Batrep: Genestealers Cult vs. Space Wolves (1850 pts)

It’s been a while since I’ve thrown down in a game of 40k, and since I have my goal of 12 games per year looming over me, I figured I better get them in fast.  So, Sean came over with his Space Wolves and agreed to play against my newest army: the Cult.

Well, actually, he didn’t know what my list would be when he showed up, but he played me anyway!

My Genestealer Cult:

  • batrepcultpups-1Lords of the Cult:
    • Primarch (level 2) w/ 2x Familiars (Biomancy: Iron Arm, Quickening, & Smite)
    • Primarch (level 2) w/ 2x Familiars (Broodmind: Psionic Blast, Might from Beyond, & Mass Hypnosis)
    • Primarch (level 2) w/ 2x Familiars (Broodmind: Psychic Stimulus, Telepathic Summons, & Mass Hypnosis)
  • Neophyte Calvacade
    • 10x Neophyte Hybrids w/ 2x Grenade Launcher & Autocannon in Chimera
    • 10x Neophyte Hybrids w/ 2x Grenade Launcher & Autocannon in Chimera
    • 1x Leman Russ w/ Battle Cannon, H. Flamer, & H. Bolter Sponsons
    • 1x Scout Sentinel w/ H. Flamer
    • 1x Scout Sentinel w/ H. Flamer
  • Shadow Skulkers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers
    • 5x Purestrain Genestealers

I know that the list looks fairly spammy at first glance, but I was just running the units that I actually have.  I personally play by a rule that “if it’s not painted, I can’t play with it.”  Because of that, I have only one HQ model I can play with (Patriarchs: and only then because I’m using my “broodlord” models from my Tyranid force), and though I have a fair number of Neophyte Hybrids painted, the only other thing I really have is genestealers.

Luckily, I have a bunch of IG tanks stored away to use eventually, and though I didn’t paint them, and they don’t match my army at all, they are indeed painted, so I was able to bend the rules a little in order to play a game with my cult early.

Sean’s Space Wolves:

  • batrepcultpups-2HQ:
    • Bjorn the Fell-handed in Drop Pod
    • Murderfang in Drop Pod
    • Rune Priest (Divination: Prescience, Precognition)
  • Elites:
    • 5-6 Terminators
    • Arjac Rockfist
  • Fast Attack:
    • Space Wolf Flyer Thing
    • Space Wolf Flyer Other Thing
  • Heavy Support:
    • 6x Long Fangs w/ 4x Heavy Plasma
  • Allies:
    • Imperial Knight

I’m actually awaiting a real rundown of his list.  This is approximately what he had, but I don’t know the codex enough to say what’s what–much less which slot each thing goes into.  He had a bunch of hard/elite units, and a surprising number of vehicles in a standard list (or at least a lack of infantry).

I wasn’t utterly terrified of his list, but the lack of any real infantry left me wondering how I could win.  I knew that I would have to ignore the flyers, as my list is particularly weak to them, and focus on the stuff that I could handle.  So, my goal was going to be to take out the Knight first (have I mentioned how terrified I am of large blasts?) and then attack anything else that got in my way.  The game would be winnable if I could take out his ground troops and then play a game of objective holding.

At least that was the strategy…

Mission & Deployment:

batrepcultpups-3For the mission, we rolled with long board edges and the mission where you earn one tactical objective on the first turn plus one every turn for each objective marker you’re standing on.  Each of us could hold one objective from where we deployed (Technically speaking, mine was outside of my deployment, but close enough that I got credit for it at the beginning of my turn).  I won the dice for setup and chose my side.  I know there was some minor tactical advantage, and I think it might have been that he had less cover on his side (not that it mattered, because I had no real guns to speak of).  I do recall debating and then finally gave the tie breaker to “I’m already on this side of the table,” so it wasn’t a significant reason…

I deployed my Chimeras and Russ, along with one Sentinel (to hold an objective), and everything else went in reserve so as to make use of the Cult Ambush rule.

He deployed his knight and a unit of long fangs and passed the deployment back to me.  Of the 17 units deploying via Cult Ambush, I got 6’s on four units: all of which were ‘stealers.  Three units encircled the Knight and the fourth snuck up behind the long fangs.  The rest of my units spread out across the board in such a way so that they would be able to follow up with charges on turn two if need be, and/or to hold the other objectives throughout the board.

He rolled to seize (needing a 5), but failed, and I took the first turn.

Turn 1: Genestealer Cult

batrepcultpups-4First turn charges aren’t in the rules anymore, or are at least absurdly rare.  So, it seemed powerful when I was able to charge four different units into his army.  Still, I don’t typically do well with genestealers, and I wasn’t sure it would be enough damage.  With the three squads of ‘stealers on the knight, I was sure to charge in such a way so as not to lose my initiative, and they wound up cratering the behemoth before it got a chance to swing back.  Worse yet, when it went “apocalyptic” it rolled a 1 for the damage and failed to scatter at all.  The end result was that I had lost a handful of stealers in the explosion (maybe 5?).

Ok, yeah, the first turn charge turned out to be fairly powerful.

The other squad, unsupported wasn’t nearly so devastating.  They lost one model on the way into combat, and then another before they had a chance to swing.  The remaining three took out a model or two, but failed to roll any rends.

On the plus side, I was on all six objectives at the start of the game, and managed to draw into a ton of points.  I killed an enemy unit for one point and held objective marker 3 for another.  The big points were scoring two points for holding three objectives and for having three units within 12″ of the opponents table edge.  So, before my opponent could go, I killed a knight, tied up his only other unit, and scored 7 victory points.  Yeah, not bad start…

Genestealer Cult 7 vs. Space Wolves 0

Turn 1: Space Wolves

batrepcultpups-6Sean basically had one decision to make for the turn: whether to prescience his one surviving unit or to try to improve his odds for reserves.  He went with Prescience and with four successes, I opted to hold my dice to thwart his reserves (which I did).  The prescience’d unit stood up well against the ‘stealers though, killing them all off and only losing a couple marines in their stead.

I guess he did have another series of choices though, as he did have two drop pods: so he had to decide who to drop and where.  Both contained dreads and both had heavy flamers, so I didn’t see it as a tough decision.  He opted to drop Bjorn.  As for the location, we talked about it and mutually decided that the best strategic play was to drop on objective #3.  It helped that he had to score that one this turn, but really the thought process was that he needed to put it on any objective so that it could help draw cards for him, and if he put it there, it was in a corner of the board that he could potentially take back and earn a foothold (we forgot about the way cult ambush worked at this point).  If he managed to hit in the right spot too, he’d be able to shimmy out and then flame an entire squad of ‘stealers.

So that’s basically what he did.  Alas, the pod missed it’s mark and would not be holding the objective, but Bjorn did come out and flame the squad: only he failed to wound several and the few that he did hurt were lucky enough to make their invulnerable saves.

Genestealer Cult 7+1 vs. Space Wolves 0

Turn 2: Genestealer Cult

batrepcultpups-8With so few units on the board, I opted to put most of models back into ongoing reserves with the “Return to the Shadows” rule.  This would not only allow my wounded squads to heal, but also allow me to redeploy later as necessary.

My other units scampered around in an attempt to get some cover and hold onto objectives.  With the exception of two units of stealers and a broodlord.  The latter joined with one unit to charge into the Rune Priest and killed off the squad, but rolled horribly enough not to hurt the psyker himself.  The other unit of stealers handily dispatched with the drop pod, leaving Bjorn with no escape.

For points, I earned one for putting a unit into Ongoing Reserves with “Return to the Shadows” (really?  that scores me a point?), two more for holding specific objectives, and three more for holding “at least twice as many objectives” as my opponent.

Genestealer Cult 13 vs. Space Wolves 0

Turn 2: Space Wolves

batrepcultpups-10Half of his army was in reserves, and thanks in small part to the “Uprising Generations in the Making” rule where he subtracted 1 from his reserve rolls, he managed to get only a single flyer in.  Granted, that flyer has entirely too many guns and did manage to do some damage.  In fact, it would’ve been enough to kill off a Patriach if it weren’t for the “Undying Loyalty” rule.

To add insult to injury, Bjorn failed a 3″ charge through cover and effectively did nothing that turn.  And our plucky friend, the Rune Priest, did not live to tell the saga…

Genestealer Cult 13+1 vs. Space Wolves 0

Turn 3: Genestealer Cult

batrepcultpups-12A couple of wounded units returned to the shadows, while most of my other units came back in unharmed.  Two units rolled up a first turn charge and opted to surround Bjorn.  The rest of the ‘stealers were smart enough to skirt around the edge of the board, in cover where possible.

Bjorn took the charge of four units of ‘stealers and a broodlord, and also did not live to tell the tale.  Alas, the Broodlord alone was enough to kill him, as he lowered Bjorn’s weapon skill and strength, and–in a fluke accident–managed to grow in strength in a successful perils attack.  The Broodlord managed to squad Bjorn with his newfound Smash (aka AP2) attacks and the explosion ripped through my remaining stealers in a blast that would make a Knight Titan jealous…

I earned more points for killing units, holding objectives and the like.  Sadly, that photograph didn’t turn out for some reason, so the point total is approximate, but trust me, I err’d on the low side.

Genestealer Cult 15+2 vs. Space Wolves 0

Turn 3: Space Wolves

batrepcultpups-14He managed to get the rest of the reserves in and concentrated his firepower in the same corner.  Between the five surviving units, he started to do some real damage to my forces.  In that turn, he managed to kill off three squad of ‘stealers and a patriarch, plus severely wound a couple other units.  He also managed to drop a pod on Objective #3, so he finally scored a point there (and, perhaps more importantly, earned the right to secure a card for future turns.

At this point, we had some folks show up, and rather than drag on what seemed like the inevitable, we wound up calling there.  Granted, he might have been able to kill his way back into the game, but the likelihood of earning enough points to offset the hole he was on seemed unreasonable.  Granted, anything is possible, but when your opponent wants to call it, you call it.

We wandered off at that point, played some board games, and ate some leftover turkey.

Final Score: Genestealer Cult 15+2 vs. Space Wolves 1

What I Learned:

  • Genestealer Cult are good.  Granted, this is a small sample size, but the ability to basically be anywhere you want on the board makes grabbing objectives fantastic.  Being able to charge out of reserves is just gravy…
  • Return to the Shadows only works if you’re at least 6″ away.  Granted I didn’t try that until the final turn, but it’s always something to consider.
  • Cult psychic powers are fairly good.  I didn’t have a whole lot of success with them (though I did summon some more stealers at one point that I didn’t mention in the batrep), but they’re solid all around.  I went with one broodlord using Biomancy, but I’m not sure if that was the right or wrong choice…
  • Genestealers are far better than they once were.  Cult Ambush aside, just the added durability of a 5+ invulnerable save is fantastic.  I like these guys now.


5 comments on “Batrep: Genestealers Cult vs. Space Wolves (1850 pts)

  1. Your army list is not legal. The formation only allows up to one of each HQ. (1 patriarch, 1 Magus etc.). I do like the idea of hordes of genestealers being actually scary again though. For years they were sort of a joke.

    • If it helps any, you can always remember that I cheated. Of course, I’m not sure the Patriarchs really did much during the game…

      On Sat, Dec 10, 2016 at 9:28 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:


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