Friday 29 March 2019

Friendly grumbles about GSC

I'm really not having a lot of luck with my Genestealer Cult. It is to be expected though. I'm used to how MEQ armies play, due to finances I only have what I have, and I really need to get my head around how they play. However, I really would have thought that I'd have won one game already since the codex dropped a few weeks ago.

I keep reading about how great GSC are and how they can do all manner of twinky stuff but I'm just not seeing it.

I use Brood Brother squads as my default troop options as I want the heavy weapons - one with lascannon to deal with tanks and one with heavy bolter to mow down the infantry. The problem is that they don't have great saves and are easy to gun down with massed firepower. They never last long.

Genestealers and Acolyte Hybrids are my pop up units but neither are very good. The Genestealers pop up, charge and can usually decimate a unit but then everyone around them turns about and they get cut down by that massed firepower again. Likewise, I tend to use the stratagem that lets a unit pop up 3'' from the enemy with the Acolyte Hybrids so they can pour their hand flamers into them. But I only have five Hybrids and four of them have hand flamers. They do something, and then, they too become targets for enemy fire.

It gets really frustrating that I cannot get this army to deploy and act as a functional force. Obviously I need more units (thanks to my generous club mates, I do now have a Baneblade and Lemun Russ ready to go, and a Atalan Jackels box and Ridgerunner waiting to be built) but until such time as my financial situation improves this is what I am lumbered with.

I feel that I need more infantry but then I am concerned that I'll end up being very static and I want an army that will move about the table capturing objectives and doing something. Genestealers just don't seem worth the effort for what they are and how easily they die. I remember Genestealers being horrendous in previous editions (for Tyranids admittedly) but for GSC they seem like a one shot pony that dies after doing what you wanted it to.

To show you how badly I am doing a few weeks back I played against a CSM army that was two daemon princes, three chaos cultist squads and two summoned daemons (one unit of bloodletters and one unit of pink horrors)... and they tabled me basically. This was an opposing list that I should have just hammered into pink mist and I didn't. We had a great game but boy is it getting frustrating.

I'm throwing this out to you, my audience, what can you suggest that I do to increase my chances of actually winning a game or coming closer to it?

Tuesday 26 March 2019

The Vigilus campaign update

Our club's Vigilus campaign is going along nice and happy (if you call ducking incoming artillery happy). We're just about this week to complete the third round of the campaign and as I have been lax in posting up since the first round here is where we stand as of today.

We've made two small changes since it started. As the campaign is going to be running for a couple of years at least we have decided that players can play whichever faction they want each game to prevent boredom and it keep it interesting. We've also decided that rather than reward for just playing the suggested scenarios each round, that the 16/6 victory points will apply regardless of which mission is played.

Total Control:

326 campaign points - Imperium.
142 campaign points - Orks.
100 campaign points - Drukhari.
97 campaign points - Tyranids.
43 campaign points - Aeldari.
36 campaign points - Chaos.
22 campaign points - Tau Empire
22 campaign points - Necrons.

Round 3 (March 4th to April 1st).
Unwilling to sit back and watch their plans for Vigilus to come to naught, the Genestealer Cult rises up across the surface of the planet. Espionage and acts of terrorism force the Hivesprawls to close their borders and look to their own defences.

By the end of the third month the Imperium was in a much superior position than it had been in since the start of the conflict. The arrival of Aeldari forces and the approach of a Tyranid fleet assaulting the outer worlds however, have given the Imperial commanders pause for concern.

110 points: Imperium.
32 points: Aeldari.
24 points: Tyranids.
22 points: Necrons.
16 points: Chaos
12 points: Drukhari.
6 points: Orks.

Round 2 (February 4th to March 4th 2019):
Orks and other Xenos forces fall upon the vital supply convoys that run between the great hive cities, stealing resources and slaves. The Astra Militarum respond swiftly, engaging in running tank battles.
Meanwhile the Drukhari take the chaos of the sudden war to engage in slave raids and to sow confusion among the various combatants.

By the end of the second month the Imperium had begun to seriously fight back, seizing victory in a number of key sectors. The Ork and Drukhari menace were the biggest threats that the planetary defenders had to deal with and their numbers were growing. At the close of the month, rumours began to emerge about sightings of Aeldari forces in the wastelands, and it would lead the defenders to worry whether they were unexpected allies or another opponent to be slain.

1st place: Imperium.
2nd place: Orks and Drukhari
3rd place: Tyranids.
4th place: Tau
5th place: Chaos.
6th place: Aeldari.

Round 1 (January 7th to February 4th 2019):
In round 1, the mighty Ork forces make planetfall on Vigilus and immediately begin to assault the nearest hive cities. The Imperial defenders fall to political infighting in their futile attempts to organize a hasty defence.

By the end of the first month, the Imperial forces had turned their in-fighting around and were concentrating all firepower upon the alien aggressors arrayed before them. The Orks had secured a number of vital locations, constructed scrap towns and seized vital supply points. The emerging Genestealer Cult, Drukhari raiders and Chaos presences were for the moment largely ignored and underestimated however.

1st place:  Imperium.
2nd place: Orks.
3rd place: Tyranids.
4th place: Drukhari.
5th place: Chaos and Tau Empire.

Monday 25 March 2019

Convoy Ambush - Vigilus

Imperial strategy was at present winning them the war for Vigilus. Their enemies although many had been forced into defensive positions. Even so, they suffered frequent and devastating assaults by Orks and Drukhari, and with the Genestealer Cults rising from the shadows, it was decided that the various hive city leaders should be brought together and protected. The Genestealer Cult had expected and prepared for just such a move...

1300 points.
Genestealer Cult (Twisted Helix) vs Space Marines (Salamanders).
Mission: Behead the Viper.
Deployment: Special.
Battle Zone: None. 

I had not played against Alex and his Salamanders for probably the better part of a year so a rematch was long overdue. Back then I was playing Death Guard and this time around I knew I was going to get a pasting. Alex wanted to play Behead the Viper from the first Vigilus book and we agreed it made sense for my Genestealer Cult to be the attacking force looking to capture and infect some high ranking politicians.

I pretty much had what I had but I did make one small error which was to not read exactly how things set up and I included my vengeance weapon platforms but we agreed that they should be set up as part of the terrain so Alex knew where they where. Didn't really make too much difference though to the game.

Alex set up his forces at opposite corners of the board. One lot of marines guarding the entrance to the hive city and the other escorting a rhino with the dignitaries on board. I tried to set up using the blips as normal but it didn't really help with this mission if I'm honest. He knew where things were going to be and was prepared for them.

In fact it went really badly for me as his primaris marines just burnt down one brood brothers squad and shortly after, the second. I was able to swiftly immobilize the rhino meaning he couldn't get it to safety so I had high hopes even with the casualties. Alex barely had to move his marines as everything I had was in range of something and he even burnt down the two vengeance platforms with a mixture of heavy weapons and plasma incinerators.

When my reserves arrived they didn't do much. The hybrids popped up a few inches from his scouts using a stratgem and flamed all but one down, which then died in combat. But return fire decimated that unit. The genestealers didn't fare much better. They did their job taking down a lot of primaris marines and two characters, and were closest to the disabled rhino but their weakness to massed firepower reduced them all down.

The game ended turn 4 if I remember right with my army tabled once again. It was a fun game even though I think my army was absolutely terrible this game. Only the genestealers and the patriarch did anything worthwhile. Alex's army was really good and more than capable of stopping me.

Saturday 9 March 2019

Unexpected Assault - Vigilus

To start with, the Genestealer Cult began to work on the assumption that the various warring factions would not notice their presence, or at the very least, be more occupied with their more "traditional" enemies to worry about a few minor uprisings which could be left to the local Arbites to deal with. With this in mind, the Cult went about it's usual sabotage attempts away from the front lines and it was here that they came into conflict with a foe totally unexpected. Somehow, a small force of chaos cultists had made planet fall under the confusion of battle, led by a pair of mighty daemon princes associated with the Word Bearers legion of traitor marines. These two forces clashed in the hinterlands beyond the hive cities while both sides were hunting down stragglers and isolated enemy units.

1000 points.
Genestealer Cult (Twisted Helix) vs Chaos Space Marines (Word Bearers).
Mission: No Mercy.
Deployment: Dawn of War.
Battle Zone: None.

I haven't played against Marko for a good while now so we were overdue for a match. I figured a nice small game was in order and so we went for one of the rule book missions over a campaign round one. I also wanted to learn a bit more about my new codex so this made sense too.

Marko decided to play a Word Bearers army although what he actually brought to the table was more a mass of cultists, possessed, a pair of daemon princes and two large blocks of summonable daemons. Not really what I would have called a Word Bearers army but hey, it was different so good to face.

The first couple of turns went really quickly. Marko had summoned his daemons - bloodletters and horrors, and used those as his main shock troops - while the cultists basically sat back and did very little. I began by moving up my rockgrinder towards the bloodletters in hopes of burning a number of them down and then running a few over. This didn't really work as I rolled low on the flamer and once in combat, I was being whittled away far too nicely by the daemons. In the end I was forced to use a stratagem to auto detonate the rockgrinder which did thankfully sent a number of bloodletters back to the Warp.

Meanwhile on the left flank, the horrors were pouring psychic warpfire into my troops and completely obliterated one unit in a single shooting phase! In retaliation I popped up my hybrids behind his lines and tried to flame down a load of cultists but only about 3 actually died. As happens in every game lately, the hybrids then died to massed firepower.

Eventually Marko claimed the center of the table and was able to slowly take down my new cult Leman Russ tank, which also did very little this game. The one time it managed to do any damage, Marko managed to get them back with a stratagem and drop them behind my lines.

The game was eventually a bloodbath as my genestealers appeared and tore his army to shreds. The Patriarch charged and slew one daemon prince and the primus took down the second before dealing with the possessed with ease. The remaining bloodletters were taken down by the genestealers before they too died to cultist fire.

By turn 5 I had next to nothing left and Marko was on nearly twice as many victory points as I was. He swiftly took down what I had left with massed small arms fire. Not much I could do.


So other than Marko's strange choice of playing a CSM list that was pretty much empty of chaos space marines... this was a good game. It went to show that you can have just as much fun with a basic 1000 point game as one with 2000 points or more.

I think I would have preferred to face a full CSM Word Bearers list as I would like to face more fluffy specific lists so hopefully next time I can convince him to do so.


Tuesday 5 March 2019

Outpost 772 - Vigilus

This battle was a skirmish between the invading Ork forces and a small gathering of Genestealer Cultists. The Orks had mobilized and begun a major assault upon the megasprawls of Vigilus. One such target would finally bring the Genestealer Cults out into the open - that of mining outpost 772. The Cult could no longer wait out the war in the shadows, but had been forced to rise up and combat the invaders.

1300 points.
Genestealer Cult (Twisted Helix) vs Orks (Evil Sunz).
Mission: Special.
Deployment: Special.
Battle Zone: None.

This game was my first go at using 40K's Dawn of War cards. The game was supposed to be a regular battle against friend Multch but in the end we decided to try out the strange randomness of these cards. We ended up with a mission resembling The Relic and the deployment was an odd opposed T-shape, with one player (myself) taking a 24'' block on one short edge and my opponent slab in from the far end. This gave the Orks a close start to the objective at the center but there was no way that I was going to survive that deployment.

I had the first turn and while most of my forces stayed put, I advanced one brood brother squad up my right flank in hopes of getting to the objective, while the rockgrinder trundled forward on my left flank to clear some space with the flamer. I didn't get much shooting done but I was able to burn down and shoot out a unit of grots who were being used, with a stratagem, as meat shields.

On the Orks first turn Multch performed his usual trick of acting Da Jump, to teleport a huge block of boyz into my back lines. His main force snatched the objective and then over the next few turns, much to both our surprise, he moved those boyz into my own deployment zone. Those greenskins weren't go to give up on a good fight. The orks didn't have a great shooting phase although they did tend to target the rockgrinder (which kept making those sturdy construction rolls) and the vengeance weapon platforms, although they didn't take too much damage.

Turn two, and I was on the defensive far sooner than I had expected to be, although I should have expected Da Jump if I'm honest. On my right flank the brood brothers moved up so that I had a good line of sight to the enemy weirdboy. A hail of heavy bolter and lasgun fire swiftly brought him down before he could do anything else unnatural. Elsewhere my shooting continued to follow my usual path, with hardly any damage inflicted. I also managed to pop up the hybrid squad from hidden tunnels and using their hand flamers, burn down a few orks. Also, as usual, they get gunned down right afterwards!

As the game progressed I found my poor cult being surrounded with no way out. Orks may not be the best shots but sheer weight of firepower was swiftly dropping my forces. The weapon platforms soon went bang and Multch brought his one and only deffkopter on along my right flank, where with a mixture of rocket fire and assault, it took down the heavy bolter team with ease.

I soon saw a chance to seize victory. Because the Dawn of War cards are different to regular missions, I saw an opportunity to grab the relic and run, because nothing in the cards says that the model with the relic has to stay on the table. If my plan worked, I could get the Primus onto the relic and then retreat into the shadows with a stratagem. Unfortunately although the genestealers got into combat with the orks, both the Patriarch and Primus failed their charges and before I could get in the following turn, Multch moved his big tank (I forget what it was called) in the way to deny me my victory, and he then proceeded to gun down the last of my forces.


A very good game and it was nice to play the Dawn of War cards, although I think I do prefer the regular missions. I had a hard time dealing with the Orks and I think horde armies are going to be a problem for the Genestealer Cult. I don't think the army has much that can handle that. Even Genestealers, although awesome if they get the charge die far too easily once their target has been brought down. It was good practice for the next time I have to face them.


++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Tyranids - Genestealer Cults) [61 PL, 7CP, 1040pts] ++

+ No Force Org Slot +

Battle-forged CP [3CP]

Cult Creed: The Twisted Helix

Detachment CP [5CP]

Gametype: Matched


Stratagem: Broodcoven [-1CP]

Use Beta Rules

+ HQ +

Magus [5 PL, 92pts]: Broodcoven Magus, Familiar, Power: Mind Control, Warlord Trait: Shadow Stalker

Patriarch [8 PL, 137pts]: Elixir of the Prime Specimen, Familiar, Power: Might From Beyond, Warlord, Warlord Trait: Biomorph Adaptation

Primus [4 PL, 75pts]: Bonesword, Broodcoven Primus, Warlord Trait: Alien Majesty

+ Troops +

Acolyte Hybrids [3 PL, 66pts]: Cult Icon
3x Acolyte Hybrid (Hand Flamer): 3x Hand Flamer
Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Hand Flamer, Heavy Rock Cutter
Acolyte Leader: Lash Whip and Bonesword

Brood Brothers Infantry Squad [5 PL, 72pts]: Brood Brothers Leader
6x Brood Brother
Brood Brother (Grenade): Grenade Launcher
Brood Brother (Vox-caster): Cult Vox-caster
Brood Brothers Weapons Team: Lascannon

Brood Brothers Infantry Squad [5 PL, 63pts]: Brood Brothers Leader
6x Brood Brother
Brood Brother (Flamer): Flamer
Brood Brother (Vox-caster): Cult Vox-caster
Brood Brothers Weapons Team: Heavy Bolter

+ Elites +

Purestrain Genestealers [16 PL, 240pts]: 16x Purestrain Genestealer

+ Heavy Support +

Cult Leman Russ [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Heavy Bolter, Battle Cannon, Dozer Blade, Heavy Bolter, Storm Bolter

Goliath Rockgrinder [6 PL, 120pts]: Cache of Demolition Charges, Clearance Incinerator, Heavy Stubber

++ Fortification Network (Tyranids - Genestealer Cults) [12 PL, 200pts] ++

+ Fortification +

Vengeance Weapon Batteries [12 PL, 200pts]
Vengeance Weapon Battery: Punisher Gatling Cannon
Vengeance Weapon Battery: Punisher Gatling Cannon

Crusade Battles catchup

 It's been a few weeks since I last updated and in that time I have played a further three Crusade games. I am really enjoying playing C...