Today, like at other recent events (ETC, UK Nationals) members of the gang here at Breakthrough Assault have participated in. Martin takes a look at the stats from Warfare 2022.
Warfare 2022,hosted by Wargames Association of Reading, was played over the weekend of 12 & 13 November.
It was 110 points of Late War with a restriction that you could only select one Formation and could take no more than five Platoons with the Scout Rule. One other aspect is that you can enter two lists; one Allied and one Axis to avoid ‘Blue on Blue’ games.
Overall there were 20 players (including six of us from the Blog!) which, with five rounds played, handily resulted in exactly 100 game records which makes the maths a lot easier! Not all players chose to have two lists and some that did only played with one of them. This results in some odd looking numbers of games played by each Nation present so don’t worry if you cant work out how there were 12 games played by Soviet lists rather than 10 or 15.
Let’s start with the simple stuff; Force distribution overall. There were only five nations represented at the event; the big four and an Axis Allied Force, the Romanian Guard Rifles, which are omitted from some of the analysis as one is not a representative sample.
As you can see German and British Lists dominated. Overall, there were a few swap games with 9 Axis and 11 Allied primary list choices.
Does choice of Nation matter?
With the swap options counted up this resulted in the distribution of games for the big four nations (I’ve left out the Romanians) shown below.
There is a general assumption in social media that the Soviets are the weakest tournament option of the big four and this distribution suggest that the Soviets are still an unpopular choice amongst tournament players. There was only a single German/Soviet combination entered and the two primary list Soviet players (the author and Duncan) only entered Soviets; mainly down to the shear numbers of models needed.
So lets turn to the outcome of the gaming.
The results chart shows some interesting factors, the most successful nation overall in terms of game wins were British winning 15/28 (54%) of their games whilst the Soviets won only 4/12 (33%) but another point here is the British lost 10/28 (35%) of their games whilst the Soviets lost only 3/12 (25%) games, so whilst the Soviets don’t regularly win as much similarly they don’t get beaten as frequently either.
With Soviet lists only representing 12% of games this is a bit of a debatable subject but is food for thought and suggests it is harder to accumulate points to place highly with Soviets, which, matches the current perceived view of them.
Overall German were the least successfull Force with a 54% loss rate which given a Blue on Red bias in gaming isn’t neccessarily an unexpected outcome based on historical precedent. So looking at this how did the event results pan out.
The top 5 placings were these,
- British D-Day Motor Rifles,
- USA Bulge M18,
- Soviet Bagration Sapper-Engineers,
- British Bulge Kangaroo Rifles,
- German Bulge SS Tiger II.
[2nd, 3rd and 5th being Breakthrough Assaults, Mark, Martin and Eddie respectively – Paul was 9th, Lee was in 14th and Duncan in 17th. Not a bad weekend for the team! – Lee]
This matches up well against the stats in terms of general ranking for this event on likely placings ranking based on game wins (British 54%, USA 35%, Soviet 33%, German 29%) The 4th and 5th were placed in that order on a count back and had equal tournament points. Overall, based on this event, choice of nation did matter.
My own view here is that the Brits, due to their pointing, simply have access to a lot more cheap, very high end, anti-tank platoons, with most lists having two mobile M10c AT15 units and many also had twp good towed AT gun platoons as well, combined with good quality infantry and cheap artillery support options. Overall they have access to multiple tools to do the same job which they have the points to take multiples of, and are probably the most powerful Nation currently in the game.
Formations and Forces
So lets look a bit at the forces and principally the formation performances.
Overall there were nine infantry formation forces played (used 44 times), four mechanised formations (Infantry platoons with a transport attachment taken, used 19 times) and ten tank formations (used 37 times), in total 23 different formations were used and a swap was made in 15 out of the total 50 games. This was lower than it could have been as not all players had a swap list; I personally played two ‘Blue on Blue’ games. The draw software used at Warfare also takes previous round games into account and is not completely straight swiss and avoids repeat pairings, which means you always play someone new each round.
Comparing the two pie charts it can be seen that when a win result was achieved, it was on 30% of occasions by a tank formation, on 44% of occasions by an Infantry Formation and on 42% of occasions by Mechanised Formations. The success of mechanised forces compared to their actual number of games played is the stand out here and the inability of Tank Formations to close out a game for a win result is interesting. So lets look at the gaming in more detail.
Does scenario choice and stance make a big difference to the outcome of the game?
At Warfare there was an interesting variant used on mission selection; players had a free choice of Battle Stance but the Tournament organiser determined the scenario number on the Extended Battle Plans Matrix played each round, this resulted in 15 scenarios being played in at least one game and only a few players played any scenario more than once.
This chart suggests that Breakthrough and Bridgehead strongly favour the Attacker producing no defender win outcomes, whilst Escape, Dust Up and Killing Ground all strongly favour the Defender. Notably Escape is the only scenario of more than two games played where there was only one outcome, with all the games resulting in a defender win, suggesting that there is possibly some balance issues with the scenario.
Scouts Out should get a mention here as well as it delivered no draw results and an even split of wins/losses in the games played and, whilst the sample data set is small, the number of games played is big enough to be considered statistically significant, suggesting this is a well balanced scenario that will deliver a decisive result in a limited time frame environment, Probe, Valley of Death and Encounter also delivered well balanced outcome profiles and minimal draws.
Overall the ratio of Defender:Attacker wins was 23:15 bucking the recent trend of Attacker dominated wins seen in the other events we have reviewed this way. It’s hard to say why, but it may be a by product of the limited number of scenario options in each round curtailing the opportunities for a player to play multiple games of the same scenario and allowed players to game the outcome of the Extended Battleplan Matrix a little more than usual. A point to note here is that the number was known before stances were chosen so there was the opportunity for players with good knowledge of the matrix to select advantageous stances based on the opponents list which may be why Manoeuvre was such an unpopular choice of stance being selected on only 12% of occasions, compared to 64% for Attack and 24% Defend.
So finally lets turn to what happened in the games where a result was generated looking at the outcomes where the stance chosen matched the in game role played by the player i.e Stance choice was Attack and the role played was the Attacker. One thing stands out really clearly, when a player chose Defend and was the Defender they most frequently won the game whilst winning as the Attacker when you choose Manouver is not so easy. There were no instances of both players choosing Defend.
So there you have it, some more analysis of what happens at tournaments in gaming terms, a few outcomes stand out – British are very strong right now, Soviets remain unpopular and some scenarios may need careful consideration in are they balanced enough for tournament play.
All the best until next time – Martin.