Interviewing the Top 3 Kill Team Players from Adepticon!

Hi everyone! Adepticon has wrapped, with plenty of new Kill Team story lines in the books. We’ve got Goonhammer’s ArmorofContempt in the top 3, and a young blood taking the top slot! I’m sure we’re all very interested in seeing how their runs stacked up, so let’s get into it.

Nick’s Veteran Guard

Nick, 3rd, Veteran Guard, Ventrue Minis Youtube

It’s been a minute since  we’ve seen Veteran Guard grace the top tables, were they your first choice for this big tournament outing?

  • Out of my dozens of games of Kill Team, I can count on my fingers the number of games I haven’t played with Veteran Guard. They’re my most played team by a huge margin. That’s most of what being successful in a tournament is: knowing your team’s strengths, weaknesses, and win condition like the back of your hand. Their bag of tricks remains relevant.

Out of the top 3 players you have the most 20 point scores. How did you find such high scores with the Security archetype nerfs?

  • With the new Critical Operations mission that has 6 objectives that all rely on you sitting on objectives and scoring, Vet Guard excels. Plus, with 3 of the missions of the weekend being Loot, scoring primary objective points was really consistent, which meant Stand Fast was super consistent. This left two tac ops to choose, and with a heavy piece of terrain always being in the center of the board, combining Seize Ground/Seize Access Point with Central Control meant I could score those tac ops in tandem. Originally, Security was something you could score much sooner, but now it requires a lot of patience. That just means you can be more focused on primary scoring and threat removal early on.

What was your hardest match up? Did you have any opponents you really enjoyed playing against?

  • Gellerpox, Breachers, and Phobos were the trickiest games of the weekend. Tomas’ Phobos were so pleasant to fight, maybe the cleanest game of Kill Team I’ve ever had – you know the game is good when victory comes down solely to the final initiative roll in turn 4. Adrian’s Breachers were a menace and definitely the hardest to fight throughout the weekend. I played against them twice, and the dice might’ve been the only reason I was able to win the rematch.

Did you have much practice leading up to this run?

  • I didn’t do much intentional practice but spent a lot of time theorycrafting. For example, I hadn’t ever fought Gellerpoxbefore but knew I had to determine my strategy for the weekend. Turns out, swapping the plasma out for the flamer was a good choice. There’s a lot of value in reading datasheets thoroughly. Creating my Veteran Guard guide helped a lot too, as it meant I had to really consider every aspect of the team and what all its components had to offer. It’s one thing to look at a “meta list”, but in Kill Team, your team is a toolbox. Knowing your toolbox is the best practice.

What was your experience like at Adepticon? How does it compare to your normal play group and space?

  • Everyone was so pleasant. After coming from the gregarious London Grand Tournament this fall, I had a worry that Adepticon would be a bit more scary and unfriendly. Totally wrong. The players at Adepticon were some of the kindest, honest Kill Team players I’ve met. Getting to meet the folks I saw in the LVO recaps and play against them in person was a real treat. Definitely the best games of Kill Team I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Compared to my usual LGS in Chicago, The Dice Dojo, the culture matched super well.

Coming in second, and a Goonhammer author, we’ve got Jon. Sporting his cults in purple and infiltrating the top tables yet again!

John’s Wrymblade

JD Reynolds, 2nd, Wrymblade

You can read JD’s firsthand account of his time at Adepticon here.

Were there any other team choices for you or did the Wrymblade always have your slot?

  • Wyrmblade have been the automatic choice for nearly a year. I paint very slow and do take the hobbying side serious, so I refuse to play with models until they’re painted to a high standard. As I had mentioned in my Adepticon articles, Wyrmblade being my team of choice was mostly just luck thanks to a Necromunda project in 2020 and them getting decent rules in White Dwarf. If this hadn’t happened I’d be playing Intercession, as Ultramarines are my main army, BUT I find Intercession boring to play, so I don’t know if the game would’ve hooked me nearly as hard had I been forced to play with them.

As one of the more successful Wrymblade players, what are your secret sauces? Are you still getting value out of the team’s tricks, or is it all on good agent positioning?

  • Having played this team a year I am still occasionally having my opinions on them revised, choices I might’ve considered no-brainers changing after a particularly interesting matchup. I can’t think of anything secret enough to blow anyone’s mind, but recent experience has helped solidify the Locus as almost as much of an auto-take as the Kelermorph. At the end of the day mobility is key, and the Sanctus Sniper can be a good way to trap yourself into playing to statically, while the Locus and Kelermorph working together can be placed in threatening positions that ensure that your opponent is going to make a hard choice regardless of whether they win the roll-off.
  • You’re correct that there are often diminishing returns on some of their more unique abilities once people get wise to them, but it doesn’t change the fact that Wyrmblade requires everyone to play around their Cult Ambush ability on TP1. I can change all my orders, and you can’t, is a huge advantage. In all my games at Adepticon I usually went out of my way to explain my team’s rules to many people who hadn’t played, so there were as few gotcha moments as possible. It never sits right to win a game simply because my opponent didn’t know I could do something.
  • Anyway, once you got their bullshit nailed down most people try to counter Wyrmblade by essentially getting a null TP1 or picking off a poorly placed operative at the end of the firefight phase. But your second question is basically the counter strategy to this in the form of good Agent positioning, because if you just let the Wyrmblade player place all his operatives where he wants on TP1 you might find yourself in an even worse position going into TP2. My goal is usually to set my opponent up for at least 3 hard choices going into TP2 with the Agents presenting threats that can easily take out two enemy operatives, even against elite teams.

Did you find more success on Open or ITD, do you feel that Wrymblade are better suited to one or the other?

  • When Close Quarters rules were announced I had predicted that Wyrmblade would fare very well in that environment due to the close-range nature of their shooting, and their fantastic ploys. However, both Hiding and Writhing Ingress received big nerfs, and being a mostly APL2 team can mean they have a hard time responding to threats the same way APL3 teams can on Into The Dark boards. Basically, I think of them as equally capable on both with each providing different challenges and advantages, you can’t replicate your Open board strategies on Close Quarters and expect to win.

Did you have any opponents you wanted to shout out? Very sportsmanlike players, great kitbashes or otherwise?

  • I’ll give Tomas a second shout out, because not only was our game great, but he showed me I had been playing Coiled Serpent incorrectly, as I had been declaring when attacking, not at the start of operative activation. I use this ploy almost exclusively on the Leader or Kelermorph, so this correction doesn’t change my play style, but it does mean I am forced to commit to it before seeing my roll results. I hope I haven’t ever cheated anyone out of a victory this way. There are minor inconsistencies in the rules design of the Wyrmblade that can lead to these kinds of mistakes, and I am always trying to be sure I am playing things as correctly as possible.

How did you like the format for Adepticon, with Open and ITD split by day?

  • The day split – It feels like it might be hard on teams that suffer significantly by the change, BUT having it all one does allow you to keep the same mindset from game to game. That being said teams you’d assume would have an advantage on it, did worse, legionnaires and breachers. Both piloted by experienced players

Anything else you want to add about the Adepticon experience?

  • Go, it’s the best convention.

First place went to Leander, part of a family triple threat, and regular East Coast contender. He’s finally struck gold at Adepticon, with Archeotech Cannons, and fancy filigree! In case you want to hear from the man himself I had him on my podcast recently to talk about Adepticon on Just Another Killteam Podcast.

Leander’s synthwave Starstriders!

Leander, 1st, Euclidian Starstriders, Woodley Warriors Podcast

What went into your team selection? Were Starstriders your first pick, or was there another pick you were throwing around?

  • I took Navy Breachers to KTO just to be sweaty, and only went 2-2 with them. For Adepticon, I decided I wanted to take a team that’s good, and that I love playing. I had dabbled in Starstriders before the buff, and really enjoyed playing them. Pre-buff the team wasn’t strong enough for me to take to a major tournament. After the balance dataslate, Starstriders were top tier AND remained fun to play. I knew I would have a rough matchup into breachers and intercession on ITD (Into The Dark), but that was fine.

How was your experience at Adepticon compared to your experience at the Chicago Open?

  • At Chicago Open ITD was relatively new, so there was no FAQ, and many rules, such as forward deploying, were under debate. On the ITD side, the Chicago Open felt hectic; decisions were quickly made about which rules worked for ITD at the start of the tournament. I loved the prize support at Chicago Open; in addition to giving everyone in the podium a framed certificate, everyone who podiumed in Warhammer events, along with excellent painters and best sportsmen, got to grab a prize for themselves in a huge chest. Both Adepticon and Chicago Open had huge spaces to play in; many Kill Team tournaments feel cramped, so it felt amazing to play games in massive rooms.
  • By Adepticon, all of the ITD kinks were worked out and games felt smoother. After day 1 of Adepticon, everyone was grouped into pods of 8 based on their placings, and regardless of if you were in the first pod or the last pod, if you won your pod you got a medal (hands down the coolest medal I’ve ever seen!). I like that even if you had a bad day 1, you can still have a great day 2 and win a prize!

Were there any crazy moments of luck, great opponents, or great plays you wanted to talk about?

  • One moment of crazy luck I had was against Chuck’s Intercession. This was in the top pod, and a crazy close game. I won the game because an intercessor with a boltgun (lethal 5+ and P1 AND a free reroll) shot into my medic, and failed to kill her. We had a great and very close game. I don’t like it when a crazy die roll determines the game; if his dice had worked on that roll, he would have played Jonathon’s Wyrmblade for the golden ticket.
  • The best play of the tournament I saw was in my game against Jonathon on the final game of day 1, the only game I lost at the tournament. I played against Wyrmblade on an open board and the scoring option was loot. Jonathan played an excellent game, popping Meticulous Plan turn 1 (mission actions for free), and Hiding(forward deploy 2 operatives at any point in the turn). He had his hiding neophytes forward deploy + dash + loot for free. He was up 2 on primary the whole game because of that play, and I struggled to catch up on scoring.
  • The board also had 2 objectives out in the open: since he had 12 activations to my 10 I couldn’t claim those objectives turn 1; he had several heavy gunners + a grenade launcher positioned to shut me down if I wanted to play the mission turn 1. Jonathon played a near perfect game; cagey early on, then committing just the right number of operatives to objectives the following turns to secure the win.

Having a younger brother and practice partner must be a great boon! How much did the practice at home translate to the tables at Adepticon?

  • Leading up to Adepticon, Liam (my little brother) and I were getting in at least 2 games a week! I knew Starstriders inside out by Adepticon, and I knew how to play on every ITD map on day 2 of Adepticon, since I had played them a million times with Liam before.

Are you planning to stick with Starstriders post nerf? I know I’ve seen you on meta team after  meta team, so I assume there is a new hotness?

  • I’m a shameless meta chaser. I’ll still be playing Starstrider often in home games and small tournaments, but the new hotness I’ll be hopping on is Hierotek Circle(3+ invulnerable save?!?! 9 inch move ?!?!? 4” fly when they revive?!?). I think what happened with them is similar to Hunter Clade, where they sucked before their buff, and as a result they were vastly overbuffed.

Anything you want to shout out to the Goonhammer readers??

  • I’d like to shout out the Atlantic City Open, which will be from June 17-18. I know the TO is awesome, and will do a great job!
  • Also, (shameless plug) I have a Kill Team podcast with my brother called Woodley Warriors Kill Team. In our most recent episode we interview Tomas, who got 5th at Adepticon with Phobos. It would be awesome if you checked us out!

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