The Wyrmblade is a kill team for the Games Workshop tabletop miniature skirmish game Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team. Its rules are available in White Dwarf Magazine issue 472.
The Wyrmblade are the special forces of the Genestealer Cults, a mutant uprising on Imperial Worlds infected by Tyranid Genestealers for the purpose of making their world ripe for a Tyranid invasion. They look like humans (mostly), but they live with various stages of hybrid mutation and sneak around in the shadows to sabotage Imperial industry and incite unrest and riots. Dressed in civilian equipment, they blend into society until they strike, at which point they reveal terrifying claws, long tongues and mutant appendages armed with knives and firearms.
In the game, the Wyrmblade are sneaky guerilla fighters led by heroic revolutionary Cult Agents with terrifying combat and weapon skills. They ambush enemy forces with simple guns and industrial tools and vanish before anyone can retaliate.
If you like playing special characters with tons of personality backed up by expendable fighters that can show up anywhere on the battlefield, the advanced but powerful Wyrmblade might be just the Kill Team for you.
Abilities of the Wyrmblade Kill Team
Cult Ambush is an ability all Wyrmblade operatives have. It lets you change the Order of an operative the first time it activates (so, for example, from Engage to Conceal). If its order was changed from Conceal to Engage in that or any following activation, it can reroll its attack dice of one result (so, 2s or 1s, for example) for the first combat or shooting attack in that activation. Since nothing prevents you from changing the Order of every operative in your Kill Team, a team-wide reroll to attacks is a very good ability.
This ability is in the rules of all the Cult Agents of your Kill Team: The Kelermorph, Sanctus Sniper, Sanctus Talon and Locus. It prevents them from bearing equipment, which is just a way of not making them too powerful. On the plus side, it gives them a 4+ invulnerable save, which is very good, and if they are in Cover when being shot at, they can retain one additional dice as a succesful normal save or retain one dice as a critical save rather than a normal one – great for keeping your most valuable operatives alive as they sneak closer to the enemy.
Operatives of the Wyrmblade Kill Team
Neophyte Leader (1 per Kill Team)
The Neophyte Leader is very easy to kill for a Kill Team Leader (with a Save of 5+ and 8 wounds), but even though there are powerful Cult Agents in your kill team, this guy is always your leader. He has access to a wide array of weapon options, from the relatively terrible Autogun of the Brood-Adepts to the pretty fearsome Power Pick or the stunning Web Pistol. Which loadout you prefer depends on what role you want him to play in combat, which in turn depends on which Cult Agents you’re bringing, but a combination of an interesting pistol and one of his three good melee weapons is usually the best choice.
He also has the Shadow Vector ability which lets you use either the Slink Into Darkness or Coiled Serpent Tactical Ploy for free on a friendly Neophyte operative visible to the Neophyte Leader once per Turning Point. Note that this happens in that friendly Neophyte operative’s activation and not in the Neophyte Leader’s activation.
Kelermorph (1 per Kill Team, Cult Agent, counts as two operatives)
The Kelermorph is a Cult Agent, of which you can have 2 in a Kill Team, and he’s really great at close range shooting: He can shoot twice in an activation, has an Action Point Limit of 3 and a loadout of Liberator Autostub revolvers with two attack profiles: At long range, it has a pretty bad Ballistic Skill of 4+ but the P1 and Rending Critical Rules which gives it Armour Penetration and extra critical hits when scoring a critical hit. At short range, the Autostubs are much better with an extra attack, a Ballistic Skill of 2+ and the same Critical rules. The short range profile can also be boosted with the Hypersense Unique Action that replaces its Critical Rules with Indirect and No Cover, which means it negates the advantages of being in cover for its target.
The Kelermorph also has the Heroic Inspiration ability that triggers whenever it incapacitates an enemy operative. If it does so, nearby friendly Neophyte operatives can retain one roll of 5+ as a critical hit every time they fight or shoot for the rest of that Turning Point.
All of this makes the Kelermorph a real “lead from the front” type of Cult Agent that can dish out great damage and inspire its comrades.
Sanctus Sniper (1 per Kill Team, Cult Agent, counts as two operatives)
The Sanctus Sniper is another Cult Agent, but this one is all about long range shooting. Its Sanctus Sniper Rifle can be fired with a Conceal order on the operative, hits on a 2+ and causes 3 mortal wounds on a critical hit, which is pretty amazing in itself.
On top of that, it can use the Target Vulnerability Unique Action to make the sniper rifle score critical hits on a 5+ (so it’s great that the Sanctus has an Action Point Limit of 3) and the Familiar’s Soulsight Unique Action, where you select an enemy operative against which you gain the No Cover Special Rule, ignore Obscured and areas of smoke. All that adds up to the shooting of the Sanctus Sniper being tremendously powerful and able to hit almost anything while the Sanctus stays concealed. If you have the model, bring the Sanctus Sniper in your team.
Sanctus Talon (1 per Kill Team, Cult Agent, counts as two operatives)
The close combat version of the Sanctus Sniper, the Sanctus Talon is tailored to sneak up on enemies and get away before they even knew what hit them. It is armed with a Sanctus Bio-Dagger, a terrifying melee weapon that hits on a 2+, scores critical hits on a 4+ (!), does 6 critical damage and has the Stun Critical Rule. With the Familiar’s Soulsight Unique Action, the Bio-Dagger also gains the Brutal and Balanced Special Rules against one enemy operative, so the Sanctus can reroll one attack dice and the enemy can only parry with critical hits – it lasts for one Turning Point, which means it will also be in effect if the enemy tries to attack you in close combat on their activation.
The Sanctus Talon also has the Creeping Shadow ability that lets it Charge while Concealed, and then Dash away each time it has fought in combat.
The Sanctus Sniper is probably the safer bet of the two operatives, since it doesn’t have to get up close to do damage, but the Talon is a fun alternative that might require more tactical management, but can also really deal some wild single target damage.
Locus (1 per Kill Team, Cult Agent, counts as two operatives)
The Locus is another assassin-style Cult Agent with a couple of really strong Locus Blades and a short range ranged weapon called Barbed Tail. In addition to these weapons, the Locus has a lot of rules to keep track of: Like all the other Cult Agents it has Preternatural Assassin which increases its survivability, but it also has the abilities Duelist (which lets it resolve one of succesful hits when fighting before the Attacker and use that dice to parry) and Expert Swordsman, which lets it Fight twice in an activation and perform a free short range Charge action after every time it fights in combat.
It also has the Quicksilver Strike Unique Action that lets you interrupt a moving nearby enemy operative and Charge into engagement range of it, change your order from Conceal to Engage if applicable, and then perform a free Fight action against that operative. This makes the Locus an excellent bodyguard who can swoop in when an enemy tries to get somewhere to take an objective or take out a key target. Note that this also synergizes well with the Unquestioning Loyalty Tactical Ploy that does something similar, so you can end up darting around between targets.
Neophyte Brood-Adept (9 per Kill Team)
The Neophyte Brood-Adept is your standard operative with a Group Activation of 2 (so you can activate 2 of them in a row without the enemy getting their activation) and the choice of either the pretty bad Autogun or the slightly better but shorter-ranged Shotgun. That’s about it, but there’s plenty of ways they can be useful through your Ploys and the Cult Ambush ability anyway. Just make sure you take as many of them as Gunners and Heavy Gunners as you can (see below).
Neophyte Gunner (2 per Kill Team)
Neophyte Gunners have the same statistics as Brood-Adepts, but they add some interesting versatility to your Kill Team with their choice of either a Flamer, a Grenade Launcher or the Stun-inflicting Webber, which is great for lowering the enemy’s Action Point Limit when fighting for control over objectives. All the options are better than a standard Brood-Adept’s Autogun/Shotgun, so just pick the two you like best if you’re fielding two Gunners (and you should if you have room for them after adding Cult Agents to your team).
Neophyte Heavy Gunner (2 per Kill Team)
Heavy Gunners are a great asset to your kill team, providing some real firepower. They can choose between the big machinegun Heavy Stubber, the armour-piercing Mining Laser with a scary damage profile of 5 normal and 6 critical damage, or the Seismic Cannon that does area damage at long range and gains Armour Penetration on critical hits at close range in addition to stunning the target.
All three options are good, but the Seismic Cannon is the most versatile. Either way, you can bring two Heavy Gunners in your kill team if you’re okay with having a team that’s slightly less mobile than what’s suggested by the abilities and Ploys of your faction.
Neophyte Icon Bearer (1 per Kill Team)
The Icon Bearer has the classic Icon Bearer ability that makes it count as having a higher Action Point Limit for the purposes of controlling objectives only, but it also has the Unique Action Signal the Strike that lets operatives rerolling their attack dice due to the Cult Ambush ability reroll all their dice rather than just one result if they’re within square/3 inches of the Icon Bearer, which is an excellent buff if you’re running a group of operatives up the board close to each other.
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Ploys of the Wyrmblade Kill Team
This lets all friendly operatives with a Conceal order perform a mission or Pick Up action for one less Action Point than they usually do for one Turning Point.
One With The Shadows
One with the Shadows makes Light terrain Obscuring when an enemy operative makes a shooting attack against a friendly operative with a Conceal order for the rest of the Turning Point.
Writhing Ingress can only be used once per battle. It lets you place an Ingress token (just something that you decide is a token for that – a coin or a piece of paper, for example) next to a terrain feature like a wall or barricade. For the rest of the battle, friendly operatives can move through that terrain feature at the point of the token as if the terrain feature wasn’t there.
For one Turning Point, this ability lets you place a Crossfire token on an enemy operative after you’ve made a shooting attack against it. Afterwards in that Turning Point, if another friendly operative makes a shooting attack against the enemy with the Crossfire token, they can retain one attack dice as a succesful normal hit without having to roll it.
Slink into Darkness
This changes the order of one of your operatives from Engage to Conceal at the end of their activation – great for getting into safety after an attack. It can only be used once per operative.
When a friendly operative is activated and changes its order from Conceal to Engage, it can retain one normal hit as a critical hit on its first Fight or Shoot action with this Tactical Ploy.
This lets one nearby friendly Locus or Neophyte operative intervene when your Leader or one of your Cult Agents are attacked in combat. You can then Charge in with the intervening operative if you’re not already in engagement range of the enemy initiating the combat, and then you can change the target of that combat to be the intervening operative, essentially throwing your intervening operative in front of the blades of your enemy. Good for making sure one of your more valuable operatives survive combat, and if you’re intervening with a Locus, the enemy might not make it out of that combat alive, either!
Hiding can only be used once. It lets you pick up to two friendly Neophytes and set them up in hiding off the board when setting up operatives. Their group activation becomes 1 (so they lose one if they’re Brood-Adepts), and the first time they activate (it has to be in the first Turning Point or they’ll be incapacitated), you can set them up anywhere within pentagon/6 inches of your drop zone and more than square/3 inches from enemy operatives. The operative is then treated as having moved in that activation.
Equipment of the Wyrmblade Kill Team
This is a standard frag grenade with a circle/1 inch Blast radius like the ones carried by Imperial forces.
This is essentially a stronger frag grenade with higher damage and a larger area of effect.
The bearer of this equipment ignores any modifiers to its Action Point Limit.
This prevents enemy operatives within 6 inches of the bearer unable to be Obscured.
This lets the bearer retain one normal save as a critical save against an enemy shooting attack once per battle.
This makes the bearer much better at climbing and dropping down, giving various bonuses to different situations where you climb or drop.
This is a pretty mediocre melee weapon with 4 attacks and a Weapon Skill of 4+. It has 1 more attack than a Gun Butt, so it’s nice to have on one of your Gunners or Brood-Adepts.
Tac Ops of the Wyrmblade Kill Team
The Wyrmblade Kill Team has the Infiltration and Seek and Destroy archetypes for the purposes of determining which Tac Ops it can use from the Core Book. It also has access to the following Faction Tac Ops:
Your opponent has to place a Location token more than pentagon/6 inches from their dropzone, and then you score 1 Victory Point if you have a friendly operative close to that token at the end of a Turning Point.
If the enemy has lost more wounds than you in a Turning Point, you score 1 Victory Point, and if the total of wounds lost to attacks from your Cult Agent operatives in that Turning Point is also higher than than the amount of wounds your friendly operatives have lost, you score 1 more Victory Point.
Mark for Assassination
This gives your Neophyte operatives a new mission action to perform called Mark For Assassination that adds a Marked Token to a nearby enemy operative with a Group Activation of 1. If, subsequently, the Marked operative or any other Marked operative is incapacitated, you score 1 Victory Point. You can only mark one operative per Turning Point.
Playing the Wyrmblade Kill Team
The Wyrmblade Kill Team is a pretty complex team that’s all about movement, changing Orders and making the most of your Cult Agents. You should always bring the two Cult Agents you’re allowed to take, and while they’re all good, the Kelermorph and Locus are the ones that synergize the most with the rest of the team. It’s difficult not to want to bring the Sanctus Sniper, though, so try out different combos and find out what works for you.
Bringing two Cult Agents means you can only bring 6 additional Neophytes, but those could be 2 Gunners, 2 Heavy Gunners, an Icon Bearer and one Brood-Adept, unless you want the Group Activation 2 of the Brood-Adepts so you can swarm the enemy. If you’re going for a horde of Brood-Adepts, the Kelermorph is the optimal Cult Agent to bring alongside them, since he can buff them.
Use your superior movement tricks and your great control of Orders to get to where you need to go in the game, but remember that most of your serious damage will come from your Cult Agents, so think of your team as a couple of superheroes with an entourage.
Even more importantly, remember that a Wyrmblade Kill Team should always try to make the most out of its first Turning Point, since that’s where Cult Ambush and the Hiding Tactical Ploy comes into play.