40k Kill Team Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

WH40k Tyranid Genestealer Brood Brothers

There are times when you just want a quick game of Warhammer 40k, or you want to try out a new unit or army. Kill Teams are a spin on the Warhammer 40k rules that have been published to adapt the 40000 game for smaller quicker games.

The Kill Team rules seem to be based on those war movies that have a small band of commandos that need to complete a mission against impossible odds. I specifically think of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ films, but the more recent ‘The Expendables’ films fit this mould too.

Kill Team games are great if you want a game that should only take an hour to play, or if you want to try out a new army, or even trying out a new unit type for an army that you have been playing a while.

The Kill Team Rules are found on the Games Workshop Black Library website. The rules come as an e-book

If you are looking for a compatible e-book reader, I can recommend the Caliber E-book Reader for Windows computers. It’s so good I even donated some funds to the project! For Android devices the ‘ Cool Reader ‘ app works well. You can find this in the Google Play app store. Apple users are on your own as I do not have any Apple devices.

Kill Team Formation

There are a few restrictions on the formation that can form a kill team. The first is that you can only take 200 point and you can have up to two troop, one elite, and one fast unit. This mean that there are no HQ or Heavy support or Lords of War options. Also you can not have 2+ armour saves so no Terminators!

Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Chimera troop transpoterThere has to be 4 none vehicle models (so bikes and cavalry, are ok). Once you have your 4 none vehicle models then you are free to add light vehicles. By light vehicles you are limited to 3HP vehicles with total armour value of 33 (that’s the added value of front, rear, and one side armour value). This means that the Space Marine Rhino (11,10,10 = 31) and Imperial Guard Chimera ( 11,11,10 = 32) are in.

Kill Teams Specialists

In the Kill Team rules you upgrade 3 of your team with skills from the specialist lists. These specialist skills are very similar or identical to the special rules found in the main Warhammer 40k Rulebook. This is great because it gives new players a chance to try out some of the more popular special rules in small games and see how they work before diving in to playing full Warhammer 40k games where you have to remember all the 40+ rules at the same time.

If you are getting to know Warhammer 40k you may agree to skip the specialists extra rules for a game or two until you have a good grasp on how the rest of the game works. This is fine as the Kill Team rules work fine without using Specialists.

The Best Kill Team Army List

With Kill Team games you only have 200 points to spend on a force that will need to hold up to 5 objectives. This includes the 3 objectives placed by the players, plus the two end zones. There are units available in some army lists you could spend all 200 points on a single model, and this would be a legal force.

So what makes a good Kill Team?

First, they need to be tactical. All round forces that can shoot, move fast and can assault tanks if need be.

As the different members of your kill team will have different skills, it is highly recommended that you name the characters and that you can identify which model has which skill. You will need to make sure that the models can be individual identifiable too. For models with the same weapons you may need to number the bases or add names ( or markings ) to shoulder pads. Naming the members of the makes for better story telling too.

Space Marine Kill Teams

WH40k Dark Angel Assault Marines without Jump PacksThe Space Marine army is all about having all round basic troops. This means that the basic Space Marine is a great choice as a Kill Team unit.

  • Tactical Squads
  • Scout Squads
  • Assault Squads
  • Terminator Squads
  • Bike Squads

If you have the Dark Vengeance starter set, here is an example kill team using the Dark Angel Codex and the Dark Angel models from the Dark Vengeance box set.

 Tactical Squad
 Sargent Ajax  Plasma Pistol, Chain Sword
 Brother Barnabas  Plasma Cannon, Bolt Pistol
 Brother Cameo  Bolt Gun, Bolt Pistol
 Brother Dinos  Bolt Gun, Bolt Pistol
 Brother Evander  Bolt Gun, Bolt Pistol
 Ravenwing Squad
 Sargent Janus  Bike, Bolt Pistol, Chain Sword
 Brother Korbin  Bike, Plasma Gun, Bolt Pistol
 Brother Lucius  Bike, Bolt Pistol

Chaos Space Marines

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

A Chaos Marine Khorne Berzerker.

Like the imperial Space Marines, the Chaos Space Marines are also good with shooting weapons and close combat. However they often have special rules that gives them an advantage when it comes to close combat. This means that if there is plenty of scenery on the table the Chaos Space Marines should have an edge.

Cultists are another source of units for Kill Team games. They are not as tough or as good at killing as Chaos Marines, but they do have the advantages of numbers.

Tau Kill Teams

Warhammer Tau Elite Stealth SuitsThe Tau army have a number of specialist units that are great at shooting but are no good in a fight. However there are a couple of units that are worth considering.

  • Kroot Carnivore Squad. These are troops so you can take 2 large units. Kroot are not bad at shooting and assault by Tau standards.
  • XV8 Crisis Teams
  • Stealth Teams. These are fast, have a good amount of fire power, and have stealth suits that convey a cover save as well as the usual armour save.
  • Vespid Stingwings. This is another fast choice that have decent fire power, and they have a bit better close combat skills.

Tyranid Kill Teams

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord and Genestealer BroodLike most of the close combat specialists the Tyranid kill teams do better if there is plenty of terrain on the table. If there is then the Genestealers are the masters of this environment. Beware that you still have the hive mind and instinctive rule in force. This means that if you want to take some Gaunts or hormagaunts then you will need a hive mind or two too.

  • Genestealers. As Genestealers do not need Hive Mind control they work very well in Kill Team games.
  • Tyranid Warriors. Tyranid Warriors first appeared in a Warhammer 40k spin-off game called Space Crusader. As such they are good all round troops that work well in Kill Team games too. They can shoot, they have decent close combat skills, and as they are Hive Mind creatures they can operate independently too.

Genestealer Cult Kill Teams

Genestealer Cult AcolytesSoon to be tested, this army was designed for games like Kill teams from it’s inception in the Space Hulk game. With the Genestealer Cult army you have a number of independent units ( no Hive mind) that can be tooled up for close combat and close quarter fire fights. You can not have a Patriarch in your team as it is a HQ choice, but have fun with most of the other none vehicle units.

The Kill Team missions in the rulebook prohibit returning to ongoing reserves. This means that you can not use the ‘Return to the Shadows’ special rule. You can still use the Cult Ambush rule if you can infiltrate. The rule limit infiltration to Scouts and random (1 in 3 models)  in the ‘alone in the dark mission The only units available with the Scout special rule Purestrain Genestealers. If you are using Kill Team rules from elsewhere it will be worth checking with if you can return to reserves as this will have a powerful impact on your tactical options.

  • Acolyte Hybrids
  • Neophyte Hybrids
  • Hybrid Metamorphs
  • Purestrain Genestealers
  • Aberants
  • Chimera
  • Goliath Trucks
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