The Kroot Farstalker Kinband is a kill team for Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team tabletop skirmish game.
The Kroot are a humanoid/avian-like xenos race who, while having had an alliance with the technologically advanced T’au Empire for a long time, still also travel the galaxy as mercenaries and explorers. They don’t explore in order to loot material riches, however: The Kroot can alter their genome through genetic information gained from eating other species, so they’re always on the hunt for useful new traits in species they encounter. This makes them highly versatile and adaptable, and across the millenia since they first ventured out into the galaxy in their Warspheres, they’ve become expert trackers, hunters and warriors. Due to their reverence for the spiritual qualities of animal hides and bones as adornment, they might seem primitive to civilisations that don’t know them, but they’re anything but: The Farstalker Kinband are a match for any other kill team in the 41st millenium, and they’ve been aboard the Gallowdark space hulk where the Into The Dark Kill Team setting takes place for a long time.
In the game, the Farstalker Kinband are expert stalkers that benefit from Cover more than other kill teams, while also having a lot of good long range firepower and melee weapons, and they excel at taking down key targets through cooperation. And, like a perfectly tuned organism structured like a tigh-knit family, the Farstalker Kinband go into a vengeful rage when one of them is taken down, rerolling all their attack rolls against the killer of their beloved departed. So, if you like playing the hunters stalking their prey, and you want an Into The Dark kill team that also works well in regular missions, the Farstalker Kinband might be just the right kill team for you.
Abilities of the Farstalker Kinband Kill Team
All Farstalker Kinband operatives have the Rogue ability, which lets them retain one additional dice as a normal success automatically when in Cover and rolling Defence Dice, and turn one succesful normal save into a critical save when in Cover as well. As per the Balance Dataslate of December 2022, this also renders your operatives immune to the effects of the No Cover Special Rule. This ability really highlights how most Farstalkers are at their best when sniping from cover or skulking from cover to cover while closing in on their foe. It’s also very important that you remember this ability at all times, since the Farstalker Kinband are pretty vulnerable without it.
Operatives of the Farstalker Kinband Kill Team
A Farstalker Kinband consists of 1 Leader and 11 operatives (up from 10 after the December 2022 Balance Dataslate) chosen from the list below:
Kroot Kill-Broker (Leader, 1 per kill team)
The Kroot Kill-Broker is the Leader of the Farstalker Kinband kill team. Like most of her (the Kill-Broker in the background material is a female, but otherwise, we’ll go with “they” for the rest of the operatives) kinband, she is pretty fragile when not in Cover, due to her Save characteristic of 5+.
She is always armed with a Blade, a melee weapon with a Weapon Skill of 2+ and a critical damage of 4, and in addition to that, she can choose between three almost identical long range weapons, all with 4 attacks each: The Kroot Rifle hits on a 3+ and does 3 normal and 4 critical damage. The Pulse Carbine does 4 damage on normal and critical hits alike, and it has a Ballistic skill of 4+. The Pulse Rifle is the same as a Pulse Carbine, but with 5 critical damage, so unless you think the arm for the Pulse Carbine looks too cool not to bring it along (it sort of does), or you like the one-time use Unique Action it comes with (see below), it’s a bit of a toss-up between the reliability of the Kroot Rifle and the higher risk, higher reward of the Pulse Rifle.
The Kill-Broker has the Call the Kill ability which lets you pick one enemy operative in the Strategy Phase of a Turning Point. For the rest of that Turning Point, all your operatives retain one succesful normal hit automatically when shooting that target or fighting it in combat. This ability is a great incentive for going with a “focus fire” playstyle where you take down key targets one at a time. If she went with the Pulse Carbine as her ranged weapon, the Kill-Broker also has the Photon Grenade Unique Action, which lets you pay 1 Action Point to roll a dice, and on a roll of 2+, one visible enemy operative has Circle/2 Inches subtracted from its Movement characteristic and is prevented from making Dash actions. Since this is a one-time use action, and you subtract 1 from the roll if you don’t have Line of Sight on the target and one more if it is more than 6 inches from the Kill-Broker, it’s not a must-have.
Kroot Warrior (10 per kill team)
This is the standard operative for the Farstalker Kinband kill team. Like most other operatives in the Kinband, it has 8 wounds and a Save of 5+, but also a Group Activation of 2, which means two Warriors can activate in a row before your opponent gets to activate, which is always very useful.
Unlike many other standard operatives in other recent kill teams, the Kroot Warrior can choose between two different ranged weapons for its loadout: The Kroot Rifle is a good but slightly unreliable long range weapon with a Ballistic Skill of 4+, while the Kroot Scattergun is a kind of shotgun with a Ballistic Skill of 3+ and 3 damage, but with limited range. In addition to that, the Warrior also has a Blade, which is a good 3 attacks melee weapon.
Apart from the Rogue ability everyone in the Kinband has, that’s it for the Warrior – a solid, but somewhat fragile standard ranged operative with a very nice Group Activation of 2.
Kroot Bow-Hunter (1 per kill team)
The Bow-Hunter is a versatile ranged Specialist for the Farstalker Kinband. It has a Blade for melee like the Warrior, but its ranged weapon is much better. The Accelerator Bow has 3 different profiles: Fused Arrow has a critical damage of 5 and Armour Penetration 1, Glide Arrow is like a Kroot Rifle with the Silent Special Rule so you can shoot it while Concealed, and Voltaic Arrow has the Splash 2 critical hit rule, letting it do 2 mortal wounds to all operatives near the target when rolling a critical hit.
All three options have their use, and the fact that you can choose freely between them makes them even better. If you don’t have to move or otherwise have a spare Action Point, you can even use the Bow-Hunter’s Energize Unique Action to give all three profiles the Lethal 5+ Special Rule, so they score critical hits on a roll of 5 or more, which is especially good for the Voltaic Arrow.
Kroot Cold-Blood (1 per kill team)
The Kroot Cold-Blood is sort of a veteran Kroot Warrior. It only has a Group Activation of 1, but it has an extra wound instead. It also has the Hardy ability that turns all critical hits against into normal hits in terms of damage instead (we think their critical hit rules still apply, though).
It is equipped with the standard Kroot Rifle and Blade, but it gets two types of special ammunition from your Equipment list (see below) for free, and it can use them twice instead of once, giving it access to Armour Penetration 1 and Stun, which makes it a lot more useful than a standard Kroot Rifle.
Kroot Cut-Skin (1 per kill team)
The Kroot Cut-Skin is a melee specialist, and it’s armed with Cut-Skin’s Blades, which is a critical damage 4 melee weapon that scores critical hits on a roll of 5+ and rerolls one of its attack dice. This weapon might not look like a lot, but the Savage Assault Unique Action lets you fight twice in a row with it against the same target if that target isn’t incapacitated in the first combat, so in some ways, it’s actually a weapon with 8 attacks in melee!
To survive two combats in a row, the Cut-Skin also has the Vicious Duellist ability, which is really nasty: It gives an opponent in combat a mortal wound for each attack dice that opponent discards (so each dice that isn’t succesful), which increases the likelihood that the target will go down significantly.
Just like the rest of the kinband, the Cut-Skin isn’t that durable when not in Cover, but it’s great at taking down a key target if you can get close enough to it.
Kroot Heavy Gunner (1 per kill team)
The Kroot Heavy Gunner is the only Gunner specialist in your kill team, and you can only include one in your kinband. It’s a bit different from other Heavy Gunners in the sense that its weapons don’t have the Heavy Special Rule that prevents it from being used in an activation where the Gunner also moved, so that’s really good, but they do have the Cumbersome Special Rule instead, which prevents them from moving more than their standard Move characteristic in the same activation as one where they shoot (so no Dash actions for this one).
You can choose between two heavy weapons for the Heavy Gunner: The Dvorgite Skinner has 6 attacks, hits on a 2+ and has the Armour Penetration 2 and Torrent Special Rules, so it can blast through several operatives worth of armour, but only at a range of Pentagon/6 inches. Londaxi Tribalest only has 5 attacks and Armour Penetration 1, and only hits on a 4+, but it does have the Rending critical hit rule which lets it change a normal hit into a critical hit if already scored a critical hit in a roll. In Into the Dark missions, the Dvorgite Skinner is probably the best choice here, while the Tribalest’s unlimited range is worth more in missions taking place in more open spaces.
Kroot Hound (2 per kill team)
The Kroot Hounds are fun – in the lore, most people think they are actually regular Kroot who got a little too much protein in their carnivorous diets, making them very strong and fast, but at the cost of their minds deteriorating so that they now function as canine companions to other Kroot.
They have a Group Activation of 2, so they go along great with Kroot Warriors when you deploy your team for a game, and they can move 4 Circle/8 inches rather than the 3 Circle/6 Inches of other Kinband Operatives.
They are equipped with one weapon, Ripping Fangs, which has 4 attacks, 4 critical damage and the Rending critical hit rule that gives them an extra critical hit instead of a normal hit if they already rolled at least one critical hit. As Beasts, they can’t perform mission actions or carry equipment, but they do have the Gather Unique Action that lets them perform a free move in the middle of which they can make the Pick Up action for free and then keep moving, which is great for objectives that can be carried.
One of the coolest aspects of the Kroot Hound, however, is the Bad-Tempered ability. This activates when an enemy operative makes a Fight action against another friendly operative. If the Kroot Hound could also have been the target of that fight action, it becomes the target instead. If an enemy operative makes a Charge action to get within Engagement Range of a friendly operative, the Kroot Hound can also make a free Charge action to get to that enemy operative if it can – so it’s a Kroot guard dog, which is awesome. Once again, a Kroot Hound and a Kroot Warrior close to each other with Group Activation 2 end up becoming more useful than they would have been separately, so pair them up as often as you can.
Kroot Long-Sight (1 per kill team)
The Kroot Long-Sight is the sniper operative in a kill team that’s already good at long range fighting, so it has to be really good at sniping to be worth taking.
Luckily, it is: Its Kroot Hunting Rifle (it also has the standard Blade for melee) does 3 mortal wounds on a critical hit, and while it does have the Heavy Special Rule that prevents you from using it if you also made a non-Dash move in the same activation, that doesn’t really matter, since you have the Long-Sight Unique Action to spend your other Action Point in an activation on anyway. Long-Sight gives the Kroot Hunting Rifle the Silent Special Rule, so it can be used while Concealed as well as the Lethal 5+ Special rule that lets it score critical hits on a roll of 5 or more (great for a sniper rifle), and it also prevents enemy operatives from being Obscured while targeted by this weapon. All of this makes for a pretty great sniper operative. Just remember that if you are playing an Into the Dark mission, there usually aren’t any good sniping spots around, at least not any Vantage Points.
Kroot Pistolier (1 per kill team)
The Kroot Pistolier is something as rare as a close quarters ranged shooting specialist!
Apart from the standard Blade almost everyone in the Farstalker Kinband has, the Pistolier also has Dual Kroot Pistols, which are like a short range Kroot Rifle, but with the ability to reroll one attack dice in every attack roll and the Lethal 5+ Special Rule.
It has the Quick Draw ability, which gives you a free shooting attack against an enemy operative who selects the Pistolier as the target of a shooting attack. Note that this happens when the Pistolier is selected as a target, so before the enemy shooting attack is carried out – the Pistolier is truly the quickest shot in the Gallowdark. If the Pistolier’s attack doesn’t finish off the attacker, the original shooting attack can then be carried out. This isn’t just a very cool ability thematically – it’s also a great “the best defense is an offense” defensive ability that can even be useful if you aren’t targeted, simply because it discourages the enemy in picking your Pistolier as a target.
The Pistolier also has the Gunslinger Salvo Unique Action, which lets it shoot twice in the same activation for 1 Action Point total if it doesn’t perform a non-Dash move in the same activation. This action can’t be made while Concealed.
The Pistolier is one of those operatives that’s absolutely the most fun to use in an Into the Dark mission, since it really requires you to get close to the enemy, but if you are, it becomes very powerful. Since you really want to keep the Pistolier and its double Shoot actions on the battlefield for as long as possible, a nearby Kroot Hound is always a good idea.
Kroot Stalker (1 per kill team)
The Kroot Stalker is the Farstalker Kinband’s stealth specialist. It has a Kroot Scattergun like a regular Kroot Warrior, but it also has the Stalker’s Blade, which is a Blade that can reroll one dice for each attack roll and turn a normal hit into a critical hit if it also scored another critical hit in the same attack roll.
As part of its stealth toolbox, the Stalker has the Stalker ability, which lets it Charge while Concealed, and the Stealth Attack Unique Action. Stealth Attack costs 2 Action Points and can only be performed if the Stalker is right next to a terrain feature and has the Conceal Order, but it can then perform a free Charge action (minus the usual +1 Circle/2 inch movement) and a free Fight action. In that fight action, it can resolve its first two succesful hits in a row without the opponent getting to resolve one. Once again, this is a really good Into the Dark operative, but being able to charge while Concealed is also great in open spaces, and the Stalker’s Blade is a very reliable melee weapon.
Kroot Tracker (1 per kill team)
The Kroot Tracker is a Warrior with a scouting bird (which is of course not a bird, but a Kroot that took a weird evolutionary turn somewhere).
Like a Warrior, it is equipped with a Kroot Rifle and a Blade, but that’s not where its utility lies: The Tracker has the Pech-ra ability which lets it place a Pech’ra token close to itself (but at any distance vertically) the first time it activates. It can move the token each time it activates. This token is used for the Marked for the Hunt Unique Action, which lets you pick an enemy operative close to the token, and then friendly operatives close to the token can ignore Light Cover when targeting that enemy operative.
This is a pretty good action if there’s a lot of Light Cover terrain around, but contrary to many other actions of operatives in the Farstalker Kinband, this actually seems more useful in games that are not played in Into the Dark missions, even though the Kinband is made for that setting: The fact that the token always works “at any distance vertically” makes it muche more useful in a more open game with some verticality in the killzone setup.
Finally, the Stalker also has the From the Eye Above Unique Action, which adds 1 to the Action Point Limit of a nearby friendly operative.
The Kroot Tracker isn’t a must-have, but since it has the firepower of a Kroot Warrior in addition to its bird-related actions and abilities, there’s rarely a reason not to bring it along.
Ploys of the Farstalker Kinband Kill Team
This adds 1 to the Attacks of all the melee weapons in your kinband up to a maximum of 5 (increased from 4 in the December 2022 Balance Dataslate) for each weapon for one Turning Point.
This changes the order of 1-3 friendly operatives who aren’t within 3 Inches/Square range of the enemy.
For one Turning Point, everyone in your kinband can give their ranged weapons the Heavy and Balanced special rules, meaning that you can’t perform a non-Dash move in the same activation as shooting with them, but you can reroll one attack dice with all ranged weapons.
This makes all friendly operatives ignore 2 Inches/Circle of movement whenevery they move any kind of vertical distance, and automatically pass jump tests, for 1 Turning Point.
This lets you pick a Tac Op for your Tac Op deck from an archetype you initially didn’t choose.
This lets one friendly operative make a Fall Back operative for one less Action Point than it usually pays.
This lets a friendly operative make mission and Pick Up actions on an objective if they are close enough to it, even if they don’t control it, for one activation.
Vengeance for the Kinband
This can be used when a friendly operative is incapacitated by an attack, and then, until the end of the game, all your other operatives can reroll all their attack dice for shooting weapons and melee combat against that enemy operative! You can’t use this Ploy again until that target is eliminated. This is a very useful Ploy that you’ll want to use as often as you can, since full rerolls are pretty rare, and this one is kill team-wide against one target.
Equipment of the Farstalker Kinband Kill Team
The Quill Grenade is exactly the same as a Frag Grenade, in terms of damage and Special Rules: Good for area damage, and Cover against it is determined from above rather than in a straight line from the attacker.
Piercing Shot can be equipped to an operative with a Kroot Rifle, Kroot Pistol or Dual Kroot Pistols. It gives that weapon a one-time shot with Armour Penetration 1.
Toxic Shot can also only be equipped by an operative with a Kroot Rifle, Kroot Pistol or Dual Kroot Pistols. It gives that weapon a one-time shot with the Lethal 5+ Special Rule and the Stun critical hit rule, but with worse damage characteristics than the standard version of the weapon.
This gives the bearer the ability to regain D3+1 lost wounds once per battle – great for a kill team with no medics!
The bearer of this can add 1 to its Action Point Limit once per battle.
This is a better blade that you can equip the Kroot Kill-Broker with.
The Kroot Pistol is like a Kroot Rifle, but with shorter range – it’s mainly useful for your Cut-Skin (which doesn’t have a ranged weapon) and your Heavy Gunner (if it doesn’t want to use its main gun).
Tac Ops of the Farstalker Kinband Kill Team
The Farstalker Kinband kill team has the Recon and Seek and Destroy Archetypes, which give it access to the corresponding Tac Ops in the Kill Team Core Book. In addition to that, it also has the following faction-specific Tac Ops.
This places a Meat token where an enemy operative is incapacitated each time it happens, and your operatives can then perform the Pick Up action on those tokens. At the end of the game, if you have as many or more tokens as a quarter of the number of operatives the enemy deployed in total, you score 1 Victory Point, and if you have more than half the tokens of the starting number of enemy operatives, score another Victory Point.
Balance the Books
This Tac Ops activates when you score the maximum Victory Points from another (so for example, 2 from Butcher). If that happens at a time where half or less of your operatives are incapacitated, you get another VIctory points, and if you scare maximum points from another Tac Op while that condition is still fulfilled, you score another.
This makes your opponent select one of their operatives at the beginning of the game. When that operative is incapacitated, you score one Victory Point, and then a Bounty token is placed where it fell. Your operatives can then move next to that token and perform the Confirm Hit action, which gives you another Victory Point.
Playing the Farstalker Kinband Kill Team
The Farstalker Kinband kill team excels at shooting at range from Cover, and especially at taking down key targets by focusing fire on it.
In general, the best way to succeed at the Farstalker Kinband’s playstyle is to think of them as a single organism: Let everyone, or at least a few small groups, work together against one target after another. This lets you take maximum advantage of the Kill-Broker’s Call the Kill ability, and if everyone is doing the same thing (shooting/fighting), you can also make the most of Strategic Ploys such as Cut-Throats or Prey.
Remember to stay in Cover as much as you can, since your only faction ability, Rogue, depends upon it, and your operatives are pretty vulnerable without it, but also remember that getting out in the open with your close combat specialists (and hounds!) can be beneficial not just because you can do some damage, but also because one of those melee specialists getting killed lets you trigger the Vengeance for the Kinband Tactical Ploy, which turns your kinband into a real single-target killing machine.
Also, remember that all your faction-specific Tac Ops benefit from you focusing on incapacitating enemy operatives, so don’t worry too much about objective markers.
Finally, unlike the Imperial Navy Breachers (see our guide here) that come in the same box as these wonderful Kroot, the Farstalker Kinband are actually as good if not even better in non-Into the Dark missions, so don’t be afraid of bringing them out into the open!