A Recap of the New York Open Kill Team Tournament: Interviews with the Top 3

Recently New York City had its first New York Open Grand Tournament hosted Nov 12-13. This was a brand new tournament with 6 rounds of play over 2 days, with boards that covered both open layouts and Gallowdark. In addition to the 34-player Grand Tournament, separate one-day narrative events were played on Saturday and Sunday. The event was run by a local crew with help from the local shops. 

After two days of games, Adrian Bonvento would eventually best the field with his Intercession Squad team against some tough competition. Today we’re bringing you interviews from Adrian and the other two players who finished in the top three at the event.

New York Open Hall photo
The hall day one of the open!

First up is the third place finisher Alden Bishop, local GOAT holder at his local play space, Carcosa. Alden’s kill team (shown below) also won Best Painted.

Alden Bishop, 3rd Place – Voidscarred Corsairs

Alden's best painted
Amilara and her Blackflight, seen here

Why did you pick Corsair Voidscarred?

Beyond how nothing beats being a pirate, I wanted to play something off-meta with low tournament participation to see how they’d perform in the current “Power-armor vs. 10-14 humans meta.” Corsairs are one of very few nine-model teams, and given how much of high level play surrounds playing the activation game, I thought many players would struggle adapting their activation sequence to play a team that doesn’t fit into either the “Elite” or “Horde” boxes.

How did you prepare for the tournament?

I usually TO the events at my neighborhood club, so while I play the game a lot, this was my first time playing at an event of this size. Most of my practice games consisted of quickly learning the Close Confines ruleset. I didn’t get to play as many games against some of the teams that are arguably over-tuned at the moment, but I was able to thoroughly learn my own team’s rule cold, which is essential to playing a team that can’t plan on winning through dice rolls alone.

How did your tournament go? Does your win/loss record reflect anything notable about your run?

The tournament went well. My goal was to split W/L but I ended up going 4-1-1 with two wins and a loss in Open and two wins and a draw in CQC. Corsairs excel in Close Confines and my record reflects that. Corsairs are very fast and since opening Doors is a mission action, Corsairs can barnstorm really effectively, particularly if the Felarch is positioned close enough to a kill piece to declare a coordinated strike.

Give us a play by play of your favorite match!

My favorite game was probably my sixth and final game which was my first ever game against Breachers. I was the Defender and intentionally set up a weak flank with only my Felarch, Duelist and Way Seeker on one side on Full-Scale Attack (Mission 2.2 from Into the Dark). This baited my opponent to heavily set up his pieces to try and take out my Felarch turn 2 with a Breach and Clear. However, at the end of the initiative phase, I used One Step Ahead to pull my Leader and Psyker out of danger, leaving my opponent’s models far overcommitted to a fight against a single model. With such a huge positional advantage I was able to surge past my opponent’s operatives, tying some up in melee and exposing others to shredder fire. I had a plan, executed on it, and it was a massacre.

What do you think about the venue?

The venue was absolutely gorgeous. It was very spacious and easy to get to. It’s a shame the neighborhood is being rezoned, because I could easily see returning there next year.

Anything else you want to add?

This was a very well run event. I’m generally not a competitive player, preferring a casual game and a couple beers to a sweaty bloodbath, but everyone at the event played a chill game. Like any modern game, the rules can be a bit arcane, but the TOs made thoughtful, clear, and fair decisions that made sense. I’m very appreciative to everyone involved in running the event from the organizers to the TOs to the sponsors and I look forward to, and hope I can make it to, the next thing that comes down the pipeline from them.


Thanks, Alden! Next up in second place is the youngest player of the tournament, Liam Garrett. Liam’s been making the rounds in the Northeast circuit as a top 3 US player.

Liam Garrett, 2nd Place – Hunter Clade

Liam deep in a game
Joey C (Void Dancers) on the left versus Liam G (Hunter Clade) on the right

Why did you pick Hunter Clade?

I chose Hunter Claude because I had taken them to a few tournaments before and had done well with them. They are also the kind of team I like to play because they are aggressive, not too complex, and powerful.

How did you prepare for the tournament?

I prepared for NYO by playing with my brother. He is a great player, so it helps me a lot to play against him. After every game, we ask each other what went well, and what mistakes we made. By having a second opinion on my play, I got better and have stopped making some of the mistakes I used to.

How did your tournament go? Does your win/loss record reflect anything notable about your run?

I had a great time at NYO, and I hope to be at the next one. I won five of my games, and tied one. I tied Adrian, the winner of the tournament.

Give us a play by play of your favorite match!

My favorite match was against Chapin, a great kommandos player. He and I played on ITD, and I won 13-10. It was a really close game, and he got defender, which put him at a disadvantage. The mission was one where there were 5 objectives, and you got 1 point for each one you controlled. After he set up, I saw I wouldn’t really be able to contest all 5 objectives without being too spread out, so I made the decision to ignore 2 objectives, and just send my guys on 3 of them. My plan was that if I control 3 the entire game and he only controls 2, I will probably win. Overall, Chapin was super fun to play against, and it was a tough game

What do you think about the venue?

The room the tournament was held in was beautiful and spacious. Prize support, and the things available to buy were great. Adrian, the winner got an amazing golden chain sword, and ITD box. I got legionaries and kommandos. Also, because NYO had a bunch of hobby stores sponsoring it, you could buy pretty much anything you wanted from the vendors.

Anything else you want to add?

This was probably the best run tournament I have been to, the room was incredible, prize support was great, everyone was nice, and everyone that helped run the tournament was great. If there is another NYO next year (and I don’t have school stuff) I’ll definitely be there!


Thanks, Liam! Last but not least Adrian Bonvento, a new convert from Warhammer 40k, with some incredibly detailed Deathwatch Space Marines. 

Adrian Bonvento, 1st Place – Intercession Squad

Adrian deep in thought NYOpen
Adrian B versus Liam G

Why did you select Intercessors?

First and foremost: Space Marines are cool. And now they have rules which make them feel cool. Blasting 3 horde models per turn, and one more with your dying breaths… I mean c’mon. These marines feel closer to the novels than ever before, and I, for one, dig it.

But from a practical perspective, I had a lot of experience running 6-man teams. I had taken a hiatus from 40K about a year ago – porting over my Deathwatch force to Kill Team – and the vast majority of my matches since then have been with marines.

Deathwatch Captain
Adrian’s captain, every model in the team has been finished to this standard!

So the familiarity was there. The models were painted. And the new Intercession rules seemed to give me the best chance for success of the teams I had access to.

How did you prepare for the tournament?

Practice. Period. I played as much as I possibly could leading up to the tournament. I think I played each ITD mission at least 3 times, and after that I had to remind myself what open gameplay felt like! I also made sure to seek games against factions I knew would be tough, in addition to studying the rulesets of those factions.

How did your tournament go? Does your win/loss record reflect anything notable about your run?

The tournament went about as well as I could have hoped! I made minimal mistakes, and the ones I did make thankfully didn’t cost me any matches. Day 1 on open I played into Legionaries, Legionaries and Veteran Guard. Day 2 on ITD I played into Kommandos, Hunter Clade, and Hunter Clade.

Give us a play by play of your favorite match!

Hard to say, as matches 2 thru 6 were all so tight! But my 2nd match against Tzeentch Legionaries on Escalating Hostilities was interesting as it felt very much like a chess match. Everything from the equal model count, the mission itself, and trading pieces back and forth gave it a very even feel. It really was on a knife edge for most of the game and could have gone either way up until the end.

Since coming over from 40k a year ago, I have not looked back (although I do miss the tanks from time to time!). I’ve had so much more fun playing Kill Team and truly think it’s the best game that Games Workshop makes. Everything from the rules design, to the game mechanics and overall faction balance makes for an engaging experience from start to finish that really puts the emphasis on player skill and in-game decision making rather than army choice or list building. In Kill Team I always feel that I have agency as a player, even when going into a tough matchup, or when fighting from behind. While I do feel that a handful of factions should have been more thoroughly tested prior to release, overall the game is in a very good place, and I would highly recommend it to anyone on the fence! It’s a great balance of lore, gameplay, community and competition.


Next Time: A Detailed Recap of Adrian’s Run

Thanks, Adrian! That wraps up our interviews with the top three players from the event but check back next tomorrow when we dive into Adrian’s run in more detail and take a round-by-round look at his matchups and how we overcame them. Until then, if you have any questions or feedback drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.