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Vanguard of the Ordained Maw - Relearning GSC

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About 3 years ago I left my GSC army as the hobby butterfly once again floated off, I've only recently come back to it. A chunk of it is already painted but my standards and skill have changed and I've also updated my scheme a bit too. I've put in a Vow in the 'nid paint along event of: Jackal Alphus, a unit of Jackals, 5 Acolytes and 10 Neophytes to get me started.


The difference between my old scheme and paint standards and new is noticeable.





















There's more blue, it's lighter and I've highlighted pretty much everything. I'm really enjoying getting back to this army, I've had a look through what I've got and have built a 1k list to get me going which looks like:


1 Magus - painted old scheme

1 Jackal Alpha - To be painted

1 Iconward - To be painted


10 Acolytes 2x Rock cutters - To be painted

10 Hybrids 2x Mining Lasers - painted old scheme

10 Hybrids 2x Mining Lasers - painted old scheme

10 Hybrids 2x 'nade launchers - Painted new scheme


4 Jackals, 1 Quad - To be painted

4 Jackals, 1 Quad - To be Painted

2 Ridgerunners with Mining Lasers - To be painted


1 Rockgrinder - painted old scheme


Anything in the old scheme needs to be brought up to the new standard, most of the colours are there but they just need some more layering and highlights.


As for gameplay, I'll likely run these as Pauper Princes, while I don't have a huge amount of combat in this starting list, the stuff that's there needs to do it's thing well. Plus I really like the Warlord Trait as I feel like the Magus should be like a Gandalf type figure that the entire cult loves and respects. It was a toss-up between 5 Abherrants or the Iconward and the second Ridgerunner, although I think the abherrants will be the first thing I add as the points go up.


I also need to take a look at the Psychic Awakening rules that GSC got too, I'm totally out of the loop on that front.


Thanks for taking a look! :biggrin.:

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Thank you both! The skin tone is just : Rakarth Flesh, Agrax all over, Carroburg around mutated and mouth areas, Rakarth on all the raised parts then a highlight with Pallid Witch flesh. Nice and easy! :biggrin.:

I'm looking at playing more competitve games/tournaments and to be honest and I'd love to start doing that with GSC. I know they're not great rules wise atm but it's definitely something to be used in my advantage. First though I need practice and to paint! :happy.: 


Speaking of, I got another biker done last night although I have just noticed some areas that need tidying! :dry.:







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The aesthetic of the army and the models is fantastic, definitely the most unique army GW makes IMO. They're more detailed than guardsmen but not to the point of being super time consuming or difficult to paint. They're great!


I had a very productive weekend, I finished off the last 2 bikes and the quad as well as repainting a Magus and basing the entire lot!


The army so far (only 270 points mind you)








Casually swinging a fire axe off the side of a motorbike






The Magus is a repaint with the updated scheme and he's honestly turned out fantastically, I wanted a Gandalf esque vibe for him and I think I got that











Acolytes are up next!

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Thank you Rogue!


I managed to get a 1k game in last night against a friends Guard list. He took 6 guardsmen squads with HWT each, a HWT squad with mortars, a command squad, company commander, lord commisar, Russ and Commander Russ. I took my 1k list I posted previously using Pauper Princes.

My main takeways:

The bikes were brutal and guard really struggled with killing them, taking 4 turns to kill both units.

My Rockgrinder managed a turn one charge and killed the normal russ before being demolished by the Russ Commander. I forced the explosion and did about 12 MW spread across his army.

The +1 to hit and wound on stubbers from the Ridgerunners strat is amazing and I was using it every turn without fail. Although the Mining lasers were a bit lacklustre at times


More games are lined up this weekend against opponents that probably won't be as favourable for me!

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Thank you Rogue, I need them to look good as I'm going to have a bloody lot of them :biggrin.:


I finished the Jackal Alphus and I think I managed to get the right amount of clean lines to Martian dust on the bike. I didn't realise how small the lenses were on the goggles. While a paint to paint (all the Jackals are IMO), it was totally worth it and came out great:












With that, it's September's Vow completed!




For the rest of this month I will be going back to the models that I had previously painted and updating them to the new scheme/standard:








It's amazing how little work has made them look so much better! A quick layer and highlight and they're improved. The old paint job wasn't bad by any standards, it's njust that I've grown as a hobbyist!

Edited by TrawlingCleaner
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  • 3 weeks later...

vowed a hefty chunk of stuff for this month's Bug's Life event.




I've managed to get off a to good start by painting the Sanctus. It's very simple model but I absolutely love it












Lot's of lenses! Onto some Acolytes next!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Rogue!


I realised I hadn't updated this in a little while, I finished my vow entirely with an added Primus as I had time to spare:




"Red Leader and Red Two standing by"











5 Hammer Abherrants:








The other 5 Acolytes bringing me up to 15:





The add-on vow Primus









A Kelermorph that I had previously got a couple of colours on about 3 years ago:







And 5 more Abherrants that had previously been started:







And with the news of the new Codex and Saboteur, I'm incredibly excited to say the least!

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What do you make of the Shadow Throne box? Are you planning to pick one up?

I have a friend who plays Custodes and we've decided to split the box.

I'll be raiding my bits box and making as many special and heavy weapons with the Neophytes in the box as so far I only have a few grenade launchers and of course mining lasers. As these were really the only good weapons Neophytes could take. I think with the new 'dex coming, the Webber and Sesmic Cannon could be getting a boost so I'll probably want to try them out at least.

Another friend is starting 'nids so is getting the Patriarch, I'm going to convert the Magus to be a Clamavus and the Primus into a Sanctus with a knife.


My general thoughts on the box is that it's great if you want to start GSC, as you can get that and a SC/Combat Patrol and you're sorted. For most people it's pretty naff unless you're converting models. The Saboteur is an amazing model with some great sounding mechanics. Although I hope GSC aren't busted

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I'm attending a tournament at the end of the month, it's not your normal set up for a tournament but I enjoy the atmostphere (I went to their previous one before the pandemic) and the it'll be my way of easing myself into the competitive scene.

It's an ironman/highlander style 1500pt tournament:

You have to use a Battalion

You can only use one of each datasheet unless it's a troop or a dedicated transport. Both of these you can only take a certain amount of each datasheet based on their armour saves, ie, 30 3+ saves, 40 4+ saves 50 5+ saves etc (you could have 30 Tac marines and 30 Intercessors for example)

There are some other special rules but none of them apply to GSC.

It's a laid back tournament where you're encouraged to take the unit you like the most, there will obviously always be people that take it super seriously :biggrin.:


My list at the moment is looking like this:


Pauper Princes


Broodcoven -1CP

Grandsire's gifts-1CP

Cult's Psyche -1CP

Heart of the Creed -1CP


Patriarch - Amulet of the Voidworm - Beloved Grandsire

Magus - Focus of Adoration

Primus - Alien Magesty


2x 10 Acolytes with 2 Rock Saws

5 Acolytes Barebones

2x 10 Neophytes with 2 Mining Lasers and 1 Grenade launcher


5 Abherrants with Picks

Sanctus - Gift from Beyond

5 Metamorphs all with Whips and Rending claws


Ridgerunner with Minig Laser and Flares

12 Jackals, 1 power axe, 3 grenade launchers, 11 knives, 9 shotguns

Scout Sentinel with Multi laser


Rockgrinder with Sesmic cannon


2x Goliath Trucks


Total: 1499 points, 8CP to start





Good amount of Infantry killing power between, auto guns, shotguns, nade launchers, rending claws

Good amount of marine killers, Rocksaws, rending claws, power picks, Sesmic cannon, Autocannons, Patriarch

Decent amount of AT, Mining lasers, Rocksaws, Sesmic Cannon, powerpicks

With cult ambush, disembarking and scout moves I can take objectives when I want to. Metamorphs are literally only there for move blockers/actions on objectives

3 Casts and as many denys as I can fit around the Magus in addition to the Sanctus with Gift from Beyond, I've got a good amount of anti-psyker tactics



AT is very short range/close combat. 36" on the Ridgerunner and 24" on everything else means that a lot of my army is going to be in harms way which is where they don't want to be

I only start on 8 CP for an army that's very CP reliant is not great

Very little staying power outside of the Vehicles, the Jackals are decent enough but with such a big blob they can get caught out.


My thoughts on improving the list is to swap the Abherrants out for 2 more Ridgerunners (Abherrants are 150 for 5 and Ridgerunners are 140 for 2).

This would give me more long range AT with semi reliable results. Without an Abominant, the Abherrants really struggle with only 2 attacks with their picks each. Without reliable charges they'll struggle to make it into combat I think. The extra 10 points can go into a Rocksaw on the 5 man Acolyte squad I think


Your thoughts are very appreciated!

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This is all opinion and personal preference, so take as much or as little as you like.


I've never got much out of the Primus' Planner ability, so wouldn't worry about Heart of the Creed. On the other hand, Cult's Psyche is invaluable, both for the extra cast and the potential +1. I tend to couple it with the Crouchling relic for a nailed on +1, the extra power, and the option to cast three times once per game. 


If mining lasers work for you, great. I find them too unreliable. Likewise grenade launchers, but at least you can move and fire them. I prefer flamers - no real range, but they always hit. Or just going barebones and trying to keep them out of sight on an objective somewhere. I'd rather put the mining laser points into more rock saws on the acoltyes (you could fit another two into each big brood, for example), and try to kill tanks by punching them rather than shooting them.


On the same line of thought, I'd keep the aberrants rather than getting in more ridgerunners. As Pauper Princes, you're geared towards combat, and aberrants do particularly well out of the creed (there's a bit on my blog about it, and also one on hammers versus picks if you're interested). Aberrants don't really need the Abominant - exploding 6s are nice and all, but functionally the same as the Primus' +1 to hit. Use the Magus to drop Might on them, and maybe Psychic Stimulus if you feel brave, and they can still do some work. 


Can you get a Clamavus in there somehow? The +1 to charge (and to advance if you're using Stimulus or Genetic Lineage) helps a lot with charges.


Yes to Metamorphs - lashwhips give them some interesting options and tactical uses.


I've got no experience with Jackals or trucks, or with Sentinels, so I can't help there.


Which psychic powers are you looking at?

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Hmm, the Primus can do double duty for me I think. It can either work as a melee buff, or work as a ranged buff or in certain scenarios  it can work as both.

My general game plan with it is to have the Primus on the board turn one, have it mark a target for the Heavy Mining Lasers and a target for Acolytes. I start it on the board near the Ridgerunners, they do their thing and hopeuflly blast the target off the table (Overcharged weapons is a godsend honestly, wounding most targets on 2s). Turn 2 it either advances up the board or it Returns to the Shadows. Generally Turn 3 is where my Rocksaw acolytes start coming in and hitting their target which the Primus will be there for.


As I'm using Brood Coven, the Primus' aura is increase to 9" with Alien Majesty which means I can generally get him in range of turn 2 chargers.


The Patriarch is a bit of an odd one for me, it gives a +1 to cast for the Magus, has one cast and a Fearless Aura but other than that, it's basically just a cruise missile. I can fire it off at something and either kill the thing it's fighting or whiff entirely. With the Amulet of the Voidwyrm it has some sembalance of staying power as it becomes essentially a Gravis captain in terms of W, T, Save and Invuln.


The mining lasers have always been pretty good for me, I very rarely shoot the infantry mounted ones at tanks and most shoot them at heavy infantry or smaller vehicles (I play against a lot of marines). Grenade launchers also work pretty well for me, frag helps me clear the chaff or take out a tougher model at range. The Jackals especially work as great screen removal tools with either grenades or shotguns and the grenade launcher also adds to this.


While Pauper Princes are more geared towards combat, I only really use them as IMO they are the best of a bad bunch. The next most useful cult is Rusted Claw, mostly because of the amount of bikes I use. PP allows me to lose or divert character support and still know that Acolytes etc can still hit targets without needing to be babysat. The said, in my experience, Abherrants need to be babysat by a Primus. For Powerpicks, non-consistent damage at only strength 6 leads to two things:

VS Marines, I have a tendancy to roll a lot of 1s and 2s for damage and only kill one or two (I know that's not statistical but that's unfortunately how my games play out)

VS Vehciles they just bounce

150 points is too much for a unit that (in my experience) tends to do nothing then get killed very easily. Admittedly I haven't tried them with Hammers but 175 points is truly eyewatering for the unit :ermm: 


If I were to do some shuffling around, a Clamavus is a great shout to make my push up the board easier and more reliable.


For Powers, I have Might from beyond and Psychic Stimulus on the Magus as he'll be the buffing caster. Mass hypnosis and Mind control on the Patriarch as I actually tend to get a lot of mileage from Mind Control :biggrin.: 


Thank you for the feed back, you've raised some great points that I'll need to have a think about! :happy.:

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No worries. Always nice to have a chat about the Cult. 


I look forward to hearing how you got on.

I really appreciate the feed back, Rogue! I'm definitely considering swapping something out for the Clamavus, it would really help my footslogging and chargers out. Generally I don't tend to use the Cult Ambush unless it's for units to drop in and take objectives, I use Transports to jump infantry in and out of to get them an extra 3" movement. This usually means that I can keep units safe and still get them up the board. It's definitely a bit janky!


I've got until the end of the month to get more practice games in and to finish painting the rest of the force. I tend to find that I paint a lot better and more efficently when working to a deadline. I need to paint:


10 Acolytes

5 Metamorphs

1 Ridgerunner

2 Sentienels

2 Goliath Trucks


Not much :whistling:


I have the Sentinels built now and have started painting them already (but didn't take any pictures of them just yet)









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I've finished the Excavator Sentienels, just need to finish the bases. Glad it came together in the end, when it was a grey blob I thought I had made a mistake :sweat:


"Although the Excavator suits are based on a core STC design, each suit is as unique as their pilot

Remote mining facilities often do not have the means to replace missing or damaged parts, each suit is a mismatch of parts based on the pilot's tastes. Excavator 2 is often the first to the fray, charging ahead of the pack and giving much needed assistance to fellow miners

Excavator 1 by contrast was far more level headed, leading the pack on reconnaissance missions and moving in to the thick of the fight when needed"





















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