Kill Team Terrain Types
When it comes to creating an exciting battleground for your operatives, you'll encounter various terrain features, each with its own set of traits that bring unique rules effects into play. If you're using an official GW Killzone Environment, the terrain features are pre-built with specific traits. However, if you're creating your own custom killzone, you and your opponent will need to define the traits for each part of the terrain feature. It can be a bit tricky, but we've got some examples to guide you.
Note that games of Kill Team set in the twisting halls of the Gallowdark have their own unique terrain features and rules, and we’ll cover these in another post!
Let's dive into the different terrain traits you'll come across in your standard games of Kill Team:
This type of terrain provides some much-needed Cover for your operatives and also adds Obscuring. Remember, according to the rules for a target to be in Cover, both of the following must be true:
- The intended target is more than from the active operative
- The intended target is within of a point at which a Cover line crosses another operative’s base (unless that other operative is not itself in the active operative’s Line of Sight), or a terrain feature that provides Cover
You can expect many of your larger structures and big natural elements like boulders or big trees to have the Heavy trait.
On the other hand, Light terrain offers Cover, unless stated otherwise. Perfect for retaining that defense die as a save while moving towards an objective… or camping it. Just keep an eye out for any specific rules that may adjust how the Light terrain works, like Vantage Point.
Light cover is often an agglomeration of other elements such as a pile of barrels or stones, but may also be things like fences or other elements like shubs or hedges. These can be some of the most interesting parts of a battlefield, so make sure you and your opponent get clear beforehand!
Traversable terrain is pretty straightforward—it can be traversed. This means operatives can move over or through the terrain at a cost of ○ but may not end their move on top of it. Note that this isn’t the same as a Climb, you’re just moving horizontally though the obstacle.
If you come across Insignificant terrain, well, it's exactly what it sounds like—it's too small to make any significant impact on your operatives. So, don't worry about any rules affecting your moves here. Thematic battlefields will often have lots of little gribblies around — think small rocks, trash piles, low-lying vegetation — all of which makes good Insignificant terrain.
Next up, we have the Scalable trait. This one applies to terrain features that are more than two ○ tall. Here's the catch: when your operative climbs this kind of terrain feature, you don't have to round up their final incremental distance to the nearest whole ○. Instead, any distance less than a whole ○ is ignored.
You’ll often see ladders specifically noted as Scalable, but this is another one where it’s really important to check with your opponent before the game, as it’s not uncommon to see certain (or even all!) walls over a certain height designated as scalable. Just be careful, as this can significantly impact the game depending on the teams being played.
There are currently two different Vantege Point terrain types in Kill Team, each with slightly different rules.
A standard Vantage Point is terrain that has a vertical element, meaning it's at a higher level than the Killzone floor. Operatives can be placed on these Vantage Points, giving them a superior view of the battlefield. Note that this ability to place a model is what differentiates the Vantage Point from terrain that can be Climbed or Traversed. Creating a Vantage Point is what allows a unit to end its activation at a higher level of elevation than the Killzone floor.
When an operative on a Vantage Point takes a shot, any enemy operative with a Conceal order, who is in Cover provided by Light terrain or another operative, and is at least ○ lower than the shooter, is treated as having an Engage order instead. Talk about the element of surprise!
When a shooting attack is aimed at an operative on a Vantage Point, the operative has some unique rules to follow. They can't use the floor of the Vantage Point for Cover or Obscurity. Instead, they must rely on the parts of the terrain feature that are the same height or higher than them, like ramparts or battlements. So, make sure you position your operatives strategically to maximize their defenses while launching counterattacks.
Punishing Vantage Point
The safer and more deadly cousin of the standard Vantage Point. When your friendly operative unleashes a shooting attack from a Punishing Vantage Point against a target that's not hiding behind any Cover, before you even roll your attack dice, you have the power to retain one of those dice as a successful normal hit. You've got one guaranteed hit right off the bat!
But that's not all! When an enemy operative takes a shot at your operative on a Punishing Vantage Point, in Cover and positioned at least 4" higher than the enemy operative, before you roll your defence dice you can retain one additional die (for a total of two before any other modifiers) as a successful normal save.
Punishing Vantage Points are ideal for terrain that really towers above the battlefield, giving you a commanding view of the entire Killzone. Typically you’ll see this applied to features that are higher than 4” like crow’s nests, guard towers, and the like.
Honorable Mention - Barricades
Let's not forget about Barricades. These are terrain that players set up before the battle begins. They are always ○ wide and △ tall and have both the Light and Traversable traits. So, you can use them strategically for Cover while still being able to move around.
And that's the lowdown on terrain traits in Kill Team! A great battlefield makes for a great game. Get creative, create interesting battlefields, and make the most of the diverse terrain features available. Just make sure to always confer with your opponent to make sure you’re on the same page before the dice start rolling.
Set up an amazing battlefield on your Skirmish Mat? Show us! Tag us with @skirmish_mats so we can show the world!