Thursday, 13 March 2014

Kill team tactics

Hi all, so I'm writing this post before the Dirty Sevens event at my local club, which is a kill team event played over the course of one evening. Each of the seven participants will play six games with a one game break at some point in the evening. 

There are several reasons for this, the first being that the first time I ran something like this, the eighth player dropped out. Turns out that was a good thing though, as it's fast and furious trying to fit them all in anyway, and a half hour mental rest is a good thing. It also means we have one spare player to take pictures of the games going on for a write up afterwards.

So a few thoughts about kill team itself then, which has changed since the last dirty sevens just before Christmas last year.

You now need a minimum of 4 models (that's one of last years teams out then!) that's three specialists plus a leader, with the specialists skills broken down into 5 different categories. 

We also now have six missions to choose from, though that makes splitting players by victory points more difficult. I'm going to give it a go though, but might revert back to a single mission next time if it doesn't work.

On to individual tactics then.

Choosing your kill team.


Your first decision in choosing your team is whether to go for lots of cheap models, a few elite ones, or a mix of the two. None is an automatic ‘win’ choice, though swamping your opponent with lots of models can make things difficult for a truly elite opponent. Next, you need to think about vehicles. They’re limited under these rules, but even with that limit many (not all!) kill teams will struggle to take down armour. Next up is combat – and bear in mind that unless you’re facing an opponent who also wants to get in close, combat can be tricky to initiate without taking some method of moving much faster than your opponent.


Your main decision however is which unit(s) you go for in the end, and I have one simple rule here that I use when picking a kill team. Always choose a unit that has special rules. Specialists are a bonus in kill team, and the special rules you choose will make a difference in the game, so by choosing a unit that already has some special rules, you’re getting the jump on an opponent who takes basic troops (take for example the Legion of the Damned. All their firepower ignores cover, meaning you can make your specialists even better).


The first mission is a straightforward scrap for objectives, and therefore positioning at deployment is a crucial part of the game, setting up fire lanes to keep your opponent off objectives if you’re placing the majority, or having a sufficiently strong force to claim an enemy held objective will be key to winning. Similarly, keeping an opponent’s fire from causing you casualties is also important, since each model killed affects you far more than in other games.


Mission 2 is a night search, and so night fighting rules are on for the whole game, plus part of your kill team may start by outflanking. I’ve played this mission before and 60% of my team decided they were searching somewhere else, which really hurt me against a team that was all there from the start. Putting that random element aside however, it’s then a straight fight as before but in the dark. One tactic that’s viable in this mission however, particularly if you win the roll off to place objectives, is to deploy right over to one side of the board, since any opponent models outflanking may then arrive on the other flank, unable to affect the outcome of the game. Choice of units becomes important in this game, since night fighting can really boost a team’s survivability. Taking models with the night vision rule or weapons that ignore cover give you a big advantage in this mission.


The third mission is a headhunt, pure and simple, with victory points on offer for the leader and the three specialists on the opponent’s team. Needless to say therefore that protecting your own guys is priority one in this mission. I’d strongly recommend deployment out of sight, and if viable, keep them out of sight during the game, since any casualties from specialists or your leader not only reduces your effectiveness, puts gives victory points to your opponent. If you must reveal your specialists to the enemy, try to do it in such a way that the only model that can see them is their target, and make sure you’ve got a better than even chance of taking them down.


Mission 4 is basically a breakthrough mission, with the attacker trying to exit the table via the defender’s table edge, and the defender trying to cause maximum casualties. As an attacker, you can’t use the outflank special rule, so infiltrators and scouts are great for achieving your objective. That’s not to say that you should place them carelessly, or in the open however, since the defender will get points for killing your models you need to hop from cover to cover, running if necessary. Clearly the faster you can move in this mission the better, so jump troops and bikes will also help enormously. As a defender, you’ll need to spread your net wide to prohibit deployment of infiltrators too close to your board edge, whilst trying to remain dense enough to put up a decent weight of fire should your opponent aim for one exit point on the board.


Mission 5 is basically capture the hill, with the win going mainly on how many models are within the central hill terrain piece. This mission clearly favours a kill team with massed numbers of models moving quickly to the centre, or a kill team with sufficient firepower to take down a substantial number of the enemy and then quickly relocate to the board centre.


The final mission is effectively a search and hold type, with your kill team (and your opponent) rifling their way through objective markers to find a crucial supply crate. Again, fast moving units are the order of the day here, since being able to identify the supply crate before your opponent and then relocate to defend (or take) it will give you an advantage. Bikes, jump troops etc are the order of the day therefore!


So there you have it, my take on tactics for kill team and its missions. Hope you enjoyed the read, and it gives you some incite and encouragement to pick up the rules and give this version of the game a go – the reduced numbers of models make for a tactically interesting challenge very different to a typical game of 40k, where increasingly size matters.

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