Reviewing the recent Kill Team event!
Greetings and welcome to my first tournament review in a very long time! This time, I’m detailing my experiences at some recent Kill Team tournaments, notable the Warhammer World tournament that just finished this Saturday past in September. I’ll also be briefly going over my experiences at the Badmoon Cafe tournament for Kill Team the weak prior as well.
If you’re interested, I’ve also done this as a YouTube video which you can watch here:
Selecting a Kill Team
Firstly, it actually took me a while to select my main kill team to use. Thanks to my battle reports and general practice games, I’ve played nearly every faction for the game. I did think about running Custodes but currently they are far too strong and technically break the game. They’re just not something I would enjoy using despite their crazy strengths. Next I thought about Harlequins. The only problems here are that painting is an issue and the warband has a high skill ceiling. By this I mean they require a lot of finesse to play. While powerful, a single mistake can cost you the entire game.
After much deliberation with friends and going over the Kill Team books again, I finally settled on an old favourite of mine: Tyranids! Not only are they powerful this edition but my colour scheme for them is simple yet effective and fast to paint. Coupled with the fact I already own a large Tyranid army, kill team formation would not be much of a hassle.
Hive Fleet Roster
My original roster was as shown above. 10 Genestealers are just incredibly strong and pretty much an auto-include. They’re all armed with Double Rending Claws for Relentless and Rending. Next I have “mixed/balanced” Warriors, e.g. armed with guns and melee weapons. Mine were mostly armed with Deathspitters, Lash Whip and Bonesword. The Heavy Gunner was armed with a Venom Cannon instead. Finally, I took a Tyranid Swarm of 6 Hormagants and 1 Termagant with Devourer so I can reach my roster limit of 20 operatives. If I was allowed to, I’d take 8 Hormagants instead.
Badmoon Cafe Tournament
A week before the Warhammer World tournament, I had gone to this for practice mainly. I had played a lot of Kill Team games against friends and via doing intro games but I wanted to see how I’d do against new players in a tournament setting. Another note was that I had to play right after finishing my 3rd night shift in a row. Ideally I would have swapped shifts but I was unable to do so in order to get to go to Warhammer World. Either way, it would be fun to play at an event with no sleep again like I’ve done so multiple times with Warhammer Underworlds.
Game 1 was against Tau. I made a turning point 1 charge on the right flank to kill a Pathfinder to score Challenge and Rout. After that, I began moving up then turning point 2 was were I begun the mass attacks. Due to the immunity from shooting while concealed, I charged, killed, and then was shot. But thanks to my invulnerable saves and poor Tau accuracy, it took more effort to kill me and thus I had wiped out the Tau by turning point 3 to max out my score to end with a full 18 points to 4.
Game 2 was against Custodes. Sadly, the game started badly with a failed charge via the same flanking maneuver as before. With the Sister of Silence living on 1 wound, she fell back and my Genestealer was killed, costing me Challenge. After that, I held the objectives until the end of turning point 2 but the awkwardly large terrain piece and large open spaces meant my Genestealers were limited in what they could do, resulting in them getting shot apart as I had to move into the open to contest. Despite all my efforts I sadly lost 7-14.
Game 3 had me face-off against Harlequins. Turning point 1 had the opponent move up most of his operatives onto the upper floor as we sadly played on the same board as my last game. Still, he allowed me to get 4 points on primary. Turning point 2 had him start his assault and he almost wiped me out. Yet thanks to my numbers, wounds and invun saves, I was able to just stay ahead and by the end of turning point 3 he had 1 operative left to my 2. We stayed apart and I won overall on mostly primary victory points (VPs).
Game 4 was against Grey Knights. The game started off well enough. Slowly, however, as I had to move up to the center, the lack of terrain and open spaces forced me to engage and get shot apart. The game was still close but having to move out into the open was just never going to work. I was wiped out at the end of turning point 4 but there was only 1 Grey Knight left and I ended up losing only by 1 VP.
Badmoon Cafe Tournament Overview
Overall, the Badmoon Cafe tournament was fun and I ended up finishing in the top 3rd of players. Everyone was a blast to play with. The only downsides were: missions being announced after the round had started, a secret FAQ that was in-use which wasn’t announced and the terrain. The terrain really was the biggest problem due to big blocks being used and there still not being enough for every board. This left for unwieldy tables with too many fire lanes and large open spaces. Naturally great for shooting teams. Now, this is not a knock to the event. Expecting them to run specific Kill Team terrain is a big ask and they were only using what they had. It was just the biggest complaint from pretty much every player there.
Badmoon did have some good boards, as shown above, yet there were only around 5 of these outside of 36 boards. The tournament was originally supposed to be 24 players and if it remained at that count, I would have been unable to attend. Still, I think it would have been better to do 24 tables with denser terrain instead of the 36 with lots sacrifices because of that.
Overall it was still a fun event and I’m looking forwards to the next one. Despite my small gripes, they’re all understandable considering the game is brand new. Plus, as previously mentioned, everyone there was super friendly and fun to chat/play with.
Warhammer World Tournament
Now before I get into the Warhammer World segment, I’ve covered this as a podcast episode for Crit ! Cast with my friends Aytan and Charles. So if you want to listen to our group recap, you can check that out.
After some more tests, I had found my mixed Warriors to be lacking in effectiveness. As a result, I had switched them for 3 Warriors with Boneswords, Lash Whips and Boneswords. This made them 5 attacks with 4/6 damage and lethal 5+ while also making enemy operatives -1 attack. Just powerful beat-sticks. Everything else remained unchanged as they were already very useful.
WHW Board Layouts and Terrain
In stark contrast to the Badmoon Cafe tournament, Warhammer World had gone out of their way to use the best terrain possible for Kill Team. All terrain used was Kill Team legal and designed to work well with the game. Not only that, they were all themed and painted to a high gaming standard.
As shown in the images, we had 2 board types: Octarius and Vertigus boards. Each was similar but with enough differences to make playing on them unique. Not only that, all terrain and rules were provided on sheets next to the boards so classifying terrain was easy as well as remembering special rules for terrain. All in all, it was absolutely perfect.
Terrain was also set out to match the missions being played. The event staff said if any objective markers finished under terrain, then simply move the terrain pieces yourself or get a judge to do so. This just made it much more easier to play on and avoided the situation at Badmoon where big terrain pieces ended up sitting on objectives.
All missions were also announced early and at the start of the tournament so we knew what missions we were playing all day. This was just stellar preparation and organisation. With 1 hour and 45 minutes rounds to boot, we had more than ample time to play our 4 games.
Event Prep and Tech
Outside of that, the last thing I prepared for the tournament was some tech and Tac Op optimisation. I had been testing out Recon and Security as Seek and Destroy was becoming unreliable for me. I wanted to test out Infiltrate but I lacked time.
My other tech was always winning the scouting phase. With the rock/paper/scissors of fortify/infiltrate/recon, I generally always went with infiltrate if I was the attacker to ensure I got to decided who had first turn. Sure, this would be trumped by fortify but there was no reason to take it against my no shooting kill team. However, if I was the defender I would go fortify to beat infiltrate as no one would expect it. If they went recon, I was already going second regardless and I gained some extra defence, so it was a win-win scenario for me.
Game 1 – Loot and Salvage (1.1)
Game 1 was against 5 Deathguard. My fire teams were 5 Genestealers with Adrenal Glands and then my Tyranid Swarm for group activation purposes, with my archetype being security. My plan was simple, move up and loot my opponent’s objectives before he could get them. I would contest and loot them for as long as possible then fall back to my own, leaving my opponent with no points left to claim. Thanks to the Deathguard’s limited movement of 2 white, I was able to quickly do this and use Hormagants to double loot objectives in a single activation. At the end of the game I had killed 4 Deathguard and maxed out my scores to finish the game with an 18-6 victory.
Game 2 – Seize Ground (2.2)
Game 2 had me take 10 Genestealers with 5 Adrenal Glands and seek and destroy. This time I was against Kommandos. Once again I had won priority and went for my trusty turning point 1 challenge and rout Tac Op combo. Originally I was going to go for the Grot on the top left, instead I decide to charge. Unfortunately I did not know about the tactical ploy “It’s just a scratch” which negates a damage dice. This left the Kommando on 1 wound, who then fell back and got my Genestealer shot, cancelling my challenge. Losing on objectives, turning point 2 ended with my on 2-7.
After a long bout of back-and fourth gambits between us both and some risky charges, I managed to claw it back. Unfortunately I had lost too many Genestealers and couldn’t kill enough. Despite us both being left with 3 operatives each, I was just slightly behind and the game ended on a narrow 12-13 loss. It was tough but then I found out I was playing against the lead designer for Kill Team! Not so bad after all then! Seriously though, despite losing the game was my most fun Kill Team match yet while also being my toughest. I could talk about it for days haha.
Game 3 – Awaken Data Spritis (1.3)
I was against 14 Death Korps of Krieg and once again went with my standard Genestealer loadout. Now this is a complicated subject for me which I’ve covered in-depth in my podcast episode linked early and YouTube video. Basically I was slow played and only realised at the end of the game. We only got to the end of turn 2 and the game ended on a 5-7 loss. If we had played on, I would have mostly wiped him out during turning point 3 and then maxed out my objectives. Overall a thoroughly un-enjoyable game. Win or lose, at least let me play a full game of 4 turning points, it’s the whole reason I came to the event in the first place.
Game 4 – Duel of Wits (3.2)
Finally round 4 had me face-off against Kommandos again. I stuck with my Genestealer loadout again. With Dual of Wits, thanks to Stalk I was able to quickly dominate the main board and ensure I was able to use Gambit on both primary objective markers. Despite this, kills were mostly even on both sides but I was unable to score much of any Tac Ops. At the end of turning point 4, we finished on 13-2 to me.
Warhammer World Tournament Overview
Overall, the Warhammer World tournament was amazing. Truly the gold standard for Kill Team events around the world. I honestly can’t see anyone topping Games Workshop now. Of course I need to play at more independent tournaments but: the terrain quality, clear setups, organisation and rulings were perfect. There’s just so many good things to talk about the event. Even if you weren’t interested in attending to win, there were lots of prizes for painting and most sporting too. Honestly, it was just such an amazing tournament and I’m glad it was my first after such a long break.
The only real downside were the round timings. We started at 09:00 with the first game at 10:15. I prefer starting at 08:00 with the first game at 09:00 but, then again, I don’t mind waking up and playing early on a Saturday morning. It would get around having 1 round, lunch then 3 rounds and back to the timings of 2 rounds, lunch then 2 more rounds.
Special shout outs go to the new aircon system too. It was strong, powerful and cooling. You cannot understand how relieving it was. Even if it did end up blowing all the paper everywhere.
Still, I cannot stress this highly enough, just such a good event. Even after a long hiatus, the Warhammer World events team know how to put on a amazing tournament and I can’t wait to attend the next one. Even if you didn’t want to aim for a high place finish, there were lots of awards for best painted and most sporting too. At £35 with lunch and free entry into the miniatures hall, it was just so good. Not even to mention the early registration on Friday via the BCP app and clear event pack. Gold stars everywhere!
If you want to play the best Kill Team events, then Warhammer World is for you. For my American readers, I’m confident Games Workshop-run events there will be just as good with the same terrain layouts. They’ve really set the bar for what Kill Team tournaments should be.
What I Need to Improve Upon
For myself I was able to identify my weaknesses. Despite the number of games I have played already, I still need to play more. For time keeping, thanks to the suggestion of my friend, I’ll be setting my round timer to 15 minute intervals instead of 90 minutes. Next is Tac Op selection. I need to play with more varied Tac Ops such as with infiltrate but this falls under the more practice area. Still, I’m sure I can improve with these points to make myself a much better player.
I’ll still be sticking with Tyranids as I enjoy playing them and still feel they are quite strong. I just need to do some more digging with them. If you want to talk Nids tactics with me, feel free to hit my up via the comments, etc! I’m more than happy to share and help. The more we help each other, the better we all get!
So that’s pretty much it for today. I hope you enjoyed my first Kill Team tournament review as it’s been a very long time since I’ve done something like this. It’s fun to be back and playing events, especially with Kill Team. As the game is so new, it’s like when I was playing at the start of Shadespire. Learning the game and figuring out everything with the entire playerbase at the same time. I’m so hype to play more Kill Team and I can’t wait for the next event, especially the next Kill Team Warhammer World tournament!
Until next time, even if the time doesn’t allow, you can still always roll a crit!