"When I was a child I played with childish things. Now that I am a man I still play with childish things, just bigger more expensive ones..."

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Kill Teams

Last night I got the chance to play one of my favourite variants of the GW hobby.   40K kill team matches have a great balance of small scale and convince but without the increased complexity of rules that the likes of Mordenheim of Necromunda.

For those not in the know the 'official' rules for kill teams are detailed at the very back of the battle missions book. In summary they are follows:

  • Each side is 200pts
  • Force organisation is 0-1 Elite choices, 0-2 Troop choices and 0-1 Fast attack choices
  • In the game all models act as individuals (can move and shoot independently).  Multi-shot and attack units can split their shots/attacks between different targets
  • When your team is reduced to 50% you take a leadership test at the start of each turn against your highest value.  If you fail you lose the game.  For each subsequent turn you take the test on you add one to the dice roll.
There are also a couple of common house rules that crop up
  • If you are shooting multiple targets each successive target must be within 3inches of the previous
  • Models with armour values are not allowed  (although I personally do allow them and its never been an issue)
So that's kill teams on paper but what about the reality?  Well there are a few things that leap out as the major 'selling points' of kill teams for me:
  • Space Marines are no longer 'king of the hill'. It is possible to play a marine army but the limitation on choices can really cut you down.  The real stars of this kind of play are the 'masses' armies like Orks, Guard and Tyrainds.  Eldar and Dark Eldar also enjoy some flexibility.
  • It allows for a huge customisation and personalisation of forces (see later)
  • Its a great way to try an army out or to sate your desire to collect a specific force without having to invest in a full army
  • They make great modelling and painting projects.
  • Games are very fast and furious often with alot more character.  Its easy to play 2-3 games in the same time as a normal battle would take.  This is great if you want to have a go at a campaign.
In my case kill teams are what i'm using to satisfy my desire to collect Tyrainds and also revive my old Genestealer cult (as Guard).  Both the codex's really suit themselves well to this with lots of options but on more practical levels it allows me to spend a bit more time getting the right models painted up well.  This is especially good for cultists as robed models are hard to get in quantity.

To finally give you an idea of what we are talking about here are some sample forces:
  • 3 Lictors
  • 5 Dark Angel assault marines with full wargear
  • 4 close combat armed Chaos Space Marines
  • A guard command squad, 2 infantry platoons and heavy weapons
  • A Hive Guard, 12 Termagants and 3 Ripper Swarms
  • 5 Strom Troopers and 10 Guard Veterans
  • 4 Grot Tanks
  • A Valkyrie and 5 Storm Troopers
  • .... The list goes on
This is one variant you defiantly should play and right up there with Apocalypse, Planet Strike and Cities of death as a fully fledged variant of the game