Competitive Innovations in Kill Team: Group Results of the 2023 WCW GT

The first ever World Championship of Warhammer has come and gone, giving us our first ever world Kill Team Champion. With it we also have a report that the Ork Kommando meta failed at the highest levels of play – it turns out that Feel No Pain and 40mm bases were the key tech this past weekend. Any notion that Kommandos were unstoppable coming into the weekend were quickly put to rest in the group stage, which saw some wild mix-ups. As any sports fan will tell you, the group stages always deliver surprises.

In this part 1 of a two-part series we’re going to break down the results from each group stage and talk about our thoughts on the results and matchups. We’ll also talk about our predictions from last week and how we did, and compare scores between TheArmorOfContempt and me. Then we’ll be back with our top 3 interviews tomorrow, and close things out on Friday with our review of the overall meta at the WCW, with faction and regional performance reviews.

Group 1 – Mirror of Minds

TC- Meanwhile this pod includes the highest duplication count across the 3 groups, so it may end up becoming the mirror dimension. Mateusz’s inquisition agents may be perfectly situated in this group as Starstriders, Kommandos, Phobos, and Legionary all have critical ploys they rely on to drive their gameplans.

AoC- For what it is worth my money is on Wallace and Shane in this bracket, while Ryan is the higher ranked player his victories have come from an array of teams, while Wallace and Shane have a majority of their recorded events under their selected teams

It seems that Armor of Contempt wins here with one of two correct calls. Wallace made it through by the skin of his teeth with a draw against Shane, another favorite. I’ll claim a small half win here in the sense that a Kommando player did escape the pod, but we’ll leave this one cleanly in AoC’s favor. Congrats to Ryan S to winning the battle of Ryans piloting Elucidian Starstriders!

As far as the group’s overall results, Starstriders and Kommandos were always in the running. With Starstriders presenting solid threats to Elites and Hordes, Ryan S. piloted them to a 4-0 run until his final loss to Wallace at the end of group play. Wallace made the cut, beating out Shane S, of Commandpoint, by a single VP in total score, with fully symmetric tie breakers! Mateusz was my pick to get out but took losses to Starstriders, and Legionary in a surprise when the agents can use Absolute Authority to stall out their best plays. 

Prediction Calls: TC-.5 v AoC-1

Group 2 – The Pod with Compendium!

TC- With my first pick in the group being Adrian I would expect Starstriders, Cultists, and Corsairs to be rough. Leaving my second pick being Liam or Branden to make it out.

AoC- Given Adrian’s utter dominance with Kommandos I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins the whole thing at this point…I can easily see Chaos Cultists quickly finding their legs as one of the top teams, but with so many Kommandos running around I feel they have very low odds of taking the top spot

Looks like we’re looking at one correct prediction for me, and 2 for AoC. It seems his read on Cults being strong is much more accurate than mine. As I came into this tournament thinking that Cults could be managed well on Open, making their ultimate ascent to the top of the brackets rough. However no prediction survives first contact with the enemy, and the heavy midboard open boards allowed both Cult players to smash their opponents. Java with a particularly strong 5-0 finish the only one between all 4 groups!

Meanwhile Sawyr’s compendium dreams were ultimately stymied by Orks, Blooded, and Cults. One wonders if a pile of plague bearers could have helped in the melee-centric match ups, compared to Daemonettes for the horde match ups. This pod proved to be another where skill disparity appears with 3 players collecting the majority of winning records. In another regional rivalry, congrats to Branden B for claiming the winning record of the two Pacific Northwest players!

Prediction Calls: TC-1.5 v AoC-3


Group 3– Rock and Stone

TC- “The group also looks toxic for its elite players between Breachers, Blooded, Kommandoz, and Cultists… This would be a group that we’d expect some Orks to make it through, with the last spot being a touch of a wild card.

AoC– “If Leander had taken Starstriders I’d have put this down as a bracket he would be poised to take, but I see no reason why he can’t make Veteran Guard work. As Trav mentioned I also fully expect one of the two Kommando players to also make it through this

I’ll be handing each of us another half call for the Kommandos with a swing and a miss for the horde player that would make it out. For what it’s worth Kamil versus Leander came down to the wire, with it being anyone’s game! Seems like we both had the US meta assumption that on an open field Veteran Guard, Breachers, and Blooded all presented solid threats. However Kamil, the Polish threat, surprised both of our guesses, and made it in with the lowest ITC ranking of the top 8! Great job to Jason S. for giving Kamil a real run for his money with Kamil’s only missed win. The other winner Qiquems made it into the top cut with the Ork Kommandos proving to be the much bigger nob compared to Mike C.

This was an interesting pod, where any player able to put up a winning record had a chance at making it out – As 4 players finished with a 3-2 record, Felipe, Leander, Liam, and Nick all were within striking distance to make it out of this pod. Perhaps Liam’s matching record to Shane’s means that there truly are no weak chaos marks. Only sketchy match ups. If GW sees Legionary move to roster delimited marks the team may still see new heights. Finally it seems Hearthkyn still has their work cut out for them, though John had said they are “a great team in the wrong meta”. For our dwarf stans your time is just around the corner!

Prediction Calls: TC-2 v AoC-3.5


Group 4– Veterans of the Finale

TC- This group sees some obvious favorites, with both worldwide #1 Ace, and last year’s finale winner Orion. Orion’s favorite Gellerpox have seen a bevy of nerfs but he’s still one of the best to play the team…This group notably avoids the multiple Ork players of groups 1-3, and sees a very healthy spread of team choices. It’s honestly anyone’s game, but we at Goonhammer expect Ace to make it out.

AoC- I suppose I’d be a fool to bet against “Ace” since he has been the number one for two years running, but as we saw in the finals last year, ITC rank doesn’t determine everything. That being said, Orion is returning to a much weaker Gellerpox team… I am going to go out on a limb and predict that if we are to see Chaos Cultist make it to the final bracket this will be the group we see it in

I may be collecting a point from my prediction on Orion, but I wasn’t able to call the second. Which means AoC doesn’t even need the point he got from guess Aleksa’s cults would climb to the top of the Veterans fo the Finale pod. However we were all surprised when Dawson’s Kommandos and Aleksa’s Cults took Ace out of contention by round 2 on Thursday. There will be some audio thoughts on that on Just Another Killteam Podcast(link) at a later date, including some player reactions to Dawson’s win. Ultimately this group was quite competitive with 60% of the players holding winning records at the end of groups. Hopefully Pablo, Laloc, and Chris take back experiences to their local playgroups from some of the best.

While Dawon’s surprise win did not carry into the rest of the group stages, he’s sure to never forget the memes that filtered the discords on Thursday with his upset win! This bracket saw perhaps the biggest ITC upsets in Orion and Aleksa’s wins over worldwide #1, Ace and #17, Jimmy K. With Blayne also performing well with in a hard group at #379. Perhaps the ITC rankings can only tell so much! 

Prediction Calls: TC-3 v AoC-4.5


Final Thoughts

The final results of each bracket are definitely reflective of the play patterns encouraged by our board set-ups. While Open and ITD are meant to provide meaningful differences, the ability to cleanly hide on Open terrain meant that both terrain types tended to reward similar play patterns. That is to say, large melee threats backed up by many operatives to stall for time allowed Cults and Gellerpox to shine where they might not otherwise have.

Meanwhile Kommandos came in hot, but having a strong team only helps so much when you’re playing at the top level. Many Kommando players I talked with, called out that better opponents were much more mindful of their threat ranges. Which meant it was harder to get the big plays the players used to get into the WCW. It seems having some amount of unfamiliarity can still provide players with some strong benefits which may prove fruitful if the meta changes. Either through terrain shifts of balance dataslates.

Congrats to Armor of Contempt for getting the win in this year’s predictions. With this being the first year we’re doing it, we’ll see if I can even it out in 2024! As we failed to make predictions at last year’s finals, it seems you’ll be heading into 2024 as the front runner for predictions. We’ll be analyzing the meta of the WCW soon!

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