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Kill Team Guide: Tips on getting the most from Tactics

The basic Tactics for Kill Team are generically useful and contain the single most important Tactic of the game. They all have uses for any Kill Team, but their value will depend on the set up of your Force and what their focus is. I’ll also give some advice on how to incorporate useful Tactics into building your Kill Team.

kill team warhammer 40k 40000 shooting melee assault psychic psyker guide faq analysis games workshop command points tactics

Decisive Move


  • Use at the start of the Movement Phase
  • Can make a move before any of the model
  • If used by another player roll off: winner goes first
  • Cost: 1 Command Point CP)

It’s not starting off great with this one, as it really only has a few niche uses. Strictly speaking, as I mentioned in the Movement page, moving first is not really the advantage it might seem like and spending a CP for the opportunity to isn’t the most cost-effective.

However, there are a few situations where it could be useful:

  • Grabbing an objective
  • Body blocking a choke point
  • Getting in a charge on a key unit if you’ve lost initiative

Really I would prefer to think of this as Decisive Charge, which you can combine with your Tactical Re-roll to ensure goes off.

Decisive Shot


  • Use at the start of the Shooting phase
  • Shoot with your model before any other model
  • If used by another player roll off: winner goes first
  • Cost: 2CP

This has obvious uses for when you must absolutely shoot Greedo first. At 2CP it’s a little steep in cost, but can be useful. If you’re playing campaign or my home brew rules then it has nice synergy with a Leader specialist Tactic, getting two of your models to shoot first for the price of 3CP.

Decisive Strike


  • Use at the start of the Fight phase
  • Fight with your model before any other model
  • If used by another player roll off: winner goes first
  • Cost: 2CP

Similar to the above when you absolutely must punch that guy in he face first. This one actually has synergy in Matched play with a Leader Tactic that will allow you to punch together before anyone else does. A nasty surprise if you’re running a close combat themed Kill Team, since it won’t be an obvious combo to someone who’s into shooting lists.

Insane Bravery


  • Use before any Nerve tests are taken in the Morale phase
  • Automatically pass a Nerve test for a model in your Kill Team
  • Cost: 1CP

Interestingly it doesn’t state that you need to choose the model to automatically pass before you roll. As in, you roll, fail, and then choose to pass the test. If so, this becomes a very good safety net for any Kill Team, and certainly worth spending 1CP on before you get a fresh load in the next round.

I almost guarantee that will get FAQ’d away, of there isn’t already some clarification elsewhere in the Core Rule Book.

Gritted Teeth


  • Use this when a model chooses to attack (either in Fight or Shooting phase)
  • Until then, the model suffers no penalty to Hit rolls from Flesh Wounds
  • Cost: 1CP

Kind of useful depending on how many flesh wounds the model has and its usual ballistic skill. Remember every attack hits on a 6 anyway, and a using the Command point for a re-roll might be better.

Quick maths:

  • BS 6+ with re-roll = 2/6 chance to Hit, equivalent to BS 5+
  • BS 4+ against obscured target = equivalent to BS 5+

Perhaps only use if your model has more than one Flesh wound against a target out in the open. There is a case for using this to shoot, and then a Tactical Re-roll for the Wound roll, but that would be a very dire situation where you’re burning a lot of CP on one model.

Well, one more case; you have two models which have flesh wounds… use this on one model and the re-roll on the other. In which case both have a chance to hit. Start with the re-roll because you might get lucky and not need it for the first hit, so you can then use the Re-roll on the Wound roll for the Hit.

Tactical Re-roll


  • Re-roll a single Advance roll, charge roll, Psychic test, Deny the Witch test, hit roll, wound roll, saving throw, Injury roll or Nerve test.
  • Cost: 1CP

You don’t need this explained. It is by far the best Tactic, simply because of its broad application.
But there is one interesting thing; the rules state you can only use a Tactic once per phase, but at multiple times throughout the battle. This means a Tactical re-roll in Movement phase, Psychic phase, Shooting phase, Fight phase AND Morale phase is possible!

Until it gets FAQ’d out of possibility.

Reader Insights

Another from Chris Noble on the Twitters, which might not be common knowledge for anyone not involved in the School League
A note for School League: in addition to the normal matched play rules you have to select which five tactics you want available (or rather 4 because you’ll want the re-roll tactic)
Thanks Chris! I wasn’t going to get around to mentioning this until I’d fully gone through the rules, but it seems quite appropriate to bring up here. Honestly speaking I think there would only be about 4 Tactics + the Tactical Re-roll that will be relevant to most Force set ups. This ruling goes a long way to making students think about what Tactics they can use before a battle (and so they might actually use them!).

It’s a good adjustment to the rules, and I think may be a good rule of thumb for setting up your own Kill Teams:

  • Which 4 Tactics + Tactical Re-roll will you build your team around

 Okay, I really was planning on writing half this much on the basic Tactics. Next week we’ll start looking at the Specialisations, and how they can be used with each other. Have a good weekend everyone!

Until next time!

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Comments

  1. When limiting the number of possible tactics for your School League, have you taken into consideration that each Specialist has a tactic for each of their levels?
    Especially considering that you are using a house rule that lets you start off with 5 additional levels of specialization, limiting the total usable tactics to 5 seems unnecessarily constricting when you have 6 basic tactics, 6 army specific tactics (or 10 if you have the faction box for that army), and then around 5 specialization tactics. Discuss.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting!

      Just to forestall any misconceptions, it's not me setting the rules for Schools League but Games Workshop itself. My own home brew adjustment is separate, and not intended for the students at my club to play with.

      I do like limiting the Tactics for School's League at least, and I mention why in a later post. It gives a good bit of focus to new players, and cuts down on rule book searches in the middle of a game.

      Like you say; 6 basic tactics, 6/10 army specific ones and 4 specialisation tactics is a lot to memorise and plan for if you've only picked up the game in the last few months.

      It might well be unnecessarily constricting, but it will speed up games. You can also make a case for the constraints encouraging creative use and combos when list building.

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