created : over 4 years ago

Genestealer Cults Codex Review

Tags : review gene cult

Thumb gscult cover final

Hello everyone !!
Second review of the week with the Gene Cult codex!

I'd like to review this one starting with a few arts and fluff then I'll do the rules (army rules, Factions rules, unit, stratagem). The book is a hardback 120 pages of pure infestation that comes with a punch sheet of ambush token and a 9" ruler.

Art of the codex

Lots of very good arts ! (to me at least)

Still a lot more to see in the book!


Fluff is around 60 pages of the codex and explores new aspects of the Cult life. What happens when the hive fleet arrives, can different sort of worlds spawn different cults ?. What size, a cult can get to, what happens on Necromunda. It's a really interesting read and if you like 40k fluff it's a very good read.

My favorite part is the description of the contact beetween the hive fleet and the cult ^^

Hot take: After reading the cult fluff, I'd love the cult to be the main force in the fluff and rarify the Tyranids/apocalypse thing


Army wide powers
"Cult" keyword offer 2 abilities already spoiled by gw :
Unquestioning loyalty and Cult Ambush.

Unquestioning loyalty: models with this rule can take a wound for a nearby cult character on a 4+. Note that one model is slain each time!

Cult Ambush: Huge rule that allows to deep strike any infantry or bike units. You spawn them 9" from an enemy at the end of ANY of your movement phase.
Also instead of deploying a unit, you can instead deploy an ambush marker During the first movement phase of the game, you replace ambush tokens with units. You do it at the start of your movement phase if it's your turn and end of the movement phase if it's an enemy (and he couldn't get closer than 9").
The hidden deployment part is nuts as you can decide who is who, and who is in deepstrike. Basically, the game start is played blind by your opponents.

Detachment special rules

-Brood Brothers.
-Troop get objective secured
-Only one of each character in a single detachment
-Broodlord must be warlords
-Cult creeds : (6)
*+1 charge and run rolls
*reroll hit in melee if charge, charged, or Heroic Intervention.
*halve loss on moral and can shoot if fall back(with -1)
*6+ invul or +1 invul save, also inf move and shoot heavy weapon w/o malus
*+1 save vs rend 0 and bike ignore malus for moving and running.
*+1S +2run rolls (scary pure breed)

Note that IG units don't have the cult keyword but the brood brother one, meaning they don't get the chapter tactics.

QG :
Patriarch: No change
Magus: No change
Primus: No change
Acolyte Iconward: added a reroll 1 for FNP (aberrant)
Abominant: Melee Beast, fnp on 5+, reduce dmg by 1, score 2 hit on 6.
Jackal Alphus: 2+ sniper, +1 to hit marked target effect. Auto include.

Troop :
Acolyte Hybrids: a few weapons change but nothing spectacular.
Hybrids: Lost Heavy weapon team
Brood Brother: IG guard, get the weapons team, don't have a cult bonus but have Unquestioning loyalty.

Elite :
Hybrid Metamorphs: no change but 4 points discount
Aberrants: Super Aberrants every 5 with more attacks and super nasty weapons. fnp +5 and reduce dmg by 1
Genestealer: cheaper
Clamavus: Boost charge roll within 6" (good for ambushing)
Locus: Baddass ninja bodyguard, Heroic inter from 6", always attack first, take dmg from other characters, good melee.
Sanctus: Assassin ninja, 5 attacks 2+ 2 -2 2D and get a 2+ sniper rifle.
Kelermorph: Mc Creed in Cult, shot up to 12 times at 2+ with a s4 -1 d2 pistol, can snipe characters.
Nexos: Gain command points, redeploy unit.
Biophagus: Was already leaked, still, buff aberrant

Woaa this section is super full of choice, keep in mind that you can only one character of each type in one detachment :/

-Achilles Ridgerunners: Good anti-tank with 1d3 s9 ap3 D6, ignore cover, can get extra range and get a scout move. (75pt) scary when combined with the ambush.
-Bikers: -1 to hit them, each must take 2 different weapons. can get 1 quad every 4 bikes (up to 12 bikes and 3 quads !). Move 14"! feel a bit bland but the models are so good and they can deepstrike ^^
-Sentinels (armoured and scout),
-Leman Russ (multiple canon options)
-Heavy weapons squad (like IG)
-Goliath Rockgrinder No change
-Goliath truck: fewer weapons, cheaper, transport 10 (patriarch count 5^^)
-Chimaera: can only transport brood brother :(

A lot of good choices, multiple points reduction across the board, scary melee potential, lot of mini HQ with a good bonus. Feel like a complex army to play, maximizing the use of all the tools the cult get is going to take some practice.

-Mass hypnosis: target unit can't OW, fight last and with -1 to hit.
-mind control, shoot or attack with one enemy model.
-Psy blast: one or 1d3 mortal if you beat LD value.
-Mental onslaught: roll 1d6+ld vs 1d6+ld to inflict 1mw, continue until you fail (ouch)
-psychic stim: run and charge + fight first
-Might from beyond: +1A and 1 for one unit (inf or biker) very good if you equip biker with power pick (s, -2, d3), overkill if you cast it on purestrain ^^

Relics, traits, and stratagems

-Relics :
14 relics. One I like is :
Dagger of swift sacrifice to replace the Sanctus one. Still, 2+ 2+ -2 2D but also inflict 1d3 mortal on a character once he finishes his attack. Note each character hit take 1d3 MW.

Traits :
-Friendly cult inf and biker can Heroic inter within 6 of this model
- minus 1to hit wl
- Attack and Strength +1 (holy shit patriarch !)
- minus 1 damage on your warlord
- +3" range on aura power
- Always fight first

Cult :
- reroll 1 dice per game + 1d3 CP at start
- reroll 1 to hit while within 6
- Choose one unit at the start, reroll to wound within 6" of a warlord.
- if you roll 6 to wound while within 6" of the warlord -1AP
- +2 to Loyalty roll for saving your warlord! (OMG)
- warlord weapon dmg +1

Stratagem: As usual there is 3 pages of stratagems, here a few examples :

-Meticulous Uprising: Before revealing up to 3 ambush marker move them 12", no closer than 9", only cost 1 (it's crazy)
-Counter Spell: Yea spend 3 cp to counter a stratagem played by the other player (2+) ^^
-Aberrant unit fight again (3cp)

That's is for the Cult codex review. This is a very cool codex, I am not sure where it is going to end on the power scale. But the ambush ability seems to have a very high skill ceiling so. Other than that deepstriking and charging with melee unit is going to work well. Also using ambush marker for perfect positioning of heavy weapon team sound super nasty specialy with the alpha jackal grating +1 to hit ^^

Very cool codex with incredible models so much win in this one!

On pre order today ;)