Saturday, 12 February 2011

Rules War :: Four Years On (National)

In November 2009 I analysed the player registrations for the three main competitions in the UK; Warfare, Roll Call & Britcon.  I later added Challenge to the analysis.  I’ve had the time to repeat the exercise for 2010 and the results are interesting:



The figures cover both 15 & 25 mm singles competitions.  They don’t include 24 player registrations for the newly released FOG Renaissance rules. The figures for Roll Call are mainly based on registrations; all the others are based on actual games played.

If you read an earlier version of this post you’ll notice that the table above now has 8 DBM registrations in 2010 rather than none.  It turns out that Roll Call included a small DBM competition this year.  It was omitted because nothing was listed along with the registration information for all the other competitions
Once I’d been made aware I managed to find the DBM results, and therefore the number of players, via the South West DBM Doubles League pages.  It doesn’t change things much.

In 2009 I wrote that:
  • Competition registrations were down 3.4% in 2009 vs. 2008.
  • FOG continues to grow whilst DBMM registrations were static.
  • DBM’s decline is nearly complete; the 8 players were all at Britcon.
  • FOG has reached a dominant position.
  • DBMM has retained its niche position.
In 2010 it seems that:
  • Competition registrations were down 5.5% in 2010 vs. 2009.
  • FOG Ancient & Medieval registrations fell for the first time.
  • DBM’s continues its slow, lingering decline.
  • FOG has improved its dominant position (up 2% to 77%).
  • DBMM is both stable and static despite the absence of DBM.
Since 2008 the overall number of registrations shows a clear downward trend.  However, I don’t think it’s a simple picture because the 2010 figures are adversely affected by two unique factors:
  • The absence of a viable DBM national competition scene; not all former DBM players will have switched to DBMM or FOG.
  • The introduction of FOGR to the competition scene enticing some FOG players to switch periods. 
On balance if this year’s figures show a similar decline then I think the trend will have been confirmed.
Finally, it is worthwhile comparing the national picture with that for the Northern League I published last year:
  • The overall pool of League players has remained steady since 2008.
  • FOG had 79% of the 2010 player registrations, up from 54% in 2009.
  • DBMM 2010 player numbers declined but then 2009 looks exceptional.
  • There’s no longer any demand for DBM in the north of England.
Overall, this is a very similar situation to the national picture with the exception that FOGR is not tempting players in the Northern League where player numbers are more stable as a result.

2 comments :

  1. In my work 5% variation is considered back ground noise (also know as the the 5% stupid rule)

    I would read the current situation as: The introduction of FoG and to a lesser degree DBMM kindled an interest in ancients war gaming. FoG has captured the majority of players, both new and ex-DBM, at around 80% with DBMM at 20%. This split has not changed substantially for the last 3 years and suggests both rule sets have healthy if different audiences.

    While overall registrations have dropped steadily, they are still higher than when DBM was the only option.

    Basically I see a DBMers switching over to the new rules sets with a flurry of new players getting into both sets. FoG gets the lions share with DBMM in a smaller but solid position. While some players are leaving we are still in the black so its positive news for both camps and the hobby overall.

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  2. Thanks for the comment Pat. Thoughtful as ever.

    I agree with the comment about 5% (in any one year) but the 2008-10 trend is down 11% which is a larger variation.

    Having said that I suspect that the majority of the 24 2010 FOGR players came from the FOG pool of players. I can't prove it but this probably explains the 2010 "dip".

    For 2011 it depends on whether FOGR continues to grow in popularity at the expense of FOG. Time will tell.

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