Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Warzone: Atlanta - Final Lists - Blood Angels 2.0 and Field Analysis

A few weeks ago I shared my planned list for Warzone: Atlanta in a couple weeks. With lists due last week I am locked in with my list, as is the rest of the field.
Despite my modest painting goals, going into the weekend of list deadlines I wasn't anywhere close to feeling confident in making them a reality, and so, had to opt for a somewhat less optimized list with fewer Command Points at its disposal. Specifically, I had to audible back to the Sicarans rather than fill out a full Super Heavy detachment with Helverins to support my Gallant.

The final list is:
  • Blood Angels Battalion:
    • Mephiston
    • Captain: Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Angel's Wing (Relic)
    • 2x 5 Scouts: Bolters
    • 5 Scouts: Combat Knives
    • Sanguinary Ancient
    • 7 Sanguinary Guard: 2 Power Fists
    • 2x Relic Sicaran Battle Tank: Heavy Bolter Sponsons
    • Rhino: Storm Bolter
  • Blood Angels Battalion:
    • Chaplain: Jump Pack
    • Sanguinary Priest: Jump Pack, WARLORD - Soulwarden
    • 2x 5 Intercessors
    • 5 Tactical Marines
  • House Taranis Super Heavy Auxiliary:
    • Knight Gallant
The list isn't ideal to what I had hoped to take, but I think it's still solid and can do what it needs to do to win games. As of writing this, I am less than two days away from hitting the road down to Atlanta, and as is tradition, I have plenty still to do. Namely, for my personal army I have to finish my Chaplain and display board.

My Chaplain is mostly blocked in, color-wise, and just needs some highlights. The display board is all glued together but obviously is in need of some texturing and paint. I also have to finish off some models for Bryan to take to the Renegade Open and need them in the mail before I leave. Namely, three Ravagers, which are close to complete, but not quite there yet:

Looking at the rest of the field, several people have done pretty good breakdowns, including Collin Watts's predictions of how everyone will place. I wanted to do my own data collection and analysis, but still haven't managed to go through the entire field, so will use Collin's data as a basis.

First off, I was just a little surprised to learn I am one of only two Blood Angels armies in the entire event (and not just Blood Angels primary, I am one of only two players using any Blood Angels at all). The only other is being piloted by Andrew Whittaker. Other unpopular factions are Necrons with no representation at all, Grey Knights (1), Deathwatch (2), Genestealer Cults (2), and Orks (2). The latter two obviously expect to see a rise with their Codices (Ork codex came out too late for this event). The others are largely Imperial factions that seem to be losing out with the other options available to Imperial players.

As for the most popular factions, Guard leads the way with 21 players bringing them in some capacity, followed by Imperial Knights (18), Drukhari (16), Craftworlds (13), Daemons (13) and Thousand Sons (12). Overall, Imperium armies make up over 40% of the field, with Eldar and Chaos variants making up over 20% each, with the remaining 17% of the field split nearly evenly between Tyranid factions and the other Xenos, Tau and Orks.

Taking a glance at Collin's predictions for where everyone will finish, I can't argue the numbers all that much, particularly across the entire field. I know a good number of the names, but not enough to try to fully re-rank everyone by any stretch. There are some people I think are too high or too low, myself included. My argument on my own behalf is based on my historical ability at Warzone to do slightly better than average despite bringing subpar lists to the last two (42nd out of 109 with Index Tyranids last year). Regardless, having put himself out there will provide a lens to look back at how his predictions fared and how accurate his model was.

Expanding on Collin's rankings, I wanted to look at how the field looked by faction in terms of where Collin thinks they will place. That is, I took Collin's three ranking systems and ranked all players by a summary of the three, then looked up their Primary faction and wanted to see if there were any trends.

To start off, just looking for potential bias in the rankings based on faction (since strength of list went into the rankings) I'm not seeing much. The factions represented by the top 10 also have a player ranked in the bottom third of the event, if not the bottom 10%. This just confirms that the weighting of list strength in Collin's rankings did not outweigh the other player-centric factors he used.

I looked purely at average ranking by faction, and eliminated factions with less than 5 players as a starting point. From that, I found seven qualifying factions that had an average placing above the middle of the field, and four that were below. Leading the high performers was Ynnari, with all five of its players ranked in the top half of the field. Tau were nearly as highly ranked, despite the highest ranked Tau player only being 17th, the lowest was only 61st. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the spectrum were Space Marines and Custodes, with an average rank of 79 and 70 respectively. As a side note, two of the six Custodes players were ones who jumped out at me as being ranked well below where I expect them to finish.

Drilling in to the top of the field is also interesting to see if there are any patterns within the meta of the perceived top of the tournament. I made an arbitrary cut-off at the top 30. The most represented primary army out of the top 30 is Drukhari, with 5 players. The next most popular is a tie at 3 a piece for Thousand Sons, Tyranids, and Ynnari. The Imperial players in the top 30 are a bit more spread out across primary faction, with 8 total Imperial players, but no more than two of any primary faction.

Again, it will be interesting to see how the faction performances pan out with the actual top 30 and the entire field. With that in mind, we'll look to do a deeper dive following Warzone: Atlanta this weekend. During the event, you can follow along on the BCP app as well as some well known personalities who will likely be regularly updating on various social media.