Champs, Fish and I sat down for a quick game of Kill Team last night. We nabbed the store copy of the rules from the indulgent staff at our FLGS and got stuck in. We fought a three way battle across a slightly-larger-than-recommended battlemat packed with scenery. Champs’ Death Guard won the day by holding two objectives at the end of turn 5. Fish’s Genestealer Cult force came second by holding the third objective. And my Blood Angels failed to pull of a last turn objective grab for 2nd place. We only played the core rules and skipped over the majority of our faction specific rules but even that made for a great game.
Fast paced, tactical and bloody just like my beloved Blood Angels! I’ve always liked the idea of skirmish games (Shadow Wars Armageddon was one of the reasons I got back into 40k). The relatively low investment of cash and time needed to get playing always seemed a good fit for me so I’m really glad to say I loved my first taste of Kill Team.
I generally try and field fluffy Blood Angels armies and my tactics are subtle: rush up to the enemy and smash them in the face. In 40k this usually means I’m shot to pieces before I can get to grips with my foe. In Kill Team shooting models suffer -1 to hit with their weapons if their target is over half the range of their weapon away. Its not revolutionary but it is a great rule. It encourages shooting units to push forward to setup decent firing solutions and gives melee focussed units some respite whilst they charge towards the enemy. I played a shooty list last night but can’t wait to try a melee focussed kill team. Other modifiers to hit come into affect when your target is obscured, when you have taken a flesh wound etc. I like the wording of the ‘obscured models’ rule as it allows you to setup behind walls, at windows and at the corner of buildings in ways that make the models look cinematic whilst still conferring a tactical advantage. Oh and all those beautiful non line of sight blocking terrain pieces in your collection can stop gathering dust on your shelves and be used again with a meaningful impact on the game.
In Kill Team players take it in turn to resolve shooting and close combat attacks. This is a great mechanic as it prevents one team from gaining a massive tactical advantage based on who goes first. It adds new layers of decision making as well. Do you fire with that injured scout first before he can be finished off? Or try and take out his assailants with your Heavy Bolter wielding Tactical Marine? The shooting phase is nuanced further by allowing models that didn’t move to fire first. You have to make tough choices about whether to move to get off a better shot (for example) or stay still and fire first.
Last night was the first time I’ve played a table top wargame with a force of fully painted miniatures! My slow painting and limited hobby time mean that fielding a fully painted 40k army is still a distant dream, but not so in a skirmish game like Kill Team. I think the accessibility of Kill Team is a big win for Games Workshop. For a (relatively) small outlay a new hobbyist can get enough minis and terrain for a full game. The starter box is amazing value for new comers (maybe not so much if you have a kill team built already) and the scenery is epic. Within an hour or two they can build their minis and be playing the game. The hobby is the winner here!