War Zone Nachmund Faction Focus: Genestealer Cults

The first competitive season for 40k has arrived, with War Zone: Nachmund giving us new points, missions, secondary objectives, and rules to contemplate. These rules represent a major shake-up for competitive 40k and to help you make sense of it all, we’re going through each faction and talking about how things have changed for them and how they might compete.

For this faction focus we’ve invited Innes Wilson to give his thoughts on how Genestealer Cults will adapt to the new environment.

Faction Overview

Genestealer Cults are functionally brand new to the meta so we have very little to compare them to under War Zone: Nachmund as compared to before. They’ve had some minor event success with Twisted Helix and Myriad Cults builds, but it’s wide open for Genestealer Cult to forge their own identity under the new missions.

The Points Changes

Genestealer Cults, unlike their release partner the Adeptus Custodes, saw no points changes in the Munitorum Field Manual. The only “change” was confirmation to use the lower points cost on “Our Time is Nigh,” which is a proficient planning upgrade that shows up in a lot of my lists, and a nice 5 points extra to have. 

Broadly the game hasn’t changed around Genestealer Cults and we’re far too early in the process to tell whether they need them changes anyways, so no changes here is the right call as far as I’m concerned. 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The New Missions

The new missions don’t change things for Genestealer Cult all too much. The increased emphasis on central objectives helps the counterpunch a little, after turn 1 and outside of deep strike, as Cults can be a little slow on the board so anything that mitigates that is certainly welcome. As a more fragile army that can sometimes struggle to hold ground, less focus on holding objectives to score all of your primary with some of it moving into alternative conditions can certainly help them grab some more points than before, but their ability to grab their opponents primary with 6” reinforcements is also diminished. I’m inclined to say that its net positive for GSC on that front though.

The updated secondaries aren’t too bad for Genestealer Cult. Retrieve Nachmund Data catches a bump but its still very scorable for 5-man Acolyte Squads who also pick up Retrieve Teleport Homers or Investigate Sites as very achievable options. Jackals also provide an option for Retrieve Nachmund Data even in those hard to get areas off the back of a 14” move, even if you do have to roll 1-4 on a min squad, it’s a solid option to have in your back pocket. Overall, it’s good times for Genestealer Cults here as an army that never relied on 1-3 man ROD units it’s hard to hit at them when they’re being the models of Intended Use Case.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Building a List

This list is designed to pressure hard and get up in your opponents face early, or contest the midboard with oddly resilient units and deep strike pressure. With a Sanctus and trucks to lock down the backfield and heavy hitters out of reserve or off the board there’s no angle this list can’t attack with Fights Last options and lots of mobility. A couple of small squads of acolytes and Jackals close out the scoring suite.

Twisted Helix – Battalion Detachment

HQ: Patriarch – 140 Warlord (Bio-Alchemist) Relic (Elixir of the Prime Specimen: Enhanced Musculature, Enhanced Resilience) Psyker (Might From Beyond, Mass Hypnosis)

HQ: Magus, Familiar – 90 Leaders of the Cult (Prowling Agitant) Relic (The Unwilling Orb) Psyker (Psychic Stimulus, Mass Hypnosis)

HQ: Primus, Exacting Planner – 95 Leaders of the Cult (Alien Majesty)

TR: 10x Acolyte Hybrids, 10x Hand Flamer – 120
TR: 10x Acolyte Hybrids, 4x Heavy Rock Drill, Our Time is Nigh – 140
TR: 10x Acolyte Hybrids, 4x Heavy Rock Drill – 130
TR: 5x Acolyte Hybrids, 5x Hand Flamer – 60
TR: 5x Acolyte Hybrids, 5x Hand Flamer – 60
TR: 5x Acolyte Hybrids – 45

EL: 15x Metamorph Hybrids, A Trap Sprung, Cult Lash Whip – 195
EL: 10x Purestrain Genestealers, They Came From Below – 150
EL: 10x Purestrain Genestealers – 140
EL: 9x Purestrain Genestealers – 126
EL: Kelermorph, A Perfect Ambush – 95 Relic (Wyrmstooth Rounds)
EL: Sanctus, Cult Sniper Rifle – 70

NFO: Biophagus, Alchemist Supreme – 55

FA: 4x Atalan Jackal, Demolitions Charge – 53
FA: 4x Atalan Jackal, Demolitions Charge – 53

DT: Goliath Truck – 90
DT: Goliath Truck – 90

Final Thoughts

The judgment is still out on where Genestealer Cults will fall into the wider meta, but the book certainly seems to have generated enough interest from top players that I’m sure we’ll see it bear fruit sooner than later. Overall the Nachmund missions seem to be net neutral to slightly positive for Genestealer Cults, but with so little to go on it’s hard to make a call either way. Certainly if they’re struggling in the wider environment it will not be for lack of ability to cope with the changes made here, so on the whole that’s a positive sign for the Genestealer Cults.

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