by Phil Kelly
Greetings citizens and welcome to Chapter Approved. This month Lexmechanic Kelly has devoted his waking hours to the investigation of commando tactics in the 41st millennium, and has wrought an experimental simulation of some cunning missions that involve just one squad of highly disciplined soldiers against the numerous, but often inefficient, soldiers of the enemy. This month the first half of his efforts are exposed to the galaxy, with their conclusion to follow. Should you need to destroy an enemy command cogitator, capture a governess or assassinate an alien leader, this treatise on covert operations should prove invaluable.
Phil: The notion of this small-scale game is based on those movies we all know and love where a crack team of experts (or desperadoes trained by a single-minded double-hard drill instructor) go in and triumph against all the odds. We're all familiar with this formula due to good old Uncle Hollywood and Ihe countless films that cover these themes: The Magnificent Seven, Aliens, The Guns of Navarone, The Dirty Dozen. Where Eagles Dare, Saving Private Ryan, Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, Kelly's Heroes... the lis! goes on. The veterans amongst you will have spotted that this concept borrows heavily from Gav Thorpe's Last Chancers (the hard-bitten Colonel Schaeffer and his recruits from the Imperial Guard Penal Legions - more on these chaps elsewhere in this issue), but extends it into a games system for all races rather than just focusing on the Imperial Guard. In this way Kill-team can feature a team of Ork Kommandos sneaking into a Necron tomb complex, a pack of Kroot meres using cover of night to 'liberate' a priceless Dark Eldar artefact from its twisted shrine, or a squad of Space Marine Scouts avoiding patrolling gun drones on (heir mission to assassinate a Tau Ethereal. Odds on you'll have enough models in your collection to assemble at least one Kill-team, and the necessary forces you'll need to be the bad guys when it's your opponent's turn to be the desperadoes. Kill-team is best thought of as small-scale, objective-based Warhammer 40,000. and is playable in an hour or less. If you've had a chance to try the '40K in 40 minutes' system published back in WD 274, this is about the same level of simplicity and is easily playable during lunch, after hours or over a couple of drinks. You'll need around ten models to play the good guys, although this varies slightly from race to race. The opponents, being grunts as opposed to elite commandos, will have more: these are almost always the basic troop type for that race. So you'll find that if you regularly play a friend with Tyranids, you'll likely be infiltrating your way through patrols of Gaunts to dump a melta bomb in the central spore chimney, and so on. Another area of the game that makes Kill-team appealing to veteran players is that it offers the possibility for your Kill-team to advance in skill. Unlike Mordheim, Path to Glory andNecromunda this will generally be squad-level ralher than individuals gaining experience. In this way Kill-teams evolve and grow as you send them on different missions, but you won`t have to shed any tears if half the squad gets wiped out during the mission (and they will...).
Sayig that, players should make every effort to personalise their Kill-team, converting them to carry trophies or special gear and keeping tracks ol who kills the most bad guys. A Stetson or cigar (or squig and Iron Gob etc) here and there can really get across the feeling of a gang of desperate but hardcore soldiers. You might even want to give them names, especially your Kill-team's leader, who will generally be kicking the most alien butt. You can complete the missions without Sarge, but it`s an awful lot trickier. This month we'll cover the basic rules and throw a few ideas into the pot for creative players to get Started. Next month we'll look at a few advanced missions, elite Kill-teams, some cool wargear (silencers, las-traps and so forth) and rules for Boss Goons. For now, though, let's take a look at the basic rules.
Example: The protagonist has his Kroot Kill-team near their goal, an unexploded bomb, but has had to stealthily dispatch an Imperial Guard goon squad on his way. The players roll to see who controls each activated goon squad. For the goon squad nearest the Kill-team, both players get lucky and roll a 6, and because the antagonist has a klaxon counter his total is raised to 7. The antagonist wins control and moves the goons 6" (the maximum) directly toward the Kill-team. Members of the goon squad are now 4" away (the Guardsman goon's Initiative of 3 plus one (or a klaxon counter accrued earlier in the game) and have therefore spotted the Kill-team. Ahoya! Another klaxon counter is added to the antagonist's store, and although he will only have his +1 to his control rolls and spotting range until the beginning of next turn, he will have +2 next turn and can now shoot and assault with Ihe goon squad in spotting range, because it has become aware. Who knows, he may even kill a couple of the protagonist's precious operatives or delay them until next turn when the rest of the goons, adding +2 to their control rolls and therefore travelling faster, race towards the scene...
To play a game of Kill-team, follow these simple steps:
The first step is to choose your forces. Use the tables below to find out how many models you will need for the protagonist and antagonist to play the missions. For instance, if you play Tau and your buddy plays Tyranids, you will need a Kill-team of 14 Kroot and your friend will need 9 3-strong goon squads of Termagants. Of course, you might end up using different models to represent the goon squads, but seeing as all goons are identical you don't need to worry too much. Kill-teams will have a single special weapon, or none at all. There are some other guidelines to bear in mind when using a Kill-team:
The next step is to choose a basic mission, either mutually agreed upon or randomly determined, from the list below. Alternatively, make your own up and go for it. Some are more difficult to win than others, so you might want to start with a simple Sabotage mission and work up to the trickier ones.
The Kill-team must infiltrate the enemy position and destroy an object of utmost importance to their overall battle plan.
Sabotaging Kill-teams count as being equipped with melta bombs in addition to their usual equipment. The central objective, which can be represented by a pile of crates, a cogitator bank and so forth, must be destroyed in order for the Kill-team to win. The central objective counts as an immobile AV 14 vehicle that ignores glancing hits but is destroyed by any penetrating hits. You might like to increase the difficulty of the Sabotage mission by incorporating more than one objective that must be destroyed for the Kill-team to succeed.
The Kill-team must find an individual key to the enemy's strategy and ensure his death in any way they can. The central objective is an individual of utmost importance to the enemy's strategies. They must be killed quickly and cleanly. You will need an appropriate miniature. For game purposes this model will have the following profile:
They may not move but will act as normal if attacked in any way. The Kill-team must kill this individual to achieve a victory.
The Kill-team have fulfilled their objective, and must get the hell out of Dodge with as many of their number alive as possible... There is no central objective in the Escape mission. Instead, the Kill-team must cross to the opposite side of the board from which they entered. If any remaining members of the Kill-team manage to move oft that board edge for any reason, they have won.
Though the Kill-team has fulfilled its mission, the alarm has been raised. Stealth has had to be replaced by brute force if the Kill-team are to survive.
In the Last Stand mission, the roles are reversed. The Kill-team starts on the central objective, and the goon squads start no further than 12" away from any table edge. The antagonist starts the game with one klaxon counter. The Kill-team must kill all of the antagonist's goon squads or die in the attempt. It's going to be bloody... This mission can also follow on from the Sabotage and Assassinate missions.
The Kill-team must reach a predetermined point on the battlefield and achieve a set objective before getting back to base. The central objective in this mission must be reached by the Kill-team (touched by a! least one model) and have a model in contact with it for a full turn. It can be assaulted. The Kill-team succeed in their mission if they subsequently manage to move at least one member of the team off the table.
The Kill-team must thoroughly assess the enemy's capabilities and military capacity without alerting the enemy to their presence.
There is no central objective in a Reconnoitre The Kill-team must cover the board, determining information. They achieve their objective if they manage to traverse a circuit around the central point whilst coming no closer than 6" to it, and have at least one model return to the board edge that they started from. This is one to play really stealthily...
Below are some ideas for the narrative behind your Kill-team game. Naturally, these are not to be strictly adhered to. they are merely suggestions that you might like to adapt depending on what you have in your model and scenery collection.
The Kill-team must...
The Kill-team must...
The Kill-team must...
The Kill-team must...
The Kill-team must...
The Kill-team must...
Right, that's it for this month, next month I'll conclude the Kill-team game with plenty more, including rules for protagonist and antagonist specialist equipment. Now, to take down that bridge...
by Phil Kelly
Phil: Hello and welcome back to the small-scale commando raiding game of Kill-team. Last month we looked at what different races use for their Kill-teams, basic rules, a set of six mission types and narrative gaming ideas for each of those missions. If you've played through a few of them and are hungry for another level of detail to go with your newly-forged Kill-team, then look no further. The next few pages are specifically tailored to bolster the simple mechanics of the Kill-team game into a more complex and involving narrative. The main rules and narratives remain the same, but the methods of achieving them will have lo change if you're to fulfil your mission.
Each race has types ot unit that specialise in stealth and infiltration. Despite this, some of the Kill-teams introduced in last month's article were not specialists at all. no doubt raising a couple of eyebrows; where were the Eldar Pathfinders, the Tau Stealth Suits, Mandrakes, even the Lictors? Well, we saved the best for last.
Basic Kill-teams are more numerous and therefore more forgiving, allowing beginners to make mistakes and still have a good chance of achieving their objectives. The Elite Kill-teams are for the more experienced player, and are extremely specialised. There are correspondingly far fewer operatives in an Elite Kill-team, so it's a lot more tricky to win with them; one lucky Goon can cripple your chances ot achieving the objectives. You'll pack one hell of a punch, but specialists are only called in when the odds are high, and you're likely to be seriously outnumbered by a whole ton of bad guys... make no mistake, this ain't gonna be easy.
Each Elite Kill-team has a number of points to spend on their operatives, listed in their entry on the table below. You may choose any number of operatives within the points allowed, upgrades, wargear and options from the appropriate entry in that race's Codex, just as if you were choosing a squad for a normal game of 40K. In this respecl you have far more tactical flexibility. The normal rules for Kill-team are superceded by the following rules when using Elite Kill-teams:
The Elite Kill-teams and the number of Goons they face are as follows:
There are a few adjustments and reminders for each Kill-team that should be borne in mind when using Elite teams. These are as follows.
Space Marine Assault Squads: Firing up such a heavy-duty piece of kit as a jump pack makes a hell of a lot of noise. Whenever a Space Marine Assault squad moves using its jump pack the enemy gains a klaxon counter.
Chaos Space Marine Raptors: As with Space Marines, Raptors make a terrible howling shriek when in flight and will therefore contribute a klaxon counter to the enemy's store whenever they use their jump packs. A unit with Furious Charge will also contribute a klaxon counter whenever it charges as its bloodthirsty howls give away their position.
Eldar Warp Spiders: Warp Spiders may not use their jump generators to make a jump in the Assault phase; the risks inherent in such a desperate manoeuvre are too high for such a small task force to realistically undertake. They may move through enemy models, however.
Ork Stormboyz: The primitive jump packs used by Stormboyz are loud, smoke-belching affairs that will contribute a klaxon counter to the enemy's store whenever they are used.
Dark Eldar Mandrakes: Mandrakes use their Hidden Deployment rule as usual, bearing in mind their true location must be revealed by the end of the protagonist's third turn.
Tyranid Lictors: Lictors may use their Secret Deployment rule, but such is the concentration of enemy that they may only choose to hide in cover that is more than 18" away from the central objective.
Tau XV15 Stealth Suits: Tau Stealth Suit leaders and Shas'vre may take Drones in their Kill-teams, although these Drones can never complete objectives (other than during the Assassinate mission) as their programming just isn't sophisticated enough. The spotting distance for a Goon squad attempting to detect a Stealth Suit model is always treated as one less than it would actually be.
Necron Wraiths: Necron Wraiths must deploy in pairs. These units may act independently despite the usual Kill-team rules.
Last Chancers: Schaeffer's Last Chancers may deploy as independent mini-units as described in their Codex entry, despite the usual Kill-team rules.
In any movie including numerous low-quality bad guys there is invariably a boss goon, the guy with the cheap suit, shades and pony tail, the captain of the enemy soldiery, or the immensely strong henchman earlier shown crushing dice or some such meaningless feat of bravado. It can really add to a game of Kill-team to have a large and self-important badass at the centre of things, especially if he meets an appropriately grisly end...
It is typical for the members of a commando team to have specialist gear with them to successfully accomplish their mission. This might vary from simple silencers to holograms and blind grenades. Likewise, it's not unheard of for enterprising bad guys to fortify their strongholds with all manner of traps and alarm systems.
The specialist pieces of kit you can field as the protagonist or antagonist are as follows:
Silencers 10 pts
The Kill-team have had their ranged weapons specially modified so that the first salvo they launch makes little or no noise. This enables them to take out a full team of sentries without alerting their fellows to the incursion.
The Kill-team is not nearly as likely to trigger the alarm with the silencers fitted. When the Kill-team opens fire for the first time, roll a D6; on a 1, a klaxon counter is added to the antagonist's store as usual. On any other result no klaxon counter is added.
Distraction 15 pts
The Kill-team have spent considerable resources ensuring that a loud and startling event takes place on the other side of the enemy compound, drawing enemy forces away from their posts at the critical time and allowing the Kill-team entry into the enemy grounds.
The distraction can be played at any time in the antagonist's Movement phase, provided he has less than 3 klaxon counters in his store. Roll a D6. The protagonist may move that many Goon squads 6" in the direction of his choice, regardless of whether they were activated or not. However, the antagonist gets to choose which squads are affected in this manner. This counts as their movement for that turn, so do not roll for control afterward.
Change of Guard 10 pts
Having staked out the enemy territory for some time the Kill-team have ascertained exactly when the sentries go off their shift and change guard, striking at just the right moment to benefit from the resultant confusion.
Play the change of guard at any time when the antagonist has no klaxon counters in his store. All activated Goon squads become deactivated, and vice versa. Continue the turn as normal.
Scrambler 40 pts
The Kill-team have with them a powerful scrambling device that disrupts enemy communications and temporarily disables their alarms.
The Kill-team may use the scrambler at any time. The antagonist must immediately discard D3 klaxon counters.
Spanner in the Works 5 pts each
As the enemy sentry approaches, one member of the Kill-team picks up a discarded tool, rock or other hard object and hurls it into a nearby cluster of machinery, barrels etc, momentarily distracting the patrol whilst they slink away.
Declare when a spanner is being used before control for a Goon squad is determined. The protagonists may add +2 to their result for this roll only.
Smoke and blind grenades 10 pts
The Kill-team can use this equipment to mask their approach, making it extremely difficult far enemy squads to pinpoint them in the artificially generated haze.
Once per game, after either Movement phase, the Kill-team can declare that it is using the smoke and blind grenades. They count as being in cover in all respects until the beginning of their next turn.
Gung-ho 10 pts
There comes a time in many covert operations when stealth goes out the window, and the only option is to go hell-for-leather for the objective. Needless to say this invariably leads to the enemy swarming to their position like flies around grox dung...
The Kill-team may assault 6+D6" rather than the usual 6" in the turn this is used, and will strike first in close combat regardless of other factors. The enemy automatically gains an additional klaxon counter when this effect is played.
Camo Gear 10 pts
The Kill-team has refined their camo tactics to the point that they can hunker down and become almost unseen even when in the open. Combined with the patience of the hunter, this can considerably enhance the Kill-team's stealth capabilities.
In any turn in which the Kill-team does not move, shoot or assault, the antagonist must discard a klaxon counter at the beginning of his turn.
Wirecutters 5 pts
The Kill-team have come well prepared for penetrating the thickest defensive terrain, toting wirecutters and electrocharges that can disable or cut through light obstacles.
The Kill-team rolls 3D6 for determining the distance it can move through difficult terrain, picking the highest result.
Stummers 10 pts
Stummers, devices designed specifically to deaden noise and make detection that much more difficult, can cut out one of the sentry's main tools of the trade; a sharp pair of ears...
The Kill-team can employ the Stummers once per game, declaring their use after the antagonist has determined which squads are activated or deactivated for that turn. For the rest of thai turn only, all the protagonist's rolls for control of Goon squads count as being a 6.
Scaling Ladders and Grapnels 10 pts
The Kill-team have coiled ropes, telescopic ladders and grapnels with them, enabling them to make their way up the outside of buildings, cross digestion pools and negotiate other hazardous obstacles.
The Kill-team may treat Impassable Terrain as Difficult Ground.
Backstabbers 10 ts
One or more of the Kill-team's operatives excel at the art of the silent kill, their blades cutting off the enemy's screams before they can alert their comrades.
Whenever the Kill-team assaults a Goon squad and kills them all in that single round, then roll a D6: on a 1. a klaxon counter is added to the antagonist's store as usual. On any other resurt, no klaxon counter is added.
Redshirt 5 pts
The Kill-team has been lumbered with an extra member against their wishes. and it's entirely possible that this inexperienced rookie will get himself killed in a gory and spectacular way at the first opportunity...
The Kill-team has with it an additional model with the profile below:
He has no equipment. In the unlikely event he survives the game the Kill-team will gain an extra Experience Point.
Cunning Disguises 20 pts
The Kill-team has disguised itself in some manner, whether by donning enemy uniforms, covering themselves with the pheromonal signature of the foe, using sophisticated holographic technology or some other means. In theory, with a little luck and a lot of nerve, they can simply walk past the enemy soldiers and onto the central objective. In theory...
There is a chance that enemy Goon squads will mistake a Kill-team with this upgrade for one of their own units. Every time a Goon squad earns a klaxon counter by spotting the Kill-team, roll a D6. If the result is higher than the Goon squad's highest Initiative value, then no klaxon counter is added to the antagonist's store, and the Goon squad does not count as having spotted the Kill-team. Of course, the antagonist can have another go next turn if he is still within spotting distance, and the longer the Kill-team has to bluff it out, the less chance of success there is...
Las-traps 10 pts
The antagonists have rigged the area surrounding the central objective with a series of sophisticated traps and alarms.
When setting up the scenery, the antagonist may place D6 pieces of 6" long red cord or thin strips of card anywhere on the table. If any member of the Kill-team touches one of these markers, a klaxon counter is added to the antagonist's store. This deactivates the las-trap.
All Points Bulletin 10 pts
The bad guys have been alerted to the fact that there are enemies in the perimeter, and appraised of their rough location. This can only be bad news for their prey.
Only usable once per game. Once the antagonist has determined how many squads are activated for that turn, he may use the All Points Bulletin. He may re-roll the control rolls for his Goons for the remainder of that turn. He must abide by the result of the second roll.
Still Not Dead 10 pts
Despite the fact that he has been gutted, burnt, mangled and crushed, the Boss Goon somehow manages to surge to his feet and go for a last ditch kill. No doubt this will be short lived, but he might take a couple of the good guys with him screaming to hell...
This upgrade may only be chosen by an antagonist who has taken a Boss Goon. Should the Boss Goon die, leave him on his side at the place of his death. He may be resurrected and stood back up at the beginning of the next antagonist turn and may act as normal during that turn, at the end o! which he is removed as a casualty.
Reinforcements 40 pts
The alarm is up, and those Goons just keep on coming! The Kill-team will have to be either very lucky or very capable to get out of this one alive...
When the antagonist has accrued three klaxon counters, he will gain a fresh Goon squad each turn. This squad appears on the table edge of the antagonists' choice at the beginning of his turn, and will move in the same way as a normal Goon squad.
Get'em Lads! 15 pts
The antagonists have finally located the interlopers and, their morale bolstered by the presence of their comrades, charge in with every intention of ripping the Kill-team to pieces.
This upgrade may be used whenever more than one Goon squad spots the Kill-team in one Movement phase. Provided more than one Goon squad charges the Kill-team in the subsequent Assault phase, all Goons gain +1 attack for the duration of that Assault phase in addition to other modifiers.
Extra Goons x pts
Having been forewarned of an enemy attack, there are more bad guys than normal around the central objective. This is going to be a tricky one...
Buying this upgrade entitles the antagonist to field an extra Goon squad. This upgrade may be taken multiple times The price of this upgrade varies on race. The prices are as follows:
Space Mannes 45 pts
One of the Goon squads which has been trained extensively until they are masters of close quarters warfare, is usually entrusted with the security of the central objective.
Nominate a Goon squad as the Death squad after set-up. That Goon squad has a spotting distance one higher than normal, and will have +1 Strength, Initiative and Attacks on any turn it charges. This also applies to any Boss Goon that joins the Death squad.
Doomsday Device 30 pts
With the alarms raging, the Boss Goon knows that it is only a matter of time before the Kill-team succeed in their mission and escape. Determined to prevent this from happening, he triggers an explosive mechanism that will take down the entire complex, killing everyone nearby. If you gotta go...
If at any point there are more Kill-team operatives than Goons left on the table and the Boss Goon is still alive, the Doomsday Device will automatically be triggered. At the beginning of every subsequent antagonist turn (even if all Goons have been killed but the mission still remains to be completed) roll a dice: on a 1 the game is ended as everything on the board is vaporised in a cataclysmic explosion.
Well, in conjunction with all the rules from last month, the narrative scenario ideas and the specialist kit/experience system, that should keep your Kill-team raiding and sabotaging for a long time to come. And remember, even if the bad guys get lucky and end up with the Kill-team's heads on the trophy wall, it'll be your turn to play the antagonist next, and revenge is a dish best served cold...