9th Edition Faction Focus: Genestealer Cults

An article by    Gaming Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

9th edition is on the way, and with it a whole raft of changes to the factions of Warhammer 40,000. With the Munitorum Field Manual out in the wild, the Faction FAQs released and the first details of the Grand Tournament Mission Pack shown on stream, now’s a good time to start taking a look at what’s changed for all of our favourite armies. Today, The Genestealer Understander has logged on, and Wings is once again being forced at clawpoint to write about his “favourite” faction.

As you might have gotten hints of if you’ve checks notes read other articles I’ve written or paid attention to our social media feed, you might have a vague impression that Genestealer Cults (GSC) are having a bit of a rough time of the 9th changes. That is, ultimately, true but just like any faction once you start to dig into it there’s a bit more nuance to it, and not everything is pure doom and gloom. The Genestealer Cults codex was basically distilled uncut competitive 8th edition, and a lot of the core changes to the game and missions in 9th impact on how it plays – and not always negatively. Point changes were pretty rough for the army, but a few of their key units got off relatively lightly, giving a foundation to build on. They do, also, still have a truly dizzying array of options available to them. In today’s faction focus, we’ll look at how you can best adapt your own personal purple revolution to changing times.

Overview

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

As alluded to above, 9th’s core rules and mission design probably have more structural impacts on Genestealer Cults than almost any other faction. With that in mind, we’ll start with a quick summary of positive and negative changes (including to points) before looking at high level consequences from these.

The Good

  • Overwatch becoming a stratagem makes small melee units much more usable and threatening.
  • Cult Ambush’s ability to be reactive in deployment is exceptionally good in the missions, allowing GSC to adapt to going first or second on the fly. Use Scanner Decoys a lot.
  • The game being one turn shorter reduces the time the enemy has to recover from an early lead, which GSC certainly used to be able to build.
  • Smaller board gives your opponent less space to hide.
  • Small melee missiles are excellent at denying your opponent primary points.
  • Acolytes, Ridgerunners and many characters stay competitively priced.
  • Good at doing Actions.
  • Harder for opponents to fully zone out space without exposing characters to being shot.

The Bad

  • List building is a nightmare – much harder to bring in all the cults you want, and a struggle to fit HQs needed.
  • Partially as a consequence, one of the few factions that will regularly have fewer CP than before.
  • Brittle units will struggle to stay on mid-board objectives to max primary points.
  • Coherency rules and Blast hurt big Acolyte units a lot.
  • Challenging point hikes on a lot of units, especially some of the tougher ones.
  • Special weapon options get frustrating point increases.
  • Wrap escape stratagem means you can’t rely on rolling tri-points to control the game.
  • Apparent loss of the Deliverance Broodsurge in competitive play is a major blow.

What It All Means

Genestealer Cults Characters

Genestealer Cults Characters. Credit: That Gobbo

My experience with playing 9th edition thus far is that games are won and lost on a brutal, cut-throat struggle for control of the mid board, and whatever else has happened to them GSC still have the ability to make a mid-table close-quarters throwdown a scary prospect for your opponent, at least for the first few turns of the game. Combining that with the stock of small units of rocksaw Acolytes actually going significantly up relative to almost everything else, my game plan for GSC would be broadly focused around forcing an opponent to commit to a mid-board fight at the start of the game, and then utilising carefully measured out waves of reinforcements to try and keep that fight going long enough that I come out on top of the primary scoring. Just burying an opponent under sheer numbers isn’t going to work any more, but there is still definitely a game plan here – especially because if you bring the Cult of the Four Armed Emperor, you do effectively have a once-per-game wrap chip you can sometimes cash in. Ridgerunners are also still just fantastic fire support, being able to counter deploy and do more damage on the move, and even gaining Blast on their big gun to up the output against things like larger Primaris squads.

With that consideration in mind, I basically want three things from my GSC armies:

  • Lots of Acolytes, in a mix of small and big units
  • Ridgerunners
  • Some sort of at least moderately durable third element

Because you’re now, realistically, aiming for a maximum of two detachments most of the time, I think that mostly leads you to take a Four Armed Emperor detachment for the Acolytes and either a Rusted Claw or Bladed Cog detachment for the rest of the army, depending on which way you want to go for a mobile, moderately durable element (more on that later). This obviously isn’t an especially nuclear take, as those were very much the higher performing Cults before, but I strongly suspect the days of two pure detachments and one weirdo mixed one to access stratagems and relics are dead in the water – doing that denies you access to the amount of CP you need to make it worthwhile in the first place, and fixed relic choices on army lists reduce the effectiveness anyway. I do think that enough power is tied up in Cult Creeds (plus you need the HQ slots) that you probably do end up running two, and I’d probably start most lists with a Battalion and either a second Battalion or a Patrol. Oh, also – while the FAQ doesn’t really add any cost for them, I basically expect Brood Brothers detachments to be completely dead in the near term – there’s nothing you want from them that justifies the cost of tacking on another detachment.

We’ll come back to army lists at the end to look at how to put this into practice, but before we do let’s take a tour through the changes within each Battlefield Role and see what we’ve got to play with.

Units

HQ

Genestealer Cults Patriarch

Genestealer Cults Patriarch. Credits: That Gobbo

The HQ slot stays a real strength for GSC, with really only one unit having a notably bad time. Patriarchs go up 10pts, but remain a steal at 135, while most other things follow the standard trend, being rounded up to the next 5pts and then having 5 added, so picking up increases in the 5-7pts range, largely keeping them good value.

The only massive outlier is the Primus – unfortunately the fact that his equipment previously cost 3 ends up disastrous for him, because his base cost is increased to 80 and then 2pts added to the sword as well, for a total increase of 10pts on a unit that could comfortably have only gotten 5. He retains a powerful aura effect, but might see a slight drop in utilisation because of it.

The only other thing to note here is that Familiars got rounded up to 15pts each. Taking one to turn into The Crouchling. Is still fine.

Troops

Acolyte Hybrid with Rocksaw

Acolyte Hybrid with Rocksaw
Credit: Pendulin

So first up, the very good news – almost uniquely for models coming in squads of five, Acolytes got the “horde” treatment of only going up a single point each, and rocksaws stayed the same price. I doubt I need to explain to any GSC players why that’s a very, very good thing, and as discussed in the preamble not having to worry as much about 5-model squads getting popped by bolter fire in overwatch makes running small units as “spoilers” for objectives a real consideration. The news is a bit less good for the legendary hand-flamer bomb – the flamers themselves go up a point each, taking you to ten points a model. Potentially still worth considering, but where a maxed out squad of 20 with an icon and 8 saws goes up under 10% in cost, 20 with flamers increases by 25%, meaning your investment is substantially higher (especially with CP a bit more at a premium). Coupled with no longer playing in an ITC format where bleeding kills from small squads is really bad, I expect to see more small squads packing saws, and fewer hand flamer bombs. The only remaining thing to be aware of with these is that the change in the way weapon strength buffs apply means that a squad with +1S only hits S9 on their saws rather than S10, which is relevant against exactly Centurions. Luckily, those got punted pretty hard, so having to plan to go through a whole army of them is a much smaller consideration.

Neophyte Hybrids

Genestealer Cults Neophyte Hybrids. Credit: Corrode

Both of GSC’s other troops options also get the 1pt treatment, which is nice, though there are some other factors at play here. Brood Brothers I expect to see less of – one of the key uses of them was to fill out mixed detachments where their lack of Cult Creed was meaningless anyway. Since I don’t expect nearly as many mixed detachments I expect a corresponding dropoff in these, especially because Neophytes can benefit from various additional durability boosts. The only fringe possibility here is that the cheapness of a squad of these in a Chimera might have some objective grabbing utility – as I’ll outline in army building, a big change for this army is that they do need something that can assertively move onto mid-board objectives turn one – but I think that’ll probably come from elsewhere.

Finally, Neophytes. One extra point a model here is good too, though there are some side-grades in their equipment. All the special weapons, along with heavy stubbers get rounded up to 5pts, which is bad and probably means most of them aren’t worth it. However, the mining laser and seismic cannon both go down two points to 10, which is good. Realistically, the mining laser is still king here – take it and enjoy it. While you do thus end up with a slight downgrade in the output of the squads without the nearly-free webbers on top, that means 10-model units of these with lasers only climbs up to 80pts instead of 74pts, which is extremely below rate and means there probably is still an angle on Bladed Cog lists flooding parts of the board with them.

Elites

While Troops got off relatively lightly, Elites are more of a mixed bag.

Genestealer Cults Clamavus

Genestealer Cults Clamavus. Credits: That Gobbo

The characters, largely, are fine. All of them went up 5pts, and that basically changes the calculation on none of them – if you were going to take one you still do. The only possible exception is the Sanctus, who loses quite a bit of utility to no longer being able to flex-pick the Gift From Beyond, especially as it also gets weaker with the wound modifier cap. If you want a nightmare sniper to hold over the head of your enemy, I’d be drawn even more towards a Kelermorph with Oppressor’s Bane, as it’s far more general-purpose. The reduction in the ability of enemy characters to safely screen out the backfield also makes it much harder for many opponents to play keep-away on them.

Unit-wise this section is, sadly, more of a bust. Purestrains actually get a relatively generous increase of only two points each, but it doesn’t make you want to take them over Acolytes for pretty much any purpose. Aberrants, everyone’s favourite largest sons, don’t catch the break they really needed after the last Chapter Approved, going up an additional four points per model (thanks to a point on the picks) to a minimum 32ppm. Even if you take the (deeply inferior) heavy power hammer option on hypermorphs, that still leaves you with a minimum cost of 330pts for a full squad of these (increasing to 360 with the stop signs) and they’re just not worth that. I know I said you’re looking for some more durable options in the new missions, but point to wound ratio is part of assessing durability and these just don’t add up. A real missed opportunity here – these needed the “stable cost” treatment at minimum. They also lost access to their Specialist Detachment too. I live in fear that someone is now going to make these work and I’m going to look very silly, but I’ll take that risk.

Aberrants

These boys stay on the shelf for another year, probably. Credit: Corrode

Finally, our other disappointment here is Metamorphs. These got extremely aggressive point cuts in CA2019, taking them to the edges of playability, really only kept out by the low value of the Elites slot. In addition, metamorph whips (which let them fight on death) would be extremely good in 9th missions, as they threaten to prevent an enemy that tries to fight them off an objective from taking the point back, messing with both secondary and primary scoring for the opponent – exactly what this army now lives and dies on.

Sadly, presumably in recognition of this fact, these got slapped with a massive cost increase, jumping from 7ppm to 11ppm base. I realise I’ve just outlined a bunch of reasons why these get better in 9th, but I don’t think the magnitude of improvement is nearly enough to justify that, even with the whip trick in mind. Their other weapon options also all went up in cost, making the whip the only game in town. Popping a whip squad up on an objective is sufficiently great against some opponents that I think there’s still the faintest chance of a single squad seeing some play as a counter for other melee armies, but I’m not optimistic.

Credit: BuffaloChicken

Fast Attack

GSC’s signature Fast Attack units, the Ridgerunner and Atalan Jackals have been absolute powerhouses in most of their recently successful builds, so this is an important slot for them. The news is good for the Ridgerunner and mixed for the bikes.

Ridgerunner first. This gets a very modest increase and remains extremely cost effective, with the chassis going up 5 and the two heavy stubbers by 3 each. At 70 for a HML/flare launcher build (which even if you weren’t already, you should now take 100% of the time as the other main guns went up), these are still very relevant threats and I expect most lists will run the full nine, maybe only considering pulling down to 6 to avoid giving max points on the Bring It Down secondary.

Credit: Soggy

Atalan Jackals are much more of a mixed bag. The bad news up front – these got an above rate point hike on the base model, jumping up to 14pts each while the wolfquad goes to 20 (and also takes a sting on heavy stubbers). The price you pay to field large units of these is now considerably higher, and the reason the GSC list we mathed out for our Chapter Approved review looked so bad was that it was running the absolute maximum number of these possible.

There is a tradeoff for that though – these are exceptional at playing the 9th Edition missions and slot nicely into a role the army needs something to fill. 9th’s primary scoring means you can’t afford to give your opponent an early turn with no response, instead needing at least a few things that can move up, durably seize a mid board objective and dare an opponent to come and do something about it. Even at the eye-watering 40% price increase there still isn’t that much that can match up to these in terms of soaking wounds for the price, especially as Rusted Claw and especially if you bring an Iconward for the 6+++ – really only the Ad Mech Pony Club of Doom comes close.

Thanks to the FAQ, Rusted Claw (or build-your-own with the equivalent trait) bikers also get a new trick. I’m not totally clear if this is intentional, but the new version of the faction trait lets you treat pistols and rapid fire weapons as assault after advancing. The standard biker build is to buy a shotgun and cultist knife, but you could also buy an additional autopistol in place of the knife, in addition to the one they have stock. At that point, if you advance then your bikers enter what I like to call Kelermorph Mode, because both the pistols become assault and can be fired in addition to the shotgun. That gives you a withering hail of anti-horde fire, especially in conjunction with their Close-Range Shoot-Out stratagem or the boost from a Jackal Alphus. It does switch off your mining lasers for a turn, but it’s potentially worth considering. When building lists, I’d likely split the difference and have one squad each with the knives (for extra melee punch) and additional pistols.

Overall, I think there’s still a use case for Jackals – while they’re not as good as before, they were almost criminally undercosted previously, and still have play as a gigantic stack of wounds you can shove onto an objective. They can also still control a reasonable amount of space – they have to glob up more to account for the new coherency rules, but the large bases make keeping in with two other models a bit easier. As a final thought on Jackals, the cost of demo charges hasn’t changed, so running a five model bomb squad has only gone up by 20pts. That combo is so very, very good that people were still doing it after the CA hike on demo charges, so while it might have gone over a threshold now, it’s still worth being aware of.

There are, of course, two other FA options available in GSC detachments, Scout and Armoured Sentinels. Neither of these have ever seen much play and that’ll probably remain true – the only reason I hesitate ever so slightly is that the multilaser build on either didn’t change in cost at all, making Armoured Sentinels in particular a pretty cost effective stack of wounds to push onto an objective. The fact that you spend 105pts on a unit that ultimately doesn’t do anything but die slowly is definitely a downside. However, as alluded to my theory of how you need to play GSC in this edition is that you need something you can put onto mid-board objectives turn 1 that isn’t trivial to remove and like, maybe? Probably not still, but I guess I’d say that I’d want to at least remember that these exist if you’re trying lists out – especially as going hard on Ridgerunners already leans you in to Bring It Down.

Heavy Support

Credit: BuffaloChicken

The Heavy Support slot hasn’t been much used by GSC, and I don’t see that changing. If anything, it’ll go down, as the main reason to take stuff from this slot (filling out a Brigade) is basically gone in 9th. It is worth saying that two of the three options here (heavy weapon teams and Rockgrinders) didn’t do too badly from the point increases, going up below rate, and that rugged transports go up in value in 9th in general, but for my money I’d rather have the enhanced transport capacity and slightly lower cost of the Goliath Truck if I was going that way than the somewhat higher output of the Rockgrinder. Running people down with a Drilldozer Blade will never not be something to aspire to mind.

The Cult Russ, sadly, gets the same price rise as its vastly superior Guard cousins, and is not really worth a slot.

Dedicated Transport

Credit: BuffaloChicken

So here’s where it gets a bit freaky – if I didn’t want to go down the bike route for my early game board control for GSC, I think I would seriously consider running either some Bladed Cog Neophytes in Goliath Trucks or Brood Brothers in Chimeras, just because you want something you can ram forward onto an objective that’s a bit of a pain to kill. You want this to be something that you can guarantee reaches middle objectives on all maps, and the 12″ move of the Truck gets you in range of every non-deployment zone objective from an on-the-line start – which you can of course naturally set up as needed with Cult Ambush. Given that I suspect most lists are gonna run a bunch of Ridgerunners too, this provides some degree of target saturation by reducing the number of squishy INFANTRY targets out of the gate. “Goliath Trucks – good actually?” is definitely the spiciest take I’m going to put out there in this article, and it could be way off base, but as we’re delving in to what makes the 9th edition missions tick it’s legitimately something I’d at least test.

Fortifications

Please continue not to put the Tectonic Fragdrill in your lists. Didn’t even get any terrain traits added in the FAQ, shameful. Which, actually, raises a legitimate question as to whether a model can stand on it at all now? Does the “Sector Mechanicus Structure” rule do anything in 9th without traits? Interesting philosophical question, but not competitively relevant. At least the updated fortification network rules mean adding it to a more casual list is way more valid, because who doesn’t want to raise a claw to the sky while shouting “activate the drill”?

List Building

Cult Heroes are Defended

Cult Heroes are Defended. Credit: ThatGobbo

Despite not everything being doom and gloom, list building for GSC is definitely hard now. In 8th the faction could very much take a kitchen sink approach to it, squeezing in all of the overlapping buffs you could possibly dream of and still pack the numbers to sometimes just overwhelm opponents. That, sadly, is gone – even if you stick to the units who received very modest price rises, just bleeding away a few points on every model adds up, and what it tends to squeeze out is some of the flex options and redundancy, forcing you to make some tough choices. One particular challenge I found when building lists was that, without a third mixed detachment, getting in all of the buff characters I wanted with the correct keywords was sometimes a real problem, but there was no way I was going to drop down to 8 starting CP in a faction that’s incredibly hungry for it.

Working within constraints means focusing on what an army needs, and in 9th I’d basically want the following in all of my GSC lists:

  • A Battalion and a Patrol, to minimise CP spend.
  • Two Patriarchs. Love those guys.
  • A 4AE detachment with Acolytes, giving me a deep strike threat and once per game A Plan Generations in the Making.
  • Some Ridgerunners with a Jackal Alphus to provide a ranged threat.
  • Something that I can move onto mid-board objectives turn 1 going first that’s non-trivial to remove.

The last point is a concession to the primary scoring mechanism in 9th. In ITC 8th, many GSC were lists happy to go second and pretty much take a mulligan on trying to do more than score hold one and popping a few units with mining lasers turn one, but accept that the opponent would get hold more, and start really fighting from turn 2. I do not think you can afford to do this in 9th – ceding a 15pt primary score to your opponent in their second Command Phase is likely to put them on a trajectory to max their primary score and probably win the game. This means that you have to push something forward to at least ensure that your opponent doesn’t pick up “hold more” for free.

There is, of course, a positive way of looking at this too. One of the ways to push back against GSC in ITC 8th was to castle up for a few turns around a single objective for hold one and focus on eradicating enough of their units to consistently score kill more in the mid game, then move out to start contesting the board in the late game. This also won’t work any more – if the GSC player commits some units to holding mid-board objective then the opponent will probably have to as well, and with one fewer turn to play, you can hopefully then force them into a swirling mid-board melee that lasts long enough that by the time they recover, they just don’t have time to score points.

With all those considerations in mind, here are two attempts at lists for the 9th edition missions. For those used to playing the faction, buckle in – I’ve tried to look for as many positives as I can in this review, but I can’t pretend these don’t look sparse.

List 1 – Biker Gangs of Old

Battalion – Four Armed Emperor

HQ
Patriarch, Mass Hypnosis, Might From Beyond, Warlord – Biomorph Adaptation – 135
Jackal Alphus – 75
Iconward, Icon of the Cult Ascendant – 60

Troops
20 Acolytes with 5 Rocksaws, Icon – 220
20 Acolytes with 5 Rocksaws, Icon – 220
5 Acolytes with 2 Rocksaws – 60
5 Acolytes with 2 Rocksaws – 60
5 Acolytes with 2 Rocksaws – 60

Elites
Clamavus – 60

Fast Attack
3 Ridgerunners w/HML/Flare – 210
3 Ridgerunners w/HML/Flare – 210

Patrol – Rusted Claw

HQ
Patriarch, Psychic Stimulus, Inescapable Decay – 135
Iconward – 60

Troops
10 Neophytes – 60

Fast Attack
9 Atalan Jackals, autopistol and shotgun, 2 Wolfquads with mining lasers – 186
9 Atalan Jackals, knife and shotgun, 2 Wolfquads with mining lasers – 186

Total – 1997pts, 10CP

In terms of meeting your deep strike quota, start the whole Rusted Claw detachment, the Jackal Alphus and the Ridgerunners on the board, giving you 8 units on and 8 units off and >50% of points on the table.

Hopefully given that I’ve explained what the overall plan of any army I’m building is working above, what the various parts here do is pretty clear – the Jackals are the threat that can sweep into the mid board, and everything else is focused on bringing a pain train for your opponent starting from there. I’ve split the difference on arming the bikers, with one squad taking the extra pistol for Kelermorph mode and the other unit sticking to knives with the idea that they can be prodded into advancing and charging with Psychic Stimulus if an opponent has put some Scouts or something on a forward objective. This list then has a hefty number of Acolytes to allow two waves over turns two and three – you want to use one big squad for each, and spice in a number of smaller squads depending on how things are looking on the ground (mostly whether your bikes are still alive).

I don’t love that you have to shuffle the Ridgerunners into the Battalion, losing some options for synergy, but it was the only place the effectively mandatory Jackal Alphus could fit. Finally – yes I’ve still left Mass Hypnosis on the Patriarch, because there are some things that will happily pay to overwatch you that you still need to stop.

List 2 – Bladed Cog Trucks

Battalion – Bladed Cog

HQ
Patriarch, Undying Vigour, Mind Control, Warlord – Single-Minded Obsession – 135
Jackal Alphus – 75
Iconward – 60

Troops
10 Neophytes, two mining lasers – 80
10 Neophytes, two mining lasers – 80
10 Neophytes, two mining lasers – 80
10 Neophytes – 60
10 Neophytes – 60

Elites
Kelermorph, Oppressor’s Bane – 80

Fast Attack
3 Ridgerunners w/HML/Flare – 210
3 Ridgerunners w/HML/Flare – 210

Dedicated Transport
Goliath Truck – 85
Goliath Truck – 85

Patrol – Four Armed Emperor

HQ
Patriarch, Mass Hypnosis, Might From Beyond – 135
Iconward, buys Icon of the Cult Ascendant – 60

Troops
15 Acolytes with 4 Rocksaws, Icon – 170
14 Acolytes with 4 Rocksaws, Icon – 162
10 Acolytes with 2 Rocksaws, Icon – 110

Elites
Clamavus – 60

Total – 1997pts, 9CP

This list doesn’t really struggle with getting enough units on the board – the 4AE patrol plus the Kelermorph is 7 units (out of 19 total) and just under 800pts, letting you flex a couple of Neophyte units into reserve if needed.

Genestealer Cults Kelermorph

Genestealer Cults Kelermorph. Credits: That Gobbo

Here, rather than the bikes our pawns to push forward onto the middle objectives are two Goliath Trucks, which will be packing the two bare Acolyte squads (the others wanting to kick around on the board so they can pick up the Jackal Alphus buff). This list puts more bodies on the table early in a wider area, has a better early shooting punch and sneaks a Kelermorph in to give your opponent big headaches, but trades off in having a less durable early push than the Jackals and fewer Acolytes. It is worth saying that thanks to the Evasive Driving stratagem it isn’t totally trivial for some armies to pop one, and you can drop Undying Vigour on one too to up it’s feel no pain to 5+++ (it’s a very healthy truck you see). With this list you ideally need to be bringing your Neophytes up the table as well, as with fewer Acolytes your goal is to use the initial punch from them to stagger the enemy back a bit rather than just descending into an all-out mid-table brawl. Any surviving trucks after the initial round can help with this via bully charges and generally making a nuisance of themselves.

The one thing I really don’t love about bringing the Trucks is that is does open up the list to giving out max points on Bring It Down. I’m still not certain whether that pans out to be an inconvenience or a suicidal thing that you should never, ever do in the 9th missions – testing will pan it out. If it proved the case, I’d probably drop the second Ridgerunner unit for two 5 model rocksaw Acolyte squads and another mining laser Neophyte squad (changing the 4AE contingent to a Battalion).

Secondaries

Patriarch

Genestealer Cults Patriarch. Credit: Corrode

As a final thing to look at then, are any of the core secondaries ones that GSC are especially good at? I think three stand out (happily from three different categories) that they’re above average at achieving, and they’re definitely also an army that should look at mission secondaries. One thing to always look for on a table after the objectives are placed is whether any of them are within 3″ of a terrain feature – when that’s true, you can often use the Lurk in the Shadows stratagem to keep a unit safe while performing an Action.

The three I think are of particular note to GSC are:

  • Domination (Battlefield Supremacy): Pretty self explanatory here – you have lots of small troop units that can trade on to an objective to secure it at the end of your turn.
  • Raise the Banners High (Shadow Operations): You have a lot of small INFANTRY squads, and your opponent often won’t be able to safely push onto objectives you’ve flagged till you’ve squeezed a decent few points out of them. Its also at least worth thinking about Repair Teleport Homer in this category against an opponent with low ground coverage – If they’ve sent their forces to engage elsewhere, you can drop a unit in their deployment zone and start scoring this (you can begin it straight out of deep strike) while protecting the unit with Lurk.
  • Psychic Ritual (Warpcraft): No really. Most lists are going to contain two Psykers that want to end up near the centre of the board, are reasonably tough and get a lot more of their value from other capabilities than most casters do. I genuinely think there’s a case for trying this one, and more ways to force your opponent to come party with you on your terms mid-board is good. You can also take Mental Interrogation if you’re some sort of coward.

So How Do I Beat Tau Genius?

Wow looks like that’s all we have time for.

Wrap Up

Playing Genestealer Cults is likely to be 40k on hard mode for at least the forseeable, but hopefully that’s given you at least some idea of how to start trying to adapt to a hostile new world. That is, after all, what the Cults are supposed to do best. We hope you enjoyed this Faction Focus, and if your army hasn’t been covered yet rest assured that it’s in the pipeline somewhere. If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, extremely nuclear takes about the inclusion of Goliath Trucks or whatever, you can reach us at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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