Thursday, October 3, 2013

Michigan Grand Tournament Codex Breakdowns

This weekend was the first Michigan Grand Tournament for 40K.  Even though I am not an active player I wanted to swing by and check it out as it was only like 1 hour away but unfortunately I ended up spending most of the weekend at the Hospital.  So instead of a first person look I can only look at the results which will probably come as no surprise to current players.  First we will look at the parcipation level for the various main detachments:

So about half the players were Tau, Eldar, and Chaos Daemon followed by a quarter at chaos marines, dark angels, and necrons.  The final quarter was divided between everyone else with 0 Codex Space Marine players.  This event was to close to the codex drop so it was 5th ed Space Marines that had no representation.  I would expect this number to probably have been somewhere between the eldar and Dark Angels levels had the new codex been allowed.  Tau are very highly represented at about a quarter of the players.

Next we will look at the average battle point results along with there standard deviations:

Interesting that Grey Knights came in as the highest but the second highest battle point score was grey knights and there was only one other player who ended up in the middle of the pack.  This lead to a high average but also the high standard deviation.  An interesting note is that the Dark Angels did so bad even with 5 players while most other armies with so many players did at least twice as well.  Chaos Marines were also on the lower side for having several players.  As these are both starter set armies I am not sure if these people have limited armies to choose from or there might be more new players in these groups. The lowest ranking was the single Dark Eldar player but that is hard to judge as it is only one player.

It is also interesting that Tau only came in 5th in the averages but this might be due to the large numbers of players who might be bandwagon jumpers who really do not have the experience with the army you need for an event like this.

Another way to look at it is by breaking down the placement in quartiles:

So we can see that half the armies place at least 1 player into the top quartile and half did not.  That is not to bad but it is pretty bad that 1/3 of the armies did not place a player into the upper half of the standings.  Also interesting that no one with Eldar or Necrons placed in the bottom quartile and only a single Tau player even though they represented 25% of the armies.  This just confirms who are the big boys of 40K just as the Space Marine codex drops.  Will that mix things up?


  1. I have seen Tasty Taste, Mercer and a number of other folks across the blogs perform analysis on events based on the armies and the performance of said armys and I always recommend taking the results with a hefty grain of salt, both as the reader and as the person gathering the facts.

    When you look at an event from the outside it can be easy to say XXX is bad or XXX is the power dex or this book did really well, but there are so many outside and "off-table" variables that this kind of analysis isn't conclusive.

    Here are a few factors from inside just this event:

    The DE player quit after day 1, so did several other players, there were some players who participated just to compete for Best Painted and stated so (which is not suprising considering there was no "narrative" and only the GT itself) and the list goes on. You also get the National players, or guys who compete at GTs everywhere. These guys tend to bring a very new codex to exploit the field's overall lack in ability to deal with it, which means that they are more likely to get to the higher tables, which is when the competition gets steep. Then you will have the really good players who also don't change armies as much, like Gorham for instance and you will see a list that is boiled down and fielded by a general who knows all of its stregnths and limitations against a wide feild of opponents.

    You also see that in Jesse's GK, which he has refined for more than a year, while the other GK player has been taking a lot of time off from 40k, but is other wise very competitive ...

    This list goes on and if you think of it as just a snapshot from a person who knew a lot of folks at the tourney (which had 50+ players), then imagine the wheels within wheels that are behind the scenes of the Nova Open (200+ players) or Adepticon.

    This brings me back to the original point, where I will say that analysis is good, but basing the overall value of a codex on its performance at GTs is not valid. Who runs the books and the skill level is typically more informative.

    Those are just my two cents, though EC, though I will also say that I did enjoy the write up and always enjoy looking at tourneys by the numbers, I just keep the saltlick handy.

  2. Thank for the comment and inside info. I know at least 2 of the players from back when the Labyrinth was open in Ann Arbor. One played Tau and the other Eldar but neither are bandwagon jumpers since that is what they played there years ago.

    You will note I just pointed to a few interesting things in the data and did not really make any big claims about this codex being great and this one being bad.

    I think the quartile plot is a good way to visualize the info since it is a more qualitative level but shows the number of the armies, how they performed on average and the distribution. You can see outlier affects. It also probably corresponds to the level of the real codex affects in the current meta as noticeable shifts in the distributions but not the overwhelming dominate one. You could give me any army and I am not going to get into the upper quartile. Ofcourse all things being equal Tau or Eldar seem to be better right now than Wolves or Nids.

  3. Oh, I love this quartile plot and think you were conservative enough with your analysis. It is always a subject of interest for me as I know a lot of GT players and have decent experience in large events, so I am glad to lend my experience or inside knowledge in this case to something like this.

  4. I personally prefer competitive Blood Bowl events. I know that they teams are not fair. They were designed that way and they actually had a volunteer tablet game results from all over the world to see how the teams compared and modified the rules and cost to get the teams where they wanted.

    The advantage blood bowl has is that the teams are so much cheaper than 40K armies so if I want to play a couple different ones for friendly games and then take one of the better ones to the events it is no problem.