Warboats 2021 TA community event round-up and data analysis

By Luke Albigés,
The Warboats 2021 TA community event came to a close recently, and hostilities with the naval forces of unknown origin have ceased once more. The challenge proved to be quite the hit, with nearly 3,500 TA members taking part, unlocking thousands of achievements as they attempted to sink five ships randomly placed on a 64-tile grid. How did everyone get on? Let's find out!

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A total of 3,445 players signed up for this returning event, of which a surprising 653 would-be gunners didn't even fire a single shot. With the 64 achievements that make up a Warboats grid being randomised based on your own game collection, setting up the pool of games that would be drawn from to generate your personal board was a crucial first step. We'd imagine a fair few of those pacifists made the mistake of over-eagerly launching into the event, only to find themselves confronted with a card full of achievements from games they no longer own or play. Which, of course, would make going to war against the boats somewhat challenging.

Among those 2,792 players that fired at least one shot, only 42.3% (1,181 to be precise) managed to sink at least one ship and claim their event badge. Only 5% of all entrants (188) were able to scuttle the entire fleet of five vessels. The 940 ships collectively sunk by those merciless achievement-flingers who left no ship seaworthy actually accounted for a pretty significant 41.2% of all boats destroyed during the event, with a total of 2,281 ships destroyed. This translates to a mean average of 0.66 boats sunk per participant, rising to 0.82 if you only include active players, and even more to 1.93 counting only players who managed to sink at least one ship.

Surprisingly, the tiny two-tile Destroyer — which you might expect to be the hardest to find, as it's the smallest boat in the fleet — was the ship that got sunk the most. A grand total of 530 of these little nuisances were sent to the deep, which is over 100 more than the least-sunk vessel, the four-tile Battleship.

Achievements unlocked

A whopping 41,878 achievements were launched into the sea during the event, and almost exactly a third of these (13,802) managed to find their mark and score a hit on a boat. That equates to an average of 15 shots fired per active player, which isn't even enough to clear a board — you'd be two shots shy of being able to wipe out all five boats, and that would be without missing even once, the odds of which are just... well, we'll get to that shortly. Just under 20,000 distinct achievements were unlocked during Warboats 2021, the most common of which was Full Throttle Remastered's Ring Pull. This early story achievement from the vintage point-and-click adventure was hurled at the ocean a total of 41 times, and not always to great effect.

In fact, Ring Pull accounted for more missed shots than any other individual achievement, with 29 of those 41 unlocks ending up in the drink. Full Throttle Remastered looks like it may have been a prominent cause for disappointment in this event, actually — of the 20 achievements that most frequently resulted in missed shots, half were from the revamped version of the LucasArts classic, compared to just three Full Throttle achievements appearing in the top 20 achievements that found their mark. There, we see Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's A Long Time Ago story achievement as the most common confirmed hit, with a total of 14 players turning off their tracking computers and using the Force to seek out their hidden targets.

Full Throttle Remastered also has the honour of being the game that accounted for the most achievements of the entire event, just edging out its LucasArts stablemate, Day of the Tentacle Remastered. Each saw well over 600 achievement unlocks launched seawards in the hope of landing a hit, which is more than twice as many as from any other game, with the exception of third-place finisher, Halo: The Master Chief Collection. At the other end of the chart, we find 739 games that accounted for just a single shot during Warboats 2021, including such classics as Sneak King, Rogue Warrior, X-Blades, and Naughty Bear, as well as its follow-up, Panic in Paradise.

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Some of you maniacs weren't content to simply wipe out the five hidden boats, and took it upon yourselves to declare war on the entire sea. 14 dedicated players managed to land shots in all 64 segments of their grids to clear the entire board, while well over 400 participants managed to wipe out at least half of the grid. Some fired more accurately than others, of course, and some perhaps a little too accurately.

One user managed to clear all five ships in 17 consecutive hits for a perfect game, the odds of which are a staggering 1 in 1.38 quadrillion, assuming random shot placement simply because factoring in any kind of strategy to that calculation would make it absurdly complex — a similar study of the same odds in a traditional game of Battleships on a 10x10 grid brought the adjusted odds down by a factor of 11 trillion using an intricate formula for incorporating the strategic element of the game. This took the odds from 1 in 6.65 quintillion to just roughly 1 in 600 million, so it's likely our own version would also end up with a perfect game being a several-million-to-one shot if we were smart enough to apply similar adjustments. All of that is sort of moot anyway, as we understand this wasn't a hope-you-bought-a-lottery-ticket-tier fluke, rather the result of a brief glitch at the start of the event which allowed some users to see where their ships were. Oops.

Taking that one account out of the running, zeroblade83 was our most accurate boat wrecker, with just eight misses before wiping out all five ships resulting in an impressive 68% accuracy rate. At the other end of the spectrum, our unluckiest entrant was xTheDris1nx, who managed to fire 24 missed shots in a row (more than half of the unoccupied tiles on the grid, and even more impressive considering 17 misses had already been fired before that fail combo began) with three vessels still remaining on the board. All of those wayward shots weren't in vain, however, as xTheDris1nx would go on to be one of those 14 players with all 64 tiles blasted, sinking their last ship with their final two shots to do so.


Since you asked so nicely, here are a few more random facts to close out on. Enjoy!
  • 23 players missed out on destroying their last boat by just a single hit. mapphew and Pursuit of Loot were the only two players to do so while recording more hits than misses, while eohjay chalked up most misses in the process, with only six tiles remaining on the board.
  • Of those close-but-no-cigar efforts, it was the three-tile Submarine that tripped up the most players.
  • Two players — wildwest08 and HoHe69 — managed to get all five ships and leave just a single empty tile on their boards. HoHe69 scored the last hit with just three possible tiles left, but then only managed to grab one of the two remaining Horizon Chase Turbo achievements before the event ended. Similarly, wildwest08 couldn't find winning hits until the 62nd and 63rd shots using Meet the Robinsons, which also accounted for that final blank space. And to be fair, we wouldn't want to play that garbage any more than we had to, either...
  • 54 games were used to fire more than 100 shots across all players. Only ten games accounted for more than 200 shots.
  • A9XD fired off the most shots without a single hit, with 15 misses and zero hits meaning they somehow cleared almost a quarter of the board without so much as a glimpse of a boat. Intercepted intel suggests they might be an enemy agent who was intentionally missing their own fleet, so be on your guard.
  • Bonus points to rekikire for blessing the Warboats 2021 discussion thread with the best explanation of cricket of all time.
  • Only six distinct achievements were hits for ten or more players, with just over 100 being hits for five or more people. All six of those most successful achievements were, perhaps unsurprisingly, from Game Pass titles.
Thanks once again to everyone who took part in (and helped develop, organise, and run) this fantastic event, and congrats to everyone who successfully managed to sink the entire fleet! If you enjoyed this one, the events team is busy cooking up something somewhat similar for later in the year, so keep your eyes peeled for news on that in the coming weeks and months...
Luke Albigés
Written by Luke Albigés
Luke runs the TA news team, contributing where he can primarily with reviews and other long-form features — crafts he has honed across two decades of print and online gaming media experience, having worked with the likes of gamesTM, Eurogamer, Play, Retro Gamer, Edge, and many more. He loves all things Monster Hunter, enjoys a good D&D session, and has played way too much Destiny.