14 Dec 2018

UK Ancients Competition Scene - year-end snapshot

With the festive period now closing in fast it's time to repeat my now-almost-as-traditional-as-sprouts snapshot summary of the state of play in the UK ancients competition scene.

The full analysis will again be out in a few months and cover to the year to April-ish (and will cover other rulesets before you all ask - this is just the 'big 6' most popular ancients sets) however but as of today the headlines are as follows:

Summary:

Total Player Numbers:


1.   ADLG (36% of total pool across all 6 rulesets)
2.   DBMM (18%)
3.= DBA  (13%)
3.= MeG (13%)
5.   FoGAM (12%)
6.   DBM (7%)

Net Change 2017-18

1. ADLG (+19)
2. MeG (+13)
3. DBMM (+4)
4. DBA (-)
5. DBM (-2)
6. FoGAM (-28)

New Competition Players for each system in 2018

1. ADLG (53, or 46 excluding overseas)
2. MeG (28, or 26 excluding overseas)
3. DBA (16)
4. FoGAM (11)
5. DBMM (11)
6. DBM (2)

Attrition Rate among prior competition attendees (compared to 2017)

1. FoGAM (39 / -44%)
2. DBA (16 / -31%)
3. MeG (15 / -29%)
4. ADLG (30 / -18%)
5. DBMM (14 / -13%)
6. DBM (4 / -10%)

Overall that means a net growth of 6 players year on year in 2018 - which is nice.

Worth noting also that 76% of UK Ancients competition players across the most popular 6 sets are now playing DBx-based rules systems - an impressive achievement for a certain Mr Barker and his ideas almost 30 years after the launch of DBA 1.0!

Ruleset Details

ADLG
ADLG remains the most widely played ruleset by some margin, with 180 players having taken part in at least 1 of the 31 (yes) ADLG events during the 2018 calendar year. 12 of the events were 3-round/1-day format events.

That number represents a net increase of +19 players on the 161 who played in a UK event in 2017, with a total of 53 new faces appearing in UK ADLG events for the first time in 2018. 7 of these came from overseas, the other 46 being new UK-based players to the system.  

30 UK-based players who took part in a UK ADLG event in 2017 failed to reappear in 2018 (18% attrition) with 10 more overseas-based players also not returning to these shores in 2018 (25% if overseas players are included).  

The most active player took part in 15 out of the 31 events which were staged, and the most active 21 players between them represented 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year

68 players took part in just one event, including 13 overseas players. Excluding these international visitors gives a figure of 31% of UK-based ADLG players only taking part in one event this year.

(There is a one-day ADLG event being held in Scotland on December 27th, which may nudge up the total player number by 1-2. It will almost certainly also reduce the 'only played once' figure, as 15 of the current pool of 55 "only once" players are based in Scotland).

DBMM
DBMM remains in clear second place in popularity, with overall numbers also showing growth in 2018 with 88 players taking part in at least 1 event during the calendar year - an increase of 4 from 2017's total.  

This increase included 11 new faces to the UK circuit, the biggest 1-year influx of new players DBMM has seen since 2011. 14 players from 2017 failed to show in 2018 (13% attrition), but with a handful of lapsed players also returning from previous years the net effect was to record a small increase of +4.

The most active player took part in 11 out of the 18 events which were staged, with the most active 10 players between them representing 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year. 8 of the 18 events held were 1-day format and 26 players only appear in the rankings as a result of their participation at these 1-day events, including the reduced-format DBMM100 competition.

33 players took part in just one event, including 7 overseas players. Excluding these visitors gives a figure of 29% of UK-based DBMM players only taking part in one event this year. 

DBA
DBA has been stable throughout the last year, with 65 players featuring at UK events held in 2018. This is dead level with the number of players who took part in at least 1 event during the previous calendar year of 2017.  

This overall stability masked a churn of 16 new players coming into the circuit and 4 returning after skipping 2017, offset by 20 who failed to reappear after 2017 - a 31% churn level.

Two players came close to a clean sweep, entering 12 out of the 13 events staged in the year, and  with the most active 8 players between them chipped in with 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year. 

18 players took part in just one event, representing 29% of the UK pool of DBA players. 

MeG
Now entering its 4th year of being played in the UK, total UK MeG player numbers have now drawn level with DBA on a total of 65, marginally outstripping FoGAM for the first time in the process.

65 represents a net increase of 13 players year on year for MeG, with 15 players of the 52 who took part in at least one MeG event in 2017 failing to reappear (29% attrition) and 28 new faces showing up for the first time at MeG events. Two of the new players were from overseas, half of the new faces only played in one event - but, impressively three of these brand new players dived headfirst into MeG and racked up an impressive 30 appearances between them in their first year of playing.

The most active single player took part in 13 out of the 16 events which were staged, and the most active 8 players made up 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year.

22 players took part in just one event, 2 of whom came from overseas, meaning that 31% of all UK-based MeG players only took part in one event this year.

FOGAM
With a new edition out in January, 2018 has been a year of some change for the UK FoGAM tournament scene with 61 people taking part in a UK-based event this year. 

This represents a net fall of 28 from the previous year, with 39 players dropping out of the AM circuit (44% attrition) and 11 new players entering events for the first time. Of the 11 new players, 6 came from the Wessex & Solent clubs and only appeared at events held by the Wessex club. 

The most active single player took part in 11 out of the 15 events which were staged, and the most active 8 players between them contributed 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year.

24 players took part in just one event, none of whom came from overseas. This represents 39% of UK FoGAM players only taking part in one event this year - the only set to deviate noticeably from the "31% play only once" norm in this respect. 

DBM
Numbers for DBM again pretty much managed to hold steady year on year, with 37 people taking part in the 9 UK events held in 2018 - a marginal reduction of 2 overall compared to 2017. This figure includes 2 new players debuting in 2018, offset by 4 non-returnees who represented a 10% attrition rate.  

The scene continues to be split into 2 circuits with some overlap. 29 players participated in the 6 events held in the West Country, with 11 of these players not venturing into Norfolk/Essex. 27 players appeared in Norfolk/Essex, with 9 of them not making a journey westwards to roll dice this year.   

The most active DBM player took part in every single event held, with two more making all bar one competition this year. The 4 most active players contributed 1 in 3 of all competition entrants across the year. offset by a dozen players (33% of the total pool) who only took part in one event this year.



(Whilst some players appear in the stats twice this is discounted for the analysis as its reasonable to assume the numbers of multi-ruleset players are kinda similar to last year. And it's too much work to de-dupe them by name as well )

(I've also dropped Swordpoint from this abbreviated listing this year, as there only appear to have been 5 events held last year, with at most a dozen players attending each, down from around 17 per event in 2017) 


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