Monday, 17 October 2016

Genestealer Cult

Well ……. this hasn’t happened for a while. I find myself enthused by a new faction – Genestealers Cults (GSC).

The play style, and in particular the Cult Ambush rule has really taken my fancy. I’ve spent the last week pouring over the codex and reading everything I can online about GSC and I’m pretty sure I want to start this army. I wanted to run a horde, taking maximum advantage of the Cult Ambush  rule. The list I’m moving towards is a Cult Insurrection Detachment with a Brood Cycle formation, a Subterranean Uprising formation, and a GSC Combined Arms Detachment. Something like

Cult Insurrection Detachment

Brood Cycle

5 Acolytes
5 Acolytes
5 Acolytes

5 Metamorphs

10 Neophytes. 2 Seismic Cannons
10 Neophytes. 2 Seismic Cannons

20 Purestrain Genestealers


Patriarch (Level 2)
Magus (level 2), Crouchling. 

Subterranean Uprising


5 Acolytes, 2 Rock Saws
5 Acolytes, 2 Rock Saws
20 Acolytes

10 Metamoprphs, 3 Claws, 3 Lashes
10 Metamoprphs, 3 Claws, 3 Lashes


Magus (level2)

10 Neophytes. 2 Seismic Cannons
10 Neophytes. 2 Seismic Cannons

So, lots and lots of bodies. The Acolytes and Metamorphs in the Brood Cycle formation are there to snag objectives. The neophytes are there to provide some shooting. The heavy lifting is done by the Purestrain Genestealers with added Patriarch (rolling on Endurance), and the units in the Subterranean Uprising formation, rolling 2 dice on the Cult Ambush table, or three dice if either Primus is attached.

However, there are a few rules queries I wanted to throw out there, and one huge elephant in the room.

First the rules queries

Does deployment using the Cult Ambush table count as infiltrating?

The rule says

“Units with this Special Rule that Infiltrate or that arrive from Reserve or Ongoing Reserve can choose to roll on the Cult Ambush table instead of deploying or arriving from Reserves normally.”

I could argue that the word “Infiltrate” is simply there to identify those units who can use Cult Ambush when deploying i.e. the question is “Who can use Cult Ambush when they deploy” and the answer given by the rule is “Units with the Cult Ambush Rule and who can deploy using Infiltrate”. It then goes on to say that those units can roll on the Cult Ambush table “instead of deploying … normally” i.e. instead of deploying via infiltrate.

However, I’m not convinced that’s right  My argument is that “instead of deploying normally” replaces all of the rules for deployment with Cult Ambush, rather than just some of them. Sadly, I think the rest of the rule makes it clear, that isn’t the case. It says “unless otherwise specified ambushing units move onto the table as described for other Reserves.” So the general position is that the units are in reserve or infiltrating. Only where the Cult Ambush rules specifically say differently, will the general rules not apply. I could argue that this part of the rule only applies to Reserves, and does not mention deployment. However, result 6 on the Cult Ambush table makes it quite clearer. It says “Unlike other units that Infiltrate or come from Reserve, the ambushing units can charge in their first turn, or on the turn they arrive from Reserves”. So, you are infiltrating but roll 6 on the table and there is an exception to the general rules on infiltrate.

This is sad for a couple of reasons. Firstly, servo skulls shut down the use of Cult Ambush at the deployment stage completely, because if you can’t infiltrate, you can’t use Cult Ambush. Secondly, if you’re going second, you still can’t charge in your first turn – so you deploy via cult ambush – get shot on your opponents first turn, cant assault on your first turn, get shot again in your opponents second turn, before you can at last assault in your second turn (unless of course you roll a 6 on the table, where you are given specific permission to assault in your first turn). With T3 and a 5+ save, you will not survive to assault in turn 2.

Next – if a unit comes on via Cult Ambush, can it shoot heavy weapons? I think quite clearly you can’t if your roll a 1 on the table (walk on from your table edge) or a 2 (outflank), but what if you roll a 3+? The rules say you “set up” the unit, and specifically says you cannot move in the movement phase. So, I think you can shoot heavy weapons, as you are not moving at all.

Finally, the rules for the Subterranean Uprising formation allow you to roll 3 dice on the table, if you attach “a” Primus  to the unit i.e. not just “the” Primus from the formation. However, that seems to contradict some of the rulings in the draft FAQ, which, for example, disallow independent characters gaining any benefit form a skyhammer formation. The rule in question is in the Independent Character Special Rules. It says

“Unless specified in the rule itself … the units special rules are not conferred on the Independent Character, and the Independent Character’s Special Rules are not conferred on the unit.”

So, on the face of it, a Primus from the CAD gets no special rules from attaching to a unit from the Subterranean Uprising formation, and vice versa. However, the Primus has all the necessary special rules already. Break it down – to allow the unit to roll 3 dice on the table it needs Cult Ambush and (if you want to deploy using Cult Ambush) Infiltrate. In addition it needs the “Meticulous Planner” rule from the formation. The Primus has Infiltrate and cult ambush as standard, as do units from the formation, so that bit’s not a problem. The Meticulous Planner” rule provides

“If a unit from this formation has been joined by a Primus, you can roll 3 dice instead of one when rolling on the Cult Ambush table”.

So, neither the unit nor the Primus have the rule. So there is no question of one conferring the rule on the other. The rule  only come into existence when the units come together. So I would argue the rule itself specifies that the combined unit has “Meticulous Planner” , and it doesn’t matter whether the Primus is from the Formation or not.

Thoughts on these rule queries please?

And finally, the elephant in the room. If I go 2nd against Tau, I lose, and even if I go first, I still lose if I don’t roll enough 6’s on the Cult Ambush table. I’ve been racking my brains for a solution, but I just can’t see one.

The problem is Early Warning Overrides. For example. pretty much every Riptide Wing I’ve ever seen, is loaded down with EWO’s, giving all the Riptides intercept. Say I roll a 6 on the table – any unit I bring in from reserve will get absolutely shredded by intercept, and anything else will get killed by overwatch. Landing in cover makes no difference as most Riptide Wings have smart missile systems on the Riptides.  If I go first it’s not quite so bad, I suspect I can put so many units in his face turn one that I will overwhelm even a Riptide wing’s fire power, particularly if I roll enough 6s. However, going second I will get blasted off the board.

Anybody worked out how to deal with Tau using a GSC army?


No comments:

Post a Comment