The GW Finale New Mexico Kill Team Expedition, Part 1

Attention troopers – this week we’re bringing you a new tournament recap! It’s been two weeks since GW’s Invitational Kill Team championship concluded, and it’s past time to talk about it. This recap will be divided into two parts: In the first part we’ll be interviewing four of the event’s finalists, and in the second part we’ll interview the rest.

Worth noting here is that the prize for winning the Invitational paled in comparison to the prize for qualifying – a fully-paid trip to the event to spend time in a wonderful hotel and with fantastic people. We’re kicking off our interviews with two wonderful players who had very difficult games early on and were defeated in very close games in the first two rounds. Our first player is Kellen Foster, one of the most dominant Novitiates players in the world.

Kellen pondering his next move

Kellen Foster

First of all congratulations on being invited to the event, how was your tournament?

  • It was a ton of fun, I went 0-2 but it was still a very good time. 

Why do you pick Novitiates for this event? Were there choices you wanted but didn’t have time to prepare?

  • I chose novitiates because they are the team I’m most experienced with. I knew they wouldn’t be the best faction but I chose to run what I know instead of taking time to learn to play an S-tier team mediocre.

What were you most excited for at this event?

  • Being able to travel for warhammer is really cool. I was excited to be immersed in the buzz of a major event again. 

What is one play you were proud of, and one you were disappointed by?

  • In my second game my sister Superior was able to clear an entire blooded flank through shooting, overwatch, and melee. In that same game, I thought I’d be so clever to tie up a guardsman, only to forget about callous disregard and lose that model the very next turn to a Plasma Pistol. 

How do you feel about game balance?

  • Initiative rolls are way too powerful and can swing a game in very unfortunate ways. But the faction balance is generally pretty good. 

What are your goals for the next season?

  • I intend to play more tournaments and try some new factions. Maybe I’ll try to get good with Kasrkin and rep the Cadian banner (I gotta buy them for bighammer anyways)

Anything else you want to add on?

  • Hot take: no team should have more than 10 models

After this we get one of the most famous Kill team (and underworlds!) content creator and one of the best UK players in the world:

John Rees, who is apparently not Spanish, having a good look at the Kill Team trophy

John Rees (Can you roll a Crit)

Glad to have you finally here, first of all congratulations on being invited to this special  event! How was the tournament for you?

  • It was very good. My only gripe were the round timings but overall it was a lot of fun.

Why did you choose Hunter Clade?

  • They’re the best team for a mixed event and I had just won the London 2022 final with them 2 weeks prior to the event.

As one of the most prominent content creators for competitive kill team, was there something you wished Games Workshop did for the event?

  • Kill Team need to have a dedicated GW stream for people to watch. We did get on to the stream near the end at least.

How did the competition compare to your local scene?

  • I’d say about the same. London is a very tough competitive scene so at least I didn’t feel homesick!

What are your goals for the next season?

  • Get more sleep before tournaments haha

Anything else you want to comment on?

  • It was really great playing at the first international final hosted by Games Workshop. The event was great and I can’t wait to see what they do for the next o ne!

We’d also like to give a shout-out to John’s awesome YouTube channel – if you play kill team it’s worth checking it out: https://www.youtube.com/@CanYouRollaCrit

Next up we have two more players who made the quarterfinals with brilliant performances. First up is our first Spaniard of the three at the event, a super player from the East Coast.

That smile is the last thing you see before the Gellerpox show up

Adrian Martín

The first of the Spaniards! Congratulations on being invited to the event. Did you enjoy the tournament? 

  • Thank you very much! I am delighted to have participated in this event. It was an unforgettable experience. I would like to be able to get a Golden Ticket again because it has been a great experience for me.

Why did you pick Hunter Clade as your team? What other teams were you thinking about bringing? 

  • I have been playing with Legionaries for months now. I thought about playing with them but I was a little tired of them. I was halfway through the project of converting a Hunter Clade as Dark Mechanicum, and this event gave me the motivation I needed to finish it once and for all. So I decided to take them to the tournament even though I didn’t have much experience with them. But by playing against the best players in the world I learned a lot. 

What was the most memorable part of the event for you?

  • The games between Rion and Ace were simply brutal. But I think the best part is the community we created. All the Kill Team players were together during the whole event. The vibe was unbeatable.

How practiced did you feel going into the tournament? 

  • As I said before, not much with Hunter Clade. But I have had a good pace of competition this year. I play every week with people from my club and we organize monthly tournaments. 

What are your goals for the next season? 

  • I want to finish some projects, such as Gellerpox or Wyrmblade. I want to continue playing and organizing tournaments in the DMV area. And I can’t wait for GW to release a Chaos Daemons team!!!

Anything else you want to comment on?  

  • Many thanks to Ben for being an excellent TO, to Mike Brandt for how well he treated us and to GW for giving us the opportunity to live this dream. I have been playing and painting with models for almost 30 years and this event was like a recognition, a celebration of all these years in the hobby. I also want to send a hug to the rest of the Kill Team players. It was an honor to share this with them and I hope to see them all soon. Vivan Los Primeros!

 

And finally we have the New York T.O and my fellow Goonhammer writer, Travis, who also happens to be one of the best Pathfinders players in the world:

Travis with some of the event’s faction leaders in full cosplay

Travis Cheng: 

Congratulations on getting a golden ticket! How was the tournament? 

  • It was a very intimate setting, as far as tournaments I’ve been to go. It felt like we were witnessing some history between the Narrative finale, and the meeting of the minds. Honestly it was a great time, and it’s giving me pause on being less competitive for the next year.

What was your most difficult matchup?

  • The Hunter Clade match up on Forge Stronghold was my most difficult match up; if I was on top of things. However poor placement of a recon drone allowed a sicarian charge at the top of turning point 2, along with some poor emp rolls. Between those two outcomes there wasn’t a strong opening to keep that game competitive. The game against Carlos on Escalating hostilities went from a 5 model deficit for Carlos, to a -2 deficit to me, over the course of 5-7 dice sequences where Carlos rolled what felt like 66% criticals! Talk about difficulty! In the end all 3 games I played were fun, and challenging and that’s really what I’m playing for.

Why do you take pathfinders? Wouldn’t you be scared about ITD? Do you think they deserve a nerf?

  • My primary goal was to avoid mirror matches, while playing something comfortable. While I qualified with Hunter Clade, most of my initial competitive success was on pathfinders. I was also looking at warpcoven, kinband, and veteran guard. However, not needing to actively think about how my rules worked, seemed like a good choice. I think that if balancing was predicated on the map type, I’d be fine with a nerf on Open boards. Pathfinders piloted well, keep the majority of elites in a very rough spot.

What do you think about ITD?

  • I think it lends itself more for study compared to dynamic open boards. Since layouts can be variable on Open boards, there’s a layer of on your feet decision making that I find fun. However some of the missions hurt the format overall. Mysterious Signal, is such a die roll, which I have fully removed from tournament rotation at our local monthly for being too random. I am also not a big fan of the symmetrical nature, as on Open boards the choice between attacker and defender adds a nice layer of strategic choice. Additionally the patch on tac ops, felt like a very lazy way to bring about the new game mode. I’m hoping that gets resolved in a more creative way down the line, as the tac op decks, and their individual strengths, have been fun!

What do you think about the venue?

  • The venue was an amazing locale, which great panoramic view, which I saw very little of since I was glued to the tables! It was amazing to see all the wonderful armies that people brought out. Between narrative, and the best in show armies there was some serious visual fireworks going off at all times.On Sunday the narrative finale had a row of warhound titans march across a field only to have traitors turn on their brothers. Hearing that as the back drop to the day 2 games was honestly amazing. Those narrative players sounded like they all had a blast throughout the weekend

What are your goals for the next season?

  • I’d like to get some more consistent practice throughout the year if possible, and make another run at the grand finale. However, if real life has other plans I’d love for someone from my monthly tournament series to make it in. I’ve been running monthly tournaments to help the aspiring players from the Brooklyn Strategist sharpen their skills for their runs into the tournament scene! I’m hoping they all make some break out successes at the larger US majors!

Anything else you want to add?

  • I couldn’t have made it to the finale without help from my competition team the Brooklyn Rats, we’ve been together since the early days of the system. Together we’re one of the more active US teams, and put together the successful New York Open

The Mighty Cola present in the finals as one of the Easter Eggs of the Expedition.

Final Thoughts 

We’d like to once again thank our participants for the great interviews. They almost made me feel like I was there… in fact I was! – more on that in the next article. Overall the event was an incredible experience and we forged some incredible bonds. (Rob: Can confirm on this one – the Kill Team guys were by far the closest of any of the events, and at any given time you could see all of them hanging out together. It was pretty cool).

Next week we’ll look at the rest of the field and speak to the remaining players at the event.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.