Nova Open Best Armies – 2016

The Nova Open Results are in! Remember that Nova splits players into brackets so there are two values to consider, position and score. Position (out of 145) is determined by a player’s performance in their bracket while score is the raw score of the player regardless of bracket. You can also find the most played armies at Nova. I’ve gathered all the data and here are the Nova Open best armies by position:

Army Average Position
Imperial Knights 52.83333333
Chaos Daemons 57.13333333
Chaos Space Marines 57.14285714
Tyranids 62.66666667
Adeptus Mechanicus 63.375
Dark Angels 64
Khorne Daemonkin 66.5
Eldar 66.53333333
Space Marines 76.19047619
Tau Empire 84.72727273
Imperial Guard 85.16666667
Skitarii 88
Orks 89
Necrons 89.88888889
Space Wolves 99.4
Assassins 100
Dark Eldar 116
Sisters of Battle 117
Blood Angels 117.5


Imperial Knights – Knight lists can definitely catch you off guard if you aren’t prepared for it but I wasn’t expecting them to do so well. The best Knight player came in 17th but the others were mostly clustered around the 50’s with one outlier. Another interesting tid bit is that 4 of the 6 knight players were from Virginia. That’s got to be an interesting meta.

Tau/Eldar/Space Marines – These codexes are normally clustered in the top five but not at the Nova Open. They are still all together but in the middle of the pack. I wonder if the new FAQ drafts had something to do with that or if these armies just don’t benefit as much in Nova rules/missions. I also suspect people know how to handle these lists and are rarely caught off guard with them anymore.

Daemons – My guess is that with the new formations and the RAW approach Nova takes to the rules probably helped out here. Between summoning and unchanged Invisibility I think daemon players had a lot of advantages. There were six daemon players in the top 20.

Chaos Space Marines – This may be a bit more surprising to me than the knights. Looking at the math, the second and fourth place finishers were both Chaos Space Marine players which really skewed the math. As is rightly so with chaos, CSM players were all over the board in position after those top two.

Tyranids – The bugs are back! Another surprise for me at the top. I love playing hordes of hungry monsters but I often consider them lower tier and more of a fun army to play at local game nights. It is worth noting that there were only 3 Tyranid players but still, they all did consistently well.

Necrons – What happened? The Necrons didn’t do so well at Nova. I’m not sure whether it was the mission type or other armies getting to keep some of their tricks under the Nova Open rule set but they just didn’t perform like they do in other tournaments. Definitely something to look into.

If you want to look at the tournament from a different perspective you can take into account raw score. Remember that its easier to get higher scores in lower brackets so the score may be a little bit less representative in this setting. Here are the best armies by raw score:

Army Average Score Average Position
Assassins 146 100
Chaos Space Marines 125.2857143 57.14285714
Adeptus Mechanicus 116.375 63.375
Chaos Daemons 114.1333333 57.13333333
Imperial Knights 113.1666667 52.83333333
Tyranids 109.3333333 62.66666667
Sisters of Battle 105 117
Space Marines 104.7619048 76.19047619
Eldar 103.3666667 66.53333333
Tau Empire 102.7272727 84.72727273
Necrons 98 89.88888889
Skitarii 95 88
Orks 94 89
Dark Angels 89 64
Khorne Daemonkin 88.16666667 66.5
Blood Angels 83 117.5
Space Wolves 78.8 99.4
Imperial Guard 77.16666667 85.16666667
Dark Eldar 69 116


Assassins – Wait what? He brought Assassins as your primary, and Necrons for allies? Well it looks like it worked because one player did quite well in raw score with this list. Obviously with only one player the average is skewed but still, quite impressive.

Adeptus Mechanicus – It looks like War Convocation came through again after all. While not making it into the top brackets it looks like the AdMech did quite well in the middle to low tier brackets. I still think its a solid army although clearly the meta is starting to move past it.

Imperial Guard – While they floated around the middle in position the Guard looks like they didn’t do well in terms of score. My suspicion is that they did well in early rounds and then were a bit outclassed when they were placed into higher brackets.

I’ll be posting another article about any weird or interesting anomalies I find in the data later this week. I also want to give a big shout out to Richard Jennens who came in 10th with a brutal Brass Scorpion and Friends list. Congrats!

6 Responses

  1. Brett

    I played renegades… nonfw armies are in youe statistics but they were allowed this year.

    • jsmalik94

      Yeah I noticed that when I was going through the leaderboards on Torrent of Fire. If you were the Brett that went 7-1 (congrats) they’ve got you listed as Chaos Space Marines primary I believe.

      • Phil

        Yep, ToF doesn’t have renegades. So all the Renegades players I marked down as CSM and noted it on a list so when I submit the ITC score it goes to the right faction.

  2. Richard

    Khorne was mightily pleased by the carnage and destruction wrought by (and on) my army!