Wednesday, August 17, 2011

'Ard Boyz; Garbage in, Garbage out

How to create a 40k 'hockey stick' with statistical data is really not as hard as you might think. By assuming that we can use army placement in tournaments as the perfect predictor of the individual viability of armies in a perfect data set that represents the entire cross section of the country; we no doubt arrive at a set of data point ripe for manipulation. In the Warhammer 40k blog-u-verse it is the constant analysis of numbers, that have any number of variables built into them that absolutely no one can account for, in order to produce results that support your hypothesis that acts as our 'perfect model'. The hypothesis being supported depends on the individual conducting the analysis and what particular set of data they have gotten their hands on. Oh. My. God. What did he just say?!

The blogger way to conduct analysis

I have seen no less than three separate articles pop up in the last few days that conduct in-depth analysis of 'reported 'Ard Boyz' results to reach some interesting conclusions. Grey Knights are king, Space Wolves rock, Black Templars FAQ made them good again (but not as good as Dark Angels even though Dark Angels didn't place that high) and Imperial Guard is cool, but not that cool anymore. I do enjoy watching the authors contort the results to lump Imperial Guard in with what are being called 'good' codicies now in an effort to save face over the last two years of 'Guard Worship' conducted by pretty much everyone following the rise of the fear inspiring Leaf Blower of DEWM!

But that analysis is all completely, utterly and totally flawed. All the data comes from the 'reported results' from various blogs, message boards and forums. Really? My wife went to the University of Phoenix, an online university for God's sake, and even they wouldn't allow her to cite websites in her bibliography. What other armies were present at the tournaments that produced these winners? How many armies were present? What were the relative ages and experience levels of the players? Not every tournament happened in Austin Texas or Indianapolis Indiana with a bevy of hardcore gamers from a mature gaming community. So you are counting any win by Darkwynn, Goat Boy or Spaguatyrine the same as Hill Billy Bob and his band of dentally challenged misfits?

Tyranids FTW!!!

That's the problem with the results guys, you have no idea about the validity of the data you are using except for any data that you yourself witnessed with your own two eyes in your local gaming store. In fact at my 'Ard Boyz tournament there were Tyranids in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Gaunt spam p0wned everyone, that's right, those gribbly little bugs ran amok like a rabid Ewok in heat and ruined every ones day. Grey Knights fell like wheat to the scythe in the face of the onslaught, it was horrifying, and yet magical; all at the same time! See what I did there? I just skewed your results. Tyranids are now a 'good army' again. Phew, that was close.

I suppose this is all the fault of our 'constant media psychosis' where we devour data, editorials and opinions like its going out of style. Any army is capable of winning, it depends on how you play it and who you play against. I'm sure that there were more than a few baby seals out there getting clubbed this weekend. In fact I have already read an article about some guys who put ringers in to loose on purpose in an 'Ard Boyz event so that their buddies could score massacres against them and pad their scores.

But in our 'indepth analysis' we are treating all the wins as the same despite the fact that we know they are not. This kind of reminds me of a certain set of world wide data that was kinda interpreted in a certain way in order to provide a certain result that kinda sorta led everyone to a certain conclusion about the planet turning into a crock pot. What I am really trying to say is chill out, stop over analyzing everything and have fun for a change, the Warhammer 40k universe is not warming up (see what I did there?).

Now, who's up some Scout Trooper action? (cause despite what you might think, I'm a giver!)

still practicing_



  1. FINALLY! An Ard boyz data chart (and commentary) that makes sense!

  2. Another top pick on House of Paincakes, you are rolling Tallarn! I read the other ones too, just so you know.

  3. Thanks LAZ, although after a second read I think there are some things I can improve upon in my own writting, that much is certain.

    However, I knew that including the Scout Trooper would put me over the top. Shameless, I know.