Hey everyone, it’s your bird, the Falcon, here to regale you with the tale of the tape from the Las Vegas Open 2020.
I’ve finally recovered from the brief hibernation that was required for my old, hollow bones after a week in the city of sin and have spent the better part of the last week scanning stats and catching up on the latest goss from around the 40k community! There’s been a lot to take in with the changes coming to the ETC Team Tournament, the issues with BCP at the main event of the year, proposed changes to the ITC 2020 championship missions and the general chicanery that comes in the aftermath of RUNNING THE GREATEST LVO EVENT COVERAGE OF ALL TIME!!! (For serious, you should check out twitch.tv/40kstatscentre it was tight).
That being said, you fools do not come here to listen to me talk about myself or what the world has been up to, you come here for stats and pictures of my dog so let’s give you at least one of those things.
Before I begin, I highly recommend you check out the Goonhammer stats breakdown of the LVO right around here. We’ve begun to overlap a little bit in our stats coverage and that is an awesome thing; so long as our numbers are similar it only helps to prove the state of the game. Their breakdown of the top performing factions has some great high-level analysis and is an absolutely excellent read. I will note that you may see some slight discrepancies in the numbers between us, that is mostly because these guys took a BiF approach to the data and split out Imperium/Aeldari/Hive Mind lists, etc as well as Successors from main codex supplements whereas I will generally lump lists based on the predominant faction in them. There are strong cases for each approach that I have outlined in the past, just wanted to make you aware.
If you have issues with the image resolution, I apologize. This article was originally built for my own web site and the graphs had to be shrunk down to ‘Frontline size’. Feel free to message me for bigger copies, check out the article on 40kstats.com or just complain about it in the comments.
I also want to note that a lot of people have expressed worry to me that if I ever stopped running these numbers we’d end up in some kind of Dark Age, which is absolutely ridiculous given the talented minds we have in this community like the guys over Goonhammer. there is nothing to fear. Now let’s jump into it.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Meta
The LVO this year was the largest to date with more than 1000 registrants for the Champs event alone. All told, once last minute drops and no-shows were accounted for, 754 40k players played at least 1 game to completion at the event and the breakdown of lists was not far from what we have been seeing over the last couple of months of competitive play. I’ve charted out the breakdown below, removing one-of factions: Assassins, Ynnari and the Inquisition. The orange bars represent the number of lists where the faction was the primary one in the list (making up the majority when compared to all other factions present), the blue bars represent how many of those lists were mono-faction.
As you can see (or not see, everything is squished), Space Marines were out in force, making up 204 of the 754 active lists at LVO (just over 27% of the field) and 199 of those lists were Mono-Faction. An ~25% of the field +/- 2% has been pretty consistently the case week in and week out since the Iron Hands and Raven Guard supplements launched back in October and we’ve seen minimal movement since. Of these 204 lists:
91 were Iron Hands (meaning there were 25 more Iron Hands lists than the next most-populer codex faction as a whole), 35 Imperial Fists, 32 Raven Guard, 24 Ultramarines, 13 White Scars, 7 Salamanders, 1 Crimson Fist and 1 Black Templar. For the sake of simplicity I tied all successor chapters into their parent legion.
Next up, we have CSM dominant lists at 8.75% of the field (though only 38% of those lists were Mono-codex) and Craftworld Eldar at 8.49%. Imperial Knights have continued their slow downward trend in representation, now making up less than 5% of the field when they once consistently were the majority in 1 in 10 lists a ‘downfall’ that can be seen in their overall performances as well, where IK were consistently in the top 3 performing factions they have dropped well below 500 status as armies like Iron Hands and Imperial Fists have very little trouble dealing with them as a whole.
In terms of overall performance there is a lot to break down. It was very clear from the Top 8 that marines had a banner event; making up 5 of the 8 positions as mono-codex lists and a 6th as the primary faction in an ‘Imperium’ multi-faction list and ‘taking it all’ with spectacular performances by Richard Siegler in both the semi-final and final. You can see in the chart below that this success carried over the entirety of the event:
Marines came out gangbusters at the end of the LVO, boasting a 59.57% win rate, a number that jumps to 65.02%(!!!) when you account for the mirror match. Craftworlds primary lists continued their role as the #2 in the marine era with a more than healthy 55.92% win rate and GSC, Harlequins, Thousand Sons and Deathwatch all did very well, though with very small representation in the overall meta (all 4 barely making up 1% of lists a piece).
The biggest surprises here from a pure numbers standpoint are the spectacular performance by Necrons (running just shy of a 55% win rate) and the dumpster dive that was Admech, a faction that had been a top 3 performer post Faith and Fury. I have noted in the past that Necrons have actually performed well in the marine meta, outside of the general Iron Hands match-up and this seemed to hold particularly true at the LVO with multiple high end performances from the top Necron players in the ITC, including a stellar 5-0 run by Eulis Sanders that was halted in its tracks by eventual 2nd place finisher Brad Chester.
On Round Losses and TiWP: The Important Things in Life
As anyone that has listened to me wax poetic about stats and the meta knows, however, win rate is not everything. We have frequently seen overall low performing armies that have actually had major impacts on the tournament scene before (take Orks for example, consistently boasting a 45-47% overall win rate for the majority of their codex’s lifespan in 8th but actually had the highest rate of top table performances of any faction pre-Marines) and high-performing armies that acted more as gatekeepers than actual tournament winning threats. So, how did everything look in terms of my 2 favorite metrics, Average 1st Round Loss and TiWP?
As a faction, Space Marines had a pretty staggering 2.6 average first round loss at the LVO. This is very much in line with their performance for the last 6 months or so and should not be too much of a shock. As I have mentioned in the past, this is about the equivalent of Ynnari after their 2nd round of nerfs though they made up a MUCH smaller proportion of the meta as a whole and does not take into account the effect of the mirror match. As you can see, Harlequins performed well, though with only 5 lists in representation that data means little, as do the performances of GSC and Deathwatch as a sole top performer will skew their numbers. In general, I have noted that an average 1st loss at or above 2.0 is generally an indicator of a healthy codex and anything above 2.3 generally needs some kind of adjustment.
Now, as Marines are essentially 6 codexes at this point, rather than just one; with several chapters having just as much, if not more, faction representation than most full codexes I went ahead and split out each supplement from the marine whole to see just how they all fared on the above chart. Once again, as well all of these representations, I removed factions with a single occurrence in the data (Templars, Crimson Fists, Ynnari, Assassins and Inquisition in this case).
So yeah, about those Raven Guard and Iron Hands….hooo boy. That Raven Guard number (3.13) is the highest I have ever seen for a faction with this kind of representation at an event (just shy of 5% of lists) and that Iron Hands number is also a doozy, I have only seen a 2.91 at peak Ynnari prior to their first set of nerfs and they did not make up more than 10% of the meta at the time by far. Your average Raven Guard player made it past round three at the LVO before taking their first loss,. Also, of the Iron Hands and Raven Guard players that took a loss prior to round 4 of the event, over a third (8 RG and 22 IH) saw that loss come at the hands of other Raven Guard and Iron Hands players. I am not sure there is much more to say there.
It is clear that Imperial Fists are also a top performer as most should suspect at this point (multiple top players explicitly stated at the LVO that they were trying to dodge Mani Cheema’s no-look 3 pointer list) but those poor Ultramarines and White Scars just didn’t perform to task like their Astartes brethren.
And what of TiWP? For those of you new to the 40kstats game, TiWP stands for “Tournaments in Winning Position” and tracks lists that make it to at least 4 wins before they suffer their first loss. In the grand scheme of things, lists that make it to 4-0 at an event have generally made it through enough of a gauntlet that they are real contenders to win it all. In my case I show TiWP as a percentage of lists from a particular faction that have made it this far when compared to all other factions at an event. Usually you can compare a faction’s TiWP % to their overall list % and get a good feel for how they are performing as a whole in the competitive scene. A 1 to 1 ratio or better is a very good indicator of a performance codex.
As we can see in the chart above, Iron Hands ran the show at the top tables making up 31.37% of all lists (51) that made it to 4-0 while holding onto 12% of the meta. Raven Guard and Chaos Space Marines were right behind, a bit of a shock when you consider the other charts show a pretty middling-to-low performance by CSM as a whole on the day. Still, 6 CSM-led lists at least got to 4-0 before being brought low and that is a good sign for the followers of the 8-fold, 7-fold, and 3-ply whatever paths. Marines as a whole accounted for over 50% of the lists that made it to 4-0, a number which is a little high compared to their ~45% showing they had held steady to since October.
Orks managing to get 3 lists into TiWP status is encouraging. They, along with Genestealer Cults have generally suffered of late with Marines being so dominant, though GSC have had the luxury of a few GT wins when they can avoid their worst matchups.
Who Watches the Watchmen?
I have gone on a bit of a slide through the Raven Guard and Iron Hands numbers given that they are so high and have been so for some time, culminating in their performances at LVO. So why don’t we continue down that track and try to determine what was beating them?
Captured above are screen grabs of the overall faction versus faction performances for IH and RG. The first thing to note is that the armies seem to have very few strong counters outside of each other. Most factions that had positive win rates against IH and RG had only a handful of games accounted for with Genestealer Cults coming ahead of IH players by 1 win in the 5 games they played against each other and Necrons doing the same against RG.
There are, however, a couple of numbers of interest here. In the Iron Hands match-up, Orks were VERY strong, winning 14 of their 23 games and CSM took 6.5 of their 9 matches against Raven Guard. A lot of the Ork strength came on from extremely strong showings from Anthony Birdsong who went 5-1 against marines at the LVO (yes he literally only played against marines), Jeff Poole who went 4-0, Matthew Hayne who went 3-0 and Richard Kilton who went 2-0 against their power armored opponents. Most of these lists went with the tried and true approach of ‘let’s take a couple hundred bodies and surround 3 Shokk Attack Guns, then hope for the best’, eschewing the Smasha Guns and other tech that had been the way leading into the early marine meta.
We also see that my favorite Banana Boys, the Adeptus Custodes managed a respectable 50% win rate against the Iron tide. Keep on keeping on you beautiful souls.
There is an absolute swath of data in the faction vs faction reports for everyone, more than I could ever touch on in a single article. I will have the spreadsheet available on 40kstats.com shortly for your perusement.
But What About the Units
I would be remiss if my coverage of all things LVO did not include some unit breakdowns for you. Just shy of 44000 different individual models were pushed around at LVO and I did my best to capture all of them (except you, you elusive Thousand Sons player that registered late…you know who you are). This one took a bit of time but I believe I’m about as accurate as one man with a limited amount of time in his life can be.
The first big thing to note about the LVO is that the Rubicon Primaris has been a big hit in the 41st Millenium. In point of fact, there were more Intercessors at the LVO this year than any other model, over 3000 in fact, more than any Ork Boy, Gretchin, Infantrymen or Cultist. When you consider what the lore says about what a single Primaris Marine can do, I’m not sure there will be anything grimdark left about the 40k universe in pretty short order…
Yes, them thicc boyz were crushing their opposition, which shouldn’t be a surprise given the amount of Marine players in house. Other numbers of note when looking at the above chart (the top 25 units by model representation) include all those Eliminators and Assault Centurions. Even Suppressors made an intense showing. And 920 Shield drones, a more annoying number I never thought I would see. There were 22 Possessed bombs at LVO and their numbers tell that tale as well with 388 of the hybrids in attendance.
In terms of List representation, the numbers change quite bit. Here is where we see why the LVO put out the friendly reminder about conversions as the lowly Thunderfire Cannon ONLY showed up in more lists than every other model in the game:
Who would have thought that the most popular unit would be a finecast one that is nearly impossible to get a hold of. Once all drops were accounted for there were 321 Thunderfire Cannons in attendance at LVO and 118 Chaplain Dreads.
In terms of named characters; Iron Father Feirros was the most popular, appearing in 42 lists, while Ahriman in his disc and foot forms showed up in 35 and good old Daedalosus left the Blackstone Fortress long enough to lend a hand in 31 Admech lists. When you consider there were only 39 lists that contained Thousand Sons units and 41 that contained any Admech ones that is some pretty good saturation for them boys.
And what of win rate? What units performed the best at the LVO? For this I chose to set a minimum amount of game represented to 40, it was an arbitrary number more than anything, though only a few units in the below chart would be dropped if you went to say 50 or more games. In that case the Troupe Master, Lias Issodon, Tesseract, Imotekh and Nightwings would be replaced with Scout Snipers, Contorted Epitome, the Solitaire, Techmarines and Warlock Skyrunners, all of which bordered on 59% win rates in their respective lists.
That Lias Issodon, what a machine. More important in that above graph are the likes of Grotsnik and the Lord of Skulls, both of whom boast win rates far above how the rest of their base faction performed.
The Grand Finale: How Did the ITC Top 100 Do?
I’ll end this trip through stats town with a look at the ITC Top 100 at the LVO. 78 of the Top 100 players in the 2019 season showed up in Las Vegas this year and unlike last year which saw a decent spread for faction representation amongst the group, this year the picks from the cream of the crop were a little more concentrated.
That’s right, 33 of the top players brought marines at their sides for the LVO as their primary faction, head and shoulders above the rest. If you don’t see your faction listed, it’s because the best rated players in the ITC at the time of the LVO hate your life choices (or something). Craftworld Eldar and Chaos Marines came in second and third place in the hearts of the competitive-minded and Orks made out like bandits in 4th. Of particular note in the table above is the average VP differential of these players. Over a 10 point average spread for those that brought marines and almost 9 for Craftworlds. That is a pretty significant average margin when compared to the rest of the field (which generally hovered between 2 and 3).
In terms of win rates, these players did not disappoint, either, furthering the mantra of jockey vs horse in competitive 40k:
The ITC top 100 players at LVO boasted a win rate of 76.56%, a number boosted to 86.01% when you remove the games they played against each other. Last year, that number was just over 79% and we felt it was significant, as this edition has progressed it appears to be even more the case. Factor in the presence of a dominant and popular faction and that recipe adds up to a pretty spicy chili.
In Conclusion, for Real This Time
Anyway folks, that’s all I got. I wish it wasn’t so rambly and the pictures showed up better on the FLG site, but there is just so much information to give and I’d rather leave it to all of you if you’d prefer to drill down on a particular subject. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me via my web site, everything I currently do is free for the masses to consume. Once I get an issue sorted with my site provider, expect the full file to go online to play with to your hearts content. Until then, Ca-Caw and Buh-Bye for now my friends!
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!