Sunday 15 June 2014

Kill Team Tournament

I spent the last few weeks putting a simple force together for a one day event at my local gaming store. Alas, completing any detailed painting stalled in the interest of getting in a few more games of 7th Edition, though the nearly finished Rhino and brand new bases made the models satisfying enough to play with. The extra few mm in height certainly adds some drama when only a small number of troops are on the board.

I have found Tactical Marines are the best balance of models vs firepower in Kill Team games.

With a Storm Bolter Sargent, Heavy Bolter "Specialist" with Relentless, and a Storm Bolter on the Rhino, I was able to move around the board quite quickly while still laying down enough shots thanks to the Firing Points (6" full BS shots, 12" Snap Shots). I added a Multi Melta with Master Crafted to make the most out of the invested points (re-rolls to hit), while the third Specialist was a Bolter Marine with Preferred Enemy. Despite the bright red armour I chose my list from the new Space Marine Codex, and gave them Iron Hands Tactics, which saved at least one Marine a game (Feel No Pain 6+) and even made the Rhino a pain to kill when two Hull Points were restored in one game! Codex Blood Angels would have given me about four less Marines for the points!

"King of the Hill"

The opposing armies were a great mix of Xenos (Tau, Slaneesh Daemons, Chaos Marines, Eldar) and fellow Space Marines in Tactical, Bike, and Scout formats. The tournament allowed a choice of two lists per game, but with only alternate Jump Marines to choose from I decided to stick with the big metal box and had no other weapons to switch out. I had tried Imperial Guard in a previous campaign, but Strength 3 weaponry really struggled against Bikes, and any other specialists were easily taken care of given the "every man for himself" Kill Team rules. Orks were a past favourite of mine as well, though the limited movement speed hampered them in objective games and against fast moving opponents. This time around I found the Rhino to be a great speed bump to taking out my shooty models, while not too overpowered as to make it impossible to destroy. 

Eldar Jet Bike "Move-Shoot-Move" tactics are very frustrating!

The 6th/7th Edition changes really make Kill Team much more engaging and exciting. I had my Multi-Melta kill an Alpha Legion marine that was charging in (Master Crafted really helped with Overwatch shots!), and a Chaos Daemon dying in the same circumstances while charging my Rhino (the occupants of a transport can fire overwatch, which was news to my opponent). The Kill Team rules from December 2013 also included specific missions which were each individually challenging and rewarded their own specific tactics, rather than just playing six of the same game.

The new Kill Team rules now allow "Beasts" as well as Cavalry.

With eight players and six missions it felt a bit awkward playing only six of the seven opponents, as I was 5-1 by the end of the day (losing in an epic cat and mouse battle against the Eldar Jet Bikes), and didn't end up playing the overall winner and his unbeatable Tau Devilfish and Crisis Suit combo. But that's not really the point I guess, as I had a great deal of fun and found almost every single game tactically challenging and rewarding, not something I can say for all "regular" games of 40k where it can be a struggle to remain engaged once more than half your army has been removed from play. With the games starting at around 10:30am and finishing before 4pm (with time for a burger in the middle) it made for an incredibly enjoyable day with time to spare and an event I hope will be repeated in the future. There were a couple of miss-matched armies and quick conclusions, but I think most folks shared the same level of enjoyment.

Action Shot! I used my Rhino to block movement in the "get to the other table edge" mission.

A very big congratulations to my friend and regular opponent Harry, who picked up best painted with his bright yet brooding Alpha Legion, which you can see in the (blurry) photo above. When I met Harry he was content with simple basecoats and washes to get models quickly to the tabletop, though this time he spent many months converting, green-stuff sculpting, and painting his Kill Team which really paid off and looked great on the tabletop! I am hoping to do the same with an Inquisitorial Kill Team in the future (the mythical place where all hobby goals are achieved!)

In conclusion, I highly recommend you try out the new Kill Team rules, and get painting!


  1. So are the "Kill Team" rules good enough to make 40K a worthy skirmish scale game? I always found it interesting that GW was able to create some amazing skirmish games and rulesets in the past (Necromunda, GorkaMorka, Mordheim, and even Rogue Trader), but for a long time, seemed to abandon that market to their competition (Warmachine, Confrontation, Infinity, Malifaux, etc.). Given that I think the 40,000 universe and all it's well established "fluff" is in many ways superior to the others, it was a real shame that you couldn't get down and dirty with just a few characters that you could get personally invested in.

    1. I think the new edition with overwatch, snap firing and more restraints on special rules, armour ratings etc. certainly makes the case for a more involved skirmish scale game in its own right, however there is no "knock down" mechanic which I recall was a big part of making the other games. I never had a chance to play Necromunda, but GorkaMorka was a staple of my 40k universe gaming for many years, and with the new Inquisition Codex allowing many many different and cheap weapon and model combinations within 200pts I'm sure you are only one or two house rules away from playing INQ28 using a current rules set.