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Warhammer 40,000 KILL TEAM Took 2018 by Storm and Left No Prisoners

Warhammer 40,000 KILL TEAM Took 2018 by Storm and Left No Prisoners

The rumblings and rumors began in early 2018. By mid-2018 they were confirmed and Games Workshop released Kill Team towards the end of July to rave reviews. It’s a fast game of tense tactical position, where victory can be determined by the heroics of a single miniature. The release schedule hasn’t let up as tabletop sergeants have been treated to a plethora of options to bring these rapid battles to their tables. It might seem a little confusing at first so we’re here to break down what makes Kill Team so exciting.

Warhammer 40,000 is an expansive game where players taken on the role of generals. You’ll command multiple units across a massive table in games that involve hundreds of miniatures and can take upwards of 2 hours. Kill Team zooms in the action of one of those units. You’ll field 6-12 miniatures in smaller skirmishes that capture all the fun of tabletop war gaming in about 30 minutes. These fights test your tactical acumen, as you line up shots across a tight board through windows and past obstructing friends and foes.

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Your Kill Team represents an elite squad. Battle hardened and battle tested, these are no green neophytes suiting up for their first mission. The mission-whether its Taking Prisoners or defending objectives-is critical to the success of your larger war effort and thus only the best are sent. A game of Kill Team starts just before you deploy on the table. Each faction has a number of unit choices and you’re given the option to coordinate your squad to the mission. A Death Guard player may load up on Pox Walkers when facing Harlequins, hoping to spread out and tie up the wicked Eldar in close combat to give the Guard’s slower, powerful units a chance to close. In a different mission against a different faction, additional ranged specialists may be the right call.

These decisions are particularly critical in campaign mode. At the onset of a campaign you don’t have quite as much freedom, as your starting roster is limited to 12 fighters. As you progress through the campaign you can add new recruits, though flexibility isn’t unlimited. New recruits don’t gain the same bonuses as experienced fighters and must be accompanied on their first fight by a fighter whose already been through the crucible of war. The decision to stick with a leveled up fighter over a new one is not always an easy one. During my recent campaign I often struggled with bringing along a high level specialist full of powerful abilities, or to save the points and bring multiple weaker fighters.

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Key to Kill Teamsuccess has been the battle ground variety. The starter box comes with a double sided board and a pile of terrain representing a Sector Administratum. The universe is full of various Imperium administrative planets; it’s also full of chaotic armies and xenos warriors ready to attack them. Kill Team allows you to add some rules and options that reflect warfare on one of these planets. From supply caches that can be taken over to the ability to leverage the Administration’s sewer network to pop up unexpected, these rules portray a battlefield with ever changing conditions.

The Kill Team Kill Zone boxes and squad expansion build on this system. The Kill Zones let you stage battle in a different dynamic location. The Sector Mechanicum is full of foundries and other industrial facility and includes rules that differentiate it from the Administratum. The Ork Kill Team box includes pieces that fit with the Sector Munitorum, including a Servo-Hauler; this massive loader can be commandeered by a fighter and driven across the board! Everything is compatible with everything else allowing you to option to build out unique combat zones as you flesh out your collection.

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Of course, if fighting on stable ground isn’t your thing you can always pick up the Rogue Trader expansion. This expansion introduces two full teams. The Euclidian Starstriders are a squad of intrepid space explorers, stretching the known bounds of Imperium space with a combat pupper in tow. The Gellerpox Infected are what remains when the warp reaches into your starship and corrupts the men and women who man your engines and internal equipment. The box includes the narrative story of how the Gellerpox attacked the un-corrupted crew, crash landed an escape ship, and the final battle between the two squads. One of the Kill Zones in this box is the escape ship itself and includes new rules for close quarter combat.

For those not content to leave these critical missions to grunts, no matter how elite, there’s the Commander’s expansion. Commanders are extraordinarily powerful fighters. They bring powerful abilities, strategems, and psychic powers. Their use does require raising the points cost of your fight, however. A normal game of Kill Team features squads that cost 100 points. Commanders games tend to be played at 150 or 200. In fact, a fully loaded Tyranid Broodlord costs 196 points on his own. I faced one of these beasts with my Death Guard and watched in horror as it sliced through my ordinarily resilient Plague Marines like they were made of butter.

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Ultimately, Kill Team is as much a system as a game. Only the Core Rulebook is essential. Everything else builds on itself, arming you with a tool box of destruction you can use to bring firepower to bear across the varied battlegrounds of the 40k universe. From Death Forests to the trench warfare walls you’ll find in the Necron squad box. each game feels varied and exciting. I’ve spent the last 3 months playing in a weekly campaign at my local store and have yet to get bored. I’ve faced a horde of Drukhari, poking away with poisoned weapons. I’ve stood across from Grey Knights and felt the power of their psychic abilities. I’ve spread the good gifts of Papa Nurgle. But most important, I’ve gotten my minis to the table for a number of high octane exciting games.

Image Credits:  Raf Cordero

In addition to Geek & Sundry, Raf Cordero co-hosts the gaming podcast Ding & Dent. Chat with him on Twitter @captainraffi.

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