Kill Team #1! Adrian Bonvento’s LVO Tournament Recap, Match Breakdown, & Path to Victory

You may have seen Adrian’s Travel VLOG for this year’s LVO as he chronicled his journey to become the #1 Kill Team player in the world. If you haven’t seen it, we’ve embedded it again below. Today Adrian is walking us through his path to the event and his matches at LVO.

Hey all, I’m Adrian. I’m a Brooklyn based Kill Team’er who kommitted to krumpin’ the tournament scene in 2023. I started playing Kommandos after KTO in 2023, and decided to stick with them for the entirety of the competitive year – to see what truly focusing on one single team could accomplish in the competitive arena!

You may recognize my name from some of my previous Goonhammer appearances here, here, or here among others. If you’d prefer to watch my run, we’ve got my VLOG hosted over at Just Another Killteam Podcast’s youtube!


After coming in 3rd place at the World Championships of Warhammer this past November, I felt that my first year of competing on the road had come to a fitting and very respectable close. My entire goal for 2023 was simply to qualify for the WCW, and do the best that I could on the world stage.

Fast forward one month, and more and more of my Kill Team community begin populating my mind with whispers of teef, spoils and eternal waaaghdom – encouraging me to pick back up my trusty Kommandos, fly out to Vegas for what would turn out to be the world’s largest Kill Team tournament to date, and aim to take down the whole thing in one final effort to krump Ace on the Global ITC leaderboard.

As we now know, my peers and their pressure did indeed succeed, and I decided to return to LVO alongside two fellow Brooklyn Rats, Travis & Rami.

Last year’s LVO marked the first tournament I had been to outside my local Brooklyn scene. I ended up coming in 3rd with Intercession, and was just starting to come into my own as a competitive player. It was quite poetic to be able to come back one year later, and not only win the entire event (by the skin of my teeth!), but also secure the #1 spot on the 2023 global ITC leaderboard in the process!! Absolutely surreal.

Doing my best old-school, static pose, warhammer mini impersonation. Last year’s bolter in my left hand, this year’s choppa in my right!


This year at LVO, the final field of 130+ players (after an unfortunate amount of 30 or so drops) was split into two groups. Group A (my group) would play open boards on Day 1, and ITD boards on day 2. Group B would do the opposite. And on day 3, the 2 groups would merge and the swiss-style pairings would continue for 3 more rounds with randomized terrain.. This promised to keep the tournament interesting well into the third day, and as it turns out, the whole tournament was decided in the final turning points of the last 2 games between the top 4 players! You couldn’t have written a better movie script.

GAME 1: Secure – Open – Kommandos (23) Vs Jonathan Marquiss’s Gellerpox (13)

My Tac Ops: Rout (2), Rob and Ransack (2), Eliminate Guards (2)

The moments before the first game of these big tournaments is always nerve-racking. As Dakotah yelled to the room that round 1 pairings were up I saw myself paired into Jonathan Marquiss’ Beetlejuice-themed Gellerpox (with a very funky display board to match!).

I won the roll off and chose the diagonal DZ at the bottom of these photos. I deployed all my big guns on engage, poised to punish any deployment or positional mistakes on T1. As I recall, turn one was quite a cagey one and I don’t think Jonathan let me get any shots off. We both focused on staging for the head on collision that the latter turns would bring.

Beginning in the second turn, 2 things happened which saw me run away with this game. First, my Slasha Boy held off not one, but TWO nightmare hulks in combat for 2 whole turns (what a chad)! This really slowed his momentum on the left side of the map and allowed me to push hard on the right side. Second, both of my sources of dynamite and other big guns connected, and connected hard. The Bomb Squig, for example, was able to catch 2 or 3 of his models in a blast, hit big, and his FNP’s were just not there when he needed them. This allowed me to finish off some very injured models in melee, and push up onto his backline objectives during the final turns of the game which secured me a decisive victory, scoring 4 points on the primary every turn but one.

GAME 2: Capture – Open – Kommandos (23) Vs Jason Steinke’s Inquisitorial Agents (12)

My Tac Ops: Rout (2), Rob and Ransack (2), Eliminate Guards (2)

Game two saw me paired into Jason (a fellow team USA qualifier who I met at the World Championships a few months prior, but did not play). This match was recorded on the Squad Games stream which you can watch here:

The beginning of the game

If I recall, I won the roll off and chose to defend the top half of the map pictured below. Jason opted to take Arbites for his support option, which intrigued me, as I had been used to Vet Guard and Breachers being the go-to’s there. We chatted after the match and I think both came to the agreement that while the shield guys are good to tie up orks, you really need the lethality and activation gaming that the former two options bring. Jason also opted to take Recon for his tac ops – choosing recover item, secure vantage, and I believe either courier or surge forward.

A very cagey turn one saw no bloodshed (apart from an attempted krak grenade alpha strike with his Revelatum). This served as a place for my Slasha Boy to hide safely in combat. Jason won the initiative on turn two and charged headfirst into my Slasha Boy with his Questkeeper who, even with combat support, a balanced reroll, and quarry active rolled a massive SIX 1’s and 2’s failing to connect a single time. His Questkeeper quickly found herself eviscerated by my Slasha Boy (that’s two games now that this guy punched well above his weight!). That roll was unfortunate to see. I never wish that kind of dice luck on my opponents, and it was a big shock for him that threw him off his game. From where I sat, I don’t think it would have changed too much in the game overall, as I had many orks lined up for the retaliatory kill had she connected. But it did then allow me to kill the wounded Revelatum he was in combat with and retreat to safety, denying Jason any more quarry rolls for the turn and seeing him go down two models, with no orks dead in return. At that point, I leaned very heavily on the activation game (since I was up 2-3 activations), and saved my big moves until I saw everything Jason had done. My orks were able to really run away with the primary the following three turns and that sealed the Inquisition’s fate. Jason did end up timing out on the clock in the final turn, but at that point the game had already been decided.

The end of the game 2

GAME 3: Loot – Open – Kommandos (22) Vs Brett Bouchard’s Hand of the Archon (17)

My Tac Ops: Rout (2), Rob and Ransack (2), Eliminate Guards (2)

In game 3 I found myself squaring off against Brett Bouchard’s Hand of the Archon, in what he assumed would be an uphill battle – despite him besting Mike Cortes’ Kommandos by one point in the round prior! Brett would also go on to defeat another Kommando player later in the tournament, making this his only loss to the green tide. Very impressive considering the matchup is not in his favor!

He chose the 6+ FNP for his team – which is the correct decision, as it makes my melee breakpoints much more unreliable. He won the roll off and chose to defend the top side of the board, which I think was also the right call as he had more safe objectives, and mine were much more exposed. In the first couple turns he prioritized getting as much value out of his torment grenade as possible, while also being cagey with the rest of his team (as opposed to looting). After the 1st activation of TP2 I did have 4 wounded orks due to that damn grenade. They would proceed to limp around for the rest of the game, but my focus was on hitting the primary hard, while preventing him from getting pain tokens for as long as possible. By the end of TP 3 the tide had shifted and I found myself running out of operatives & board control. Despite a very strong T4 for Brett (where he got a 4-2 on the primary and had more elves left than I had orks), the damage had been done at that point, and my Kommandos limped across the finish line with a 5 point lead – owing to three turns of 4-2 primary scoring in the first 3 turns.


After Brett’s first activation of TP2. FOUR tormented orks.


I felt good going into day two, and liked my chances on the ITD layouts. With the recent nerfs to Kommandos on open, they felt effectively unchanged (and comparatively better) on ITD.

GAME 4: Loot – ITD – Kommandos (20) Vs Vivek Ramesh’s Veteran Guard (20)

My Tac Ops: Rout (2), Rob and Ransack (2), Eliminate Guards (2

My first game of day two recreated the Octarius launch box, except for the terrain. I didn’t know it at the time but this would be one of my hardest fought matches in my entire tournament run.

Going into this game I quickly saw it was going to be tough. He won the roll off and chose attacker – which allowed him to deploy all his key threats last, and later allowed him to win TP1 initiative. We were also playing on a map with two centerline objectives. So he correctly staged two GA2 guardsmen right up against those doors with his pre-game dash – threatening a 4-2 first turn, or a dead Nob on my end should I have wanted to go 3-3 on the right side of the board. He had so many engaged guns to back up the right side of the board, that I opted to let him have the 4-2, and figured I would get it back later in the game. Finally, this map also proved great for his security tac ops (secure center line, central control, and stand fast).

After three successive combats on the left side center objective, where I rolled only 1 or 2 hits and failed to kill a single guardsman, that flank quickly collapsed and I had to fight to just barely prevent him from stealing my backline objective on the final turn.

My grot with an extra APL ended up being the hero of the game – ziplining down the center of the map, dashing onto his central backline objective and looting to secure me the 4-2 I needed (on turn 3 I  believe) to tie on primary.

I was unable to stop any of his secondaries from maxing out – as I just did not have the bodies to position orks to deny central control or center line without screwing up the rest of my game plan.

Early in TP1

I was still losing by two points up until the the final two activations of the game, where I had one ork come in and soften up a guardsman, and a second one charge in on the final activation of the game to punch him to death with his fists, 3.1 inches away from the next guardsman, scoring me max on rob and ransack, in the nick of time.

We both hugged it out after what had been an amazing game, and had only a couple minutes to get prepared for the next game of the day! Hats off to Vivek for his tournament run at LVO this year (coming in second place overall). He was a great sport, and fun to chat with throughout the course of the match as well.

GAME 5: Capture – ITD – Kommandos (21) Vs Dustin Delisle’s Intercession (13)

My Tac Ops: Headhunter (2), Rob and Ransack (2), Eliminate Guards (2)

This was my first game of the tournament on one of Dakotah’s asymmetrical ITD layouts – and I enjoyed the challenge it brought. I won the roll off and chose to defend the blue side as I felt there was better staging and mobility potential on the far left lane of the map. It provided a better launching pad to attack two objectives, where the far right was just kind of off on its own.

I forgot to take a photo of this game! This was the map. I chose defender and picked the blue DZ.

Against elites I tend to commit as little as possible to the objectives and just carry a very big stick to back it up. Turn 1 was very cagey and no blood was shed. Turn two started with Dustin charging an Assault Intercessor into my Boy on my central objective in an effort to score eliminate guards and rout. He only had one combat to do it in and with a combination of good dice and just a scratch, my boy was able to survive on 1 wound. This led Dustin to charge his plasma pistol sergeant in to finish the job, which he promptly did, subsequently going on guard. But I popped open my door, and fired a slew of relentless rokkits, all but vaporising both of those marines. My 3APL Slasha Boy followed up with silent throwing knives to finish off his leader (for 2 points on headhunter, and one on eliminate guards), and then charged into the wounded assault intercessor, striking him once to finish the job. I decided to pop rob and ransack at that moment, as I wasn’t sure if I’d get another clean chance later in the game.

That was a rough blow, trading two marines for one ork, and the rest of the game Dustin stayed on his three objectives and went on guard to ensure I couldn’t challenge them. Due to that I was only able to get 4 primary points on the final turn of the game. But I had basically maxed my tac ops in the early stages of TP2, so I just focused on denying his while slowly moving up the board.

It’s tough out there for elites right now. Getting out activated by 5-6 models is really brutal, and you can’t make a single mistake. Despite this, Dustin was a great guy and very pleasant to play against!

GAME 6: Secure – ITD – Kommandos (23) Vs John Rees’s Elucidian Starstriders (15)

My Tac Ops: Rout (2), Rob and Ransack (2), Eliminate Guards (2)

Game 6 saw John Rees of Can You Roll a Crit? and I finally face off! We had dodged each other at several tournaments this year (NOVA, NYO, WCW), so I was looking forward to finally getting to play! We both knew that this was a tough one for Starstriders going into it. Especially on ITD.

If I recall correctly: I won the roll off and chose to defend the bottom side, for the same reasons as my match prior. There were just a few more key staging areas and more favorable doors in the center of the map. I opted to give my Nob a smoke grenade to be a nuisance in his back line. I also shot him 9” up the board prior to Turn 1 (starting with a 6” sneaky git and door open, and then a 3” shh). So at the beginning of TP1, he was staged behind a door with the potential for 3APL ready to go.

The end of the initiative phase. The Nob moved 6” up the board and opened a door. He would later shh along to the next door to be able to charge into the 2nd room from the left and wreak havoc.

Using my slight activation advantage and the slew of doors in between us my primary strategy for this match was to leave my forward most orks ready for as long as possible. Doing this would allow me to promptly charge any model he placed within 2” of me, and prevent John from getting a single support asset off all game. In most combats I would get one of his models to within one hit kill range, and then parry myself out so he could not lance me if he got initiative the following turn. The strategy with my Nob was to hide in combat at the end of T1, and then fight, kill and drop smoke in any later turn to prevent him from being struck from orbit. Then rinsing and repeating while the rest of my team marched up the board and aimed for a 4-2 on primary each turn. As it turned out I lost my Nob in T2 to his Assassin. But with no support assets to shoot orks off the board, and few dedicated melee specialists, this was a very uphill battle for the Starstriders, as the orks just threw bodies onto the points and hid in combat.


Going into day 3  I knew it was going to be all tough opponents from here on out, starting with last year’s world champion, Orion, and his recently buffed Fellgor Ravagers.

GAME 7: Secure – Open – Kommandos (18) Vs Orion Wilfong’s Felgor Ravagers (18)

My Tac Ops: Headhunter (1), Rob and Ransack (2), Eliminate Guards (2)

This was my second game on stream, which can be viewed here:

In theory I felt good going into this matchup. I think it’s slightly more favorable for Kommandos, assuming you can get some good shooting off prior to meeting head on in combat. However, this board was loaded with heavy and obscuring terrain, which Orion used to his advantage, and my guns were not able to impact the game in the way that I had planned. It turns out that getting charged by full health Fellgor, is just too much even for a full health ork to handle.

Deployment. Breacha boy with a choppa forward deployed near many walls that he could run through.

Seeing as this was a diagonal deployment and goats are very tough to kill in melee, I chose to swap rout for headhunter. I knew I needed to be playing cagey, so rout was never going to be an option for me on this map.

I won the roll off and chose what was a noticeably better side for the early game in terms of access to objectives. Orion had to be very clever to even secure a 4-2 on turn one due to this.

In the final activation of Turn 1, I decided to yolo my 3APL Grot into his backline objective to ensure a 4-1 primary first turn for me. My goal was to really crank up the pressure and make him come to me, but in retrospect, I think if I had held my Grot back, he would have been far more impactful turns 2, 3 and 4, and might even have won me the game. Orion got the initiative TP2 and promptly revealed executioner and murdered my Grot. I then threw my bomb squig into a goat to get an eliminate guards point. But what these two moves accomplished in scoring, was countered by the fact that I was now down on the activation game, which really hurt me the rest of the game.

Orion realized he had to hit back fast and hard if he was to stay in the points game. And he did just that. Every ork he charged died for the most part, and I quickly saw the primary (and model count) swinging firmly in his favor – as my left flank completely collapsed. This is where the Grot would have helped.

The fight then became about the two centerline objectives on the right side of the board, where we both threw bodies at each other, one team securing the point, then the other securing it back.

I think at that point the game had shifted back to Orion’s favor, but 3 plays of mine just barely allowed me to scrape out a tie. First: I focused on denying his rob and ransack in the final turn by grouping my models right next to each other. Second: I had my Rokkit Boy charge into combat with a 4 wound fellgor, and with his fists I needed a crit (or three hits) to kill and pop rob and ransack. I got the crit, and was able to keep him alive the rest of the game. Third: in the final two activations of the game, with Orion’s clock expired and mine on 10 seconds, I had two -1 APL orks perform the following sequence of actions: 1) my Dakka Boy charged into a goat on an objective, and 2) my Comms Boy charged the same goat, and performed the secure mission action for free using his ability. This happened right before my time expired and we had to call the judges over to ensure all my hasty measurements were indeed valid. After several minutes of judging, it all checked out, we tallied up the scores, and it was a tie!! In the dying moments of TP4 by the skin of my teeth, I had done it again. Orion and I both hugged it out here as this had been such a close and competitive game. These are the games you live for. I’m glad this one was captured on stream!

The final few turns became one big dogpile on the right side of the map as we vied for control of two key objectives.

GAME 8: Capture – ITD – Kommandos (23) Vs Kellen Foster’s Novitiates (13)

My Tac Ops: Rout (2), Rob and Ransack (2), Eliminate Guards (2)

Kellen and I faced off for the 2nd consecutive time at LVO, in a matchup that, on paper, is quite uphill for Novitiates.

The beginning of T1 after shh-ing my orks forward.

Kellen successfully denied me a 4-2 the first turn with some extra apl, movement, and a krak grenade on his Penitent. This threatened my forward deployed Nob behind a closed door, so I chose to retreat in order to avoid getting hit with a faith-boosted krak to the face. I had played this map a few times before and quickly found the center room to be a trap. So in deployment I chose to just commit my grot to the center, and split up everyone else on the wings. Kellen chose to deploy the majority of his force in the center of the map, which we discussed at the end of the game. I think this was his downfall – as I was able to push lots of ork bodies up the wings, and all his models in the center weren’t able to impact the game until T3 or even T4. Due to this I was able to avoid flamers and plasma until my key primary points had already been scored. Overall I’m not the biggest fan of this map as once you commit to one of the three lanes, you’re really stuck there.

GAME 9: Loot – ITD – Kommandos (19) Vs Chris Bacchi’s Veteran Guard (13)

My Tac Ops: Rob and Ransack (1), Shokk Taktiks (1), Eliminate Guards (2)

Going into this game there were 4 players who could win the entire tournament. Chris, myself, Orion, and Vivek. And the latter two were playing each other on stream this same round. Chris had one loss, Orion had one tie, and Vivek and I had two ties each.

This was probably one of the cagiest matches I’ve ever played. Not a single model on either team had been slain by the end of turn 2! We went 3-3 on the primary each turn, except for the final one, where I broke through to get a 4-2.

I made a mistake in selecting my tac ops – choosing Shokk Taktiks – and missing out completely on scoring the first point of that. I think I had assumed I chose rout, forgotten during deployment, and set up according to a T3/4 rout game plan. Luckily I was able to somewhat salvage that blunder and get the 2nd point of my faction tac op on turn two. I also ended up popping rob and ransack way too early, and lost the 2nd point as a result.

Chris had chosen protect assets, stand fast, and secure hatchway. Knowing I was down on the secondaries if Chris were to do well on his, I made sure I was aware of his tac ops the whole game. Through some very cagey and deliberate play, I was able to deny each of his secondaries, which ended up being the nail in the coffin. His hatchway was on the center line on the right side of the map – so I made sure to keep as many orks alive as possible through TP4 there. That room, once won, ended up providing me a staging point to launch my Nob into his center objective and then onto his back left objective the turn after that.

The keys for me in this game were to mitigate the demo (which only went off on one model all game), and the spotter (who only impacted the game once I believe). This was the only game all tournament I spent zero CP until Turn 2. I opted to very slowly move up the board, electing to have skulk about active for turns 2, 3 and 4. And ample CP to spend as needed in the later stages of the game.

Top of TP4

Chris is a great competitor, a very fair opponent, and always a pleasure to play. Like Kellen, this was the 2nd time I had played him at LVO, and I’m really happy we had the chance to meet again on the battlefield.

The Finish

So as the dust settled, and Vivek bested Orion to match my 7-0-2 record… it came down to tiebreakers. I emerged ahead of Vivek by a mere 2 victory points (192-190) over the course of the entire tournament! If he and I had tied on victory points, it would have gone to secondaries scored, and he would have broken that tie and won! We had theorized going into this event that even 2nd place would have been enough to clinch the top global spot, but as it turned out, anything less than 1st place at LVO would not have secured me #1 on the ITC ladder! Absolutely insane. I was (and still am) in disbelief that I was able to pull it all off!

The final standings. By the skin of my orky teef!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year as a competitive player, it’s that there are a lot of forces outside of your control in these tournaments which need to be on your side in order to propel you to the top. Don’t get me wrong; you need to be practiced, sharp at every moment, and have the mental and physical stamina for an event of this scale. But one key dice roll, one game outside of yours going an unexpected way, a couple mental lapses, a bad matchup or unfavorable map, and your path to victory can take a dramatic turn like a game of Chutes and Ladders.

It’s almost impossible to play a perfect tournament, let alone a perfect game. There’s always something you could have done better. Who knows, we may never play that perfect game, but that pursuit and that challenge is what keeps me coming back again and again.

The big trophy!

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