Sunday, 24 September 2017

40K: First thoughts on Kill Team for the New Edition

I'm struggling for introductions to my articles. Hello Readers doesn't sound right; something more alliterative would be appropriate. Vaulters sounds like you should be practicing gymnastics or jumping around with a long pole, but you could venture into a vault. So Venturers it is!

Welcome back faithful Venturers! I wrote an article recently about my first game of Shadow War Armageddon and compared it to the Kill Team of previous editions.  I've actually been thinking about how to modify Kill Team for 8th edition and I decided to capture my notes in this article as a draft for discussion.

Tyranid Warriors stalk the ruined Imperial City

I'm keen to retain as much of the 7th edition Kill Team rule book as possible, but change where necessary to give it the 8th edition feel.  This article is assuming that readers have access to the Kill Team rule book (or are at least familiar with the rules).

Each player will need to choose a Kill Team, spending up to 250 points using a single faction keyword, and adhering to the Kill Team Detachment:
  • 0-2 Troops
  • 0-1 Elite
  • 0-1 Fast Attack
  • 0-1 Dedicated Transport
Command Points: A Kill Team starts with 3 Command Points, and receives a bonus Command Points for each Specialist within the Kill Team (see Specialists below).

In order to represent the sorts of forces that would be tasked with undertaking such missions the following restrictions also apply when selecting a Kill Team:

A Kill Team must include at least 4 non-vehicle models. One of these must be the Leader, and up to 3 may be Specialists.

Non-vehicle models cannot have more than 3 wounds.

No model may have a 2+ armour save.

A Kill Team cannot include Flyers (but can include models with the Fly key word)

I'm also thinking about replicating the old vehicle limitations here somehow (but how)?

The Leader
The Kill Team Leader gains a Leader Trait representing his experience and leadership on the battlefield. A player may choose or roll his Leader Trait before a game:

  1. A Cunning Ruse: As per Kill Team Rule Book
  2. Quick Thinker: As per Kill Team Rule Book
  3. Chasing Promotion: As per Kill Team Rule Book
  4. Iron Resolve: As per Kill Team Rule Book
  5. Been there, Seen it, Done it: Your Leader is also a Specialist; choose a Specialist Type for the model (but this Specialist Type cannot have already been chosen by a model in your Kill Team).
  6. Inspired Leader: Your Leader receives +1 Leadership.
Specialists are Kill Team members with unique skills or talents that provide great benefits during the course of their missions; these are represented by Kill Team Stratagems.

Each Specialist chooses a Specialist Type; this model may then use the appropriate Kill Team Stratagem during the course of a game (subject to the usual rules and limitations for using stratagems). Each Specialist Type may only be chosen once. The Specialist Types are:
  • Combat Specialist
  • Weapon Specialist
  • Dirty Fighter
  • Indominatable Specialist
  • Guerilla Specialist

The Space Marine Kill Team advances warily in search of their foes.
Kill Team Stratagems
The following Stratagems are available to the Kill Team Specialists:

Combat Specialist:
  • Warrior Adept (1CP): Use at the start of the Fight Phase. The Specialist may re-roll all To Hit and To Wound rolls of 1 in the Fight Phase
  • Deathblow (1CP): Use at the start of the Fight Phase. If the Specialist causes an unsaved wound in the Fight Phase to a non-vehicle model, that model is reduced to 0 wounds and removed as a casualty.
Weapon Specialist:
  • Eagle Eye (1CP): Use in the Shooting Phase. The range of any shooting attack made by the Specialist is increased by 50%. This increased range also affects Rapid Fire and Melta weapon distances.
  • Shot on the Run (1CP): Use in the Shooting Phase. Rapid Fire and Heavy Weapons change their type to Assault for this shooting phase.
Dirty Fighter Specialist
  • Poisoned Weapons (1CP): Use in the Fight Phase. When attacking non-vehicle weapons, this model always wounds on a 4+ unless a lower result would usually be required. If the model's S is higher than the target's T, then the model may re-roll failed To Wound rolls.
  • Lightning Blows (1CP): Use in the Fight Phase: The model fight a second time in the Fight Phase.
Indominatable Specialist:
  • Grim Resolve (1CP): Use at the start of the player turn. The model and all friendly models within 6" automatically pass their Break Test.
  • Its Only a Flesh Wound (1CP): Use when the model takes one or more unsaved wounds. The model ignores any wounds taken on a 5+ for the remainder of the turn.
Guerilla Specialist
  • Hit and Run (1CP): Use at the start of the movement phase. The model is not subject to any restrictions (e.g. shooting or charging) if it falls back from combat this turn.
  • Lying in Wait (1CP): Use during deployment. The model has arrived on the battlefield before the bulk of the Kill Teams have deployed and now lies in wait to spring a deadly trap on his unwary foes! During deployment you may declare the model as "hidden" instead of deploying him normally. As the end of any of your movement phases you may reveal the model, placing it any where on the battlefield more than 9" from any enemy models.
Other Kill Team Rules
8th edition will no doubt throw up a whole bunch of oddball situations when mixed with the 7th edition Kill Team missions and rules. A few I can immediately think of are:

Break Tests
As per 7th edition break test rules (i.e. an old school 2d6 test to roll equal to or under Leadership), and the same benefits for Fearless and Know No Fear models..

I Can See You
The normal restrictions for targeting Characters do not apply in games of Kill Team.

I think that's plenty to be starting with and to have some fun play testing. If this piques your interest, please try the ideas out, and if you have any comments/suggestions please let me know in the comments below.

And to end with; my Octoberfest preparations continue with some more paint slapped on a Ravager, and another practice game (Maelstrom this time) under my belt. A few list tweaks to be made, a Voidraven Bomber to paint, and I think I'm almost done!


  1. I don't play 40K or kill team, although liked the sound of it. From my point of view I am not sure where kill team sits now in play-ability. It is certainly a really nice idea to go back to skirmish level games for 40K, but what does kill team do that shadow war doesn't?
    And of course there is the elephant in the room that is Necromunda. Once Necromunda arrives what are the reasons to play kill team over it? The big advantage Necromunda has is that it has a campaign mode built into it's DNA. For me that is where the fun is.
    Like I said I can't comment on your Kill team thoughts ( I am sure they are all fantastic) Just wondered what your playing preference will be once Necromunda hits the shelves/ gaming tables.

    1. Interesting thoughts Amit. To my mind Kill Team has a couple of advantages over Shadow War: no need to learn a new rule set (and SW seems a bit needlessly heavy to my mind), and a far greater choice of models/units to use.

      Shadow War has some very thematic scenarios, and the campaign system going for it.

      I'm on the fence about Necromunda. The models look pretty and I'm sure it will be fun to play; but it's yet another game to buy and system to learn. I've got everything I need for Kill Team apart from tweaking a few rules.

      I am sucker for plastic crack so never say never though.

    2. Good point. I hadn't considered that for those already invested in 40K, then kill team is easier to get into and requires very little money to spend since they will already have and be using the models/units