Warhammer 40K Genestealter Cults Codex Preview

Published: February 6, 2019 12:00 PM /

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The much anticipated Genestealer Cults Codex for Warhammer 40K is available to pre-order at Games Workshop and will be available to buy on the 09 Feb 19. For those of you looking for more details on Warhammer 40K should check out our Start Collecting Warhammer 40K series. For a quick brief, Warhammer 40K is a futuristic wargame set in Games Workshop's 41st Millennium setting, where various factions are in constant battle for supremacy of the galaxy.

One such force, the Tyranids are an alien race that consume other biological matter in order to evolve and expand. They are made up entirely of bio-matter and don't use technology. They spread out on great hive fleets and consume worlds as they go. To better enable this processes, they send out agents to infiltrate worlds, stealthily infecting the local populace until a sizeable amount of warriors are able to rise up, either taking over the world themselves, or weakening it in advance of the ongoing tide of the Hive Fleet. That infiltration force is the Genestealer Cults, a unique blend of the alien might and technology, hidden, waiting to strike.

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Some interior page of the new Genestealer Cults codex.

The Genestealer Cults Codex is a book that provides detailed information about the Genestealer Cults, including their history, habits, weaponry and tactics, along with all the rules and army lists required to play them in games of Warhammer 40K. In order to play, a copy of the Warhammer 40K rules are required, which can be bought separately, or in a starter pack containing everything you need to play. You will also require Genestealer Cult miniatures to represent your forces on the battlefield.

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Interior artwork from the Genestealer Cults codex (Source Warhammer Community).

I've always found the Genestealer Cults interesting from a lore perspective. The Imperium of Man in Warhammer 40K is huge and almost impossible to manage and control, so the threat of an enemy force laying in wait for the perfect time to strike is very intriguing. I've been interested in using them as a force since playing Kill Team, as they are one of the available forces in the Kill Team Starter Pack, so having played as them and against them in a Kill Team campaign, I found them very thematic in their play-style especially in skirmish play.

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In Warhammer 40K, the Genestealer Cults have a very unique style of play that represents the way they wage war. Genestealer Cult armies have access to Cult Ambush, which is an ability that lets you deploy your units hidden on the battlefield either in ambush (in your deployment zone) or underground (where they can appear from anywhere on the battlefield to surprise your opponent). If the units are deployment within your deployment zone, an Ambush Marker is placed as a deployment spot for that unit. Any of your ambush units can be deployed to any of the ambush markers, giving you a huge amount of flexibility on where they are deployed depending on what your opponent does. The Genestealer Cults also have access to stratagems that build further into their tactics, allowing you to place more ambush markers than you have units for extra flexibility and to confuse your opponent, or to move ambush markers.

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The Genestealer Cults have some incredible new miniatures to go along with the new rules release. Our favorites are the Atalan Jackals, a group of bikers that are so skilled the enemy suffers modifiers to hit them. We also like the new Magus miniature. The Magus is a powerful psyker and the miniature shows her striding forward with lots of attitude. The unit we're most looking forward to using is the Sanctus, an incredible assassin who's armed with a sniper rifle perfect picking off enemy characters, and is extremely proficient in close combat. The Sanctus has access to an ability that means that after they use the cult ambush ability to deploy onto the battlefield, they can make a free additional shooting action that turn.


The Genestealer Cults Codex is full of great information and artwork and is a must for any fan looking to take them to the tabletop. We're looking forward to starting our own Genestealer Cult force and trying out some of the special abilities they have on the tabletop.


The copy of the Genestealer Cults codex we used in this preview was provided by Warhammer Community.


Are you going to start a Genestealer Cults force or do you play them already? What's your favorite new unit? Any tips for us putting together our own force? Let us know in the comments below.


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A Potts TechRaptor
| Senior Tabletop Writer

Adam is a Tabletop Specialist for TechRaptor. He started writing for TechRaptor in 2017 and took over as Tabletop Editor in 2019 and has since stood down… More about Adam