Kill Team returns with Into the Dark and this time the battle is aboard a Space Hulk floating in space.
Every once in a while a box comes out that feels like a fundamental shift from what we know about the game and how it plays. Kill Team: Into the Dark is one such box. Where each previous box from the current edition has utilized vertical aspects of the playing field this doesn’t. That’s okay too, it doesn’t need to, that’s one of the many reasons I enjoy Kill Team. In this box the field of battle takes place on a Space Hulk and if I am right it may just be a precursor to a new Space Hulk game. I’m sure if this box does well a new Space Hulk will be on the horizon.
Some of you may be asking, what’s a Space Hulk?
Great question and honestly can be a little difficult to explain in detail as they are all different and so are their threats. A Space Hulk is what happens when dead ships collide with each other, fusing into a labyrinth typically full of horrors. For whatever reason Genestealers seem to love these. My guess it is because there is no shortage of people climbing aboard in search of forgotten technology or treasures. More people means more food. This particular Space Hulk is known as Gallowdark.
What will fighting in Gallowdark mean for list building?
Anyone that has read stories or seen movies that feature boarding actions know that you go in armed for close quarters combat. That means shotguns, knives and claws. Basically things that don’t require precision and pack a hell of a punch. As someone that prefers these kinds of lists my time has come! I am honestly surprised we don’t have an accompanying novel to go with the release. I would love to know more about what happens on the Gallowdark outside of these battles.
Let’s talk about the Kroot for a moment. Previously we have only seen a handful of releases of these mercenaries. Into the Dark features and entire warband and they look fantastic! Blackstone Fortress featured a single Kroot and even Tau releases only saw a couple previously. Normally I would be all about the monster looking forces but this time the Imperial Navy has me intrigued.
That being said, let’s discuss the Navy. Prior to this release I have never seen models representing the Imperial Navy. That’s not including conversions people have done to make their own of course. We’ve seen them plenty of times in artwork, comics and described in novels. Even in Warhammer+ we’ve seen them featured in Angels of Death (great show by the way). Somehow we had never really seen models of them. At least I hadn’t. I did some further research and found a small selection of Voidsmen that were part of the Kill Team: Rogue Trader box but nothing else.
Why has there been a lack of love of the Navy, or the Kroot for that matter?
I admit I don’t know the official reason but I have my suspicions it has more to do with overall interest than anything else. With Kill Team Games Workshop can bring us new armies that otherwise would not have sold well as a full army in 40k. This is similar to the warbands in Warhammer Underworlds. When the Kroot were first introduced I suspect the players did not purchase them is large enough numbers to make them a true focus. It could be more simple than that, it COULD be that there simply aren’t large enough numbers left in the galaxy to be an actual army on their own. Of course it could be a combination of both or any other things. For the Navy I suspect the lack of models has more to do with the lack of battles on ships themselves. Most of the fights are done on the surface of the planet and the Navy wouldn’t be involved in those directly.
What makes this box stand apart for the others in this edition of Kill Team?
The missing vertical terrain is the biggest difference. The setting as mentioned is on the Space Hulk Gallowdark and everything is close quarters. There is no need to raise your guns above or below you. That may change again if they introduce pipes and things that can crawl in them. At the start I suggested that if this box does well we might see another edition of Space Hulk. I stand by that. This reminds me of when Shadow War Armageddon came out. At the time there were no public plans to revitalize Necromunda. The fans demanded it and used the box to revisit the game without having it be an official ‘Munda release. GW heard their voices and gave us a new edition, as I’m sure many of you have seen. For that chance alone this box would be worth grabbing in my opinion. Additionally to the lack of vertical component they’ve added doors. Hear me out. Doors aren’t new themselves but doors that open AND close as an action IS new. We also have added the ability to tear through bulkheads to create new paths!
Both teams look great and are great for battles like this, they just may not make the cut if you try to add them to a full army in 40k. Kroot immediately have the most versatility there since Tau are able to use them without issue. The Navy will likely need to see some rules for 40k added before they can be added. The similarities to Space Hulk make this box a must for fans of the IP and the fact that it could lead to another edition leaves me hopeful. I would love to see this even splinter off into it’s own game like Underworlds where we see unique Kill Teams designed for this kind of fighting that don’t necessarily fit an army. Overall this box has so much potential and even if I’m wrong it is a fantastic box, well worth your time and money.