- "Those damned sewer rats turned an entire armour depot against us, I swear. We had gone into the fight blind, expecting those tankers to back us up. The sarge said we just needed to keep 'em pinned. Then the battle cannons of the 32nd opened up. It took a moment to realise they were firing on us rather than on the insurrectionists. That's when the nightmare began."
- —Excerpt from the court martial transcript of Kensen Lettermeinst, 912th Truskan Rifles
A Neophyte Hybrid is a third or fourth generation Genestealer hybrid. Because they appear more human than most hybrids, particularly those of the fourth generation who can pass for fully human, they often serve as the primary infiltration forces of the Genestealer Cults.
They insinuate themselves into planetary infrastructure organisations, local militia and Enforcer cadres and even the regiments of the Astra Militarum. Neophyte Hybrids also serve as their cult's primary infantry forces and make up the overall bulk of the cult's troops, including their squadrons of armoured vehicles.
Neophyte Hybrids are third and fourth generation Genestealer cultists. They form the troopers, the line infantry and the greater mass of the cult's warriors. They are fiercely dedicated to their cult, and particularly the Genestealer Patriarch that guides them, willing to devote their every moment to the furtherance of its dark aims.
The mental and spiritual bond of the cult through its Broodmind is so powerful that they are more than happy to hurl themselves into suicidal attacks or give their lives in exchange for their elders' survival. If their leaders require them to toil mindlessly for long years so they can win the trust of a human organisation, they will do so without complaint.
If their masters ask them to storm a position with nothing more than simple automatic weaponry and worker's fatigues, they will throw themselves into the teeth of the enemy guns without hesitation.
Hybrids of the third generation of the Genestealer brood cycle are still markedly alien in aspect. Though they have a classic bipedal anatomy, their distended craniums, beetling foreheads and waxy pallor mean they are often seen as mutants, and are hence shunned or even persecuted by the greater masses of the Imperium. Those of the fourth generation find it far easier to pass for human.
Inveigling themselves into worker gangs, Administratum facilities, manufactorum shifts and hive city networks, they slowly and carefully spread their gene-sect's influence through the strata of Imperial society. As mining workers and planetary militia fighters they find it easy enough to secure low-grade weapons, either stealing them from those victims they silently take down or securing them on the black market.
Over time, they amass a primitive arsenal of solid-shot ballistic weapons, blasting charges and pistols with which to wreak all manner of havoc when the time comes to reveal their true allegiance, and when the Neophyte Hybrids attack, their sheer numbers make them a force to be reckoned with.
The foot soldiers of the cult may well fight in the Imperium's wars, defending their homes from the predations of Chaos and from other xenos species. In doing so, they defend the cult and all that it has worked to achieve. Bound by the ties of the broodkin and a surety of common purpose, Neophyte Hybrids make determined and capable warriors, but this only makes it all the more horrifying when their true nature is revealed.
On the day of the great insurgency, when the populace looks to their bravest members for protection, the citizens are appalled to find out that their saviours are not fighting against the monsters boiling up from the depths, but alongside them.
In order to both grow in number and remain hidden, Neophyte Hybrids tend to occupy the stratum of Imperial society that keeps them out of direct sight. Mining gangs, sub-hive pipe workers and badland maintenance crews are ideal breeding grounds. When the hour of uprising finally arrives, the Neophyte Hybrids bring the infrastructure of their host world grinding to a halt.
Raw supplies of fuel and other materials evaporate, while atmospheric filtration pumps fall silent. Whole sectors of hive cities are suffocated, their blast doors sealed shut from the outside by the insidious xenos agents. In this way, the tools of the Imperial war machine are used to lay low their creators.
An Astra Militarum regiment stationed upon a Genestealer-infested world will slowly become populated by cultists, and are sometimes taken over entirely. Such infected military organs take pains to stay incognito until the day of insurrection, whereupon they reveal their true allegiance, launching deadly surprise attacks upon their fellow regiments before joining the main body of the cult.
It is common for the Neophyte Hybrids of a gene-sect's later brood cycles to infiltrate their world's garrison force, or even those Astra Militarum regiments raised from amongst its populace. There, they work alongside the infected humans who sired the cult's hybrids are a part of its Broodmind -- yet appear normal -- to ensure the cult spreads ever further. These men and women as referred to within the cult as "Brood Brothers."
Within an armed force that recruits such divergent strains of Humanity as Ratlings and Ogryns, mild variations of appearance as found among fourth generation hybrids are often overlooked -- especially when the cadets in question are so efficient and obedient -- and as the generations pass, it is common for the infiltrating members of that world's infestation to be grouped together into the same platoons.
The Neophytes propagate slowly throughout the Imperial military ranks, taking over each corps from the inside until all of its soldiers pay obeisance to the Patriarch. These professional warriors carry Departmento Munitorum-issued lasguns instead of autoguns, and use Frag Grenades in place of repurposed mining or construction explosives. Some even have access to heavier weaponry and may hijack the famously indomitable vehicles of the Astra Militarum to their cause.
A Genestealer Cult will amass a great many vehicles over the course of its gestation. In terms of popularity, the Chimera Armoured Personnel Carrier is second only to the Goliath Truck. The Chimera is so common a sight that it passes all but unnoticed through the streets of war-torn worlds and the rotting understrata of hive cities, just as the work teams of the Genestealer Cult pass without comment in Humanity's wider throng.
Yet in times of war, this humble transport punches well above its weight. Its combination of Multi-Laser, hull-mounted Heavy Bolter and flank-mounted Lasgun arrays allows it to cut down Imperial infantry, rival gangers, veteran soldiers and even light vehicles.
As one of the workhorses for Mankind's innumerable armies, the Chimera is built to the design provided by a Standard Template Construct database. It can traverse all manner of terrain, from acidic silt to the rockcrete rubble of a bombed-out city, and even be rendered amphibious should the need arise.
The blueprint for this rugged and adaptable machine, a revered relic of Mankind's past, has been replicated times beyond count. As such, the Chimera can be made from whatever local metals a mechanic has to hand, or even from stranger materials should they have the requisite material strength.
To an industrial culture such as that of the Genestealer Cult, the manufacture of a Chimera -- or even an entire mechanised regiment of them -- poses little challenge.
The Sentinel is a single-pilot combat walker that can traverse landscapes where a wheeled vehicle would swiftly founder. Though designed primarily as a reconnaissance asset for the Astra Militarum, Sentinels are in widespread use as war machines within those cults that have access to them. Lightweight Scout Sentinels are deployed in forward operations, whilst the heavier Armoured Sentinels lend substantial firepower to the main body of the uprising.
Sentinels make excellent independent assets when the time to strike is nigh. Scout Sentinels boast a powerful weapon system that can be fired on the move; they are fast enough to dart into position for a kill shot, yet small enough to operate undetected by a larger force.
Often, a crack team of Neophyte Hybrids will pilot their Scout Sentinels around the flanks of the enemy army, delivering their punishing volleys upon receiving a psychic impulse from their gene-sect's overlords through the Broodmind.
Nimble and fast for walkers of such size, these machines are able to traverse even the most rugged terrain in the hands of a skilled operator. Their loping stride allows them to eat up the kilometres in wide flanking manoeuvres, stepping through glowing deltas of lava or picking through bombed-out forests to creep up on the enemy from an unexpected angle.
The Neophyte Hybrid pilots of these walkers peer through the gloom with unnatural intensity, refining their targeting solutions and stalking forwards with the patience of true hunters until they have the perfect vantage point for launching their mechanised ambush. Suddenly, their trap is sprung in a storm of light and sound, and their unwitting foes fall by the dozen.
Armoured Sentinels have thick plated hulls, and are built to operate even in the most dangerous war zones. Such enclosed walkers have the added bonus that no one can see the true nature of their pilot until it is too late, an advantage that is not lost on the cult's overseers. Fitted with Lascannons, Missile Launchers, and perhaps even rare and temperamental Plasma Cannons, Armoured Sentinels can take down even the heavy infantry and main battle tanks of an Adeptus Astartes strike force.
Those who underestimate the bravery and verve of their cultist pilots will be made to pay with their lives, for when fighting as a squadron, these walkers can tear apart even the fat-bellied effigies of the Greenskins and the adamantium-hulled war machines of the Adeptus Astartes. Plasma Cannons spit incandescent volleys, Missile Launchers sow death amongst concentrations of infantry, and Lascannons blast smoking holes in the hulls of enemy tanks.
Should the Armoured Sentinels find themselves the target of an assault, they are far from defenceless -- pistons hiss and hydraulics thump as the heavily armed walkers stomp forwards, their pilots grinning in atavistic glee as they stamp their opponents into the dirt.
Cult Leman Russ Tanks
The heavy firepower of the Imperial Leman Russ Tank is legendary, and also much sought after by those cults that expect to engage the foe at range. Built to last through solar decades, if not Terran centuries, of harsh conditions and poor maintenance, this main battle tank is a natural choice for many gene-sects, which often intend to bide their time before launching a single devastating strike.
Those cult forces determined or lucky enough to secure entire squadrons of Leman Russ tanks are a terrifying prospect, as deadly at range as at close quarters. These concentrations of force bombard the enemy from afar to crack open even the safest of havens, allowing the xenospawn at the heart of the cult to get at their soft-bodied prey.
The Leman Russ is constructed more as a rolling bunker than a fast-moving support vehicle. Its primary weapon is the Battle Cannon, an unsubtle sledgehammer of a gun that sends high-explosive shells hurtling into the midst of the enemy. Even the tanks of the foe can be crippled or destroyed by a direct hit from such ordnance.
Sponsons are usually fitted onto the Leman Russ' flanks, each bearing a Heavy Bolter to scythe down enemy troops, a Heavy Flamer to set opponents ablaze or a Lascannon to crack open armoured targets. With the foe reeling, the cult will often follow up the volleys of its Leman Russ squadrons with a devastating assault from the clawing, screaming cultist throng. When the day of the grand uprising is nigh, the Leman Russ' bulky silhouette looms through the cordite-scented smoke, turret tracking as its merciless cultist gunners search for new prey.
Once a priority target is caught in their sights, the stolen tank gives voice to its booming war cry. A split second later, a fat-bodied cannon shell detonates to send a thunderous explosion of shrapnel, debris and body parts flying in all directions. The tank's sponson weapons chatter and scream as they sow death amongst the survivors of each new assault; return fire pings and ricochets from the Leman Russ' inches-thick hull, and even explosive missiles are turned aside by the sheer rugged solidity of this tank.
It is not unheard of for a well-established Brood Brother regiment to secure the more exotic patterns of Leman Russ, such as the plasma-fitted Leman Russ Executioner or the tank-busting Leman Russ Vanquisher. A Genestealer Cult that includes such vehicles brings not only a subtle and creeping death, but a bombastic, violent assault of shell, laser and solid shot.
- 9-19 Neophyte Hybrids
- 1 Neophyte Leader
- Blasting Charge
- Shotgun (As replacement for Autogun)
- Sacred Cult Icon (Carried by one Neophyte Hybrid)
- Flamer (As replacement for Autogun)
- Grenade Launcher (As replacement for Autogun)
- Webber (As replacement for Autogun)
- Heavy Stubber (As replacement for Autogun)
- Mining Laser(As replacement for Autogun)
- Seismic Cannon (As replacement for Autogun)
- Bolt Pistol (As replacement for Autopistol)
- Laspistol (As replacement for Autopistol)
- Web Pistol (As replacement for Autopistol)
- Chainsword (As replacement for Autogun)
- Cultist Knife (As replacement for Autogun)
- Power Maul (As replacement for Autogun)
- Power Pick (As replacement for Autogun)
- Codex: Genestealer Cults (8th Edition), pp. 54, 62-63, 85
- Codex: Genestealer Cults (7th Edition), pp. 30-31
|Genestealer Cults Forces|
|Command||Genestealer Patriarch • Magus • Primus|
|Specialists||Clamavus • Nexos • Biophagus • Sanctus|
|Elites||Abominant • Jackal Alphus • Kelermorph • Locus|
|Troops||Acolyte Hybrid • Neophyte Hybrid • Hybrid Metamorph • Brood Brothers • Purestrain Genestealer • Aberrant • Genestealer Familiar • Mindwyrm Familiar • Atalan Jackals|
|Vehicles||Dirtcycle • Wolfquad • Goliath Truck • Goliath Rockgrinder • Achilles Ridgerunner • Chimera • Sentinel • Leman Russ Tank (Leman Russ Eradicator • Leman Russ Exterminator • Leman Russ Vanquisher)|