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
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?
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.
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.
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 !
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....
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.