Friday, June 29, 2012

6th Edition Allies: The Actual Book

by SandWyrm

After all the gnashing of teeth earlier this week over my reactions to the allies rumors, I can finally react to the book itself.

The Good:

On the FOC level, I don't see anything that's terribly exploitable.

For every primary detachment in your army, you can take one detachment of allies. Which is an HQ, up to 2 units of troops, and up to one of everything else. The allies you take subtract from the FOC slots of the primary detachment. So if you take Mephiston and some Assault Marines, you'll only be able to take 1 HQ and up to 5 Troops from your own army. (Edit: This was wrong.)

It's possible, I think, to take 2 primary detachments and 2 allied detachments at 2000 points (Edit: It definitely Is). But aside from maybe one or two odd builds, I think that this will be reigned in by the cost of taking all the required units. So I'm not really very worried about it.

The Bad:

The Ally matrix chart is really hard to read. Who designed it? The thing looks like a game of Bejeweled. With an entirely too complex key of what shape/color/logo means what.

There are still 3 different levels of buddy, and most of the differences favor Imperials. So some armies will benefit from armies better than others, or not at all.

I won't re-hash what we've already argued about here. But I do think that TOs might find that they need to standardize the ally levels and/or availability across all armies. I think that would be much preferred to banning them, which I don't want to see happen.

I'm also afraid that while this will VASTLY increase the variety of forces in casual games (a good thing), that we'll find competitive players always taking one of 2-3 standard ally detachments (not so great). Maybe I'm wrong on that, but we'll see.

Extra detachments are another matter, and I really don't know what to do about them. If you ban them, Nids will suffer (unless they get allies too). If you don't ban them, everyone can pretty much take whatever they want.

Which is better? Dunno. Probably best to do nothing and see how much of a problem it is (or isn't) in a few months.


  1. The FOC restriction is something I was hoping to see and I'm glad that's the route they made. Having too many Elite or Heavy units would have been too over the top.

    And dear god that chart looks awful. They took what should have been a simple design and threw up all over it.

  2. I've read and re-read the allies section and can not find where it says that your allies subtract from your primary chart, can you point out where this is stated?

    1. I don't have access to the book right now. I'll pick up my own copy tomorrow and double-check it.

    2. I think you're right. I can't find it either. I must have been referencing a rumor or someone's comment. I'll correct the post.

  3. I'd call this all good news.

  4. Eh, I've seen the chart... and while aesthetically it can be disorienting, all it takes is writing down once what your army (or all of them if you like the full view) can do in a more legible manner. Aesthetics I'm not worried about. I'm concerned with how the rules work.

    And for the most part, imperials can ally with imperials and be buddy buddy (go figure). Most other things can work with most other things, but their powers/rules won't interact. There are a couple of interesting quirks (I wouldn't have necessarily expected DE and Eldar to work together fully, but yay guided things!), and Eldar/Tau combos will be fun I'm sure.

    In the end, with as many points/slots as you have to fill before you can even *think* about taking the "hard" units... I'm honestly not concerned. And who even knows what the hard units will be anymore? Wound allocation changing softens thunder wolves and Nobs, psychic powers as a whole are just... different... we're still all viewing this from a 5th ed perspective. We're looking at it and saying "oh crap, if you add this then this will happen!!" But *this* may not be this anymore in 6th anyway, so what *would* have been a stupid amazing super-combo may be a moot point. Maybe not. But without everything in front, it's hard to see. Step back from the tree, look at the forest.

  5. It does not say the Allied detachment takes away from your primary FoC.....

  6. The problem at the moment is that SOME armies literally get handicapped once they get to around 2000pts... This doesn't affect the "power hungry" armies such as space wolves and grey knights who can simply add more and more expensive units... christ, blood angels and grey knights could probably get all the way up to 5000pts before you really start filling all the FOC and maxing out each unit ("why, I'll just add a land raider to transport each unit!!!)

    But when you turn and take a look at armies such as Tau, Nids and even dark eldar then it becomes very difficult to make force that stands a chance of competing at high points levels... I mean, 2000pts is about as high as I can play with Tau. Not because I don't have enough units - but by that point I have already filled every thing FoC slot and any more points I spend will simply give me diminishing returns.

    I think the thing to note here is that, generally speaking... you can't play competitive games at above 2000pts. The game loses the intricacies of army building and struggles to allow you space on a 6x4 to actually use any strategy or tactics. You can overcome the second by upping the table size bu the first still remains...

  7. IMO, the biggest limit on Allies "abuse" is the inability to take each others' rides. Although I think ICs attached to allied squads should get to ride. If you could ride in Allies stuff, then Rhinos would be toast and IG locked in for most SM armies. Hey look, take a full GH squad, get the free weapon, attach a Wolf Guard and HQ and they still fit in a Chimera.

    The silly bit (IMO), but one GW "fixed" with a sledgehammer was the locking of special powers into each codex. Mostly cool, but Black Templars would take direction/advice from outstanding leaders of other sons of Dorn (non-psyker of course) as well as certain other Imperials, but that gets into chapter traits and GW doesn't want to go there. Normally a "special" SM Chapter has subordinate chapters that look exactly like it, so it is a special case.


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