The Elucidian Starstriders are a kill team for Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team tabletop skirmish game.
The Elucidian Starstrider kill team is led by the Rogue Trader Elucia Vhane. Rogue Traders are explorers from the Imperium of Man, sent to the fringes of the galaxy with permission to engage and trade with everyone they meet, even if they’re aliens or mutants, unlike all other Imperial citizens who would be sentenced to death for doing so.
Elucia Vhane is accompanied by a retinue of specialists from all the proffessions needed to survive and explore beyond the reaches of the Imperium: Doctors, technologists, assassins, soldiers – and even a dog (it’s technically a canid in 40k terms, but come on, look at him)!
In the game, the Elucidian Starstrider kill team play unlike any other team: They can activate Warrants of Trade that allow them to change macro level rules such as who is the attacker or defender in a game, or how much equipment you can give your operatives, and you can call in airstrikes from Vhane’s ship each Turning Point. You have no choice over which operatives to bring in your kill team, but most operatives in your team are completely unique with all sorts of special rules and exotic weapons.
So, if you want to play a kill team with a detailed backstory, tons of personality and a complex, unique playstyle – or if you just want to paint and field models that look like nothing else in the game – the Elucidian Starstrider kill team might be just the kill team for you.
Abilities of the Elucidian Starstrider Kill Team
Warrant of Trade
- Coerce: Reroll your dice when determining who is the attacker and defender in a game.
- Coordinate: Gives you an extra Command Point after selecting your kill team for a game.
- Adaptable Terms: Lets you take Tac Ops from two of your archetypes (Recon or Seek and Destroy) instead of from just one.
- Consideration: Gives you 6 extra points for buying equipment for a game.
- Explore: Lets you select one more Scouting option in the Scouting Step (if your game has one)
- Seize: Reroll your dice for determining initiative.
Privateer Support Assets
The Elucidian Starstrider kill team can use Privateer Support Assets once per Firefight phase instead of activating an operative. You can’t use the same Asset two Turning Points in a row, but otherwise you are free to use each one more than once. Your target has to be visible to one of your operatives who isn’t the Canid. You can choose from the following Assets
- Archeotech Beam is an Armour Penetration 2 attack with 7 critical damage that hits from above instead of in a line from an operative.
- Guided Shell also hits from above, but has 5 attacks and hits an area rather than one target.
- Cluster Bomb is just like Guided Shell, but with lower damage and a larger radius.
Operatives of the Elucidian Starstrider Kill Team
The Elucidian Starstrider Kill Team doesn’t have any options for building your squad or changing loadouts. It always consists of exactly the operatives below, so the numbers in parenthesis after their names mean that you have to take that amount of that operative.
Elucia Vhane (Leader, 1 per kill team)
Elucia Vhane is the Leader of your kill team, and even though she has a 4+ invulnerable save, she’s a pretty vulnerable Leader with only 8 wounds.
Her Heirloom Relic Pistol ignores Cover completely, and gains Armour Penetration when it rolls a critical hit – pretty great for a pistol. Her Monomolecular Cane-Rapier does 6 critical damage and has the Lethal 5+ Special Rule, and finally, she has a one-time use Digital Laser with 4 that crits on a 3+ and then does 2 mortal wounds on a critical hit. That’s a really good loadout for a close quarters combatant!
Vhane can perform a free Fight or Shoot action in each of her activations, and if her target has fewer wounds than its maximum Wounds statistic, she can reroll one of her attack dice.
All of that boils down to Elucia Vhane being a very scary fighter with some strong special rules on her weapons – but she goes down pretty easily, so take good care of her.
Canid (1 per kill team)
The Canid has two main functions: It’s basically a very brittle little tank, and it is good at performing the Pick Up action.
When one of your operatives is targeted by an enemy Fight action, Canid can become the target of that action instead if he is close enough for it, or he can perform a free Charge action to get close enough to become the target of the attack. That’s very useful for keeping Elucia Vhane or one of your specialists alive for another Turning Point, but since Canid only has 6 Wounds and a save of 5+, there’s a good chance it’s going to be a very dead dog afterwards. Then again, its Vicious Bite attack with the Rending Critical Hit rule is okay, so it could kill off the attacker before being taken down itself.
The Canid has access to the Unique Action Retrieve, which lets him make a free move and then a Pick Up action, and then keep moving with the rest of its movement. The latter part of the ability is important, since the Canid can travel 4 Circle/8 inches and can ignore the first 2 inches/ 1 Circle he moves, so he can really get around the battlefield with whatever he picks up.
Death Cult Executioner (1 per kill team)
The Death Cult Executioner is a dedicated close combat fighter. She does have a Dartmask ranged weapon, but it only does 1 damage, and is meant for applying the Stun Critical Hit Rule to its target via its Lethal 5+ Special Rule.
It’s Power Weapon, however, has great damage potential. It is also Lethal 5+, but it has 5 attacks, hits on a 2+ and does 6 critical damage.
The Death Cult Executioner has a terrible 6+ Save, but to make up for it, it has a 5+ invulnerable save, can resolve one succesful hit before the attacker in combat if it uses the hit to parry, and it can roll a dice every time it would lose a wound and then keep that wound on a 6+, so all in all, it is at least statistically more durable than other operatives with the same basic statistics.
Finally, the Death Cult Executioner can change its order (so from Conceal to Engage, for example) for one Action Point, which is pretty handy for sneaking up on the enemy and then attacking, which is actually a plausible tactic for this assassin since she also has an Action Point Limit of 3.
Lectro-Maester (1 per kill team)
The Lectro-Maester is a bit of an unusual operative, but lets get the ordinary stuff out of the way first: He has the same basic statistics as Elucia Vhane, and he has a a decent Voltaic Pistol with the Rending and Splash 1 Critical Hit rules. He can perform a mission action for one less Action Point than normal once per Turning Point, and he has the always lousy Gun Butt attack for melee purposes.
Then, it gets interesting: His Voltagheist Array is basically an aura ability, which lets friendly operatives reroll one of their defence dice against shooting attacks if they are within 4 Inches/2 Circle of the Lectro-Maester – a very nice little defense buff. He also has two Unique Actions which are mutually exclusive in a Turning Point, so that you can only use one of them at a time: Voltagheist Field does D6 mortal wounds to all enemy operatives who move within Circle/2 inches of the Lectro-Maester. An enemy actually moving close enough to take that damage will be rare, of course, since it’s pretty easy to avoid, but it’s a cool way of making sure the enemy doesn’t go somewhere specific – just put the Lectro-Maester there and load up his Voltagheist Field.
Voltagheist Charge is more offensive: it gives the Lectro-Maesters Voltaic Pistol the Lethal 4+ Special Rule, making it much more likely that you’ll gain the benefit of the pistol’s two Critical Hit rules.
These two Unique Actions let the Lectro-Maester switch between playing offense and defense, arguably making him more valuable than other, more specialized, operatives.
Rejuvenat Adept (1 per kill team)
The Rejuvenat Adept’s Laspistol and Scalpel Claw weapons are nothing to write home about, but that doesn’t matter, since the main role of the Rejuvenat Adept is to be your team’s healer, and she’s good at it.
Her Normaliser Helm ability lets friendly operatives close to her ignore being Injured, and her Battlefield Surgery ability lets you revive the first friendly operative that goes down in each Turning Point with 3 wounds left and the ability to make a free Dash action. Finally, her Healing Serum Unique Action lets you heal D3+3 wounds to a wounded operative nearby.
Rejuvenat Adept is a pretty standard healer, but the Elucidian Starstrider kill team is full of vulnerable, low wound operatives, so it’s really great that the team has her to keep everyone going.
Voidmaster (1 per kill team)
The Voidsmaster is a kind of mini-Leader for your kill team with an aura ability called Disciplinarian which lets all nearby Voidsman operatives reroll 1 dice in their combat or shooting attack rolls.
He has an Artificer Shotgun with two profiles – one for Close range and one for Long range (the Close one hits harder, the Long one has unlimited range) – and a Laspistol which already has the Balanced Special Rule that the Voidsmaster can grant to other Voidsmen (the one with rerolling one dice in all attack rolls).
You can ignore the incoming damage from one attack dice to the Voidsmaster once per battle, which is great against high damage attacks, and he also has the Uncompromising Fire Unique Action that lets you pay 1 Action Point to make two Shoot actions, one with the Aritificer Shotgun at Close range and one with the Laspistol.
Voidsman with Lasgun (3 per kill team)
In a kill team full of special rules and abilities, the standard Voidsmen (of which you’re always fielding 3) are a bit of breath of fresh air, simply because they don’t really do anything but being more bodies on the battlefield. They’re just as vulnerable as everyone else on the team, and their only weapons a Lasguns (unlimited range but otherwise completely unremarkable) and the Gun butt for melee.
That’s it. Nothing else there. Make sure you keep them close to the Voidsmaster for that one reroll per attack.
Voidsman with Rotor Cannon (1 per kill team)
This version of the Voidsman has a Rotor Cannon, which has 6 attacks and the Fusillade Special Rule which lets you split its attacks between different targets, as well as the Relentless Special Rule (as per the Balance Slate of December 2022), making it great for taking down mobs of weak enemies.
Ploys of the Elucidian Starstrider Kill Team
Lets all your operatives reroll one of their dice when shooting at a nearby enemy operative for the rest of the Turning Point.
Lets you place a Claim token on the map, and each time a friendly operative shoots or fights close to it, they can automatically retain one attack dice as a succesful normal hit. This effect and the token lasts for one Turning Point.
This lets you halve the damage done by one succesful hit to your operatives if they’re close to an objective. Lasts for one Turning Point.
Gives a +2 Inch/ Triangle to the Normal Move of friendly operatives for the rest of the Turning Point, as long as they end their movement closer to the opponent’s drop zone.
Lets you reroll one full attack roll for a shooting attack if the target of that attack has already been shot at in the same Turning Point.
This heals 4 wounds from a friendly operative if it’s not close to enemy operatives.
This adds 1 to the Action Point Limit of a friendly operative other than Elucia Vhane.
This lets you activate two operatives in a row before your opponent gets an activation – sadly, it doesn’t work for Elucia Vhane.
Equipment of the Elucidian Starstrider Kill Team
This lets the bearer ignore modifiers to its Action Point LImit and makes it immune to the Stun Critical Hit rule.
The Carapace gives a Voidsmaster or Voidsman a 4+ Save.
Hot-Shot Capacitor Pack
This adds one to both normal and critical damage for the bearers Lasgun and/or Laspistol.
This gives the bearer a grenade that does no damage, but can reduce the Action Point Limit of several operatives in a small area – great for shifting the odds of taking an objective in your favor.
This is the standard are effect grenade available to most Imperium kill teams.
This is the standard Armour Penetration direct damage grenade available to most Imperium kill teams.
Tac Ops of the Elucidian Starstrider Kill Team
The Elucidian Starstrider Kill Team has the Recon and Security Archetypes, 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.
Reputation to Maintain
This sets up a points pool called a Reputation Tally for Elucia Vhane and your opponent’s Leader the first time any of the two attack in a game. The Leaders add 1 point to the tally each time they cause 1 point of damage to their opponent. You then score 1 Victory Point if the Reputation Tally is 12 or more, and 1 additional Victory Point if you have the highest Reputation Tally at the end of the game.
Claim for House Vhane
This lets you select one objective marker for the duration of the battle and gives you an extra Victory Point at the end of any Turning Point where you control it, and an extra Victory Point if you control it at the end of the game.
Investigate Motive Force
This Tac Op is centered around granting the Lectro-Maester a new Unique Action called Investigate Motive Force that he can perform once for each objective marker outside of your drop zone that he can get to. The second and third time he performs this action, you gain 1 Victory Point.
Playing the Elucidian Starstriders Kill Team
The Elucidian Starstrider kill team can be pretty tricky to play, since it doesn’t have one specific thing it excels at, but rather a bunch of specialists for all sorts of roles.
The most important thing to note about playing this team is that almost everyone on the team is both valuable and pretty vulnerable due to low Wounds statistics and pretty bad Save characteristics. This can be somewhat mitigated by the Canid being such a good guard dog and the Rejuvenat Adept’s healing capabilities, but don‘t forget using other defense-boosting abilities such as the Survivalist Tactical Ploy or the Undaunted Explorers Strategic Ploy.
Likewise, even though you might be inclined to focus on your specialists, also remember that you have a pretty good model count in your team, so use the Well-Drilled Tactical Ploy to activate two operatives in a row and get the upper hand on your enemy, and also always remember that your starship is your 11th activation every Turning Point via the airstrikes of the Privateer Support Assets ability.
A really fun aspect of the Elucidian Starstrider kill team is how you can play them in a way that’s very centered around the big personalities on your team with Tac Ops: Reputation to Maintain casts Elucia Vhane as the protagonist of a deadly rivalry between leaders, while Investigate Motive Force changes the story to a Lectro-Maester’s quest for knowledge and power.
Either way you want to play them, the Elucidian Starstrider kill team has tons of flavour, personality and interesting tactical options – and did we mention a very, very good dog?