While the armies of the Imperium of Man called the Astra Militarum requires absolute loyalty from its soldiers, the grotesquely inhuman conditions and unempathic leadership of its campaigns inevitably cause squads, regiments and individual soldiers to look for a more rewarding patron than the Emperor and his generals. Such defectors, like so many other desparate victims of Imperial oppression, often end up striking a bargain with the Ruinous Powers of Chaos, and while that bargain is always Faustian in the most literal sense, it often grants a traitorous squadron of battle-weary soldiers some very real rewards in the here and now.
Those renegade guardsmen make up what is called the Militarum Traitoris, or the Traitor Guard, and while they often retain some of the weaponry and training given to them by the Imperium, their fighting style and organization is a far cry from the disciplined mass infantry warfare of the Astra Militarum. Instead, like all other worshippers of Chaos, everyone in a Traitor Guard regiment is on their own path to glory, often betraying and killing each other to gain the attention of their Chaos patrons. The guardsmen who are ruthless or lucky enough to rise above the rest in this constant struggle for power are organized into Blooded kill teams, elite soldiers who flock around a leader to strike fear into his or her enemies.
In battle, the Blooded mix Imperial lasguns, plasma guns and sniper rifles with chain axes, blades, daggers and improvised blunt weapons, and they charge recklessly into enemy lines in the hope of the Chaos Gods granting them a boon for their savagery. Sometimes, even hulking ogryns with abominable mutations and former Militarum officers can be seen among their ranks, inspiring their fellow traitors to take revenge on their hated former masters.
In the game, what looks like a “charge everyone all the time aaaargh!” team with no subleties is actually a token-generating, synergy-stacking rules nerd dream of fun rules that make your team more powerful the longer you keep playing a battle. If you want a real challenge that combines great risk with great reward, the Blooded kill team might be just the team for you.
Abilities of the Blooded Kill Team
For this ability, you add a token to a pool of Blooded tokens at the start of each initiative phase, the first time an enemy is incapacitated each Turning Point, and the first time each Turning Point one of your operatives are incapacitated close to an enemy operative. You can then assign these tokens to your operatives each Strategy Phase, at a maximum of one per operative at a time.
If four or more of your operatives have Blooded tokens in a Strategy Phase, you pick one of them as being under the gaze of the gods.
That’s how you assign the tokens, and here’s how they work: a friendly operative with a Blooded token can retain one attack dice as a normal succesful hit without rolling it – without expending the token! If your operative is under the gaze of the gods (see above), you can retain an automatic critical hit instead.
Provided that you’re playing your games right and you have the numbers (and dice rolls) for it, this means that by Turning Point 4, most of your surviving operatives will definitely have a Blooded token, so your team grows stronger as the game goes on. Since losing an operative each Turning Point is one of the ways you can get tokens, picking the 4 extra operatives rather than your Enforcer and Ogryn can be a good idea for this tactic in particular.
Operatives of the Blooded Kill Team
Building your Blooded Kill Team is a little more complex than some other kill teams, but basically you choose a Traitor Chieftain as your Leader, and then 9 Blooded operatives from a list of specialists as well as the generic Traitor Trooper, and then you can also pick 4 operatives from a pool of the generic Traitor Trooper (again) and a Traitor Enforcer and/or Traitor Ogryn, of which the latter two count for two selections each, meaning that the last part of your list can be Trooper/Trooper/Trooper/Trooper or Enforcer/Ogryn or Enforcer/Trooper/Trooper or Ogryn/Trooper/Trooper.
Traitor Chieftain (1 per Kill Team)
The Traitor Chieftain is a lot like an Imperial Sergeant for the Astra Militarum, Veteran Guardsmen or the like, in that he can choose from a large number of loadouts: He can choose a pistol/melee weapon combo or a Boltgun with a Bayonet, basically, but he has 4 pistols (Autopistol, Bolt Pistol, Laspistol and Plasma Pistol, with the latter being the obvious pick for sheer firepower) and 3 melee weapons (Chainsword, Improvised Blade and Power Weapon, once again with the latter being a really good choice), so there are quite a few combos you could make.
In addition to this, the Chieftain has the ability Blooded Icon which allows you to retrieve a Blooded token from an incapacitated operative who has one once per Turning Point, so it can be assigned to another operative, which is a really good ability. It also has the ability Lead with Strength, which treats the Chieftain as being under the gaze of the gods if he has a Blooded token and is far away from your drop zone. The Dark Gods favor the bold!
Otherwise, the Chieftain and the other Trooper-like Blooded operative are fairly weak stat-wise, with a 5+ Save and 8 wounds (the Troopers have 7), but he is still essential due to his good weapons and his ability to retrieve tokens for your Blooded Pool – and you have to take him anyway.
Traitor Trooper (9-13 per Kill Team)
The Traitor Trooper is your standard Blooded operative, and there’s really nothing good to say about it apart from the fact that you can field a whole army of them and they can activate two at a time – but having 10-13 of them also adds up to a huge amount of lasgun shots, so it’s definitely a viable tactic. You’ll rarely use it, though, since you have access to so many other fun specialists instead of them.
Traitor Trench Sweeper (1 per Kill Team)
Speaking of fun specialists, the Trench Sweeper has a shield that gives it a Save of 4+, the ability to parry two rather than one succesful hit each time you parry in combat and the Shielding ability that subtracts Circle/2 inches from its Movement but lets it reroll your defence dice against shooting attacks That’s a lot of survivability added on top of the Trooper template!
The shield also improves its melee capability slightly, and on top of that it carries a shotgun with a Ballistic Skill of 2 and a normal and critical damage of 3.
This operative is a great choice if you need something that can survive more than one activation in combat, especially if you’re not also bringing one of your big guys such as the Ogryn.
Traitor Thug (1 per Kill Team)
The Thug is a bit of a reverse Trooper, in the sense that is has no lasgun and can only attack in melee with its Heavy Club which has the Brutal rule, meaning that opponents can only parry it with critical hits. It also has the Tough ability that subtracts 1 from the normal damage of weapons attacking it in shooting or melee.
This, in addition to its improved Save Characteristic, makes it pretty good for melee, but it’s still nowhere near the capability of melee fighters from other kill teams, or even your own team’s Chieftain, Ogryn and Enforcer in damage output, so this is one of the operative types you can pretty easily do without, cool as it may be.
Traitor Sharpshooter (1 per Kill Team)
The Sharpshooter is a pretty straightforward sniper with a Long-Las that does a mortal wound on each critical hit with the Silent special rule, and the Sharpshooter’s Camo Cloak ability lets it retain an additional dice as a succesful normal save as a result of Cover, so it’s great for camping out on a good Vantage Point somewhere in the killzone, harassing enemy operatives.
Traitor Flenser (1 per Kill Team)
The Flenser is another melee specialist with its Skinning Blades that reroll hit rolls of 1 and gains the Lethal 5+ Special Rule if it is close to Light or Heavy terrain when it’s in combat.
It also has the Wretched ability that lets it Charge while having a Conceal order, and if it has any remaining attack dice when it’s incapacitated in combat, it can strike with one attack before keeling over. He’s a crazy guy and you don’t want to get anywhere near him (so pick him for your team, obviously).
Traitor Corpseman (1 per Kill Team)
The Corpseman is a medic with a knack for doping. When you select him for deployment before the game begins, one of your other operatives can get a Stimm from the Corpseman. It can either get the Relentless Special Rule for its melee weapons (letting you reroll your attack dice in combat) or the ability to ignore a wound on a dice roll of 6 (after having rolled your Save roll). These stimms can also be applied to operatives during the battle, with the additional option of gaingin 2D3 lost wounds. This is much cooler than the regular healing of other medics in the game, and if you can keep the Corpseman alive and close to your other operatives, he can really improve the value of your team by quite a bit over the course of a game.
His loadout is the same as a Traitor Trooper, with the added Stim Needle for close combat which does 1 normal damage and 4 critical damage and scores critical hits on a 5+, which is a really cool addition.
Traitor Commsman (1 per Kill Team)
The Commsman is, statwise, a Trooper with a radio. He can use his Signal Unique Action to add 1 to the Action Point Limit of a nearby friendly operative, or the Sacrilegious Actuation that lets you take a Blooded token and assign it to another of your operatives.
The Commsman is a great way of making your Blooded tokens do more work, which is especially useful if you’ve had a couple of bad Turning Points so you only have a few tokens.
Traitor Butcher (1 per Kill Team)
Another crazy melee guy for your team, the Butcher is armed with the powerful Power Weapon and Cleaver which has a critical damage of 6 and scores critical hits on a 5+. The weapon also adds a Blooded token to your pool the first time you strike with a critical hit in each combat.
Each time the already 8-wound Butcher incapacitates an enemy operative in combat, it also regains D3 lost wounds, making it an excellent token-generating killing machine and the only real must-have among your melee specialists.
Traitor Brimstone Grenadier (1 per Kill Team)
The Brimstone Grenadier is a powerful damage dealer who has access to free frag and krak grenades in addition to his special Diabolyk Bomb which deals 2 mortal wounds to the target and everyone around them for each critical hit scored – make sure you make this once-per-battle weapon count each time you use it.
Free grenades are really great, and the Grenadier also has the Explosive Demise ability that lets it deal mortal wounds to everyone around it on a dice roll when it is incapacitated, making it a great candidate for dying for a Blooded Token in a spectacular way.
Traitor Gunner (2 per Kill Team)
The Traitor Gunner is pretty much just like a regular Astra Militarum Gunner, and it can choose between a Flamer, a Grenade Launcher, a Meltagun (which, regular readers of these guides will know we will always recommend) and a Plasma Gun. You can take two of these in a kill team, and a Meltagun Gunner and a Flamer/Grenade Launcher Gunner is a good team for many situations (you already have a Plasma Pistol on your Chieftain in most setups).
Traitor Ogryn (1 per Kill Team, counts for 2 selections as part of the extra 4 you can take)
The Traitor Ogryn has 16 (!) Wounds and a terrifying Power Maul and Mutant Claw melee weapon with 6 critical damage as well as the Rending and Stun Critical Rules.
It can also deal D3 mortal wounds to an enemy operative nearby every time it makes a Charge action, it can’t be stunned or get debuffs to its Action Point Limit, but can’t perform Mission/Pick Up actions or be equipped with equipment. It’s simply in your Kill Team in order to soak up damage and make things fall over, and is well worth the fact that it counts for two operatives when you select it.
Traitor Enforcer (1 per Kill Team, counts for 2 selections as part of the extra 4 you can take)
The Traitor Enforcer also counts for two operatives when selecting your kill team, but makes up for it with a fearsome 7 critical damage-dealing Power Fist and the Enforce Unique Action that lets a nearby friendly operative that has already activated make a free Dash action and, if it has an Engage order (and most of your operatives do), an Overwatch action. Free actions are always great and the Enforcer also has the Grueling Disciplinarian ability that makes your Injured operatives behave as if they aren’t, so he’s great for being in the thick of the action, even though it would have been much more awesome if he was also a Leader option.
Have you painted this Kill Team?
We would love to have show it on this page!
All you have to do is send my some files. You can read more about how to make that happen here.
Ploys of the Blooded Kill Team
This lets you give Armour Penetration 1 and Hot (take 3 mortal wounds for each roll of 1 you discard with this weapon) to all las weapons (except for the Sharpshooter’s Long-Las) for one Turning Point. It’s risky, but Armour Penetration 1 is pretty good.
Lets you pick one enemy operative visible to someone on your team, and for the rest of the Turning Point, your operatives can reroll one of their attack dice in combat and shooting when targeting this enemy operative.
Let’s you treat a friendly operative without a Blooded token as if it has one for one Firefight Phase.
Lets your fighters retain one succesful normal hit as a critical hit instead in combat if there’s a friendly operative supporting them. Sadly doesn’t synergize with retained succesful normal hits gained from Blooded tokens.
Can be used when a friendly operative is making a shooting attack, and for this attack, you can target enemies within engagement range of friendly operatives, enemies can’t use friendly operatives as Cover, but failed hits are retained as succesful normal hits that are then applied to nearby friendly operatives. It’s called being a careless a-hole is what it’s called, but it fits the theme of team.
Moment of Repute
This adds 1 to the Action Point Limit of an operative under the gaze of the gods.
This adds a Blooded token to your pool when an enemy operative is taken out by a friendly operative close to it.
When a friendly operative with a Blooded token is the target of a shooting attack, you can force the attacker to switch targets to a nearby friendly operative that doesn’t have a Blooded token.
Equipment of the Blooded Kill Team
This is the standard frag grenade available to many other kill teams, with a decent area damage attack.
This is the standard krak grenade available to many other kill teams, with a good single target attack with Armour Penetration 1.
This lets the bearer reroll defence dice rolls of 1 against shooting attacks.
This lets the bearer ignore debuffs to its Action Point Limit and the Stun Critical Hit rule when it’s used against the bearer.
This makes enemy operatives in Engagement Range of this operative subtract one from the Attacks characteristics of their melee weapons.
This can only be used by the Trench Sweeper. It gives its Shotgun the option to subtract 1 from its normal damage characteristic but gain the Blast Triangle/1 inch Special Rule so it can hit multiple targets.
This is a defensive piece of equipment lets the bearer reroll 1 defence dice against a shooting attack with the Blast or Torrent special rule as well as ignore the Splash critical rule.
This adds 1 to the normal damage characteristic of one Bayonet, Bayonet and Shield or Improvised Blade equipped by the bearer. It’s more expensive when applied to Bayonet and Shield.
Tac Ops of the Blooded Kill Team
The Blooded Kill Team has the Seek and Destroy Archetype, giving it acces to the Tac Ops associated with it in the Core Rulebook. In addition to this, it also has access to the following faction-specific Tac Ops.
Score a Victory point whenever an operative under the gaze of the gods incapacitates one or more enemy operatives close to the centre of the killzone or the enemy drop zone.
Score a Victory Point in every Turning Point where you control half or more of the objective markers in the killzone with at least one operative with a Blooded token on each of them.
Score a Victory Point at the end of the battle if more than half the enemy kill team has been incapacitated, or two Victory Points if more than three quarters of the enemy kill team has been incapacitated.
Playing the Blooded Kill Team
The Blooded Kill Team is all about (you guessed it!) gaining and taking advantage of Blooded tokens. The great thing about it is that, between the regular Blooded rules and all the operative- and ploy-specific ways to gain and manipulate the tokens, they’ll never be in short supply, so it’s mostly a question of being smart about where to apply them. At first glance, the Blooded kill team looks like a chaotic rabble of cheap fighters with simple weapons, but due to the tokens, playing it is actualy about stacking synergies in smart ways until your surviving operatives in later stages of a battle become pretty formidable. Add to that the choice between having a seriously high model count or fielding the awesome Enforcer and Ogryn, and you’ve got a highly specialised kill team that’s really fun to play.
All the different operative types for the Blooded kill team definitely aren’t equally useful, but there are definite standouts like the Corpseman, the Grenadier, the Butcher and, of course, the huge Ogryn.
Even though the team has all those melee specialists and Chaos shenanigans, it also benefits from basically being a Militarum/Veteran Guardsman squad beneath that with good Gunner options, a versatile Leader loadout and good access to operatives with Group Activation 2 and Lasguns, so it can definitely also be played as a more defensive shooting team – you just won’t have quite as many Blooded tokens, so make sure you have at least a few lunatics charging the enemy and dying for their gods.