The Scout Squad is a kill team for the tabletop skirmish game Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team by Games Workshop. They’re available as part of the Kill Team: Salvation expansion for the game.
Scouts are Space Marines in training. They’ve not yet become the completely transformed post-human killing machines in Power Armour that make up most of their Chapter, but they’re on their way, gaining experience as forward scouts for their chapter for years before finally ascending to their true purpose. They are still far stronger than ordinary humans, however, and easily wield Boltguns and heavy Combat Blades along with their light reconnaissaince armour and an assortment of climbing and camouflage equipment. More importantly than their weapons training and combat experience, however, is how their time as Scouts teach them to truly depend on each other as brothers: While still young, and guided by a more experienced Astartes Sergeant, they learn to fight – and possibly die – not just for their Emperor and Chapter, but for each other.
In the game, the Scout Squad kill team fight as a close-knit group of specialist light infantry, armed with shotguns, pistols and blades, along a selection of special weapons such as sniper rifles and missile launchers. As specialists of reconnaissance and covert operations, they prepare the battlefield with sensors, mines and traps even before the enemy knows they’re getting attacked, and they strike with pure Astartes ferocity in deadly ambushes as if they were a single organism.
If you like a team with a lot of board control and rules that are simple to use – as well as being something akin to a horde Space Marine team – the Scout Squad kill team might be just the team for you.
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Abilities of the Scout Squad Kill Team
A candidate for most thematic Kill Team ability ever, Forward Scouting lets your Scout Squad kill team perform up to 5 special Scouting options just before the actual Scouting step of a game begins, giving you quite a lot of influence on how the game begins. You can select from the following options:
- Redeploy: Lets you start over with deploying one of your operatives, including changing its Order. This option can be selected as up to 5 of your Forward Scouting options.
- Recon: This is identical to the Recon option from the regular Scouting step (it lets you make a free Dash move with one of your operatives who is wholly within your drop zone). It can be selected 2 times.
- Infiltrate: This is identical to the Infiltrate option from the regular Scouting step (it lets you change the order of one of your operatives when you activate it in the first Turning Point). It can be selected 2 times.
- Trip Alarm: Lets you place a Trip Alarm token anywhere more than Pentagon/6 Inches from the other player’s drop zone. The next time a Concealed enemy operative moves within Circle/2 Inches of the token, you remove the token, and that enemy operative it now treated as having an Engage order until its next activation. This can be selected 2 times.
- Booby Trap: Lets you place a Booby Trap token more than Circle/2 Inches away from objective markers and more than Pentagon/6 Inches from the opponent’s drop zone. Whenever an enemy moves within Circle/2 Inches of the token, you roll a dice (add 1 to the result if the operative was making a Charge or Dash). If you roll 3 or lower, nothing happens. If you roll 4 or higher, the operative suffers as many mortal wounds as the value of your dice roll, ends its move action, and you remove the Booby Trap token. This can be selected 1 time.
- Diversion: This subtracts 1 from the Action Point Limit of one enemy operative. This can be selected 1 time.
- Devise Plan: Gives you 1 Command Point. This can be selected 1 time.
- Designate Target: Lets you give a Target token to one enemy operative. Whenever any of your operatives roll attack dice against the enemy operative carrying the token, you can reroll 1 of your attack dice. This can be selected 1 time.
There are plenty of good options here, with the ability to Recon twice and the three token abilities being some of our favorites, but the main attraction of this ability is how it happens before the actual Scouting step, and the amount of board control it gives you right from the start.
Operatives of the Scout Squad Kill Team
The Scout Squad kill team consists of 1 Scout Sergeant and 8 other operatives from the option below here:
Scout Sergeant (Leader, 1 per kill team)
The Scout Sergeant is your only Leader option for the Scout Squad kill team, and he’s pretty straightforward: He has 11 Wounds, a Save of 4+, and an Action Point Limit of 3.
He can be equipped with either an Astartes Shotgun and Fists, a Bolt Pistol and Chainsword, or a Boltgun and Fists. He hits on a 2+ with any of his weapons, his Shotgun has Balanced so you can reroll 1 attack dice with it, and he is the only operative in his team with the option to carry a Chainsword, but otherwise, his weapon options are similar to those of the Scout Warrior presented below this entry. Most of the time, you’ll want to field him with a Chainsword and Bolt Pistol to have at least one tough close combat fighter in your team, but since the 2+ Weapon Skill makes his Fists and ranged weapons pretty good as well, a ranged Sergeant is also a solid choice.
The Sergeant has only one ability, but it’s great: Guidance and Experience lets the Sergeant add 1 to the Action Point Limit of one visible friendly operative every time he activates, which is especially helpful since the rest of the team only has an Action Point Limit of 2 to begin with.
Scout Warrior (8 per kill team)
The Scout Warrior is the standard operative of the Scout Squad kill team. It has 10 Wounds, a 4+ Save, and an Action Point Limit of 2.
The Warrior can be equipped with 3 different loadouts: Astartes Shotgun and Fists, Boltgun and Fists, and Bolt Pistol and Combat Blade.
The Boltgun is a standard Boltgun with infinite range and decent damage, but no interesting Special Rules of any kind. If you want more long range firepower than you’re getting from your Sniper and Heavy Gunners, equip a few of your Warriors with the Boltgun.
The Astartes Shotgun is a really strong choice for the Warrior, since it does 4 normal damage and hits on a 2+. It does have a limited range of Pentagon/6 Inches, but as soon as you get your operatives up the board, which isn’t hard with the Forward Scouting options your team gets, that range won’t feel like much of a restriction.
The Bolt Pistol/Combat Blade combo is also really good, with an impressive 5 critical damage on the Combat Blade.
Most of the time, a combination of Pistol/Blade and Shotgun Warriors will be the optimal way to go, especially in killzones such as Gallowdark or, to some extent, Bheta-Decima.
Scout Heavy Gunner (1 of each kind per kill team)
The Scout Heavy Gunner is always equipped with a Bolt Pistol and Fists, but you can also take 1 Heavy Gunner with each of their 2 Heavy Weapons options, Heavy Bolter and Missile Launcher, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.
The Heavy Bolter has 5 attacks, hits on a 3, does 5 Critical damage, and gets Armour Penetration 1 on a Critical hit. It also has the Fusillade Special Rule, so you can split its attacks between targets close to each other. It does have the Heavy Special Rule so you can only Dash if you want to move in the same activation as you Shoot with it, but since you can equip it with the Heavy Weapon Bipod equipment (see the Equipment section), you gain so much advantage from not moving before shooting with the Heavy Bolter anyway that it doesn’t really matter.
The Missile Launcher always has 4 attacks and hits on a 3+, but it can choose between two profiles: Frag is a Blast weapon that does 5 critical damage, which is good for shooting multiple enemies, and Krak does 7 critical damage and has Armour Penetration 1, making it good for taking out large, armoured enemies. The versatiliy of the Missile Launcher is a great addition to your kill team’s toolbox, and having the effects of grenades without spending equipment points on them is always useful.
Scout Hunter (1 per kill team)
The Scout Hunter is the mobility specialist of the Scout Squad kill team, and he’s armed with the same Bolt Pistol and Combat Blade the Warriors get access to.
He has the Grapnel Launcher ability, which gives him climbing equipment (see the equipment section) for free, and the Grapnel Assault Unique Action, which gives him a free Charge action for 1 Action Point. If that Charge action causes the Hunter to climb, drop, travers, or move under a Vantage Point, his Combat Blade gets the Lethal 3+ Special Rule for the rest of his activation, letting him score critical hits (which, in this case, is 5 damage) on a roll of 3 or more. It’s a bit situational, but combined with the climbing equipment, it lets the Hunter cover a lot of ground before a really good Fight action especially on Killzone Bheta-Decima with it’s many vertical climbs and drops.
Scout Sniper (1 per kill team)
The Scout Sniper is the ranged specialist of the Scout Squad kill team. He is equipped with a Bolt Pistol, Fists and his Sniper Rifle, which lets him Shoot with it while Concealed, hits on a 2+, does 3 damage and 3 mortal wounds per critical hit.
The Sniper Rifle can be made even better with the Sniper’s Advanced Scope Unique Action, which lets him treat targets as not Obscured with his Sniper Rifle for one activation at the cost of 1 Action Point (as long as he’s not within Engagement Range of any enemy operatives). This is really useful for Killzone Bheta-Decima, where gantries create Obscuring areas all over the place. The Sniper Rifle does have the Heavy Special Rule, so you have to be careful with how you position your Sniper, since he can only Dash in the same activation as making a Shoot action with the Sniper Rifle.
He also has the Camo Cloak ability which lets you retain one additional dice as a succesful normal save against shooting attacks as a result of Cover.
Scout Tracker (1 per kill team)
The Scout Tracker is equipped with a Boltgun and Fists, but the main reason for taking a Tracker in your Scout Squad kill team is his two Unique Actions, Track Enemy and Auspex Scan.
Track Enemy costs 1 Action Point, and it lets you pick a Visible, Concealed enemy operative within Pentagon/6 Inch range of the Tracker. You then select a friendly operative, and for the rest of the Turning Point, the friendly operative treats the Concealed enemy operative as having an Engage order, which effectively means that the Tracker is a great spotter for the Scout Sniper or one of the Heavy Gunners if you want to blow up an enemy trying to sneak up on you. It can’t be used while the Tracker is in Engagement Range of any enemy operatives.
Auspex Scan also costs 1 Action Point. It lets you pick an enemy operative (with the same restrictions as Track Enemy), and until the end of the Turning Point, that enemy operative is not Obscured, and it doesn’t automatically retain any defence dice as a result of Cover.
If you can pull off both of the Tracker’s Unique Actions on the same enemy operative, and your Scout Sniper or Heavy Gunner is ready to take advantage of it, you’re almost guaranteed to take it down. This won’t happen all the time, of course, but the Tracker really buffs the ranged power of your team, while still being a good Warrior with a Boltgun in addition to that.
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Ploys of the Scout Squad Kill Team
This lets you reroll 1 Defence dice every time one of your operatives are in Cover, more than Pentagon/6 Inches from any enemy operatives, and targeted by an enemy shooting attack. The Ploy lasts for 1 Turning Point.
For one Turning Point, this lets your operatives reroll one of their attack dice for any shooting attacks they make after having changed their Order from Conceal to Engage in the same activation. If the target of their shooting attack has already had its activation in that Turning Point (ie they’re not Ready), you can reroll all your rolls of one specific value, such as 2 or 3, instead of just one attack dice.
Like Gunfire Ambush, this gives your operatives a reroll of one attack dice after changing their Order from Conceal to Engage, but for Blade Ambush, you get the reroll for fighting in combat instead of for shooting. If the target of the fight in combat isn’t Ready, you can instead reroll all your rolls of one specific value, such as 3 or 4. It lasts for 1 Turning Point.
This lets you Dash with one friendly operative who’s more than Pentagon/6 Inches from enemy operatives. You can also change the friendly operative’s Order. It can’t be used during the first Turning Point.
For one activation, this lets a friendly operative make 2 Fight actions, or 2 Shoot actions, as long as it’s not using a Missile Launcher or Sniper Rifle for more than one of those Shoot actions.
For one activation, this makes one friendly operative not Injured and lets you ignore all modifiers to its Action Point Limit.
This lets you retain one succesful normal hit as a critical hit for one Fight or Shoot action if that action is the first of its kind from your team during the same Turning Point, or if the target of the attack had more wounds than the friendly operative before the attack. This Tactical Ploy is used after dice are rolled for the attack it affects.
For one activation, this lets a friendly operative with a Conceal Order be treated as always having a Conceal Order, even if other rules might try to cancel the effect of that Conceal Order, such as someone shooting from a Vantage Point or an enemy operative having a weapon that ignores Conceal Orders.
Equipment of the Scout Squad Kill Team
This piece of equipment changes how your operative deals with vertical distances. When it climbs, it can treat the first 3 Circle/3×2 Inches as 1 Circle/2 Inches for that climb. It can also climb terrain features even if it’s not within Triangle/1 Inch of them when beginning the climb. Finally, it can drop any distance vertically, and only counts that distance as half its actual distance. Your Tracker gets this equipment for free.
This lets the bearer retain an additional dice as a succesful normal save as a result of Cover when in Cover and rolling defense dice against a shooting attack. Your Sniper already has this equipment in the form of an ability.
This gives the Combat Blade of the bearer the Balanced Special Rule, letting you reroll one of its attack dice.
Heavy Weapon Bipod
This can only be used by a Heavy Gunner with Heavy Bolter. It lets you reroll all your results of one value (such as 2 or 3) when rolling attack dice for a shooting attack in an activation where the Heavy Gunner didn’t move.
This gives the bearer’s ranged weapons the No Cover Special Rule, so targets of its shooting attacks can’t retain automatic succesful saves from being in Cover. It doesn’t work for grenades selected as equipment.
This lets you pay 1 Action Point to create an Obscuring cloud of smoke once per game in a Circle/2 Inch radius within Pentagon/6 Inch range of the bearer.
This is the standard Blast Circle/2 Inch frag grenade equippable by most human/Imperial factions. You already get most of its utility from your Heavy Gunner with Missile Launcher, but it does come with the Indirect Special Rule so it can be thrown at otherwise unreachable targets.
This is the standard 5 critical damage, Armour Penetration 1 Krak grenade equippable by most human/Imperial factions. Like the Frag Grenade, you already get most of its utility (in an even stronger version) from your Missile Launcher, but Indirect is always nive to have. It doesn’t work for Overwatch actions.
Tac Ops of the Scout Squad Kill Team
The Scout Squad kill team has the Infiltration and Recon Archetypes, granting them access to Tac Ops from those Archetypes found in the Core rulebook. In addition to those, it also has access to the following faction-specific Tac Ops:
This Tac Op is revealed at the end of the first Turning Point, and it gives you 1 Victory Point if you incapacitated more operatives than your opponent did in that first Turning Point. If that is also the case in any other Turning Point during that game, you gain another Victory Point. When calculating which player incapacitated the most operatives, an operative with 12 or more Wounds counts as 2 operatives.
From All Angles
This Tac Op splits the killzone into four quarters, and gives you a Victory Point if, during one Turning Point, three of your operatives do damage to enemy operatives while being wholly within three different quarters of the killzone. If this happens again in another Turning Point, you gain another Victory Point. It can be revealed during any Turning Point.
This Tac Op can be revealed during any Turning Point. It grants the Gather Reconnaissance ability to all your operatives, which can be performed if the operative is within Pentagon/6 Inch Range of the enemy drop zone without being in Engagement Range of any enemies. If you perform this ability, you score 1 Victory Point, and if the operative performing the ability is still alive at the end of the game, you gain another Victory Point.
Playing the Scout Squad Kill Team
The Scout Squad kill team is, in many ways, the most kill team-y faction in the game: They’re a tight-knit group of specialists with relatively simple equipment who depend on each other to survive behind enemy lines.
You don’t have a ton of options about what kind of team to field, as long as you just bring all the specialists you can. The Tracker and Sniper work particularly well together, while another small group of Warriors with Shotguns or Blades, Climbing Equipment and/or Camo Cloaks led by the Hunter are great for countering enemy long range operatives. Another choice you can make to make the most of the team is to equip as many Astartes Shotguns as you can, since that 2+ Ballistic Skill on your most basic operative is a nice advantage to have.
While there is a bit of micromanagement to keeping the right operatives close to each other in the Scout Squad kill team, a really nice thing about this kill team for beginners is that much of the complexity of the team’s rules actually happen before the game even starts with Forward Scouting, which means you can concentrate on setting up the killzone just right for your team in the beginning, and then stick to the simpler tactics of maneuvering and attacking during the game itself.
One final thing to keep in mind with this kill team is that they aren’t Space Marines in Kill Team terms: They have a Save of 4+, only an Action Point Limit of 2, and you can field more of them in one team. So, when playing them or playing against them, think of them as more of a middle ground team with a lot of Wounds (91 in total as opposed to only 65 for a kill team of Striking Scorpions).
Building and assembling your kill team
The Scout Squad kill team is a lovely kit to assemble. It has a nice old school Games Workshop feel to it, in the sense that most of the arm/weapon combos fit on most of the torsos, so you have a lot of freedom in how you want your kill team to look. The only restrictions to look out for is the Sniper’s backpack/cloak, which fits on a specific front torso, and one front torso with a rebreather, which only fits one head in the kit.
The team is built from a set of two identical sprues, which means you get two of everything, from heads to special weapons. This also means you’ll use each “body” twice, but since the guns and arms are so interchangeable, your Scouts won’t look more like the clones than they’re supposed to.
The kit builds 10 Scouts (it’s designed as a 40k kit, not a Kill Team kit), which means you’ll end up with one more operative than you actually need to field the team. We’d recommend using that extra body to build a spare Sergeant with a different loadout than your main one, or to build a Scout Warrios with the loadout you have least of in your main team (so either shotgun, pistol/blade or boltgun), so you can adjust your team to counter your opponents at an event or tournament.