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The Tiger Roars 

"Let's Get Small" by Patrick Eibel

“I'll be home, sitting with my friends, and, uh.. we'll be sitting around, and somebody will say, "Heeeyyy.. let's get small!"  
So, you know, we get small, and uh...the only bad thing is if some tall people come over.”
--Steve Martin


Recently, a group of us gamers got together for a thing we called “Winter of Discontent.”  Over that weekend, I got to play several games of 40K and had plenty of fun.  Two of the most fun and interesting games I played, though, were not games of normal 40K but used the Kill Team rules found in the back of the Battle Missions book.  So, rather than present yet another article vaguely describing the games I played, I decided it would be more useful to tell you about the advantages to “getting small.”

What Is Kill Team?
GW has experimented with skirmish rules on varying scales throughout the years.  There were separate gaming systems (Necromunda, Gorkamorka) and previous kill team and experience rules (in the last edition rule book) that offered a way to play a game with a handful of figures.  The current Kill Team rules are a special scenario listed on page 90 of the Battle Missions book.  The scenario suggests selecting 200 points of an army following a modified Force Organization Chart (no HQ or Heavy, buy the book for the rest.)  You play the game on a 4' by 4' board, so selecting and army and setting up scenery shouldn’t take too long.

Why Play Kill Team?
Obviously, if you only have 200 points worth of miniatures (or even 400 points, which is what we were running over the weekend), the game goes much faster and can be played in an hour or two.  In addition to being shorter, a game of Kill Team plays entirely different than a game of 40k.  First, you may find yourself bringing some units that you don’t generally use because of the force restrictions.  Second, selected units act as individuals once the game starts, so unit size and makeup can be very different than what you would normally choose.  In the final days of 5th Edition, with ubiquitous parking lots of vehicles, Kill Team missions seem like a breath of fresh air. 

Over the course of Winter of Discontent, I played two Kill Team games.  In the first game, I brought 400 points of Blood Angels, including two Assault Squads and a Sanguinary Priest.  In the second game, I brought a Tervigon, some Termagaunts, and two Hive Guard.  Even though I lost both games (in the first game I got overwhelmed by Orks, in the second I got shot up by Necrons), I had a blast playing and it was a real challenge wrapping my head around the individual action thing.

What Should I Bring?
I am no expert, having only played two games, but there seems to be some obvious characteristics that would be beneficial.  A good Kill Team unit should either be resilient, have long range shooting capability, or both.  Let’s take a look at each army to see what units might be good in a team:

  • Blood Angels.  The Sanguinary Priest/Assault Squad combo is a pretty good option, even if I did not get a win.  Also, keep in mind that a Death Company Dreadnought is a Troop choice, so you could go all Death Company (scoring units are not important).
  • Chaos Daemons.  Three words: Fiends of Slaanesh.
  • Chaos Space Marines.  Plague Marines and Noise Marines would seem to fit the resilient and shooty categories respectively.
  • Dark Eldar.  It’s all about speed, so I might use a Troop slot for a Raider or Venom.  Then, of course, you should fill said vehicle with Wyches, because as we all know, “it’s the Wyches that'll getchas.”
  • Eldar.  You should either focus on torrent of fire (Dire Avengers with Bladestorm), or resilience (Wraithguard).
  • Grey Knights.  Take Terminators.  You know you want to.
  • Imperial Guard.  The IG excel a long-range shooty infantry.
  • Necrons.  I can attest to the effectiveness of Deathmarks and Wraiths.
  • Orks.  Big, blobby, Fearless mobs of Boyz.  Opening up tanks?  There are not going to be many tanks, so fuhgeddabouddit
  • Sisters of Battle.  Does anyone use the new rules instead of proxying your Sisters as some other army?  If you insist, take Celestians.
  • Space Marines.  Just about anything (other than Scouts) will do.  Just make sure to take small squads to maximize your special weapons.
  • Space Wolves.  There are many good options, but since GW just released Thunderwolf Cavalry models, I am sure you will want to try them in a Kill Team.
  • Tau Empire.  Fire Warriors have the best ranged weapon for a basicTroop choice, but Kroot would be good in an assault.  You decide.
  • Tyranids.  How about a flying Monstrous Creature with a big gun?  Harpies, anyone?

These are just some ideas.  Because games are smaller and play faster, you can have fun experimenting with combinations.  I would not take games over 500 points, as individual close combat can start to bog down.  Kenton and I are planning some Kill Team fun over the summer, so check back here for some more ideas.


Oh, yeah, baby: ooohhh, yeaahhhhh....
Photo copyright GW 2012. Used to represent the awesomeness that can be Kill Team

Posted March 2012

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle