Allies matrix revisions

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Allies matrix revisions

Post  dusktiger on Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:06 pm

so i was looking at the Allies chart, and thought of a revised version that fits a bit better to how we'd view the alliances of the codices to one another based off the Black Library novels.  i suppose we can call this the "Black Library Allies Matrix" chart.

so here's the original chart:


Note that there's no slot for Black Templar, as i removed them since they're now a part of Space Marines.  the choice of colors they used always seemed stupid, so i've added emote faces to help explain what each color stands for.  tan for battle brothers, yellow for allies of convenience, blue for desperate allies, red for when hell freezes over.

here's my revised chart:


so a little explanation of some of the changes;
starting with space marines: 

  • i made it so only marines were battle brothers with their fellow chapters across the books. 
  • this meant removing that from Guard and Tau. 
  • the reason Guard dropped despite being Imperial, is because marines always use them as a meat shield to wear down the enemy so they can sweep in and wipe out the enemy. this is a recurring theme in most stories you read from Black Library. the only exception would be the odd chapter, such as Salamanders, but because there are other chapters in the came codex that aren't that soft-hearted, that's why it was an overall drop in allies level. 
  • Tau have been known to fight with marines, but its always under the implied agreement that as soon as their common goal is accomplished, the chapter fighting alongside them will turn and kill them as well unless their own numbers are weakened enough not to ensure success in doing so.  this sounds like how Desperate Allies works, so thats why they dropped that far. 
  • the eldar are in the same boat because on rare occasions in the books, a chapter will work with them, but totally intend to kill them afterwards. 
  • Finally, Dark Eldar, Necrons, and Orks are all Xenos races, and marines just do not tolerate those at all. there's the rare chapter that does, but as i mentioned, there's too many chapters that don't, therefor it was a majority decision.

picking a xenos race that changed alot, lets look at orks:

  • you'll notice there's no battle brothers or convenience anymore.  there's also a few more no chance in hell options.
  • dark angels, grey knights, marines, and wolves all hate orks now.  this seemed more fitting because any marine definitely would never tolerate a xenos race.
  • chaos marines, guard, necrons, and tau all dropped to desperate allies because orks are such an aggressive race and hard to deal with that this ally level seemed most fitting for them and their unpredictable behavior.


i think some other notable changes, gameplay wise, would be that tau/eldar isnt as effective because of the loss of battle brothers.  Grey Knights are not as chummy with the xenos races.


Last edited by dusktiger on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  dusktiger on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:00 am

so i'd like to hear some thoughts and suggestions from the community on this chart revision; looking at some of the changes, is there any you don't agree with, and how so; should the relation be better/worse, by how much, and what reason would you give for that change.  bear in mind that this isn't to bash on anyone here and what they ally into their lists, its just to make the lists have a more sensible feel to them in terms of their narrative/theme rather than "i'm taking these as allies to fill the tactical gaps in my army so its more competitive."

a simple summary of the changes i initially made are as follows:
i made it so the more zealous imperial units looked at the non-imperial races with more disdain to reflect their personality and opinions of these races in the novels.  if anyone wants examples, i can reference some books for what i mean, though my BL collection isnt as large as others here so some of it's based of second-hand accounts of what happened in the books.  one example i can give right now is blood angels dropped a rank with tau because there's an account of them meeting some in the Blood Angels novels where they had to restrain themselves greatly just long enough to have a tau show them where fabius was before killing him for being the filthy xenos he was.  all the other marine books were made to match since each of them contain rules for chapters that feel the same about tau.

Guard lost battle brother status with everyone but sisters, because they're the meat shield of all the other races.  thinking on it, i believe the chart should likely have Codex: Inquisition added to it to alter how it interacts with the books as well.  probably something where they're BB with guard and sisters, convenience for all the other imperial races, desperate for the "good" alien races, hell freezes for the rest.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Roland on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:10 am

Any reason blood angels are better with Eldar than other marines are?

Quite honestly, Codex INQ should be added. Existing allies, all dropped to AoC.

CSM chapters (because they can ally with each other), black legion and farsight should be added.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Aegwymourn on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:18 am

Just on the guard/imperial relations. Barring goofy examples (like that one story where GK kill a bunch of sororitis to bath in the purity of their blood to ward off demons) all imperial factions work "closely" together. This is even more apparent in large theaters like Armageddon (Helsreach has to be one of my all time favorite novels), where groups of imperial guard are assigned space marine liasons and detachments (who are sort of supposed to follow orders). Now this isn't to say that on occasion it isn't so, but most chapters recognize the worth of the imperial guard. Space marines are commando units that without the massive army/navy of the other imperial armies wouldn't be able to accomplish much or actually hold planets. While the lives of one, or ten, or a hundred, etc., may not be worth much, they are still an integral part of the imperial war machine.

Also are there really that many people around here abusing the allies chart? I haven't bothered with my Tau/Eldar since I prefer straight Tau. Mike plays IG and Chaos SM, but they are just AoC.

Also as an aside. All you've really done with the new chart is make allies good for SM and Chaos SM/Demons, and bad for everyone else.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  dusktiger on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:30 am

Roland wrote:Any reason blood angels are better with Eldar than other marines are?

....i honestly missed that i forgot to alter that one. it was a little late for me when i was making the new chart.

i'm currently thinking how i want to layout the chart for all the supplements, especially since it involves possibly changing the chart's layout and i want to minimize as much altering as possible so the layout stays mostly the same.

the chart's a work in progress, ergo why i'm asking for input from everyone.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Roland on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:38 am

A) I don't think anyone is abusing it here. In my mind, the allies matrix doesn't work for competitive games (way too unbalanced), and doesn't work for fluff (blood angels/necrons for example, sound more like desperate allies in the fluff).

I'm nor sure how much CSM/CD even need BB. I think they could drop to AoC and it wouldnt drop the power level too much,

Same for SM.

Actually, a much cleaner, fairer system is everyone is AoC.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Lore Weaver on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:41 am

You did a good job, it makes sense and fixes issues, but I'll be sticking to RAW, I think.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  dusktiger on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:26 am

Aegwymourn wrote:Also as an aside. All you've really done with the new chart is make allies good for SM and Chaos SM/Demons, and bad for everyone else.

not really; i started by focusing on space marine books and just lowered 'their' allies levels with non-marine armies. i didnt touch any of the xenos races levels with the other races apart from orks.  dropping down single ranks mostly just caused fewer abuses of taking allies that can use divination to buff your other army choices.  desperate allies still function fine, so long as you keep them 6" away from your other army.  and if you're using them to buff your army's weak points, you're probably not taking them for their scoring units so that half of desperate allies wont affect you much either.

Blood Angels: Eldar, Guard, and Tau dropped one rank.
Daemons: unchanged.
Chaos Marines: Necrons and Orks dropped one rank. Tau are forbidden.
Dark Angels: Eldar, Guard, Orks, and Tau all dropped a rank.
Dark Eldar: Eldar dropped a rank. GK, Sisters, Marines, and Wolves dropped one rank to forbidden. (many chapters hate DE for raiding so many of their recruitment worlds, and sisters in general hate xenos armies.)
Eldar: Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Eldar, Grey Knights, Marines, Wolves, and Tau all dropped one rank.
Grey Knights: Dark Eldar, Eldar, Necrons, Orks, and Tau each dropped one rank.
Guard: dropped one rank with Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Marines, Wolves, and Orks.
Necrons: Dropped one rank with Chaos Marines, Grey Knights, Orks, Tau. (note, had for some reason made them NFW to SM, SW, SOB, changing this up to desperate.)
Orks: Chaos Marines, Guard, Necrons, Tau dropped one rank. Dark Angels, Grey Knights, SM, SW were dropped one rank to NFW to match Blood Angels being this way. (SM have many chapters that hate Orks.)
Sisters: Dark Eldar and Necrons Dropped one rank to NFW.
Marines: Dark Eldar, Eldar, Guard, Necrons, Orks, and Tau each dropped one rank. (revising Tau from being dropped 2 ranks to desperate to just convenient.  relations are a little better than that with them, what with them helping keep the nids off our collective backs down there.)
Space Wolves: Dark Eldar, Eldar, Guard, Necrons, orks, and Tau each dropped one rank.
Tau: Blood Angels, Chaos Marines, Dark Angels, Eldar, Grey Knights, Necrons, Orks, Marines, Wolves each dropped one rank.

right now i'm currently redoing the noted changes.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  dusktiger on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:30 am

updated the revised chart and replaced it into the first post.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Aegwymourn on Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:54 am

dusktiger wrote:dropping down single ranks mostly just caused fewer abuses of taking allies that can use divination to buff your other army choices

Except now all the regular SM chapters can still do that with arguably the best divination bot (tiggy), and SW priests. Chaos SM/Demons can still do the same with Tzeentch demons although there really isn't a good build for them yet since most things in the CSM book doesn't require divination.

I don't think yours is wrong Mike I'm just pointing out that each time we change one of the rules of the game (and in this case a fairly integral part of 6th edition) all you are really doing is replacing one "meta" with another.

One persons opinion of what allies are and are not (look at my previous post which you all but ignored except for the also section which was more of a footnote for gameplay) and you can see why I might think allies are very different. I have read some pretty impressive fan-fiction of why a person is taking the allies he was.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Roland on Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:09 am

IG and SM are AoC, no better. Marines may respect them, be saddened at their deaths, etc. But when they fight, they fight along side fellow marines. See the Tarsis Ultra/Ventris book.

Simply put, the Grand Master of the DA is not going to fight in a IG blob squad.

The prob isn't necessarily BB or the chart itself. It's the fact that blessing should be limited to friendly units from your own codex.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Roland on Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:39 am

Edit: am also of the opinion most SM chapters aren't BB either (Templars and Blood Ravens anyone?)

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  dusktiger on Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:39 pm

i agree that certain chapters definitely dont fit as BB with each other.  the problem with that though is there's so many chapters that 'are' that friendly with each other, and they're all in the same book.  take nearly every successor of the ultramarines for example; they're very close-knit with one another.  the sad part with altering the allies for inter-chapter interactions is the fact that so many are now lumped into so few books that altering the ally level based on the odd chapter out of a 1000 chapters seems inappropriate when there's so many more that are friendlies.

and i didnt intend to "ignore" most of your post tom, i just had a terrible toddler getting in the way of a concise response. 

in terms of, i'll call it "More human" factions, i havent read of many marine chapters honestly giving that much of a damn for guardsmen.  yes they fight together, and they know they're important. Salamanders will even regularly go the distance to fight with them and keep them in the loop in strategy planning. that said; there are a lot more chapters in the codices that don't feel like going that distance for guardsmen.  instead they feel that no guardsman is worth a single brother and his precious geneseed stock.  They use the guard to defend a planet long enough for them to strike and kill off the enemy assault.  they hold a line long enough for the marines to get into position.

there's also many chapters that would honestly leave the guardsmen to fend for themselves and die in an effort to weaken the enemy enough so that the marine strikeforce can guarantee zero loss of life in their own force. Marines Malevolent, most of the Iron Hands come to mind for this example.

making the guard AoC still makes them friendly, just not "i'd totally take a bullet for you and buff you instead of focusing on my brothers" friendly.

setting aside all space marine chapters, the rest of the imperial factions make sense they'd be BB.  guard, navy (not on the list, but throwing them in there), sisters, inquisitors are all close together, being that they all answer directly to the high lords.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Roland on Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:03 pm

There are what, 6 chapter tactics? Those are the only ones you'd need.

Although at that level, 1/2 the armies listed are Imperial and a good 1/4 are Loyalist Marines.

My point tho is who UM would ally with, and who BT or IH will ally with is different. It's subtile but its different. Lumping BT in with all other SM just dilutes them further.
I think you almost need 2 charts. One fluff based and one crunch based. The existing list does neither.

I do think Mark's right, this is likely not going to be used on any wide scale, but its a fun "what if" exercise.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Rhaevyn on Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:23 pm

I understand what your trying to do Mike. But really Allies is a failure in every respect except that it increases sales for GW.

Its a Fluff based metric that affects game balance and gives certain armies a massive advantage over others. The only real fix is to remove all battle brothers combinations or not allow allies at all.
Your list is fine if your going to run a certain event, but i doubt your going to get much traction with the majority of players the majority of the time.

I appreciate the work you put into this, but..... Meh?

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Roland on Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:39 pm

I like the "IDEA" of allies, I think most do. I also like the idea of flyers.

Implementation on both was horrible, heavy handed, and broke much more than it fixed.

Bidyk, like +10 My general feeling is allies is a failure. Like, I totally get my Ultramarines would be much better if I subbed in a Rune Priest and some Grey Hunters.... I just don't like the idea that it feels like I "have" to, to have an even semi competitive build. What was the term Mark used? "Don't salt your list"? If you require a Revenant Titan, allies (so you get a specific unit), or to throw stones at myself, a specific fortification or FW unit to "fix" your list, there is a problem. I think in terms of balance what I would consider balance is if someone took a taudar list, with a revanant titan and a Bastion, and that tau formation, I should be able to make a pure codex list that can compete with it.

Okay done ranting:)

Stelmach: This might be easier to do if you break it down and focus on one codex at a time.

Edit: If you're gonna fix the table, you might as well fix the Designation issues.

Battle Bros: as before, but psychic power nerf. Blessing only work on friendly units from your own codex. maybe if you use them on allies, they must attempt to deny?

Come the Apoc: They simply are fighting a common enemy. Primary detachment and allies treat each other as enemies so can target over allied units, if within 6" of oeach other like distrustful allies.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Planes on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:39 pm

I think on a grander scale/scope, looking more so at game design crunch than anything fluff based, it would have been really nice if they had set things up such that everyone had some form of battle brothers somewhere. That, however, requires design intents from day one, rather than an addition in an edition 5 generations of design hence.

Maybe an "ally wheel" would have worked.



With something like this, C is battle brothers with B and D, and is AoC with A and E, and AoD with F, but would be unable to ally beyond that, or some such. That kind of crunch kind of has to get laid down before two decades plus of fluff gets established, though.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

Post  Roland on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:52 pm

Well, you've hit upon the key thing. Changing key game design concepts 6editions in is a lousy way to design a game.

The fact that a bunch of geeks in a medium sized town with a name that sounds made up understand this concept, and people who run a gaming company don't is what's scary.

Oh wait they are a miniatures company.

That would be like me telling my wife I wasn't checking out that girls butt, but rather was admiring the fine stitching on her jeans. You publish a game. You are a gaming company.

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Re: Allies matrix revisions

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