Kill Team: Soulshackle Review

Last Updated on Febbraio 16, 2023 by FauxHammer

Creep into the perilous and pitch-dark corridors of the Gallowdark. Stand stoic behind the shields of the Imperium’s finest police officers, or slink through the shadows as a deadly Drukhari pirate. Or, if that sounds a bit too intense for you, check out our Warhammer 40:000 Soulshackle review for the scoop on the latest Workshop sui giochi boxed release.

Note: Due to a delay in shipping we have not managed to complete all the photography for this review ready in time for release. I have done the nicely coloured in sprue photos though, which is what most people come here for anyway… Photos will be updated in the coming days.

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Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Soulshackle Review – Summary

Kill Team: Soulshackle is a game of two halves. Whilst the Adeptus Arbites miniatures in the box are of utmost quality and will leave collectors the world over drooling into their paints, the Drukhari Hand of the Archon – or, to give them their real name, the Kabalites kit with a few extra parts – misses the mark so perfectly punctured by the Arbites figures.

Whilst the overall quality of the contents of the box is good and ultimately fun, Soulshackle struggles to bring anything new to the table. With the majority of the box made up of kits that are available elsewhere or have been recycled from other releases, the latest addition to Kill Team’s catalogue can’t help but seem a little unimaginative.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Soulshackle Review – Introduction

Watching Kill Team develop since it hit its second edition in 2021 has been interesting. First we had the flair of the Death Korps of Krieg facing off against Ork Kommandos not only in a spectacular boxed set, but also in a breathtaking animated trailer.

This was followed by a spate of expansion-like releases, with exciting new miniatures from all corners of the grimdark multiverse pouring into the fray. The releases took us across various sectors, to all kinds of ruin- and rubble-strewn battlefields where elite teams of warriors faced off against one-another in the crucible of infinite war.

Most recently, however, Kill Team has taken something of a different-yet-familiar turn. With the release of Kill Team: Into The Dark, the miniaturised tabletop skirmishes that had previously been taking place upon conflict-scarred planets took off into the endless darkness of space – to find purchase amidst the churning guts of a space hulk. For those who aren’t aware, in Warhammer 40,000 a Space Hulk is a giant amalgam of destroyed, abandoned, or otherwise derelict space vessels that have been smushed together thanks to the currents of space and the Warp. Think of them as all those homeless bits of Blu-Tack you squish together into one super-sized Blu-Tack ball that picks up all the dust and loose hairs on your desk.

And this is where Kill Team has tipo stayed.

Similar to said dust and loose hairs, Kill Team’s space hulk, called the Gallowdark, is collecting its fair share of warbands, cast-offs, and miscreants to do battle over its halls. Kill Team: Soulshackle is the latest instalment in this sort-of-but-not-quite new way of playing Kill Team. Set within the confines of a smashed-together amalgam of drifting space wreckage, Imperial forces face off against Drukhari space pirates through the corridors of a space hulk – rather akin to the classic GW game called, er, Space Hulk.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Soulshackle Review – Contents

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Soulshackle contains the following:

  • 21 x Miniatures
    • 11 x Imperial Adeptus Arbites Exaction Squad miniatures
    • 10 x Drukhari Kabalites/Hand of the Archon miniatures
  • Scenario
    • 28 x Walls
    • 8 x Consoles etc.
  • 1 x Soulshackle War Manual
  • 1 x Soulshackle Transfer sheet

This is everything anyone already familiar with the rules of Kill Team needs to get started with this expansion set. New players might struggle more – this isn’t a How to Play or Getting Started With set, there are no general rules, measures, or tokens in this box to help you play.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Soulshackle Review – Literature

There’s only one book in the Soulshackle box, and that’s the War Manual (okay, there’s also the assembly guide, but we’re not going to look at that in any detail here).

Kill Team: Soulshackle War Manual

The Kill Team: Soulshackle War Manual will look familiar to anyone who has purchased a recent-edition Kill Team box. It contains inside it all the specific rules you need to get your Adeptus Arbites and your Hand of the Archon miniatures blasting lumps out of each other.

The format of the book is straightforward and easy to understand. There’s an extensive and very thorough contents page at the front of the manual to help you find whatever rule it is you may need to reference quickly and easily. This is a godsend during games, as there’s no leafing backwards and forwards whilst your opponent waits, arms crossed, frown on face, for you to hurry up and take your turn.

There’s also a fair chunk of lore relating to the setting spread across the first few pages of the book in order to explain the narrative reason as to why the Adeptus Arbites and the Drukhari have bumped into each other in the guts of the Gallowdark. This is interspersed with a look at some of the characters, some details behind each faction, and a handful of short stories to help set the scene.

Of course, no Workshop sui giochi book would be complete without loads of pictures of perfectly-painted miniatures. Scattered throughout the pages – along with the striking Kill Team artwork – are cinematic photographs of the Hand of the Archon and the Adeptus Arbites facing off with each other. If you weren’t interested in picking up a paintbrush and getting some colour on your Kill Team, you will be after looking at these images.

If you’re into the more narrative aspects of play, there are also pages to help facilitate this, including name and background generators. One of the things about Kill Team that appeals to me as a D&D nerd is the ability to create a bespoke team with their own names and history, and GW want you to do this in order to get really stuck into the setting and invested in your band of warriors. It’s a nice touch that helps make the experience all the more personal.

Finally, the last two-thirds of the book are given over to actually playing the game. Included are all the rules you need for your new miniatures, including new datasheets, stratagems, and so forth. Importantly, there’s a run-down of some of the rules needed to play within the Gallowdark Space Hulk setting, including explanations of line of sight and cover rules, as well as guides on how to set up your terrain- and, of course, there are missions for you to play too (31 pages of them, to be precise).

In all, it’s pretty thorough. Whilst you won’t be able to dive straight into Kill Team with this box alone (you’re missing the basic rules that hold up the game), if you’re already into the system this book will definitely provide you with plenty of new ways to play and interesting teams for you to get to grips with.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Soulshackle Review – Wargear

With this review, the Wargear section – that is the section we dedicate to cards, tokens, rulers, or any other bits that you need to gedt you playing – will be a bit short. There’s only one entry here this time.

Tabellone a doppia faccia

In order to try and keep you fully immersed, there’s also a double-sided game board in the Soulshackle box.

Happily, it’s a nice, good-quality card board with a clear print on it so it should last a while – provided you take good care of it.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Soulshackle Review – Models

Kill Team: Soulshackle comes with an array of models following the new Into The Dark/Boarding Actions theme that we’ve seen emerging over the last few months. Two new one new and one partly new kill teams clash amidst the corridors of the Gallowdark – the new Space Hulk that GW are working into their Kill Team narrative.

So, what can you expect to find in the box?

Adeptus Arbites Exaction Squad

The Soulshackle box comes out swinging with its first of the two teams in the box: the Adeptus Arbites Exaction Squad.

As we’ve seen with Into The Dark and Shadowvaults before, GW are loving their new Armies of the Imperium kill teams. Into The Dark blessed us with the awesome Imperial Navy Breachers, and Shadowvaults saw the release of the (frankly stunning) Astra Militarum Kasrkin. These previous releases have set the bar pretty high for the Adeptus Arbites – and the new squad definitely delivers.

Kill Team Soulshackle Review - Adeptus Arbites Sprue 1
items coloured are interchangeable on the front page of the manual
Kill Team Soulshackle Review - Adeptus Arbites Sprue 2
Other interchangeable items have been listed in the manual and are coloured to match the model they are intended for
Items left in plastic Grey are not specifically listed in the manual but are once again interchangeable.

There’s something quite wonderful about the Exaction Squad. The blending of near-Warhammer Old World Empire-style motifs (such as the traditional pauldron worn on the left shoulder and the plume of the sergeant) really hammers home just whose side these guys are on. It’s the Imperium, in case you hadn’t guessed.

They’re also unmistakably policepersons, too. The Adeptus Arbites are supposed to be the elite law enforcers of the Imperium, and there’s definitely something classic counstable about these guys – albeit seriously roided up and chucked a few devastating firearms.

And no, I don’t appena love the Arbites squad because of the dog.

Though it does help.

Hand of the Archon

The second kill team in the box is the Drukhari Hand of the Archon. These space pirates have a bone to pick with the Arbites (and several others adorning their persons), but don’t quite live up to the very high bar set by their imperial foes.

So, here’s the thing with the Hand of the Archon. At its core, this Drukhari kill team is just the Kabalite Warriors augmented with a new upgrade sprue. The base models themselves are now a couple of years old. This is what happened with Shadowvaults, where the Necron half of the box was drawn from the Necron Immortals and Deathmarks kit, as well as using a Cryptek for a leader, and then packaged with a new upgrades sprue.

I’m not sure this strategy of trying to breathe new life into older models via a new sprue works, though. Had someone dropped these figures in front of me senza the rest of Soulshackle attached, I’d have been perfectly happy with them. They are an entirely serviceable group of miniatures with adequate details and nice textures to paint.

Kill Team Soulshackle Review - Hand of the Acrhon Sprue 2
all items left in great as the parts are almost entirely interchangeable.
Kill Team Soulshackle Review - Hand of the Acrhon Sprue 1

However, they didn’t. They came with the rest of the Soulshackle box and, most importantly, the brand new Adeptus Arbites models.

Next to the Arbites models, the Drukhari show their age – even with the upgrade sprue.

There are a handful of places on the Drukhari models where details just don’t match up to the standards exercised by the Adeptus Arbites. This is most prevalent in the Kabalite faces and other cranial details, which seem much cruder and more cartoonish than the brand-new Adeptus Arbites. Even with the upgrade sprue (which is actually quite an interesting little frame of nice parts), the Kabalite Warriors still don’t pack the same wallop as the Adeptus Arbites. It’s a bit like turning up to a family gathering to find your aging uncle has bought a new toupee. It looks good, you suppose, but something definitely isn’t quite right.

It seems ridiculous to say that models which were originally released only 5 or 6 years ago (we believe they came out in 2017, but if anyone knows better do please shout!) would already look dated, but such is the level at which GW’s miniatures game has improved over the last few years. The Adeptus Abrites are at the cutting edge; the Hand of the Archon just missed the cut-off.


As with every Kill Team release since Into The Dark, Soulshackle is set within the sprawling confines of the Space Hulk Gallowdark.

As such, there’s been something of a theme with the terrain in the recent Kill Team boxes. See, dear readers, the new way to play Kill Team is to sic your teams on each other in the randomised and tightly-wound corridors of said Space Hulk; Gallowdark. So, the box provides you with everything you need to make said corridors.

Walls. Lots and lots of walls.

There is more available amidst the scenery than appena walls, however. There are also a few consoles and other futuristic gubbins you might expect to see floating around a spaceship, just to nudge the immersion dial up a little bit higher.

Kill Team Soulshackle Review - Boarding Actions Sprue 1
Kill Team Soulshackle Review - Boarding Actions Sprue 2

Whilst very functional (and quite well designed, as you can assemble, disassemble, and re-organise for your needs from game to game), walls don’t necessarily make for the most exciting bits of terrain to paint – and we are foremost painters here at

Whilst the slow transition of Kill Team towards GW’s ever-beloved and long-dormant Space Hulk IP has been greeted with open arms by a lot of fans, regular buyers are probably up to their eyes in walls by now.

So please give us some Space Hulk Rules and new Terminators to go with these endless corridors.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Soulshackle Review – Price and Availability

Depending on where in the worlds you live, Kill Team: Soulshackle will set you back £110.00GBP/$185.00USD/€145.00EUR. You can see more in our Ripartizione prezzo, valore e risparmio about how much we estimate the individual components of this set will cost when they are eventually released as separate kits in a few months.

Sterlina ingleseDollaro statunitenseCADeuroAUD
Adeptus Arbites Exaction Squad*£ 35,00$60.00$70.00€ 45,00$98.00
Hand of the Archon*£ 35,00$60.00$70.00€ 45,00$98.00
Scenery**£ 67,50$112.00$135.0087,50€$185.00
Kill Team: Soulshackle War Manual***£ 27,50$45.00$55.00€ 35,00$70.00
Valore totale£ 165,00$277.00$330.00€ 212,50$451.00
Soulshackle Price****£ 110,00$185.00****$220.00****€145.00****$310.00****
Risparmi totali£ 55,00$92.00$110.00€67.5$141
Percentage Savings33%33%33%31%31%

As always, we recommend checking in with your friendly local independent gaming store to see if they can offer you a discount. If you’re super cool, you’ll use one of our affiliate links and buy that way so we get a little cash too.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Soulshackle Review – Where to Next?

Well, since Kill Team Second Edition barged its way into centre stage with Octarius back in autumn 2021, Workshop sui giochi’s Kill Team range has been slowly but surely growing. There are now more kits available, along with plenty of bits of scenery for you to spice up your playspace and take your gaming experience to the max.

If you’re expecting to get stuck straight in to Kill Team with this set, you’re out of luck. Unfortunately, Soulshackle doesn’t contain the special Kill Team Range Rulers and tokens (which you’ll need for distances as new Kill Team uses its own measures), nor the Libro principale (which you’ll need for the overall rules), nor the Compendio (which you’ll need if you want to play your own, non-boxed Kill Team). You’ll need to source these seperately.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team: Soulshackle Review – Final Thoughts

New Adeptus Arbites Exaction Squad are super cool and look absolutely great
As usual, the War Manual for this box is great quality and filled with good content
Drukhari part of the box is an old sprue with some upgrades
Pretty sure I’ve seen these walls before somewhere…

There’s not as much brand-spanking-new in the Soulshackle box as you may like. Whilst there’s plenty to keep buyers busy, there’s a chance this set might leave you feeling a bit hard done by.

First off, the new Adeptus Arbites Exaction Squad is really cool. They look absolutely stunning, and look to be closing the gap between what constitutes a regular human in the 41st millennium and the ab-human Space Marines. Chunky, big-business models with tons of character and details, these figures are without doubt some of the best figures we’ve received from GW in recent months.

However, the Drukhari part of the box is disappointing. Whilst this kit has been kicking around a few years now (since 2017, we believe) there is a marked difference in the quality of the models when set alongside the super new Adeptus Arbites. This, as we saw above, is most prominent in the facial details of the miniatures.

Further to this, a lot of the terrain is recycled from prior Kill Team releases. GW continues to drop Space Hulk on us without actually giving us a new Space Hulk! Here’s hoping the rumoured 40k 10th edition will include the new terminators we need. They we are just a bundle and some writing away from the game I want to see back.

Anyway, Kill Team. Something of a concerning pattern is emerging in these releases: just like Shadowvaults, there’s only one completely new Kill Team in the set – and again, it’s an Armies of the Imperium kill team. Non-Imperium fans are going to be getting a bit fed up with this by now. Much like Shadowvaults, which boasted a brand-new squad of Kasrkin but a recycled collection of Necron miniatures avec upgrade sprue, the Xenos side of Soulshackle is made up of pre-existing miniatures and a single optional upgrades sprue. There’s also a paucity of new scenery and terrain features in the box. Ultimately, it’s all just more walls – and walls we’ve seen before.

Kill Team: Soulshackle is ultimately an okay release. There’s plenty of stuff in the box to enjoy – but it isn’t the most creative entry in the system’s saga. The post-Octarius and pre-Into The Dark Kill Team sets were all unique and were heaped with fantastic new miniatures and bits of scenery every time, but Soulshackle, like Shadowvaults before it, drops this torch. Hopefully, going forwards we’ll see something of a return to the more diverse Kill Team boxes – and a healthy injection of non-Imperial kill teams wouldn’t go amiss.

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  • VoltorRWH

    Rob has spent most of the last 20 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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Rob has spent most of the last 20 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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