Genestealer Cult vs Cadian, Steel Legion & Catachan  - 2,000 points
Battle Reports

Genestealer Cult vs Cadian, Steel Legion & Catachan – 2,000 points

Big game! Stoked!

Approximate Reading Time: 13 minutes

It’s been a while since I played against Chris’ Genestealer Cult and I’m sure he has some new tricks up his sleeve.

It’s a bigger game too, at 2,000 points! Can’t wait!

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Cadia Stands!

Cadia Stands!

Astra Militarum List

So this is an expansion on the 1,750 point list I used against the Death Guard two weeks ago. I had an extra 250 points to spend and wanted to stick to three detachments too.

What I ended up with was a Steel Legion Detachment and Vox for all! Gosh. I spent 80 points on Vox come to think of it. That’s nearly a whole new Assassin! Playing painted only is the issue. I have Vox painted, I don’t have another Assassin painted.

So this is what I ended up with, which comes in at 11CP.

3 + 5 + 5 + 1 – 2 – 1 = 11

Cadian Battalion Detachment

This was once again the Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company (-1CP) but without the extra Warlord Trait and without the extra Relic. I wanted the CP.

I didn’t feel those two extras performed that well against the Death Guard and I lacked CP in that game. So I’ve left them at the barracks this time.

Catachan Battalion Detachment

Steel Legion Vanguard Detachment

  • Primaris Psyker
  • Company Commander with Bolt Pistol – by Endar
  • Command Squad with all Plasma – by Endar
  • 2x Squads of five Ratlings

My original idea was to take the Dagger of Tu’Sakh with the Steel Legion Company Commander but it seemed like a waste of a CP. They have a range of 18″ for Rapid Firing anyway. That range is good enough to Rapid Fire into the enemy deployment zone.

Taking the Dagger would mean they wouldn’t arrive until Turn 2 and that would waste a turn of shooting. It would keep them safe though for a turn and ensure they get to shoot. Hmmm.


I’ve dropped the Relic of Lost Cadia because I’m not fighting Chaos. This saved me some CP. I dropped the Relic and Trait from the Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company which again saved me CP. I spent those on a Vindicare under the new rules for Assassins.

One major mistake from my last game was not screening my Hellhounds and Cyclops with my Catachans. This was costly in terms of VP and lost models. By literally writing this, I’m hoping I don’t forget again.

Use the Catachan to screen my Hellhounds and Cyclops.

With that revision done. Here is why. I’m all for getting the Hellhounds up and close for their Explodes effect. But it should be on my terms. The Catachan Infantry can aid me in that goal by blocking the charging units that I need to control. Rather than having the enemy attack as they please.

I may change my strategy for the Cyclops and just hide them. Wait for the Genestealer Cult to get close and then spring the trap. If I can do this then enemy Basilisks and Wyverns might be an issue as they can target the Cyclops even when hidden.

My other piece of revision is…

Keep my Catachan Infantry together with Straken, Yarrick and the Priest.

Without those characters, the Guardsmen become just Guardsmen. With those characters the Guardsmen become scary.

With all those characters in use; a single squad of 10 Catachan Guardsmen would have 32 attacks (including five from the Sergeant), hitting on 4+, re-rolling ones and at Strength 4. That’s just one Squad. Couple that with the Get Back in the Fight order and now the Squad can Fall Back and shoot. They’ll be Leadership 9 too.

The Psyker could actually join this group for a few reasons;

  1. Protection – by being in amongst all those Catachan bodies
  2. Use Psychic Maelstrom on enemy characters
  3. Use Nightshroud on my Hellhounds at the front line

Genestealer Cult List

  • Abominant
  • Magus
  • Patriarch
  • Acolyte Hybrids with Heavy Rock Drill
  • Acolyte Hybrids with Heavy Rock Saw
  • Acolyte Hybrids with Demo Charge
  • Brood Brothers Infantry Squad with Grenade Launcher and Lascannon
  • 2x Neophyte Hybrids with Grenade Launcher and Mining Laser
  • Neophyte Hybrids with Flamer and Heavy Stubber
  • Aberrants with 4x Heavy Power Hammer and 5x Power Pick
  • Aberrant Hypermorph
  • Biophagus
  • Nexos
  • 8x Purestrain Genestealers
  • Sanctus
  • 2x Achilles Ridgerunners with Heavy Mortar
  • 8x Atalan Jackals with Shotguns and 2x Wolfquad with Atalan Incinerator
  • Cult Leman Russ – Battle Cannon
  • Cult Leman Russ – Exterminator Autocannon
  • Goliath Rockgrinder with Heavy Mining Laser and Heavy Stubber

Genestealer Cult Gallery

The Mission

We rolled for mission type, we rolled Maelstrom. After my battering from the Death Guard last game I was happy to get back on the Maelstrom horse.

We rolled Strategic Gamble in Chapter Approved 2018. A quick overview of this…

  • 6 Objectives
  • Draw 3 cards at the start of your turn
  • You can exchange 2 of those 3 for a new one
  • This new one if achieved is worth double VP
  • Draw cards up to 3 at the start of each turn

So it is fairly normal. Apart from being able to throw 2 away in exchange for one. This one is then worth double VP. Simples.


I deployed and the GSC did their thing with their blips. The deployment was that one with the central portion missing and you deploy in the opposite table quarters.

Genestealer Cult – Turn 1

This is the most worrying point of the game. Which unit will just be deleted from the battlefield having achieved nothing? The enemy revealed their units and on the table they had;

  • Both Leman Russ
  • Both Ridgerunners
  • The Nexos
  • Rockgrinder with Acolytes

Then at the end of the Movement Phase a squad of Neophytes, the Genestealers, Patriarch and more Acolytes came on.

The Rockgrinder unloaded its Acolytes and moved forward –  they focused on a squad of Catachans and they all died. This gave the enemy First Strike.

A Hellhound took a few wounds and another squad of Catachan took some wounds. But nothing too devastating.

The Rockgrinder and Acolytes made their charges and finished off another squad of Catachans. That was two gone already! The Genestealers failed their charge! And the Patriarch was too far away to charge, as he had come in slightly behind the Genestealers.

Show Score

Genestealer Cult 4

Astra Militarum 0

Astra Militarum – Turn 1

With two squads of Catachans gone already, I was looking a little thin on the ground in the centre. I moved and shuffled about in the middle to get a Cyclops to hit the Rockgrinder while trying to keep it away from my own units. I moved another Cyclops in to remove the Genestealers too. To replace all the lost Guardsmen I had a squad of Cadians Move, Move, Move into the centre of the table to screen my Hellhound and characters.

Shooting wise things went well. The Neohptyes lost 7 thanks to a Wyvern, both units of Acolytes were removed thanks to Hellhounds. One Cyclops went off killing all 8 Genestealers and the other went off and did five wounds to the Rockgrinder. But it did 7 to my Hellhound after I rolled a high range for its explosion. Oppps.

It was the first time using the Steel Legion. And they delivered. After the Company Commander ordered them to re-roll ones they Overcharged into the Exterminator Leman Russ and dealt out eight wounds. This left it will four.

Steel Legion

Steel Legion

One of the Basilisks shot twice thanks to the Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Detachment. This removed the remaining four wounds on the Exterminator Leman Russ and then remaining five on the Rockgrinder.

I achieved 2 objectives; Death from Afar and Overkill. One of which was worth double, I also got First Strike. The Ratlings and Vindicare did very little.

Show Score

Genestealer Cult 4

Astra Militarum 4

Genestealer Cult – Turn 2

More units arrived from Deep Strike. Neophytes, Acolytes and a Psyker Lady of some sort arrived behind the Patriarch to offer some support. more Neophytes also arrived on the other side of the board and the massive bike squad also dropped down into the middle of the table where the Leman Russ and Rockgrinder had been in turn 1. But all the bikes were out of range thanks to their short range flamers and shotguns.

Shooting wise the GSC faired a little better this turn. A Hellhound was destroyed thanks to the remaining Leman Russ and my Ratlings started to fall with ease to the infantry that had now arrived.

The Patriarch made it into combat this time and promptly ate a squad of Cadians and consolidated into the next squad. It was a good turn score wise though.

Show Score

Genestealer Cult 10

Astra Militarum 4

Astra Militarum – Turn 2

The enemy units were arriving onto the board as quickly as I could remove them. The Hellhounds focused down on the bikes killing about 6 of the regular bikers. The Steel Legion Command Squad then Overcharged again, which was a risk because the bikes are -1 to hit, so having a Plasma blow up in your face is more likely. Only one died from Plasma gun malfunctions, but it finished off the rest of the squad. This was a devastating blow, the bikes had only just arrived and had been destroyed in a single turn of shooting. This was doubly bad because I had Area Denial – now there was no enemy with 12″ of the centre I would get D4 VP for this.

A Cyclops ran up to the Patriarch but I saved it. INstead opting for Guardsmen to shoot at him and the Vindicare. The Vindicare failed to finish him off, but the Lasguns did kill him! Go Cadia!

The Basilisks went for the remaining Leman Russ and one opted to shoot twice again. But between them, they only did 8 wounds. The Leman Russ with Battle Cannon survived on 4 wounds.

The shooting was going well but the enemy was gaining a lead in points. I had to be aware of my objectives and play the mission. This turn went well and I got 2 for Area Denial and then a further 2 for Master the Warp and Secure Objective 1.

Show Score

Genestealer Cult 10

Astra Militarum 9

The Patriarch falls!

The Patriarch falls!

Genestealer Cult – Turn 3

Aberrants arrived! This was the big kill blob of death that the GSC had brought. It arrived in the centre of the table. Ready to attack my Hellhounds or remaining Catachans and characters.

The GSC shooting was now greatly reduced – there was the odd Mining Laser and the Mortars would gradually remove models from the Cadians. But it was reduced.

We were both focused now on the Aberrants as they arrived and tried to smash their way into the Guard lines. They made their charge into the Catachans and then Yarrick and Straken Heroically Intervened. It was bloody and I paid 2CP to interrupt the combat after the Aberrant Leader has gone. This proved a wise decision as my Sergeant with Power Sword did 3 wounds to the big dude. My Catachans died in the resulting combat and Straken lost a wound. But they fought back well and the Aberrant Leader died along with a few of the Aberrants.

Show Score

Genestealer Cult 10

Astra Militarum 9

Astra Militarum – Turn 3

The combat in the middle continued as I tried to remove the remaining units from the battlefield. The Leman Russ was destroyed as was a Ridgerunner. Neophytes died to Wyvern and Lasgun fire.

The combat was grinding and brutal. My characters were taking wounds and Yarrick was surviving very well using his Iron Will. The Psyker did surprisingly well. is +2S, -1AP and D3 Damage is always a nice surprise especially with Yarrick re-rolling ones and the Preist giving him +1 Attacks. He was then promptly splatted.

Show Score

Genestealer Cult 10

Astra Militarum 13

Genestealer Cult – Turn 4

The combat in the centre was resolved with a Guard victory! Only the Priest and Straken remained. Despite having very few models left the GSC was able to gain a fair few VP and take the lead.

Show Score

Genestealer Cult 16

Astra Militarum 13

Combat won by the Guard!

Combat won by the Guard!

Astra Militarum – Turn 4

There was not much going on now, I was running to get objectives while trying to kill the last few units of the GSC. I nearly did, the only remaining unit was a Ridgerunner on 2 wounds! Then I managed to get 3 objectives with Infantry units and gained D3 from this – I rolled a 3. I got some other objectives too.

Show Score

Genestealer Cult 16

Astra Militarum 19

The last Ridgerunner remaining in this near corner

The last Ridgerunner remaining in this near corner


So an Astra Militarum victory, 16-19. A close game! And the GCS were in the lead for most of the game. This I think was the closest I have come to tabling an opponent.

The artillery was the winner for me in this game. None of the artillery took a single wound. I managed to screen them very well with my Cadians and Catachans. None of my Catachans survived and every unit of Cadians lost some models.

I have never taken so many characters before either, they were fun to use and fun to have together. Individually I think they could have been picked off from shooting or charges – but together they were able to repel the Aberrants. Had those guys got through and into my artillery it might have been very different.

It is worth noting that Chris forgot to bring the Sanctus! He forgot it was in his list and it was not until I started typing up this report and asked for his list that we realised. Rematch!

Imperium Army Overview – Video