Ok, so I just bought a used vox ad50vt for small to medium gigs of 10-100 people. It should be plenty loud, but usually people who gig mic their amps, right? Why do people mic their amps, and what are its advantages instead of playing through the amps speakers?
because the louder the better
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With smaller amps it puts less strain on it.

There's no real issue with 'strain.'

It's really just about sound control.
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By micing all the instruments in the band the PA system will project the sound more so everyone can hear it, and it will also allow for the level of each instrument to be set so that you have a good mix where everyone can be heard.
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It's so much easier to mix and get a better sound than to try to balance out all the amps individually. I don't own an amp above 50W. I mike every show, and it works out well. I can crank them to get that nice warm tube tone, and still get the volume I need.

As far as I've seen, miking is the prefered way to go.

EDIT: Also, that means everyone can hear everyone through the monitors, which is invaluable.
You need a better PA system when you mic everything but it does distribute the sound better. It also lets the mixing guy tweek the overall sound/balnace of the band.
While 30W or better is loud enough for many situations, a combo with a single 10 or 12 inch speaker won't project as well or as far as a 2x12 or Closed back cabinet. The PA then helps with this too.
Moving on.....