Off The Shelf - Warhammer 40K Kill Team Arena (Unboxing and Preview)

Published: January 26, 2019 7:00 AM /


kill team arena (1)

Kill Team Arena is an expansion for Kill Team, the skirmish game for Warhammer 40K. Arena brings in more balanced competitive elements of gaming to Kill Team, allowing players to compete without having to worry about unfair terrain placement affecting the outcome of their battle. For more details about Kill Team, check out our starter set preview article and if you're curious about Warhammer 40K, we have a Start Collecting series that will help introduce the game to you.

In this Off The Shelf article, we will fully unbox the product, along with a closer look at some components, then have a look into the rules it adds along with what it means for the game.

Our Off The Shelf series is always the first of two parts. Off The Shelf articles are unboxing and preview articles which are followed up by On The Tabletop, where we take the game to the tabletop, with several gamers from different tabletop backgrounds to get a rounded first impressions of the game. Check back soon for the On The Tabletop article that follows this one.


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What does Kill Team Arena do?

Kill Team Arena is essentially a balancing mechanism for games of Kill Team, allowing players and tournament organizers to run scenarios of Kill Team that are fair to both players. In the original Kill Team, players set up the scenery according to the missions in the rulebooks, or they made their own. They all had preset objectives and scoring systems. This can give an advantage to some factions, meaning that the game isn't always won by skill, but could be dictated by the mission. Kill Team Arena balances that with tight missions in ultra-close confines. The ultra-close confines rules were initially brought in with the Kill Team Rogue Trader expansion, but because they are used throughout Arena, they are published again so that Rogue Trader isn't required to play competitively.

Kill Team Arena includes everything needed for two players to play competitive skirmish games. Two players only need one box between two of them, and their own miniatures, datacards and personal tactics cards for their teams. Players looking to play Kill Team competitively will want their own box of Kill Team Arena, so they have access to their own copy of the rulebook, scenery and missions, but for practice or casual play having a single copy between two does reduce the transport needs if playing in a club/store/friends house.

The rulebook includes:

  • Rules for ultra-close confines (for use throughout Kill Team Arena)
  • Rules for 4 new Killzones (using the playboards and scenery from Kill Team Arena)
  • Rules for competitive play (including Kill Team force construction, battlefield setup, arena objectives and 8 competitive play missions, which are also detailed on the cards provided)
  • Rules for Battle Brothers (cooperative rules for Kill Team including 4 missions and 28 Battle Brothers tactics, which are also detailed on the cards provided)
  • Rules for Ultima Missions (which are randomly generated maps using the playboards and scenery from Arena)
  • Guidelines for running Kill Team tournaments (including the balanced Arena missions, and also the missions from previous publications and how to balance the tournament accordingly)
  • Details for using the competitive play missions in a campaign (a random resource results table so the competitive or battle brothers missions can be used in an ongoing campaign)
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Kill  Team Arena includes objectives cards, which are used when playing competitive missions of Kill Team, but can also be used in regular games if both players agree. There are two copies of each 12 Arena Objective card decks included with Kill Team Arena and players chose three after choosing their Kill Team from their command roster.

For players playing using the Battle Brother rules for cooperative play for four players, two copies of Arena are required to set up the missions, as two copies of the same playboards are used for each mission. The rules in Arena are balanced up for competitive cooperative play but any of the rules/missions can be carried across and used for your own narrative and open games if all players agree.

Players using the Battle Brothers rules must have matching keywords in their Kill Team forces such as Chaos, Tyranid or Imperium to be able to play together. Using the Battle Brothers rules and forces grants access to the Battle Brothers tactics cards, such as Cross-Disciplinary Training, which lets you use the specialism from an opponent's specialist by one of your own specialists. There are also faction specific Battle Brothers tactics, like the Orks, We Is Da Best, which allows all Orks to add 1 to their attacks characteristic if they are within 6 inches when a model from your partners Kill Team takes an enemy out of action.


What will you need to play Competitive Kill  Team?

Kill Team now has a whole catalog of products available, but if you want to play Kill Team competitively, what do you need?

Compulsory Products

  • Kill Team Rulebook
  • Kill Team Arena (for the Arena rulebook, scenery, playboards and arena objectives)
  • Dice (a selection of D6s to play Kill  Team) and tape measure
  • Enough tokens for objectives and effects for your Kill Team
  • A completed Kill Team roster for your chosen faction
  • Miniatures that accurately represent the units on your Kill  Team roster
  • Data cards for each member of your Kill Team
  • Any tactics cards/rules/abilities that you need to use for your Kill Team members (the products available can be restricted by the specific tournament rules, some allow only the core tactics and abilities)
Other campaigns and tournament products will be dictated by the tournament rules. The Kill Team Commanders expansion may be in use and if playing in an ongoing campaign a D10 will also be required to campaign effects between games.


Although Kill Team Arena is designed specifically for those looking to play competitive Kill Team, the rules, tactics cards, arena objectives and missions, alongside the playboards and scenery can easily be incorporated into regular Kill Team games and campaigns. It adds a great set of options for all Kill Team players and most players will probably want access to Arena.

This Off The Shelf article will be followed up by an On The Tabletop soon, where we will try our Kill Teams head to head.


This copy of Kill Team Arena was provided by Warhammer Community.


Have you been playing Kill  Team? What do you think of Kill Team Arena? What's your Kill Team of choice? Let us know in the comments below.

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A Potts TechRaptor
| Senior Tabletop Writer

Adam is a Tabletop Specialist for TechRaptor. He started writing for TechRaptor in 2017 and took over as Tabletop Editor in 2019 and has since stood down… More about Adam