To clarify my position on this, I have no problem with Chaos repeatedly winning. I have no problem with AoD repeatedly winning. I have no problem with either of those factions repeatedly coming second either. I don't want to see Chaos or AoD nerfed so that they have no chance and someone else wins, I want a more even playing field. If I cared about winning, I'd have switched to Chaos or AoD because they've been the strongest two factions for a few years now. I already have a decent amount of models for both, it wouldn't be hard to paint for one of them instead of the other factions I've panted for during ETL events.
What I do care about is event motivation. Afterall, this event is less about winning and more about getting people painting. Where the two cross is that a close fought contest is a motivator in itself. If a faction is in the running for contesting top spot every vow counts, every painted model matters. If it's clear from early in the event (as was this year) that some factions just don't stand a chance of coming near top spot, then it can lead to feeling like it doesn't matter if your vow is finished or not. Given that we're trying to get people, as a community, painting, then it's in everyone's best interests to have the event as balanced as possible.
We can never have a situation where every faction is equal. Unfortunately some armies and their forums are just less popular. But I do believe we can get to a situation where we have more than just Chaos and AoD contesting top spot. That to me is the ideal place, with as many factions as possible challenging and encouraging each other to do better and paint more. Not two factions so far ahead that everyone else isn't even competing.
I do have some ideas on how things could be made more even (and hopefully more fun/motivating) for everyone, but I'll keep them out of this thread. If Captain Semper want's feedback or ideas for changes I'm sure he'll let us know.
Finally, I put some numbers of faction painting options below. These are very rough numbers but I don't think that matters, as the differences are so huge that a few options in either direction make no difference at all. That said, I'm willing to do a detailed breakdown of each factions options if it's something Cap would like (assuming he hasn't already done it himself that is).
Yet still, the Codex faction has - and still is - on the scare radar for Chaos. You guys have had some stunning progress over the last couple of weeks!
That's kind of you to say, but I find it hard to believe that Chaos has Codex on it's radar. Chaos has been in a stronger position than Codex since week 1. From week 6 onwards it's been over a 10k lead. During the last month Chaos has been pulling further ahead consistently while maintaining a better completion rate. Codex isn't a thread to Chaos, it's not even close to being a threat to Chaos. It hasn't been for almost two months.
Even if Chaose does consider Codex a threat, it doesn't seem to be working the other way around. I don't think many people from Codex had any illusions of challenging Chaos this year.
As someone who vowed for Chaos... I agree somewhat, but at the same time... well, you Codex Lot have lots of units possible to vow. It's not like you're too far off from the big two either... but then again, BA's, DA's and Space Wolves have their own troubles....
And then there's the Imperial Forces who have more factions than Chaos do...
Codex does have a lot of units to vow, more than enough I think. Chaos has close to twice as many. It's hard to say that it's all fine between Codex and Chaos when Chaos has that many more options and have done considerably better for three years in a row in almost every aspect of the event.
We also seem to have very different definitions of not "too far off". Chaos has slightly more participents, close to double the points pledged, over double the completions and a 13% higher completion rate than Codex. AoD has 40 more participants, just over double the points pledged, over double the completions and a slightly higher completion rate. That's not even close and it's worse for Blood Angels, Dark Angels. Space Wolves and IFOR. It's a two horse race and has been for a lot of the event.
IFOR has more forums, true, but by making that simple statement you're missing the reality of the situation. A more detailed view shows that IFOR only has three major forums, the same as Chaos.
Inquisition has such a tiny Codex and limited options that it's barely worth considering. This year it had three vows and one completion, last year was similar. Sisters has a dedicated following, but a small one with very little chance of new blood due to the most out of date model line that GW produces (and no mainstream Codex). That leaves Guard, AdMech and Grey Knights.
The real difference though, is that Chaos can freely pick and choose between three forums, vowing first for one, then for another or even taking choices from both in one vow. On the other hand IFOR has to pick one forum and only one for the entire event. Unlike Chaos, an IFOR entrant can't paint for example, some Guard and some AdMech. It has to be one or the other. IFOR is one of the least popular factions to begin with, while Chaos is one of the most popular. Allowing Chaos to freely pick and choose for their vows while IFOR has restrictions doesn't help encourage more IFOR players to paint models, which is what this event is about.
IFOR has about 130 options split over five forums, Chaos has just over 170 that are, for the purposes of ETL, all from one forum.
Note for Cpt Semper: I know there's logistical issues that cause the different options for IFOR and Chaos. I'm not trying to say that it should change or force you to defend it, I'm just trying to show people that it's a potential issue and that looking at IFOR and Chaos and proclaiming that IFOR has more factions is misleading.
Also, Codex has the Angels of Death supplement and can use almost every HH unit through IA:2 - and now include the Black Templars! And along with Eldar and Tau, the codex is definitely in Tier 1 in the meta. Also you guys won in the second year! It's just, you know, the chaos community is so awesome - pulling so many resources even though we have a Tier 3, four year old codex...
As with IFOR above this is a misleading statement.
The options for Codex are just over 100 to Chaos' just over 170. I'm giving rough estimates here, but Chaos is drawing from a much larger pool of options than any other faction bar possibly AoD.
Codex didn't win the second year. it has never won. Black Templars won the second year. The first year that Codex had a strong chance at winning (perhaps too strong) it was split back into two factions (Codex and Templars), which IMO stymied it's chances of winning.
You raise an intersting point about a Codices percieved position within the meta. Initially I dismissed it as a Codices power having nothing to do with a painting event, but you're right that it could influence faction choice for ETL. I have no idea how much it does affect people's choices and there's no way we can know without some kind of mandatory survey for people taking part (lets not go there please Cap!) so I dunno how we take that into account when looking at ETL factions. I think it's probably best to ignore it and focus on actual data, like painting options, vow sizes, participants per faction etc.
For the record, I think that Codex has more than enough options. I'm more concerned with factions other than Codex when it comes to restrictions and lack of options and that Chaos and AoD potentially have too many options.
I completely agree about the Chaos community. For three years now they have consistently pulled together, painted a stupendous amount of models and remained a contender for top spot. They deserve all of their wins. I hope that continues for years to come, with more forum communities being able to achieve similar success.