Adam on Multiple Primary Detachments

Image credit: Will Elliot

A guest editorial by Adam: I would like to make a plea to the TOs out there to have a really hard think about opening the Allied Detachment to the same codex as the Combined Arms Detachment.  I find the arguments against this change to be very weak indeed.

Please note that this argument is only intended to be directed at events which ban multiple Combined Arms detachments.

The Genie’s Already Out of the Bottle.

Iyanden, Farsight, and the other supplements already allow some armies to ally with themselves.  I agree that this quid-pro-quo argument is a bit of a fallacy, but in this case I think it truly doesn’t hurt balance across the game as a whole to allow other armies to do it.  (Editor’s Note, in 7th ed, you cannot ally with a supplement of your own book anymore, except for Space Marines) Eldar and Tau are already very, very good.  The Worst is already out there.  Adding options for older or non-supplement codices is probably going to do nothing but give the marginalized armies more of a fighting chance.  Adding an HQ to Daemons is hardly worse than they’ve already got and it does seem that some kind of nerf is coming down the pipe for that particular abuse anyways.

Specific abuses should be dealt with specifically whenever possible.

Formations Add AN Option, not Options

I think relying on past and future Formations for balance is fine, but not for variety.  I don’t want to run the same army as the next guy.  Besides, not all armies have this option.

Rules Purity is Not a Worthwhile Goal in This Context

The argument for rules purity doesn’t pass the smell test for me.  We’re already making changes to the rules on a very fundamental level.

Don’t get me wrong; I believe very strongly in changing the rules to meet your needs as a player and community.  GW has even stated on many occasions that they expect players to change or make up rules to meet their own needs.

So, if we’re making changes for the purpose of game balance, why would we unnecessarily hinder some armies for the sake of rules purity?  It just doesn’t make any sense to me.  I’m not being aggressively and intentionally obtuse here… I am genuinely confused by this position.

Again, it is a fallacy to say, “well we’re making change x, so we may as well make change y”. However, my point is to give some under-performing armies the same considerations that are afforded the newer and more powerful armies.

We Needed it, We Got It, and Now We’re Losing It

It felt really good to see that GW had noticed that some armies needed a little extra in light of the new Supplements and Formations, in a way allowing us to develop our own “formations”, just without crazy special rules.  It feels a little shitty to have that yanked away.

By allowing armies to ally with themselves, TOs wouldn’t be giving them something they weren’t intended to have, they’d be returning something to them, in a SMALL part, which they’d had in the first place.

Thanks for your time.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

54 Responses to “Adam on Multiple Primary Detachments”

  1. DCannon4Life June 5, 2014 8:22 am #

    I keep thinking I understand how this works, then I read a post or two and that goes out the window. Is the following list (sketch of a list) ‘legal’ RaW in 7th:

    First FoC (Primary?): Farsight Enclave
    –2 Troops
    –Other Stuff

    Second FoC: Farsight Enclave
    –2 Troops
    –More Other Stuff

    Is that a ‘multiple primary detachment’ list?

    • No_wegian June 5, 2014 8:37 am #

      D, that is how I understand it as well. It’s really nice for Tyranids if it is allowed. Then they don’t have to rely on Skyblight.

    • Lex June 5, 2014 8:40 am #

      “Multiple primary detachment” is the incorrect terminology. You only have one primary detachment. A battle-forged list can be any number of detachments. Currently, there are 3 types: Combined Arms, Allied and Formation. An army can be any combination of detachments, but must contain a “primary detachment” with a Warlord. Only one of the current detachments is legal to be called the “primary” and that is the CAD. So whatever setup you have, one of the CADs in your army must be nominated as the “Primary”. What you posted is legal in 7th. Doesn’t matter which one of the Farsight Enclaves is chosen as the “Primary”, but it will be the one with your Warlord.

      The only thing I can say as to the premise of the article is that in most tournaments I play, I run out of points before I run out of slots. But that just may be my army design philosophy. I enjoy running single CAD lists and am generally very successful.

      • Reecius June 5, 2014 11:19 am #

        Good point on the terminology, thanks for pointing that out, Lex.

  2. jmanj123 June 5, 2014 8:34 am #

    Seerstar with four farseers and baron. The points are there at 1750. Enough said.

    • Marius Xerxes June 5, 2014 9:16 am #

      Which still loses it butt in missions where KP aren’t a factor.

      The addition of Objective Secured for battle forged lists, by itself, made the seerstar almost obsolete.

      • jmanj123 June 5, 2014 9:59 am #

        Did Eldar jetbikes get nerfed? They were the best scoring unit in the game, now they have objective secured, and a double Combined requires and allows more of them.

      • Reecius June 5, 2014 11:21 am #

        That is a bit of a stretch, all it means is that they can’t contest as well, but they still wreck your army just as hard and don’t forget, they are now a scoring unit, too! Haha, they can just go take objectives instead of just contesting.

        • Smurfalypse June 5, 2014 7:44 pm #

          Yes it is certainly a stretch, Seer Council is still a “thing”, a very good thing at that.

          However, from every game I have watched in person and played in, Objective Secured has been the deciding factor one way or another. Seer Council certainly did get a bit weaker this edition and in turn Troop choices got much better.

  3. No_wegian June 5, 2014 8:42 am #

    I think all the changes being considered for tournaments are premature. Why not try running a small, low cost event, without any changes to the rules and see what that brings? The change from this article along with the WC cap just blows my mind. The only thing WC cap will do is speed up the psychic phase, as someone with psyker spam can potentially bring the game to a screeching halt. I still haven’t seen the greatest success in my FLGS with WC counts of 20+. At least in my area, it’s just not that OP as everyone seems to be saying.

    • Jason Brown June 5, 2014 9:29 am #

      I agree, right now nothing is on the line. Play a ton of games doing all kinds of weird shit. I am trying a shadow council with Farseer attacked to a harlequin squad. Mostly to see how maximum psychic power works.

      Right now shouldn’t necessarily be the time to swing that well used nerf bat around, as most reactions are pretty emotionally based for the most part at this point. Remember, when the Eldar dex hit all we heard was “the knight is LULz, it suxxors and a waste of points, FU GW.” “This dex is the worst, now I must rage quit” Initial reactions can be silly.

      This is not to say that some of the observations are invalid or wrong, just that we should throw some more dice first.

      • Reecius June 5, 2014 11:22 am #

        Yeah, everyone said the Knight was crap except us! lol

        We have to move quickly because we have events coming up and people need answers. We really don’t have the luxury of time and we don’t want stupid things to get entrenched like the 2+ reroll.

  4. TableTopJosh June 5, 2014 8:46 am #

    I thought the article was about allying with yourself using the ally detachment, not multiple primary detachments??
    Obviously most people can see how playing out of the book with multiple primary detachments leads to a broken game, but if you limit the option to the ally slot it is a lot less destructive. That being said, the biggest caveat with this is that allowing every army the option to ally with themselves means that the top tier armies have access to more of the top tier units. Yes allying with yourself would help a lot of lower tier armies but it also gives more power to the stronger armie. The stronger armies have units that have more effect on the game than lower tier armies units do, so its really not helping anyone.

    • Reecius June 5, 2014 11:23 am #

      Exactly. The author of this article is thinking about Orks, but we’re thinking about Eldar and Daemons.

  5. deFl0 June 5, 2014 8:48 am #

    Sure. But the Beast Star or Farseer star loses to most most msu armies in tactical missions. You have way to many eggs in one basket.

    I mean let’s face it. That’s not a multiple force org issue. I can run Iylanden eldar with a bunch of spirit seers and a farseer and the baron and it’s just as broken and I did within the the rules that tournies are going to let you play.

    7th ed is going to have near unkillable units / armies. It’s not just part of the game it is the game to some extent. try killing 4 knights under the new rules in 5 or 6 turns. it’s pretty near impossible for most lists.

    multiple formations just let’s you run more specialize lists but you have to pay some HQ / troops tax.

    I agree with the author. The well supported codecies already have trick options. The older codexes don’t and multiple force org levels that playing field.

    • Reecius June 5, 2014 11:25 am #

      I agree that MSU is good against Deathstars, but not a silver bullet. I recently got my ass handed to me by GTA’s Seer Council list and I was playing a hardcore MSU scoring unit list. I had like, 22 units on the table and he still killed all of them.

      Deathstars just suck the fun out of the game, honestly.

  6. TableTopJosh June 5, 2014 8:50 am #

    I don’t think its premature. The biggest restriction TO’s are talking about is limiting the number of detachments you can take and that is a much need restriction that needs no defending. The game would be so silly if you could take as many primary detachments as you want. Other than that they are still discussing smaller changes, like that of the physic phase.

    • Reecius June 5, 2014 11:25 am #

      Yeah, the big sticking point right now is the psychic phase and what to do about it. There are a lot of little changes too, we’re discussing, but in general that is the big one.

  7. Leth June 5, 2014 9:02 am #

    I am a fan of one combined arms detachment, one allied detachment. Maximum of two books/digital books. Can self ally

    Limits most of the excess, prevents the imperium from getting huge advantages for being the imperium while still letting people bring most of their toys.

    Shuts down my current 6th edition army but I am willing to learn and work around it.

    • Reecius June 5, 2014 11:27 am #

      Hey Leth,

      Yeah, I am open to allying with yourself, but I am really not interested in multiple FoC or CADs, or whatever we want to call it. It just allows for too much crazy.

      • Leth June 6, 2014 4:19 am #

        I was thinking mainly for armies like tyranids with no allies, or most of the supplement books that can ally with their primary book.

  8. winterman June 5, 2014 9:24 am #

    I agree with this article as a TO and a player. The game did not totally break down in 6ed when a few handful of armies could self ally and get 4 of the FotM unit I doubt it will break down if everyone gets the same advantage.

    Also, 7ed is (imo) designed to allow self ally via multiple CA detachments. Look at the new ally chart. The only way it makes any sense is with self ally. Otherwise Imperials have a HUGE advantage and any army with a few BB or formations have a major advantage. The rest are left out in the cold.

    So to me if you are taking away multiple combined arms detachments then I think you have to at least consider allowing self ally with an ally detachment.

    As another alternative option, you could allow a 2nd combined arms detachment but give it some reasonable restrictions. Like it must be the same faction as the primary (making the ally detachment releveant to allies as it should be) and that when possible it must not contain duplicate units to the primary detachment.

    • Reecius June 5, 2014 11:28 am #

      Did you see that GW is not allowing multiple CAD in there own events?

      • winterman June 5, 2014 1:16 pm #

        Yeah I did. But its Throne of Skulls. They have never been the determiner of what the independent GTs do. They have allowed Lords of War since escalation came out, but I didn’t see anyone take that serious at the time.

        Also they are allowing Come the Apocalypse but it seems like none of the big GTs are gonna allow that. Not to mention all the other format specific stuff that no one but GW does.

        Personally I see it as ToF had a packet that was already published for upcoming events, so they stuck to something that was close to their 6ed packet and wouldn’t invalidate anyones existing army (eg come the apoc is legal). Not an endorsement any which way regarding what 7ed tournaments should look like.

      • winterman June 5, 2014 1:20 pm #

        Also was not arguing for multiple CAD per se without limits. More for self ally with restrictions.

        • Reecius June 5, 2014 1:43 pm #

          Fair enough. I brought up GW to show their intent, which is what I think the rules last year showed, too. I don’t think they intend for multiple CAD in “normal” play so to speak, but in narrative style games.

          • winterman June 5, 2014 2:53 pm

            Could be true. I dunno though over the years I get a feeling the warhammer world guys are not really in tune with the devs/corporate. Several instances where they made an announcement in one direction only to quickly backtrack soon after. Escalation is one example — they stated on FB that it would not be allowed, then all of a sudden it was. When 6ed came out they were not allowing allies or dual FOC, then devs asked them to at least give it a try (source on that was 40kUK podcast).

            So yeah could be a show of intention from devs/corporate or it could just be another couple TOs trying to make the best out of an edition change.

          • Reecius June 5, 2014 3:35 pm

            Fair points. We’ll see, but I know that I for one, do not want to see dual CAD at all, it will open the door for combos that will just be flat out too powerful. I don’t think it is even remotely necessary.

          • winterman June 6, 2014 9:30 am

            Dual CAD is probably in need of a set of restrictions if being used in a non-gladiator type affair. Especially the several big 200+ person event. But i dunno, I have seen dual FOC at 2k where every list is reasonable, basically because its so rarely allowed. Very few will go to the trouble of buying, building and painting another armies worth of models for the off chance there’s an event that lets it fly. It’s the very definition of meta.

            I’ll be attending a local 40-50 man event in August that is going 2 source but allowing dual CAD. Will be interesting to see how it goes. I suspect it will go as above, few to none will abuse it simply because it’s too much of a pain to do so and then ot be able to use it elsewhere.

  9. Graf June 5, 2014 9:26 am #

    It is allowed to add multiple allied detachments, from different Codexes, right?

    • Jason Brown June 5, 2014 9:31 am #

      In vanilla seventh, yes. Do not expect that to be so at almost any tournament.

  10. Adam June 5, 2014 9:34 am #

    Hello other Adam!

    I’m actually a fan of the one of everything format:

    1 Primary (Usually Combined Arms), +0-1 Allied, +0-1 Formation

    That said, if it became something like this, I think it would also work out fine:

    1 Primary (Usually Combined Arms), +0-1 Allied or Combined Arms*, +0-1 Formation

    *the second combined arms detachment may not take a Fortification or Lord of War.

    I think that would end up working fine as well. It keeps armies like Tyranids and basically anything non-Imperial, Chaos or Eldar from being out-classed in allies, but also prevents people from taking 2 combined arms and an ally/

    • Loopy June 5, 2014 11:53 am #

      I wouldn’t even mind a 0-3 on non-troops and 0-2 on HQs or some other restriction on specific unit chpices.

      Really wish percentages had been a real rumor. 😉

  11. Loopy June 5, 2014 11:50 am #

    I did notice that the core book did declare the supplements to be the same faction, but don’t those books give specific permission to ally?

    Or is this an ongoing discussion right now?

    • Reecius June 5, 2014 1:44 pm #

      The BRB specifically disallows it, and the FAQs give it back to Marines only.

      • dr.insanotron June 5, 2014 2:22 pm #

        While the rule book says they are the same faction in the Chaos supplements it specifically says they are allowed to ally with the CSM codex. Doesn’t codex trump BRB unless FAQ’d otherwise. That is the way it has always been in the past

        • Reecius June 5, 2014 2:34 pm #

          Yeah, usually codex trumps BRB, but in this case the BRB came out after the codex in question and specifically disallows it. Also, all of the Supplements say they can ally with their parent dex apart from Eldar.

          • dr.insanotron June 5, 2014 2:42 pm

            Where does it specifically disallow CSM to ally with Crimson Slaughter or Black Legion. In fact they gave clear guide lines of how rules inter act with each other in the hole Basic vs advanced rules and according to those any supplement that allows a itself to ally with the same faction would in fact be a advanced rule and there for over rule the general rule in the main rule book

          • dr.insanotron June 5, 2014 2:50 pm

            Even more simple then this is the fallowing

            BRB pg# 13 bottom right. last sentence

            when a conflict in rules occurs between the BRB and a codex The codex or Army list always takes precedence.

            There really is no way to argue that they cant ally with theselfs

          • Reecius June 5, 2014 3:29 pm

            Read pg. 118 of the BRB, under factions where it specifically states a supplement counts as its parent faction. Then, on page 122 of the BRB, it says the allied detachment cannot be the same faction as the CAD.

            The rules contradict each other in this case.

          • dr.insanotron June 5, 2014 3:37 pm

            Yep and clear as day on page#13 last sentence in the black box

            When they contradict each other the codex always takes precedence

            So CSM can ally with BL or crimson slaughter. Simple

          • Reecius June 5, 2014 4:24 pm

            Lol, not simple =) Why would a rule in the BRB specifically say no to supplements allying with their parent codex? You are looking at a general rule and using it to overide a specific rule. Further, why would they feel the need to FAQ that Space Marines could break the rule? The Space Marine book says they can ally with themselves, too. But, they FAQ’d it to give them specific permission to do it. That wouldn’t be necessary under your reading of the rules.

          • dr.insanotron June 5, 2014 5:29 pm

            Im not saying what they intended

            Im saying that the codex and BRB contradict

            And when that happens it is very clear in the book the codex takes precedence.

            Can you show anything otherwise when the BRB and Codex contradict each other.

            Also you are using a General rule (cant ally same faction) do override a specific one (Crimson Slaughter can ally with CSM) this is also covered by advanced vs basic rules.

            Its a good thing the book tells you what to do when things contradict each other on pg13

          • Lex June 6, 2014 5:50 am

            There is no contradiction between codex and BRB in this case. Black Legion and CSM can ally with each other, as it’s even stated in the Allies Matrix. However, what is not allowed is using the same Faction for an Allied Detachment as your primary CAD. Allying with each other is not the same thing as complying with the requirements/restrictions of an “Allied Detachment”.

            As an example, I take an army with 2 CAD and 1 Allied Detachment. 1 CAD is Daemons, 1 CAD is CSM. I nominate the Daemon CAD for my Primary. I can then take a Black Legion Allied detachment and comply with all of the rules while at the same time my BL and CSM are allied with each other. You could also take just 2 CAD’s, one CSM, one BL. They are allied together as BB and you have complied with the requirements of the detachments.

            The language in the supplements actually does nothing more than conform to the new Allies Matrix. It even says “In addition to following the Allies Matrix…”

  12. Neb08 June 5, 2014 12:33 pm #

    I agree with the 1 and 1 mentality. Although when looking at allies as a whole I see WAAAYYY more of a problem being the fact that there are no real negatives for bringing a Come the Apoc. ally vs a desperate vs allies of convenience…yes BB are are even better than before but there are so many less on the chart whatever. The fact that anyone can ally with any other book and not have any real reason not to is where I feel an issue lies. Perhaps making it so you can only have 1 primary 1 secondary similar to 6th will fix some of that, but not all of it. I still see ‘weaker’ armies taking a few of their favorite scoring troops and HQ from whatever book they feel fits best, whether it be 2 night scythes a barge and lord, or a farseer for some psychic dice and jet bikes or serpants etc.

    Eliminating come the Apoc. and Desperate I feel would get rid of that in competitive play atleast. If not entirely eliminate both then just come the Apoc and troops in Desperate should at the very least lose obj secured.

  13. N.I.B. June 5, 2014 12:36 pm #

    I know a TO who consider allowing two FOC or one FOC and one Ally. But there will also be caps – max 3 of any unit except Troops.

    • Reecius June 5, 2014 12:55 pm #

      Ah yeah, I can see that working for sure.

    • Loopy June 5, 2014 1:19 pm #

      I could see this working. This would be great even for mitigating some of the dataslate and supplement issues. Taking the extra detachment helps open up slots for other units, but doesn’t let you spam as badly.

      • Umbo June 5, 2014 4:31 pm #

        Yeah I think is a good idea, possibly even just 2 units the same, (including HQ choices), as with 2 units it limits any possible HQ abuse. Off the top of my head I cant think of a really dirty new type of list using this unlimited FOC. Probably inquisition and GK and marines could do something.

        • Umbo June 5, 2014 4:36 pm #

          aka 3 flying hive tryants and 4 ripper swarms… still a very very attachment.

          • Umbo June 5, 2014 4:36 pm

            very nice**!

    • winterman June 6, 2014 9:35 am #

      I like that, maybe cap to 4 to account for what a CAD + Ally can do (think marines with TFC) unless you also cap them in the same manner.

      May also wanna cap troop units to 6 or 8 as well. Lotta ways to abuse 12 troop units

  14. joedrache June 6, 2014 9:33 am #

    please Gosh! if you let SM ally w themselves, you hafta let everyone else. they already have enough perks without being the only ones to show up with broken lists

  15. Brian June 7, 2014 8:28 pm #

    I love the thought of 2 sources, but I really hope that they allow 2 CADs if they keep to the same codex. I want to see more single codex armies out there because they’re just have more flavor. Also it gives so many new options to Sisters and Nids, (two armies I play) who really struggle due to the limitations on their own FoC.

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