Why 40K Should Ban All Allies

Today I want to talk about allies and why I’ve decided I think they need to be totally banned.

Black Blow Fly here swinging through your neighborhood again to spread more mischief and rot. I just moved across the country so I haven’t had much hobby time which is troubling me a bit but I’m looking forward to getting back again into it again soon as they say.

Today I want to talk about allies and why I’ve decided I think they need to be totally banned. This interwebz quote sums it all up perfectly for me …



Now I used to be a big fan of allies and in truth they have been around a long long time, going way back before sixth and seventh edition. It could be a good thing but in reality it’s just another tool to power game. The final nail in the coffin for me was looking at army lists that made it into the top sixteen at Adepticon and I of all people should know because once I was a very competitive tournament player and even played Grey Knights with Necron allies…. I know I might come across as a hypocrite but in truth I’ve finally rehabilitated myself. It wasn’t easy but diligence paid off. I really learned my lesson.

The game will better off without allies and it would present an opportunity for competitive players to get rid of that crutch and sharpen their skills.

The Allies Table has not worked out and needs a big overhaul of some type, or just an outright removal and return to the days of single codex lists with very limited ability to grab cross codex units.  The Formations and Detachments already give us some of these tools, so perhaps that is enough.

Note how GW already simplified the Allies table in the last two editions of the game. They could easily continue along this path and clean it up even more.

6th Edition Allies table (16 factions)

7th Edition Allies table (9 factions)


  • What suggestions do y’all have as an alternative to the current ally system?
  • Would you simple remove the entire Allies table in the rulebook?
  • Perhaps it needs to a new set of draconian limitations on how many units can be added to an army form another codex?

~In any case, the current system has been an abused construct that has left the Grimdark’s fluff as wreckage. What should be done?

  • Randy Randalman

    It’s where AoS got something right over 40k yet again – the Grand Alliance system is in place, but there’s far more incentives for staying within a sub-faction with allegiance abilities, battalions, and unique command traits.

    • Ryan C

      Exactly this, its a great way of balancing: choose between thematic perks OR the versatility of an unbound style list with allies. In a perfect world both choices should be balanced but I think in a more realistic sense the goal should be for thematic perks to always narrowly edge out any benefits that can be had from doing an allies list.

      • Karru

        The balancing factor comes from removing your weakness when it comes to allies. That’s why AoS does it so well, since allies don’t benefit each other beyond being there.

        When playing a pure army, you benefit from the army synergy that comes from rules. All armies by default should have some sort of weakness. Low numbers for elite armies for example while horde armies lack quality. This is the price you pay from getting the army benefits.

        Then when it comes to allies, you can fill out those weakness, but you lose on your army benefits. So for example, Tau takes Psykers since they don’t have any. They fill out their weakness with taking allies, but they should be “punished” for it. They lose on army benefits while getting rid of a major weakness.

        That’s the current problem with 40k allies. People can basically take whatever they want and add them to their armies to take away weaknesses but they aren’t giving anything in return. It’s the opposite actually. If you don’t take allies, you are purposefully gimping yourself since you accept your weaknesses and don’t just remove them.

        • GWELLS

          Agree 100%. Right now there are just no incentives to not take allies, barring house rules.

          My theory is when they originally included allies they it would encourage people to buy more models from different factions without much thought to how that would effect game balance (TauDar anyone?).

          • Karru

            I originally believed that the inclusion of Allies was a smart move by GW. It was a way to encourage people to start new armies. Want to make a Guard army but don’t want to invest too much into it just to realise it’s not your thing? Buy a Company Command Squad and a box or two of basic Cadians to use as Veterans and now you have an allied detachment to try out your new army. Then you can slowly add things into it and lo and behold you have an army.

            It was also a clever way to encourage people that make small armies to make bigger ones. Just make one “core” army which has an HQ and the two troops and now you can add an allied detachment. Two armies that could be made into one legal army.

            Unfortunately GW forgot that when you give people options, they will use them. Especially if that option happens to be game-breaking, then they will surely use it and abuse it.

          • GWELLS

            Yes, couldn’t agree more. The allies system we currently have is a prime example of some holdovers from the pre-renaissance GW policys. Admittedly I like to think that we are in new golden age of sorts were the gaming aspect is being nurtured again.

            But this was thrown in back when they were in the “Cool models is all that matters” mentality from a couple years back. Just allying in whatever you want will definitely sell models is probably what they thought.

            However I am confident they will remedy this when 8th drops, perhaps with something similar to AOS version. AT the very least thrown in some penalties (along with nerfing summoning, just had to mention it).

      • kingcobra668

        Many, many allies are soundly themed. Even inq w daemons if you know anything about the lore.

    • P P

      Have to agree with Randy, the balacing mechanisms for allies isn’t reducing their numbers but rather ensuring that they can’t buff anyone but their own faction. The keywords option in AoS is a fantastic way to clearly control this, and I hope it makes the jump into the 8th edition.

      • Shawn

        If there is an issue with allies, buffing other armies is probably it, but otherwise, I haven’t seen any issues with allies or heard of issues with allies in anything but the major tournaments; a place where no one cares about the narrative, but only the buffs.

    • SundaySilence

      At least this will be the case when all the Battletomes are bought in line. My Ironjawz aren’t really feeling like a worthwhile choice at the moment but my Beastclaws are okay.

      • Yeah, sadly AoS love has not been evenly distributed yet

      • Shawn Lyons

        Totes, I want nithing more than to add other destruction units to my Ironjawz, but then my megaboss’ command ability becomes substantially weaker. I feel like it is a good balance between staying true to your faction and adding allies. 40k could benefit from this kind of system.

    • It’s kind of annoying for small subfactions like Nurgle rot bringers. My options are literally 4 behemoth heroes, 2 non-behemoth heroes, and blight kings, so if I want the game to be at all interesting I have to take a mixed force and lose out.

      Which is why I pretty much just play path to glory

      • Wayne Smith

        You can also take any slaves to darkness mortal unit and mark them with nurgle and they work perfectly with the rotbringers

        • Right, but that’s not sticking to a single subfaction, that’s taking allies from Lost and Damned, which is fine but not ideal.

          • Karru

            Well, to me this sounds like you are purposefully extremely picky. What did you expect? They are extremely niche sub-faction right now. That’s like complaining I can only play scouts if I play a Scout Company. If you want to play a Nurgle army, you use units that get “Nurgle” Keyword. Your army is now a Nurgle army. If you want to use Nurgle Rotbringers, you only play Rotbringers.

          • Which is, you know, kind of my point. AoS has a few fleshed out subfactions, but most people need allies to actually build an army

          • Karru

            Consider it like this. Let’s say you have a Spearmen Battalion that is part of the a Grand Army. That Spearmen Battalion has nothing but Spear equipped men. Horse riders that use spears and regular footmen that use spears. They are trained together and have their own tactics and ways of fighting.

            Now those Spearmen can fight on their own, but they lack equipment. You can attach equipment from other Battalions into your Spearmen Battalion so they can fight better. Finally, you have the choice of using the Grand Army itself with all the Battalions at your command.

            The point is that sub-factions are called sub-factions for a reason. They are not factions, they are a minor part of a faction. This means that when they fight alone and not with the faction they are part of, they are weaker.

          • Right, so AoS forces you to use allies, no?

          • Karru

            Nope. If I play Stormcast Eternals, I don’t need Allies. If I play Disciples of Tzeentch, I don’t need Allies. These are factions with multiple sub-factions to choose from. I can play Rotbringers without taking allies. If I do, my army won’t be as strong as it would be if I took them as a Nurgle army. Simple.

          • It’s almost like, 2 years in, the most glaring flaw in the game is that they haven’t done enough work to unify the factions with battletomes? Weird, I wonder if that’s my whole complaint…

          • Karru

            I do agree with you that GW should release more for the other factions and not just focus on Order mostly. But saying that AoS forces you to use allies is wrong. You have a choice when it comes to your armies, no one is forcing you. You can play a minor sub-faction if you want or you can play a full fledged faction which fits your theme.

          • Right, that was hyperbole

          • GWELLS

            I wouldn’t worry too much, Nurgle will get its battletome soon. Probably after the Khorne one drops.

            For now unfortunately the grand alliance method is what will have to suffice.

            They were smart though. While it isn’t a themed army taking Nurgle units from multiple factions is still technically an army and not open play. You just have to use the generic Allegence traits and articafts for your cookie cutter Nurgle army.

            They probably did this way so armies that didn’t get a Battletome right away can still do matched play without it being unbound. You can still do fluffy with it.

          • Yeah, it’s not terrible, just not ideal. Particularly as I’m primarily interested in a mixed beastmen/humans army and despite giving us back marked beastmen for end times, currently tzeentch is the only faction with marked beastmen now

          • GWELLS

            I know what you mean, they really don’t seem to like giving the beast men much love. I personally think they are one of the more colorful armies right now. But they seem intent on having play backburner for awhile. I think its because they picture them as the chaos cannon fodder army so they want round out in what there minds is the big bads of the the setting (Khorne armies, Orruks, etc…) first.

            So their probably thinking leave them as the are and have people use them as battleline cannon fodder for mixed chaos armies.

      • ZeeLobby

        Which is why it’s definitely 2 fold. Incentives to stay pure faction, and then then equal support across factions.

        • Yeah, i just find myself not wanting to buy any of the old battletomes because now they’re doing god specific ones, so I just kinda have to wait and twiddle my thumbs. I just hope they have a couple Nurgle releases to pair with the death Guard release for 40k, the end times stuff was ok, but it was mostly named characters, which I’m not gonna add to my army. A Nurgle cultist unit or pestigors or the equivalent of blood warriors are sorely missed

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. It’s something they haven’t really solved in AoS. Just like the sheer number of order releases compared to say, Death. It’s one of the things that make this past summers campaign so boring, as Order clearly carries the day as there’s just more people playing it because there are more options. GW has a real issue with chicken/egg when it comes to releases.

          • Yeah, death is languishing for no good reason, they should really have planned releases for each grand alliance.

            Free people are just a mystery right now, too

          • Shawn

            You just made a funny: Languishing Death.

            However, I get what you mean. Not enough options for your faction, which is something GW should address.

          • Haha I’m glad I amused someone with that.

          • Shawn

            Or that maybe more people like playing the good guys 😉

    • Zingbaby


      Summary of this article: No fun for anyone because some “competitive” players can’t help being jerks.

      • Shawn

        Ding, ding, ding, dingy. Give this man a cigar.

    • Thomas

      Christ, I agree with Randy. I feel dirty.

  • DrLove42

    Yes, at least in their curremt form

    Ive long felt allies were a cool fluffy thing thats been overly abused. Hey benefit some armies massivly more than others- the Imperium has open season amd has tons, Eldar can use Dark Eldar to get a power boost they dont need, but armies like Orks or Necrons have none of hat.

    Ithink the issue is the way that Battle Brothers lets units merge togrther with special rules they dont, amd shouldnt have access to.

    • John Bower

      Think you hit the nail on the head; Battle bros should go. Imperium should be a faction, Aeldari a faction, Stealer Cults and nids should be a single faction. Necrons don’t need much of a boost, they are still a nasty codex today. Being able to drop an obelisk in then basically put 2 monoliths near it is a pretty dirty tactic. Orks at least have a Stompa to play with, if anything nids need a plastic gargantuan creature.

      • Shawn Pero

        If you think a stompa is any kind of saving grace for orks in the current meta, you should play orks for a few games…

        • Karru

          Indeed, once they removed the Big Mek Stompa, Orks lacked a useful Super Heavy that they can use.

          • Lord Elpus

            Fw has said that IA8 is still valid😊 run those stompas for all your worth while yoi can.

          • Nogle

            I had a greater brass scorpion die to a stompa because my opponent and i could not find any rules for the claws. The d weapon did more damage than strength ten claws. He felt sorry for me and gave me AP 2, but I couldn’t beat it

          • Lord Elpus

            Ork players are great. (& so modest too)

        • GWELLS

          Well its better than nothing. Trying playing Orks in the current meta without one. Atleast the Ork player has an excuse to even play the game, otherwise just declare the cheesy army your playing the winner and save a couple hours.

    • ZeeLobby

      I still think it’s one step further. Even without battle bros you’ll see abominations like the screamerstar + scatterbikes I saw the other weekend.

    • GWELLS

      Exactly, it really benefits over powered armies more than the ones who would actually need the power boost (Tyranids, Orks, etc..)

      I mean they didn’t give Tyranids a decent ally for years but then made all the Eldar Battle Brothers. THey could have atleast made the tow AOC atleast.

  • Ronin

    I play more narrative lists so I’d love to run Eldar and Ultramarines teaming up to beat up chaos like they did in GS3. I think what needs to go is battle brothers. Nothing should be better than allies of convenience.

    • Shawn

      I disagree Ronin. The Astra Militarum and Adeptus Astartes don’t team up because it’s convenient. They do it because they’re on the same team. They share battle plans, equipment, and often go to war together. And that is very fluffy according to the narrative.

      The issue is the abuse by tourney players, who ignore the narrative for the sake of power gaming. GW can remedy this to make tourny players happy by saying abiltity buffs effect the major teams (i.e. Imperials, Chaos, Eldar, etc), or are faction specific.

      • Ronin

        They technically don’t really share equipment since they’re both supposed to be autonomous and have different grades of wargear. For example, just because they use bolters, doesn’t mean they use the same kinds of bolters and ammunition which is why there’s a distinction in the 40k RPGs. It’s like saying autoguns are the same, but there’s a difference in the M4 and the AK, but I get what you’re saying and I’m just digressing.

        However, I rather ban battle brothers for the greater good. Everyone plays 40k differently and I rather level the playing field between the WAAC guys and the fluff bunnies. Not doing so doesn’t fix DA/SW superfriends.

  • Optix

    Allies is what made me abandon Epic 40k many, many years ago.

  • Dan

    “Note how GW already simplified the Allies table in the last two editions of the game. They could easily continue along this path and clean it up even more.”

    No they can’t. The entirety of the simplification you observe, going from 16 factions to 9 on the matrix, is them condensing every single imperial faction down to “Armies of the Imperium” and in so doing cutting the thing in half.

    There is literally nothing else they can do “along this path” to simplify the allies matrix any further. That is the end of the path. Perhaps, if desperate, they could hew a little further merging Chaos Daemons and CSM. maybe. *maybe* they could fold DE in with Eldar and get the matrix down to 7 entries if that was soc critical. However, ultimately that’s not the core of them problem.

    The problem is the weird, horrible interactions afforded by allied factions. It breaks internal balancing and internal balancing is the mechanism by which an asymmetrical wargame like 40K achieves overall balance. Likewise it incentivizes list building for pure optimized game performance which has a lot of overall negative effects on the game’s tertiary game loop and overall community.

    • I’m sorry if this may frighten you, but GW could very well condense it even further by saying that Eldar, Tau, Dark Eldar and Imperium form a single faction and Chaos, Necrons, Orks and Tyranids do the same.

      • Dan

        Ehhh that honestly would be preferable I’d say.

        As it is now it’s ostensibly based on fluff so I said it can’t go further assuming that remains the case. Again the real problem being the very concept of what an alliance entails means it’s all moot. Would it make sense to let a Necron borrow your Khornate sippy cup to get all roided out on pure hatred or for those unfeeling genestealers to all pumped for fightins’ and killins’ when you call WAAGHHHH?

        Maybe not, but mechanically it’s no different, and no worse, than a whole rainbow of marines slapping each other on the back and combining their powers for one big power rangers combined attack. The difference being at least with what you propose there’s a whole let less bookkeeping and your fun hobby isn’t an agonizing slog of legal text parsing and hardcore excel comparisons.

      • Necrons with chaos though, makes no sense

        • I never said it makes sense. I only said GW has all the possibilities in the world.

      • Evil Otto

        Yeah, but it doesn’t really fit thematically with a lot of the armies. We ‘nids don’t ally, we consume, and we’ll happily consume orks and chaos just as much as eldar or Imperials. The DE are sadistic, slaving monsters who aren’t going to team up with the Imps… rather, they’d betray them at the first opportunity. Necrons have little reason to ally themselves with chaos (especially given recent fluff), and the whole reason the Silent King returned to the galaxy was to try to unite his people against the tyranids.

        • I never wanted to say that this would be fluffy or anything. I’m only saying that GW could condense it in any way they want to.

  • John Bower

    I think it will go in 8th, we will have just a few factions: Imperium, Aeldari, Tyranids/Cults, Necrons, Chaos, Tau, Orks. Allies will likely dissolve as the galaxy burns. Necrons may ally with the Imperium to fight chaos as will the Aeldari and Tau. Orks most likely just fight like always (they might make them mercenaries), Tyranids won’t ally with anyone, they’ll just keep on doing what they do best, nomming the galaxy and getting their cute tush’s kicked by every other army out there.

    • euansmith

      They could just go for two faction; Death (Imperium, Eldar, Tau and Necron) and Destruction (Orc, Chaos and ‘nids). 😉

      • Darkcat

        Tau ask Tyranids to be friends. Tyranid do not have many friends. Tyranids accept and tau rides on them to battle. And later they become super pregnet… The love story about two faction. Until the imperium came… To start the love triangle.

        • Dennis J. Pechavar

          I binge watched this. It was so sad when the Hive Tyrant stood outside the bunker in the rain of blood and tears.

          • euansmith

            “Like tears of blood in the blood rain… time to die…”

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            It was a touching moment.

          • Shawn

            Death to the Xenos!

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Commissar Senpai! Why did you have to remind me of the scene! Now I have to watch the first 3 seasons again!

        • 40K Today

          I might watch that

  • Crevab

    It’d be a lot better having to take an Allied Detachment and no Battle Brothers tier

    • ZeeLobby

      I still don’t get why they had to go beyond Allied Detachment. It usually introduced enough of a tax that it wasn’t an auto-include. It also made allying 3 factions together competitively a tricky prospect.

      • Crevab

        C’mon now. We know exactly why they went with “this unit is also a formation, add it to your army!”

        The narrative, of course :p

        • Karru

          Ah, yes, the “narrative”. *wink* *wink*

        • ZeeLobby

          Lol. Yeah… You know they won’t remove what they consider a sales generator, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do with them.

  • benn grimm

    I think they just need to make it more interesting, more fluffy, like the 2nd Ed approach to Ork allies; you can loot Imp vehicles, but they’re now crewed by Orks and you have to paint them in garish ‘camo’. Chaos should be able to summon daemons, but there should be a cost. Tau could have gue vesa and other Xeno adherents to the greater good. I’m sure they could work out limited routes for fluffy expansion to most armies that aren’t ‘crons or ‘nids…

  • foulestfeesh13 .

    Allies should stay as they are in casual/ narrative games. Tournaments on the other hand should restrict armies to a single faction only. That way you would get a much clearer picture of what Armies if any are overpowered/ underpowered.

    • euansmith

      Hopefully the “3 ways to play” will give some hard and fast rules to allow pick-up games and to form a scaffold for narrative play.

      • foulestfeesh13 .

        The 3 ways to play are technically already in the 40k rules it’s just a small paragraph and not 20 odd pages like in the generals hand book for Age of Sigmar.

        • Karru

          Yeah, it’s interesting to see that people completely ignore the fact unless it’s in giant letters or within its own book when it comes to these things.

        • euansmith

          But they could maybe do more to give clear guide lines. Of course, that doesn’t really matter if the factions are not balanced.

        • ZeeLobby

          I think what’s missing in the 40K book is the word competitive. There’s 3 ways to play, but there’s nothing that’s like “if you’re playing tournaments, use this”. Also the current “competitive” option still has tons of issues.

    • ZeeLobby

      I still like this idea. Mixing factions will never let them balance.

  • Karru

    Extremely simple solution would be to remove Battle Brothers, make them work like Allies of Convenience and make it so that no other alliances can be done outside Unbound. The AoS keyword system would also work here, making sure that buffs and other benefits are dependant on taking a pure force and not a mixed bag. Basically bringing choice back into allies. Do I want to take allies and possibly fill some weakness in my army or would I rather take a pure army that gains all kinds of benefits and just learn how to play around my weakness?

    • Knockham Dursley

      Agreed; This would be an elegant solution.

    • ZeeLobby

      You forgot balancing factions. The problem is that there are plenty of OP ally combos that don’t require sharing buffs units or transports. In the competitive scene you’d still see the 3 riptides with space marines with necrons. There really needs to be something beyond incentives, maybe harsh penalties, for mixing forces.

      • Karru

        Only armies that are currently Battle Brothers would be able to ally, but they would work like Allies of Convenience currently do. Thus Space Marines and Tau cannot ally as they are not Battle Brothers right now, same with Necrons.

        Many Battle Brother armies right now ally because they give buffs to each other. Take that away and there is only the Knight that would be taken as an ally. Of course, taking a Knight would take something away from the main army. If they made Warlord Traits more useful, they could take those away for example.

      • Shawn

        I think it would be simpler to just forbid it. It’s primarily a tournament issue, so actually making a rule to this effect is within their reach, and prevent many shenanigans.

  • Johan Strandh

    Couldn’t some of the problems be solved with introducing a system of taxes on allies? Something like:
    – Max 30% of total army value spent on allies,
    – Clear restrictions on allied formations,
    – Allied models can’t join primary units/ transports and vice versa.

    I really like the fluffy part of allying, an AdMech force with Iron Hands, Inquisitorial gang joining [whatever], Harlequins with Eldar and so on and so forth. But I realise that some lists look hillariously silly nowadays. I have stayed away from tournaments just because I know that I wouldn’t have any chance whatsoever against the crazy combinations out there.

    • orionburn

      I agree with the concept of keeping allies to a max of 25%-30%, or work in that a CAD must be taken in order to use a formation from that ally. *IF* 40k goes the AoS route and offers 3 types of play that may help solve a big chunk of the problem. Maybe for narrative play there is more leeway with allies to keep the fluff side of things, but in match/competitive play the bigger restrictions come in.

      Was it last year when my beloved Dark Angels won a tourney and it was basically a small DA CAD with a Wolfstar? What is the point in even calling it Dark Angels army when 80% of your points are from an ally?

      • Johan Strandh

        Exactly. The game has deteriorated into some crazy illogical mishmash of cross-faction units stacking USR’s and spells on top of something that is either unkillable or shoots everything off the table.

        Or both.

        Thank goodness for 30k that is superior to 40k in every way.

        • orionburn

          I’m all for playing fluffy games and that’s my true love with 40k. I have friends that want me to come to some of the bigger tourneys but they have no appeal to me with how things are used and abused right now. Fingers crossed that 8th reigns things back in.

        • Shawn

          Well, marines vs marines is balanced in 40k, too.

    • ZeeLobby

      I think taxing is the way to go, at least competitively.. It should make it so that competitive players would rarely if ever consider an ally.

      • Shawn

        Nah, an T.O. can simply say “no allies” Boom. Done.

  • Omnia Incendent

    The allies might have been a fair ‘first go’ at what became the Formations/detachments system.
    Moving into 8th edition I’d like to see the core rules trimmed down to the essentials, remove the allies table completely but keep (and expand) on the formations/detachments.

  • rugerkoz

    I think a system like in AoS where if u keep ur army fluffy u get bonuses is better then eliminating allies out right. The competitive tournament scene isn’t the place to worry about fluffy list unless a tournament specifies it’s restricting allies to keep the power lists out.

  • Tshiva keln

    Get rid of the table, “come the apocalypse” rubbish etc. This was put in there for people who wanted to take whatever they like and play. Unbound and the free play (or whatever it’s called in AOS) will cover those people. For narrative play, do what you want – it’s your story, enjoy. For points matches (and competitive) keep sensible allies only. I.e. chaos and demons, imperial factions etc. but have no crossover of rules. No joining units, special rules don’t affect them etc. Stops abuse but keeps the fluff, plus still means allies can lead into a second army. Seems simple to me!

  • Old zogwort

    BOOO!!! If you don’t like them don’t play them, but don’t rob my radical inquisition army or my digganob army of my options.

    • euansmith

      General Bellator lowered his opticron and turned to Colonel Thrax, “You are right, the enemy appear to contain Chaos Space Marines, Eldar, Genestealer Cultists and a Knight Titan. How could such a thing have come to pass?”

      The grizzled veterans turned to face each other, and shook their heads in unison as they ruefully chorused, “Radical Inquisitor Army.”


    • ZeeLobby

      Lol. Just don’t play competitively. Bingo bango solved.

  • Master Avoghai

    40k or the tourney scene?

    I mean… I’m not a tourney player and often play themed battle for example, I play an harlequins/Inquisition list attacked by a TS/Tzeentch deamon list to represent Arhiman attempting to capture Kzevak to know the location of the Forbidden Library…

    I’m pleased to have a simple system to deal with those lists.

    Now I can understand that tourney may have a problem with allies but it’s up to tourney organizers to make rheir restrictions.

    I think the main problem in 40k lies in 2 problems.

    – transfer of USR meaning why you have Samnael in a wolf pack
    – summoning : meaning why you can have a council of librarians in a tau army to summon deamons gah…

    Remove both and you’ll see that suddenly 80% of the stupid allied armies will disappear without preventing players to make cool alliance…

    • ZeeLobby

      That’s just not true. Many stupid alliances are to fill gaps in faction s. Allying in an Inquisitor with service skills has nothing to do with those two points above. Same with a daemon player allying in scatterbikes, etc. Now if they just do the 3 ways to play and remove allies from matched play, you’ll still have all your options, but tournament goers would have a lot more fun.

      • Master Avoghai

        But the problems you point out here are part of the 20% 😛

        And they don’t come from the alliance system, it come from their level… They are so blatantly over powered or under priced (3pts a servo skull… seriously…) that it comes ridiculous…

        I mean… even in a pure eldar army a scatter bike squadron is ridiculous…

        • ZeeLobby

          True. I mean if I could trust them to rebelance the game, this would be fine. Haha. Trust them being the key part.

  • Dhalgren Schroeder

    I don’t play in tourneys or anything, but hearing about some of the lists you mention..they seem like you say, a tool to power game. Very different to a friendly game where some brings allies for fun or because they just happen to have that unit.

    As bad as it might be though, having allies options DOES add a certain extra flexibility to the game (again, friendly games etc).
    If they are that bad in the big tourneys, surely it should be up to the people in charge (assuming they let people bring DA with 40 wolves, they must be idiots with little regard for the background of the game) too simple ban allies. Bring one army you love and want to play.

    Common sense.

    • Karru

      That’s why the system I proposed would be absolutely perfect. Take allies, but they don’t interact in any way with your main army. They just fill out something else in your army. Take a pure army and your army gains benefits and synergy. Everyone wins.

      • SYSTem050

        Indeed i like this approach a bonus for all one faction rather than a penalty for allying

        • ZeeLobby

          The only issue is then you have to actually balance. If throwing a WK in your list still outweighs the bonuses, you still see horrible combos on the table. I also have this fear that some factions will get better bonuses then others (if formations are any indicator). Maybe if it was a flat universal points tax/bonus.

          • Karru

            But the reasons you gave would also apply in your situation. What does it matter if, say only 30% of your army could be allies? They just keep those super units like WK and Riptides cheap as dirt as they currently are and they won’t be going anywhere and nothing was achieved.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean that might work. I think they could probably come up with a more elegant solution. I don’t mind fluffy 50/50 armies, but they should have some kind of negative.

    • A lot of TOs are afraid any restrictions will lower overall attendance.

  • AnomanderRake

    If you want to ban Allies you need to stop designing armies assuming they’ve got Allies as a crutch.

    Bring back the combined Inquisition books. And stop releasing four-kit Codexes that don’t actually work in a vacuum.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      But then people would buy less models and GW isn’t likely to do that.

    • Mini codexes are one of the best parts of 7th ed, requiring every codex be a standalone army was stagnant as hell. If anything we need more small factions, like exodites and arbites and some of the tau’s other allies

  • Isolfr

    In my opinion
    I think they should keep the allies table but just remove battle brothers
    If you look at it in a lore sense
    Space wolves and dark angels would never ally together willingly. Fall of cadia it talks about them being “nice” but in curse of the wulfen even when surrounded by daemons they were ready to strIke at each other
    As well adeptus mechanicus would be allies of convenience with armies of the imperium. It states multiple multiple times there not part of the imperium like the guard or marines or sisters
    In fact the only ones they’d be battle brothers with would be iron hands.
    But other wise I think orks need to be allies of convenience at least with more races due to freelootas being paid by other races even imperium to help out
    Or just make a group or 2 that can be battle brothers with them.

    • ZeeLobby

      Still wouldn’t fix things like Inquisitor + service skills and deamons, or screamerstar + scatterbikes. I hope they go further.

      • Isolfr

        I don’t want them to get rid of allies because my skitarii finally have some good cheap psychic defense in the form of sisters of silence. I don’t get obliterated by psychic armies

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean that could just be solved by making psychic powers not as ball busting as they are now. I think it’s a pretty bland game if every faction has answers to every situation, and I played DE for years with almost no psychic defense. Back then it wouldn’t make units invincible though…

          • Isolfr

            That would solve most of my problems
            Now I play lone skitarii in most games
            But if I go up shalt grey knights, eldar, or some other friends I know I need that extra bit of umph to help
            I honestly don’t know what they could do to balance out psychic powers without seriously downgrading psychic heavy armies

  • Bakvrad

    When speaking for tournaments: the organizer can ban it any time.
    They already do it

    Fluff players would be mad if the table is banned.

    • The restrictions if any don’t seem to curb the abuse much at all.

      • Bakvrad

        Then it’s one thing they should think about

  • I’ve never really used allies but I had just started to think about it.
    Thinking dark angels + Imperila knight + custodies
    Planning to use Psyker powers to insure my allies get a first turn assault. (Why not?)
    Well I doubt I’ll buy those allies, still haven’t got a Knight and they’ve been out for quite a while now. ( I would like to build and paint one.)
    The only allies I’ve managed to start to collect are Harlequins which I planned to use with my Orks. I haven’t got them painted yet either.

    One thing that sticks out to me is how AoS handles characters/heroes. If they can’t join a unit they “should” be easier to deal with. I like that.
    I think my issues with allies come more from the internet articles and accounts of winning lists and the rule books USR’s.
    I think cleaning up the USR’s would go a long way to help clean up allies. I think something as simple as a list that Heroes use, a list Units use and a list they both can use. Just some way to at the very least clean up the confusion I suffer from. I don’t like the way they used one rule as an example to show which USR’s effect who and how many. AoS seems far more clear so far.
    I think that then if allies don’t change it wouldn’t feel s abusive as it does now.
    I’m looking forward to a massive change to 40K in 8th edition.

  • Allies sell more models, gave us tons of new factions, really they made 40k 6th and 7th editions worth playing. Thankfully, there is basically 0 chance they’re going anywhere. Which is good, the only time we didn’t have allies at all was from the GK 5th ed release (replacing the daemonhunters codex, which had allies rules) until the launch of 6th in summer 2012, which IMHO was the single worst period for 40k in the decade+ I’ve played

  • Viper666

    Well, problems with Allies come from the buffs Battle Brother gives…. This would be resolved if Battle Brothers was like what Allies of Convenience is right now, Allies of Convenience would get what Desperate Allies get right now and you eliminate any Come the Apocalypse alliance since it just make no sense at all….

  • I enjoy allies. In the context where my opponent is not hyper competitively competing for a trophy, they work just fine.

    Let TO’s ban allies from their tournaments. Then the competitive players can have their needs met and the rest of us can have ours met. We don’t need blanket bans that are only really a problem in the broken min/max environment.

    IMO. YMMV.

  • MechBattler

    Honestly, the introduction of Unbound kind of rendered Allies obsolete. You can take whatever you want with no restrictions, but you don’t get the bonuses that battle forged armies get.

    The most common argument for Battle Forged (which is where Allies live) seems to be about having ObSec. But the truth is there are now so many ways to score points in a game besides holding an objective that not having ObSec isn’t really a handicap anymore.

    ObSec really only matters when you’re trying to claim an objective from an enemy. So many core formations give ObSec to more than just troops now. So odds are you’ll have to completely wipe any unit off the objective to claim it whether it’s a troop or not.

    Knowing that the supposed biggest advantage of Battle Forged isn’t really an advantage anymore since every unit can have it…
    … and that using Allies in Battle Forged (other than Battle Brothers) comes with so many restrictions, it doesn’t make sense to build a mixed army outside of Unbound. Which kind of makes the Allies system pointless, unless you’re WAACing for a tournament.

  • Pete McGwire

    Go back to ClassicHammer please! Kill the formations and allies. Single CAD except for Apocalype.

  • Drpx

    It was fine till the matrix came along. Take that out and just let the players and TOs decide if they want allies in their games or not.

  • 40K Today

    Banning allies will immediately invalidate C:IA and several new formations that completely mix imperial factions. GW is talking about 3 types of rule sets, and maybe there is room in one of those rulesets to ban allies, but banning across the board will invalidate several recent books. What I like about allies is toe-dipping into a new army without having to commit 100% to reaching 2000 pts before I can use it

    • If GW can tone it done maybe it could work… but it’s broken as heck right now.

  • Just now I began to wonder if this was an April Fools joke. ?

  • Shawn

    Two things stand out at me from the get go:

    1. “The whole tourney scene is a train wreck.”

    2. “Now I used to be a big fan of allies and in truth they have been around a long long time, going way back before sixth and seventh edition. It could be a good thing but in reality it’s just another tool to power game.”

    I think the issue isn’t allies, but tournaments. The whole 9 yards of premier tourney scenes such as Adepticon, ITC, Nova, et.,al. is that it’s as, you said a train wreck. There is no rules balance effort at all, but to make the game “playable.” In other words allow all efforts of power gaming are completely legal, per the event’s rules. So it’s not 40k rules that are the issue but the tournaments that set up their rules. Oh, and power gamers (cf.waac) too, of course

  • AX_472

    the problems you talk about mostly exist among tournament players who usually aren’t the type to care about fluff anyway. most of us at home who like the fluff and don’t abuse the ally system have no problem with it. i would in fact be deeply disappointed to go back to the bad old days of no allies.

  • Sephyr

    For allies to be gone, the factions need to be fewer and more abrangent, Otherwise, you get weird stuff, like Chaos Daemons and CSM being fully apart, or Imperial Guard never being able to get some help from Astartes or the Mechanicum…and so on.

    Maybe if Chaos, Imperium, Xenos were factions unto themselves, with Orks set apart as a sort of wildcard with weaker alliance rules but able to work with all others. And nids…well, nids.

  • joetwocrows

    Late to the party. But, oh well.

    So, I mostly agree. Except.

    To the (traditional) Dark Kin, all allies, including themselves, are allies of convenience. How the ‘allied’ army feels about the DE is a different question. How is this relevant?

    The matrix, presumably for simpler(?) game mechanics makes the allied relationship equal; both regard the other in the same manner. This is not the Grimdark.

    So, unless the matrix reflects the fluid nature of allies, and adds complexity to the game, I agree: Allies are A Bad Thing in game terms.

  • José Monteagudo Ibarreta

    It was always problematic. From the fluff/ slow collector perspective it was great, you could play out the alliances or collaborations from the fluff or just include new minis from other armies into your existing ones. But from the players perspective it made a game as hard to balance as 40k even more impossible. As of now I really dont like allies.