Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cults have shown us some incredibly strong rules, as the hybrids of man and Tyranid won’t stop coming in 10th Edition.
We’re almost at the end of the Warhammer 40k 10th Edition Faction Focuses, as only a few armies remain without some select rules revealed in the upcoming Edition of the world’s most popular tapletop wargame. The Genestealer Cults are one of the most interesting armies of Warhammer 40k, as they bring some aspects of the Tyranids mixed with some aspects of the Imperial Guard – if the Astra Militarum would use industrial machines instead of Leman Russ tanks. Games Workshop have shown us some very interesting rules regarding the GSC, so let’s get right into it!
Faction Rules showcased in the Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cults Faction Focus
The main rule of the Heralds of the Star Children is called Cult Ambush, which is an approximate combination of the current Ambush and Summon the Cult rules for the Genestealer Cults. This Rule lets units come back from the dead with some hefty positioning: if a unit would die, they come back into Cult Ambush on a 4+ – or automatically if the destroyed unit was a Battleline unit, which the GSC has a number of. If you make the roll, you can place a Cult Ambush marker anywhere on the battlefield that is 9” from enemy units.
Your units in Cult Ambush can return to the battlefield at the end of your opponents next Reinforcement step of the Movement phase, using the rules for the Deep Strike ability, with all models at full Wounds, bar the Characters, which cannot be resurrected this way. Of course, opponents have a way to destroy your markers, as the Cult Ambush pips are removed from the battlefield if an enemy unit moves within 9” of it. This can force your opponent to make bad moves, or you can simply bring back units by placing the markers in areas under your control.
If endless swarms of Neophyte and Acolyte Hybrids weren’t enough, the Ascension Day Detachment Rule called They came from below makes the Genestealer units coming from Reserves even stronger, as their weapons gain the Sustained Hits 1 and the Ignores Cover rules until the end of your next Fight phase, making them a bit stronger in both ranged and melee fights, thanks to the exploding 6s.
One of the most interesting part of the Genestealer Cults is their lore, as they are known to light the fires of rebellion – and also infiltrating any governmental or military force to make it easier for Tyranids to take the planet. This meant that they could use Astra Militarum units as part of their army on the tabletop, which is not going away for the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k! You can still include up to 750 points of Imperial Guard units in your army depending on the size of the battle. While these units won’t have the Genestealer Cults keyword, Leman Russ tanks can still pack a punch.
Sadly, there are some units which cannot be reached by the Cults, such as Epic Heroes, Ogryns, Commissars, Regimental Preachers and Enginseers, Servitors and Aircraft, but that still leaves a high number of Guard units to be corrupted by our alien overlords.
Unit Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cults Faction Focus
Neophyte Hybrids will still be one of the most common units in the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k for Genestealer Cults armies. They are still Toughness 3 and 1 Wound squad of foot soldiers, but they have an array of ranged weapons to choose from, while also keeping most of their melee options as well, so while they won’t be able to take down Astartes in melee, they can put a dent in them.
The Neophyte Hybrids gained the Deep Strike Core Keyword alongside Cult Ambush, while also receiving an incredibly useful new ability called A Plan Generations in the Making. This let’s them farm Command Points on a dice roll of 4+ if they are on an objective in your Command phase. Games Workshop have emphasized that CP will be scarcer in the next Edition of Warhammer 40k, so this skill will make the Neophytes a valuable asset to any Genestealer army.
The Cult Ambush rule is very strong, but it only gives you new units if the previous one died, meaning that opponents can thin the ranks, leaving your troops to 1 or 2 units so they can’t regenerate. Luckily, Neophyte Hybrids will have a way to circumvent that thanks to the Cult Icon wargear, which resurrects 3 models to the unit – or D3+3 if the Hybrids are near an objective. The only restriction is that Characters can’t come back, but that can be played around with clever planning on the battlefield.
While the hordes of mutated hive city-dwellers are what makes up a Genestealer Cult army, they are (almost) Tyranids after all, and a Patriarch is one of the scariest Hybrids of any Cult. While it lost a Wound, it gained the Leader ability, meaning that you can pair it with a unit which will keep it safe for a long time. His melee weapons gained some great keywords, such as Twin-Linked and Devastating Wounds, so it can deal some nasty Mortals to any enemy that dares to get close.
Patriarchs also gained the Might From Beyond rule which emphasises their leading role in a Genestealer uprising. This rule gives melee weapons in the unit that the Patriarch is leading the Devastating Wounds ability, making the unit a walking Mortal Wound machine. It’s more Tyranid-like appearance is not just for show, as the Patriarch also forces enemy units within 6” to take Battle-shock tests, and once per battle, it can double the range of this ability thanks to the Psychic Familiar ability. It also holds it’s own on the battlefield thanks to the 4+ Invulnerable Save it retained from 9th Edition.
Weapon Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cults Faction Focus
While the Genestealers can use big rigs such as the Goliath Rockgrinder – and borrow some tanks from the Imperial Guard, they still don’t have a lot of ways to deal with heavily armoured enemies. This is why the Reductus Saboteur should see more play in the next Edition, as their One Shot Demolition Charges can take down bigger targets with some lucky rolls on the Attacks. While they have to be 6” from their target, the Demolition Charges weapon can be fired after Advancing thanks to the Assault keyword, has 12 Strength and deals 2 Damage at -2 AP on a 2+, so the God-Emperor help anyone that finds itself near their explosives.
They also kept their Remote Explosives weapon, which will keep it’s Indirect Fire keyword, and with up to 9 Attacks, it can thin the ranks of enemy Battleline units with ease.
Another weapon that will be good against enemy Vehicles will be the Power Sledgehammer wielded by the Abominants of the Genestealer Cults. This weapon gained +2 Strength, and while it lost a pip of AP and some reliability, it will be able to deal 7 Wounds instead of the 6 it is able in the current edition – so the Cults won’t be in trouble even against the most fortified opponents.
Stratagem Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cults Faction Focus
The Genestealer Cults have lost their Crossfire army ability, but it will live on in the Coordinated Trap Stratagem. For 2 Command Points, it gives +1 to the Wound rolls of two Genestealer Cults units if they shoot the same target, which you select when using the Stratagem.
We also had a look on the Tunnel Crawlers Stratagem, which can be a real surprise for your opponents. For 1 CP, you can set up a Deep Striking unit within 3” of an enemy instead of the standard 9”. While they won’t be able to Charge, they will still be a nuisance for your opponent, as you can take away objectives from right under their noses.
Overall, the Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cults Faction Focus has joined the ranks of the better ones. The never-ending swarm of mutated humans and Tyranid hybrids are really flavourful lorewise, and it can be very strong on the battlefield as well. While the Genestealer Cults will still be a hard army to pilot, in the hands of an experienced player, the dwellers of the Hive Cities can be deadly.
The 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k is right around the corner! Check back with ESTNN so you don’t miss anything regarding the new rules of the tabletop wargame!