Kill Team: Termination – Brood Brothers Review

Greetings brave freedom fighters! TheArmorOfContempt(AoC) here to bring you my most anticipated review since I started doing them for Kill Team. As some of you know I am an avid Wyrmblade player, largely by coincidence, and this has slowly pulled me into being more and more committed to the Four Armed Emperor.

It is also common knowledge that I am an accomplished painter, but my output is extremely slow. This means it isn’t very often that a team or army is released and I already have all or some of the models already finished. So imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when Brood Brothers were announced. 

As usual if you aren’t wanting to read this review in its entirety the most important takeaway is that this is a very powerful team with almost every operative and rule hitting that proper combination of useful and thematic. This team is basically a combination of elements of the Blooded, Wyrmblade, and Veteran Guardsmen teams, with more emphasis on the former two as it is a strong hybrid of shooting and melee performing well across all aspects of the game. 

Brood Brothers Kill Team. Credit: John from Can You Roll A Crit?

Faction Ability – Crossfire and Tactical Assets


The central ability of the team, while not the most interesting, is the Wyrmblade Crossfire ploy as it perhaps always should have been. Enemy operatives now gain Crossfire tokens whenever they are the target of a shooting or combat attack performed by an ACTIVE Brood Brother operative, but are not incapacitated by that attack. These tokens may then be spent by other Brood Brother operatives on subsequent attacks to perform a re-roll. There is no limit to the number of tokens that may be on an enemy, or spent by an attacking operative. 

This is a solid team ability, and is perhaps similar to the Blooded in the sense that the tokens available to your team will likely increase as the game goes on, as opposed to Wyrmblade’s Cult Ambush becoming less efficient over time. 

Tactical Assets/Optional Operatives

This is the ability that has everyone excited and will certainly generate the most debate. Much like Veteran Guardsmen, the Brood Brothers have an array of options that they may use to augment the team. These are divided into two categories, Tactical Assets and Operatives. The assets are additional team special abilities that may be used when you would activate an operative similar to how Starstrider support assets are used. Multiple assets may be used in a Turning Point, however the same one may never be used twice in a Turning Point.

Brood Brothers may include up to THREE of the above options with some taking up multiple choices. The Operatives I will cover in detail in the Operatives section, with the remaining choices being Interference, Lookout, and Reinforcement:

  • Interference lets you choose one enemy operative within six inches of a Kill Zone edge (excluding your opponent’s) and you roll a D6. If the result is equal to or greater than their APL they immediately suffer a -1 APL modifier. 
  • Lookout allows you to place a Crossfire token on a single enemy operative and every other enemy operative within 2 inches of it. Lastly, 
  • Reinforcement allows you to bring in a standard Trooper operative with no equipment, and place them wholly within six inches of your Kill Zone on their activation. This counts as a Normal Move. 

If I had to identify anything lackluster on this team this is probably the closest to it. All of these abilities are useful, and there may be situations in which you use Reinforcement, BUT none of these outweigh the usefulness of the specialist operatives this team has access to. Of the three, Interference is the weakest with Lookout occupying the middle ground. If this team wasn’t so strong I would suggest that they simply have access to one of these two assets for free, but I don’t think that will be the case anytime soon. 


The best way to explain the Brood Brothers team is that it is a 12 activation team that comes with 13 operative “slots” and can have 11 to 13 operatives on the table. When you form your team you MUST choose 10 operatives from a list of Brood Brother specialists (obligatory Commander required), and have an additional 3 slots that MUST be used to purchase Tactical Assets, Broodcoven Operatives (more on these guys later), or standard Brood Brother troopers. It is important to note that much like The Blooded there are more specialist Brood Brother operatives than there are slots to take them, so players will find themselves having to leave certain options behind. Lastly, you are limited to three total Gunner/Sniper choices meaning you can’t take all the big guns. 

Brood Brothers Kill Team. Credit: John from Can You Roll A Crit?

Brood Brother Commander

Your typical horde team commander with the +1 wound and +1 hit/wound. The Commander has a pure ranged option in the form of a Ceaseless autogun, and two slightly different melee/pistol (Bolt Pistol/Chainsword or Laspistol/Powersword) combinations. These latter two are likely to be chosen over the autogun the vast majority of the time with the decision largely coming down to what your opponent brings. The Commander also comes with a single data-slate ability that allows him to place a single Crossfire token on a Visible enemy operative during the Strategy Phase.

Brood Brother Agitator 

A standard human armed with a Shock Maul; this guy is similar to The Blooded Thug, being a slightly more durable bully melee unit meant to punch down, not up. To aid him in this endeavor he can ignore a single normal melee hit per Turning Point. More importantly the Agitator comes with the Psiren Caster ability that allows friendly operatives within six inches of him to use a Crossfire token for free (even if that enemy does not have one) whenever they make a combat or shooting attack. Take note that this does not require that operative be active like the Crossfire team ability does. This makes the Agitator a very important part of the synergy of this team, meaning that you will likely want to keep them safe, engaging in melee as a counter charger instead of front line brawling. 

Brood Brother Gunner

I hope you enjoy The Blooded comparisons because this won’t be the last one you see. You have access to four weapon options: Flamer, Plasma Gun, Meltagun, and Grenade Launcher. These weapons are all identical to their counterparts found on other teams, and as we all know by now, you aren’t going to be taking that Flamer. 

Brood Brother Iconward

Similar to the Agitator we have another melee weapon only operative that is meant more to buff your team. The Iconward is perhaps one of the strongest of the available specialists coming with your standard, makes guys count as 1 APL greater when holding objectives, but comes with the addition of a massive 6 inch range meaning this guy could potentially buff operatives on two separate objectives if properly placed. Additionally! He comes with the Broodmind Devotion ability that allows an operative within 6 inches to perform a FREE ACTION (other than Fight or Mind Control). This ability is limited to once per Turning Point, and the operative in question may not be the target of the Medic! ability. This is a very powerful option as you essentially may expose a gunner at the end of Turning Point safe in the knowledge you will still get a use out of them if your opponent gains initiative. This operative allows for all sorts of shadey moves and is an auto-take.

Brood Brother Knife Fighter

Similar to the Blooded Flenser this guy has no ranged option but comes with 4 atks, +3 hit/wound, Relentless, Lethal 5+, and may Charge while under a Conceal Order. Instead of striking his opponent on death he deals a single Mortal Wound to them whenever they resolve a normal hit. This allows him to punch above his weight against standard enemies, even taking on non melee specialist Space Marines. However, he will still die instantly when up against more dedicated combat specialists. Those 7 wounds mean he’s not doing the dance of blades for long.

Brood Brothers Kill Team. Credit: John from Can You Roll A Crit?

Brood Brother Medic

Has both of your standard medic abilities: heal dude and resurrect dude. The only difference between these abilities and your standard medic is that they may not be used on The Patriarch (calm down, we aren’t there yet!). This guy comes armed with a lasgun and bayonet, BUT has a once use single attack that is 5/7 damage and Lethal 5+ giving him the very funny capability of landing a one shot kill on human equivalents. 

Brood Brother Sapper

With the nerfing of the Veteran Guardsman Demolition Trooper we may now have the choice for the best Grenadier in the game. The Sapper not only comes with both a Frag and Krak Grenade, but also the very impressive Demolition Charge, a 4 atk, +3 hit/wound, 5/6 damage, AP1, Limited, and Unwieldy grenade option. Additionally, the Sapper comes with the Explosives (1 AP) ability that allows them to place a token within 1 inch. If they perform this action a second time all operatives within 2 inches suffer 2d6 mortal wounds. This action may only be performed twice per game, meaning only one explosion may ever be performed per game. This operative will likely require a quick errata as the explosion does not require visibility to hit targets. One final detail that makes this operative extra fun is that when they are incapacitated they MAY perform the Explosives action for free meaning your opponent may very well find themselves trying to avoid killing the Sapper to prevent the explosive from detonating in the same turn they were placed. 

Brood Brother Sniper

Basically the Veteran Guardsman Sniper, but if he was always Heavy. This guy not having a more mobile, but perhaps less deadly variant shooting option really hamstrings his usefulness. As most of you know I am not a big fan of static operatives, meaning I would rate him below even The Blooded sniper in terms of usefulness. With access to 3 Gunner options this guy is likely to be left home. A rare miss on a team otherwise chock full of fantastic options. 

Brood Brother Trooper

Literally a Guardsman. GA 2, Lasgun, all that jazz. It would’ve been nice for these guys to have some kind of ability, even if it was perhaps the ability to add two Crossfire tokens to their targets, anything to make them competitive with the specialist choices. Alas, it was not to be and you will likely only have one of these guys if you’re taking the Reinforcement tactical asset.

Brood Brother Veteran

Our bodyguard specialist, this guy comes with a 5+ Feel No Pain, and a 4/4 dmg 3+ shotgun. Additionally, he may perform the Unquestioning Loyalty tactical ploy for free, more on ploys later, but essentially he stays close to your leaders to take the hits for them and comes with a rather deadly mid range weapon. 

Brood Brothers Kill Team. Credit: John from Can You Roll A Crit?

Brood Brother Vox Operator 

Another strong contender for best version of that thing you find in all the other kill teams the operator is a great take on the Comms specialist. He can do your usual APL buff with the limitation that the target must be within six inches, and may only be used on BroodGuard operatives. Where he stands out is that he can also act as a sort of omni-scrambler by performing the Jam (1AP+) action on a target within Line of Sight. A D6 is then rolled and the opponent must activate a number of operatives equal to the result (or that operative must be the final one) prior to that operative during the Turning Point. For an additional AP this ability can even be used on operatives that are merely Visible. 

Broodcoven and Friends

Now we get to the really fun part. What follows are the choices by which the strength of your team will revolve around. The operatives that may be chosen as part of 3 Tactical Asset options. It is important to point out here that the Magus, Primus, and Patriarch are all mutually exclusive from one another and share the Broodcoven keyword. If you chose one of them for your team you are immediately blocked from taking the others, and that operative then becomes your leader. 

Psychic Familiars 

This choice gets you two operatives for the price of one. In many ways these guys are similar to other small operatives like Glitchlings or the Heirotek support cytes. They come with “super conceal” and have the ability to Fallback for one less AP. In addition, they may perform Mission Actions while within Engagement Range even if they normally couldn’t and even over abilities that might otherwise prevent them. Lastly, they can pass through operatives when moving! What you have here is the obvious utility choice, and will almost always be taken in conjunction with either the Primus or Magus, who consequently take up two of your asset choices. While their profiles are rather weak the familiar do have Rending on their claws making them slightly better than bayonets. While they are GA2 there was an opportunity to give them a rule similar to the tandem activation ability of the Blessed Blades that would’ve made them slightly better. 


The first of our Broodcoven, and right out the gate this might be the strongest choice. While this is the “weakest” of our options, the Magus provides some downright FANTASTIC teamwide buffs. The first thing to notice is the Magus has 3 APL, 9 Wounds, and 4+ save, basic stats it shares with its Primus counterpart. The Magus comes armed with two different melee weapon variants that sport decent profiles, and while they are no combat specialist, when you combine them with the damage potential of its psychic abilities he can easily down a Space Marine with the right rolls. Speaking of which the Magus has access to two Psychic Actions, Overload (1 AP) and Mental Onslaught (1 AP). The former allows the Magus to reduce an enemy opponent’s APL by 1, while the latter deals 2 mortal wounds to an enemy within Line of Sight (4 to targets within 6 inches). The Magus owner then rolls a D6 and if the result is higher than the target’s APL the power affects the target again. This repeats until the D6 result fails to surpass the target’s APL or 8 Mortal Wounds have been suffered by the target. 

If all of this wasn’t enough for you that brings us to perhaps the best ability this operative provides. While the Magus is on the board it provides your ENTIRE team a 5++ Invulnerable Save AND makes them immune to being injured OR negative APL modifications. This is downright sick as this essentially means your Iconward’s and Medic’s abilities operate at their maximum and your team is never hindered no matter how battered. 


Where the Magus is meant to provide support for your team and keep them operating at peak efficiency, the Primus is far more capable in combat, while also coming with some fantastic abilities in his own right. For those familiar with the Wyrmblade the Primus is essentially what if you had a hybrid of the Locus and Kelermorph, with the ability to Fight or Shoot Twice, but not quite as deadly in either capacity. That being said he is no slouch and it isn’t really fair to compare him against two of the deadliest specialists in the game. First off, the Primus comes armed with a Needle Pistol that has a respectable profile of 4 atks, +3 hit/wound, 2/4 damage, Lethal 5, Silent, and +2 hit/wound at 6 inches. This means the Primus is nearly as effective as a Sniper in his own right, and has the handy side effect of being able to pile up Crossfire tokens without getting immediately killed. In close combat he has an impressive 5 atks, +2 hit/wounds, 4/5 damage, Lethal 5+, and Rending meaning you are almost always going to be looking at two critical hits. Like the Magus, if his abilities ended here he would be a good operative, but there’s more: The Primus can spend one AP to immediately generate a Command Point, AND has the ability to let you either re-roll your initiative, or add +1 to the result every Turning Point, after you see the result. Bonkers. If the Magus wasn’t so damn good I would say this guy is the obvious take. 

The Patriarch

Alright, here he is…the one everyone has been waiting for. As expected, choosing the Patriarch uses ALL three of your asset slots. What you get for what is essentially three operatives is one of the nastiest pieces on the table. The Patriarch has a staggering 4 APL (which can NEVER be modified), 21 wounds, and a 4++ immediately making it one of the most durable operatives on the table, surpassed only by Gellerpox Hulks (like hulks it can’t gain cover from light terrain or small operatives) and Custodians. Where the Magus and Primus are meant to support your team, engaging only at the most advantageous moment, the Patriarch has one job, kill your enemy. It does this through its primary ability, Apex Predator, which allows the Patriarch to “activate” twice. I put quotes there because this immensely powerful ability comes with more than few stipulations. First, the Patriarch may NEVER move more than nine inches during a Turning Point, and it may never perform more than four actions in a Turning Point. This means when you activate the Patriarch you declare how many APL he is generating from his 4 APL limit. This creates so many potential interactions for creative players. 

Speaking of interactions, the Patriarch has two additional abilities, Into the Shadow (1 AP) and Mind Control (2 AP). The former is rather straightforward as it allows the Patriarch to change its Order if it isn’t in Engagement Range. The latter is a Psychic Action that may be used against an enemy operative within two inches and Visible. Once performed the Patriarch’s controller and the controller of the target roll a D6 and add their APL to the result, if the Patriarch’s roll exceeds that of the target that enemy becomes friendly model until the end of the activation and can immediately perform a Free Action (this is literally any action that would available to that model) with the exception of any action that would cause the model to move other than Dash. If Mind Control is used successfully it can not be performed again during the game. 

Lastly, the Patriarch comes with a very nasty melee profile (most importantly, no shooting capabilities) of 5 atks, +2 hit/wound, 5/6 damage, Relentless, and Rending. It is important to note it does not have the ability to fight twice during an activation meaning if you want to kill multiple enemies with it you must do so in separate halves of its activation. 

This guy is going to simply be a pain for some teams, the ability to double activate means The Patriarch will be very hard to get out of Engagement Range if the controlling player chooses to not kill its target as enemies falling back might find themselves quickly reengaged. The main thing that prevents this operative from being broken is its nine inch range limit, and while it can be injured this isn’t a huge concern for an operative that can activate twice. This all being said, The Patriarch has zero synergy with your team as he doesn’t really benefit from Crossfire, and isn’t very useful in bestowing tokens, and the chance for the Mind Control to fail can be a huge make or break point. With this in mind I sadly think he is the least competitive option of the three leaders, however only time will tell. 


It will come as no surprise that this team is loaded with lots of very good ploys, and if you take the Primus you will get to use them even more. All of these clock in at 1CP, which is a nice return to form on design space.

Strategic Ploys

Pervasive: Brood Brother operatives ignore the first two inches when it Climbs, Traverses, and Drops for the Turning Point. This is straight up fantastic! Who the hell needs climbing rope? Imagine this when coupled with the Magus ensuring your operatives are never injured.

Uprising: During the Turning Point the first time an operative makes a Fight or Shoot action and switches from Conceal to Engage the Crossfire token is applied to its target before the roll as opposed to after, meaning you may spend the Crossfire token during that attack. This basically allows you to access re-rolls a turn earlier than you might normally. Most games of Kill Team do not have a lot of combat in the first Turning Point meaning you might not generate many Crossfire tokens going into Turning Point 2, often the deadliest turn, and thus aren’t at a total disadvantage. 

Embedded: If your operatives are in cover from Heavy Terrain you may retain an additional cover save automatically. Two auto retains on 7 wound models? Yes please!

Overcharge Lasguns: Just like The Blooded ploy, and potentially more useful? This team has the ability to equip its operatives with more las weapons than their Chaos counterparts, however it will still find itself in stiff competition with other ploys.

Tactical Ploys

Ruthless Coordination: When determining line of sight for an operative you may use this ploy to use another operative’s line of sight for that model. This specifically only applies to determining obscuring and cover, AND will not grant the benefits of a Vantage Point and requires both operatives to have visibility on the target. While this ploy has lots of stipulations on its use, most of which prevent it from being too abusable, it still is incredibly powerful. For instance an operative may move within two inches of a concealed operative and be used by a Gunner to gain a valid target. Familiars come to mind as being excellent coordinators.

Unquestioning Loyalty: If your Leader is the target of a combat or shooting attack you may redirect that attack to any Broodguard within two inches. Fantastic, all the best parts of Wyrmblade Unquestioning Loyalty and Faithful Follower of Chaos Cult. The only downside is the leader is the only one who may benefit from it, and attacks that target multiple operatives can not be redirected.

Idolisation: This allows an operative within six inches of your leader or iconward to automatically turn a single failed hit into a normal hit or a normal hit to a crit. Brood Brothers version of Coiled Serpent, and in many ways better. 

Insidious: This tactical ploy allows an operative to perform a Dash Action after an activation has concluded as long as the operative in question is not in Line of Sight when it begins or ends the dash. This is a great ploy! Simply allow one of your operatives to get within charge range, or block the opponent’s anticipated charge, or move out of range of their charge. Out of sequence actions are always fantastic. 


The equipment list available to the Brood Brothers contains nothing we really haven’t seen at this point, and more than a few of the choices are redundant and pointless. That being said, what is good does an admirable job of shoring up any weaknesses this team might have. 

Frag [2 EP] and Krak Grenade [3 EP]: We all know these. You will never purchase them because the Sapper is an auto-take. Honestly, the habit of putting grenadiers in teams and then putting the grenade option in the equipment list is getting old, and frankly is bad design as long as the grenadiers themselves remain so good. To boot you can’t even give equipment to the Reinforcement trooper making this a doubly pointless inclusion. 

Cult Talisman [2 EP]: Identical to the Wyrmblade option, just as bad, but to refresh your memory this is a once per game turn a normal save into a critical save. Normally, not something worth taking but may find use going on either the Primus or Magus. 

Covert Guise [3 EP]: Allows the bearer to perform a free Dash after the Scouting Step, but as a consequence they can not switch to Engage during the first Turning Point. This has some usefulness as the team has access to a couple Silent weapons, AND the Magus’s psychic powers can still be used from Conceal. Additionally, it can be used to gain access to objectives your operatives might normally have trouble reaching. A strong piece of equipment that requires a good plan to employ properly. 

Cult Knife [1 EP]: Just like the Wyrmblade’s and always a solid option. Basically a 4 attack bayonet. 

Lasgun [2 EP] and Laspistol [1 EP]: Pretty straightforward, and solid picks for your operatives that lack firearms, especially when combined with the next piece of gear.

Hot-Shot Capacitor Pack [2 EP]: Ups the damage of both normal and critical damage of lasguns and laspistols. These are great and perhaps one of the most obvious choices for this team. Upgrade the lasgun of your medic and vox operator, while giving Hot-Shot pistols to your iconward and agitator, and you’ve already done much to shore up your weaknesses.

Tac Ops

Perhaps for the first time in a while we actually have an array of interesting and actually achievable faction tac ops! None of these seem automatic, but at the same time they seem to fall in the same category of achievable as those found with the archetypes. Odds you will want to take one of these, and when combined with the fact the team has access to three of the four archetypes this team will have an incredibly strong secondary game. 

Clandestine Elimination: If your operatives incapacitate an enemy within six inches while not being within line of sight of any other enemy operatives you score 1 VP. If you achieve this again, gain the second VP. This is near autopick for a close quarters map, and still not insanely unrealistic for open boards as good positioning or even the Primus’s Needle Pistol could be a quick way of gaining this. Additionally, you don’t have to reveal it to your opponent until you complete the requirements, which are frankly always great.

Militant Leadership: Reveal this Tac Op when your Leader causes an enemy to lose a wound. Score 1 VP when that leader achieves 12 wounds dealt, and gain the second IF your leader survives the battle. Given the sheer lethality of the Leaders available to this team earning the first VP seems rather easy, however depending on who you take it be difficult for them to survive.

Meticulous Preparation: This Tac Op grants your team the Prepare for Ascension (1 AP) action that they may perform on an objective they control, but not while Engaged. Once you do so you may reveal this Tac Op. Interestingly enough, this Tac Op’s two VPs are achieved independently of one another. The first requires you to perform the mission action on over half of the objectives by the end of the game, while the second requires you to control over half at the end of the game. Much like militant leadership the first point seems rather easy to achieve, especially if you take the Psychic Familiars who were clearly made with this Tac Op in mind. Obviously, the second comes down to whether or not you’re winning, and in that sense it might not be the best choice when compared to the others. 

Example Roster

All the options available to this team do fit on the roster, however for the first time we have a team where what you pick can drastically change your method of play. Between the Primus, Patriarch, and Magus you have no “wrong” option on how to lead your team, along with what specialists you decide to take or leave behind. 

An example of a strong shooting-oriented team would be the following:

  • Magus
  • 2xPsychic Familiars
  • Brood Brother Commander: Bolt Pistol and Chainsword
  • Brood Brother Gunner: Meltagun
  • Brood Brother Gunner: Plasmagun
  • Brood Brother Gunner: Grenade Launcher
  • Brood Brother Iconward [3 EP] – Laspistol & Hot-Shot Capacitor
  • Brood Brother Sapper 
  • Brood Brother Vox Operator [2 EP] – Hot-Shot Capacitor
  • Brood Brother Veteran
  • Brood Brother Medic [2 EP] Hot-Shot Capacitor
  • Brood Brother Agitator [3 EP] – Laspistol & Hot-Shot Capacitor 

Here the idea is a team that operates at peak efficiency, while the Magus is not as strong of a shooter as the Primus he still can deal out damage, while allowing dying Gunners to shoot on death near the Iconward without suffering injury, and the Medic to prevent operatives from dying while suffering no APL loss. The Agitator ensures your dying gunners continue to drop Crossfire tokens on your opponents until their dying breath, and the equipment means your entire team is armed with bolt weapon equivalents or better. 

Final Thoughts

I love this team, and while I don’t share the fears of it being broken like some of my fellow writers, you’d have to be blind to not think this team strongly fits into the A tier. Fortunately, whether this team turns out to be too powerful or not powerful enough there are things that can be easily massaged to increase or decrease its power without ruining the fundamental flavor of it. I have a strong suspicion that the Primus and Magus will prove to be the more competitive picks as their overall abilities to effect the game flow or provide team-wide buffs are likely to outweigh the power of the Patriarch. Space Marine and Gellerpox players know all too well that 21 wounds isn’t that hard to chew through with the correct weapons.

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