Kill Team (Specialist Game)

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Tactics

The Specialist Game called Kill Team which is in no way related to the Deathwatch Kill Team detachment.

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 (February 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 (February 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- Warhammer World Event Exclusives (22 September 2018): A run of OOP metal models with new datacards for use in Kill Team was sold exclusively at the Warhammer World Kill Team Weekender Event. Rules for both The Last Chancers and Gaunts Ghosts were available but they are limited to use in Narrative and Open Play only.
  • 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 White Dwarf Article- Mercenaries for Hire (January 2019): A 4-page article in White Dwarf featuring datasheets to play a Kroot solo Kill Team as well as making Kroot Carnivores available to the Tau.
  • 8th Edition White Dwarf Article- Leading from the Front (February 2019): A single page article with a datasheet to represent the Black Library character Severina Raine as a Commander in Astra Militarum Kill Teams.
  • 8th Edition- Kill-Team: Arena (February 2019): An expansion containing modifications to the base rules optimizing Kill-Team for tournament play.
  • 8th Edition- Kill-Team: Elites (May 2019): Introduces a host of "elite" units to the game for every faction, most of which honestly feel like they just should've been in the game from the start (Ogryns, Terminators, Mandrakes and Striking Scorpions) while a few others threaten to be flat-out game-breaking (Crisis Battlesuits and Adeptus Custodes).
    • 8th Edition Starter Set - Toofrippa's Krew (May 2019): Includes 5 pre-colored plastic Flash Gitz, Ork tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Urban Ruins
    • 8th Edition Starter Set - The Fractal Blades (May 2019): Includes 5 pre-colored plastic Scarab Occult Terminators, Thousand Sons tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Urban Ruins
    • 8th Edition Starter Set - The Dolorous Strain (May 2019): Includes 5 pre-colored plastic Blightlord Terminators, Death Guard tactics cards, fluff booklet, pre-filled datacards for the Kill-Team, and Urban Ruins
  • 8th Edition White Dwarf Article- The Deadliest Mission (June 2019): Provides rules for using the map tiles from Blackstone Fortress as a game board using a similar format to Arena's Ultra Close Confines rules, as well as two premade missions for use with those rules.
  • 8th Edition White Dwarf Article- Face Your Daemons (July 2019): Featured a profile for Inquistor Eisenhorn as a commander as well as FINALLY providing datasheets and rules for Daemon Kill Teams. Unfortunately they're almost as bad as the last faction released in WD, with the Daemons being lackluster and Eisenhorn having the wrong statline from a Copy/Paste mistake Thankfully FIXED in the Digital Edition. Daemons are still mediocre though.
    • Due to several mistakes with the printed and digital editions, Eisenhorn's final2FinalForSureThisTime datasheet was made available from the Warhammer Community Downloads section.
  • 8th Edition Core Set II (2019): Includes core manual, a Reivers squad, a Fire Warriors 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, Space Wolves, and T'au), dice, and rulers.
  • 8th Edition White Dwarf Article - Escalation (September 2019): Provides rules for using models, both Character and Cultist, from Blackstone Fortress Escalation in Kill-Team, in a similar vein to the Blackstone Fortress Beta Rules. Represents the first, and so far, only time a non-Core faction has gotten continued support beyond the initial publication.
  • 8th Edition White Dwarf Article - Vanguard Reinforcements (October 2019): Features new rules for Incursors and updated ones for Eliminators, Infiltrators, Reivers and the Phobos Lieutenant. Also introduces the Reserve rules for players without the Elites book.
    • They forgot to add in the points values for the models in actual article, so they and some of the rules were made available here. Hopefully they'll get added to the Community downloads before the article is taken down.
  • 8th Edition White Dwarf Article - Unexpected Encounter (November 2019): Includes rules for including the Ambull (and Borewyrms) as an AI-controlled monster to pop out of the ground at a randomly determined location and terrorize whoever is unlucky enough to be closest to it. This issue also included a little introspective article on Kill Team's development, but no other crunch.

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 4 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.

Getting Started[edit]

The big appeal to Kill Team is that it's cheap and quick to get into, with the ability to make a viable team out of almost any one squad kit. If you want to just jump right in and get started with only one or two purchases though, there are a few good boxed sets with which to do it.

  • Kill Team Starter Set: Contains everything you need to get started in Kill Team. Rulebook, dice, cards, board, city terrain, a squad of genestealer Cult Neophytes and a squad of Skitarii Rangers/Vanguard. Is no longer available on the GW website, unfortunately, so you'll need to look to places like Ebay to get it.
  • Kill Team Starter Set MK2: Contains everything you need to get started in Kill Team, just like the last one, containing a rulebook, dice, cards, and board. Except this one has Sector Mechanicus terrain, a squad of Space Marine Reivers (The Fangs of Ulfrich) and a squad of Tau Fire Warriors (Advance Team Starpulse).
  • Kill Team Rogue Trader: Contains a rulebook for the Rogue Trader Kill Team Expansion and Ultra-Close Confines combat in general, a board, terrain pieces, and models for the Elucidian Starstriders and Gellerpox Infected. The base game rules aren't included, however, so you'll need to get that seperatly.
  • Warhammer 40,000 First Strike: Though ostensibly a starter set for 40k, First Strike is also an almost perfect starter set for Kill Team, containing 3 Primaris Intercessors, 3 Primaris Reivers, 3 Plague Marines, and 6 Poxwalkers, as well as dice, a board, and a box that doubles as a terrain piece. All you need beyond that is the Kill Team rulebook. The models you get are hardly optimized, requiring a few other pieces if you want to make full 100 pt teams out of what you're given here, but if you're looking specifically for "fast" and "cheap" you'd be hard pressed to find a better box set.

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 (subjective)
  • 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 (unless you build your own terrain, or just buy much cheaper 3rd party alternatives.
  • Even with the removal of much of the cheese that goes with 40k, Kill Team can still be ridiculously unbalanced, with some factions at a very clear advantage or disadvantage compared to others. For example, there's not a whole hell of a lot Kroot Mercenaries can do against, say, Death Guard.

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.

Reasons to Play Heralds of Ruin[edit]

  • Very active communities with groups regularly updating each faction and individual members whipping up custom campaigns on a regular basis.
  • 99.99% more variety and flexibility in team building compared to the other leading skirmish brands.
  • Supports and features all 40K factions, plus even the one you never knew you wanted. Want to play as the Megarachnids? You got it! Want to play as the Vermynus (A.K.A. Space Skaven)? We got you covered baby! How about as the Slann? Well, that project has been on ice of a while... but once it's done, you certainty can!
  • Very Your Dudes Friendly with many armies supporting custom sub-factions, new armory items, and some elements of character creation.
  • You're supporting quality community made content.
  • Unlike the more official game systems, you can have a relative say in how each faction develops as most opus writers are welcoming of feedback and new ideas.

See Also[edit]

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 - Skirmish - Warcry
Board Games: Chaos in the Old World - Relic