My Warhammer 40k Kill Teams and board

I started playing Kill Team in 2023. I’d been painting 40k terrain for a couple of years with an eye to making pieces usable in both both games, and had sorta started one Kill Team, but until March I had no real plan.

On March 15, 2023, my kiddo, Lark, and I made a plan: We each pick out a KT box, I paint them, I also paint the rest of the terrain we need, and then we play. Fast forward to June and the terrain was done, but not either of our chosen teams. So we decided to just take the plunge using models from my two most-painted 40k armies, Blood Angels and Deathskulls Orks. Our first game was on June 21, 2023. It was a blast!

This page collects some board layouts, notes, a list of Kill Teams I can field, and color guides. It might not be 100% current, but I try to keep it up to date.

Partway through my first game of Kill Team, with my kiddo Lark’s Orks in the foreground and my Marines on the other long edge of the board (June 21, 2023)

Space fascism vs. actual fascism

There are enough douchebags in 40k fandom that this bears noting: I don’t take anything about the Warhammer universe seriously, but in real life? Fuck Nazis, fuck fascists, fuck bigots, fuck racists, fuck sexists, fuck misogynists, and fuck hatemongers of all stripes.

40k should be an inclusive hobby, diverse and welcoming for all — except for bigots and other hateful fuckwits. And as Games Workshop says, if you disagree you will not be missed.

Getting stuck in (June 23, 2023)

Kill Team board layouts

My terrain is a mix of Mechanicus and Manufactorum pieces, which I’ve tried to tie together into a cohesive dystopian manufacturing facility.

My very first test board, all my painted pieces plus the half-painted stuff (March 15, 2023)

This board was pretty good, but had a few too many clear sight lines and needed an additional piece of terrain.

The setup for our first game, with Lark’s team, Skrudd’s Krumpas, on the left, and my Blood Angels on the right (June 21, 2023)

For my second go, I painted up a ruined building and wall to add to the mix, changed the layout, and cluttered things up more. If anything, it was a touch too cluttered — but better than the first iteration.

The board for my second game, with an additional ruined building and wall in a different layout from my first board (June 23, 2023)

My third game was also the second with Reagan, and now we both knew enough to have some good input into the board. I took his suggestions from the first game — more angles, a bit less clutter, all gaps wide enough for bases — and came up with a draft layout. We made a couple little tweaks and landed on this arrangement, my favorite to date.

This board was really satisfying in play (July 7, 2023)

For other board layouts, hit up the battle reports tag.

Kill Teams

For maximum versatility, and to give myself room to flex Kill Teams into 40k if an army catches my fancy, I endeavor to give all my KT models wargear options that are also valid in 40k.

These are the teams I can currently field (not all with a full matched play roster, but all legal teams):

  • Orks – Greenskins – Boy fire teams x2: 2 leader options (Skrudd with slugga and big choppa, or Thragg with slugga and power klaw), 2 special weapon options (big shoota and rokkit launcha), and multiple grunt options: 9 Boyz with slugga and choppa, 9 Boyz with shoota, 10 Gretchin.
  • Space Marines – Infiltrator fire team: 6 Infiltrators with…the gun they all come with. Not a lot of variety to these lads, but I like the models! For fun (and my 40k army), I kitbashed a helix gauntlet out of two grenades, an antenna, and the comms array arm.
  • Space Marines – Tactical Marine fire team: 3 leader options (Sergeant Karios with hand flamer and chainsword, Sergeant Caedes with storm bolter and power axe, or a fancy-looking Marine with a bolter), 2 heavy weapon options (heavy bolter, missile launcher), 1 special weapon (plasma), and ample regular Marines.
  • Tyranids – Hive Fleet – Tyranid Warrior and Genestealer fire teams: 3 Tyranid Warriors (1 fighter with deathspitter and boneswords; 1 fighter with lash whip and bonesword, scything talons; 1 heavy gunner with venom cannon and boneswords), 5 Genestealers (3 with double rending claws, 2 with scything talons and rending claws). Leader options are the deathspitter Warrior or one of the scything Genestealers.
    • One small tendril of Hive Fleet Balaur.
    • If I ever spin these guys out into a 40k army, in 10th Edition Genestealers just have “claws and talons,” making their loadouts here just dandy. For the Warriors, I’d need a second box done up as 2 weaponbeasts and 1 normal gun/melee in order to make two valid squads.

In the works

I own these teams in various states of WIP (but beyond “kit in a box,” at a minimum):

  • Adepta Sororitas – Novitiates – 10 (the bespoke box) angry space nuns, the box Lark picked out.
  • Corsair Voidscarred: 10 (the bespoke box).
    • The Void Tigers Anhrathe warband, led by Felarch Iradel Voidlight.
  • Grey Knights: 6 Grey Knights (Justicar Dethras with nemesis force weapon, 1 with psilencer, 1 with nemesis daemon hammer, 1 with nemesis falchions, and 2 with nemesis force weapons).
  • Harlequins – Void Dancer Troupe: 6 Harlequins plus a Death Jester and a Shadowseer, painted as Masque of the Midnight Sorrow (the color scheme I picture when I think of Harlequins).
Lark’s Orks during our first game (June 21, 2023)

Beyond the misty horizon

I also have some other kits/partially completed models that could be turned into additional teams. Most need an additional kit to have the required number of models. (If I don’t own anything for a team, it’s in the next section.)

  • Adeptus Custodes – Talons of the Emperor: 4 with a maximum of 3 guardian spears and 4 sword/board dudes to choose from, a complete team; all of these are at least partially painted.
  • Astra Cartographica – Elucidian Starstrider: 10 from the bespoke box, a complete team.
  • Astra Militarum – Veteran Guardsman: 6 from the Gaunt’s Ghosts box I own, but based on 25mm bases, plus buy the Veteran Guardsmen KT box (which come with 25mm bases) and add 4 of them. (Also neat: In 40k Gaunt’s Ghosts are playable as-is, although I’d be running them on smaller bases.) Ghosts below, pick the four most interesting Vet Guard models to accompany them.
    • Gaunt = Sergeant Veteran with bolt pistol and chainsword.
    • Larkin = Sniper Veteran with long-las.
    • Bragg = Gunner Veteran with grenade launcher, which is a bit of a stretch visually; there’s no autocannon analog available to any of the Guard teams, though.
    • Corbec = Zealot Veteran with lasgun.
    • Mkoll = Bruiser Veteran with lasgun.
    • Rawne = Confidant Veteran with lasgun.
  • Orks – Greenskins – Speshulist fire team: I have 4 Lootas that are at least primed, would be an easy alternate fire team to finish up for the Orks. I also have a primed Spanner kicking around.
    • For a matched play roster, this would give me a third fire team option.
  • Necrons – Tomb World – Necron Warrior and Deathmark fire teams: 5 Warriors from the Indomitus box I own, plus the easiest option would be to buy 4 Deathmarks (or Immortals). Sautekh is the color scheme I picture for Necrons, so maybe that dynasty or a vassal of it.
    • Alternately, buying the Hierotek Circle KT box would provide the 4 Deathmarks (or Immortals) for the team above, plus the standalone Hierotek team as an option.
  • Space Marines – Intercession Squad: 6 Intercessors and/or Assault Intercessors. I own 5 regular from a CP box and 6 assault from the Indomitus box, so I’m all set for nearly any mix of the two; 50/50 is my current first choice. Paint them as Blood Angels.
    • An additional Marine fire team option for matched play.
  • Space Marines – Intercessor fire team: I own 5 from a Combat Patrol box, so I’d need to source 1 more body for a complete team. When building them, note that KT has many more wargear options than 40k; probably best to match 40k.
    • An additional Marine fire team option for matched play.
  • Space Marines – Assault Intercessor fire team: 6 Assault Intercessors from my Indomitus box is a complete team. Blood Angels, of course.
    • An additional Marine fire team option for matched play.
  • Space Marines – Incursor fire team: I have 5 unassembled Incursors in a Blood Angels CP box, so I’d only need to Ebay 1 more dude for a full team.
    • An additional Marine fire team option for matched play.
  • Space Marines – Scout fire team: My Blood Angels library is deep enough to include 3 Snipers — the max for a Kill Team — but doesn’t include any vanilla Scouts. This is an annoying option because it entails buying two kinda boring boxes of Scouts to round out the remaining 7 models, and then head-swapping them because the original sculpt is so boring — and to boot the Scout kit doesn’t include a missile launcher option. Meh.
    • An additional Marine fire team option for matched play.

Musings about other teams

Nothing I own, just ideas.

  • Gellerpox Infected: A complete team of 11 models plus 12 pieces of “living equipment” (the mutoid vermin) in one box. Reagan said he’d love to play these guys.
  • Genestealer Cults – Wyrmblade: This team lets me take some of the coolest-looking GSC models — and I could paint them as cultists of Hive Fleet Balaur! Requires a box of 10 Neophyte Hybrids, and I’d want two standalone characters: the Kelermorph, honestly the whole reason for the team, plus one of Sanctus (both Sniper and Talon look cool) or Locus (with his rad Genestealer carapace just peeking out, what a rascal).
    • For a possible 40k GSC army, my Hive Fleet Balaur Genestealers can be fielded as a squad of Purestrain Genestealers as-is.
  • Orks – Kommando: A unit I don’t already own for Moonkrumpa’s Megalootas, a complete team in one box, and they look like fun to paint — especially the sneaky Grot and the Bomb Squig.
  • Space Marines – Heavy Intercessors: One kit is enough for a complete team of 5, and they’re cool-looking: bulky armor, 40mm bases, and neat guns.
    • An additional Marine fire team option for matched play, and a handy one because they max out at 5 rather than 6.
  • Thousand Sons – Warpcoven: A couple hours into book 12 of The Horus Heresy, A Thousand Sons — one of my favorite books in the series so far — I knew I’d enjoy having a Kill Team composed of these dusty boys. To do them proud I’d probably go full-on elite: 1-3 Sorcerers + 2-4 Rubric Marines. Technically that can be done with one kit, since the Rubric box includes one Aspiring Sorcerer — but buying the separate Sorcerer kit seems like the way to go.
    • The intimidating-looking magic mist effect for the Sorcerers would probably be surprisingly easy with a contrast paint.
Hive Fleet Balaur Genestealers, the first Kill Team I started back in 2022 (April 24, 2022)

Kill Team color guides

As always, these are based on GW’s studio color guides with a few tweaks. Nothing is drybrushed unless noted.



My 40k terrain page has color guides for all of my terrain. Only the Kill Team-specific stuff appears below.


Primed and base-coated with Grey Seer spray.

  • Gear assemblies and grab handles: Leadbelcher > Nuln Oil all-over wash > light Ironbreaker drybrush
  • Everything else: Grey Seer (already in place) > Agrax Earthshade all-over wash > light Ulthuan Grey drybrush > light White Scar drybrush on the high points
  • Weathering:
    • Bullet holes: Leadbelcher
    • Rust: Thinned-down Skrag Brown > thinned-down Fire Dragon Bright
    • Chipping and damage: Sponge on Rhinox Hide, focusing on the blasted edges and torn-away elements, but also randomly putting it everywhere that feels right
My painted combat gauges (June 21, 2023)

Combat gauges

Primed/base-coated with Grey Seer spray.

  • Background, edges, main stuff: Grey Seer (already in place) > Nuln Oil all-over wash > light Ulthuan Grey drybrush > light White Scar drybrush on the high points
  • Big triangles and skulls, alternating: Left side is Jokaero Orange > Nuln Oil pin wash > Troll Slayer Orange edge highlighting around the outer edges; right side is Abaddon Black > Nuln Oil pin wash where skull joins triangle > Eshin Grey edge highlighting around the outer edges
    • The small skulls on the long ruler are just orange or black (as above)
  • Knife:
    • Flat of blade: Hazard stripes, Averland Sunset/Abaddon Black (use Vallejo hobby tape to mask them off, 3mm for the big ones and 2mm for the small ones) > very thin Agrax Earthshade all-over wash to dial them back a bit
      • Tape the two gages together and then apply the masking tape to both sides simultaneously, so that the stripes more or less line up
    • Edge bevel, serrations, pommel, and all vertical sides: Leadbelcher > Nuln Oil all-over wash > Ironbreaker edge highlighting
    • Grip: Abaddon Black > Eshin Grey edge highlighting
  • Range symbols: Just paint the flat surface, not the vertical sides of the element.
    • Triangle: Abaddon Black > Eshin Grey edge highlights
    • Circle: > White Scar (note this is a layer paint)
    • Square: Macragge Blue > Calgar Blue edge highlights
    • Hexagon: Mephiston Red > Evil Sunz Scarlet edge highlights
  • Chipping and damage: Sponge on Rhinox Hide. Not used to working at life-size scale, I initially overdid this and it looked like chocolatey fingerprints rather than weathering. I dialed it back a bit with some drybrushing.
A good start! Some of my Mechanicus and Manufactorum terrain (January 11, 2023)
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