When 9th edition Warhammer 40,000 was first being previewed, the initial FAQ included the following:
What happens to Kill Team?
Absolutely nothing. It’s still there, and it’s still great. Kill Team is its own rules set, so it isn’t affected by changes to the main Warhammer 40,000 game. However, with new editions come new models, and several of these will be infiltrating their way into Killzones in the near future (…and the far future).
Initially, that answer made a lot of sense. While 9th edition was bringing some meaningful rules changes, the most impactful changes were outside of the scope of Kill Team. Vehicles and Monsters are largely absent from Kill Team, so the changes to allow them to shoot in combat wouldn’t affect the game anyways. Flyers are similarly absent, so there wouldn’t be any change to accommodate them flying off and then back on to the battlefield. Army construction also works differently between the games, so there was no reason to expect detachment and command point changes to carry over.
If anything, the core rules of 9th edition were trending closer to Kill Team. The new battlefield sizes were all multiples of the Kill Team board size. Command points being granted each round was also similar to how they are granted in Kill Team. These changes made it seem like Kill Team was being positioned as an ideal start of the on-ramp into Warhammer 40,000 as a low cost entry point that could start players on the path to Combat Patrol, Incursion, and eventually Strike Force and Onslaught games.
Unfortunately, I no longer think the existing Kill Team rules and 9th Edition will work well together. This isn’t due to a surprise in the core rules of 9th, but instead is because of the big changes coming in the 9th edition codexes. Based on the previews for the Space Marine and Necrons books due in October, unit datasheets will be getting big changes. Firstborn space marines are moving to 2 wounds, various necron model stat lines are shifting, and multiple weapons have had altered stats.
I feel like that means that it will now be much harder to move from Kill Team to Warhammer 40,000 or vice versa. While Kill Team maintained separate datasheets, the stat lines and most rules were identical or at least very similar between the two games. This let it feel like they were just different scales in the same game. A player could easily play both games because they only had to remember a small number of differences and otherwise their models in one game had the same stats and abilities as they did in the other game. As new codexes get released for 9th, that is no longer going to be the case.
I think the core rules of Kill Team still work just fine alongside 9th edition, but datasheets (and, as a result, point values) should be reworked to stay in-sync with Warhammer 40,000. So far, I haven’t seen any indication that this will be the case though.
My dream scenario would be Games Workshop publishing Kill Team datasheets for free as an online resource. This would allow them to keep them always up-to-date with codexes and FAQs. Free datasheets would also make it even easier for a new player to get started with Kill Team and help to clean up the product line since each faction’s datasheets are currently split across multiple books.
Would you want a new edition of Kill Team or updated datasheets to better match 9th edition? Or do you like Kill Team just how it is?