For the past few months we’ve been looking at the average scores and overall use of each codex on the Irish tournament scene. I suspected that taking the average score would tend to undervalue the performance of particularly popular codexes but ran with it anyway. However, poring through the stats, it appeared that focusing only on the highest placed finishers might give us a better picture of the season.
I’ve looked back at every tournament since the beginning of 2011 and compiled the numbers of top five finishes by the respective codexes. The data has been gathered from Rankings HQ and begins with Warpcon 2011 and continues as far as Dominion Day V.
Obviously, 2011 was the Year of the Knight. The Grey Knight codex takes a commanding lead, well ahead of the nearest contenders. In the chasing pack, we have three codexes traditionally seen as the strongest current builds, Dark Eldar, Space Wolves and Imperial Guard. They are joined by the quirks of the Irish scene, Orks and Chaos. The Lash and Kan Wall list continue to perform well.
At the other end of the scale, we see the Tyranids and Tau huddled in obsolesence without a decent finish between them. Despite suggestions that the Black Templars had a period of excellent results in the spring, we see that this was greatly over-estimated. The other results are also rather conditional. The Eldar results trace to a single successful run at the Irish GT. The triumph of the Witch Hunters and Daemons dates from Warpcon. For the sake of completeness, all Necron results are with the newer codex.
As the above is the full season, Grey Knight dominance might be understated. To confirm this, I’ve broken the year into two sections, the first being the tally before the Grey Knights appear and the second being the aftermath.
It’s about what you’d expect, the Space Wolves, Guard and Dark Eldar do well. Ork and Chaos continue to carve themselves a niche. Again, Warpcon 2011 was responsible for some of the more unexpected finishers to the right of the scale. There has been a reduction in diversity in the top finishers since then.
Now, watch what happens when the Grey Knights arrive.
After the release of Codex: Grey Knights, everything shifts. They take as many places as the second and third codexes combined. They have as many finishes as the last twelve codexes combined. That is a level of dominance which was not clear from the individual breakdowns of the last few tournaments. If this continues into the next year, it suggests certain balance issues within the game itself which will be difficult to resolve.
While I was digging through the tournaments, I got a little curious as to which codex was the most popular in actual numbers. I’ve compiled the numbers of times each codex was used in an Irish tournament in 2011. Each appearance represents one player’s complete run at a single tournament, not number of games played.
The data isn’t perfect, some tournaments didn’t have their full details uploaded. There were twenty-two errors in the Warpcon entry, one error in the Retcon results and one in the Assault on Arkham: Summer War results. They have all been combined in the Unknown category. I believe we still get a reasonably accurate overview.
All appearances of the Necrons, both old and new, have been combined into one entry. All appearances of the Sisters of Battle and the older Witch-hunters codex have also been combined under Sisters of Battle.
It turns out that rather than having one Space Marine for each Imperial planet, there’s about six Marines for each Imperial Guardsman. For a fluff purist like myself, this suggests that if they could just stop the Grey Knights fighting each other, the galaxy would be secure by Tuesday.