This weekend was the great Bay Area Open run by the guys at Frontline Gaming! With a new edition and FAQ dropping so close to the tournament the TO’s did a great job with a challenging situation. Now do you want to know what the best armies at BAO 2017 were? Here’s the breakdown of scores by faction below!
|Faction||Average Score||Number of Players|
|Chaos Space Marines||50||4|
Remember the winner of the tournament scored 111 battle points total. The first day of the tournament used ITC Combined Arms missions and day two used Nova format missions. The tournament was in W/L/D format but we’re only going to take a look at battle points today. It’s also worth remembering that while the latest FAQ dropped close to the tournament date the TO’s thought it was best to adopt the changes, mainly a nerf to fliers, razorwings, and some other tweaks. This data is pulled directly off of the published results from Best Coast Pairings and so we used the factions posted with each player (you’ll notice Red Scorpions are separate from Adeptus Astartes).
So right away take a look at the Genestealer Cults! There were only 3 Genestealer players at BAO this year but clearly they did pretty well overall. I think the same can be said of the Sisters with only 2 players but each doing well. Space Marines come in at third overall score on average. They seem to be doing quite well this edition and will probably only be getting better after their new codex drops. If you take a look at our Best Armies at ATC 2017 article you’ll see the Space Marines did pretty well there too. It looks like they don’t need to spam Stormravens to win! And of course Daemons are still at the top of the pack. Between horros, the changeling, and not being able to shoot at Daemon Princes unless they’re right up in your face help them out a lot.
On the bottom end I’m disappointed to see Harlequins at the bottom. I was really hoping that without formation restrictions the space clowns could shine in 8th edition. Cult Mechanicus was also in the bottom tiers even though our writer Dernicus would swear Kastelans Robots are one of the most interesting units in the game. Grey Knights also didn’t seem to perform well although I’m sure they’ll be getting a boost once their codex drops. They were one of the higher performers at ATC this year but it’s possible the FAQ about Stormravens hampered them a bit.
Taking a look at the middle of the pack I’m seeing mostly what I’d expect. Tau and Astra Miliatrum are at the top of the middle tier although Astra Militarum had two players in the top 5. I’m glad to see Dark Eldar look playable this edition and may even be coming off of my shelf. Eldar, Necrons, and Imperial Knights are all clustered in the middle. They seem to be good, solid, reliable lists but I don’t think they are top tier like they could be last edition. Orks, Space Wolves, and Tyranids round out the bottom of the middle tier. Again, I was hoping Tyranids would have a resurgence this edition but while they seem playable, they just haven’t performed well at big events so far. I think the same could be said of Orks. The Space Wolves I’m not so sure about because they have quite a few interesting units but I’m not sure how they synergize yet. Finally, I think it’s worth noting that regular Eldar and Dark Eldar did better than Ynnari for once. Whether this is a fluke of how factions were determined or not it’s pretty interesting to see.
The big difference between ATC and BAO, other than the team aspect obviously, in my opinion was in how first turn was decided. At ATC whoever deployed first got first turn unless their opponent could seize the initiative. The Bay Area Open used ITC’s guidelines which uses a roll off where the player who finished deploying first gets to decide who has first turn. I really think this gave armies like Guard and Tau a chance to go first and get some damage in before the enemy is right on top of them. Personally, I’ll be advocating the ITC system for all of the tournaments in my area as it seems to strike the right balance of how the first turn is decided. I much prefer a random roll with a bonus instead of just being able to basically guarantee going first.
Another possibly important factor was the Games Workshop FAQ. While it certainly changed a lot of things, it definitely changed how armies that spammed flyers played. It also changed up the point cost for Razorwing Flocks preventing them from hording up quite as much as they could before. I wonder if we’re going to be seeing a new FAQ drop after each big tournament to address any issues that popped up. I’m not sure if I like that or not as it will definitely make keeping up with the game a bit harder even if it keeps the meta from stagnating.
So in conclusion I’m just not sure what to make of this edition or these results. Without the codexes, and all the new rules they are going to bring, I kind of just feel like 8th edition has only been released halfway. While the indexes provide some guidelines, point changes, new units, and major rules additions seem to be right on the horizon. I suspect that with each codex Games Workshop will indulge in power creep making the newest toys, the best toys. So frankly I don’t feel comfortably even trying to predict the meta. Hopefully we will see some armies like Tyranids and Orks find a new place in competitive play. Overall I think the results from the BAO really show how in flux the game is right now with new rules and new players coming back into or entering the competitive scene. I can’t wait to see what happens at NOVA and afterwards when the codexes really start to drop!