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Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Ashes of Faith Review & Unboxing

After reading this review you may fancy picking this box up for yourself. If that’s the case make sure you use one of our Element Games links! Not only does this save you money Vs RRP but also helps us to continue what we do!

Hot on the heels of Gallowfall, we have another Kill Team box, only this one if very different. It swaps out the Gallowdark for something a lot more narrative…

Thanks to Games Workshop for sending us a copy to review. At this point I will reinforce the fact that unfortunately we do not know what the availability of this box will be like, but I do really hope those that want it manage to bag a copy. If you don’t, GW have confirmed the kits will come out separately in the future (although possibly not the narrative tools that come with this box, as we’ll discuss later).

This review will be broken down into four sections. First we’ll check out the contents of the box, which includes our unboxing video. We’ll then check out the Narrative Rulebook which comes in the box, and take a closer look at the cards and tiles in the box. Thirdly we’ll have a look in the ‘proper’ Kill Team rulebook, which features all the rules for both units in the box, before wrapping up with a summary.

Unboxing Ashes of Faith

Before we can check out the contents of the books, we need to get this unboxed.

You can check out the unboxing video below, which also features a small showcase of the Inquisitorial Kill Team and a brief review of the box towards the end.

Let’s chat a bit more about what is in the box.

No more beating about the bush, clearly the most important thing in this box is the amazing new Inquisitorial Agents! Yes, fans of the podcast may think I’m a little biased, and you know what…you aren’t wrong. These are models I have been waiting for, and I’m so happy they are here. The sculpts are fantastic and you have a few options in here too.

The Interrogator, who is the leader of your Kill Team, can instead be assembled as a dual knife wielding Enlightener Agent. Now because you always have a leader, you’ll have to wait until the kit is released individually to build this guy, unless you have plans to kitbash your own Interrogator.

The rough and ready Death World Veteran Agent can instead be assembled as the Penal Legionnaire Agent, complete with Chainsword. I actually went with the Legionnaire for my initial warband, but it was a tough call, as you’ll see later in the review when we chat about the datacards for the troops.

The hardest choice I had to make was between the Pistolier Agent, who comes equipped with a sweet scoped Plasma Pistol, or the two-handed chainsword wielding Questkeeper. My heart went with Plasma in the end.

The last decision to make was between the icon-holding Mystic and the shotgun totting Hexocist Agent. Again as we’ll see later, they are both very different agents. Personally the Mystic appealed more for me.

The Autosavant Agent, Tome-Skull and Gun Servitor did not have alternate builds, however you do get the choice of Multi-Melta, Plasma Cannon or Heavy Bolter for your Servitor.

Moving on from the Inquisition we have the forces of Chaos. Cultists is the name of the game, as you get a unit of Chaos Devotees, as well as a splash of Mutants and Torments. You also get the full unit of the Dark Commune. These are full, multipart kits as you’ve seen boxed on the shelf of your local store, increasing value of this box.

These again are fantastic models, released not all that long ago when the 9th Edition Codex for the Chaos Space Marines arrived on the scene. They make for the perfect advisory for the in this box.

You also get a complete sprue of Tempestus Scions, enough to make 5 and a unit of 5 Sisters of Silence.

You get a whole stack of different cards (which we will talk about more later) as well as 6 glossy identical tiles which will be used to track the territories you control. To mark out how you and your opponents territories you can use the included stickers, which are reusable! Finally you get two books, the Campaign rules for this book and the Kill Team rulebook for both factions so that you can take them into a more competitive setting, such as a tournament!

Campaign/Narrative Rulebook

With the contents taken out of the box, it’s time to get really stuck into really what this box is all about. The Narrative.

Now before we go any further, it’s actually a good idea to talk about how the rules are present. Whereas the second book that comes in this box is binded, has a glossy cover, could be sold on it’s own. This book couldn’t. Imagine an A4 assembly instruction book based on recently released kits and you’ll get an idea of how this book looks. Unless this gets a glow up I cannot see this book getting an individual release, which I guess makes sense as this book really needs all the extra gubbins of the box.

The book starts with 8 pages of lore which cannot be ignored. Whilst it has littler impact to everything in the wider galaxy, it instead gives you, the reader, the true feeling of backing the Cultists or the Loyalists. In short these 8 pages are a must read if you want to take full advantage of the narrative offering in this box.

It also opens up the lore for Inquisitorial Agents, as newer players of Warhammer 40,000 won’t know much about what they do, how they are organised etc.

The book then moves on to discuss the contents of the box in more detail, which we are going to break down now:

  • 15 Territory Cards: You only use 6 in a campaign meaning if you run multiple campaigns you’ll draw different territories, giving more life to the game
  • Inquisition & Chaos Cult Decks: Each deck contains Scheme, Conspirator and Ruse Cards for each faction
  • 9 Investigation Cards
  • 15 Persuasion Benefit Cards
  • 6 Territory Tiles
  • Marker Sheet: Reusable stickers to again ensure the life of game, allowing for more than one campaign run through

Straight away you can see you have a vast array of different cards. This is both cool, as it allows extra mechanics, yet appears daunting.

A campaign runs for 7 rounds. The first 6 have you battling over territories whilst the 7th and final round has you playing out a specific mission suitable called ‘The Ritual’ to complete your campaign.

The first 6 rounds have the following structure:

  • Battle Stage: You play out a mission in one of the territories
  • Draft Stage: You earn cards that can be used shortly.
  • Scheme Stage: You assign Scheme, Conspirstor and Ruse cards to the 6 territory tiles.
  • Dominance Stage: You reveal said cards, resulting in territorial changes as well as rewards.

Already you can see the extra mechanics that are at work here to shape your narrative campaign.

The book then continues to break down each of these stages further, to ensure you know exactly how each stage works, in particular the Scheme stage.

Battle Stage

It could be argued that this is the most straight forward of the stages. You fight out a Kill Team mission. If it’s the first game of the campaign you can play out the initial mission towards the back of the book.

You do get to select a territory to select a territory to play out the mission in out of the ones you have in your campaign. This is important as some territories have special rules you can use in game. You cannot select a territory used in the previous round.

Draft Stage

Each player gains 2 Ruse cards, as well as a number of Conspirator cards.

There is a handy little table which advises you on how many Conspirator cards you’ve earned, ranging from just the 1 card if you scored 1-6 VP up to 4 for 17-20 VP.

Scheme Stage

This is the big one, and possibly one of the best, if slightly bloated, part of the Ashes of Faith campaign. Using Scheme, Conspirator and Ruse cards, you start bidding over the 6 territories, which at this stage will be laid out in front of you using the 6 territory tiles including in the box.

Their are 5 types of cards:

  • Control: This one is straight forward. For each Control card you put down you gain a point on the Control tracker on the territory card. Complete the tracker to secure the territory for your own.
  • Persuade: Again, worth a point each on the Persuasion tracker, these unlock benefits through the campaign.
  • Investigate: You can unlock Investigation Rewards when you use these.
  • Conspirator: These cards can be used to increase a bid on the above, again with a value of 1 point per card. They cannot be used without another Scheme card
  • Ruse: These score you nothing on your trackers, however you can use them to trick your opponent into thinking you are bidding on a territory.

When bidding you place your chosen cards face down on the territory cards. The reverse of all these cards have a faction symbol, meaning your opponent has no idea what you have put down, which is very cool.

You don’t have to bid all of the cards in your hand. If you wanted you can pass on some for later battle rounds.

Dominance Stage

Finally you work out what all the cards you’ve put down actually mean, potentially earning you rewards or territories.

For Control, Persuade and Investigate cards (along with any assigned Conspirator cards) you can move along your trackers to the value you have secured. Completing the tracker for Control gives you control over the territory, completing Persuasion grants you a persuasion benefit and finally Investigate unlocks a reward.

Once this finally step is completed it’s time for Mission Two, and so on.

Who Wins?

Victory depends on the completion of two objectives, Control Victory and Ritual Victory.

Control Victory simpliy means the player with the most territories under control, wins the objective (if a draw then it comes down to Persuasion, and if still a draw it comes down to how many you have secured in Control and Persuasion).

The second objective is really straight forward. Whoever wins the final game, The Ritual, wins the objective.


You can play this campaign as just a standalone series of 7 games with an overall winner and that’s that, or you can insert it into a much larger Kill Team campaign.

For those wishing to do the later this book includes rewards for taking part in the Ashes of Faith campaign. The victory gets to pick three of the following, whilst the side that lost only gets to pick two:

  • Gain a Requistion Point
  • Add 1 x Rare Equipment
  • Increase your assest capactiy by 1
  • Distrubute 5 EXP across your Kill Team
  • Remove a Battle Scar
  • Add an Operative with 5 EXP (has to be from your faction)

I’m a big fan of this, and I hope this also means we get more Narrative boxes/rulebooks in the future.

Territory Rules

As mentioned earlier in the article, you have 15 territories in the box. You use 6 of which during one campaign. You and your opponent can either pick three each, of you can leave it to chance and randomly draw 6 territory cards.

All of the territories have mission rules, for example:

  • Saint Lydwena Medicae Centre: Ability – Heal – For 1 AP an operative can heal D3+1 wounds, so long as they are not in Engagement Range (it’ll be hard patching yourself up whilst getting punched in the face).
  • Catacombs of the Righteous: For this one it asks you to use a close quarters killzone (aka Gallowdark) instead of a more open killzone. The first time an operative uses the Operate Hatch action you have to roll a D6. On a 4+ the action fails, and you’ll have to use another activation to try again.
  • Military Intelligence Headquarters: In the Strategy phase of each Turning Point, the first time you pass you gain a CP.

You can also pick up to 3 Persuasion Benefits if you are playing in a territory that you are persuading. Again, these benefits are different per territory. Let us look at a couple of examples:

  • Storage Macro-Fane Alpha-Six: Choose 5 additional points worth of equipment
  • The Galleries Below: You can re-roll the roll to find out who the attacker and defender is. Also at the end of the setup you can choose to change the setup of up to a third of your operatives.


We then move on to the missions part of the book, which contains an initial mission to start your campaign and 4 Ritual missions.

All of the missions are really well written and look really fun to play. Most contains some form of action or ability which can be done by one side, either Chaos or Inquisition.

Personally, I would have liked more, enough so that you could play out the entire campaign just using this book.

Ending the Campaign

After all of your battles have been fought, and once you have worked out who is the overall winner, the final couple of pages gives you various pieces of text covering all eventualities. So if the Inquisition won for example you have a nice block of text describing the aftermath of Ashes of Faith. A neat nice touch to see out your campaign!

Kill Team: Ashes of Faith

Now to move on to the, what you could call, proper rulebook. This book contains all the rules you’ll need to run a Chaos Cultist and Inquisitor Agents Kill Team in the narrative missions in this box along with competitively.

Now, what’s in the book?

First of all, as with all GW books, it opens up with plenty of lore. It has goes into a fair bit of depth when talking about the two factions in this box, which is especially great for the Inquisition, as many may not know much about them, in particular the agents in this box. You are also treated to some stunning artwork, and I do mean stunning!

To help with painting and showcasing the models, their are of course a number of gallery pages, further encouraging you to get your models painted and on the battlefield.

Both factions get pages dedicated to the set up of your Kill Team, with Name Generators, Squad Quirks, Backgrounds and Base of Operations to pick from, roll from or generally just use as inspiration.

I think it’s time to take a deep dive into both Kill Teams.

Inquisitorial Agent Kill Team

Oh boy! Here we go! The Kill Team I’ve been waiting for!

Let’s first talk about the makeup of the Kill Team, as it’s pretty unique:

  • Want to go full Inquisition? Your Kill Team can be composed of 12 Inquisitorial Agents (requires picking up another unit when released). You can only select one of each type of Agent, except for the Gun Servitor, of which you can have two.
  • Alternatively you can run 7 Agents alongside an Ancillary Support option which can be drawn from the Imperium. Again, those 7 Agents have to be different units. You can only run one Gun Servitor in this option.
  • Regardless of which of the above two you go for, your leader must be an Interrogator.

So what is an Ancillary Support Unit? Well, let me list the options you have!

  • 5x Tempestus Scions: These come in the box, with a variety of equipment and weapon options. Rules for these are in here.
  • 5 x Sisters of Silence: You can mix and match 5 Sisters picked from Prosecutor, Vigilator and Witchseeker dataslates. Again, rules for the Kill Team are in here.
  • 5 x Exaction Squad: Yup, you can bring along the Arbites! You can include up to two Subductors. Aside from this and the Vigilants, you can only choose one of each of the other operatives.
  • 6 x Imperial Navy Breachers: Other than Armsmen, you again can only select one of each operative. The normal rules for this Kill Team apply in that you can only take certain units, such as the C.A.T if you have a Surveyor operative.
  • 5 x Kasrkin: A few restrictions here too, in that you can only take up to two Gunners and Sharpshooters combined in this support option, and aside from Gunner and Trooper operatives you can only select the others once.
  • 6 x Veteran Guardsmen

Using this Kill Team gains you access to 3 unique Tac Ops which all feel very flavourful. No Witnesses for example, you gain 2 VPs if every enemy operative is incapacitated. Seize for Interrogation has you performing an action on incapacitated enemy operatives whilst Investigate Lead has you…well…investigating (performing an action) on an objective.

The common ability for this Kill Team is as follows:

  • You have a maximum roster size of 30 instead of 20 (to allow you to choose Ancillary Options). Any Ancillary options you bring along replace there normal faction keyword with Inquisitorial Agents.

Before we get to the Dataslates you also have 4 exclusive Strategic and Tactical Ploys.

As you would imagine, each of the Operatives are very unique in what they do. Some are super good in combat, the others are better at shooting. Some are terrible at both, but you bring them along for other reasons…

Let’s take a look at what some of the Agents can do:

  • Interrogator & the Tome-Skull: These two have a fun little interaction. If you keep your floating skull near the Interrogator you can switch between two aura abilities. One which is for going on the offensive, dishing out additional attacks, whilst the other is more defensive, subtracting incoming attacks
  • Autosavant: This guy is terrible in combat and has no guns. You bring him because once in range of an objective. For 1AP he can basically lock down an objective, taking control of it regardless of how many enemy models are on the objective. Super handy!
  • Mystic Agent: This guy has two Psychic Actions he can do. Divine Guidance and Divine Protection are very similar, just that one is an offensive skill, the other defensive.

They’ve captured the essence of a Inquisitorial Kill Team perfectly.

We also have dataslates for the Sisters of Silence in here. Across the three types of operative they all share the same stats and special rule, Psychic Abomination, which in short stops nearby Psykers from doing Psychic actions. You’ll want to bring along these ladies if you spot Magnus’ boys across the table.

The Tempestus Scions on the other hand get a whole bunch of options, including special weapons, medics and Comms operatives. Between these guys and the Kasrkin, I think they’ll be my most used, mainly for the vast equipment options, however I do see myself potentially bringing some Breachers and Sisters with me too just in case.

Remember to check out our video towards the top of the article, as I cover all the dataslates if you want a closer look at all the options and abilities.

You have of course got a section of equipment you can equip your Agents with, 9 in total, including some of these:

  • Refractor Field: Operatives gains a 4+ Invulnerable Save
  • Servo-Skull: Once per Turning Point, during this operatives activiation, it can perfom a mission action for 1 less AP, to a minimum of 0AP.

Finally, to finish off the Inquisitorial Kill Team, you have access to Rare Equipment, Spec Ops and Requsitions, all tailored to fit the narrative of your Kill Team.

Chaos Cult Kill Team

Moving on to the forces of Chaos, who also have a very fun Kill Team…and bonus…all the models you’ll really need are right here in this box.

Let’s first check out how you build a Chaos Cult Kill Team:

  • You require 1 Cult Demagogue. This is your Leader
  • 2 x Blessed Blade operatives
  • 10 x Chaos Devotee
  • 1 x Iconarch
  • 1 x Mindwitch

and…that’s it! So super straight forward to start with.

Like the Inquistion, Chaos players also have access to 3 unique Tac Ops, again all flavoured with Chaos to make them fit the narrative. Tear Through grants you VP for having a Torment smashing through your opponents drop zone. Profane Defilement wants you to have a Iconarch, Demagogue or Mindwitch in the centre of the board, also granting you a VP. Finally, the funniest Tac Op is Blood Offering. If you kill an enemy operative within range of an objective you can perform a Blood Prayer action, gaining you a CP

Now, this is where the fun REALLY begins for Chaos Cultist players, the faction abilities.

Remember that list of operatives you need to form a Kill Team? Did you notice you couldn’t take Mutants or Torments? Well…that is because your Devotees can mutate during games!

  • Devotees become Mutants
  • Mutants can become Torments
  • Or you can regain D3+1 wounds.

An operative cannot mutate more than once during a Turning Point. Restrictions include you cannot have more than 5 Mutants or 3 Torments.

When a Devotee mutates it continues to have any Battle Honours that it has secured., has the same datasheet with chosen Tac Ops, etc. It will however return to its original Devotee state at the end of the battle.

So how does one mutate during the game? Well…let me tell you:

  • In the strategy phase, instead of using a pass or Strategic ploy, you can mutate. You can mutate a number of friendly Chaos Cults operatives equal to the Turning Point number.
  • Alternatively at the end of a combat in which the Chaos operative dealt damage and wasn’t incapctiated.
  • Finally, you can also mutate a operative if the Cult Demagogue uses the Accursed Benediction action from his dataslate.

When you mutate any wounds originally suffered are gone. You have to swap the models so that they are positioned in the same place, even if this is in Engagement Zone.

On top of having a new dataslate to play with, you also gain Accursed Gifts.

  • When you first turn into a Mutant you select one.
  • When said Mutant turns into a Torment, you can choose a second. The Torment then has both.

The Gifts are as follows:

  • Winged: Ignore any movement modifiers
  • Fleet: Add triangle movement
  • Chiltinous: Improve the operatives save by 1
  • Horned: Deal Mortal Wounds on the charge
  • Sinewed: Gain the Brutal skill and you can ignore any modifiers to hit in combat
  • Barbed: Operative’s melee weapons gain Reap 1 Criticla Hit or Reap 2 if the operative is a Torment.

How amazing is all of that! It makes the Cults a very unique and fun warband to play.

Again, you have a fun selection of Equipment to obtain for your cultists, including Trophy Weapons (increases Damage by 1), a Chaos Sigil (grants a 5+ invulnerable save) and Covert Guise (at the end of your Scouting step you can perform a free Dash action if the Devotee operative is wholly within your drop zone).

Finally, again like the Inquisition, you have an array of Rare Equipment, Spec Ops and Strategic Assests.

To complete the book the final few pages have rosters and datacards for your factions to photocopy and fill in, each formatted to suit your faction.


It’s brilliant that Games Workshop are exploring the more narrative aspects of Kill Team. I fully expect this to be just the start.

I have two primary issues however.

The rules for the campaign could have been more straightforward. Perhaps my understanding was off or I wasn’t reading the rules correctly, but it just feels like there’s more mechanics than their needs to be. One of the best features is the taking over territories, but I personally feel this could have been handled in a cleaner, easier fashion.

Secondly, in my opinion, it doesn’t appear that we’ll see the narrative components for this box get an individual release. This won’t be a major issue if the box has lots of copies, and at the time of the review I’m completely in the dark on how this may sell, but I do have a bad feeling some of you may miss out on this.

That would be a real shame, as it means players will miss out on the first narrative campaign system for Kill Team, which, ignoring the complexities has the potential to be a fantastic diversion from your competitive games.

The real draw I feel, is the Agents that come in this box. People have been crying out for them (me included), so many will want to splash out just to get them now. I predict however we’ll see the individual release of these really soon.

As much as I clearly love the Inquisition, I have to say I love the rules for the Chaos Cults, and may have to also paint a unit of these up myself. Having the ability to mutate mid-game (potentially twice!) is super cool, gaining special abilities as you do so!

It’s a great box, with a fun campaign and some brilliant models. It’s a difficult one to judge if it’s great value. Yes, you get a whole bunch of awesome Chaos Cultists and a campaign written for this box, but your only brand new models are a single sprue of Inquisitorial Agents. I personally think it is great value, and worth adding to your collection.

And I think that really sums up the box. If you want narrative in your Kill Team this is a no brainer. If you aren’t, then you may have to consider if this box is really worth it, or if you are best picking up the new Agents in a month or twos time.

Our thanks again to Games Workshop for sending us a copy of Ashes of Faith to unbox, paint and review. Ashes of Faith is up for preorder right now

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