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 Fixing the Allies Matrix - red pill or blue pill?

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Kabalite Warrior

Posts : 197
Join date : 2012-09-23

PostSubject: Fixing the Allies Matrix - red pill or blue pill?   Wed Jan 23 2013, 21:13

Hello all.

The Allies Matrix is a bad deal for us Dark Eldar players, not to mention the poor old tyranids. DE get one battle brother & a heap of desperate allies. This is especially apparent when playing in a competitive environment. I play at my local GW store where players routinely try out their tournament armies. The inequalities in the allies matrix can really stand out.

So, I was thinking about how to make the Allies Matrix fairer for competitive play, and came up with some ideas. I would also be interested if anyone can come up with their own suggestions for this (hopefully better than mine!)
Note that I'm not making any of these suggestions with the 'fluff' in mind. It will take second place to making competitive games more equitable. But I would also like to keep the fun in the game if such a thing is possible.

Also note that after each of these suggestions, you can add "Yes, even the Tyranids" yourself. Save me repeating myself.

The Blue Pill
Make all alliance levels 'Desperate Allies'.
Yep, pretty sweeping. This brings everyone to the same level - insert tyranids remark here - and will mean that although you can bring any race you like as an ally, you need to be conservative about it as the allies can't score/deny.
Of course I realise that this may in reality reduce alliances to a minimum, and since that is not the stated goal I would rate this option as not ideal.

But perhaps you would think differently?

The...er...Yellow Pill

Upgrade all 'Desperate Allies' to 'Allies of Convenience', and (tyranid remark on standby) upgrade all 'Come the Apocalypse' to 'Desperate Allies'.
Leave the rest as is.
Halfway house. Gives the bugs some options and also gives the Dark Eldar useful allies that aren't just more eldar (as our entry in the matrix provides the longest streak of blue on the page). I probably like this one best, although at first glance it is actually not as equitable as the other options.
Thus I have strayed from the mission statement once again!

The Grey Pill
Battle Brothers across the board! Nothing is forbidden, Everything is permitted Twisted Evil

Fluff be damned! Could lead to some crazy and exploitative combinations that I don't want to even think about. Definitely open to maximum abuse for competitive play, so may reduce the fun factor somewhat. And cause arguments with those of us who like to balance 40k lore with gameplay.

The Red Pill
Everything 'Come the Apocalypse'!! Suspect
Not a serious suggestion in the context of the post, but I know some people dislike the idea of alliances in general and may favour something like this.

So, Neo, what's it gonna be? What do you all think?
Please feel free to comment on anything I've said, and come up with your own ideas around this.

The Kabal of Shadows Ascendant
"Cruelty has a Human Heart" - William Blake
99% of war is killing time. The rest is the killing time.
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Join date : 2012-10-25
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PostSubject: Re: Fixing the Allies Matrix - red pill or blue pill?   Wed Jan 23 2013, 22:48

I'm probably a fan of something in between blue and yellow (so...a green pill I guess). I'm not the greatest with fluff but I do like it and try to follow it when possible.

I have always thought that the bugs should have the ability to ally in some form or fashion. I was thinking a Haemon who played with a new toy captured on a recent raid. Instead of simply releasing it into the arena for that night's show, the flesh crafter manages to implant something that will bend the creature to it's will. Desperate allies because, how long will the control last, will the implant fail due to a blow in combat, will the hive mind go to extraordinary measures to regain control.
Similarly, the bugs could experiment with a half-dead opponent. Instead of simply viewing the body as sustenance, the hive mind could attempt some experimentation, allowing some of the latent abilities and talents of the assimilated being to remain. In essence, risking some control for the reward of greater powers and effectiveness. The hive mind would obviously be studying the creature to see if it could cherry-pick only the parts it wanted but it may not be able to immediately; thus the desperate alliance.

To me this argument is kind of similar to how DE could have psyker-type abilities due to technology. Similar considerations for other races.

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Lord of the Chat

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PostSubject: Re: Fixing the Allies Matrix - red pill or blue pill?   Wed Jan 23 2013, 23:11

The Red Pill!

I don't like allies. In my eyes it's just so GW can make more money, encouraging people to buy more models from a different army instead of having to start a whole new army. In some cases the fluff works, Space Marines and Imperial Guard, for example, but others are downright stupid thanks to the Dark Lord VoldeWard. Blood Angels and Necrons? *Twitch*

So, yeah, I'd choose the Red Pill.


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Shadows Revenge
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Shadows Revenge

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PostSubject: Re: Fixing the Allies Matrix - red pill or blue pill?   Thu Jan 24 2013, 15:01

I really dont see a problem with the allies table the way it is.

That being said, there can always be room for improvements.

1: Battle Brothers are the only ones who count as scoring models

The reason being is that its the only one that makes sense. Allies of Convenience are just there because it works for them. Maybe they need to get through the enemy army, or maybe they have their own objective in mind. It just doesnt make sense that both sides are going after the same thing, unless they are Battle Brothers.

2: Battle Brothers ICs should be able to get into a transport

This again puts the importance of Battle Brothers ahead of Allies of Convenience. While I do see some shenannigans coming from this, I dont think it would really be as bad as we have it now. And some cool combos could come out of it [think about banshees in a raider, or ork boys out of a land raider (if orks have a BB with some SM, I dont know if they do or not)]

3: Dual force org should be at 2.5k, and Tyranids should always have access to it.

Now this isnt really my idea, as I dont find dual force org to be that overpowered at 2k. But I know alot of people out there complain about it and how "broken" it is (btw I have yet to see a "broken" dual force org army... but thats besides the point). This change though would also make tyranids unique as they can dual force org at any points level. This wholely makes up for not having any allies, as they can finally take 6x hive guard, or 4x hive guard and 2x Zoans (which was their big problem in 5th, almost all their AT was in the elite slot). And it gives them abit more flavor over everyone else, instead of just being those guys that cant ally.

Overall I think GW had a decent idea for both gameplay and marketing, the problem was it was poorly executed. Instead of focusing on Battle Brothers and making it pretty much the best and only way to run allies, they made it so that even the allies of convenience are game changing, instead of just a cool way to play. That opens up more unthought of combinations, and we get stupidity like Cron/GKs (Ward's doing), IG whoring (who knows who came up with that one), ATHNF Tau (again... probably Ward), and even the new stupidity that is BA/DA super stealth (yah... those lists look stupid as well)

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Kabalite Warrior

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PostSubject: Re: Fixing the Allies Matrix - red pill or blue pill?   Thu Jan 24 2013, 18:20

@Cavash wrote:
Dark Lord VoldeWard

Oh, you mean 'You know who'?

I'm generally not offended by the idea of allies. It may well be a way for GW to sell more stuff, but it gives players interesting new ways of using their existing models. It also allows you to collect a small force from a codex you've always fancied getting, but didn't want to commit to a full army.

My problem is that it is somewhat unbalanced and a nonsense in some cases - if necrons call ally with grey knights as scoring troops then why not just go the whole hog and allow any kind of crazy combos? I mean, even different imperial forces are often very suspicious of each other, so perhaps scoring allies should be removed altogether to reflect this?

@Drev. I don't much fancy that green pill of yours! Sounds like you've come up with a tyranid army with zombie allies (reminds me a bit of Starship Troopers)!

@Shadows Revenge. I like your suggestion re: Battle Brothers, it would cut out a few silly combos, but still favours the Imperials in an unfair way, so personally I'd like to see a larger change than that (like not having scoring allies at all).

I assume with your second point you meant that all battle brothers can embark on allied transports, not just ICs? I could see this as becoming pretty broken. Sure banshees on a raider may make them viable, so it could be a way to fix poor units & make tham viable. But what about, say, marines arriving on an imperial guard flyer? I'm sure it wouldn't take long for some outrageous combinations to emerge.

Don't really have an opinion on double force org, but I think the best way to fix tyranids is to give them a useful damn codex that they can compete with. And, yes even access to allies if necessary.

Thanks for the responses so far, something to think about!

The Kabal of Shadows Ascendant
"Cruelty has a Human Heart" - William Blake
99% of war is killing time. The rest is the killing time.
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