A Broodlord is basically a souped-up psychic Genestealer. Previously an HQ choice, the 5th edition codex and onward made it into a Genestealer sergeant.
It is absolutely rape-tastic in assault: this thing's statline will make most HQs jealous, better WS than Space Marines, and as strong and a Carapace as tough as a Warboss though it doesn't get upgrades nearly as nice as what they get. However, being a sergeant makes this loss a bit insignificant considering that he'll be covered by bodies, allowing him to make sure his targets die once he gets there.
Space Hulk, having been made before the gimping influence of the Cruddace, allows the Broodlord to become more ruthless thanks to the lack of wounds, making the likelihood of killing it very small (like rolling 5+'s on both die kind of small). However, this being Space Hulk, everything can kill your Termies, though nothing can do so with the sheer level of overkill a Broodlord can bring.
Broodlords act as commander for Tyranid assault forces, personally leading attacks. Seriously, those ginormous Rending Claws and Scything Talons aren't for show. They bear the "synapse" ability frequently observed in higher forms of Tyranids, which allow them to coordinate the Hive Mind's psychic commands over less-intelligent Tyranid species. This is unlike the traditional Genestealer Cults which grow and rise in infested Imperial worlds to take its followers from among the local populace, and psychically dominate them and be worshiped as gods.
The army led by the Broodlord is an infiltrating vanguard operating in a similar manner to the Tyranid Lictor. A Broodlord at the heart of a telepathic link can track its foes with the senses of many and employs its greater intellect to coordinate and command the lesser Genestealers.
Speaking of Genestealer Cults, the Broodlord is confirmed by the 8e Genestealer Cult codex to be different from Genestealer Patriarch. While the Patriarch is able to draw power from the psychic energies of its entire cult, a Broodlord can only do so from its own brood of Genestealers.
The circumstances that lead to a Broodlord coming into being are still relatively unknown to the Ordo Xenos, but speculation and theories abound on the subject. In the case of those found aboard the Space Hulk Mortis Thule in the Jericho Reach, it has been theorised that exposure to the energies of the Warp and isolation from the Hive Mind has somehow culminated in the creation of an "alpha" Genestealer, a creature of terrible majesty and dreadful might that exists at the heart of the collective brood-mind shared by any given group of Genestealers.
Whatever the truth of their origins, Vectori Broodlords are the most frightening of these creatures. Connected psychically to an instinctive network of hunters, they lie in wait while their lesser brood herd unwitting prey into traps and ambushes orchestrated by a being of vicious cunning and inhuman intellect. When they choose to act directly, very few combatants can endure their onslaught.
Vectori-strain Genestealers have a constant telepathic link with each other which can function clearly and without restriction (such as from intervening objects or other forms of shielding) up to one kilometre. This allows them to communicate with one another and pass information to nearby Genestealers swiftly and surreptitiously.
|Leader Organisms:||Broodlord - Hive Tyrant - Norn Queen |
Swarmlord - Tyranid Warrior
|Small Creatures:||Gargoyle - Genestealer - Hormagaunt - Ripper - Termagant|
|Biovore - Hive Guard - Lictor - Neurothrope - Pyrovore |
Ravener - Tyrant Guard - Venomthrope - Zoanthrope
|Monstrous Creatures:||Carnifex - Dimachaeron - Exocrine - Haruspex - Malanthrope |
Maleceptor - Mawloc - Tervigon - Toxicrene - Trygon - Tyrannofex
|Gargantuan Creatures:||Cerebore - Dactylis - Hierodule - Malefactor - Nautiloid - Viragon|
|Flying Creatures:||Harpy - Harridan - Hive Crone - Mucolid Spore|
|Spaceborne Creatures:||Tyrannocyte - Mycetic Spore - Ether-Swimming Brood|
|Bio-Titans:||Dominatrix - Hierophant - Hydraphant - Viciator|
|Floral Structures:||Capillary Tower - Reclamation Pool|
|Other Organisms:||Bio-Weapons - Cortex Leech - Mieotic Spore |
Spore Mine - Sporocyst - Zoats
|Members of the Genestealer Cult|
|Cult Leaders:||Broodlord - Genestealer Patriarch|
|Specialists:||Biophagus - Clamavus - Jackal Alphus |
Locus - Magus - Primus - Nexos
|Cultists:||Abominants - Atalan Jackal - Brood Brothers |
Genestealers - Genestealer Aberrants - Sanctus
|Hybrids:||Acolyte Hybrids - Hybrid Metamorphs |
Neophyte Hybrids - Kelermorph Hybrids
|Familiars:||Alchemicus - Mindwyrm - Soulsight|
|Vehicles:||Achilles Ridgerunner - Chimera - Dirtcycle - Goliath Truck |
Leman Russ - Sentinel - Tectonic Fragdrill - Wolfquad