For all of us that played the original Space Hulk back in the early 90s the Genestealer Cults have been a long time coming. But he who waits shall recieve. Games Workshop continue to dig deep in their rich past to push the hobby forward and now the Hybrids are back. And they look freaking awesome. But how will they fare on the table-top? Will the rules match the models (and background)? Will there be limos? Lets check it out!
The Deathwatch Overkill box gives you three HQ units, two elites and two troops. There is a formation that allows you to field it all. In this first part I’ll go over the HQ options. I have no idea if the Genestealer Cult and proper Tyranids are going to be Battle Brothers or if the Cult will be added to a new Tyranid codex. I hope they will be separate factions.
Without further ado, bring on the leaders of the Genestealer Cult of Ghosar Quintus:
The Big Bad of the Genestealer Cult. The Patriarch has lifted itself out of its throne and is ready to bring the pain. It has the same stats as the Broodlord and come with a long list of special rules. Bulky, Fear, Fearless, Fleet, Hit and Run, Independent Character, Infiltrate, Move Through Cover, Mastery Level 2 and Stealth. The rending claws have been upgraded with ap 3 and Shred. It also brings a Genestealer Familiar for an additional 2 attacks s4 ap- rending attacks. The Patriarch can handle itself in close combat but a 4+ save is nothing much to write home about, even with t5 and three wounds.
The Patriarch only have access to Telepathy, it’s a great discipline with some of the most useful powers in the game (Invisibility and Shrouding). Unfortunately it does not mesh all that great with the Patriarch – with BS 0 the primaris power is useless (this Psychic Shriek is Witchfire not Nova like the tyranid one). It is decent but still you got two shots at Invisibility.
The model itself is awesome. I know the pose is reminiscent of the both the new Space Hulk Broodlord and the Spawn of Cryptus but it works. I really like it and can’t wait to get my hand on it. All and all, you get quite a lot for ten points less than a bare bone Tyranid Prime.
Primus Vorgan Trysst
The right hand man of the Patriarch is the Primus. Basically an ill-armoured (6+), two wound t3 priest like character. With Zealot, he can really enhance the combat preformance of weaker units like Hybrid. He is not completely worthless in combat as he got rending and a Bonesword (s4, ap3, instant death on sixes). WS4 and I4 is ok too, and with five attacks on the charge, re-rolling hits, he’s bound to make an impact. He also pack a Needle Pistol with poisoned 2+. Only ap 6 so don’t expect too much.
Still the Primus is kind of expensive at 75 points. He is too fragile and too prone to instant death for my taste. But I think he got a roll to fill in the Cult, Hybrids and Aberrants would love to have him in the squad. Zealot is a powerful rule after all. And just look at that model – if there is no role for an awesome model like that to fill, you’re building your list wrong.
Magus Orthan Trysst
The Magus is another Telepathy ML2 psyker. Telepathy is more useful this time as the Magus has BS4 and lacks both fearless and fear. He’s got a force stave, pistol and a Genestealer Familiar, so he rocks a decent amount of attacks in assault (at WS and I 4 to booth) but with only a 6+ save his place is in support rather than at the frontline. With only two t3 wounds he’s not the poster boy of survivability.
I think the Magus will be especially useful if you can attach him to proper Tyranid units. There are plenty of units and builds that would benefit of his presence. At a mere 65 points you can’t really go wrong with the Magus. A ML2 Telepathy psyker is a useful tool in most any list. The model pays homage to the old Magus model from the early 90s, but as always updates the sculpt and brings it into the present. Brilliant work.
All HQ options are pretty good. The Primus got the coolest model but the Magus is probably the most cost-effective option. Nothing game-breaking on its own but quite characterful and useable. I can’t wait to start a Genestealer Cult of my own!
What’s you take on the Cult’s HQ units?