Competition is healthy, there is no doubt in the matter. However what is debatable is what type of competition and to what extent the competition should be. In militaries there are three primary types of competition in Graal Militaries.
First is a non-threatening rivalry between two militaries. This type of competition is very healthy for both sides participating. The earliest recorded example of this was between the Royal Guard guilds and a smaller, rival guild lead by a scorned RG member known as the “Shadow Royal Guard.” Their threat level was very small, but throughout the summer they would attack the RG in the castle throne room a few times a week, sometimes they even successfully took it, forcing the RG back until they could launch a counter attack to retake it. This continued throughout the eras with a different rival each time. The fairly recent between Imperia and the State was initially of this type, but as the Imperians recruited more and more allies, it quickly descended into the next type.
The second type is that of chaotic war. In this, while it may give both sides a temporary breath of activity, it is detrimental to both sides in the long run. Often times this type of warfare will just result in hour long massive battles with neither side yielding regardless of how outclass and/or outnumbered they are. These battles are chaotic, endless, and oftentimes end with both groups sides claiming victory over the battle regardless of the outcome. This type of war may seem fun at the start, but it quickly begins to take a toll on both sides. It usually ends in one of two ways. Either the leaders of the two militaries will create a treaty between the two militaries to make peace, unfortunately, resentment remains between the members of each guild. The other is that one military leaders will become inactive, causing the guild to collapse on the inside. This has happened multiple times with Auel, and once in the State vs. Imperia wars when Xinke, Kozak, Ryzallion, and I all had major drops in activity due to starting college. Regardless of which of these two happens, the post war militaries will suffer from the changes that they had made during war time. Militaries must adapt their guilds rapidly during times of war in order to keep up with the competition. This often results in a massive activity boost. After the war ends, many of the members will still be in a blood lust of sorts, and quickly grow bored of the post war life and leave for other guilds. The military guild will almost always fail to reconfigure to postwar without a massive activity drop within two weeks of the end of the war. The remaining members will stick around, but even with recruiting attempts, they fail to combat the inactivity post-war, and the guild will fall. (Usually it comes back within a month or two like all fallen militaries but you get the point.)
The third type of conflict is often the cause of the first two. It is that of Internal Competition. Obviously in a guild, members should be striving to prove themselves worthy and attempting to stand out from the crowd, and usually this is not a problem. Unfortunately, there are those who are either impatient, greedy, envious, or arrogant. These traits in members of the military will often end up causing a member to rebel when they are denied the power they so wholeheartedly believe they deserve. They will argue, they will whine, and they will rebel. In some taking down the guild they lead with them, in cases of power disputes with higher officers. Now of course, not all rebellions are unjust. Take the communist rebellion of the first State, which was a case of Auel showing some of the aforementioned traits and the sensible veteran members rebelled against the injustice. More often though is some arrogant member with a damaged ego due to being denied a higher position, being placed below a particular person who doesn’t buy their bullshit, or some variation of this. Unfortunately, the militaries attract a high amount of these sort of people. It is due to this that every era of the State and Imperia have had one or more rebellion guilds form.
In my article A New Military Age in the End Tomes, I wrote how the ratio to these greedy and arrogant folks to those who are not seems to be rising and is detrimental to the current military age. This is made worse by the complexity of some of the guilds’ ranking system, simplicity is always best, the less options there are, the less chance for conflicts. Of course this would not eliminate it completely, that is impossible to do, and to think otherwise would be foolish. It would put a damper in it though, and a damper would possibly tip the style of rebellions from being mostly of Type B to Type A. The reason for this being quite simple, a majority of the military community is the same. A very strong majority of the players in militaries likely started in the State or Imperia. Rebellion guilds are often started by one member (or a small group) feeling underappreciated, power hungry, etc. and creating a rebel guild. A very small minority of the people that fill these rebel guilds are people new to the military community, most of them are other scorned members of the State/whatever the main military power is. By reducing the amount of internal conflicts, you reduce the scorned members, thus reducing the size and power of any potential rebellion.
So, is there a way to capitalize on the activity and occasional fun of warfare without risking the destructive repercussion? In the summer of 2014, there was a great war between the State and Imperia. Early on, Auel insisted on having this be an organized and civil war, but as Imperia gained more allies, this quickly spiraled. The main reason for this being that the attempt at organized warfare was absolute balls. However, lately, I have been thinking more and more on this trying to think of a way to correctly create organized warfare, and while I have thought of a few basic ideas, but unfortunately they all have flaws in one way or another. It is near impossible to create a balanced and fair way of war that determines a clear winner. It is possible if the greater minds of militaries worked together to create a Rules of Engagement/ Laws of War document it could be done.