Kill Team: “Deflesh Mode”

To a backing track of synthesizers, “Deflesh Mode” leap from a webway portal direct from 0.969.998.M2, ready to take on some puny mon’keigh in Kill Team.


“I hate my parents!”

In late 1998/early 1999 I painted a 1500pt force of the then brand new Dark Eldar in the equally new Warhammer 40,000 3rd edition and brought it to a Grand Tournament in Warhammer World.  I was working like a dog in a new job as only a 23 year can and I also broke my ankle in a nightclub that January… but I still got the army painted and still made it to the event, from overseas, on crutches (and boat and car) .

Bear that in mind the next time that some whinerbaby online says that he or she cant get their miniatures painted.

In my day etc this was all fields etc only supermarkets play good music now etc blah blah.

I got this cert when I pre-ordered 40k 3rd ed in 1998. I was particularly pleased to get the 666th of the 1000 numbered copies, although if they all had that printed on them, then please don’t ruin it for me.

Aaaaanyway, that punishing painting timetable wiped away my enthusiasm for painting Dark Eldar for a while, so I painted my Sin Eaters Nurgle Space Marine army for the next few years instead.

“What did Excrucia mean when she said I was too sarcastic? I mean, is that even possible?”

This week, almost fully twenty years later, I am planning to play some Kill Team.

I am working on a handful of teams right now, but none are ready for the table just yet, so I have dusted off and (very) poorly photographed a selection of the 98/99 Dark Eldar army and forged it into something suitable for this weeks gaming, via montage technology.

The motivations, character names etc have been rolled up using the charts in the Kill Team rulebook.  The painting and photgraphy could both benefit from some extra work, but whatever.

“Deflesh Mode”


Interrogate: Seek out those foes possessed of vital information and pry it from their screaming lips.

Slave Trialists: Enslaved by those who destroyed their faction, these warriors have been given a chance to prove their worth in battle, or die trying.

Revel in Pain: The longer and more drawn out a massacre is, the greater the pleasure this kill team derives from it.

1: Kael the Bleak, Kabalite Gunner with shredder.

2: Kephres the Bloodbreather, the Scheming Sybarite Leader that always thinks many steps ahead of his enemies – and his allies. Armed with an agoniser and splinter pistol.

3: Thraed Nul, Kabalite Warrior with splinter rifle.

4: Akkhair Ultharian, Kabalite Gunner whose Sniper skills while on the move with “Lucretia” his splinter cannon, serve his Boundless Ambition well.

5: Demadyne Bloodslyk, Wych with splinter pistol, hekatarii blade and plasma grenades.

6: Peithia Ehlynna, Darkly Flamboyant, Combat Specialist Wych warrior armed with razorflails and plasma grenades.

7: Vyrenik Vulptuse, Wych with splinter pistol, hekatarii blade and plasma grenades.

8: Tryxin of the Screaming Blade, Unforgiving Hekatrix Zealot who strives for perfection, and accepts nothing less from those with whom she fights.  Armed with agoniser, splinter pistol and plasma grenades.

9: Melikka Khrone, Wych with splinter pistol, hekatarii blade and plasma grenades.

10: Skyshrin Mourn, Wych fighter with Wych with shardnet, impaler and plasma grenades.

“Darkly Flamboyant” eh?  Heh.

Pretty over the top, but you can expect that from immortal, soul eating, gladiatorial, psychopathic sadists from outer space. I imagine that generating Kill Teams for T’au or Astra Militarum is a bit more sombre, but frankly, I hope not.

Note that generating all of that narrative stuff has zero effect in game as far as rule mechanics go: it is entirely for the sake of narrative and to help to get the players invested in the little space people.  As such, I thoroughly recommend giving it a go.

“Like, I didn’t ask to be born!”

I hope to report back on the success or failure of Deflesh Mode next week.


36 Responses

  1. Just remember that Everything Counts, so Enjoy the Silence before your games with them. Suffer Well your memories and remember not to be too Precious.
    I can imagine this force Waiting for the Night to come, preparing with a Pain That I’m Used To while One Caress Violator Personal Jesus oh god I can’t do this anymore….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I Just Can’t Get Enough of this Kill Team stuff!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dude, this KT rocks, and oh, by the way, holy shit man! I didn’t know you made the hallowed pages of WD! That was during my wilderness years, but man, those Nurgle Marines look way cool… You dark horse!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like these Dark Eldar, having the Sin Eaters in WD was a long time ago now Alex. Unlike these Dark Eldar, getting those figs into White Dwarf is certainly something that I was and still am pleased about.

      I may pick a Sin Eater Kill Team at some point too actually. That might be fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s awesome mate – you should be pleased! I’d love to see the Sin Eaters continue the long war…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have plans to paint some modern Death Guard in Sin Eaters colours, but the old guys are still perfectly able to pull their weight.

          I’ll take a look at the lists at the weekend perhaps.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that name! Very appropriate.

    I have a 3rd ed certificate also, I don’t recall the number, but mine is signed by Rick Priestly!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting to know Neverness, thanks! At least I can confirm that not *every* copy was “666” now.

      It’s pretty goth to be pleased to own the 666th copy of my favourite edition of the game, which in this context is pretty much perfect.


  5. Cool name! I may steal your disaffected teenager vibe for some Eschers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Other name suggestions included:

      Killing Choke
      Pain Division
      Sisters of Unmercy
      My Chemical Enhance

      The disaffected teenager vibe belongs to everyone Barks, like it or not. Help yourself!


  6. Those plastic Warriors take me back! Slice of pure 1998! Jesus, to think that’s two decades ago now. Those Chris Fitzpatrick Wyches! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, twenty years is a sobering thought. Heres to the next twenty, comparing Primaris paint jobs and talking about how much MOAR character the original Stormcast releases had over the 2038 versions.

      Similarly sobering was photographing those old figures (badly). The painting is perfectly presentable for gaming and even has some decent elements… but I was disappointed when I took another look at them. In my memory, they were a bit better.

      The Chris Fitzpatrick Wych sculpts are a more mixed bag than I remember too, even though I do still quite like a few of them.

      Regardless of all of that, I’m still looking forward to putting these old blends of Flash Gordon, KISS and Hellraiser on the table for a few games.


  7. Very characterful bunch there. The old figures are not as good as the new ones of course, but using old figures builds character.

    I never built my 3rd edition dark eldar, so I still have them rattling around somewhere on the sprue (what, you do not box up unloved miniatures for 20 years?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The original Dark Eldar plastics were a bit lacklustre even then, but even so my memory of my paint jobs etc was that the standard was higher, which was a bit disappointing.

      They are easily good enough for playing games with though, and I have been enjoying going back to reread the old background, Its feasible, although far from certain, that I might paint a Kill Teams worth from newer figs at some point. The updated range is exceptional.


  8. It is crazy that your palette has lasted so long, the blue and purple really are your colours!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like I avoided purple in particular for many years, largely as a result of the problems that I had painting these Dark Eldar, but you may have a point Curtis. Maybe I have painted a lot of purple over the years, even though I still regard my purple painting as badly in need of more refinement.

      I hadnt really even thought about it.


  9. Wow, it’s been some time since I had seen these 3rd Ed models, I admit they have aged better than I expected. Nice to see some of them coming back!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t tend to judge my figures on era as much as I try to judge them on individual merit. Inevitably a certain amount of nostalgia and personal preferences come into it too of course.

      Which is a long way of saying that miniatures from that era are generally no better or worse than others from any other era. A nicer paint job than this could really look nice on some of those Wych models too I think.

      Thanks for the feedback Suber!


  10. Really need to give this Kill Team a go that all the kids are raving about these days. I’m enjoying those classics and your paint job on them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Subedai.

      I play my first KT game this evening. Hopefully I will have a opportunity to report back on my experience with a few photos.


  11. It’s interesting in our hobby how certain trends converge. airbornegrove over on his blog just posted about using a bunch of charts to drive the narrative of an army, and over here, you used every chart possible to in KT to drive the background of your Deflesh Mode, to as you put it: “get the players invested in the little space people.”

    Maybe this is a sign that we are becoming more visible to the general hobby population.

    …or maybe it’s just my ego wanting it to be true… lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a white male, age 18-49, everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are.” – Homer Simpson.

      I think that there is a cohort effect in play, in addition to some other factors that have shaped the market.

      I suspect that the same part of me that on some level thinks that the music that plays in supermarkets has suddenly become cool (it hasnt, its because 1) I’m the target demographic and the business wants my money and 2) more people of my vintage get to make decisions in business these days, hence the tastes of that cohort become the norm) is being given the games that I and gamers of roughly my age and experience think that we want.

      If I had some sort of control over the rules design decisions in GW, I expect that I would be trying to get games like Kill Team – small scale, skirmish and narrative driven, with clean rules mechanics – made, because that is what I think that I have wanted, and not been sufficiently provided with, for as long as I have been playing games.

      I strongly suspect that I am not the only one in that regard, and that correspondingly, a number of the people making the games in GW now are the same vintage and have similar desires.

      Plus the new approach is definitely making GW money, so they are likely to keep at it.

      So I think that it’s possible that you and your ego are right Will 🙂


  12. Good stuff! I haven’t gotten that far in thumbing through the rule book. “Bear that in mind the next time that some whinerbaby online says that he or she cant get their miniatures painted.” This also goes for whinerbabies who complain about not having an event near them. Either travel or get a group together locally and quit yer bitchin’!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A little bit more ranting than I usually allow myself spout on this blog as it happens Sean, although that doesnt mean that it’s not true 😀

      Resistance to travel or make an effort on general might be bad for the market as a whole I think, but it’s probably quite good for the quality of people that you find at certain events. Sorting the people that take things seriously from those who don’t (for whatever reasons).

      “Get busy living or get busy dying.” – Andy Dufresne


  13. These look good…but I may be one of the few people who liked these wonky old Dark Eldar (though the plastic warriors were never that great…. the metals were mostly pretty cool and still stand up ok today, IMO). Love your paintjobs anyway and the background is amusing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The old DE plastics were relatively weak, but there were elements in the metal figs that were nice. Those elements informed the revised range nicely too.

      The way that army background was rolled out back in early third edition was essentially by hints and Easter eggs. That was ok with existing forces like say Blood Angels or (craftworld) Eldar, but fell apart when introducing the Dark Eldar: their motives and raisons d’etre were unknown. Pulling all of that background together when revising the miniatures range had an effect on the faction reboot too.

      Several of the old Chris Fitzpatrick sculpts were fun, and once it was understood why half the Dark Eldar looked a bit like KISS the concept was a lot more appealing.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great Kill Team. I’m hoping to have one of my own to show off for upcoming Orktober. I don’t know that it’s going to have a name that good, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In currently working on an Ork KT as it happens, more a happy Orktober coincidence than a plan. I’m looking forward to seeing yours!

      To be fair, I didn’t come up with the name for this KT myself, it was the result of a brainstorm chat with some buddies. You have the chops for a decent ork KT title, I’m certain.


  15. Splendid stuff. These guys look like they will rip it up in hand to hand. Love the format of this article, will have to steal it!

    Liked by 1 person

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