters to pass on wounds to models within 3″. This can make him surprisingly durable to enemy firepower or combat attacks if your opponent is rolling well for these saves. Sniper weapons are obviously good for taking out the support characters of the Cult. Most of these are low toughness models with poor armour saves and no form of invulnerable, so are very vulnerable to Sniper units that can target characters.

Due to his ability to shut down your reserves, if you have a reserve-heavy army, you will want to target the Clamavus as soon as possible in order to free up your ability to deploy your own reserves effectively. If you are taking the first turn, then your reserves will likely be coming in first on turn 2. As many of the Clamavuses and units they are supporting will be coming in after your own, you can use your screening units and own reserves to block placement options and funnel the cult reserves where you want them.

Any ability to reduce the move of enemy units will help to mitigate the effects of the Clamavus on Cult units. However, as many of the units will be coming in from Cult Ambush, it can be difficult to target such units before they are able to charge. On subsequent turns, however, such abilities can be useful for shutting down powerful combat units in the Cult, rendering some of the Clamavus’ abilities less effective.

As the Cult is likely to contain a high number of support characters, it makes the army a prime candidate for taking the Headhunter secondary objective. As mentioned above, most of these characters will be pretty easy to kill if you can get them on their own and target them, probably allowing you to get maximum points from this secondary.

Overall

The Clamavus is a great support character for the Genestealer Cults army. They are very cheap and provide some essential buffs for combat units to help them get into combat. I tend to run at least 2 of these characters in my army, as their support can be effective in many areas of the battlefield. When combined with the Cult of the Four Armed Emperor, this gives nearby units a 7″ charge when coming out of Ambush, giving you better than 50% chance of making a charge without any other bonuses. This is great for ensuring you get maximum units into combat, making the most of your reserves on the turn they arrive.

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

2 Responses to “Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Elites: Clamavus”

  1. cthoss August 7, 2019 1:20 am #

    As this comes up so often and grinds my gears:

    The odds of rolling a 7 or higher on 2d6 are not 50%, they are 21 out of 36 or 58,33%, which is significantly more

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