The Intercession Squad is a Space Marine kill team for Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team tabletop skirmish game. It is the only kill team you don’t have to pay to get the rules for: They’re available on GW’s website here.
Space Marines are the superhuman warrior monks of the Imperium of Man: Plucked from their communities as adolescents, Space Marine prospects undergo horrifying physical and cybernetic augmentation and training to emerge on the other side as towering demigod-like warriors who can barely be called human. They are assigned to Chapters with different traditions and cultures, but they all live to serve the Emperor and rid the galaxy of aliens, traitors, mutants and heretics.
The Primaris Space Marines who make up the Intercession Squads are relatively recent additions to the ranks of Space Marines, engineered by the Archmagos Bellisarius Cawl to save the Imperium from annihilation, and they’re even taller and stronger than their original brethren. Intercession Squads are primarily used in Indomitus fleets, grand crusading fleets of reconquest commissioned by Robout Guilliman, the Primarch of the Ultramarines Space Marines Chapter. In battle, Intercession Squads are superhuman elites armed to the teeth with either long-range weaponry or chainswords and bolt pistols, and clad in almost impenetrable Mark X power armour.
In the tabletop game, Intercession Squads are elite, but versatile: Assault Intercessors can Fight twice each round, and bolter-carrying Intercessors can Shoot twice, so with their Action Point Limit of 3, you can really dish out some damage in each activation. The Chapter Tactics ability allow you to customize your squad even further for whatever challenges they face, so if you like playing the “heroes” (huge satirical quotation marks here) of the Imperium of Man, you like being able to tailor a kill team to your preferred playstyle, or you simply want to try playing Kill Team with models you already have lying around from buying a 40K starter set, the Intercession Squad is just the team for you.
This article has been updated with the changes from the Q2 2023 Balance Dataslate.
Abilities of the Intercession Squad Kill Team
When creating your Kill Team roster (so before you go to a tournament/event, not before you start a game), you can choose two abilities from the ones in this section. They’re split up into categories because the Adaptive Tactics ploy (see below) allows you to switch abilities within a category, but apart from that, you can choose freely between all of them.
- Martial Zealotry
Aggressive: An operative who made a Charge action in an activation adds the Rending critical hit rule to its melee weapons in combats fought in that activation.
Dueller: When an operative parries with a critical hit in combat, it can parry an extra normal hit from the opponent’s roll.
Rapid: As per the Q2 2023 Balance Dataslate, this adds Triangle/1 Inch to your movement when performing a Normal Move.
- Tactical Evasion
Raider: Allows operatives to make Charge actions while they’re in Engagement Range of enemies, an operatives can move within Engagement Range of enemies (without ending their movement there).
Stealthy: When one of your operatives is being shot at, and it’s in cover and far from the shooter, you can either retain an additional normal save or change a normal save to a critical save as the result of cover.
Mobile: Makes the Fall Back action cost one less action point.
- Gene-wrought Resilience
Unyielding: Each operative increases their Wounds statistic by 1.
Durable: As per the Q2 2023 Balance Dataslate, this makes 1 critical hit in an enemy attack roll do 1 less damage to a minimum of 3 damage.
Hardy: Gives you critical saves against shooting on a 5+ instead of on a 6+.
- Discipline of Iron
Accurate: Gives shooting weapons the No Cover Special Rule if they score any critical hits in an attack.
Methodical: As per the Q2 2023 Balance Dataslate, this lets you ignore the penalty to Ballistic Skill when performing Overwatch actions.
Deadly Sharpshooter: Bolt weapons subtract 1 from the critical damage, but get the MW1 critical hit rule, so they do 1 mortal wound instead.
Operatives of the Intercessor Kill Team
An Intercessor Kill Team is made up of 6 operatives: 1 Leader and 5 other Intercession Squad operatives, chosen from the list below.
Assault Intercessor Sergeant (Leader, 1 per kill team)
Intercessors generally have 14 Wounds, a 3+ save and an Action Point Limit of 3, and this Leader version of the Assault Intercessor is like that, but with an extra Wound.
Like most Imperial Leaders, he can choose between a vast array of weapons, and he has to chose one pistol and one melee weapon. For pistols, he can choose a Plasma Pistol, a Heavy Bolt Pistol with the P1 Critical Hit Rule, or a Hand Flamer with the Torrent Special Rule. For the melee slot, you can pick a Chainsword, a Power Fist which can only be parried with critical hits, a Power Weapon that scores critical hits on a 5+ or a Thunder Hammer with the Stun Critical Hit rule.
Since the Assault Intercessor Sergeant is a close combat Leader, the Hand Flamer and a Power Fist or Power Weapon is a good choice for your loadout.
Like all Assault Intercessors, the Sergeant has the Shock Assault ability, which lets him make two Fight actions in the same activation.
Intercessor Sergeant (Leader, 1 per kill team)
This is the ranged version of the Leader for the Intercession Squad kill team, and he’s a pretty solid choice, since he gets all the close combat weapon options of the Assault Intercessor Sergeant as well as the choice between an Auto Bolt Rifle with the Ceaseless Special Rule, a Bolt Rifle with the P1 Critical Hit Rule, or a Stalker Bolt Rifle. There’s probably some sort of error here that will be FAQ’ed, since the Intercessor Sergeant is depicted with a Heavy Bolt Pistol which he cannot wield, and he also has the Fists melee weapon which is usually only for operatives with two-handed guns and no access to melee weapons, but for the time being, he’s pretty versatile.
Like all standard Intercessors, the Sergeant has the Bolter Discipline ability which allows him to make two Shoot actions in the same activation.
Which Leader you choose really depends on your playstyle, but you should definitely take into account that the standard Intercessor Sergeant is pretty capable in melee even thoug he’s supposed to be the ranged choice. Either way, none of the Sergeants have any synergies with the rest of your troops, so just pick the one you like best.
Assault Intercessor Warrior (5 per kill team)
The Assault Intercessor Warrior is the standard close combat operative for the Intercession Squad kill team. It’s equipped with a Heavy Bolt Pistol with the P1 Critical Hit Rule and Chainsword with 5 attacks and critical damage of 5.
It can Fight twice in an activation, which is what really gives it its value, and apart from that, it’s a really durable melee fighter that’s very easy to use. No weird combos or synergies here.
Assault Intercessor Grenadier (1 per kill team)
The Assault Intercessor Grenadier is exactly like an Assault Intercessor Warrior, but with the added bonus of carrying free Frag and Krak Grenades (see the Equipment List), so if you’re going with Assault Intercessors, you should definitely bring one of these.
Intercessor Warrior (5 per kill team)
The Intercessor Warrior is the standard ranged operative for the Intercession Squad kill team, and he can choose between an Auto Bolt Rifle with the Ceaseless Special Rule that can reroll hit rolls of 1, a Bolt Rifle with the P1 Critical Hit rule that subtracts 1 from the target’s Defense characteristic if you score a critical hit, or the Stalker Bolt Rifle with the Armour Penetration 1 and Heavy Special Rules. Basically, the Auto Bolt Rifle is for picking off lightly armored targets, while the other two weapons are good at taking down tough opponents in different ways.
The Intercessor Warrior has the Bolter Discipline ability which lets him Shoot twice in an activation, significantly increasing its potential damage output.
Intercessor Gunner (1 per kill team)
The Intercessor Gunner is just like an Intercessor Warrior, but it can also pick the Auxiliary Grenade Launcher as its main weapon, giving it access to Frag and Krag Grenades with unlimited range. This is a slight upgrade over the Assault Intercessor Grenadier if you want to choose between the two, but there’s nothing preventing you from bringing both if you want – assuming you have access to both kits.
Ploys of the Intercession Squad Kill Team
The Intercession Squad Kill Team has access to the following Strategic and Tactical Ploys.
Note that the Strategic Ploys with “Doctrine” in their name are a group from which you can only pick 1 per Turning Point.
Reroll one attack dice for each friendly shooting attack against a target more than 6 inches/Pentagon away from the shooting operative for the rest of the Turning Point.
This has the exact same rules text as the Devastator Doctrine, so that’s probably an error that will soon be corrected in an FAQ.
Reroll one attack dice in every combat made by a friendly operative who performed a Charge action in the same activation. This Ploy lasts for the rest of the Turning Point.
And They Shall Know No Fear
Lets you ignore modifiers to the Action Point Limit of your operatives, and none of your operatives are treated as being Injured – for one Turning Point.
Lets you change one of your Chapter Tactics before a game starts – but the new Chapter Tactic has to be from the same category as the one it replaces.
Lets you retain one normal save as a critical save instead against one shooting attack.
Angel of Death
This ploy lets one of your operatives make a free Fight action at the end of a Firefight phase.
Wrath of Vengeance
Lets a newly incapacitated operative make a free Shoot action (as if it was Injured) before it’s removed from the battlefield.
Equipment of the Intercession Squad Kill Team
Adds the Lethal 5+ Special Rule to a Bolt Rifle or Stalker Bolt Rifle.
Adds 1 to the Damage characteristic of one Bolt weapon.
Prevents you opponent from scoring critical hits from results of less than 6 in combats against the bearer – great for ignoring the otherwise very valuable Lethal 5+ weapons that many players go for.
Gives you 1 free Command Re-Roll for the bearer in a Shooting attack or against a Shooting attack.
Gives the bearer the Unique Action Auspex Scan, which lets it pay 1 Action point to select a nearby enemy operative that is then no longer Obscured or able to automatically retain defence dice from being in Cover.
Gives the bearer a decent melee weapon – good for Intercessor Warriors.
The standard short range, area effect damage grenade.
A grenade with higher damage and the Armour Penetration 1 Special Rule.
Tac Ops of the Intercession Squad Kill Team
The Intercession Squad Kill Team has the Security and Seek and Destroy archetypes, which gives it access to the corresponding Tac Ops in the Core Book. In addition to those, it has access to the following faction-specific Tac Ops.
Shock and Awe
If you control an objective that was controlled by the enemy when the Turning Point began, this Tac Op grants you 1 Victory Point, and you also gain 1 Victory Point in any other Turning Point where you control a previously enemy-controlled objective.
Champion of Mankind
This Tac Op gives you 1 Victory Point if a friendly operative has taken down more enemy operatives than any of its comrades, and if it has also taken down more operatives than any of the enemy operatives, you score one additional Victory Point.
This Tac Op is played at the end of the game, and it gives you 1 Victory Point if you control an objective, but the enemy doesn’t, and another Victory Point if there are more friendly operatives than enemy operatives on the battlefield at the end of the battle. This Tac Op doesn’t work in a game where you or your opponent has to escape the battlefield.
Playing the Intercession Squad Kill Team
The Intercession Squad Kill Team is very straightforward to play, and is probably designed as the perfect beginner team for learning to play the game. Your Intercessions Squad can be good at shooting, good at melee, or a mix of the two, but it doesn’t really have any abilities that improve board control, your ability to play objectives, or any real debuffs to the enemy, so it’s all about going out there on the battlefield, being hard to take down, and dishing out damage.
As is the case with most elite, low model count kill teams, beware that Kill Team is often easier to win if you have many operatives on the board, since more objectives = more activations, even if elite teams get Overwatch actions because they finish activating before the enemy does.
All of this doesn’t mean the Intercession Squad is a bad kill team, though! Most of their weapons are pretty good, they’re tough, and their Sergeants have access to all sorts of fun weapons. Add to that the ability to customize your playstyle with Chapter Tactics (even though those have been slightly nerfed by the Q2 2023 Balance Dataslate), and you’ve got a pretty solid team to play!