See the sections at the end for an explanation of what some of these numbers mean.
December saw the fortunes of all four factions shift and change several times, with each getting their time of dominance, and their time of being the underdog. They all spent some time holding well below a quarter of the map, but only the Loyalists dipped below 20 territories although the Eldar came close. The Eldar had the most consistent performance, and maintained a positive Territorial Balance for just over half the month. If there was an overall winner for December, it would be the Eldar, based on most territories held over time, even though they fell back to third place in the Territory ranking on the last few days.
Performance By Faction
The Eldar had a rough start to the month, with some fairly consistent losses to all three enemy factions although they pulled back against Chaos in short order. They then proceeded to hold the Orks to a territory deficit for two weeks, and to mostly push back Chaos too. They fared less well against Loyalists, however, and had an overall negative TD metric against them even with some significant last week pushes into their territories. The overall performance for Eldar was +8 Territory Days, the highest of all the factions.
The Orks started as strongly as the Eldar were weak, but were then held back by the Eldar by one or two territories for most of the month. They had mixed results against both Chaos and Loyalist Space Marines, but strong early gains against the forces of Chaos resulted in a better overall performance against them compared to the Loyalist forces. By the end of the month however, they still maintained a positive Territory Day metric against both power armoured forces. The overall Ork performance for December was +4 Territory Days
Chaos had an interesting month. They started out losing to all three factions most of the time, with only two days of the first two weeks having a positive Territorial Balance, and fared particular poorly against the Orks. Mid-month, they started to push back against the Loyalist forces, and for Week 13 (20 – 26 Dec) they made and held considerable gains against all three factions, but especially the Loyalists. In fact, Week 13 saw Chaos rise to the highest recorded Territorial gains, holding a total of 36 territories or nearly 40% of the map. This immense lead rapidly decline over the next 5 days, even pushing Chaos into negative Territory balance, but they pulled out of the slump in the last few days of the month. The overall Chaos performance for December was a narrow margin of +1.5 Territory Days
Loyalists fared poorly overall, with mixed but mostly positive results in the first part of the month followed by some fairly large and consistent losses in the second half. They fared best against Eldar, with positive Territory Days over the course of the month but a couple of heavy losses in the latter part of the month. They had mixed results against the Orks, but once again the last two weeks cost them heavily, and they ended the month with a negative Territory Day metric against the Orks. The Loyalists, rather appropriately, suffered the most at the hands of Chaos, with only 8 days of positive balance against them contributing to an overall Territory Days metric of -15. Overall, the monthly Territory Day performance metric for the Loyalists was -13.5, demonstrating that across the month, they mostly held less than their quarter share of the map.
The world map is divided into six “continents”, where each faction can hold up to 16 territories across three continents for a total of 96 possible per faction. Holding their “fair share” of a quarter of the map would be 24 territories per faction.
There has been some uncertainty around organised groups winning many matches but not seeing changes in the world map. Sigvald explained why as follows (paraphrased):
“In essence there is a modifier on territory control that increases exponentially as we win. It was implemented during the era where Chaos was absurdly strong into order to keep LSM from being tabled forever without any hope of regaining a foothold. […]. Because of this, a 90% win rate [Ed. when you control most of the continent already] is not enough to maintain that level of map control. It has to be 100% non-stop without other battles bringing you down […] Because LSM has more matches however it means they retake territory much faster during prime time, every time an Eldar pug would lose any advantage you leveraged would be immediately undone.”
A brief word on metrics
This report uses several metrics to evaluate a faction’s performance, which can be demonstrated with the following chart for the Orks.
The yellow line is the total number of territories held by the Orks, but a more useful metric is the Territory Balance (the blue line). This essentially shifts the Territory line to be centred on 0 instead of 24, and describes whether that faction holds more or less than a quarter of the map. If all factions were perfectly balanced, then they would each hold 8 territories per “continent”, and their balance would be 0. This centering on 0 allows us to talk about positive and negative shifts in territories held, and describe one faction as taking territory from another’s “home ground”. Both of these lines will give an indication of the performance of a faction on that particular day.
The red line is a little different. If you take the sum of the previous Territory Balances per day, you arrive at a metric called “Territory Days”, which increases the longer the Territory Balance is positive, and decreases when the Territory Balance is negative. This line gives an indication of the performance of a faction over the number of days that are summed. This gives rise to two metrics: the long term TD30 and the short term TD7, which are summed over 30 days and 7 days respectively.
Using the TD metric, you can see that the Orks performed extremely well in the first half of the month, peaked on 11 Dec, and was in decline until the 27th. Their overall TD of +4 indicates that while they performed very well at one point, they performed poorly for long enough to eat away at that lead almost entirely.