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Ashes of Faith Kill Team Review and Guide

Kill Team: Ashes of Faith is a narrative campaign expansion set for the Games Workshop tabletop miniature skirmish game Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team, and the first of its kind.

It lets you and a friend play out the story of a band of Inquisition Agents fighting a Chaos Cult Uprising on the planet Exhalus across 7 games of Kill Team, as you improve your team and dominate territories to best your opponent.

In this review and guide, we go through what you get when you buy the set, give you a brief overview of how the campaign works, and introduce you to the two kill teams included in the set.

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Lore of Ashes and Faith Kill Team Expansion

Ashes of Faith takes place on the Imperial Mining World of Exhalus, which is situated close to a huge warp rift called The Siren’s Storm. This means that the planet is ripe with Chaos influence, full of cults and mutants.

An Imperial Inquisitor is sent to the planet to stop a Chaos uprising from engulfing the planet, and the two players – one fighting for the Chaos uprising and another playing as the servants of the Inquisitor – fight for the soul of Exhalus as they vie for Dominance over the hearts and minds of each territory on the planet.

The lore of Ashes of Faith is woven into every part of the box set: There is extensive background material and even a couple of story bits in the Campaign Rulebook, as well as plenty of flavour text for the territories.

The different outcomes of the campaign also give you different “endings” to the saga of Exhalus, as if you were completing a Bioware RPG or something like it, which is a really cool touch.

However, the story of Exhalus is just a starting point for the story you’ll be playing, and there’s plenty of freedom and empty space in the narrative for you and your opponent to make it your own.

Ashes of Faith Box Contents

The Ashes of Faith box set contains the following:

  • The Ashes of Faith book with rules for the two kill teams included in the box
  • The Campaign Rulebook with rules for playing the Ashes of Faith campaign
  • The Inquisitorial Agent kill team and two Ancillary Support options for it: Sisters of Silence and Tempestus Scions
  • The Chaos Cult kill team
  • Cards, mats and stickers for tracking your progress in the campaign (these are of surprisingly good quality, and the stickers in particular are a nice touch.
  • Transfers for applying to the miniatures

It’s important to note that this box set isn’t only useful for the Ashes of Faith campaign: The Ashes of Faith book is just like all other Kill Team faction rulebooks, and the two teams in the box can be played in regular games of Kill Team with no conversion or home rules needed, so the box has a lot of value for all kinds of Kill Team games.

In the same way, it isn’t a complete Kill Team box at all: It’s missing the Core Rulebook, as well as any kind of terrain features or measuring tools, so you should very much consider it an expansion rather than a starter set.

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How does the campaign work?

The Ashes of Faith campaign is a framework for the missions you would like to play, just like regular Spec Ops campaigns, but with quite a few extra systems added on top to give it the right narrative flavour. It can be played in any game mode, and can even take the place of a Spec Op in your regular Spec Ops campaign (see our Kill Team Campaign Guide). A campaign consists of 6 rounds and a final game at the end, so you play 7 games in total.

Each round consists of the following stages:

  1. The Battle Stage, where you play a mission using the rules of one the territories you have in play. Territories are cards of which you select 6 at the beginning of the game, and each of them is placed on a big Territory Tile where all your cards and stickers can be played in later stages to show who dominates and benefits from that territory. Territories all have Mission Rules that affect whatever mission you choose to play on them. For example, the Saint Lydwena Medicae Centre gives all operatives a Heal mission action they can use once per game. You can really play any kind of mission in this stage, but the Campaign Rulebook contains a bunch you can use as well. The winner of the game gains a Control point in the Territory in which the game was placed (which becomes important in the Dominance Stage below).
  2. The Draft Stage, where both players gain Conspirator cards equal to the amount of Victory Points they scored in the previous stage, and then they also gain 2 Ruse cards each.
  3. The Scheme Stage, where both players must place 6 Scheme cards on the 6 Territories to show what they want to do with them. They can choose between Control, Persuade and Investigate, and can use 2 of each. They can add a Conspirator card to each of their Scheme cards (as long as they have any Conspirator Cards left) to increase the efficiency of the Scheme. They also have Ruse cards, which don’t do anything but can deceive the opponent to think they’re doing something interesting like adding a Conspirator card. All “bids” are placed face down, and players take turns placing their cards next to territories, and they aren’t revealed until the next phase.
  4. The Dominance Stage, where all the weird card shenanigans of the previous phases finally take effect: Bids are revealed, and they give players points on the various trackers on the Territory tiles. If a player Controls a Territory, and at the end of the game, you can complete a campaign objective by Controlling the most Territories. If a player Persuades a territory, they get the Persuasion Benefit of that Territory. In the case of the Medicae Centre example used above, this means they can rerol one Casualty test and automatically pass one Recovery test after each subsequent game played. If they Investigate it, they gain a Reward Card, which are one-time buffs for your faction. If a Territory has already been Investigated, winning the Investigate option for a Territory instead Sabotages it (we know this is getting complicated, but when played on the tabletop, it isn’t worse than any other intermediate strategic board game), which means you can give a -1 to either your opponent’s Control or Persuasion in that Territory.

After having completed these Stages, you start over until you’ve done 6 rounds, and then you play one of the Ritual missions in the Campaign Rulebook as a finale. Afterwards, there are two Victories you can earn: The first, as we’ve already mentioned, is a Control Victory from Controlling more Territories than your opponent.

If both players Control the same amount of Territories, they both win this objective (which will make sense in just a second). The second is the Ritual Victory, which can be won by the Chaos Cult player if they win the final game of the campaign, or by the Inquisitorial Agent player if its a draw or they win the final game. After winners have been determined, each player gets two rewards +1 for each objective they’ve completed from a list of 6 rewards that can then benefit your kill team in other campaigns.

Note that, while the lore of Ashes of Faith is set up for the two teams in the box, the actual rules of the teams don’t affect the campaign at all, so you can play the campaign with any other kill teams you like, as long as you assign being “The Chaos Cult Player” or being “The Inquisitorial Agent Player” roles to each player.

We do recommend playing the campaign with the two teams in the box, since they’re both really strong and have each their own very unique playstyle, and to some extent, they’ve been designed to played against one another – and they look awesome on the tabletop pitted against each other.

What are the two teams in the Ashes of Faith set like?

Inquisitorial Agents

The Inquisitorial Agent kill team consists of a band of agents serving an Inquisitor, and you can field them as either all Agents, giving you 10 very diverse specialists with a lot of character that perfectly fit the Ashes of Faith narrative (and who will really make you feel like you’re playing a team from a Dan Abnett novel), or you can field half of them plus an Ancillary Support squad chosen from a long list of options, two of which are included in the Ashes of Faith set: A squad of anti-psyker Sisters of Silence, or a squad of Tempestus Scions elite troops.

You can read our guide for the Inquisitorial Agent kill team here.

Chaos Cult

The Chaos Cult is a kill team that’s just as unique as the Inquisitorial Agent team. It is led by a coven of Dark Commune Chaos worshippers, powerful psykers and witches that can buff your team and dish out psychic damage, but the bulk of the team consists of Chaos Devotees who can mutate into stronger mutants, who in turn can mutate into the nightmarish Chaos Torments like the abomination in the middle of the picture above.

They’re a very strong and fun team to play, as they grow stronger and stronger each Turning Point. You can find our guide for the Chaos Cult kill team here.

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Final Thoughts on the Ashes of Faith

Ashes of Faith is a really cool addition to the narrative toolbox for Kill Team players, bridging the gap between the freeform structure of Spec Ops campaigns and the deep worldbuilding of something like a Necromunda campaign.

The production values on both the writing and the gaming aids in the box are really high, and if you like something like the Eisenhorn 40K novels, the Ashes of Faith campaign is really “Dan Abnett fiction: The Game”. If you’re a Darktide gamer from the video gaming world looking for a route into the Warhammer hobby, you’ll also feel right at home on the Chaos-tainted streets of Exhalus.

The crown jewel of the box set, however, is the two fantastic kill teams included in the set, which both showcase some of the most fun and narratively inspired rules writing for Kill Team so far, so let’s hope there’s a lot more narrative content coming for Kill Team in the next season.

The only real downside to Ashes of Faith, which we have to adress here, is that this box set sold out more or less immediately, and is showing no signs of coming back, which means that very few people will actually play this great campaign mode for one of the best games Games Workshop has right now. We don’t know why that is, but we really hope future narrative expansions will become more widely available. Until then, you can still pick up Ashes of Faith at retail price in local gaming stores if you’re really lucky, or pay a lot of money for the box on eBay, which isn’t ideal.

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