NOVA 2015 Predictions


Another NOVA has come and gone, and as we all recover, it’s time to look at some stats coming out of the event. First off, there’s my top bracket predictions. Let’s look at how I fared:

6 Eldar Primary armies
I was high here, as there only ended up being 3
4 Daemons/Daemonkin armies
Right on the dot with 4, though if you consider John Parsons’s Tyranids/Daemons list I am one low. That said, his daemon portion was under 250 points of the list.
3 Imperial Friends lists
I was way low here, and clearly underestimated both the Superfiends style star list as well as Gladius, with 6 total Imperial Armies, three of the deathstar variety, two of the Gladius version.
2 Necron armies
Again, right on the dot. Also of note is that both had Eldar contingents.
1 Tau army
Not exactly. Only one Tau contingent made the top bracket, though it was technically an Eldar primary.
The only list that didn’t conform to my prediction was John Parsons’ Tyranid list, which I didn’t have in my initial prediction. For the finals, I predicted an Eldar/Daemons showdown and an Eldar victory. One Eldar army made the finals, but was of the Taudar variety. I again underestimated the Imperial factions and didn’t predict Aaron Aleong’s domination at NOVA.

With the top bracket sorted, let’s look at the overall statistics for the event, starting with popularity.

Unsurprisingly, Space Marines topped the list as the most popular army, with 32 players taking them as their primary. Adding in Blood Angels (8), Dark Angels (8), Grey Knights (7), and Space Wolves (6), we end up with 61 players in 428 games, making up over 38% of the field. Following the Imperial Power Armour part of the field, the next most popular was Eldar, with just over 14% of the field. The top 5 was rounded out by Tyranids, Necrons, and Daemons.

Before we move on to performance, let’s look at popularity compared to last year’s NOVA, and 7th Edition overall:

As we can see, again, those Power Armour armies generally exceeded both last year and the 7th edition overall meta. Meanwhile, Tau and Imperial Guard saw the biggest drop offs in popularity, with Tau falling all the way from third most popular to twelfth.

Now, let’s move on to the win rates of armies in NOVA:

Eldar, again fairly predictably lead the pack. Interestingly, some of the small representation armies, Skitarii, Sisters of Battle, and Daemonkin, exceeded the averages and won more games than they lost. We do have to keep in mind each of these was only piloted by 2-3 players in the event, but the records are somewhat consistent with army performance overall.

On the lower end of the spectrum, Tyranids generally continued their slide below 50% despite their popularity, and Blood Angels look to be suffering greatly from being out of the power loop with the newer Power Armour armies. Also, for the first time in three years, Tau came in with a losing record, and were actually outperformed by Chaos Space Marines.

Now, let’s compare the win rates with last year’s NOVA and 7th overall:

Tau, Tyranids, and surprisingly, Necrons, all saw numbers well below their 7th edition averages, with Tau and Tyranids also coming in well below their NOVA 2014 performances. Meanwhile Dark Angels and Space Wolves saw significant improvements, along with the surprising Chaos Space Marines. Finally, Space Marines also lived up to expectations, with them taking a winning record for the event, which is actually a first for them since their spike in popularity after the 6th Edition Codex in 2013.

Going forward, I think we will see Space Marines and Dark Angels (with Space Wolves) becoming extremely popular, to the heights of Eldar and Tau in 6th Edition, and carrying many events. Of course, once the next wave of codices drops, which may be sooner than later, that can all change.