Watch a badass cinematic for the new Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team

If you want to dip your toes in the world of tabletop Warhammer 40,000 but you're not up for buying and painting a complete Warhammer army, the skirmish-scale spin-off Kill Team is an excellent alternative. As revealed in the action-packed cinematic trailer above and expanded on in the latest Warhammer Preview livestream, Kill Team is about to get a refresh with new rules and a new boxed set.

Kill Team: Octarius will come with plastic miniatures for the two squads you can see brutally murdering each other to bits in that trailer, the Death Korps of Krieg (Imperial veterans in gas masks) and Ork Kommandos (ork specialists who are a bit sneakier than usual), as well as terrain representing ork ruins. The box also comes with a 30" by 22" gameboard, dice, combat gauges and tokens, 54 tactical ops cards, and two rulebooks.

As for how the rules are changing, that's yet to be revealed. It's expected that Kill Team will move further away from Warhammer 40,000's rules and closer to Games Workshop's other skirmish wargame, Age of Sigmar: Warcry, though it probably won't quite as simplified as that.

The Octarius setting ties this box into the next campaign book for Warhammer 40,000, which will detail a war in the Octarius sector between the ork empire who have ruled it for millennia and a tyranid hive fleet diverted there by a rogue Inquisitor. The conflict risks spilling over into the rest of the galaxy, so the Imperium get involved in an attempt to contain it. More orks are being drawn in by the prospect of a good biff, and new models for their giant beasts are on the way (I'm partial to the one that looks like a landshark).

(Image credit: Games Workshop)

It'll be interesting to see if this next campaign storyline will be reflected in any of the videogames. There's precedent: Battlefleet Gothic: Armada 2 dealt with the Fall of Cadia, the forthcoming strategy game Battlesector is set after the Devastation of Baal, and forthcoming co-op shooter Darktide will apparently tie into current events in the wider 40K setting as well.

The Kill Team: Octarius box set will be up for pre-order in August and only available "while stocks last". If you're an existing 40K player who just wants to get the miniatures, they'll be sold separately at a later date so you won't have to buy the whole box and then try to flog the bits you don't want on eBay.

If you're only interested in videogames, here's every Warhammer 40,000 game ranked.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.