I mentioned in a previous post that I favour announcing schemes in advance of an event, and following recent discussions on social media I thought I'd expand on why.
To my mind there are three advantages to doing this;
Tournaments are often pushed for time and fitting enough rounds of Malifaux into a day is a tricky thing. Providing; strategy, schemes and deployment ahead of time would allow players to be better prepared, and shave some time off crew selection each round. It will help more games get to turn five.
Malifaux is at times a game of mistakes. I've lost count of the number of games my opponents have lost during scheme selection. I always think this is a bit of a shame, and it's certainly not fun for either player. By giving players the opportunity to think about games in advance and avoid auto-lose pitfalls it means we'll have more games where one player hasn't lost before the deployment flip.
More interesting crews
Discussing the tactics with friends and tinkering with lists is fun in itself. Right now thinking on the fly players more often than not play it safe and stick to the same options every time. Giving objective sets in advance gives players more opportunity to play with ideas and come up with more interesting builds. This will make games more diverse and raise the standard of play.
So what're the arguments against announcing schemes in advance? Two are commonly deployed;
Crew selection 'on the fly' is an important skill
Tournament games are time limited as a practicality, not because the game itself demands they be timed. Where possible the game should be about players making the best decisions they can, not testing their reaction times.
That said even with this proposal in place players will still need to react to the terrain and opposing faction. So even if this is a skill we want in the game, it's not invalidated by this change. Skilled players can still use their experience to react and build to take advantage of terrain and opposition.
Time to prepare makes it too easy for experienced players
The truth is with ten minutes or ten days to prepare experienced players are far more likely to build a better crew and pick the right schemes than a new player. I suspect any advantage veterans did gain will be more than offset by the games they won't auto-win in early rounds because a new player didn't see how a particular scheme interaction would work given five minutes prep time.
TLDR: I think this change would enable more tournament games to play the full five turns, raise the standard of play at all levels of the game, and lead to more interesting and fun games overall.
I'm aware a number of prominent people disagree with me on this. I want to be clear that I very much respect these people and their opinions. I'm perfectly capable of getting along with people I disagree with.