This article is from Johan and Antonio, two close friends of mine who have put a lot of time and effort into getting these stats. Sorry they're a bit late! Remember, you can follow the event news on Facebook. - Steph
Johan - Hi! I was asked by Steph to take a look at some list stats and formulate my findings into some form of article for knightsmachine, so here it goes!
First of all a big thanks to Thomas Andrews who got the raw data and made the first parts of the statistics. And to Antonio who has possibly made more of these stats than I have done myself. So a lot of credit to both of them for what they have done.
For those not familiar with me I was (am?) part of the WTC2020 committee, and because of obvious reasons that is not happening this year so I wanted to support the next best thing and got involved in the VTC. I have been playing on a Swedish WTC team the last 4 years and have been a captain the last 2. I also worked on stats from the last WTC. Some of those stats can be found here and here. I'm hoping to do something similar for the VTC this year as well when we have all the results! If you are not familiar with VTC you can have a look here, but in short it's an international team event with 5 players teams from all over the world, the difference from WTC is that this one is played online on Wartable.
But for now what we have is some statistic for the submitted lists. So let's have a look at those! We have data for 19 teams and as such 190 lists (another team has been added since but is not part of this data).
First off some basic stuff, maybe already seen at conflictchamber to some extent but still good to have as a basis:
So for Faction distribution I guess it's not a big surprise to those following the meta since last WTC the Mercenaries are coming in as the most numerous faction. With a great CiD bringing Fiona the Black up last summer followed by a majority of the new Themes being available to Mercenaries has a good basis. Add to that both “super juniors” working for them, having a 4 Archon theme and also having the largest access to the high impact riot quest solos mercenaries are clearly seen as a very strong option. Something to be noted is also that Belgium has elected to go for a 5 Mercenary team and another team brings 3 Mercenaries. So we actually have more Mercenary players than teams!
After this we have Protectorate and Infernals coming in, other good options currently. Infernal became a bit of a new baseline when they came out but with new Themes and other releases others have caught up again, but they are still seen as a strong option. Protectorate has been strong and popular for a long time now, and with the Menite Archon synergising very well with what they want to play it's no surprise to see them up there.
For me the quantity of Circle and Legion being played was higher than expected. I have not seen that many Circle players in the online leagues this year and the same goes for Legion. But I guess Legion CiD might have pulled some players in even if the CiD changes will not be used during the tournament.
Crucible Guard is the only Faction missing here. With Crucible Guard being highly competitive just a year ago it might be a bit surprising but they are the faction with least access to all the new models/Themes which have increased the power level of the game since last WTC and as such have a hard time keeping up.
Here we have the Themes played, and colouration according to their Faction). The Irregulars come up on top, giving an indication that Riot Quest models together with the super juniors have higher priority than the Archons. Given that a huge majority of Infernals players use Dark Legacy and the same thing can be said for Protectorate and The Faithful Masses it's no big surprise that these Themes come in pretty high. After this Minions show up, and they also seem to rely heavily on Will Work For Food.
After this are a few very even Themes, a bit surprising to me Strange Bedfellows is more popular than Flame in the Darkness in Mercenaries, even if just barely. Cygnar also like their Flame in the Darkness lists. Primal Terrors is still the go to Theme for Legion. The Devourers Host seems to have fallen heavily out of favour and Bones of Orboros is taking over in Circle.
Continuing with some basics these are the most played Warcasters and Warlocks (those that only show up once are not included). Here Fiona the Black takes a very overwhelming role. 14 occurrences in 19 possible teams. After her, things get a bit more even. Archnumen Aurora has a pretty high number in total but is divided between 2 Factions with the Mercenary one in second. Agathon the Voice in the Darkness comes in as the most popular Infernal Master (even if there is not that big a difference between them). Krueger the Stormlord seems to carry Circle on his shoulders and High Exemplar Cyrenia is very high up there as well. It should be noted here the Helga the Conqueror was a stand in in conflict chamber for Lord Azazello the Castellan, so her numbers are not as high as they seem.
The Hermit of Henge Hold is unsurprisingly the most popular model followed by the Void Vrchon. Tormentors are the most popular model that can only be take by a single Faction tightly followed by Initiates of the Wall (who can be taken for free so it's not really a fair comparison). Tesselators surprised me a bit but they seem to be the best friends of the popular Archnumen Aurora. Asphyxious the Sanctified seems to have won out over Artificer Prime Nemo by a large margin, as he also synergises well in Strange Bedfellows together with the Negation Angels who also show up in big numbers. Scythe shows up as the most popular Riot Quest solo.
Last part of the overview has listed the most common build of list. Here Fiona the Black doesn't have the same impact at first glance but that is due to her being spread between 2 Themes and as such she takes 2 places in top 5. If Archnumen Aurora in Strange Bedfellows is added for both Convergence of Cyriss and Mercenaries that is actually the most common archetype combination. Agathon the Voice in the Darkness only exists in one theme so not to surprising that he shows up. Krueger the Stormlord also has a very close correlation with Bones of Orboros, while High Exemplar Cyrenia surprisingly is played once outside of The Faithful Masses.
Antonio - As Archons have been a big focus in the game lately I wanted to focus in a bit more on Archon usage. So below follows a few Archon stats! First of all I want to see how the Archons compare to each other. How many are taken? But maybe more importantly, how often are they taken when they are available? So to see the number of Archons available I have added the available Archons to each Theme (both the ones that are included in the Theme and those that uses the Mercenaries slot).
So overall the Void Archon and the Menite Archon seems to be clearly most popular. The Void Archon has a higher total number but percentage wise they are pretty close. I would say that the Menite Archon is fairly often included in the themes where it is chosen. I think the Thamarite Archon and Morrowan Archon loses out a bit on often being available as Mercenary slots in a lot of Themes. Overall the Warmachine Archons are clearly more popular than the Hordes ones though. So which Themes are using their available Archons the most?
So we have a few themes that go for all the Archons they can. Someone seems to have missed pressing the Archon button twice in The Faithful Masses though. Flame in the Darkness have a good number of players with 3 Archons instead of 4. Secret Masters seems to be Circle's way to try to get some Archons goodness into their lists. Among the lists that use 0% of the Archons we mainly see Themes that need to use their Mercenary slot to get their Archons in and have very good competition for that Mercenary slot.
Another area of interest is the Hermit of Henge Hold; how popular is he, and who takes him?
Infernals are not too surprising here as they can take Hermit without a Mercenary slot and he also helps them even more than the other factions. I'm a little bit surprised that Mercenaries is not second on the list due to the easy availability of Hermit in their popular themes, even if he is high I would have expected it to be higher than for Cygnar for example. Cryx, Skorne and Trollbloods don’t seem to like the Hermit over their other options.
If you think Hermit is a key to victory then Germany is the team to cheer for. We have a pretty even spread here of between 1 and 10 Hermits in a team. Canada seems to have a bit of a split between their teams here.
There is no question which Faction is the huge base Faction in the game these days. For Retribution half the lists have 2 Battle Engines and half of them have 3, a Hyperion pushes the number up as high as it is. Skorne has moved down a bit with the Siege Animantarax mainly losing popularity since a year ago. Circle's Well of Orboros pushes them up together with the storm raptor. The Infernal Gate shows up in most lists. Trollbloods are the only Faction that don't bring any huge bases. However with a very small number of Trollblood players it's hard to say if that is any statistical difference to the other Factions on the lower end. CoC who a few years ago was the Battle Engine faction is now down at the bottom.
A lot of Riot Quest solos have come into Warmachine lately, and a lot of them are very strong models. So who is taking those new Solos?
Not too surprisingly Minions and Mercenaries who have easiest access to a wide variety of Riot Quest Solos top the list here. I think Mercenaries having some good Themes without good access keeps them a bit lower than Minions. Circle's Bones of Orboros Theme have easy access and amazing ways to utilize Chuck Dogwood, and also include other ones where possible. On the lower end we see the Factions that need to expand their Mercenary slot to use those Solos, in competition with Archons and/or Hermit and other options its a highly contested slot. I'm a bit surprised to not see Boomhowler Solo Artist in Trollbloods though.
Thanks for reading! You can keep up to date with everything going on with VTC in the Facebook megathread. - Steph