Planning a new army? Genestealer Cult

With no upcoming tournaments or campaigns planned, I find I hit a lull in my hobby motivation. I am aware of a few campaigns in 2011, but the distances and cost are tough to justify – I could buy a new army for the cost of a weekend of gaming, is it worth it and can I afford it?

Do the ends justify the means? Can you put a cost against motivation and having fun? Perhaps I should consign the consequence to hell and get on with the painting!

For every new campaign, I inevitably do the worst possible thing – consider a brand new army, putting the cost up far beyond that ticket and petrol value. A new beginning should be accompanied by a new army in my mind and this brings me to this post’s topic – what army should I do next and properly?

Genestealer Cult – a classic army that hasn’t had rules for several editions now. Alongside Chaos Cultists, Lost and the Damned, Mechanicum, this cult plays heavily on a human army base, accompanied by a hybridisation and allied contingent. In this case, the infiltrating tendrils of a Tyranid invasion – Genestealers.

My first hurdle when considering this army is how to approach using it on the table. Should I build into a Codex, or handle custom rules. This particular army is due a custom codex from the Tempus Fugitives for their upcoming campaign, but the larger picture should be considered – what will I do with them afterwards? Like my Mechanicum, I would like to field them ‘legally’ in normal environments.

With codex-legality in mind, how can I best portray the army and how can I make them different to play? I don’t want another ‘guard’ army now that my Mechanicum have headed that direction. I also don’t Mechanised Infantry with Chimeras again. That would undermine my motivation from the start. I also want to avoid Space Marines –  I have more than enough!

Sidestepping the obvious choice of Imperial Guard, what other Codices are possible to use? Here’s some ideas:

  • Orks
  • Dark Eldar
  • Tau
  • Witch Hunters
  • Tyranids
  • Chaos Space Marines

For a very different appearance, Orks would help field a combat-strong force, different vehicles and a pretty darn tough HQ. However, is the appeal of human hybrids lost on Orks? Could human hybrids be used in proxy rather than actual Ork-Hybrids? How much of a headache would my opponent have?

The reduced BS and increased combat prowess, combined with mob-up rule would make for a good basis for genestealer hybrids. Grots could represent cultists, lead into battle by a demi-magos.

Dark Eldar
A great opportunity to explore a brand new codex, but how can the army be justified. The sheer lack of ground transports and armour makes the force questionable. Can flying transports and jetbikes be justifed? Would a vehicle-free list not cripple the army every game?

The mixture of Kroot and Fire Warriors would make for balanced core army, but vehicles are again limited to flyers. More importantly, the lack of a Genestealer-rank combat unit makes Tau very hard to justify. I’d like to make use of purestrain genestealers.

Witch Hunters
A balanced infantry force, supported by the flavoured faith system, but steering too close to astartes vehicles and rules, especially power armour.

An army I’ve seriously neglected, despite having a healthy amount of models. Genestealer could be fielded true to form. Brood brothers can easily be justified by Termagants. However, there’s no vehicles present – good or bad?

Chaos Space Marines
There are plenty of plusses in the list – Daemons, Princes, Noise Marines, Berserkers, Possessed could all stand proxy for a range of hybrids and Genestealers. Vehicles to provide support and transport, albeit astartes. However, 3+ armour saves are annoyingly unavoidable.


Aint nothing but a horn

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