Kill Team: Into the Dark is just the beginning of a compelling new storyline in the 40K universe

Kill Team: Into the Dark is just the beginning of a compelling new storyline in the 40K universe ...

The small-unit skirmish game Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team, which was first released in 2021, is in a fantastic position right now. The gameplay is fast and fluid, but it maintains the small physical footprint and low model count that it had prior to its release. Unfortunately, every great expansion is immediately followed by one that is a bit shit.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Into the Dark is more Wrath of Khan than Search for Spock. Every miniature inside this box, including the terrain, is brand new. It even includes a faction that hasn't been seen in three dimensions before. It's also the first of a year-long series of Kill Team releases that should resurrect one of the franchise's most iconic locations, the space hulk.

Note that I did not write Space Hulk, the classic 1989 board game that pits Space Marine Terminators against Tyranid Genestealers. These vast space hulks show up seemingly at random all over the galaxy, sometimes with valuable items, but also with all manner of fallen creatures, including Chaos Space Marines, Asuryani Eldar, and worse.

The terrain in Into the Dark is a chunky gray polystyrene that depicts the dark corridors of the doomed starship, all of which are adorned with skulls, cables, and all manner of grimdark industrial nick-nacks. Each of the 16 wall sections is pre-weathered, with dents, scratches, and gouges already molded into the surface. It's an absolute breeze to paint with rattle cans, and the finished product is just a wash

For Polygons, I used a silver metallic spray paint to paint in the reflection of light sources that would naturally reflect off of the surrounding surfaces. I also used some humorous in-fiction propaganda posters that I have been keeping on for a long time. It might be possible to make a textured base, with holes at regular intervals for LED lighting that would look similar to the included double-sided battle mat.

The ability to paint and modify extends to the miniatures in this kit as well. Both the Imperial Navy Breachers and the Kroot Farstalker Kinband have a myriad of poses and weapons. The Breachers in particular are extremely straightforward to paint, and they are a great starting point for anyone new to the hobby.

The included paperback sourcebook mentions several obscure races, including the Fraal and the Khrave, but there are also entirely new entities, called the Larvae of Silica and the Eclosions of the Metal, both described as artificial species granted intelligence by their now-extinct creators.

The new information in the sourcebook are lore gifts to hobbyists and kitbashers, like the lost primarchs and original Space Marine authors. They open gaps in the larger universe that dedicated fans may fill in with their own creations.

The ruleset itself is solid, although there are no significant changes to the general gameplay in Into the Dark. Some changes involve opening and closing doors, while others alter how and when you can interrupt or fire during your opponent's turn.

Kill Team, like Games Workshops other small-unit skirmish games, is a very vertical game that emphasizes multi-level terrain in order to encourage players to maneuver their troops off the beaten path. Into the Dark is explicit, so much so that climbing up and over the walls is literally against the rules.

Pariah Nexus is a sequel to Kill Teams' most disastrous release. But this time around, the rules for terrain were primarily designed for the factions that were included in that specific box, but the rules are much more widely applicable. Any faction may easily succeed in the Gallowdark; they just need to, among other things, keep their long-range snipers at home.

Into the Dark is just the first of three major quarterly Kill Team expansions. The roadmap, which was released on August 25, includes names Shadowvaults, Soulshackle, and Gallowfall, and includes many more factions from the 40K universe. I expect the terrain in those packages to be fully compatible across the whole Kill Team line and maybe even beyond.

Regardless of whether or not the Gallowdark season went well, this Kill Team release feels foundational. There's something here for everyone from avid Kill Team players to those who bought the recent Horus Heresy boxed set, as well as complete newcomers to the hobby.

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