Embark on high-stakes missions with teams of elite operatives.
I played the last version of Kill Team only once, and found it … unsatisfying. Perhaps Games Workshop felt the same, because this new version is a completely different rules system that simplifies things and puts a bigger emphasis on stealth and ease of play.
One thing the last version had was some fantastic ruined building terrain, and with the initial new release they went with a pile of ramshackle orky constructions, though the large set that included them was too rich for my blood. So I thought I was going to miss out on this version until GW came out with the smaller starter set and sent me a free copy. The terrain supplied was minimal, but I did get the two kill teams: Veteran Guardsmen and the Ork Commandos, and of course the miniatures were the usual exceptional quality.
As for the game system, it’s pretty simple and straightforward, with the main innovation being an engage or conceal order you play on your ‘operatives’ (as the game calls them) when you activate them, which modifies requirements for cover. That means there’s more emphasis on sneaking up to your objectives before the shooting starts. Thankfully, we’re not wedded to the creaky old ‘roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save’ system here (I’m really starting to wonder when GW are going to bite the bullet and finally retire that longwinded process in their main games). Instead it’s just ‘roll to hit and roll to defend’, with an emphasis on the possibility of critical hits that do more damage, and some very nice light player interaction, especially in melee combat where you can choose to strike (do damage) or parry (cancel your opponent’s hits). Extensive special abilities and modifiers for each miniature aside, it’s a fast, easy little system with a lot of opportunity for tactical play.
There’s a new way of breaking movement into icon-coded chunks of distance, which has some initially confusing icon design choices, but proves is very effective in the confines of the Into the Dark set, where the natty little range templates are perfect for placing in confined corridors.
This is definitely a big improvement over the last version and there’s been an astonishing amount of support for the game so far. With the addition of further close combat rules there were four sets released set upon the huge space hulk the Gallowdark, collectively called Into the Dark and featuring some gorgeous interior walls terrain. So far it’s my favourite way of playing.
There are so many good skirmish games on the market these days, competition is very high for the most fun, but if you’re a Warhammer 40K fan, this is the one for you, and I think I’m even go to call it my favourite game system from them for quite some time!
Here’s my rules summary and reference, which includes the additional close quarters rules from the Into the Dark cycle.