Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Warhammer 40,000: Genestealer Cults Index Review: New Unit Ideas

I successfully attended AdeptiCon in late March and had a ton of fun. I played in the Miniwargaming.com Narrative Campaign day with my fully painted Genestealer Cult army and got a ton of great feedback, including folks stopping to say how cool they looked. It felt really good!

Now I'm at the end of the Index Review. After taking a look at all the units, I wanted to propose new units for the Codex. While I realize the chances of this happening are slim, I always daydream and I wanted to get them down on 'paper' so to speak. I'm not going to dedicate a lot of time to writing out stats, mostly focusing on themes and strategy.


There are a few units in the game (like techmarines) that can repair vehicles. I'd like to see GSC have access to an entire unit of mechanics that are there to not only fix vehicles, but pilot them as well. When they are driving or on board a vehicle, it would not only possibly recover wounds, but it might be able to negate them as well (perhaps a 5+ FNP roll for Goliath vehicles instead of 6+). They could make the shooting of the vehicle a little more consistent as well, perhaps making heavy weapons ignore movement. On foot they'd probably not have powerful weapons - they could have something like a power maul (wrench) and perhaps wear 4+ heavier armor.

This would make our vehicles more durable (I have found GSC just crumple) and more consistent in the shooting phase (if you move, most GSC vehicles are just useless in the shooting phase).


Most factions have some sort of bike troop and it'd be great if GSC could have some as well. Perhaps buggies instead? Maybe a unit of three of them, they carry similar weapons to a Rockgrinder but are not as tough and faster. Perhaps they could drill up from the ground? Maybe they provide some sort of bonus to cult ambush - making it more reliable - through radio work.

The only real need they'd fill would be making cult ambush not such a crap shoot, but they'd be sweet kits, I'm sure.

Suicide bombers

This could be a unit of GSC that get very close to the enemy and detonate mining explosives, causing mortal wounds. There aren't a ton of ways for GSC to cause mortal wounds so this could fill that niche. My idea would be a kit of five of them, and you pay for them before the game starts - say 20 points each. Then you secretly assign them to neophyte or acolyte squads and during the game they pop out and attack.

Mining suit heavy infantry

This could fill two roles - adding another heavy support choice, and putting a more durable unit into the list. Perhaps dual-role kit with the mechanics. I'd really like to see at least a 3+ armor save on these guys - think a really heavy kit like Sigourney had in Alien. They'd be slow, maybe 4" speed, and wouldn't have Cult Ambush. You could load three of them onto a Goliath Truck, kinda hanging off the side. They'd have flamers and some sort of power fists. 

A durability rule, like perhaps they could only ever take one 'damage' from each wound, would be cool. Anything to provide some more durability and a heavy support choice. Care would have to be taken to keep them from overriding Aberrants (which would need an effectiveness bump anyway). I would think these guys would be about twice the points cost, so Aberrants could keep their utility.

Hideout markers

Legions of Nagash in Age of Sigmar have a really cool rule with gravesites that allow you to reinforce your troops. You put out two points in your own territory and two in your opponent's. At the start of your turn you can choose a SUMMONABLE (in this case, it would be a Troops unit) within 9" of the point and heal D3 wounds or bring back D3 wounds of models. 

This would be amazing for GSC! I don't think it would be super overpowered, but it would really help with our durability issue, and it really reflects the lore of the GSC - popping up out of the shadows at any opportunity without number.

Purestrain Genestealer Buffs

Not necessarily making Genestealers better, they're already pretty good. What I'd do is make them inspire units within 9" of them. Any Genestealer Cult infantry would add +X to their Leadership. What X is, I don't know - my first guess would be +2 but I'm not sure. The point would be to help the units not get blown off the board from morale while also showing how the purestrains affect the regular cult members with inspiration and adoration.

It's a holy war to them, not just a method of fighting

One of the themes that really comes out of the Black Library novels is that the GSC leaders and fighters on the ground really consider their uprising a Holy War, not just a battle. I am not exactly sure how you would represent this in game, besides affecting their morale. GSC units already have higher than average leadership scores, but could they go higher? 

Could infantry have a FNP type of thing? I don't know, there already is a lot of it and it makes the game take longer. This again really goes back to the durability aspect of the GSC. They are a glass cannon, but they're expensive, and often times their cannon doesn't hit hard enough. They need to be more durable.

Something to negate overwatch besides just a spell

While Mass Hypnosis is pretty great, I wish my crazed-cultists-who-have-been-laying-in-wait-for-weeks-waiting-for-exactly-the-right-moment-to-strike didn't get absolutely flamed to death by any unit with flamers. Perhaps a stratagem to make it so when a unit charges they don't take overwatch fire? Maybe take a page out of the Idoneth Deepkin and have each turn of the game have specific 'phases' of the uprising - or even just one 'uprising' turn. In that turn, GSC infantry can't take overwatch fire. I dunno, something would be great and again, help us with our durability problem.

That's it for my Genestealer Cult Index Review. I'm going to index my review at the top of the page for later and I'm sure I'll put more content on this blog about GSC - including a large review when the actual codex comes out. Thanks for reading!

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