The stream of exciting reveals from GW shows no sign of letting up, and the latest one on Saturday was a big one. New and improved Kill Team, a look at the spectacular number of new models coming with the Ork Codex, news about the next Warzone series and a teaser trailer for the one Chapter still working off an Index. There’s loads to talk about, so let’s get into it.
Today’s Round Table:
- Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones
- Primaris Kevin
Q. Let’s start with your first impressions. How do you feel about the reveal?
Thundercloud: Well I’m happy. Something happening with Kill Team has been rumoured for a while, and there’s been very little in terms of releases for the last couple of years. Pariah Nexus was a product that wasn’t well received (I think my review was one of the few positive ones, because it does fix the problems with Arena and did give marines a good shot in the arm) and the game was more complex than Combat Patrol to play and parts of it, like the Injury roll and damage resolution, were just gamey and not in a fun way.
Now we know the following:
- Nice big box with two complete Kill Teams, rules for them, core rulebook, a very packed Killzone (5 Ork buildings, the Ork scrap sprue which is another six terrain pieces and what looks like six small barricades). Going by the pricing for other big boxes £125 RRP.
- Accompanying book with kill teams for most factions (Custodes, Sisters and Kroot added to what was in the old Kill Team rulebook). The faction breakdown on https://warhammer40000.com/kill-team/ likely covers the models that will be usable right out of the gate. Variety has been reduced and this means marines have only ten unit types to play with. Harlequins are unchanged. I predict a lot of complaining about this.
- Multiple ways to play including campaign play (which would be a substantial improvement over the previous edition where the campaign rules were terrible).
- 2 card packs in the box of 27 cards each called Tactical Ops cards. Are these the objective cards decks?
- Entirely new rules that look much more modern and appear to involve dice pools.
- The box will be a single run, with replacement starters planned for the future (this was hinted at by Adam Troke but a lot of people didn’t seem to get what he meant). GW handled scalpers and supply issues pretty well with Dominion, and will hopefully do the same with this box.
- The new Kill Teams are a standard unit for the faction but include options to build specialists. This means that the Krieg unit can build a command squad and has all the special weapon options they can take. This is very interesting and could herald unit updates/changes for other ranges (Space Marine scouts badly need an update for example, preferably with mohicans, and Eldar Guardians are old and crappy as well) with future releases.
So in general I’m really happy with this. There are a lot of people crying on the internet, but that’s for the usual reasons of thinking the preview was going to be something they’d made up in their heads and which no one had hinted it would be, and then getting angry about it when it wasn’t.
TheChirurgeon: There was exactly one thing I wanted out of this or any other Kill Team reveal and that’s new rules with a new statline/injury system. In that regard, this reveal absolutely delivered and then some. The new minis are also amazing but the most important thing is that they’ve reworked Kill Team into something that will hopefully be much more fun to actually play. On top of that, the new Ork models look dope and Black Templars are cool as hell so I’m pretty hype. But mostly I’m excited about new Kill Team rules that have been redone from the ground up.
Primaris Kevin: I missed the live reveal so that I could take the family to the park on the one nice weekend Maryland will have all summer, so I’ve been catching up through the Warhammer Community website. Originally I was completely disinterested in Kill Team. I have three Kill Team starter boxes in my house because the only thing I cared about was having a cheap source of terrain, but seeing the new rules makes me think this edition might be different. I’m excited for Octarius as Deathwatch, Orks, and Tyranids are the armies that I’m focusing on at the moment.
Fowler: I mainly play skirmish games, and this box has me excited. The model refreshes are excellent, the terrain expands on an aesthetic I love (plus looks super usable), and a rules reset is exactly what Kill Team needs. What I really like here is that this seems like a great first GW box for someone new to the hobby. 2 characterful model ranges and a PILE of terrain.
Thundercloud: New Kill Team rules that look to be much more modern. If these are Warcry based (alternating activations, 2 actions per model) that will be a huge step forward. Such systems have been around since Andy Chambers’ Starship Troopers in 2005, and certainly flourished in skirmish systems like Judge Dredd, but Warcry integrated it into a series of other interesting mechanics (the initiative/special action mechanic is a very good piece of design work). A Kill Team that learns the lessons of Warcry and moves away from the roll some dice, nothing happens, of the previous edition would be a good positive step.
SRM: 17 year-old me was hooting and hollering at the idea of plastic Death Korps of Krieg. With the oodles of imitators over the years (none of which have ever actually hit the standard set by Forgeworld’s originals) it feels like both something inevitable but also like a serious wishlist item being checked off. This is also going to be the 4th skirmish offering for 40k since 2016’s Shadow War: Armageddon, so hopefully 4th time is the charm here.
Q. Kill Team looks to have undergone some massive changes. What are you hoping to see out of the new version?
Fowler: I am extremely here for KillCry. Warcry is a fantastic skirmish game, and seeing some of that spirit move over to the 40k line is encouraging. Increasing the wound granularity and (hopefully) getting the “knock out 3-4 games in a club night” spirit will go a long way. There are phenomenal campaign options available for Warcry, and I’m interested to see if they add a bit more complexity there.
TheChirurgeon: The new statlines are extremely promising. Kill Team’s biggest problem is that it has statlines tied to 40k’s, meaning that most games consist of a bunch of one- and two-wound models. Not only does this cause massive problems when half of the 40k range updates to new wound totals (space marines) or when a new box changes the weapon options on a unit (Chaos Space Marines), it also leads us to the game’s injury mechanic, which is just bad.
On top of that, moving to a more Warcry-style wounds system means that you can chip away at models like marines over time, building to success, rather than continually bounce off them until they fail a single injury roll. At the casual level too many games of Kill Team end with only 1-2 casualties, making it feel like very little happened. I’m excited for these new rules to fix that.
Finally Kill Team has an astounding amount of rules bloat for such a small game, with just mountains of tactics cards to keep track of for every faction and specialism and it’ll be good to see that pared down to something much more manageable. Kill Team can and should be a very tight, fun game that’s great for beginners and so far it hasn’t been.
Primaris Kevin: Every time GW tries to make a skirmish game for 40k I end up playing Necromunda instead, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about Warcry so if GW is basing it off of that I’m excited. What I would really love to see out of the new version is app support. It’s a new game, so this is a perfect opportunity to provide players with a digital alternative for keeping track of their models, stat lines, wounds, etc. I would also love to see how the narrative stuff plays out.
Fowler: Digital rules support hadn’t even crossed my mind! Kill Team seems like the perfect place to try something more hands-on with game management. Especially if I’m looking to knock out multiple games in a night, speeding up and abstracting some of the bookkeeping with a digital option seems like a slam dunk.
Thundercloud: A new streamlined Kill Team is exactly what I was after. A game where it doesn’t get decided on initiative rolls a good portion of the time and where the normal result of ordinary models shooting at each other is nothing happening. I liked Kill Team for what it was, skirmish 40k, but I was well aware of its big problems. I look forward to trying to do ten models from pretty much every faction to make a Kill Team and managing about three teams.
TheChirurgeon: I also really hope the new Kill Team gives us something more robust for narrative play. Whether it was through the odd story-driven boxed set play of Rogue Trader or the barely existent campaign rules from the old Kill Team Core Rules, narrative play in Kill Team left a lot to be desired. I’d love to see something that allows for more meaningful campaigns, progression, and customization – I don’t need to go full Necromunda with 40k minis, but something that encourages me to do more customization would be great.
SRM: So much of the previous edition of Kill Team involved rolling dice only to see nothing happen. More wounds and the chance to do chip damage is a lot more interesting in the immediate sense, but I’d love to find out about campaign progression. GW’s really leaning hard into narrative, ongoing games with 40k’s Crusade and AoS’ Path to Glory, so I’d be surprised if we didn’t see something along those lines with Kill Team. Necromunda is still king in this regard, but I’d love to scratch that narrative skirmish itch with folks who maybe aren’t quite as into the idea of painting models they can’t use in 40k.
Q. What did you think of the miniatures and terrain in the Kill Team Box?
Primaris Kevin: The new models and terrain look awesome. Usually the KT boxes are a good deal on the terrain alone, and it’s nice to see GW branch out from cities and industrial parks and visit the xenos infested countryside. I’m glad to see two older lines get a much needed refresh.
TheChirurgeon: I absolutely love the new terrain. All the new models look great, but the Ork Kommandos and the Ork terrain stand out the most to me. I can’t believe it took us this long to get xenos buildings and I’m pumped to build an entire table’s worth of Ork terrain. It looks great and I’m hopeful it’s part of a bigger range of releases.
Thundercloud: Well it’s the most terrain they’ve put in a box ever I think. 5 buildings and 12 pieces of scatter terrain is enough for a 1000 point 40k board, let alone a Kill Team board half the size of that. It all looks great, and I’m thinking if you just selected two Ork Kill Teams you could just play Gorkamorka.
The Ork Kommandos look great, and GW including options for specialists and to do the whole squad as standard grunts means that the Kill Team unit releases replace Finecast/FW models quite handily. I’d love to see more releases like this for units that need replacement, either because they are from the time before digital sculpting was invented (Space Marine Scouts, Eldar Guardians, Kroot) or are in finecast (Striking Scorpions, Eldar Rangers).
Fowler: Aside from my abject joy watching “Krieg Elitists” melt down on the internet, I’m really excited for the new Orky terrain. More options in the Mekboy Workshop vein are great; I expect to see these buildings on a lot of Necromunda tables. This seems like a great step in the guard refresh – the new Catachan heroes, updated Cadian sprue, Gaunt’s Ghosts, and now plastic DKOK. Really looking forward to where the line is at when the Codex arrives.
Thundercloud: Krieg play heavily into their WWI aesthetic and it is good to see another range of guard infantry coming out, since the Krieg kit can be a standard infantry squad or command squad, so they just need a heavy weapon squad to be level pegging with the other guard infantry ranges.
I’d also love to see GW get adventurous, and do boxes of models that add things to a range (Eldar Pirates from Rogue Trader could do with a revisit) or which test the water before a full range is done (do people really want Squats back? Is it time for xenos mercenaries?).
SRM: I love love love seeing xenos terrain, and this chunky Ork terrain looks fully sick and extremely playable. I don’t think it’s going to be quite as in-demand as the Imperial terrain from the initial Kill Team box, but it’s a far sight better than everything that’s come since then. The Death Korps look like a pretty perfect update of the classic Forgeworld models, and I’m thrilled to bits to see those new Ork kommandos. They always made a ton of sense for Kill Team, and were held back by the limited options of their (admittedly great) old metal models. My only question is whether or not we’ll see plastic Death Korps command and heavy weapons squads, which would be a total layup in my opinion.
Q. Orks are getting a massive range update. Which of the new kits are you most excited about?
TheChirurgeon: Aside from the Kommandos, I think the new Snakebites character on a squig is the standout winner of the bunch. It’s an incredible model with a ton of dynamism. After that, it’s the boyz. Yeah, they’re boring comparatively and I know a lot of people already have 90 but I think they look great and I love that they’ll blend well with the existing boyz kit. I’m a big fan of GW releasing more sidegrade and upgrade sprue kits like we got with Cadians that can add new life into older sculpts or work well with older kits and don’t make you feel bad for only getting 1-2 new boxes instead of replacing an entire army’s worth.
That said, you may still want to replace them because the new boyz have a much better stance and aren’t insanely bowlegged.
Primaris Kevin: Orks were the army I played back in 5th Edition before I took a hiatus from 40k, so seeing that the new range is compatible with the old one is really encouraging and means I can mix and match the lines to make a more diverse force. Hopefully the Gargant Head Fortress is useful in game because it’s a really nice model. Any questions about the line can be answered by seeing there’s an Ork Sniper, complete with loudener!
Thundercloud: Disappointed there was no Squiggoth, happy there were some big squigs and a big squig cart. This release refreshes a lot of the Ork range that was getting stale and replaces one of their last finecast units (I think it’s just Tankbustas to go now). It’ll be great to put on the table and great to play against.
Orks have essentially got Snakebites back, the only thing missing is buzz squig catapults.
SRM: Kommandos without a doubt. While the Deffkoptas were a welcome surprise, the Horizon: Zero Dawn/Monster Hunter Orks aren’t really my bag. They’re great sculpts, don’t get it twisted, but I’m more of a Mad Max-style Ork fan. Kommandos have the right balance of character and visible legibility that really does it for me.
Q. Warzone Octarius is on the way. Which armies are you hoping get some new rules?
Primaris Kevin: Octarius is a massive battle between Orks and Tyranids, so I would love to see the bugs get something new. They’re still stuck in 8th Edition and it shows. I’m a sucker for oddball miniatures like Inquisitors and Assassins, so I wouldn’t mind that at all. Getting a patch for Deathwatch would be very nice as well.
TheChirurgeon: From the looks of things (the promotional photos shown) it’s Tyranids, Orks, Deathwatch, and Guard of some sort so I expect we’ll see rules for those. The real question is not “what armies will we see rules for” but rather “which armies get sick supplements for a subfaction and which armies get highly restrictive armies of renown?” Since Deathwatch have no subfactions they’re a shoo-in for an army of renown if they’re in the book, while the other three are fair game for the supplement treatment, though if I were a betting man I’d bet on 2 armies of renown, which is what we’ve seen in each warzone book so far. So good luck, Ork/Tyranid/Guard players!
There’s also the comedy option that we get an update to Inquisitors instead of one of these factions and people lose their minds. I’m not saying I want that to happen, but I’m here for it.
Thundercloud: I can see us getting an Inquisitor Kryptman and retinue, as the whole Octarian war is his brainchild. I don’t see Tyranids getting anything except some more rules. While parts of their range need replacing (Lictors and Gaunts) it’s likely that will be put off till a larger range refresh (like the one Orks are about to have) where Nids get some new stuff forged from the biomass absorbed during the Octarian war.
SRM: Much like War Zone: Charadon not including the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon, I find it odd that Octarius isn’t focusing on Nids from the get-go. I’m hoping we see Death Korps get expanded with mainline 40k rules not from a Forgeworld index and some associated kits come out alongside them. I feel like they’d serve as a good backing range to go with Inquisitor Kryptman and some Inquisition weirdos, who I dearly want to see in plastic.
Q. It sounds like Black Templars are finally getting an update. What do you hope to see?
TheChirurgeon: Black Templars getting a supplement was something I’d put money on back in January – they were the only astartes chapter without a supplement that also had its own Index, and there was absolutely no way we were going to make it through a calendar year without a big new space marines release. Black Templars fills that gap nicely without requiring us to get another Codex: Space Marines, saving us for the next year as the year we’ll probably get a new marine dex and treatments of all the 8th edition chapter supplements.
Black Templars are pretty strong and they’re a cool faction so this is pretty cool to see. I’m hoping personally for primaris sword brethren, since I think the aesthetic on sword brethren is extremely cool. Different litanies would also be cool to see.
Thundercloud: I’m betting that there’ll be at least a plastic upgrade sprue and at least one character. It’d be interesting if they did Sword Brethren or a chapter specific unit, though if we see one it will likely be Primaris. With space marine shoulder pads the way they are it also likely means Dark Angels players could steal any primaris robed bodies going.
It has the potential to be interesting, and will be an opportunity to boost Black Templars to Iron Hands/Salamanders level in terms of fluff and extra choices. Whether we need another melee focussed chapter since we already have Blood Angels and Space Wolves is another matter.
SRM: Templars are one of my favorite armies, so I’m stoked to see them get some new toys and rules. I’m wondering if we’ll start seeing Marines getting some of their specialist units brought over to Primaris – in this case, Crusaders, Neophytes, and Sword Brethren. Whatever they come out with, I’ll end up adding that to my second Indomitus set-sized Black Templar backlog. I feel like that could really break the seal on those sorts of units getting embiggened and maybe we’ll see Sanguinary Guard or what have you getting Primaris’d in the future.
Primaris Kevin: It would be great to see BT take Chaplains somewhere new. Different Litanies, maybe a new mechanic in the upgraded units, something to that effect. Templars are divergent enough that GW could really explore some new spaces in their core mechanic.
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