Do you secretly plot and scheme to sabotage your friends and crash the car during long road trips? Do you long for the loving embrace of Grandfather Nurgle? Do you prefer to play factions that have even less chance of getting future support than ones released haphazardly in a White Dwarf article? Well then Gellerpox Infected just might be the Kill Team for you!
Joining us for this write-up is guest author Leon “Boomstick” Smith, an experienced Gellerpox player.
Released as the “evil” half of the Kill Team: Rogue Trader box set, the Gellerpox Infected are a gang of crewmen from the Starstriders’ ship who have become corrupted with the Gellerpox, a special plague of Nurgle’s that corrupted the ship when its Geller field (the shield that normally protect Imperial vehicles in the warp) malfunctioned. They also got a Commander option, Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed, thanks to the introduction of Commander rules in the supplement. Since then however, it’s been radio silence on them, with no updates in either Elites or the 2019 annual to update them and keep them in-line with other factions.
Leon: The Gellerpox were introduced in the first expansion for Kill Team, Rogue Trader, along with the Elucidan Starstriders. In practice this supplement had a narrative format, to the point of beinga self-contained game involving a narrative campaign to play through on a double sided board. Both sides deviated from the normal Kill Team set up by playing in a very tight, close quarter environment which really allowed both factions to shine. This type of game is really where the Gellerpox excel as it plays to their strengths. I do not believe they were fully play tested for use outside of this, but that does not mean they are not able to be played on a standard game board, though Arena heavily plays to their strengths.
- Tough. While not every model on the Gellerpox Infected is super-tough, you have several options with T4 and T5, and several with Disgustingly Resilient to make them super annoying to handle. Nightmare Hulks are particularly tough to handle.
- Horde or Elite options. The Gellerpox Infected have access to both big elite bruisers and small, cheap options that can help them operate doors and move around on Arena maps.
- Decent Melee Weapons. The weapons you get on your larger melee fighters are solid, giving you at least AP-1 to work with on a S4 Gellerpox Mutant body, and Nightmare Hulks’ Hideous Mutations are very good at AP-2 and 2 Damage. Your large heavy hitters are good value.
- Unique faction. Not many people have seen it played or played against it, giving an element of surprise.
- Agile. Gellerpox Infected have some very quick movers despite the Nurgle allegiance (especially if you are used to playing Deathguard)
- Easy to Collect. The entire faction comes in the Rogue Trader box giving you access to all options with one purchase.
- Tactics. Gellerpox Infected tactics are bad. Really, really bad. You only have 6 tactics and only one of those costs 1 CP and that one literally only works in Arena or if you’re playing with doors.
- Options. Basically you have access to the models you got in the Rogue Trader box. And that’s it. There’s no scope for expansion once you buy the box, that’s all there is and options have a max number that matches the models in the box. That means no Glitchling horde, no matter how cute they are.
- Shooting. A Gellerpox Infected Kill Team has very few shooting options, and the ones it does have top out at 8″ range. Any damage you’re going to do has to be in melee.
- Psychic Powers. Gellerpox Infected have no psykers and no way to deny powers.
- Armor. It’s a good thing some of your bigger guys have Disgustingly Resilient and invulnerable saves because your armor saves top out at 6+.
Bottom-Tier. There’s no way to sugarcoat this; Gellerpox Infected are one of the game’s worst teams, in no small part owing to the lack of support and limited model options. They do a couple of things OK but nothing as well as most other teams and not getting subfactions in Elites or additional Tactics in Kill Team Annual 2019 really screwed them. They seem to have been relegated to the “Narrative Play Only” space.
The Gellerpox Infected don’t really have any full faction special rules, but there are a few that are common to several models in the faction, so we’ll cover those.
When a model with this rule would lose a wound, roll a D6 and on a 5+ that model does not lose that wound. This is a powerful effect especially on multi-wound units where it gives you an effective boost of 50% more Wounds on average. It’s also a solid replacement for an armor save.
Models with this rule can’t be specialists, can’t gain experience, and can’t be in fireteams. Two out of three of these don’t really matter.
Add 1 to injury rolls made for this model. All of your non-Mutant, non-Hulk models have a version of this, which makes them easier to take out of combat. Eyestinger Swarms get the benefit of Buzzing Swarm, which adds a rider that prevents them from taking Flesh Wounds.
ITC LVO Subfactions
If you’re playing with the ITC Rules from the 2020 Las Vegas Open, Gellerpox Infected get a big boost by gaining access to three subfaction bonuses that help give them a much-needed boost against the competition.
- Slithering Swarm: Curse of the Swarm. Subtract 1 from the Leadership characteristic of enemy models while they are within 3” of any models in your kill team.
- Monstrous Might: Curse of the Monster. You can re-roll a single failed hit roll and a single failed wound roll in the Fight Phase, as long as the attack was made by a model in your kill team.
- Slice and Dice: Curse of the Violent. Improve the Armour Penetration characteristic of all melee weapons used by a model in your kill team by 1. For example, an Armour Penetration characteristic of 0 becomes -1, an Armour Penetration characteristic of -1 becomes -2, and so on.
Gellerpox Infected have access to 6 non-Commander units, and can take them in the numbers that occur in the Rogue Trader box. Your model options for the team are essentially split into two categories: Mutants and swarms (the little guys). With swarms it’s worth mentioning that one of their key strengths is being tiny, allowing them to sit behind terrain and completely out of LOS. This is particularly useful in holding objectives and making enemy snipers pretty useless and forces an opponent to get across the board and defeat you in melee.
The bruisers of the Gellerpox Infected kill team, Nightmare Hulks are pretty scary. S5, T5 with 4 Wounds and 3 attacks, plus Disgustingly Resilient and 4 Wounds to ensure that they’ll be able to survive the long slog to combat. And it is a long, difficult slog since Nightmare Hulks’ biggest drawback is having only 4″ Movement.
These models are the workhorse of the faction and the biggest consideration is how many to field. At 100 points I would always look at taking Gnasher Screamer – a hulk sergeant type unit that is the same points as the regular types but +1 Attacks and leadership. After adding him I would look at adding 1 more hulk, any more and your team would be too small. At 125 points though, consider taking all three, especially if you’re up against certain MEQ (marines equivalent) style kill teams.
As with any similar (melee-only) unit keep them cover as much as possible and run them up the board. Running is a must due to their slow speed. You cannot hold these back too long, As your only real threat to the enemy they will be targeted but are durable against small arms attacks. High strength multi damage attacks (dark lances, melta weapons, blight launchers) or weight of fire (heavy bolters, heavy flamers) are the main thing they have to look out for, and sticking to cover helps keep these models alive.
Fairly resilient and decent melee combatants, Gellerpox Mutants can be pretty tough to take out thanks to a 5+ invulnerable save (that can punish enemies in the Fight phase, more on that in a moment), Disgustingly Resilient, and T4. They also have frag grenades, giving you one of the faction’s few ranged attacks, and have 2 attacks each. Gellerpox Mutants are a strange addition to the roster but one you want to consider when looking at the specialist abilities. Veteran is the go-to ability to press forward and distract from the hulks but the others can be used depending on your preferred build. Having a mutant as a Leader on a board heavy in terrain where you can hide him effectively is also an option.
The most interesting ability though is the Gellercaust Mask which provides a handy 5++ save but on a 6+ in the fight phase bounces a mortal wound back to your opponent. This won’t happen to often but can be a big swing in your favour when it does. This is why opponents will try to shoot them before they get into combat.
Gellerpox Mutants can also be particularly dangerous with the Gellershift Tactic, which can teleport them anywhere on the battlefield more than 4″ away from an enemy model, allowing you to get around the terrible Movement characteristic.
My favourite unit in the list, with a move of 10” they are incredibly quick and have an always turned on -1 to hit either in combat or shooting, which can be a real problem for some of the low BS or WS armies out there. By default I will always take 3 if not 4 of these as they are great objective holders.
The only real daemons in the bunch, Glitchlings come with Disgustingly Resilient and the Daemonic 5+ invulnerable save (though they only get DR against weapons that do 1 damage), and gives -1 to hit to enemies targeting it with ranged attacks. These deranged cyber Nurglings are a slower but more resilient version of the Eyestinger Swarm. I would look at taking one to hold the backfield benefiting from the Weapon Glitch ability (-1 to hit the model with ranged weapons if it is not shaken).
In an Arena environment I would look at taking 2 to 3 though as their ability to hold doors closed with the Machine Glitch tactic (1 CP to give them +3 to door roll offs) can be very handy at messing with your opponent.
Another surprisingly quick unit, while not as fast as the Eyestinger Swarm they do support your Hulks better. Using the re roll to charge ability they have, you can hold them back behind the Hulks and as the Hulks prepare to charge you can send in the Cursemite in 1st either from behind cover ideally and if not just to soak up any overwatch coming in. This is especially handy vs Tau, forcing them into deciding to use their Greater Good ability early or not and risk getting hulked.
Not much to say about these guys other than don’t bother using them unless you really have points left over to spend and you want to full swarm of little critters. They add nothing to your roster worth using on their own merits.
Commanders (Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed)
Gellerpox Infected have a single Commander option, Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed, a three-headed monster who comes with a flamer and 2 damage claws. As a Commander option, Vulgrar is fairly resilient thanks to having T5, 5 Wounds, a 6+ invulnerable save, and Disgustingly Resilient, and can do some damage in melee combat. Vulgrar is a bit unique in that he is a Commander with access to standard Specialisms – the only Commander specialism he can have is Strength. This means that he can have Combat, Zealot, Veteran, or Demolitions, but due to the standard specialist restrictions, doing so will prevent you from making another member of your kill team one of those specialists. You’ll typically want to run your Nightmare Hulks as Combat/Zealot specialists, so that means running him primarily as either Veteran or Strength, and of the two of those, you may as well go with Strength. It’s not amazing, but gives you access to the Body Slam Tactic and S7 on your attacks.
If you were to use him, I would keep him at Level 1 but pay for both of the Commander Upgrades as they will buff the army considerably. His stats and wargear are both quite strong and can take on most other commanders for similar points. Just be careful not to allow him to be picked off by multi damage ranged attacks as a poor 6++ save can make him seem much squishier than he is.
Gellerpox Infected got 6 Tactics in Rogue Trader. Of these only one costs you a single CP. The Gellerpox specific tactics end up a rather poor and costly set of tactics for the Gellerpox to use. There’s no clutch tactics like those for marines or Eldar that you would definitely make use of. You will be using mostly the standard tactics like Re Rolls in game with the Faction specific ones only used when special situations arise (like door roll-offs).
- Corruption and Decay (2 CP) – Use in the Fight phase to give an enemy unit within 3″ of one of your models -1 Strength and Toughness. 2 CP is too expensive for this ability. It’s not bad and works well if you’re playing against something really tough, like Wraithguard, as dropping them down to T5 for your Hulks to smash isn’t bad, but most of the time you’ll have better uses for those CPs. C
- Rancid Vomit (2 CP) – Use at the start of the Shooting phase and pick an enemy model within 6″ of a Nightmare Hulk and roll 3D6. For every 5+, that model takes a mortal wound. 2 CP again but this gives you really good odds of doing at least one mortal wound (around 70%) at range at the start of the Shooting phase, which can be huge. I use this ability a lot to pick out short range or CC special weapons that are an immediate threat. Expensive but can be critical in a game. B+
- Verminoid Infestation (3 CP) – Use at the start of the Movement phase to set up a new Mutoid Vermin model within 6″ of a Gellerpox Infected and more than 6″ from an enemy model. Continuing the trend of expensive tactics. On paper this is adding a free 4/5 point model to your army for the game and can be pretty powerful but it isn’t very often you will have 3 CP to spend so keep this in mind for late game if you have a pool of CP to spend but otherwise it’s not something I recommend going into a game planning to use. C
- Gellershift (2 CP) – Use in the Movement phase to pick up a Gellerpox Mutant and put it anywhere on the battlefield more than 4″ away from an enemy model. This is one of my favourite Tactics in Arena as it give you a huge jump on the board, allowing you to put a model next to an objective or vital door early in the game. In regular formats its only real use is late game jumping on an objective or if you make your Leader a Gellerpox Mutant a way of keeping him away from enemy units that are closing in. A in Arena, C+ elsewhere.
- Twisted Blessing (2 CP) – Use at the end of the Movement phase. Pick a Nightmare Hulk with a Flesh Wound and roll a D6; on a 4+ remove one of its Flesh Wounds. This is arguably the faction’s worst tactic. The ability to lose a Flesh Wound on a Hulk is nice but on a 4+ is too much of a gamble for the price you pay. D
- Machine Glitch (1 CP) – Use when an enemy model attempts to open or close a door that is within 1″ of a Glitchling. You get +3 to your roll for the door. Finally a Tactic that’s cheap and that’s for a reason – you can only using it in either the Environment provided in the Rogue Trader box set or Arena. In Arena it’s a really good ability and worth of adding a few Glitchlings to you Kill Team to take advantage of it. B+ in Arena, F elsewhere
Whether you’re playing with or against Gellerpox Infected, we’ve got you covered.
Playing Gellerpox Infected
You’re going to live and die based on your ability to get the Nightmare Hulks into combat. You want them running immediately, since holding them back too long is likely to end up with them not getting the job done. You can hide the smaller Curse-mites behind terrain on objectives and use the Eyestinger Swarms to harass enemy units and tie them up for a turn or two while the Nightmare Hulks and Gellerpox Mutants close the gap or shift into place.
Playing Against Gellerpox Infected
The real threats are the Nightmare Hulks, which are slow enough that you should be able to kite them effectively on any map that isn’t close quarters. Focus on taking them down but watch out for the Eyestinger Swarms, which can zip around the table and tie up your units and prevent them from shooting at the Hulks. Also, keep an eye out for Gellershifting Mutants.
Collecting and Painting Gellerpox Infected
Collecting Gellerpox Infected is easy – just get ahold of the Rogue Trader box.
Being a faction that is both Nurgle themed and one Twisted by the Warp the options to paint your models are in fact quite varied. This is also helped by the character of the models themselves and the variety in type of models allows lots of experimentation of colours and levels of corruption.
For my personal army I have tried to stick with same techniques that I painted my Nurgle Daemon army in which is to go for nice bold colours mostly put on in a nice tidy block painted way with highlights only added to key areas that are quiet dark. This is then followed with a total covering of Aggrax Earthshade to the entire model. This both shades the models and helps tie them all together in a dirty Nurgle way. It’s also very quick to do which is my preferred style.
Gnasher Screamer – Leader
Nightmare Hulk – Combat
Nightmare Hulk – Zealot
Gellerpox Mutant – Leader
Gellerpox Mutant – Veteran
Glitchling – Zealot
Glitchling – Combat
This roster allows you to either go max Nightmare Hulk or max hoard and anything in-between. My preferred build would look like this at 100 points.
Gnasher Screamer – Leader
Nightmare Hulk – Combat
Gellerpox Mutant – Veteran
Glitchling – Zealot
Eyestinger Swarm x4
The Gellerpox are an extremely characterful teamthat has its own play style. They are great models that are a lot of fun to paint. They are an interesting faction for Chaos Players to collect who want something different but also anyone who finds joy in the narrative side of the grim dark universe and wants to play something that isn’t really explored in big 40k or any other game.
While on the table top they may be one of the bottom tier armies for regular games, they are definitely one to watch out for in Arena and can give most factions a hard game in a format that limits their disadvantages and plays to their strengths, both in terms of their available force and their tactics.
Thanks again to Leon for writing this one! As always, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or head over to r/CompetitiveWH40k to discuss. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.