With the HQ units taken care of in the first part lets head on over to the meat and potatoes of the Genestealer Cult – the Troops choices. The Purestrain Genestealers are not one of the two options as they have been moved to the Elites slot. The Troops section consists of the first and second generation Genestealer Hybrids known as the Acolyte Hybrids and the third and fourth generation hybrids – Neophyte Hybrids. Are they any good? What battlefield roles do they fill?
The Favoured Disciples
The Acolytes are the street thug of the Genestealer Cult. They are cheap, you get 12 Acolytes for only 85 points, and they pack a pretty hard punch. Sure, like most of the devotees of the Four-Armed Emperor they lack survivability with a weak save and only one t3 wounds. But at their points level, you can always bring more units of Acolytes. Unfortunately there is no means to increase the unit size. All Ghosar Quintus dataslates are fixed. No options or customizability. I’m certain there will be in the near future but right now the units are what they are.
With WS4, S4 and attacks at I4 (two attacks base and both an autopistol and rending claws) the Acolyte pack quite a punch for a 7 point model. Heck, they have assault grenades and a common close combat weapon too. That is useful as your rending claws really destroys weaker units, even when you want to hide locked in combat.
The unit is fearless, which make sense as they are Cult fanatics. Delivery will be problematic as flashlights will down them long before close combat. What I lack in the unit is a squad leader type character, the dude in the skirt looks the part. You want someone to fall on the sword afterall, especially if you attach an Independent Character to the unit.
And models? Hell yeah, they’re killer. So much awesome, Games Workshop have truly come a long way since they released Hybrids the last time, some 25 years ago.
The Faithful Throng
The Genestealer Cult isn’t all about close combat, the Neophyte Hybrids bring some serious dakka to board. For 110 points you get 16 t3 single wound bodies. That’s not so good! But wait, all models have knives and sharpened sticks. Still not sold? How about 12 autoguns? No? Then add two grenade launcher and a guardsman’s stats (but one extra for I and Ld) and two half range Lascannons or Mining Laser as they are called. Ok, now we’re talking.
Like I said that’s a good amount of fire power for decent points. You have enough bodies to take casualties without losing your big guns, that’s good. But remember, at Leadership 8 they’re prone to morale issues. Telepathy would help, the Cult should have access to that discipline. Oh wait, they have. It’s like magic, really.
Range is a problem; 24″ will leave you hard pressed to find good targets without putting yourself at risk. You can’t camp on the board edge with this crew. I would set up aggressively and use the unit to bait the enemy. The Mining Lasers will be high up on the target priority list, when the enemy concentrates to wither the squad down the rest of the close combat elements move up for the kill.
Some thoughts on the Neophytes, the models are, well, awesome. As you can tell I’m basically super fan number one regarding this release. Especially the forth generation hybrids show a lot of potential for conversions. I can see them being used as Chaos Cultists or in INQ28 warbands.
Next time – elites!