Warhammer 40,000/7th Edition Tactics/Genestealer Cults

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Everyone's favorite gribbly army is back on the tabletop! After getting hints of a codex in Deathwatch: Overkill, the full codex is finally here. They have traded their upper-class limos to lower-class minecars and more practical infantry fighting vehicles, though. Sadface.

Why Play Genestealer Cults?[edit]

Genestealer Cults are an army for when you want to play a "horde" of lots of cheap disposable infantry, yet still have a realistic chance of winning games. Genestealer Cultists have a very small selection of units, but there is relatively little overlap in unit roles. Their rank-and-file melee is capable of shredding many units to pieces and won't instantly die the moment they end up in combat with a lightly armored Walker, and they can strategically redeploy their infantry units over the scope of two turns, giving them defense against having individual units "stranded" and not contributing to the fight. Add in a fairly solid Psychic Discipline with a mix of utility and a nasty debuff Primaris, and two assassination-denial rules, and you have a functionally complete army with the means to cover most of your bases. Being Allies of Convenience with Tyranids and Imperial Guard rounds out your selection of tools.

While most builds will gravitate towards "horde"/ambush playstyles, the Cultists can also do a passable "armored company" of Neophytes with looted Guard tanks, while their Goliath mining vehicles and melee troops allow you to alternately run a "Witness Me" War Boy army. The relative simplicity of the codex belies an unusual depth of builds available to the aspiring Cult leader.

In short, the army is flexible and fairly forgiving of mistakes, giving you the option to spam summon in units that may have been wiped off the table, and with arguably the most mobility out of any army out there, being near or on the level of jetbike spam or Dark Eldar, you're going to be getting your guys where they need to be. Over the course of two turns, you can redeploy to within 9 inches of anywhere on the table on average with NO scatter, and sometimes as close as 3 inches away. Sure a bad roll on the ambush chart can ruin your day, but that's why you've got lots of units. You aren't playing Grey Knights, when you've got a fifteen infantry units on the board, and you're summoning in more every turn, there's no way they are all going to roll a 1 or 2 on the chart. Don't expect a 6 on the chart, but definitely be comfortable building a strategy around at least a decent number (66% on Average) of your units rolling a 3 or higher on the chart.

Some other reasons to play Genestealer Cults:

Pros

  • You loved Fury Road and want an army of War Boys.
  • You like Genestealers.
  • You like Tanks.
  • You like Genestealers in Tanks.
  • You've got the models from the late '80s and have long been itching to use them again!
  • You want to play whack-a-mole as the moles. And the moles are armed with machine guns.
  • You like the idea of playing a mobile horde army that can deploy and redeploy whenever and wherever they want.
  • You think that deployment zones are stupid, and like being able to pop up wherever you want. Go ahead, put all the objectives on one half of the board if you can, if you get to pick sides you're sitting on a bunch of objectives and your opponent is sitting high and dry. If you don't, slap on your trollface and just deploy over there anyway. (Do be careful though because if you take the Cult Insurrection detachment you aren't going to be objective secured and if you don't most units won't be able to deploy through Cult Ambush, although with the proliferation of formations in game-play today there's a good chance your opponent won't be objective secured anyway).
  • Your basic troops are rarely useless. Neophytes might struggle to damage some targets, but they're cheap as chips and their special and heavy weapons can pack a whallop. Acolytes, on the other hand, combine a high volume of attacks plus rending. This means that they're a danger to everything from Terminators to Wraithknights. The only thing they struggle with is Land Raiders and the like, as they aren't strong enough on their own to punch through. That is somewhat alleviated by their effective but costly mining equipment.
  • You're a Tyranid player who has been waiting for a workable allied force for decades. The Cults bring a lot to the table for a 'Nid army.
  • You've always wanted to field a Catachan or Ork Kommando army that played like they're described in the fluff. The conversion and modeling opportunities for this army are fantastic!

Cons

  • Your HQs do not have many options, being limited to the options GW gives you. Your Cult Magus always has a Force Staff and Laspistol, your Primus always has a Force Sword and Needle Pistol, etc. In fact, it's debatable why this codex even has an Armory Page, since the HQs only have access to Relics, and everything else is only an option for Cult Neophytes.
  • You have a lot of money to spare - it costs £25/$40/€33 for an unupgraded 50 point troops unit. Remember, you only have two kidneys.
    • This is somewhat alleviated by the fact that you can fairly reliably get 16 Neophytes, 12 Acolytes, and the Characters for (usually) about half the cost of the Deathwatch: Overkill box. That said, the expensive single kits are the only place to get the other upgrades, so you're gonna have to buy at least a couple.
  • Your dudes have no durability to speak of. The whole army is T3 with 5+ armor, for the most part. Flamethrowers and basic infantry weapons wreck your shit.
  • You're gonna have a bad time in kill point games. If your enemy is allowed to castle up, you have very few tools for actually threatening them. You also have a hell of a time dealing with Deathstars. The army is designed to pick apart an enemy army piece by piece, but if your enemy is one solid block of dudes you're going to have a hard time carving them up.
  • Fliers are going to give you fits. Your ranged anti-armor is already kind of lacking, and very few fliers are going to politely land next to your dudes so you can cut the pilot out of the cockpit with a cement saw. Or use missile launchers on Sentinels, its the only reliable anti-air weapon.
  • Your shooting is decent, but most of your ability to tackle tough targets comes from melee. That said, the satisfaction of watching an Imperial Knight go down to a bunch of miners armed with power tools is second to none. Just be prepared for massive casualties.
  • Allying with 'Nids or Imperial Guard fucks with your Cult Ambush abilities, as they technically count as "enemy models" for the purposes of ambushing or returning to the shadows. Woo, the FAQ clarified that allies don't fuck with your Ambushing!

Special Rules[edit]

  • Cult Ambush: A unit that arrives from reserves (or ongoing Reserves) can "Ambush" rather than appear on the table normally. Units with the Infiltrate USR can also choose to use Cult Ambush instead of Infiltrating or deploying normally, which is brilliant. This means roll a dice and see what happens:
  1. Cult Reinforcements: Unit shows up from your table edge as normal. Possibly the worst result unless you planned to move them to the backfield anyway.
  2. Encircling the Foe: Unit Outflanks, appearing from a random side edge.
  3. Lying in Wait: Place the unit anywhere on the table more than 9" away from an enemy, or 6" if that unit can't see you.
  4. A Perfect Ambush: Place the unit anywhere on the table more than 6" away from an enemy. Full Stop.
  5. A Deadly Trap: Same as above, but your unit may immediately make an out of turn shooting attack with the pinning rule. If they have no guns, they get a free run move - unfortunately Acolyte Hybrids have to shoot with their pistols.
  6. They Came From Below: Place the unit anywhere more than 3" away from an enemy, you may charge the turn you arrive.
According to the most recent FAQ, Cult Ambush is basically a modified form of Infiltrate for the purposes of deployment. All rules that affect Infiltration, like Servo Skulls or Inquisitor Greyfax's Warlord Trait affect deployment via Cult Ambush, but they don't affect Cult Ambush once the game starts. They also FAQ'd that you can move normally in your first turn after ambushing. Yes, this means that you can potentially kill a unit as part of deployment if you roll a 5 on Cult Ambush.
The FAQ also clarified that units count as moving when they come on via Cult Ambush regardless of the result rolled. This means that Heavy Weapons in Neophyte squads are very situation unless you've got a Magus hanging around to give them Relentless.
  • Return to Shadows: Your infantry units gain the ability to be removed from the table and be placed into Ongoing Reserves, if not within 6" of an enemy model. This, coupled with Cult Ambush means you can utterly mess with your army by redeploying everything when he thinks he's got you outmanoeuvred. Your opponent will be raging when he thinks he's got you cornered when you just NOPE out of a bind.
    • However, do note that you will enter Ongoing Reserves in your movement phase to come back on the following turn, so you will forgo a shooting and assault phase.
    • ALSO NOTE: As per the Return to Shadows rule, you cannot do so in the same turn that you arrive from reserve and using a Cult Ambush arrival is still arriving from reserves. So you dont get to appear and disappear in the same turn.
  • Unquestioning Loyalty: Your dudes worship their leaders in ways that regular humans never seem to understand. Your HQ units automatically pass Look Out Sir rolls and can even perform them in challenges, meaning suddenly those big giant squads become meat shields while your wicked cookie monster goes to town. Effectively saving you from Instant Death Wounds so long as you have minions to throw away. Hilarious Side Note: Because you can use this ability in challenges, this becomes a very entertaining way of making CSM players furious as their HQs are forced into fights where their wound get shifted endlessly into 5 point neophytes until an Iconward Rends them to death.


Warlord Traits[edit]

All in all, warlord traits for Genestealer Cults are ok or good, but only one trait here really provides a massive boost to the army as a whole while most others are straight-up enhancements. Still, if you don't roll the one you want, you don't need to worry about having a wasted trait.

  1. Shadow Stalker: Your Warlord gains the Stealth special rule, which helps to boost any unit he is part of. Since half of our HQs are melee based and will more often than not be able to find cover on their own, every boost helps.
  2. Focus of Admiration: Friendly units of the Genestealer Cult faction have Counter-Attack whilst they are within 12" of your Warlord. One of the best for sure unless your HQ is a magus, who'll probably never be close enough to melee combat for his rule to apply. For everyone else, though, a rending or strength 6-8 counter-attack will make even assault terminators buckle under the weight of hits coming their way, and should their dear Patriarch come close enough, it gives your little guardsmen clones a little more power to keep those obnoxious boyz, witches (yes, Dark Eldar players still field witches), ogryns, striking scorpions or other anti-tarpit units from removing your psuedo-guard tarpits.
  3. Wall Creeper: Your Warlord gains the Move through cover special rule. In addition, your Warlord and his unit never suffer the penalty to Initiative for charging through difficult terrain. Pretty straightforward, but helps a lot, especially when dealing with stealthed or entrenched units, and gives your warlord more options for where he can practically pop up to wreak havoc. If you're running a Patriarch with Genestealers, this is the one you want in lieu of Ambush Leader.
  4. Born Survivor: Your Warlord gains the It Will Not Die special rule. Anything without instant death is going to shit their pants if they come across your warlord now (not like they weren't doing that already). It helps make up for your warlords' low armor saves, for sure.
  5. Alien Majesty: All models in your Warlord's detachment can use his Leadership value in place of their own. This one might be the weakest trait simply because compared to the others, you're not seeing any major combat improvements. Your army doesn't really have a lot of leadership problems, as nothing's below leadership 8. Still, could be useful for a Patriarch or Primus giving everyone Ld10.
  6. Ambush Leader: When using Cult Ambush with any unit the Warlord has joined, do not roll on the ambush table; you can choose a result to apply instead. This one, right here, is the one you really want. Not that the ambush table is bad, but for a game that relies on dice rolls, removing the possibility of a bad redeploy could remove the chance your most useful/powerful/needed ASAP unit winds up on your side of the board instead of breathing down your enemy's neck all of a sudden or suddenly contesting an objective where it should be. Fuck the Tau's anti-deepstrike weaponry bullshit, you just brought all those tasty suits closer together to be rended into scrap metal.

Broodmind Psychic Discipline[edit]

  • Primaris: Mass Hypnosis: Malediction that causes a chosen unit within 24" to drop it's WS, BS, I & A by -1. Very good for a primaris
  1. Psychic Stimulus: Blessing that grants the unit Fleet and Relentless, also allows them to charge after running.
  2. Psionic Blast: Witchfire, 24" S5 AP3 Assault 1, Blast. If it hits, you might kill a marine, but given base-size creep and the fact that it's a small blast weapon makes this power underwhelming compared to the others.
  3. Might From Beyond: Blessing, a target unit within 24" gains S+1 and Rage - this is very useful, especially on large squads - a +1 on Strength and Attacks is brilliant.
  4. Mental Onslaught: Focused Witchfire, compare Ld values and add D6. On a draw, the target suffers -3 Initiative for a turn. If the psyker wins, the target takes the difference in wounds.
  5. Mind Control: Focused Witchfire. Choose a single non-vehicle model and make a shooting attack as if it were yours. See that Stormsurge over there with all of those one-shot missiles? The one with all of those deadly weapons? Yeah, it's yours for a turn. Use it on your buddy's Wraithguard. Watch them kill their Spiritseer. Sip martini. Just as planned
  6. Telepathic Summons: Conjuration, WC 2/3. Choose 2 or 3, create a single unit . If you expend 2WC = 5 Acolyte or 5 Metamorphs or 10 Neophytes. 3WC and it's 10 Acolyte or 10 Metamorphs or 20 Neophytes or 4 Aberrants or 8 Genestealers. The summoned unit can be equipped with ANY UPGRADES listed on their data sheet as per the summoning rules.
    • Telepathic summons is by far the best power in this list for general games. Being able to summon 20 Neophyte Hybrids, kitted out exactly as they need to be with a 66% chance of having them show up almost exactly where you want them to be is a HUGE deal. The other summoning options are good, however being more assault oriented they are going to require a 6 on the Ambush table or a turn of waiting to do anything. They can immediately be useful as a unit your opponent HAS to charge (I.E Distraction Carnifex) but for the most part summon hybrids. Need to stop some transports? Pop up in rear armor with two seismic cannons and two grenade launchers and blast that transport to pieces. Melee Deathstar running towards an important unit? Lay down a wall of 20 bodies to keep them busy for a turn. Pathfinders lighting up your dudes and letting those crisis suits put the hurt on you? Drop right behind them and light them up with two flame throwers, two seismic cannons and 16 rapid fire autoguns. Remember, the upgrades are free so kit them out to do whatever you need them to! You've planned this uprising for generations, it only makes sense that your guys are in the perfect place with the perfect gear!

Wargear[edit]

Melee[edit]

  • Rending Claws: Start here, most of your units get them. S:user, AP5, Rending. They only count as one weapon no matter how many arms your model has. But thankfully in most cases you can fill those extra hands with other weapons to gain your bonus +1 attack.
  • Scything Talons: These are mostly just to give your Purestrain Genestealers an extra Attack. Upgrade half the unit and let the cheaper models take the brunt of the enemy shooting, while the heavy hitters bring up the rear.
  • Bonesword: Str User, AP3, rolls of 6 to wound are instant death. Good against MEQ Multiwound models.
    • Lashwhip & Bonesword: Same as above, but also add +3 to Initiative for the added whip. Still counts as one weapon despite being a pair.
  • Metamorph Weapons: Available to your Metamorph Hybrids. All are S:user, AP5, but each version comes with specific rules. Note that the rules say "A model equipped with...", so you can still use your Rending Claws to Attack with these benefits.
    • Claw: Gain +2 Strength. The most utilitarian option. Higher strength lets them threaten tougher vehicles and makes wounding easier. A solid all-rounder choice.
    • Talon: Gain +1 WS, but increases to +2 WS if you have a pair. You sacrifice your Rending Claws for the second talon, so it's not usually a good idea. That said, with an Icon and a pair of talons you can push the squad's WS up to the crucial WS7. That will make any WS3 unit hit them on a 5+, so it can be situationally worth it against armies with bad armor saves and average weapon skill like the Imperial Guard or Daemons of Nurgle.
    • Whip: A lash whip without the Bonesword. Gives you +3 Initiative. Great for dealing with high initiative armies like Eldar or the followers of Slaanesh. They can also be really useful against other I4 armies, as your gribblies are not very tough and getting their hits in before the enemy hits back can do a lot to keep them alive in melee.
  • Power Maul: S+2 AP4 and Concussive. Useful against Imperial Guard, Eldar of all kinds, Orks, Necrons, and Daemons since all Daemons have are invulns and S5 can even harm the tough MCs if you can survive against them.
  • Power Pick: +2 Str, AP3, and unwieldy. This is not a specialist weapon, so it grants +1 attack when stacked with the Aberrant's rending claws. Don't think too hard about a pick doing more damage with less penetration than an axe instead of the other way around, because gameplay reasons?
  • Power Hammer: Almost a Thunder Hammer, but not quite. It still strikes last, but it's still Concussive. It doesn't double the users strength but adds +3, which on Aberrants is still S8, so it might as well be a Thunder Hammer. Unfortunately, it's a Two-Handed weapon, so there is no way to ensure you get the extra close combat attack.
  • Heavy Rock Saw: Str x2, AP2, Two-handed, Unwieldy, Armourbane. A discount, two-handed Chainfist. This is your primary way of dealing with Imperial Knights, Soul Grinders, and Land Raiders.
  • Heavy Rock Cutter: Str x2, AP2, Two-handed, Unwieldy, Snip. If you take a wound and somehow the model survives it, then pass a toughness test or be removed from play. Gives you a lucky chance to get rid of those Eternal Warriors or T5 multi-wound roadblocks. Bear in mind harder opponents are more likely to pass the test.
  • Heavy Rock Drill: Str x2, AP2, Two-handed, Unwieldy, Pulverise. Instead of attacking normally, you can instead make a single attack at S10 AP1. Good if you don't get the charge or against those wraithknights or Land Raiders where S8 might not cut it, though if you're targeting vehicles with an AV of 12 or less, the extra attacks will serve you better. They're also a bit more reliable at dealing with T5 toughies. If you find yourself using these, it's recommended you keep a Primus nearby. Hatred can mean the difference between annihilating a squad of Ogryn in a single assault phase or getting pummeled into the ground because your one attack missed. They're also 5 points cheaper than the other options, so they're a bit easier to bring in larger numbers.

Ranged[edit]

  • Autoguns: Crappy on their own, bog standard weapon. S3 AP- weapons.
  • Lasguns: Autoguns for those Hybrids who feel a little bit more like Guardsmen. S3 AP- as well.
  • Shotgun: S3 AP- Assault 2 12". This is my boomstick.
  • Hand Flamer: Interesting tool from the Sisters of Battle and Blood Angels Codices. Gives +1 attack and is a shittier flamer, but it still makes hordes cry.
  • Flamer: You know it. You love it. Ubiquitous among the forces of the Imperium and fantastic for assault-focused squads of Neophytes. Pairs well with shotguns for thinning out light and medium infantry in cover before a charge.
  • Grenade Launcher: A cheap, versatile tool that should be considered on any squad planning to sit back and shoot. Projects a Frag or Krak grenade out to 24". Pairs very well with Autoguns, Mining Lasers, or Seismic Cannons.
  • Web Weapons: Interesting new not-seen-since-2nd-edition weapons that have AP values equal to the target's strength. Meaning that bigger, meaner victims can comfortably ignore it but weaker targets get taken out. Compare to a grenade launcher: They are preferable to frag grenades against the things you'd normally use a frag grenade against (GEQs), but are inferior to Krak grenades against things you'd use Krak against (MEQs & TEQs). Also makes Eldar cry. Note: If you're running a Biomancy Patriarch (or even a Biomancy Magus, as getting a Smash Force Staff can be scary) and manage to roll Enfeeble, the Webber can conditionally threaten Marines too, which is cute. It's best to use these if you are up against an assault based army. Any Dakka based army will just use their wielders for target practice. Blast templates at a maximum of sixteen inches is hardly intimidating to those with twenty four inch range and rapid fire.
    • Webber: Special weapon for Neophyte squads, you get an Assault 1, S4 blast.
    • Web Pistol: S3 and uniquely a pistol with a blast marker.
  • Demolition Charge: Oh boy, S8 AP2 Assault 1 Large Blast, One Use Only with 6" range. Often used as a last ditch attempt to finish off vehicles or go Jihadi-Genestealers on a unit of Terminators since you're likely to blow your own squad up using this too. As risky as it is in the Astra Militarum codex; one unlucky roll and you could see your own squad removed from the table.

Mining Weapons[edit]

Considering the sheer volume of firepower a Neophyte squad can put out with two specials, a weapon team or two of these; it is tempting to make yourself a micro-Devastator squad. Just remember that Cult Ambushing forces your guys to snap shoot.

  • Mining Laser: A lascannon with half the range for ten points less than a lascannon. Your "safe" option as you can use it with regular Infiltration instead of gambling on Cult Ambush. A good option for keeping your tank-hunting Neophytes safe, as two of these and two grenade launchers can deal with medium vehicles up to 24" away, meaning more room for you to Return to the Shadows and less need for you to deploy a squad in a near-suicidal position to threaten vehicles. Less risk, but less reward than the Seismic Cannon.
  • Seismic Cannon Up to 12 inches its a 2 shot missile launcher, at 12-24, its a 4 shot heavy bolter. Its also can have rending resolved at AP1 on a roll of six. Fucking ACE. This is your go to weapon for Dakka. It's also the most expensive option at five points less than a Lascannon each. Just remember that you're snap shooting after Ambushing, so its short range is a problem.
  • Heavy Stubber: S4 AP6 Heavy 3 36", what this has to do with mining, nobody knows (Probably protection. In the grim darkness of the future you aren't the only monstrosity underground). Maybe the Imperium has so many bullets they just shoot rocks out of the ground? Regardless, these are cheap enough to be useful for objective holding squads in the backfield and they have a high enough rate of fire to be useful if you run around snap shooting. A decent way to add some more anti-infantry punch to a big blob of autoguns.

Heavy Weapons[edit]

  • Mortar: Shoot a small blast over a hill and maybe hurt something if you're lucky. The worst weapon in this list because you can't even snap fire it. Better in other armies when you can take them in multiples.
  • Heavy Bolter: an acceptable compromise of rate of fire vs damage output. Since your Neophytes only have BS3 you are going to hit half the time, taking this means you can hit and hurt most infantry. Higher rate of fire also means you have better odds when snap firing if you spring from reserves or like to move around a lot.
  • Autocannon: Lots of people swear by Autocannons: strong enough to hurt anything except land raiders and two shots with BS3 means you can expect to hit something every turn. Probably suffers when measured against the mobility and range of the army though, since in many cases you'll want to keep moving and the rest of your guys are armed with 12" shotguns.
  • Missile Launcher: Good old faithful, particularly if you don't know what you're fighting against. Also with Flakk missiles will be your army's primary source of Anti-Air defense short of using fortifications.
  • Lascannon: One lascannon? For 5 points more you can get two shorter ranged ones. Of course range becomes relevant if you have no intention of hopping in and out of reserves, so you can set it up and hopefully leave it where it is. But perhaps best to leave this attached to vehicles for now.

Special Issue[edit]

  • Genestealer Familiar: Gain 2 attacks rolled separately at S4 with Rending. Fucking. Tasty.
  • Cult Icon: A unit with one of these adds +1 to their WS, availably on Neophyte, Acolyte Hybrids and Hybrid Metamorphs. The Iconward also comes with one to attach to squads that can't get it themselves.

Sacred Relics of the Cult[edit]

Most of the relics are fairly underwhelming, but some are useful.

  • Icon of the Cult Ascendant: Friendly Genestealer Cult units within 12" get Furious Charge and can re-roll failed Morale, Pinning and Fear tests. In addition, all models in the same unit gain +1 attack. If you're running your Iconward in a Brood Cycle, this probably won't be worth it since he'll grant the FC to his formation within 24" instead, while the Patriarch/Devoted Throng Magus can grant Fearless bubbles anyway! If you're not running a Brood Cycle though, this will give the FC bonus to everything regardless of formation.
    • This is particularly useful if you want your Iconward to roll around with an Aberrant bodyguard. Not only does he make them 4+ FNP, but the +1 attack from the banner helps deal with their low number of attacks. When combined with the Furious Charge and Might from beyond, you can be looking at 5 S10 AP2 attacks per hammer, or 6 S9 AP3 attacks per pick. If the Aberrants can survive going last, very few things can withstand that kind of hate.
  • Dagger of Swift Sacrifice: trade in all attacks for one S:User, AP-, Instant Death, Poisoned (2+). Get this off in a challenge against the enemy warlord? Heck, its worth it for those who aren't playing for competitive. Otherwise... Its probably best to ignore this unless you know you're gonna be seeing da orkz in which case it will in most cases be enough to finish off the nob(or if your lucky the warboss)before he can oneshot your champion with that power klaw.
  • Scourge of Distant Stars: The bearer of this relic can force his opponent in a challenge to take a toughness test. If the opponent fails, he takes a Wound with no saves allowed and gets his Attacks and Initiative characteristics reduced by 1 until the end of the Fight subphase.
  • Staff of the Subterranean Master: Range 18", S2 AP-, Assault 10, Ignores Cover, Rending. Don't get too hung up on the low strength, since Rending will allow you to autowound on 6s anyway. While this could be useful for "Finishing off" monsters without good Invulnerable Saves (ironically, this staff makes it easier for Cultists to eat Tyranids than the other way around), the Staff competes with the Crouchling; both are "Magus Only", the Magus can only take one Relic anyway, and the Crouchling is far more important.
  • Sword of the Void's Eye: S+1, AP3 melee weapon that rerolls failed To-Hit and To-Wound rolls of 1, also causes instant death on a wound roll of 6. Your Primus starts off with Strength 4, so the extra strength gives him some additional leverage, while allowing him to threaten to punk Wraithknights or other heavies (don't forget that Unquestioning Loyalty protects him from Stomps too). If you can buff him with either Might From Beyond or Furious Charge, he's basically able to blender most infantry units. Not an auto-take but it has its uses.
  • The Crouchling a unique Genestealer familiar that allows your Magus to generate you an additional psychic power without increasing your mastery level. It also has teeth and claws like a regular familiar. Considering its low cost and how useful the Broodmind discipline is, this is a near-autotake.

Vehicle Equipment[edit]

  • Drilldozer Blade: Your army of deathblenders have blenders on their vehicles. This adds D6 to the strength of a ramming attack and adds +1 to the vehicle damage table. If you tank shock, the target has to take an initiative test or suffer D3 S10 AP2 hits as guys get pulled in to the whirling blades. If they attempt death or glory and fail, they immediately take another D3 S10 AP 2 hits. Nasty. Has the bonus effect of making your ork playing friends weep sweet tears over how incompetent deffrollas are in comparison.
  • Cache of Demolition Charges: Basically lets the vehicle throw Demo Charges that aren't One Use Only. It does also give the truck a chance of taking a Demo Charge to the face if Penned but it's only on a 1 roll after penning and with the vehicles that can take it if you're getting penned you're already dead.

Unit Analysis[edit]

Ghosar Quintus Broodkin[edit]

Not a separate FOC slot, but rather what amounts to a unit subtype, these units can be taken in a CAD or Allied Detachment, but not in any other Detachments other than their own special Formation, detailed below. They lose, relative to their base versions:

  • Cult Ambush
  • Return to the Shadows
    • Neither Cult Ambush nor Return to the Shadows has been FAQed to cover what happens when you mix ICs with this rule with units without or ICs without with units with these rules, so for now it appears that any mixed unit will lose both, as neither rule discusses it and that is the standard default with ICs joining units.
  • Unquestioning Loyalty
  • If a Psyker (Patriarch or Magus), access to the Biomancy and Broodmind Disciplines (i.e. can only use Telepathy).
  • All equipment options are static for them, so you can't change them later - this means the HQs lose Relic access, the Troops lose Dedicated Transports, etc.

HQ[edit]

  • Patriarch: Just under 100 points for an ML1 Super-Genestealer with access to Biomancy, Telepathy, and Broodmind; he also makes cult units within 12" Fearless. But, mind games aren’t the Patriarch’s only hobby. He also enjoys ripping out 4 S6 attacks with Rending, Shred, and AP3, and can buy familiars to add even more S4 attacks to the pile. A pretty fun guy, for a ‘nid. Ultimately, with the Patriarch's combination of psychic powers and beastly stats, with invisibility on he can go toe to toe with most characters, specially since he will beat them to the punch unless they are a daemon princes or Jain Zar. He also grants a 12" bubble of Fearless to make sure your fragile units hold the line.
  • Magus: 40 points for an ML1 psyker with access to Biomancy, Telepathy, and Broodmind, as well as a whole bunch of special rules. He can be upgraded to ML2 and you should most definitely do this. He projects a 12" bubble of Adamantium Will to himself and other Cult units, so while it's not as good as a psychic hood, he's a denying machine. (Do not underestimate him. With autopass look out sir and a force stave, over a couple of turns he can and will slowly beat his way through all manner of squads and multi-wound models, if you end up in assault.)
  • Primus: Cheap and cheerful. Same str 4 T3, but with the ablity to join non-genestealer units. Grants a 12" bubble of Hatred to really buff up your close combat potential.
  • Acolyte Iconward: Your other HQ choice, and thankfully not limited to a one only deal in the Cult Insurrection Detachment. His statline is only marginally better than a normal Acolyte (+1 BS, W, A) and his stock gear is useless crap. He comes with a Sacred Cult Banner, granting Furious Charge to units within 12". His other rule is his Nexus of Devotion which grants all friendly cult units within 12" the Feel No Pain (6+) rule, or improves it by one. This gives a layer of protection in an army where 5+ saves essentially mean no save at all.


Ghosar Quintus Broodkin[edit]

Remember, none of these can take Relics; the only other upgrades they'd otherwise have access to are ML2, which they all have if possible, and Familiars, where the only ones with access have taken exactly one, and you cannot take a second or drop to 0.

  • Patriarch Ghosar
    • An ML2 Psyker who costs as much as any ML2 Patriarch, but has -1S and -4BS relative to a regular Patriarch. Because he also loses access to Broodmind and Biomancy, the BS loss should never be relevant, but you'll probably notice the -1S.
    • Comes with a Familiar for free.
    • Does manage to keep Infiltrate.
    • Gains Stealth and Hit & Run'.
      • Both of these rules do confer to his unit.
    • Keeps Fearless, but loses Living Idol, so no Fearless bubble.
  • Magus Orthan Trysst
    • A really, really terrible idea. You pay for upgrading to ML2 and get a "free" Familiar, but on top of the usual losses, you also lose Adamantium Will, both the bubble and the base rule.
    • You do lose Infiltrate, which does mean you can't Infiltrate him solo, but also means you can attach him during deployment in a CAD or Allied Detachment.
  • Primus Vorgan Trysst
    • Same cost as a regular Primus, with -1WS and +1W.
    • Trades the 12" Hatred bubble for Zealot, i.e. Fearless and Hatred, but only for his unit.
    • Trades having Poisoned (4+) on his Rending Claws for having Rending on his Bonesword, meaning a 6 to wound with that thing auto-wounds with Instant Death at AP2.
    • Like Orthan, loses Infiltrate, with the same caveats: you can't Infiltrate him solo, but you can attach him during deployment in a CAD or Allied Detachment.

Troops[edit]

  • Neophyte Hybrids: Neophytes have the same profile as "unmodified" humans, meaning 3s across the board, as well as improved Leadership and Initiative. They have a fairly flexible loadout, and can be either configured for short-ranged firefighting or for securing objectives while providing fire support. Neophytes are armed with Autoguns/Lasguns with the option to swap out for Shotguns for free. They have the option to either take two Mining Weapons or to form a Heavy Weapon Team, and they have the option to take up to two Specials on top of that.
    • Close-quarters teams will want to stick to Shotguns and Assault weapons; Flamers or Webbers are both nice. Whether you're running the teams in Goliaths or attempting to fish for good Cult Ambush results, being able to assault without relying on Relentless buffs is nice. Longer-ranged teams will probably want to stick to the stock rifles and whatever support weapon is most appropriate. Seismic cannons are an "alphastrike" weapon that appears to rely mostly on getting good Cult Ambush rolls while the Mining Laser sacrifices less short-range damage potential to be more consistent at range; not many armies can brag about being able to bring an Infiltrating 10-man team of two Lascannon teams for 80 points (needs confirmation also 100 points), especially a team that can also strategically redeploy itself and potentially replenish its models in one go! The only IG heavy weapon team you should really consider is the Autocannon, as all the rest have the same overinflated cost the IG pays for them.
    • These guys should be your bread and butter. Acolytes are great, but Neophytes are way more versatile in taking advantage of the Cult Ambush table. While Acolytes only really benefit from a 6 on the table Neophytes can basically benefit from every roll but a 1. Their S3 autoguns might not be the most exciting thing in the world, but their ability to precisely control their positioning makes them a lot more valuable than S3 guns in other armies. Plus, their heavy and special weapons can add some serious oomph and if you bring them in big squads the sheer volume of autogun fire can start to threaten more durable targets. Their flexibility in taking advantage of Cult Ambush is where their real power is. Angle your ambush so that you're hitting the enemy special/heavy weapons or characters first. Pop in where the enemy was hiding an important but flimsy character or a barrage vehicle behind terrain and mow them down. Appear in the rear arcs of dangerous vehicles like Knights and enjoy attacking their AV11. If you roll a 6, remember that these guys can actually take advantage of that opportunity pretty damn well. They're all equipped with autopistols, so if the enemy has a dangerous shooting unit that you aren't going to be able to reliably kill with shooting these guys can rush in and engage it in melee without sacrificing their shooting. All in all, these guys hold most of the tactical flexibility, while the other units in the army hold a lot of the killing power. Think carefully about using your Neophytes and they'll rarely let you down.
  • Acolyte Hybrids 1st & 2nd generation hybrids. Probably some of the best close combat "Troops" in the game, With two S4 I4 attacks with Rending as standard, but also Autopistols and Close combat weapons so you are always going to get your bonus two-weapon attack even if somehow disarmed. That means four rending attacks each on the charge, so they chuck out as many attacks as Orks, but with more speed and more threat. However, they are still as flimsy as regular humans, so buy in bulk.
    • Each and every Acolyte can replace his Autopistol with a hand flamer for five points. Totalling 13 points per model, which is cheaper than a Space Marine! Even though it is still only S3, the sheer number of automatic hits you can cause will inevitably mean more wounds in the long run, then follow it up with your teeth and claws because you're at the perfect distance. Though if you're intending on using cult Ambush to get the most out of a surprise flamer squad, remember that you're restricted by distance, so it may not work like you expect.
    • Whilst expensive, upgrading the Acolyte leader can make him pretty frightening. With a lash whip and Bonesword, and an Icon in the squad, on the charge he's WS5 S4 A5 I7 and ap3 with instant death on to wound rolls of 6. That being said this makes him cost a little over a terminator but only having guardsmen toughness. Usually its best to spend a couple of points more and buy the squad a Goliath, but this may be very workable in a Subterranean Uprising with a Primus, if only for the look on a marine players face when your pseudo-sergeant assaults out of nowhere and puts out more pain than a Captain worth 3 times the points. Also worth noting that upgrading your Leader is a lot better if you take him as part of the Cult Insurrection detachment. Even if he flubs his rolls and gets stomped flat, you can get him back if your squad can escape and Return to the Shadows.

Ghosar Quintus Broodkin[edit]

Remember, these guys all have static equipment and unit size choices, which means you're going to lose out on Dedicated Transports, etc.

  • The Faithful Throng
    • 16-strong Neophyte Hybrids with autoguns, two grenade launchers, and two mining lasers, for 10 points less than stock, but.....
    • All of them lose their autopistols, so they have fewer attacks in close combat and shoot a lot less when shooting and charging.
    • Can't take any other options, including an icon, shotguns, etc.
  • The Favoured Disciples
    • 12-strong Acolyte Hybrids at an 11 point discount; not only do these guys not lose anything more than the usual compared to a regular unit, but they gain Fearless.

Dedicated Transports[edit]

  • Genestealer Chimera: What's not to love about one of the most versatile MEHTAL BAWKSES in the 41st Millennium? Unfortunately Tyranids are allies of convenience with the cult so you can't put Genestealers in these. However there is no restriction on taking purestrain genestealers or a Patriach and putting them in these lovely MEHTAL BAWKSES it's just why would you? You can't assault out of them.
    • The Neophyte Cavalcade makes these into some serious killing machines. Give it a Multilaser on the turret and a hull mounted Heavy Flamer. Give the guys inside grenade launchers or flamethrowers. Use Outflank to close the gap on infantry or get to the sides and rear of enemy vehicles, then enjoy slapping down 3 flame templates (plus some lasgun array fire and a multilaser) or throwing out 5 S6 shots at the rear armor of an enemy vehicle. The Chimera was already one of the best transports in the game. Giving it Infiltrate and Outflank only makes it more insane.
  • Goliath Truck: Open topped transport for your dudes, meaning guys can assault from it, plus it gives you a twin-linked Autocannon. I know what you're thinking, but unfortunately it cannot carry Purestrain Genestealers or the Patriarch (if you want Genestealers on Wheelers, take a Chimera instead (though of course the Chimeras aren't open-topped transports)). In rules terms it's like a beefed up Ork truck for just less than double the points, more armour and bigger guns. Easy to mass transport.
    • Just put fucking Acolyte Hybrids in it. There's your assault transport.
      • Don't forget this baby ignores stunned, shaken and immobilized results on a 4+
  • Chimera vs. Goliath: There's a lot to love about both of these transports.
    • FIREPOWER: While the Chimera is capable of putting out more shots, and more high strength shots than the Goliath with its multi-laser, heavy bolter, and lasgun arrays, the Goliath's twin-linked autocannon has a longer range and can actually threaten vehicles as well as more elite soldiers. Depending on what kinds of troops you're taking and what they're carrying, though, the Goliath's open top means that the little dudes in the back can fire their own guns as well with equal or greater effect. Overall, though, in terms of firepower, the Chimera wins out simply because it can reliably put out more shots. Counterpoint, the Chimera is limited to mostly anti-infantry firepower, which your troops already have a heap of. The Autocannon, as already stated, can threaten more vehicles at a considerable range, which is something that you are lacking.
    • DURABILITY: The Chimera, with its 12 front, 10 side and 10 rear armor is a fairly standard transport armoring; its amphibious nature though allowes it to automatically pass dangerous water hazards. Though the Goliath has one less frontal armor, it does have the ability to ignore two of the most dangerous penetration roll results (crew shaken and crew stunned). However, chimeras can practically gain the same ability through cult insurrection detachment giving it the edge again, and honestly the passing water terrain ability really won't come into effect enough to matter much (In addition stopping Crew stunned and Crew Shaken really won't effect much if your glanced to death or blown up, which will happen more often with the Goliath). Being open-topped can be a liability, especially against a vanilla Leman Russ, and when your entire army is almost universally fragile anything that can stop an EXPLODES result is critical. In addition, experienced players will know how to better positions there transports so the Av 12 comes into effect more, which is essential in a game where several armies have basic troops with st 5-6 weapons. Chimera edges out Goliath.
    • TRANSPORT: Twelve models with no ability to assault and one access point for the Chimera. Ten models with the ability to assault in the Goliath. Chimera can transport any troop in the army, while Goliath cannot take Genestealers, though you probably won't care much. Note that the Goliath is open topped, so you can shoot or disembark from any point on the vehicle and to that, the Goliath wins.
    • IN SUMMARY: the the Chimera beats out the Goliath in overall durability which wasn't really surprising. The two transports roughly tie for firepower with Chimeras specializing better at infantry killing, while the Goliath allows for more heavier firepower. The Goliath edges out the Chimera in terms of being a pure transport thanks to it being open-topped which benefits this particular army more even though it can't transport as many troops as the Chimera. So overall both transport have merit and both match up to their intended roles(the Chimera being a tanker carrier and the Goliath being a light assault transport).

Elites[edit]

  • Purestrain Genestealers: They're not your normal Genestealers, these guys aren't shat out from Tyranid Hive fleets so they aren't as mutable as their Hive Mind cousins, nor do they get access to Broodlord squad leaders. But here they have 3 attacks base, Stealth and a 5+ Invulnerable save, which is exactly what Genestealers needed, no joke. All for the same cost as Tyranid Genestealers, making them out to be the poor cousins. What's not to love? Lots of S4 AP5 Rending attacks at high initiative.
    • They can only be joined by the Patriarch, and this is NOT a bad thing. Primarily because what he does will synergise with them anyway, but he also confers Furious Charge on all of them while attached. Now who doesn't love the thought of 100 (squad of 20 with Scythes) S5 rending attacks on the charge? Thats before you factor in psychic buffs and other overlapping rules.
  • Aberrant Hybrids: Quite costly for what they do, costing nearly as much as a basic terminator but with a 5+/5++ 2W instead, but if Cult Ambush is good (i.e. you roll a 6), they can work out. However, in a codex lacking lots of good ways to deal with AV14 vehicles and the like, you may want to include some hammer dudes in a Subterranean uprising. If your Patriarch is running Biomancy then it may be worth picking these guys up. Endurance can give them a 4+ Feel No Pain which the Iconward buffs to a 3+, with Furious Charge given by the Iconward you're also now hitting on S9 on the charge, and throw in Might From Beyond courtesy of the Magus to knock them up to S10 with Rage to turn this unit into a battering ram for when you really need a target unit dead, though this requires some luck with rolling Psychic Powers. However, a 4++ FNP will only go so far, and any S8 weapons+ will wipe this unit from the board with very little difficulty.
  • Hybrid Metamorphs Acolytes with sharper teeth. They get the Metamorph weapons, which due to the wording of "A model equipped with...", lets them combine profile bonuses with the effects of other weapons (predominantly your Rending Claws). The unit can "mix-and-match" weapon upgrades in the unit as you wish. While you "could" use it for weird rule interactions (For example equal mix of Talons and other upgrades would allow the unit to strike across two different Initiative steps, while maintaining an improved "majority" weapon skill)[you have icons for that], in practice you should keep it simple.
    • By default, each Metamorph starts with a Metamorph Talon, granting +1 WS for an effective WS 5. You "can" replace your Rending Claw with a second talon, but you probably don't want to. Why? Because +1/+2 Weapon Skill isn't that great when you can have normal Acolyte squads with a Cult Icon getting the same thing; while the difference between WS5 and WS6 is largely academic when most non-character units in the entire game tend to sit around WS4.
      • That said, there is one edge case where a pair of talons might be really solid; against GEQ hordes. A squad of 10 metamorphs with a pair of talons and a banner can reach WS7 (WS8 if used in brood cycle and within 6" of another unit), which is enough to make any WS3 model hit them on 5+. 10 of these guys with twin talons are pretty darn cheap, the talons are still AP5, and (provided someone else eats the overwatch) they can charge into a 50 strong guard blob and do pretty well chewing through them while minimizing the number of attacks they take in return. Still definitely less utilitarian than the other two options, but potentially very good at that one job.
    • In practice you will probably want to stick to Claws: The improved damage output means you're wounding Marines on 2s while the difference between S4 and S6 is dramatic the moment your opponent brings an Knight or any other Super-Heavy Walker. Without Crushing Claws, 1 in 18 hits will result in a HP loss vs a Knight, while the Claws make this 1 in 6.
    • Lash Whips grant an effective +3 Initiative, which is more than enough to strike first in practically any engagement, and considering that your models are as flimsy as Eldar Guardians, even if you can comfortably wipe out an enemy squad in one fight sub-phase, avoiding a simultaneous combat means you can reduce how many wounds you inevitably take. If you're running the Metamorphs in a Brood Cycle, they'll probably have access to a Furious Charge Bubble anyway, thus mitigating some of the impact of not taking the Claws. Of note is that a Leader with Bonesword in this formation would make 5 S5 AP 3 attacks at I7, with potential WS 6, each 6 to-wound denying FNP to a Wraithknight/Surge on top of inflicting an automatic D3 wounds. You're paying an extra 30 points for the privilege however.

Ghosar Quintus Broodkin[edit]

  • The Brothers Aberrant
    • Just 4 Aberrants with pre-set weapons choices of two picks and two hammers.
  • The Purestrain Princelings
    • Two Purestrain Genestealers with -1A at 2 points more than you would theoretically pay if you could legally take a unit of two with the base unit, which you can't.
    • Come with stock equipment (so no second close combat weapon), and manage to keep Infiltrate.
    • Lose both Brood Instinct and Hyper-reflexes, but gain Hit & Run.
      • Note that they can be joined by non-Patriarch ICs, due to the loss of Brood Instinct.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Armoured Sentinels: Better armored than their Scouting Brothers, but still at only 2HP you'd best take at least 2 in a squadron if you don't want to hand over First Blood to your opponent.
    • Worth noting that this is one of the only ways to get Plasma into your Cults (the other being sponsons on a Leman Russ). 50 points for a 12/10/10 2 HP walker with a plasma cannon is nothing to sniff at. A squad of three of these is cheap, partially gets around their average BS by being blasts, and will easily make any squad of TEQs sweat. Just be ready for them to melt themselves with Gets Hot! rolls. Gains Outflank in a neophyte cavalcade, pair with plasma and mention it often and loudly to fuck with your enemies deployment.
  • Scout Sentinels: With such weak armor, most likely they are going to die on the second turn. Fun choice of weapons. Key part here is that they have Scout. But still - they are going to die. They are open topped. They are going to die. They have 10 armor. They are going to die. They have two Hull Points. They are going to die. But they may as well take a tank or two down with them. If you want to be insane, having Heavy Flamers all around can result in hilarious infantry murder. Otherwise, most of the time you'll take them as a 40 point autocannon on legs since they are cheap and effective against most things. (Outflank you plebs, these are great.)
    • Heavy flamers become amazing when combined with the Neophyte Cavalcade. Giving Scout Sentinels access to the Cult Ambush table gives them a 50-50 chance of popping up somewhere on the board within 6" of an enemy. While you won't get ideal coverage, the flame template is 8" long, so you'll be able to hit the first rank or so of the enemy, depending on how tightly packed they are. Combine that with a bit of clever Tank Shocking in order to force the enemy closer to your flamers (and bunched more tightly!) and you have a pretty serious combo against non-MEQ infantry. If you roll a 6 on Cult Ambush, put on your biggest troll face as you pop up within 3" of the enemy with 3 Heavy Flamers and then charge them with 6 hull points of 10/10/10 tarpit goodness. Absolutely hilarious against S3 armies. Torch a big blob of Hormagaunts or Conscripts, then charge in with your 105 points of walkers and spend the rest of the game kicking them across the field.
  • Goliath Truck: Open topped transport for your dudes, meaning guys can assault from it, plus it gives you a twin-linked Autocannon. I know what you're thinking, but unfortunately it cannot carry Purestrain Genestealers or the Patriarch (if you want Genestealers on Wheelers, take a Chimera instead (though of course the Chimeras aren't open-topped transports)). In rules terms it's like a beefed up Ork truck for just less than double the points, more armour and bigger guns.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Goliath Rockgrinder: Slightly tougher than the Goliath Truck with 12/10/10 HP3. Can transport 6 dudes, but isn't open topped so they can't assault. Ignores crew stunned/shaken and immobilized results on a 4+ thanks to being built so sturdily for mining operations. Comes stock with a Drilldozer Blade and a Heavy Mining Laser which can be swapped out for a Clearance Incinerator (basically a torrent Heavy Flamer) or Heavy Seismic Cannon (basically a Seismic Cannon with 50% more shots). This thing is basically built for ramming other vehicles and tank shocking other units, but don't expect it to really provide a lot of fire power.
    • Rockgrinders aren't really worth it in a CAD due to their ranged anti-tank being fairly weak; 75 points for a single BS 3 Lascannon doesn't impress anybody. You "could" run them as a cheapish cover-busting anti-infantry platform as the Clearance Incinerator "does" make it the cheapest mobile Torrent in the game, but unlike the Hellhound, you're not fast and you don't have good Side Armor or Smoke Launchers. You can get 3 Rockgrinders for slightly less than 2 Hellhounds though.
    • Did anyone else notice that, unlike the Goliath Truck, Rockgrinders can carry Stealers and the Patriarch? Might just be an omission mistake but still interesting. Unfortunately the Patriarch is Bulky, preventing him from fitting in with even a minimum sized squad. FAQ has hit, this was not a mistake apparently.
  • Leman Russ Squadron: Ah yes, the famous Leman Russ Battle Tank. Perhaps the most cost-efficient and versatile tank in 40k. With very tough front armor and reasonably durable side armor, it can brush of most things while pouring dakka into your enemy. You can take any of the non-Demolisher variants as detailed below.
    • Vanilla Battle Tank: You know it, you love it. A good all-rounder and safe choice to go with if none of the other options tickle your fancy. Just remember not to buy any sponson or hull upgrades, as the main gun forces the rest of the guns to snap fire.
      • The battle cannon really shines in a Genecults army. Those 72" pie plates force your enemy to spread out in the deployment phase, making it that much easier to a attack them piecemeal with your ambushers. Plus, with its 72" range and its inability to effectively use sponson weapons it really doesn't benefit from Outflanking, so it's an ideal candidate for bringing in as a Brood Brother auxiliary if you want more armor in your list, but don't want to fill out a second Cavalcade.
    • Exterminator: 4 Twin-linked Autocannon shots. Great against enemy Monstrous Creatures and light AV vehicles. Also good against flyers in a pinch due to twin-linked. Slap a trio of Heavy Bolters on it and go to town on a horde, since no Punisher for you. Your most versatile and consistently effective option. Autocannons are great. Twin linking them is better. This Russ can make good use out of almost all the sponson and hull upgrades you care to give it. A rock solid option that will almost never disappoint.
    • Vanquisher: A single shot at S8 AP2, Armorbane and 72". Its biggest weakness is BS3 and 1 shot, so a 50/50 chance you miss isn't really that great. Resort to Close Combat to pop vehicles.
      • Alternate Take: The Vanquisher gets a new lease on life in a GSC list. It's not great as part of the IG, as the Leman Russ has a really hard time getting close to the action. That said, a Vanquisher in a Neophyte Cavalcade can do something the IG Leman Russ can't; outflank. Give him a Lascannon and a pair of Multi-Meltas. Outflank into the side or rear armor of enemy vehicles. One or two high strength BS3 shots into the front armor of a vehicle isn't great. Four high strength shots, three of which roll two dice and add them together for armor penetration (if you can get within 12" of an enemy vehicle) into the side or rear armor of a vehicle, and all of them are AP 1 or 2? That's much, much better. Best of all? It's actually a pretty darn affordable option for what you're getting.
    • Eradicator: S6 AP4 Heavy 1, Ignores Cover Large Blast. This is what you use to fight cover-camping Eldar and Tau who you can't so easily Assault.

Formations[edit]

Cult Insurrection Detachment:[edit]

If a Patriarch is the Warlord (no other type of character mentioned), he may reroll his Warlord Trait; you may also not include more than one each of a Patriarch, Magus, and Primus in the detachment. ALL non-vehicle units gain Infiltrate. If the unit already has Infiltrate, they gain Shrouded for the first turn of the game. Also, they get to add +1 to reserve rolls and apply -1 to enemy reserve rolls. This detachment will really mess with your opponent's head.

Oh, and another thing: each time a unit returns to the battlefield from ongoing reserves they get reinforced with D6 models that have been previously slain. This works best with larger units, as you have to have at least one model left in the unit for this to work. Don't expect to roll a 6 every time.

  • The real advantage of the "Returning models" is there is no restriction on the order in which the models must be brought back. Say you lost several Mining Lasers or your Cult Icon from focused fire but the rest of the unit is relatively intact? Return to the Shadows lets you revive key models in a unit.

So perfect for hopping around with your cult ambush then.

Command (0-3)[edit]

  • Lord of the Cult: Just a Patriarch, Magus, Primus or Cult Iconward. No rules.
  • The First Curse: Patriarch, plus a unit of Genestealers, must total 20 models though, so it's your boss man with a great big bodyguard of teeth and claws. The formation bonus is a randomly determined buff for your unit of Genestealers that lasts for the game.
    1. Fleshhooks: Grenades for your Genestealers.
    2. Hardened Carapace: 4+ saves.
    3. Toxin Glands: Attacks are Poisoned.
    4. Adrenal Sacs: Rage.
    5. Feeder Tendrils: Preferred Enemy.
    6. Perfect Killing Machine: choose your result.
    • The thing is that each of these upgrades has its own bits for modelling, but because it's randomly determined you've got no way of guaranteeing if your feeder tendril squad that you built will accurately represent your actual rules. Which can be a bad thing if it annoys you you can't match the models with the rules they have or a good thing if you don't want to have to have 20 guys all with tendrils and want some visual differences among the squad.
    • This is one of the better random buff charts. Rage, PE, and Grenades are often going to be very handy, as is a 4+. More importantly, even if there is only one option that you want, you have a 1 in 3 chance of getting it thanks to the choose on a 6.
    • Since you can run this as a standalone formation, you could theoretically run two First Curses if you really wanted to! The trick is to build the Cult Insurrection army as normal, take your First Curse as a Command Choice, take a second First Curse as a standalone Formation...and then switch the Broodlords around: Broodlord A from First Curse A joins Genestealer unit B from First Curse B, and vice-versa. This works since Genestealers get innate Infiltration, and Shrouded is a conferred USR; although it would eat up a third of your points in a standard 1850-pt match, having two Fearless Infiltrating T4 Move Through Cover mobs with Shrouded and a 5++ can give a lot of enemies pause for thought.
  • Broodcoven: 1 Patriarch, 1 Magus, 1 Primus. Deploy as a single unit, but may still join squads. Rules gained dependent on models left in the unit: Patriarch confers Fleet, Magus confers Counter-Attack, Primus confers Preferred Enemy
    • If you're aiming to build a Death Star, Broodcoven works well with just about any of the formations with optional HQ model requirements, especially Doting Throng Acolytes or Uprising Metamorphs, for maximum assault power, while DT Neophytes will potentially start you off tarpitting from turn 1, providing you don't face someone who's starting with better than chaff on the board. Demo Claw Acolytes net you a bit more mileage out of your Patriarch's attacks, but is a bit situational.

Core (1-6)[edit]

  • Brood cycle: 1 Cult Iconward, 3 units of Acolyte Hybrids, 2 units of Neophyte Hybrids, 1 unit of Metamorph Hybrids, 1 unit of Purestrain Genestealers, 0-1 unit of Aberrants, 0-1 Goliath Rockgrinder unit and a partridge in a pear tree. Any unit within 6" of another unit in the formation gains +1 WS & Ld and gains Furious Charge while within 24" of the Cult Iconward and increases his Feel No Pain bubble to 24" as well.
    • This is a very £xp€n$ive and time-consuming formation to put together; considering that it involves pretty much every Genestealer unit in the codex, you're starting at 46 models before you even consider increasing squad sizes and/or dedicated transports. Also, using that many models in this formation stops you using them in Auxiliary formations, so you'd need even more of the same types of units afterwards.
      • If not going for a mechanized core formation (see below), this formation is your go-to with an Insurrection detachment. Base 400pnts for 7 units and 1 Iconward for buffing. This is meant for MSU style all the way.
  • Neophyte Cavalcade: Genestealer Mechanised Company! 2 units of Neophyte Hybrids that must take a Chimera Transport and must start the game embarked in them, you also get a Leman Russ Squadron and 1-2 units of Sentinels (either type). All vehicles here get the Outflank special rule. So your Leman Russes can ruin the day of some guys artillery line, while Scout Sentinels share the Cult Ambush rule, being able to pop out of reserves and mess with your enemy's unprotected rear. In addition, all vehicles ignore stunned and shaken results on a 4+.
    • Summary: The bonuses are minor, but the tax is easy to fill in. The problem is that if you're taking this formation as part of a Cult Insurrection, the Chimeras would already be able to Outflank (because units with Infiltrate confer Infiltrate onto their Dedicated Transport, and Infiltrators can Outflank unless otherwise noted) and you don't particularly care about Outflanking a Russ or taking Armored Sentinels. What may be the saving grace for the formation is the fact that regular Scout Sentinels get Cult Ambush. As long as you don't roll a "1" on the Ambush table, you can use them as a "Land Speeder" equivalent, where rather than "Turbo-Jinking" to move-block trouble units or Deep-Striking for better shots, you instead Cult Ambush and deliver a stream of Autocannons to a vulnerable point.
    • Alternate Take: This formation is fantastic. Outflanking Russ' are absolutely terrifying when used well. Very few armies can brag about being able to outflank a 14/13/10 armored brick that can fire 5 weapons at full BS the turn it comes on. The Vanquisher and Exterminator especially benefit from being able to hit that delicious side and rear armor on enemy vehicles. The same goes for Armored Sentinels with almost any loadout but the Heavy Flamer. Being able to avoid front armor when shooting does a lot to make your shots count. About the only thing that doesn't benefit from outflanking is the Battle Cannon variant, simply because it can't make good use of its sponsons and the main gun can already shoot from corner to corner. Plus, the whole force ignoring shaken and stunned on a 4+ is a pretty significant boon to vehicles that were already pretty good. This means your armor is going to spend half as much time being useless as they would otherwise. Considering how lean the formation is and how useful all the options are, you really can't go wrong with the Cavalcade.
    • Much cheaper [only 15pts so not really] than the Brood Cycle, and easily filled by players who already have guard collections. That means you can add other Hybrid units piecemeal in Auxillary formations at your leisure.
    • Outflanking or infiltrating Chimeras with two one Heavy Flamers (the Chimera isn't a fast vehicle, so it can't move and fire two template weapons. Stick with a Multilaser or Heavy Bolter so you can at least snap shoot it) can be a nasty surprise and with the Cult Insurrection detachment's +1 bonus on reserve rolls, you are much more likely to get your Leman Russ tanks to come in on the 2nd turn.
    • When picking between the two most obvious sentinel variants (armored plasma and scout heavy flamer), remember that the Outflank on the Armored is far more consistent than the scout, as you have a 2/3 chance of getting what you want and the range to still do damage regardless. Rolling a 1 on the ambush table with scout sentinels with heavy flamers will make you fucking fuming. You can still Outflank with the scout but that will hamper the effectiveness of your templates somewhat.

Auxiliary (1+)[edit]

  • Subterranean Uprising: 0-1 Primus, 1-3 Hybrid Metamorph units, 2-4 Acolyte Hybrids units, 0-3 Aberrant units. All units gain Infiltrate and have to deploy by Ambush at the start of the game they roll 2 dice on the table to choose how they arrive, or 3 dice if the Primus is attached. Note that when this is coupled with Cult Insurrection, everyone gets Shrouded on the first turn.
  • Deliverance Broodsurge: 2-6 units of Neophyte Hybrids, each must take a Goliath Truck transport and start the game embarked upon it. During the game, they may dismount their vehicle even if it moves at Cruising Speed. But have to take a dangerous terrain check, because they've just leapt off at full speed. Also, the Goliaths just ignore Crew Shaken/Stunned results. So basically this formation is a good way to deliver your Neophyte squads around the battlefield, and as open topped vehicles it means they have quite a considerable charge radius, if a bit risky to undertake.
    • WITNESS ME! This formation is a great way to spam fast, cheap transports in a way that would make Orks and their trukks green(er) with envy. First off, all the Neophytes gain Infiltrate/Outflank if you bring them as part of a Cult Insurrection detachment, meaning the Goliaths also gain it as they are dedicated transports for the Neophytes. This lets you close the distance between you and your opponent insanely fast compared to some other armies, as you can Infiltrate, drive forward 6", and be within rapid fire range (or shotgun range) in a lot of cases, especially if you can get the truck behind LOS blocking terrain. In addition, the Goliaths are open topped so your Neophytes can all fire out of the top, giving you a cheap, mobile anti-infantry firebase. If you give all the Neophytes shotguns, they can take the most advantage of the Goliath's open topped status as they can fire 20 shots out the top at close range, or leap out, fire a volley of shotgun fire, and charge into melee. Just remember that if the Goliath moves 12" your dudes will all be snap firing. Because of this, it's best to avoid webbers, grenade launchers, and flamers, as they won't be able to fire if you take advantage of the formation's special abilities. It's generally best to keep these suicide squads cheap. Give them a Cult Icon so they're WS4, and maybe a sergeant with a power weapon. Load up your cheap goons and seek to die historic on the fury road. Bonus points if you paint chrome around the mouths of all your Neophytes.
  • Demolition Claw: 2-3 units of Acolyte Hybrids (and each unit must take at least one Demolition Charge) team up with 2-3 Goliath Rockgrinder units (which must take the "Cache of Demolition Charges" upgrade for free). They all get Tank Hunter and may reroll scatter on their Demolitions charges. What's more, if they throw the charge while within 6" of one of the Goliath's, they replenish it on a D6 roll of 4+.
    • Summary: This formation looks meant to team up with the Neophyte Calvacade for players wanting to do a mechanized Cult. The formation's implementation is somewhat Skornergystic at first. The Acolytes receive assorted bonuses to throwing Demolition Charges...while they're embarked on a Goliath Rockgrinder from the formation itself. The problem is that the Acolytes have Infiltrate and want to get up-close to the fight, while the Rockgrinders must deploy conventionally. Add to the fact that the Rockgrinders have abysmal side armor and their only "firing point" is from the rear of the vehicle, and using the Claw for its intended role of chucking lots of Demolition Charges will fall flat the moment you come across any army that can bring flanking S6 shots. Rather, consider the fact that the entire formation gets Tank Hunter, and there remains no restriction on the Acolytes taking their own Goliaths as dedicated transports. You have the potential to bring 2-3 Infiltrating twin-linked Tank-Hunting autocannons to the fray in a lightly-mechanized alphastrike that would give old-school Dark Lance DE players fits of envy. The Goliaths, in turn, have the option to more comfortably run Clearance Flamers for anti-infantry duality since their Drilldozers would also benefit from Tank Hunters.
    • Alternative Take: This formation makes a bloody fantastic DISTRACTION CARNIFEX. The Acolytes/Rockgrinders are damn cheap, coming in at 135 all told. The Rockgrinder ignores dangerous terrain, so you can plow straight through ruins to maximize your usage of block line of sight cover and cover saves. Played smartly, one of two things will happen. Your opponent will waste time shooting at them, and with good positioning your cover saves will force them to dump a lot of fire into you. Alternatively, they'll ignore the cheap little truck full of bombs, and you'll be able to hit them with 2 Twin-Linked S8 AP2 pieplates. If you get lucky and wipe a squad of Crisis Suits or Terminators, the unit pays for itself. If the enemy blows it up immediately, you aren't out that many points. The formation also makes an exceptional unit to keep in reserves against drop pod or deep strike heavy armies. Let them all land and pile out, then drive out of reserves, tank shock the unlucky saps, then hit them or their drop pod with a fuckload of demo charges and the guns on the Rockgrinder. It'll clean up your backfield pretty damn quick.
  • The Doting Throng: 0-1 Magus, 3-6 units of Acolyte or Neophyte Hybrids (in any combination). They all get Zealot while within 12" of a Magus (note: any Magus and not just the one from this formation) and any unit joined by a Magus rerolls fails to hit in every round of close combat, not just the first. Also, any blessings that fail to get cast on the Doting Throng may be rerolled. Seeing as this formation is so heavily invested in having a Magus, you'd wonder why the guy is optional. But remember: your Cult Insurrection can only ever have one in the entire detachment, so this formation loses effectiveness the larger it becomes or if you have more than one (in a cult detachment).
    • This is the evil, mustache twirling doppelganger of an Imperial Guard Platoon. You can nearly match their numbers, and your dudes are noticeably better than your standard loyalist Guardsmen with +1 Initiative and Leadership over the poor unenlightened dogs. Neophytes benefit tremendously from both Zealot and the Psychic buffs. Your little half-alien Guardsmen are surprisingly adept in melee with I4 and an easily attained WS4, so giving them Zealot and Might from Beyond or Psychic Stimulus can really push them over the top into being a nasty CQC force in significant numbers. This formation helps you do that without bringing in Psychic allies or a CAD to squeeze in an extra Magus or Patriarch. Neophytes don't really need the same buff to the Cult Ambush table Acolytes do, as they're a lot more tactically flexible with their shooting and can make good use out of every option but the first if they don't have heavy weapons. You can really load this formation up with dudes on the cheap, with 20 bodies costing a bit less than a 5 man squad of Tactical Marines in a Drop Pod. For a little over 600 points, some careful positioning can put 120 fearless bodies and a Magus on the field. Just remember to shout "SEIZE THEM!" every time you declare a charge.
  • Shadow Skulkers: 1 unit of Purestrain Genestealers. No rules, but a good way to squeeze in more squads without paying the huge brood cycle taxes.
  • Cult Mutants: either 1 unit of Aberrants or 1 unit of Hybrid Metamorphs. Again, no rules but another way to get these units while avoiding taxes you've already paid.
  • Brood Brothers: here, have a Leman Russ Squadron, or some Sentinels. After filling your Core requirement you can have as many of these as you like, so Genestealers can spam tanks if they wanted.

Ghosar Quintus Broodkin[edit]

Exactly 1 of every Ghosar Quintus Broodkin unit, and nothing else.

Command Benefits[edit]

  • Everyone gains Infiltrate and Stealth if they didn't already have it.
  • While Patriarch Ghosar is alive, everyone has Fearless and Adamantium Will.
  • Everyone who Infiltrates gets Shrouded until the start of the second game turn, and can attempt to charge on their first turn.
  • Patriarch Ghosar and the Purestrain Princelings can Infiltrate anywhere on the table that is more than 1" from any enemy unit, whether deployed units can draw a line of sight to them or not (Patriarch Ghosar cannot do this if joined to a unit, unless that unit is the Purestrain Princelings).
    • Note that the Princelings do not lose this when joined by Orthan or Vorgan; neither of those two can also be that close, so this is of dubious utility, but it does mean that if you do that, only the ICs need to worry about LOS, and the Princelings themselves can legally be closer than 12" when you do this.

Allies[edit]

Battle Brothers[edit]

No battle brothers for you.

Allies of Convenience[edit]

  • Tyranids: Makes up for the lack of a good Tyranid ally. Shame that you cannot share Psychic Powers and Warlord traits due to AoC, but them's the breaks. This gives you access to even cheaper tarpits plus the famed Monstrous Creatures the 'Nids are known for. Recommended to grab a Flying Hive Tyrant as allied HQ for some form of flyer/AA.
    • Flyrants in a Genestealer Cult:If you're running Tyranids as your ally rather than the other way around, the most immediate combo is to take the Tyranids either in a CAD or Leviathan Uprising, pay the minimum Mucoloid Spore tax, and take 2-3 Flyrants. Likewise, although Broodmind is an excellent Psychic Discipline, the Cult can find itself easily strapped for Warp Charges and while the Tyranid Psychic Discipline is fairly underwhelming, the Tyrants each provide 2 Warp Charge; an extra 4 Warp Charge can give you a lot more flexibility in playing Cultists as a "Controller" army.
    • Bear in mind that Shadow in the Warp affects Allies of Convenience. This may or may not be a problem, depending on your army loadout, but it can make Perils more dangerous for your Magus and Patriarch. In addition, remember that GSC and 'Nids count as enemy models for the purposes of things like Infiltration. Keep that in mind, as your dudes might be getting in each others way a lot.
    • Your 'nids now have access to psykers that can take telepathy and thus psychic shriek. Now think about Deathleaper and his bros from the Assassin brood formation and their ability to lower enemy's Ld. Fuck you, daemon prince. Bonus points, it's fluff.
  • Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum: Yes. Apparently IG can ally at AoC with GSC as well, must be to represent when the cult gets into the local PDF. This gives you access to Valkyries, Vendettas, Hydras, and any Imperial Guard vehicle you don't get in the main Cult Codex. For fun, include a Deathstrike in your Astra Militarum detachment for full-on, mustache Feeder Tendril-twirling, super-villain doomsday weapon hilarity. Also, with the benefit of orders, they can do Lasgun Spam much better. You complement them on the Melee side, though. Plenty of options here.

Desperate Allies[edit]

No desperate allies for you either.

Come the Apocalypse[edit]

  • Space Marines HERESY!
    • Blood Angels They're built for assault and short range mech power. Nids and Guard can cover the bases you can't cover yourself, so look elsewhere.
    • Dark Angels MORE HERESY!
    • Deathwatch: Extra Heretical. Despite that, you could make use of Corvus Blackstars for some neat drop pod and frag cannon usage, but they have some anti-air problems as well.
    • Grey Knights: Also extra Heretical
    • Space Wolves EVEN MORE HERESY!
  • Chaos Space Marines Space Marines... But less heretical.
  • Chaos Daemons No great heavy support options to accompany Genestealers however Daemons of Slaanesh partner well with them.
  • Skitarii Their much better shooting skills and Anti-Air may well make up for your problems in both, but at Come the Apocalypse level they really aren't worth the hassle, Guardsmen are a much better choice, seen as they can provide that needed AA and won't waste turns standing around. Pass.
  • Cult Mechanicus Holy Requisitioner and Elimination Maniple are neat and fluffwise it fits to an infected mining colony.
  • Adepta Sororitas (Sisters of Battle) Have you read the Genestealer Cult novel? There's actually one Sister in the Cult! Rejoice! Could be fluffy for that single purpose, but being CtA, it is extremely difficult to do anything.
  • The Inquisition Again, extra Heretical. Their benefits are Imperium army based, so only take them if you're running Guard or other CtA Imperium armies.
  • Imperial Knights/Renegade Knights Assorted Nidzillas and Baneblades should do the job. If you play an infected Knight House, best pick a Crusader or dual-wielding Renegade.
  • Eldar
    • Eldar Harlequins and Corsairs More speed, more deadly close combat potential.
  • Dark Eldar Good if you want more fast, squishy hit and run units. They dont add much new, but the playstyles meld nicely.
  • Tau If you're running for mostly Melee, a gunline of Pulse rifles could be a great boon.
  • Necrons Again, a Necron Gunline could be a helpful thing. Using cult ambush could fuck you up if you roll a 1, but you can also potentially get your forces in a neat close range to your foe, whilst the 'Crons melt tanks. If you aren't looking for anti-tank duty, however, they don't really have much to offer that you or your AoC buddies couldn't already do.
  • Orks Adds some much needed WAAAAGGHH!!!(Odd seeing as there are Hybrid Ork Freebootaz, maybe they don't generate the right kind of waaagh field)

Tactics[edit]

Cult Ambush and You[edit]

While the idea of getting a Turn 1 charge with your Patriarch and a pile of Purestrain Genestealers is insanely good on paper, in practice, the Cult Ambush table is not reliable enough [42% chance for warlord trait + reroll + rolling actually that 6] for you to really base your entire strategy around a few key units getting the results you want. There are definitely methods to give you more control, like the Ambush Leader warlord trait or the Subterranean Uprising, but Cult Ambush lacks the precision and reliability of things like Space Marine drop pods. You can't rely on the bulk of your army coming in exactly where you want them to, because a few crummy rolls can have parts of your force coming in from your friendly table edge, or the wrong side of the board. If you aren't smart and careful about how you use Cult Ambush, you'll end up scattering your army piecemeal and your T3 5+ dudes are going to get smeared.

Cult Ambush really shines in two big places. The first is getting hordes of dudes into the fight. Both of your basic troops can be taken in squads up to 20, but common wisdom for most armies would advise against it, as you can't fit 20 dudes in a transport. Footslogging hordes in the current state of the game is just asking to have your loyal goons be re-purposed as fleshy confetti the first time a Thunderfire Cannon sneezes in your general direction, and most horde armies have to spend a turn or two getting into position before they can really start being effective. Cult Ambush solves the transport issues that these blobs struggle with, allowing you to teleport into rapid fire range in deployment. Naturally, Neophytes take the best advantage of this, as they can immediately be useful without having to roll a 6. Acolytes can also present a nice DISTRACTION CARNIFEX, with a barebones squad of 20 costing a bit more than a Leman Russ. Even if they don't get the Turn 1 charge, you can often deploy them in such a way that your opponent will need to deal with them or risk losing some of his shiny toys.

The second place Cult Ambush rocks is helping to make badly mangled squads useful. After your hordes take a vigorous pounding, they can Return to the Shadows for some soothing balms and a cigarette before returning to the fray. Use these mangled squads to grab an objective, or to help gang up on a key enemy unit elsewhere on the board, or to leave your opponent impotently stomping on his hat as the flank he was crushing suddenly disappears and reappears to reinforce the other side of the board.

If you're playing with the Cult Insurrection Detachment (and why wouldn't you?) this becomes even more useful as you can return any d6 models to the unit. This means that if your power weapon wielding sergeant got killed in a challenge or your heavy/special weapons were sniped out of the unit by cheeky ratlings, you can return them to the unit and redeploy their firepower elsewhere. This helps your horde of gribblies stay useful over the course of the game, where a lot of other units would stay neutered.

All in all, it's a powerful tool, but it's better utilized opportunistically rather than as a key element of your tactical planning.

Dealing with Air[edit]

There are many great things about Genestealer Cults. Their anti-infantry is pretty great, especially in close combat. Their Troops can turn most tanks to jelly and even against Super Heavies (20 Purestrain with the Patriarch will almost without fail kill a Knight before it gets to strike back, even 10 have a good chance) they will stand up reasonably well. What they lack is dedicated anti-air and when I say lack I mean THE ONLY thing they have to counter air is Flakk missiles, not exactly something to be depended on. Now don't panic because there is a way out. Thanks to their AoC Astra Militarum they have access to Hydras. Now I know, they can't shoot at the ground particularly well but at 70 points you can put a full squadron into a 1500 list and not really notice the cost. Yes you have to pay for the HQ and Troop tax but that is still only a fifth of your over all costs. Even 2 Hydras will handle a single flyer most of the time and seeing as how cheap most of the GC army is you can still overwhelm your opponent with Rending attacks. Depends on your meta but if you are stuggling to deal with pesky flyers, take a good look at Hydras. Also with the Detachment your opponent has to -1 to his reserve rolls to the flyers may not even turn up.

Tyranid Flyrants provide a cheaper option for anti-air largely because they occupy an HQ slot rather than Heavy Support. That said, a full unit of Hydras is 20 points cheaper and puts out the same number of Twin Linked shots with 1 higher strength and AP4 compared to the Devourer Flyrants. On top of that, you get 3 Heavy Bolters that you can snap shoot at AV10 or 11 fliers, or fire against ground targets at full BS. It just depends on where you want to get your Anti Air from and whether or not you have more use for Tyranid units or Astra Militarium units.

That said, if you're having major trouble with enemy aircraft it's definitely worth considering the Emperor's Wrath Artillery Company. While a bit pricey, it unlocks some major firepower for a GSC list, including Manticores, Basilisks, Hydras, and Wyverns. Furthermore, these units can accept orders from a Company Command squad, meaning that your Hydras can Ignore Cover on a successful leadership test. If you've got use for a Manticore and a Basilisk or Wyvern in your GSC army, it's definitely worth considering allying in the Wrath company, as nothing clears the skies quite like 3 Hydras with Ignore Cover.

Summoning[edit]

One of the big advantages of this army is the sheer volume of models you can summon in. With a dedicated summoning list it's not unreasonable to be summoning in 40 Neophytes a turn, or any combination of the other awesome choices. With all the upgrades for these summoned units being free, you can spam a STUPID number of dedicated units kitted out to do exactly what you need them to, and with a reasonable chance of showing up within 9 inches of WHERE you need them to (again, no scatter). This would take a dedicated list, but it certainly isn't impossible or even improbable if you dump enough points into it. The nice side of this is that, if you can keep your Magus out of line of sight and buried in a unit with lots of ablative wounds, you can summon in nearly two Leman Russes worth of points of neophytes a turn, potentially breaking even on your investment in the psykers required on turn one, and that's before we get into the more expensive unit options.

Allying in a CAD with a pair of Magi can do a lot to up your summoning oomph and increase the number of chances you get to roll the right power. Plus, you can stick them with a squad of Neophytes for cheap, ablative wounds and use them to camp objectives, as they're some of the only Objective Secured you have access to. Between a core Cult Insurrection getting shit done and the summoned dudes replacing lost squads or bringing in new tools you have a lot of flexibility and versatility for a serious list. A good GSC summoning list can leave your opponent fighting 3k points of cults in an 1850 game and even Daemons of Tzeench start to blush at the sheer volume of bodies you can dump onto the board. Just don't try to run this list with a time limit or if you want to stay friends with your opponent.

Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
General Tactics
Imperium
Chaos
Eldar
Necrons
Orks
Tau
Tyranids