I thought I’d try something a little different with my Hobby Progress posts this year. Instead of a monthly wrap-up of everything I got done that month, I’ll tackle things on a project basis as I complete them. Hopefully this will provide a more interesting read, as well as allowing you to focus in on things you’re most interested in, rather than where my (often fractured) attention has been focused in any given month.
Necromunda has been my focus recently, as the game provides me with a nice blend of nostalgia, as well as allowing me an excuse to paint some rad Games Workshop models. I now have essentially a 4×4’ table worth of terrain as well as three gangs completed, including my latest and this articles focus, a Genestealer Cult gang.
I find the idea of the Genestealer Cult (hereafter “GSC”) really cool, an alien species, part of the Great Devourer, that infiltrates humanity as a spearhead ahead of a broader invasion. It’s great that Games Workshop is supporting the crossover of some Warhammer 40k models into Necromunda, as I think the kits for GSC are really cool, but don’t think I could ever commit to 40k again (although Stargrave is due soon…). The fact that the rule for GSC were a free PDF download on the Warhammer Community site is also a bonus, as I’ve found Necromunda to be quite expensive since diving into it (although GW’s monetisation of Necromunda is a post in-and-of-itself).
So, I wanted to build a GSC gang, so I went off to YakTribe to use their most excellent gang builder, as well as to read a few posts about what other people were running and finding to work. I’m a big fan of heading on to the internet and finding “net lists” or “net decks” as a starting point, as I don’t get enough games in to homebrew, test and refine. At least when I lose, I know it’s my playing ability, not sub-par team/gang/deck/etc construction. That being said, as I’ll flag throughout the post below, my guiding principle here was to buy and paint the models I loved from the GSC range, rather than constructing an ‘optimal team’, and after my first game I’ve realised there’s several very cool but sub-optimal choices I’ve made.
For the paint scheme, I wanted to use the classic GW blue and purple which I strongly associate in my mind as the ‘correct’ way to paint a genestealer, and thought I’d carry that through to the clothes as well, using that to unify the paint scheme.
I was torn as to who to use as my leader, as you can pick either a combat focused or psyker and the model range had one of each I was keen on using. I decided on the psyker, as I couldn’t’ think of another way of using this model in my gang but really wanted to paint her up. Of course, in reading through the psychic options, Mind Control stands out as the most powerful, so of course I started with that. I will also field a psychic familiar with her, but I have not yet found a model for it and I am open to suggestions you may have to represent it.
The other model I desperately wanted to paint was the Kelermorph. The cowboy/gunslinger aesthetic of this model really appeals to me, especially coupled with the clearly alien third arm drawing an additional pistol. Luckily the rules also allow for a three armed gunslinger, so I was definitely getting this guy to paint up.
I took two abberants, mostly because I really wanted to paint more than one of these hulking beasts. The ‘optimal’ way to play these guys seems to be two fighting knives, however I wanted to paint one with one of the giant hammers pictured on the box. So that’s what I did, and the model is cool as, albeit the first game I played it was evident why one does not run them with the cool, oversized hammer. The lack of additional attack and no armour modifier means it’ll be shrugged off by a lot of the time by those characters you want to lay down multiple wounds on, assuming you hit at all. The fighting knives not only give you an extra attack, but also a negative armour modifier to your opponent making them more likely to take wounds.
For the balance of the force, I wanted to have a mix of different weapons, as the Neophyte Hybrids box has a lot of cool options in it. That being said, lasguns seem to be the best basic weapon in the game, both in terms of strength, range and reliability. Of course, I didn’t realise there weren’t any lasguns in the Hybrids box, so I scrabbled to locate some in my bits box, which I could not, but luckily Monkey had some spare Astra Militarum troops he didn’t need so hooked me up with those. The conversions themselves were a little challenging, as the kits are distinctly different in how they fit together, but I think the final products were quite passable.
So there’s my newly minted GSC gang, ready to hit the table and start winning territories for the glory of the Great Devourer. There is a nice mix of weapons across the gang, providing the ability to operate at various ranges, and in the game I got in with them they felt a lot easier to play than the Palanite Enforcers I started with. This is the third gang I’ve painted so far, but I think it may be the one I settle on for playstyle and coolness factor.
What do you think of the GSC gang? Is it a gang you’re interested in playing?