Monday, July 26, 2010

Special Operations Killzone: Skirmish 40: Team Building

Here is the Leader of my Space Wolves Spec Ops Team. I reworked an old Wolf Guard conversion. Expect to see him and the rest of the Team on the Space Wolves blog in the near future.

These are the rules that we have been using to build our Spec Ops Teams. It has been working out really good so far. Later in the week I will give some specifics for the different races in 40k. For example Necrons ignore Phase out in Spec ops games.

Building a list

Both players build a special operations group using the codex for his/her army of choice.

A special operation group contains between one to two special operations teams. The exact number of teams will be determined by the players prior to the game.

Each team has a 175-250 point limit and can contain anywhere between 6 to 18 models in total. Teams purchase individual models from the Elite, Troops, Fast Attack and Heavy Support unit selections in their codex. A little basic math skill will be required to figure out some individual points costs.

For example a Marine Tactical squad sergeants cost is determined by subtracting the cost of the 4 standard marines from the squads base cost. So the cost for the Marine sergeant is 26 points. (90-64=26)

You may only take one squad leader upgrade for each unit choice taken and only after you take one member from the squad entry. You may not take a second squad leader choice for a unit type more than once.

So for example you take one tactical and one assault marine, you could then take an assault sgt and a tactical sgt; once these are chosen you may take no further tactical or assault sgt’s in your team.

A team may contain no more than 4 special ranged weapons upgrades; only two may be a heavy weapon upgrade. (Special Ranged weapons upgrades are the ones that can only be taken in a limited number. Ranged weapons upgrades that all models in a squad may take do not count toward this limit. For example Marine Scouts can upgrade every model to carry a sniper rifle or shotgun; these upgrades are not limited by this rule. Pistol upgrades do not fall under these restrictions.)

No vehicles are allowed with the exception of a single Walker per team and only if they have an armor rating of 33 or less. Armor rating is determined by adding the 3 armor values (FA/SA/RA) for your vehicle together.

A team member may not have more than 3 wounds.

A team may contain no more than two models with 2+ armor saves.

A team may contain no more than two models with 3+ invulnerable saves.

A team may contain no more than two models with Jump Packs.

A team may contain no more than two bike, jetbike or cavalry models.

A team member may not have a toughness statistic greater than five.

The following upgrades are optional, but I would suggest using them as they add tons of flavor and add greatly to the uniqueness of the teams. Also note non of these are set in stone yet as there have not been many playtests with them; there may end up being less or more of them when the project is done.

Some upgrades are listed with two points values, the points are determined according to the base statistic being enhanced. The first value is for any stat that is 3 or less, the second is for stats of 4 or greater. For example lets look at the Targeter it has a 3/5 points value, so a Guardsman with a BS 3 will pay 3 points for the upgrade and a Space Marine will pay 5 points.

Special Issue Wargear Upgrades

One of each of the following options may be taken by each team.

Refractor Field 15 points
A team leader may take a refractor field and gain a 5+ invulnerable save.

Suspensors 15 points
A team member with a Heavy Weapon fitted with suspensors gains the Relentless USR, but may only fire up to half the weapons maximum range if they move. Missile Launchers may not use suspensors.

Medipack 8/10 points
A team member with a medipack gains the feel no pain USR; in addition once per player turn one friendly model within 6 inches may gain a feel no pain roll.

Auspex 10 points
A team member with an Auspex ignores cover saves when shooting or may forfeit it’s own shooting to guide the shots of another team member within 2 inches, in this case the guided model ignores cover saves. The team member may not be carrying a special ranged weapon and have an Auspex.

Any team member may take any of the following upgrades:

Targeter 3/5 points
A team member with a targeter adds +1 to all of it’s shooting to hit rolls if the team member doesn’t move.

Assault Grenades 1 point
Team members armed with assault grenades count as being armed with Frag grenades. These can take many forms depending on your chosen force. We call them Biomass spike projectiles for Tyranids. Models in Terminator armor may not purchase assault grenades.

Close combat accessories 1/4 points
These can take the form of bayonets, knives, short swords and sometimes even sharpened entrenching tools. A team member armed with close combat accessories gains a second attack in the assault phase. They may not be taken by models that already possess 2 close combat weapons.

Specialized Team Member

Up to four members of a team my purchase a single upgrade from the following list. Each upgrade is purchased out of the teams 175-225 point limit and may only be purchased once per team.

Crack Shot 5 points
A team member with this ability may re-roll any failed to hit or to wound rolls. The player must choose which will be re-rolled at the beginning of the shooting phase.

Penetrator Rounds 10 points
A team member armed with Penetrators forces his opponent to re-roll all successful armor saves from shooting attacks made by the model. May not be taken by a team member with a special ranged or heavy weapon

Lightning Reflexes 25 points
A team member with this ability gains a 4+ dodge save from all shooting and close combat attacks. The dodge save is taken before his normal save; the model may use both saves to avoid damage from any attack.

Brawler 3/5 points
A team member with this ability gains +1 to all his to wound rolls in close combat.

Blade Master 6/8 points
A team member with this ability gains +1 attack and all the models attacks become rending. The model may not be armed with a special close combat weapon.

Commando 15 points
Any infantry classed team member may take the Commando upgrade. The model gains the stealth, scout and move through cover USR’s. The model may not have a Jump Pack, Bike, Jetbike, or a 2+ armor save.

Hard to kill 4/6 points
The team member gains the Feel No Pain USR.

Resilient 3/5 points
The team member gains +1 to its toughness.

Feel free to give your thoughts, concerns or suggestions.


  1. I like that all of the specialized team member talents sound like movie titles. I wish I could get a Steven Seagal looking figure and make him "Hard to Kill"

    The only thing worth looking at is some of the points values. Have you tried these to make sure they balance out yet? I do like that you have odd numbers, Kill Teams gets me frustrated because I always end up not being able to spend my last 10-15 points because my unit is filled up and maxed out on weapons.

  2. Thanks for the comments!

    I have not balanced them yet, but was less worried about it initially as everyone gets the same options for the same points value.

    In the end some balancing will happen, but only through extensive playtesting.


  3. Excellent work Jim.
    You have taken what was a nebulous idea and turned it into a mini-game in and of itself. This very much reminds me of Necromunda.
    You should definitely look at adding an experience table for campaign style games.

    Two Hairy Gurilla Thumbs Up!

  4. Love the Figure that you have converted, and interested in the mini game idea will be keeping an eye out for more updates

  5. I agree that playtesting is probably the best way to see about any balancing issues here. If you see some things that everyone always takes, it might be too cheap, and things no one takes might need to be cheaper or better.

    May want to clarify for Penetrator Rounds that they force a "re-roll all successful armor saves *from shooting attacks from this model*" so that people don't try using it in CC.

  6. Thanks for the feedback!

    Mags, working on it.

    Sons, I agree, it's the best way to do it right now. Thanks for the heads up, fixed.

  7. Golly, I thought that Penetrator Rounds would apply for the power pack on his chainsword!

  8. LOL, it's better to be safe than sorry. You know how some gamers are, there is a severe lack of common sense floating around these days.


  9. Hmm...from the wording of Close Combat Accesories, do you mean for them to not work if the model already has two Attacks?

    The problem with stat-based upgrades is that they should go up as the base stat does (like how a Guard Powersword costs 10 and a Marine one 15). This would mean that you'd really have to give things multiple costs to be fair, or just find an alternative. I'm mainly talking about Brawler and Resilient here (as Brawler effectively improved S by 1). Otherwise the upgrades are solid and exactly what I'd want from special gear.

  10. Jim what i see is cool, you going to turn this into a Deathwatch squad when it comes out?

  11. Great feedback Master Bryss! I totally see what you are saying here, none of it has been an issue so far, but I have made a quick patch for now.

    Please check out the amended post and let me know what you think.

    Dee, it is very possible!


  12. Much better now, although I'd increase the cost of Targeter, Resilient and Brawler to 3/5 (you say Targeter is 3/5 in the example even though it isn't right now). 2 just seems really cheap to me, although I'd need to investigate further.

  13. Wow, Fail, it is fixed now. That was just lame typing.



  14. I take it by reading this there is no reason why you couldn't take a kill team full of squad leaders, for example eldar exarchs?

  15. No you could not.

    As I work on the PDF I have preempted your question. I knew someone would want to game the system with this.

    Here is the text from the PDF entry.

    You may only take one squad leader upgrade for each unit choice taken and only after you take one member from the squad entry. You may not take a second squad leader choice for a unit type more than once.

    So for example you take one tactical and one assault marine, you could then take an assault sgt and a tactical sgt; once these are chosen you may take no further tactical or assault sgt’s in your team.

    I have added this text to the post to clear up further questions.

    Thanks for the comments,

  16. Kinda an odd question but my buddy and I were talking about the game last night and the idea came up about the FW guard buggies and the Thunderfire cannon....would these be allowed? The buggies kinda fit but don't and the hundrrfire is iffy.

  17. I could see the Buggies working, but as it currently stands they are not allowed as they are not a Walker. My buddy was asking about Ork war buggies last night. I am not sure I want to officially open the game up to more vehicles.

    I suppose the Thunderfire could be used although it's not very stealthy.

    The bottom line is these are a set of house rules add or change what you like and make the game what you want it.

    I promise not to come and knock on your door and tell you that you're playing wrong!



  18. I has a question about Blade master upgrade. What counts as a "special close combat weapon"? Say you take a terminator armor upgrade, does the standard power weapon count as "special" or only if you ugrade it to something stronger say a power fist?

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  20. Jim, it is a great work!
    But I have a few question: there is no minimum at the unit type of my choice, but is there a maximum? For example can I choose that all of my team members will be a regular ork boy?