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"UK Ancients competition scene : 2019 player stats" Topic

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madaxeman21 Dec 2019 4:15 a.m. PST

With the dammed election noise and nonsense now over (for some of us…) the really interesting surveys and polls are now able to be released, including my now-almost-as-traditional-as-sprouts snapshot summary of how widely played the leading basket of rulesets each are amongst UK Ancients competition players right now.

These December stats only cover the UK "player universe" numbers for competition players across the 7 most popular Ancients mass-battle rulesets. The data is drawn from competition results that I've found published online – so if I wasn't able to find it, it's not included.

The measurement period is all events held in the UK in the last 12 months – or, more catchily, the 2019 calendar year. The only exception is the very last event I'm aware of, the Tradeston club's traditional post-Christmas 1-day ADLG competition. I've included the 2018 edition in the 2019 numbers basically so I can get this out before Christmas and forget about the blog for a bit over the festive break!

The more detailed annual analysis will again be out in a few months, but as of today the headlines for how many people have played what at competitions in the last 12 months are as follows:

Total Player Numbers (UK based players / UK+Overseas players):

1. ADLG 189 / 210
2. DBMM 73 / 84
3. DBA 67 / 68
4. TTS! 64 / 66
5. MeG 61 / 71
6. FoGAM 48 / 48
7. DBM 43 / 45

In summary as 2019 draws to a close these 7 popular Ancients rulesets have attracted 549 UK-based players and a further 42 international visitors to make 591 different players in total taking part in a UK Ancients competition in the last 12 months.

That total is almost 100 up on the prior year count of 496 (although the addition of TTS! to these numbers does accounts for two thirds of this increase alone).

That also still represents an 80% share across the 7 most popular UK Ancients competition rulesets for the "Barkeresque" concept of one unit = one base, although to be fair TTS! isn't really a DBx derived set in the same way that DBM, DBA, DBMM and ADLG all are.

So, numbers on the up, international visitors on the up, but even so the near-30-year-old DBx engine is still going strong as 2020 hoves into view!

The more comprehensive version of this, with additional stats on things like rate of player churn is available ono my blog at: link

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Dec 2019 5:45 a.m. PST

Thanks for doing this Tim.
Actual statistics make really good discussion.

thanks again


Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Dec 2019 6:45 a.m. PST

Thanks Tim, interesting stuff! Great to see the numbers of ancients gamers going up; we'll see if we can bring some more in, in 2020.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2019 2:10 p.m. PST

Thanks for doing this. Very interesting. Even all these year latter, Phil Barker is second in the pack with /197.

madaxeman23 Dec 2019 2:36 a.m. PST

Indeed. And very hard not to argue that ADLG shares so much DNA with DBx that it should / could be legitimately counted amongst his progeny as well..

Squash at home23 Dec 2019 10:58 a.m. PST

You'll have to humour some of us who don't play ancients as much as we would like to and tell us what all the acronyms mean.

blank frank23 Dec 2019 11:20 a.m. PST

Another interesting measure as to ancient rule set usage is the annual Society of Ancients battle day. Here a historical battle is selected and the aim is to reproduce it using as many different sets of rules as possible. The aim here is of course trying to reproduce historical accuracy and gain an understanding of the battle.

Next years battle is Bosworth

A Lot of Gaul23 Dec 2019 1:32 p.m. PST

ADLG = L'Art de la Guerre
DBA = De Bellis Antiquitatis
DBM = De Bellis Multitudinis
DBMM = De Bellum Magistrorum Militum
FogAM = Field of Glory: Ancient & Medieval
MeG = Mortem et Gloriam
TtS! = To the Strongest!

There are several other popular ancients rule sets currently being played, but those are apparently the most popular ones for tournament competitions in the UK.

Empgamer24 Dec 2019 3:14 a.m. PST

Interesting. Do any of the competitions that the stats are taken from limit the numbers of tables available to games based on their perceived popularity or competition bias? That would skew the results somewhat if there were considerably more people that wanted to play than there were tables for.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Dec 2019 3:50 a.m. PST

From my recent experience (as a latecomer to the competition scene) there isn't a practical restriction on the number of tables. There is some restriction of availability of events- for instance, I've not got around to organising any TtS! events in the Midlands or North of England, yet.

Personal logo oldbob Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2019 9:25 a.m. PST

BRB; you lazy fellow, you haven't organize anything in Portland Oregon yet either.

Empgamer24 Dec 2019 4:12 p.m. PST

@Big Red Bat. Thanks, I thought so. Pal of mine just commented that maybe that's why ADLG is so dominant (e.g. people want to play DBx but can't). I didn't think that was the case, just seems ADLG is current 'flavour of the month' (year).

madaxeman25 Dec 2019 12:37 p.m. PST

There are only 2 events in the year where there are venue-capacity-driven limits on tables to the best of my knowledge, and at both of those events the restrictions apply evenhandedly across all periods and rulesets.

Given these stats only measure the total number of different people who play at one or more events in a full 12 month period it's also vanishingly unlikely that the figures here are affected at all, never mind to a meaningful degree by the venue capacities of 2 out of (as many as) 35 events per year.

You'd need a player who wants to play a certain rule set but can only make these two specific weekends when the only two venue capacity limited events take place and also who wasn't then quick enough to book one of the allotted places for the ruleset they wanted to play before they sold out up to their capacity, and then also failed to make it via the wait lists that both events maintain and run as well for it to make any difference at all to these numbers.

Empgamer31 Aug 2020 4:43 a.m. PST

Interesting Tim, cheers.

Bob Runnicles01 Sep 2020 11:21 a.m. PST

I'm surprised to not see any flavor of Impetus in that list…not well suited to tournament play?

madaxeman04 Sep 2020 1:14 p.m. PST

The Impetus competition scene in the UK looks to be tiny, based on how many events were promoted on the official Impetus forum.

The forum has mentioned only maybe 1-2 events a year for the last few years at best.

Marcus Brutus06 Sep 2020 9:08 a.m. PST

The shift to the 2nd edition seems to have tanked Impetus tournaments.

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