Attention Troopers! Officer on deck! We are back with the second part of the article, today we interviewed the rest of the qualifiers, so you can’t miss it.
First a world of appreciation to our Awesome TO, Ben, who was able to manage all of us with a smile. Ben helped us in every way possible and afterwards he stayed with us to comment on the games and discuss the situation for Kill team around the world. He did a fantastic job in making the event great and was awarded with a sacred can of Coke-Zero. Thanks a million Ben, really we couldn’t had asked for a better T.O.
But now let’s start with our guys, first we have the second Spaniard, Carlos Duran better known as “Mr. Duran” and one of the best Phobos players on the planet, but this time he decided to bring Imperial Navy Breachers.
Congratulations on that fourth place – it must have been an exciting competition! Why did you choose Imperial Navy Breachers for this event?
- It was indeed very exciting! I chose Navy breachers because so far in this edition of Kill team I hadn’t played a horde faction – almost always playing elites – and I wanted a change of pace and to learn how to competitively play a very different style.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Spanish community?
- We are extremely lucky in Spain. We have several regional groups that are really active and organize weekly games and monthly tournaments throughout the year. There is a national group of TOs trying (but not always succeeding) to balance dates so big tournaments don´t overlap. This way, a national competitive scene was created and has been developede.
How do you train for events in Kill team?
- First of all I try to learn all the tricks from any faction I might encounter. I practice and talk as much as I can about the game with several top tier players. And finally, I attend as many tournaments as I can, as I think there is no substitute for actually playing.
How was your tournament experience?
- Really exciting! I got to meet up again with some really great players I had the pleasure encountering at LVO earlier this year, like Adrian, Orion, and Chris, and also to finally met some big names we’ve heard all through the year, like Travis and John.
- My first game against Adrian took four hours, and I think that weighted a lot on me, as I am used to 2-hour games. However I was now ready for game two, and I was able to win against John, as I think I was more used to ITD than he is.
- Going into the third game against Travis, it was the matchup I wanted to avoid the most, as Pathfinders on open terrain was my most dreaded game. And the terrain didn’t help, as I didn’t have enough heavy cover to avoid all that shooting. However, due to a very inspired change of play (I had previously never used Defence Order) and, above all, some incredible dice rolling (really, poor Travis could not believe how lucky I got) I won one of the most exciting games I’ve played this whole year.
- The fourth game was marked by exhaustion. At that point I had been playing for more tan 10 hours, and I started playing at what for me was 06:00 AM (severe jet lag there). The first turn was OK, but at the second I started making mistakes that Chris, as the great player he is, capitalized and I was not able to turn it back. That was all!
What do you think about the double elimination format?
- I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand it makes for extremely exciting games, as you really need to focus on not being eliminated. On the other hand, playing that tense can lead to mistakes I think would not happen in a regular tourney.
Do you have a goal in mind for 2023?
- I would most certainly like to repeat being in the Finale. It has been a fantastic tournament without a doubt to close it,
Anything else you’d like to say?
- I’d like to thank all the players as we got to not only have amazing games, but I think we had the chance to become friends. Also, Ben, the TO was a really great guy to have around, and he put a lot of hard work to make our weekend unforgetable. Finally, I also want to thank Mike Brandt for inviting me and also for making one hell of a closing speech for the event.
In the top 3 and already on the podium we have Chris Bacci, probably the most dominant player on the west coast of the United States, a very active player and who also participated in the organization of the NOVA tournament held in Washington D.C., in the United States.
Congratulations on your third place finish and especially with those Blooded – what made you pick them?
- I started with Blooded as a training team. Feeling the need to grow my local scene, I wanted to pick a team that wasn’t quite as strong and didn’t have ‘feelsbad’ moments. With Veteran Guardsmen, things like the demo mine and the spotter make counterplay difficult to impossible. I chose Blooded because inherent with their team design is a lot of their own deaths, which made teaching the game to newer players a better experience for them. This way, I don’t need to hold back at all, but they get the fun of getting to kill a bunch of my little guys. After playing them for a few weeks, I found I actually really liked the way they played and that they were stronger than people realized. I picked them up to demonstrate what a capable player can do with a team that many people consider mediocre. Too often, people look at teams like Pathfinders and say that “oh, that team is OP, so that’s why this player wins”. It’s more complicated than that. Kill Team is a game of skill, and it takes great pilots to make these teams reach these heights. I wanted to see what I could achieve with a team that wasn’t in the S tier.
How do you approach the games with them?
- One of my favorite things about Blooded is that their game plan can change a lot from game to game, depending on matchup and mission. They have a very big toolbox, and while each piece only seems mediocre, they are truly greater than the sum of their parts. As a horde team, they can generally make favorable trades with a huge array of different threats, so knowing which piece to allocate against which threat (and when to do it) is crucial for success with the team.
How did you see the event?
- I had absolutely no idea how fantastic an experience the trip would be. GW was an excellent host and the venue was incredible. More than that, the experience of seeing some of the best Kill Team players in the world have tight, super competitive matches with each other was fabulous. The Kill Team community is very close and seeing so many good friends again was incredible. The Kill Team group stayed together for most of the weekend- sharing stories, having great food, and enjoying the great time together.
Anything you would improve?
- The four hour rounds of the event were pretty brutal as a Kill Team Player- so much downtime before the next round. It was great to have some extra time past what a normal Kill Team game would go – but three hours would have still been more than enough.
- As for the experience overall – it was challenging having players fly in late at night only to play for 12 hours the next day. Having a day of rest for players – especially internationally – would have been great.
How is your play style?
- I’ve been known as having an ‘aggressive’ playstyle and it’s something I feel at home with. I’m generally eager to take initiative and strike first, even if its risky. It’s something my prior factions I did well with allowed me to really lean into.
What type of game do you prefer (Horde, elites or medium) and why?
- I’ve had success with medium and horde teams previously, as having the ability to out-activate an opponent is just so helpful. However, I enjoy all ways to play and in casual/home games I run a wide range of teams. I’ve not felt elite teams had the ability to respond to horde teams in a competitive environment since the game launched, but that might change in the future.
What are you going to play from now on?
- I still love my blooded – I think they still have some legs in them for more events. But recently I’ve been having a blast playing warpcoven. Perhaps we’ll see a bit of magic out of me in the future, who knows? The next season of Kill Team is going to shake things up a lot.
How is your preparation? Any rituals before games?
- I have a pre-tournament ritual to get my head in the right place. Otherwise, on tournament days, I tend to not eat- it keeps me focused. People seem pretty surprised to see me skip lunch, but what can I say – I feel sharper when I haven’t eaten.
Anything else you would like to add:
- The event was a fabulous experience and definitely motivating to get another golden ticket next year. I’d highly encourage anyone to try and make it out next year!
Hi everyone, Travis here! Coming in second place this time around, we have the top spot on the world leaderboards, Ace! Hailing from the busiest Kill Team region in the world. I’m sure he’s got some tea to spill, and tips for players of all kinds.
Fernando Marcos “Ace”:
How did you feel about being on the bench in the first double elimination tournament for Kill Team?
- The tournament was an incredible experience, being surrounded by some of the best players in the world, Ben a great tournament organizer and Mike welcoming us all and making us all feel part of Games Workshop history was absolutely fantastic, I still can’t get over the shock of how lucky I was to have an experience like that.
What did you think of the overall competition before participating in the tournament and what do you think of it now?
- After Las Vegas I knew that the competition was going to be tenacious and I was not wrong, any of my games could have been a finals in any other tournament, I think the levels of play between the different communities should continue to equalize, but I can assure you that the Spanish community aspires to remain on top of the Kill Team Leaderboards in 2023 and we’ll continue fighting for that.
Three players at the event brought Hunter Clade teams. Do you think the team is too strong?
- At the very least it is the most flexible team in mixed environments, and that’s the reason I brought them to this tournament. I think they have some bad pairings in both open and Gallowdark/ITD play, but they can take on anyone without it being a losing game. For me, even though the game can be tough, the fact that they always have chances is more than enough to enjoy that game and try to overcome it, so that’s why I bring the little robots.
You have held the title of the “Best in the World” (Ace currently ranks #1 in the ITC) for most of this edition, do you feel any pressure from that?
- It’s always an added pressure as you have to prove that you are a good player, although for some time now the number of good players has been growing so my streak will end – in fact, it was ended at this tournament! Being able to take a solid approach in the games and to be in the top cut of the tournaments for me is already enough to prove it. Even so, it has been a year of hard work and a lot of training and although the ranking can be improved in terms of its performance, there is a bit of pride when I see I’m at the top of the standings. That’s the only secret really for new players: Keep playing and enjoying this awesome game, at some point you will improve and become a top-tier player.
Did you see or feel any difference in the style of play between Spain and the other regions?
- Hmm, I would say not too many, I think some of the map layouts were a bit different, but in terms of player behavior everything was quite similar: Chill-out games where decisions took precedence over millimeter measurements; also “playing with intention” was the motto of the whole day which was fantastic and is something that in Spain is seen in every tournament.
What was your smartest moment and the biggest mistake you made (best and worst play)?
- The worst move was undoubtedly in my game with Orion in the last game where I let him get off a charge from the tentacle guy, locking my 2 rustalkers and then I hit him and only got one damage by miscalculating the attack dice. There is no excuse for a play like that. But to be honest at that time it was 07am at home and my brain wasn’t ready for another brutal challenge after eight hours of high-level kill team combined with the jetlag. And it was a shame because I made several mistakes that Orion was able to capitalize and that led him to the deserved victory. On the other hand I think I’m not a player of big moves but one that relies on clever positioning. But against Chris I was able to sneak a rustalker as a last activation in his territory in one of his points in Seize Ground and that ended up killing his grenadier and his plasma operatives, tipping the game in my favor
How were Churros in nuevo mexico?
- They were dough with chocolate, which was not bad, but they were not the typical Madrilenian dish. I invite anyone who reads this and passes through Madrid to let me know and take them to a typical cafeteria in winter to enjoy some real churros with chocolate, a wonderful experience.
What are your plans for the 2023 season?
- First of all I hope to remain active as a content creator of Kill team, Firstly in my podcast Kill team mercenarios and of course on with Goonhammer. I also hope to continue progressing as a player, competing in many tournaments and mounting a new attack on the Kill Team leaderboards. And of course trying to repeat this wonderful experience. A man can dream!
And last but not least, we have the champion of the event, the last one to qualify for the event and who won by beating all his rivals and taking the Gellerpox to the next level.
First of all, congratulations for that first place, you have certainly made history in this tournament! Can you tell us a little bit about it?
- It was a fantastic event, and a really special venue. It felt like a celebration of top players making their way through all the hard fought battles and showing their passion for the game was justified. Being the first Kill team crew on this event, we didn’t quite know what to expect but it turned out great. I’d say my perception of the event was skewed as i had taken the win but from talking to all the the top 8 players, from last to 1st, we had damn near too much fun.
Why did you choose Gellerpox?
- I chose Gellerpox for a couple reasons, Nurgle is my favorite flavor of chaos and the play style suits all my preferences. In terms of team building i go for a lot of weak expendable units paired with a few really important models. Melee is my go-to weapon choice and i really enjoy this edition’s take on melee where you constantly exchange blows or out-maneuver your opponents hits to come out on top in a combat. Pair all this with the theme of Nurgle, that constant fear of normal strategies not quite working from all sorts of gross debuffs, monsters tanking a seemingly hopeless amounts of damage, and Gellerpox become a perfect fit for me. My friend gifted me these models a couple days before the army was even announced, which makes the team quite special to me.
- i Have a full 40k death guard army as well painted in a hyper vibrant radioactive green and rust scheme, which these guys fit right into as they have playable rules, made very short work of the painting process for the Pox.
How was your journey through the tournament?
- It was fun, way more than i ever thought playing some of the top players around could be. Every person i played in this event I had a interesting history with. Adrian Martin had previously knocked me out of the semi finals at LVO, John Reese outplayed my Warpcoven at NOVA and took me out of the top cut, and as most folks know Ace and i had a one of the wildest games at LVO that ended in a complete tie through 3 tiebreakers. That being said all three of those players took hunter clade, forcing me into 5 games of non-stop hunter clade! So the journey was full of a lot of emotion for me being able to redeem myself vs Adrian and John, and getting the opportunity to replay Ace for my final 3 matches. Winning the event was never my goal, but making sure i gave these 3 the best games I could offer was what I promised I’d do.
Can you give us some highlights about your best plays?
- I don’t feel like i have many of these, most of my games were really back and forth where i dont think i did anything too spectacular i do have 2 plays that were extremely lucky and wild to witness. First. Mr Nasty, Thrice Cursed himself, ended up eating somewhere around 17 outta 22 wounds from an arquebus. Probably the only time i stepped away from the table in shock. (Ace: I was there, I still have nightmares with that 5+ FNP).
- On the final game i was at large disadvantage from my WORST play (forgetting that light cover isn’t a good thing for hulks, a mistake that took a hulk to 8 wounds tp1). FOR THE RECORD i do not endorse this rule, but it was a RAW event and this means that shooting through the floor was ruled legal. Hearing this earlier in the day i placed Ol’ Slappy (bloat spawn named after a Borderlands 2 thresher) right under a rust stalker on an octarius vantage point. TP 2 i get initiative and “shoot” its tentacles at the stalker with 5 hits, killing it with no 4+saves in sight. From there Good Ol’ Slappy charges 2 more stalkers with his last action, but winds up killing killing both sicarians that round. It’s getting a name plate made for sure.
How many games do you play per week?
- It depends on the season. My job as a catering chef is seasonal, meaning i have a lot of free time in the winter and early spring months and maybe 1-2 day off per week in the summer and fall. So realistically i play about 4-5 games per week in the slow months, and 1-2 games per week during busy season. I’m always reading rules and changes to the game whenever i can though to ensure i don’t get caught in any “gotcha!” moments. Read your books folks, it will save your butt one day.
What was the hardest game of the tournament?
- My 4th game on ITD vs Ace. This is the game i lost on full scale assault? (think that’s the name). It’s a challenging map because its alot of open shooting lanes and rooms with multiple doorways looking into them, equalling nowhere to hide. I had a great starting position in this game at the end of TP 1, but it all changed when thrice cursed failed a real big melee engagement scoring only 2 hits vs a rust stalker with 5. this is where i got stuck in a trap with a 5 wound hulk, where gunners covered both doors inward 1 on guard, so if i fight i die, if i fall back also death. Hindsight i should’ve just stayed put and passed but i moved away with a barge, killed another stalker and paid full price for a piping hot plasma dinner! headhunter was scored and swung my game into a frantic clutch for points. Sludge grubs became my main source of damage, thall tell ya all you need for the rest of the story. Lost by 3 but felt like a whole lot more.
How was your competitive year?
- It went pretty well considering i mained warp coven for 80% of it. I lost 1-2 games at most events i went to with them but i appreciate losing now a lot more than i used to when i was younger. From that i feel i only got better throughout the year and ended it with possibly the best outcome i could’ve imagined winning at Kansas city and New Mexico. I met so many great people and friends in this year due to competitive events and it keeps me excited looking at every new event that comes up that i can play in.
Where do you see yourself a year from now?
- Certainly playing kill team but possibly branching away for the competitive side a bit. Kill team needs more exposure and majority of online kill team battle reports are not that fun to watch for a wide variety of reasons. If possible i wanna branch out into that field and make gameplay videos with my team, Plasma Spam, or other partners to get more people excited and engaged with kill team.
You have some story with Ace, Can you explain that to us?
- I sure do! My first meeting with Ace was at LVO, on day one. Him and I had been doing very well in the event and we ended up playing each other in the second to last round of day 1 on stream. I was playing Warp Coven and he was bringing his infamous veteran guardsmen that were still in their prime of grenade spam. This game was very intense, with me playing hyper defensive to hold him back just enough to keep the game as a tie on points, 7-7, i believe. Now the best part was we went down a list of 4 tie-breakers, but neither of us had the advantage and it ended in a perfect tie! It was an amazing game but sadly we couldn’t rematch in the finals as I got knocked out right before that by Adrian. This set up one a really Dramatic rematch in New Mexico as I got the last ticket available, and we ended up playing 3 times in the finals, with me winning 2. These are some of my favorite games in my Kill Team history and I genuinely cherish any time Ace and I get to play. Ace: (This is an incredible epic story, and one of me favourite games of all time too and I cannot wait to play again)
Anything else you want to tell us?
- Shameless plugs here i come! My team, Plasma Spam are putting on the Kill Team Open on February 18-19 in Baltimore, Maryland with KillTeamStream, Kill Team Jawn, the Listening to Paint Dry Podcast, and Battle Brothers Tabletop! We’re running a 100-player, 2-day Championships event, as well as a separate 2-day Narrative event run by Ben from Battle Brothers Tabletop. Hobby and Painting classes with award-winning instructors, as well as a world-class painting competition, Squad Goals run by Listening to Paint Dry. We’ll have vendors, casual play tables, fun event games and puzzles and more! Tickets are on sale NOW, and we have a hotel block reserved already! We’d love for anyone who read this to come through. If you like Kill Team you’ll love this event!
- Apologies but gotta do it, I love kill team too much not to have this event get people from all over to celebrate the game we’re maybe too passionate about! Biggest thanks to the TO for this event, Ben Cash. Couldn’t have asked for a better judge and representative of the player base of kill team!
The event as I said in the previous article was unbeatable, I carried good vibes of good people and it was a real exhibition of Kill team and fellowship. An event to remember and I hope it will be repeated in the future, the next time I hope it will be broadcasted for the whole world. It has been a pleasure for all of us to go down in history as the first to participate in this championship and to be registered forever on the Kill team trophy plaques that will travel to all official tournaments of G.W on that awesome trophy.
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