As I said in my prior post, I’m looking to do a bit more of a narrative hook for my various Crusade armies of 40k. After completing the Archon, my next target was a model for me Genestealer Cult force. I want to also do a more modified Patriarch and Magus both, but I started with a model I’ve been dying to do since the cover of the new Codex. Tucked amidst the crowd of bodies (a whole lot of them very characterful in-and-of-themselves) was one certain figure that caught my eye.
The figure is in Astra Militarum armor to my view, has a bandage covering his right eye, and most importantly seems to be carrying a swaddled little baby… something… in his arms. I immediately told myself the story of him in my mind. As he seemed to have no particular sign of the Genestealer blood in him, I envisioned him as a Fourth Generation–the nearly human. But when 4th Generation hybrids have children they are 5th Generation Purestrain Genestealers. I pictured just that: his wife was pregnant with their little 5th Gen, and a segment of the cult was found out and attacked. He, learning of the attack, defected from his unit and ran to support his family. She was grievously injured, and in a moment of desperation het cut open her belly to save the child. It was born premature and stunted in this way, but it stubbornly clung to life, so he stubbornly clung to it. As I told the story more in my head, I pictured her as a Jackal Alphus and him as a soldier in a planetary Astra Militarum force. And as he was now in open revolt (having defected from his unit when he learned her forces were exposed), he simply picked up her sniper rifle and joined the swirling masses of the cult. The 5th Gen child won’t ever get older, and there are times when he believes it’s even dead, only to have it twitch with life. The man undertook training as a Sanctus, combining his military mind with his wife’s sniper rifle, and was even gifted a Soulsight Familiar by the Magus of his cult–which he’s taken to referring to as “older brother” in his frequent conversations with his stunted offspring. As a father, a caregiver, and a sniper all his patience is his strong suit: waiting for just the right moment to act.
With the model completed, I wanted to paint him up. I’m still exploring how I might add in Astra Militarum models to a force with the Brood Brothers rule. I’ve got a couple of boxes of the Death Corps Veterans models, as well as a few models that might be good Hades Breaching Drills (to carry the industrial theme forward). For right now not sure on what regimental colors I’d use, other than something that meshes with the existing cult tones. So I decided to do a slight variation on the Armageddon Steel Legion colors, where the greatcoats and gas masks could fit right in, with the splash of the deep maroon from the Genestealer Cult plus a yellow wrap or scarf somewhere. Pretty neutral still, and should fit in fine with my other Cult forces as the bodies of the Familiar and Baby both click to the rest of that force’s look. And it’s okay if they’re a bit rag-tag. Here’s the finished version:
I’m pretty pleased with the overall result, and he should have the desired effect of adding a fun character to my force that’s properly customized so I care about them a lot more. It’s worked enough that I’m keen on fielding my Genecult’s Crusade in my next Crusade game, so that’s a plus in itself.
Painting Challenge 2022 Progress
Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cult 2022 Power Level Painted Total: 75/365
Warhammer 40k Aeldari 2022 Power Level Painted: 57/365
Warhammer 40k Necrons 2022 Power Level Painted: 39/365
So we’re starting a new Crusade at my local gaming store, Drawbridge Games, and this is the set-up and first game of my force. I’ll include both the arrival of my force in the campaign (as I started with a couple of Genestealer Cult games before deciding on Drukhari) and the first game with them. I’ll do another more general Crusade story post when we hit the first advancement on the map: it’s a Planetary Empires campaign using Crusade armies–all the narrative fun!
The Biophagus lay coughing on the ground, while the Clamavus stood frozen nearby, not moving lest the Haemonculus’ Needle Pistol fire and cut him down.
The Archon spoke:
“It was easy, you see. We’ve been wanting to hunt in the Scylla Quintus planetary cluster for some time. So much agony, so many foes all clashing. It called out to us through the webway. But it’s been a matter of where to start. Where to strike? Who to usurp first?”
“The Space Marines would be burdensome to tackle first, even more so the ones who work directly fortheir Corpse-God. The Tyranids are pointless to fight as their suffering isn’t even felt. The Tau, those dopey herbivores, are so stunningly un-imaginative except with technology, so their suffering is even less interesting than that of the human soldiers of the Corpse-God, who are already walking dead and given in to their run-down existence. And our Aeldari cousins, also fun to torment, are at very least our distant-if-absurdly-optimistic kin. They’ll be around in the future.”
The Biophagus stared up, his eyes bulging as poisoned blood seeped from out his ears. The Archon continued, whether or not the poor dying creature could hear.
“But you, Cult of the Twisted Helix. You made it so easy. Your practice of sharing blood, passing the same tinctures all around? Made it simple for my Haemonculus here to concoct a poison that would delay just enough before killing each and every one of you. My agents slipped it in to your equipment, and then you…” he pointed at the Clamavus “… you so obligingly sounded the call that all in the Cult should join in ritual sharing of the blood again. What sustained and strengthened you all, now kills you. Each one will become a husk, slight delays only by individual constitutions. But all will die. What a kind practice you’ve shared. My hope is that there are branches of your Cult elsewhere, so that all your bastardized combinations of two despicable races in this galaxy are so easily and politely dispatched.”
The Archon stalked away with the Haemonculus trailing him, leaving the Clamavus scratching at the site where he too so recently received the Biophagus’ transfusion. He nearly wished that the elves had killed him as he felt a creeping chill inside his spine. Instead he went to find others, to see if they were truly dying, and to call fervently to the Star Children to arrive… and avenge.
Having established a sally port webway entrance on the Scylla Prime, the Drukhari set their sights on nearby prey. While the Tau had their primary beachhead in the contested system on the ice moon of Glaucus, they were dispatching small expansion cadres all across the surface of the larger planet. Archon Vÿr was hankering for a daring challenge, as while his Haemonculus Oribraq’s plan for taking out the Genestealer Cult was entirely successful, it was also clear to the rest of the Raiding force that it was Oribraq’s doing. Vÿr had to make some deft strokes to make certain it was him who ruled, not his underling alchemist assistant.
Archon Vÿr dispatched Oribraq and his creations to cover a flank, while his Kabalites and the Wych cult forces in his employ tackled the main line of the Tau. Between a Raider full of Wyches and a Beastmaster with a new Clawed Fiend (some aquatic version of the monster that looked mostly like a giant crab), Vÿr was confident that the Tau would be swept away.
Unfortunately the Tau seem to have undergone some technical upgrades, in both the behavior of their drones and the quality of their battlesuits. And whatever new ammunition they were using in their tanks’ rail cannons proved to be especially devastating: the Night Shields of his Raider seemed to do nothing as the solid shot blew it apart on arrival. Even the new crab-like Clawed Fiend was ruthlessly gunned down by the foes before it could fight.
It was time to make a statement, a signature kill, to show everyone just who was in charge and how to stop the horrid bovine Tau in their tracks. Archon Vÿr strode straight forward into the face of the towering battlesuit that anchored the middle of the Tau line. He began darting about, landing blow after blow, only to realize that something had changed: the Tau must have reinforced the suit and made it more vehicle and less pilot. His poisons were doing nothing to the mighty creature. More depressingly its missiles and arm cannon eventually overwhelmed his Shadowfield. As he took a devastating kick from the thing, in melee no less, he was only saved by the arrival of Haemonculus Oribraq’s Talos which finished off the mighty battlesuit.
Meanwhile Oribraq and his Wracks were dominating their side of the field, including stopping the Tau Commander in their tracks after surviving their comet-like descent. With a number of Tau warriors chained up and headed for Oribraq’s lab, the tide finally began to swing for the Drukhari. Archon Vÿr’s Flayed Skull Ravager managed to finish off both of the Tau rail-bearing tanks with a final bit of help from the rampaging Talos. It was the only bright spot of his forces amidst a narrow victory. And he had to concede that without Haemonculus Oribraq’s contributions to the fight (both personal violence meted out and that of his hellish creations), what should have been a loss became a narrow victory for the Drukhari raiding party.
Archon Vÿr licked his wounds and watched for any potential upstarts and assassins rising against him thanks to the relative disgrace of his Kabal amidst the broader victory. He’d need to think more carefully about where to deploy Haemonculus Oribraq’s forces: both to batter the foe, and to ensure that they did not get too much glory.
As always, more painting updates for each game I play. Finished up a couple of things for this game, and I’m really close on a few others that I’ll hopefully have finished for the next.
Obviously this means more work toward my Aeldari 2022 goals, which is likely to continue given that I’ll be doing the Crusade and Planetary Empires campaign with them over the next few months. Fun times and good painting joy ahead.
Painting Challenge 2022 Progress
Warhammer 40k Aeldari 2022 Power Level Painted: 33/365
Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cult Total Power Level Painted: 64 / 365
I’m keeping the track going with Dark Eldar (and Aeldari of all sorts), almost there with a couple of Flyers for the forthcoming Dogfight December event that I’m hosting at Drawbridge. That said, I did want to finish up the Genestealer Cult Clamavus that I did up with the boombox conversion. So I did!
I’m pretty pleased with how he turned out. As the Genestealer Cult codex gets closer I’m getting more intrigued by them, but I’m so pleased with how my Dark Eldar are looking I’m confident I’ll keep running with them for a while. And it puts me SO CLOSE to being done with my miniature painting goals for the year. Literally one more model to go (and I’ll have two, plus some other bonus painting, in my next update).
I also painted up a Meatwad with jambox (from Aqua Teen Hunger Force) for a friend to use as a squig in his Ork army. Not counting toward my points, but a fun pic to share hah.
Well I definitely added some painted models to my fledgeling start of a Drukhari Dark Eldar force over the past two weeks. Rushed to get a fully painted 50 PL ready for some holiday campaign games (just have to clean up/highlight two Ravagers that are mostly done to get there!). Also meant that I’m closing in on my goal for the year: 358 out of 365 Power Level painted in 2021. I’ll just dump all the units and the HQ I finished here. I’m really enjoying the color scheme I’ve got going for them.
I’m starting out by exploring the Kabal of the Flayed Skull with my force. Not the most powerful of choices in the codex, but definitely fits with ideas about them being closer to the Saim Hann craftworld (as that’s the aerial combat Kabal).
I did up the Succubus with the Razorflails mostly because I thought they’re pretty amusing–so many attacks, and as I’m running the Wyches as Cult of Strife, Competitive Edge turns it up to absurd levels of attacks. Infantry blobs beware.
I did up three small squads of Wyches, each one with their sergeant using a different weapon combo: one with Agonizer and Blast Pistol, one with just the Agonizer, and one with the trusty Power Sword.
I wanted to add a squad of Mandrakes but in no way wanted to deal with the Finecast resin that the current models are in. Searching around for alternatives, it seemed like these Age of Sigmar Sea Elves fit the bill. They have the strange carvings in their skin that work for the blue energy runes, and I represented their shooting attack as blue energy coming from their eye sockets and mouths. Pretty reasonable conversion I felt.
So that’s a huge addition to my force, which I’m really quite pleased with. I’ve gotten them onto the table twice, and definitely enjoyed them well enough in the first few games. Looking forward to more working with them.
Genestealer Cult Bonus
I also have a friend who is starting a 3D printing on demand service (Quixotic Quest Printing, check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/QuixoticQuestPrinting), and I ordered a Boombox to go on my Genestealer Cults Clamavus. Gonna paint him up soon, but couldn’t resist sharing the finished conversion. I tried to get it on his shoulder but the scale wasn’t quite right. Good news the Acolyte Demo Charge arm was perfect with the straps, so I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.
So the classic picture of the Genestealer Cults chaos army back from the Rouge Trader era is the one with the stylish cult limousines (see below). The current book is about to be replaced, but it’s unlikely that they’ll have a Limo option yet. The closest is the Goliath Truck, which is a light transport that can carry 10 models and sports just a pair of autocannons and a heavy stubber. But I’m not letting that stop me from adding the Limo to my army!
Enter: the Wargames Exclusive “Genetic Cult Civilian Limo”. The model is great, and for size comparison that oval base underneath it is a bit larger than the ones I use on my other Cult vehicles (it’s longer than the Flyer base). I loved painting up the model, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I’m still not convinced that Genestealer Cult is going to be a long-term force for me–but I’m having some fun with painting pieces now.
I also added another HQ choice for my force: an Abominant. He was fun to paint up too, as I like finding the point of going from the flesh tones to the Tyranid carapace colors on the model.
Anyhow, a bit more fun to the silly army with these additions. They certainly turn heads when they hit the table (two heads in the case of the Abominant hah).