Thursday, 22 January 2015

Stats! Break it down

Chris Otton, the magnanimous organiser of the Warmachine event at Valleycon, has graciously posted graphs and charts to illustrate the breakdown of the player field for this weekend. To view his original post just follow the link here:

I otherwise wanted to examine a few things that I thought was worthy of note, with consideration of what a meta in New Zealand may look like. I won't post Chris' graphs as I'm sure everyone will be have no problems viewing them on thrallblacks, but also because I haven't asked for permission.  I will instead post my own graphs in reference to the ones at that other blog.

First up the pie chart on the factions present at Valleycon;

Looking at the actual chart on thrallblacks, first thing that surprised me-




What the heck? I like to harass players of the faction for using the most boring batshit unit in the game (Warders), but I actually really like that faction. I am thoroughly surprised that there would be no showing from the Runes of War, or Calandra's tier. I was under the impression also that Trolls were a rather popular faction in NZ, but I guess most of the regular Trollblood tournie regulars weren't able to make it.

There's otherwise a pretty nice spread of people across all the factions, bar Minions, but I guess that's to be expected (someone build that Arkadius tier already), with a heavier presence towards Legion. There also looks to be a tally of 32 players, which I reckon is a fantastic showing. Especially as this is an incomplete account of all the players, so there may be a few more to include. Good shit.

Next thing I want to look at is Chris' bar graph showing the frequency of the different Warcasters/Warlocks people used:

Ha ha.

Next surprise for me though: no Bradigus! Hot damn. I guess this is just early days, so there's no doubt of seeing him at other events soon. People just need to prepare all their wolds and shifting stones, and NZ being tucked away round the butthole of the world, it takes time for people's orders to arrive from Discount Games Incorporated Registered Trademarked.

The spread of casters/locks allows me to consider who I will drop in the face of each matchup: there's actually a lack of weaponmaster spam as I was preparing for, with no shows from either Goreshade2 or Butcher2. This means I have to rethink how I manage my Makeda drop, obviously. I built the list with specific matchups in mind, and I now have to consider what casters here will still fit within that bracket or skew I prepared for. Siege looks to be an obvious one, and probably Butcher1 and Sorscha2 as well.

This is what I've found interesting over the past day as I've had this info to digest; tier restrictions have meant I can predict the shape of prople's lists with greater accuracy.... Unless I'm fooling myself and I don't actually know the game and my local community as well as I think I do. But this lends itself to me feeling a bit more confident about how I will approach the match making process. Looking at these stats also makes me contemplate what the New Zealand meta even looks like; certainly not this, the range of casters and forces do t seem to represent what is typical. Where I think kudos is due to Chris Ooton, as I think that was one of his mission statements in restricting this to a tier event.

But then, what is 'typical'? I'm struggling to pin down what can be used to describe the meta of NZ at this point of time, and I keep coming up short. People seemed determined to keep trying new things, casters, forces, and lists, and though there is a sort of consistency with who podiums at events, these players never seem to skew in any particular way, or stick to any warlock/warcaster for any notable length of time. And beyond that, this doesn't seem to translate to other players mimicking their lists. Sure, there's the occasional person who rolls with a net-decked eGaspy list, but that's the exception not the norm here, as it seems to be overseas. Almost like we're a nation of snowflakes, all trying to shine in our own special little way?

That aside I'm also going to have to do some homework- time to brush up on what a nemo3 tier even looks like. Yeesh.


  1. "Sure, there's the occasional person who rolls with a net-decked eGaspy list...".

    Ooooh... low blow.

    I agree though - the NZ meta is a tricky to account for. Lots of snowflaking and inconsistencies with who is taking what. Tends to make US podcasts and the like very cute listening but also bit lol-worthy when they bemoan every Cygnar player taking eHaley. I could count the number of Cygnar players in the country on one hand... and I think I've seen eHaley at one event over the last 3+ years. We are an odd bunch!

    I'm hoping that taking in some stats for Ides, 50pts and no theme list restriction, and holding this up against last years data at least gives us a (blurry) picture of where we've moved to in the last year.

    1. We've successfully coerced Matt into not playing Warders any more, now we just need to bully you and Peter Hunter into dropping eLich B)

      In all fairness I think its great you guys run him, plus all those who may use the other 'power' casters out there. The point I was trying to get across is that NZ is pretty diverse in what its players bring, and I reckon its fantastic :)

  2. great write up Dave, I'm glad you enjoyed the actual event as well :)
    And yup, one of aims of ValleyCon is to get people trying casters and Locks that they wouldn't usually as everyone is having to be a little bit of a Snow flake an run a Tier list :) The other idea around a theme list tourney is that it encourages a bit of a more relaxed attitude to the game and is a better all round experience :)

    1. It was a great event Chris :) Wellington is always a pleasure to visit and game at, so thanks again for all your work in organising this

  3. I think you've hit on the best thing about the NZ meta here.

    "People seemed determined to keep trying new things, casters, forces, and lists, and though there is a sort of consistency with who podiums at events, these players never seem to skew in any particular way, or stick to any warlock/warcaster for any notable length of time"

    Good players play well, but most people in NZ seem more content on playing fun and interesting lists, rather than boring net-decks that someone else figured out for them. Number 8-wire mentality I guess.

    1. Well I wouldn't even write off boring net-lists either, because those lists are also a lot of fun to play. It'd only get boring if everyone used them. The diversity of players who are willing to bring a range of games to the table means you can almost choose the type of game you want to play, whether it is something janky, something just for shits and giggles, or something ball-busting to give yourself a real challenge.

  4. A great post Dave, nicely put. I think the variety of lists you see is the Strength of the NZ meta. Diversity means that each game you have to play honestly, you cant 'tech' against 150 warcasters.