Agreed. We run what we call a “semi-competitive” alliance.
We have all the trappings and rules of truly competitive alliances - and several players who’ve been to #1 overall, but we treat those rules as guidelines and ask people to do their best to meet them, when life allows.
We also have 4-5 developing teams that we’re guiding and teaching. They get mauled in war and may cost us a few victories, but it’s wonderful to experience the players joy as they make steps of improvement.
And we have one player who is active-duty front line military currently on deployment in a place where he gets shot at routinely. He has entirely full dispensation to miss war or titans and we don’t give him any grief because… well, legit real life hero.
I’ll often set my alarm to be around to call the start of war, but sometimes I’m working or too tired and someone else does it.
This semi-serious “try-hard but don’t be dogmatic’ approach suits most of our players well - we’re a mix of former casual players who wanted to win a bit more and super competitive players who wanted less rules and more fun.
The trick for everyone in this game is to find the alliance with the mood and approach that best suits the individual.
But no approach is “wrong”.