New Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Pariah Nexus Review and Unboxing
The latest expansion for the popular Kill Team, Pariah Nexus is up for pre order today and provides players with new rules for Space Marines and Necrons Kill Teams (adding additional Datasheets from the recent Warhammer 40,000 Codexes) in addition to new Killzones, missions, narrative effects and a set of updated “Ultra-close Confines” rules.
In addition to the 112 page supplement, the expansion contains four new kits; the Space Marines Heavy Intercessors, Gravis Captain, Necron Flayed Ones and Necron Chronomancer. On top of that you’ll get a double sided gaming board (with artwork representing the inner chambers of a Necron Tomb complex) and a large selection of great looking Necron scatter terrain to represent the xenos machinery, doorways and corridors.
We were lucky enough to be sent an early copy to unbox and review by Games Workshop, and have managed to get the models built and painted too so you can see everything that is inside!
Our unboxing video can be seen above for a better view of all the contents and sprues, along with a look through the rulebook itself, but read on for our full write up and review on what you get within the box! If you would like to support the site then why not order Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Pariah Nexus through our affiliate Element Games and save yourself 20% off RRP!
We began to learn of the Necron’s plans to eradicate the influence of Chaos from the Galaxy by means of a star spanning weapon known as the Pariah Nexus when the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 landed last Summer. The narrative of this book focuses upon this super weapon as we follow an Ultramarines Kill Team below the surface of a Necon Tomb World as they attempt to locate and disable the power source for one of the mysterious Necron Pylons protuding from the surface of the Vertigus II.
The “Mission Report” style sections that form the bulk of the background sections provide a really interesting insight into the inner workings of Necron Tomb Complex and really help set the scene for your games where you’ll be fighting for your life through the claustrophobic corridors and chambers of the xenos complex itself – it won’t just be the enemy you need to be on your guard for as you’ll see below.
The majority of the book is made up of gaming content, including new Datasheets, Tactics, Chapter Tactics and Dynastic Codes for the Space Marines and Necrons allowing you to use the new models from the respective 9th edition Warhammer 40,000 Codexes in your Kill Team games. In addition we get 8 new missions and some updated “Ultra-close Confines” rules which we’ll take a closer look at below.
It is worth pointing out here that as this is an expansion to Kill Team it doesn’t include the full core rulebook, which you will want to have to get the most from this set.
These rules are designed for use on indoor gameboards (such as those included in this expansion) and include rules for fighting in, around and over terrain features such as walls, doors and choke points. There are even rules for more exotic terrain features such as pitfalls and spatial lacerators (the latter allowing models to teleport short distances). Walls can be used to create narrow corridors with restricted visibility and movement opportunities for your Kill Team and doors can be opened and closed to both create and deny firing opportunities or slow down movement.
The gameboards supplied with this expansion also feature several chokepoints and associated firing points which allow well positioned troops to lay withering fire upon enemy models scrambling through the cramped openings (firing units get a +1 to hit when firing from a firing point upon a model in a chokepoint).
To represent how much more deadly firepower can be when funnelled through constricted corridors or used in claustrophobic environments, weapons with a random number of shots now roll an additional dice for determining the number of shots fired (the player discards one of their choice). In addition, ranged attacks do not suffer the penalty to their hit roll when shooting at long range.
It’s easy to become cornered whilst fighting in confined spaces and to represent how dangerous this can be for combatants there is a rule called “No Escape” which allows well positioned melee attackers to press home their advantage on a trapped opponent (+1 on the Injury roll for models that find themselves within 1″ of a wall, door, terrain feature or pitfall and an enemy model following a melee attack).
I’ve mentioned pitfalls a few times now, these are areas of the board representing chasms or sudden drops. They cannot be traversed by models which lack the FLY keyword but otherwise do not block visibility or affect measurements.
There are also some changes to the general rules when playing games using the “Ultra-close Confines” ruleset. These include a limitation of 14 models per side, the removal of the Scouting phase and a change to the deployment rules (unless specified by the mission you are not able to deploy outside your deployment zone). There is also a change to the way you determine who controls an objective, rather than number of models you use the total Wounds Characteristic of models within 2″ instead, allowing Characters to make glorious last stands against lesser troops!
Talking of objectives, one of these will always be a Command Node which represents a high priority objective such as a data terminal or command station. Starting from the second battle round, players will receive one Command Point if they control this objective and also allow them to use the new “Access Override Tactic” (more on this below).
There are 7 new Tactics to use in Ultra-close Confines games. This includes the aforementioned “Access Override Tactic” that costs 1 CP and allows you to open one door on the battlefield. Here are a few of my favourites.
Covered Doorway (1CP) – Used when an enemy opens a door and allows a single Readied model within 8″ of that door shoot that enemy.
Barge Through (1CP) – Used in the Movement phase, allows a model to move within 1″ of an enemy model and move through them.
Point-Blank Overwatch (1CP) – Allows a model to make a Charge Reaction whilst within 1″ of an enemy model with some restrictions on the type of Charge Reaction you can choose.
Two new Killzones are presented in the book, Crypt of Cynosure and Translocum Chamber, which allow you to create some of the encounters between the Ultramarines and Necrons during the operation described above. Each Killzone has a corresponding Environment Table which adds some Killzone specific effects to the gameboard such as the “Active Kill-Field Augmentation” which improves the bonuses granted by firing points and “Dimensional Flense Feedback” which turns a random spatial lacerator into a deadly terrain piece inflicting mortal wounds on nearby models.
There are 6 new Matched Play missions and 2 Narrative missions in the book in addition to a set of Narrative Effects which can be used with any mission to add additional rules and enhance the immersion of your games. When using the Matched Play missions, each player choose 3 Pariah Nexus objectives from a list of 11 (plus an additional mission specific Pariah Nexus miissions). These objectives remain a secret until the first victory point from that objective is scored and range from eliminating the enemy Leader as fast as possible (more victory points the earlier you can achive this) to controlling the centre of the battlefield.
There are 5 tables of Narrative Effects which can be applied to the Environment, Walls, Pitfalls, Objectives and Terrain. There are a lot of effects here (25 in total) ranging from “Dimensional Destabilisation” which allows models to move through affected sections of walls to “Erratic Teleportation Nodes” which allows the player winning a roll off to randomly select an objective and move any nearby models a short distance.
There are lots of different effects here which can be used to mix things up in your games.
This section of the rulebook includes a subset of the Commanders rules and additional rules for expanding the Space Marines and Necrons factions with new Datasheets, Wargear, Tactics, Background Generators, Psychic Powers, Chapter Tactics and Dynastic Codes.
Lots of new Datasheets have been added to the two factions allowing you to include models such as the Space Marine Judiciar and Necron Royal Warden in your Kill Teams. I count 31 Space marine Datasheets and 12 Necron in total. In addition there are rules included for the different Chapter Tactics (Dark Angels, White Scars, Space Wolves, Imperial Fists, Blood Angels and Ultramarines, Iron Hands, Salamanders, Raven Guard and Black Templars) and Necron Dynasties (Sautekh, Mephrit, Novokh, Nihilakh, Nephrekh and Szarekhan). Each faction also gets an expanded set of Tactics (41 for the Space Marines and 29 for the Necrons). It’s worth pointing out that the Deathwatch get 19 Deathwatch specific Tactics in this section too!
There are some great Tactics in this book, here a few of my favourites.
Tactical Disengagement (1CP) – A Deathwatch Tactic that allows a model to retreat up to 6″ instead of 3″ and still fire it’s weapons in the Shooting phase.
Death Defied (2CP) – An Adeptus Astartes Tactic that can be used when a model is taken out of action. That model suffers a flesh wound instead.
Tachyon Arrow (2CP) – A Necron Tactic that allows a Necron Overlord armed with a Tachyon Arrow to fire it as an Assault Weapon at a range of 120″. if the target is hit it suffers D3 mortal wounds!
The expansion comes bundled with a host of new models too. For the Spaces Marines you get a brand new Captain in Gravis armour equipped with a Heavy Bolt Rifle and a squad of Heavy Intercessors equipped with Heavy Bolt Riles, with enough bits to arm one squad member with the ‘Heavy’ Heavy Bolt Rifle option. The latter are a full multipart kit with various build options to outfit your squad with different weapons and extra aesthetic upgrades such as purity seals and combat knives etc.
The models themselves are very similar to the existing Indomitus Eradicator models but they seem a bit more dynamic in their posture. One of the models is running forward and you can position the different arms and heads to make them seem a bit more mobile than the aforementioned Indomitus Eradicators.
The Captain model is a straight forward build with very limited options in terms of customisation (you can swap the helmet I guess) but is still a very impressive model with his cape flung over one shoulder.
The Gravis armoured marines are much bulkier and slightly taller than the regular Primaris miniatures and in my opinion look really cool alongside them.
For the Necrons this box includes a Chronomancer, a new Cryptek HQ unit from the latest codex and the first ever plastic Flayed Ones.
The Chronomancer comes complete with a choice of staff to wield. The Anti-Infantry Aeonstave with its sphere swirling at the top of the staff or the Anti-Armour Entropic Lance. You also get a choice of 3 heads. The model is easy to build and a joy to paint.
The 5 Flayed Ones each have unique poses with no customisation, and featured skin attached or draped on their exoskeletons. One even includes an arm that can dangle from his shoulder. These were the least enjoyable to build from the set, as the nubs and glue points weren’t big enough in places to become assured build. The arms in particular are easy to glue in a slightly different way than intended. They do however look striking and suitably grim once built and painted.
Finally we come to the scenery in the box! You get 2 identical sprues holding the various doors and pieces of arcane looking Necron technology! These are in minimal parts with the majority in a single piece, just clip them from the sprue, stick together the handful of parts on a couple of the pieces and you are good to go!
They are also really easy to get painted up for your games, for the pieces in this article it was just a couple of hours with the airbrush to get them ready for the battlefield!
While geared towards the close confines combat of Kill Team, the pieces would also work fine in games of 40k, adding some nice low scatter terrain to make your board a little more interesting.
So that wraps up our review of the latest expansion for Kill Team. For £95 you’re getting a great little expansion to Kill Team and probably around a £125’s worth of models (which are currently only available inside this expansion) if you factor in the plastic scenery frames too. If you’re both a Space Marine and Necron collector after starting in 9th edition 40k I feel this is a great purchase purely for the models, as they really are gorgeous and well deserving of being in both armies. If you only collect one of the factions though and have no interest in Kill Team itself I feel you are probably best waiting for the kits to be released separately – GW confirmed on their Facebook page that we’re only talking weeks until this happens.
That said if you are a Kill Team fan I think this is a really interesting expansion and great value for money. In addition to the models mentioned above you get some excellent scatter scenery and gaming boards and a lot of additional gaming content to add some variety to your games.
While not maybe having the plastic value of Indomitus, this is still a box well worth picking up for some of the best models for both the Necrons and Space Marines and a nice way of trying out a different style of game, though it is a shame this doesn’t include the full rulebook as I feel with that addition it would boost the value further still.
So will you be playing games in the tight confines explored in kill Team Pariah Nexus? Let us know if you will be picking this up yourselves!
We will also be talking about our thoughts on Kill Team on out upcoming podcast next week, so make sure to check that out!
Kill Team Pariah Nexus is up for pre order today and is released 6th March
Games Workshop provided this copy of the game for review purposes. All models painted by the Sprues & Brews team.