Kill Team Gallowfall Review and Unboxing – Warhammer 40k
For the past year, our kill teams have been fighting over the space hulk Gallowdark as it drifts though realspace. However in Kill Team Gallowfall, up for pre order today, the craft has taken catastrophic damage and is currently falling to its doom, trapped within the gravitational pull of a planet. Onboard, the Leagues of Votann fight for their escape as they are set upon by a band of horrific Chaos Beastmen, fearsome hunters who are out to end the lives of the Kin.
In this full unboxing and review we’ll be checking out the contents of Kill Team Gallowfall, taking a look at everything you get in the box, building and painting the models and looking at what rules are included in the set including the rules for each of the kill teams within. We’ll also be speculating on the future of Kill Team based on the reveals and information shared at Warhammer Fest 2023!
Massive thanks to Games Workshop for sending us a free early review copy to check out on the site – if you would like to support the site then why not order your copy through our affiliate Element Games and save yourself some money too, or why not check out our Patreon?
We also have filmed a full unboxing to go alongside this article, so if you would rather watch than read this review you can check that out just below or over on YouTube
So let’s dash to an escape pod and see if we can escape the Gallowdark as we explore Gallowfall…
Kill Team Gallowfall Unboxing
So what comes in the box? As with the other Kill Team sets this season we get a box chock filled with goodies!
If you’ve picked up any of the other boxes this season then you will know the drill by now – we get another set of Gallowdark terrain, which is not only usable in games of Kill Team but also can be combined with a second set in order to play games of Boarding Action for Warhammer 40k (Which thankfully is also fully compatible with the 10th edition of the game!)
Alongside the scenery we get another game board to play over, and a new set of sprues unique to this box. These two frames feature things such as stasis tubes, escape pods and medical equipment, allowing you to create the Alien style medical bays of your dreams! It’s a shame that the adversary in this box wasn’t horrific space aliens (I guess that is waiting for Leviathan), but it’s my favourite of the themes of environment that we are fighting over this season.
The main draw for this set will be the new Kill Teams, the Leagues of Votann Hearthkyn Salvagers and the Chaos Beastmen Fellgor Ravagers.
Andy has been working on the Leagues of Votann, which are essentially the standard Hearthkyn kit with an additional sprue that builds the Kill Team specific operatives. We’ll take a look at the rules side of these later in the review, but there’s some really fun stuff in here such as a jump pack, a guy with knuckledusters and a warrior with a string of grenades. While some may be disappointed that this wasn’t an entirely new kit, the upgrades add some cool new models to the existing squad. It also means that if you are an existing Leagues of Votann player you may also already have some specialist options to fill out your team, leaving you free to build all the “new” variants in this kit.
The other new kit are the Beastmen, and I have to say these are absolutely gorgeous. As the resident Chaos player, I jumped at the chance to build and paint these guys up and had massive fun doing so! Interestingly, this is a full Beastmen kit with a separate upgrade sprue making them usable for Kill Team, which suggests these may get a separate release at some point too. With these being an option for games of Horus Heresy in the Militia list, and the hope of us getting the Beastmen as either part of the Chaos Space Marines or a separate Lost and the Damned release, I’m sure lots of people will be eager to paint some angry goat men to accompany their 40k armies. There’s a whole host of parts in the kit including enough heads to make entire herds of these look different to each other. For Kill Team, thankfully you can make all the Kill Team specific units out of a single kit, and I’ll be using the Beastmen from Blackstone Fortress to use as standard Warriors.
So that’s all the goodies in the box, so let’s take a look at the Gallowfall Expansion, and check out what is contained within its pages!
Kill Team Gallowfall Supplement Review
As with the other Kill Team boxes this season, the Gallowfall supplement is included in the box and gives you all the rules you need to play both kill teams, along with narrative and new gaming content.
From a lore point of view, we learn about the events that lead to the catastrophic crash that leads the Gallowdark to start tumbling down to it’s doom. A prison ship strikes the Space Hulk, causing a chain reaction of explosions as ancient engines and fuel tanks start to rupture and split – each one setting off another explosion as the ship starts to fall apart and lose integrity. It’s only a matter of time before the ship is pulled into the gravity well of a planet and is pulled down towards the surface, with any surviving passengers fighting their way to escape pods to try and escape.
it’s here that we learn about the Leagues of Votann who have come on board looking for the Ironkin, constructs of Artificial Intelligence that The Kin hold as equals. This rescue missing is hindered by the inevitable destruction of the Gallowdark and the Beastmen rampaging through its corridors looking for blood. Like with the other Kill Team supplements we get substantial information about each of the two factions along with name and background generators that can be used to add flavour to your kill teams.
So speaking of the kill teams, what can each of them do?
Hearthkyn Salvager Kill Team
The Leagues of Votann keep some of their 40k flavour in games of Kill Team with their Grudge mechanic. Every time an enemy operative incapacitates one of your kill team, you place a Grudge Token on that enemy – and then when you are attacking that enemy, for each Grudge Token on them you get to retain a standard hit as a critical hit – which is really nice for triggering some of your spike damage abilities. In addition to this, the Kin get to ignore any movement penalties. They may only have little legs, but you can’t slow them down any further!
Their Tac Ops all are themed around suitably thematic things such as settling grudges (killing units with Grudge tokens on them), Excavating precious resources and Rigging sites. As for their operatives we get some cool options:
The Hearthkyn Theyn is our leader and has a whole host of weapon options available to them based on the Hearthkyn kit – their main ability is the ability to give enemies an additional grudge token to visible enemies, which makes taking their high crit weapons a good pick for synergy
The Dozr is our fist-fighting kyn and he is very cool, being able to strike before being removed from the killzone and being able to pick someone up, knock them square and then cause mortal wounds do them with a mighty uppercut!
The Medic does what it says on the tin, being able to stop operatives from being incapacitated and healing a target 2D3 lost wounds
The Grenadier is a fun option that chucks what are essentially gravity grenades – you get to pick one of three options, making moves cost more movement to do, change weapons into range pentagon or make actions cost an additional action point
The Hearthkyn Gunners have a whole host of weapon options based on the original kit, but my favorites are the magna rifle that is AP2 and causes MW3 on a crit, or the rotary cannon that doesn’t care about obscured, it simply ignores that rule when targeting enemies!
It might be dangerous for a Jump Pack Warrior in the confines of a space hulk, but they sure are quick, being able to move 2 Pentagon in a straight line for 2AP, and gaining Brutal whenever he charges
The Kinlynk is a nice support unit that does the usual comms +1 ap to a friendly target, but also can give an enemy a jam token which stops them from being activated until all other eligable operatives have!
The Kognitaar is another cool support unit who can place an attack or defend token in the kill zone each strategy phase instead of using a Strategic Ploy, allowing friendly operatives near it to reroll attack/defense dice when near it – they also have a action that lets them remove one and replace a token elsewhere in the killzone (This includes changing from attack to defend for example)
The Lokatr stops enemies from setting up outside their drop zone or from moving from Recon, and also can give friendly weapons the no cover rule
The Lugger is an ace utility unit that is used to allow a friendly weapon to swap it’s weapon options mid battle! For example during the game you could swap the weapon held by your gunner to a different one. This is a great ability and on top of that you get 5 additional points of equipment if you take him!
Finally we have the basic Warrior, though I suspect you’d want to take all the other options first!
Fellgor Ravager Kill Team
The other Kill Team in the set are the Fellgor Ravagers, the Chaos Beastmen! The main mechanic of the Beastmen is that they don’t go down without a fight and when they are incapacitated they are instead given a frenzy token. Fellgors with a token are only incapacitated when they are hit with a crit, 2 standard hits or when their activation ends. Essentially this allows each Fellgor to get an additional activation after the point when they should be dead! This is great, and allows you to be quite reckless with this activation in order to try and take something down with them! this aggression is also seen with their Tac Ops which all revolve around incapacitating enemy targets or having multiple beastmen within range of them
Fellgor Ironhorn is our leader, and can be given a pistol and chainsword or plasma pistol and bludgeon – with pretty poor shooting I’d go for the Chainsword myself. In the Strategy Phase they are also able to allow a friendly operative to make a free dash
The Deathknell is a nice support unit with a couple of abilities. Firstly it counts APL as being one higher for objectives, next up any friendly units within square can take normal damage from critical hits, and finally for 1AP it can gain a 3+ inv save.
The Fluxbray is an interesting unit that for 2AP can move through enemy operatives and deal D3+1 mortal wounds to each one it moves through
The Gnarlscar is a powerfist and pistol brawler that for 1AP can so an attack action followed by a shoot action at the enemy it is in melee with, which is a great way of finishing off whatever you have punched with its damage 4/5 brutal fists.
The Gorehorn is a very good unit that can fight twice, and whenever it incapacitates a target can either heal D3 wounds or add D3 to its critical damage stat (though this caps at 8) – two attack actions with 4 attacks each spiking at 8 damage is enough to scare anyone!
The Herd-Goad is a support operative that is used to reduce enemy attacks, make enemy fall back actions cost more AP and increase the APL of a friendly unit
The Fellgor Mangler is another hyper aggressive fighter, the first time it strikes with a crit in melee it can immediately strike with another hit, and in addition to this when it completes a fight sequence if it is still engagement range it immediately fights again. This guy can be quite scary if it can get a crit in each fight in order to trigger the free second strike
The Shamen is a psyker who can be used to either make a target act as if concealed, heal 2D3 wounds to a target (But if that target has killed anyone this becomes 6!) or make an enemy weapon Hot.
The Toxhorn can throw grenades that affect everything within circle, anything hit reduces their APL by 1 on a 3+ and on a 5+ additionally takes 3 mortal wounds!
The Vandal is a AOE brawler who has a sweeping blow action that causes D3+1 mortal wounds to all operatives within circle – send him onto an objective and swing away!
Finally they also have Warriors with a couple of different weapon options, but again you’ll probably want to bring the other options first!
Like with the previous books we also get full Gallowdark rules, rules for the new terrain pieces (Such as escape pods that can be removed from their launch stands during the game as people use them) and two new mission packs – the first being more narrative and themed around the two kill teams fighting through the fall of the Gallowdark, and the second being symmetrical matched play missions that take advantage of the new scenery.
Some of these missions are actually much bigger than previous ones with a kill zone made up of 2 sets of tiles and the scenery from 2 boxes. The missions are suitably thematic too, with things such as having to gain a bio-sample from the medical bays of the ship in order to trick the automated escape pods into thinking that the bearer is a member of the crew, with the mission ending once all pods are launched.
In keeping with the cinematic nature of the games, the final mission has the ship being destroyed column by column as the kill teams scramble to get off the ship! These look like great fun and should lead to some chaotic and tense gameplay. Again, the bigger boards add to the cinematic grand finale and is a great decision to mix things up.
So we have fought through an entire year on the Gallowdark and we are already at the final box! Time flies when you’re having fun. I have enjoyed the gameplay and style of Gallowdark games much more than the more open terrain of the previous season, and with the vast array of missions now available I’m sure we will be playing these for years to come.
This box in particular contains some ace Kill Teams, and I think that a lot of people will be picking this one up for the new Beastmen inside (Which amusingly means 40k has had more new Beastman models than age of Sigmar!) and to pick up a second set of Gallowdark terrian.
The missions are really fun with that “grand finale” feel of the larger cinematic missions featuring the ship falling apart as the kill teams run for their escape, and I think this is a glorious way to end this season!
The question I suppose is what is next? We know that the next Kill Team set Ashes of Faith is on the way soon and sits outside this season with a model heavy release.
Thankfully we don’t have long to wait until the next season which is coming the Autumn – At the Kill Team reveals show at Warhammer Fest they hinted that we would be fighting over a different environment type – not the corridors of the Gallowdark, but equally not the more open spaces of the Octarius era. Maybe we will see some different environmental kill zones that change up the game – ocean based missions with narrow walkways, vessels and islands, or perhaps jungles of new 40k trees? Either way, the future looks ace for Kill Team, and Gallowfall is an amazing way of ending this season! I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Kill Team Gallowfall is up for pre order today and is released Saturday 13th May
Games Workshop provided Sprues & Brews with a free copy for review purposes.
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