Sunday, 25 March 2018

A Statisitcal Reckoning for "The Ocho" DRAFT

Here-Ye, Here-Ye, It is time to call the annual convocation os Mathamagical Statistics to order. All of you are fortunate to be called to witness the quantitative beauty that is the Statistical Wrap Up for Challenge VIII - "The OCHO!"

A word of caution before we delve into the under world of mathamagics - you enter at your own risk, as clearly stated in the terms of use for the Challenge (Thank you Google!).  Your brains are about to be exercised in ways they may not be ready for.  If you sense a Chuthulu like madness descending upon yourself you must act quickly or face doom.  The best defense once beset by mathamagical madness syndrome (MMS) is to quickly rest ones eyes upon one of the graphs spread liberally through out this missive.  Obviously, graphics are meant as mental "safe places" for the quantitatively frail and are now required due to revisions to the ADA regulations.  Those of us who are "Alpha-Quants" will be responsible for shepherding our "New Math" brethren to a safe harbor.  You have been warned.

Are we ready to descend into the Stats dungeon like a proper dungeon party?  Lets us go forward into the statistical night armed with slide rules and hand calculators.  What wonders await us in the mathamagical depths of the OCHO.

Lets find out.

First of all a high level comparison between VIII and VII

The OCHO Summary
Total Points78,03883,200
Avg per Participant1,027867
Avg per Submission10191

While total points are down a tad, that's due to 20 less participants making submissions.  If viewed on a relative basis the average points per participant was significant higher at 1,027 vs 867 last year.  That's a major increase in productivity!  We also saw one of the longest standing records for a challenge fall in a dramatic way but more on that later....

First a look at how Challenge 8 compares to it's 7 predecessors - quite favorably if you ask my opinion especially when one takes into account the percentage dip in participants (-21%) was far greater than the actual decline in total points (-6%).  As a group we tried admirably to take up the slack.

28mm remained, by far, the preferred scale of our pigmenting protagonists in this year's winter passion play.  There was a decline in 15mm production from the historic highs of Challenge VII.

The new Terrain category didn't really move the needle that much also as only a total of 2,740 points was awarded for terrain submissions this year.  In the past challenge we did have a terrain themed bonus round that that generated a total of 845 points (excluding the theme round bound points) so really only a 1,900 point increase in total terrain points.  Still I really liked the inclusion of terrain and hope it stays as a permanent category going forward.

One are that did see an material change during Challenge 8 was the concentration of points in the upper end of the point generators.  In part I think it can be due to Kent's amazing productivity but he was not alone.  Maybe the painting world mirrors the real life Trumpian one where tax savings and painting totals accrue more to the upper end - who knows how these crazy economics work?

Percent of Total PointsIVVVIVIIVIII
Top 525%26%20%22%29%
Top 1041%42%33%35%44%
Top 2062%63%56%53%62%

And just because I can (the concept of "should" never entered my mind) lets take a look at the pace of submissions and their size over time.

ooooo  - look at all the pretty dots

And how does this daily look compare to last year - glad you asked 'cause here it is:  The only real difference his there were a lot more "mega days" during 8.  Also the end of challenge rush was a bit more muted than last year.  Still it's a lot of pretty red and blue dots so that's got to mean something.

Lets leave the snowflake world of graphics and look and lean and hard data tables - the kind your grandfather used to memorize while walking uphill to and from school in howling snowstorms during the summer.

Weeks Completed24791113
Weeks Remaining1196520
Participants w/ a Submission526776767676
Total Submissions118238420531633770
Total Points7,18418,71636,56248,55259,55378,038
Participation Rate65%84%100%100%100%100%
Average per Submitter1382794816397841,027
Avg per Submission6179879194101
Submitter % of Target Completed15%41%59%79%97%127%
Projected Points
Remaining Bouns Rounds7,5009,0003,500000
Non Submitters (Discounted)6,7691,0900000
Projected Total Points60,96570,91771,40179,04581,09778,038
Figures Painted
Cav / Art47128300432476678
Cav / Art1625184209259598
Cav / Art225256116116133
Score Distribution
Bonus Round "Bonus Points"0%12%16%16%16%12%
Other Scales15%10%8%9%10%10%

ChallengeChallenge+/- Var+/- Var
Weeks Completed1313
Weeks Remaining00
Participants w/ a Submission7696-20-21%
Total Submissions770919-149-16%
Total Points78,03883,200-5,162-6%
Participation Rate100%100%0%
Average per Submitter1,02786716018%
Avg per Submission101911112%
Submitter % of Target Completed127%132%-4.77%-4%
Projected Points
Remaining Bouns RoundsN/AN/AN/AN/A
Non Submitters @ 50%N/AN/AN/AN/A
Projected Total PointsN/AN/AN/AN/A
Figures Painted
Cav / Art678719-41-6%
Cav / Art598817-219-27%
Cav / Art133195-62-32%
Score Distribution
Bonus Round "Bonus Points"12%12%0.11%
Other Scales10%8%1.49%

Economic Value Add
One of my favorite parts of this post is estimating the economic impact that Challenge has on the miniatures industry.  I'm using our standard estimating methodology which consists of:

1) Equating the total points produced into an equivalent number of 28mm infantry figures - this is done by dividing the total score by 5, since we award 5 points per figure.

2) I then break down the cost of submitting a figure by estimating unit costs for (i) the cost of the mini and base, (ii) the cost of paints, glue and other supplies and finally (iii) an estimate of the value of labor form painting time.  I've raised the unit charges for both Paints, etc and Painting Time to reflect the inclusion of terrain as a category and the fact that most of our economies are entering a period of sustained rising rates - which will drive some form of cost inflation.

The base value add is then the product of multiplying the unit costs times the equivalent number of 28mm figures - in this case $16.00 times 15,608, which equals $249,722

but we're not done....

3) The last step is to factor in velocity of spending.  It is a scientific fact that when miniature painters replace a figure, we don't simply do so on a one for one basis.  No, the heresy of "paint one / buy one" hasn't infected out happy society.  In fact we are much more likely to replace a painted figure with a number of new and shiny unpainted figures.  In truth, there are likely some scientific studies that have estimated this replacement velocity at 4 - for every one figure painted, one buys 4.  Personally, I find that number very conservative but lets go with the sake of science.

Using the "4" velocity factor and the base EVA of $249,722 , one gets a total economic impact of just under $1MM bucks.  A tidy little sum, indeed.

Ecomonic Value Add (EVA)
Total Points78,038
Equivalent 28mm Inf Minis15,608Economic
Value Add
Cost per Mini$2.50$39,019
Painte etc$2.50$39,019
Painting TIme$11.00$171,684
Sub Total$249,722

Even more impressive is the the lifetime total of EVA for the Challenge is approaching $4MM dollars.  I think we can get that value past $5MM by the end of Challenge !

EVA TrendlineLifetime
Total Points2,24530,56542,07959,93565,10564,69083,20078,038425,857
Equivalent 28mm figures4496,1138,41611,98713,02112,93816,64015,60885,172
Economic Value Created (000's)$14.2$193.5$266.4$379.4$500.0$569.3$898.6$998.9$3,820.2

Hall of Heroes:

It's now time to take a trip to the Hall of Heroes, where we can gave upon the visages of our painting champions as they bask in the sun.  Word to the wise - knock before you enter.  Ray's become obsessed with avoiding tan lines and well umm some things just can't be unseen.  I think he's watching to much of "Keeping Up with the Kardassians".  Anyway, through challenge 8 there have been a total of 471 entrants, with many people participating multiple times.

First, I'm very happy to announce that the exclusive "10,000 Club" is welcoming two new members this year as both Martin C and Kent G have amassed more than 10,000 lifetime Challenge posts.  They will soon be joining DaveD, Tamsin, RayR and yours truly in our swanky walnut paneled painting room.  Gentlemen, your club painting jackets should arrive in the mail any day now.  Please remember to wear them at all club functions.  Please don't listen to anything Ray might say about club attire protocols and pants are definitely required.  Oh, one last thing, - any rumors you might hear about club funds being inappropriately diverted to building a "20,000 club annex" are greatly exaggerated....

RankNameLieftime Points# of Challenges

Perhaps the most astonishing accomplishment of this year's challenge is the setting of a new individual challenge painting total - KentG managed to paint an astonishing 5,343 points which eclipsed the previous mark held by Ray since Challenge 2.  I'm gobsmacked by Kent's productivity and amazing quality.  Hat's off to Kent!

Challenge 8 was also remarkable as it set 5 of the top 15 lifetime scores - a most productive Challenge if ever there was one.


Well there you have - the story of the Challenge in Stats.

I think some thanks are in order:

Curt: Thanks again for organizing this madness and letting it take over your winter months up there in Canadia-Land

Sarah: Thanks for putting up with this silliness

My fellow Minioneers: Thanks for surviving yet another encounter with the spreadsheet of doom.  I'm thinking of redesigning the thing from scratch next year so we can make all sorts of new mistakes together.

My Fellow Challengers: Thanks for a wonderful 3 months and a reminder that this hobby is filled with great people and fellowship.

Now it's time for us all to emerge from the basement and figure out what that round yellow thing in the sky is.


  1. I think you'll find that the only known reliable protection against MMS is MDMA (Mathemagical Defence Mutation of Actuaries) . Sadly, it is a gene mutation that occurs before conception and leads the "muties" to become actuaries.

    I'm somewhat surprised, having not participated this time, to still be ranked 6 in the Hall of Heroes given the incredible outputs of some of the returning Challengers this year.

    1. You were missed, but your spot in the Hall will always be yours. I just take points away from Millsy - he never checks the spreadsheet

  2. As always I find myself somewhat stunned having read one of these. I'm not sure if it's raw statistical overload or your carefree application of the English language Miles - either way I'm off for a quiet lie down in a dark room. Thanks once again. I think.

    1. I refuse to be bound by your fascist grammar rules and tyrannical spelling conventions

      Fight the Power

    2. You missed a period at the end of that sentence.

  3. Awesome work Miles! I always look forward to the OCHO and while your stats roundups never fail to hurt my head, I still love 'em.

    I do have a discrepancy to point out: On the Lifetime Score chart on the main spreadsheet you have me listed at having participated in 6 Challenges which I'd like to challenge for obvious reasons. I suggest you give me 5000 points for the two 'missing' Challenges and we'll call it square. :)

    1. Now calm yourself down there Mr C. It's all fixed now and you show up with 8 and 6,354 points. Still, ummm, a way away from the "Hall Of Heroes" but we'll still wave to you through the windows.


    2. Bruised ego salved. ;) Thanks Miles! I think this was my highest scoring Challenge to date - I'm pretty chuffed with that. (Tucks thumbs into suspenders and happily toddles off.)

  4. Great work Miles! Just wish I understood it all. I'm with Millsy a dark room is calling!

  5. Amazed how much info you can extract from the numbers

  6. I take a very large jacket size, although rapidly diminishing. Oh the joy of data mining, Facebook will be looking to employ you now. 1st class effort on this, Miles'homework continues to improve every year.

  7. "the heresy of "paint one / buy one" hasn't infected our happy society" ... love that sentence. Long may it reign.

  8. Iteresting data I always love reading this stuff but please delete the part about economic impact befor my wife has a chance to read this.

  9. "a sliderule and a calculator" how appropriately analogue!
    Best Iain

  10. Just a quick thought - have you determined this year's GIMP, or is that a unique title reserved for Millsy?

    1. I think that’s just a given

    2. Technically the original definition of the GIMP award is Greatest Improvement in Miniature Painting and if we were to be hide bound and stick with tradition the award should go to KentG and hist astounding productivity this year. Then again that just doesn't feel right so I've hire a constitutional law firm to research the precedents so we can make the correct awarding - your thoughts are welcome...

    3. seconded, but with the addition that Millsy will receive a life-long Honorary GIMP-title.

    4. Miles , I suspect Millsy won't give it back!

  11. Cheers Miles, for letting me relive all those Tuesday night traumas... That Spreadsheet truly is a work of art!

  12. Miles I love these things, awesome work. I still think that the numbers are low though. Hell, even the wife thinks the numbers are low... She looked at it and said "So, he's saying that each of you spend about $13000 a year on your hobby? BULLSHIT!!!" She claims the number should be at least tripled. She also claims that on top of the amount for figures you should be claiming in economic growth for the almost equal amount we spend on terrain, tables, mats, etc, etc... And said, didn't we move and spend big money on a new house just so you could have more gaming space? surely all that should be factored in, every gamer spends at least $100,000 more on a house to have big enough gaming / storage space than they would have if they were not gamers.

    1. Your wife is a wise women but some truths are best left unseen by the world. If the true economic impact of the Challenge was revealed, then the government would feel compelled to attempt to regulate it. Productivity would be severely impacted and only chaos will reign.

    2. Lol, yeah I am lucky she is understanding, or chaos would reign around this household!