The first time I ever played Malifaux was in a doubles game at the UK Doubles GT in 2012. Needless to say we lost (every game) but the whole weekend instilled in me a love of playing Malifaux doubles.
interestingly there are two commonly accepted ways of playing a doubles
game of Malifaux and they seem to be split on country lines as the US
plays one way and here in Europe we tend to play the other. Both have
strengths and weaknesses and both are great fun :)
general each player will pick a Master and then a crew of between 25 and
35 stones depending on the time allowed for the game. Personally I
like 30ss and 2 hour games. Most tournaments are mixed master though
crews can be picked as normal and the masters have to be compatible with
each other, which these days means both must be from the same faction.
If you are feeling brave though you can do what I did at Smogcon and do
random doubles where you make up the pairs on the day. Other general
rule that is normally used is that all models in a pair are friendly to
each other but may NOT use Companion or Accomplice on models from the
other players crew.
The big difference between the two formats is the number of fate decks / control hands used and activation order.
European Doubles each pair uses a single fate deck and has a single
control hand. Any model on the team can be activated at any time. This
makes the game play far closer to a singles game of Malifaux and can
led to some interesting decisions between the two players when to use
the big cards (or suits)
Is US doubles each player has a
fatedeck and control hand but activation order is fixed. The team that
win the initiative are players 1 and 3 whilst the other team are
players 2 and 4. This order is fixed for the turn and models are
activated in strict player order. This leads to more thinking about
activation order but makes fate deck control much easier.
I have heard arguments than European format means that a strong player
can effectively play the game as if it was singles but in practice I
have seen this happen in the US format as well so its not a big concern
As I said above both versions are really good fun
(if I am honest doubles is probably my favourite format) so go ahead and
give it a try.