I've just come back from playing my first game with the new 2022 Genestealer Cult Codex against my friend Richard Grange (he has appeared on the channel a time or two). We called the game pretty much at the beginning of Genestealer turn 4 with the Cult managing to pull away with 56pts to 49pts.
So what did I think of the units?
At these links, you will find the army list's we had put together for this 1500pt Matched play game. (Imperial Fists) (Genestealer Cult) As you can see the slight increase in cost did mean I would have fewer units than I would have liked and I didn't really like Icons in the last edition so I hadn't made any up for my units, meaning I only had one in a squad of Neophyte Hybrids with an Icon.
Summon the Cult
Unfortunate that unit was pretty much wiped out in a turn, meaning I didn't have much of a chance to practise Summon the Cult. I did have an Iconward and was able to bring back a Atalan Jackal at one point, but wasn't able to do this with any other unit due to most squads being wiped out quickly.
I used squad sizes of 5-10 models in this game and didn't go over, but I think that in future games I would be looking at slightly bigger squad sizes so that they can take a bit of a punch allowing a few to survive with the Icon. This maybe means I get an extra turn or two out of the squad for some objective grabbing.
I did find that having a few units of 5 man Genestealers teams created some excellent opportunities, and the improved Genestealer stats meant I wasn't relying on massive squads to be able to get a few bonuses.
The Hybrid units now being T4 did mean that space marine bolt rifles just didn't delete units without them putting up a bit of a fight, they could take a counter punch in combat better as well. The extra wound on the Patriarch and the strat Hyper Metabolism (regain d3 wounds for 1CP) means that the HQ of the cult is pretty tough to handle.
UNITS OF MATCH
I gave the Patriarch the Warlord trait Bio-Alchemist from the Twisted Helix Cult (which is what I take) giving the Patriarch a +1 damage. Regular attacks will be damage 3 while the 6's are damage 4. I then gave him the relic from Twisted Helix Elixir of the Prime Specimen meaning I can give him the Enhanced Resilience (5+ to ignore wounds) from the Biophagus making him a very tank-like unit.
During the game, he managed to tear through two 5 man Intercessor Squads and survived a charge from a Marine Captain that had the burning blade and managed to take him straight out retaliation.
Solid unit, would recommend that if you are fielding this guy then make sure he is kitted out properly.
The slight changes to these guys rules have made them (in my opinion) an auto-include unit. The speed and special rule for exposed units within 6inch make this unit a perfect attack dog, ready to dive straight in to take an objective or finish off a unit/provide a crossfire marker.
The changes have made the Genestealer cult competitive but not overpowered. The game was fun and close, I no longer feared going against space marines without having to take two ton of tanks. The term 'Glass Hammer' does apply to the Gene Cult force, but it's now toughened glass.
Happy Ascension day everybody.