Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Cult Rises: Update 6: My first Genestealer Cult list and a build week

Greetings Reader,

Here we are, on the last day of February and #thecultrises has been going on for the better part of two months now. I haven't quite hit my total painted models goal but I have been extremely pleased at consistent progress on this army as well as a pretty good quality of painting for my current skill level.

I am in the midst of a model build blitz in order to get the army on the table and get games in. I've had a somewhat aggressive work travel schedule so that has slowed down progress.

In light of a lack of painted models to show you this week, I decided to share my 2000 point list that I am starting the Army Journey portion of this year with. A quick shout out to recent podcast guest and someone whose content I have been following for quite a few years now, Skari of Skaredcast. I adopted part of his philosophy as part of this journey. Skari's Journey concept really fits my desire to establish fundamental army mastery before creating wholesale army changes.

Before I get in to the list, I can't thank Shane and Company at Dicehead enough for their fast service with all the orders I place with them. I got my new releases quickly and Dicehead's even offers a nice discount on 40K stuff. Check them out at Without further fanfare, here is the list:

Cult of the Four Armed Emperor Vanguard detachment (+1 to charge rolls on T1 and after ambushing)
Vigilus Brood Surge Detachment -1 CP
Field Commander -1 CP
Broodcoven -1 CP
IconWard- 53 (reroll charge rolls for units within 6”)(Relic- Vial of the Grandsire's Blood)
Primus- 75 (+3” to aura WL trait)
3x15 Acolytes with 2 rock saws, cult icon- 135 each
Nexos - 50
Clamavus- 55

Cult of the Four Armed Emperor Battalion
Patriarch- 137 (warlord, Trait TBD), Familiar
Magus- 92 (+d3 CP and reroll one die) , Familiar
15 Acolytes with hand flamers- 120
15 Acolytes with cult icon, 2 rock saws- 135
14 Acolytes with cult icon- 108

Cult of the Rusted Claw battalion (+1 to armor save vs ap 0 or -1, bikes suffer no penalty for moving and shooting HW)
Jackal Alphus- 70
Magus- 80
3x 10 Neophytes with 2 webbers- 52 each
3x 5 Atalan Jackals all with demo charges- 75 each
3x3 Brood Brother Heavy Weapon Teams with mortars
Sanctus with sniper rifle- 60

1998 points 153 models 15+d3 CP

The heart of the list is the Deliverance Broodsurge detachment from the Vigilus Defiant book. Prior to the codex releasing, this detachment was largely overlooked due to the price tag on Acolytes. With the change to bring Acolytes down to 7 points each, this is an amazing detachment. It provides all the buffs you are looking for to make Acolytes pure monsters on the table, A +1 to wound stratagem and a reroll charges warlord trait. Combine this with the Cult of the Four Armed Emperor +1 to charge and a Clamavus you are looking at a 7" rerollable charge coming in from ambush.

The humble Acolyte turns in to a brutal murder machine with the +1 to wound stratagem. My close combat Acolyte units have a cult icon in them to reroll to hit rolls of 1. This is meaningful, especially if you can get the Primus nearby. You now have a close combat unit that hits on 2+ rerolling 1's which rends on 5+ thanks to the +1 to wound. For even more hilarity, cast Might from Beyond on them to wound Knights on 4+ (2+ with Rock saws). This allows the Acolytes to significantly punch above their weight and match/exceed the killing power of Aberrant units at a portion of the cost.

The relic I chose as the default relic is the Vial of the Grandsire's Blood which allows a +1 Leadership to GSC models within 6". This combined with the Clamavus and the +1 leadership Warlord trait means if my Patriarch strikes near this main body, he's blasting Mental Onslaught at leadership 13. This means he's doing a mortal wound to a ld 9 model on a 3+, and the one use ability to give a model +2 strength/attacks means I can easily turn the patriarch into the Bane Patriarch to tip the scales in a select melee combat in the game.

The third major element of the list is the Rusted Claw battalion. This provides some special benefits for the bikes and backfield elements of the list. Firstly the Rusted Claw trait gives you +1 to your save against weapons that are ap 0 or -1. Combine this with cover and your Neophytes are rocking a 3+ save against most anti-infantry weapons. I gave the units a couple webbers as they seemed like a really good value for 1 point: 16" range, d3 autohits. It's a longer range mini-flamer.

The other Rusted Claw benefit is that bikes do not suffer a penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons or advancing and shooting assault weapons. This helps the Jackal Alphus scoot around the board with her sniper rifle and still hit on 2+. It also opens up the drive by demolitions stratagem which gives the bike +1 to hit/wound with grenades and then move after shooting. Combine this with the Extra Explosives stratagem and those bike units are chucking 5d6 Demo charge shots with +1 to hit/wound.

Let's talk about the wild card elements of the army that are very much in the testing phase. The Sanctus checks in at 60 points but for 1 CP I can give him the sniper relic, Gift from Beyond. With this he's hitting on 2+ and has an additional +2 to wound which means he's doing mortal wounds on 4+ and wounding just about everything on at least a 3+. This combined with the perils ability means he has the ability to take out most non-Farseer psykers relatively easily.

The Nexos is a bit on the wild card side as you are paying 50 points for CP regeneration that happens on 6+ (5+ with conditions based on what is on the table). I have him in the list based on how Command Point hungry GSC armies are but he might not be worth the investment.

I am committing to playing the list for at least 3-5 games before I make changes. It will be interesting to see how the list evolves over the year for the Renegade Open in November. Feel free to post list feedback in the comments or on the Facebook posts where I announce #thecultrises. I'm looking forward to the feedback!

Just so I can get some hobby in this posts, here is a collection of some WIP from build week.

The Clamavus helps prevent failed charges. Failed charges bad!
The bike bases are a great place for the Imperial skull in the Acolyte kit.
I can't say enough about how awesome the Jackal kit is.
True to my form, I fit the characters onto the Imperialis bases where I could
The Sanctus has some serious wild card ability.

Coming next week- I will get back to the hobby a bit and show you some painted models. Right now my hope is to have at least one of the 15 man acolyte units finished if not more. Thanks for tuning in, more to come next week!


  1. That is a shit load of infantry. :)

    I’m curious to see how this works out and how long it will take you to move them all. I have been collecting and building GSC for about a year now, but have not played a game yet.

    1. GSC are definitely horde-y. It takes alot of practice to master them. i'm expecting a bumpy road at times.