Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Cult's First Battle

So, for the first time in a long time I was at the non-club last night (which now seems to be a proper club with presidents treasurers and everything….none of which I have anything to do with I'm happy to say!), and played my first game with the Cult. A learning experience. But first, hobby update….

I have 20 Neophytes, 5 metamorphs and 5 Genestealers to finish (they are all “base coated and washed”) and then I’m done. God it’s been a slog, but nearly there. But onto my game.

You can see my list in previous posts – essentially a minimal brood cycle with a subterranean uprising and a CAD. I was playing an experienced ETC player, running 3 Knights, a unit of forgeworld quad launchers some scouts and a guard Psykana Division, looking to summon a bunch of demons. We were playing ITC mission 1 (practice for the ITC Scottish Open at the end of the month). Pregame I rolled the Warlord Trait that allows me to choose the result on cult ambush, nothing of note on Biomancy for the Patriarch (Enfeeble and Haemorrhage), and nothing of note on the Broodmind table, other than “Might from Beyond” (+1 Strength and Rage). However, I did get first turn!!

My opponent castled up in a corner with the quad mortars behind the three knights, bubble wrapped with scouts. I rolled a “6” on 2 units of Hybrids toting Rock Saws, and a unit of Metamorphs with a mixture of whips and claws. Combined with the Genestealers, that might be pretty scary. However, my opponent had bubble wrapped pretty well, and I could only get to one of the knights. So I made my first mistake – I got carried away with all those 6’s and over committed. I crammed all 4 of the units that could charge (which included all my IC’s) around the castle and tried to “take it”. After 3 turns all my IC’s and all 4 units were dead, along with a couple more units I fed into the meat grinder. To be sure I had killed 2 knights and the quad mortars, but he used the Psykana division to summon demons and eventually tabled me at the end of turn 5.

Lots and lots to learn. Some points

·         Knights don’t like Rock Saws, particularly when they are backed up with S6 rending claws (base S4, +1 for furious charge, +1 for Might from Beyond). I killed both knights, each with a 5 man unit of Hybrids with 2 Rock Saws.

·         Don’t over commit – I committed the 20 man unit of Genestealers to kill a 5 man scout unit (Duh), and it was then murdered by the quad launchers (52 wounds!!). To be fair I didn’t appreciate how deadly the quad launchers were. I had hoped to survive and then get into the knight behind the bubble wrap, but it wasn’t to be. I should have kept the genestealerrs in reserve, and used them later in the game once the bubble wrap had been broken, particularly with the Ambush Leader warlord trait. 

·         Protect your IC’s – to get the Rock Saw units onto the board with a 6 I had a Primus in each unit. Once they died, and I lost hatred, the units were a lot less flexible. I also committed the Iconward and both Magi in those units. Stupid I know, but I wanted to make sure I had the buffs when I went into the knights. I think I need to work out a way to have the IC’s in the mix, but protect them somehow. I wonder if a 4 man unit of Aberrants to baby sit the IC’s would work. They could sit just back from the front line, (with a 4+ FNP) using their bubbles to buff units around them.

·         I’m not sure really big units are the way to go. In my list I have a unit of 20 Genestealers, and a unit of 20 Hybrids. Neither of them performed. They were just massive (fragile) targets. I know it seems obvious, but I think MSU is the way to go, probably running 2 Subterranean Uprising formations. 

·         Are Genestealers worth the extra points over Hybrids or Metamorphs, particularly Hybrids or Metamorphs rolling 2 dice on the Cult Ambush Table? Too soon to tell, but I’m not convinced.

Overall, I think I’m really going to enjoy playing this army. It’s really dynamic, has loads of options, and lots of moving parts that will (I hope) reward smart play. The one thing that should have been obvious I guess, is that it really is a glass hammer. It hits incredibly hard (particularly with multiple 6’s), but degrades very quickly as your units die to a stiff breeze. To have any sort of mid to late game presence, I think I need to play quite conservatively in the first few turns.

The one thing is – it’s time consuming…! I’ll get faster with practice, but there are a load of models, and finiky rules. I need to be much more organised.




  1. I wonder if the Cult could shake the meta away from deathstars. If the Cult gets first turn they could seriously smash a deathstar before it gets its psychic abilities up.

    Personally although I'm late to the party, my Tau are going to have to put interceptor on EVERYTHING possible (and probably change my markerlight sources to a Drone Net for intercepting markerlights). My Necrons rejoicing because my 20 warriors have something important to do early game (bubblewrap ;) ).

    As more and more people start to complete Cult armies, do you think it could shift the meta ? Or will they be like Dark Eldar, a spoiler army ?


  2. Possibly (!) - I've really not played enough games to get a feel forth yet. They are certainly a good counter to elder, and can hammer deathstars if you have first turn before they get their buffs up. Tau are the big problem, with EWOs everywhere. Unless of course you get first turn......!

    To really shake things up, Cult players will need to work out an answer to intercepting Tau. Cleverer ones than me!

  3. A good read, thanks for sharing, not interested in playing as the Cult yet, but just getting back into 40k so its good to hear what others are doing out there.

    I have heard a few people saying that intercepting Tau are going to be the bane of genestealer cults, will be interesting to see how everything tweaks around in the next few months.