Thursday, March 20, 2014

What is the Meta, Part II: Matchup Heat Maps

Following my first Meta post, +Brad Voorhees raised the question of how each army performed against other armies. I toyed with the Torrent of Fire database a little and came up with a series of Heat Maps that plot stats on a Allies Matrix style grid and show whether a particular matchup is hot or cold.

For these charts, Red represents a high percentage, while Blue represents a cold or low percentage. For matchup stats such as Win%, the columns are the army being played, while the rows are the army being played against. Specific examples will be discussed for each chart.

First up, we'll just do a POP chart that shows what percentage of all games features each matchup.

The first thing that stands out with this chart is just how "cold" matchups predominate. The "hot" matchups all surround Tau, Eldar, and to a lesser extent, Daemons, Necrons, and Space Marines. This largely can be used to indicate confidence in further statistics; these five armies should have statistics that can be fairly well trusted to be accurate. Colder matchups have much lower confidence because there is a smaller pool of games to draw statistics from.

I then reworked the statistic to show what percentage of each armies games are against each opponent.

In this table, each column adds up to 100%, so looking down a column, you see the percentage of that armies games which are against each opponent. I think this table really emphasizes how dominant the top armies are in terms of representation in the current meta. If you go to a tournament, you are most likely going to play one or all of these armies, and possibly not play anything except these armies.

Next, I'll stick with my WAR statistic from last time, which is simply an army's percentage of total wins minus its percentage of total games. There are some flaws to this statistic in small samples, but we have a large enough sample size that most of these should be mitigated.

Again, we see Eldar and Tau holding most of the "hot" red cells, though the "cold" matchups are less severe. Interestingly, a popular army like Space Marines has very few "hot" matchups, doing best against Dark Eldar and Dark angels, while doing very poorly against Eldar and Daemons. That said, Space Marines do have one of only two positive matchups against Tau, even if only marginally.  Meanwhile, Eldar literally do not have a bad matchup.

Finally, I took a look at some of the other powerful data kept in Torrent of Fire's Ultimate weapon. This time I looked at Kill Point Percentage. Now, not all event used kill points, but generally enough did to give us some statistical trends. This chart's percentages show, on average, what percentage of the opposing army any one army will destroy.

Again, to no ones' surprise, Eldar dominate this category - part of what makes them strong is the amount of punishment they can dish out. For most other armies though, we can see some interesting hot spots of matchups where an army dominates damage wise. For example, looking down the Necrons' performance, they do a lot of damage to CSM, Dark Angels, Dark Eldar, and Space Marines, while not doing very much damage at all to Tau, Daemons, or other Necrons.

While I don't think there are too many surprises in this data, I am looking forward to seeing if and how these will change this summer. I'll closely watch if having a new codex will mean the numbers for Tyranids start to change, or Imperial Guard as well. Not to mention, I look forward to seeing Imperial Knights getting some numbers as a primary detachment.