Kill Team – The Gilead System

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In an earlier video, we talked about the Roleplaying games that Cubicle 7 make set in the Warhammer worlds. Today we’re going to look at using one of those settings and adding it to a game of Kill Team. We’ll take a deep dive into the Gilead system which is the core setting for the Wrath & Glory 40k roleplaying game.

The Gilead System is located next to the Cicatrix Maledictum in the Imperium Nihilus, so this background is pretty up to date with the current events in the overall story. It’s referred to as the Forsaken system, as it’s now cut off from the rest of the Imperium and trying to work out what happens next.

The setting is covered in brief in the core Rulebook for Wrath & Glory, but they go into a lot more detail in the Forsaken System Player’s Guide. What I really like about this setting is how it’s self enclosed. No one is getting in and out of this system, so everyone there just have to get on with it. This makes it a great setting for games of Kill Team, whether that’s a one of game with narrative elements or an extended campaign where you and your friends determine the fate of the Gilead system.

There are 6 main planets in the system covering a wide range of backdrops. Avachrus is a Forgeworld run by the Mechanicus. Nethereus is a volcanic Death World with giant insects held in check by the Knights of House Acasta. Ostia is an Agri world supplying most of the system with food. Enoch is a Shrine world run by the ecclesiarchy. Gilead Prime is a classic Hive World with the majority of the populace of the system. Finally Charybdion is an  ocean world where the majority of the promethium to keep everything running is refined. While those are the core worlds, there is a lot more in the system. Charybdion marks the border between the Imperial Worlds and what is known as the Reach. 

Within the Core worlds, the various factions of the Imperium struggle for influence and the limited resources that remain. In this video, I’m only going to look at the factions you can make a Kill Team for, so we aren’t going to see the Inquisition or the Ecclesiarchy among others.

The Administratum are the heart of the Imperium. It’s their responsibility to keep order and the bureaucracy functioning. A key part of that are the issuing of the Tithes, these are the amounts each planet must set aside as taxes for the greater Imperium. There is no contact with Terra however, and some factions are wondering whether the Tithes should be suspended to give the system the resources it needs to survive the current crisis, such talk of course is Heresy and it’s up the Adeptus Arbites to remind those individuals of the Lex Imperialis. Technically, the Arbites follows it’s own chain of command all the way up to the Grand Provost Marshall who is one of the High Lords of Terra, but it makes sense for the them to work hand in hand with the Administratum in the Gilead system.

I’ve looked for info on painting miniatures for the Machine Cults of Avarchus and all the images seem to just stick to the classic Mars style, which is fine as that’s how my models are already painted. The arrival of the Warpstorms gives the Mechanicum the typical excuse they need to immediately skip to techno heresy and dabble in forbidden lore and xenos artefacts to try solve the problem. So you can happily have your Cog boys fighting any other faction at any point in time. It’s all in the name of the Omnissiah after all.

With so much Heresy, the Sisters of Battle of the Order of the Sanctified Shield will be extra vigilant to make sure the Imperium forces remain pure, by fire and sword if needed. They are lead by Canoness Jeanne Grace D’Emysa. Although the shield on the symbol is a dark blue, art depicting the Order of the Sanctified Shield typically use the classic black and red style with this picture here being of the Canoness herself. Not only are the Sisters happy to purge the heretic and the unclean, but they’re also will to do that to any of these new Primaris Space Marines should they step out of line, so there’s plenty of opportunity for Imperial infighting.

The Space Marine Chapter based out of the System are the Absolvers. Their armour is white with Black shoulder plate trim and the Aquila on the chest in red. They are Codex compliant of unknown founding. Their chapter symbol is a Red Chalice with a white Aquila.

They have quite a cool story, their high command has been cut off from the main body of Space Marines in the Gilead system, and hasn’t been heard of for a few years. So currently the chapter is lead by Brevet Captain Akahir. Since the current Kill Teams are Intercessor based, your operatives will have been part of the reinforcements which came to Gilead as part of the Varonius fleet.

If you already have Space Marines painted up in your favourite chapter, they could easily be a small group that accompanied the fleet. Presumably there’s also an active Deathwatch killlteam somewhere in system.

Jakel Varonius is an ambitious Rogue Trader. After the great rift cutoff the system, there was a lot of panic as people tried to work out what was happening.  Four months agro, the Varonius Flotilla arrived, ships packed with supplies and relief that pulled the system back the brink. More importantly, Varonius brought leadership, declaring himself the new ruler of the system.

While he has been hailed as a saviour, not everything is as it seems. Although it is known that he recived a distress signal sent from the Chapter Command of the Absolvers, Varonius has kept the details of it to himself. There are also rumours of him dealing with some of the Xenos in system.

For Kill Team you can play the Navy Breachers or the Starstriders, either as part of the Varonius Dynasty or as parts of the Flotilla. There definitely is more going on with Varonius and even if there wasn’t he’s a Rogue Trader who has claimed the system for his own, which will have pissed some people off.

The Gilead Gravediggers are an amalgamation of all the Imperial Guard troops stationed in the Gilead system. Pictures of them match the Cadian style armour so the Kasrkin models are perfect. The Death Corp Veteran guardsmen are maybe a little more distinct, but the Gravediggers also have an affinity for the humble entrenching tool so they should still work. You could even go for some head swaps and use the new Cadian frame to get a distinct look or even make the Veterans from scratch. Images I’ve found of the troopers have had a range of colours, presumably matching the terrain they’re fighting in, but this one of grey and khaki seems to be the official colours for the Gravediggers. Alternatively, just go with whatever troops you prefer and have them as a small detachment from the flotilla.

The head of the Astra Militarum Lord-Governor Fylamon had placed the system under military rule, with her as the ruling monarch. Unsurprisingly, that caused a lot of friction with the other factions at the time and with Varonius when he one up her claim.

Of course the Imperium aren’t the only inhabitants of the system. A number of Xenos exist on the fringe of the system in what is called the Reach.

The Orks in the system typically are found in ships and wrecks in the asteroid belts of the Reach. The majority of those discovered seem to be of the Blood Axe faction, which works well for us as the Ork Kill Team is a squad of Kommados from the Blood Axes. 

They are currently roaming bands that lack any sense of unity and purpose, although should a Git ever take the notion and krump enough of the Humies to convince the lads that there could be a good fight, then they could get real dangerous fast.

The Eldar are primarily represented by Corsairs of the Emerald Princess. The Corsair Voidscarred are of course perfect for this, but those raiders could just as easily all be Greensteel Drukhari off doing their own things. There is even mention of a Drukhari Kabal of the Bloodied Claw Lead by a Baron Kasque. Craftworld Eldar can be found within the system, indeed there is entire craftworld hidden in there, but as we don’t actually have rules for a Craftworld killteam that’s less of a concern. Harlequins of course, go whereever they want.

There are no reports of Necrons in system, but as Caphias Cain once pointed out, that’s often due to the lack of witnesses they leave than an actual absence. If there are Necrons in the system they are likely part of the Nephrekh Dynasty, noted for it’s rulers ability to turn into a being of pure golden light, and likely completely insane.

If you want your Necrons as Nephrekh, there are a few different approaches but they all have gold in them. Whether that’s some extra gold details like the shoulders and faces or going crazy with it is up to you.

Next up we have the Genestealer Cult. Where the Imperium goes, so to will you find the rotten core. Wether they are freedom fighters rising up the tyranny of the Imperium or bloodthirsty Xenos is up to you. The Wrath & Glory books don’t have a write up on the Cult of the Giving Claw, but they do have some quotes from members of it. So it could be the one and only genestealer cult in the system or it could be one of many. Given the systems location, it’s likely this would be ahead of Hive Fleet Ouroborus. Rather than the classic Hive Fleet Hydra purple and blue, Ouroborus goes for a blue and black instead. Whether that makes any difference to your paint scheme is up to you.

If you picked up Into the Dark, you’ll have a Kroot Kinband. Although their homeworld is all the way across the other side, the Kroot can actually be found anywhere in the galaxy. Commonly hired as mercenaries, it’s even possible they are part of Varonius flotilla. Varonius is certainly not above dealing with Xenos when it suits his needs.

Tau on the other hand I would say are right out. Their great empire is just a blip in the greater Imperium and there’s basically no chance of them making it all the way across. Now, if you’re dead set on getting some Tau into, you can lift the background from this system and move it over to another one. The great thing about the Cubicle 7 material is they’ve done all the work for you on this one system, but you can take that work and make it your own by changing it to suit your own needs. As the Tau empire is relatively well documented, you should be able to pick a system on the edge of the most recent expansion and set your games there.

Just as I’m working on this video I find Cubicle 7 have a new book just out that I’ve yet to get my hands on. It’s mostly a bestiary, but does have some sections on the Gilead system, including a few named Warbosses for the Orks, lots more detail on the various Aeldari factions, 3 more genestealer cults spread across the system, a new Necron dynasty which has two rival lords in the Gilead system. The book even includes a Tau Hunter Cadre in an experimental ship which ended up stranded in the Gilead system and is trying to get home.

Chaos of course is always going to be a feature, the Cicatrix Maledictum is a giant tear into Warp Space and where ever humanity goes, it brings it’s dark shadow with it.

There are 4 Chaos killteams, the Legionary and Blooded could be deovted to any of the 4 powers, the Gellerpox Infected are more a manifestation of the Warp than anything else but probably are close to a Nurgle warband, while the Warpcoven are distimctly Tzeentch.

Within the system, the primary Chaos power is Chaos Lord Maloquence, who although going for somewhat of a Nurgle look in this picture is actually a Dark Apostle originally from the Word Bearers. He has managed to locate and secure a teleportarium device allowing him to send troops anywhere within the system he should desire.

So that’s 21 Kill Teams in total, all with a few extra background elements tying them into the overall story of the Gilead System. I think that’s really cool. 

If you’re thinking miraculously having every faction does seem like a bit of a stretch, you’re not wrong. The idea with these roleplaying games is to take a few of these elements and focus on those. So if you don’t have any Xenos or Chaos players for example, you can put all that aside and focus on the internal conflicts of the Imperium. 

The idea here is to add a little bit of flavour to help the game come to life as a story. 

In addition to the Kill Teams, we can build out the story of the Battlezones. If you’re like me you’ll have a stash of scenery from the various editions and across multiple games. Luckily, Gilead has a place for all of these, so rather than trying to build out a new set of scenery to match whatever the battlezone of the day is, you can take the scenery you already have and work out where in the Gilead system that best fits.

If you have Mechanicus terrain, then the Forgeworld of Avachrus is perfect. Of course, you can have Mechanicum styled scenery on any Imperial world especially in small amounts. It could be a Mechanicum outpost or even just part of a normally functioning Imperial infrastructure. If you’ve got lots of Mechanicus scenario, and especially if you’ve got a ad Mech kill team, then Avachrus works well.

Next up is the Fronterius Terrain. The idea behind this is an imperial base in a newly explored planet, but it also works quite well as the processing locations on an Agri world. This would be where the Silos of Grain are stored ready for lifting off world.

The more classic Imperial terrain with those Gothic arches works well for a Shrine world like Enoch, especially if you have lots of statures like this gorgeous piece. Of course this scenery works for any imperial city, and can be good to mix and match with the other scenery types.

For Gilead Prime, the Hive World of the system, the Necromunda terrain is perfect. There are a lot of different options for Necromunda, you can have that 2d style with the big walls and a presumed ceiling so very like the Into the Dark terrain, or you can add in the stairs and start using those levels. There is also a new line of scenery with the Ash Wastes showing what it’s like outside the hives. Those sets have buildings on stilts with lots of walk ways which could be fun to play a Kill Team game on.

Nethreus is the Death World in the system, it’s a volcanic planet with giant insects which are kept in check by the giant walking machines that are Knights of House Acasta. For this, pretty much any terrain works as long as you have some sort of volcanic mat. 

Last up, we have the Space Hulks in the outer parts of the system. The Into the Dark terrain is obviously perfect for this. What we can add is a little more background, so you’re not just landing on any old Space Hulk but a specific one.

Cubicle 7 have an extra book devoted to Space Hulks called Redacted Records. This lists five hulks within the Gilead system along with lots of flavour details for generating your own hulks. Now the definition of what a Space Hulk is might vary, some only consider the truly gargantuan masses of hundreds of ships that slip in and out of the warp as true Space Hulks while other would consider a single dead starship a space Hulk. While Gilead doesn’t have any of the massive variety, it has does have a good mix of everything below, and each has a story. 

The Gilead system also has a few surprises, including an entire Craftworld, a frozen world full of ancient artefacts, and a plague world on a massive orbit around the system. Lots of potential for some epic stories.

The goal of this channel is always to make the most enjoyable two player games that we can from these GW skirmish games. We’ve already got some locations and factions, so we have a bit of extra colour. To bring that to life a little bit more, you can introduce a patron and a reason for the battle. In this example, we’ve got one of the Gilead inquisitors tasking their agents with securing an object from one of the Space Hulks. For some people, that won’t make much of a difference and they’ll just want to get playing and roll some dice but for many I think sitting down to a game where you get a message from an Inquisitor asking you to take your Squad of Absolvers led by Invictor Braham to secure the Liber Servitium on the Space Hulk Compostela before 

Hopefully you enjoyed that. As I talked about in the earlier video, if you want to really get stuck into the background for the Warhammer games looking into the roleplaying games is a great way to go, even if you’ve no intention of actually playing them. 

For Kill Team in particular, you’re looking at an entire Galaxy of history and lore. It can end up a little overwhelming. The Gilead approach of narrowing that down to a single system, brings the whole thing into focus, and can be a great addition to the experience.

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