Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More on Kill team: looking at the original version

This post was spawned from the responses of my Previous post Horde Armies and their effect on kill team. I understand some will not agree with my assessment and that is cool too, but I am trying to explain why I feel the way I do.

While I agree that it is epic to have marines facing a horde and overcoming the odds, which is great from a story perspective. The Mechanics of the Battle missions version of Kill Team will make this nigh impossible.

As I said previously the horde teams don’t break the game but they certainly skew it. Horde teams also get the advantage of an extremely high break point.

The bottom line is that I am not found of the idea of a horde kill team; it has to do with expectations and past experiences.

Let’s take a look at the original 4th ed kill team rules.

Kill Teams were only allotted 160 points to build upon
Kill team members were chosen individually not as squad choices.
Kill Teams were a single unit that had to maintain coherency.
Kill teams could not have more than 12 models total
Kill teams could not contain vehicles or multi-wound models
No 2+ saves
Only one model may have a heavy or template weapon
No weapons over strength 7 or with more than two shots a turn. (I totally forgot about the 2 shots rule)

The enemy was not a kill team but too the form of a certain number of 3 man Brute squads; with the most numerous being the IG with 10 three man brute squads.

There were six different mission types and objectives, plus a veritable ton of purchasable special rules.

So that was how the original Kill team was done.

Now we have the Battle Missions “all bets are off” version kill team. While I like the every man fore himself rule, the increased points, the lightened restrictions in team building and the USR specialists.

Things I am not fond of:

The “bottle test” mechanic if you are under half strength, especially if horde teams are allowed.

I dislike that the teams are purchased as squad selections, not individual models.

The only mission presented is a kill your opponent no objective format.

Final thoughts:

The more I look at the two versions of Kill Team; I am starting to think I am going to need to combine and run a modified version of both, only picking the best parts. The 4th ed version has character, the Battle missions one is a soulless slug fest.

On Friday I will look to tackle this problem head on.


  1. Totally agree about the slugfest. It's never tremendously interesting simply to watch statistical probability wind itself down.

    I also agree with Mags' recent article about terrain, and sincerely believe that absolute mounds of it helps a bit with KT in Battle Missions.

    I'm curious to see what elements you pick up from the previous "brute squads" version -specifically with regard to the different missions aspect...

  2. I've only ever played the Battle Missions 'Modern version,' but having come to 40k from Inquisitor, it just feels natural to play it like a narrative. I think because of this focus, we just have not run into problems yet. We have the opposite problem to hordes...everyone but me is trying to see how "rock 'ard" they can make it ubder 200. Dreadnaughts & the Like. Some 'Dexs have some pretty groovy stuff in the elites section.

  3. Thanks for the comments.

    B.smoove, I am thinking of using a card driven mission and objective system, incorporating most of the ideas from the 4th ed KT missions. It will keep things fluid, and unpredictable which is perfect for narrative gaming.

    I will definitely keep the kill team verses kill team aspect of the current version, so the brute squads of 4th are out.

    Counterfett, I see totally where you are coming from.

  4. The bottle test is essentially a throwback to Necromunda, which they might have been trying to emulate here, but let's face it Necromunda was far more complicated than this.

    Looking forward to your thoughts on this. If you've read my custom scenarios on Rules Manufactorum you'll know I have a soft spot for this kind of mission.

  5. I like the idea of the current kill team version, i have never played 4th ed version. I am not fond of the whole squad buy either. I was fond of necromunda, this kill team makes me relive it a little... are you doing a killteam rewrite in the spirit of your fandex? that would be awesome..

    Pat, 11th company

  6. Thanks for the comments guys.

    Bryss, yeah I have seen your mission it's pretty nifty.

    Pat, I've now had an entire day to go through things, and I have decided to make a total rewrite. Like the Soul Reapers Fandex I will make it available for download. So the answer to your question is yes.

    Look for my initial thoughts and ideas tomorrow.


  7. I agree with some of the posts already made the the BM:KT is like an abridged(i.e.: No campaign rules) 5th ed 40k version of Necromunda. That and it gives m an excuse to paint up some minis from armies I otherwise wouldn't buy as I don't play them.

    Look forward to seeing your hybrid version.