Suffer not the Alien: Xenos Commanders for Kill Team

Kill Team just seems to snowball every month with great new content and ideas that are keeping the game evolving and fun.  So with Kill Team Commanders due out very soon, what better time to take a look at the leaders of the alien factions with the Xenos Commanders?

Kill Team: Xenos Commanders

Kill Team: Commanders is almost upon us! This expansion introduces mighty heroes who will add a whole new dimension (not to mention massive hitting power and some incredible new abilities) to your kill teams. Earlier this week, we took a look at the glorious lords of Mankind that are set to join the ranks of their Factions’ kill teams (if you missed it, you can catch up here). This time, it’s the turn of the xenos – we’re talking Orks, Tyranids, Necrons, Genestealer Cults, the T’au Empire and Aeldari of every stripe (or diamond, for that matter). Let’s get on with the show…

The Asuryani have three choices of Commander, ranging from the fighting skill and tactical flexibility of an Autarch, to the psychic might of a Warlock or Farseer. The Autarch combines a solid profile with a flexible choice of powerful weapon options, but also has the option to activate the Path of Command Aura Tactic to enhance nearby allies. Warlocks not only offer a cheaper alternative to the Farseer, but can utilise a different array of psychic powers, such as Conceal/Reveal. However, if you have a fusion blaster or Heavy Weapon Platform in your kill team, you may find yourself tempted by a Farseer, particularly for their ability to make use of the Guide psychic power:

The Drukhari have access to one of the deadliest all-rounders in Kill Team Commanders in the form of the Archon. These dread Kabalite lords come with fiendish protection in the form of a shadowfield (see below), and nasty weaponry options, such as the rightly feared huskblade and blast pistol combo. If you’ve gone for a more gladiatorial theme (such as with the Wyches of the Slicing Noose), a Succubus is an excellent alternative. With a more reliable (permanent) 4+ invulnerable save and the added benefit of Combat Drugs, a Succubus is a melee force to be reckoned with. Alternatively, a Haemonculus can lend your traditionally frail Drukhari some real staying power with their Master of Pain Aura Tactic:

The Vysa Kharavyxis Commander Set offers a dedicated gladiatrix who gains one additional attack with every flesh wound suffered thanks to her Dancing With Death ability. When combined with her Level 2 ability, Back From the Dead, you can even re-roll her Casualty rolls to make her all the more likely to survive and benefit from these attacks!

The Troupe MasterShadowseer and Death Jester make up the triad of Commanders available to Harlequins kill teams. A Troupe Master is a swift and deadly killer at close range, and their Choreographer of War Aura Tactic is a bargain at just 1 Command Point. A Shadowseer offers an array of useful psychic powers (such as Webway Dance) in addition to the powerful melee abilities and unrivalled mobility of a Harlequin. However, if you’re looking for some deadly fire support while your other Harlequins advance on your prey, look no further than the Death Jester – after all, their Deadly Hunter ability robs his targets of cover!

The Necrons can be led by an Overlord who, on top of a devastating profile, strong defensive abilities and murderously powerful wargear, has access one of the most powerful Aura Tactics in the game in My Will Be Done. It can also make use of the Resurrection Orb Tactic to restore a friendly model that has been taken out of action! If you’re looking for a more defensive Commander, the Aura Tactics available to a Cryptek are a useful alternative. A Cryptek can even be upgraded with a Canoptek cloak, allowing it to fly and granting the freedom of movement to easily bypass even the densest terrain.

If you want to go for full-on aggression, be sure to grab the Ankra the Colossus Commander Set. His Level 2 ability, Bloodthirsty, enables him to re-roll failed charge rolls, making sure he can put his deadly voidscythe to good use as quickly as possible.

Orks kill teams can be joined by a WarbossBig Mek or Painboy. The Warboss is a close-combat monster, able to happily cut his way through multiple opponents or even a rival Commander in short order. But his hidden strength lies in his Mega-Waaagh! Aura Tactic which, when combined with the Faction’s inherent ability to re-roll failed charge rolls, can make closing the distance much easier. A Big Mek, on the other hand, offers a more supporting roll and, should you choose to equip him with a shokk attack gun, a devastating ranged weapon. Finally, the Painboy is a more defensive alternative who is able to heal flesh wounds with his Dok’s Tools Aura Tactic.

If you want your Commander to be ‘da ’ardest der iz’, be sure to grab the Gitzog Wurldkilla Commander Set. Even at Level 1, Gitzog’s aptly named Dead ’Ard ability grants him +1 Toughness, taking his profile up to 6!

If your kill team includes a healthy dose of pulse weaponry, you’ll almost certainly want to include a Cadre Fireblade as your Commander. Not only is he a dead-eye shot with his pulse rifle and armed with a markerlight, but his Volley Fire Aura Tactic will greatly augment your kill team’s firepower. Meanwhile, if it’s maximum flexibility you seek, an Etherealcomes with a choice of no less than four Aura Tactics, such as Storm of Fire and Sense of Stone.

If you’re looking to fight defensively with your kill team, Fireblade Twinflame is the perfect foundation around which to form your firebase. His Level 1 ability, Art of Vashi’va, enables nearby allies to hit on a 5+ when firing Overwatch as part of their For the Greater Good ability!

As one might expect from a 12-foot alien leader-beast, a Tyranid Prime is a devastating all-rounder that is hard to bring down without the aid of specialist weaponry. Better still for Tyranid players, its Alpha Warrior Aura Tactic is a powerful addition to a Prime’s arsenal. However, if you’re willing to fork out the hefty points cost for a Broodlord, your reward will be a nigh-unstoppable close combatant and a capable psyker to boot. Boost it to Level 4 (for a whopping 196 points!), toughen it further with Catalyst and you’ve got yourself a full-on one-model army!

Genestealer Cult kill teams can be led by their Magus, Primus, mighty Patriarch or Acolyte Iconward, who all share the handy Unquestioning Loyalty ability (see below) that will help you keep them alive. Among other powers, the Magus can use Mind Control to turn the guns of the enemy against them, while the Primus is a skilled fighter with a pair of useful Tactics at his disposal, such as Meticulous Planning. As with the Broodlord mentioned above, the Patriarch is a truly horrific adversary, capable of butchering its way through an entire kill team with three hands tied behind its back!

If you’re salivating at the thought of picking up your xenos Commander of choice, you haven’t got long to wait – Kill Team: Commanders and the first batch of Commander sets will be available to pre-order from this Saturday. Later in the week, it’s the turn of the fell Commanders of the Chaos Factions, so be sure to keep an eye out whether you serve the Dark Gods or just want to know what you’ll be up against.

Published by Marc Farrimond

I'm a 55 year guy from Wigan in Lancashire living in Edinburgh, Scotland with two of my four awesome kids and my long suffering wife Laura. I have worked freelance over the years for some of the biggest names in tabletop and roleplaying and I am a very keen cosplayer and photographer.

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