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Expanding WARHAMMER 40,000: KILL TEAM With Killzones and Commanders

Expanding WARHAMMER 40,000: KILL TEAM With Killzones and Commanders

Games Workshop’s skirmish-style miniature game set in the world of Warhammer 40,000 (or colloquially 40K), Kill Team boasts a core box that is bonkers. It’s packed full of miniatures, lovely cardboard, and bullet-pocked ruins. The rulebook details over a dozen force lists and you can hit the ground running. But there’s always more. Eventually, you may want to spice up your rag-tag veterans or get a one-way ticket to a new locale. Games Workshop knows this and has brought out the big guns.

One of the initial concerns regarding this shiny new toy was support. Shadow War: Armageddon shone brightly for a few weeks and then faded under the shadow of more colossal releases. Would Kill Team have the same fate, merely serving as an introduction to its larger sibling 40K?

No. This wild-eyed ruffian is here to stay.

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First, let’s delve into the Killzones. You’ve experienced the Sector Imperialis and fallen in love with its gothic motif and sense of character. Well, expand your horizons. Now we have jungle that wants to eat you, industrial sectors with riches to plunder, and even a set of battlements for Marines to scale.

As a product, these Killzone expansions are phenomenal. They each come with a thick folding cardboard surface and several sprues of fantastic terrain. This is a stellar “battlefield in a box” approach which is all-inclusive. You don’t need to piece together kits and source multiple expensive scenery assets, you simply buy one boxed set and everything is golden.

The experience is extended with unique scenarios and new tactics cards. The former are invaluable because they function as a great tool to increase variety. Battlefields play very differently requiring alternate tactical considerations and unique roster selection.

Much of the character of the set-pieces arrives in those tactics cards. Let’s explore this by looking at the Sector Munitorum. This is an industrial playground with a huge crane, a couple of small bulldozers, and a number of large shipping containers. You can pull off dramatic maneuvers such as driving a bulldozer into an opponent. You can swing the crane’s arm around and seriously maul an unsuspecting victim. You can even fire upon a stack of crates and cause an explosion.

This is a thoroughly different experience than what one may find on the mean streets of the Sector Imperialis. The set specific scenarios utilize these tools to frame interesting firefights around the environment. They exploit the additional environmental hazards and place you in the middle of a warzone about to go on tilt.

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The Commanders expansion is more modest in appearance. It’s a boxed set that includes a 120-page booklet, 60 cards, and a small sheet of tokens. The idea here is that you can add an immensely powerful special character to your force, one that you may customize and build from the ground up.

This is a very satisfying extension of roster norms. By placing the power of character creation into the hands of the player, each participant can tailor their unique build to their own Kill Team strategy and focus. There are new Commander-specific stratagems to select and a multitude of options.

Most significant is the expansion of Psykers. This was a large sore point in Kill Team proper. Only two Psyker units existed in the core manual despite an entire phase dedicated to this sub-system. With the advent of Commanders, you may now build a badass mentalist throwing bolts of energy and ripping a hole into the warp.

These hardened individuals are a dynamic shift in play-style. Commanders don’t gain experience or level. They begin potent and will eat up points on your roster and pose an interesting challenge for the opposition. You must constantly weigh whether it’s worth eating up that roster space or instead pushing forward your grunts and gaining some forward momentum.

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Rolling out alongside the Commanders expansion is a number of special leader boxes. These offer pre-built faction heroes all statted up and ready to go.

This dual approach of offering customized or specific characters highlights the range of support this line is receiving. Games Workshop is offering a number of modules and accessories for your Kill Team campaign, but they’re placing the onus on you to define your experience.

This melds strongly with the philosophy behind the Rogue Trader expansion. The direction makes a little more sense in this recent light and offers a glimpse of future content.

Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team is here to stay. While the base game offers a full and extended campaign experience, a more varied set of additional plug and play components is appreciated. We now have the power to enhance and tailor play to our unique desires.

Looking for tips and tricks to get your miniatures painted? Join us on G&S Painters Guild airing exclusively on Alpha! New members use code “MINI” at http://projectalpha.com for a 60-day free trial.

More Miniatures Goodness!

 

Image Credits: Games Workshop

Editor’s note: A sample of the game was provided by the publisher.

In addition to Geek & Sundry, Charlie Theel writes for Ars Technica, Tabletop Gaming, Player Elimination, and co-hosts the gaming podcast Ding & Dent. You can find him on Twitter @CharlieTheel.

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