Kuffehs latest Tavern Talk topic is about tournaments, specifically how we feel about comp restrictions, tournament rules etc.
While I play in as many WHFB tournaments as I can I am not as experienced a tournament player as many New Zealand gamers are. While comp restrictions are not always advantageous for individual armies, and I at times have struggled to build lists to fit into them, I see the need for them.
For gaming systems like Warmachine where the entire rule set and all of the army books, and unit rules come out largely at once your overall game is balanced. Army book and unit rules when developed alongside each other tend to ensure that no-one army is completely dominant in all things.
GW struggles in this respect in that its business model has always been to put out new books at irregular intervals with years, and different rule editions, separating many army books. This creates natural imbalance in the game were early books are made to suit early editions, later books written to suit emerging editions, and new books new editions of the gaming systems rule set. Consequently, to keep a level playing field and ensure that tournaments give everyone a "fun" experience - which is what they should be about - you sometimes have to adjust for the natural inconsistencies in the game mechanics.
I guess I am lucky in that the TO of the events I attend is highly experienced, familiar with tournaments here and overseas, and has a good knowledge of the game. This means the comp restrictions do not unfairly disadvantage anyone too much, although you do get the odd complaint. They are usually also designed so that novice gamers (like me) don't get annihilated by uber-killer-lists-of-death and that tournaments operate as a learning experience for them.
Where I have issues with comp restrictions is in the extreme examples you see in some gaming communities were TO's use comp rules as a chance to make wholesale changes to the core game rules, and to unfairly nerf entire army books. Banning of certain items or units and the re-interpretation of particular game rules that individual TO's do not like is never a good thing. This was seen no more clearly than in Australia where the arrival of 8th Edition was greeted with massive sets of comp rules put in place by people who had at most a few 8th Ed games under their belts. Personally I trust the game designers to get things right, and players to sort out the rest using "the most important rule of all".
But being a Dwarf player I guess I do need to grumble about something, but i can't really think of anything. After all its poor generalship and the ill-favour of dice gods that cost you victory not comp rules.