Warhammer 40K Kill Team Guide

Last Updated: May 18, 2023 8:53 AM /


Kill Team Guide

This guide is for Kill Team 2018, if you want a guide for the latest edition of Kill team, check out our Kill Team 2021 Guide.

Kill Team is a Warhammer 40,000 (or 40K) skirmish game. Since release, it has added a multitude of options and rules that can be overwhelming for new players. We hope to help players into Kill Team with our Kill Team Guide.

In this article, we’re going to look at the products that are available, what they are and what they do, and also list the products that you need to make them work.

Kill Team Starter Set

Kill Team Starter Set (Original - Genestealer Cults vs Adeptus Mechanicus)

Our Preview / Out of Print

The Kill Team Core Set is now out of print and has been replaced by the Space Marines vs Tau Starter Set (see below), but copies can still be found in local game shops. The Core Set is the perfect entry into Kill Team as it contains everything that you need to play in a single box at a great price (if bought at RRP).

The Core Set contains 2 Kill Teams, the Adeptus Mechanicus, and Genestealer Cults. Both Kill Teams have several options off the sprues and are a great starting point to begin a Kill Team with.

The Core Set also contains some scenery, which can be purchased separately but is great value included in the box. Scenery is essential to Kill Team, even if it’s just scatter terrain. Having different levels of terrain opens up some great scenarios and that’s what the Imperial Ruins contained with the Core Set does.

Kill Team is also designed to be played on fixed-sized 22x30 inch card-boards. There is nothing stopping you from playing on any board or playing surface, but specific boards to match the scenery and scenarios are included in the Core Set. Accessories wise, the Core Set contains the full rulebook, the core tactics cards, dice, range ruler, and custom tokens and tactics cards for both Kill Teams.

The narrative side of gaming is also pushed, with booklets for a named Kill Teams for both included in the box.

Kill Team Starter Set (New - Space Marines vs Tau)

Kill Team Starter Set

New Kill Team Starter Set

The new Kill Team Starter Set contains roughly the same contents as the original starter set. Including the Kill Team Core Rulebook, dice, and generic tactics cards from the rulebook. The difference is in the forces it contains and the scenery set. The new Kill Team Starter Set has the Fangs of Ulfrich and Advance Team Starpulse that were originally available as Kill Team Faction Boxed Sets. They include the miniatures for each force, along with the faction tactics cards. The new set also includes a set of Sector Mechanicus scenery for the two forces to fight over.

The new set is still as great value as the original set, even if you have a copy of the rulebook and tactics cards. The scenery and two faction boxes make it a worthwhile purchase.

If you want to start playing Kill Team straight away, this is an essential purchase.  

It is playable as a stand-alone product, but can be expanded into any of the products listed below. 

Kill Team Rulebook plus accessories

If you can’t find a Kill Team Core Set, the minimum to get you started with Kill Team is:

  • Kill Team Core Rulebook
  • D6’s (and D10’s for narrative and campaign play)
  • A way of measuring inches (either with a measuring tape or a range ruler)

We will refer to the 3 items listed above throughout this article as the Kill Team Essentials. The Kill Team Core Set is also a direct replacement for the Kill Team Essentials.

Kill Team Essentials

Once you have those 3 essentials to play, there are some nice-to-haves that help streamline play.

  • Tactics Cards (printed in the rulebook so not essential unless you want the physical cards) – Out of Print
  • Kill Team Data Cards (Available in PDF here for printing) – Out of Print
  • Tokens (some way of marking your units and the different activations they’ve had) - Custom Faction tokens are available in the different Kill Team faction boxes

After those essential purchases, you can produce your own Kill Team using the army selection rules and purchase the miniatures from the Kill Team or Warhammer 40K range.

Scenery is also essential to Kill Team, and you can either create your own scenery using household items or pick up official Kill Team Killzones or Warhammer 40K scenery packs.

Once you have the core Kill Team essentials of the Rulebook, Dice and measuring implement, you can add in the nice-to-haves and then it’s time to build your Kill Team out of the Kill Team or Warhammer 40K range. 
Kill Team Annual 2019

Kill Team Annual 2019

The Kill Team Annual 2019 includes updated points values for all the Kill Team factions, along with details of the Primaris Marines, Blackstone Fortress forces, and Sisters of Battle. It also has all of the currently printed tactics cards for all factions printed within its pages.

It also contains new narrative, open, and matched play missions, along with details on how to create your own specialism.

To use the Kill Team Annual 2019, only the Kill Team Essentials are required.  

The Kill Team Annual is extremely handy as it contains all the tactics cards currently in printed and when cmbined with the Kill Team rulebook, you will have details of all the available forces for Kill Team. Elites, Commanders and Arena can be combined with the Kill Team Annual 2019.


Kill Team Arena

Kill Team Arena

Our Preview

Kill Team Arena is the competitive play expansion for Kill Team. It contains everything needed to play Kill Team in a balanced and competitive environment.

The box includes balanced missions for use in competitive Kill Team games. The box also provides the scenery and play boards for these missions, as well as objectives and the rules for playing.

Arena also includes the rules for ultra-close-confines combat from the Rogue Trader set and the rules for Battle Brothers cooperative play.

There are no miniatures in this box, it is simply to add the competitive rules and accessories require to play a balanced tournament Kill Team game.

If you are playing competitive Kill Team, check the tournament rules to see which tactics cards are allowed, along with the rules for force building and any rules modifications.

The Kill Team Essentials are required to use Kill Team Arena, along with your own Kill Team force. To play competitive Kill Team Arena, only the Kill Team Essentials and Kill Team Arena are required, unless the tournament or organised play rules specify otherwise. 

If you want to play competitive or tournament Kill Team, then this is an essential purchase. 2 players can play some scenarios out of the box, but if you are looking to play tournament games, each player needs their own copy of Kill Team Arena.  

Kill Team Pariah Nexus

Kill Team Pariah Nexus

Our Preview

Kill Team Pariah Nexus contains the updated rules for ultra-close confines battles, along with the updated rules and datasheets for Necrons and Space Marines. It also contains 2 new Kill Zones, and the rules for Commanders. The 2 forces it includes are Space Marines, with a new Captain and 5 heavy Intercessors, and Necrons, with a Chronomancer and 5 Flayed Ones.

The Kill Team Essentials are required to use Kill Team Pariah Nexus. As it includes all the rules for Commanders, as well as 2 Kill Zones and 2 Kill Teams, you can play out of the box with just the Kill Team Essentials. The 2 forces in Pariah Nexus aren't balanced beyond the narrative missions it contains.

If you want to play competitive or tournament Kill Team, then this is an essential purchase as it includes the updated ultra-close confines rules. If you're a Space Marine or Necron player, this is also an essential purchase for the updated datasheets. It also contains 2 Kill Zones that are only available in this box.

Kill Team Elites


Kill Team Elites

Kill Team Elites adds higher level units to your games of Kill Team. The core Kill Team rules were focused on covert operations and the units involved in those actions. Kill Team Elites adds heavier armed and armored units into the game. It also contains the details and stats for the Adeptus Custodes along with rules for sub-factions for most factions, like Space Marine Chapters and Eldar Craftworlds.

Elites is not an essential purchase unless you want to add these forces to your games. But it does add a lot of additional options that most players will want access to.

Elites is a rulebook, not a boxed set, and as a result, doesn’t have card tactics or mission included. Elites does contain new tactics for each force, along with updated tactics cards from the Core Rulebook (mainly to include the new forces in their wording) printed within its pages.

The Kill Team Essentials are required to use, along with miniatures to represent the Elite forces in your Kill Team. 

Kill Team Elites is not an essential purchase, unless you want to add these forces into your Kill Team. 


Kill Team Commanders

Kill Team Commanders

Kill Team Commanders is an expansion that allows Kill Team units to operate alongside high-level and famous characters.

Using Commanders has to be agreed all both players prior to the game. If agreed, each player’s Kill Team adds additional points on top of the standard limit in order to purchase the commanders.

The Kill Team Commanders set includes the rules for commanders for every Kill Team faction, along with some specific tactics cards and details for using Commanders in a campaign, along with leveling them up with experience points.

Commanders also includes some commander specific missions.

Kill Team Commanders is an optional addition to Kill Team, and not essential to standard play. If you wish to play with Kill Team Commanders, the Kill Team Essentials, along with a Kill Team and a figure representing the commander is required. 
Kill Team Rogue Trader

Kill Team Rogue Trader

Our Preview

Rogue Trader introduces two exclusive Kill Teams only available in this set. The Elusian Starstriders and Gellerpox Infected miniatures along with their custom tokens and faction-specific tactics cards are included.

A Commander is included for both factions, but a purchase of Kill Team Commanders isn’t required as the rules for their individual use in this box are provided. If you want to use commanders from other factions, then a purchase of Kill Team Commanders is required.

Also in the box are 2 boards and scatter scenery designed for the close-confines combat rules added with the Rogue Trader rulebook. The Rogue Trader rulebook also includes a narrative campaign for the 2 included forces.

To use the Rogue Trader box, only the Kill Team Essentials are required.  

Rogue Trader includes 2 great Kill Teams not available anywhere else, along with the rules and scenery for close confines combat. Both of the Kill Teams from Rogue Trader can be used outside the box in regular games of Kill Team. 

kill team guide 5

Kill Team Faction Boxed Sets

The Kill Team faction boxes are a great way into Kill Team. While they don’t necessarily include complete or balanced Kill Teams, they are a great starting point to build your faction from. The miniatures can be purchased separately, so if you already have the miniatures, or don’t want the additional items, they’re not an essential purchase.

The faction boxes do include scenery, custom tokens, and faction-specific tactics cards, so if you want to collect that faction, they are a good purchase.

The faction tactics cards included are card versions of those printed in the Kill Team core rulebook, plus faction exclusives.

The faction boxed sets currently available are:

  • Astra Militarum - Drop Force Imperator - Out of Print
  • Space Marines - Fangs of Ulfrich - Out of Print
  • Deathwatch - Kill Team Mordelai - Out of Print
  • Tyranids - The Writhing Shadow - Out of Print
  • Orks - Krogskull's Boyz - Out of Print
  • Necrons - The Exalted Sythe - Out of Print
  • Tau - Advance Team Starpulse - Out of Print
  • Drukhari - The Slicing Noose - Out of Print
The Kill Team Essentials are required to use any of these boxed sets. 

While not an essential purchase, if you want to play a specific faction, these are a great place to start. The custom faction tokens and physical tactics cards are useful and the scenery and miniatures are a great starting point.  

kill team guide 4

Kill Team Killzones

Killzones are scenery and mission packs for Kill Team. They include specific scenery, along with missions and tactics cards that utilize them. Very narrative-focused, but great for adding depth to your games.

The scenery from the boxes is available separately, but you don't get any of the Kill Team content with them if purchased that way.

The currently available Killzones are:

  • Deathworld Forest - Out of Print
  • Sector Fronteris - Out of Print
  • Sector Santoris - Out of Print
The Kill Team Essentials are required to use any of the Killzones. 

Not an essential purchase unless you want to play games in that Kill Zone. Very narrative focused with the missions and scenery. The tactics cards are entirely focused on the Killzone they come with. A great value product for adding depth to your games.  

kill team guide 2

Kill Team Commander Boxed Sets

The Kill Team Commander boxed sets are faction-specific and include the miniature for the named commander, along with faction-specific tokens and tactics cards.

As with the Faction boxed sets, these miniatures are available separately, so don’t need to be purchased unless you want the faction-specific tokens and tactics cards. They include card versions of the faction-specific tactics cards from the Kill Team Commanders set along with a tactics card for the named commander in the boxed set.

Commander boxed sets are available for the following:

  • Deathwatch - Gaius Acastain - Out of Print
  • Tyranids - Nemesis 9 Tyrantis - Out of Print
  • Drukhari - Vysa Kharavyxis - Out of Print
  • Necrons - Ankra the Colossus - Out of Print
  • Genestealer Cults - Crasker Matterzhek - Out of Print
  • Astra Militarum - Feodor Lasko - Out of Print
  • Orks - Gitzog Wurldkilla - Out of Print
  • Tau - Fireblade Twinflame - Out of Print
  • Adeptus Mechanicus - Magos Dalathrust - Out of Print
To use the Kill Team Commanders Boxed Sets, you need the Kill Team Essentials and a copy of Kill Team Commanders to use them.  

The miniatures are available separately, and can be used with just a copy of Kill Team Commanders, but if you want access to the named commanders' tactics cards and the custom commander tokens, these are the only way to get them. 

Kill Team Boxed Sets with Commander

Kill Team Faction Boxed Sets with Commander

There are 2 boxed sets available that include a core Kill Team, alongside a named commander. These boxed sets are essentially a themed boxed set of a faction box and commander combined. They include scenery, along with tokens and faction-specific tactics cards.

These boxes contain a huge amount of printed content and provide a great way to start or add to that faction.

The narrative focus is very prevalent with these Faction boxed sets.

  • Adeptus Mechanicus - Theta-7 Aquisitus - Out of Print
  • Genestealer Cults - Starn's Disciples - Out of Print
To use the Kill Team Faction Boxed Sets with Commanders, you need the Kill Team Essentials and a copy of Kill Team Commanders. 
Kill Team Elite Boxes

Kill Team Elite Boxed Sets

The Kill Team Elite boxed sets are forces of elite units that can now be added into Kill Team games with Elites expansion.

Each boxed set includes miniatures for an elite unit, that are available to purchase separately, away from the boxed set. The boxed sets also include scenery that is also available to purchase separately.

The boxed sets include updated Kill Team core tactics cards for that faction, along with the tactics cards from Elites and also exclusive tactics cards. They also include a narrative mission for the scenery/Kill Team and scenery related tactics cards.

There is a narrative booklet included with details of the named Elite Kill Team and also custom faction tokens.

There are currently 3 Kill Team Elite boxed sets available for the following factions:

  • Death Guard - Dolorous Strain - Out of Print
  • Orks - Toofrippa's Krew - Out of Print
  • Thousand Sons - Fractal Blades - Out of Print
The Kill Team Essentials and a copy of Kill Team Elites is required to use any of these boxed sets.

The Kill Team Elites boxed sets are not an essential purchase. The miniatures and scenery contained are available separately. They are extremely good value and are a great way to add Elites into your game. The updated tactics cards are printed in the Kill Team Elites book, but this is the only way to get the printed tactics cards, custom tokens and exclusive tactics card.

Kill Team FAQ

Can boxed sets be combined?

All Kill Team boxed sets and rules can be combined if wished.

It is possible to play a game of Kill Team, including the Commanders, Arena, and Elites rules in one game using any of the factions detailed in the Kill Team Core Rulebook or Elites.

What’s the cheapest way into Kill Team?

After purchasing the Kill Team Essentials, all that is required is are miniatures to represent your Kill Team to play.

So a purchase of any Kill Team that comes out of a single Warhammer 40K box would work. These include, but aren’t limited too, Grey Knights, Deathwatch, Thousand Sons, Death Guard, which all offer a fairly competitive entry-level Kill Team.

Do I need to buy the faction-specific boxed sets?

Only if you want the printed faction-specific tactics cards, tokens, and exclusive tactics cards. The tokens and the printed tactics cards aren't available anywhere else.

They are good value if you're interested in the miniatures and scenery included, but they're not an essential purchase.

How do I get all the tactics cards?

The Kill Team Core Rulebook, Elites, Commanders, and Arena all have tactics cards printed within their pages. If you own all of those products, the only tactics cards you will be missing are the scenery specific tactics cards from Killzones and the exclusive cards from each faction boxed set (Kill Team faction boxes, Commanders faction boxes and Elites faction boxes).

The Kill Team Core Set and the Kill Team card pack had printed tactics cards from the Core Rulebook. They are both out of print now. The core tactics cards were available as participation prizes each week during the 1st season of the Kill Team Organised play.

Faction specific tactics cards are available in the faction-specific boxed sets, along with exclusive tactics cards and for packs with scenery, scenery specific tactics cards.

All the copies of Kill Team products used to produce this article were provided by Warhammer Community, Goblin Gaming, and Firestorm Games.

If you have a question about Kill Team or a Kill Team product, put it in the comments below and we'll answer it in our FAQ.


Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? Leave a Comment or e-mail us at tips@techraptor.net

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

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