Between 29th July and 15 August 2009 I ran an online survey to look at players’ attitudes to DBMM after two and a half years of playing version 1.0 and to establish a benchmark prior to the release of version 1.1 later this year.
- Basic findings
- The rule book
- Playing the game
- Wishes – not yet sure if this will be need a separate post.
Six questions in the survey were designed to create a picture of the overall health of DBMM:
Overall rating - 72.6% respondents rated DBMM as either good or excellent with an average score of 2.27 ± 1.21 (1 is excellent, 3 neutral and 5 poor).As with all surveys generalising is fraught with difficulties but it’s also great fun.
Residence – Players from 17 country took part with the UK, Australia and the USA accounting for nearly 70% of the replies – full breakdown. The UK provided the biggest group of respondents (59 of 128).
Why play DBMM – The two main reasons given were enjoyment (80.4% agreed or strongly agreed) and that players used to play DBM (60%). Surprisingly speed of play (47%) came in fourth (just) behind my friends play (48%).
How often – 41% of respondents had played a maximum of one game a month in the last year. 23% had played a maximum of once a fortnight.
Favourite period – Book 2 (Classical period) is by far the most popular period (42%) whilst Book 1 is the least popular (12%). The balance was split evenly between Books 3 & 4.
Best & worst – the use of elements and the PIP system were the most highly rated features (14% each); closely followed by the combat system (12%). Spontaneous advance, deployment and the weather rules were the least highly rated (4 - 5%)
So from the survey I see the average (dangerous word) DBMM player as a former DBM player who is more than happy with the rules and playing somewhere between one and two games a month. Their favourite period is the classical period and they like DBMM because it’s element based; uses PIPs for command and control and has a good combat system.
One thing that struck me was that despite Book 4 (22%) being much more popular than Book 1 (12%) the former has still to be published.
Relationships & Correlations
Using the data I dug a bit deeper so see if there’s a relationship between the overall rating and the number of games played and there is:
|Games Played||Overall rating||Std dev||Count|
|1 – 12||2.53||1.16||45|
|12 – 26||2.03||0.98||29|
|26 – 52||1.84||0.96||19|
|52 – 104||1.25||0.62||12|
- The blindingly obvious – the people who play a lot of DBMM like it more than people who don’t.
- A potential barrier – players who play less than once a month tend to rate the rules lower than those who play more often.
Digging even deeper (I’ll spare you the details) showed that 27% (15/56) of players who played less than once a month rated DBMM as either fair or poor. In contrast only 6% (4/61) of players who had played more than once a fortnight rated DBMM as either fair or poor.
Summary & Conclusions
To me all this suggests that there is a barrier to overcome for some players who don’t, or can’t, play often. I hope the next parts will uncover some clues as to why this is so.
Coming next: the rulebook.