GSC at Bristol Team Tournament Report- Game 1- Custodes

Hi everyone, Michael here with another tournament report. This time, my Genestealer Cults went to the Bristol Vanguard Team tournament. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

Last weekend, myself and some clubmates attended Vanguardians Assemble! at Bristol Independent Gaming. Team tournaments are fast becoming my favourite kind of 40k events to play in. The added tactics of match pairings are really fun, as well as the dynamics of playing well in a bad pairing. With the way the meta is at the moment (**cough, Harlequins, Tyranids, cough**), singles events are pretty hopeless for most players, unless you are playing one of the top armies.

Team events differ in that you only need to win the round over the sum of your games. This means you can face a really bad match up, but as long as you play well and try to maximise your score, you don’t need to necessarily win all your games to win the round for the team. It’s a great way to play 40k with a bunch of friends over the weekend and adds a fun new dynamic to the game.

Our team consisted of Drukhari, Thousand Sons, Aeldari and Genestealer Cults. I think Genestealer Cults are a great army for team events. They play quite differently to most other armies in the game and can catch people out with their movement tricks. They are also great for playing certain secondaries, so can count or racking up big secondary scores with ease.

My army was similar to the previous one I had taken to the ITT team tournament, but has been modified slightly based on my experiences at a couple of events. The new list was:

Battalion Detachment (Twisted Helix)

Patriarch- WARLORD, Prowling Agitant (Trait), Elixir of the Prime Specimen; Enhanced Resilience (Relic), Might from Beyond, Mass Hypnosis, Mutagenic Deviation

Magus- Familiar, Might from Beyond, Psychic Stimulus, Mutagenic Deviation

10 Acolyte Hybrids- 4 Heavy Rock Drills, A Trap Sprung

10 Acolyte Hybrids- 4 Heavy Rock Drills

5 Acolyte Hybrids- Lying in Wait, 5 Hand Flamers

5 Acolyte Hybrids- 5 Hand Flamers

5 Acolyte Hybrids

5 Acolyte Hybrids- From Every Angle

Kelermorph- A Perfect Ambush

Nexos- Cranial Inlay (Relic)

10 Purestrain Genestealers- They Came From Below

10 Purestrain Genestealers- Our Time is Nigh

10 Purestreain Genestealers

4 Atalan Jackals- 1 Demolition Charge

4 Atalan Jackals- 1 Demolition Charge

Goliath Truck

Goliath Truck

Patrol Detachment (Twisted Helix)

Magus- Familiar, Mass Hypnosis, Mind Control, Mutagenic Deviation, The Unwilling Orb

10 Neophyte Hybrids- Shotguns

10 Neophyte Hybrids

5 Acolyte Hybrids

10 Hybrid Metamorphs

You can read the reasonings behind the army and its function in my previous article.

One major change was swapping the Primus for a second Magus. The Primus wasn’t really adding much to my army. The way the army plays, I wasn’t really getting much out of his re-rolls. The second Magus allows me to have a dedicated psyker for carrying out Psychic Interrogation. This allows the other Magus to buff the army and not simply be a vessel for scoring secondaries.

I also dropped the Broodcoven stratagem to give two other characters warlord traits. With the exception of the patriarch, none of the other warlord traits I chose were really used in my games, and I found myself forgetting the characters even had them, so just got rid of them. I used the CP to take the Unwilling Orb on the second Magus. This gives me two denies that are board-wide. This is great for trying to shut down some Tyranid powers, or any other psykers in the game.

I also added another 5-man Acolyte squad for some secondary shennanigans, and a unit of Hybrid Metamorphs. The AP3 of this squad is great for dealing with Armour of Contempt, and the fight on death ability makes them great for dealing with tough units, or when I have a vital combat activation anywhere else on the table.

My first pairing of the day was against Sam and his Adeptus Custodes. We were playing Tear Down Their Icons. This is a great mission for the GSC and really suits the playstyle of my army. GSC were a favourable match up into the Custodes, even before their recent downgrade with the balance update.

Sam’s army consisted of:

Battalion Detachment (Adeptus Custodes, Emperor’s Chosen)

Shield Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike

Trajann Valoris

3 Custodian Guard

3 Custodian Guard

3 Custodian Guard

5 Witchseekers

5 Witchseekers

2 Allarus Terminators

3 Vetrus Praetors

Contemptor-Achilles Dreadnought

Caladius Grav-Tank

Cullexus Assassin

Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment (Imperial Knights, Freeblades)

3 Armiger Warglaives- Heavy Stubbers, Reaper Chain-Cleaver, Thermal Spear

A good match up for me. I had a ton more bodies than Sam. He had a ton of anti-vehicle firepower, but with only two transports that I don’t really care about, that was fine. The Witchseekers and Cullexus could be an issue for my psykers, but they could probably be dealt with quite easily.

For my secondaries, I took Deploy Teleport Homers, Behind Enemy Lines and Psychic Interrogation. I figured I could stay away from the Sisters and Assassins long enough to score this, and figured Sam would need to commit his characters anyway to the centre of the board. Sam took Stranglehold, Assassinate and No Prisoners.

Sam deployed his Armigers, Dreadnought, Trajann, a unit of Custodian Guard and Sisters on the left flank. The Grav-tank and other Custodian Guard went in the centre, while the remaining forces went in the ruins on the right flank. The two Terminators were held in reserve.

I deployed my blips across my deployment zone. I put the Jackals on each flank, ready to move up on objectives.

Sam won the first turn roll off. I used the move on the Jackals to move them out of line of sight.


The Witchfinders moved up on the objective on the left, the Armiger and Dreadnaught moving round slightly to support. The rest of the Custodes shuffled slightly into position, but most remaining in place. Surprisingly, he didn’t move the Bike up to the centre objective to get Stranglehold!

I deployed most of my forces hidden. I put the Truck with the Hybrid Metamorphs, the Patriarch the Nexos and Neophyte Hybrids behind the building on the left. In the central ruins, the Magus and Neophyte Hybrids were deployed. I put the other Truck behind some ruins on the right flank, while the Purestrain Genestealers deployed in the centre and used their “They Came From Below” move to push on the central objective.

The shooting phase was minimal thanks to most of my forces hidden. However, the Grav-Tank was able to target the Genestealers thanks to some poor placement and kill 5 of them. I passed the morale test though.

At the end of his turn, Sam scored no points.

My turn began and I went on the attack. The Genestealers in the Truck on the right disembarked and I used a stratagem to advance them 6″ towards the Witchseekers on the objective. I moved the Truck on the left up onto the objective, supported by the Patriarch and a unit of Atalan Jackals. The now 5-man Genestealers stayed on the central objective. Finally, I brought in a unit of Acolyte Hydrids (using From Every Angle) to deploy Teleport Homers next to the enemy deployment zone.

In the psychic phase, the Patriarch cast Psychic Interrogation for 3 pts. Shooting was minimal, as I didn’t have range on much.

In the charge phase, the Genestealers charged and killed the Witchseekers, taking the objective from them.

At the end of my turn, I scored 2 pts for Teleport Homers and 3 for Psychic Interrogation.

A good start for the Cult, as I had a lot of board control and had taken out one of the anti-psyker elements.


Sam scored 4 pts on the Primary. The Armigers and Dreadnaught moved up on the Purestrains, while the squads on the right moved up on the Acolyte Hybrids.

In the shooting phase, the Acolyte squad were wiped out. The Grav-tank took the Truck on the objective down to 2 wounds. In the charge phase, the Armigers, Dreadnaught and Trajann charged the Genestealers. Trajjan attacked first, only managing to kill four of the Purestrains. The rest of the attacks only managed to kill another few Genestealers after some great saves from me. My attacks back did 5 wounds on one of the Armiger. I failed my morale and lost all but one of the Purestrains.

Sam again failed to score Stranglehold, and no points for Assassinate.

At the start of my second turn, I scored 12 pts for the Primary. The Purestrains moved up on the Custodian Guard, while the Atalan Jackals advanced to hold the central objective. The other Truck moved up towards the enemy lines. I brought in some reserves. I brought in two units of 5-man Acolytes on the right flank, one doing Teleport Homers and the other planting a bomb for the mission. A unit of Acolytes also landed on the right flank to try and grab the objective.

I cast Psychic Interrogation again with the Magus. The Patriarch used Gestalt Consciousness to give the Acolyte Hybrids an extra attack with Might From Beyond.

With little shooting, the Acolytes charged the damaged Armiger, destroying it with their Rock Drills. Trajann killed the last Purestrain Genestealer that he was in combat with. The 5-man Genestealer squad charged the Custodian Guard in the centre, killing one and tagging the Grav-Tank. The Custodian Guard were able to kill four more of the squad. The lone Genestealer passed his morale.

At the end of my turn, I scored 4 pts for Teleport Homers and Behind Enemy Lines, and 3 more for Psychic Interrogation. At the end of turn 2, the GSC were up 28-6.


Sam scored only 4 pts on the primary again. The Custodes moved to target the Cult troops behind their lines. The Armigers were blocked in once more. The Captain on the jetbike moved to target the two Acolyte Squads. The Grav-tank fell back, using a stratagem to be able to shoot. The Terminators arrived near the central objective to target the Jackals.

In the shooting phase, the Jetbike Captain wiped out one squad of Acolytes with his Hurricane Bolters. The Grav-tank destroyed the Truck, killing one Hybrid Metamorph in the crash. The rest of the firepower was able to kill four more of the Metamorphs, after I spent a CP to give them +1 save. One Armiger failed to hit the other Truck, while the other managed to do 5 damage on it.

In the charge phase, the Captain charged the other Acolyte squad, but only managed to kill three, while Trajann and the Dreadnaught slaughtered the Acolyte Hybrids.

In my third turn, the Hybrid Metamorphs advanced on the Custodes’ home objective. The Acolytes fell back from combat with the Captain. I brought in the other unit of Acolytes on the left flank to deploy Teleport Homers, with the last Genestealer squad supporting them. I brought in the Acolytes near the central objective. The Kelermorph and Magus landed in the bubble near the rest of the squads in the ruins. I then used Return to the Shadows to put a unit of Neophytes in reserve, the Nexos moving up to the Jackals for protection.

I got Psychic Interrogation again, and gave the Metamorphs and extra attack with Might From Beyond.

In the shooting phase, the Kelermoprh fired at the Terminators, killing one. The other was slain by the Demolition Charge from the Atalan Jackals, after using Primed Explosives to get 6 shots with it.

In the charge phase, I had to use a CP re-roll to make the 5″ charge on the Witchseekers. I then failed the charge with the Purestrains and the Acolyte Squad. The Metamorphs killed the Witchseekers to claim the objective.

At the end of the turn, I scored four more points for Behind Enemy Lines and Teleport Homers.


The Armigers, Trajann and the Dreadnaught were finally able to move up on the GSC lines. The Jetbikers moved up on the central objective, while the Captain moved to engage the Purestrains.

The Jetbike Captain killed the Acolytes in the backfield. While the Jetbikers killed the 10-man squad in front of them. The combined firepower of the Armigers and Dreadnaught were able to kill the Jackals on the central objective. The Custodian guard moved to get their home objective, killing the Metamorph Hybrids on it.

In the charge phase, the Captain assaulted the Purestrain Genestealers, but was only able to kill five of them.

At the end of his turn, Sam finally scored Stranglehold.

In my turn, I scored 8 pts on the Primary. The Genestealers fell back towards the Custodian Guard on the objective. I moved the Truck up to move block the Armigers, while the Jackals moved to grab the central objective. I brought in the Neophytes, putting them on the right to do Teleport Homers.

In the psychic phase, I got Psychic Interrogation and cast Psychic Stimulus on the Genestealers using Gestalt Consciousness.

The Jackals threw their Demo charge at the Armiger, doing a few wounds. The Purestrains charged the Custodian Guard and managed to kill two for the loss of one in reply, not enough to get me the objective.

I scored four points for Behind Enemy Lines and Teleport Homers once more.


Sam was able to score 12 on the Primary this turn. He moved the Jetbikers up towards the Patriarch, while the Bike Captain moved to support the Custodian guard.

One Armiger killed the Truck, while the other killed the Jackals in the centre. The Bikers targeted the Patriarch, but could only take a couple of wounds. The Dreadnought and Custodian Guard killed all but two of the Neophytes.

In the charge phase, the Jetbikes tried to charge the Patriarch, but I used Prowling Agitant to move him out of range. Trajann and Custodian Guard failed a charge on the two Neophytes. The Jetbike Captain charged in and killed the Genestealers.

I spent 2 CP to keep the last 2 Neophytes on the table.

In my final turn, I advanced the backfield Neophyte squad onto the central objective. The other squad got me the last points on Teleport Homers. The Patriarch got Psychic Interrogation as well to max that.

At the end of the turn, I also maxed out Behind Enemy Lines and the bomb I planted gave me four more pts.

At the end of the game, it was 99-55 for the GSC.


That was a good game for the GSC. They have a really good match up against Custodes, as they can simply flood the board with bodies, and the Custodes’ stratagems don’t affect the GSC too much.

Getting first turn was great. I was able to move block the Armigers and Dreadnoughts on the first few turns thanks to my advance moves, really hindering their impact on the game.

Other than that, the game played out very similar to my games against Custodes. Use the movement tricks of the GSC to steal the primary objectives and score my secondary objectives, trading in each time with my cheaper units. The rest of our team also scored victories, giving us the win for the round.

My next game would see the GSC take on the Blood Angels.

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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.
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