Fielding Genestealer Cult as Orks

Quite surprisingly (for me), Orks received the most positive response for which Codex to use to field a Genestealer Cult army. What options for Genestealer Cults have within the Ork Codex? Lets’s see how others have approached it:

Gorgon’s Genestealer Cult army is played using Codex Orks. You may well recognise his work here. For a more literal Ork Genestealer Cult, Ninjabread has a lovely converted Ork Hybrid army.

Gorgon paired his choices as follows:

Genestealer Patriarch – Ork Warboss
Magus – Weirdboy
Hybrids – Ork boys
Hybrids with heavy weapons – Lootas
Genestealers – Kommandos
Genestealer Broodlord – Snikrot
First-generation hybrids – Nobs
Brood Brothers – Grots

Gorgon also makes use of converted tracks and looted Russes.

I agree with the decisions made here, but the Genestealers, Brood Brothers and vehicles feel a little underwhelming.

The low BS and I of Orks works well for mind-washed / bestial hybrids and brood brothers. The Mob rule is equally a nice representation of the brood mind. Sadly there’s nothing with a high enough Initiative to directly pair Genestealers against, so Gorgon paired them with Kommandos for their ability to infiltrate. The only alternative I can think of would be Stormboys for their increased movement.

So, what units would I like to fit into the Ork template? Taking a step back, lets look at the background and origins of the army.

Genestealer Cults are formed from a Genestealer infestation. Infiltrating a planet ahead of a Tyranid swarm, the Genestealers inject their genetic material into natives and surpress their conciousness, taking control of the host.

The hosts’ offspring become a hybrid of their native DNA and Genestealers, with each generation of birthing slowly returning to a more ‘native’ form. The infected hosts, called Contagii, return to their existing roles within their society, working for their new cause.

The first Genestealer to instigate an infestation seemingly becomes the Genestealer Patriarch, a larger, more bloated being with a stronger dominance over the brood mind. Other Genestealers remain in true form, referred to as Purestrain Genestealers.

The first offspring birthed by Contagii are the Maelignaci. The Maelignaci are “animals – slow, clumsy and moronic. Within the cult they generally regarded as expendable shock troops”.

Each further generation of Hybrid restores the strongest genes of the parent DNA and increasingly restoring the appearance of the host species. Third generation hybrids can easily pass as their own species.

Fourth generation hybrids – Primacii – are almost indistinguishable from their parent species, but retain some features of genestealers, such as lack of body hair. Some are known to harbour psychic powers.

In the fifth generation, genestealer DNA re-emerges in dominance, forming a near-purestrain creature with the ability to infest.

Brood Brothers, are relatives of Genestealer hybrids and hosts. The existing family bonds are boosted to fanatical through the influence of the brood mind. They infiltrate the structure of the native society, taking control over authorities and governments in the cult’s name.

The cult grows, both through reproduction and infiltrating the control structured of planet.  If unopposed, the entire planet can quickly fall into the control of the brood mind, emitting a increasingly powerful beacon to the Tyranid fleet.

Originally, these cults could fall to the worship of Chaos, prior to the background changing them to being part of the Tyranid swarm. While it may be hard to justify this now, the inclusion of beastmen is entirely possible as human mutants have always existed. I’d definitely include a few at varying levels of hybridisation as a tribute.

If we imagine a human world, quite heavily infested by a Genestealer cult (or clan!) and including various human mutants, here’s a basic structure:

Genestealer Patriarch
Primacii – Magi
Brood Brothers
1st through 3rd generation hybrids

This is how I see them relating to Codex Orks:

The Patriarch, as the most influential and dominating figure, should be the Warboss. The sheer strength in statistics, bonus to Nobs and Leadership reflect this perfectly. The lack of psychic powers can be overlooked as a Weirdboy just cannot match this profile.

Primacii could be paired with Contagii, unless you want to field a Weirdboy as a Magus. Otherwise, Primacii and Contagii are fairly ‘human’ overall. Grots and/or boys.

Brood Brothers, like Contagii, fall to the lowest form, grots or boys.  Lootas, Tankbustas, even Burna Boys or MegaNobz could be used at a stretch, as the native planet could well have decent technology and armour to represent this.

The Hybrids, in their varying forms, stand in at Boy-Nob level. Whether units of Nobs, Flash Gitz or Boys, the three levels of hybrids easily slot in at this level, albeit preferably combat-orientated for 1st generation.

1st generation hybirds – Nobs

2nd generation hybirds – Flash Gits, Elite Orks.

3rd generaton hybirds – Boys.

Genestealers. I return to the tough choice. There’s no ideal slot for them, but Kommandos and Storm Boys look the best fit, depending on the composition of the rest of the force. Nobs and Burna boys could also work well for their improved combat prowess.

Rusty Dice

Aint nothing but a horn

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