Extremely Early Thoughts for Genestealer Cults

Finally, at long last I can return to my one true love in the Genestealer Cults. I dropped them so hard when 9th Edition was released I will be shocked if my Cult models allow me to place them on a tabletop again, but now with a new GSC book on the horizon we can all start to heal from this dysfunctional relationship. GSC are currently in a terrible place in 40k. They are arguably (Tau would have the most compelling argument) the worst army in the game with units that are hilariously over costed and underpowered. The Cults have zero ability to stick on Objectives in a game where 50% of the points score are from surviving on an Objective throughout your opponents turn, their hard hitting melee units have the defensive stats of an Imperial Guardsman, and their best synergies came from a book that is no longer tournament legal. All of this negativity is behind us now my fellow Cult members! We are getting a new Codex soon, and while it might be amazing or it might be just ok, it cannot be as bad as what we have currently.

I’m going to start with a unit that started out as the main terrifying monsters of people’s nightmares in the Abberants. When the Muscle Beach list hit the tournament scene with it’s 20 Abberants smashing their way through opponent’s armies it was clear something needed to be done. GW addressed the problem quickly and efficiently with some points increases. Then GW addressed the problem again. Then, at the start of 9th Edition, GW took all of their rage, anger, and insecurities out on the poor Abberants to make a unit of 10 cost 350pts. This unit will undoubtedly go down in points, but I would also like to see the Abberants Toughness increased to 5. With the increased lethality of the game they are going to need some serious durability changes in order to not be a unit that get removed from the table once they reveal themselves from behind terrain.

imagine if this guy was playable again?!

The Cult Creeds in the GSC Codex were innovative and new at the time of the 8th Edition Codex release, but now they are really showing their age. It is my hope that everything in the book benefits from the Cult Creed instead of just Bikes and Infantry. I doubt Brood Brothers will gain the Creeds (assuming Brood Brothers is still a thing), but I do hope they at least give Vehicles and Genestealers access to Cult Creeds.

The last thing I really wish to see in this Codex is the return of the shenanigans the GSC were originally known for. GW did an excellent job with the use of Blips, Stratagems and the ability for the GSC to ignore the Reserve rules throughout the game in order to make this faction really feel like an army that was executing a plan generations in the making. It would be very sad to see the GSC loose some of their abilities like being able to pull of unit off the table to put back into reserves, blips, or the ability to be placed on the table within 9 inches of an enemy model. All of these abilities have made the Cults a very rewarding army to play, and most of the fun I had while playing the army was finding ways to utilize the GSC shenanigans to their maximum potential.

I want ALL of this deploying inside of 9 of my opponent army

While wish listing is sometimes fun the reality is there is so little known about the new Codex there is no way to tell how the new Genestealer Cults book will perform upon release. However, we do have some information on a new Character the faction is getting in the Saboteur. I was very excited to see a model like this added to the Faction. Placing little bombs on the battlefield as traps for your opponent is a perfect fit for the GSC!

First, I need to acknowledge the army strength of this Cult member. If they were to try out for the NFL they would make the team no problem. Chucking bombs 24 inches across the battlefield is amazing! I am so glad GW recognized this model would be basically useless if given a shorter range. It is safe to assume the Saboteur wont have the defensive profile of a Dark Angels Terminator, so it will need all the protection it can get to keep slinging those bombs.

Speaking of protections GW also previewed two rules for the new Character model. One give an extra +1 to Cover, much like the Sanctus’ current rules in the GSC book, and another doesn’t allow your opponent to target the unit if more then 12 inches away. This second rule could really be the answer to the Cult’s biggest weakness in their durability. It would be extremely thematic if you could not target some Cult units until you were close to them and they revealed themselves. Only time will tell if more than just Characters will receive this rule in the Codex.

As more previews come out for the new GSC book we will get a better picture of what this army might be. Right now we don’t know how they will play, what the units will do, or even if they will be any good. With this Codex, more then any of the others, GW could go any number of different ways in interpreting the lore behind the GSC to make it shine through to the tabletop game. One thing I know for certain is we almost definitely cannot get worse then we already are (please GW do not take this as a challenge).

About Eric Shifflett

If my wife ever makes good on her threat to do an inventory of the models in my garage I'd have a real problem on my hands. Until then, I enjoy playing GSC (along with some other armies located in the garage) at local tournaments and hope one day to prove my gaming group wrong about how terrible I am at this game I love.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply