The GOAT, Part 2: An Interview with 2021 40k ITC Champion Richard Siegler

Richard Siegler wasn’t even supposed to be at the 2022 Las Vegas Open.

At least, that’s what he told his teammates. But after being unable to attend initially, Siegler’s plans changed and he booked a last-minute flight to Vegas on  the Thursday before LVO. And piloting a Skitarii Veteran Cohort, he topped nine consecutive opponents en route to a victory over Matt Lorah’s Custodes on Sunday that led to Siegler being crowned both the winner of LVO and the 40k ITC Champion for the 2021 season. This is Richard’s second win of both LVO and the ITC, having won both in 2020 to cap off the 2019 season. 

We once again sat down with Siegler to talk about the event, his success, and what’s next for him with regard to competitive 40k.

Thanks for talking to us, and congratulations on your win at LVO and taking the ITC crown. How’s it feel to be the first ever repeat champion of both?

Definitely not something I expected going into this season. I did not plan on playing many events this season while finishing my PhD, but it feels incredible to be able to take some of my favorite armies–Tau and Admech–out to events and earn the crown. I went into LVO expecting to win best Admech since I had only 3 of the 4 scores for that, and helping Art of War win best ITC team. Everything was just gravy, so I didn’t feel or put any additional pressure on myself to win it. I would have been just as happy seeing a lot of these other excellent players, especially my teammates or the new faces to the scene like Evan and Matt, win.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

You brought A Skitarii Veteran Cohort list to LVO, a choice that is not at all common in the meta following the December Balance Dataslate. What made you go with that list? 

My main goal was to win best Admech and that meant that if I did well and was able to outperform Mark Hertel, I would earn that title as the one true Lord of Mars. I would have loved to play my Metalica list, but I felt that the FLG terrain favored wider firing angles and that meant Mars was the more likely subfaction to succeed. Trying to hide the 50+ Sicarian bodies that Metalica likes to run was just not feasible at LVO in my opinion.

I think the Veteran Cohort is the strongest way to play Admech by far because of the extra tool kit, especially the advance and charge, plus one attack stratagem (Binharic Offense), and the 5+ invulnerable save on the Skitarii.

Richard Siegler’s LVO List

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [95 PL, 6CP, 1,997pts] ++

Army of Renown – Skitarii Veteran Cohort
Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

  • Stratagems +

Stratagem: Archeotech Specialist [-2CP]: 2x Archeotech Specialist
Stratagem: Artefactotum [-2CP]: 2x Artefactotum
Stratagem: Host of the Intermediary [-1CP]: Host of the Intermediary
Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]: Mechanicus Locum

  • No Force Org Slot +

Brotherhood of the Cog [5 PL, 85pts]
. Tech-Priest Enginseer: Magi

  • HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 55pts]: Relic (Skitarii Veteran Cohort): Cantic Thrallnet, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Skitarii Veteran Cohort): Calculate Without Diversion

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 55pts]: Mechanicus Locum, Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity, Warlord Trait (Codex 3): Programmed Retreat

Tech-Priest Manipulus [6 PL, 120pts]: Logi, Magnarail lance, Relic: Raiment of the Technomartyr

  • Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [9 PL, 219pts]: Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache
. 18x Skitarii Ranger: 18x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [9 PL, 219pts]: Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 18x Skitarii Ranger: 18x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Vanguards [2 PL, 55pts]
. 4x Skitarii Vanguard: 4x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

Skitarii Vanguards [2 PL, 55pts]
. 4x Skitarii Vanguard: 4x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

  • Elites +

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 95pts]
. Infiltrator Princeps (Stub/Sword)
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Stub/Sword): 4x Power Sword, 4x Stubcarbine

Sicarian Ruststalkers [8 PL, 190pts]
. Ruststalker Princeps (Blades): Artefactotum, Relic: Temporcopia
. 9x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades): 9x Transonic Blades

Sicarian Ruststalkers [8 PL, 152pts]
. Ruststalker Princeps (Blades): Artefactotum, Relic: The Omniscient Mask
. 7x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades): 7x Transonic Blades

Sicarian Ruststalkers [8 PL, 152pts]
. Ruststalker Princeps (Blades)
. 7x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades): 7x Transonic Blades

  • Fast Attack +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [4 PL, 85pts]
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [4 PL, 85pts]
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [4 PL, 85pts]
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

  • Heavy Support +

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 145pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon
Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 145pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon

++ Total: [95 PL, 6CP, 1,997pts] ++


Your first game against the new Adeptus Custodes book was reportedly in round 8 at LVO, followed by your final game against Matt Lorah in round 9. How did you plan for those matches, and what was your strategy for winning?

I did not have much practice into the new Custodes going into the event, but I knew their key defensive stratagems were still mostly intact and they had even more CP to spend with the new codex. So I knew it would likely come down to whether I could whittle down their resources in the early turns and then go for big late game pushes into the center with my Skitarii, who could tip the Objective Secured battle into my favor. Custodes are extremely efficient but do not have an absurd volume of attacks so I was hoping that the 5+ invulnerable saves would go a long way toward making sure the Custodes could not finish off my units.  

Because both Sweep and Clear and Priority Target had center objectives I was really hoping to win the roll off to place the first terrain piece and in that case place a cargo container near the center objective so there would be no ruins nearby for a Custodes character and Warden bodyguard retinue to hang out on out of line of sight. Unfortunately, both Evan and Matt won that roll off and placed a ruin with few windows on the center, making the games even more difficult for me. Which meant the games would come down to the Ruststalker and Skitarii plays on the center, as my shooting was largely mitigated.

Were there any armies you really didn’t want to go up against at LVO?

I really did not want to get into a shootout on any of the lighter terrain boards such as the FLG Tomb world table in the early rounds. I think a lot of players felt the same way as some of the FLG terrain sets have terrain pieces that are difficult to hide much behind to prevent an opponent’s alpha strike.

Richard Siegler and Matt Lorah during the LVO 40k Finals. Credit: Frontlinegaming

With Codex: T’au Empire releasing this weekend, will you be sticking to Adeptus Mechanicus or switching back to T’au? What are your thoughts on the upcoming book?

I still love the Admech book, especially the Veteran Cohort so I’m sure I’ll be playing them in the future. But I am also very excited for the new T’au Codex, which seems to put even greater emphasis on movement than the 8th edition book and that’s what I prefer. It seems like all my favorite units – Commanders, Breachers, Devilfish, Crisis suits – are all still strong so I’m definitely going to spend a lot of time refining the new 9th edition builds with T’au. The fact that T’au Sept and Farsight Enclaves seem strong alongside other choices like Bork’an is a real blessing since the base 8th edition Codex was so one-dimensional.

War Zone Nachmund kicks off the 2022 season by moving us to a seasonal approach to competitive play. How do you feel about the new approach? And are there any armies or books you think will do better in the new missions?

I have not had the chance to play too many games on the new missions, but they seem to really emphasize fighting and doing actions in the center of the board or no man’s land. I much prefer that type of interactivity over missions like Sweep and Clear or Priority Target where you can sit back and just rack up 80+ points by doing very little on your opponent’s half of the board.  So I think these new missions will make the game even more exciting to play and watch. I think armies like the Silent King Novokh build are so much stronger on them alongside the last dataslate and the recent points update.

GW made waves this past weekend with their announcement of a partnership with the ITC. What are your thoughts on the announcement – is it a good thing for competitive play?

I think it’s an amazing thing for competitive play. GW recognizing the importance of competitive play and supporting it was a big narrative of 2021 with the return of the GW tournament circuit, which I loved. With the ITC and GW putting effort into further building the competitive community as a valuable, fun, and integral part of the overall hobby, the future looks bright. I would love to see them do some sort of sportsmanship spotlight from some of these big tournaments as again and again a lot of top players continue to prioritize being a great sport even in big, season-defining matches.

The Art of War Team had a hell of a 2021 season, with you, Brad Chester, John Lennon, and Jack Harpster all finishing in the top 20. What’s next for 2022? Are you aiming to be the first back-to-back champion?

I’m probably going to take it relatively easy for a bit. Usually the early part of the season has a bit of a tournament lull before it starts ramping up post-Adepticon. I’m very excited to play at both ATC and the WTC, and hope GW returns with a new slate of events for this season. I haven’t represented the U.S. before so it’s a true honor getting to play for Team USA at the WTC alongside other great players like Sean Nayden, John Lennon, and Anthony Vanella.

I think LVO was a sign of things to come with a lot of newer, great players about to take the scene by storm and start dominating super majors – players like Anthony Vanella, Evan Tomchin and Matt Lorah – so I’m most looking forward to seeing those guys excel. What stood out the most to me from the games I played against them was they never blamed dice a single time.  And at the end of each of those top 8 games, we spent a lot of time talking about their decisions in the game and the other options they had. Those guys, and there are many more, are hungry to learn and know that the best way to do so isn’t blaming dice or their list, but critiquing the decisions they made. And that’s why I think we will be seeing much more from them very soon.


That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Richard again for speaking with us, and congratulate him one more time on his success. If you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at