Ok, so I've decided to go with Genestealer Cults for the ongoing Heralds of Ruin campaign that we're starting in January. While I've decided on the Faction, I haven't decided yet on which Leader to go with.
I have a couple of choices.
This is the most likely choice. A Princeling is 15 points and can be upgraded to a proper Brood Prince for another 25 points. The Brood Prince is basically a Genestealer Patriarch with a ton of special rules. He's a melee monster. The only reason I'd consider not running this model is that it's a lot of points for a model that can realistically kill one enemy per turn. Part of me thinks that I'd be better off taking one of the other, cheaper options and keeping more points available for the actual army.
The Magus is also 40 points... same as a Brood Prince (15+25). The main appeal of the Magus is that it can become a Mastery Level 2 Psyker. Psychic powers are nice, but they can be pretty unreliable. I'm listing this as a choice, but I'm almost certainly not going to pick it. I feel that with Psykers, you need to either go big or go home.
Again, we're looking a 40 points. The Primus is like a super Neophyte. He comes with some pretty solid weaponry, performing well at both ranged and melee combat. He does have a nice rule, "Cult Demagogue", which gives all friendly same faction models within 12" the Hatred special rule. That could be pretty useful... if I run Genestealers or Acolytes. It's not great for Neophytes.
These two options are the cheapy squad leader options. They're 15 and 19 points, respectively. The main appeal here is that I could take a Neophyte Leader AND a 5-man Neophyte Hybrid Squad for the same price as a basic Primus.
I feel like you really want to take a Leader if it's particularly effective in combat OR if it acts as a force multiplier. The Brood Prince is a pretty solid melee Leader, but has no real shooting. The Magus feels mediocre. The Primus would be a good force multiplier, but only if I go melee oriented. I don't think I want to do that. I'm actually leaning towards going with a basic Neophyte Leader and maybe giving him a nice gun. Likely, I'll just run him basic and keep him safely in the backfield.
I'll post more this week about the other army options. I'll definitely be going with at least two 5-man Neophyte Hybrid Squads and a few Genestealers. That leave me with some other options to think about.