Category Archives: ETC

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.

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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!


ETC 2013 Result

Well we had an amazing time at the European Team Championship in Serbia.  We had 6 great rounds against excellent opponents:

Day 1

Round 1: Latvia – WIN

Round 2: Belgium – WIN

Day 2

Round 3: Spain – LOSS

Round 4: France – WIN

Day 3

Round 5: Finland – DRAW

Round 6: Russia – DRAW

I’m so proud of each and every man on that team – the whole experience is a bit hard to describe in words, so here’s a video.

 

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In other news, I’m standing down as Captain so hopefully I’ll have more time to put into the blog!


The Road to 6N

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a tournament, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… The Six-Nations-Team.

Latest intelligence reports that Team Six Nations has been sequestered to a farm (possibly The Farm ) for a training weekend.

Our sources indicate that each will be pitted against the other using ETC missions to stress test their performance and matchup potential.  We are awaiting further updates…


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


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!


Dealing with Cron Air

Flyers in general, and necron flyers in particular, have really got many players worried and/or frustrated.

Nevertheless, a crucial weakness of pure flyer lists is the requirement to have units on the board at the end of every game turn. If the vast majority of the armies points are in flyers that can’t come in until turn 2, then killing the few ground units they have in turn 1 gets you an auto win before a single flyer enters play.

However, wiping even just a handful of units in turn one is not an easy task; especially so if your opponent is hiding them well. So far, some Daemons lists have excelled at this, since half the army deepstrikes in on turn 1 and can focus in on the enemy’s hiding spots.

What I’ve been pondering, is how an Imperial Guard army might achieve that difficult turn 1 wipeout. I think the key to this is captured in the quote:

Infantry win firefights. Tanks win battles. Artillery win wars.

The plethora of excellent artillery choices lets you drop devastating pie plates from afar, and even on units that you can’t see – thanks to indirect fire.

The inclusion of Gunnery Sergeant Harker lets you infiltrate a veteran squad, which can be placed with the right firepower to mop up the remains of a unit post-bombardment.

In case it doesn’t go to plan, I’ve included 3 vendettas to take on flyers that do make it in to play, and a Master of the Fleet to slow down the rate at which those flyers come into play.

So here’s the list:

HQ – 80
Company Command Squad (80)
Company Commander; Master of the Fleet.

Troops – 445
Veteran Squad (150)
Gunnery Sergeant Harker; 3× grenade launcher; Veteran Weapons Team (heavy bolter).

Platoon Command Squad (295)
Platoon Commander; Heavy Weapons Team (autocannon).
• Infantry Squad: +1 Sergeant.
• Infantry Squad: +1 Sergeant; krak grenades.
• Heavy Weapon Squad: 3× autocannon.
• Heavy Weapon Squad: 3× autocannon.

Fast Attack – 420
1 Vendetta Gunship (140)
sponson heavy bolters.

1 Vendetta Gunship (140)
sponson heavy bolters.

1 Vendetta Gunship (140)
sponson heavy bolters.

Heavy Support – 805
1 Ordnance Battery (420)
• Colossus
• Colossus
• Colossus

Manticore Rocket Launcher (160)

1 Ordnance Battery (225)
• Griffon
• Griffon
• Griffon

Detachment: Fortifications

Other – 100
Aegis Defence Lines (100)
Quad Gun.

1,850 points

As an added bonus, I think it will scare horde infantry lists; which are also gaining popularity in the tournament scene.


Ireland ETC 2013 part 01

I’ve recently been given the honour of becoming the 2013 captain for Ireland’s 40k team for the ETC. With the outgoing captain, Mike Tangney, having overseen Ireland’s best performance to date, I’ll have some big shoes to fill.

Thankfully I have a pool of excellent players to build the team, and have a small army of volunteers to help with the organisation.

Today’s post is just a snapshot of where the current rankings lie, as these will be a key component of team selection. Heres the latest rankings top 20:

40K (IRE)
Paul Quigley
Dan Ahern
Alec Cornelius
John Stowe
Jonny Fisher
Richard Flood
Ivan Sheehan
Scott Nelson
Eoin O’Mahony
Jan Karnowski
Michael Tangney
Mervyn Murphy
Philip Johnston
Dave Coleman
Peter Scott
Rowan Sheridan
Luke Osbourne
Tom O’Reilly
Brian Leonard
Javier Jimenez

As you can see we’ve got a good mix of former ETC vets and new blood vying for the top slots. Obviously it’s early days yet, and I expect to see lots of changes over the next 5 months, but I’ll post regular updates of the rankings scene and keep track of how people are progressing over the rest of the season.


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