40K Deathmatch

By Keats and BobK

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the deathmatch concept, this pits two or more opposing teams against each other in a set time period. The winner is the team who scores the most kills. This is a basic concept that can represent the intensity and brutality of combat in dangerous terrain like urban environments, death world jungles or the combat pits of Commorragh.

Scenarios could include

  • Wych cults battling for the favour of a watching Archon
  • A blood contest on a Khornate world where the only important outcome is the spilling of blood and the gathering of skulls for the skull throne
  • A small enclosed pocket of urban street fighting over a key objective where casualties are high and terrain restricts the number of reinforcements that can support.
  • A squabble amongst orks to determine the new Boss


The Set Up

The scenario is best played over a small table, so a 4×3 ft table should be more than sufficient. That means you can get two games going at once on those old 6×4 tables at your local club. The density of terrain used should be high. This could be anything from trenches and buildings, to jungle undergrowth and mangrove swamps.


The Rules

  • Each team consists of 8 models.
  • The models may be chosen from any unit within the restrictions listed below
  • It is recommended that the total points cost of your team should not exceed 140pts
  • No model may have any more than 1 wound
  • Vehicles may not be used
  • Every experience skill that a model earns raises the cost of the model by 3 points.
  • The game lasts for 6-10 turns. This can be determined randomly, or at the agreement of both players. The game can also be set to a time limit, with a time limit for each player to use theirmodels, such as by using a small hourglass typically found in board games.
  • The turn progresses by each player taking it in turns to move, shoot and/or assault with one model. So, after the first player has completed movement, shooting and assault for one model, the next player moves, shoots and assaults with another model. This continues until all models have been used, at which point the turn ends.
  • Each team deploys in a 9″ x 9″ zone at opposite corners of the table.
  • All movement, shooting and assault rules apply as they would in a normal 40K game
  • All models are treated as Independent Characters for all purposes
  • At the end of each Game turn, all models which were killed in that turn may be redeployed within 6″ of a friendly model that is unengaged in combat, but must not be deployed within 12″ of any enemy model. If a model cannot be deployed within these guidelines, it may be deployed within the original deployment zone. All redeployed models maintain the same equipment and skills as they did at the beginning of the game
  • Kill streaks – If a model successfully kills three opposing models without being killed, it may re-roll 1 failed to hit or to wound roll in the next turn at the player’s discretion. If a model successfully kills four opposing models without being killed, it may either fire an additional shot or roll an additional assault dice in the next turn. The Kill-streak bonuses may be used together. Kill-streak bonuses may only be gained once, and a model may only gain another Kill-streak after being killed.
  • Death streaks – If a model is killed three times in succession without killing an opposing model, it may re-roll one armour/invulnerable save roll in the next turn. If a model is killed four times in succession, it gains an additional wound until the next time it is killed


Team Selection

  • You may select 8 models from any units in your Codex
  • The model cannot be a unit leader, sergeant or any model with a better stats profile than the basic members of the unit
  • No model may have more than 1 wound on its starting profile (only exception is Imperial Guard heavy weapons, see below)
  • Three models may take a weapons upgrade from the unit options in its Codex entry. All other models must carry the default wargear for their unit.
  • Imperial Guard models do have access to the Heavy Weapons options. If a model does take a Heavy Weapon, it must have a loader adding 1 wound to its profile, however if this is done, the number of models available to the team is reduced by one.


Campaign Ideas

  • Your team may gain experience in Deathmatches, which can be used to acquire new skills and better stats.
  • There are five skill sets a player may choose from. Each skill or stat increase can only be chosen once per model. Stat increases chosen from different skill sets do not stack, meaning that no stat will increase by any more than 1
  • Each model begins the campaign as a Level 1 Grunt. Below is a table of the experience points required to reach the next level. Each level grants 1 new skill or stat increase, up to a maximum of Level 6
  • Points are acquired for each kill achieved. Each kill is worth the points cost listed for the model in its codex. For example, a Blood Angel Space Marine scout with boltgun would be worth 13 points.



Points required to reach level














+1 Strength

+1 Attack

+1 WS

Gains +D3 attacks when charging instead of usual +1 bonus



+1 Ballistic Skill

+1 Leadership

+1 Initiative

+6″ range on all ranged, non-template weapons


Psyker (only one in three models may be psykers)

+1 Leadership

Doesn’t suffer Perils of the Warp

Gains Psyker ability and one psychic ability fdrom their Codex. If there are no psykers in their Codex, they may not become Psykers

May reroll any psychic test (failed or passed)



Gains Infiltrate

Gains Move Through Cover

Gains Stealth

Gains Deep Strike



Master-crafted weapon (applies to just one weapon)

Improve armour save by 1 (cannot improve beyond 2+)

+1 Strength to one weapon

Additional Scenarios and variant rules


Schola Progenium Storm Trooper Assessment

The orphaned children of the Imperium are often handed over to the care of the local Schola Progenium, where from an early age they are shaped into the useful Imperial citizens and servants of the future by the Drill Abbots of the Ecclesiarchy. As the children grow older, they will find a path of service to the Imperium, and their education will be focussed on the skills and knowledge they will need in their future path, be it in the Navy, the Ecclesiarchy priesthood, Adepta Sororitas, Adeptus Mechanicus, Commissariat or Imperial Guard as a Storm Trooper.

The Storm Trooper cadets are highly trained and endure many gruelling trials and tests of their fighting prowess, tactical acumen, leadership and teamwork. A common test undertaken by Storm Trooper cadets is the Urban Firefight Simulation. Using Hellguns with the charges reduced to minimal levels to prevent fatalities, and dummy grenades, the cadets are set against each other in a simulated firefight scenario where the cadets can show their training, and use teamwork and strategy to overcome matching opponents.

As Deathmatch rules with the following alterations:

All participating models are equipped with Hellguns, Carapace Armour, Frag & Krak Grenades and Hellpistols. All models also have the following profile





















Any model achieving a Kill-streak of 5 or higher gains an additional kill to their final score. The bonus may be stacked, so for example a model achieving a Kill-streak of 10 would add 2 kills to their final score. All other Kill-streak and Death-streak bonuses do not apply in Storm Trooper assessments.


I Iz Da Boss!

Boyz will be boyz! Who needs an excuse for a good old brawl? Orks are famously boisterous and fighting amongst themselves is common, whether it be to the new Warboss, or just over who gets to drive the new trukk.

As Deathmatch rules with the following alterations:

The match is contested by 2 to 8 players, each controlling between 4 to 12 Ork Boyz. It is advisable to keep the total number of models in the battle to a maximum of 40.

All models have the profile of an Ork Boy equipped with Slugga and Choppa. One model per team may upgrade one of their weapons using the options available to an Ork Nob.

The winner is determined by the player with the single model with the highest individual kills.


All artwork and logos on this site and all the images contained therein have been produced either in-house or as work for hire. The exclusive copyright in the logos and artwork, including the images it depicts, is the property of Games Workshop Limited. © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2012.

All artwork in all Games Workshop products, and all images contained therein have been produced either in-house or as work for hire. All rights reserved.

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  1. Jeongweon

    If redeploying models have to restart from stat scratch, then do level ups only last as long as they are alive? and do deaths not restart exp counts?

  2. keatsmeister

    Exp. Counts and Deaths

    For each model with exp. “killed” in battle, roll a D6. On a 4+, they survive their wounds with the aid of medicae, and retain their exp. On 3 or less, they succumb to their wounds, and any exp. is lost. This roll is taken at the end of the battle. Any changes to the experience level of a model only occur between battles – ie when they have had time to reflect upon their recent experience and learn from it

    Ending a match

    Victory is determined by the player who has accumulated the highest points total. Points are scored for a team in much the same way an individual model scores experience points – the total codex value of an enemy model killed is the points total scored by killing that model. In a campaign game, where a model has experience, remember that for each experience level that model has gained, it is worth an additional 3 points


    Where any two models from the same team are engaged in combat within 2″ of each other, this should be regarded as the same combat for resolution purposes.

    Leadership Tests

    All models are treated as Independent Characters for all purposes, including Leadership tests. As such, unless otherwise stated in their unit rules, a test would be required for losing a combat. As per multiple combat rules, in a combat where more than one unit (in this case characters) are involved in the same combat, if they lose the combat resolution, they must all take a morale check, regardless of how many wounds the individual unit lost.

    Allocating Attacks

    This is done as per standard Warhammer 40,000 rules. A model in base contact or engaged with more than one unit may split its attacks freely between the two, and this must be declared before rolling to hit.

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