Kill Team Datasheets in 40K: The Goonhammer Hot Take

Games Workshop surprised us this week with a batch of new datasheets, covering rules for some of the new Kill Teams that have been released in the past few months as well as some of the older models we’ve saw drop out of the game in the most recent Nephilim points update. There’s a total of five new datasheet documents, and if you’re interested in grabbing them, you can find links to all of them here

There’s a lot to talk about with these rules and today we’re joined by John Lennon from the Art of War to discuss the new datasheets, what you need to know about them, and what they bring to the table. Joining us for this analysis is John Lennon, from the Art of War.

Credit: Greg Chiasson

Kroot Farstalkers

Datasheet Link

Introduced in Kill Team: Into the Dark, the Kroot Farstalkers give us our first non-character plastic Kroot in more than a decade, adding options for heavy weapons and in-unit hounds that Kroot just haven’t had before.

A Kroot Farstalkers unit is an Elites choice that comes with 10 models, none of which are Kroot Hounds. The Farstalkers have a standard Kroot Carnivore profile but come with a squad leader who sports an extra attack and Ld 7. These give you a variety of new options that Carnivores don’t have, such as the Hunting Rifle, Scattergun, Dvorgite Skinner, and Accelerator Bow, which give them some neat shooting options that make them a bit more deadly when they get within 12” of a target.

TheChirurgeon: These are basically expensive Kroot that trade ObSec for some extra shooting options and the tradeoff isn’t really worth it. They aren’t any more deadly in melee save for the Champion’s 3 S5, AP-1 attacks and if there’s something T’au don’t particularly need, it’s shooty Kroot.

Credit: Dylan Gould

Imperial Navy Breachers

Datasheet Link

The other half of the Into the Dark boxed set, Imperial Navy Breachers are a new arrival to the Warhmmer 40,000 universe (though they’ve always been lurking in the background), giving Imperial armies a group of medium-armed-and-armored shock troops to work with. Like the Astra Cartographica group, they’re Agents of the Imperium. 

This boils down to a single datasheet of ten models, making it pretty easy to analyze. For 110 points, you can snag yourself ten guardsmen with a 4+ save and some funky weapon options that don’t do that much. They are a troop choice, which will net them Objective Secured, and come with Void-Armor, which is essentially just Armor of contempt. From there, you can take a few free upgrades like a better shotgun and a chainfist on one model with one attack, or a single power axe. You can even buy one meltagun, plasma gun or Demo charge! 

John: I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this unit exists for people who really like the models. I can’t imagine an imperium army that really wants non-mandatory guardsmen with a better save for double the price. The random upgrades are cute, but are at best one chainfist attack that hits on a 5+, and one model with a shield for an effective 3+ save. The price tag is the killer here, as the unit is too toothless to invest in while costing too much to be a cheap backfield unit in basically any universe. But, that doesn’t invalidate that these models are *super* cool looking and make me want to play Kill Team. 

Elucidian Starstriders. Credit: 40khamslam
Elucidian Starstriders. Credit: 40khamslam

Voidsmen-at-Arms/Elucidian Starstriders

Datasheet Link

Voidsmen-at-Arms, otherwise known as “the Rogue Trader and her entourage,” got an updated set of rules and Crusade rules in last year’s War Zone Octarius campaign books. As a cheap troops option for Custodes armies they enjoyed a brief time in the sun until nerfs to Custodes essentially removed them from 40k. But following the re-release of them as a kill team in the 2022 Kill Team Annual, they’re back on the menu!

Elucidian Star-striders are still two datasheets, although the Rogue Trader herself now can choose to add a few hanger-ons to the unit. She’s an unassuming imperium character, with a 4+ invulnerable and six attacks at a respectable S4 -2 D:1, and comes in at the same points cost as an inquisitor. You can also bolt on up to three assistants at 10 or 15 points each, which does open up the option of a multi-model character unit if you *really* need a way to get one quarter of Celestine’s jank for half the cost. The most appealing assistants here are the Assassin, who brings an additional 5 attacks at S4 -3 D:1, and the Rejuvenant Adept, who gives the rest of the squad a 5+ “ignore wounds” rule. For 85 points that nets you 8 wounds across three models with character status, a 5+ feel no pain, an invulnerable save and enough melee damage to comfortable kill 5 Aeldari rangers. You can, of course, also give reroll 1s to the might Voidsmen-at-arms with this character, but lets remember that you can only include one Agent of the Imperium in each detachment, so that’s going to come up exactly never.

For as forgettable as their boss is, the Voidsmen themselves actually get a bit of a glow up! This unit is a personal favorite of mine, because I love injecting a cheap unit into a patrol of Custodians. They haven’t changed much, with a situational +1 to hit being replaced by a situational exploding 6s to hit. Cool? This isn’t a damage dealer. Also, the Canid has been revamped from a token that sometimes deals a mortal into an actual model that can now take damage and makes three attacks at S4 with a mighty weapon skill of 3! The basic unit has gone up ten points, but now includes a rotor cannon for free, so you’re basically just forced to take the mediocre gun that no one used before. Again, this is aggressively fine. I promise I saved the best for last, because what really matters here is that Voidsmen at arms are now a troops choice! This means that they receive Objective Secured, and are now a slightly better backfield unit in exchange for costing slightly more! I’m willing to pay that, honestly, just so I don’t have to sweat over one wrack consolidating onto an objective and ruining my plans. 

John: Voidsmen fit the exact same role as before. You should paint the rogue trader and use it in a DND campaign, and you should own a unit of voidsmen in case you write a 1960 1950 Custodes list. Voidsmen did also lose their ability to get in transports, so they no longer can occupy a Land Speeder Storm in space marine lists, effectively shelving that datasheet. Most imperium armies don’t need a 50 point obsec unit that doesn’t synergise with their rules, and I expect we will see them about as frequently as before. 

The Blooded kill team. Credit: Fowler

Traitor Guard

Datasheet Link

First introduced with plastic models in Blackstone Fortress and its expansions, Traitor Guard had previously been relegated to either acting as stand-in cultists in a Chaos Marines army or being your plastic options in a traitor guard hobby project. Kill Team: Moroch reintroduced them with a new plastic kit earlier this year, and the datasheet makes them a new option for Chaos Space Marines armies looking for another cheap Troops option.

There are two datasheets here to work with: One for the Traitor Enforcer, an Elites choice who can come with a Traitor Ogryn, and one for the Traitor Guardsmen Squad, a Troops choice that offers Chaos Marine armies a cheap alternative to Cultists. Note that these datasheets have the TRAITORIS ASTARTES and <LEGION> keywords, and are not available to Death Guard and Thousand Sons armies.

Traitor Enforcer

The Traitor Enforcer is an Elites choice, giving Chaos Marines a second character option in the Elites slot. By himself he clocks in at 45 points and is relatively fragile, with T3, 4 wounds, and a 5+/5++ save. He comes with a power fist and a bolt pistol, and his Forward, for the Dark Gods! Ability helps nearby Traitor Guardsmen units automatically pass Combat Attrition tests, which isn’t particularly valuable given they only come in units of 10. For extra muscle you can add a Traitor Ogryn to the unit for 65 points. The Ogryn is more of a bruiser and can be a legitimate threat, with 5 attacks that hit on a 3+ and a S7, AP-1 2-damage profile, plus an additional claw attack that comes in at S6, AP-2, 3 damage. That’s not a bad profile for what you pay, and if you take an Ogryn, you use its Toughness for attacks against the unit and you have to allocate attacks and mortal wounds to the Ogryn first. 

TheChirurgeon: On the whole, the Enforcer is just OK. The Ogryn’s an interesting beater, but ultimately there’s no shortage of good melee threats in the Elites slot for Chaos Space Marines. The attrition benefit is OK, but given your traitor guardsmen are 7 Ld and only come in units of 10 it’s not super likely you’ll use it in most games.

Traitor Guardsmen

The Traitor Guardsmen option gives you 10 models at a cost of 60 points, with all but the Sergeant’s weapon options being free upgrades. These are WS/BS 4+, S/T 3 models with a 5+ save, marking them as slightly more durable than standard Cultists. They come with lasguns, but up to three models can replace theirs with a special weapon, though you can’t double up on these. Most of the time you’re going to drop a meltagun and a plasma gun in the squad, plus your preference of flamer/grenade launcher/sniper rifle on the third guardsman. You can also give one a Vox-Caster for free, in which case they count as being in range of the Enforcer if they’re within 24”, though again this isn’t super important. You can upgrade the Traitor Sergeant to have a plasma pistol and a power sword at a cost of +5 points for either option, neither of which you’re likely to take.

One of the most interesting aspects of Traitor Guardsmen is that they have the CULTISTS keyword, meaning they can be affected by abilities and stratagems that work on Cultists such as the auras of the Dark Apostle and Dark Commune (though note that they can’t be brought back with Tide of Traitors as they are not a CULTIST MOB). They still lack the CORE keyword.

TheChirurgeon: The real value of these units is that you have another cheap ObSec option that sits between Cultists and Chaos Space Marines, with significantly more firepower and durability than the former. At 6/7 Leadership they’re also less likely to flee or kill you on Dread Tests and for 10 points more getting a unit that can actually ruin someone’s day with a meltagun and plasma gun is pretty solid. This gives Chaos Space Marines four solid Troops choices in their games, and that’s pretty cool. 

These are just generally cool rules to have, though I really wish GW would give us an Army of Renown or some kind of rules similar to the old 3rd edition Lost and the Damned Army from Eye of Terror, where a small number of Chaos Space Marines lead a bunch of cultists and traitor guard into battle. It’s weird that there’s a Cultist HQ and multiple Cultist Troop options but no way to actually take a Cultist army.

Gellerpox Infected
Gellerpox Infected
Credit: Pendulin

Gellerpox Infected

Datasheet Link

The other half of Kill Team: Rogue Trader, the Gellerpox Infected are a group of massive, mutated crewmen infected with the Gellerpox, a particularly nasty plague of nurgle that affects ships traveling through the warp. These hulking behemoths never had much play in Warhammer 40k owing to their difficult keyword situation. That’s all set to change with this new datasheet, however.

These big lads still have odd keywords – their only faction keywords are CHAOS and NURGLE – but they can now be included in a Death Guard or NURGLE TRAITORIS ASTARTES detachment without taking up a battlefield role slot and without turning off any of your army-wide abilities. There are two datasheets here, and both are Elites choices.

Gellerpox Infected

The Gellerpox Infected gives you a unit of 4 mutants (the poxwalker-like dudes), and three Nightmare Hulks, the big mutants. They all come with the Sickly Resilience ability, which gives them a 5+ Feel No Pain save, and the Horrific Visage ability to give -1 Ld to enemy units within 6”. The little mutants here are T4, 1-wound goobers with 2 attacks each and a 2+ save. Their AP-1 melee weapons are neat but mostly these guys are ablative wounds for the three big monsters. The Nightmare Hulks come with WS4+, S5, T4, 5W and 4A each, plus a 5+ save and Hideous Mutations identical to those on Chaos Spawn, on a body with 5” movement. In fact, think of them as bigger, slower, slightly tougher Chaos Spawn. And when you do think of them in that way, you’ll realize they’re pretty bad, especially since they’re 150 points per unit and don’t get any of your army special rules. Just take Chaos Spawn instead.

Mutoid Vermin

The other option here are the Mutoid Vermin, all the little weirdos that come with the Gellerpox Infected and look like bugs and nurglings. A unit of these costs 80 points and comes with 16 models, sitting on a pretty weak profile – WS 4+, S2, T2, 1W, 2A, 7+ save. What they do have going for them is that they’re pretty fast – 8” movement, and they automatically pass Morale tests, meaning you’ll have to kill all of them to take them off the table. To make them even more annoying, they get a 6+ feel no pain save and D3 destroyed models back per round with the Unending Horde ability. That potentially makes these guys kind of a neat little harassment unit, able to annoy opponents and tie up weaker units in combat. The only catch – and it’s a big one – is that you can’t have more Mutoid Vermin units in your army than Gellerpox Infected, and that means you’re not going to take these because it’s not worth taking a unit of Gellerpox Infected.

TheChirurgeon: Swing and a miss here. It’s hard to add something that Death Guard would take, but Mutoid Vermin could have potentially been it if they were Troops or didn’t require Gellerpox Infected. As-is, the big guys are basically slow Spawn and if there’s one thing Death Guard and Chaos Marine armies don’t need, it’s more slow units.

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