All posts by dorward

Kill Team: Why You Should Play

It has been a year since Kill Team 2021 ended my long hiatus from miniature related hobbies and got me painting and playing again. I’d love to introduce some more people to it.

Small but perfectly formed

Kill Team is an excellently sized game, and “size” is doing a lot of work in this sentence.

One box is all two players need

Kill Team: Into the Dark

Everything you need to play can be found in a starter box for £65 RRP (although it would benefit from more terrain) or a bigger season starter box (Into The Dark goes up for preorder on Saturday when we’ll find out pricing). Games don’t grow any bigger. You can swap out terrain, Kill Teams, and scenarios but there’s no pressure (or possibility without house rules) to have bigger armies.

It doesn’t take up much space

The game plays on a 30″ by 22.4″ board. I can have some friends round and have two games running on my dining table while a third goes ahead on my coffee table. It’s great for the space constrained and people wanting to run mini-tournaments at home.

It is fast

Once you know what you are doing, a game takes about an hour. It’s easy to arrange an evening with time for dinner, a chat, a game of Kill Team, and still be in bed at a reasonable time to get up to go to work the next day.

It’s engaging

Each player activates a small number (usually just one) of models at a time. It gives a fast, fun back and forth where the decision about which figure should take their turn next really matters.

Terrain is essential

KT2021 emphasises terrain. Cover can grant bonuses to saves or make a model impossible to target. Height advantages can eliminate that bonus or grant an automatic hit. Terrain features can be given narrative elements such as smoke stacks that provide a cloud of obscuring darkness… until they are turned off. The battlefield feels alive.

The terrain in the big box releases is great too. Some of it is brand new sprues, others are re-releases, but it is varied, looks great, and is fun to paint.

It has real tactical depth

As with the current edition of Warhammer 40,000, to win the game you need to focus on objectives. The interaction with alternating activations means that careful prioritisation of targets is vital. Do you activate your injured Sergeant to claim Objective 3 and run into cover, or lead with your Sniper to try to eliminate the enemy Comms Boy before he can claim Objective 5?

An injection of fun

Kill Team has been the most fun I can remember having wargaming, it’s got me back in the hobby and painting more than I ever have before. Maybe you’ll enjoy it just as much.

Kill Team: Shopping To Get Started

In the past year we’ve seen the release of a new edition of Kill Team. In that time we have had four big box products and the roadmap for the next year shows Games Workshop have no intention of slowing down.

With the release of Kill Team: Into the Dark imminent, now is a great time to consider getting into the game if you haven’t already. With the plethora of products GW is selling it can be a little tricky to work out what you need.

Kill Team: Into the Dark

I’m going to break down the options for you with a focus on official releases but with a couple of side steps into third-party options.

You need:

  • Miniatures
  • Terrain (including six barricades for a two player game)
  • Tokens
  • Dice
  • Measuring tools
  • The core rules for the game
  • The rules for the scenario you are running and for your kill team.

(Spoiler: Everything you need to get started is in the Kill Team: Into the Dark box but read on if you want some nuance).

You’ll also need a couple of things that GW won’t sell you.

  • Space for a 30″ x 22.4″ board
  • An opponent

The release pipeline

Big Boxes

Kill Team: Octarius

Each quarter GW starts selling a big box release with the summer box being the season starter. In 2021 that was Kill Team: Octarius (out of production). In 2022 it is Kill Team: Into the Dark. Preorders open on Saturday 3rd September.

The season starter boxes contain:

  • Miniatures for two Kill Teams
  • Terrain (including six barricades and a double sized cardboard board)
  • Combat gauges
  • Tokens
  • Dice
  • Tac Ops Cards
  • The core rulebook
  • The Kill Zone book (with rules for the two Kill Teams, the scenarios for the terrain, and the usual background and fiction you expect from a GW rulebook)

The other three quarters are slightly smaller in scope containing only:

  • Miniatures for two Kill Teams
  • Terrain (no barricades)
  • The Kill Zone book (with rules for the two Kill Teams, the scenarios for the terrain, and the usual background and fiction you expect from a GW rulebook)

Separate releases

With the release of each new big box, the previous box is phased out and the contents sold separately. This isn’t as good value if you collect everything, but does let you pick and choose if you don’t want all of a big box.

Some Kill Teams have more options for specialists than you can construct with the models in the box. Picking up a box with just the infantry miniatures to bulk out your list building choices is an option.

Generally the smaller releases are:

  • Miniatures for one Kill Team
  • The Kill Zone book with rules for two Kill Teams, terrain for a Kill Zone, and some background/fiction
  • Terrain (in various combinations)
Dark Eldar Kill Team

After the Kill Team: Octarius box we also saw

  • The core rules
  • A starter set with the same contents as Kill Team: Octarius but with smaller (and slightly cut down) books and without the larger terrain pieces or cards.
  • Killzone Essentials (with tokens, combat gauges, and six barricades).
  • Tac Ops Cards

Other releases

At the same time as Kill Team: Octarius GW brought out the Kill Team: Compendium. This book contains rules for constructing Kill Teams for every faction in Warhammer 40,000. If you have an existing army and want to use your existing miniatures instead of buying new ones, then this book is worth your consideration. Do note that Kill Team uses a small number of infantry, the Compendium doesn’t come with rules for every model in every faction.

There are a couple of pros and cons though. In favour of the Compendium teams, they are generally quite simple. You tend to end up with three or four model profiles so they are good for learning the game. They are also considered to be quite weak compared to the bespoke Kill Teams. The general consensus is that they should be considered placeholder teams before bespoke ones are released.

A couple of weeks ago, Warhammer Community released two free PDFs containing The Lite Rules and the rules for the Intercession Squad Kill Team. The latter has the simplicity of a compendium team, but is considered to be one of the more powerful lists in the game.

Up for preorder at the same time as Kill Team: Into The Dark are two more standalone Kill Teams and a book.

The Elucidian Starstriders and Gellerpox Infected were designed for the previous edition of Kill Team and now get their own separate releases. Kill Team Annual 2022 contains updated rules for them along with all the Kill Team rules that have been published in White Dwarf over the last year (covering factions such as the Thousand Sons and Adeptus Mechanicus along with additional terrain rules and scenarios).

Third Party Content

A few honourable mentions go to:

A Games Workshop miniatures game wouldn’t be what it is without some third party content providing some quality of life improvements.

BattleScribe — https://www.battlescribe.net — which provides list building tools for a huge number of miniature games, Kill Team among them.

KT 2021 Datacards — https://datacard.app/ — which takes the BattleScribe roster file and turns it into attractively formatted cards for use at the table.

Kill Team Token Sets by various third parties (many of which can be found on Etsy) in nice acrylic are a sturdy and attractive replacement for the cardboard ones GW sell.

So what should I buy?

To get the rules, tokens, combat gauges, and barricades (pick one):

  • One of the season starter boxes (Kill Team: Octarius or Kill Team: Into the Dark)
  • The Kill Team Starter Set
  • The Kill Team Core Book + Killzone Essentials
  • The free Lite rules PDF + Killzone Essentials

To get a Kill Team and their rules (pick one)

  • One of the big box releases (season start or otherwise)
  • The Kill Team Starter Set
  • A Kill Team miniatures box + the matching Kill Zone or Kill Team Annual book for them
  • Miniatures released for 40k + The Kill Team Annual, Kill Team Compendium, or Intercession Squad PDF that has a list for them

To get terrain (pick one):

  • One of the big box releases (season start or otherwise)
  • The Kill Team Starter Set (although you might want to supplement the terrain that come with it)
  • A Kill Zone book + matching terrain assembled from various releases
  • Whatever you cobble together

My recommendation is to pick up Kill Team: Into the Dark or, if your budget is a bit tight for it, The Kill Team Starter Set.

If you like the game, pick your favourite faction and get what you need to run a kill team for them as your second purchase.

Here’s to more people enjoying this great game.