Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Armies at Blog Wars 9 - Mmmm Pie (Charts)!

I'd originally intended to post this up on Sunday evening but thanks to spending more time painting my house than my Orks for Blog Wars (more on that later) I've not had the chance. I actually made the pies on Sunday but they've been cooling on the window ledge since then.

I've now had every list in and checked them all. Thank you to everyone for submitting promptly. I want to say at this point that suggesting Battlescribe as a means of submission made things infinitely quicker than usual, something I was grateful of given there were 49 lists to look through from a wide range of source material. I think in future I might make Battlescribe format compulsory. I know it's a bit fiddly to use but it really makes a difference to my life!

Right, enough chat, bring on the pies!

The Pie Charts
As ever you can refresh your memory of previous crusty offerings from BW5, BW6, BW7 & BW8, Last time out was the first offering from 7th edition and sweet Jeebus there's been a lot of releases from GW in that time frame. If you include Cult Mechanicus (which isn't in play at BW9) there's been a whopping EIGHT books released since Blog Wars 8. That's ridiculous! There's never been more choice of source material for people to select from and with multiple detachments there's a near infinite variety of combinations. Anyway, looking back at BW8 we can see that over half of the armies came from three books (namely Eldar, Necrons and Space Wolves). 

This time around Necrons and Eldar are still popular but Space Wolves have massively dropped in popularity with just 2 of the 50 players using them. Space Marines have made a big return to be the most popular choice. The big news is that whereas at BW8 there were 10 different factions for Primary, there are now 17 different factions represented including the new Skitarii. Correct me if I'm wrong but this is also the first time Sisters/Adepta Sororitas will be represented and I'm very pleased that there'll be another two Ork lists on top of mine. Indeed, when we factor in the second detachments there's every single book represented barring Khorne Daemonkin and Harlequins. Of course, there are some Khorne daemons around in the Daemon lists though.

What this means for those of you attending is that you'd have to be pretty unlucky to face the same faction twice. Not saying it won't happen but with a field of 50 and such a variety in the lists there's only a very small chance. 

As you can see, there are bang on 50% of the lists that are only taking a single detachment. I find that quite surprising really but perhaps there are more people out there who prefer to keep it simple like me. It isn't difficult to spot that there's a big chunk of Imperial Knights. Of course, this is the first time I've allowed them in full force and I'm pleased to see that no-one has gone with more than 3 in a list (5 being the maximum at 1,850). We'll have to see how much it affects things and what the feedback is after the event before I can make a call on their presence at BW10. Otherwise there's again a big variety in the second detachments with little gems like the Inquisition and Assassins popping up. 

Finally for the pies let's look at the Imperium vs. Xenos, although this time I've split Chaos off as a separate slice:
It's a near 50:50 split this time compared to BW8 where Xenos represented two thirds of the lists. When you look at it though there are a bewildering array of "Armies of the Imperium" now with Ad Mech being added.

Special Characters
As ever this is the crucial bit for Blog Wars as it's the thing that separates it from other tournaments. It's getting harder to enforce the rule though with SCs being deleted from books and newer armies not having access to any. My concern is that GW will move away from SCs as they try to move away from Finecast. Anyway, there are only 4 armies which have opted to be exempt from the SC rule (due to no options). Elsewhere there are clear favourites with Farsight featuring in 4 of the 5 Tau lists and Kor'Sarro Khan featuring heavily (hint: expect bikes-a-plenty). Nemesor Zahndrekh proves popular as well. 

I've decided for next time to have a look through all of the characters that have been used at previous events and try to compile a list of the unsung heroes. I'll then offer some kind of incentive to field them to see if we can manage to have all of the SCs on that list represented at least once in the Blog Wars events. I don't think we're far off achieving that already frankly!

Following on from last time around I thought I'd mention attendance again. Clearly selling 50 tickets is an all-time record for me and I'm flattered by the support. Let's look at the graph:

This is interesting because if we continue on the same gradient from BW6 to BW7 we arrive to the figure we've got for BW9. You may recall I was concerned when BW8 had such a comparatively low attendance. I'm now more convinced that it was down to releasing the tickets so late. There's always a smaller gap between the "Summer" event and the "Winter" one (4 months compared to 8) so I have less time to drum up enthusiasm. In order to try to prove this is the issue I'll be putting the BW10 tickets up for sale as soon after BW9 as I can.

I'm really excited about the latest event in the Blog Wars saga. Around two thirds of the players coming along have been to at least one event before so I'm hoping that despite the larger crowd, it'll still feel like a friendly atmosphere. I'm especially looking forward to all the different armies on display. It'll be the first time I've seen the Skitarii models and whilst others may not share my view I'm looking forward to seeing the 15 Imperial Knights that will be there. I know they're not necessarily to everyone's taste but the model has really grown on me. Having so many different armies represented is amazing and in these days of netlists and spam it's refreshing to see so much variety. 

I really hope I get to play against something different. One thing's for sure. I've never seen more colours on these pies! See you all in 10 days!


  1. Wow! That's a really varied field of armies this time around. I think that is a reflection of how 40k is in general at the moment - lots of armies are viable, especially with allies to fill in the gaps/deficiencies some codices have.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to the event and seeing everyone there. See you in 10!
    Graham S.

  2. Interesting - I'm looking forward to it even more now - especially since you mentioned about lots of bikes, I love playing bike lists!

  3. Gotta love those graphs Alex!

    Less Knights than I expected - which can tbh is nice (I'm not a fan normally).

  4. Nice spread, definitly.
    But knowing my luck, I will end up against Necrons, as I've always had at BlogWars. :-P

    Hey Alex, could you possibly add another pie which states how many armies include LoW and how many Super Heavies? Maybe also what kinds of Super Heavies?
    Wouold be interesting to see, as this is the first BlogWars allowing them.

    See you in ten! :-)


    1. I'll try and work out the numbers for LoW in the next couple of days if I find time. I'd be interested to know too. I'd intended to keep track but my brain went to mush checking so many lists and I forgot. Watch this space!

  5. Just as an FYI my list has 3 LOW - three imperial Knights :) and I know Lord Halfpenny is packing 3 Knights as well!

  6. Where did all the space wolves players go...

    Interesting spread of armies, I think Khan and the bikes was always going to happen :) it will be good to see how the tournament plays out and what impact the different LoW models have on games and overall standings compared to previous events.

    Just out of interest did you ever progress with the idea of doing an X Wing tournament?

    1. Not sure on the Wolves thing. I don't think it's representative of their popularity generally but rather that the people coming simply aren't SW players.

      I'd love to run an X-wing event but I've only been to one myself (compared to tons of 40K events) so I'd be reluctant to do so until I've had more experience to know what makes a good event.

  7. I wonder what caused that dip in attendance? Was it everyone just adjusting to all the new codex stuff, or just a seasonal difference?

    1. In the end I think it was a combination of seasonal difference and me getting the tickets out quite late.

  8. Not long now! Still got a model to paint, but should be able to do that in 10 days! I've never played against a knight, and not often against LOW, so I'm a bit worried but we will see. I would also be interested in a supplementary pie that detailed low as a percentage, eg with/without. But that is more work.

    Great work as usual Alex :). As per me and a couple of others will be there on the Friday evening of anybody fancies some 40k, or even X-wing?

    1. I've got a crap load of models still to paint. At this rate I might even end up breaking my own three colour minimum restriction unless I change armies!

  9. Just got some devies to finish painting then I'm done for bw9, glad I changed from planning to take necrons to my dark angels... The Unforgiven Haven't Been Forgotten Yet!!!!! (... Shakes crozius at the sky...)

  10. Despite my (single) Knight supporting my fragile Skitarii, I still think I am going to feel the pain on this one but it will be fun finding out either way! I hope I don't face one of you guys with the 3 Knights. That will be a short game haha!

    1. Cool a fellow gamer bringing Skitarii! I do love the little robot dudes bot don't have enough to bring a solid force in their own - hence plugging the gap with three Knights :D I think skitarii in drop pods is a tournament army for the future

    2. I'll find you and say hello. Mars gotta represent for the Omnissiah and all that :)


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