Thursday, 14 February 2019

8th Edition Genestealer Cults Codex Review: Part 5- Troops

The next part of my 8th edition Genestealer Cults Codex review will take a look at the Troops choices available to the Cult. 

Acolyte Hybrids
For me, the Acolyte Hybrids are one of the core choices for the Genestealer Cults army. They have access to some great combat weaponry, as well as the powerful Demolition charges. 

The Acolyte Hybrids have dropped to 7 pts each in the codex (down from 11 pts each in the Index). This was a necessary reduction, in my opinion. They are a strong combat unit when armed correctly, but their durability was very poor, due to being T3 with a 5+ save. They hit really hard on the turn they arrived, but quickly fell to enemy firepower in retribution.

The points reductions in the squad make them an even more viable choice to make up the bulk of the army.

The squad all get rending claws and cultist knives, giving them some strong AP attacks and an extra attack with the cultist knife.

The squad gets access to a number of strong combat weapons in the form of the Heavy Rock Cutter, Heavy Rock Drill and Heavy Rock Saw. All these weapons are Sx2, AP-3 or -4. None of them suffer -1 to hit in combat, so you can get some good accuracy with the squad, especially when combined with a Primus, giving +1 to hit. Some of the choices also have the option to do additional mortal wounds or slaying models outright. You can take two of these for every 5 models in the squad, so these are very powerful weapons to take in a larger squad.

They have a few good shooting options, such as the Hand Flamer or Demolition charges. Hand Flamers are now only 1 point each and do D6 shots, so you can potentially do a lot of S3 damage to an enemy unit. The Demolition charges are a very powerful grenade option. They are one use only, but are Grenade D6, S8, AP-3 and D3 damage, for only 5pts each. You can combine the Hand Flamer or Demolition charges with a number of stratagems to be able to deploy the unit in range of the enemy and fire them to do maximum damage when you arrive.

There are a number of useful Cult Creeds to boost the power of the Acolyte Hybrids. Twisted Helix takes them up to S5, meaning you will be wounding most infantry on a 3+, a huge boost for their combat potential. Pauper Princes gives you re-rolls to hit in combat on a turn you charge or are charged, which is really good for this squad, especially when tooled up with heavy combat weapons. Most of the Creeds are of good use to the unit, and I look forward to trying them out.

I think this will make up the bulk of my army, as they have a lot of strong combat potential.

Neophyte Hybrids
This squad brings some firepower to the cult army, as they are all armed with Autoguns and can take a number of heavy weapons and special weapons. They have the statline of Guardsmen, but with Ld 7.

They can take a number of heavy mining weapons, such as the Mining Laser, Heavy Stubber or seismic cannon. These have some good utility in the army, but I don't find them overly powerful, especially as they are generally shorter ranged.

The squad comes in 10-20 strong, so you can go for a big squad if you want. There are some ways to mitigate losses from morale, so a big squad is not a terrible idea, but is still not the most optimal build.

The unit can no longer take "Imperial" heavy weapons, such as the Mortar, Lascannon, Heavy Bolter or Missile Launcher. This is slightly annoying, as I have modelled some of these on my Neophytes. However, there are other options for taking these on infantry units.

I think the Neophytes are a good squad for bulking out the numbers in your army and for backfield objective holding. They give you a nice cheap unit to hold your back line.

The Creeds will be of use to the squad, allowing them to fall back and fire at -1 to hit, or allowing them to move and fire heavy weapons without penalty, a nice bonus due to the short range of the Mining weapons.

Brood Brothers Infantry Squad
A new unit for the codex, this is essentially an Astra Militarum squad with an extra point of leadership.

The benefit of this squad is that it can take a range of heavy weapons, including a Missile Launcher, Lascannon, Mortar, Autocannon or Heavy Bolter. This gives you some strong, long range firepower for your army.

However, the squad cannot benefit from a Cult Creed or a number of useful abilities. To compensate for this, perhaps, the squad only costs 4 pts per model, so a slightly cheaper Guardsman squad.

I think this squad will be a useful addition to the army, as a way to get some longer range firepower for your force.

The Genestealer Cults have some very strong troops choices. The reduction in points in the Acolyte Hybrids is a big boost, allowing you to take more of these units as the core of your army. The addition of the Brood Brothers squad gives you a way to access cheaper heavy weapons in your army, but limits the availability of certain buffing abilities and stratagems to use on the squad.

I think the bulk of my army will remain in the Neophyte Hybrids and Acolyte Hybrids, for their firepower and combat abilities, respectively.

Genestealer Cults Codex Review
Part 1- Special Rules, Cult Creeds
Part 2- Stratagems
Part 3- Warlord Traits, Relics, Psychic Powers
Part 4- HQ Units
Part 5- Troops
Part 6- Elites
Part 7- Fast Attack
Part 8- Heavy Support and Dedicated Vehicles


  1. The Rock Saw seems like the best of the Acolyte CC Weapons to me, followed closely by the Drill, and then the Cutter last. Lying in Wait plus Extra Explosives on a Unit with a bunch of Demolition Charges should be fun, too.

    It's annoying that Neophytes don't get more Heavy/Special Weapons slots when you take a larger Unit. Big Units of them feel more appropriate, but there's hardly any game reason to go there. I also feel like using at least Heavy Stubbers is pretty much a given for them. They're so cheap that the loss of firepower when moving pretty minor, and have the best Range of any of the options. I don't really see the point of the Seismic Cannon, but I can see taking a few Mining Lasers here and there for Units that will be able to rely on some buffing Characters.

    I don't know I feel about Brood Brothers Troops Squads. I can definitely see the point of the Heavy Weapons Squads, but even with the point drop compared to Neophytes, giving up a Creed, along with pretty much all the possible supporting buffs from Characters, seems like a pretty heavy price to pay for the Troops Squads.

    1. I quite like the drill, the chance to do mortal wounds on wounded models is pretty strong.
      I'm not too wild about the Heavy Stubbers, as they are only S4. If they were S5 like a heavy bolter, I would see more appeal for them.

    2. Heavy Stubbers aren't great, but as a 2 Point upgrade from an Autogun or Shotgun, I find them kind of hard to argue with. Even if the Squad moves, that dude is getting 3 S4 shots at BS5+, compared to, at best, 2 S4 shots at BS4+ from the Shotgun. So, worst case scenario, it averages out the same, and at anything further than 6" Range, and/or when standing still, it's an improvement.

      Think of it kind of like taking the extra Storm Bolter on Rhinos. It doesn't do much, but given how cheap it is, it doesn't have to do much to be worthwhile.

    3. True, plus you can always go for the trait allowing you to move and fire heavy weapons without penalty.

  2. Glad I've been painting up Neophyte (now Brood Brother) squads from IG models so all still useable. I have a fair few Genestealer Hybrid models from the 'Genestealer' Space Hulk Expansion, so they will become Acolytes I reckon. The 'Chaos' Heavy Weapons they came with might fit into the Brood Brother Squads nicely too. Shame your Neophyte converted Heavy Weapon Teams cannot be used - will you just play as Counts-As Brood Brothers with those?

  3. Hand flamers are d6 shots? What? How come my Blood Angles only get d3 shots! Hmmm, I don't like that one, maybe it'll mean an upgrade to BA hand flamers at some point.

    1. Apparently they went up to D6 shots in a recent FAQ. I missed it too, until it was pointed out to me. As much as I love them updating the game, it is all too easy to miss little things like this, or forget where you saw the change amongst the dozen or so erratas and FAQs.