Warhammer 40k Kill Team Rogue Trader Preview - Kill Zone Combat in Close Confines

Published: September 8, 2018 7:00 AM /

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Warhammer 40K Kill Team Rogue Trader is an expansion pack for Kill Team, which we previewed here. A copy of the Kill Team core rules or Starter Set is required to use Rogue Trader for Kill Team, but there are codex's for the two forces contained within Rogue Trader so that you can use them in games of Warhammer 40K, which we will go into further below. The Rogue Trader expansion adds an incredible amount to Kill Team in the form of 2 new Kill Teams, the Elucidian Starstriders and the Gellerpox Infected, it also adds a new Kill Zone type, including the terrain for it and a double sided map, along with the rules for ultra-close confines combat. We will cover everything that's included and what it adds to Kill Team in this preview article.

Kill Team Rogue Trader Unboxing

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Kill Team Rogue Trader is a very interesting boxed set in terms of its contents. Games Workshop have already been releasing Kill Teams in factions specific boxes, which include some terrain, the tokens, datacards and tactics cards for the faction alongside background information on a specific Kill Team for that faction. The Rogue Trader box includes all that for the Elucidian Starstriders and the Gellerpox Infected. It also includes 2 new Kill Zones that overlap each other slightly with the terrain, but provide different experiences in terms of narrative gameplay.

The 2 new Kill Zones are the Truehawk and the Ministorum Shrine. These Kill Zones are in the close confines of a ship and building, enabling you to take your games of Kill Team inside and add the rules for ultra-close confines combat and opening doors, which are both included in the Rogue Trader rulebook. Games of Kill Team can start outside and progress inside (or start inside and move outside) during the same mission now, using the Advanced Rules for ultra-close confines combat as units enter buildings.

Rogue Trader includes the following scenery:

  • 10 doors
  • 4 escape pods
  • 2 command/confessional chairs
  • 4 control panels
  • 2 engine coolant stations/incense units
  • 4 storage chests
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The rulebook also includes the rules for Commanders for which two are included in this set, Elucia Vhane for the Starstriders and Vulgrar Thrise-Cursed for the Gellerpox Infected. Commanders are extremely powerful units that have access to some great abilities and equipment. The rulebook says that they can be used if both players agree, so we could start to see Commander expansions for each Kill Team in the future. Commanders give you access to commander tactics, like Heroic Intervention, which lets your commander pile in 3" into combat if they didn't advance, fall back or retreat this phase. When you purchase your commander, they get a specialisation that doesn't count towards your specialist Kill Team limit and you can also purchase their Level, which automatically boosts them to the Specialist Level you paid the points cost for. Commanders also get access to up to three Commander Traits, of which some are unique to the commander, but there are also generic commander traits like Stoic Hero, which lets you ignore the penalty to hit rolls for the first flesh wound on that commander.

Kill Team Rogue Trader includes 11 scenarios (3 open play, 4 narrative and 4 matched play) which use the new rules and Kill Zones. The Narrative play missions follow the story and setting included at the start of the Rogue Trader rulebook and if you play using the Historical Campaign advanced rules, they allow your commander to level up as you progress through the missions.

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Elucidian Starstriders

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The Elucidian Starstriders from Kill Team Rogue Trader.

The Elucidian Starstriders are Elucia Vhanes elite Rogue Trader crew and consist of:

  • Elucia Vhane - Commander - She has a 4+ invulnerable save and is armed with some awesome weaponry, including a Monomolecular Cane-Rapier with -4 AP.
  • Knosso Prond - Death Cult Executioner - A combat specialist that doesn't count towards your specialist limit, armed with a Death Cult Power Blade and Dart Mask.
  • Larsen Van Der Grauss - Mechanicum Lectro-Maester - A comms specialist that doesn't count towards your specialist limit, armed with a Voltaic Pistol and his Voltagheist Array gives all Starstriders with 6" a 5+ invulnerable save.
  • Sanistasia Minst - Rejuvenat Adept - A medic specialist that doesn't count towards your specialist limit that can remove flesh wounds from your warriors.
  • Voidmaster Nitsch - The voidsmen leader, armed with an artificer shotgun.
  • Voidsman Gunner - Armed with the Heavy 4 Rotor Cannon.
  • Aximillion - The loyal canid with an 8" move and vicious bite.
  • 3 Voidsmen - Armed with lasguns and concussion grenades.
The Starstriders also have access to the Strategist Specialist through Vhane, which grants access to some very interesting skills at Level 2 and 3, like Counter-Strategist, which allows you a 5+ roll whenever an opponent plays a tactic to gain 1 CP. The Star Stiders without Vhane are exactly 100 points and offer very little variety in their Kill Team composition, their variation comes in the form of the Specialist options you can take and the extra abilities you can buy for Vhane. Including Vhane, her three inner circle, a leader specialist and the three regular specialist selections, 8 out of the 10 units will be specialists,providing a huge advantage and solid flexibility when it comes to playing tactics cards during the game. Their access to their specialist equipment for ranged and close combat also makes them very effective if played to their specialities.

Gellerpox Infected

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The Gellerpox Infected and the mutated forms of Elucia Vhane's ship's engineering crew. The Infected consist of:

  • Vulgrar Thrice-Cursed - The Infected's leader, armed with a Belly Flamer and Fleshripper Claws. He has a huge 5 wounds.
  • Gnasher Screamer - A Nightmare Hulk with more attacks and a deadly Plague Cleaver.
  • 2 Nightmare Hulks - Armed with Hideous Mutations.
  • 3 Gellerpox Mutants - Armed with mutated limbs and able to deal damage to opponents in close combat if they roll a 6 on their saving throw.
  • 4 Eyestinger Swarms - A difficult to hit unit that ignores all flesh wounds.
  • 4 Glitchlings - These units affected ranged attacks against them, making it difficult to hit them outside of close combat.
  • 4 Cursemites - A very fast moving unit that can reroll charges and pile in and consolidate up to 6".
  • 4 Sludge Grubs - One of the few ranged unit in the Infected (yet still with a limited range of 8"), they can cause mortal wounds on a roll of a 6 when taken out of action in close combat.
The Gellerpox Infected sprues includes the maximum number of Infected you can include from their list, which without Vulgrar comes to 193 points, so they have a lot more variety in force selection over the Starstriders. The Infected also have access to the Strength Speciality through Vulgrar, that starts off adding 1 to the Strength characteristic and builds to the ability to add 1 to injury rolls as an optional Level 3 ability. The Gellerpox Infected are almost entirely close combat focused, which suits them well in the close confines of the Rogue Trader maps. Their Disgustingly Resilient roll helps to keep them alive as they drive towards their enemies, but keeping them out in the open too long is very risky.

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We were very pleased to find the two mini-codexes with full rules for the Gellerpox Infected and the Elucidian Starstriders to be used in games of Warhammer 40K (alongside the Warhammer 40K Core Rules also included in the Rogue Trader box). The Kill Team Rogue Trader codex's probably won't justify the cost to non-Kill Team players, but the backwards compatibility is a very welcome addition to Kill Team (as it resembles the Warhammer Underworlds unit stats that are made available for players to use the units in Age of Sigmar) and definitely adds a nice touch and much value to the release.

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All of the rulebooks contained in the Kill Team Rogue Trader box.

Overall there is a lot of content in Kill Team Rogue Trader and the fact that if you only want tight ultra-close confines fighting you can simply purchase the Kill Team Core Rulebook alongside this release to get a full Rogue Trader experience, but if you are going to include the rules, Kill Zones and Kill Teams in full games of Kill Team, along with including the miniatures in Warhammer 40K armies, then there is huge value in this product. The missions and scenarios are great fun and tactically challenging, especially when using the two very different forces included in Rogue Trader. This is another great release from Games Workshop this year and we look forward to seeing where Kill Team and Rogue Trader go from here.

Are you a Kill Team player? Are you picking up Rogue Trader to combine with Kill Team, or simply to play Rogue Trader? What do you think of the two new Kill Teams? Let us know in the comments below.

This copy of Kill Team Rogue Trader was provided by Warhammer Community.

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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