Latest Post

Kill Team Guide: The disappointing truth of Genestealer Cults Tactics

With one gem amongst the other situational and niche Tactics, the Genestealer Cults are going to be more reliant on the general and Specialist tactics. With the School League ruling that only 5 Tactics per force are allowed, I can’t see these seeing much use.

With that said, they do provide some interesting reactions to situations, and so have their place in less restrictive Matched, Open and Narrative play.

kill team warhammer 40k 40000 shooting melee assault psychic psyker guide faq analysis games workshop genestealer cults tactics command points

General Tactics

  • Tactic: Unnatural Senses
  • Use when a model is declared as the target of a charge
  • The model may fire Overwatch even if the model isn’t visible 
  • The model counts as obscured
  • Cost: 1CP

We’re not starting off with a great one, being as amazingly niche as it is. The model being obscured only counts in terms of Injury rolls, Overwatch needed natural 6s to Hit in any case. In anything but the school’s league this is a nifty tactic to bring out as a surprise to the enemy. However, if you’re ever limited in the number of tactics you can bring feel free to skip this one.

  • Tactic: Density Analysis Lenses
  • Use when a model from your Kill Team shoots in the Shooting Phase
  • +1 to hit rolls against obscured targets
  • Cost: 2CP

What might have been a useful tactic in a faction lacking Auspexes or Omnispexes is crippled by the cost. 2 Command points for something a Comms specialist does for free, or an auspex does for 1 point, is far too steep to be reliable.

With that said, if you’ve only got Neophytes then this might be the only way to make your shooting passable. With no access to Snipers, and Comms specialists being restricted to close combat units (which at least is telepathically fluffy, despite the infuriating nature of it), this is the only way to make sure your big guns connect.

Frankly all this tactic does is highlight how awkward Neophytes are in the Genestealer Cult Kill Team roster, but hey, they’re at least cheap.

(Okay, that was overly cynical… I actually really like Neophytes and I’ll explain why later.)

  • Tactic: Inhuman Reflexes
  • Use this when a model fails a falling test
  • It doesn’t suffer falling damage, doesn’t fall on another model, and can land within 1-inch
  • Cost: 1CP

Another niche tactic, and far more situational than the first. If you’re not using Advanced rules then this can be skipped entirely, and even then it might be somewhat useless.

Then again, if you can find some way of getting a model to fall off a ledge without getting hit first, you can pull off the same trick Reivers can, thus allowing you to shoot and fight in combat without charging.

  • Tactic: Strength of Faith
  • Use this when a model suffers a mortal wound in the psychic phase
  • On a 5+ save it doesn’t suffer the mortal wound.
  • Cost: 1CP

Copy/paste from the Space Marine tactic, but with less situations you can use it in. In a game where there are few psychic defences then any become quite valuable.

Of course if you never face Thousand Sons or Grey Knights then this is useless, unlike the more generalist Space Marine one. So… three situational tactics out of four? A bit rubbish, except for the wonderful universal rule Cults get!

Model Specific

  • Tactic: Industrial Brutality
  • Use this when a model armed with a heavy rock drill, heavy rock saw, or heavy rock cutter finishes their attacks in the Fight phase.
  • On a 4+ it can attack again
  • Cost: 1CP

Nice. Model specific here because only Acolyte Hybrids can take the war gear, but this can turn the models into literal melee buzz saws. On a combat specialist this would be a potential 6 attacks either insta-killing models or pumping out mortal wounds.

Nasty stuff, and if you can get one of these models in a pocket of anything it’s definitely worth the 4+ chance to fight again. Massive overkill potential, but just such a cool thing to imagine happening!

  • Tactic: Frenzied Hammering
  • Use when an Aberrant attacks with a power hammer.
  • Add d3 Attacks to the model, but -1 from To Hit rolls
  • Cost: 2CP

Bit of a head scratcher this one.

Remember the power hammer already subtracts 1 To hit, meaning you’ll be hitting on 5+ with your attacks. The Aberrant has 2 attacks base, meaning on average they were getting one hit to begin with (4+ to Hit with the Power Hammer). In Kill team that’s all you really need since you’ll be smacking single models anyway, and the damage from the hammer will take care of any multi-wound models.

So without the tactic you get 1 hit. With the tactic you’ll at least get 1 attack back going up to 3. With a 5+ to Hit that means you get… 1 Hit on average. Even if you get more attacks, you barely even make 1 average attack back. So you’ve spent 2 CP for two thirds of an attack at best.

You might be able to engineer some shenanigans with a Cult Icon, and this does get better if you’re already hitting on 6s against models in cover and the Aberrant has a flesh wound. It’s a last-ditch Tactic, but nothing to rely upon.

If you’re thinking about building strategies around this, just remember the generic re-roll is half the points and gives just as good results.


Of all of the Tactics for the Cults only two are really worthwhile:

  • Strength of Faith
  • Industrial Brutality

The rest of the tactics don’t open nearly as many options or straight up damage buffs as the generic or Specialist Tactics. Decisive strike with Industrial efficiency is a neat way to buzz saw the enemy down before they get to react.

Honestly there’s not much you can do in terms of synergy with the Tactics, as they’re mostly reactive rather than tools to create new gambits. I feel kind of bad for not thinking up any clever ways to combine these with Specialisms or the generic Tactics aside from the obvious. Meaning I kind of have to leave the end of this article with a general apology of disappointment.


But Cult Ambush really does make up for the lack of stellar Tactics. I promise you that!

Until next time.

Thanks for reading.

If you liked what you saw, and you want to help out, please leave a comment. Sharing this with your friends, and following me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ would also be hugely appreciated.

If you have anything you want me to look at, let me know in the comments below. I'll probably be able to write an article about that topic within a day!

If you want to support me directly, use the affiliate links below. I get a small percentage of purchases you make there, and you get cheaper miniatures! If you really love what I do, you can make a one off donation at my PayPal, or become a true hero to table top education and make a regular donation to my Patreon. Every Little helps!

Element games gives you usually 20% off all 40K purchases, and I get 5% of your purchase.
KB Silk is my own business, selling authentic silk scarves. If you're looking for a present then this is your one stop shop.


  1. Thanks for sharing these excellent ideas. I have got a lot of new things from your ideas.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Primaris Space Marine Paint Planner

Painting Guide: Blood Angels, perfecting the colour scheme

Space Marine Unit Spotlight: An Inceptor Review