It’s long overdue, I think you’ll all agree! The new edition of Kill Team has almost been out for a year at this point, and I’m only now getting around to trying it out. Now, I should say, I was playing against myself with this game, as I wanted to see how it all works in practice before trying to convince some people to try it with me.
I have to say, first impressions are pretty favourable!
Now, it is very dense to try to crack on a first play. There is a lot of back-and-forth in the rule book, and I wouldn’t say the rules are as transparent as, say, Warcry. In the game I played, I went in without really doing my research, so perhaps inevitably I was a bit lost for a while.
One of the big questions we ask when we sit down to a game like this is, what can I do? Now, it’s not always clear (to my mind) what operatives can do on the turn. One of my biggest bugbears with the rules is how badly laid out things are – so the book tells me to give each operative either an Engage or a Conceal order, but it doesn’t tell me what that means until about a dozen pages later. It’s like you need to have read the whole book and understood it before you play.
There is definitely a tactical depth required from the game, which really precludes you from just throwing some miniatures on the table and hoping for the best. There are twelve different types of Veteran Guardsmen, and there are eleven types of Corsair Voidscarred, and they all have some fairly distinct roles to play. Not having a game plan was quite startlingly obvious as soon as things got underway, if I’m honest, and I actually think that it hampered my enjoyment of the game. I mean, there are a lot of tricks that you can do with a lot of these guys, but I didn’t know half the stuff that was on offer to me (that question again), and as a result I knew I was missing out. At least I know what the problem is, so can address it for next time.
I was using the Veteran Guardsmen, because they’re wonderful models, but I wanted to use the Corsairs as I had a good idea for a colour scheme that I want to try out soon. They are also beautiful models, of course, but I think that both teams have suffered from the way that I’ve built them. I had said last year that I’ll definitely be getting a second box of Guard, but I also think I need to get more Corsairs. Not only had I brought the wrong mix, but they were positioned badly as well – it’s all coming back to the planning, isn’t it?
There is a whole host of additional rules that I was studiously ignoring for the battle, because I didn’t want to over-complicate things. All the Tac-Ops, Strategic Ploys and so on just felt like it would be a step too far, really! But the narrative depth that these things give is really quite astonishing, and I love the fact that we have this kind of game, even if it is quite the beast!!
I think it’s surprised me, just how tactical this game is. Rule of cool doesn’t apply – this isn’t a casual game. You need to have a very specific game plan in mind, and you need to exercise that plan as far as possible.
None of this is to say that Kill Team is a bad game. I think it’s just a definite level up for me in terms of how I usually like to enjoy my games!! I’m definitely going to give it another try, of course, but I’m going to make sure that I’ve done my homework first!!