Kill Team: A Casual review, the Compendium

Hey everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here, and today, I am going to go through my initial thoughts on the Kill Team Compendium. What’s that? It’s essentially all the rules for the factions that don’t come in the Octarius boxset. There’s a lot to sort through with some good and maybe too much not so good.

The compendium is a pretty hefty little paperback, but it is covering 19 factions for Kill Team, so it should have some heft to it.  As said by others who have reviewed KT, the compendium does feel like the Indexes from the start of 8th edition, which is a bit of a necessity as the game engine is so fundamentally different that you have to do that, or somehow have a faction book and box for every single faction ready to go at launch, something that is quite untenable.  It makes sense, but the book itself doesn’t have much in the ways of lore, photos, and those aesthetic elements that can really make a source book memorable. For reference, my son loves to go through my books and check out the art and pictures of models, and he was not very enthused by this one.

In terms of factions, well, there are some definite restrictions here. Oddly enough, Space Marines seem to have been hit the hardest in terms of model variety per Fire Team.  While Space Marines have a ton of options in terms of different flavors of Primaris, with only 1 Fire Team, you really are forced to either take all Heavy Intercessors, Assault Intercessors, or the like.  If you take Tactical Marines, you do get a big more variety with a Sergeant, a Heavy Gunner, and a Gunner with 3 other standard Marines, but that’s about it.  For one of the largest and most popular factions in 40K, it seems odd that they are so restricted.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they were one of the first new Kill Team boxes, but again, right now, they are very, very restricted in terms of what can actually show up on the tabletop.

Talons of the Emperor are also pretty restricted, which makes sense for only have Custodes and Sisters of Silence, but at least a Sisters of Silence Fire Team gives you some wiggle room with taking a mix of flamers, bolters, and swords.   You also get two fire teams, so you can take 2 Custodes and 5 Sisters, which at least is some variety in terms of what models are on the table.

Age of chaos

Too many of the factions, especially Chaos, boil down to 2 fire teams of elite units and chaff, and that’s not a lot of variety.  You can generally choose between gunners and heavy gunners, but overall, I can see most factions getting stale pretty quick until their full lists come out with a lot more in-Fire Team options.  Daemons have two Fire Teams, but they are separated by God allegiance, so unless you like mixing your flavors of Chaos, you are generally locked into just one type of model on the battlefield. Also, if you want any shooting whatsoever with Daemons, you have to take Pink Horrors.

T’au come out in a relatively good position in terms of model diversity. You can take Pathfinders, Fire Warriors, Drones, or Stealthsuits, and with two Fire Teams, you can actually have three distinct model kits in the same force, something that the other factions generally struggle with.   While Drones take up slots in the fire teams, bringing Shield Drones is still good.

Tyranids also get a bit of model diversity with two fire teams, either 3 Warriors, 5 Genestealers, or 8 Termagants/Hormagaunts.  You can’t take two Gant Fire Teams, but 5 Genestealers and 8 Termies is a lot of bodies with decent melee and some shooting.  Warriors are nice and beefy, and the Synapse rule isn’t bad for keeping injured bugs in the fight at full capacity.  I could even see running 6 Warriors for a real brick of a team with a good mix of shooting and melee. 

Aeldari get some of the most total diversity with 2 Fire Teams of 4 model types, so you actually have some room to build a varied roster that can respond to a lot of different missions and threats. They also have weapon platforms, so that adds to the spice and complexity. Necrons also have 2 Fire Teams with 4 model types to choose, but you are limited to only 1 Warrior Fire Team, so you can’t flood the board that much.

Lastly, There are pretty much no special actions spread out anywhere for the majority of fire teams.  Aside from basic stat lines, there really isn’t much depth to the unit entries.  While this makes them relatively accessible for a newer player as you don’t have to worry about synergies between abilities, it very much feels a bit dull, and I could see that the limited roster compositions get very stale, very quickly.  A big exception to this is Aeldari, who get to operate their weapon platforms, but a big deal is that Rangers have Silent on their rifles, allowing them to stay in the Conceal order and still fire. Space Marine Scouts have this too, but Craftworlds can balance this out with more variety in terms of other units in the Kill Team.

So overall, the compendium is a bit of a let down, honestly.  If you have been playing Kill Team or want to jump in but don’t want to play Orks or Krieg, it is generally quite limited.  Again, especially for me as someone who doesn’t play competitively against many opponents, I know that after a few sessions, my friends and I will essentially have run through the possible builds, so I can see the actual Fire Team compositions becoming quite repetitive.  Hopefully, more Kill Team boxes come out soon to help flesh out more Factions with more customization, which was always one of the best parts of Kill Team.  

Thanks as always for reading, and play games and be nice to each other.  Also, there is Kill Team at SoCal 2021, so check it out! 

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Danny Ruiz

Long-long time 40K player, one of the original triumvirate of head 40K judges at LVO, writer, educator, tyranid-enthusiast, disciple of Angron, man about town, afflicted with faction ADD.
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