Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Road to the Throne of Skulls

So it's a new year and it's the second month in, so I suppose I should write something for this blog. As I have mentioned previously, I signed myself up to the March 40K Throne of Skulls, with the intention of getting me to get some 40K stuff painted up for 6th edition and I started brainstorming about a Dark Angel army. Since then, we have seen the Dark Angel Codex released as well as the Fantasy Warriors of Chaos book but I have done nothing at all gaming wise. Well that is a slight lie as I have been playing more Magic the Gathering, but from a miniature gaming point of view I have done nothing.

Realizing that I need to start thinking about what I'm taking as well as learning the rules properly, I've started doing some research into past Throne of Skulls. Whilst doing that research I came across the following table from January 2013's 40K event. (The data is arranged by ranking with armies at the top being the 'best', then we have army name, number of players and average score)

Chaos Daemons           5   13.00
Orks                    6   11.60
Tyranids                5   11.25
Tau                     4   11.00
Chaos Space Marines     20  9.21
Necrons                 10  8.78
Grey Knights            7   8.33
Space Wolves            7   8.00
Dark Eldar              5   8.00
Space Marines           19  6.50
Blood Angels            5   6.50
Imperial Guard          12  6.18
Dark Angels             6   5.20
Eldar                   4   5.00
Sisters Of Battle       2   5.00

Before I go any further, I just need to explain - GW Throne of Skulls events do their scoring a bit differently to 'traditional' tournaments  They do a army average score minus the top players score and you need to beat that to win. It's a bit strange but it still seems popular and it is something different so I'm not going to complain.

This data is useful for me as it can give me a rough idea about what people will be taking and I can look at trends and wot not. Firstly we can see that Chaos Daemons did very well in the January event and frankly this is not surprising with the new Flamer and Screamer rules (cheap templates of doom and flying shooting things from hell). Also from an internet point of view (because these armies are 'rubbish'), we have some surprising results as we see Orks, Nids and Tau doing well but I think this is more down to players knowing what they are doing rather than those codexes being broken. Then we have the rest and see a right mix of codexes.

So what does this mean to me?

Well, for a start I can see that Chaos Daemons are very good at the moment. Flamers and Screamers add a lot to the army for not many points and this makes armies heavy with them very good. Downside is that it is rumored that the new codex isn't far away at all (March the oracles are guessing) and what is good now, may become more expensive or not as good. This means if I decided to do an army of them, I would need to consider the balanced approach otherwise I might end up with a rubbish or illegal army.

We can also see having a popular codex means you will stand less chance of winning the event due to the averages. This means I need to be looking at either doing one of the less popular Marine codexes or one of the xeno races if I want to do well. After reading the Dark Angel codex I think every man and their dog will be using them, partially down to the codex being new but mainly as it's a very well thought out list with plenty of options. This also means which ever army I go for I need to be able to take out 2+ save models as well as having protection from bolters (read the Standard of Devastation).

Even with all this information, I still haven't made my mind up. Realistically I should be doing Marines of some flavour but part of me wants to give Daemons a go. I need to do some careful thinking before I start.

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