Kill Team FAQ – The Goonhammer Hot Take

Games Workshop signaled that they’re serious with the new Kill Team by releasing a host of FAQs today covering the Core Rules, Compendium, and the rules for Kommando and Veteran Guardsman teams. Notably, they’ve also given Kill Team its own section on the FAQs page – Kill Team FAQs and errata are no longer under 40k.

There’s a ton here and in this article we’re going to cover exactly what’s changed and what it means for you and your games. In particular, there are six documents that were released today:

  • The Core Rules FAQ/Errata
  • The Core Rules Designer’s Commentary
  • The Compendium FAQ/Errata
  • The Compendium Designer’s Commentary
  • Kommandos FAQ/Errata
  • Veteran Guardsmen FAQ/Errata

The Core Rules FAQ/Errata

Let’s start with the changes to the core rules. The bulk of these are around the game’s cover and terrain rules, and there are some major changes here that should affect how games are played.

Line of Sight and Cover

An edit here to the rule on page 70 adds that a cover line crossing another operative’s base will only provide cover if that operative is itself in the active operative’s Line of Sight. This essentially turns off the “Conga Line” approach to hiding minis. This means that if a model has the conceal order and is getting cover from a small piece of terrain such as a barrel, then that model can’t provide cover to any models behind it as it having cover and being concealed means that model is not in “line of sight” either. It also “fixes” Stealth Suits hiding a whole team behind it out in the open in a similar way with the cover granted by their camouflage ability.

Terrain Traits – Scalable was added as a trait

Ruins! Credit: Boon

An interesting addition to the list, Scalable terrain must be more than 2⬤ tall. When an operative climbs this terrain, the final incremental distance of less than ⬤ is ignored, instead of being rounded up to ⬤. This is basically a way to make terrain easier to climb. Most GW terrain has floors that are 5” tall, i.e. 1.5 ⬤ in height. Making this adjustment allows them to be climbed in a single move by pretty much every operative in the game, and is a great way to ensure that slower operatives don’t have to move + dash from the base of a building to get up it.

Essentially all of your buildings and sector mechanicus terrain should probably get the Scalable trait, and at the very least you should apply it to the ladders and scaffolding on your terrain. For the rest, regular climb actions will suffice, and this lets you distinguish easy climbs (rounding up the distance) and difficult ones (rounding down).

Wings: I think I can guess exactly what this is specifically here for. The average movement on models generally made it very difficult to climb things >4″ tall previously, usually using a whole move and a dash to get the horizontal distance needed. The Sector Imperialis ruin kits that were in the last edition of Kill Team and, crucially, feature in the upcoming Chalnath box have upper floors that are about 5″ up, making them very pretty but not ideal for new Kill Team as it stood. That makes this a smart change, as it means that both players who lovingly painted the ruins from the last edition up (i.e. me) and players who buy the upcoming set are going to get far more tactical mileage out of the kits. Changes that reward both existing players and new ones are good by us!

Drops – Now you can Dash as part of a drop

Something that was missing from the Drop action before was the ability to add a dash onto your drop. This meant that slower operatives could dash their way up a building, but were helpless to actually jump down. Now you can use a Dash as part of a drop in order to get where you want to go.

Octarius Spec Ops adjustment

The Breach Defences Mission now only rewards you with a Tac Ops bonus for a Spec Ops campaign if you score 3+ VPs from Security or Infiltrate Tac Ops, bringing it in-line with other missions and fixing what was likely a typo.

The Core Rules Designer’s Commentary

Grey Knights vs Tyranids
Grey Knights vs Tyranids
Credit: Pendulin

While the changes in the Core Rules errata doc are important, the real meat is in the Designer’s Commentary, a dense, three-page document that gives us actual FAQs and some real insight into how the cover rules are meant to work in Kill Team. We’re not going to cover everything in this commentary, but we’ll focus on some of the key aspects of it and how they affect play.

Line of Sight, Cover, and Obscuring

This is the meatiest section of the Commentary and essentially changes the way we think about cover lines drawn between models. Essentially, Cover and Obscured are determined by an operative being a certain distance from some point – any point at which a cover line crosses a terrain feature – and it does not have to be the closest point to either operative. There are diagrams which clarify this and essentially indicate that we should be thinking about this in terms of drawing a circle of some radius around the operative.

Wings: In combination with the change to prevent conga-line Concealment I think this is very cool – it generally makes it a bit easier to use chunkier bits of terrain to get protection, especially Obscuring, putting the emphasis on smart use of the battlefield rather than clustering up in a big pile behind one guy who’s hidden by a barricade.

Characteristic Modifiers – Reducing Movement affects the total, not increments

A good common sense bit here – reducing someone’s movement only affects the total they’d move and not each increment. Additionally these don’t affect Dash actions unless explicitly stated.

Also, APL modifications don’t apply to the current activation unless otherwise specified. This means that in the Consecreation mission getting additional APL as a result of the Consecrate Ground action on the mission’s objectives doesn’t actually give you back an APL to use, it just makes it harder to take the objective from you.


A few key notes here:

    • Bases can overhang an edge as long as the model can be placed without falling
    • You don’t get any free horizontal movement when climbing or falling – you have to measure that movement and add it to the move as well.
    • FLY doesn’t let you make normal moves when within Engagement Range of an enemy or bypass engagement range restrictions – you still have to Fall Back.
    • You can just move across stairs or angled slopes freely.

You need a melee weapon to participate in combat

You need a melee weapon on there in order to be able to roll attack dice or provide combat support, even if that weapon is just “fists” – it has to be listed like that on your datasheet. Most units have some kind of backup melee weapon. Even Tau drones have “Ram.” Off-hand I’m not actually sure who this matters for.

Models hanging around with In Death, Atonement or Only Death Does Duty End can’t resolve melee hits

They’re still incapacitated and as such they can’t resolve hits in combat.

Wings: This is actually a reasonably big deal, because Only in Death is a hugely good ploy for Marines, and this change cuts down what they can do with their extra turn considerably – shooting is fine, but melee is a no-no.

Having a 6+ save doesn’t give you automatic critical saves in cover

If you need a 6+ to save and you retain one defence dice as a result of cover, that just counts as a successful normal save.

Repeating an attack can be done with a weapon with the Limited special rule

If you have a rule that lets you repeat a specific combat or shooting attack, such as using VETERAN OF THE LONG WAR with a Krak Grenade, you can bypass the limited rule and make a second set of attacks.

Other Changes

  • Overwatch doesn’t count as an activation.
  • Extra Barricades (e.g. from Fortify) can’t be set up on a terrain feature unless it has the Insignificant trait.

The Compendium FAQ/Errata

Custodes vs Gellerpox Infected
Custodes vs Gellerpox Infected
Credit: Pendulin

Thundercloud: Well surprise surprise, Custodes got nerfed hard. 3APL and changes to the Brotherhood of Demigods Tactical Ploy to be at the end and only be an Overwatch or Fight action means no more double charges, and 3 APL means Custodes can’t blender guard equivalents like they did before (Rob: It also makes taking an objective from a Custodian Guard much, much easier). This will knock Custodes down to being more equivalent to other elite teams, but I think they’re still a solid force. For maximum humour they should have errata’d heavy intercessors to be 3 APL.

Everything else is just tidying up printing errors (a 3+ save on Guardsmen Gunners) or where wording wasn’t absolutely clear (Imperial Guard orders with Scions for example where RAW Scions couldn’t have orders without an Imperial Guard Sergeant). Some of the most notable of these are for T’au Hunter Cadres, where some of the defensive characteristics on drones were changed.

The Compendium Designer’s Commentary

The commentary has a few additional notes here, mostly clearing up some odd corner cases with Aeldari and T’au.

Kommandos FAQ/Errata

Kill Team Octarius Ork Kommando Nob
Kill Team Octarius Ork Kommando Nob. Credit: Jack Hunter

A few notable changes here:

  • Kommando Nobs gained the LEADER keyword
  • Breacha boys improved. They now gain Stun as the critical hit rule when they make a charge (previously this did nothing), and now the Brutal rule on the Breacha Ram has been moved from being a Critical Hit rule (!) to a special rule, so it’s just on all the time.
  • Smoke grenades were nerfed a bit – now instead of one cover line needing to cross an area of smoke to an operative, every cover line must cross.

Veteran Guardsmen FAQ/Errata

Credit: Rockfish

A few changes here:

  • You can’t issue the same order twice in a Turning Point.
  • Models hanging around with In Death, Atonement are removed at the end of the battle if that happens before your next activation.
  • The Sergeant Veteran’s Plasma Pistol BS was increased to 3+
  • The Confidant Veteran’s Bolt Pistol BS was dropped to 4+
  • Demolition Veterans using the Detonate ability to detonate a remote mine treat their targets as being Not Obscured.
  • Medic Veterans can’t revive themselves with Medic! – they have to target another friendly Veteran Guardsman.

Wrap Up

These are some exciting changes – while most are merely fixing errors we expected, the nerf to Custodes was very much needed and the addition of Scalable terrain as a trait will dramatically improve some teams’ ability to get around the battlefield, plus broaden the utility of lots of people’s terrain collections for the game. Having a separate section for Kill Team FAQs and Errata also bodes well and we’re excited for future support for the game.

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