Also a late entrant in this thread , I have never been a competition player ( shock horror a heretic?
) and have not always belonged to a local club or other club. But that has never stopped me in over 40 years from playing wargames. There are a lots of us "lone wolves" out there.
Worries about where we are going to get the next generation from have been around as long as I have been a gamer. A counter to such fears I think is the rude health of the hobby today in the numbers of traders, small and large businesses, the rich mix of them and the variety of sites on the web and the perennial success of shows like SALUTE - which has grown hugely over the years. That show always has a lot of young folk there with their dads which is nice to see. Contrast that with the 1970's and early '80s. Today is far richer.
I don't know what the reach of FoG(AM)( or any other popular ancients sets) is in terms of sales and distribution but I suspect it is way beyond those folks who are tournament regulars .
That said I do think the tournaments and their players continue to provide that cutting edge for the development of rules and lists which the rest of us " late adopters" benefit from to a large degree - this forum demonstrates that very well . So I would not at all want to see it flag. So what is to be done? Maybe we need a kind of " Strictly Wargaming" ?
Re FOG(AM) - maybe for those of us who are more into historical than open list competition gaming we could explore whether or how to tweak some eras ,within the mix, to make them less generic , those a bit more at the extreme ends of the bell curve- and share them. As an example in Emperors and Eagles for FOG(N) we included some mods to the rules specially for the 1790's for the French in 1792-95.
I have been looking at chariot warfare pre 1100 BC in the Near East and have concluded that few if any rules sets have succeed in giving it a distinctive flavour ( going right back to WRG 1st Ed in 1969. ). It is very much far left of the bell curve in rules covering 3-4 millennia. Such rules sets do not always manage transition eras well either . The 12th century BC was one such period ( see Prof Robert Drews " The End of the Bronze Age). This not a criticism of rules writers and game designers just an observation on one of the smoothing effects of widely drawn rules systems. You can also get lists that can seem very "samey" as" Mad Axeman" has commented on - for example in " "Oath of Fealty" .