Sonntag, 6. September 2015

Khador 2015, Part 14 - Observations on the Core Countries

   So, after we established last time that Khador is not the most rail-roaded faction with regards to listbuilding (that's Trollbloods), we'll do sth more sophisticated this time around. We'll arbitrarily group the participating countries into three categories, to make it a) easier to choose whom to bet money on, and b) observe the choices made by the more successful teams regarding list pairings, team composition and other drivel.

   Follow me beyond the gap to the shenanigans, and hopefully, interesting graphics.
   First off, we'll need names for the categories and parameters to sort out the countries into the categories.
 

Core Countries: Any country with at least one team in the top 6 (in '13) AND the top 10 (in '14)
Competitor Countries: Any country not a Core Country and with at least one team in the top 6 (in '13) OR the top 10 (in '14).
Fringe Countries: Any countries not a Core or Competitor Country.

   This means there are three Core Countries - USA, Poland, Sweden - and six Competitor Countries - Australia, Scotland, Germany, Denmark, Slovakia, Austria. Therefore, there are roughly 16 Outsider countries.

   Rumour has it that innovation/change is stronger the farther away you are from the centre - I think analysing that is too much for a single blogger. I'll just say this: for this year, out of my absolute favourites, one is from a Core Country (Poland). Last year, none were from Core countries.
   I'll hypothetisize that a lot of competitive change will happen in the Competitor countries - but we'll deal with that next article. In my overexaggerated opinion, the Core Countries rely on what they have found to be the best for the WTC meta (as it is most artificial), the Competitor Countries pull out all the stops in order to become Core Countries, and the Fringe Countries are either relaxed about it or have no idea what they are getting themselves into. ;-)

For this one, I've made a bunch of different graphs with the goal to illustrate the change in faction choices within the Core Countries over all three WTC years. Whether anything can be deducted from this regarding which factions are the best is doubtful, because that would ignore meta-changes, player inavailability, model releases, skill, dice, terrain... everything. We can, however, get a small insight into what the most successful nations think is the best or at least might serve them the best.

So, without further ado, here is the data, sorted by teams:
That's the most consistency we'll ever get, I guess.
   I guess the thing that are both interesting and easy to spot are those faction that were equally represented each year, which for Poland means their staple Trollbloods player and Protectorate Players, followed by those factions which were represented each year, followed by those with severe swings.
   We can see that they've always had at least one Khador Player (Martin Mycek), we also see a progression towards the "better factions" - Cryx continually increased, and Legion increased for this year as well.
Sweden Dynamite, livin' la vida Thralloca!
   Throughout the years, Sweden's set-up looks really consistent, with just minor swings in numbers, and always having one Trollbloods and two Legion Player, which also holds true this year. What really grinds my gears is 2015. All that continuous diversity was abandoned just to roll out the cheese-skew experiment per se,  which is Sweden Dynamite, consisting only of Cryx players (and Sweden Nobel having none). I can see why. So long as everyone brings a more mixed set-up, you can cover one or two Cryx players with your own, which in turn means the others won't need to build for Cryx specifically. But when there's five of them, at least three of your team are then playing uphill, and might as well lose, which will lose you the round. So they are obviously not playing the game, and not the system, but the meta. Like a lute. It's toxic.
   And should they achieve any major success, the WTC meta will dance to their tune. Let me be the Cassandra here: Subsequently, if Sweden Dynamite is successful (say... top eight), a lot of countries will either adapt this approach, maltreating the WTC meta, (AND/)OR the WTC committee will either install a rule barring any such skews (much to the disgrace of all those that didn't get to do this particular thing).

'15: Token Trollbloods player playing token Trollbloods lists.
   Among the Core Countries, USA seems to be the most swingy. The only real staple they have are Circle players in varying numbers, Legion players, and Cryx players in high numbers. What I find most interesting is the number of Protectorate players for this year. That's kinda unprecented for USA and among the Core Countries as a whole. Might be a Meta-pick, who knows?

And here's the same sorted by year:
Sweden Dynamite, the big Cryxian middle finger.
   I like this type of graphs, for it allows us to have an analysis of all factions across all the Core Countries in a single year (this is also referred to as synchronic research in, say, linguistics). Notice the distinct lack of the following: Convergence, Cygnar (obviously too lacking for really good countries), Mercs, Minions, and Skorne (they must really suck). Also easily noticeable: each of the Core countries thinks two Legion players and one Trollbloods player are enough (and the Trollbloods players are possibly even playing the same lists). And the elephant in the room, five Cryx players in Sweden, whilst forsaking Circle and Protectorate. We'll see how this all pans out, but I'm not too enthusiastic (see above).
   When we get to the earlier years, I guess we'll see a progression within factions aimed at optimising: the weak ones get discarded, and countries increase the number players with the strong ones.
Rickard Nilsson keeping Minions in the line-up.
    It's interesting to review last years data with the knowledge and anticipation of this year, because our brains will be confused at the data's input, and to soothe itself, will eagerly look for and create connections between things even though they possibly aren't even real. For example: USA won. USA had more Cryx players than the others. Coincidence? I think so, but some might disagree.
   The absence of Convergence is obvious: The faction wasn't even really out at that time, but it's included for completeness' sake. Also absent are Mercs, Retribution, and Skorne. The way I see it, this is a much more spread out and "balanced" (though refined with last years experience) field than 2015.
Start of the Skorne No-Show.
    2013 is the odd year - at lot less teams, the first event of it's kind - this makes it a testing ground for the future years. No-show of the year (among the Core countries): Skorne. Also, this year is probably the most balanced, with Two being the maximum number of players for a faction (afair w/o a rule enforcing this), and that meant "one on each team".

Conclusion:
   Core Countries have gradually increased the number of Cryx players, with a sidedish of Legion and Trollbloods, and then season to taste. If my hypothesis is correct, an analysis of the Competitor Countries should then show more disparity and bigger swings.
   And if those are lacking, we can still blame the fact that they did not become Core Countries on a factor outside the scope of this research. Like the players.

   SCIENCE! It's like magic, with less... ...erm... dice rolling.

Until next time,
farewell!