Beyond Chalnath: Kill Team Dreams

Last week Games Workshop previewed Chalnath, the next expansion to be released for Kill Team. Kill Team, for those who’re unfamiliar, is the skirmish answer to Warhammer 40k and often seems to have been regarded by its parent company as very much the junior sibling, making do with hand-me-downs in the form of repackaged models, rather than dedicated releases of its own. With the release of the new edition a month or so ago however the company appears to have finally taken the bull by the horns and started giving the game the kind of attention that it deserves. Releases have been promised for every quarter year for the foreseeable future, with new warbands likely to be a regular occurrence. Already we have seen Ork Kommandos and Death Korps of Kreig, and now Chalnath brings us T’au Pathfinders fighting Sisters of Battle Novitiates.

Sisters of Battle

These, however, are known quantities and I’m not here to talk about them. Instead join me as I speculate wildly, and entirely without basis, about what might over the horizon in the unknowable mists of the future! 

The Emperor’s Finest

The process of turning a male adolescent into a fully fledged space marine doesn’t take place over night. As well as all the surgery and genetic tinkering involved the subject also requires a great deal of training. Youngsters who are undergoing this process are known as scouts and tend to be given the kinds of missions that call for a bit more stealth and a bit less brutal shock and awe than those undertaken by their elders. Missions, in other words, that are perfect for games of Kill Team. Indeed this isn’t a million miles away from the Sisters of Battle Novitiates already announced for the game.

Wargamers are an argumentative and opinionated bunch but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who regards the current space marine scouts as anything other than dreadful. Squat, ugly and unlovable the dustbin of history has been calling out to them from the very moment they were released. 

Ugly Scout

Lately the old fashioned, oddly short and ill-proportioned space marines of yesteryear have been pushed aside in the release schedule by a new breed of space marines, the bigger and better looking primaris. Amongst these newcomers the scout’s battlefield role – sneaking around performing ambushes and acts of sabotage ahead of their fully initiated brothers storming in all guns blazing – has been given over to fully trained and developed specialist space marines like the Eliminators, Infiltrators (below) and Incursors. I must admit I’m not a big fan of these latter two, although I do see a lot of potential in them as the basis for converting decent looking Scouts. That said I’ve not got around to it yet so if Games Workshop wanted to save me the bother by just releasing some decent looking Scout models in the meantime they should feel entirely free.

Infiltraitor

The Eldar

One of the most iconic factions in Games Workshop’s stable, the haughty space-elves of the Eldar also have one of the oldest ranges of models, and one of the most deserving of an injection of new kits and miniatures. The obvious choice for Kill Team has to be the Rangers…

Eldar Rangers

Far from the craftworlds of their people the Rangers act as scouts, seeking out potential threats, spying out danger and reporting back to the Farseers and Autarchs. They’re cool looking models and I’ve long had an affection for them, but really they deserve to see the benefits of modern miniatures design lavished upon them. Plus their role in sneaking around, ensuring that fate favours their race by assassinating anyone liable to prove a menace them in the future, makes them perfect for a game like Kill Team.

However this is my wishlist and I’ll dream big if I want to! How about taking the things even further along the path of the outcast and creating a kit that makes both Rangers and Corsairs? Whilst some young Eldar find life aboard the Craftworlds too restrictive and leave to become Rangers others slip even further from their society, becoming pirates and raiders. These Corsairs live much as Eldar did thousands of years ago, neither embracing the asceticism of the Craftworlders nor the sheer cruelty and decadence of the Dark Kin. There were even models for them produced by Forgeworld until comparatively recently.

Eldar Corsair

Imagine a pirate crew of Eldar (peglegs and xeno-parrots optional) made up of specialists and hardened veterans and doing the jobs too dirty for their Craftworlder kin to touch – or working for whoever will pay them to keep their ships in void and continue their lives of adventure. Perfect for Kill Team I’d say!  

Genestealers

Lurking in the darkness of rusting space hulks, gloomy underhives and tangled jungles, the predatory genestealers are every honest Imperial citizen’s worst nightmare and never to be confused with a man who sells Levi’s. These terrifying alien monsters have been leaping out at unsuspecting gangers and space marine terminators alike for decades. The current crop of models may be old but they’re not bad so much as simply less than they could be.

Genestealers

In recent times their peers, models released at around the same time and representing similar roles in the rank and file of their respective ranges – the ork boys and necron warriors for instance – have been updated and look much the better for it. Genestealers, I would argue, deserve the same treatment. Around a decade ago they actually received a rather nice suite of new models (below) via the limited edition re-release of Space Hulk (another game from years gone by that GW really ought to look at bringing back). However when said limited edition was sold out (and then sold out again after Games Workshop “found some in a warehouse that they’d overlooked… honest…”) we were back to being stuck with the old models.

Space Hulk Genestealers

They might not be the most traditional kill team but small packs of genestealers leaping out of the shadows to slaughter your elite operatives is the stuff that the very best action movies are made of. In fact why not go all in and package them in a boxset with some nice jungle terrain and an updated squad of Catachans? Failure to quote all the best lines from Predator whilst playing will be deemed a criminal offence!

Nobody Expects the Emperor’s Inquisition…

One of the best things about a skirmish game like Kill Team is the opportunity to break out of the restrictive structures of traditional armies and build unique bands of unusual operatives. Enter the strange world of the Inquisition. Granted near limitless authority to act in defence of the Imperium, Inquisitors can – and frequently do – take command of entire armies when they need some serious muscle on a project. Traditionally however we tend to picture Inquisitors working in the shadows, aided by small groups of carefully selected agents – many of whom are amongst the weirdest characters the strange world of 40k has to offer. I’ve often dreamed of seeing the Inquisition developed further in 40k and given a suite of new models, but realistically 40k is a game of armies and Inquisitors don’t have armies, they just borrow other people’s (and heaven help the Imperial Guard commander who even thinks about saying “no”). Kill Team however is exactly the kind of set-up that favours the Inquisition and gives Games Workshop a golden opportunity to give them their due at last. 

Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus

The Less Well-known Players

Until now I’ve been thinking in terms of kill teams acting on behalf of the 41st Millennium’s big players. Each of the factions I’ve described so far would operate behind enemy lines on behalf of a faction which already commands entire armies on the tabletop in 40k. However that’s still falling into the trap of seeing Kill Team as 40k in miniature, rather than as a game in its own right. The galaxy is a strange and multifarious place full of wonders – many of whom are keen to strike the big players where it hurts but lack the manpower to do it in a straightforward military engagement. Mustering a few elite operatives however is much more within their remit – and gives Games Workshop the chance to play around with concepts that might otherwise be left to gather dust on the drawing board. How about the weird and unsettling Hrud for instance? Just look at this beastie – it’ll give you nightmares!

Hrud

Or what about the hyper-violent Barghesi, the secretive Eldar Exodites, the various races of beastmen, murderous mandrakes, the ancient constructs from the Blackstone Fortresses, or even the much-missed Squats? Dig a little deeper into the lore of 40k and the possibilities are almost endless. 

Anyway, that’s my current Kill Team wishlist, but I’m all ears to hear what you think. Is there a squad that would be perfect for Kill Team, something that’s crying out to be made but which I’ve not included? Get your crazy ideas in the comments box below then!


29 responses to “Beyond Chalnath: Kill Team Dreams

  • viki

    I think seeing new and exotic Imperial Guard regiments still has potential — they could go on forever releasing new one-off IG sprues. Each of them can come with spiky bits for a Chaos Renegade option. Every sprue a two-player Kill Team set!

    • Wudugast

      I completely agree on making more Imperial Guard regiments, I’m thrilled that we have Kreig at last but there are so many options they could be exploring there. Adding a sprue to make a traitor version of each one is genius frankly, traitor guard are something we can never have enough of! 

  • viki

    Regarding your wishlist, Corsairs and Inquisition would be most exciting to me (and squats of course).

    Thanks for the article!

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! I think the Inquisition would be my pick too, or using the opportunity to explore more factions that don’t usually get a look in. Squats would be amazing, they’re the great white whale of Warhammer aren’t they? Maybe a Squats vs Tyranids box as a precursor to bringing them back as an army… 

  • theimperfectmodeller

    I’ve know idea what you might have excluded, which will come as no surprise to you at all, but I reckon you’ve got a nice lot of work ahead of you. 🙂

  • Alex

    Hmmm… renegade abhumans, Black Ship psi-hunters, admech anything, rogue abominable intellects, rogue thunder warriors, black library acquisition squads, slavers, navigator houses – so much weird and wonderful to explore! A solid Inquisition list is the best place to start I reckon.

    • Wudugast

      You’re speaking my language mate! Love every one of those suggestions apart from the Thunder Warriors, those should be saved for a skirmish game (part Warcry, part Necromunda) set during the Unification Wars on Terra (my ultimate wishlist game there I think). 

      • Alex

        I’ve always loved the idea of a tiny number of TWs escaping the purge & living out their extended and bitter lives on the very fringes of civilisation… Should be easy enough to list up as well using CSM or even SM lists

      • Wudugast

        Yeah, “extinct” is never truly forever in a sci-fi setting is it, especially if GW thought they would be popular enough to bring back. We know from official sources that some of them did survive the cull, they appear in the novel The Outcast Dead (been years since I read it but they were living as gangers on Terra, hiding out and – I might be misremembering this – harvesting people for spares to keep themselves operational. One of the Forge World Horus Heresy books also describes Thunder Warriors being sent to a mining colony only to lead an insurrection there and end up fighting the newly formed World Eaters legion (bet that was a dust-up for the ages!). Considering how many ships must have been being sent out from Terra at that time there must have been a fair number of Thunder Warriors slip away, to form hidden enclaves around the galaxy. Given how distant the rule of Terra must feel to your average Imperial citizen, and how many dangerous aliens, heretics and pirates there are out there, I reckon that any sensible planetary governor, discovering that he had a colony of Thunder Warriors in his midst, would quietly offer them any support they needed in exchange for a little extra muscle when times get tough. Hmmm… I’m talking myself into converting up some Thunder Warriors now aren’t I…

      • Alex

        Just as planned 😁
        The new fat-boy Stormcasts are the ideal starting point I reckon!

  • imperialrebelork

    A fun article mate and I think your suggestions will be pretty close to the mark I’d say. Like with Krieg I’m hoping they’ll release some Praetorian Guard in the same fashion. The Hrud look interesting, never heard of them so it’s too the Google machine for me.

  • Kuribo

    Anything Eldar would get me excited! I think the Eldar rangers could use better sculpts and some Dark Eldar would be great as well. One thing that this reminded me of, I don’t really care for Eldar without their helmets on. Dark Eldar look cool with their face tattoos or warpaint or whatever it is but regular Eldar look too human-like for me. You know, some new Harlequins would probably get me interested in painting them too. Those have long been on my bucket list of things I’d like to paint but there’s simply too much else to get done. Regardless, this was a fun read as always! 🙂

    • Wudugast

      Cheers! Yeah, the Eldar really deserve a bit more attention don’t they? They’re one of the most iconic factions GW produces but they’ve been left in the doldrums for decades. I fully agree re the helmets, with them on they look strange and alien, without them they’re just slightly angular humans. Isn’t it interesting that 40k is one of those sci-fi settings where almost all of the aliens look like humans, but many of the humans are very alien indeed (look no further than the Ad Mech for instance). 

  • Túbal Villar - Virakotxa

    Eldar are coming… And so are Squats! But first… Genestealer Cults and Chaos.

  • Pete S/ SP

    Dark Admech would get my vote. Often mentioned in the lore but rarely seen….

    Cheers,

    Pete.

  • Steve's Paint Brush

    I agree, so kuchen potential to explore the some of the races and factions that have avoided the spotlight for years, a great way for GW to test the market for new releases, plus lots of lively kitbashing fodder!

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