The Novitiate Kill Team is a Kill Team for the Games Workshop Skirmish Game Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team. They are part of the Kill Team: Chalnath box set.
The Adepta Sororitas are the all-female military branch of the Adeptus Ministorum, which means that they’re in charge of putting martial power behind the dogma of the Imperial Creed that guides the lives of humans all across the galaxy. Their faith in the Creed is so great that miracles are said to happen among their ranks all the time as they wage war against aliens and heretics in the name of the Emperor with flame and steel.
Novitiate Kill Teams consist of women training to become fully-ordained Battle Sisters (or work on other important assignments among the Sororitas) by proving their faith in self-sacrificing combat, using melee weapons, simple ranged weapons and pure, unflinching faith to purify themselves so that the may be deemed worthy of service in their holy order.
In the game, the Novitiates are fearless combatants who wield the miraculous power of faith to punch well above their weight in combat, and who inspire each other through self-sacrifice and acts of faith.
If you want to play an agressive, high-stakes Kill Team with a lot of special abilities and synergies, the Novitiate Kill Team might be just the right Kill Team for you.
Abilities of the Novitate
Special Critical Hit Rules
The Novitiate Purgatus and the Novitiate Preceptor have the special Inferno rule on their weapons, which lets you add Inferno tokens to an enemy target after scoring any critical hits against it. For each of these tokens, you can then roll a dice for a chance to cause mortal wounds to it. The weapons with this rule start out with an Inferno 1 rule, which means they can add 1 token to a target on a critical hit, but the Tactical Ploy Burning Wrath can upgrades the Purgatus’ weapon to Inferno 2 for a chance of twice the amount of tokens.
Acts of Faith
The Novitiates have a special system called Acts of Faith, which lets you pay Faith Points to perform 8 different Acts of Faith, which are small miraculous interventions that mostly take the form of improving a specific dice roll, healing your operatives or providing defensive bonuses.
As long as you have friendly operatives in the kill zone, you gain 3 Faith Points at the start of every Turning Point, but you can also gain additional points by killing opponents or performing other tasks with operatives with specific specialisms (if you’re playing a campaign). This means you’ll have a pretty steady supply of Faith Points, and since you can use one Act of Faith per activation, they’re not just rare occurences but an essential part of playing a Novitiate Kill Team. If you have a Novitiate Pronatus in your Kill Team, you can even use its unique actions to gain 2-3 extra Faith Points per activation with that operative, so you can keep healing and improving rolls in almost any situation.
Note that, per the latest balance update (December 23, 2022), you can’t use Acts of Faith to change dice you’ve already rerolled.
Operatives of the Novitate
A Novitiate Kill Team has 10 operatives, and you can choose between the different operative types described below.
Novitiate Superior (must take 1 per Kill Team)
The Novitiate Superior is the Leader of the Novitiate Kill Team, and she can be equipped with either a Boltgun or a Bolt/Plasma Pistol plus a Power Weapon. The Boltgun is pretty good due to the Superior’s Ballistic Skill of 2+, but since she also has a Weapon Skill of 2+ you might as well go with a pistol/melee weapon combo for maximum versatility.
If you choose that loadout, the Plasma Pistol is a good choice for its high damage and AP1 value. The Power Weapon is great as you’ll do good damage with it all the time (it hits on a 2+ and scores critical hits on a 5+).
The Superior also has the excellent Lead By Example ability that lets her activate a nearby friendly operative (so that you get two activations in a row) if the Superior performs a mission action or incapacitates an enemy operative. This and the very good 3+ Save of the Superior makes her a Leader that should always lead from the front lines.
Novitiate Militant (9 allowed per Kill Team)
This is your standard operative, and it can be outfitted with either an Autogun or or an Autopistol with a Novitiate Blade. Autoguns can be a good choice due to its Ballistic Skill of 3+ and unlimited range, and you can make it significantly better if you bring a couple of Militants with this loadout and use the Strategic Ploy Sanctified Rounds. However, it has the same damage profile as the Autopistol which also benefits from Sanctified Rounds, and a range of pentagon/6 inches is still okay, but it also lets you wield the very good Novitiate Blade that has a 3+ Weapon Skill and gets to reroll 1 attack dice every time it attacks.
Which loadout you choose really depends on how you want to approach the challenge of the relatively low Wounds characterstics of the Novitiates. With all the rerolls you get from Acts of Faith, you have many ways to keep a melee-focused Kill Team alive and effective, and you can even capitalize from your melee Militants getting taken out with the Glorious Martyrdom Tactical Ploy.
However, Autogun Militants are your only potential source of weapons with a Range that’s longer than pentagon/6 inches outside of the Novitiate Condemnor, so if you want to play defensively and snipe at your opponents, the Novitiate Militant is one of your best options for that.
Novitiate Penitent (1 allowed per Kill Team)
The Penitent is a terrifying melee glass cannon: It only has 7 Wounds (like the rest of the Novitiate non-Leaders), but its giant Penitent Eviscerator chainsword can dish out a terrifying amount of damage due to a high amount of synergies around its already good damage profile.
The Eviscerator has the Brutal special rule, which means enemies can only parry it with critical hits, and the Reap 2 critical rule that lets you deal 2 mortal wounds to each enemy operative within triangle/1 inch of the target when you score a critical hit. So far, so great for a weapon profile. On top of that, Zealous Rage lets the Penitent reroll all its attack dice the first time it fights in an activation, and the Absolution Through Destruction Unique Action lets it perform 2 Fight actions for 1 Action Point!
All this means that if your Penitent can survive long enough to get into engagement range of anything (which gets easier if you pair it with an Exactor, see below), all hell breaks loose.
Novitiate Pronatus (1 allowed per Kill Team)
The Pronatus has an Autopistol to do some damage with, but that’s not its main function in your Kill Team: It can perform 1 mission action per activation without spending any action points, and it has the Raise Relic Unique Action that lets you gain 2 Faith Points in any situation, but 3 Faith Points if you’re next to an objective marker or close to the enemy drop zone.
It’s basically a morale officer who raises the faith of the rest of the Kill Team by storming onto objectives or straight at the enemy to inspire everyone. It’s probably going to be incapacitated pretty quickly while doing so, but since that might also trigger Faith Points via the Tactical Ploy Glorious Martyrdom, you should simply consider the role of the Pronatus to be dying in a cool way to inspire everyone else’s faith in battle.
Novitiate Exactor (1 allowed per Kill Team)
The Exactor has two Neural Whips, which it can use as either a short range ranged weapon or a melee weapon, and both profiles score critical hits on a 5+ and have the Stun critical rule. Its damage profile isn’t very good, but it hits on a 3+ and has 5 attacks, so it can still do decent damage at short range. This is great since it will often operate close to the melee powerhouse of the Novitiate Penitent due to the Exactor’s Whip Into Frenzy Unique Action: this acton adds 1 to a nearby friendly operative’s Action Point Limit, but if that operative is a Penitent, it also adds circle/2 inches to its Movement characteristic.
This means that the Exactor and Penitent are a match made in heaven and should always charge the enemy together.
Novitiate Reliquarius (1 allowed per Kill Team)
The Reliquarius is the standard bearer of the Novitiate Kill Team. It has the Icon of Purity ability which lets one nearby incapacitated friendly operative perform a free Shoot action before they go down on a dice roll of 4+, and the Plant the Icon Unique Action which subtracts 1 from the Action Point Limit of nearby enemy operatives when you’re next to an objective marker.
The combination of those two traits makes the Reliquarius essential to holding objectives: since Icon of Purity activates automatically each time a friendly operative is incapacitated, you can pile a whole bunch of your operatives onto an objective along the Reliquarius, even if you know stronger enemies are also going for that objective, since a) theres a 33 percent chance they’ll get to shoot an extra time when they go down on top of all their other firepower and b) the enemy will have a hard time getting control of the objective marker due to Plant the Icon.
Novitiate Dialogus (1 allowed per Kill Team)
The Dialogus is another Novitiate operative that’s fairly weak in combat, but has some interesting Unique Actions: Stirring Rhetoric gives a nearby friendly operative a +1 to its Action Point Limit, which is simple but useful. Auto-Broadcaster places a token on the battlefield, and when an enemy operative gets close to this token, it gets a -1 to its Ballistic Skill (and then the token is removed).
It’s a bit situational, since you’ll have to get pretty close to an enemy before you can worsen that enemy’s shooting, but since the Dialogus can place the token and then move on, it’s to be thought of as sort of a debuff landmine. “Landmine” abilities are useful regardless of what they actually do, since they have the psychological effect of forcing the opponent to consider whether its worth the risk crossing the area where the token is. This means that you can use it for nudging your opponent towards where you want them to be for your next assault or away from somewhere you want to perform a mission action.
Novitiate Duellist (1 allowed per Kill Team)
The Duellist is another good melee operative for the Novitiate Kill Team, with its Duelling Blades that hit on a 2+, score critical hits on a 5+, and have the amazing critical rule Expert Riposte which lets you deal critical damage in combat each time you parry with a critical hit against your opponent’s attacks. This means the enemy really has to think twice before engaging witht his operative.
Novitiate Preceptor (1 allowed per Kill Team)
The Preceptor has a strong melee weapon called Mace of the Righteous, which does great normal damage, has the Stun critical rule and the Inferno 2 rule (see above in the Abilities section).
However, the Preceptor is not just a damage dealer. It also has the Unflinching Determination ability which lets nearby friendly operatives re-roll one of their defence dice against enemy shooting attacks, and the Glorious Hymnal Unique Action which lets nearby friendly operatives re-roll 1s and 2s when fighting in close combat.
This makes the Preceptor a great candidate for leading a melee-focused squad into combat, swinging its mace and singing hymns to inspire its comrades.
Novitiate Condemnor (1 allowed per Kill Team)
The Condemnor is the super agent of the Novitiate Kill Team: its Condemnor Stakethrower has unlimited range (which is rare in this Kill Team), can be fired while Concealed, does 2 mortal wounds on a critical hit and gains AP1 on a critical hit – really good stuff for taking out heavy enemy targets.
Its melee weapon, the Null Rod, has the Stun critical rule, and the Condemnor has the Null Rod ability which limits enemy operatives to an Action Point Limit of 2 when close to the Condemnor, which is great for stopping Space Marines and other big guys from taking objectives. Null Rod also raises the Action Point cost of making psychic actions while you’re close to the Condemnor.
All of this means that if you’re up against psykers or enemies in power armour, you should definitely bring the Condemnor, and due to its Stakethrower, you should probably bring it against any other kind of enemy as well.
Novitiate Hospitallier (1 allowed per Kill Team)
This is the healer of your Kill Team: it can revive a nearby incapacitated friendly operative (to having 1 Wound remaining), and it can heal up to 6 Wounds to another friendly operative it didn’t revive in the same Turning Point. This is pretty great, since it explicitly doesn’t stop any operatives from being incapacitated, so you can revive operatives after they’ve benefitted from Novitiate abilities that trigger when someone is incapacitated. Live, die, live again!
Novitiate Purgatus (2 allowed per Kill Team)
Last but not least, the Purgatus is a close quarter flamethrower operative with the Inferno 1 rule (which can be buffed to Inferno 2 with the Burning Wrath Tactical Ploy) and the Burning Advance Unique Action that lets is Dash and then Shoot for the cost of 1 Action Point. Since you can take two of these in a Kill Team, they allow you to build a strategy around applying Inferno tokens to enemies. Most of the time, however, bringing one of them for its aread damage is fine since you have so many other interesting operative types in your arsenal, and a 66 percent chance to deal a mortal wound at the end of a Turning Point (where the affected enemy operative might already be dead anyway) rather than have something that kills it before it can activate isn’t as effective as it might sound at first glance.
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Strategic Ploys of the Novitate
Eyes of the Emperor
Removes the Range from autopistols, plasma pistols and bolt pistols of friendly operatives for 1 Turning Point, giving them infinite range.
+1 to Damage for autoguns and autopistols for 1 Turning Point.
Aegis of the Emperor
For 1 Turning Point, any enemy within pentagon/6 inch range of one of your operatives suffer a mortal wound if that enemy performs a psychic action.
Defenders of the Faith
Lets one friendly operative close to each objective marker on the battlefield a free Shoot action and (not “or”, it seems) a free Fight action.
When a friendly operative is incapacitated, you can use this Ploy to cause one mortal wound to each enemy within circle/2 inch range of the incapacitated operative, while also giving you D3 Faith Points (roll a dice, gain half the value of the roll in Faith Points, rounding up).
Turns 1 Ministorum Flamer weapon into a deadlier version with better Damage and a higher Inferno value for 1 Turning Point.
Lets you reroll all attack dice for a shooting attack made by a Novitiate Condemnor operative.
Equipment of the Novitate
Icon of Faith
Lets the bearer perform one free Act of Faith once per battle.
The bearer can roll a dice for a chance to improve its Action Points Limit once every activation.
Grants the bearer a 3+ Save (instead of its usual 4+)
A Cover-ignoring area damage grenade with moderate damage output.
A single target Cover-ignoring, Armour-Piercing grenade with good damage output.
Lets the bearer reroll rolls of 1 for Attack and Shoot actions, but if any rerolled dice are rolls of 1, the bearer suffers a mortal wound.
Gives the bearer the ability to generate a Faith Point each time she scores a critical hit (this might only count for Fight actions – we await an FAQ)
Tac Ops of the Novitate
The Novitiate Kill Team has the Security and Recon archetypes, so it can choose Tac Ops from those tables in the Core Book. They also have access to the following faction-specific Tac Ops:
Purge with Flame
Gives you a Victory Point if two or more enemy operatives are taken out by weapons with the Inferno x special rule, or if an enemy Leader is taken out by such a weapon.
Lets you select an objective more than pentagon/6 inches range away from your drop zone. You score a Victory Point at the end of any Turning Point where you control that objective, and an extra point if you control it at the end of the battle.
Glory to the Martyrs
You can reveal this when one of your operatives is incapacitated close to an objective marker, and then you score a Victory Point whenever another friendly operative is also incapacitated there.
Playing the Novitiate Kill Team
The Novitiate Kill Team can be a lot of fun to play if you don’t mind a complex, high-stakes playstyle: Rather than trying to keep your fairly brittle operatives alive all the time, the Novitiates have several ways of exploiting your operatives getting incapaciated: Glorious Martyrdom gives you Faith Points and damage nearby enemies when a friendly operative is incapacitated, Icon of Purity gives you a chance to Shoot before you go down, the Pronatus operative has abilities that are great but that it’s unlikely to survive for long while using, and so on.
This means playing aggressively is very rewarding when playing this Kill Team, and that’s only made even more fun by all the strong melee operatives you have.
Be aware, however, that a highly durable opponent Kill Team, or one with excellent shooting, can really stop you dead in your tracks: The Novitiates have decent Saves, but they don’t have a lot of ways to benefit from being Concealed, and they don’t have a ton of Wounds, so if the enemy starts hitting you, you could be going down fast. This is somewhat mitigated by your plentiful access to Acts of Faith that let you re-roll and heal, but you’ll run out of operatives at some point, so balance your glorious charges with outmaneuvering your opponent to stay alive long enough to win the mission.