Friday, 1 June 2018

Battle Report 150- Genestealer Cult vs Thousand Sons

Today's battle report sees my Genestealers Cults army take on Ben and his Thousand Sons army. We would be playing the Kill Confirmed maelstrom of war mission, with Spearhead Assault deployment. The mission was three cards per turn, with kill points as well. 

My army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment
Patriarch- Mass Hypnosis (Pt)
Primus (Pr)
10 Neophytes- Mining Laser, Grenade Launcher (N1)
10 Neophytes- Mining Laser, Grenade Launcher (N2)
10 Acolytes- 2 Heavy Rock Cutters (A1)
5 Acolytes (A5)
16 Purestrain Genestealers (PG)
Leman Russ- Battle Cannon, 3 Heavy Bolters (LR)

Battalion Detachment
Acolyte Iconward (I2)
Magus- Might From Beyond (M)
10 Acolytes- 2 Heavy Rock Drills (A2)
10 Acolytes- 2 Heavy Rock Saws (A3)
10 Acolytes (A4)
5 Acolytes (A6)
Goliath Truck- Twin Autocannon, Heavy Stubber, Cache of Demolition Charges (GT)
Scout Sentinel- Autocannon (S1)

I decided to go for two Battalions to give me a good number of command points to use. This allowed me to field all four of the characters, taking the Acolyte Iconward for the first time. The new reserves rules would also have an effect on the army, as I would need to keep some squads of Acolytes on the table, rather than putting them all in reserve as I normally would. 

Ben's army consisted of:
Battalion Detachment
Ahriman on Disc of Tzeentch- Death Hex, Doombolt, Temporal Manipulation (A)
Daemon Prince of Tzeentch- Aetherstride, Gaze of Fate, Helm of the Third Eye, Infernal Gateway, Malefic Talon, Warp Bolter, Wings (DP)
Exalted Sorcerer of Tzeentch- Dark Matter Crystal, Force Stave, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Prescience, Weaver of Fates (S)
5 Rubric Marines- Aspiring Sorcerer with Force Stave and Inferno Bolt Pistol, Inferno Bolters (RM1)
5 Rubric Marines- Aspiring Sorcerer with Force Stave and Inferno Bolt Pistol, 4 Warpflamers (RM2)
20 Tzaangors- Brayhorn, Icon of Flame (T)
5 Scarab Occult Terminators- Occult Sorcerer with Force Stave and Inferno Combi-Bolter, Power Swords, Inferno Combi-Bolters, Soulreaper Cannon (ST)
Tzaangor Shaman- Force Stave, Weaver of Fates (Sh)
3 Tzaangor Enlightened- Aviarch, Fatecaster Greatbows (E)
Chaos Predator- Predator Autocannon, Lascannon Sponsons, Combi-Bolter, Havoc Launcher (P)
Defiler- Reaper Autocannon, Combi-Bolter, Defiler Scourge (D)

A pretty mixed force of Thousand Sons. I was expecting a lot of pyschic powers and some good saves from the forces of Chaos. This is the first time I had played Ben's army, and it was a great looking force. 

We set up the objectives as shown below:

We then deployed our forces. I put the two 5-man units of Acolytes on the left flank next to the objective, with the Truck next to them. The unit of Acolytes with the the Rock Saws were put in the truck. I put one unit of Neophytes in the centre of the deployment zone, with the Magus behind them, next to the Leman Russ. The second Neophyte squad went in the ruins to the right, with the Sentinel beside them. The rest of the units went in reserve. 

Ben put his Predator and Defiler to his left flank, with a unit of Rubric Marines in cover on each flank. The Tzaangors went in the ruins in the centre, with the Tzeentch characters nearby to support them. The Occult Terminators went in reserve. 

I lost the roll off for first turn and also failed to seize the initiative. 

In his first turn, Ben drew Hold the Line, Defend Objective 4 and Vengeance Long Awaited (destroy an enemy unit). 

The forces of Chaos began to move towards the enemy lines. Ahriman, the Shaman and the Daemon Prince advanced towards the Cult ranks. At the end of the phase, the power of the Dark Matter Crystal teleported the Tzaangors in front of the enemy on the left flank. 

In the psychic phase, the Daemon Prince began by casting Gaze of Fate to grant a single re-roll. He then cast Smite, killing three of the Neophytes after they failed to deny it. The Tzaangors were then boosted with Diabolic Strength, then a Smite attack killed two more of the Neophytes in the centre. The Shaman then cast Smite, killing another two Neophytes. The Sorcerer then cast Prescience on the Predator, followed by Weaver of Fates on the Tzanngor Enlightened. He tried to cast Glamour of Tzeentch on the Rubric Marines, but the attempt failed.

In the shooting phase, the Chaos Predator opened fire on the Cult Leman Russ. The Lascannons hit twice, but only caused a single wound, which I blocked on a 6+! The Autocannon managed to do three wounds on the Russ. The Havoc Launcher on the vehicle accounted for another wound. The Defiler fired its Battle Cannon, getting two shots, but failing to hit with either. A bit of a surprise, as I was expecting the Russ to be a mangled wreck.

The Tzaangor Enlightened fired on the central Neophytes, killing two more and leaving only one surviving member.

In the charge phase, the Tzaangors assaulted the Neophytes in the ruins and the Scout Sentinel. Some nice overwatch fire saw three of the Tzeentch beasts slain. Ben rolled a double 6 for his charge, easily making it in to both units. He spread out the squad to benefit from the buffs of the nearby characters.

The Tzaangors struck at the Neophytes with an animalistic fury, causing 19 wounds and slaying the unit. The rest of the squad struck at the Sentinel, causing 8 wounds. I failed 6 of my saves and decided to use a command point re-roll on one of them. The reason for this is that the Tzaangors closest to the Russ were locked in combat with it. If the Sentinel survived, the unit could not consolidate into the Leman Russ to stop it from firing. I had a 1 in 3 chance of keeping the Sentinel alive. However, it was not to be, I failed my re-roll and the Cult Sentinel was destroyed, the Tzaangors consolidated into the Leman Russ.

He then used the Cycle of Slaughter stratagem on the Tzaangors to allow them to strike again. They vented their fury on the Leman Russ, causing 8 wounds. I failed 6 of my 4+ saves and it left the Leman Russ on only 3 wounds.

In the morale phase, the last surviving Neophyte in the central squad fled. It was not worth using the two command points to keep him alive. If the Tzaangors had failed their charge, I probably would have used the two command points to deny first blood, a kill point and the maelstrom card, but as it was, it would have been a waste.

At the end of the turn, Ben scored First Blood, three kill points and Vengeance Long Awaited for 5 points.

In my first turn, I drew Secure Objective 2, Secure Objective 4 and Defend Objective 1. Not the best round of cards for me.

The Leman Russ fell back from combat, while the Acolyte Hybrids in the Truck disembarked and moved to deal with the Tzaangor threat. The two squads of Acolytes on the left flank moved up towards the objective.

At the end of the phase, the Cult reserves arrived. The Primus led the Purestrain Genestealers in on the right flank, landing next to the long line of Tzaangors. I rolled a 6 on the ambush table with the Meticulous Uprising Stratagem to allow the unit to move and advance to threaten the right flank.

On the left flank, the Patriarch led another unit of Acolytes. I rolled a 2 on the Ambush table, using a command point re-roll to get a 4 and put them 9" away from the Rubric Marines. The Iconward led the final unit of Acolytes, getting a 5 on the table to move within 4" of the Rubric Marines on the hill.

In the psychic phase, the Patriarch cast Mass Hypnosis on the Rubric Marines to stop them firing overwatch. I cast on a 9, but Ben denied the power on an 11! The Magus then failed to cast Smite.

I don't know what it is. Every time I go up against psykers, they seemed to be casting powers all over the battlefield and blasting my army with Smites. However, every time I used psykers, they do absolutely nothing in my games, seemingly failing to cast the most basic of powers.

The two Acolyte squads on the left flank fired their pistols at the Rubric Marines, causing a single wound. Ben failed the save, but used a command point re-roll to pass it.

On the right flank, the Acolytes fired at the Tzaangors, killing one of the squad. The Goliath Truck fired on the squad, killing another 2.

The charge phase then got under way. The Genestealers charged the Tzaangors, Ahriman and the Shaman, the Primus joined the charge on the Tzaangors, as did the Acolyte squad.

The Acolytes charged the Rubric Marines, rolling a 3" charge. Low, but enough to get in. The Acolyte Iconward joined them in the charge. The Patriarch then charged in. I rolled a 6 and a 2 for the charge. I used a command point to re-roll the 2 and rolled a 1! The other squad of Acolytes also failed the charge.

The Purestrain Genestealers struck at the Thousand Sons units. Their flurry of claws took out Ahriman, the Shaman and 8 of the Tzaangors. I should have taken out more of the unit, but some horrendous to wound rolls had seen may of the squad survive.

Ben used two command points to interrupt and attack with the Tzaangors. They targeted their attacks on the Acolytes, killing 6 of the squad before they could strike. The Acolyte Hybrids then struck back, killing two more of the Tzaangors.

On the other flank, the Acolytes attacked the Rubric Marines, rolling 17 hits, but only 6 wounds despite wounding on a 3+! Two of the squad perished though. The Rock Cutters attacked the Rubric Marines, hitting three times with one command point re-roll, but it was enough to wipe out the squad.

In the morale phase, I used 2 command points to pass morale with the Acolyte Hybrids. At the end of my turn, I scored Secure Objective 4 and four kill points. I discarded Secure Objective 2.

Thousand Sons- 5
Genestealer Cults- 5

A pretty even first turn all round, going in to turn 2 on equal points. Despite wiping out four units, my rolling to wound was a bit horrendous, but fortunately I did enough damage to finish off the squads and put me on a decent position.

In his second turn, Ben drew Secure Objective 4 to go with Defend Objective 4 and Hold the Line .

The Defiler and Daemon Prince moved up on the Acolytes on the right flank. The Tzaangor Enlightened moved over to the centre of the field, while the Rubric Marines on the left flank moved up on the Genestealers.

The Occult Terminators then teleported onto the battlefield, landing next to the Bastion to target the Cult forces.

In the psychic phase, the Daemon Prince cast Gaze of Fate. He then cast Smite, but the Patriarch was able to block the power. The Sorceror cast Prescience on the Predator, failing, but then using the Gaze of Fate re-roll to pass the power.
He then cast Smite, killing one Genestealer. He then cast Weaver of Fates on the Daemon Prince. The Scarab Terminators cast Smite, killing one of the Acolytes on the hill.

In the shooting phase, the Predator fired at the Leman Russ, destroying it. The Storm Bolter and Havoc Launcher targeted the Genestealers, killing a few of the squad. The Tzaangor Enlightened fired on the Genestealers, killing one. The Daemon Prince fired at the Acolytes in front of him, killing one.

The Defiler used the Daemonforge stratagem and targeted the Goliath Truck with the Battle Cannon, taking four wounds from it. Its other weapons killed three of the Acolytes on the hill.

The Terminators fired at the Acolytes and Genestealers, killing three Purestrains and one Hybrid.

In the charge phase, the Defiler and Daemon Prince assaulted the Acolytes and Iconward. The Defiler attacked, killing two of the Acolytes. I used two command points to interrupt. The Acolytes struck at the Daemon Prince, hitting three times with the Rock Cutters, hitting three times but only wounding once after I rolled a double 1. I used a command point re-roll, but still failed to wound again. However, the Daemon Prince's invulnerable save turned away the attack.

The Daemon Prince then attacked, killing the Acolytes and putting two wounds on the Acolyte Iconward. The Iconward struck back, wounding the Daemon Prince once.

In the morale phase, I used two command points to pass the morale test on the Purestrain Genestealers.

At the end of the turn, Ben scored two kill points and Hold the Line. He discarded Defend Objective 4.

In my second turn, I drew Secure Objective 1, Defend Objective 4 and had Defend Objective 1.

One unit of Acolytes embarked on the Goliath Truck, the Truck then moved up on the Terminators. The other squad of Acolytes moved up as well. The Patriarch moved up on the Daemon Prince, while the Acolytes moved up on the Defiler.

The Genestealers moved up on the Predator, while the Primus moved up on the objective. The Magus moved up on the Tzaangor Enlightened. I used the Fade into the Shadows stratagem to remove the Acolyte squad on the right flank.

The Magus attempted to cast Smite, but failed the casting on a 3. The Patriarch then cast Smite on the Daemon Prince. Ben failed to deny it, even with a command point re-roll, and the Prince took 3 mortal wounds.

The Acolytes used the Cache of Demolition charges on the Terminators. The charges hit and wounded the Terminators twice, as I used my last command point re-roll to get a second wound. I rolled for damage and rolled a 1 for the damage on the first wound! Only one Terminator perished.

The Patriarch charged the Daemon Prince, the Genestealers charged the Predator and the Goliath Truck and Acolytes charged the Terminators. I managed to make all four close range charges, which was fortunate, as I failed to roll above a 4 on all four charges! Ben used the Warpflame Gargoyles stratagem, but failed the roll to hit the Genestealers.

The Patriarch attacked the Daemon Prince, hitting 6 times but only wounding twice! The Prince saved on wound. I then rolled for the damage and rolled another 1. I forgot that the Patriarch was at +1 strength due to the Relic banner, so would have wounded more times had I remembered.

The Genestealers attacked the Predator, doing four wounds on it. The Goliath Truck managed to do a single wound on the Terminators. The Acolyte Iconward attacked the Daemon Prince, but failed to do any damage.

The Terminators struck at the Acolytes, killing three of the squad. The Daemon Prince attacked the Patriarch, killing him.

At the end of the turn, I scored Secure Objective 1. Ben scored one kill point and Slay the Warlord.

Thousand Sons- 10
Genestealer Cults- 6

In his third turn, Ben drew Assassinate and Defend Objective 4 to go with Defend Objective 2.

The Predator fell back from combat, while the Rubric Marines and Sorcerer moved up on them. The Tzaangor Enlightened moved into the ruins to target the Primus. The Defiler moved up on the Acolytes.

Ben used the Chaos Familiar stratagem to swap his spells, changing Infernal Gateway for Temporal Manipulation. The Daemon Prince cast Gaze of Fate. He then cast Temporal Manipulation in an attempt to heal the Daemon Prince, failing but then using his free re-roll to pass and heal 2 wounds on the Daemon Prince.

The Sorcerer then cast Weaver of Fates on the Daemon Prince. He tried to cast Smite, but failed in the attempt. The Aspiring Sorcerer then cast Smite, killing one of the Purestrains. The Terminators then cast Smite, perilling in the process and killing one Terminator. The psychic power finished off the Acolyte squad in combat with them.

The Enlightened fired on the Primus, taking two wounds from him. The Rubric Marines turned their Flamers on the Genestealers, killing the squad off. The Defiler fired on the Acolytes, killing 5 of them.

The Defiler charged the Acolytes, while the Tzaangor Enlightened charged the Primus. The Defiler struck at the Acolytes, managing to kill 3.

The Enlightened attacked the Primus, killing him. The Terminators attacked the Goliath Truck, but failed to do any damage. The Truck tried to crush the Terminators, but did no damage.

The Acolytes struck at the Defiler. The Heavy Rock Drill managed to wound the Defiler once. The Walker took a further 3 mortal wounds from the Rock Drill. The Daemon Prince killed the Acolyte Iconward in combat.

In the morale phase, the rest of the Acolytes in combat with the Defiler fled the field.

At the end of his turn, Ben scored 5 kill points, Assassintate and Secure Objective 4.

Thousand Sons- 17
Genestealer Cults- 6

At this point, I decided to call the game. Ben was well ahead on points and I had very few units left to try and make up the gap.

Thanks to Ben for a fun game against his great looking new army. I hope to face it more in the future, maybe even give him a challenging match at some point!

There were plenty of changes I could have made to the game to try and perform better. The major one is that I was unaware of what the Dark Matter Crystal did, so could have been better prepared for it. Had I known the effects, I would have made a scout move with the Scout Sentinel. This would have blocked the Tzaangors from charging most of my lines, and allowed me to shoot more in my first turn. In addition, I could have blocked the Leman Russ from being engaged by using a Neophyte screen on them.

Another change could have been going after the Daemon Prince and Enlightened with the Genestealers, as well as engaging the Tzaangors. With my massed attacks, I might have been able to take out all three targets. This would have taken Ben's warlord, as well as denying him his most mobile unit of Enlightened.

The new Beta rules do have a bit of an effect on the Genestealer Cults. They get to bypass the rule restricting deploying outside of your deployment zone on turn 1, so are quite powerful in that regard. However, the power level restrictions can hurt them as well, forcing you to not put as many units as you would like in reserve. I probably would have put another unit or two of Acolytes in reserve if possible.

I'm looking forward to when the Cult will finally get their own codex. They do need a lot of help at the moment. They hit incredibly hard on the turn they arrive, but will quickly melt to the enemy firepower in the following turn, as they have very poor armour saves.

I hope they get an attack again stratagem, as the Purestrain Genestealers will be incredibly powerful getting to attack twice.

I also need to get painting up the other 16 Purestrain Genestealers that I have. A second unit of these would be incredibly powerful, especially when combined with another Primus for a turn 2 assault.

I hope you enjoyed the battle report, be sure to check out the Facebook page for the blog to keep up to date with all that is going on. 


  1. Good report. Both those armies look great.

  2. Yay a rare GSC battep :) Although I can understand playing an army without a codex can be un-fun. Looking forward to what you'll be able to do with the army when the codex hits. I'm sure you'll wreak plenty of face!

    1. Just a pity it wasn't a bit longer! It's hard finding the time to fit in games with many of my armies at the moment, my Guard haven't even had a game since the codex came out!

      I'm probably going to focusing on the Deathwatch for a little while to get ready for the GT in July. After that, I think I'll make a big effort with the Cult, plus the Ork codex will be out.