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Dogs of War 2018 Game 3 Video Podcast

Posted on July 19th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

It’s Game 3 of this 5-part video podcast series from the recent Dogs of War event in Bristol.This time the Nikephorian Byzantines take on a Hindu Indian army in full cinematic actionLists for the Indians also included.

Dogs of War 2018 Game 2

Posted on July 16th, 2018 under , , , , , . Posted by

And, in quick succession, here’s the video of the second game in which the small but imperfectly formed Byzantines attempt a double envelopment against the Southern Dynasties Chinese

Dogs of War 2018 – Video walk-through of round 1

Posted on July 15th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

Here’s an experimental “new format” battle report from the recent Dogs of War ADLG event held in Bristol, with a video walk-through of top-down photos of the game.It’s not going to replace the usual pile of old guff and poor quality puns by any means, …

Gripping Beast (& others) Dark Age Horse

Posted on July 7th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

To round out two armies (don’t ask…) for the upcoming event in Devizes I picked up a box of Gripping Beast plastic Dark Age cavalry recently, and added a few more figures to them as well. Here are the results:Three Gripping Beast cavalry. They go tog…

Wiki Flurry!

Posted on June 25th, 2018 under , . Posted by

With temperatures rising across the country, here’s a perfect excuse to stay inside – a load of army lists added to the ADLG Wiki.As well as all of my opponents from The Worlds recently, the wiki now also features the lists of the players filling the u…

Alexander The Great plays ADLG at The Worlds 2018

Posted on June 15th, 2018 under , , , , . Posted by

Salamanca, Charleroi… and to that roll of honour and glamour is now added Birmingham next to the M42 in a big steel shed.Yes, Alexander’s army makes yet another outing as I hadn’t really gotten round to picking an alternative, and takes on all comers…

The Myceneans are done..

Posted on June 10th, 2018 under , , , , . Posted by

Only 6 months after buying them in the Museum Miniatures January sale (for only around £50) a full L’Art de la Guerre army of Myceneans (including units I will probably never use) is now finished and on the tabletop already!There are plenty of pictures…

Persians on Campaign

Posted on May 31st, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

The annual Milton Keynes fest of wargaming saw the Persians of Cyrus take to the field in 5 ADLG battles – see how they fared on the swings and roundabouts of life in this series of geometrically accurate reports from Campaign 2018 See how the Per…

Bank Holiday Pavisiers

Posted on May 27th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

With a long weekend in prospect I’ve had an opportunity to finish off a few odd units which have been hanging around the painting table for a while, starting with these Medieval Crossbowmen with Pavises, from Donnington’s New Era ranges.The “German” de…

Border Reivers – 28mm

Posted on May 25th, 2018 under , , . Posted by

A couple of years ago I bought some 28mm Border Reivers from Alan at Hoka Hey – partly because they were nice figures, and partly because he’s simply such a nice guy as well that I felt it only right to give him some of my hard-earned!The figures have …

Myceneans

Posted on May 22nd, 2018 under , , , , . Posted by

I bought a Mycenean (and Assyrian) army earlier this year in the Museum Miniatures sale (25% off every January!), and after spraying most of them in a flesh-coloured undercoat I finally got round to doing a couple of test bases to see how the planned c…

Take The ADLG Survey

Posted on May 20th, 2018 under . Posted by

Following on from an earlier blog post about “Who’s Playing What” Ancients set in the UK Competition circuit, Martin from Vexillia has set up a short survey on his website to add a bit more depth to the why’s and wherefores of the popularity of L’Art d…

Saga – > ADLG, the Light Foot Sabot Basing Trick

Posted on May 18th, 2018 under , , . Posted by

With a mostly-plastic Gripping Beast 25mm Arab army in the planning phases, I’ve been toying with what to do with my 25mm Saga Arab army.After dithering about rebasing them all into an ADLG force, the new edition of Saga persuaded me to keep them as a …

Nikephorian 15mm Cavalry Conversion

Posted on May 13th, 2018 under , , , , , . Posted by

Inspired by the rather lovely Nikephorian armies which were on display in Patras, and realising that I have far too many early-ish Byzantine cavalry to ever use in one army I was recently inspired to convert some of them to later Nikephorian Byzantines…

Who’s Playing What – the 2018 update

Posted on May 9th, 2018 under , , , , , . Posted by

If “once a year” can possible be counted as “fast”, here is my annually updated “fast becoming a thing” analysis of the relative popularity of various “competition” Ancients sets in the UK taken as a snapshot right now.


For those of you who remember this stuff from last year (and the year before) the key thing is that this is based on actual, observable factual numbers of players taking part in events in the UK – well, those events that have a web footprint of some sort anyway.  

That means if your local meta, your friendship circle, your local game store or even your Wiccan coven plays something different that’s fine – this is just a count of those weird people who enter competitions.

And there’s certainly been plenty going on!


As of today we are just at the end of Year 3 of L’Art de la Guerre as a competition set (it first appeared at Roll Call 2015, with its’ first “full season” in 2016), there is a new version of FoG Ancients on the tabletop, MeG is just a few weeks away from its’ second anniversary, DBA appears to be having something of a second (third? tenth?) wind right now and – of course – DBM and DBMM are still chugging along too.


Well, how does that all look today when you add it all together, shake it about a bit and pour it onto the page? 

Let’s have a look shall we…

DBMM


Last 12 months: 18 events, 86 Players, 264 entries


The excellent DBMM rankings website at http://partridges.org.uk/rankings/ has been running at full steam for the last couple of years making the task of capturing all players and games much easier.


Last time around there had been 17 DBMM events in the previous 12 months, featuring 84 different players, including a 5-strong overseas contingent  (Irish players at Britcon 2016) which meant the UK-based pool was made up of 79 active competition players – unchanged from the previous year.


In the 12 months just gone that number of different players has crept up a smidge from 84 to 86, and the number of events has also increased by 1 as well, making a calendar of 18 different competitions for DBMM. So far, so same. What has changed noticeably however is how many entries there have been, as whereas last year the 84 players made 296 entries, this year that’s dropped by over 10% to 264.

This slowdown in “keen” participation is mirrored by a corresponding increase in the number of “very occasional” players, as 37 of the 86 UK DBMM’ers only entered a single event in the last 12 months – up from 32 “one-timers” in the previous year, and even fewer the year before that.

The slightly more committed souls who play in 2 events each year account for a further 14 players, leaving just 35 individuals who are playing in 3 or more UK DBMM events each year.


Looking specifically at who those 37 “very occasional” DBMM players are, it’s also rather likely that a significant proportion of them are experts at mastering roundabouts (but are possibly scared of motorway driving) given that 18 of them made their only tournament appearance of the year at an event held within 10 miles of Milton Keynes. Another 9 did not venture outside the city limits of Reading to enter an event, which further underlines the continued importance of the WAR and MKWS clubs to DBMM numbers in the UK.

The Milton Keynes 1-dayer is now by far and away the biggest event on the DBMM calendar, with 36 entries, followed by Warfare with 32 (across its two 6mm & 15mm periods).

Last year I had a graphic showing the stability at the top of the “enthusiasm” pile for DBMM and nothing has really changed since then, with the most established players also being the keenest – in fact, no single player who started playing DBMM after 2012 entered more than 3 events in the last year. In DBMM the “old lags” of the circuit are the enthusiasts, and the “newcomers” appear to be mainly those who are dipping in and out.

The current stats also cover the second year after an updated version of DBMM (and all new lists) were published – with almost no change in the overall number of players and a 10% slide in event entries it would however appear the lure of new lists has not encouraged more people to enter events in the UK DBMM community.


As last year, the overall DBMM picture remains one of stability, with only a handful of players picking up DBMM to replace the handful of annual dropouts in each of the last few years. If it weren’t for the two highly localized Reading and Milton Keynes club-based clusters of players who tend to appear at events organised by their own clubs, the national DBMM scene would however be significantly smaller.

FoGAM


Last 12 months: 13 events, 79 Players, 253 entries


In May 2017 FoGAM had just seen a year of steep decline, dropping from 140 players down to just 97. With a new, “faster” version of the rules out at the end of last year (and list books still coming out as we speak) the good news for FoG is that the rate of decline seems to have slowed significantly, as 79 players took pat in one of the 13 UK FoGAM events held in the last 12 months, for a total of 253 total competition entries – pretty close to the same total entries as DBMM, but achieved across 4 fewer events.


However, these numbers straddle two editions, so the real question for FoG AM is how the shift from V2.0 to V3.0 is going? Well…

  • Since January 1st 2018 there have been 6 FoG V3.0 events, attracting a total of 49 players and 94 entries
  • The same period last year saw 7 events, 68 players and 112 entries under FoG 2.0

  • The answer to why this happened is basically “Scotland“, as the Scottish club circuit has migrated pretty much entirely to ADLG (with a wee smidge of MeG being played in Perth) meaning that the “Schiltron” event dropped out of the FopGAM rankings taking with it 8 unique players and 15 entries from the FoGAM stats this year.
Looking further forward to events coming up in the next few months, more existing V2.0 players will reappear on the FoGAM scene as well (based on current signups for future events).  By Britcon this will see the UK FoGAM total player pool reach a minimum of at least 54 players. The return of the Northern League as a FoGAM event after a short hiatus may also help drive active player participation up as well.

That V3.0 total of 49 includes 7 (yes seven!) new players who have appeared in the rankings for the first time so far this year – pretty much all from the Wessex club(s) who hosted a V3.0 event in February – so FoG is certainly picking up some more new players with V3.0 underway. 

On the flip side, there are still 30 players in the current “last 12 months” pool who have yet to play a V3.0 event, and quite a few of them have already appeared at events playing other rulesets – whether they stick or twist with these new rulesets is of course yet to be seen. 

With 17 players still making up half of all competition entries the core group of FoGAM players are just as keen as ever, but on current trends my guess is that FoGAM V3.0 will end the year with something in the region of 60-odd active UK players – arguably comparable to the current DBMM pool if the “MKWS/WAR” bastion of “local-events-only” players was to be adjusted out.


Mortem et Gloriam (MeG)


Last 12 months: 13 events, 61 Players, 185 entries


Last May MeG was fast approaching it’s first full year of UK events, with 31 different players taking part in one of the 5 MeG events held in the 11 months since the release of the ruleset in mid 2016.

Since then the number of UK events has increased significantly with 13 competitions being held in the last 12 months. Unsurprisingly the pool of active players has also increased accordingly in the same period, led my a big intake in mid-2017 which saw the total pool of active UK players hit the 50 mark by last year’s Britcon.

8 months later the rate of influx into the MeG scene appears to have calmed down a little, with the UK MeG player pool peaking at 65 earlier this year. It now sits on 61 active players entering UK events in the last 12 months (including 2 overseas players) – these 61 have racked up 185 competition entries between them. 


As one might expect with a still-new ruleset, currently 24 of the 61 players (39%) have only taken part in 1 event so far, and a further 15 only playing in 2 events in their MeG careers to date – hardly surprising with many of these only starting playing MeG competitively this year. 
MeG also appears to be succeeding in attracting many of it’s players from outside of the traditional pool of Ancients gamers – which might be linked to the relatively high proportion of these “toe in the water” 1-2 event players, as many of them will need to collect and paint whole new armies to take part in MeG events.
The top tier of active MeG players however is made up of a small number of very, very active players, including many of those who got in at the ground floor as part of the initial “playtester” group. 

9 of the 11 playtest pioneers are still very much leading from the front, and still chip in with almost 1/3 of all UK competition entries between them in the last year. Put another way, if you entered a UK MeG event in the last year you had almost a 1 in 3 chance of meeting one of the original playtesters in any given round of any UK event – so if you need help with learning the rules, your opponent may well be perfectly placed to assist!
2 years on from it’s launch MeG now boasts a very similar sized UK pool of players to that of the current FoG V3.0 circuit, although a significant proportion of players still at the “dipping their toes in” stage with only 1 or 2 event entries to their name. By comparison the UK ADLG circuit had reached 114 active players and 307 entries by the time it reached the 2-year mark in it’s UK evolution.

 

 

L’Art de la Guerre


Last 12 months: 28 events, 162 Players, 499 entries


A year ago ADLG had just overtaken DBMM and FoG to become the biggest UK competition ruleset with 122 players taking part and making 331 entries in total across the year.


One year on and it’s still gaining in popularity, adding 40 new players to the UK circuit to total up 162 players and 499 event entries in the last 12 months – more than DBMM and FoG combined. 

Part of this has been driven by the emergence of a number of regional mini-circuits in the South West, London, North East and most recently across Scotland, which has resulted in a potentially social-life-destroying 28 separate events taking place across the lengths and breath of the UK in the last year.

The size of the UK ADLG circuit is however somewhat inflated by the large number of overseas players who are now regular visitors to these shores to take part in ADLG events. In he last 12 months 19 separate overseas players drawn from all across Europe and further afield entered a UK ADLG event, with even more are set to arrive and be added to that number via the ADLG Worlds at the forthcoming BHGS Challenge this June – an increase of 11 on the previous year’s total.


There are also 68 “occasional” ADLG players who only making a lone event appearance in the ADLG rankings – 42% of the total, or 32% if you strip out the overseas contingent. 

This may sound like quite a lot, but is pretty much identical to the equivalent numbers for other rulesets, with 43% for DBMM, 39% for FoGAM and 39% for MeG. Of these, only DBMM has a meaningful number (7) overseas players to impact these percentages, with just 1 overseas player for FoG and 2 for MeG.


The Central London Wargames Club remains a hotbed of ADLG contributing 22 players to the rankings. CLWC however only hosted one of its’ usually popular 1-day events in the past 12 months, and so the number of CLWC club members who appear in the pool as a result of attending a CLWC event this year is just 6 out of the 22. Competed to the impact of the MKWS and WAR clubs and their local events on the UK DBMM circuit, and now also the Wessex club in FoG 3.0 the importance of CLWC members to the ADLG circuit is now therefore relatively low. 


Other Rulesets 


DBA


Last 12 months: 13 events, 65 Players, 186 entries


DBA has been undergoing something of a renaissance in recent years with a growing competition circuit and more new events taking place as well.


In the last 12 months 65 players have taken part in at least 1 DBA event, making up a total of 188 entries, meaning that DBA currently sneaks in just ahead of MeG to claim the prize of being the 4th biggest UK mass battle ruleset as of today – again off the back of 13 events throughout the year. 

25 players on the DBA circuit have only entered one event – that proportion of 38% placing it pretty much in line with other rulesets.


The full-year total for 2017 was 56 different players, so DBA is seeing a very solid increase in popularity as well so far this year. 

DBM 


Last 12 months: 9 events, 39 Players, 109 entries

DBM sits currently on 39 players in the last year entering events in the two geographically spread DBM hotspots of East and West England – these numbers are practically unchangd from last year.

Each of the 8 events normally attracts about a dozen players to reach a total of 109 event entries across the year, with the recent Venta Siluram event with 18 being the biggest day out on the circuit.

Swordpoint 

Launched by Gripping Beast at the end of 2016, initially it seemed as if it might attract a following but based on forum posts there are only likely to be 2-3 UK events this year, with a UK player pool of maybe 20-30.


Others – Armati, 7th, 6th, Impetus, TTS, War & Conquest


From what’s available online, none of these other rulesets support significant numbers of player or events throughout the year in the UK.  Simon Millar’s To The Strongest may have the largest single pool of players with almost 40 attending their main annual event, whilst 7th has a small circuit of 3 events (but failed to gather support to add a 4th earlier this year). 

Even in aggregate these sets would however fail to trouble the engravers of the “most popular competition ruleset” trophy.

The Summary:


The good news is that the number of Ancients events, and the numbers of players entering them is continuing to rise as the continuing uptick in the numbers of people playing new systems is outstripping the ongoing meandering decline in players for other more long in the tooth rulesets.

DBx-based games are also still by far the most popular with almost 75% of all UK players choosing a “single-base, single unit” system in preference to “multi-base unit” rulesets. 

The table below shows the current direct comparisons between the leading sets:

Players Change Players 3+ Players (2018) Events Total Entries Average Field
ADLG
162 +40 92 115 28 499 18
DBMM
86 +2 35 62 18 264 15
FOGAM
79 -18 36 49 15 253 17
DBA
65 +3 40 50 13 186 14
MeG
61 +30 22 39 12 185 15
DBM
39 -1 15 19 8 109 14
  • Players – different players entering a UK event in the last 12 months
  • Change – net change in previous 12 month period
  • 3+ events – number of players who entered 3 or more events for each ruleset
  • Players 2018 – number of different players to enter an event this calendar year (included as a benchmark for FoG 3.0, which started in January 2018)
  • Events – number of competitions throughout the year.  Where one event includes multiple pools they are counted as different events
  • Total entries – count of entries at all UK events 
  • Average field – average field (doh!)



Greece is the Word, and the Word is ADLG !

Posted on May 4th, 2018 under , , , , , , . Posted by

The recent international upsurge in the popularity of ADLG around the world has now lapped up against the sun-kissed shores of Greece, finding fertile soil in a local wargaming population who it turns out were both deeply steeped in the ancient DBx tra…

Vietnamese People’s Air Force Museum – Madaxeman.com on Tour

Posted on April 21st, 2018 under , , , , . Posted by

Having accidentally found myself in Hanoi with a spare morning, a trip to a military museum was required. Originally intending to go to the supposedly disappointing Vietnam War Museum, my driver ended up dropping me off instead at the Vietnamese People…

They are a-gaggin’ and a-drippin’….the Welsh get lush for some 25mm ADLG action

Posted on April 12th, 2018 under , , , , , . Posted by

Almost 2 years after the majority of the figures were bought in a bring and buy, finally a full fat 25mm mostly Old Glory Dark Ages army from the Celtic fringes of Britain makes its way onto the table in the guise of the Welsh.Inspired by tales of derr…

Saga V2 – a short and hairy summary of the changes from V1

Posted on April 4th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

The new version of Saga (V2) is getting great early reviews at CLWC, with a cleaner and simpler set of mechanics that appear at first glance to be less susceptible to being “gamed” than V1.The club have cobbled together a summary of the key changes we …

Terrain time !

Posted on April 2nd, 2018 under , . Posted by

With Roll Call and Patras both coming up in the next couple of weeks, a man’s mind turns to what things are possible to do on a wet Bank Holiday Monday with 2mm mdf, some builders sand, glue and a tin of Rustin’s Wood Dye (sometimes known as “Wood Stai…

The rest of the Chinese Crossbowmen

Posted on March 31st, 2018 under , , , , , . Posted by

With 48 figures to play with, the Chinese Crossbow Painting Marathon has created lots of opportunities to pad out a number of armies (of course that does mean working on the old “WRG 6th” principle that there is kinda only one Chinese army, and that cl…

15mm Han Mixed Units for L’Art de la Guerre

Posted on March 28th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

With Han Chinese coming out as the most popular army for the 15mm L’Art de la Guerre competition at the upcoming Roll Call event, and with a bag of 48 Museum Miniatures Chinese crossbowmen bought second hand from a clubmate burning a hole in the lead p…

Slice n’ Dice – The Samurai are in Action!

Posted on March 18th, 2018 under , , , , , . Posted by

Only quite literally moments after taking delivery of a 15mm painted Samurai army from Lurkio (which you have already probably seen on this site) himself, the brave guys (and their probably less enthusiastic cattle) were placed immediately onto the tab…

Projects You Probably Shouldn’t Start…

Posted on March 13th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

Cheap Gripping Beast plastic Arabs are really cool – I have a load for a Saga army that I painted up a couple of years ago.So… it’s then only a short step from there to “Wouldn’t it be easy – and cheap – to make a 28mm L’Art de la Guerre generic Arab…

28mm Late Roman Casualty Markers

Posted on March 9th, 2018 under , , , . Posted by

In a sporadic burst of painting, I’ve finally gotten round to adding some colours to a pack of resin Late Roman casualties from 1st Corps that I picked up at “Derby” last year.They are still needing a coat of Army Painter to tone them down a littl…