Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Richs Thursday Ramble: Kill Team: Part 2: The Revengening

Hot off the back of the weekends Kill Team tournament I thought I'd explore the format a little deeper, using nothing but the power of my words and brainthoughts!

I'll start by sharing a few observations of the format I've made over the course of the games I've played and/or watched so far.

As was obvious from the first list I knocked together, I didn't fully take into account how the way Kill Team actually functions would affect the effectiveness of certain units. I foolishly went in assuming units that were good in regular games of 40K would translate to Kill Team. Hence me attempting to play a game with 4 dudes with low toughness and crappy saves and a fast transport that has a hell of a lot of shots. Needless to say that didn't end well, having 12 splinter shots is great when you're shooting at a squad, less so when used against a single termagant.

I learnt my lesson and started to get a better handle on the format, I was still fairly convinced that, although the Venom was the wrong choice, units with mobility were probably the key. Particularly if they also have a weapon that has more than one shot a turn, I felt you'd want the insurance of multiple shots so you're guys are less likely to miss. Saturday rolls around and I get to try a list entirely comprised of jet-bikes against a few different lists and got to play every mission in the Kill Team book once.
I ticked all my own boxes of mobility and multiple attacks per turn and I don't think I saw anything to suggest my assumption was incorrect. Even if the event was won overall by a list consisting primarily of foot-slogging Necrons.

Bikes of various forms were well represented, with a Craftworld Eldar list all mounted on bikes and several White Scars all biker armies in attendance (I don't recall seeing any other marine chapter in attendance, at least not in terms of their rules) . There were a couple of lists sporting jump infantry (our own Mr P's Destroyers, some flying Tyranid Warriors etc.) and a few lists sporting transports. Among the foot-slogging standard infantry lists there was also a horde list that looked like it had about 20-30 cultists in it which, while daunting to look at across the table, probably made for some quite arduous games throughout the day.

So my feeling on constructing solid lists is that the bike-centric ones do seem to be one of the strongest general options due to the speed, ability to maintain their maximum fire-power and still assault, and that increased toughness. But you do need to make sure you aren't light on numbers, I don't think id consider dropping below six models minimum.

As enjoyable as the day was, I do feel that the format has one or two areas of concern, however.
First up is the Ignore Cover weapons specialist. In a fair number of the games i played my first thought for the match was how to take out my opponents low AP gun wielding ignores cover specialist with my own low AP gun wielding ignores cover specialist and I don't think it would be unfair to suggest that, in those games, whoever did manage to succeed in that sub-game had the match swing in their favour
Secondly, us ELF boys did discuss this on the day, and we all felt a couple of the 6 missions didn't work. 'Infiltrate the Camp' and 'High Ground' being the two main offenders in my opinion.
While it could be argued that anyone building a Kill Team should be aware they may play either of those missions, I think certain builds and units are bordering on broken or borderline terrible in these missions depending on which role you end up with or what your opponent has fielded. As such it might be worth playing a few more games of these to try and tweak them to our liking or just house rule them out of existence.

One last suggestion that sounded like a very good idea to me (but would require some shoehorning I think) was attempting to combine the Kill Team rules with the team advancement rules and a few other elements built into the Necromunda campaign rules. This could perhaps be combined with dropping the 'specialists' all together, so the guys that end up with extra skills had to earn those skills. Could be quite fun.

Anyway, following the tournament I have been pondering a few units/lists that I think would make for quite an interesting team so I'll end today's ramble with a smattering of these for your perusal.

Tau Empire Kill Team
I know the obvious go-to unit for Tau in Kill Team is going to be Crisis Suits, but I was quite taken with a couple of other choices.

Four man Stealth Team
Two Piranhas
Two hundred points exactly.

It would've been nice to have some points spare for some upgrades but I wanted at least 2 Piranha and wanted to include as many stealth suits as I could squeeze in.
A bonus with this one for me is you wouldn't have much use for the ignore cover specialist.

Dark Angels Kill Team
Probably clutching at straws a bit here but I wanted to see if i could do a list with marine bikes without falling back on White Scars. (and this would give me an excuse to use my Legion Outrider models)

3 Ravenwing Black Knights
5 Scouts with 2 shotguns, 2 bolt guns & 1 heavy bolter

Imperial Guard Kill Team
This one kind of has an eye on the incoming Astra Militarum book with the new storm troopers in berets plastic kit. And who doesn't like sentinels? (upon rethinking this, 10 vets might make a better choice than the storm troopers, but dammit, i think storm troopers are cool!)

3 Scout Sentinels, 1 heavy flamer
5 Storm Troopers, 1 Grenade Launcher.

Space Marines Kill Team
This one started out during a stint of browsing through army builder looking at what transports were allowed by the rules (and cheap enough to fit in with dudes). I built the squad in the transport and was quite surprised to see how many points i still had left over. 

5 Space Marine Scouts with 1 Shotgun, 1 Heavy bolter, Camo Cloaks and the Sergeant has a Power Lance. All mounted in a Land Speeder Storm with a Heavy Flamer
3 Scout Bikes with 2 Astartes Grenade Launchers.


  1. I'd had a couple of Ideas to change the missions. Firstly the supply drop would actually have the objectives deep strike on to the board at the start of each of the first six player turns (and they would mishap just like normal troops).The aim was to force players to move around the board in a mad dash as objectives rained down.

    The other was to have a piece of terrain that was to be stolen and driven off the board (I ned some use for my digger models!) the player with the most models wholly on the terrain gets to move it in their movement phase.

    One other change I'd make is to remove First blood as a victory condition. It is possibly the worst way to win or lose a game as most armies have access to AP 3 ignores cover specialists meaning either stupid cagey games or who ever goes first probably gets the point.

    I really wanted to do a Blood Angel biker list but it just doesn't work due to the crazy high points costs compare to the marine codex and I wanted to paint up a sanguinary priest on a bike so the I had one of every option.

  2. Funnily enough I did look at blood angels bikes too, but that 45 points plus the cost of the bike for the apothecary was just too much.
    I like the sound of those mission changes, particularly the grand theft digger one.
    In other news, played 3 games of kill team with ant yesterday, got utterly tonked with each list I used. The mobility and numbers you get from 20 boys in 2 trucks is bonkers.

  3. Transporys are another part of kill team that bothers me some as the board is so small and the models can all move off in different directions it's pretty hard to deal with (may be it's just that stupid ramshackle table!).

    1. i generally didnt have a problem with transports last weekend but, as i discussed with ant yesterday, i dont recall any of those lists having more than 1 transport. And it wasnt as though any of his guys were much capable of doing anything spectacular, he just had choppas, sluggas, shootas and a smattering of big shootas. I think it might struggle against a list that also went down the transport route but was turtling in, say, a razorback.