It’s almost October and that means it was time for a new quarterly dataslate. The Q3 2022 dataslate dropped today, coming in a bit earlier than expected. Kill Team has been settling into a solid groove recently, with some decent balance between the non-Compendium factions prior to the roll out of Into the Dark. And while the prospect of fighting space hulk battles will likely shake things up between the existing teams, there were still some lingering balance issues to address with the game’s current teams.
You can find the new Dataslate here.
Three teams received adjustments in the new dataslate, and we’ll go through the changes to each here and talk about what they mean.
- Auto-Chastisers now cost 2 EP
- Acts of Faith can’t be used to change a die that has been re-rolled
Novitiates have been hovering around the line between “very good” and “too good” for a while and so seeing a nerf to the team here isn’t a surprise. The ability to give an operative re-rolls of 1 on all of their Attack Dice during a game was just way too good, even with the potential drawback of suffering mortal wounds on the rare occasions you re-roll your 1s into 1s. At 2 EP it’s now something you’ll have to consider on some of your operatives, rather than a no-brainer you literally slap on all of them to have insane consistency on your attacks. This is a pretty big single nerf for Novitiates, but one that will also encourage them to try other equipment options.
TheArmorOfContempt: A great change, one of the issues with Kill Team has been that some teams have equipment options that are simply auto-takes over others, and the Chastiser has been one of the biggest culprits. Upping the cost seems like a smart move, although it might of been more thematic to keep it cheap, but have mortal wounds occur for each die you choose to re-roll.
The second piece here is also a nerf but at the same time, something that’s really just common-sense and needed to be implemented. Modifying dice after a re-roll is just an insane number of chances to get a result you want and it’s not fun for anyone.
Thundercloud: It feels like you can’t re-roll a re-roll should just be a blanket rule, because there’ll be other edge cases like this come up and this way people know not to try it.
TheArmorOfContempt: Frankly it wouldn’t of even occurred to me to change the re-roll, or considered that an option, so this is a good loose end for GW to tie up.
Phobos Strike Team
The Phobos Strike Team gets a small buff in the form of a new Strategic Ploy that can buff their weapons in certain circumstances:
Thundercloud: In a lot of ways this is basically a “stay still, get P1 on your normal guns” ability, and speed is life in Kill Team, so it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I can see the benefit, particularly for Infiltrators where you have Lethal 5+ and getting a crit to take advantage of it is fairly likely. If you are playing on open maps and have Phobos on Vantage points going in and out of Conceal using Guerilla tactics, then that improves their shooting and makes them even more annoying. If you are playing on Into the Dark maps, and camping isn’t as much of an option, and Vantage is gone, it’s less useful, because very often you have to move to get into position to shoot. P1 is good, but shooting then moving/charging when you’re very likely to be using the double shoot ploy as well adds another strategic ploy to a force that is already CP hungry. Phobos lack AP, with only the sniper and Reiver pistol having it, but I’m unsure as to whether this was the way to go.
I’d rather they’d made Terror Troops an ability on Reivers and not cost anything, it would have shown them some love.
TheChirurgeon: The one thing I’d note is that you can still move and charge with this, you just have to shoot before you make your movement. That’s a hefty rider to add to it which will limit its effectiveness since opponents can play around it fairly easily after you get off your first shots, but it can also be a big help on a team that normally tries to make up for mediocre guns with volume of shots. Phobos teams were already OK from what I’ve seen, and this is the kind of small tweak I think can be interesting without pushing them up too much.
Warpcoven Kill Teams
Warpcoven teams were pretty strong out of the gate but have struggled competitively as more and more non-Compendium teams have been released. They get two buffs in the new Dataslate, plus a note on their battle traits as a result of this change, which we’ll cover here but has no bearing on competitive play.
- The distance requirement on the Rubric Command ability was changed from ⬛ to ⬟, increasing the range at which you can use the ability to improve a Rubric Marine’s APL for a Turning Point. That’s a solid change, and allows you to better take advantage of some of the Warpcoven Sorcerers’ movement tricks.
- The Rubric Affinity Battle Honour now increases the range to infinity, only requiring the operative you’re buffing be visible. This makes sense, but also won’t matter in competitive play.
- The Exalted Astartes Strategic Ploy got a huge buff. It now boosts Rubric Marine operatives as well, giving them the ability to shoot twice if they don’t perform a Fight activation. Your gunner operatives have to spend an extra AP to do their second shoot action, so if you want to get off two shots with your soulreaper, you’ll need to use Rubric Command on that operative first to give them 3 APL.
TheChirurgeon: These are solid benefits, with the change to Rubric Command giving you more flexibility to spread out and move around with your Sorcerers. Being able to double shoot with Rubrics with the Exalted Astartes strategic ploy is also a very welcome upgrade, and makes it a much more powerful option for your team – and makes rubrics a bit more attractive over Tzaangors. A double-shooting Soulreaper can be absolutely devastating if you can catch an opponent off-guard with it, but the fact that you can’t move and shoot (plus the need to activate Rubric Command first) makes it tricky to pull off. That said, regular Inferno boltgun shots are plenty nasty and double-firing those on the move is a solid play.
TheArmorOfContempt: A clear attempt to give players more incentive to play Rubric Marines over Tzaangors, now you can take 3 Sorcerers and 3 Rubrics and the later can operate similarly to their flesh-and-blood counterparts thanks to double shooting, while not having to be completely attached at the hip. It is unclear if this will become the primary method of play, but at least makes it a better option for thousand sons players who simply enjoy their dusty boys more than their beastmen.
Thundercloud: Yeah, someone’s sick of Beastmen teams, or Sorcerers plus Beastmen. Rubrics needed a buff, it’ll be interesting to see how rosters change with their increased synergy with Sorcerers. It’ll certainly make one box teams better.
There isn’t a lot here but then there didn’t need to be – Kill Team isn’t in a terrible spot and these tweaks are very sensible. The bigger thing we’re waiting on now is new FAQs, particularly for Into the Dark, where the new rules for close quarters combat introduce a number of problems and challenges that need addressing. Rest assured that when those come out, we’ll have another hot take to cover the changes.
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