With some delay, Santa Claus brings us the new Kill Team: Salvation box just in time for Christmas Eve. A water planet inhabited by the Adeptus Mechanicus sets the stage for a new season of Kill Team, and the Aeldari send Striking Scorpions to encounter newly designed Space Marine Scouts. In this review, we unbox the set and see what’s changed over previous boxes.

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Kill Team: Salvation review and unboxing
This item was kindly provided by Games Workshop. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

Kill Team: Salvation can be preordered from Saturday, December 23, 2023. It goes on sale three weeks later, on January 13. Please note that the Kill Team boxes usually have only one production run, so it’s available until stocks last.

Kill Team: Salvation is a smaller box compared to previous Kill Team releases, following the format of Warcry: Hunters and Hunted. A complete game board with terrain is no longer included; instead, you have to purchase the Kill Zone separately. The box now contains only the two Kill Teams and a single sprue with scatter terrain. However, it does include data cards and tokens in team-specific designs, which is a welcome addition.

Included in the box are:

  • 10 new Space Marine Scouts
  • 10 new Aeldari Striking Scorpions
  • five pieces of Mechanicus-themed scatter terrain
  • the 88 pages Kill Team: Salvation rulebook
  • datacards and custom tokens for both teams
  • 1 Space Marine transfer sheet, 2 small Raven Guard transfer sheets, and 1 Aeldari transfer sheet
Kill Team Salvation contents
© Copyright Games Workshop Limited, used without permission

Space Marine Scouts review

Space Marine Scouts are receiving a brand-new kit to bring them to Primaris size. Kill Team: Salvation includes 10 models, distributed across two identical two-part sprues, each containing 5 models. Additionally, there are 10 28mm bases included.

Primaris Space Marines Scouts sprues from Kill Team: Salvation review, front view
New Space Marine Scouts sprues, front view

For each sprue with 5 models, the following components are included:

  • 5 bodies in 5 poses, with 1 extra chest plate where the breathing device covers the mouth of a specific head
  • 7 interchangeable bare heads, 1 head for the Sniper, 1 head for the upper body with the breathing device (meaning if you build 10 models, you’ll need to use at least one head twice)
  • 11 interchangeable shoulder pads (one of them with a badge, the others without specific details)
  • 5 interchangeable pairs of arms, capable of holding either a bolter or an Astartes shotgun
  • 5 interchangeable pairs of arms with swords and bolt pistols, 1 pair of arm with bolt pistol and chainsword for the Sergeant
  • 1 pair of arms with a rocket launcher
  • 1 pair of arms with a heavy bolter
  • 1 pair of arms with a sniper rifle, along with a cameoline cloak
  • 1 left arm with Auspex and a bolter slung over the shoulder, plus 1 gesturing right arm for the Tracker operative
  • 1 right arm with a grapnel launcher for the Hunter operative
  • 5 bolt pistols in holsters, 5 empty holsters, 5 optional pieces of equipment (grenades, pouches, knives), 5 folded cloaks, all of which can be freely attached
Primaris Space Marines Scouts sprues from Kill Team: Salvation review, back view
New Space Marine Scouts sprues, back view

Overall, I’d say it’s a successful revamp of the old kit. There are enough weapon options for assembling a diverse Kill Team. Shoulder connectors are flat, making the arms interchangeable, and the heads are on ball joints. Speaking of the heads, I’m not too fond of the,; they seem somewhat squarer and squashed than most other Space Marine heads. The heads were a weak point in the old kit as well, so it seems they’re continuing the tradition. Also, it’s noticeable that only one sniper rifle is included. It seems that, for Warhammer 40,000, the old unit loadout with sniper rifles has been removed, and the sniper rifle is now more of a special weapon.

“Primaris” Scouts scale comparison

Here, you can see a size comparison with old metal and plastic Space Marine Scouts, various Space Marines including Firstborn Marines, Primaris Marines, and the new Horus Heresy Legionaries. The size difference from the old models is significant, definitely Primaris scale and larger than a MkVI Legionary.

New plastic Space Marine Scouts scale comparison with old Scouts and Primaris Marines

Plastic Striking Scorpions review

The design of the Striking Scorpions frames follows the pattern of the recently released plastic Aspect Warriors: three small sprues to build 5 models. These are included twice in Kill Team: Salvation, giving you 10 Scorpions. The base size is 28 mm.

For each sprue building 5 models, you get:

  • 5 bodies in 5 different poses, all with male attributes
  • 5 pairs of arms with shuriken pistol and chainswords (designed for a specific body each, but interchangeable thanks to flat shoulder connectors)
  • 5 headpieces with 5 helmets and 5 bare faces for Ynnari (including one with feminine features)
  • 2 different chest plates to make a model an Exarch (fit only a specific body)
  • 1 head piece for the Exarch piece plus 2 different helmets for the Exarch and 1 bare face
  • 1 pair of arms with chainsword and Scorpion’s Claw for the Exarch, 1 pair of arms with dual chainswords, 1 pair of arms with Biting Blade
  • 5 shuriken magazine belt pieces (can be attached freely), 3 pouches/holsters which go on specific bodies
  • 1 shrine statue

Like the Howling Banshees and Dark Reapers before them, the Striking Scorpions stay true to Jes Goodwin’s original designs. All the details from the Exarch sketches in Jes’ artbooks have been implemented, pleasing many Aeldari fans. It’s just a shame that, like the Dark Reapers, the opportunity wasn’t taken to integrate one or two female Aspect Warriors into the kit. I don’t want to fall into gender stereotypes here, but the design of Guardians and Autarchs established a difference between male and female armour. It’s odd, considering one of the bare heads shows distinctly feminine features compared to the other faces. Well, guess Aeldari are androgynous after all.

One more note about the new Blades of Khaine Kill Team. It consists of an Exarch and seven Aspect Warrior operatives that you can freely choose from Howling Banshees, Dire Avengers, and Striking Scorpions. While Warhammer 40k collectors will surely be happy to get a complete squad of 10 Striking Scorpions, this composition is not optimal for Kill Team. Since Games Workshop didn’t provide the Striking Scorpions with an additional sprue containing Kill Team-specific equipment, like the Death Korps of Krieg or the Hand of the Archon Drukhari Team, you’ll need a box of Howling Banshees and/or Dire Avengers for more tactical options.

Salvation Rig Apparatus terrain

The terrain… is there. There’s a sprue with 5 techno-arcane devices and generators, but nothing you haven’t seen in a similar form before. At least the individual pieces are relatively large for scatter terrain, larger than I would have thought based on some of the promo pictures.

Salvation Rig Apparatus Mechanicus terrain from Kill Team: Salvation review

Kill Team: Salvation manual and accessories

The structure of the Kill Team: Salvation rulebook follows the pattern of previous books. It includes lore and rules for the new setting and the featured Kill Teams. Bheta-Decima, with its platforms and gantries in the ocean, introduces some new rules. The water areas are hazardous areas, restricting movement and restricting line of sight, and the missions put more emphasis on jumping between platforms. Also new is the campaign system, Bheta-Decima Infiltration, which will likely be expanded upon with the following boxes in the season. However, all these rules are tailored to the separately included terrain and game board from the Killzone: Bheta-Decima box.

Value

The price of Kill Team: Salvation is £80 / 105 € / $135, making it lower than previous Kill Team boxes. However, if you buy the Killzone: Bheta-Decima Box for £75 / 105 € / $125, you end up paying £45 / 60 € / $80 for what is essentially the contents of the previous Kill Team boxes (you get extra datacards and tokens though). Nevertheless, I believe that outsourcing the terrain and game board is a good idea as it lowers the entry price. Having to buy the same Space Hulk terrain over and over to get multiple teams during the “Into the Dark” season was quite annoying. Still, it would have been better if Games Workshop had further reduced the price.

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I hope you found this review helpful, feel free to leave a reaction or comment below, post your questions here, or discuss on our Discord channel.

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6.5
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Pros

  • Scouts have a lot of options and updated proportions
  • Another faithful plastic recreation of an Aeldari Aspect Warrior shrine
  • Includes datacards and custom tokens for each team

Cons

  • Blades of Khaine Kill Team requires Banshees and Avengers to fully realize all tactical options
  • Boring terrain
  • Having to buy the models and Killzone separately is more expensive than previous Kill Team boxes were

Final Verdict

My verdict on Kill Team: Salvation, which heralds the new Kill Team season with some delay, is ambivalent. The removal of terrain is a good idea but results in a higher overall price. The Mechanicus-inspired theme is not particularly new, and it only gets a new twist through the water board. The Scouts are cool and offer many options, but with the Striking Scorpions, it's clear that the kit was not designed for Kill Team at all. The starter box of the last season, "Into the Dark," definitely offered more novelty. Let's see what this season has in store.