Games Workshop introduced us all to the Gallowdark with the release of Kill Team: Into the Dark last month and they’ve now continued their stretch of adventures in the depths of space hulks with Kill team: Shadowvaults, a new release that brings us a pair of new teams: The Astra Militarum Kasrkin and Necron Hierotek Circles. In this review we’ll be looking at the contents of the box, the models inside, and the rules packaged with it.
Before we dig in, we’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a preview copy of the Kill Team Shadowvaults boxed set for review purposes.
This is yet another big beefy Kill Team box, packing a sizeable set of modular wall terrain, as well as two new kill teams.
- Kaskrkin Kill Team (including new Guard transfers) – This is an entirely new set of sprues featuring the most highly trained soldiers in the Cadian army.
- Necron Hierotek Kill Team – These are teams of warriors led by a Cryptek consisting primarily of Immortals and Deathmarks. Contents-wise, this is a Technomancer sprue and an upgrade sprue for Deathmarks and Immortals with some cool new bits.
- Killzone Gallowdark Terrain & game board
- A brand-new terrain upgrade sprue
There are three sets of models to cover here:
- The Terrain, which includes a mix of new and old sprues – you get the same walls and doors as before, but with new doodads and scatter terrain
- The Kasrkin, an all-new kill team representing the finest warriors in the Cadian Regiments
- Hierotek kill teams, which give us a new upgrade sprue for the Immortals/Deathmarks kit and a new model for the Apprentek
Because there isn’t a ton going on with the Necrons models-wise, we’re going to focus on the terrain and the Kasrkin here.
We’ve covered the vast majority of the terrain in this box previously, which may either be a good thing or a bad thing for you based on personal preference. If you only want to go in on one of the boxes, or want to snag both and build out a boarding action table for one of the x0k games, go nuts. If you (like many of us), see KT boxes as a Trojan horse for getting cool new 40k terrain for our regular use tables, this would be a let down. It’s possible that there would be a pivot, but this does make us wonder if boxes three and four will have these walls as well?
The New Terrain Sprue
Into the Dark had quite the assortment of scatter – this box mixes it up a bit. On the new sprue you will find:
- 2 small piles of guns
- 2 weapon locker wall sections
- 2 control pad wall sections
- 2 camera wall sections
- 1 bolter trailer
- 1 small hauler
- 1 saw attachment for the small hauler
- 1 bomb container (that also fits on the small hauler).
If you are a scatter enthusiast like me, you saw these cure lil trailers and likely thought “I must have them”. They really were a joy to build and paint, and I can see myself getting a ton of mileage out of them in future Necro and Kill Team tables alike. With the larger trailer, the side assembly can be a bit uneven – I would recommend using plastic glue and putting the piece down right side up on an even surface to keep the sides straight.
Both paint schemes are very simple. For the bolter trailer, I applied a basecoat of Army Painter Hazardous Smog and hit it with a zenithal of AP Toxic Mist. You don’t need an airbrush at all here and anything in the robin’s egg blue to light seafoam range will be excellent. The Red trailer is Golden High Flow acrylic Quinacridone Red hit with satin varnish. The bomb container is just a zenithal prime. The saw arm is AP Rough Iron (GW Warplock Bronze) with a drybrush of Canoptek Alloy. I used Black Templar contrast for black details, and gunked up the treads with Dryad Bark to make them a bit more “lived in”.
Everything got a generous sponging of Stormhost Silver and Dryad Bark, and then I airbrushed streaking grime and let it really gunk the place up. If you don’t want to use enamels, Mortation Grime is phenomenal here. Last tough was a quick drybrush of Stormhost Silver again on the steel and iron bits and we were good to go. Per my standard preference, everything got the usual few thin coats of satin varnish that I apply to all scatter.
Kill Team: Shadowvaults brings modern plastic re-sculpts of old fan favorite Kasrkin back to 40k. These first released (in white metal) back in 4th edition before eventually vanishing and being replaced by Tempestus Scions, which filled the same role but were never quite there thematically. The new plastics perfectly carry on the appearance of the old models, with better proportions and dynamism. They’re about half a head taller, so I don’t think I’d mix them inside the same squad, but you can definitely mix them in the same army.
This is a complete set of ten unique sculpts – no duplicated sprue of five here! All but one of the poses are great – there’s one hunched over running pose that I think doesn’t quiiiiite work, but it’s not bad enough to actually matter. It also comes with two of each special weapon (other than the sniper rifle), each with a slightly different set of arms. This is where my only real complaint about the set lies – if you want to use them in Kill Team and aren’t just buying for your 40k army, it’s fairly easy to make an illegal squad. You must read the composition rules in the rulebook first rather than relying on the instruction manual, as you’re only allowed to take one of each weapon (to a maximum of four total, including the sniper rifle).
That said, having the extra special weapons is perfect for 40k players, making these great Scion replacements that look much better with Cadian troops (especially the newly announced resculpts). The torsos are all built with nearly flat shoulders, just a slight vertical line/seam to help align arms, so you can mostly put any arm set on any body. The only concern is whether hoses clip the body, which a few lasgun arm and body combinations will, but plasma/melta/grenade won’t have that problem. You can easily build multiple squads without ending up with duplicate poses.
There are 26 heads included in the kit, 10 of which are fully enclosed, and the rest a combination of helmeted and helmetless, both male and female. My favorite is the one I used on my sergeant (and I expect many other people will do the same) with the gas mask hanging off the helmet.
These paint up like an absolute dream. While I’d recommend keeping the heads separate while painting to make getting the uniform collar easier, you can definitely fully assemble them and still get in there. There’s enough detail that nothing gets boring and you can easily paint them with contrast if you’d like, but not so much going on that it turns into tedium.
I guess I have one other semi-complaint: they’re on the new 28.5mm bases, so I didn’t have a pile of resin bases in my base bin ready to go and instead had to use texture paint. These bases do look a ton better, so I mostly just need to wait for my purchasing habits to catch up with me.
Liam: One blessed relief with this kit is that while it’s as packed with stuff as you’d expect from a modern GW plastic, it’s laid out fairly sensibly with components grouped more or less together on the sprues. I was building some Kommandos recently, from back in the first Kill Team 2.0 box, and was reminded of just what a chore that is with bits spread out all across the three sprues in the kit with no clear way to tell where anything is. No such issues here, thankfully.
Beyond that, my thoughts are much the same as Jack’s; this is a great kit with a bunch of cool options and it does a fantastic job of bringing Kasrkin into the new world of GW plastics. They’re detailed but not busy, and give you lots of flexibility; my straightforward scheme was easy to rattle through, but someone taking these on as a painting project can spend plenty of time on them and really bring them to life.
As a side note, also in the box is a new Cadian transfer sheet, distinct from the standard Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard one that has been around for a while, and which should serve you well for sprucing up your Guard units.
The Other Contents – The Rules
Shadowvaults comes with a repack of the rules from Into the Dark, giving you rules for playing games in Killzone: Gallowdark and missions. These are unchanged from the previous outing, save for the inclusion of Killzone: Shadowvaults. This is a supplement that adds rules for Weapons Lockers, Security panels, Bombs, Robots and Sentry Turrets. These all have their own rules, with the sentry turret mostly serving to shoot anything that moves and the robots acting under the command of a player who can put an operative near one to activate them. There are also some missions that use the robots specifically.
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