One June 21st, Lark and I played our first game of Kill Team, and it was a blast. This was also the first time I’ve ever played a minis game where I’d painted everything on the table.
I got out all the valid options I had for two teams, Greenskins (two Boyz fire teams) and Astartes (one Tactical Marine fire team), Lark picked the Orks, and then we each knocked together a team in BattleScribe based mainly on which minis looked the coolest.
Like playing BattleTech with my kiddo for the first time, this whole experience was an absolute joy. It would have been a joy even with Lego people and cereal boxes, but having everything painted was the cherry on top. We both found it immersive to play with painted minis — honestly, I’m still shocked how much of a difference it makes.
A light battle report
We played a learning game, leaving out equipment and secondary objectives; I figured we had enough rules to think about for a first game without those. I set up the board based on feedback from r/KillTeam about my test layout, making sure both teams could deploy in cover, no single vantage point could dominate the board, and both halves were similar.
I picked Loot and Salvage for the mission, since it seemed straightforward: long-edge deployment, simple objectives.
Lark took some of these photos, but we were just passing my phone back and forth so I’m not sure which ones. If it’s a good photo…it’s probably one of Lark’s!
In this mission, you score 1 VP every time you loot an objective. Lark was really good at trading Gretchin for 1 VP (a good trade!). My Marine’s toughness kept all of them alive for the first Turning Point.
I had to pick Sergeant Karios as my leader — he was the first Blood Angel I finished back in 2020. I forgot he was in my case for my first 40k game, so this Kill Team match was the sarge’s first deployment.
We called the game partway into the third Turning Point. We cleared every objective, but I cleared more in the second Turning Point.
Lark and I both had a great time with this match, and we’re already looking forward to our next one. Lark’s a sharp kid with a real wargaming spirit, and an excellent opponent.
It’s been three months since we first planned to play, partly because I’m a pretty slow painter. Deciding not to wait until the teams we originally picked — Novitiates and Corsairs — were done, and instead to play with forces I already had on hand, was a good call. Playing trumps not playing!
I missed some stuff in the rules, no surprise there. The biggest thing was not being able to select an action more than once during an activation — part of why we cleared all six objectives (18 loot actions) in less than three Turning Points. That’s what learning games are for, though, and after one play we both had a pretty solid grasp of the game.
With the benefit of hindsight and one play worth of experience, this match-up was a challenging one for Lark’s Greenskins. If I were to do it over with these two teams, I’d recommend that the player with less wargaming experience play the Marines: They’re good at everything, quite tough, and you don’t have a pile of models to worry about.
This board probably had too many relatively clear fire lanes (which also benefitted my Marines more often than it did Lark’s Orks), and felt like it needed one more piece of medium/large terrain. (When I set up the board for my second game, a couple days later, I worked on remedying that.) KT boards are more art than science, and I can see how every iteration will make it easier to spot the potential hang-ups in a given layout.
Kill Team combines 40k and Necromunda into a tight, rich package that’s relatively easy to learn, quicker to play than 40k, and full of tactical and strategic depth.
I also dig that I’ve reached the point where I can provide all the stuff for a complete game: board, terrain, two teams, etc. I can’t do that with 40k, and won’t be able to for ages. All of that combines to make KT much easier to get to the table than 40k.
As I write this post I’ve already played a second KT game, also a blast. Kill Team is shaping up to be one of my favorite games.