PDA

View Full Version : Army strength perception versus actual tournament results:



nexttothemoon
11-04-2009, 10:47
I was reading through a few 40K oriented websites and found some stats that I think are interesting and I thought I'd throw up the results here to get everyone's take on it all.

A poll was done over here on what 40K armies people felt had the strongest codexes:

http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2007/07/pre-heresy-death-guard-dev-squad.html

And over here are some stats from many actual 40K tournaments showing recent results:

http://www.gosfordgamers.net/ATR/index.htm

Click on "Tournament rankings" at the top of that page which give the last 12 months worth of tournament data... then click on the side where it says "Army Rankings"... then scroll down the page to where it shows "Armies By Success" stats.

So anyway what I thought was interesting was to see the dichotomy (yep big word... my thesaurus has a chunk gone out of it this morning :) )... between people's perceptions of which armies are the strongest and which armies actually do the best in tournament settings.

Now I realize the usual caveats apply... selection biases to those armies in widest circulation, differing skill levels of tournament participants, many people's unfamiliarity with a large range of codexes, groupthink usage of various battle tactics, Tournament "Cheese" lists versus everyday army lists... and the list goes on and on.

Yet I still think it's interesting to see just how much variance there is between perceptions and "reality" in the world of 40K.

Here's the condensed breakdown for the "BIG 16" armies from both lists... ranked by their perceived strengths versus their actual tournament performances:

Rank of Actual Tournament Performance - Rank of Peoples Perception of Army Strength - Army
1 - 6 - Chaos Daemons
2 - 1 - Orks
3 - 13 - Witch Hunters
4 - 3 - Chaos SM
5 - 12 - Dark Angels
6 - 4 - Eldar
7 - 16 - Daemonhunters
8 - 14 - Dark Eldar
9 - 11 - Blood Angels
10 - 5 - Tyranids
11 - 7 - Black Templars
12 - 15 - Necrons
13 - 2 - Space Marines
14 - 9 - Tau
15 - 8 - Imp Guard
16 - 10 - Space Wolves

*By the way these results are from 47 tournaments with 1500 entries over the last 12 months so It's a fairly large sample.

*The poll on perceived strength of the various 40K armies had 5264 votes... so again a fairly good sample size.


So the biggest divergences that I picked out and would like others to comment on as well are:

- Witchhunters -Appear to be a hell of a lot more powerful in a tournament setting than people give them credit for... #3 in the tournaments versus #13 in people's perceptions. Huge 10 rank difference.

- Space Marines - The plain old vanilla Space Marines come in at #13 in the tournaments and yet people see them way up there at #2 in their strength perceptions of them. A large 11 rank difference.
Could you attribute this to everyone and their puppy using these when they start out so SM armies as a whole will generally get less than average results as they have a high # of noobs playing and learning 40K with them which swamps the people who are actually using SM armies to their fullest abilities?

I assume people also perceive SM as super strong because they are everywhere and get all the goodies first whenever GW decides to refresh the rules/codexes.

-Daemonhunters - Perceived as dead last at #16 in army strength yet they perform 9 ranks higher at #7 in tournaments. They seem to perform a lot better than people think even though many regard them as having the weakest codex.

- Lots of other interesting divergences in the stats but a few "non-surprises" as well... Orks are perceived as being very strong and they ARE very strong in the tournies ending up at #2.

-Chaos Space Marines are a similar situation... perceived as #3 in strength and actually performing highly as well at #4.

So what's everyone's take on some of these disparities in perceptions and performance?

onlainari
11-04-2009, 11:09
So the actual tournament ranking appears to be:

1. Chaos Daemons
2. Orks
3. Witch Hunters
4. Chaos
5. Dark Angels
6. Eldar
7. Daemonhunters
8. Dark Eldar
9. Blood Angels
10. Tyranids
11. Black Templars
12. Necrons
13. Space Marines
14. Tau
15. Imp Guard
16. Space Wolves

That is very close to what I thought anyway.

Space Marines did less well than I think their power is. I don't think good players use them.

Dark Angels did better than I thought their power was. They're better than I thought.

Daemonhunters did better than I thought their power was. They're better than I thought.

Everything else was spot on.

Witchhunters are good, and I knew it.

Eldoriath
11-04-2009, 11:21
Daemonhunters strenght can be explained in some ways. Like they aren't using greyknights and instead just ally in a bunch of space marines and use the DH parent list to get access to assasins and emperors tarot or something in that way. DH can practically be a SM army with some storm troopers and an inquisitor, coupled in with orbital bombardment if one likes and more important templar assasins.

Anyways, the one that suprised me most was chaos dameons, i have never really percieved them as a power army, but more as an avarage one.

onlainari
11-04-2009, 11:50
I've always seen Chaos Daemons as #3 most powerful army in my lists, #1 doesn't surprise me, they're really good!

Grazzy
11-04-2009, 11:54
Daemons are nasty - bloodcrushers + soul grinders will ruin anybodys day.

I am only surprised by Black Templars (as i thought they could be better) and Dark Angels (i though they would be a bit lower).

FunkyRatDemon
11-04-2009, 11:57
I disagree to Deamon. Unless its Deamon-zilla lists I don't think the army is to hard, a simple gunline can do so much wonders.

Surprised Necrons beat Tau, and Tyranids didn't beat Dark Eldar

Reinnon
11-04-2009, 12:05
I find these results iffy, if you look, chaos daemons are also one of the least played armies in the tables. The podium finishing chart is interesting, but when you realise that daemons got the top spot with just 9 places, while chaos got into second with 33....

Its all based on percentages, which is fair enough - but as the armies are not fairly represented i'm not sure if we can draw many conclusions from it.

nexttothemoon
11-04-2009, 12:31
Statistics being what they are... it's always good advice to take things with a grain of salt... but the samples here are pretty large so at least some generalizations can be drawn I think.

More or less I was just looking at the perception people have versus actual performance... and not specifically at any exact results because factors will always vary over time and with changes in codexes/rules etc.

freddieyu
11-04-2009, 12:32
I expect the IG to rise higher in next year's performance...

Fixer
11-04-2009, 12:32
With the UK GT final results this year. Average postions for armies (not including armies played by less than 4 people. Armies ranked as follows:

1. Orks
2. Eldar
3. Space Wolves
4. Tyranids
5. Chaos Space Marines
6. Chaos Daemons
7. Tau Empire
8. Dark Eldar
9. Dark Angels
10. Space Marines

For the top 50, the armies were as follows:

Orks 14
Eldar 12
Chaos Space Marines 7
Chaos Daemons 4
Space Marines 2
Tyranids 2
Witchunters 2
Blood Angels 1
Dark Eldar 1
Imperial Guard 1
Necrons 1
Tau Empire 1

The problem with people's perceptions of army power is that a lot of folks get distracted by special rules or wargear and equate more special rules = more powerful.

Not true. The chaos space marine army runs almost completely on BGB rules but has solid points effective infantry. Sternguard are geared with combat tactics, specialist bolters and combat squads but in effect they are a more expensive Tactical marine squad that does +66% damage to most targets.

Additionally people equate the existance of weak options in an army list to overal army strength. In fact you may need only 2 or 3 overpowered options in a sea of weak or average units, build on those strengths alone and you have a powerful 1500 tournament force.

Orks and Eldar are the two current power armies. Orks have cost effective infantry, troops that outperform the elites of other armies for both shooting and assault in addition to sturdy army support and their powerful sledgehammer unit of Nob bikers. Eldar have their recently discovered Seer council on bikes formation which can plough through almost anything while simultaniously resisting almost anything in addition to specialists, and versatile firebase units (also Eldrad)

For a seasoned tournament player knowing the power builds, these rankings are no suprise. For less experienced players or players that do not play competetively they might be.

the1stpip
11-04-2009, 12:42
Not too many shocks, and with some of the oldst codexes ranking quite high, such as Dark Eldar, Space Puppies, DH and WH, I wonder how much better they could perform with a new codex.

The_Outsider
11-04-2009, 12:49
I am quite impressed that DE have got quite a consistent score - people either think they are more powerful than god or weaker than a gretchin only force.

Ultimately, while I view daemons as bit of a wild card these results do not suprise me - a veteran can easily see the power of a list from a codex - experience will always trump the initial attraction of special rules (a pitfull I suspect the new guard codex will have) so those forces that have solid entries on their own will ultimately win out over those that rely on special rules (because special rules can often be countered, good statlines cannot).

Frostea
11-04-2009, 12:50
I for one would like to see classifications of codices into their play-style (nob bikers, pure grey knights, vulkan, nidzilla etc.) then rated. This breakdown is not an accurate nor fair portrayal of codex power. Like the previous example drawn about Daemonhunters, one could ally with Space Marines to gain access to the tactically powerful assassins or for their uber(maybe even abusive) force weapon.

nexttothemoon
11-04-2009, 13:43
I for one would like to see classifications of codices into their play-style (nob bikers, pure grey knights, vulkan, nidzilla etc.) then rated. This breakdown is not an accurate nor fair portrayal of codex power. Like the previous example drawn about Daemonhunters, one could ally with Space Marines to gain access to the tactically powerful assassins or for their uber(maybe even abusive) force weapon.

That would indeed be interesting to see and all it would require is setting up a simple database on a site (such as that one that already collates tournament results) where after each tournament the playstyle of each entered army could be put in along with its results.

In theory that sounds simple enough but it would take the dedication of a few people to keep the database updated and keep out false data... more effort than I guess anyone wants to do or else it would have been done by now.

Also... just a feeling I get, but so many of the army lists would be melds and mixtures of several different tactics and play styles that I don't know how easily they could be classified as a certain style with any certainty. I think there would be a lot of gray areas when analyzing those lists and not many could be easily labeled in one way or another.

Skyth
11-04-2009, 13:54
Only problem is that the ranking system is overall wins, which are greatly affected by soft scores. This really renders that system useless as a means of measuring army strength.

nexttothemoon
11-04-2009, 14:23
Only problem is that the ranking system is overall wins, which are greatly affected by soft scores. This really renders that system useless as a means of measuring army strength.

The "Armies by Success" chart ranks the armies by looking at which army was in every position of every tournament. So the results are based on the average percentile finishing position of every army... it's not just looking at the elite winning armies or top podium finishers or anything like that.

Occulto
11-04-2009, 14:23
Only problem is that the ranking system is overall wins, which are greatly affected by soft scores. This really renders that system useless as a means of measuring army strength.

Correct.

The relatively strong use of composition in Australia/NZ means that the vast majority of players don't "cut loose" and push codices to the absolute limit like they seem to do elsewhere.

Take it with a healthy grain handful of salt.

Aubec le noir
11-04-2009, 22:08
i knew that orks, deamons and eldars were powerful armies so no surprise here
but i was very pleased to see that DH were far more highier than expected, the reason, i think, is that it's a veteran's army hard to play but with a good potential if well played
Aubec :chrome:

Vaktathi
11-04-2009, 22:16
The Daemons ranking surprises me. I've never failed to either table, or nearly table a Daemon army, they just seem far too random and piecemeal to be solid. I've only played about 10 or 12 games against them, but they just seem so...bad.

What are these tourney players running?

It'll be interesting to see where the Imperial Guard comes in after May 2nd. :angel:

kultz
11-04-2009, 22:38
Not surprised on the performance of the so called 'skilled players' armies.

Rather surprised at the difference in some armies in terms of perceived power and real performance.

Witch hunters was no surprise, power armour and bolters, coupled with the flexibility of faith points for rending-on-demand.

I think the elephant in the room is the Space Marines and the glaring inability to consistently defeat anything more serious than outdated codecies.

The_Outsider
11-04-2009, 22:41
I think the elephant in the room is the Space Marines and the glaring inability to consistently defeat anything more serious than outdated codecies.

Catch 22 - marines are common so people take anti MEQ gear, making it harder and harder for marines to have an even playing field.

Not to mention the sheer amount of marine armies will skew things.

FunkyRatDemon
11-04-2009, 22:47
The Daemons ranking surprises me. I've never failed to either table, or nearly table a Daemon army, they just seem far too random and piecemeal to be solid. I've only played about 10 or 12 games against them, but they just seem so...bad.

What are these tourney players running?

It'll be interesting to see where the Imperial Guard comes in after May 2nd. :angel:

Same, I have only played about 6 games vs them, but have tabled them almost every game. Deamon-zilla is a hard list but still beatable.

LonelyPath
11-04-2009, 22:55
I'm amazed that DH is ranked so highly, I thought they would be alot lower, but then I've never tried anything tourny-based with them besides a few small tournies here and there. Even then I tend to play for fun rather than winning, I really should get more competative in those things, lol.

Daemons doesn't surprise me as a strong army given some ofthe forces I've cme against, but I never pegged them for the #1 spot!

zanotam
12-04-2009, 00:04
Really the only way to find an accurate ranking is through a combination of results. The easiest way would probably be to keep track of GT armies, by both raw number placing in the top 50, average position they place, and if the numbers exist, how many of them place. I do believe GT results include player names as well as army names which would allow you to also keep track of certain things, maybe you get 4/6 DH players placing, but there are a few people who place consistently and so they skew the already small data sample. What it comes down to is the number of times an army does well (raw data), the percentage of times an army does well (modified data), and then within that data set how well an army does. If say 20 out of 70 SM players place, but there concentrated in the 20-50 area, but then only 3 out of 8 DE players place, but they all place in the top 15, you can definitely tell that while less played, DE are probably better than SM.

Ianos
12-04-2009, 17:34
A few notes here:

1) Results are from 2008+ which means barely half of it is 5th edition.
2) Correct me if i 'm wrong but they are all from the Australasian region.
3) Some armies have at least double the sample number than others.

Now to my observations:

Demons are a new army, granted Orks are a new codex but everyone can more or less understand what Orks do. People are not however setting up their armies nor changing their playstyle vs. demons. Demons also belong to the small sample category which is not really an excuse but does affect results.

As to the rest of them i think we ought a HUGE kudos to GW for the balancing act! WH, CSM, Eldar, DH, DAs, have essentially the same tournament performance with Orks slightly ahead and DE, BAs, Nids pretty close to the mean. Orks are a bit ahead IMO cause players have not really switched to anti-horde the slightest (demons also benefit from that one) and WH are good because the rely on anti-horde hence counter Orks.

IG will soon start getting better and SM players have both not yet fully used understood their codex as well as drown in each others hatred. I believe as they become less and more all around in roster build they will do better.

I am overall very optimistic for the future and the game, and for seeing finally proof that perception <> reality...

Reticent
12-04-2009, 17:44
The most obvious distortion in the results I can think of here is that expensive niche armies (Daemonhunters, etc) are going to usually belong to dedicated veteran players whereas less expensive beginner armies (SM, Tau, etc) are going to pick up a disproportionate number of tourney losses from novices.

All I'm saying is that this data probably can't be used as a metric for absolute relative balance (which to be fair the OP did allude to).