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.



Making Metamorph Claws

hotelgreenstuff-2I’ve been a big fan of the cult since the days of 2nd edition.  Though I’ve long-since sold off that army, I’ve collected bits and pieces of it since then.  As a result, when they were re-released, I had a few models laying around, but I largely had to buy my models again.

Because of that, the vast majority of the models I own for the army are those that came with the Deathwatch Overkill box.  My compulsive nature is such that I wound up buying three sets of the game (or rather, one complete copy of the game, and two extra sets of the Tyranids that came within it), so at least I have that going for me.

And frankly, that’s almost good enough.  The box contains a bunch of neophytes, and they’re ok, but not particularly stellar, so I don’t feel compelled to buy more of those (although the banner bearer that comes in the plastic kit does look fairly fantastic).  Besides, if I feel the need to feel more, I can use my IG models in a pinch.

For the Acolytes…

Let me interject for a moment that I’m thoroughly confused as to which ones are the Acolytes and which are the Neophytes.  I preferred it when they used to call them “first gen” or “second gen.”  … grumble…

hotelgreenstuff-3Anywho, for the Acolytes (read: less human variety), they come with a bunch of close combat guys and a couple of mining lasers.  Practically speaking, I don’t foresee needing different models, other than to perhaps include some of the other weapon options.  Those weapons are expensive though, so the only time I could see myself fielding them is when I summon them (and thereby get them for free).  So, rather than to remake them all, I figure I’ll cut off the tips of the mining lasers and magnetize the ends with the various weapon options.  It won’t look exactly right, but it’ll be close enough for me–plus there’s less I need to buy or paint later.

Aberrants come across as worthless to me.  They’re nifty enough looking models, but 30 points per model for two toughness four wounds is rough.  I can’t foresee me actually wanting to pay points for these–though I guess there’s always a chance I could summon them.  The same goes with the Goliaths.  Actually, if I had them, I might use them, but I can’t justify paying good money for them–especially since I already own chimeras.

Like 8 of them.  And I have a smattering of Leman Russes and Sentinels as well, so there’s no point in buying those either.

The one thing I don’t have that I could see myself using is metamorphs.  Those guys seem pretty good.  But the downside is that the one option that seems to be the best (ie. the claw) is a singleton in the box.  So, for $40, you get 5 guys (and bits to make part of a couple of others), but only one claw.  In order to rectify that, I made a few more with green stuff.

hotelgreenstuff-1This isn’t an undertaking I partake in very lightly.  Practically speaking, I’m not sure I’ve done this before.  To some degree it’s a question of quality, and maybe some of effort, but there’s also a moral component.  Is it ok to make green stuff casts of a bit?  In the past, I’ve just ordered such bits from online retailers at some expense; however, these just aren’t available (and if they were, I have to imagine they would be quite pricey).  So, I set to work on making some of my own.

Whatever the case, I set to work making replacement arms, but while I had the green stuff out I also made some bodies and legs–figuring there were more than enough heads and arms on the sprues to make additional guys.

While I didn’t find time to paint on my work trip, jamming putty into molds took almost no time, so I got a few made up.  The quality is nowhere near what GW does, but I’d say it’s passable.  What do you think?

Genestealer Cult – Belated Progress (if you can call it that)

hotelpaint-1Things have been relatively quiet on the hobby progress front as of late–something any regular reader of the blog has certainly figured out by now, seeing as I haven’t had a post since November 2nd.

Oh my, has it really been that long?  That’s almost a full month ago!

I knew it had been a while, but I had no idea that it’d been that long.  Egads.

hotelpaint-2Well, the root cause of the radio outage has to do with an inability to find free time.  You see, at the end of October, I had to go out of town for three weeks on a work trip.  I had brought along some hobby materials in the hopes that I could work on them, but I really didn’t get all that much free time.  I did make small glimmers of progress though, but it was hardly enough to justify writing blog posts about (and I wasn’t going to spend what very little free time I did have writing blog posts, as my time was better spent making actual progress!).

When we last left off, I was gathering up some characters for my Genestealer cult.  My grand notion was that I would take them down, along with the rest of my unpainted cult models and paint them up during my stay.  That way, when I got back into town, I could seal them up, dip things as necessary, and get to play my first games with my “new” army.

hotelpaint-3So that proved to be a little lofty, as my stay was only fruitful enough to produce a fresh coat of Ultramarines Blue (or rather Altdorf something-or-other) on the models, with a smattering of Bleached Bone.  Realistically, I didn’t get more than an hour of two painting in for the entire month.

Hopefully you’ll excuse the poor quality photographs.  That’s what life looks like when painting in a hotel room.  In retrospect, maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t have all that much time to paint in such poor lighting conditions, eh?

But it is some progress.  And though it’s not anything to brag about, this blog is all about documenting my hobby progress.  Hopefully I’ll get some time in the near future to improve upon this, but for now, this is where I stand.

Creating Cult Characters

cultcharacters-2As you probably know, I’ve been working on my Genestealer Cult as of late.  To date, I haven’t had time to make the progress that I wanted to because I wound up flying out of state for a conference.  Well, now that I’m back, I’ve finally gotten to look at my copy of the codex and try to figure out what it is that I should be painting so these guys can see the tabletop sooner–rather than later.

One area where I know that I’m derelict is in characters.  While the list doesn’t technically have to have an HQ (if you’re running a Decurion style detachment, it’s not a requirement), there’s no way I’m going to run a list without them.  cultcharacters-3I’m not used to having cheap units as HQ’s–much less ones that are effective!  You can bet your bottom dollar that I’m going to be running some HQ’s in my lists.

Luckily, the Deathwatch Overkill box comes with one of each type in it–and you know me, I’m always buying more than I need.  So now I have three of each character.  Well, plus what I had laying around.  I dusted off some of my old models in my collection, grabbing a Broodlord from Spacehulk, and three more Magi from the days of Rogue Trader (yes, I know there are only two pictured, but trust me, I found a third).  I also have the extra Primus characters from the boxed set, but I’m frankly not in love with their rules, so I didn’t bother to assemble more than the one I have already.  Maybe they have other weapon options as well that I can tinker with?  Otherwise, I’m not sure assembling them is worth my time.

cultcharacters-4For the Magi, there wasn’t much in the way of dynamic posing–aside from slight head tilts, so they look the same.  I wanted to make the primarchs look at least a little different though, so I wound up cutting one of them completely off his pipe and putting him on a fallen pillar I had laying around.  I’m pretty sure the pillar is from a Lord of the Rings figure (or at least one of their terrain sets) that I picked up along with someone’s army back in the day.  It was too big, so I had to cut the end off and replace it with a blob of green-stuff.  Likewise, I didn’t want his arms to be a complete match to the other patriarch, so I wound up repositioning them slightly.

For the fourth patriarch (not pictured), I figured he wouldn’t see the table all too often, so I left him on his pipe and swapped his arms from front to back.  Sure, it’s a little off-putting if you know what you’re looking at, but it helps the arms look a little more dynamic without being terribly obvious.

cultcharacters-1I also found a baggy full of familiars as well.  I had been collecting these from the days of 6th edition and was joking going to use them as Ymgarls (their diminutive size explained why they could seem to spring from out of nowhere).  Since I’m painting up the other guys, I figured I might as well work on these as well.

The only other models (besides Primuses) that I’m not working on are some of the older metal hybrids.  I probably should be painting them too, and maybe I will, but I would rather focus on models with heavy weapons/metamorphs/etc if I’m working on my hybrids.  For now, I’m going to focus on the characters…


Genestealer Cult – 42 Painted Neophytes

wh39kcultpaintedneophytes-2Depending upon how you add things up, I have somewhere between 4-8 squads of Neophytes painted up at this point.  Of course, that’s nowhere near enough models for a painted cult force, but I’m hoping that–once I include the 90ish genestealers I have painted–I don’t have all that many figures left to paint before I can actually start fielding a respectable list.

wh39kcultpaintedneophytes-3Truth be told, I’m writing this post at the beginning of the month, having completed both my Dreadtober entry and these models by the 9th.  I had some travel for work this month, so I had to bust my hump to get the hobby progress completed before the trip.

Because of that, I haven’t yet gotten my codex, so I don’t rightfully know what an army of these guys truly looks like.  I suspect that I’ll need more of these, but that I’ll need far more acolytes as well.  From what I hear, these guys are roughly 5-8 points each, so I could see running as many as 200ish models in a 2,000 point game.  Frankly, I don’t have anywhere near enough figures to make that a reality, so I’m hoping to either:

  • wh39kcultpaintedneophytes-1Run smaller games
  • Eat up points with some larger units (perhaps Leman Russes?)
  • Or maybe even just ally in my Tyranids or IG.  Frankly, IG seems far more fluffy than Tyranids, but I have so many more units to choose from in my Tyranids codex that they’re the far likelier choice.

wh39kcultpaintedneophytes-4From what I can tell, these are probably going to be more effective in smaller units (big surprise there, as that seems to be par for the course with basically any unit/codex in the game).  I really should do something to make them stand out with squad markings–but then again, I didn’t do that with my IG either.  I figured with those guys that I would probably go cross eyed trying to put units away if I bothered to give them individual markings, but maybe I’m wrong…

I’m definitely pleased with these guys, especially since I knocked them out in an assembly line over the course of a couple of weeks.   The one area that I really didn’t do them justice on is the flesh though.  I thought I did a good job on the test model, but when I tried to do it in bulk, I just didn’t have the heart (or the stamina) to take the time to do them right.  It actually got to the point where I eventually just started throwing a brown wash over parts of their faces to pick out the details.  If you look closely, you can certainly see that.

wh39kcultpaintedneophytes-5But these guys aren’t supposed to win a Golden Demon.  That’s not their point.  Their purpose is to rally up and die for the greater good, so that eventually Hive Fleet Proteus can sweep over the planet, engulfing all life in it’s maw, and leaving nothing in it’s wake.

The cult needs no praise.

Only the cleansing baptism of the hive fleet washing the unclean from the world…