Sample Shadow War Kill Team Builds

For those interested in Shadow War: Armageddon unable to experience it due to GWs mismanagement of supply-and-demand (not your local retailer's fault), the standalone rule book--enhanced with all the Kill Team build options currently available on the web plus two exclusives--is available to preorder now and out May 6. Watch this space for a (hopefully) exciting development regarding organized play thereafter; in the meantime, to answer the questions regarding what a force composed for the game might look like, three sample SW:A Kill Teams built with the current rules and Kill Team kits follow.

Old school hobbyists will immediately recognize the mechanics and points-construction template of GWs well-regarded 90s Skirmish wargame Necromunda--only with real warriors, 41st Millennium Kill Teams, instead of scavenging Hive Gangers as your playable protagonists. That means a much broader scope to the game, and to personalizing your Skirmish Team according to your 40K army's background, characters, etc...and it means better access to much better kit.

There are size limits for every team--one Leader, two or three Specialists, max ten or twenty warriors depending on Troop quality (ten Marine Scouts, twenty Orks or Guard, fex)--and players start building with a max of 1000 points for warriors and gear. A tremendously cool option allows adding high-end Specialists to your chosen team for one-off missions, not at addtl points cost but rather in exchange for the 'promethium caches' you've earned in play, which represent your path to victory. Worth it, for example, if you are playing a high-quality IG-style Militarum Tempestus Kill Team, to trade a hard-won promethium cache for a Commissar to join their ranks? Possibly--if you have the model!

Points-built and equipped teams, however, are the core of the game. Building them will be half the fun--naming each model, keeping track of their adventures as they advance toward--or fall away from--ultimate victory. Everything will be about balancing effectiveness versus numbers; sometimes--for some type teams--it will be better to have as many members of a Kill Team as you can muster, even if they lack spectacular punch...other times, for other teams, the only way they will win consistently is insuring they have the right kit to do the job. You--as the tactician behind your proxy team leader--have to decide what works best for you.

Which decisions might yield variants like:

+++Space Marine Scout Kill Team+++
Six Scouts armed with Combat Blade in Scout Armour (990 points)
•Leader (250 points): Scout Sergeant (200) w/Bolt Pistol (25), Chainsword (25)
•Gunner (290 points): Scout Gunner (110), w/Heavy Bolter (180)
•Scout (135 points): Scout (100), Boltgun (35)
•Scout (125 points): Scout (100), Bolt Pistol (25)
•Novitiate (95 points): Novitiate Scout (75), Shotgun (20)
•Novitiate (95 points): Noviate Scout (75), Shotgun (20)
One could drop the second Novitiate to beef up kit; that's the kind of individual choice Necromunda/SW:A encourages

+++Ork Kill Team+++
Ten Orks armed with a Shank in Hide Armour (1000 points)
•Boss Nob (235 points): Boss Nob (160), Eavy Armour (25), Slugga (10), Big Choppa (15), Stikkbombs (25)
•Spanner Boy (215 points): Spanner Boy (70), Big Shoota (130), Red-dot Laser Sight (15)
•Boy (100 points): Boy (60), Slugga (10), Buzz Choppa (15), Stikkbombs (15)
•Boy (80 points): Boy (60), Slugga (10), Choppa (10)
•Boy (80 points): Boy (60), Slugga (10), Choppa (10)
•Boy (80 points): Boy (60), Slugga (10), Choppa (10)
•Yoof (50 points): Yoof (30), Slugga (10), Choppa (10)
•Yoof (50 points): Yoof (30), Slugga (10), Choppa (10)
•Yoof (55 points): Yoof (30), Shoota (25)
•Yoof (55 points): Yoof (30), Shoota (25)
A really solid Starter Team, this: loaded Boss, well-kitted Heavy, a lieutenant with slightly upgraded kit in case you have to split the team (or--horrors--you lose the Boss), and good numbers. Love to have a power klaw, love to have a rokkit launcha, but the big choppa and big shoota instead give you an extra boy...and numbers are, in Skirmish as in 40K, usually a green walking fungus's best friend.

+++Astra Militarum Kill Team+++
Nine Imperial Guard armed with Combat Blade in Flak Armour (1000 points)
•Veteran Sergeant (215 points): Vet Sgt (120), Carapace Armour (20 points), Bolt Pistol (25), Power Sword (50)
•Operative (170 points): Operative (70), Plasma Gun (80), Carapace Armour (20)
•Operative (130 points): Operative (70), Flamer (40), Carapace Armour (20)
•Veteran Guardsman (90 points): Vet Guardsman (60), Laspistol (15), Sword (15)
•Veteran Guardsman (85 points): Vet Guardsman (60), Lasgun (25)
•Veteran Guardsman (85 points): Vet Guardsman (60), Lasgun (25)
•Veteran Guardsman (85 points): Vet Guardsman (60), Lasgun (25)
•Guardsman (70 points): Guardsman (50), Shotgun (20)
•Guardsman (70 points): Guardsman (50), Shotgun (20)
Adding the second Operative to this build reduces the numbers to nine; you could drop him and add two Guardsmen instead, successful IG Kill Teams *have* to win with smart, effective shooting, and massed lasguns is usually the formula, but I envision the Vets in this build acting with the Plasma Operative as a traditional Astra Militarum Skirmish firebase while the two basic Guard protect the Flamer Op (who has to advance), probably with the Sgt and perhaps his second (who is likely better leading the fire team). An alternative would be to up-Carapace all Vets to Tempestus and try quality over quantity, a build I am itching to try, given those outstanding models...but 'quality over quantity' builds always seemed to backfire on me in Necromunda.

Anyway...these are some samples, and variant options, to at least illustrate what you would have to invest in, to get involved in SW:A. Intrigued enough to want to know what all that abbreviated data means--order the standalone rulebook ASAP. Not an overwhelming investment in models, is it? Even if you are eager to add miniatures to allow fielding cool specialists (a Deathwatch Veteran Space Marine or even a Terminator to your Scouts, an Enginseer to your IG, a Mad Dok or Flash Git with gigantic snazz gun for your Boyz), Skirmish 40K promises weeks, perhaps months, of fun using little more than a squads-worth equivalent of models--all of which you can lavish time on with your best conversions and paint jobs, your most elaborate background and imaginative detail.

Recommended. For ideas on what to do with said Kill Team in the near future--watch this space.

Outrider Chris