Reviewing the new box release for Kill Team!
Greetings and welcome to my review of Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team Into the Dark! This box marks season 2 for Kill Team and changes the setting from open worlds to cramped Space Hulks! Before we get into things, thanks goes to Games Workshop first for providing this to review for free. As always I aim to be honest, impartial and constructively critical.
If you’re interested, I’ve also done this as a more in-depth video which you can watch here:
Into the Box
Inside the box you get a LOT of stuff. 2 brand new kill teams (Imperial Navy and Kroot), brand new arena terrain, barricades, dice, tokens, updated Tac Op cards, a reprinted core book AND a new Into the Dark rulebook. The terrain dwarfs it all but it is great to get all brand new stuff along with everything you need to play a game of Kill Team.
The new game board is a little frustrating though. While being purposely designed for Into the Dark, it is now 603cm x 703cm, and as in the picture above you can see it is longer yet shorter than the normal game board underneath. Basically this new game board won’t combine with other same-sized Into the Dark boards to make a legal board for 40k. It’s a little frustrating but at least it works well for this new game mode.
You get 2 new kill teams: the Imperial Navy Breacher Kill Team and the Farstalker Kinband Kill Team. The first represents the Imperial Navy, clearly, while the latter represents a roving band of Kroot mercenaries. I’ll go over them briefly here but I have done in-depth videos on each if you prefer.
Imperial Navy Breachers:
The Imperial Navy Breachers are a solid team, backed by Security and Seek and Destroy. You get 12 operatives along with the neat abilities to re-roll defence dice vs blast weapons and the like as well as the ability to activate in pairs with GA2 once per turning point. They also have a good selection of faction Tac Ops to bolster this.
Operatives are also very good. Everyone has, generally, the human base of 7 wounds and a +4 save due to their void armour. Operatives are heavily themed towards tight space hulk combat while still being fairly useful.
Equipment is pretty great too, although Stimms seem way too good. At 1EP, not being 2EP or limited to 1 per team feels really unbalanced as you basically always take 10 Stimms to push your team up to wound brackets that are way too good for such a large team.
The Farstalker Kinband have Recon and Seek and Destroy which is alright but not amazing. They have 12 operatives too and a cover-based ability. This is also fine but I would have preferred the switch order ability they had in the compendium. Tac Ops are also…not great but at least Bounty Hunters is fine.
Your operatives have 8 wounds base with a +5 save. That is fine but being 3 attacks base really hurts, they all should ahve been 4 like the superior Kroot Hounds. I love the Kroot Hounds. They are your best operatives. Your leader is also solid but extremely fragile, even in melee.
Equipment is also a mixed bag. Meta feels like it should have been an ability when you kill someone in CC and 3EP is very expensive. Ritual Blade should have been baked-into the leader as well and the pistol is very…odd. At least you have some nice unique rounds.
Into the Dark greatly changes how normal Kill Team plays. The following rules replace standard rules when playing Into the Dark and do not overwrite the current rules for normal Kill Team games.
Walls are the name of the game. The can’t be flown over and block range/areas of effect. I love the addition of these new diagrams to help break down how it all works. Stellar work here. Wish they were in the core book.
Hatchways are where a lot of battles will take place. Who controls the doors controls the flow of battle. This offers a nice unique way to play and adds more depth to camping doors. You also get a bunch of new terrain to use with a nice explanation key. I really love the new barricades and will be using them in my own games.
Guard is the main new action. It works like Track Target from the Phobos Strike Team. Overwatch after an enemy operative’s action, or overwatch them when they charge you instead of fighting or even fight first when charged. These are all very nice and I kinda wish Guard was a core rule. I’ve always championed that Overwatch should be changed to reaction and Guard fills that perfectly (although my idea was fight at -1 to hit or do a free dash instead of point-blank overwatch).
However guard can lead to deadlocks with Into the Dark as melee operatives do not want to charge other melee operatives on guard. A minor thing but it results in key battles happening based on who wins priority. Just the drawback of the new setting more than the action.
You also get Hatchway Fight action which you can do after a move and/or dash (but not a charge action). Just covers what was shown earlier.
Condensed Environment makes shooting even harder. If cover lines pass through any operatives (friend or foe), your attack is at -1 dice. Shoot the closest basically but still a hit to shooting. You also get the ability to make blast and torrent etc weapons better at the cost of going to range blue.
Barricades can now be placed anywhere on the board but more than red from your opponent’s drop zone and not within range or doors or other barricades. I’d like the the barricade blocking rule to be added too as that just fixes a lot of things with the core game.
Tac Ops, however, I’m not a huge fan of. Some have been banned for either being unscorable or far too strong. To compensate, if you can’t build a full deck, you can select from other archetypes. The problem with this is that it is very exploitable as currently written (what if you purposefully choose less than the number of Tac Op cards with faction Tac Ops to pick a new archetype etc) and it will confuse opponents when people start picking Security and Recon for example. I would have rather had a universal pool of 6 Tac Ops or more space dedicated to the Tac Op change.
Also no rules to stop advance deployment (very strong) or air strikes (how do they even work in Into the Dark?). Just very confusing considering GW tweaked barricades and banned some Tac Op cards.
For the missions, you get 9 narrative missions but also 9 new competitive missions. These are pretty clear with fixed symmetrical deployments. The missions are nice but the Killzone Key Reference really should have been a separate page. Building maps takes a long time and gets frustrating at points, especially when compared to building normal boards. A minor gripe but it would drive me mad as a TO if I had to change terrain maps every round.
Into the Dark Overview
Kill Team Into the Dark is great, although with a few flaws. While I like the new teams and the twist it adds to games of Kill Team, it loses a lot of depth with the lack of 3D terrain and vantage points, resulting in mid-board/objective scrums with minimal shooting at melee mirrors spamming guard. Into the Dark is great to play for a while but just isn’t the same as normal games of Kill Team. Still very thematic and fun, but yeah.
Then there’s the terrain. The terrain is really nice but it has a big flaw. The connectors are too tight. Even unpainted, the terrain is a pain to put together. The moment you get a thin layer of paint on them, they no longer fit together flush. I’ve had to dremmel sand all the plugs just so everything fits. It’s a shame as GW had a similar problem with their push-fit miniatures which they eventually fixed, so it’s sad to see it repeated with the push-fit terrain. If you were planning to run events with this terrain or constantly change it up at home, I’d heavily advise to just not paint it to save your mind.
Although I still think Into the Dark is a great box. It’s great for new players with having everything you need to play while also being enthralling for current players. The terrain is just a huge love/hate situation for me. I even had fun painting it all! Just the putting it together for games gets frustrating.
- Great for new players, everything you need to play is included
- Brand new modular terrain
- Brand new kill teams
- Imperial Navy are maybe the best current Into the Dark Kill Team
- Kroot Hounds
- Thematic and clear rules for playing in Space Hulks
- Kroot are a little weak power/balance-wise
- Terrain is a pain to put together for games
- New custom board size hurts compatibility and adoption for events
- Yearly seasons means Into the Dark could be “forgotten” when the season changes setting next year
Overall I’d recommend getting Into the Dark. It’s a great box and the downsides are mostly minor gripes. The future of the game is a little up in the air with yearly seasons but we kinda have to see how that plays out for now. The box is still really fun in general and it’s a nice refresher from current kill team. At least when you get tired of playing Into the Dark rules, the box has everything you need to go back and play “normal” games of Kill Team as well.
If you want to pick up Kill Team Moroch you can pre-order it directly from the Games Workshop website or use my affiliate link at Element Games to net you a 25% to 15% discount at no additional cost to yourself while helping to support me and my work.
That’s pretty much it from me. So until next time, even while you’re lost in the confines of a dark Space Hulk, there is always hope as long as you can roll a crit!