I wanted to talk about a side of the game I don't usually mention, competition. Usually my posts are either all building community focused or straight up shouting at squirrels rants so this time I'm going to try and find a balance between the two.
Now anyone who has played me knows I'm far from competitive, I take fluffy, pretty, and sometimes stupid lists because it's fun. I like to win games when I can but I don't put too much energy into that side of things. This doesn't mean I have any problem with other people being competitive and putting their time into playing the best game they can.
Malifaux is a competitive game, there will always be a winner and a loser (ignore draws, draws are bullshit ask any TO who has had to fill in a spreadsheet) No matter how you approach the game mentally the aim is to score more VP than your opponent. And it is the competitive element that drives a gaming community, tournaments are put on test people and see who is best (yes I know that's not the only reason but it is a huge reason for tournaments)
A game like Malifaux is all about answering questions. There strategy asks a question, the schemes ask, the board asks, and most importantly your opponent asks. You answer these questions with the crew you pick and the way you play. The more answers you have the more competitive you are. And the more questions you get asked the more you learn, but also the more we as a community learn about the game.
When a question comes up that appears to have no answer, be it a combination of models, a particular set up, or even a particular play style. It is the competition that brings these questions up and very offer provides the answer. Or if there is actually no answer to something it's time to plead with Wyrd to fix it, for the love of December, fix it.
We're fortunate as the UK tournament scene as a whole is remarkably dynamic for its size, the majority of the community moves and adapts with swings in the meta incredibly quickly. And this is fuelled by the competitive players amongst us. New ideas and models are tried to breaking, answered, and then adapted on a constant cycle.
I'm lucky enough to get to play in quite a few events each year and I normally manage a casual game each week. This means I play a decent amount of different players, including some of the best players in the country (you can all guess how those games ended right?). These games while challenging and and a bit scary for my sensitive mind, were great in that they showed me the biggest flaws in my game. The questions asked by very good players are clearer and more focused. A good player will see the weakness in your crew and exploit it, which means (if you're paying attention) next time you can address that weakness and get better.
Now this is the point in a normal post where things would get summed up and points would be made but that's never really been my style (HA, style there's a joke) so I'll just sum up by saying competition is good for not just the community and the game, but also it's good for the players as well.