Where did they come from? Where did they go? (Cult Codex Part 2)

Yesterday I wrote a quick summary of the basics of the Cult Codex, today I want to go a little more into some of the special rules. These rules make the codex pretty fluffy, and a lot of fun. However, they are not amazing. Good, but not amazing.

Every unit in the army, excluding vehicles, comes with the Cult Ambush and the Return to the Shadows special rules. These rules, if rolled well, can be bloody mean.

With Cult Ambush, instead of deploying normally, your roll on a table. Yeah, I know, GW loves to make things random, but these are pretty cool. On a 1, you deploy the unit 6 inches from your table edge. On a 2, they are deployed via outflank. On a three, you can set up the unit anywhere on the table that is more then 9 inches away from an enemy unit, but if no enemy unit can draw line of sight you can set them up 6 inches away from an enemy unit. On a 4, you can set up the unit more than 6 inches away from an enemy unit. On a roll of a 5, and here is where is starts getting interesting, you can set them up anywhere on the table that is more than 6 inches away from an enemy unit, and immediately make a bonus shooting attach (so you get to shoot twice). On a roll of a 6, and I love this one, you can set up the unit anywhere on the table providing that it is more than 3 inches away from an enemy unit, and then you can charge the turn they arrive. I used this rule and some genestealers to take out an assault squad in the first turn. This is amazing, providing you go first.

Now, the second special rule makes the first one even more entertaining. Return to the Shadows allows units to leave the board and be placed in ongoing reserves providing that there are no enemy units within 6 inches of the unit. So, the unit can leave and in the next turn, they can roll on the table and come back in an annoying fashion. While this will add even more randomness to the game, and could end up costing you the game if you are not careful, it is a blast.

There is one warlord trait that helps with this. On a six, your warlord gains Ambush Leader, which allows you to choose which result you want to take rather than rolling for it (only with the warlord and his unit). The rest of the traits, while good, are not as great. On a 1, you gain Stealth. On a two, units within 12 inches of the warlord gain counter-attack. On a 3, your warlord gains move through cover, and never suffers an initiative penalty when charging through terrain. On a 4, the warlord gains “It Will Not Die.” And on a 5, the detachment uses his leadership, which is also pretty good, but not as good as choosing to charge on turn one.

The Psychic powers of this codex are good. They are nothing extravagant, but good. The Primus power reduces a target enemy unit’s WS, BS, I, and Attacks by 1. They have a power that gives a unit fleet and relentless, and allows them to charge even if they ran in the same turn. There is a witchfire power that gives them a 24-inch range; blast template shot that is S5 AP3. Another power is a blessing that gives a unit plus 1 strength and rage. The 4th power (not counting the primus) is a roll off. If there is a draw, the enemy unit suffers a -3 penalty to their initiative, if the cult wins, they also suffer wounds with no cover or armour saves allowed. There is also a power that allows the cult player to take control of an enemy unit and shoot is as if it were their own. Finally, there is a summoning power. This varies depending on what warp charge level you decide it is, but you can summon almost any cult troop who then arrives using the cult ambush special rule.

The final item I will cover in my review is a quick summary of the formations. It hurts me to say that the cult has better formations than the Nids, but this should be all that surprising to me, or to anyone else. The codex is newer. It has a Decurion Style detachment.

This detachment, called the Cult Insurrection Detachment, consists of 1 to 6 core formations, 1 or more Auxiliary formations, and 0 to 3 command formations. The detachment gains the ability to reroll the warlord trait IF the patriarch is the warlord (oh, and you cannot have any more than one Patriarch, one Magus, and one Primus in this detachment). All non-vehicle units that gain infiltrate, and if they already have infiltrate, they gain shrouded. The Cult player can add 1 to their reserve rolls (which I usually need) and their opponent subtracts 1 from their reserve rolls. Finally, each time a unit enters ongoing reserves D6 models can be returned to that unit that we already slain in combat. I MUST RUN THIS.

Finally, I am going to give a quick run through of all the formations.

Subterranean Uprising – This formation consists of 0-1 Primus, 1-3 Metamorphs, 2-4 Acolytes, and 0-3 Aberrants. The formation has the infiltrate special rule, must be set up using Cult Ambush but you get to roll two dice and choose, and any unit joined by the Primus gets to roll three dice when rolling on the chart. I like this formation.

Deliverance Broodsurge – 2 to 6 units of Neophytes. All units must take Goliaths as dedicated transports. They must begin the game in the transports but can disembark even if the truck used cruising speed, but they have to take dangerous terrain tests. Also, the trucks ignore crew shaken or crew stunned results, but do lose the hull point. Eh, this one is OK.

Demolition Claw – 2 to 3 units of Acolytes and 2 to 3 units of Rockgrinders. At least one model in each of the hybrids must be equipped with a demolition charge, and the Rockgrinders are also equipped, but for free. The formation gains tank hunter, and the hybrids can reroll the scatter dice when throw a demolition charge. Finally, after the unit throws the charge, if it is within 6 inches of a Rockcrusher, on a 4+ roll, they can replenish the charge.

Brood Cycle – 1 Iconward, 3 Acolytes, 2 Neophytes, 1 Metamorph unit, 1 purestrain genestealer unit, 0 -1 Aberrants, and 0 – 1 Rockcrusher unit. The unit can add +1 to its leadership and weapon skill if it is within 6 inches of another non-vehicle unit. They also have furious charge if they are within 24 inches of the Iconward.

The First Curse – 20 Purestrain genestealers and a Patriarch. With this formation, you roll a D6 and gain the following bonuses. 1 – Flesh Hooks. 2 – 4+ armour save. 3 – Toxic Glands. 4 – Adrenal Sacs. 5 – Preferred Enemy. 6 – Choose one of the options.

Neophyte Cavalcade – 2 Neophyte units, 1 Leman russ Squadron, 1 to 2 units of either Scout Sentinels or Armoured Sentinels. All neophyte units must take a Chimera as a dedicated transport and must start the game embarked in the transport. Vehicles gain outflank except for Scout Sentinels who gain Cult Ambush. All vehicles ignore shaken or stunned results on a 4+, though still lose the hull point.

The Doting Throng – 0-1 Magus, 3 – 6 Neophytes and/or Acolytes (in any combination). Units have Zealot when within 12 inches of the Magus and when Magus is part of a unit, that unit can reroll all failed to hit rolls in every round of close combat. Also, when casting a blessing, the Magus can reroll the test if it failed.

Broodcoven – This formation consists of a Patriarch, a Magus, and a Primus. The three models must be deployed as a single unit. They can join friendly units, but only as a unit, and must leave as a unit. This formation, and a unit they join gain the following rules (providing that the specific model is still alive: Patriarch – Fleet. Magus – Counter Attack. Primus – Preferred Enemy.

That’s all for now.




The Four Armed-Emperor (Genestealer Codex Review part one)

It’s been a long time since I wrote for the blog, and a lot has happened. The biggest thing to happen to me, in terms of Warhammer is the release of the Genestealer Cult codex. I am more excited about this release than any recent release I can think of, including the last Tyranid update. I can’t even explain why I am this excited. I started playing 40K after the Genestealer Cult was discontinued. To me, the Cult was just a myth, something whispered about or reminisced about. But, GW got me excited about a release, so much so that I can now run a 2K army (using the genestealers from my Tyranid army).

My first impression about this army is that it is a glass cannon. Fluff wise, it is fantastic. And if you have some good luck with the dice, you can crush your opponent. However, a few bad rolls and you are going to be fighting an uphill battle.

Today I am just going to cover the units. In a later post, I will cover the special rules, psychic powers, and formations.

HQs –

The Patriarch – A slightly upgraded broodlord. He is a level 1 psyker who can be upgraded to level 2. He can take powers from Biomancy, Telepathy, and Broodmind. His Rending claws have shred and he gives units within the Genestealer Cult Faction fearless if they are within 12 inches of his model. He is strength 6, toughness 5, and has three wounds. He does NOT have an invulnerable save, but he auto passes lookout sir rolls, including in challenges (this will become important later).

Magus – Another level 1 psyker (upgradeable to level 2), and he has access to the same powers that the Patriarch. Units within 12 inches of the Magus gain Adamantium will (which I have to remember when playing). Strength 3, Toughness 3, and 2 wounds, he is not a model you want to get into close combat. He also auto passes look out sir rolls (actually, all HQ options do this, another fact I have to remember).

Primus – The strategist of the cult. Models with 12 inches of the Primus gain hatred. He comes armed with a bonesword, rending claws, toxin injectors (gives close combat weapons poison), and a needle pistol (Poison 2+). He is armed to the teeth. He is a strength 4, toughness 3 unit with 3 wounds. While not being too tough, he is a model, with the proper support, you would not mind getting into close combat.

Acolyte Iconward – The new addition (based off the deathwatch box set release). This little guy carries the Sacred Cult Banner, and is a great model to add to an army. Models within 12 inches gain feel no pain (6+) or if they already have feel no pain, they add 1 to their rolls (so a 4+). The banner also bestows Furious Charge to units within 12 inches. The Iconward won’t hit all that hard himself, but he can make other units a little more survivable, and a little more painful on the charge.

Troops –

There are only two troop options in the Cult codex. Acolyte Hybrids and Neophyte Hybrids. The Acolytes are first and second-generation cultists and are a little better at close combat. They have a higher Strength (4) but a toughness of 3. They also can be equipped with some fun close combat weapons like a rock saw or a rock cutter (both will be covered later).

The neophytes are the 3rd and 4th generation hybrids. These are the ones that can pass as human, or nearly so. These are equipped with autoguns or lasguns. You can choose a few heavy weapon options, and even take a heavy weapons team. These are, all things considered, guard.

Elite –

The elite choices are fun, and very good.

Hybrid Metamorphs – As the hive mind get closer, these random metamorphs begin to appear. They can be equipped with a lot of the same things that regular Tyranids could be equipped with. Scything Talons, claws, whips, and even bone swords. They are obviously meant for close combat. I have yet to try these out (I built Acolytes instead of these guys, but they are on the list). I don’t think they are the best elite choice, but I think they could be fun.

Purestrain Genestealers – Ah, the Genestealers. These pretty boys come in at the same price as the Tyranid Genestealers, but are just a tad better. Not counting their special rules (covered later… this is long enough now), they have some interesting upgrades that make them pretty damn good. They now come with stealth and a 5+ invulnerable save. With their three attacks, and not being more survivable, these guys can put up a fight. Add in the Patriarch, and you give him some models to take wounds.

Abberrants – The mutants of the Cult world. These guys, who are only available through the Deathwatch box set as of this writing) are interesting. Strength of 5, and a toughness of 4, they also come with feel no pain and stubborn. At 30 points a model, they are a bit pricy, but if you can get them into close combat, they will hit hard. Add all the benefits of the HQs, and they could hit like a truck and have a 4+ feel no pain. Not too shabby.

Fast Attack –

Most of the fast attach options come from the Guard codex. You can take Chimeras (sometimes as dedicated transports), Armoued Sentinels, Scout Sentinels, and Goliath Trucks. These bad boys are the Cult Unique transport, and look pretty damn cool. They are not that tough (F11, S10, R10, 3HP), but can get your troops to where they need to be. And being open topped, your troops can assault out of them. They can carry 10 models (no genestealers or Patriarch) and come with a heavy stubber and a twin-linked autocannon.

Heavy Support –

There are only two options, a Leman Russ (not even all of the options) or the Goliath Rockgrinder, which is my personal favorite. The Rockgrinder vehicle has a stat line of BS3, F12, S10, R10, 3HP and comes with a heavy stubber and a heavy mining laser. It can also carry six models. It may be upgraded with a clearance incinerator for 5 points or a Heavy Seismic Cannon for 10 points.

The Heavy Mining Laser stat line is 0-12 inches S8, AP3, Heavy 3, Resonance and from 12-24 inches S5 AP4, Heavy 6, Resonance. Resonance means that to wound rolls and armour pen rolls of 6 are AP1.

The Incenerator is basically a heavy flamer with Torrent. Actually… it is a heavy flamer with Torrent.

The Heavy Mining Laser has a range of 36 inches, and is Strength 9 AP2.

Finally, the Drilldozer Blade. This allows the Rockcrusher to automatically pass Dangerous Terrain Tests. It also adds another D6 to the strength of a ram, and on penetrating hits, adds one to the result of the vehicle damage table.

In a tank shock, the enemy unit takes an initiative test before taking a morale check. If it fails, the unit immediately suffers D3 S10 AP2 hits. If the unit fails to Death or Glory the Rockcrusher it takes an additional D3 S10 AP2 hits. Not too shabby. Not great, but not bad.

That’s all for now. I will continue with the formations and special rules in a lter post. Hopefully not too much later.