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Kill Team: a Skirmish Game in the 41st Millennium

Kill Team is a game in the Warhammer 40k line of products. Fast-paced, lower in scale, and more importantly, a lot more focused on the actual characters you’re playing with. While still pricey, as all Games Workshop games tend to be, it is much more accessible to new players due to its downsizing of models and investment required.

With a manageable team, the tools for a good story and fresh new models, Kill Team might just be the best game to introduce you to the Warhammer 40k world.

So what’s the premise of Kill Team?

Kill Team at its core is a small, fast-paced skirmish game. The general premise of it is that you’re leading squads of specialized teams (the Kill Teams) to fulfill certain objectives in the map. Rescue missions, assassinations, and all that sort of thing falls under the Kill Team umbrella. Think of black ops but in Warhammer universe.

Think of what we know as black ops, surgical strikes against specific targets as opposed to the overkill of an epic army taking the field. Only well… without the subtlety.

How is it different?

First and foremost, Kill Team differs from the main Warhammer 40k in its size and scope. In Kill Team you are not fighting a battle of epic proportions against an equally sized enemy army. In Kill Team, the focus is on small strike squads whose purpose is to complete a specific objective delineated at the start of the game. Assassinations, holding a checkpoint, elimination of the enemy team, evacuation, amongst many others.

Scope is not the only thing that is different from the baseline game, however. Kill Team throws in a few RPG elements in the mixture, allowing you to pick traits for your characters and evolving them over time. Kill Team encourages the player to come up with, not just skirmishes, but storylines which are inserted in said skirmishes. This accommodates the growth of the characters in your campaigns, the differences this makes in the field, and the new team members which you can add to your team’s roster.

Personally, I would even suggest giving a look at crossovers between other product lines from the Warhammer universe like Rogue Trader and Deathwatch, two of the tabletop RPGs published so far. Maybe something could be worked out.

How is it played?

Kill Team is designed to be played between two to four players at the same time. Each player fields a team between three, to how many you wish, to a limit of 100 points-worth of army. Naturally, how much each unit costs is described in the unit’s card, supplied with the model.

As of now, there are 16 different factions which you can choose and make your teams out of, each with different and unique models. Fret not, however, because if you were already a fan of the Warhammer 40k line, you can use most models to play with in Kill Team.

The rules are relatively simple, but are best explained here.

You will also need a map for your Kill Team to play in. Games Workshop provides several maps so far called the Killzones. However, you shouldn’t shy away from taking your props from other games and make your own maps and environments. It is in those maps that your game truly comes alive.

Why should you play it?

For any modelist and player, there’s one thing which’ll strike out to you from the moment you set your sights on the game. This game is about your guys–your team and your stories. Not only do the reduced team sizes let your models shine, but the models generally benefit from all the customization which you can put in. They are more than infantry units; they are your characters, and you’re the one telling their story.

It is the wargame for the Roleplayer. Those of you who enjoy tabletop roleplay but also enjoy the hobby side of it, Kill Team is an excellent vehicle to tell stories with, and more importantly, to bring your characters to life.

With this in mind, if you’ve had an itch to get into the Warhammer 40k universe and you’ve not known where to start, give Kill Team a try. It plays similar, but with all the benefits of letting you be closer to your characters. Lastly, I invite you to come share with us your models and playthroughs, as well as your stories!

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  1. Laserwulf on June 6, 2019 at 9:05 pm said

    I love Kill Team so much! It’s so much easier to get into than full 40k: cheaper, smaller ruleset, less of a time investment per game. I’ve unsuccessfully tried a couple times over the years to get into 40k, but now I’m playing at least a couple KT games a month and have seven different teams (partly from my preexisting 40k collection).

    The cost to start isn’t quite as painful as Joao makes it out to be. The linked 2-player starter set has been out of production for months so the price has shot up on the secondary market. All you really need is a copy of the Core Manual, a handful of D6s, and one box of basic infantry. The KT faction boxes are pretty cool (minis+cards+tokens+terrain), but they don’t always have 100 points’ worth of units needed for a full team. The First Strike intro box for 40k works surprisingly well; for $40 or less you can get two(!) functional teams, Space Marines & Death Guard.

  2. I am totally in a Kill Team on roll20 dot net. First timer. Seems fun! Thank you.

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