Warmachines & Hordes faction popularity
June 25, 2010
Awhile back, using data from the Privateer Press Forums, we compiled data on which Warmachine/Hordes (WarmaHordes) factions were the most popular. This was when the release of the Retribution of Scyrah first began, so the data has obviously changed since then. Still, the afore-linked spreadsheet remained a good indication of WarmaHordes faction popularity.
iBodger, meanwhile, is a fantastic iOS and Android app for tracking WarmaHordes armies, and the software compiles a list of user-supplied armies and units, data for which is published online as the iBodger Web Service. We’re guessing that this data isn’t updated in real-time, but even if it’s only monthly, the data is very interesting, and is similar to what we compiled previously.
iBodger has about 300 more entries than our own data, but faction breakdowns among Warmachine armies, or Hordes armies, is fairly consistent. However, there are some obvious distinctions: among iBodger users, mercenary armies are much less popular (by about 10%), the difference for which is almost made up by the increase in Retribution players. Interestingly, Retribution remains the minority major faction in Warmachines, despite the fact that it seemed many players were building Retribution armies after faction units became available for sale. Apparently, space-elves aren’t that popular after all.
The Hordes numbers aren’t quite as consistent as the Warmachine ones, as our own data suggested that all factions were within 6% of one another. The iBodger data puts Skorne players 14% behind the leader, Trollbloods. Also interesting since Trollbloods are the faction generally assumed to be the worst Hordes tournament faction. Circle, often considered the best Hordes tournament faction, falls third at only 2% more players than Skorne.
When looking at the totality of WarmaHordes players, our numbers finally diverge a bit more from the iBodger numbers. The percentages aren’t off by much, but the order of factions does shift, with Mercenaries dropping from tied-at-the-top on our list to third least-popular faction using iBodger’s stats. Similarly, Circle, tied for fourth on our list, dropped to tied-for-last on iBodger’s list.
Aside from the evolution of the game (primarily because of Warmachine since moving to MKII rules), one reason for the difference in numbers can be attributed to the iBodger user-base; are iBodger users more selective than usual forum-goers, or less so? More into the tournament circuit, or less so? We imagine that iBodger users have a higher median age than most forum-goers, since using iBodger requires a somewhat expensive mobile device, whereas anyone with an internet connection and a home computer can jump on the forums. Similarly, making a forum post to chime in one what faction one plays takes little pre-planning, whereas iBodger users are investing time for a purpose: building an army. As such, forum posters may seek to play a particular faction, but may ultimately steer away from this decision, whereas iBodger stats are based on actual ownership of units.
One solid take-away from all this is the difference between a vocal minority and actual popularity. For example, Skorne players are very vocal about their faction, but it’s actually the least popular faction (tied with Circle). And, surprising to us, is that “non-tournament-capable” factions are still getting love from players. Aesthetics over gameplay, perhaps?