The 2022 GW Open Series Finale Preview: The 40k Brackets

This weekend marks the end of the 2022 season of Games Workshop events, culminating in a massive finale event this weekend in New Mexico that sees champions from some of this year’s biggest events square off in a series of invitational brackets to determine the master of their respective miniature universe. This week we’re previewing all of the tournaments at this week’s event, and today we’re finishing up our previews by covering the 40k tournaments.

If you missed our rundown of the event overall and how the tournaments are structured, you can find that here.

There are two Warhammer 40,000 Invitational Tournaments at the Finale – one for Best General winners over the course of the year and the other for Best Overall winners. Each is an eight-player event featuring some of the best players and hobbyists in the world.

The Warhammer 40,000 Best General Bracket

The 40k Best General Bracket features some of the top players in the game right now, though with only 8 players there are bound to be a few popular names missing. The Art of War team have good representation here – more on them in our player spotlights – though thanks to LGT there’s also some EU representation this year. There’s a fairly strong mix of factions in the bracket this year, with Siegler choosing to bring Crimson Fists as both a fun goof and a powerful flex if he can win any of those games.

Player Spotlight: Richard Siegler


Faction: Crimson Fists
Qualifying Event: Las Vegas Open 2022

Richard “The Machine” Siegler is best known for his incredible 2019-2020 ITC season—his first ever—in which he won the entire ITC after claiming victory at LVO, NOVA, the 10k Pro Tabletop event, and Warzone Atlanta among other tournaments. He has since topped that feat last season winning the 2021-2022 ITC again, but this time doing so in only 6 events, exactly enough that each score counted. These championships also spurred Richard into Team USA for the World Team Championships.

Siegler’s List

Siegler's Crimson Fists - click to expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Imperial Fists) [98 PL, 1CP, 2,000pts] ++

Chapter Selector: Crimson Fists, Imperial Fists Successor

Pedro Kantor [8 PL, 145pts]

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [8 PL, -3CP, 150pts]: 1. Litany of Faith (Aura), 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Hand of Dorn, Litany of Hate, Rites of War, Stratagem: Champion of Blades, Stratagem: Sentinel of Terra, Stratagem: Warlord Trait, The Eye of Hypnoth, Warlord

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts]

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts]

Company Champion [4 PL, -2CP, 70pts]: Blade of Triumph, Chapter Command: Chapter Champion, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Stratagem: Relic of the Chapter, The Imperium’s Sword

Terminator Squad [18 PL, 385pts]: Teleport Homer
. Terminator Sergeant
. 2x Terminator w/ Chainfist
. 7x Terminator w/ Power fist

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 145pts]: Jump Pack
3x Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist
Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Lightning Claw
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 150pts]: Jump Pack
4x Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist

Vanguard Veteran Squad [7 PL, 150pts]: Jump Pack
4x Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Power fist

Eliminator Squad [4 PL, 75pts]: Las Fusil
. Eliminator Sergeant: Instigator Bolt Carbine

Eliminator Squad [4 PL, 75pts]: Las Fusil
. Eliminator Sergeant: Instigator Bolt Carbine

Eradicator Squad [14 PL, 310pts]: Heavy melta rifle
. Eradicator with MM: Multi-melta
. Eradicator with MM: Multi-melta

++ Total: [98 PL, 1CP, 2,000pts] ++

Why am I running Crimson Fists, in my opinion the single worst subfaction in the entire game not just Space Marines? Well the Art of War 40k War Room members have an interesting sense of humor. I personally have been less interested in the meta this season and so have preferred to run lists I found fun over the course of the year with a C’tan centric list at ATC, Adeptus Mechanicus at the World Team Championships, and for the US Open finals I let our community decide. I intended to run either Admech, Grey Knights, or Leagues of Votann, but Space Marines, in particular, Crimson Fists became the rallying call. And this is the perfect time for Marines to show up to a top tier championship event. Not because they are good. No, of course not. But because Warhammer Community in the last two Metawatch articles has thrown down the gauntlet to Marine players telling them that their winrate is as low as Admech’s because of player skill (a lot of new people play the faction). Now there is some truth to an army designed as a starter army having a lot of new players bring down the winrate. But top players would still be able to consistently win or at least podium with it if it was at its core a good codex in 2022 9th edition.

It is not. I spent hours combing through the panoply of Adeptus Astartes rules–I forgot how many there were, honestly. And I felt a bit like Bob Arctor in “A Scanner Darkly” where all I could see was murk. Or Gandalf pouring over the ancient texts in the White Tower to find a glimpse of knowledge, or in this case, a useful datasheet or rule. As an Admech player struggling to win with that faction, I saw exactly why Marines are in the same disastrous position. However, I’m willing to try and put all my player skill into trying to get at least one win at the US Open finals with the worst subfaction in the game.
I started by ignoring that Crimson Fists had any rules whatsoever, because they are terrible. And instead started by trying to put together what I thought were the most cost efficient marine datasheets. There weren’t many and after starting with an extreme build of anywhere from 20 to 30 terminators to take advantage of the multiple ways to stack plusses to saving throws that Imperial Fists can do, I settled on a more all-comers well rounded list. Is it a good list? No, but its the best I can do with barely any synergies available to me. Compared to the Chaos Space Marine Codex, the Astartes book is shockingly bare. If the last dataslate helped to revamp Marine and Admech chapter/Forge World traits instead of manically laughing at the plight of those players, this might have been a more reasonable task. But alas, I will need to gather every morsel of big brain plays to even get close to winning a single game at the US Open finals. I’m going to give it my best shot, for myself, for Marine fans, for the optimist who writes Warhammer community articles, and for Rynn’s World!

Player Spotlight: John Lennon

Taking a big gamble assuming John actually wants Harpster back, tbh


Faction: Adepta Sororitas
Qualifying Event: US Open Seattle

John “Florida Man” Lennon is a coach at Art of War 40k and a member of Team USA. John is a veteran from 4th edition, and has been a Tyranid player for over 14 years. As a professional warhammer player, he now specializes in technical combat armies and has expanded his collection to include servants of the Emperor as well as the hive mind. John has competed and emerged victorious in tournaments from The Dallas Open to GW Seattle, and has earned an ITC best in faction award for Tyranids, Space Marines and Sororitas. Notably, John is an annual participant in the Charity Hammer event hosted by Best in Tabletop, and always puts an emphasis on high sportsmanship and community growth, as well as excellence on the tabletop.

The Warhammer 40,000 Best Overall Bracket

Not to be outdone the Best Overall bracket, made of players who achieved the highest total combined scores for competitive results and paint scores. This bracket is no pushover, as these players have put up consistent competitive results across the year as well and many would not have been surprising as event winners themselves. Players in the Best Overall bracket are expected to bring armies that are visually on par with the armies that won them their Best Overall awards. If there’s one meta note here to make it’s the large number of Imperial Knights armies – Knights are both large models that are very inviting/forgiving to freehand techniques and have a relatively high competitive floor, making them a good pick for players hoping to score high paint scores and win games at an event.

Player Spotlight: Andrew Gonyo

Faction: T’au Empire
Qualifying Event: NOVA Open

I currently live in Northern Virginia with my extremely supportive (tolerant) wife and just over one year-old daughter. I started playing 40k in 1998/1999 during 3rd edition but didn’t attend anything but local events until the 2007 Baltimore Games Day. After that I started attending travel-events with some friends and have been hooked ever since. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to accomplish many of my 40k goals over the years, from being part of American ETC Team for six years, winning various events, and getting to go to some amazing places to roll some dice and meet new people.

Player Spotlight: Kasra Houshidar

Kasra Houshidar

Faction: Ultramarines
Qualifying Event: Kansas City Open

Based out of Vancouver BC, Kasra Houshidar started his warhammer journey as a child with the 2nd edition starter set and a can of macragge blue spray paint decades ago. Ever since, Kas has been an avid hobbyist and gamer bouncing between 40k and Warhammer Fantasy battles (RIP). While Kas’s first hobby love is painting (@Kas_Paints on instagram), Kas focused on competitive play with his beloved Ultramarines this year under the tutelage of Nick Nanavati, and is now the newest member of the Art of War ITC team due to his success.

Player Spotlight: James “Boon” Kelling

Faction: Craftworlds (Ulthwe)
Qualifying Event: US Open San Diego

I bought my first model, a Dark Reaper Exarch, in 1998 and have been a smug elf player ever since. First started playing competitively as a kid in high school before taking breaks on and off again during 5th and 6th (the Invisible Wraithknight is still my favorite dumb shit though). After briefly peaking in on the competitive dumpster fire of 7th I came back to the hobby at the start of 8th edition and immediately rediscovered a passion for tournament play. Sometimes at night I will find myself staring up at the moon and wondering if Battlefleet Gothic will ever make a return.

Likes: Green Bay Packers, Buffalo wings, and open display boards
Hates: That time they released Iron Hands

I chose Craftworlds because they are my first and favorite faction and I love taking advantage of anytime they feel fun to play. It’s a slight deviation from the list I have been running as I couldn’t quite finish fully-painting two D-Cannons in time, but overall, I think it’s a better all around list. The Hawks and Spiders bring mobility and utility to the list that was otherwise more static and defensive. It also opens some secondary options that my original list might have struggled to achieve. I’m not sure how it will perform, I’ve only played one game with it, but finding that out live is part of the fun. If I had one regret, it’s that I couldn’t assemble and paint up the roster that contained all 7 of the Phoenix Lords in time for this event.

Where to Watch

The Warhammer 40k brackets are being streamed! Games Workshop will be streaming some of the games throughout the weekend. You can find their schedule below:

GrandFinalePreview Incoming Nov14 StreamSchedule

What’s Next: The Event

That wraps up our look at the bracket for Warhammer 40k and some of the players. Next up is the event! Stay tuned throughout the weekend for the games and check back in next week when we’ll be talking about the results. Until then, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at