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Warhammer 40K: Kill Team – The New Activations System Explained

3 Minute Read
Jul 21 2021

Games Workshop breaks down the new Activation system for Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team. Get ready to spend those APs!

Kill Team is kicking up the tactical choices up a notch with some brand new mechanics revolving around Action Points and activations. How will this new system work? GW is spill the beans on that today.

via Warhammer Community

“Kill Team has always been a game of alternating activations, but they were previously tied to the conventional structure of Warhammer 40,000. Even though players took turns to activate one model at a time, movements still had to happen during the movement phase, shooting in the shooting phase, and so on.

The new Kill Team rules are far more flexible. Operatives now have a stat called Action Point Limit (APL for short) – and you can spend these points (AP) on any action that’s available to them. Actions include dashing for cover, charging into combat, taking a shot, or using an ability that’s unique to a particular combatant. Here’s a choice selection of a few actions available to your operatives.”

This is a pretty huge change to the game. No longer are your models restricted to different phases. They can now just spend those APs to do the “thing” they need to do, when they need to do it! Combined with the alternating activations and this makes Kill Team play very, very different from its predecessors. But that’s not all…

“But here’s the clever bit – most baseline humans and xenos have two AP, allowing them to move and shoot in a single activation, for instance, or charge and fight (though you can’t typically repeat an action). However, Astartes and Chaos Space Marines, as imposing transhuman paragons of war in the 41st Millennium, get a princely three AP per activation* which is a neat way to demonstrate their effortless superiority. Custodes, meanwhile, get four – enough said.”


Whoa! Custodes get a whopping 4 AP per activation?! Astartes are no slouches either with 3 per activation. Still, this new system is a cool way for those models to really show off and maybe live-up to the lore versions of themselves on the tabletop without being “Movie Marines” in that sense.

Now, let’s chat about the actual actions for a moment. Most of the models will have 2 AP to spend and that typically means 2 actions per turn. However, I’m curious about a few things. For example, can I spend APs to do the same action twice? Things like a double Move or maybe even a Fight action seem reasonable – but what about shooting twice? Remember, even the humble Lasgun has a board-wide range…so if you get caught out in the open, getting double-tapped seems like it could be bad news. Just imagine what a Space Marine with a bolter is going to be able to do.

All that said, maybe the balancing factor is the alternating activations. Afterall, if you take a double shot and spend your model’s AP, that probably means that the same model is not standing in an open LoS for everyone else to take a shot back. Maybe that’s part of the tougher tactical decisions you’ll have to make.

What do you think of the Kill Team Action Points and Activations?


Author: Adam Harrison
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