Warhammer 40K: Kill Team

Kill Team is the ultimate small scale skirmish wargame based in the grim dark setting of Warhammer 40K. Kill Team abandons the large-scale warfare of other Warhammer titles for a more intimate and active game system. It’s designed from the ground up to feel fast paced and highly tactical. Every move and placement counts, with the most strategic commander being rewarded with victory.

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With countless Kill Teams to choose from, it can be challenging to pick one. Here are some of the most popular choices:

Scout Squad: Before being promoted to a Space Marine, Astartes warriors train as Scouts. Scouts are still formidable soldiers and come equipped with many tools. The kit gives options to build your team with various different loadouts – focus on firearms and make them expert snipers, shotguns, and boltguns, or opt for a melee team, where the chainsword is the primary damage dealer.

The Scout Squad uses a unique faction ability called ‘Forward Scouting’ which lets you choose from 5 different actions to use during the beginning phase of the game, allowing for them to have influence on how the game begins. For example, the Recon ability allows a unit to dash twice before the game begins, giving them a head start to the mission objective.

Blades of Khaine: For the first time in 2nd edition Kill Team history, the Aeldari receive a bespoke team with brand new models to go along with it. The Blades of Khaine are units of Asuryani, members of the Aeldari faction, who live on gigantic city-sized spaceships called ‘craftworlds’.

The Blades of Khaine play around with their unique faction ability called ‘Aspect Of Techniques’. These are 5 different abilities that the Kill Team can activate once per round, which provide benefits and versatility not seen in any other teams. For example, the ‘Death of a Thousand Blades’ lets a unit take a second close-ranged shoot action during their turn. The Blades of Khaine are an advanced team that suits anyone looking for a highly competitive team.

Hand of the Archon: Originally included in the Soulshackle box set, the Hand of Archon are a bespoke Kill Team made up of Kabalites of the Drukhari faction. These elite units are equipped with exotic weapons only available to them. 

The Hand of Archon use a unique ability called ‘Power from Pain’, which rewards pain tokens when a unit successfully kills an opposing unit. They can then spend the pain tokens to gain special effects, such as an increased number of actions per activation or a free dash action. Defeat your opponent to become ever more powerful!

Kill Team Buying Guide

Team Box: Of course, this will be the most important part of starting Kill Team. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the choices here, but here are some general rules to help pick a team for you. While many generic Warhammer 40K models have rules for Kill Team, the best teams are those with bespoke teams. All teams that are available to purchase that have the official Kill Team logo on the box will have bespoke teams, and it’s these that we would suggest playing. Bespoke teams generally have more interesting rulesets and abilities that make them more fun to pilot than the generic teams. 

While the ‘rule of cool’ should definitely be adopted when picking a team, some teams are significantly more complex than others. Generally speaking, Space Marines or Orks are the easiest teams to learn to play the game. The newer bespoke teams are generally more complex but arguably provide a deeper experience. 

Essentials Kit: Apart from an actual team, the Essentials Kit contains all the additional items required to start playing a game of Kill Team. The contents include bespoke rulers, barricades and tokens which each have utility during gameplay. We’d highly recommend having at least one set of the essentials kit available to run a game smoothly. A player board, terrain and an essentials kit are all provided in the box set too!

Kill Team Starter Set: The starter set provides the most accessible way to get into Kill Team and includes everything required for a 2 player game at a great discounted price. The Ork Kommandos and the Veteran Guardsman are the featured teams, as they have been specifically designed to be played against each other. The Ork Kommandos are one of the easiest teams to run, with easy to understand ruleset and strategy - get in close and SMASH! The Veteran Guardsman, on the other hand, provide a more advanced team that requires a more considered approach to be successful - calculated artillery fire is your best friend here.

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Why Choose Kill Team

While Warhammer has its roots in large scale battles, not everyone wanted to invest so heavily towards one single team that could potentially take months to build and paint. Hence, Kill Team was the first small scale ‘skirmish’ game that was created by Games Workshop. Kill Teams usually have 10 or fewer units, so the time to prepare a ‘battle ready’ time isn’t huge, in its first edition, Kill Team reflected a system that was similar to Warhammer 40K, but since then, it has evolved into a unique game that plays very differently to its large-scale cousins. Only one unit is activated per turn, and line of sight has a huge effect on the outcome of games, giving an experience that feels more active than 40K and Age of Sigmar. No more turn 1 tables here, you’ll get to respond to every action done by your opponent.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How is Kill Team different from 40K?

What do I need to start playing Kill Team?

How long does Kill Team take to play?

Are Kill Team units usable in 40K?

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Do I need the Kill Team Core book?

How many turns is a Kill Team game?