Well, the excitement is real – and about time, too! After patiently waiting in the shadows for all this time, the Genestealer Cult release begins tomorrow with the pre-orders for a decent chunk of this new wave of models. And I cannot wait!
These models have been teased for so long now, it almost feels like I own them already!
Back near the end of 7th edition, when the Genestealer Cults first came out of hiding, I can remember being really excited to see something really quite different to the normal stuff we get for 40k. While there’s no doubt these malformed revolutionaries are an army, they just feel different, with their industrial aesthetic – they really are the everyman of the universe. Just with extra limbs, and so on.
I didn’t really foresee there being any actual expansion to the range, though – while it’s always nice to think your army will get new stuff when a codex release happens, I thought the Cult was pretty much what it was. There has always been a very strong foundation on the original Deathwatch: Overkill boxed game, of course, but with odds and ends like the Acolyte Iconward, the Goliath truck, and all of the Astra Militarum stuff that can be wrapped into a list, I thought we had seen what we were always going to get. And then that gunslinger mini showed up, and the internet seemed to catch fire. Well, if the three-armed gunslinger was enough to ignite peoples’ interest, the rest of the releases have almost assuredly burnt the house right down!
Up for pre-order tomorrow, then, we start with the new, female Magus. Personally, I don’t feel the need for a new model, as I really love the commanding presence of the original sculpt. The cynic within me thinks this is just GW cashing in, while appeasing the calls for more female representation within the game. I have no problem with the latter, and I’ve come to expect the former. If there are no new rules for this particular model, then I guess we still need to get the Broodcoven box in order to get the familiars she can take? Or maybe there will be new familiars on the sprue with her – though I doubt it, given that the other stuff with familiar-type minis have all been shown with them now.
This chap is definitely on my list to pick up, however! Aside from being a hilarious model – with a hilarious name – the Clamavus has the very useful ability of denying deep-striking units just a little bit further, with mortal wounds being dished out if anyone comes too close. Can’t think I’ll get as much use of the +1 to charges for friendly units near him, but I think he’ll still make himself useful by providing that extra protection to the very fragile Neophytes I like to bulk out my lists with…
Of all the new models coming though, this grumpy chap has got to be top of my list to get. It’s not just because of the fact he’s plotting the invasion of Warhammer World itself, but he’s providing that very useful ability of re-gaining command points for the army, which I think is really very thematic for what he’s supposed to represent, as well as providing shenanigans with the Cult Ambush markers that will be forming part of the new style of playing Genestealer Cults:
These markers are used to mask how you’re deploying your army, in a similar way to how Battlelore deployment worked I suppose. You place these markers to represent any unit in your list, and once deployment is complete, you then decide what marker represents what unit. There are stratagems that let you place four markers for one unit, to further mess with your opponent’s plans, and also to change the manner of the Ambush – setting up Underground is more like the usual Deep Strike Reserves, popping up 9″ away from the enemy when you need it most!
Continuing our look at the new units on offer this weekend, we have the Locus, a bodyguard model with the usual bodyguard things that always goes first in the fight phase. I really like this mini, and I’m probably going to get him soon enough as well. The Clamavus and the Nexos are at the top along with the book, but I think other things might have to wait while I work out my plans for global domination.
The Sanctus is an assassin model, which is all well and good, but again, I think he’s going to be much lower down the list for now. I mean, I’m absolutely going to be getting one of everything for my army, but I just don’t feel the need for this guy right now. Though as with many things, I suppose only time will tell!
Interestingly, the rules preview that went up for these chaps is strongly indicating that they are actually all going to be HQ choices – if the Sanctus can never be a warlord it suggests he is in a slot from whence warlords normally come, and the Nexos’ ability to regain CP being something only HQs get. Interesting…
We also have the bikers up for preorder this weekend, and I’m really excited by the possibility of having a wealth of weapon options! Let’s ramble for a moment. I feel like there has been a trend in 40k of late to almost dumb-down the list building. Sure, I’ve recently been complaining of option-paralysis with my Deathwatch army, but I still like the fact that armies are, on the whole, quite customisable. Where this isn’t the case, such as with Necrons or, more recently, Primaris Marines, I find the units to be quite dull. When everybody has the same weapon, it generally bores me. Being able to properly customise a unit is a really nice feature, and I’m pleased that GW are keeping that sort of thing going with this book. Between these and the Neophytes, I think we’re going to have a very exciting book on our hands!
Anyway. The build options for the bikes feel a bit weird to me, with the quad bike being an optional build from the regular box, and the squad sergeant-type being a separate mini, although I suppose this does prevent having to come up with datasheets like we have with some Space Marines units, where they may take a jump pack, or they may ride a bike, etc etc. It feels a little clunky, but it also feels probably the best way of doing it!
It’s also nice that we get so many different head options, so we can definitely get two boxes and not have twins riding the bikes! And who doesn’t love a Cultist wielding a wrench?!
For £32.50, I think it’s actually pretty respectably-priced, as well – I was expecting something nearer the £50-mark, so that’s a nice surprise. Given that I’ll probably be wanting to get a lot of stuff on day one, I think I may well be using my preferred discount retailer, so that should be even better yet!
So this is week one, at least, of a very exciting release window. What else is there still to come?
Top of my list has got to be the delightful new vehicle, the Achilles Ridgerunner, which I think is one of the more hilarious releases due to its timing. We had the cartoon-y teaser trailer for GSC a whiles back, and so many people were polarised by whether this was going to be a new vehicle, or if it was just artistic licence with the Goliath – but now we know it’s something new, and weirdly exciting, to boot!
Let’s ramble again for a bit. Pretty much every army shares a basic blueprint, having HQs with similar buff-abilities, basic troops, some have a bit fancier troops, and there are heavy options and fast options, and the very fancy options in the Elites slot. GSC, to some degree, conformed to this back in the day, but with this, I’m at a bit of a loss for just what the hell it’s supposed to be! The preview describes it as a scout vehicle that seems to want to be paired with the bike squads, though its spotting abilities seem limited to its own weapons, rather than providing some kind of triangulation ability akin to the Necron Triarch Stalker. Hm. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s hilarious and I definitely want one, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to what it’s going to do for me! I guess, as always, time will tell!
We’ve also got another mini that was “previewed” during the cartoon trailer, the Biophagus. It seems like this guy is almost specifically designed to work alongside Aberrants as a support character, as his abilities grant permanent buffs to those grotesque hulks. I would guess, then, that it will be during the second wave that we’ll see him alongside the multi-part plastic Aberrants, as well as the Abominant character from Tooth & Claw. Whether we get any more units, who knows? The way this release has been so far, it seems like a Pandora’s box of amazing stuff that is almost never-ending!
So yeah – I’m looking forward to the Day of Ascension when I can get my unspecified-number of hands on this book, and see what I can do with all of the many, many miniatures that I’ve so far collected for my Genestealer Cult – I’ve got a feeling that the last list I wrote up is going to be undergoing quite a number of revisions! It’s going to be quite a voyage, I’m sure!