Friday, March 2, 2012

Army Strength - Tournament Performance

Looking at offshore tournament results, I thought I’d do a little bit of analysis. There are two “big” tournament circuits in the world – the US and the UK – and I have focused on them as it reduces the impact of individual player skill.

RankingsHQ have a measure where the top 30 results for each army in a given location over the past 12 months are collated. Where there are hundreds of results for each army this can be compared to give an indication of strength for each race. One of the factors to consider is that it spans various composition system and therefore provides a relative value.

So here are the results for each locale (the number is purely a measure of strength):


1. Lizards 2.70
2. WoC 2.67
3. Skaven 2.56
4. Dark Elves 2.52
5. Daemons 2.51
6. Orcs & Goblins 2.40
7. Dwarfs 2.40
8. Vampires 2.33
9. Ogres 2.33
10. Beastmen 2.30
11. Bretonnians 2.23
12. High Elves 2.12
13. Wood Elves 2.05
14. Tomb Kings 1.78

I suspect that the Tomb Kings result is being affected by player numbers. It is a relatively new book and previous book was largely deemed sub-par in 8th edition.

United Kingdom

1. Daemons 2.70
2. Vampire Counts 2.70
3. Dark Elves 2.69
4. Lizards 2.65
5. WoC 2.64
6. Skaven 2.61
7. Ogres 2.60
8. Empire 2.49
9. Bretonnians 2.42
10. Orcs & Goblins 2.39
11. High Elves 2.30
12. Dwarfs 2.17
13. Tomb Kings 2.14
14. Wood Elves 1.93

One of the things to note is the absence of the Empire army in the US and Beastmen in the UK. The reason for this is that there is no army icon holder, meaning that no single player has used that army in three events.

The other thing is just how even the results are between the top books in the deepest market, the UK. The top 7 books are within 0.10 of each other. That’s very tight. I think it demonstrates what a great job GW (and TOs) have done in balancing the pointy end of the field.

Taking the UK/US average for each army you get the following:


1. Lizards 2.68
2. WoC 2.66
3. Daemons 2.61
4. Dark Elves 2.61
5. Skaven 2.59
6. Vampire Counts 2.52
7. Orcs & Goblins 2.50
8. Empire 2.49 (UK-only)
9. Ogres 2.47
10. Bretonnians 2.34
11. Beastmen 2.30 (US-only)
12. Dwarfs 2.28
13. High Elves 2.21
14. Wood Elves 1.99
15. Tomb Kings 1.96

Certainly I think in the Combined table you can see that things are relatively tight between the Top 5 armies and I think that the Top 9 are all “Tournament” competitive. I suspect that the Ogres will continue their drift north. From the Bretonnians down I think that the armies would struggle to win events against top class opposition.

It is clear that the High Elves and Wood Elves are struggling in open competition and are most in need of new books. The jury is out on the Tomb Kings as I suspect that the data is light. It will be interesting to see if they move up the table over time.


  1. All the usual suspects at the top. Wonder how the next round of books will affect this?

    1. I looked at this too a while ago, just a few points;

      1) Empire and Beastmen results. This is not due to people not playing the army for 3 games. Mark Wildman for example played Beastmen more than 3 times in the last 12 months.

      They are missing because of data bugs in RHQ. Our NZ rankings for example were missing most of last year for several armies. It wasn't until I emailed Andy Galea later last year that he was able to reinstate the lost data. Until something similar happens for USA/UK it will be hard to get that missing data into results.

      2) The USA tourney scene is renowned for its 'no comp' approach, and the UK scene is renowned for the opposite. To me, comparing results form the two is like comparing two different rulesets, where the results from the different approaches to checks and balances makes comparison very convoluted (particularly for the middle-table armies).

      That aside, nice little analysis.

    2. Thanks re Point 1.

      I disagree re Point 2. The USA is not very homogenous in its approach. Different areas vary from very heavy comp yo virtually no comp. The North Eastern stares are pretty comp free while the Soutgh has it.

      The UK in contrast has moved very much to a (very) light comp environment. There are few no comp events but apart from the Tempest events most NZ events would be more heavily comp'd in comparison. This is due to the emergence of the SCGT as the largest event and Sheffield and Midlands have tended to follow their comp lead.

      I think that while there will be some variation it is a lot less than you are suggestin. This is evidenced by the overlap in the top six in both jurisdictions.

  2. I think it needs to be mentioned that UK generally run under hard caps, and US tend to run more no comp events. In saying that, the ones to look out for are VC as the book is new, and Ogres are defantly on the climb but I dont think they will rise much more as the local meta changes to meet them.
    Its good to see OnG up there, but its interesting to note that all the new 8th edition books do not rate that well (VC excluded, as it hasnt had enough time to flow on since its so new, I predict it to stay the same or drop slightly)
    Tomb Kings are defantly the weaker book these days. Everything is overcosted and there are many "bad" special rules that restrict them.
    It will be interesting to vist this chart when WoC, Deamons, DE, Skaven, and Lizzys all have new books...


  3. Deamons, WoC, Lizards and Skaven have alway's been there or there abouts for various reasons, Vampires used to be a tier 1 list in 5th-7th ed, 8th ed dropped them into the pack, new book should see them drift upwards again. Dark Elves, until 7th Ed book were rubbish, but now a very competitive list.

  4. ??? 8th ed never dropped the old vamps back to the pack. That book was utterly horrific in 8th Ed. Sure, it wasn't exciting and was boring as hell to play but the "2s followed by 2s, you're dead" Grave guard blocks were terrifying!

    Something to remember though is that good players playing the armies somewhat skews the results. IE Ben curry winning lots of tournies with DEs, I can't think of too many others dominating with DEs in the same way. I expect its similar with Pete and his Skaven in NZ.