We’ve got another Flames of War tournament kicking off soon, it seems like an appropriate time to have a look at the state of the game. We’re still operating with a seriously flawed data set (not enough tournaments yet) but we’ll improve over time.
First up is the big pie chart of nationalities played. The Germans remain very popular but their market share has dropped slightly. The Americans have also slipped slightly while the British record the biggest increase. Soviets and Hungarians climb very slightly. Overall, it’s situation normal here with an even mix of Germans and the rest.
I mentioned in the last round up that the tournament scene was notable for its list variety and that remains unchanged. The last tournament had twelve players with twelve completely distinct armies and included six never-before-used company lists. We’re still waiting on a list to be re-used. I suspect that run will end with the next tournament, this Sunday, but it’s still nice to see such a large measure of originality and experimentation.
The win ratio graph has gone to hell after a run of draws (which I treat as losses). I wouldn’t read too much into it as we’re going to keep seeing big swings like this until we’ve gotten a large number of tournaments into the system. It’s also a bit of fudged statistic as the national lists can vary widely in type and quality. With that in mind, we’ll quickly say that the Germans and Americans see a drop, the Soviets and Hungarians climb slightly and the British completely tank. Now, the last tournament didn’t see many of the new Bridge by Bridge companies so the British are still running on their older lists and I think we see that the v.2 versions are just a bit outclassed.
Those general overviews don’t really help in that a German list could be anything from a Jadgtiger company with a small number of heavy tank destroyers to a Luftwaffe Flak battalion pressed into service. There’s a wide variety of force lists which have only been played rarely so we’re going to ignore those and focus on the regularly played options. In essence, I’m ignoring the force lists that have only been used by a single player at a single tournament. So, what interesting tidbits can be drawn from the data? What’s are the most popular and successful lists?
The most popular army list is, without a doubt, Kampfgrupper Pieper from Devil’s Charge. It makes up 12% of all armies played and a whopping 24% of all German armies fielded in tournaments. However, it has the worst win ratio of any of the widely used lists, winning 22% of its games. It may have the numbers but it’s lacking in staying power.
The second most popular list is everyone’s least favourite opponent, the vile 2nd Infantry Division from Devil’s Charge. To no-one’s shock, it has the highest win ratio of any list at 69%. You could argue that it’s the players behind the list driving the win ratio up but as one of the guilty, I can say you’re wrong. The rules revisions to tank destroyers may draw some of the venom from the list.
The Panzerkompanie from Grey Wolf (third in popularity) is the second strongest performer on a 64% win ratio. I’ve got a real soft spot for it and it continues to perform even in the face of some internet hate. The bronze medal goes to the Hungarian force, Puskas Szazad on a 63% win ratio. This is a bit of a surprise and it’s probably the combination of assault guns and plentiful artillery that make it deadly.
As a quick finish, I’ll say that tank lists are played more often than infantry and mech lists are the least popular. You could argue that tank lists appeal more to players due to their low cost in actual money, their iconic status (think of the Tiger, Sherman and T-34) or the ease with which a force can be assembled and transported. I honestly can’t say.
When we look at the percentage of their games won by these list types, things change. Infantry lists score highly while the tank lists do not perform well. This is largely in line with the results of the 2012 ETC where the foot-sloggers strongly out-performed the armour. As we get the results for more tournaments, I’ll be curious to see if this trend continues.