Kill Team: Into the Dark is probably the most exciting Kill Team box since Kill Team: Octarius – two all-new Kill Teams, all-new modular Space Hulk terrain, and expanded close confines rules. In Part 1 of our two-part review, we take a look at the new book and Gallowdark scenery, and find out whether it is compatible with existing terrain pieces and the Zone Mortalis system.
Kill Team: Into the Dark will be available for preorder starting Saturday, September 3rd 2022, and is on sale one week after. It’s my impression that this box will have a single print run only, so when it’s gone it’s gone, likely to be replaced with separate releases for the warbands, terrain and books.
Like with the Warcry: Heart of Ghur box, Kill Team: Into the Dark will mark the start of a new “season” of Kill Team products. Three more boxes will follow at quarterly intervals, further expanding the Gallowdark setting and terrain, and introducing two new Kill Teams each. The name of the boxes will be Kill Team: Shadowvaults, Kill Team: Soulshackle, and Kill Team: Gallowfall.
Kill Team: Into the Dark terrain review
Let’s take a look at the terrain first, as, in my opinion, the Space Hulk set is really the star of the show here. The Gallowdark is represented as a modular wall system, that depicts the decaying remains of an imperial spaceship. There are doors, ventilation pipes, arcane technical equipment, control screens, and of course skulls without end. There’s an insane amount of plastic in the box so you can fill the board tightly with terrain, and the moving doors and accessories bring it to life. The next three big Kill Team boxes will expand the system even more, and I’m very excited to see what else is coming. In the Gallowdark lore, it is hinted that some of the parts of the Space Hulk are made up of Chaos, Tyranid and Aeldari ships, so there are many expansion possibilities here.
Included in the box are no less than 8 big sprues of chunky plastic. There are 4 different sprues, each of which is included twice. 6 sprues contain walls, columns and doors, and 2 sprues contain the accessories like pipes, generators and control panels, as well as scatter terrain. The details are not as sharp as on regular models, as usual with Games Workshop terrain kits, I suspect that the manufacturing was outsourced to China. Still, the level of detail is more than adequate for terrain, and the scatter terrain sprue will be very popular, as it is excellent for embellishing all kinds of terrain.
The terrain system is based on plug-in connections. The walls end in pillars that are divided at a 45-degree angle. There you can dock more walls with pillars or place a pillar end piece. The pillars offer plug-in connections on the front and back so that walls without pillars or decorative elements such as pipes or generators from the scatter terrain sprue can be connected. Walls are then fixed in place by the caps that are placed on top of the pillar parts.
- 2 long walls
- 2 long walls with hatchways (doors)
- 2 long walls with pillars
- 2 long walls with hatchways and pillars
- 2 short walls
- 2 short walls with hatchways (doors)
- 2 short walls with hatchways and pillars
- 16 (half) pillars
- 2 wall ends
- 30 pillar caps
- 2 overhead pipes
- 2 broken pipes
- 2 dynamos
- 2 power panels
- 2 pipes
- 2 control panels
- 2 tanks
Plus 4 barricades and 4 stacks of ammo crates as scatter terrain.
In the Into the Dark book, there is an overview of all the parts with a letter and number combination for reference, and I recommend writing these at the bottom of the modules so that you can set up the missions more easily.
Gallowdark terrain comparison & measurements
Here you can see a comparison with STC Ryza Pattern / Sector Fronteris Ruins and the Sector Manufactorum Ruins from the 40k starter set. As you can see, the Gallowdark elements have a height of 6 cm, and they are stackable as the tops are flat. Two Gallowdark elements have a height of 12 cm, which is exactly the height of one Sector Mechanicus platform or one level of Sector Imperialis ruins. Ryza pattern ruins aren’t compatible in terms of height. Sector Munitorum ruins from the Command Edition of the 9th edition of Warhammer 40,000 have the same proportions as the Sector Imperialis ruins, but the floors there sit one segment lower so don’t match the height of two stacked Gallowdark elements.
Zone Mortalis elements have a height of 5.75 cm and the pillars and walls are much bulkier. Two stacked Zone Mortalis elements have a height of 12 cm as well (you need to flip the top cap to add the additional 0.5 cm needed). So while both systems are not directly compatible, there is definitely some kitbashing potential.
Kill Team: Into the Dark gaming aids
Beside the Kill Team token sheet, the combat gauges and barricades sprue, and some neat orange dice, there is a game board made of thick cardboard. At 70.3 x 60.7 cm, this has a different format to the previous Kill Team and Warcry game boards (which have a size of 75.9 x 56.7 cm, nominally 30″ x 22″). The format is designed to make a grid of 7 x 6 squares. Each square is 9.7 x 9.7 cm wide, which differentiates it from the squares in the Zone Mortalis tiles, which have a 2″ (5.1 cm) grid.
Both sides are printed differently, even if the design is very similar: grey-brown decayed metal walkways. Different coloured lights add splashes of colour, which I’m honestly not a fan of. Because of the modular nature of the terrain, you’ll end up placing walls over the light cones, which makes no sense visually. A minor caveat.
Kill Team: Into the Dark rules review
The box comes with the complete and unabridged (but not updated) Core Rules book. It’s exactly the same full-size book as from Kill Team: Octarius, the same one you can purchase individually, not the abridged A5 version of the Kill Team starter set. There are also two decks of tac ops cards.
Remember you can also download a condensed 3-page version of the core rules over on Warhammer Community (as well as free rules for Primaris Intercession Kill Teams).
The other book is the Into the Dark campaign book. With over 120 pages, it’s almost as thick as the Core Rules book, and much thicker than previous Kill Team campaign books. It includes a background section with the lore about the Gallowdark Space Hulk, a few short stories, a miniature showcase, lore, name generators, and rules for the Navy Breachers and Kroot Kill Teams, as well as the Killzone: Gallowdark rules, two mission packs with 9 missions each, and a new campaign system that can replace the spec ops campaign system from the core rules.
I’ll talk a little bit more about the warbands in part 2 of this review, so let’s have a closer look at the expanded rules. The Killzone: Gallowdark rules cover 4 pages, explaining the terrain and cover features of walls and hatchways. Then for some reason, we have 1 page of Killzone: Into the Dark, which is a supplement for Killzone: Gallowdark, covering the terrain features of the scatter terrain. Don’t know why they just rolled this into one section. Finally, we have 3 pages of close quarter rules, introducing two new actions: Guard is basically overwatch from the classic Space Hulk board game, allowing for a free overwatch or fight action in the opponent’s turn. Hatchway fight is a Fight action targeting operatives blocking an open hatchway. There are also a few thematic rules addition for condensed environments, for example, increased effectiveness for Blast, Splash and Torrent weapons, which gain Lethal 5+.
Into the Dark missions and campaign expansion
First, we have the Shadow Operations: Into the Dark mission pack. This pack has 3 x 3 missions with a mix of symmetric and asymmetric mission rules and objectives. The missions use both the Killzone: Gallowdark and Killzone: Into the Dark rules and are well suited for narrative games. You can play these missions with a new expansion for Spec Ops campaigns, the Gallowdark Expedition. This is a campaign master run campaign for which a map is generated with a deck of play cards, adding one of three materials to each segment of the map. By playing a game in the respective segment, players gain materials, and at the end of the campaign, the players who have collected the most of a certain material are crowned winners. Two pages of campaign master tools can add a little more spice to the campaign.
Finally, we have a second mission pack, the Critical Operations Gallowdark mission pack, which are 3 x 3 symmetric missions suited for matched play, using the Killzone: Gallowdark rules only.
Part 2 – Warbands, value & final verdict
That’s it for part one, part two of this review will be out tomorrow covering both warbands, a value estimation, and my final verdict, so stay tuned.
If you want to preorder Kill Team: Into the Dark at a welcome discount of up to 20%, check out our partner stores Wayland Games, Element Games, and Taschengelddieb to see if the box is still available:
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