As the kill team playtest draws to a close and the rules are being prepared to be locked and finalised my mind keeps being drawn to what I have learnt.
Meltas are awesome; as long as you hit and wound on a 2+ they knock the target out of the game. With the out of action role it makes all models like mini Plague Marines ( It also makes plague marines like tanks!) and keeps the skirmish battle going. Nice rule!
The other thing I have noticed is that things that would barely influence a standard 40k game can be a game winner in kill team.
In standard 40K the "move, move, move!" order is nice, but not many people would fear an advancing guard unit. Yet, in kill team that move can be most of your army getting a free extra move. It has proven to be awesome for securing objectives, so much so that I'm sure my platoon cmdr has a price on his head!
The other thing that has really stood out is Weapon Skill. Any model with a high weapon skill dominates combat, with the special kill team combat engine.
(Basics - You roll a die for each attack, choose the highest and add your weapon skill. If you beat your opponents total you get to roll to wound the amount you won by. When defending if you win you block the enemies attack)
With this engine even a W.S. difference of 1 can give you control of the combat. In my first battle I found W.S. 3 could not even strike a W.S. 5 model in 3 rounds of combat!
The models to fear are Grey Knights and Jack's Chaplain and anything with a W.S. higher than your models. Which brings me to my W.S. chart. I always try to compare stats to real life to make the game more realistic in my mind.Try to imagine someone from W.S.2 Fighting W.S. 4 with the definitions below (it would not last long)
So here is how I see Weapon Skill;
W.S. 1 = A 10 year old child's fighting prowess
W.S. 2 = An average person's fighting ability (you, me, someone off the street), a Guard Conscript, a front line Tau soldier
W.S. 3 = A hardened modern day soldier who has been trained to fight hand to hand or a Guard regular.
W.S. 4 - Now we're starting to get scary - Modern day special forces or people such as Liam Neeson in taken, Jason Bourne, the latest Bond, a standard Space Marine or a typical run of the mill Ork Boy.
Although I imagine a marine, ork or Liam Neeson would not have the same fighting style. But the main point is they would all easily own man off the street (W.S. 2)!
W.S. 5 - S**t that man/thing just owned Liam Neeson in Taken.
I like to imagine W.S. 5 is like a modern day fighting master (like the white bearded guy in Kill Bill - "you are like a worm trying to fight an eagle!" - He said to the experienced assassin who had mastered 3 martial arts)
W.S. 5 is the edge a humanities ability, only a few humans would ever be that good. For example, in a standard Guard list no model has W.S. 5, only named characters can get that high.
W.S. 5 is the realm of elite Marines, enhanced assassins, and combat daemons such as bloodletters. Weapon skill 5 means us conscripts are dead (Apologies if you happen to be reading this and you are a fighting master, for I have assumed all the readers will be W.S. 2 conscript level)
W.S. 6 and above - I would say pushing beyond a conscripts or regular soldier's comprehension.
Try to imagine a genetically altered and improved human fighting machine that has fought for 100s of years and won. This is the realm of the eldar lords and the Heralds of Khorne, it's beyond humanty. It's the stuff of fantasy.
However, there is one model in the 40k kill team world that has W.S. 6 and it is not few in number, the Genestealer! There I said it, the word that all the Tyrants fear.
Our game has been working well and the battles have been balanced, except for the one list, the one list that rules them all! One broodlord and 14 stealers.
This subject was broached in an earlier post "The Tyranid Question" and the Tyrants decided it was best to throw the Tyranid Codex into the nearest cupboard and disappear anyone who mentions taking nids in kill team
3 (on the charge) W.S. 6 strength 4 rending attacks is horrible. The nid army easily destroyed a marine army by turn 3 and that was before Lee remembered they could also infiltrate.
Which brings me nicely back to the start. In normal 40k Genestealers are good, but not great. They are not troops so immediately they suffer, they can only kill one unit at a time, they lack power weapons, and there is so much firepower the enemy commander usually sends a blast template or two and they are down and out. But, in kill team they can act independently lock up enemy models in combat and hold them their until their W.S. 6 prevails. Armour and toughness will only keep you alive so long.
I still like the thought of the combat ability of the stealers, they are pure animal cunning, they are the bad guys from that famous movie series Alien. The mighty fighting master or Grey Knight may get lucky against the stealer but, if they get near you or me my fellow conscripts we are dead!
So until a solution is found to the Tyranid Question then back to the cupboard you go nids! Let us never speak of them again!