2023 World Championships 40k Player Profile: Richard Siegler

The World Championships of Warhammer are next week and we’re prepping by talking to some of the key competitors at this year’s event – many of whom are also competing for top honors in the ITC. We sat down with to talk to them about their plans and expectations for the event itself. 

Competitor Profile

Player name: Richard Siegler (Art of War)
Age: 31
Country of Origin: USA
Where you won your ticket: American Team Championships


Let’s start with the basics. What army are you bringing to the World Championships, and why did you choose them?

I’m bringing my beloved T’au Empire to the finals.  They the army that I feel is the strongest out of my usual wheelhouse of armies (Necrons, Admech, Grey Knights, and Votann).  Although Votann have a higher winrate, the lack of speed outside of Sagitaurs and Pioneers means that great players can find ways to limit their late game potential whereas T’au is at the strongest in the late game.  I’ve always preferred to play 5 turns games that are very positional and movement based so I think T’au are stronger there.  I’ve also played the most games with T’au since the balance patch and experience matters a lot against other strong players.

Siegler's List - Click to Expand

“Aun’Va’s Holy Ghost Come Back to Haunt You”

Coldstar Commander, 4x Cyclic, 2x Shield Drones, Exemplar of the Kauyon, Warlord 125

Aun’Va 65

10x Breacher Team, Support Turret, Guardian Drone, Shield Drone 90

10x Breacher Team, Support Turret, Guardian Drone, Shield Drone 90

10x Breacher Team, Support Turret, Guardian Drone, Shield Drone 90

10x Breacher Team, Support Turret, Guardian Drone, Shield Drone 90

10x Breacher Team, Support Turret, Guardian Drone, Shield Drone 90

Devilfish, 2x Seeker Missiles 75

Devilfish, 2x Seeker Missiles 75

Devilfish, 2x Seeker Missiles 75

Devilfish, 2x Seeker Missiles 75

10x Pathfinder Team, Grenade Launcher, 3x Ion Rifle, Recon Drone, Gun Drone, Shield Drone 90

10x Pathfinder Team, Grenade Launcher, 3x Ion Rifle, Recon Drone, Gun Drone, Shield Drone 90

6x Crisis Battlesuits, 11x Fusion, 6x Cyclic Ion Blasters, 1x Airburst Fragmentation Launcher, 4x Battlesuit Support Systems, 2x Shield Generators, 12x Shield Drones

3x Crisis Battlesuits, 6x Fusion, 3x Cyclic, 3x Shield Generator, 6x Shield Drones 180

2x Broadside Battlesuits, Heavy Rail Rifles, Twin Plasma Rifle, Seeker Missiles, Missile Drones 180

Tetras 80

Tetras 80

Run us through your list a little bit. What made you choose this list, and why do you enjoy playing it?

I expected a lot of Aeldari and CSM to be present, them being the two top armies in my opinion, and designed a list that tried to control space better than them and not necessarily try to get into a contest of who can do more damage.  T’au can only include so many tech choices, but the other main consideration for me was the new Ironstorm, which can put a lot of durable vehicles on the table and fusion is a massive help there.  While cyclic is better weapon into almost every target, I don’t want to risk losing many of my suits over the first few turns from failed hazardous tests and fusion doesn’t require overcharging.  It’s also the best unit T’au have for interacting with durable units in the center of GW Layout 1, aka “Thunderdome.”

T’au are often at a secondary deficit so I designed my list to be able to better fight to win primary to make up for that.  It’s a lot of fun to play and a further development of lists I’ve been testing recently.

What does the list do well against? What match-ups are you hoping to avoid? 

I tried to make as balanced a list as possible into as many meta choices as I could.  Some tech choices had to be left due to points, but frankly T’au are at a deficit to the best armies in the game like Aeldari and CSM, but its still a game and I’ll be looking to take advantage of my experience and people’s unfamiliarity with how I play T’au to win close games.

Fixed or Tactical?

Both as necessary.  Tactical offers T’au extra CP which is very valuable and doesn’t telegraph a game plan.  But this list can also do Homers, Cleanse, or a kill secondary if the opponent gives them up.  

The World Championships of Warhammer isn’t the largest event ever, but it’s certainly the first of its kind. What was your road getting to the event like? Was it something you were aiming for?

I haven’t played in many singles events due to working full time with Art of War on content creation.  But I play a lot of games against my teammates and have mostly focused on team events so far.  Singles is always dependent on matchups and which missions you play certain armies on.  Whether you go first against the indirect fire armies or not.  So I don’t have any particular goals other than doing the best to get as many points for the USA as possible.

How does it feel to be going to the event? Are you nervous? Excited? How does it compare to LVO?

This feels much more significant than LVO in terms of representing your country in a similar, but broader way than WTC so I’m all about it.  I’m very excited to play against many of the world’s great players.

How do you feel about the event’s unique country-based scoring? Does it add excitement to later rounds for you?

The best part of the event by far.  As the event grows, I’m excited to see even more countries represented, especially if GW can eventually help with travel costs for players in the far reaches of the globe who are very good yet cannot afford to fully fund this type of trip.

How do you expect the competition to be different from other events? Is there anything you’re doing differently to prepare?

I expect more camaraderie between players from the same country, more so than your regular singles event.  I’m playing a lot of games to practice behind the scenes so I’m as sharp as possible for the event.  The reveal of the pods helps focus that practice.

How do you expect you’ll do at the event? What’s a “good event” look like for you, record-wise?

It’s always hard to win these mega events so my goal is always to try to lose no more than one game, ideally only to the person who ends up taking the whole thing!

How do you feel about 10th edition competitive play heading into this event? How does the meta feel to you right now?

The meta is dramatically better than the pre-balance update in September, but there are still clear “easier to play/stronger” armies and I hope the update next year not only helps further bring down the top, but also opens up new playstyles for all the different armies.  There’s too many armies that are pigeon-holed into a limited toolkit–no doubt limits of a single index detachments–but also many datasheets don’t really provide any useful role and so I’d like to see a few more direct changes to datasheets to help this issue rather than solely points.  

You’re been flying below the radar this year when it comes to ITC events (and Elo scores). Is the ITC going to be on your radar next year?

Since I’ve won the ITC twice, I haven’t felt the desire to really compete hard for it again, but this new team league has me very excited for next year!  Expect to see me at more events, particularly team-oriented ones.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions. Good luck at the event!

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