Friday, August 10, 2018

First Impression Friday: Kill Team

With three games under my belt, I think I can give a good first impression of kill team.

This small force skirmish game takes a lot from its big brother 40k while adding in new complexities to make it unique.  The stats for the units and weapons are the same so there were no new stats for me to memorize or keep track of changes.  The units move the same, shoot the same, charge and overwatch the same, and even fight the same.  This familiarity helps move the game along and keeps me from having to look up rules.

There are differences.  The big one is how the turns go.  Instead of the you move , shoot, assault, and then we fight then I move, shoot.... Now one person moves his team (which includes charging and readying) then you go back and forth with the shooting phase (with readied models going first) then we fight (with chargers going first).  I find this alternating shooting phase a welcome change.  It helps to avoid any overpowered alpha strike.  This also creates more strategic options for a player to use.

While the stats are the same the game has added a bunch of modifiers to the game.  Shooting long over half your range causes a penalty to hit.  If the model is obscured you get a penalty to hit as well.  So a marine with a 3+ to hit can find themselves using a 5+ for that shot across the field at a hidden guy.  It makes moving your guys into cover that much more important.

Speaking of cover, it is a lot more important in Kill Team than in 40k. The amount on the table will affect the outcome of the games played.  If you don't have enough on the board it will give a huge advantage to models with powerful long range shots (looking at you heavy support marine with heavy bolter).  Too much will help the close combat units make it across with little damage. I think my first game had enough, while my second game had too much, and my third felt like playing on a bowling ball.  I am going to have to play a few more games before I find the happy medium.

As I said before, cover makes it harder to hit enemy models.  It also helps keep you alive during another new mechanic the injury table. In 40k once a model loses its final wound it is removed.  In Kill Team, once the last wound is removed you roll on a chart.  On a 1, 2, or 3 the model gets a wound back as well as a flesh wound while on 4+ you remove the target.  If the model is obscured you get a -1 to the roll.  This means that it only get removed on a 5 or 6.  On the other hand each flesh wound adds 1 to the roll.  While this is an extra layer of complexity by the end of a couple of games you will be doing the math pretty quickly.

Speaking of flesh wounds, any model that has one needs to take nerve tests.  You roll a single die and add the amount of flesh wounds on that model.  If you roll higher than your leadership that model is shaken and can't move, shoot, or charge nest turn. You do this at the start of every turn.

The final new mechanic I will talk about is breaking.  If you lose over half of your team you have to roll for team to break.  This is a lot like the nerve test. You roll a single die add the number of guys you lost and compare it to your highest leadership left on the table.  If you roll over it then your army is broken and you get -1 penalty to almost all of your rolls.

With all these new actions and mechanics I think this makes Kill Team a fun and interesting game.  It is much better than trying to play 250pt game of 40k. If you are looking for a fun game where you don't need to bring cases and cases of miniatures then I say give Kill Team a try.

Questions? Comments? Dakka dakka dakka!