Thursday, October 25, 2018

Tactica Thursdays: 02 Battle-Forging our Kill Teams

Welcome back Rangers to our second installment of Tactica Thursdays, last time we discussed the movement phase. This week we are going to focus our attention on building a proper Command Roster.

What's in a Roster?

So you have a few games of kill team under your belt and you are feeling on top of the world, then you come up against something that is unexpected and you are not prepared for it. You actually may not have felt like that, but I will admit it took a while for the concept of the Command Roster to sink in myself. If you are playing matched play then you need to sit down and make a Command Roster for your Kill Team that is comprised of twenty models that are available to you. Points at this point don't matter because what you are doing is preparing for your next match, tournament or campaign. This is the time to make sure we have all of our grounds covered, but what exactly are all the different grounds to cover?



First thing we should look at is what kind of weapon options we have available to our specific army, if you are limited to a certain amount of gunners you should probably take all the different combinations of that model. I will use Dark Eldar for my example, the Kabalite Gunners are allowed to take either a Blaster or Shredder, and another one is allowed to take a Dark Lance or Splinter Cannon. We can only have two max gunners on the table when we play our match but that doesn't mean we can't have all four options in our Command Roster. This is one of my favorite parts of Kill Team so far, because it gives you options on how to deal with your opponent whoever it may be.

If we are dealing with a horde Kill Team, they will usually have average stats with low armor saves. A blaster and dark lance would pierce through them effectively, however it isn't as efficient as we would want it to be. The task better suited for the job would be the Splinter Cannon and Shredder combo that way we are shelling out more shots to potentially take out multiple units in one turn. In the reverse order if we are dealing with an elite Kill Team then we want those high strength, high damage outputs so that we can kill at least one unit a turn.

It's a Horde of Zombies!

Not only can we fill our Rosters with all the best toys that will come in handy for all different match ups we can think of, we should look at some of the combos we can deal with the Specialisms. You can only have three on the field at a time, but we could fill our roster out with only specialist. (Don't plan on winning much with 4 models) Some of the specialist often pair well with each other, such as Comms and either Sniper or Heavy, the plus one to hit with either of their natural perks are fantastic. Running a Veteran, Combat and Zealot for an in your face hit squad also sounds amazing, but it may not have full potential if it's just going to get shot off turn one by your opponents gun line.

There are going to be times when you just have bad match ups and having all the best options to deal with everything you can mitigate the damage to potentially help you achieve victory. Some armies with the more expensive guys will have an easier time building list, but if you rely on horde then sometimes you will have to really think about your specializations. I believe that you can find all the best synergies with a lot of though and experience in the game. Campaigns are a great way to balance between fun and somewhat competitive play, just make sure you only start off with twelve guys on your command roster.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Faction Focus: Adeptus Astartes Kill Team

Welcome back Rangers, today we are going to start a new segment called Faction Focus, where we will break down individual units and potential play styles. I will highlight the pros and cons of each faction and leave you with hopefully a nice list to start playing and to tweak in your future matches of Kill Team or Warhammer 40,000.

We are going to be looking at the Adeptus Astartes or in old school terms the Space Marines, these are just general rule seeing as Kill Team doesn't focus on the different chapters, as of this writing. The golden boys of Games Workshop have an impressive six Tactics that they can use.

Death to the Traitors can give you some more attacks in close combat if you are battling an enemy of the chaos, which could happen, this will be more of a situational tactic.
Armour of Contempt not a bad little "invul" against mortal wounds, take a mortal wound spend a command point and you have a 33% chance of ignoring it.
Masterful Marksmanship probably the best tactic for the Space Marines spend a command point on an Intercessor and you can add ones to hit and wound when shooting. It's still only from a stalker bolt rifle, however anytime you can increase your chances to succeed in making something bleed, you can in fact kill it.
Honour the Chapter if you are fighting something that absolutely needs to die but you didn't kill it in your last melee phase, then spend two command points and get another chance to whack that mole in the head!
Hellfire Shells this is situational however it does make taking a scout with a heavy bolter able to rain some more hell. If you hit the shot then you are going to inflict d3 mortal wounds, this would come in clutch against some of the heavier armored units in the game.
Shock and Awe this tactic only applies to the Reiver units, when you declare a charge you may make a single shot with a shock grenade. If your Reiver hits it's target then the target may not fire overwatch, this could be a huge shift in the tone of the match, however it is limited by a 6" range.

Scout Marines
Coming in as the cheapest option to field the Scout can be quite versatile, they have essentially the same stat line as a Tactical Marnie except in the Save department. Coming stock with boltguns, bolt pistols and all the grenades, they can also be kitted out for more specialized operations. Scout gunners can take with them a heavy bolter, missile launcher or a sniper rifle, which can be paired up nicely with the Sniper or Heavy Specialties. You could also take a Scout Sergeant to hide in a corner and give you that Command point every turn if you so did desire. Camo Cloaks are also an option to give them an additional -1 to hit when being shot at, this could make them potentially more tanky than their heavily armored friends.

Tactical Marine
Coming in for only 2 points more than a Scout, Tactical Marines are a solid choice with their 3+ save and larger variety of weapons. You can have two Marines as Gunners in which one can take flamers, melta, plasma or a grav gun. As well as upgrading one to a more heavy weapon roll with a missile launcher or heavy bolter. Sergeants can be upgraded to add an extra "punch" to close combat with access to power fist or power swords, as well as the Auspex which can help by removing the -1 to hit an obscured object. There are plenty of specialties you have access to, add heavy to your missile launcher for 2 krak missiles, or sniper missile launcher for re-rolling ones on your frag missile. Demolitions is a nice specialty you can take for your other gunner, as well as giving your powerfist sergeant the veteran ability to get that powerfist into combat turn one!

Reiver
Reivers are a new breed of space marine that came out when 8th edition of 40k was released and these guys put the shock in shock troopers. They have the same threat range as scouts, but boast a nice 3+ save as well. They can be upgraded with Grapnel Launchers or Grav-chute to essentially ignore vertical terrain, leaving nothing in your way to close the gap on your opponent. Shock grenades can negate overwatch and stun a model that it hits, it has a 6" range so it could be a little tricky getting to use those. The Terror Tactic rule gives all enemy models within 3" -1 to leadership, that can be helpful if you are close to breaking your opposition. There are really no upgrades as far as weapons, however with veteran specialty you can get a turn one charge, use the tactic Shock and Awe and get tied into combat turn one. The should be able to hold their own ground with their 3+ save, 2 wounds and 2 attacks!

Intercessor

The taller, stronger, better, faster space marine you tell all your Tactical Marines not to be afraid of, but we all know these guys are the new hotness. While they may not have all the wonderful benifits of different weapon upgrades as their smaller, older brothers, they can still pack a punch with their base guns. The bolt rifle is a bolter with an extra 6" range, making them a solid choice for a start of a gun line or a good objective holder. You can upgrade one to a gunner who has access to grenade launchers which let you toss grenades up to 30" which can still give you options, but why can't we upgrade them to hellblasters? That's the Intercessor we really want, isn't it?

A Basic Kill Team
Here is a list I threw together, it's only for 100 points and not a command roster but I built it around the core concept of having a gunline that can throw out a lot of shots with a Reiver and a Power Fist coming from the flank.
Leader:
Scout Marine
Specialists:
Scout Gunner, Heavy Bolter, Demolitions
Scout Gunner, Heavy Bolter, Sniper
Tactical Sergeant, Power Fist, Veteran
Non-Specialist
Intercessor
Reiver
Tactical Marine

You can and should pick that list apart, it's not the best but it uses one of every model and if I had the points I would make the Demolitions Specialist a Missile Launcher just because two krak missile shots is really powerful.

That's it for this week's faction focus! Make sure to be on the look out for next weeks break down of the mighty DeathWatch! As always leave comments and let me know what you think of anything, check out our discord where we talk 40k all day every day. Have a great day!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Making Terrain for Kill Team

Hello there again, over the past week I have been putting together a few square foot boards for a base to play kill team on. The idea is that they are all a foot and if you put more together you can have different "dirt" for your units to walk across. As well as for when I go to build my 6' x 4' table and have all the right textures!


Here we start out with five 12"x 12" sheets of 1/8" balsa wood from any craft store, I did cut the last one in half to flush out the whole length of 30".

Next, I applied plaster of paris to the boards and it turned out alright, next time I would avoid using the plaster of ze french only because it is pretty brittle and between moving the pieces around I noticed a lot of chipping. On the next batch of boards I just used Spackle from a jar and dabbed it onto the boards and it turned out perfect. Look for that coming soon.

On this step we channel our inner McJagger and paint everything black, now I did mix a little bit of sand (I use chinchilla sand). This is just plain old apple bottom paints, I bought the largest containers of black and white for all my terrain making.

Air brush all the top layers with grey leading into way too much white, but it's okay we can just wash it all down with super thin black paint.

Winter is coming.

Here is the after of the black wash, it really toned all that white down and gives it a nice city feel.

I need to crank out some more terrain for the board, so look for all that coming soon.

Making terrain is always a fun way to spend a day or weekend, you can never have too much terrain. I have a nice back drop for my future articles on tactics and so on, as always if you have any suggestions or comments, let me know what I can do!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Tactical Thursdays: 01 Kill Team Movement

Welcome back everyone, hope everyone is having a great week. This week has been very busy, building new terrain boards and continuing working on my Dark Eldar Kill Team who is still yet to be defeated in campaign! I am going to aim for a tactical article every Thursday to help everyone get their heads around all the different things that you can do to maximize your advantage on the board.

What's In The Phase

Movement is a pretty straight forward phase that isn't as exciting as other phases that make your opponent pick up models, however it is probably the most important phase. In Kill Team you roll initiative and the winner gets to move their models first, if you are playing with a shooting army this will give you the advantage of setting up firing lanes first. When you have to deploy in table quarters you should be thinking of moving as many models into the opposite quarter as possible to start maintaining board control. Moving second gives you the opportunity to move out of the firing lanes and set up to exploit a potential weakness.

There are a few different options each model has during the movement phase. They can advance which allows the unit to add a dice roll to their movement, this limits them from shooting with any weapon that isn't assault. Some armies have access to a lot of assault weapons and have high movement speeds, combining these two will result in a extremely high threat range. 

Any units that are in combat with the enemy may choose to fall back from combat, moving up to your maximum movement and at least an inch away from enemy models. Falling back is your screening unit's best friend, if they manage to live through a combat phase with the enemy, they can simply hop back and expose that pesky assaulter for you gun line to mow down. However, if your unit was charged this battle round he can not fall back.

You may find yourself with units that are exactly where they need to be, this is where you would want to ready them for shooting. Readying models get to shoot before any other non-readied units in the following shooting phase, even if your opponent has initiative and they moved all their models closer to you. A simple readying of your forces would let you shoot all those pesky vermin coming closer before they got to shoot.

Let's look at a few other rules about moving to help us get the most out of our movement phase. In the advance rules section of the book we can see a few things about terrain. As always when you set up the battlefield you should discuss with your opponent(s) what kind of terrain is what, such as that set of rocks is dangerous terrain. There are four types of terrain, however the only two that you should really be concerned about, Difficult Terrain and Dangerous Terrain.

Difficult terrain can be beneficial to put your vulnerable gun line behind to potentially slow down an assaulting army, or even stop them in their tracks and get some free shots off with Overwatch. Dangerous terrain can provide all of the above benefits and it can even dishing out a mortal wound for extra salt in the wounds.

Moving over terrain is also possible if the terrain is more than an inch you have to use part of your movement allowance to climb up, and have to end with a flat surface, all of that counts for your movement. I have found if you are going for a weird move just grab a spare model and measure it out and break it down for your opponent on what your intentions are, that should eliminate any confusion. However if it just a barrier or small wall under an inch and half tall or deep you can just leap over it, thus helping you move further without measuring up!

Taking Charge

Kill Team has a slight difference from Warhammer 40,000 in that you declare charges in the movement phase instead of a charge phase. Choose your targets, you have a threat range of 12 inches and don't need line of sight to assault into close combat. If you can't see them just remember you might have to move around a corner, so keep that in mind for your movement. Once you have declared your targets, your opponent gets to make a reaction, either Overwatch or Retreat. Overwatch allows your opponent to shoot at bs 6+ in an attempt to stopping their assailant in a storm of bullets. Retreating is like a fall back move, except you can only move back 3 inches, I believe this can be a real threat for Tau. Having anyone within 6 inches, that can shoot Overwatch into the charging unit, to have the target just retreat back, serious bait and switch.

 When the smoke dies down for the failed attempts to stop their assailant, your models now roll 2d6 and this will represent their total charge movement. It's important to remember that you must finish the charge within 1 inch of an enemy model, however you can not end within 1 inch of another model if you did not target it. If they do have other models, you can assault one who is the furthest up, then pile into the next target at the start of the fight phase, however you can only target the unit that you actually targeted. The model that was piled into can make attacks at your model, this is the risk, the reward would be able to attack them in the next fight phase if they have not left you alone.

If you can not get within an inch of your target model then the charge is failed, you can move up to your max movement as long as it's closer to one of your model's targets. Hopefully you can get them to cover because they will be just a sitting duck there for your opponent to shoot or count attack.

That is all that you can do in the movement phase, hopefully all of that might have expanded your mind on all the different options at your disposal. The biggest thing to remember in the movement phase is to have a plan of where you want to go, hug terrain and keep your eye out for potential firing lanes/actual lanes. Think about unit's threat ranges, this is easy to figure out, add their movement to their weapons range, draw a circle around them in your head and that is anywhere they can attack you from. Use this to create the space or close the space to gain you a slight advantage in the upcoming phases.

Please leave a comment if you want to continue the discussion, I will update with pictures and examples after I take the time to get the additional content created.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Day 3 and Day 4

Welcome back everyone, got plenty of painting done in the past couple of days. Finished up with Snikrot yesterday, I think he turned out really well, just need to figure out what is up to taking pictures of models. Then this morning I just worked on an individual Ork Kommando, he is about half way done, hopefully I can turn these guys out soon to have a proper looking Ork Kill Team.





Friday, October 12, 2018

What is Kill Team?

If you are getting your feet wet into miniature gaming for the first time, or you only have an hour or so to get a game in and want to play something smaller and different. Kill Team is going to be your best bet for either of those itches. This system is designed to be a smaller and quicker version of Warhammer 40,000, once you get the hang of this you will have no problem picking up the actual game, aside from buying all the things.



Getting the Band Back Together!

In kill team you only need a handful of models to get you started, this is why I recommend getting into Kill Team first before you tackle the world of 40k. For the most part all the basic troop boxes that you see your friendly local gaming store will be able to be played and feel like they have some impact in the game.  You just need to pick up the Kill Team book and flip through the different armies and choose whichever ones you like the most, always use the rule of cool when starting out. Remember these are also models so you will need to at the very least get them together, and then hopefully painted.

There are quite a few different armies to pick from so take your time and look over all the entire range, and don't worry about what other people are playing, you do you boo. I will write up a little page on each army as I go throughout all the different armies and their play styles. The that you can play as are as following, Adeptus Astartes, Deathwatch, Grey Knights, Astra Militarum, Adeptus Mechanicus, Heretic Astartes, Death Guard, Thousand Sons, Asuryani, Drukhari, Harlequins, Necrons, Orks, Tau Empire, Tyranids, and lastly Genestealer Cults.

Once you pick up a faction and get some models put together then you can start thinking about what kind of squad you are going to assemble. We need to write up all the different possibilities of units, load outs, and specializations we can muster onto our Command Roster.  The command roster is essentually your "pool" of units that you can take to play with, this list can contain up to 20 models, they must share the same faction keyword.



Everyone Is Special

In every list you have to have a leader, this unit will be the one who takes command over the squad, really they are just going to generate you a command point each and every turn. In my opinion this unit should be something cheap and no real weapons, just stick him behind terrain by an objective and let him generate that command point.

You can have up to three different Specialists, Combat, Comms, Demolitions, Heavy, Medic, Scout, Sniper, Veteran, and Zealot. Each of these will add some spice the unit who becomes a specialist, and they will give you access to new tactics. We will go into more depth on the individual tactics in future articles, for now I will give you an example I use in my Drukhari (Dark Eldar) Kill Team. I like to pair my Shardnet and Impailer Wych with Zealot to give her +1 Strength and +1 Attack, before any Drug or Power from Pain modifiers she is throwing out 3 Str 4 attacks that do 2 Damage, with an option to spend a Command Point to possibly add more attacks on hits of 6+! (On turn three this becomes on a 5+ dice roll, with Power from Pain's add 1 to hit roll modifier). Also pairing my Comms Kabalite Warrior with my Sniper Kabalite Gunner for a 2+ to hit re-rolling ones, that means I am going to get either my Splinter Cannon or Dark Lance hitting those high priority targets reliably.



Wheels in the Game Keep Turning

When you finally get your Kill Team arranged and painted up ready for some skirmishes. Break out your rule book that you should have read over a couple of times to get the hang of the system. Here you will notice it's very similar to Warhammer 40,000. There are a few minor tweaks such as roll for initiative  to see who starts each turn, going back and forth between shooting and combat, lastly is rolls of 6s always count in the same manor 1s always fail.  Your first few matches will take around an hour and a half, between learning rules and your Kill Team. Once you get the hang of the game you should spend less than an hour playing the game, making this a great way to play a quick game compared to 40k. 

I have only played a handful of games so far, but I would recommend this game as a stand alone game and a great way to get into the larger system of 40k. Also painting Kill Teams can take a day or a week depending on how much you put into painting. That is all for Kill Team today, look forward to different articles and faction break downs, then eventually we can rage against this meta as well!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Day 2, 30 Day Challenge!

Howdy meta rangers, worked on this Snikrot model today for about an hour. Primed him up and then got a few base coats on for the colors, he just needs another layer or two of bases, then he will get a proper wash, then we will go onto highlighting. You have to have the best Ork Kommando in your kill team right? Be well, happy Orktober!