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Warhammer 40k Genestealers get even weirder with new mutants

A newly revealed Genestealer Cult leader and new Necromunda miniatures push the body horror of the Tyranid infiltrators higher than ever.

Warhammer 40k Genestealers are already one of the scariest ideas in Warhammer 40k – subversive aliens that are both lethal in combat and capable of subverting the human genome to create bizarre hybrids. But newly revealed models for Warhammer 40k and its skirmish spin-off Necromunda make them even more awful than before.

Games Workshop revealed a new Genestealer hybrid model, the ‘Benefictus’, during a Warhammer preview stream on both Twitch and the Warhammer Community website on Saturday. The model will arrive at the head of a new Genestealer Cults Battleforce box set, alongside a new Warhammer 40k Codex for the faction.

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The Benefictus is burdened with a colossal brain, which marks it out as a potent Warhammer 40k psyker. It can focus this psychic power into a powerful anti-tank ranged weapon, similar to a Tyranid Zoanthrope, or it can give the unit that it leads the weapon ability lethal hits.

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cults Biosantic Broodsurge battleforce

The first place that Warhammer 40k players can get their hands on this gruesome new mini will be the Biosantic Broodsurge Battleforce, which contains:

  • Benefictus x 1
  • Neophyte Hybrids x 10
  • Purestrain Genestealers x 10
  • Abominant
  • Aberrants x 5
  • Goliath Rockgrinder x 2

The picture above shows two Rockgrinders, while GW’s preview article lists just one in the contents – we’re assume the promo photography is correct.

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cults combat patrol

There’s also a new Genestealer Cults combat patrol coming, which will contain:

  • Atalan Jackals x 5
  • Hybrid Metamorphs x 10
  • Achilles Rockrunner x 1
  • Jackal Alpha x 1

The Twitch preview reveals, in outline, the new 40k Detachments that Genestealer Cults players will be able to use to customise their armies. There will be a total of five Detachments, one of them the returning Ascension Day Detachment from the Index.

The Biosantic Broodsurge will focus on the combat power of Purestrain ‘stealers and Aberrants. The Outrider Force will be all about speed, with Jackals and Rockrunners, while another unnamed Detachment will focus on melee swarms of hybrids. The fifth Detachment remains mysterious.

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Grotesque as the Benefictus and the Genestealer Cults are, they’ve got nothing on the newly revealed Malstrain Genestealers coming to Necromunda in its next supplement set, Necromunda: Hive Secundus.

Hive Secundus has been in the Necromunda lore for some time. It was once Necromunda’s second city and a seat of industry and culture… until the Tech-priest Biologis Hermiatus had the smart idea to use it as a research centre from which to tamper with the Genestealer genetic code to seek a cure for Genestealer infection. A noble goal – which ended with him becoming infected.

Genestealer cults soon claimed the entire hive. The forces of Lord Helmawr, the Planetary Defense Force, and even the Imperial Fists Space Marines fought back, but only a bombardment of graviton missiles succeeded in stopping a total planetary infection. Yet the Cult of the Second Son was not entirely wiped out.

Warhammer 40k Necromunda Malstrain Genestealers

A military cordone, the Dust Wall, remains in place around the ruins of Secundus. Deep in the hive’s bowels, the twisted, radiation-deformed offspring of the Genestealer cults remain.

The Malstrain Genestealers are so far gone that the psychic signal they project into the warp – which usually serves to draw the Tyranid hive fleets to feast on a planet after it has been tenderized a little by a Genestealer Cult uprising – is actually keeping the Great Devourer at bay. For now, at least.

Dangerous as it is, Secundus is being used as a hunting ground by the upper crust of House Helmawr. Scions of the house, known as Spyrers, enter the hive to earn a kill tally of mutant Genestealers to prove their worth. They go into battle in armored Orrus power suits, which greatly enhance their strength and killing power.

Warhammer 40k Necromunda Orrus Spyrers

Esoteric Spyrer armor has existed in Necromunda since the game’s first edition in the 90s. It’s alien in origin, but which 40k Xenos race isresponsible for the technology is a mystery – there were fan theories that the T’au Empire was somehow responsible, but the new design is certainly not T’au.

Warhammer 40k Necromunda Secundus box set

The new Necromunda: Hive Secundus box supplement is a “self-contained dungeon crawl”, according to Games Workshop’s announcement article. It will offer “a full game in a box” for two players with a “linked campaign” that sees an incursion force led by a Spyrer and bulked out by Van Saar Tek Hunters push deep into the ruins of Secundus. It comes with:

  • Orrus Spyre Hunters x 2
  • Caryatid Prime
  • Van Saar Tek Hunters x 8
  • Malstrain Genestealers x 6
  • Malstrain Tyramites x 4
  • Brood Scum x 8

Plus rules, two double-sided paper gaming mats, plastic barricades and doors, templates, cards, and dice. The WarCom announcement promises “new ruined Zone Mortalis terrain” to join the gorgeous Necromunda terrain range, more reveals from both the Spyrers and Malstrain, “and a new book” in due course.

There’s nothing controversial about calling these new Genestealers utterly terrifying, but have you ever wondered what parts of the human psyche respond so viscerally to Genestealer (and other Tyranid) design? Wargamer’s resident psychiatrist has a helpful article digging into the psychological basis for why Tyranids are so scary.