Sunday 30 June 2019

Kill Team: Elites Review

Hi folks,

On Saturday I attended the Warhammer Day celebrations at my local Games Workshop in Sydney (Liverpool). The atmosphere was really buzzing, with a large turn out that included a bunch of veteran players, as well as some young kids just starting their journey in the hobby. The highlight for me was definitely the Funko Pop Kill Team game, which was just bonkers.

I picked up the last Sister Superior Amalia Novena figure, which I'll be working on during the holidays at some point, as well as the Elites rules for Kill Team.

I have been looking forward to getting my hands on the new Elites expansion for Kill Team for a while now, primarily so that I can start including Terminators in my lists. I was also interested in exploring the synergy between this ruleset and the extensive Space Hulk projects I will be working on next hobby season (starting at the end of August!). In particular, I can see myself playing a few Kill Team games with any new Space Hulk squads that I finish, using the Space Hulk gaming boards. Here are my first impressions of how this expansion will be impacting my games of Kill Team, now that I can take a closer look at it.

General Additions


Legendary Hunter Specialist

The book starts with some new rules for turning your Commander into a Legendary Hunter Specialist. I haven't used a Commander yet, but it looks like a lot of fun to take one as a Hunter, particularly at higher levels. To begin with, they are very resilient, gaining abilities and Tactics that negate the hit roll penalty from flesh wounds and reduce the severity of injuries. At level 4, a Legendary Hunter that finds itself in some space can disappear off into reserve and come back next turn anywhere on the board 5" away from enemy models. That will win games.


There are also some new rules for setting up models in reserve and deploying them later in the game using the Outflank Tactic, which I think is a good addition to the game. "Sending someone around the back" is often a better option than "I don't know, I'll just set you up here", which I tend to resort to with my larger lists (or bigger models, when I run out of prime hiding spots in my deployment zone). I'll be deploying my poor, bullet-magnet, Close Combat Lictor to reserves in most games, I think.

My Close Combat specialist deploying in the alley next to the Sushi restaurant.


The expanded rules for Sub-Factions is also a nice addition, allowing you to further personalise your army. Grim Resolve for my Dark Angels has stationary models re-rolling ones for shooting attacks and a reduced chance of my team being broken. My tunneling Jormungandr Nids will be obscured unless they advance or charge and my Iron Maiden themed Necrons will be firing their weapons at an extra -1 to AP at close range (the Mephrit: Solar Fury Dynastic Code). Nice!

"Out of the darkness, brighter than a thousand suns..."


 Adeptus Astartes

Note the wrist-mounted grenade launcher on the Captain...

Space Marine Commanders get a bunch of new options in Phobos armour, to support the new Shadowspear release, which I couldn't care less about at this stage. The Terminator options, though, made my eyes spin. For the commander slot, you have the option of a Captain, Librarian or Chaplain in Terminator armour, with the Captain having the option of a wrist-mounted grenade launcher. That option is as oldschool as hell, harking back to the original Space Hulk!

Troops-wise, there are options for all of the new Phobos marines (Infiltrators, Suppressors and Eliminators) all of which would make for an excellent Kill Team. For me, though, it is all about the Terminators and the excellent wargear they can bring to the battlefield. Deathwing Terminators can even bring their plasma cannon to the party.  I was surprised (I don't know why) to also see every flavour of astartes veteran in there as well (including Sternguard). That means I can field a pure Sternguard Iron Snakes list (YASSS!) and I don't have to use the Deathwatch rules for my Fallen Squad anymore, which I was feeling particularly cheesy about.


The new option for Necrons include Lychguard or Triarch Praetorians, both of which I have very little interest in dabbling with. In fact, looking at the Asuryani entry, I would be more likely to splash out on some Striking Scorpions, which fit the vibe of this game perfectly.


With the Commander option provided in the book being Deathleaper (!), it opens up the possibility for me to diversify my usual list a bit, if we ever do end up giving Commanders a craic in my gaming group. Taking a look at the new options, the one that really stands out is the Hive Guard. Sure it only hits on 6's most of the time, but a 36" strength 8 AP -2 double tap that doesn't require line of sight in Kill Team is a huge advantage. The trick will be keeping it in cover, as it is a tall model and will draw fire. The Ravenors are also an interesting choice, particularly as I have Aliens-themed ones. They are fairly expensive though; you can't get two for the price of a Lictor. Being as efficient as they are, I think I will miss their gribbly faces too much if I swapped out two Lictors. Perhaps I just need to bite the bolt and make a second Tyranid Kill Team.

"What do you mean they cut the power? They're just animals, man!"


Until I have had a go at some of the missions provided, I can't say too much about how fun they will be. We have played a few missions already that were really hard for one side to win, that would even out over time if we played more battles.

Surrounded, in particular, seems very hard. As the defender, you start the game caught in an attacker sandwich and will probably end the game there too.  Rampage, in which an attacking force just cuts sick in the enemies backfield, scoring Rampage points as they take out models, score mortal wounds and cause injuries, looks like an absolute hoot.  Escape the Facility looks like a great narrative game; it ticks all of those classic "great escape" tropes. I can imagine my gaming group having a really fun time with it, particularly if we do some kind of "Thunderhawk down" story to drive it. Crush Their Champions looks like a reworking of the classic "Battle at the Camp" scenario, i.e four-way backstabbing fest, where alliances rarely last longer than the first clip of ammo. Shifting Priorities is a mission I could see us snaffling for regular games. It is a 40K take on the "Crazy King of the Hill" multiplayer mission from Halo, where objectives move around, disappear and reappear. Each game would be very unique and have blisteringly unfair moments, which my gaming group appreciate greatly.

Overall Review 

I love what this expansion brings to the game. I am gravitating more and more to the skirmish side of 40K, allowing me to experiment with multiple factions and really focus on what makes certain units special from an individual model perspective. I am also enjoying the focus on modelling and painting much smaller units. Kill Team: Elites builds neatly upon the foundation I am already loving the guts out of, without adding too much complexity. There will be a tipping point in Kill Team, I think. If they ever start adding vehicles, we may as well just all start playing patrol sized games of X Edition 40K. We are not at that tipping point yet, though, with this book adding some diversity that the game really needs at this point. I strongly recommend that, if you are a fan of Kill Team, you pick this book up and take a look. The potential applications of the rules are far-reaching in terms of new gaming experiences.

See you across the table,


Friday 21 June 2019

Kill Team: Dark Angels Reiver Sergeant TO-DONE!!!

Hi folks,

During the week I gave my self a bit of time to work on this Reiver Sergeant, whenever I could finish my work at night early enough and not fall asleep on the lounge in exhaustion! I have really tried to hone the "plains world" theme, by adding some war paint to the Reiver's face and feathers at the back of his head. The blue grip of the corvus hammer is another nod to the gunstock war club featured in The Last of the Mohicans.

Black war paint in native American culture was considered a very aggressive colour, indicating that the wearer was a proven warrior. Similarly, feathers were given in recognition of courageous deeds or to honour service, e.g. the first warrior to touch an enemy in battle and escape unscathed would be given an eagle's feather. Once awarded, one would be expected to display the feather in some way.

I liked the idea of the Dark Angels originating from the Plains World having their own way of honouring each other, outside the traditional ways of the Astartes. I imagined that this guy, being Primaris, would be met with distrust by the other members of his Kill Team. Once they see the feathers, however, they would realise that he is one of their own.

The two-headed eagle was fun to paint, though I have to admit I painted it using the colours of a Red-tailed Hawk for inspiration. I really needed something with a lighter shade on its body (not just the head like a Bald Eagle).

This Reiver Sergeant will be joining my Dark Angels Kill Team as a Close Combat specialist, where his four attacks will no doubt be put to good use.

See you across the table,


Friday 14 June 2019

X-wing Miniatures: Custom "Cerberus" E-wing

Hi folks,

One of my mates from work has been playing a co-op X-wing campaign, centered around an E-wing squadron. Unfortunately, there seems to be an E-wing shortage in Australia. He was able to find some very nice 3D printed sculpts online, which he ordered around Christmas time. Having done some X-wing repaints previously, I offered to paint them for him, but it has taken me a long time to get around to the stage of doing detail. My main issue was that the materials used were so hard to prime! Anyway, I asked his gaming buddies what their favourite colours were, thinking I could get away with a generic scheme with a splash of each colour. The response was, essentially: Cerberus from Mass Effect, Ultramarines and some kind of Grim/Dark Blue (Grim/Darker than Ultramarines). The first completed model is my take on the Cerberus scheme from Mass Effect:

I added just a touch of weathering to the hull, to break up the white just a little bit. Other than that I was aiming for a simple, clean look. Considering the simplicity of the pre-painted miniatures, the highlights on the black section felt like over-kill, but the area was too flat without them.

I included a tiny red glow to the laser cannon barrels, to show that they are Rebel ships. Similarly, I gave the engines a pinkish glow.

The next ship will be in a scheme similar to the Ultramarines, which I know well enough. Then for the last one I will need to drop the blue to a deeper, stormy shade, though I need to consider the spot colours for that one pretty carefully before I proceed. At this stage I don't know whether maintaining some kind of squadron coherency in the scheme is possible, or even worth it, but that is the kind of thing I would usually aim for. Wish me luck ;-)

See you across the table,


Thursday 6 June 2019

Dark Angels Reiver Sergeant: Last of the Plains People

Hi folks,

To round out a Dark Angels Kill Team, I decided to add a Reiver Sergeant combat specialist. I have picked up a couple of issues of Conquest, with the aim of converting some Primaris figures for various projects. With a Riever model to spare and 17 points left to spend on my team, a Reiver Sergeant seemed like an obvious choice.

In the conversion, I have tried to channel a Last of the Mohicans vibe, whilst adding some elements that will add the cohesiveness of the team, colour scheme-wise. The head with the short mohawk is from the Centurion kit, which I am sure Magua would approve...

Instead of a combat knife I have used a Corvus Hammer, because it reminds me of the gunstock war club used by Chingachgook in the film. It is such a bizarre and brutal weapon, I remember trying to find out more about it when I was a kid and being able to find nothing. Of course these days, with the interwebs, you can find out about anything. For example, I found a Canadian martial art that trains with replica gunstock war clubs.

The two-headed eagle... wellllll... that's a little more Pocahontas than Last of the Mohicans. That piece has been burning a hole in my bitz box for years and I am so glad I finally found an excuse to use it. If you have played Kill Team, you will know that such a detail is pretty impractical on a Close Combat specialist. Anything that sticks up so tall is just begging to draw down fire; it'll be hard to stay out of sight with it. Damned if I wasn't going to use it though!

The shoulder pad and rolled up cloak on the backpack will hopefully tie this guy in more closely to the scouts in the team, as well as the veteran sergeant (who has brown robes). All of that webbing will also help in that respect. Colour scheme-wise, I will be aiming for something between my Dark Angels scouts and my Devastators, which make up the rest of the team. Hopefully, I'll be able to do a quick paint-job this weekend; a nice break before I try to finish off my Iron Snakes army.

See you across the table,