Why I’m excited for Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team

 

Kill Team is a soon to be released skirmish wargame from the folks over at Games Workshop, set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It pitches small teams of miniatures (3-20 figures) against each other across the Imperium of Man.

That’s the two second elevator pitch over with. Now, let’s look at why I’m freakin’ stoked for this game, and can’t wait to play!

A low cost entry into 40k

The Kill Team manual is expected to be priced around £25, and that’s all the book you need. Unlike regular Warhammer 40k where you need (as a minimum) the core rules and a Codex for your chosen army, everything is here in this one book. The manual contains the rules, missions and the army lists for all major factions, right off the bat. This means picking up another faction isn’t a financial outlay before you’ve even bought the minis, everything is there for you from the start. There are no hidden costs.

Talking of minis, you don’t need many to field a complete Kill Team. While you can add, chop and change to your heart’s desire, one box of miniatures of any faction is more than enough to field a full Kill Team. A wily eBay purchase could see you having a full Kill Team for less than £10. I’ll be seeing just how far a tenner can take you in a personal Kill Team challenge in a future blog post. Watch this space!

In comparison, a decent full Warhammer 40k army could cost you….. well, it’s best you don’t ask such things.

Games Workshop’s flagship release for Kill Team is the full boxed set. At £80 it might not sound like a bargain, but look at it. Just look at it.

You get the full manual, two complete forces (Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii Rangers and Genestealer Cult Neophyte Hybrids) with a ton of customization options for each, the rules, background books, data cards, dice, ruler, board and oh god that terrain. Yes, it’s £80 but those minis would cost almost £50 alone; here you’re getting the £25 rule book as well so that terrain and everything else is effectively only £5. It’s a flippin’ steal.

Make your Kill Team your own

Every Kill Team is different. Every individual model in Kill Team is different. You can customize each one, give unique weapon options and a name & backstory. With such a low model count it’s possible to spend time making your Kill Team special. In theory there’s nothing to stop you doing the same (with less customizability, granted) in regular 40k, but when faced with a 2,000 point army it’s a nigh impossible prospect so the love tends to be only given to a model or two.

If you already play Warhammer 40k, Kill Team is the opportunity to try out a new faction or put your painting skills to the test. If you’ve had your fill of painting Imperial Fists Primaris Marines, why not create an Ork Kill Team to pitch against them, or use the opportunity to try out a new colour scheme for your very own Chapter.

Fast to play

One problem I have with regular Warhammer 4,000 is it takes so flippin’ long to play. 8th Edition is a massive improvement over 7th, but even so a single 2,000 game can last a couple of hours or more. It’s fine if that is what you want, but we prefer shorter, smaller games. Most of our 40k games are 500 point matches or less. There are still quite a few units on the table, but not as many of those huge imposing models with high Wound counts; games are not so much wars of attrition, but nasty, brutal and quick.

And that’s where Kill Team comes in. The battles are nastier, more brutal and quicker. The game isn’t played unit-by-unit, but each miniature moves, shoots and fights individually. This is 40k zoomed in, where the actions (and deaths) of every individual matters. Even at just 500 points in regular 40k, if you lose a Space Marine in a unit it doesn’t make much of a difference. Lose one in Kill Team and it could turn the tide of the whole game.

Shorter games means more games. In the time it takes to play a 2,000 point 40k game, I’ll wager you could easily play four or five Kill Team matches, especially if you take into account the set up time.

Talking of which….

Even quicker to set up

Playing 40k takes preparation. As well as building and painting the minis, there’s storage and the logistics of carting them to the game location. Add in the time it takes to unload, discuss and deploy your army, and it’s a significant amount of time before even a single dice is rolled. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a criticism – this is all a fun and enjoyable part of the hobby, and that’s ok.

Sometimes though…. we want something simpler.

This is where Kill Team comes in. You can build a complete team in an hour or two, and have them painted to tabletop standard in an evening. Storage and transportation could be as easy as a Tupperware tub with a couple of layers of bubble wrap. Pre-game prep and setup takes minutes. What’s not to love?

And so much more!

Games Workshop have released previous titles under the Kill Team banner. It has been a set of optional rules in an early edition of the core rulebook. It’s been a giveaway a booklet at game convention. It’s been a mini-supplement for 7th Edition Warhammer 40,000. And we had the ill-fated Shadow War: Armageddon which was dropped like a stone the second that 8th Edition arrived. Bad, bad GW.

And now, this.

Kill Team is here, and here to stay. Games Workshop are releasing a whole raft of goodies on 28th July (pre-order on 21st), with much more to follow over the coming months. There will be the highly anticipated Rogue Trader expansion, with the Inquisition and Sisters of Battle slated for future release. Expect more terrain, factions, battle boards and boxed sets to come. As this is still Warhammer 40k at heart, everything Games Workshop puts out is ripe for use, misuse and conversion.

Me, I can’t wait. Join me?

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