Kill Team: Octarius

Warhammer 40, 000 Kill Team: Octarius was released back in September and is a welcomed update to the Kill Team ruleset Games Workshop has been toying with for a few years now. This will be an overview of everything in the box, not just the game itself. I am primarily approaching this review from the perspective of someone who’s a hobbyist first and a gamer second, so while there won’t be an in-depth dive into the rules, I did notice how accessible they would be to someone of that mindset. This box set is certainly amazing, but with a $199 USD price tag, I’ll break down why I think this box is worth the price.

I’ll begin with my initial thoughts, starting with how the contents where packaged. I’ve had too many heartbreaks before when a shiny new box wasn’t planned out to safely transport its contents. Thankfully, Kill Team: Octarius gets an A+ in this category. There’s a protective piece of cardstock that covers the contents, and the durable plastic terrain of the kit protects the more delicate models and other accessories underneath, with little sections molded into the box or covered by cardstock. The two teams in the box, the Death Korps of Krieg and the Ork Kommandos, are nicely separated too. This also makes splitting the contents of the box very easy. They also both come with transfer sheets, the Ork one being pretty standard fare but the Death Korps transfers knock it out of the park and comes with decals meant for more than just what comes in the box. If you ever wanted the old Forge World transfers but were unable to get them, this sheet is a perfect replacement. Also, the dice included in the box don’t have skulls in place of the 1s. Always appreciated, in my opinion.

The Krieg transfers even come with minefield warning decals, so cool!

The box also contains a book describing the lore of the Octarius sector, and the catastrophic situation brewing there, along with blurbs of the various Warhammer 40,000 factions and their interest in the sector. I always enjoy these books being put in the box and thankfully this one is very high quality. The writing is good, keeping me interested in factions I normally don’t have an interest in. They also develop the lore of the Octarius sector, which had previously only been a small footnote in choice codexes. It really portrays how the gambit to pit an Ork Waaagh! against a Tyranid Hive Fleet to have them hopefully kill each other off was beyond ill-advised and has now grown grossly out of control. The artwork is where it usually can falter, as some books sadly use mostly recycled artwork. Here, however, most of the artwork is either new or highly stylized versions of iconic works from the past.

A sample of some of the new artwork, those cultists are about to have a bad day!

The new rules for Kill Team capitalize on the concept of datacards introduced in Warhammer 40,000’s 8th edition. It makes learning what’s in the box more accessible than previous versions. There are still plenty of rules not on the datacards that require the core rulebook, but I didn’t feel confused at all while reading how to play. An important thing to note is this: there are no point values. But don’t worry, this isn’t an Age of Sigmar 1st edition situation, it’s actually a brilliant move. My guess is that Games Workshop wanted to address how points in old versions of Kill Team were very difficult to keep balance between factions. Instead, all factions now have archetypes of Kill Teams they can take, with limits based not on points but instead on the roles fulfilled. It might be hard to find that out at first, however, and this is where my first negative of Octarius lies: they sell the book with all the archetypes separately from the box. The core rulebook feels written as though you have the other book already, which was a point of confusion as I tried to understand the game. With only the two teams’ rules in the box, you need to know about the separate book for things to make sense. Part of me understands why they made it separate, but I wish they made note of that in the core book, especially when its in a set marketed as the starting point for the new version of Kill Team.

While not a 1:1, plastic always beats resin.

To anyone who purchased Death Korps of Krieg models in the past, here’s where you need to pay attention: As someone who owns an entire army of Forge World Death Korps, I went and did a comparison between the old resin sculpts and their new plastic counterparts. While I think the plastic versions are better as whole, I should be clear that they are different. The plastic sculpts aren’t as crisp as the resin, there’s a particular lean to softer edges than the more angular, defined edges of the resin versions. And aside from height, you can clearly tell the two types apart due to the plastic having it’s proportions altered to be more in line with the rest of the plastic range. Now, while this may sound disappointing to fans of the originals you must keep in mind the most crucial positive of this: they’re plastic now. No more warped models. No more lenses you need to clean excess mold resin out of, fearing the slightest mistake will be like burning money. No more of the fuss that comes with resin. These Kriegers are as simple as snap, smooth and glue. They also come with many little trinkets and accessories, just like their old resin counterparts did. I personally can’t wait to one day make an army of plastic Death Korps, and I think you all will too.

With the inclusion of high quality terrain, that represents a xenos faction for once, new accessible rules and beautiful models, I think I can safely recommend this box for any hobbyist.

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