Tag Archives: 40k

ETC2013 getting to 5th place

So, as I may have mentioned (every 5 minutes or so), team Ireland got its highest result to date at the ETC this year.  More than a few people were surprised (delighted?) that we reached 5th place so I thought I’d spend today’s post talking about the team and what worked for us.

irl serious

So firstly there’s the guys who have to take the punishment. Everyone has a term for them: bid lists, shields, prey lists, put forward lists etc. Basically if you lose the bidding roll off, who do you nominate? This year my shield guys were Necrons, and Eldar with Tau allies. They did their jobs magnificently with scores of 61 and 57 across 6 games, showing that even with a full set of choices of counterattack our opponents were only able to draw on average with them. Good job fellas!

The next three were our counters/finesse lists. Tyranids, Daemons, and Imperial Guard with Chaos Marine allies. These lists were generally used as counters to armies that the opposing team had bid, and there’s quite a bit of effort needed to find the right matchup for them. With the right pairing they can do serious damage, in the wrong one they can end up in bad place! I found it impossible to get a good matchup for everyone in every round, but as long as two of the three were good then I knew we could still do well in the round aggregate.

The final three were our all rounders, nasty lists that can take on almost anything. Here we had Chaos Marines with Necron allies, Tau, and Grey Knights. The strategy with these guys was just to avoid the small number of potential bad matchups and use them against whatever our counter lists weren’t able to handle. Here we were relying more on player skill and army strength rather than good bidding to get ahead. These guys really delivered. Our Chaos Marine and Tau players both finished both in the top 5 of all players in the ETC (also both were top player in their respective armies), and our Grey Knight player also finished ahead of the curve.

Practicalities aside, the ‘secret’ ingredient for us is team spirit. As anyone on the team will attest, everyone did a fantastic job of supporting each other and everyone worked well as a unit. I never heard a single complaint when anyone had to face a bad matchup so that others could get good ones. Simply put, everyone completely understood the joint effort required to win a round.

irl silly

The final point I’ll add is that we really do strive to play fair with our opponents and ensure that both sides have a good set of games whether we win, lose or draw. I think it’s the right thing to do, but also it has a psychological benefit for the team as we don’t end up totally stressed out by needless arguments throughout the day. I really hope that it’s something we can keep as a core value of our team now and in the future.


ETC2013 the view from the top

So my last two posts have been about the overall meta at ETC2013, and today I want to take a quick look at the top 3 countries and how they compare to the overall meta.

As a quick refresher the top performing armies were:

  1. Tau
  2. Eldar
  3. Necrons
  4. Chaos Space Marines
  5. Chaos Daemons
  6. Tyranides
  7. Space Marines
  8. Dark Angels

Whereas the most popular armies were:

  1. Necrons
  2. Chaos Space Marines
  3. Tau
  4. Grey Knights
  5. Imperial Guard
  6. Tyranids
  7. Chaos Daemons
  8. Dark Angels

Germany got the top spot (familiar territory for these guys!).

Germany

They ran with:

  • Tau
  • Grey Knights
  • Necrons
  • Chaos Space Marines
  • Chaos Daemons
  • Tyranides
  • Orks
  • Dark Angels

So this includes 6 of the 8 top armies (they left out Eldar and Space Marines), and 7 of the 8 most popular armies (they avoided IG, which was the biggest underperformer of the popular armies).

Spain came in second,

spain

and their team comprised:

  • Tau
  • Grey Knights
  • Necrons
  • Chaos Space Marines
  • Chaos Daemons
  • Eldar
  • Imperial Guard
  • Dark Angels

Again they had 6 of the top 8 armies, leaving out Tyranids and Space marines. They also brought 7 of the 8 most popular armies, just leaving out the Tyranids.

Poland were third

poland

and they brought:

  • Necrons
  • Chaos Space Marines
  • Tau
  • Grey Knights
  • Imperial Guard
  • Tyranids
  • Chaos Daemons
  • Dark Angels

This also has 6 out of the 8 top armies (similarly to Germany they left out Eldar and Space Marines), and interestingly all of the most popular armies.

So the top three countries all brought 6 of the 8 top armies (though not the same ones) and all brought 7 or more of the 8 most popular armies.  There is a big overlap in that all three countries brought Chaos Marines, Dark Angels, Daemons, Grey Knights, Necrons, and Tau.

So, what does that mean for the army rankings I described previously? Well firstly it shows that picking the top 8 armies is not necessary to win, and places more weight on my caveat that just going on army rank is a simplification that needs to be tempered by the roles needed or the team – and the skillsets of your players!


ETC2013 Popularity vs Performance

So last time I put up a table of how the various armies performed (on average) at the ETC in Serbia. There were some interesting results, and today’s post follows up that line of thinking by comparing the popularity of army choices with their score rank. Popularity in this case just means how many teams included that army, and the table below puts the armies in order of popularity.
RankVsPop
So the numbers in the ‘Difference’ column highlights any disconnect between how popular an army is versus how well it performed at the ETC. A positive number means that the army performed better than its popularity, a negative number means that its popularity was higher than its performance warranted.

Tau weren’t the most popular army, but really the first three are so close that it makes little difference. The captains made those choices fairly rationally: Necrons, Tau, and Heldrakes are solid performers.

There is an interesting hiccup in places 4 and 5 where Grey Knights and Imperial Guard were both quite popular but didn’t do as well as their popularity suggests. Both armies were in the bottom half performance-wise but were both present in more than 75% of teams (my own included!)

Tyranids were fairly popular, and by the results that seems to be justified – similarly with Chaos Daemons (slightly under-represented), and Dark Angels.

Eldar were quite under-represented and were the ‘sleeper hit’ of the ETC, doing quite well for the 11 teams that brought them. Of the remainder, only Space Marines have a big positive difference showing that they did a better job than their low popularity would have predicted.

There is of course a big caveat here: armies fill particular roles on a team so simply picking the highest average scorers may very well lead you astray with too much of one role and too little of another. So we don’t have a magic formula for army selection just yet.

It also creates an interesting mind game for next year: do you bring a team that works well against the popular armies of 2013, or do you focus on bringing what did well in 2013, or do you bring counters to what did well in 2013? How much will the new codices between now and Aug 2014 change the meta?

Lots to think about for the new captains!


ETC 2013 Armies and Stats

So the madness of ETC2013 is over, and the post mortem analysis can begin in earnest.  I won’t start with my own team (Ireland), but rather I’d like to take a look at the overall meta.  Thankfully my job has been made easier by the organisers who have already published lots of data on who took what armies and how they fared in the tournament.

So, what armies generally did well?

ArmyRanks

So the number 1 slot is probably no surprise to anyone, Tau are new and awesome, they wrecked face at the ESC and are probably doing well at a tournament near you right now.

Number 2, Eldar is probably a bit more of a surprise – particularly considering that it was the OLD codex that was legal for the tournament, not the shiny new one.  My prediction beforehand was that they would be a solid army to ‘not lose’ I wasn’t expecting them to win big.  The fact that they were often backed up by Tau allies probably helped a little too

Necrons, Heldrakes, and Chaos Daemons round out the ‘winners list’ (i.e. the armies that are averaging >10 which is a win).  Again this isn’t very surprising Necrons are still crazy powerful, everyone hates Heldrakes for a reason, and Chaos Daemons can certainly be deadly in the right matchup.

It worth taking a moment to think about the remaining armies.  Everything else on that list was losing on average (i.e. <10).

Admittedly, that’s a bit of a sweeping statement as the performance of an individual can vary greatly from the group average, and not just down to player skill but also down to the team pairing strategy.  The table also doesn’t factor in the use of allies – which is perhaps a project for me for another time…

But, that said, this table does give us a line in the sand as regards what the 2013 meta was like and I’m sure it will influence team and army selection for next year!


Ireland’s Team Six Nations

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Ireland’s Six Nations team

Each of them has been chosen for this team because they individually have a set of skills and experience that strengthens the whole, and that is what wins team tournaments.

The team (in alphabetical order)

Dan Ahern: Chaos Marine and Necrons
Alec Cornelius: Space Marines and Imperial Guard
Oisin McCormack: Necrons
David McHugh: Tyranids
Paul Quigley: Tau
Peter Scott: Imperial Guard and Chaos Marines
Ivan Sheehan: Grey Knights
Mike Tangney: Eldar and Dark Eldar (we may bring Tau into the mix here)

20130428-222804.jpg


Retrospective

Borrowed from Faeit212...

With 2012 now done and dusted, I’m taking the opportunity to highlight some of the greatest hits of WarHamSandwich.  In particular I’m homing in on the articles that have retained their relevance even with the many changes from 5th ed to 6th ed.

So, happy new year my friends, and check out some of the greatest hits below:

2013 will see plenty of new topics, and of course the updating of some old favourites for 6th edition.

Best wishes and a Happy New Year to you all!


Merry Fleetmas

I already gave you some basic rules for how to pick which dice to reroll for fleet, but they are specifically for charging in the open.  Charging through terrain means 3d6 drop the highest, which means more complexity in terms of which dice to reroll.

For your benefit dear reader, I’ve gone ahead and worked out the optimal rerolls, but they do require a more clunky set of guidelines than last time.  A key distinction here is that when you make your initial 3d6 roll I’ve called the lowest die the min, the highest the max, and the middle one the mid – the best choice for a reroll depends on what you got for min mid and max in your first roll.

Without further ado, here’s what you need to get the most out of Fleet in terrain:

Range Reroll all 3d6 Reroll lowest 2d6 Reroll Lowest D6
3″ 111 Not 111 Never
4″ 111 or 112 All others 122
5″ max<=2 All others 123, 133, 223
6″ All others max>=4 mid=max=3
7″ max<=3 All others max=4, mid=3 OR 4
8″ max<=3 All others mid=max=4
9″ max<=3 All others max=5, mid=4 OR 5
10″ max<=4 All others mid+max>=10
11″ max<=4 All others max=6, mid=5 OR 6
12″ No 6s One 6 Two 6s

This probably seems a bit impenetrable at first, so here’s a few notes on reading it.  The range column is the range to your target, the three other columns are the conditions for a given range that you would reroll 1, 2, or 3 dice.  For example, say you are 3” from your target, if you roll triple 1, then you should reroll all three dice, otherwise reroll the lowest two dice.

As another example, say the range is 10”, if the highest of your dice (i.e. max) is 4 or less then reroll all three, if the sum of the highest and middle dice is greater than or equal to ten then just reroll the lowest 1d6, otherwise just keep the highest die and reroll the lowest 2d6.

Happy fleeting my friends!


Terrain Wreck

So I left you last week with a cliffhanger, namely how much does terrain impact your odds of reaching assault?  More specifically:

Is Barra the Berzerker better off charging guardsmen in the open 8” away, or going for a squad in terrain 6” away? What about with rerolls, or with Fleet?

When terrain comes into play, the assault range mechanic gets a little more complicated.  Instead of a straight 2d6 roll, it becomes 3d6 drop the highest.  To show the difference this makes, here’s a straight up comparison:

OpenVsTerrain

So the red line shows the probability of achieving an assault distance in the open, and the green shows the same for terrain.  Unsurprisingly, terrain always makes it harder to reach your opponent, but what’s more important is by how much.  I’ve highlighted two points here as they give us the answer to part of the question I posed.  At 8” the berserker has a 42% chance of reaching the guardsmen in the open, but at 6” he has a 48% chance of reaching the guard in terrain.  The guardsmen in terrain are the right choice of target.

But what about rerolls for the Icon of Wrath?  How does Fleet affect it?

AssaultAll

The chart may seem daunting at first, but hopefully a quick bit of explanation will make it more accessible.  The three red lines are the odds of assaulting a certain distance in the open with no reroll, with a reroll, and with Fleet.  The three green lines are the same but for assaults through terrain.  To address our specific question about 8” in the open vs 6” in cover I’ve again added the relevant dots with percentages.  These clearly show that in a ‘like for like’ comparison (i.e. with a reroll, with fleet) it’s always better to assault 6” in terrain than 8” in the open.  So to answer the original question, Barra the Berzerker should go for the guardsmen in cover in all of our scenarios.

That said, I didn’t build the chart just for this one scenario, you can use it to compare all kinds of situations – and can draw some interesting insights from examining it.

For example, comparing the darkest red line with the darkest green line, we can see that a unit with Fleet charging through terrain has equal or better odds of making assault than a normal unit charging the same distance in the open.

Similarly, checking out the mid-tone green line versus the dark red shows us that when assaulting though terrain units that can reroll charge distance (not Fleet) are also better than normal units charging in the open but only for distances up to 6”.  After this point we see a crossover in the lines and a normal charging in the open is better from 7” onward.

Even simply taking a look at the normal line, vs the reroll line, vs the Fleet line can really highlight how big a difference these abilities can make.

I do have to apply the caveat that my analysis assumes that the player using Fleet always makes the optimal choice for which dice to reroll.  But you’ll have to wait for those rules until next week…


A Pinch of Assault

Assault ranges were one of the biggest changes in the move to 6th edition.  In total opposition to 5th ed, we gained the right to premeasure the charge range, but lost the ability to know exactly how far we could charge.  I’m sure Heisenberg would be proud… So here’s a question for you:

Barra the Berzerker Champion is leading his unit to collect more skulls for the brass throne of mighty Khorne.  8” to his left in open terrain is a squad guardsmen, 6” to his right is another guard squad in cover – which is he more likely to reach?  If he had a banner of wrath how would that affect his chances, and what if it had been a unit of Possessed rather than of Berzerkers?

For most units in 6th ed, the charge range is determined by the sum of 2d6, or if in terrain, 3d6 dropping the highest.  The mechanics get more complicated as some units can get a reroll, and others can reroll specific dice (i.e. Fleet).  As most of you know, 7 is the average result on 2d6, but this can lead to the unfortunate assumption that you should expect at least a 7.  I’m sure as more people get some games in and launch assaults in 6th, they realise that this is not the case…

Let’s look at the no terrain mechanic first.  I’ve charted the odds of making the charge for a straight 2d6, 2d6 with a reroll, and Fleet (i.e. reroll either or both dice). AssaultOddsOpen

Unsurprisingly, having a reroll improves your chances, and being able to pick and choose which die to reroll increases your odds even further.  That assumes you know when is the best time to reroll just one dice (i.e. my results assume you make the optimal choice in all instances).

We can see from the chart that at 8″ our Berzerker friend has only a 42% chance of reaching the guardsmen in open terrain.  If his squad has the Icon of Wrath, then he can reroll charge distances, which would bump his odds of reaching them to 66%.  A Possessed Chaos Marine has Fleet, which enables him to pick and choose which dice to reroll – raising the odds of reaching those guardsmen to 72%.

To make life easier for you dear reader, for units with fleet, I’ve got some rules to make sure you make the best reroll you can:

Range: 3” or 4” reroll both

Range: 5” reroll anything <3

Range: 6” to 10” reroll anything <4

Range: 11” reroll anything <5

Range: 12” reroll anything <6

Note1: when I say reroll anything <x I mean if both dice are <x reroll both, and if one die is <x reroll just that one.

Note2: If the above rules don’t work for a specific result then reroll the lowest die only e.g. range 10” and you roll a 4 and a 5 (say), just reroll the 4.  In the case of doubles, just arbitrarily pick one for the reroll and keep the other.

So what about the terrain?  In the question above the Guardsmen in terrain are closer, but does the terrain make it less likely to reach?  You’ll have to tune in next week for that one my friends!


Ireland’s Call

20121129-141650.jpg

The recruitment campaign now starts in earnest! Prospective 40k players for Ireland’s ETC 2013 team should make themselves known on W-ired or Onthestep

Last year we broke into the top ten, I dare you to do better!


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