Warhammer 40,0000 Kill Team Shadowvaults Preview

Published: October 15, 2022 5:00 AM /


Kill Team Shadowvaults

Kill Team Shadowvaults is the first expansion for Kill Team Into the Dark. It follows the same format as the previous Kill Team expansions introducing 2 brand new kill teams, the Astra Militarum Cadian Kasrkin, and the Xenos Necron Hierotek Circle. There is also a new kill zone that builds upon the close confines of the space hulk Gallowdark, Killzone: Shadowvaults. In this article, we'll have a look at what's in the box, and talk about the 2 new kill teams and kill zone.

Kill Team is a skirmish wargame, set in Games Workshop's larger Warhammer 40,000 setting. As a skirmish game, Kill Team features a small number of elite troops, fighting special operations battles, rather than huge battles fought with entire armies. You can check out our full guide here if you want to know more about Kill Team. If you want to check out the Kill Team rules before you buy, Games Workshop has made the core rules available to download for free.


What Does Kill Team Shadowvaults Contain?

Kill Team Shadowvaults.

Kill Team Shadowvaults contains:

  • Kill Team Shadowvaults campaign book
  • 10 Astra Militarum Cadian Kasrkin
  • 8 Necron Hierotek Circle
  • Gallowdark space hulk scenery set, Shadowvault scenery set, and double-sided game board

Kill Team Shadowvaults is an expansion pack for Kill Team, so the Core Rulebook and accessories are required to use this set. It includes the core Gallowdark rules, along with the same Galowdark scenery that Into the Dark had. This means the Shadowvaults can be used without first picking up Into the Dark, but it does expand on the Into the Dark Kill Team season.

Kill Team Shadowvaults.

What does the Kill Team Shadowvaults Campaign Book Add To Games?

The Shadowvaults campaign book is split into several chapters, the first, Shadowvaults, details the lore and narrative of space hulks, specifically the Gallowdark and the Ark of Hamanet, which the 2 factions of this expansion are fighting over. The next chapter contains the background for elite Cadian Kasrkin and Necron Hierotek Circles kill teams, along with narrative ideas and hooks to flesh them out.


The core of the book is the datacards, abilities, special rules, ploys, and spec ops details for the 2 new kill teams included in the set. These are different kill teams from those previously presented in the Kill Team Compendium, and we look at both in detail below.

The book closes with Killzone: Shadowvaults and Killzone: Gallowdark and close quarters special rules for all the Gallowdark scenery in the box, Gallowdark rules like the condensed environment which make weapons with the blast, torrent, and splash traits deadly in the cramped corridors, and rules for the new Shadowvaults scenery, including the robot and sentry turret. It also has a Critical Operations: Gallowdark Mission Pack (repeated from Into the Dark), a series of 9 matched play missions. It also includes Shadow Operations: Shadowvault, a series of 9 narrative missions that makes use of the Killzone: Shadowvault, which aren't as fairly balanced for matched play.

It doesn't include the Gallowdark Expedition rules for running a campaign, so if you haven't picked up Into the Dark and want those rules, you will need to pick up Into the Dark or the rulebook separately if it's made available later.


Kill Team Shadowvaults.

What are the Astra Militarum Cadian Kasrkin Kill Team Troop Choices?

The Astra Militarum Cadian troops are known as hardy warriors, their planet was the first line of defense against invading Chaos forces until it was lost. But their troops still live on, battling around the galaxy, and the Kasrkin troops are veterans of an already elite troop.

The Kasrkin have 8 different troop types and can field 10 operatives in games. You can build all of the different troop options out of the box, but as they can field 4 Karskin Gunners, you will need to make some choices of armament building out of the box. You can build all troop types from one set, but only 3 of the 5 heavy weapon options, or 4 if you chose not to make the Sharpshooter. We detail all the options below.


The Kasrkin start the game with 10 elite points, which they can use to boost attack dice rolls, only 1 dice per attack, but you can spend as many points as you wish to change the dice by 1 per point.

Kill Team Shdowvaults.
  • Kasrkin Sergeant - The Kasrkin leader, they can take a variety of weapon options. Either a hot-shot lasgun and gun butt, bolt pistol or hot-shot laspistol and power weapon, or plasma pistol and chainsword. The bolt pistol and hot-shot laspistol have the same stats, but the laspistol can benefit from the Elimination Pattern strategic plot. The choice for the rest will come down to the map you're playing. In the close confines of the Gallowdark, the pistol and melee weapon options do better, but on open maps, you might want the extra range from the lasgun. The plasma pistol and chainsword option is very handy though, even on open maps. The Sergeants also add 2 elite points to the pool each turn, so keeping them alive benefits the whole unit.
  • Kasrkin Trooper - The basic Kasrkin trooper. Even with taking all the other options, you always have to have 1 in your force. They're good for laying down fire and benefit from a free elite point each time they shoot.
  • Kasrkin Gunner - The gunner comes with 5 weapon options. You can take up to 4 gunners in your kill team, or 3 if you take the Sharpshooter. They can be armed with the short-rage, but very effective in Gallowdark flamer, a grenade launcher with frag and krak options, a hot-shot volley gun that has an extra attack on the hot-shot lasgun, fusillade for hitting multiple targets and gains AP1 on a crit. They can also take a melta gun for devastating firepower at close range or the longer-range plasma gun. 
  • Kasrkin Combat Medic - The Medic has the same stats and weapons as the standard trooper but can heal nearby friendly operatives for an action, and once per turn can save a nearby operative from being incapacitated.
  • Kasrkin Demo-Trooper - The demolition specialist comes armed with a hot-shot laspistol and a single proximity Melta Mine. They're also protected against blast and radius weapons, enrolling any or all defense dice, and they can also ignore the splash critical hit rule unless they're the target of the attack.
  • Kasrkin Recon-Trooper - The Recon-Trooper allows you to make an additional recon option during the scouting step, which gives you extra flexibility when choosing your first dice. They also have an auspex action that picks out an enemy and gives all friendly operatives targeting that enemy the No Cover special rule.
  • Kasrkin Sharpshooter - The sniper is armed with a hot-shot marksman rifle, which when firing normally, is slightly more accurate than the hot-shot lasgun, but also has a snipe profile that can be fire from cover if the sniper doesn't make a normal move action and also has mortal wounds 3 on a crit, as well as being a lot more accurate than the normal troopers.
  • Kasrkin Vox-Trooper - The comms trooper has the same stats and armament as the standard troopers but can give an extra action to a friendly operative at the cost of one of their own and can do this twice per turn. Very handy for sitting on an objective and giving extra dash or mission actions to any other operatives in the killzone.
Kill Team Shadowvaults.

What are the Necron Hierotek Circle Kill Team Troop Choices?

The Necrons are an ancient race, long forgotten, who are now rising from their tombs as soulless robotic husks, driven by their desire for galaxy-wide conquest. Yet, even though the race shares the desire as a whole, they haven't forgotten their rank structure and jealousy of others, and the Hierotek Circles represent elite units, hand-picked for special operations by the Necron Dynasties to steal, sabotage, and destroy, more covertly than their usual ways of wars and sometimes against other Necron Dynasties.

The Shadowvaults sprue allows you to build a Technomancer as your kill team's leader. Other leader options are available to purchase separately. You can also build 1 Plasacyte Reanimator and 1 Plasmacyte Accelerator. The sprue contains enough to build 5 of any combination of Deathmark and Immortal Guardians, with their 2 weapon options, or alternatively 1 Apprentek, 1 Immortal Despotek, and 3 Deathmark/Immortal Guardians.

All of the Necrons have the ability to heal 2 wounds a turn with their Living Metal special rule, making them very durable and forcing opponents to focus fire on single operatives rather than spreading fire and wearing them down.

Kill Team Shadowvaults.

Hierotek Circles Leader Choices 

  • Technomancer - The Hierotek Circles' leader has a whole page of rules. They're armed with a Staff of Light that can be used in both ranged and melee giving them 6 attacks AP1 at range. They can use a conduit ability to allow them to use friendly visible Apprentek operatives for determining line of sight, allowing them to shoot around corners while staying safe. You can also choose 2 Cryptek Actions when added to your roster, from a choice of 3. Either the ability to heal nearby operatives, the ability to reanimate operatives or a boost to the healing of the living metal ability. They can also command nearby operatives to fight, overwatch, or perform mission actions for the cost of 1 of their own AP.
  • Chronomancer - The Hierotek Circles' have 3 leader choices, but only the Technomancer is included in Shadowvaults, so the purchase of the Chronomancer is required separately if you want to use them. They have the same command and conduit abilities but come armed with either a blast/stun aeonstave or the high-damage AP1 entropic lance. They can also select 2 Cryptek abilities from either the ability to make a friendly operative's save invulnerable (so can't be modified), or the ability to place a token that reduces enemy movement, or boost the movement of a nearby operative and give them an additional 5+ save for each wound they might lose.
  • Psychomancer - The Hierotek Circles' have 3 leader choices, but only the Technomancer is included in Shadowvaults, so the purchase of the Psychomancer is required separately if you want to use them. They have the same command and conduit abilities but come armed with AP2, blast Abyssal lance with 5 attacks. They can also select 2 Cryptek abilities from the ability to make a visible enemy operative suffer from the injured rules, the ability to stop nearby enemies from rerolling attack dice, and retaining critical hits or the ability to place a token that increases the APL for enemy mission actions, and decreases their APL for capturing objectives.

Hierotek Circles Trooper Choices

  • Plasmacyte Accelerator - The kill team always has one Accelerator, and while not very durable, they can perform mission actions and can give nearby Deathmark and Immortal's 1 action point at the cost of their own.
  • Plasmacyte Reanimator - The kill team always has one Reanimator. As with the Accelerator, they're not very durable but can perform mission actions and when nearby operatives are taken out for the first time, they have the chance to be reanimated at the start of the next turn.
  • Apprentek - The kill team can take 1 Apprentek, and as well as being used for line of sight for your leader, they can also use your leader for line of sight in return. They also have access to your leader's Cryptek abilities, but each of the 2 abilities can only be used once per turn by either the Cryptek or Apprentek. 
  • Immortal Despotek - The kill team can take 1 Despotek they have the same armament options and stats as the Guardian troopers, but have access to the Demand unique action that for 1 action point, lets them give a free command reroll to a nearby Deathmark or Guardian.
  • Deathmark - The Deathmarks come armed with a synaptic disintegrator that has 4 2+ attacks, doing 4 damage with AP1. It restricts their movement with the heavy trait, but they can be devastating if positioned correctly.
  • Immortal Guardian - The guardians can be armed with either a high-damage AP1 gauss blaster or the lower-damage, higher attacks tesla carbine that has the splash rule on a crit.
Kill Team Shadowvaults.

What Gallowdark Space Hulk Scenery does Kill Team Shadowvaults Contain?

Shadowvaults includes the same great Gallowdark space hulk scenery that Into the Dark had, along with a new Shadowvaults scenery set, which allows you to build the weapons locker, security panel, camera, equipment pile, bomb, sentry turret, and robot for use in the Killzone: Shadowdark rules. All of the scenery is completely interchangeable with the Into the Dark set, allowing you to build up a larger claustrophobic space hulk over the course of this Kill Team season.


This means that if you don't have Into the Dark, you can enough scenery to fill a standard Kill Team Gallowdark board, without having to pick up Into the Dark, but if you already have Into the Dark, it does duplicate the Gallowdark scenery, which will allow to fill 2 linked boards for some large scale space hulk exploration.

This also ties in with the upcoming boarding actions rules for Warhammer 40K, which will require two sets of Gallowdark scenery to play. With both Into the Dark and Shadowvaults, you'll also be able to play the boarding actions just by picking up the rules when they're released.

The copy of Kill Team Shadowvaults used to produce this preview was provided by Games Workshop.


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