By the Numbers: 2013 WM/H Balance
Coming from a CCG background the ebbs and flows of faction balance in a competitive environment are always intriguing. This has historically been difficult to track in Warmachine for a variety of reason. Thankfully this all changed in 2012 when Endgamegaming started publishing tournament final standings from large events.
2012 was a sadly incomplete picture, but with all of 2013 recorded some analysis can now be performed. The standings posted were for 10 large SR events, 6 masters events and 4 hardcore events. As with any analysis of this kind, the more data received the better. Factions with low population counts or environments with few recorded events both need to be taken with larger grains of salt.
The table itself is mostly self explanatory. The number of players playing each faction was recorded, as well as the number of players who made it past the cut. The percentage each faction was of the general population as well as the cut population where then calculated. Delta is the difference between cut population percentage and general population percentage. A well balanced faction should have a delta around 0 as this means that the faction isn’t over-performing by having more of that faction make the cut in comparison to their percentage of the general population.
Several trends were noted while recording the data. Cryx seemed to cool off as the year progressed. Circle, which was hovering around Cygnar/Legion numbers, took a jump in the fourth quarter as did Ret. Menoth did very well at the 2013 Gencon but did not do as well the rest of the year. Some of these trends have fairly obvious causes to them.
Personally, the overall results are not too shocking with a few exceptions. The performance of Trolls as a faction in SR is shockingly bad, though it is heartening to see their performance in Hardcore. My gut instinct is that Menoth is a significantly better faction then the data has suggested while Ret is likely a slightly worse faction. In either case I am unsure as to what to attribute to their results.
What should be taken away from these numbers? The results really aren’t too surprising but they are good indications for what players should prepare against in tournaments. This is especially true in Masters where 5/12 of the factions comprise over 75% of the population.
Finally, if there is significant interest I would be happy updating these results with 2014 data. Being able to compare November through early 2014 tournament results vs. 2013 should be fairly interesting. In a similar vein late 2012 with early 2013 could also be enlightening.