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Imperial Navy Breacher Kill Team Guide

The Imperial Navy Breachers are a kill team for Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team tabletop skirmish game. They are part of the Kill Team: Into the Dark starter set for the game.

Breachers are the aggressive arm of the Imperial Navy infantry, which is otherwise mostly deployed as guard personnel on Imperial Battleships. Well-equipped and fiercely brave, the Imperial Navy Breachers are ordinary humans clad in void armour and trained to board enemy ships and void stations, cutting through walls and hull with explosives and heavy weapons as they invade their target room by room. They’re especially well-suited for close quarters combat, with plenty of shotguns, melee weapons and even shields to keep them alive within the bowels of enemy ships, and if one of them falls, they can even continue to serve with their squads as Gheistskulls, human skulls embedded with remote-controlled technology (and explosives).

In the game, the Navy Breachers are a tailor-made kill team for the Into the Dark setting of the game with its tight spaces and corridors: Two of them can activate in succession each Turning Point, they’re resistant to area effects, and their close range firepower and melee weapons are well above average for an Imperial Kill Team. You can definitely also play them in regular games of Kill Team, but they’re a bit more vulnerable in open spaces. So if you fancy being a grimdark SWAT team in space, breaching and clearing rooms as you slowly advance at your foe, the Imperial Navy Breacher kill team might be just the right team for you.

Abilities of the Imperial Navy Breacher Kill Team

Breach and Clear

This ability lets you active 2 friendly operatives in a row (as if they had Group Activation 2) once per Turning Point, if they’re within Square/3 inches of each other. This is one of those abilities that function as a real “playstyle incentive”: It shows you how to play the team by awarding you for keeping them close together, or at least in pairs, to take full advantage of the ability.

Void Armour

All the human operatives in the Imperial Navy Breacher Kill Team have this ability, which prevents them from taking damage from attacks with the Splash Critical Hit rule (unless they’re the target of it), which inflicts mortal wounds to everyone around a target if a critical hit is rolled. It also lets you reroll one of your defence dice against shooting attacks with Blast X or Torrent X Special Rules, usually meaning grenades and flamers. Void Armour is particularly useful in Into The Dark missions, where you’re often navigating tight corridors, and your opponent will try to take advantage of your operatives being close to each other with area attacks. Since Blast and Splash can also hit friendly operatives, Void Armour also makes it less dangerous for you to use weapons with those rules while your own operatives are close to your target.

Operatives of the Imperial Navy Breacher Kill Team

An Imperial Navy Breacher kill team is made up of 12 operatives: 1 is a Leader, and the rest are taken from a wide selection of the non-Leader options below. Note that there are a few restrictions on which operatives you can take in the same team, described in parenthesis next to the names of operatives in this list.

Navis Sergeant-At-Arms (Leader, 1 per kill team)

The Sergeant-At-Arms is the Leader of your Imperial Navy Breacher team, and just like almost any other human Imperial Leader, they can choose from a very wide range of weapons for his loadout. They can be equipped with a Navis Shotgun and a Navis Hatchet just like regular Navis Armsmen (see below), or they can choose a pistol/melee weapon combo.

For pistols, they can pick a Bolt Pistol with a Ballistic Skill of 3+ and a critical damage of 4, or an Heirloom Autopistol which has lower damage characteristics, but scores a critical hit on a 5+ and lets you reroll one of your attack dice. For melee weapons, they have the choice between a Chainsword which rerolls all rolls of 1, or a Power Weapon which scores Critical Hits on a 5+. The differences in efficiency between the various pistol/sword combos you can choose aren’t enormous, with the Lethal 5+ rule on Autopistol and Power Weapon having a slight edge on the other choices, so pick what you think looks and feels cool for your team.

The most interesting aspect of the Sergeant-At-Arms, however, is his Command Breach ability (ability, not Unique Action, so it doesn’t cost an action to use), which lets you pick between the Attack Order or Defence Order Strategic Ploy (see below) at the beginning of the game, and then be able to use that Ploy for free for the rest of the game as long as the Sergeant-At-Arms stays alive. Being able to re-roll a specific number for any attack rolls or any defence rolls (so, all rolls of 3 or something) in an area without paying command points for it is pretty great, so keep you Sergeant-At-Arms alive!

Navis Armsman (11 per kill team)

This is the standard operative for the Imperial Navy Breacher kill team, and if you want to, you can field 11 of them in a kill team! They have 7 wounds, which is pretty standard for humans in the game, and a Save of 4+, which is good, but best of all, they have a Group Activation of 2, which means you can activate 2 of them in a row before your opponent gets their next activation. It’s important to remember that this makes it unneccesary to use the Breach and Clear ability on them (see above), so save that for your specialists, of which you’ll have plenty anyway.

Like all of your specialists without special weapons, the Navis Armsman have the standard weapons loadout of your kill team: A Navis Shotgun with two profiles – one for close range that hits on a 3+ and does 3 damage, and one for long range that hits on a 5+ and does an embarrassing 1-2 damage – and a Navis Hatchet for melee combat which hits on a 4+ and does 4 critical damage.

The Navis Armsman operative is your cannon fodder in many ways, but with their 4+ save and their Void Armour, they’re pretty durable for a Group Activation 2 operative, so you can confidently swarm your enemy with them and hope to survive for more than one round of combat with at least a couple of them anyway. That being said, you have so many specialists to choose from that you’ll probably only field a few Armsmen in your team after all.

Navis Axejack (1 per kill team)

The Navis Axejack is one of your melee specialists. It has the same statistics as an Armsman, but instead of shotgun and hatchet, it carries a Power Weapon with the Lethal 5+ Special Rule for melee and an Autopistol for close quarters combat, making it sort of a light version of the Sergeant-At-Arms loadout-wise.

When it comes to abilities and Unique Actions, the Axejack is all about charging: If it charged in a Turning Point, it can ignore wound dealt to it by rolling a dice and hitting at least a 5, and its Wade In Unique Action lets it spend 2 Action Points to make a Charge and a Fight action, and if it makes both actions, the Power Weapon its equipped with has the Reap 2 critical hit rule for the fight action, meaning it deals 2 mortal wounds to every enemy operative within Triangle/1 Inch of the target and visible to the Axejack, which is pretty crazy in a crammed melee fight in an Into the Dark corridor.

So, while you may look at the Axejack’s weapon profile and be disappointed that the huge axe his model comes with is “just” a Power Weapon, remember that that Lethal 5+ rule is there to amplify the Reap 2 critical hit rule you get when you Charge and Fight in the same activation.

Navis Endurant (1 per kill team)

First of all, the Navis Endurant is a lot more durable than your other operatives: it has 10 wounds, a 2+ Save and its Shield parries two enemy hits in combat instead of one with just one succesful parry.

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That survivability alone is enough to make it an auto-pick in your kill team, but it’s got even more going for it. It’s equipped with a Navis Heavy Shotgun, which is just like a Navis Shotgun, but you can reroll all of its attack dice, and its Shield Bash melee weapon might only have a damage of 1, but it can only be parried by critical hits.

The Endurant also has the Breachwall ability which activates if the Endurant has an Engage order and one other friendly operative is within base contact with the Endurant. That friendly operative is then always out of Line of Sight against a shooting attack if a line must be drawn across the Endurant model to determine Cover for that shooting attack (unless the attacker is at a Vantage Point, which, in Into the Dark missions, it isn’t). Finally, the Endurant has the Disengage Unique Action, which lets it make a Fall Back action for 1 Action Point, which normally costs 2 Action Points, meaning it can attack and then Fall Back or vice versa.

The highly defensive profile of the Endurant makes it great for protecting your Leader, but another good pairing for the Breach And Clear double activation ability is the Axejack, letting you setup defenses in a room with the Endurant and then barge in axe swinging with your Axejack.

Navis Grenadier (1 per kill team)

The Navis Grenadier is just like a Navis Armsman, except it also has free Frag, Stun and Krag grenades that can be used twice (see below in the Equipment section) and the Demolition Charge weapon which has a 6 Inch/2 Circle range, the Blast rule, Armour Penetration 1 and a critical damage of 6, but can only be used once.

So, basically, the Grenadier is an Armsman with a bag full of explosives, which is awesome – just remember that if you pick this operative, per the Balance Dataslate for Kill Team from September 2022, you can’t pick any grenades as equipment for anyone else in your team. That doesn’t matter that much, though, since the Grenadier gets its grenades for free.

Navis Gunner (2 per kill team)

The Navis Gunner is your ranged weapons specialist. You can have 2 of them in a team, and in most cases, you should. Gunners have 1 more wound than most of your other operatives, seemingly just because the lore for the Imperial Navy Breacher team states that only the biggest soldiers get to be Gunners, even though the Axejack or Hatchcutter probably has more use for that wound than you Gunners.

The Navis Gunner can choose between 3 ranged weapons, and only one of each weapon can be taken within a kill team. Two of the weapons are classics among Imperial (and Chaos) kill teams: the Plasma Gun has Armour Penetration, does 6 critical damage and can be cranked up to Armour Penetration 2 at the risk of dealing damage to your Gunner, and the Meltagun has Armour Penetration 2 and does 4 mortal wounds on a critical hit, which is amazing, but it has shorter range than the Plasma Gun.

The third weapon, however, is unique to the Imperial Navy Breacher team: The Navis Las-Volley has 6 attacks that it can split between different targets, and it can reroll all its attack dice.

If you’re stuck in analysis paralysis about which weapons to choose for your two Gunners, we recommend the Meltagun for tons of mortal wounds and high damage, and the Las-Volley for rerolls and splitting your attacks.

Navis Hatchcutter (1 per kill team)

The Navis Hatchcutter is another melee specialist for your Imperial Navy Breacher team, but it also specializes in interacting with scenery.

Like the Axejack, it has an Autopistol for close range shooting, but instead of a Power Weapon, it has a Chainfist with high damage, the Brutal Special Rule that means it can only be parried by critical hits, and the Rending critical hit rule that lets you change one normal hit in combat into a critical hit if you already scored one critical hit in that roll.

The abilities and Unique Actions of the Hatchcutter are mostly useful in Into the Dark missions, but in those, they’re really great. The Hatchcutter ability lets it make the Operate Hatch action for one Action Point. This might seem a bit weird since that’s already the cost of that action, but this is connected to the Hatchcutter’s Weld Shut Unique Action, which lets him close a Hatchway (a door in Into The Dark missions) and make it cost 2 Action Points to open! So Hatchcutter just means that he can open Hatchways he has welded shut at the normal cost.

Finally, the Hatchcutter has the Unique Action Breach Point, which lets you place a token next to a wall or similar terrain feature, and then your operatives can move through that terrain feature at the point where the token is. This an extremely useful action in an Into The Dark mission, since it gives you a path through the battlefield that’s not available to your opponent.

Navis Surveyor (1 per kill team)

The Navis Surveyor is just like a Navy Armsmen, except for the fact that they are also a handler for your team’s C.A.T. Unit (see below) – so you can’t bring a C.A.T. if you don’t also have the Surveyor.

The Surveyor has two Unique Actions tied to the C.A.T.: Wayfind lets you add 1 to the Action Point Limit of a friendly operative within Pentagon/6 inches of your C.A.T. for 1 Action Point, and Surveillance lets you place a token close to the C.A.T., and for the rest of the Turning Point, enemy operatives close to this token and visible to the C.A.T. count as having an Engage Order when making shooting attacks against them. Surveillance sounds a bit complex, but it simply means that you can pick a point on the battlefield where Concealed enemy operatives can’t sneak through without getting shot.

Navis C.A.T. Unit (1 per kill team, can only be taken if you also take a Navis Surveyor)

The Navis C.A.T. Unit can’t shoot or fight, it only has 5 wounds, and it can only Move (so it can’t perform mission actions or anything like that). Fundamentally, it just exists for the purposes of the Unique Actions the Surveyor can use it for. It can, however, perform a free Dash action before the game starts if it is wholly within your drop zone, so it’s great for having a forward presence on the game board. Be careful not to lose it (because then you practically have a Navis Armsman without Group Activation 2 instead of a Surveyor, rules-wise), but also remember to make use of it for the Surveyor’s actions, since the C.A.T. counts for a whole operative selection from your total of 11!

Navis Void-Jammer (1 per kill team)

The Navis Void-Jammer is just like a Navis Armsman, except that it also has a bunch of abilities and actions tied to the Gheistskull operative, which you can’t field unless you also field a Void-Jammer.

The Void-Jammmer has the Interference Pulse Unique Action, which lets you pay 1 Action Point to subtract 1 from the Action Point Limit of an enemy operative close to the Gheistskull on a dice roll of 3+. It’s a bit rough that this ability only has a 66% chance to be effective, so perhaps don’t spend too many Action Points on it.

The actual fun part of controlling a Gheistskull comes from the Gheistskull Detonator weapon that Navis Void-Jammer is equipped with: It is a one-time use weapon ( the Gheistskull is incapacitated afterwards, since it explodes) that attacks everyone within Circle/2 Inches of the Gheistkull. That attack has a chance to score a critical hit that’s equal to the target’s Save characteristic, so if the target is a big armoured guy with a 2+ Save, it scores a critical hit on a 2+. The Detonator can also target Concealed operatives, and since the Gheistskull is really fast and the Void-Jammer doesn’t have to be close to it to detonate it, just send it forward towards the enemy as fast as you can.

Navis Gheistskull (1 per kill team, can only be taken if you also take a Navis Void-Jammer)

The Gheistskull has all the same limitations as the C.A.T., but it trades the free early Dash action for the one time use Boost Unique Action which lets it make a Normal Move action in the direction of a chosen visible point in the killzone without any restrictions on that movement, as long as it can finish the move within Triangle/1 inch of that point. You can’t use this action in the first Turning Point, but it can still help you hurl your favorite explosive skull-pet at the enemy as fast as possible.


Ploys of the Imperial Navy Breacher Kill Team

Strategic Ploys

Attack Order

Attack Order lets you place an Attack Order token anywhere on the battlefield, and for one Turning Point, your operatives can reroll any attack dice results of a specific value (so choose rolls of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6) while close to this token.

Defence Order

Defence Order does the same as Attack Order, but for Defence rolls against shooting attacks. Remember that Attack Order and Defence Order can be chosen as no-cost Strategic Ploys with your Sergeant-At-Arms Command Breach ability.

Close Assault

For one Turning Point, this Ploy lets your operatives retain a failed roll as a succesful roll for any combat or shooting attack against a target within Square/3 inches of them, as long as they retained two or more succesful hits in the same roll.

Brace for Counter-Attack

This gives a -1 to both damage characteristics, to a minimum of 2, of enemy weapons against friendly operatives which haven’t moved (except for a Dash) before being attacked by those weapons for one Turning Point.

Tactical Ploys

Overwhelm Target

This adds 1 to the Action Point Limit of one of the two operatives you use for your Breach and Clear ability in a Turning Point.

Blitz

If one of your operatives is the first to be activated in a Turning Point, Blitz lets that operative retain an attack dice as a critical hit without rolling it for one Fight or Shoot action. If the operative selected for Blitz is the first of your operatives to Fight or Shoot in a Turning Point, they can retain a dice as a normal hit without rolling it. The way the rule is written, if an operative fulfills both conditions for an attack, it gets both bonuses.

Lock it Down

This lets you pick an objective marker and then give one operative a +1 to their Action Point Limit for the purposes of controlling that objective marker only.

Calm Head

This lets you ignore all modifiers to Movement, Weapons and Ballistic skill for one friendly operative for the rest of the battle.


Equipment of the Imperial Navy Breacher Kill Team


Frag Grenade

This is the standard area damage grenade employed by most Imperial (and other) kill teams. Remember you can get it for free if you pick a Grenadier.

Krak Grenade

This is the standard Armour Penetration grenade employed by most Imperial (and other) kill teams – just remember you get it for free on a Navis Grenadier.

Stun Grenade

This grenade lets you roll a dice for every operative (friend and foe alike) within an area, and on a roll of 4+, an operative gets a -1 to its Action Point Limit. Remember you also get this one for free on a Grenadier.

Rebreather

This makes an operative ignore any modifiers to its Action Point Limit and makes it immune to the Stun critical hit rule.

Slugs

This equipment is only for operatives with a Navis Shotgun. It gives you a choice each battle between loading your shotgun with Cartridges or Slugs: Cartridges let the gun function as normal, but Slugs limits your gun to its long range profile while improving the Ballistic Skill and damage of that profile. This equipment also gives you a 1 Action Point cost action that lets you swap ammunition in your shotgun between Cartridges and Slugs.

Stimm

This gives the bearer an extra wound.

System Override Device

This equipment lets you open one Hatchway in an Into the Dark mission before the game starts.

Tac Ops of the Imperial Navy Breacher Kill Team

The Imperial Navy Breacher kill team has the Security and Seek and Destroy Archetypes, letting it use the corresponding Tac Ops in the Kill Team Core Book. In addition to those, it also has the following faction-specific Tac Ops.

Storm Target

This makes your opponent select an objective marker in the first Turning Point. You score 1 Victory Point at the end of any Turning Point where you control that objective marker, and 1 Victory Point if you control it at the end of the game.

Into the Breach

This is revealed at the end of the fourth Turning Point, and it gives you 1 or more friendly operatives are within 6 Inches/Pentagon range of your opponent’s killzone edge, and 1 if two or more friendly operatives are within that range of that edge. The C.A.T. and the Gheistskull don’t count for this Tac Op.

Counteract

This gives you a Victory Point every time you use the Breach and Clear ability and one of the two operatives in that double activation incapacitated an enemy while the other operative did the same or controlled an objective marker you previously didn’t control, and 1 Victory Point every time that happens in a Breach and Clear double activation for the rest of the game.


Playing the Imperial Navy Breacher Kill Team

More than anything, the best tip for playing the Imperial Navy Breacher kill team is to play them in Into the Dark missions. This might seem obvious since they come with an expansion focused on that game mode, but in time, they’ll be available separately, and other game modes might come into fashion, so it bears repeating: The Imperial Navy Breacher kill team excels in the tight corridors of Into The Dark.

There are several reasons why they’re good at close quarters combat: First of all, they benefit from staying close together with standard Navis Armsmen having a Group Activation of 2, and the rest of your operatives being able to use Breach and Clear, while your Void Armour helps diminish the downsides to staying close together when grenades are flying around you.

Secondly, several of your damage-dealing operatives have a leg up in situations where the enemy is also crammed closely together. The Grenadier has grenades aplenty, the Axejack can swing his axe around to deal mortal wounds to several enemies in the same small area, and a Gunner with Las-Volley can split their las-shots between several targets.

Third and finally, the Imperial Navy Breacher kill team has all sorts of abilities that take advantage of the layout of the killzone in Into the Dark: The Hatchcutter can weld shut doors and let your operatives move through a breach in a wall, your C.A.T. can disable Conceal orders in an area to prevent the sneaking around that’s otherwise abundant in these games, and your Gheistskull can rush forward and explode the enemy while they’re still making their way to you.

More generally, when ignoring all the benefits the Breachers have in Into the Dark games, they’re a human Imperial kill team that’s more durable than Guardsmen and better in close combat, but they generally lack the long range firepower one often needs in more open spaces in regular kill team games.

So, you should definitely play the Imperial Navy Breacher kill team if you like playing Into the Dark as Imperial humans, since they’re designed for close quarters aggressive play. However, if you’re playing them in ordinary games, your tactics become much more focused on keeping them out of Line of Sight of snipers while also getting close enough to make use of your close range firepower and scary hatchets, chainfists and Power Weapons.

If you’d like to play Into the Dark but also have great long range firepower, we’d recommend the Kasrkin kill team (see our guide here) from the Shadowvaults expansion, but if you like the “completely ordinary humans against the horrors of the Void” trope for your games as Imperial factions, these Void-armoured brave bastards of the Imperial Navy fit that a lot better than almost superhuman Kasrkin.


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