The London Grand Tournament wrapped up this past weekend, featuring not only massive events for Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar but also Kill Team. The event featured 45 players, including many of the best in the world, vying over seven rounds for top honours and a shot at the Warhammer World Championships in Atlanta next month. With such a fierce competition and an interesting format decision (more on that below), we absolutely had to speak to the event’s top three finishers.
First let’s talk about the format: While many recent events have decided to remove Gallowdark/Into the Dark boards from their games, the London Grand Tournament took place entirely within the confines of the Gallowdark. This makes it a very interesting look at how the meta has changed for the ITD format, something we haven’t necessarily been able to see recently. That said, with seven different teams making the top 8 cut on day two, it looks like even the ITD meta is in a very healthy place now.
When zooming out to overall attendance for the LGT, we see a broad selection of teams, with the obvious nod towards a larger number of elite-sized teams. Between the two charts it does seem like ITD is a fairly wide pool of teams. Notable misses from the format include Veteran Guard, Pathfinders, and surprisingly, Fellgor Ravagers!
Mateusz M took third place at the event and as the highest-placing player without a ticket already, he received the nod this time around and will be representing Poland at the World Championships. Mateusz has been leading the Polish kill team scene for a while, so it’s good to see that translate to success on one of the game’s largest stages. He recently spoke about some of his Inquisition tactics on Just Another Kill Team Podcast (link), but I’m sure he’s had some updates since then.
Mateusz M – 3rd Place, Inquisition Agents
How does it feel securing a ticket to the world championships later this year? What are you thinking about playing, and what are you looking forward to?
- I am annoyed it took me so long, but still I am happy to have it. I am looking forward to visiting another country and meeting people who I already know and like but also new ones who share my passion.
You’re currently on inquisition agents as your primary team, but with their flexibility in ancillary support options. Which ancillary options did you sport for an all ITD format?
- Unfortunately changes for Inquisition Agents were different than the ones we’ve hoped for. Only real ancillary option now is breachers. Which is a shame because Inquisition is supposed to be the most flexible team, but I feel it is not.
Which match up was the hardest for the weekend? What parts of the team did you leverage to get yourself out of that match up?
- Breachers on loot. In my opinion breachers have a very good matchup against the Inquisition Agent team on ITD (on open opposite). Also breachers are super efficient on loot with access to GA2, Breach and Clears and Overwhelm allowing the team to steal objectives.
How was the experience in London compared to the Polish scene? Is it nice to just be a player without worrying about tournament logistics?
- Yes it is nice! 😀 Just come and play is always cool. It is comparable. Organization was very good and London’s community was very friendly as always.
What other tournaments are you looking forward to?
- In 2 weeks we have the National Team Championships in Poland. So this is my main target for now to secure this title for my team.
Anything else you want to shout out to our fellow readers?
- I would like to one more time say thanks!
Finishing in second place at the event was Dan B, who’d already secured a ticket to the championships at this year’s Warhammer World event. Dan’s a veteran when it comes to playing with Imperial Navy Breachers and it seems they still perform very well in Gallodark games. What kinds of tactics and tricks served him well over the grueling 2-day tournament?
Dan B – 2nd Place, Imperial Navy Breachers
With a golden ticket already in hand, was there ever a chance you were going to experiment with another team for the LGT?
- I considered it. I’ve played a few other teams, like Gellerpox, Cultists (pre nerf of course, haha) and Kasrkin just to deter the meta chasing jokes a little. Partly, the reason I chose breachers is because I think I need the practice for Atlanta, because they are the team I am best with. It would also be fantastic if I finish the year top of the breachers list on ITC rankings. I’ve been interested in other teams though, like Hearthkyn, Warpcoven, Talons and Justian. Plus, it’s always breachin’ time.
Having played mostly in mixed formats, how did the switch up to all ITD feel? Did you enjoy using the breach and clear ability in its original home?
- Breach and Clear is very nice. I managed to get off a breach and clear to open the way for a move dash from overwhelm for a Demolition Package into 4 hunter Clade operatives. The GA2 of the armsmen is really not bad, and I’ve gotten some good use out of hatchway fights and the Hatchcutter’s seal door.
- I also have found some good play with the System Override Device now, having neglected it in place of 2 stimms when I was learning the game. Using the threat of a plasma shot TP1 has been so valuable. Although I think I only actually shot 1 person with this alpha strike, the threat of it has been enough to force my opponent to make some plays that a couple of extra wounds simply aren’t as important as. The play being- open the hatchway on their side of the board, breach and clear to move a guy up and open, then have the plasma shoot (with attack order nearby) and move to safety.
What was your most used combo play of the weekend? On a team with so many high pressure plays I’m curious to hear if something outside of a Blitz’d Grenadier was high on that list?
- A blitz’d Grenadier can really pack a punch, but I’m not sure I used blitz all that much this tournament. The team is so Command Point hungry I’m not sure there’s much room for it.
- I would have to answer Close Assault and Attack Order, but that’s more the team’s bread and butter. I found a lot of use in the Overwhelm tactical ploy, since the ability to have a 5 APL activation (or 6 if one of them already has an extra APL, woah) is something pretty incredible for a horde team. Overwhelming during a Breach and Clear can make you so unpredictable, because it can happen anywhere on the board.
What other events are you all looking forward to in the near future?
- Oh, Atlanta for sure. Although I don’t expect to do very well, traveling to America for your board game hobby is such an exciting experience. Plus, I get to miss a few days of school.
- Other than that… I’m not too sure which ones I can and can’t make. But they’ve all been such great fun, I hope to keep playing.
Are there any other things you want to shout out?
- I settled an old score with Mikele, the Spanish Hierotek player. He beat me in my first ever tournament game in December, so that was quite the climactic rematch. Thankfully, my power had doubled since the last time we met. This means that Ace is the only person with an undefeated record against me, so I can’t let that slide. Maybe I’ll get him back in Atlanta, or maybe he’ll just triple up. I hope that third time’s the charm.
Finally in first place we were surprised to see a Hearthkyn Salvagers team take the gold, piloted by none other than Fernando “Ace” Marcos! With the changes to the team turning them into a solid 10-kyn mixed threat team, the Salvagers can now shoot and punch up against the best of them. If you’re curious about some of his tactics in audio form, Ace recently went on Just Another Kill Team Podcast (link) to talk about their A-tier strategies.
Ace – 1st Place, Hearhtkyn Salvagers
Killteam Mercenarios (link)
What other teams were in the mix for you to take to the LGT? Were Hearthkyn always your first choice?
- Actually not many, after securing the Golden Ticket this summer I’ve been trying factions that were challenging and out of the meta. In this case I think the Hearthkyn had enough of a game plan going Into the Dark and that’s why I took them.
What match ups were you the most worried about going into the LGT? What types of strategies or tactics did you have readied for those match ups?
- Fortunately there were no pure combat teams in the LGT, like Chaos Cults, so the worst matchups were off the table. Against Kommandos I also had problems, the most important thing was to be able to squeeze the Kommando player after he will use the Just a Scratch, as you have several weapons (Plasma Axes, Knives, etc) with juicy 5+ damage that more than scratch them.
How do you find the all ITD format, in comparison to the mixed formats Spain has generally run? Would you still have played the Kyn in a mixed format?
- I think I prefer mixed formats, however I have no problem with playing ITD only. I think closed environments are more strategic with more decisions and more possibilities. Between Guard actions, Hatchway Fight and all these things put the weight on decisions which is what I love about this game.
Can you recall the most tense play of the tournament for you? A moment when you really thought you might’ve been close to the end of the tournament run?
- Both tense moments were with the Jump Pack Warrior. Twice I had a chance to make a very strong play and both times I was unlucky with the dice. In the semis game against Kommandos I had to spend 2 Command Re-rolls to get the third hit I needed (To kill the Dakka and then shoot the Grot). In the final the same thing happened. I charged 2 troopers with the Plasma Axe and got 1,1,1,3 the ancestors were not watching at those moves.
What other tournaments are you lining up over the next few months?
- I’m going to take a break from tournaments and probably won’t play again until Atlanta, of course I’ll keep training. It’s about time I’ll be going to try to spend more time away from the tables with my friends and family.
Any other final words for the Goonhammer readers? Shoutouts to your gaming club?
- All MRQ3 (my club) had incredible results, Pallis and Carlos Duran (Ardathair) qualified for the top 8 and our other teammate Mikele won the pod on Sunday. I am very happy with our performance and as always my victories are also theirs thanks to the hours we dedicate together to this wonderful hobby.
That wraps up our interviews with the top players from the London Grand Tournament. We’d like to extend a big thanks to everyone for participating and look forward to seeing them all again at the World Championships next month.
Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.