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

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

The small-unit skirmish game Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team, which was originally released in 2021, is in a superb place right now. The action is fast and fluid, yet it maintains the low-profile design that it had at the beginning. It appears that every major expansion is immediately followed by one that is a bit shit.

Every miniature inside this box, including the terrain, is brand new. It even includes one faction that has never been seen in three dimensions before. Its also the first of a year-long cycle of Kill Team releases that should bring life back to one of the franchise's most famous locations, the space hulk.

I didnt compose Space Hulk, the classic 1989 board game that pits Space Marine Terminators against Tyranid Genestealers. They are all there in the 40K universe, and they can sometimes be seen at random throughout the universe, including Chaos Space Marines, Asuryani Eldar, and others.

The terrain, which encloses the doomed starship in chunky gray polystyrene, is what makes Into the Dark so special, as are computer screens, cables, and all manner of grimdark industrial clutter. Each of the 16 wall sections comes pre-weathered, with dings, dents, and gouges already molded into the surface. It's really a breeze to paint with rattle cans, and after that you're just a wash away from being done

The terrain itself is great for learning new skills, and I think it works great for creating a textured base with holes at regular intervals for LED lighting.

The desire to experiment 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, and they are a fantastic starting point for any newbie to the hobby.

The included paperback sourcebook names several obscure races, including the Fraal and the Khrave, but there are also entirely new entities, named the Larvae of Silica and the Eclosions of the Metal, both described as artificial species created by their now-extinct creators. All four races are said to have built settlements and waged wars across the Gallowdark for millennia.

The new details in the sourcebook are lore gifts to hobbyists and kitbashers, just like the mysterious lost primarchs who founded the original Space Marine chapters, and open gaps in the larger universe that dedicated fans may fill in with their own creations.

Outside of the units and bonuses, there aren't any significant changes to the general gameplay in Into the Dark. That's a good thing, in my opinion. Some changes touch on how and when you can interrupt or fire during your opponent's turn. Into the Dark also grants some extra power to explosives and area-of-effect weapons.

Kill Team is similar to other small-unit skirmish games. Necromunda and Warcry is a very vertical game that involves multi-level terrain in order to encourage players to maneuver their troops off the beaten path. Into the Dark is explicitly two-dimensional, so much so that climbing up and over the walls is literally against the law.

The game's terrain rules were primarily designed for the factions that fought in the Gallowdark, but these new rules are much more widely applicable this time around.

Into the Dark is just the first of three major quarterly Kill Team expansions. The roadmap, released on August 25, includes names like Shadowvaults, Soulshackle, and Gallowfall, as well as potential contributions from across the 40K universe. Expect the terrain in those kits to be fully compatible across the entire Kill Team line, and maybe even beyond. For a game of Zone Mortalis, the fan-favorite two-dimensional variant of the Horus Heresyruleset, pick up all four boxes

This Kill Team release is built on a solid foundation regardless of whether or not the Gallowdark season was successful or unsuccessful. There's something here for everyone, from hobbyists and enthusiasts of terrain to those who bought the latest Horus Heresy boxed set, and even complete newcomers to the hobby.

Games Workshop provided a retail copy of Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Into the Dark. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships, which do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for goods purchased through affiliate links.