Games Workshop's 2016 Kill Team supplement review.
This is my first review so let me explain my method. I am not going to meta-game the shit out of the rules or go off on some go off on some rant on how Games Workshop is finding new and exciting ways to take our money...there are plenty of angry game bloggers and trolls out there who will do that.
We play tested the rules with Skitarii vs. Necrons. Both can make some cool Kill Teams. Necrons are still tough as nails machines of death and the Skitarii have a lot of options to help make an interesting Kill Team concept.
Game rules in general:
The game play uses the core Warhammer 40,000 rule book, so yes if you are just starting you will need it. Also you will need the codex for the army you want to use, unless you buy the Kill Team box set they offer which has all you need to start for $65.00 US! A true bargain when it comes to Games Workshop.
First, your teams are limited to under 200 points and can only be drawn from troops (2 slots), elites (1 slot) and fast attack (1slot). This comes with some well thought out limitations I think. Some examples are no models with over 3 wound / hull points or nothing with 2+ armor saves. Yes, that's right no Terminators walking through my Skitarii ;). The others limitations are that there have to be at least 4 models, No flyers (nice) and vehicles are limited to a set combined armor value.
I really like the set up, if you play 40k you know that supped up HQs, tanks, super heavies and flyers rule the game hard and can quickly change the course of battle. It is nice to play this more skirmish style without these beasts of war killing all of your cool stuff in the first round.
Necron Wraiths are allowed and are just as horrible to face as ever!
The second thing I like about the Kill Team rules is that although you pick your team as units but they play as individuals. Which has good and bad benefits depending on your army but I think mostly good.
First off the leader gets a random 'Leader trait' which are pretty cool. Along with this you get 3 non-vehicle models that become specialists and choose a trait from one of the 5 specialist categories. (combat, weapon, dirty fighter, indomitable & guerilla) No 2 models can choose from the same category which keeps the meta spamming to minimum and brings a good variety to the playing field.
I'm not going to go over all the options for the specialist categories but there are a lot of them. These specialist rules can really help focus and give life to otherwise nameless minis.
Former unnamed sniper becomes Skitarii sharp shooting expert named Rv-01101
The third reason I like the skirmish style Kill Team rules is that it gives you the ability to bring a more personalized force to the field. In 1850 point games you typically have 1-2 named characters and the rest are just as they are listed by type.
With the Kill Team set up you can paint and specialize each model to fit a specific style or story line for your team. I could see building back stories on a team, modeling and painting up just for Kill Team games. Also (as they describe in the supplement) the set up is great for building a story based champagne, tournament or anything else you want.
Just cuz things are sized down does not mean things are always equal. Design your team well ;)
Kill Team Missions
I really like the missions, they are different from the classic 40k missions and in the games we played were quite fun. The way the game is set up it definitely takes different strategies than traditional games and the missions create some very interesting changes in how you might play your troops.
While the missions are unique to the Kill Team game there are plenty of similarities like some have objective markers, secondary objectives, night fighting options...so that each game scenario can change and be played over and over. It is also really easy to see making your own missions using the existing mission options they offer.
Not all good...but playable ;)
The down side, at least for me 'cuz I love my chaos deamons, is that there are no conjuration powers and because each model plays individually there is no Brotherhood of Psykers. Which your team might still pay for (like the extra cost of a Grey Knight tac-squad over the general Space Marine tac-squad). It is limiting to these kind of units but still playable in my opinion.
I'm sorry, I know that there are plenty of meta-rule mongers out there who will pick apart more but to be honest this is really the only specific problem I have with the rule set and it is minor.
Kill Teams can end up just melee which can prove deadly in turn 2+. These guys ripped up my Skitarii when they got close.
Obviously I love this supplement rule set, it brings a new spin on a great game! We've played our own skirmish games of 40k but just with the core rules and can get lop sided real fast. This supplement allows you play quick fun skirmish games that are for the most part balanced and fun for any army codex you want to try.
With the specialized small squads you can easily try new armies. This game is a "cheap" way to try out an army you have been eyeing up but were afraid to buy with out playing them out first. Now you can try out some troops see how some of their weapons and tactics work, without buying a large amount of minis. Trust me it's a good thing, if I had a dollar for every army I started and dropped after play testing them, I could afford this hobby ;)
This supplement is also a great way for people to start playing 40k.There is nothing like trying to show someone how to play and watch their eyes glaze over as you spend 20+ minutes rambling off rule after rule after rule as you place your models...and the game hasn't even started. It can be frustrating for both the new player and the person introducing them...Kill Team is the answer for this. The game uses the core rules but is not as overwhelming for a new player. The scope of a Kill Team game is tight and the game play is fast, making it fun for both the new and the experienced.
If you new to 40k, starting out with Kill Team will give you a great way to learn the rules, try armies and get a great feel for game play. If your a current Warhammer 40k player this is a great way to get quick fun games. We played 3 games of Kill Team in the time it would take to play one 1850 point game and this was with snack time and creating quick new formations in between games!
Finally, I really like the almost role playing style of creating a team of individuals. You can create backgrounds, story lines and even a champagne. I really thing this aspect can get lost in the large scale games but is brought forward in this version.
So if you love Warhammer 40,000 or are just looking to try it, this is a great, great game. Games Workshop's 2016 Kill Team supplement is awesome and I look forward to many, many, many team builds and games!