When I posted a few months before the release of 6th edition that Allies were coming back, many people screamed, they couldn’t understand why Games Workshop would do such a thing. It just seemed so fantastical, haven’t we been told for years that GW was phasing out Allies, then it turned out that it was all part a master plan to fix various problems with certain armies. Regardless how much of “purist” you are and how much you despise the idea of Allies, the true GW fanboy remembers a magical time called the 90s, when the game was filled with allies and other crazy combinations. The main difference today is we have a game way more balanced than the one we had in 2nd edition. Before I dive right at the elephant of balance, let me explain why Allies is undoubtedly a true master stroke by GW.
–Dollar, dollar, bill, y’all–
If anything else Allies is a classic money grab. Now, little Timmy can go into any GW store and buy almost any model he wants without being stuck to one army. Second, Big Jimmy can go into any store and buy just a few units, adding them to the army he already has, without dropping hundreds of dollars for an entire new army– GW though knows particularly well that you will keep adding and end up with an entirely new army all together. It also makes brain-dead shop owners jobs that much easier; just print out the Allies matrix and you have an easy sales tool for anyone. Frankly, I am amazed they didn’t do it sooner, GW in one fell swoop opened their entire product line to anyone. I know I will think again about selling an entire army because I might want to keep some key components.
–Filling in the Gaps–
GW has completely made the argument, that my army doesn’t have all the tools it needs to win moot. Granted, I never believed that canard anyway, but now you honestly have no excuse. From players with only myopic skills to army building junkies, allies genuinely does the trick when it comes to providing players with the tools necessary to fill out what they think their army lacks.
–Numbers and Combinations–
GW probably unintentional opened up the flood gates to never having to worry about the “One List to Rule them All” syndrome. This won’t stop people from playing Grey Knights all the time, but what it does stop is cookie cutter list from appearing everywhere. While this might not seem like it at the moment, once we get a few more codexes in you can bet that almost every tournament will have a different army list and combination you haven’t seen before winning. This is exciting because so many different lists will exist creating a dynamic competitive casual environment for all.
–Fluff my Bunny–
While I could devote a whole article to the misnomer that is the Fluffy Bunny, I will instead use it to describe the casual player that loves to model and create unique universes for his armies to play in. Once, the idea catches on that Allies don’t have to be literal allies we will begin to see, Mega Nobs as Terminators, Warwalkers as Haemonculi creations, Death Company as Pariahs, and a whole host of ideas I can’t conceive with my limited creative abilities. So if, you have a problem with Blood Angel & Necron fist bumping, but still want access to all the cool toys, just don’t call it an ally and make whatever model represent whatever you want.
–The Balance Beam–
For the moment, Allies looks to fix so many problems with game. Everyone with (-Nids) seems to have an answer to whatever deficiencies real or imagined the general public thought about a particular codex. All armies now have access to psykers, ant-flyer, anti tank, and assault units. The list can go on and on, but Allies are so limited in scope they really only add what you need not what you can spam or brake.
Granted, I am sure in some deep basement, a troll of epic size and proportion is constructing the perfect spam list (only living in his head) and the Internet will hail as perfect. Allies are only game breaking if people don’t experiment; for every “broken” list there seems to be an equivalent paper to rock. As well, people might just stick with the army they played in 5th edition and not even try allies relying on old lists and antiquated ways, but complain when beaten by TH/SS Terminators marching across the board, while the main detachment of Tau Fire Warriors look up just long enough to make sure the coast is clear and claim the objective. Leaving a foul taste in that player’s mouth, swearing Allies are broken, just because they refuse to adapt.
I could very well end up being wrong about this. The real answer will come in the next year when we get to about four 6th edition codices in, by then enough games will have been played and we can see just how clearly Allies have changed the game. I have noticed at least in my area (so far) players excited to try out new combos and such, because old units that have been collecting dust now get new life under the umbrella of Allies.
Discuss this article and receive email notification of future articles of this type when youJoin the Meat for Meta Group
GW Apologist is rated Fanboy. These articles are dedicated to a blind faith that GW is above criticism and all the choices they make are infallible. If only you embrace Games Workshop will you understand the brilliance of there perfectly marketed products.