Friday, 18 May 2018

ADLG: A Quick Survey

A recent blog post from Tim Porter entitled "Who's Playing What - The 2018 Update" highlighted the increasing popularity of the Art de la Guerre (ADLG) rules amongst competition wargamers in the UK.  A trend also evident in the 2017 Northern League.

They must be doing something right! ADLG has some serious competition [sic]. There are lots of other excellent ancient & medieval rules out there, each with its own dedicated following.

Anyhow, I wondered if I could uncover some of the reasons behind the current growth of ADLG in the UK.  I thought why don't I a run a quick survey?

I've a background in consumer research and in 2009 I ran a survey to find out what people thought of DBMM. It garnered 128 replies and generated some really interesting results.  Of course no one took a blind bit of notice but it was fun.

Spurred on by this positive experience, this lunch time I spent a quiet half hour designing a simple, and deliberately short, survey to probe:
  • Why you play ADLG and how often.
  • What you think about the rule book.
  • Your thoughts on playing the game.
  • Your overall impressions.
It is intended for those in the UK but if you're elsewhere and want to join in go ahead. There are only 17 questions. Most are required to ensure the resultant data set provides a rounded and balanced picture.

Take the ADLG survey

No personal data is collected as I decided not to ask for an email address but the survey does ask how old you are and roughly where you are in the UK.

If enough people take the survey then I will analyse the responses and post the results here.

This is a totally "unofficial" survey. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the ADLG creative team.

Monday, 7 May 2018

ADLG: Northern League (Manchester, May 2018)

On a hot sunny Sunday, in the middle of a British bank holiday would you believe, I made my way to Eccles in Greater Manchester.  I arrived so early that the hall was closed but I didn't have to wait too long and once inside I helped Geoff Pearson & Brian Pierpoint put the tables out and set up the chairs.

The plan for the day was to test my knowledge of Art de la Guerre (ADLG).  I did this by taking a Timurid army made up of medium & heavy cavalry (with a couple of units of elephants to spice things up) to a medieval themed round!  I expected most of the other armies to comprise heavy knights & foot so I knew I would be sorely tested and that I'd have to be nimble to get any sort of result.

Date06 May 2018
CompetitionNorthern League 2nd Round
ArmyTimurids with Steppe Mongol Ally
Army listList details
Army number258
Army date1471 AD
ResultsOfficial results grid

After three games I finished 7th (or joint 6th?) of 16 with 144 points, enough to place me 9th overall after two rounds. The latter is a somewhat false position and I don't think I'll be challenging for a place come Christmas. However, last time out I finished 9th of 10 with 109 points so I feel I'm making some progress.

Monday, 9 April 2018

ADLG: Movement Options

I started working on this quite some time ago but I was sidetracked by the complexities of evading in Art de la Guerre (ADLG).  Originally, I wanted to add the evade move to the table but it's far too complex and would break the format.

I wanted this written down because during some games, and for some inexplicable reason, I have repeatedly tried to move and expand a group.  I suppose old age comes to us all.

To me the table serves a useful purpose: it lays bare the "sub-moves" that can be combined with a simple advance during the various movement options.  It also highlights an important timing issue with charges.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

ADLG: Evade Moves

I am sure my need to understand evade rules must have something to do with my penchant for Mongol cavalry armies.  They need to do a fair bit of evading to be effective.

In my experience implementing simple tabletop rules to allow troops to retire in the face of an enemy is a real challenge for rules writers.  So much can happen that the rules have to cover lots of eventualities.  Inevitably some outcomes get missed.  Sometimes the complexity defeats the author and the rules end up badly written.

Evade rules are such a perennial problem (for me?) that I've already written posts covering fleeing and evading in DBMM and Field of Glory respectively.  Now it's the turn of Art de la Guerre (ADLG) but before I do I'd like to mention something from an earlier post.

In 2009 John Garvey made the point that, at a conceptual level the [DBMM flee] process is simple:
  1. Start the flee move by turning the fleeing element; usually to point away from the threat.
  2. Check to see if the flee move places the element in further jeopardy; such as reaching impassable terrain. If not then flee.
  3. If there are problems with the original flee move, check if they can be avoided. If so turn the element a second time and then flee.
  4. If the problems can’t be avoided flee in the original direction and face the consequences.
Although written nearly ten years ago, and specifically about DBMM, it's a surprisingly good description of the ADLG evade process: plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose?  As always the real complexity comes from the implementation and the application of various limiting conditions.

If you don't like flow charts look away now.