The World Championships of Warhammer are next week and we’re prepping by talking to some of the key competitors at this year’s event – many of whom are also competing for top honors in the ITC. We sat down with many of the top players from this year’s Kill Team event to talk to them about their plans, preparation, and expectations for the event. In this article, we’re covering our discussions with players representing the US.
Welcome everyone to our coverage of the WCW: Kill Team USA players! As with the other games, America has the largest pool of players at the WCW – though not the majority – with a mix of players as wide as it is deep. From content creators, hometown heroes, and junior competitors they’ve got it all. With 16 players out of 37, the US stands a strong chance to wade through group stages with accolades in tow while also having a good chance to bring it all home again.
Team-wise, the US has a strong contingent of Kommandos players – the only Xenos teams in the mix for the US. It seems Americans aren’t too fond of Aeldari and other Xenos this year.
We thought it would be a nice touch to walk through the players in their qualification order. Starting with Orion W. at LVO2023 and ending with Dawson A. at Tampa! We’ll attach the ITC rankings of each player (as of 11-09-2023) to each player’s section, along with our Goonhammer interviews from qualifying events. Meanwhile each player was asked the same 5 questions:
- How does your qualifying team feel coming into the WCW?
- What are your hopes for you and your region?
- Are there any notable players you’re worried about playing?
- Is there advice you’d pass onto newer competitive players?
- Any particularly shout-outs you want to give to Goonhammer readers?
Las Vegas Open 2023 (Interviews), Jan 18-21: Orion W (#102), Gellerpox Infected -> WCW: Gellerpox Infected
Orion was last year’s grand champion, and one of the organizers for KTO. He’s a gentleman and a scholar and is coming in with a much weaker Gellerpox than he qualified with. After his big win at LVO he’s mostly kept to his community and we’re excited to see how he fares with his stinky boys.
- Well, I was the first golden ticket winner this year, meaning while the Gellerpox did fantastic at LVO, a lot has changed since then. My poor stinky boyz have taken a few rules nerfs since then and the meta is quite different now, so the team I won with was practically in a different era of Kill team compared to the championship.
- My main goal is to present the best sportsmanship and gameplay I can offer to all these new folks I’ll be meeting from around the world. There’s a lot of people traveling and dedicating their time and money here, so I hope to make it a great time for every opponent I play.
- Na, I don’t worry about players much, anyone can beat anyone in this game and at this level everyone’s got a great set of skills to be concerned about. I only worry about teams once I’ve seen the layouts, then I’ll start mildly panicking about which team will abuse the tables.
- If you want to get better in this game, you’ve got to play a ton and lose a fair bit as well. Always look back at your games to see what you could’ve done better. I’ve learned more from 1 loss than 10 wins combined.
Killteam Open 2023 (Interviews), Feb 18-19: Jimmy K (#14), Talons of the Emperor -> WCW: Imperial Navy Breachers
Jimmy surprised the competitive world with the only compendium qualification this year. For any who doubted the Talons he made mincemeat of everyone in the confines of the gallowdark, and has had a strong year since then.
- Talons are fantastic on ITD but vulnerable on open. They tend to do well against a few of the tough teams right now, like cultists and Kommandos but they def have some bad matchups on open. Not in the worst spot but def not a top Meta pick.
- Just have fun, avoid Spaniards (but only for matches, they are fantastic people to hang out with), drink heavily, don’t get busted for public indecency, world domination, hang out with the bros, devour the souls of my enemies …. you know, the usual tournament stuff.
- Only all of them. No one is going to Atlanta without really understanding the game well and being a threat. Key mentions are Adrian and Shane from the US who are both really at the top of their game and killing it right now. Liam and Aleksa, from Australia, cause have you ever battled an Aussie?!?! Not folk to mess with lightly, I’ll tell ya what. Ryan from the UK because Turning Point Tactics is a fantastic channel and when I listen to his stuff I realize what a noob I am (also, having a British accent makes you 25% more intelligent and intimidating, that’s a fact). Oh, and Ace because he’s a dominant force to deal with in Kill Team! Wait, I didn’t mention the Garrets, they are the east coast family of destruction! Mark and his sons Liam and Leander are huge threats AND incredible people!
- Just keep playing and don’t forget to have fun. If you feel you NEED to win, it takes so much away from the events and the process. Experience and time are the biggest things you need …. and kommandos. Kommandos def help….
Adepticon (Interviews), Mar 23-24: Leander G (#16), Elucidian Starstriders -> WCW: Veteran Guardsmen
The eldest son of the Garrett family. Leander has been chasing the meta all year, and looks to have made another metagame call. With the bevy of kommandos for this coming weekend his switch to Veteran Guard may pay off huge!
- Starstriders don’t seem to be in the best place right now since two of the most popular teams, kommandoz and legionaries, are an uphill battle for starstriders. Starstriders can only do a certain amount of damage per turn and if kommandos and legionaries just throw bodies at you starstriders, you’re in trouble.
- I’d love to make the top 8 cut at the world champs. And I think the US has a real shot at first place in regional rankings, since we have so many amazing players like Orion and Adrian B.
- The two players I’m the most worried about are Ace and Orion, since Ace has three golden tickets and is Ace, and Orion is the reigning world champion.
- If after every game (win or loss) you ask your opponent what you could have done better, you’ll improve drastically. I only started doing well at tournaments once I implemented this.
Alamo KT Champs, May 06: Ryan Z (#1213), Elucidian Starstriders -> WCW: Elucidian Starstriders
A relatively unknown player in the US circuit, Ryan nevertheless qualified, and is sticking with his qualification team. One of the few players to do so at that! We’re excited to see how a smaller US competitive region stacks up against the world as one of the lowest ranked entries into the WCW. Is ITC really just a number? Ryan’s here to prove it!
- Top 4 and or best starstriders player
- Cult scrims have been tough
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions on what model does what. you may discover cool ways to your team that were not immediately obvious
- I’m super excited to be going and I could not have done this without the support of the Austin Kill Team community. Thank you all
Canadian Tabletop Champions, May 13: True C (#87), Veteran Guardsmen -> WCW: Veteran Guardsmen
One of Brooklyn’s hometown heroes True is one of the few players to have qualified in a different country! Having gone to Canada to defeat their champions in one on one combat, his veteran guard come out for some atonement this weekend!
- With Veteran Guardsmen I feel confident going into any matchup. With 14 operatives and a boatload of gunners no team is a counter to them.
- Ideally I hope to win first place, however if I am eliminated I will do my best to ensure the US takes the best country overall!
- Kommandos will be a hard matchup. Triple Sneaky Git is difficult to deal with but the spotter and demolition veteran are the only ones with a great counter to that.
- First, understand all the ins and outs of your team to start. Secondly, learn your matchups into other teams and all their weaknesses. Think about which operative needs to activate first (I call this priority activation). Lastly, always play the mission first! I know it can be fun to shoot and melee your opponent to death but it’s all for nothing if you don’t score!
- The Brooklyn Strategist, Kiddie Pool Alliance, and the Veterans of the Long War
Kansas City GW Open (Interviews), Jun 03-04: Blayne S (#379), Chaos Cults -> WCW: Hunter Clade
Blayne’s made quite the climb from his competitive debut at 2022’s Chicago Open! With a game as small as ours it’s always possible for sharp players to find their ways to the top! He qualified during melee summer with Cults, but has gone back to his comfort team for the WCW. We’re excited to see how Clade fares against Kommandos, and we are rooting for him!
- Seeing some of the changes in both meta and chaos cult itself, I’ve been opting to try other teams out like kommandos and exaction. I feel like the team still performs above average, especially on into the dark, and I know it’s still a very strong choice. I’d rather go back to my roots and try out a team like Hunter Clade in the previously shifted meta to see how they perform.
- I just hope to have an amazing time with this once in a lifetime (or twice if your Orion) opportunity provided by GW. I’m super excited to hangout with all the players I have come to know and admire, as well as meet some of the fantastic players I have yet to go up against from all around the world.
- I’m mainly worried about both the Kommandos and Cult matchups simply because they’re very strong options that have a lot of versatility against almost every team. As for players, I have yet to play against the world’s best, ace, but am excited to see if he lives up to all the hype I’ve heard in the past couple years of KT2.
- Keep practicing and get accustomed to making mistakes and losing because that’s the only way to learn and improve. It’s also easy to let winning take priority, but the most important aspect of this game is to have fun and hangout with people you love.
- I want to shout out all the guys here at home that helped me practice and showed me how to have fun slinging some plastic. They are the same guys I started our YouTube channel with (Six-Sided Legion) and it’s been an absolute blast being a part of such an amazing group and community.
Kansas City GW Open, Jun 03-04: Marc G (#128), Phobos Squad -> WCW: Phobos Squad
Papa Garrett as the northeast has come to know him. He’s both a competitor and dad of the year supporting both of his son’s as they climbed their way to the tops of competitive Killteam this year. He was the only Phobos player to qualify over the year, and we’re hoping to see him at the Vanguard of the pack!
- Phobos are as fun and sneaky as ever. They’re a 50/50 team so it’s all down to how well you play.
- For myself, have fun and play at pace. For my region, I’d love to see the USA come out on top. With Spain and the UK in the mix, who knows?
- There are so many great players attending — Jimmy K, Shane, Adrian B, Orion, Nick C — too many to list and no sense in worrying about any of them. I especially hope to play Ace or Mateusz since they’re coming across the ocean.
- Showing up is half the battle. If you’re on the fence about playing competitively, jump in and give it a try.
- I’m grateful to share a hobby with my boys and I’ll be cheering them on the whole time — all three of us have Golden Tickets. Thanks to GW for gathering so many players in one place!
- To anyone who has to play all three Garretts: sorry, brother. Drinks are on me.
Atlantic City Open (Interviews), Jun 16-18: Shane S (#10), Chaos Cults -> WCW: Legionary
Shane, better known as half of Command Point! He’s had a banner year, from his qualification at the height of melee summer. Since those highs he’s been scalping the Kommandos from the shadows with numerous close finals matches. While we are disappointed he didn’t bust out the Heirotek Circle to style on people, his Nurgle Legionaries have been a force to be reckoned with!
- Well, I won my first ticket with Chaos Cults and my second ticket with Legionnaires. Not interested in playing Cults anymore, and my Marines are looking pretty spicy in the meta right now!
- Oh, jeez. That’s a tough question–everyone there is going to be so good, the odds of anybody hoping to podium are tough. That being said, I said the same thing before every big tourney I went to this year and always managed top 2, so let’s say finals! I really just hope to challenge myself and give the best performance I possibly can.
- Excited is a better word than worried, I guess. I am very thrilled about the prospect of playing Dan Barton and Ryan Slater from the UK. Obviously Ace from Spain. Matt from the PNW has had a lot of success from a region I’ve never encountered so that should be a fun one! I need my revenge on Adrian from NoVA too, so that’s on my radar!
- Play your comfort team and think HARD about turning point 1. From there, let the flow of the game dictate your decisions and you’ll get better and better with every game.
Salt City, Jul 07-09: Adrian B (#2), Ork Kommandos -> WCW: Ork Kommandos
The latter half of this year has been the Adrian show on the East Coast. With wins at NOVA, Tampa, and NYO his Kommandos have truly been a menace. Cementing his spot at global #2! He first qualified at Salt City, in a killer’s field, but he’s ready to krump us all.
- The Green Tide is feeling mighty strong at the moment! Is this what it feels like to be an Ork all the time?
- I’m just hoping to do the best that I can, have an awesome time along the way, and for the US (and more specifically New York) to represent on the global stage! It really is an honor to be a part of an event of this caliber and magnitude.
- I wouldn’t say worried, but I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes on Orion and Ace: two great players, and the finalists in last year’s world championships! Maybe we’ll get to face each other down on the battlefield. I’m especially looking forward to playing individuals from other countries, who I’d otherwise never have the chance to play. To me, that’s the most exciting prospect of this event.
- Know your own rules first and foremost; know your opponents key rules & gotchas whenever possible; and get those reps in! For me personally, playing as much as you can is far superior to theory crafting in terms of fostering competitive improvement – and a great way to learn rules without having to study them like homework.
- Y’all know who you are! Gotta give a major shout to the hometown Brooklyn crew – especially everyone helping me prepare for this event! And to Games Workshop for creating and organizing such an impressive event, which will connect Kill Team communities from across the globe!
Tacoma GW Open (Interviews), Jul 15-16: Matt W (#330), Intercession Squad -> WCW: Ork Kommandos
Seattle sees a small but deep roster of players elevated Matt W to the top of his pack. His methodical Intercession play cemented his ticket at Tacoma, with solid performances all throughout his region. Looks like he’s hung up his ceramite, for a Nob’s Choppa this weekend. Will his lack of comfort on the team hinder him in the heat of the moment?
- The PNW community is hyped to send two players to The WCW! I’ll be repping Waystone Wargaming Speakeasy from Seattle
- Getting out of pools would be outstanding, but knowing how competitive the field is and my way-below average of games played I need to be realistic. Best in faction would be pretty cool.
- There’s a handful of teams I have no reps into, I’ll check off a few in the coming weeks, but I’m more worried about Into the Dark. None of the majors I’ve played in used those rules.
- Headline tip is to deploy safe TP1, you don’t want anyone exposed before they first activate, while maintaining some threat to keep your opponent honest. There’s a lot of depth in the core game and in each team’s rules. Focus on enjoying the game so you have the motivation to progress.
- It’s very cool that GW’s format has everyone’s games mattering, not just the top bracket. Looking forward to fighting for Team USA!
American Team Championships, Jul 29: Liam G (#25), Ork Kommandos -> WCW: Ork Kommandos
The youngest Garrett on the list! He’s come a long way since I met him at KTO2022. Back then he was still sporting Kommandos, and while he flirted with Breachers at NYO2 it looks like it’s time for one last run. Notably Liam is a consummate professional on Kommandos being the winner of Goonhammer’s Open in august. Though his ticket was scored in the smaller ATC in July!
- I won my golden ticket with Kommandos. They were the first team I ever took to a tournament, and are my favorite team. Kommandos have never felt better.
- I’d like the U.S. to win the world champs, and for myself, I just want to win a couple games. Most of the fun is just being there, so I know I’ll have a good time.
- Legionaries. Legionaries scare me as a kommandos player very much because of their durability and firepower. As for players, I’m not really worried about playing anyone because I know we’ll have a great time.
- For newer players, I have two pieces of advice.
- Go to more tournaments. When my family and I started going to more tournaments, our skill increased rapidly. Playing different play styles and different teams is going to be the biggest thing to help you improve.
- Look over your previous games. We all make mistakes, and thinking about them is how we grow. Maybe after a game that you lost or even won, ask yourself and maybe your opponent, “What should I have done differently in this game?” Maybe you’ll find you need to be more aggressive, or you need to do something you’d never considered before.
- I’d like to thank my team Plasma Spam for being a great environment where I can learn and play with skillful, friendly players, and I’d like to thank my family for getting me into KT and supporting my desire to play more games.
Goonhammer Open (Interviews), Aug 18-19: Mike C (#32), Ork Kommandos -> WCW: Ork Kommandos
Mike C has been chasing the competitive dragon for the better part of the year, and found his ticket at #2 at the Goonhammer Open! We’ve seen him try 3-4 teams since last year, however it seems that the Kommandos are his happy spot. His local scene in Westchester has seen him pushing its competitive scene hard, with tournaments firing every few months or so!
- I got my ticket with Kommandos, and they feel the most well rounded of any teams in the current meta.
- If I can make it to the top 8, I will be thrilled. If I am being honest, I think it would be more fun if a smaller region won the World Championship. I am low key hopeful that someone makes the entire community do a double take.
- Nope. The Championships are about playing the best from around the world that you wouldn’t normally get to play against. I am just looking forward to having that rare opportunity.
- Just practice. Head out there and play the game. There are a lot of examples of new players jumping to the top of their local and regional metas. A new player could easily be next year’s World Champ.
- I would like to call out the growing community in Westchester, NY. There are a bunch of great players out of that area that are putting in the work to improve. I am hopeful we see at least one of them at the World Championship next year.
Nova Open (Interviews), Sep 02-03: Nick C (#35), Blooded -> WCW: Chaos Cults
Over the 2023 year Nick narrowly missed scoring a ticket at multiple tournaments, until he struck gold at the NOVA Open. Where by a twist of fate the top half of the day 2 bracket cut off saw him in a pool of players with tickets. While I’m sure Nick would have preferred to get 1st place, he was ecstatic with his ticket nevertheless. Seemingly his heart belongs to the dark gods and his blooded have fully transformed into the Chaos Cults now.
- I won my ticket with Blooded and I have since decided that I want to move on and bring something else to Atlanta! Still somewhat undecided on what I will be bringing but I know whatever I pick will be a team that I can have some fun with.
- My goals at the world championship are no different than any other RT/GT/Major that I attend; it’s to just have fun, meet new people, and play to the best of my potential as a competitor. There are gonna be so many elite players there that worrying about how I’ll place is sort of silly to me. HOWEVER, it is still my hope that one of my fellow countrymen takes the gold 😉 and as a region/host country, it is my hope that all of the American players show good sportsmanship and represent in a manner that reflects well on our scene here in the US.
- Kommandos and Kommandos….
- Kill Team is all about controlling the variables that you can, and not worrying about the rest. You can’t control how you roll, or what decisions your opponent makes. Focus on your game plan and take it one activation at a time. In addition to that, I would just tell people to try and play by intent, and treat your opponent with respect
- Super excited for this opportunity! Shout out so my team ‘Plasma Spam’; without them I wouldn’t be here. I don’t think any other teams can say that they have 5 players going to represent them in Atlanta!
Tampa GW Open (Interviews), Oct 14-15: Dawson A (#146), Ork Kommandos -> WCW: Ork Kommandos
Adrian may have won Tampa, but Dawson placed #2 catching a ride into the finals. As a Kommando player all the way through, he’s sure to represent his team, the Six Sided Paradice well in the finals.
- The Kommandos are feeling pretty solid! I’m expecting people to bring teams that play decently into them given the current green tide meta. Let’s see how it goes!
- I’m looking forward to seeing what other Metas play like, and meeting new people. I’m hoping that I do well at the tournament, hopefully making it through pool play. Wishing the best for the other guys on the US side to bring it home for the red white and blue!
- I’ve found breachers hard to deal with, so I think they’re definitely one I’m looking out for. I’ve also heard rumblings of some chaos demons who I have never played against so let’s see what happens.
- Think about the big picture of what your game plan is, a turning point or two ahead I think is the most important part of kill team. Don’t get too eager to make risky plays if it will put you down in the long run
Killscream II (Interviews), Oct 14-15: Branden B (#181), Blooded -> WCW: Blooded
Branden B captured Gold at one of the few independent events run this year. Killscream is the Pacific Northwest’s home grown competitive GT. Where Branden made it into a single elimination top cut on blooded. While we don’t know too much about his playstyle we’re sure that he finds himself in good standing with a team that is never truly out of the running.
- They feel good. Pretty confidently going to field Blooded but have a couple options. Blooded in particular are my most practiced team. So if there’s going to be a team I can play and compete at the world stage it’s most likely them.
- I’m sincerely just hoping to have a great time and put up a good fight against the rest of the world. I’m going in aiming to win as many games as possible and gonna see where that ranks me among the best. I can’t speak for all of the US regional players but I know a lot of us have been doing our best to step up our game.
- Nope. There are a couple of teams that can give me trouble but like I said before I’m really not going in expecting to win it. If I even make the top 8 I’ll be ecstatic. Really wanna give people good games.
- *Mimicking Dory* Just keep playing, just keep playing,…. The game is a lot of fun and you will get better as you play more. And have a post game with your opponent! Talking about the decisions you made early might stumble you on to a mistake you weren’t aware you made! Or maybe you were in a rough spot and didn’t know all your options. This being a very social game helps this so much. You can play a game, get trashed in under an hour, and then kick back and drink and talk about the things that gave you that thrashing. After that if you reduce the number of things that put you in that situation by even a single decision, you’ve already made gains.
- I want to play against Bachi and I’m not even sure if he’s going. I know he’s had a different kind of busy life this year. Besides that I just wanna give people great games. Ideally so good that next year, this is where they are putting my name.
SoCal Champs, Oct 21-22: Jason S (#810), Intercession Squad -> WCW: Intercession Squad
Jason’s entry as the last US player brings us to a close. He piloted Intercession into a top spot at the SoCal Champs, against his SoCal meta. With his entry as intercession squad into the WCW he should find some comfort in his rules. While his Assault Intercessors find comfort in the warm embrace of the Kommandos.
- I’m playing Intercession and they’re pretty chill.
- Have a good time and form new connections within the international community. I’m definitely looking to learn a lot and check out some of the other games.
- Focus on having fun! There’s a million ways a game can go. If you’re having a good time with a team that fits your play style, there’s a good chance opportunities will present themselves.
- Shout out to the Warpsurfers and the Squad games/SoCal Kill Team community. Thanks for being so welcoming and making this game a blast. And of course, to my fiance, for holding down the fort while I get to partake in an awesome weekend.
That brings us to the end of the US player contingent. We’d like to once again thank the players for speaking with us, and wish them luck in the world championships! For the US readers of Goonhammer who made it to the end: Who are you excited to see? What are you expecting? Disqus in the comments below!
Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.