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Kill Team Guide: Tips and Tricks for Injury and Morale

The injury mechanics and morale phase are one of the key differences between the skirmish format of Kill Team and the larger battle game of 40K. There’s more clarification here than tips and tricks, but hopefully it will help you speed up your games.

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Injury Rolls

I quite like the injury mechanic, as it means a model can still battle on after a first turn alpha strike goes a little too well. The element of chance adds to the whole nail biting experience of a kill team match, and a model that was not hit hard enough to be put down can still affect the outcome of a game if it were to get lucky.

But I’m not going to pretend this is a revolutionary idea that needs huge in-depth analysis. It’s a cool mechanic to keep the game running for a decent length of time if you have just a few models, just what you’d like from a skirmish game.

Here are some insights and things you may get wrong:

  • Take an injury roll when your model gets taken down to 0 wounds
  • You can only get one injury roll from an attack; even if they fail to save all four shots from a Rapid Fire Storm Bolter, they only need to take 1 injury roll.
  • If hit by a multiple damage weapon (e.g. Overcharged plasma) then you’ll need to make 2 injury rolls, and pick the highest result.
  • -1 to the injury roll in getting shot at in cover
  • +1 for every existing Flesh Wound.

On a 4+ the model goes Out of Action. If you roll a 3 or under the model survives and gets a Flesh wound. It then goes back up to 1 wound, which is specified for any weird rule interactions. I can’t think of any off the top of my head, so I’ll just highlight it here:

  • Models that pass their Injury check go back up to 1 Wound and get a Flesh Wound.
  • If you get 3 flesh wounds your model is out of action.

If you fail the injury roll then the model goes out of action and is removed from the battlefield. However, for most of the games I’ve played I’ve run the following home brew rule:

  • Out of action models are placed on their side where they’ve fallen. Controlling player gets to choose the way they fall.

I like this really, as a big model can become a new obstacle adding some dynamism to the battlefield. And the controlling player can use the models dying breath to maybe block a door way or give some cover to its buddies. If you’re thinking that could be gamed for advantage, well that’s kind of the point!

Morale Phase

… otherwise known as the tidy up phase. Remove any tokens except for Shaken tokens, so that you can get ready for the next round. And you have to check if your team is broken:

  • If all models in your kill team are Shaken, have Flesh Wounds or are out of Action, it is broken.
  • If half the models are, roll 2d6 against the Leadership of the highest Ld model on your Kill Team. If you roll higher, then it is broken.
  • Kill Teams stay broken.

It’s a nasty thing to happen to your team, giving -1 to all Hit rolls. There are some missions which give more painful repercussions on top of this, but we’ll get there in due time. You’ll also need to take Nerve checks for each model in your kill team.

Once you’ve seen if your team is broken or not, then clear away Shaken tokens. The roll to see if they get shaken again. Models need to roll a Nerve check if:

  • Their team is broken
  • They have a flesh wound

Roll a d6 and then add the following modifiers:

  • +1 for any Kill team member Out of Action or Shaken already
  • -1 for any friendly model within 2-inches
  • If you roll above your models Leadership value then it is Shaken, and cannot do anything in the next turn.

The tips for this phase come somewhat obvious really.

  • Keep the party together
  • Start with high leadership models first

Keeping your models together means that they can help each other in the morale phase. The advantage yo get from your team mates is only local, so try to have at least one friend within 2-inches. If you need to split up, have planned buddy pairs.

Any model lost in your team will be a -1 to a nerve check, so that Stealth Suit that went cowboy and got killed 30-inches away from the rest of the party is still hurting you. Be very careful about splitting your party.

It’s a small problem to wrap your head around but start Nerve check with your highest leadership models. Any model that is Shaken means you get a negative modifier. Starting with lower Ld models means they’re more likely to fail and start piling on the negative modifiers on to your leader character.

Start with the champion, and their example will shine through. Start with your rank and file, and their fleeing forms will rattle your champion. Simple really.

Surprisingly a lot of words on these two bits of the game, as I only planned on about half of this. However, I hope it was helpful, and we’ll get into the more exciting stuff of building Kill Teams and going through the factions.

Reader Insights

More from Chris Noble over on the Twitters, who had this to add about the injury Rolls:

If your model is being shot or stabbed then your opponent is the one who makes the injury roll. So you can’t expend the Command Points saving Your Dudes. (You can If you take damage another way, such as falling off a ledge). So stay obscured and re-roll armour saves.

I have to admit I thought the Controlling payer rolled for injury (as it says on page 32 under Injury). Thanks for pointing this out Chris!

Until next time!

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  1. Minor correction: Model survives with a Flesh Wound on 3 or less, it goes out of action on a 4+.
    Also, regarding the "controlling player", this is specifically called out as an exception, referring to "Inflict Damage" on page 31.


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