Let’s Get Statistical

Grand Clash stats coming at ya!

Today’s article is brought to you by the letter D for David. You may remember him from various tournament reports, especially the UKTC 2018 where he formed a crucial part of my team. Today he’s bring you some hot numerical data.


I’m David (a two times Grand clash finalist, who has won Shadeglass with all 8 of the Shadespire warbands and is a Maths teacher) and this is a statistical breakdown of the recent Warhammer World Grand Clash results. Being the largest event to date I couldn’t help myself from playing with the numbers. So here are my findings presented, hopefully, in a easy to understand way…

(Please note what follows includes some maths, I’ve tried not to spend a long time explaining it and instead focused on the findings. I have made assumptions, including that the original rankings are correct [Despite some results turning out to be incorrect sadly], and made generalisations. I have also just been blessed with a new baby boy, so have probably made mistakes!)
First up; numbers of each warband present.

I have presented the numbers of the warbands in attendance in release order, starting with the first Shadespire and ending with the latest Nightvault. There is a clear preference to play with the new shiny stuff (shocker) with a few notable exceptions. Bucking the trend and remaining very popular are Magore’s Fiends and Sepulchral Guard, having noticeably more warbands entered than their Shadespire counterparts. On the reverse are the Eyes of the Nine, with a very much lower (but highly thematic) turnout than the other Nightvault warbands.

So why do people bring certain warbands and what does this tell us?

In general we have to assume that most people bring a warband they feel are competitive, so we can propose that the Sepulchral Guard, Magore’s Fiends, Stormsire’s Cursebreakers, Thorns of the Briar Queen and Zarbag’s Gitz are all seen as solid chooses. Looking on the other end it clear that the Eyes of the Nine are not seen as competitive, and to a lesser extent Garek’s Reavers.So is this true? Are the views of the Underworld community right?

So is this true? Are the views of the Underworld community right? A good warband is going to get lots of glory, so let’s see if these top chosen warbands did exactly that.

The warbands are now shown in order of popularity with the Thorns of the Briar Queen being the most popular at the top.

As suspected, most of our top 5 popular warbands have a positive average glory difference over the whole event but not the Sepulchral Guard. So why are the Sepulchral Guard so popular? I would put it down to the models. I think they are some of the best loved ones released (and this is also why I think the Thorns of the Briar Queen where more popular than Stormsire’s Cursebreakers.)

Out of our unpopular warbands the Eyes of the Nine have a negative glory differential as expected but Garek’s Reavers are the real losers here with a massive -63.4 glory difference.

The stand out winners here, the Farstriders, were not well represented in numbers but with an incredible +37 Glory difference seem to be the best glory finders in the game [I’m sure my +62 glory difference helped 😉].
So we have seen the Sepulchral Guard drop out the running for been a top warband and the Farstriders made a bold move to replace them in the top 5. At the other end we see the Eyes of the Nine and Garek’s Reavers joined by Spiteclaw’s Swarm and Steelheart’s Champions as potentially suboptimal warbands.

But it’s not all about the glory, rankings were based on games won primarily so how did each warband rank?

These vertical Stem and Leaf diagrams show us the ranking spread. If you don’t recall your GCSE maths what we are looking for is how tall the rectangles are, showing us how close together those warbands placed, and how low down the rectangle is, as lower numbers are better in ranking.

Zarbag’s Gitz probably have the nicest spread here, suggesting that they placed evenly throughout the contest and could then be concluded to be a balanced warband. The poor Garek’s Reavers are all bunched up towards the higher ranking numbers, most of them coming in the lower 128th. Again the Farstriders are the opposite with most of them coming in the top 38 [Maximum skill warband, fite me – an unbiased Farstrider player]. Most of the other warbands have a good spread of results, though notably only a third of the Eyes of the Nine players made it into the top half while Stormsire’s Cursebreakers greedily makeup over a third of the top 16.

So all warbands may not be equal, so what?

Over the weekend there was a few discussions on the scoring system and how fair it was. Ideas like strength of schedule been put forward as alternatives. Unfortunately without more detailed data exploring that is not an option, the closest I could get to it is an adjusted win/draw/lose points score. I simply found this by taking the average points your warband type had got away from your points scored, creating a new ranking table [What’s a Zerbag?]:

Explanation edit: I found the mean average of the points scored for each warband type, so for example Cursebreakers on average scored 7.09 points.

This is then taken away from your points score, so if you were a Cursebreakers player who scored 10 points after adjustment you would be on 2.91.

This adjustment is a way to balance out the good and bad warbands. It’s not perfect by any means.

I found with the adjusted points I still suffered from multiple people getting the same value, so as a tiebreaker have done an adjusted rank (this time doing your rank minus average, so large negatives are good.)

So is this better?

Well all 12 warbands are now in the top 20 [Except the Farstriders…]. The top 10 players are still all in the top 10. I imagine the Garek’s Reavers player who came 104 and is now 17th would be very happy and so would the Eye’s of the Nine player who came 10th and is now top…

…Oh wait that’s me.

So what have we really found here? [Someone who has a bigger ego than me]

Perhaps I’ve managed to inadvertently show that I am the greatest Underworlds player and should be given a trophy (plus a parade on the top of a bus).

Perhaps I confirmed that tiers do exist and showed that playing Cursebreakers is like playing on easy mode.

Or perhaps I have shown that you should not always trust statistics, because it’s amazing what you can prove when you set your mind to it [like being undefeated with Eyes of the Nine at a Grand Clash].

Thanks for reading. Thanks to all those who I played or talked to over the weekend and well done to Bryce for taking the trophy.

Why so few Farstriders when they do so well?

I think the answer is Farstriders are not that easy to pick up and play but have a load of potential. There was a small group of experienced players [*cough*] using these guys at the weekend which is why they scored as they did.

I’ve been sitting on this for a week now thanks to my stubborn personal release schedule but feel free to check out Steel City Underworlds for their take on the January Grand Clash statistics. Special thanks to David for his awesome article. I’m not great with statistics (never tell me the odds) so it’s always helpful to have a Maths teacher on-hand. Just remember that you can never predict a crit 😉

9 thoughts on “Let’s Get Statistical

  1. Greetings from Poland!

    Can You roll a crits playing poor dwarfs? Prove that You are the best player and win Grand Clash playing the lowest ranked warband 🙂

    btw. im big fan of this game and and I think that your blog is the best source of information about the game (for new and advanced players too). I am waiting impatiently for ech new post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve already won a tournament with the Chosen Axes and consider them to be one of the strongest warbands in the game. But maybe for a Grand Clash…

      Ah thanks dude, it means a lot. Really. So happy you love the content. I’ll have a new article up on Friday (:


  2. Poor old Skaven 😭

    Would love to see them bring out a card pack containing additional cards for each faction (especially the older ones), to level the playing field a little


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