Firstly I thought I'd take a few minutes to chat about the bogeyman, now with 'Faux there's always a very real chance that this could be an actual character but what I'm talking about are those certain models, crews, or factions that you think you just can't beat.
We all have them, Pain-dora is a common one where people just get an instant "I've lost" mentality as soon as they see her across the table. It's not restricted to masters though, I always seem to have a huge problem dealing with terror tots (I once threw Seamus, a necro, and Sybelle against one and still didn't kill it) it's not that terror tots are that amazing it just becomes a sort of jinx after a while, and you find the old "bad luck follows a bad attitude" idea coming into play.
Similar thing happens with whole factions, you'll often hear people audibly groan when they are paired against a particular faction. For a long time I had a physical dislike for Guild, they just seemed custom made to counter the way I played.
So what do we do about it when this happens? The simplest solution is to "know your enemy" If there is something you just can't beat, then use it and you'll soon see the cracks in the armour. If that's not an option then learn what tools are needed to counter. If you always struggle against a certain model, make sure you learn from it and adapt you're crew and play style for next time.
Following from that idea, we've all seen threads screaming that something is OP or NPE (translation- filth) and we've all seem people cry out that something's rubbish or unplayable (not as good as they want it to be) and in some few cases this can be justified but if as many models and combos were as broken as the interwebs tell us then the whole game would be a broken mess, and I like to believe that it isn't.
Which makes me ask how much does a crews reputation impact the game? Now as much as list building in Malifaux is supposed to be "in game" having part or even a full crew picked before the game isn't uncommon and if these list become both regular and successful they also become known. And once known they get copied and copied again, then if the copies are successful it gets a reputation and often labelled filth.
Now ideally what would happen with a robust and competitive scene is that a list becomes known, becomes a net list, and then it get countered, a counter tactic becomes known, and the counter tactic gets copied. Then repeat from the beginning.
Having a few netlists is harmless, a bit of advice, a guide to get players started is great. BUT if you only run a crew you didn't create then it can be argued that you'll never full understand the roles of each model in that crew and if you don't understand a crew how will you successfully adapt it when the game calls for it?
So unfortunately what can happen is that instead of the competitive scene adapting it just stumbles, calls foul, and screams filth. Especially if competitive environments are few and far between.
Now the question is what does any of this matter, and in all honesty it probably doesn't and if you're looking for a meaningful insight I think you've come to the wrong place... but I think these little doubts and blocks do colour our views of the game as a whole and as we live in a world where everyone wants to share what they think they know (not me gov' honest) these views do end up having an affect.