The Waving Flag: ADLG: 2022 Survey Results (Part 2)

Sunday 15 May 2022

ADLG: 2022 Survey Results (Part 2)

 To recap: this survey was run to uncover the reasons (if any) behind the popularity of ADLG in the UK in 2022 compared to 2018.  The survey had 113 responses of which 79 were from the UK.

Part 1 looked at the basic information like age, favourite periods, etc and uncovered some interesting trends

This post will look at players' scores for the game overall, the rule book and the use of the rules in games amongst other things like this:

As the focus of the survey was primarily on ADLG in the UK this part deals exclusively with the UK data.

If you don't want to read the post in full here are the headlines:

  • Respondents rated ADLG very highly indeed (4.48/5.00).
  • On average people gave three (2.91 +/- 1.40) reasons for playing ADLG.
  • The top three were all related to financial & practical aspects.
  • Being able to play in competitions came fourth.
  • ADLG was rated of average complexity/simplicity (3.09/5.00).
  • Casual players scored ADLG differently than competition players.
  • Overall, the rule book is easy to read and highly rated (4.12/5.00).
  • On average people used three (3.29 +/- 1.40) sources to get help with ADLG.
  • Respondent's opponents were the most used source of help.

Now without further ado here's Part 2 in all its gory detail ...

2.1 Reasons Why

As in 2018 three reasons dominated why respondent's chose to play ADLG all of which are essentially financial:

It is tempting, although there's no 2022 data to back this up, to posit that the dominance of the top three reasons has a lot to do with the difficult economic times we are experiencing.

However, in 2022's post-pandemic times, it's good to see the attraction of ADLG competitions making such a strong showing.

To me this hints at a picture, that for some, ADLG is a accessible way to play in competitions without any significant barriers to entry; especially financial ones.

2.2 Simplicity

Overall ADLG players are very happy with the rules, and how they play, scoring their experience 4.48 out of 5.00!   It is to the ADLG team's credit that it also tended to score average or above on all bar one of these questions:

Respondents said the rules were of average complexity (3.09/5.00) and players tended to use the rule book and quick reference sheet during games (see next section).

Most found it relatively easy to find things in the rule book (3.57/5.00) and the English translation was highly regarded (3.91/5.00), well organised and easy to understand (3.82/5.00).  The score for the use of diagrams & illustrations was particularly high (4.13/5.00).

Overall a great set of scores.

2.2a Casual v Competitor

In section 2.1 respondents were asked if they used ADLG to play in competitions with 49% of them saying they did.  This is helpful as I used this reply to split the responses into two equal sized groups: casuals and competitors.

The next step was to re-analyse the data from the previous section to see if these groups score ADLG differently:

Indeed they do!  The chart is very interesting.  The groups did not differ much on the three questions about the contents of the rules so I omitted them for clarity.

What the chart above shows is a consistent difference between casual and competition players.  Those who said they play ADLG in competitions:

  • Scored their overall experience much higher than casual players.
  • Thought the rules were simpler (less complex).
  • Referred to the quick references sheet and the rule book less frequently during a game.

On one level you would expect this pattern and be concerned if it wasn't there.  Nonetheless I'm pleased it's so clear in the data.

I was amused to see that competition players are just as good (or bad) as casual players at consulting the rule book during a game.  If anything casual players are just a smidgen ahead.

It is tempting to assume that the differences are due to one group playing more frequently that the other and thus being more familiar with the rules.

Sadly, I have no data to back up this assumption so some care is required.  For example I am in the competition group but do not play regularly or frequently.

The only slight negative I can think of is that competition players need to guard against "familiarity breeding contempt" as they are more likely to be playing from memory. See section 2.4 for more on this.

2.3 What's Written & Ease of Use

The sections of ADLG were scored in terms of what's written and how easy they are to use using a five point scale from difficult (1) to easy (5) to understand. This was designed to probe the specific mechanisms within the rules (move, shooting etc) and compliment the general scores in the previous section.

The first thing to note is the generally high scores across the board. All parts are clustered either side of relatively easy to understand (a score of 4). The individual scores are in line with overall experience (4.48) in section 2.2.

One thing of interest is the difference between the high scores above and the complexity score (3.09).  This discrepancy existed in 2018 too.  To probe why this might be I looked at the variation of each score in more detail.

The following shows the difference of each score from the average of all nine scores divided by the standard deviation of all the scores (sorry had to get technical) thus highlighting both relative strength and weaknesses.

The horizontal scale represents the significance of the value.  A score of more than 1, or less than -1, has a 65% probability of not occurring by chance. Scores above 2, or below -2, have a 95% probability of not occurring by chance.

This shows that the main mechanisms used to play the game all scored below average (with the notable exception of shooting which is the simplest mechanism).   Perhaps ADLG flatters to deceive?

It may be that the rules themselves, and the examples in the book, are easy to understand "on the page" (hence the high overall rating) but can be more complex to implement on the table (hence the average complexity rating).

2.4 Answering Questions

Learning new rules, improving your standard of play or just relying less on the rule book requires help. So where did respondents get their help from?

Once again people mentioned an average of three sources of help (or 3.29 to be exact) but as you can see these were spread evenly across five main sources.

In one way it is disappointing that the Forum wasn't more prominent.  The reliance on other players is potentially an issue.

Small groups can fall victim to assuming they way they play it is right.  I have seen experienced UK players express surprise at "official" rulings on the ADLG forum that contradict the "way they've always played it".  In psychology this is known as groupthink.

Closing remarks

Congratulations on making it this far!  I hope you've found it interesting? Let me know in the comments.

I've now covered all the basic results from the 2022 ADLG survey.  In the final post about the survey (Part 3) I will look at the differences between the replies from 2018 and 2022.  I've hinted at some but I'll go into more detail.

Meanwhile if you have any questions ask away.  Likewise if you'd like me to look at the data in certain way ask via the comments and I'll see what I can do.


Backpackbrewer said...

Fine piece of work Martin, well done and interesting reading

Vexillia said...

Glad you liked it.

Having learnt from previous surveys, I set up the analysis, and charts, while the results were still coming in. This saved time and allowed me time to look a little deeper for more interesting trends & snippets.

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