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"Northern League - 2016 Review " Topic


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vexillia Inactive Member22 Feb 2017 6:10 a.m. PST

New blog post:

Doesn't time fly? Is it time to review the state of the Northern League, the competition scene in the North of England, once again? It appears so. This year the review is a touch late as the data's only just been released.

In 2016 the trend of steadily declining numbers continued. In last year's review I expressed the hope that the missing FOG AM players would return and the League would spring back to life.

Read more …

--
Martin Stephenson
The Waving Flag | Twitter | eBay

Supercilius Maximus23 Feb 2017 12:57 a.m. PST

Interesting that FoGR is disappearing from the NL in 2017 – and being replaced by an Ancient?Medieval set? There have been declining numbers at all national/regional FoGR events, and a couple of recent 15mm contests have been cancelled (in favour of 25mm FoGR, to be fair) for lack of participants. In my estimation, numbers have dropped by 1/3 to 1/2 over the past two years.

That said, the FoGR Southern League is still going – despite having dwindled to only one round in 2015. We have an ECW round at Oxford on 30th April, a "Way of the Warrior" (non-European) round at Leighton Buzzard on 11th June, an Italian Wars round at Southampton on 24th September, and a fourth round (either TYW or 1680-1690) being considered for later in the year at Ilford. Given that Northern League numbers have held steady at 9-10 players per event over the past few years, I am surprised at the move to ADLG (which doesn't even cover the Renaissance).

madaxeman23 Feb 2017 7:02 a.m. PST

The best way to track the numbers of players is to look in the archived rankings on the bhgs website. For FoGR I'm pretty sure the rankings capture attendance at every event held in the UK in recent years.

bhgs.org.uk/rankings.html

Currently the rankings show 90 players taking part in at least one event in the last 12 months, back at the tail end of 2014 numbers crept up to the heady heights of 126 players.

There are currently 93 players in the ADLG rankings, up from 52 when these rankings started in 2015.

In the same sort of time period FoGAM has gone from 168 players in early 2015 to 110 today.

DBMM – from whats published on the MM ranking site – was at 79 in 2015, and is on 71 in the current year to date – although I'm not sure if all events are captured there.

Bangorstu23 Feb 2017 10:36 a.m. PST

I have to say that if you want to boost participation, you need to advertise it a lot better.

I'm within striking distance of Manchester yet have no idea when anything is on. anything I google is inevitably years out of date.

Improved communication with the outside world would have given you another two FoG:R players.

Too late now of course.

Bangorstu23 Feb 2017 11:38 a.m. PST

Yep, just googled again.

Nothing about 2017 Northern League up on the internet that I can see.

Given we're only three weeks away from the first round, I'm not surprised you're not getting many players.

Or is my Google-fu sadly lacking?

vexillia Inactive Member23 Feb 2017 3:28 p.m. PST

@Bangorstu

Firstly, I am not responsible for organising the League. Secondly, I agree with you the communication is awful. Finally, there is a Yahoo group which is how I found out what little I know and published.

@madaxeman

I'm not sure about the BHGS data being the "best way". It's just another way of looking at things.

The League data has the advantage of being a consistent (as much a such things are possible) time series. It looks at the average attendance per round as opposed to how many people played in at least one BHGS event. I suppose it's more a measure of commitment.

Also, I'm curious to know why you compared 2014 vs 2016 for FOG R and 2015 vs 2016 for the other rule sets? As it turns out your BHGS data for FOGR tells a different story: the League attendance has been essentially stable since 2013 whereas the BHGS figures quote show a decline.

--
Martin Stephenson
The Waving Flag | Twitter | eBay

madaxeman23 Feb 2017 6:45 p.m. PST

- "best" was an answer to the second poster who suggested a 1/3-1/2 decline in numbers across all events. The bhgs rankings essentially capture attendance at "all" UK events so it's as close to a definitive answer as you can get.

I used the end of year 2014 numbers for FoGR as then there was a hiatus until August in producing updated rankings. The other rankings for "2015" were from early 2015, so capture a similar 12-month timeframe to the end of 2014 FoGR ones

vexillia Inactive Member24 Feb 2017 2:55 a.m. PST

I knew there'd be a reason, Tim.

As you say use of the BHGS rankings gives one national overview based on the competitions reported to the BHGS. However, care is required as the numbers are affected by changes in: the number of events reported, the competition format (leagues changing to one off events, more or less spaces etc) and the availability of competitions (new events & cancellations).

In these circumstances ascribing cause & effect to annual variations becomes difficult. For example "popularity" may appear to fall simply because in one year, two events clashed and a few local players didn't attend their only BHGS competition that year due to its cancellation.

Quantifying the national situation is a great step forward but figuring out why things have changed is much harder as there are so many factors in play.

What the BHGS rankings don't do is measure commitment. If I understand correctly you've counted and compared all those players with a ranking at two fixed points in time. This weights a player attending one competition the same as someone who attends ten or more events. With the League data attendance at one round adds 0.2 to the average whereas attendance for all rounds adds 1.0 so the reported average favours regular players.

Isn't data analysis fun? ;-)

--
Martin Stephenson
The Waving Flag | Twitter | eBay

madaxeman24 Feb 2017 4:13 a.m. PST

- Steve & Dave have been very diligent in collecting results, so I don't think more than one or two events max in any year are missed out of the AM or R FoG rankings. For ADLG I have captured all of them so far :-), but MM I am less certain of.

- The R, AM and ADLG rankings cover a significant number of events (20+ in some cases/years), and player geography means that its entirely possible to have 2 well-supported events on the same weekend at other ends of the country. Burton FOGAM had 26 (?) last weekend, and there is a different event in Winchester this weekend with over 20 entirely different players, so I don't see odd date clashes as being a particular issue for this large a dataset. It might be more significant for the smaller pool at the Northern League, as a wedding or stag do could equally take a big proportion of players out one year from one event!

- I'd suggest 'number of events held' is also related to the popularity of any given ruleset in any given year, so if that acts as a multiplier on player numbers that's arguably an even more valid measure.

- It's possible to extract numbers of events entered and use that as another measure, but having done that it usually shows similar trends to the absolute number of players across all rulesets. The only real difference is that when a set starts to decline the number of 'played one event' players tends to fall off at a slightly faster rate to the overall number of games played.

Bangorstu24 Feb 2017 4:48 a.m. PST

Martin – sorry, you post so much about the Northern League I assumed you had something to do with it!

Mind, you they're far from the only ones.

Supercilius Maximus24 Feb 2017 5:44 a.m. PST

- "best" was an answer to the second poster who suggested a 1/3-1/2 decline in numbers across all events.

Here are the figures for the major tournaments since 2013, in roughly chronological order; you can see how the numbers are dropping since 2014……

Event name [type] 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017

Godendag [doubles] – 20 . 26 . 28 . 14 . 10
BADCON [doubles] – 12 . 18 . 22 . 20 . 16
Campaign [teams of 3] – 06 . 06 . 06 . 06 . ??
Roll Call [15mm] – 15 . 12 . 12 . 10 . (canc'd – 1 entry)
Roll Call (25mm) – -- . -- . 08 . 10 . ??
Oxford (Southern L) -- . 28 . 22 . 20 . ??
BHGS Challenge – 12 . 20 . 18 . 10 . ??
Attack [doubles] – 12 . 06 . 10 . 08 . ??
Britcon – 24 . 24 . 23 . 18 . ??
Derby Worlds [teams of 3] 10 . 08 . 08 . 08 . ??
BHGS Doubles – n/a . 12 . 08 . cancelled (only 2 teams) . ??
Warfare – 28 . 26. 24 . 20 . ??

vexillia Inactive Member24 Feb 2017 6:06 a.m. PST

@Bangorstu

Martin sorry, you post so much about the Northern League I assumed you had something to do with it!

Not a problem.

I've kept the reviews going as I have a semi-automated spreadsheet that means the number crunching only takes me 10 minutes once a year.

Plus I keep in touch because I hope to re-join at some point.

--
Martin Stephenson
The Waving Flag | Twitter | eBay

vexillia Inactive Member24 Feb 2017 6:15 a.m. PST

@madaxeman

I'd suggest 'number of events held' is also related to the popularity of any given ruleset in any given year …

But you didn't quote those numbers.

so if that acts as a multiplier on player numbers that's arguably an even more valid measure.

It certainly increases the opportunity / possibility of someone attending at least one event (so is an indirect factor) but your simple count of those who played one or more ranking events doesn't include a multiplier of any sort.

Now the data from Supercilius Maximus contains some clear trends.

--
Martin Stephenson
The Waving Flag | Twitter | eBay

vexillia Inactive Member24 Feb 2017 6:17 a.m. PST

@ Supercilius Maximus

This a test to see if I can present the data better:

Event        Type           2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017
====
Godendag [Doubles] 20 26 28 14 10
BADCON [Doubles] 12 18 22 20 16
Campaign [Teams of 3] 06 06 06 06 ??
Roll Call [15mm] 15 12 12 10 X
Roll Call [25mm] -- -- 08 10 ??
Oxford [Southern L] -- 28 22 20 ??
BHGS Challenge 12 20 18 10 ??
Attack [Doubles] 12 06 10 08 ??
Britcon 24 24 23 18 ??
Derby Worlds [Teams of 3] 10 08 08 08 ??
BHGS Doubles -- 12 08 X ??
Warfare 28 26 24 20 ??

X = cancelled as not enough teams.

--
Martin Stephenson
The Waving Flag | Twitter | eBay

Supercilius Maximus24 Feb 2017 10:28 a.m. PST

Well done – much better than my effort!

madaxeman24 Feb 2017 11:04 a.m. PST

Nice formatting!

Although, in the end this is still probably somewhat of a "no sh-t Sherlock!" analysis, however you look at it. A story that goes "Wargames ruleset grows in popularity for a while after release, but several years later is no longer as widely played as it was a few years before" is hardly surprising.

The important thing is that there are still almost 100 people who've played at least one FoGR event in the past year, and there are still people organising and promoting new events too. With that in mind, and listening to folks I know who play FoGR, myself included, it's more likely to be a bit of fatigue and a bit of something else shiny to distract the, happening here, rather than anything else more fundamental in terms of a falling out of love with FoGR that's leading to the gradual tailing off of numbers at events imo

Supercilius Maximus25 Feb 2017 3:28 a.m. PST

Although, in the end this is still probably somewhat of a "no sh-t Sherlock!" analysis, however you look at it. A story that goes "Wargames ruleset grows in popularity for a while after release, but several years later is no longer as widely played as it was a few years before" is hardly surprising.

Thank heavens for that! I thought it was the result of me joining the FoGR circuit…..

Vespasian2825 Feb 2017 3:27 p.m. PST

Thank heavens for that! I thought it was the result of me joining the FoGR circuit…..

That should have seen an increase in numbers clamouring for a game with you and your "lucky" dice to increase their ranking!

Supercilius Maximus26 Feb 2017 7:53 a.m. PST

Yes, but then they realised they can only play me once in each competition……

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