Thursday, August 9, 2018

Creating a Genestealer Cult Kill Team

Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team has hit the wargaming world pretty hard this summer. Lots of blogs, videos, and podcasts have covered how cool it is and how easy it is to get into it. Games Workshop definitely has a hit on their hands.

I've been working on creating my own Genestealer Cult Kill Team from the models I have painted. The book has options for giving each specialist a 'demeanour', your whole team a background, mission, and quirk, and each fighter a name. I've built this team entirely using those rules - I balanced it with the hope it'll be pretty good, too. Welcome to the Cult.

The background for the Saviors is that they're a Shadowstalker Gene-kin cell who stalk the shadows, waiting for the best opportunity to ambush enemies. Their mission is a Sacred Task - Raid Supply Lines. They are preparing for the coming of the four armed emperor by stealing shipments and taking down convoys. Finally, they have a gene deviance - they have Twisted Physiologies. Aberrations in their xenos genes have caused them to have many different mutations, most of them horrific.

Pike Venner is the leader of The Saviors. He has a power maul and an auto pistol. If I'm honest, I picked him because he's smaller than an acolyte, I love what he looks like, and I imagine a neophyte (vs an acolyte) is a lot easier to 'blend in' to the local populace, so maybe he'd be the leader. He's easier to hide behind terrain. You definitely don't want your leader out in the front ready to get shot, because as long as they're alive, you get an extra command point at the start of the turn.

He is an enlightener, which means he prefers to take prisoners alive so they can later be turned into members of the cult. I imagine Pike commands his troops from the back, ensuring they don't every single enemy.

Zassk Lhaska is a Zealot, which means he gets +1 Attack and Strength when he charges. He opens up a lot of cool upgrades later on. Four attacks on the charge with Rending at Strength 5 is pretty great! He has Predatory Instincts - he hunts the enemy kill team from the shadows, smelling them out, finding lone fighters and ending their time in the fight.

This guy is obviously not yet finished but he is next on my list. Metamorphs in regular 40k are really really bad - way overpriced and just not nearly as good as regular Acolytes. In Kill Team I think they have a place, with an extra attack and S6 if they take a Metamorph Claw. Madrax is Unblinking - he never sleeps. He watches the kill team camp when they're in the field and makes sure they aren't surprised. His Combat specialty at level one grants him another attack - five total! Pretty crazy.

Michon Novek is my final specialist (you get three specialists and one leader) and the only Neophyte. He has a flamer and the Demolitions specialty, which means at level one he adds one to the wound rolls with his flamer against obscured enemies. At level two he can re-roll ones to wound! He'll hose down Space Marines pretty nicely. He is a proselytiser - I imagine him bathing enemies in promethium and extolling the virtues of the star gods.

Mallick Gorl is the kill team's absolute unit - he's an Aberrant, a mistake in the gene progress that happens once in a while and leads to an overly strong, overly tough cultist. I chose him to have a Power Pick but I may actually change that to Power Hammer. I like the Power Pick in Kill Team because it does not take the -1 to hit penalty that a Power Hammer does, and it still has S5 and -2 AP. With only two attacks, that -1 penalty can be really tough.

I may end up adding another Aberrant just because you need a fire team of more than one 'type' in order to keep advances you get as you go along and lose a team member. Two aberrants plus a cult icon running around the field would be pretty intimidating!

Sayben Varnway is an Acolyte Fighter who has a Heavy Rock Drill - not only does it look cool, but it does massive amounts of damage at a high AP and causes mortal wounds. This one will be pretty good to take down hard targets later in the game. Unfortunately he has been a huge target every game so far, so I chose to not make him a specialist (he would probably be a Combat Specialist) because I don't want to lose a specialist all the time.

Yohrick Carleon is another Acolyte Hybrid that I added for close combat potential as well as making the Acolyte fire team larger. I want to make sure the entire fire team doesn't die so I added this guy in with just some base equipment.

Skir Cavorla is one of the most revered members of the cult, being chosen to carry the Cult Icon. The Cult Icon is really important - any kill team member within 6" can re-roll 1's to hit in close combat. There is a GSC tactic that boosts that to 12" which is great! I want to focus this guy's ability on really valuable attacks like the drill or power pick attacks.

Groust is the heavy weapons guy out of the group - he carries a heavy stubber. I had tried to use the Seismic Cannon but I haven't really been able to make it work. I think I will likely add one in later, I just wanted to try out the heavy stubber now. I like how it has a huge range so it doesn't take a long range penalty until the enemy is over 18". He's also really cheap - only 6 points.

These two boys are the same. I've tried autoguns and I haven't really been able to make them work, so now I'm going to try shotguns. They are Assault 2 which means they can advance and shoot. When they get within 6" their guns are strength 4, which wounds Space Marines pretty well! These guys will likely stick together and back up the close combat experts, hoping to take out key enemy support and soften up enemy close combat.

I'll be back soon with some more thoughts on Genestealer Cult in Kill Team - thanks for reading!

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