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Friday, June 22, 2012

Learning to Accept Allies: The Stages of Grief

Much to my continued /facepalm, the rumors about allies becoming a big part of 6th Ed. 40K continue to grow stronger.

We still aren't totally clear about how they will work, but already, I've definitely gone through the stages of grief over the issue.


Nah!  No way this is going to happen.  Remember, it wasn't that long away that the design team went to the effort to remove Allies from the Sisters of Battle and Demonhunters PDFs by re-publishing their codices as PDFs, minus the ally pages?  They released them FOR FREE!  FREE people!  FREE!  GW never does that.  They hated allies so much, that they decided to fix the problem with a FREE release!

There's just no way we would revisit this.  And look at these crazy rumors!  They are saying that we are going to introduce allies, but we are going to limit who can ally with who!  That would just be so ridiculously unfair.  There's no way this can be right....


Okay!  Have we totally lost our minds, here?  Does nobody remember allies from before?  Imperial Guard and Space Marine players cherry-picking the best units out of ANOTHER book simply to shore up their designed weaknesses while nobody else could do that?!?!

Do nobody remember every Guard player taking a freakin' inquisitor just to get the Emperor's Tarot, a Psychic Hood, and a nearly impenetrable Deep Strike defense so that Leaf Blower could dominate the tournament scene for over a year because of it?!?!  Nobody at all?

Nobody remembers people cherry picking a Grand Master out of Grey Knights for psychic defense and a clearly abused Force Weapon rule to bypass instant death?

Come on people!  Almost nobody builds a list to play for fluff reasons!  Can we get over this already?  People take what works, not crap.  And what will work is some broken, crazy combination gained by some Imperial player because he can ally with everyone!  Awesome!  Let's give every Imperial army Psybolt Dreadnoughts!  Let's give them all Coteaz and a bunch of cheap henchmen, Rune Priests for ultimate psychic protection, Vendettas, Manticores, Purifiers, Paladins, Draigo... Sanguinary priests?  I mean really?


All this time getting excited over a new edition, and now, it's going to be totally ruined by something so stupid.  This is a blantant attempt to sell models, and now, our game is going to be ruined because of it.


No big deal, right?  Tournament organizers will surely see how dumb this is, and we'll just all decide to exclude allies from events, right?  Surely, nobody will think this is a good idea and actually allow it to happen!

We can control this craziness!


Well, at least everyone is going to get some kind of shot at coming up with interesting combinations.  Maybe this will actually improve the game creating a wide variety of builds for a wide variety of books that might not have otherwise been used.  The amount of variety this could potentially introduce could be mind boggling and a lot of fun!

It'll certainly be better than seeing the same 5 armies over and over.


  1. And it's worse if you're the first major TO to have to make decisions about this shit.

    1. There is no pressure on NOVA 2012 with the new edition! It's not like every other tournament in the Western Hemisphere is looking at how NOVA will be run in order to determine the baseline of 6th edition performance for their own tournament. I mean if it was that way, and Mike royally screws up how 6th ed will work in a competitive tournament environment that it won't reflect poorly on any further development of "competitive" Warhammer in the future. No pressures...NONE! Quiet your crying Hans

  2. Mikey, Mikey he's our man, if MVB can't do it.... nobody will?

  3. OK that was one of the best 40k blog posts ever! Love it.

  4. Best edition of 40K ever!! Finally better than 2nd Ed. Doing the happy dance! Doing the happy dance!

    I do feel bad for the TO's though because there is NO DOUBT that GW has now officially been working to make 40K very tourney unfriendly and completely narrative in nature.

    Heck they even go so far as to make sure they say that in the WD. Good for them. Games will be much longer I think. COuld be wrong but with all the additional dice rolling I doubt it.

    This is 5th Ed with a HUGE pile of additional rules. It looks like they barely replaced any rules but added a ton more. All of my friends are really excited and many of the ones who quit are trying to decide if maybe they will come back.


  5. I'm not saying allies are solid, but....big but...tournaments are already about bringing the best tool box that you can build. IMO it's always been about this. The inclusion of allies just broadens the scope of possible tool boxes. List design just leveled up, sure there will be more power builds, but there should be more counters as well. The community will sharpen their teeth on this, we'll figure the new rules out and keep swinging away like we always do. There will be mistakes ( lessons if we learn from them) and the community will be better for it. My real fear is that 40k becomes so complex as to be unplayable in a tournament environment just like Stucarius mentioned.

  6. I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it... EXCITED!!!

    @ Mike and other TO's - From what I can gather from White Dwarf and the rumours it seems like some of these "extras" are just that. Extra rules to the game that offer a more enjoyable narrative. Gamers and TOs can cherry pick what "extras" they want to include and exclude. Though I imagine there will be oodles of fun play testing to see how balanced/unbalanced certain things work.

    - MoD

  7. My favourite rumour was that it will only be certain armies that can ally with others.

    And only Grey Knights will be able to ally with Imperial Guard and vice versa - to finally give these armies the boost they have so richly deserved during their horror run in 5th Edition.

    Meanwhile, Tyranids are unable to take any - about time this over powered army got nerfed!

    "But" says the fluff bunny, "It fits the fluff!"

    "Ahh," counters the sensible player "They are allowing Necrons to ally with Blood Angels. FLUFF THEY CLEARLY INVENTED TO ALLOW FOR RULES AND ... SELL MORE &%#$ING MODELS YOU ^&*^ %^&*$ PAWN OF $%&^ (*&^% GW."

    And my poor little Ork boyz - to semi quote the afore quoted Sgt Schultz "Zey get nozzink NOZZINK"

    ...And then paused, gathered himself, remembered it is only a game - and that he recently purchased a substantial CSM army and its the caretaker of another Daemon army. Bring on the new codex and enjoy Abaddon (who I am hoping becomes the Draigo/Belial of the CSM army - i.e. Termies are troops) and a BBG Blood Thirster in your face - deal with that IG and GK!

    Only a game... Only a game... Only a game... Forgot Medicine this morning... Only a game... may have taken the wrong medicine this morning... only a green Rhino... only a purple Elephant... Only a game... only a game... is that you Elvis... only a game... only a game...

  8. And now for my considered response.

    If this was done to increase model sales, I think it may actually backfire in the long run. Because as before, what will happen is that "serious" players will purchase the same way they always have - by buying the best units. It is just that now, those best units will come from different codices.

    I agree that in the short term this may see some existing players purchasing some new kits, but as has been noted by others, it is yet to be seen whether TOs will allow these ally shenanigans.

    And so to address the comments of Mr Brandt (it's okay Mr Gruber - your secret identity won't reach Det John McLean, Sgt Al Powell or Steve Urkle from me) - sir, may the complaints on the day and retarded internet overreaction you receive by either:
    1. Sticking with 5th Edition
    2. Going with 6th Edition and allowing allies
    3. Going with 6th Edition and disallowing allies
    be like water upon a duck's back.

    Or may you be like a postal worker pushed a step too far - whatever works.

  9. All I know is that it appears GW has finally given us a grown up tabletop miniatures game that other communities in the hobby would recognize. It would be foolish to take what looks to be an outstanding game and something we can proudly proclaim to those communities of our hobby and dumb it down. It must also be said that even though we have a great deal of information that is fact we still do not have the full picture. Based on my experience with GW and game design in general I feel pretty confident I see where they have gone but it must still be noted that everything is couched on a certain amount of speculation.

    There is NOTHING revolutionary in the game or brilliant as some have said. It is instead a game that has finally embraced many of the mechanics and concepts that have been the hallmarks of quality table top mini games for decades.

    This game is going to be beyond many of the players who have joined 40K over the last few editions. I do not say that to mean at all. Not even a little. It is not even about the complexity of the physical rules but instead the tremendously complex nature of executing them in game. Right now people have grown used to 40k being a very simplistic game in comparison. A lot of the community has very little exposure to anything outside this game and if they do it is in the form of an equally basic game like Warmachine.

    The move from 5th Edition to what it seems we are getting with 6th is as much a cognitive shift for players as it is a change of rules. We are going from what has been since 3rd Ed a very simple and easily exploitable game to what is shaping up to be an excellent, tactical, granular and sophisticated game. Not to mention one that will allow us for the first time to truly recreate the events of BL Novels and other background lore.

    I thought tournaments were supposed to be composed of the best and the brightest players. Dumbing 6th ed down to its 5th Ed core should be considered a slap and an insult to those players. All this new edition and more complex game means is that the TO's are going to have to abandon the quasi card tourney format of recent years and get creative about how events are organized.

    If TO's like Mike Brandt want to get an idea of how much fun and compelling more narrative formats can be then go to Historicon this year and see how organizers draw thousands of people to multi day conventions around which there is a minimum of tournament play.

    There were two directions The Studio could have gone with 6th Ed. One was to strip it down into an even more bland and sterile version of itself. Or to take the game back to its roots and incorporate more of the concepts seen through out the rest of the hobby.

    We are blessed that they went the right direction. Although we do not know completely yet it appears we may now have a game we can be truly proud of playing.


  10. Reread the rules. Looks like Allies aren't optional?

    Either way, I'm just choosing to stay away from tournaments that allow Allies/Forts/Additional FOCs. While that would make an entertaining game, it would be poor at finding who is actually the best player (as opposed to the wealthiest player).

    Good luck to those that have to handle that sort of decision making. Sad as it is to suggest, my competitive fix might have to come from Steamrollers moving forward, and my beer and pretzels nights will be 40k nights.

  11. this article came out before we had access to the new BRB, so yes, they are no longer optional.


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