Kill Team Guide

TechRaptor Kill Team Guide


Kill Team Guide

September 25, 2021

By: Adam Potts


Kill Team is a tabletop skirmish wargame set in Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 setting. Skirmish games are different from regular wargames, in that they generally use fewer units than full-scale wargames, which is great for new players getting into wargaming, or for quicker games that can be played over a lunch break, or several games over a day's tournament. In this guide, we'll look at the different products that are available for Kill Team, what you need to play, and which factions are available.


Kill Team 2021

This latest version of Kill Team is a brand new edition from Games Workshop, and there have been several previous editions. The first Kill Team was a small section in the 4th Edition of the main Warhammer 40,000 game in 2004. Then in 2016, a small boxed game was introduced, and then in 2018 with a much more detailed version, with lots of supplements.

Kill Team Guide
Kill Team has been through several editions before reaching the current Kill Team 2021 version.

While the miniatures from the previous editions, along with the Warhammer 40,000 miniature range are still useable in Kill Team 2021, also known as KT21 or Kill Team 2nd Editon, the rules and supplements are not, as Kill Team has a brand new reworked ruleset.

Kill Team Guide
Kill Team 2021 logo.

If you're worried about picking up the right edition, check out of products list below, or look for the Kill Team 21 logo, which matches the latest edition of Warhammer 40,000.

Kill Team Guide

Kill Team 2021 Mechanics

If you want a quick and easy introduction to playing Kill Team, Games Workshop has produced a short series of Learn to Play videos that do a fantastic job of teaching the basics and giving an overview of the core system. There is still a bit more to learn beyond the videos, but they do a great job of getting you started, or if you just want to see an example of the system before picking it up.

This edition of Kill Team is very unlike previous editions, and also the latest edition of Warhammer 40,000, which focuses on large-scale engagements. Each individual trooper has their own datacard, which lists all their stats, weapons, equipment, abilities, and any special actions that they have access to. Each operative has their own action points to use each round, along with a much higher wound count that they have in 40K. This allows for some very cinematic gameplay, along with providing awesome gaming opportunities for every unit you bring, rather than being a nameless face in a unit.

Kill Team uses six-sided dice (D6) for all tests, and these are very easy to work out using the new datacards. Each weapon on an operative's datacard has an attack value, which is the number of dice rolled, and a ballistic skill/weapon skill figure, which is the number needed on each dice to hit. To save, each operative has a defense stat, which is the number of dice rolled, and a save, which is the number to score on each dice to stop a hit.

Melee is worked out slightly differently, and both units involved in close combat roll an attack, and players get the option to score hits against their target, or parry to remove enemy attacks. Players take turns striking or parrying, and it creates a very tactical back and forth.

During the game, players can spend command points each turn on ploys, which are split between strategic and tactical. The type of ploy dictates which part of the round they can be played in, strategic during the strategy phase, which have a long-term effect for the round, or tactical during the firefight phase, which usually only affects a single roll or action.


Kill Team also features Tac Ops Objectives, which are drawn at the start of the game, and are secret ways of scoring victory points, on top of the usual mission objectives. There are generic Tac Ops Objectives for use with all factions, along with faction-specific Tac Ops.

Kill Team Guide

What Do You Need To Play Kill Team

To play Kill Team, you need the following:

  • Kill Team 2021 Core Book
  • Six-sided dice
  • Measuring tool (Either a measuring tape or Kill Team measuring tool)
  • Miniatures for your Kill Team
  • The rules and datacards for your Kill Team (Either from the Kill Team Compendium, White Dwarf issue, or Kil Team Supplement)

It's also handy, but not essential to have:

  • Tokens (for marking units actions and wounds, the official token set is perfect for this)
  • Tac Ops Cards (these are published in the Core Book, but having the cards is very handy and speeds up set up)
  • Scenery and game board (while you can use anything for scenery (books, boxes, cutlery, etc.) there is a huge amount of scenery available to make your battlefields look awesome)

If you're unsure of an item from the list above, we discuss all the available Kill Team products below, along with their contents. But if you're looking for a quick and easy way to start playing, the Kill Team Starter Set, or themed boxes like Octarius, have all of the above, including two kill teams and all their rules.


Kill Team Products

Kill Team Guide - Octarius

Kill Team Octarius Boxed Set

Kill Team Octarius is the launch box for the latest edition of Kill Team. It's a limited edition product, so won't be on sale forever. Octarius is a themed box, featuring two specific kill teams and some tie-in warzone scenery. Other themed sets will follow like this, but might not include the Core Book and accessories.

Kill Team Octarius contains:

  • Kill Team Core Book
  • Six-sided dice
  • Measuring widgets
  • Two sets of Tac Ops cards
  • Kill Team token set
  • Ork Kommandos kill team
  • Imperial Death Korps of Krieg kill team
  • Octarius book, containing all the rules for the included kill teams, along with the Octarius War mission pack
  • Ork shanty town terrain set and a double-sided gaming mat

Octarius is great value for money and in a very simple way of getting straight into Kill Team and contains everything two players need to start playing.

Kill Team Guide - Core Book

Kill Team Core Book

The Kill Team Core Book is included in both the Octarius box and a digest version will be available in the Kill Team Starter Set. But if you already have all of your own accessories, you can start playing with this and your own dice and measuring tool.

Kill Team Guide - Killzone Essentials

Kill Team Killzone Essentials

The Killzone Essentials includes a token set and measuring tools, along with six barricades. Adding this to a copy of the Kill Team Core Book and some dice will give you everything you need to play Kill Team.

All of the Killzone Essentials items are included in the Octarius box.

Kill Team Guide - Tac Ops Cards

Kill Team Tac Ops Cards

The Tac Ops cards are secondary objectives used to score victory points in Kill Team. This pack contains two sets of twenty-four cards and three selection cards that are used to keep them secret from your opponent.

The Tac Ops are included in the back of the Kill Team Core Book, but having them as physical cards does make it easier and speeds up games. These cards are the same as those included in the Octarius box.

Kill Team Guide - Compendium

Kill Team Compendium

The Kill Team Compendium is a supplement containing the rules and datacards for nineteen different factions to use in Kill Team, so if you already have miniatures from Warhammer 40,000, this will allow you to start playing with them straight away.

The full list of factions included in the Compendium is listed below in the Kill Team Factions section.

Kill Team Guide - Dice

Kill Team Dice

Any six-sided dice will do for Kill Team, but it's a scientific fact that having themed dice for your chosen faction will roll better than a random assortment of dice. Currently, dice have been released for the two Octarius kill teams, the Death Korps of Krieg and the Ork Kommandos.

Kill Team Guide - Starter Set

Kill Team Starter Set (Not yet released)

The Kill Team Starter Set was revealed recently by Games Workshop, and the release date is currently unknown. It looks like it will contain everything from the Octarius box, except the full Ork scenery. It will contain the Death Korps of Krieg and Ork Kommando kill teams, along with a digest version of the full rulebook and a Recruit Edition book to introduce players to Kill Team.

Kill Team Guide - Chalnath

Kill Team Chalnath Boxed Set (Not yet released)

Kill Team Chalnath is the first planned expansion for Kill Team, and its release date is currently unknown. It will contain kill teams for the Tau and Adepta Sororitas, along with a set of Imperial Ruins scenery and a rulebook with the rules and datacards for the included kill teams, and missions in warzone Chalnath.

Kill Team Guide - Unit Boxed Sets

Kill Team Unit Boxed Sets (Not yet released)

Both of the units in the Octarius box will be available separately. Their release date is currently unknown. The Ork Kommanos and Death Korps of Krieg will come in their own box sets, which will contain the miniatures and we can assume the rules and datacards for them.

Kill Team Guide
Kill Team has a lot of different factions available, which you can see in more detail of the official Kill Team site.

Kill Team Factions

There are many factions for Kill Team, the rules for which are available in several different supplements, which we list below.

Kill Team Guide

Kill Team Octarius

The Kill Team Octarius book has the rules and datacards for the following kill teams:

  • Veteran Guardsmen Guard - Death Korps of Krieg
  • Orks - Kommandos
Kill Team Guide

Kill Team Compendium

The Kill Team Compendium contains the rules and datacards for the following kill teams:

  • Space Marines (Adeptus Astartes)
  • Grey Knights
  • Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum)
  • Forge World (Adeptus Mechanicus)
  • Ecclesiarchy (Adepta Sororitas)
  • Talons of the Emperor (Adeptus Custodes and Sisters of Silence)
  • Traitor Space Marines
  • Death Guard
  • Thousand Sons
  • Chaos Daemons
  • Craftworld (Eldar)
  • Commorite (Drukhari)
  • Troupe (Harlequins)
  • Greenskins (Orks)
  • Tomb Worlds (Necrons)
  • Hunter Cadre (Tau Empire)
  • Cadre Mercenaries (Kroot)
  • Hive Fleet (Tyranids)
  • Brood Coven (Genestealers)
Kill Team Guide

White Dwarf

White Dwarf issue #468 includes the rules and datacards for the following kill teams:

  • Hunter Clade (Adeptus Mechanicus)

The Hunter Clade kill team is different from the Adeptus Mechanicus kill team in the Compendium.

This issue also includes a pull-out card sheet with color-coded Kill Team measuring sticks, along with a Kill Team designer diary, short story, background look at the Adeptus Mechanicus, and a Kill Team battle report.

Kill Team FAQ

Can I use Kill Team Arena / Pariah Nexus / Rogue Trader from the 2018 Kill Team in Kill Team 2021?

While you can use some of the scenery, boards, and miniatures in Kill Team 2021, the rules are not compatible with the latest edition.

Currently, the rules for the Elucidian Starstriders and Gellerpox Infected from Rogue Trader are not available in Kill Team 2021.

Can I play with named Space Marine or Choas Space Marine chapter?

Apart from the Death Guard, Thousand Sons, and Grey Knights, no specific chapter rules have been released for either loyalist or traitor (or those who walk the line between).

What is the release date for [insert Kill Team product here]?

We'll update this guide with any known release dates. Unreleased products have Not Yet Released by their titles.

The Kill Team products used to produce this guide were purchased by the Author.


A Potts TechRaptor
Tabletop Specialist

Adam is a tabletop specialist for TechRaptor. He's been involved in the video game and tabletop industry since 1997, including managing communities, flavor text writing for CCGs, game development, and design, and has played physical and digital card games at a high competitive level.

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