Kill Team

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Kill Team refers to a singular form of squad organisation, closely related to the universe of Warhammer 40,000. But anyone known to role-playing are familiar with the concept.

In Warhammer 40,000, Kill-teams are squads of specialists, usually employed by the Space Marines of the Deathwatch, used in missions which large forces aren't the smartest idea to deal with them (It doesn't stop certain individuals from trying it anyway), like sabotage, assassination, objective identification, information theft/retrieval, and everything involving enemy territory and not a full-fledged invasion.

There are 3 (or 4) forms of play with Kill-teams: the X-box360/PS3 videogame, the Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay books, and a Specialist Game.

It can be argued that the strike forces lead by Hairgel during the events of the 1st and 2nd Aurelian Crusades can be considered Kill-Teams, but the sizes are close.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Skirmish Combat in the 41st Millennium[edit]

History of Kill Team Releases[edit]

Several products named "Kill Team" have been released over the years:

  • 4th Edition Rulebook (2004): contained rules for playing Kill Team games with 40k minis.
  • 5th Edition "Battle Missions" book (2010): contained a simplified 'Kill Team' Special Mission.
  • 6th Edition "Kill Team", released in 2013.
  • Kill Team video game, released May 2014.
  • 7th Edition "Kill Team" boxed set (September 2016): included the Kill Team rules, a tiny copy of the 40k rules, a Space Marine squad, and a Tau squad.
    • Owners of the 6th Edition digital Kill Team received a free upgrade to a digital copy of the 7th Edition
    • Both the product and Digital supplement has since been EXTERMINATUS from GW's website.
  • 8th Edition Core Set (July 2018): Includes core manual, a Skitarii squad, a Genestealer Cult squad, a game board, Sector Imperialis Killzone rules, datacards for the included squads, booklets with fluff for pre-constructed Kill-teams for both factions, Tactics cards (universal, AdMech, and Genestealer Cult), dice, and rulers.
    • 8th Edition Starter Set- Krogskull's Boyz (July 2018): Includes 5 pre-colored plastic Burna Boyz, 12 Orks Tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Sector Mechanicus Galvanic Servohaulers (with rules for use in Kill Team)
    • 8th Edition Starter Set- Fangs of Ulfrich (July 2018): Includes 5 pre-colored plastic Reivers, Adeptus Astartes Tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Sector Mechanicus Alchomite Stack
    • 8th Edition Starter Set- Drop Force Imperator: (August 2018): Includes 5 pre-colored plastic Tempestus Scions, Astra Militarum Tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Munitorum Armored Containers
    • 8th Edition Starter Set- The Writhing Shadow (August 2018): Includes 8 pre-colored plastic Genestealers, Tyranids Tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Munitorum Armored Containers
    • 8th Edition Starter Set- Kill Team Mordelai (August 2018): Includes 5 pre-colored plastic Deathwatch Veterans, Deathwatch tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Deathworld Forest Barbed Venomgorse
    • 8th Edition Starter Set- The Slicing Noose (August 2018): Includes 10 pre-colored plastic Wyches, Drukhari tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Deathworld Forest Eldritch Ruins
    • 8th Edition Starter Set- Advance Team Starpulse (October 2018): Includes 10 pre-colored plastic Fire Warriors (plus 2 Drones), T'au Empire tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defence Line
    • 8th Edition Starter Set- The Exalted Scythe (October 2018): Includes 5 pre-colored plastic Immortals, Necron tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defence Line
    • 8th Edition Starter Set- Theta-7 Acquisitus (2019): Includes 5 pre-colored plastic Sicarians and a Tech-Priest Manipulus, Adeptus Mechanicus tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and STC Ryza-Pattern Ruins
    • 8th Edition Starter Set- Starn's Disciples (2019): Includes 5 pre-colored plastic Acolyte Hybrids and a Kelermorph, Genestealer Cults tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and STC Ryza-Pattern Ruins
  • 8th Edition- Kill-Team: Rogue Trader (September 2018): Features a Rogue Trader's crew battling against a horde of Nurgle mutants, along with more missions and rules for the Imperial Shuttle, Imperial Shrine Killzones, and ultra-close confines environment in general.
  • 8th Edition- Kill-Team: Commanders (October 2018): Features rules for using more powerful HQ characters such as Space Marine Captains or Eldar Warlocks as "commander" models, as well as expands the points limit for games.
    • 8th Edition Commander Set- Nemesis 9 Tyrantis (October 2018): Includes a pre-colored plastic Broodlord, Tyranids tactics and Psychic Discipline cards, a skill tree card and a pre-filled datacard for the Commander
    • 8th Edition Commander Set- Crasker Matterzhek (October 2018): Includes a pre-colored plastic Acolyte Iconward, Genestealer Cults tactics and Psychic Discipline cards, a skill tree card and a pre-filled datacard for the Commander
    • 8th Edition Commander Set- Ankra the Colossus (October 2018): Includes a pre-colored plastic Necron Overlord, Necron tactics cards, a skill tree card and a pre-filled datacard for the Commander
    • 8th Edition Commander set- Feodor Lasko (October 2018): Includes a pre-colored plastic Commissar, Astra Militarum tactics and Psychic Discipline cards, a skill tree card and a pre-filled datacard for the Commander
    • 8th Edition Commander set- Gaius Akasian (October 2018): Includes a pre-colored plastic Watch Captain, Deathwatch tactics and Psychic Discipline cards, a skill tree card and a pre-filled datacard for the Commander
    • 8th Edition Commander set- Magos Dalathrust (October 2018): Includes a pre-colored plastic Tech-Priest Dominus, Adeptus Mechanicus tactics cards, a skill tree card and a pre-filled datacard for the Commander
    • 8th Edition Commander set- Torrvald Orksbane (October 2018): Includes a pre-colored plastic Primaris Librarian, Space Marine tactics and Psychic Discipline cards, a skill tree card and a pre-filled datacard for the Commander
    • 8th Edition Commander set- Vysa Kharavyxis (October 2018): Includes a pre-colored plastic Succubus, Drukhari tactics cards, a skill tree card and a pre-filled datacard for the Commander
    • 8th Edition Commander set- Fireblade Twinflame (October 2018): Includes a pre-colored plastic Cadre Fireblade, T'au Empire tactics cards, a skill tree card and a pre-filled datacard for the Commander
    • 8th Edition Commander set- Gitzog Wurldkilla (October 2018): Includes a pre-colored plastic Ork Warboss, Orks tactics and Psychic Discipline cards, a skill tree card and a pre-filled datacard for the Commander
  • 8th Edition- Blackstone Fortress Kill Team Beta (December 2018): The units from Blackstone Fortress get a PDF of datasheets for use in Kill Team, with the explorers able to be added to their respective factions as either commanders or specialists (that don't count against your specialist limit) while the Servants of the Abyss get their own Kill Team faction. However, the rules are explicitly stated to be in a beta state, subject to change or be reprinted elsewhere with modifications, strongly suggesting a future Kill Team expansion centered around Blackstone Fortress.
  • 8th Edition- Mercenaries for Hire (January 2019): A 4-page article on White Dwarf featuring datasheets to play a Kroot solo Kill Team.
  • 8th Edition- Kill-Team: Arena (2019): An expansion containing modifications to the base rules optimizing Kill-Team for tournament play.

The Game[edit]

In Kill Team, players use a VERY small force (100-150 points), a single squad or mob with all models played individually. Limitations are huge in this mode, like no vehicles, no aircraft (though certain units can still fly), no HQs (outside of the Commanders expansion), and nothing with more than 3 Wounds, or 2+ armor. It has its own missions and rules, but it's actually pretty fun, and the limitations and smaller scale allows certain units to shine like they've never been able to before in 40k.

Whereas in previous editions Kill Team was just a different game mode for 40k, following its big return in 2018, Kill Team is now a full-fledged Specialist Game, with the addition of branching skill trees for each Specialization, alternating activations, and a modified version of the Stratagem system known as Tactics.

Also, Warhammer 40,000 made cheap, quick, and much cheese avoided. What's not to like?

However, you do need to bring a lot of terrain. Kill Team is very cover-centric, and you need as much of it as possible for a good game. Large area terrain like ruins or forests or factories are ideal for consolidating your troops and forming firing bases, besides providing cover and creating firing lanes.

Things that rock in Kill Team[edit]

  • Fucking Cheap: Let's take it like you want a Kill-Team from scratch and do not use any squads you already have which meet the criteria. Well, congrats! You probably only need one or two boxes of miniatures. This depends on armies and builds, of course; but on average, it's highly plausible to have a Kill Team for under $50.
  • Much cheese avoided: Enough of the Riptide, Wraithknight, Heldrake (even with nerfs) and Wave Serpent dickery? Good news, the most overpowered units in 40k cannot be taken in Kill-Team. In the HoR Kill Team spam and strong units are usually taken care of at army list level by the devs, so That Guy will have a hard time finding bullshit loopholes with which masturbate itself furiously.
  • Your dudes friendly: While much harder in entire armies, it's easy to empathize with a squad of individual miniatures and make your Kill Teams truly unique and YOURS. The Specialist rules only makes this decision easier. Remember the Last Chancers, where everyone was different? Basically the same thing that you can do to your dudes, especially if you have bits of the race the Kill Team will be. "See that Necron Immortal with bits of Deathmark's rifle? That's X-547, my weapon specialist and a hotshot everywhere", or "I'm Kargoth, the Dirty fighter Berzerker! I'm here to kick asses and chew gum! I'M OUT OF GUM." That kind of thing.
  • The small scale of Kill Team allows you to really go crazy with conversions in ways that you just can't in 40k. Go the extra mile to add character to every one of your models, or represent obscure or custom armies that would either be too hard to convert or too expensive to buy for a full 40k army.
  • Individual model movement allows more efficient use (or abuse) of Line of Sight, such as a single high-cost shooter carefully positioning himself at a corner so that he can only see one enemy model, which he shoots.. but when the enemy turn comes, he's completely hidden from the majority of return fire.
  • The Rogue Trader expansion, the added rules for ultra-close confines in particular, breaths new life into the old game boards you have left over from previous standalone games likes Betrayal at Calth, Deathwatch Overkill, Assassinorum Execution Force, Space Hulk, etc. Now you can finally use them for a game other people might actually be playing.

Things that Suck in Kill Team[edit]

  • Every man for himself: Every model acting as a separate unit might be cool and all, but this also makes them a lot more vulnerable.
  • No vehicles
  • Due to the smaller model count and smaller game area, melee is a lot nastier in Kill Team than it is in 40k.
  • While the starter sets come with enough terrain pieces to get started with, be prepared for terrain to be your biggest cash investment for Kill Team.

Tactics[edit]

Current Kill Team Tactics Pages:

Old Kill Team Tactics Pages:

Kill Team: Heralds of Ruin[edit]

When GW first released Kill Team, it was good. It was popular, used few models and so coaxed new players to invest in a few models and have some fun, and with the smaller size came a whole new set of possibilities...

GW had taken a hold on the skirmish tabletop scene, and everything was good. Or so they thought. Unbeknownst to the British tycoon, their game had an effect on their customers, an effect they never learned to fear... Inspiration.

So hold the fucking phone, clear the goddamn calender and strap in, 'cause we're going warp speed - Suddenly there was Kill Team: Heralds of Ruin, and gawd djammit it was the best fucking unofficial supplement for 40k since BattleScribe. Unlike the official Kill Team, Kill Team: HoR was more of a stand-alone game with its own rules, gear and playstyle, making it more of its own game than the official one (at least until Kill Team became a proper Specialist Game in it's own right). Not only that, the game took inspiration from Mordheim and Necromunda, allowing for the fans of those games to get a compromise between playing the supported game and the good one.

While many rules are changed and amended in HoR to fit the new playstyle, these relatively light changes completely turned the game on its head, changing everything most players know about playing 40k. Space Marines are weak not-really-jacks-of-all-trades, masters-of-none infantry units, you say? Nope, in HoR they are among the most badass single models you can get, with powerful weaponry, grenades that can nail most things you come up against and an armour save that can really throw a wrench into any poor sod's plan. On the flipside, models like your Guardsmen are as good as toast - Imperial Guard is noticeably weaker than most other factions, and are generally poorly optimized for Kill Team, lacking any real sort of power unit (apart from Ogryns) and armoured vehicles.

Kill Team: HoR is still fully supported by the Heralds of Ruin blog, who originally made the supplement in the first place, and there are several for discussing the game around the webs, though the Facebook groups is the most active. In addition to any army currently available from GeeDubs, the good blog made sure to add some fan favorites like the Deathwatch, the Adeptus Arbites, Genestealer Cults and some vastly improved Sisters of Battle, which just goes to show what can be done when you try to make a game that caters to the wishes of the customers. Currently almost all the lists are undergoing updates to balance things out and update to 7th ed. More news on the Facebook Group.

See Also[edit]

Forces of the Deathwatch
Command: Forge Master - Keeper - Deathwatch Chaplain
Watch Captain - Watch Master - Deathwatch Epistolary
Troops: Deathwatch First Company Veteran - Deathwatch Champion
Terminator Squad - Veteran Squad - Kill Team
Blackshield
Walkers: Venerable Dreadnought - Deathwatch Dreadnought
Vehicles: Bike Squad - Rhino - Razorback
Land Raider (Land Raider Redeemer - Land Raider Crusader)
Flyers: Drop Pod - Corvus Blackstar
Allies: Space Marines - Primaris Marines
Ways to Play Warhammer 40,000
Apocalypse - Cities of Death - Combat Patrol - Eternal War
Kill Team - Maelstrom of War - Planetstrike - Zone Mortalis
The Specialist Games of Games Workshop
Warhammer 40,000
(Classic):
Battlefleet Gothic - Epic - Gorkamorka
Inquisitor - Lost Patrol - Necromunda - Space Hulk
Warhammer 40,000
(New):
Aeronautica Imperialis - Assassinorum Execution Force
Adeptus Titanicus - Betrayal at Calth - Shadow War: Armageddon
Necromunda - Kill Team
Warhammer Fantasy: Blood Bowl - Man O' War - Mordheim - Warmaster
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: Gorechosen - Warhammer Underworlds
Board Games: Chaos in the Old World - Relic