Come the Apocalypse…Awesome or Awful?

apoc now

Hey everyone, Reecius here to talk about a contentious issue: Come the Apocalypse allies in 40K.

Come the Apocalypse allies, for those who don’t know, involves allying factions that per the fluff would typically be at one another’s throats. However, the game is now wide open and so this is a thing.

There are arguments for and against using these rules in organized play and I wanted to explore them a bit and share my opinion and why I have that opinion.

come the apoc 2


Come the Apocalypse allies are in the book, pure and simple. So, per RAW, they’re good to go. However, so is using unbound rules and in general terms, that is largely not played in organized 40K outside of friendly events which have list approval mechanisms in place to curb the really crazy stuff. Basically, most of us choose to ignore some aspects of the core rules in organized play, so, that argument really doesn’t hold much water.

Beyond the obvious legality, these rules allow for a truly staggering degree of variety. They also allow players to build whatever army they want for crazy levels of customization.

The modeling opportunities are also huge. We’ve all seen some of the amazing conversions that people come up with such as Ork or Chaos Imperial Knights, looted vehicles, Chaos IG, etc. Cool! I love that stuff as do most of you do, I am sure. The creativity inherent in our hobby is easily one of the best aspects of it.

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Come the Apocalypse allies also opens the door to abuse in a big way. When you have no limitation on detachments, the temptation to take very effective, single model or cheap detachments with powerful units becomes more than many players can resist. Coteaz, the Culexus or Vindicaire assassin, an Imperial Knight, etc. will creep into a great many lists. While some folks may hear this and say, “hey, I want to be able to take those valuable tools in my list, too!” and I get that–I really do–a lot of other folks are saying the exact same thing as they write their lists.

The finals at Adepticon last year had half of the 16 players with Coteaz and that was with a limitation on detachments. With no limitations, which is what 7th ed indicates we can do if we choose, you will see a larger percentage of players making the choice to take these cheap, accessible units in armies that normally wouldn’t or couldn’t. Tyranids with Coteaz or a Culexus or a Knight? Draigo with Daemons? You will get a large number of players that choose to include these powerful units for no other reason than to buff their army.

The downside there, is that you will end up with hodgepodge armies that don’t have a unifying aesthetic or show a lovingly created army with a clear theme. And, you see the same units in more and more armies simply because, why wouldn’t you take them? It creates less diversity in the game and more unfun combos.


My opinion on the topic.

For what it is worth, my view on it is that Come the Apocalypse allies can allow for some awesome conversions and themed armies. Yes, I agree that Chaos should have Knights and an Astra Militarum-esque battle bro ally to represent their human legions. However, I believe we will get those in the near future.

In the meantime, with Come the Apocalypse Allies allowed, for every 1 army that is truly an awesome work of art, you will get a lot more players that simply stuff a good model into their army because they can to gain a power boost. You then throw the fluff out the window in the process. That to me, is not a profitable exchange.

While I don’t think that we should doggedly adhere to fluff in all decisions we make, completely forgoing it is giving up a lot of what makes the 40K universe so cool. I honestly do not want to play against a Deamon Army with Grey Knight allies. I don’t want to see an Imperial Knight teamed up with Nids. Even if you do cook up a cool story about how it happened to come about, my personal preference is to see the fluff have some impact. Enough to keep the factions cool and relatively unique. Therefore, I prefer to play without Come the Apocalypse allies or with Unbound lists in organized play. I think the game is more enjoyable for more people with some restrictions such as those listed above.

What is your opinion?


About Reecius

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

61 Responses to “Come the Apocalypse…Awesome or Awful?”

  1. iNcontroL September 17, 2014 12:10 am

    Well said and I happen to agree 100%

    • T2-Keks September 17, 2014 10:29 pm

      “In the meantime, with Come the Apocalypse Allies allowed, for every 1 army that is truly an awesome work of art, you will get a lot more players that simply stuff a good model into their army because they can to gain a power boost. You then throw the fluff out the window in the process. That to me, is not a profitable exchange.”

      Ok, that’s the conclusion? I disagree very much.
      The fluff is already out the window with the ally matrix as it is, all other degrees of alliance allow the same “stuffing models in armies just because of power boost”. BBs encourage it even by giving far more rules benefits. Based on that i would think that CTA allies are far less prevalent then BB allies anyway.
      So removing CTAAs won’t solve the problem you’re having. What it does is punish some codices unnesseccary. Hulksmash made a nice list of how differently affected codices are by removing CTAA.

      So instead of trying this half-assed approach of “removing CTAs because they are the worst” get rid of all allies or leave it as it is.
      As statet: CTAAs are not the main cause of unfluffy or ugly armies, so removing it won’t solve much of the problem.
      What it will certainly do is piss off some players by removing options. Options even that aren’t as benefitting as many of the stuff you leave in the game, that might be as unfluffy and ugly as the stuff you just removed.

  2. TinBane September 17, 2014 12:46 am

    I’ve written up, and deleted and rewritten my post a number of times.

    I personally think that come the apocalypse comes with enough caveats, limitations, etc that when run in a tournament with only two sources allowed, it’s going to be perfectly manageable.

    There’s far more rampant abuse available to battle brothers, than any other level of allies. Allowing “thematic” battle brothers, such as every imperial faction mushed together, while not allowing more disparate combinations just seems a bit silly. GW have done such a poor job on the allies table and allies rule, I don’t think it’s going to be that bad.

    Try maneuvering a knight + tyranid army around, and use it effectively on the battlefield, while keeping everything 6″ from the knight. Any time to breach that, you have a 17% chance of not acting for the turn! You aren’t even allowed to deploy within 12″ of it!

    Coteaz doesn’t even make sense in “come the apocalypse” army, because once you drop out of battle brothers you don’t benefit from his actual battlefield abilities. So you’d be buying him purely for the seize roll, which I don’t think is really worth it.

    Sure, you are going to see stupid results: Deathwing + Chaos, Necrons + Eldar, Tyranids and apparently anyone else in the universe. But I think compared to combinations from 6th like Taudar, and the fact that Imperial factions who are nearly opposed to each other are battle brothers in 7th prove how crazy that is.

    So, I think yes, come the apocalypse is probably a bit much in a general event. But if you limit selections to two sources, PLUS there’s the come the apocalypse rules then I don’t think it’s too bad at all. I’m sure I’m wrong, and I haven’t worked out the crazy killer combination thats going to ruin the game for everyone. But honestly the idea of centurion-star combined with a couple of choice ICs from other factions is going to be three times the problem!

    But honestly, GW should probably just dump battle brothers, and even things out a bit more. Because at the moment, there’s chaos + daemons, who can’t even join each others units, theres eldar + dark eldar (yay, help the eldar!) and there’s the great imperial PILE! Everyone else, including many of the “weaker” codexes, who have worse model support, arguably inferior rules, or are tau are out in the cold allies wise.

    If they keep battle brothers, it should be just as a way of keeping sisters semi-hemi-demi viable. Hurry up and release plastics! πŸ˜›

    end rant?

    • iNcontroL September 17, 2014 6:28 am

      Kinda feels like your best argument for come the apocalypse is “well battle brothers is also bad” in fact you spent most of the post complaining about how bad the Allie situation is… None of that makes the absolute worst part of the Allie rules (come the apocalypse) better. Drawing a line somewhere makes sense. Arguing “well battle brothers is just a pile and it’s no fair to the xenos” shouldn’t strike anyone as super persuasive right?

      • Believer September 17, 2014 7:04 am

        It’s not the most compelling argument, no. However, it is very relevant to note the issues you introduce into game balance by _not_ allowing CTA, in addition to those introduced by allowing them.

        In fact, I think it can be argued effectively that a CTA detachment, from a balance perspective, is unlikely to introduce any additional headaches compared to the existing meta. As others have mentioned, triple Wraithknight + triple Imperial Knight lists are just about pushing the most gimmicky lists you can make. Allowing ‘Nids to bring a Knight detachment, while stupid from a fluff perspective, does not present much in the way of additional shenanigans, in my opinion.

        Ultimately, the frustrating aspect of denying CTA entirely is that it gives some armies, like the Imperium, access to a significant set of additional options and customization, while denying those same options to other armies.

        If all armies had at least marginally comparable ally options, this wouldn’t be an issue.

        Granted, allowing ridiculous combinations that are completely contrary to the fluff is pretty silly. I think it’s important to note, though, that the cost, in a competitive environment, of prioritizing fluff over options is both a decrease in list diversity and a tangential buff to armies that have access to more allies.

        In almost all cases, if Army A has access to 100 unit options, while Army B is restricted to 25 unit options, Army A is often going to have the advantage in building a strong TAC list.

      • Jural September 17, 2014 9:46 am

        I think there is room for opinions outside of trying to persuade others. Let’s be clear- this probably isn’t one of those black and white “wrong and right” issues. It’s highly dependent on personal taste… I would say much more so than things like:

        1) LoW limitations
        2) CAD and source limitations
        3) rulings on summoned units, etc.

        I didn’t read TinBane as trying to change your (or anyone’s) mind, just sharing his thoughts.

      • winterman September 17, 2014 9:50 am

        Its interesting because his argument for CtA is much the same as FLGs argument for Forge World. Something to ponder.

      • TinBane September 17, 2014 1:02 pm

        Thats actually not what I would consider the best argument in that post. It wasn’t so much a persuasive piece, as the thoughts off the top of my head. If you’d like the persuasive version, I’ll try and lay it out here:

        CTA armies have nowhere NEAR the synergy of taking more of your core options, a BB allies group, or a formation. You can’t cast spells on each other, use abilities, join units, you can’t even benefit from the warlord trait.

        So inherently, super-shifty combinations based on CTA are going to be based on having a composition of units that aren’t expected. For example, maybe having a knight in your Tyranids is going to give you an advantage? However, even if that is the case, they have to deploy 12″ apart, and coming within 6″ is often catastrophic to your chances of winning.

        FLG tournament format, limits sources to two. Which means taking CTA allies directly inhibits your ability to take anything else outside your core list. If you spend your second source on Coteaz, you are taking a character that will help you get/keep the first turn, and that’s about it. The reason hes so bad-arse, is that he has a series of awesome rules that effect nearby friendly units. If he’s CTA, then he’s not considered friendly.

        CTA will add ZERO new death star lists. CTA will add ZERO new combinations of USRs. CTA will add ZERO new spell combinations.

        Ergo, I don’t think it’s that powerful.

        On the fluff/hobby side of it, there’s plenty of existing stupid combos. Some within the imperial block, others outside it. To my mind it’s a separate issue, and CTA is likely to contribute some new shockers, but honestly the damage is probably already done. πŸ™‚

      • TinBane September 17, 2014 1:10 pm

        I think you and Reece have good points, but fluff wise I think the damage is done.

        It’s going to make some despicable lists, but I don’t think they’ll be that effective. And therefore, just like desperate allies, you probably won’t see them in tournaments. How many desperate allied OR allies of convenience lists have you seen in the top 16 at a major tournament in 7th?

  3. T2-Keks September 17, 2014 1:04 am

    Since Battlebrothers got more limited for Xenos and reward Imperials with even more benefits than before, i do not think that any of the other ally choices should be touched! Come the apocalypse is punishing enough and not even half way as useful as the big imperial BB-block.

    And come the apocalypse allies (CTAA) are not the problem that causes bad looking armies. For every bad looking CTAA-army in an event you will have a bad looking BB-army where the player just burrowed some models from a buddy to get the latest and greatest power combo. As often as not the really unusual army combinations will spawn the really awesome conversions and armies that have a totally unique vibe instead of the true to the book look that most BB-armies will deliver. Might look pretty but has been seen a thousand times.

    All discussion about CTAA seems to forget about the players that don’t own many armies. I own two armies, none of them has BBs. It makes me mad to hear people talk about removing CTAA because of crazy combos and stuff while at the same time all arround me those crazy optimized BB-armies pop up! Imperials have most stuff that is in the game anyway and then can aditionally mix and match as desired. CTAA allows other armies at least to have some of these options but with certain downsides to it, while many other armies can stack gravy on gravy?!?

    Maybe i was able to bring my point across (not a native english speaker) why i think it is bogus to talk about removing CTAA because of [reasons] while BBs roam free.

  4. Simon Gojkovic September 17, 2014 1:26 am

    I disagree Reecius. I Play nids and have a recently put in a knight into my army ( – see the timelapse battlereports to see how I did).

    The 12″ deployment buffer, the restricted sources from detachments plus the risk of the “one eye open” rule means that it is balanced enough to not be abused. I think it is something really cool and interesting for my armies and I am really happy that here in Australia (well Queensland at least) there is not restrictions on the allies.

    • DCannon4Life September 17, 2014 10:33 am

      Love your reports, Simon! When I saw the IKnight in your list I thought it was hilarious (and smart)!

    • Jural September 17, 2014 11:47 am

      Also- I really looked forward to that conversion! You may recall a 3-4 day period where IK were rumored to be available to everyone, lol!

  5. Fagerlund September 17, 2014 1:48 am

    “In the meantime, with Come the Apocalypse Allies allowed, for every 1 army that is truly an awesome work of art, you will get a lot more players that simply stuff a good model into their army because they can to gain a power boost. You then throw the fluff out the window in the process.”
    What exactly is different without CTAA? Six Knights (Triple Wraithknight + Triple Imperial Knight) is all ready a thing anyway. Very fluffy indeed! Dark Angels and Space Wolves are also Battle Brothers… now how does that taste fluff-wise?

    If you want to limit shenanigans because of fluff, then limit allies completely. If you want to limit shenanigans because of broken combos, then limit number of sources.

  6. RyanL September 17, 2014 1:59 am

    The issue is that the “problem units” you highlighted are available to the most powerful armies already, without “Come the Apocalypse” allies.

    Imperium, Eldar, Tau have a free pass to take these units, but if you’re Chaos, Necrons, Orks or Nids – already armies rarely seen in the top tier – bad luck. Allowing CtA allies might help to close this gap.

    However! I just want to add that I completely agree on your unifying aesthetic comment and believe it should be enforced. People will argue that aesthetics aren’t important in competitive play but, if that were true, tournaments would allow unpainted armies and drink-bottle proxies…

  7. Klr September 17, 2014 2:14 am

    I would have to disagree Reece.
    The most broken combos and lists are at the moment found in the battle brother department. Imperial and the eldar/DE.
    I think you and some other TOs are to conservative with what you allow. CTA should not be touched and more detachments than two should be allowed.

    I would like to make a big shout out for adepticon who seems like they will allow a lot more.

  8. Greggles September 17, 2014 3:20 am

    I think that one of the fundamental issues we face in 40k right now, is that only a few codexes have been “re balanced”. This creates a weird power divide which won’t really be remedied until the entire line has had the same treatment.

    There also seems to be a growing concern that the imperial side is getting an endless array of cool toolkits, which the xenos keep getting repeatedly shafted. Once again, something that might eventually be fixed, but not for awhile.

    For example…we all know there are chaos knights. Where are the models and the rules for them? It’s a bit ridiculous that we should even have to CTA ally an imperial knight, just to run one as a chaos knight. We should have chaos knights as hard counters to imperial knights!

    Don’t get me started on the poor nids. It seems they are constantly being shafted. A tournament either cripples them by not allowing FW (something they desperately need to gain access to some key powerful units), cripples them by not allowing CTA, cripples them by only allowing a single detachment or formation, or cripples them by not allowing any lords of war (one of their main answers to an imperial knight, without CTA).

    It really saddens me, because Nids are one of the most beautiful and fantastic armies in 40k. Seeing a fully deployed skyblight is just awesome.

    • Jural September 17, 2014 9:59 am

      As a Nid player, I kinda expect and understand the shaft with CtA, etc. I don’t like it, but I don’t mind. My bigger concern is the randomness of Forgeworld and LoW acceptance. Half of my points would draw from FW or LoW if I could… but who will play against me?

      For CtA, I have a much bigger concern with Chaos. I have loved the 6th and 7th Edition freedom to make a corrupted contingent of CSM and SM, or CSM and IG, and I had to cancel my pre-orders of the IK when I saw they couldn’t ally with CSM πŸ™ CSM just seems like the perfect vehicle to build a lot of themes, and eliminating CtA really takes that away.

  9. FTGTEvan September 17, 2014 3:21 am

    To me, the issue becomes more apparent when some restrictions on army building are lifted, but not all. For example, in the Adepticon format, with unlimited total detachments, but 0-1 CAD, for an army like Tyranids, it almost feels like I would HAVE to take some CtA allies to keep up: a 6 source hodge-podge is allowed, but a simpler double CAD list is not. Sure, formations are allowed, but I generally find them too restrictive.

  10. DCannon4Life September 17, 2014 3:50 am

    I will be converting a model for an Eldar Assassin. I am building a Imperial Knight conversion for my Tau army. I am seriously considering using the new Wood Elf models from Fantasy to cook up a crazy Necron (with Transcendent C’Tan) conversion list to make a crazy, ‘we just got out of the warp and we’re wacked’, ‘Eldar’ army to then ally with my Eldar.

    I am a bad man, I guess. However, I am looking forward to the challenges presented by making the conversions look cool. Also, I look forward to incorporating the ‘CtA’ rules: “Hey, don’t get to close to that experimental mini-titan, your cell phones can jam its systems….”

    Good times!

  11. Gregorius42 September 17, 2014 3:54 am

    Good article! I think about something you said in the past about players taking Coteaz, which (to paraphrase) “you’re not being original” when choosing Coteaz for your army. So, I challenge myself with creating original lists, and not latest and greatest.

    That being said, there is some value in identifying detachments that can buff a list and maintain integrity of the fluff. But, that can normally be done with Desperate Allies, worst case.

  12. Jack September 17, 2014 5:09 am

    Just playing devil’s advocate here, but maybe these imposed restrictions are what is keeping the same few armies dominating all of the tournies. If you want to encourage variety, what is happening now unfortunately doesn’t really now does it? the armies that are dominating right now have battle brothers, there’s no way they’d need CTA at all because they can already get the best. What your limiting is actually the fluffy lists (genestealer cults anyone? how about chaos knights?) and some of the armies that don’t get to hit the top tier get a little closer. I can’t see how this would make things in any way worse and seems like a reaction to a bunch of “what if’s”. Well what if you COULD bring a chaos knight? or a tyranid assassin character? Would that really unseat Eldar from the top spots? And if it did, is that really going to mean every tyranid player is going to field an assassin because one player did well?

    I’m just not sure I’m following the logic behind this assertion of power combos, given the combos that are already dominating the game at the tourney level.

  13. Stainless Steel Rat September 17, 2014 5:45 am

    I’ve been around since Rogue Trader and the two consistent things I keep seeing across the editions are: 1) we like to bitch about the inequities of our hobby (too much), and 2) power players who want to win every (friendly) game and every tournament. The CtA rules do make for both some incredible and incredulous army combos. As somebody who long ago abandoned the focus on winning everything and playing with my funny bone, the hobby becomes tedious when facing opponents who can’t see the game for the prize they are so desparate to attain. And trust me, when you play Dark Angels, Orks, and bugs there is a lot of room for your funny bone. So I agree with Reece in that CtA does NOT belong in tournaments.

    By the same token, I see the (huge) potential for abuse of the Imperial battle brothers (Dark Angels player, see above) and am not happy with how it is crippling my non-Imperial opponents. They are indeed getting the shaft on the allies table and it does need to be reworked. Eg. Dark Angels should not be battle brothers with the Inquisition, Grey Knights, or Space Wolves. Allies of Convenience with Space Wolves yes, Desperate Allies with Inquisition at best. And who really wants a lot of SM psykers rummaging around in the heads of the secretive Dark Angels? Assassins are useful tools for any Imperial force so I don’t have a particular issue with them as BB overall. Though the idea of rogue\mercenary assassins available to other armies is an interesting one. But the whole idea that other armies are by and large only BB with themselves is just nuts. Even AoC is very limited. So this does need a serious overhaul.

    To return to point #1 (bitching), I agree that GW does some of this to us. But we do a significant amount of it to ourselves, usually by exploiting loopholes in the desparate drive for those wins. Perhaps the gaming community should address our self-created issues of integrity before blaming the manufacturer for our many woes.

    That’s my rant for today. Thanks for taking the time to read it. And remember to enjoy your games first and foremost. (Winning is gravy, and who truely doesn’t enjoy gravy? Remember the main meal is why you are there.)

  14. klr September 17, 2014 6:22 am

    To me the arguments against CTA seems very very similiar to what some people use against including FW. Oh FW is so OP – too much to handle.

    Irony that west coast players/TO now are taking this aproach after whining a little about east coast TOs not including FW.

    The truth is that the most OP stuff is not in CTA or FW, it’s in the core game. It’s also clear that’s GWs approuch to game/codex-design; splitting things up (ref GK), more and more detachments and formations, makes it harder to hold on to the old limitations of just 2 detchments.

    The future is just 2 limitations IMO: no unbound and a ban on some of the LOWs.

    What we see is GTs being more and more different because of the comp. Over here the result is that new players find it harder and harder to get into GTs.

  15. jy2
    jy2 September 17, 2014 7:03 am

    I think that CTAA should be allowed. There is absolutely no reason not to have it if you are talking about evening the competitive playing fields, other than it “looks weird” for some army combos. Here’s why:

    1. Battle Brothers/Imperials have all the perks already. Why shouldn’t the few xenos armies? In terms of fairness/balance from a competitive standpoint, the Imperial armies have a huge advantage due to access to a much, MUCH larger pool of resources.

    2. So what if Tyanids can get a Culexus/vindicare? They then lose access to Skyblight or Living Artillery under the BAO rules. Moreover, even if they can get a culexus, Imperial armies can get the Culexus and then put him in a stormraven/wolf/whatever flyer/landraider/transport. Imperials still have a huge advantage there.

    3. As you’ve already mentioned in your article, fluff goes both ways. While Grey Knights + Daemons or Tyranids + assassin may seem silly, why can’t Chaos Space Marines take Chaos Knights? Or Tyranids going with Astra Militarum or Orks (genestealer cults)?

    4. The real problem, as someone here mentioned before, isn’t CTAA allies. That is just merely window dressing. The real abuse lies in allowing unlimited sources. That is where the root of the problem will lie. Tyranids with Knight is nothing compared to Grey Knights with Space Marine Centurions with Coteaz/Inquisition with Assassin (and ironically, they aren’t even CTAA allies!). The abuse lies in multiple-sources and the battle-brother relations of these sources.

  16. Hulksmash September 17, 2014 7:15 am

    So, even taking into account I am one of those snow flakes who likes to make crazy themed armies (working on one now for Michigan and the Renegade GT’s), I have to disagree with saying no to CTA.

    8 Armies are BB’s with each (SM, DA, BA, SW, AM, IK, GK, AS) w/3 “codexes” and one dataslate also falling in (MT, Inq, LotD, Assassins). Those 8 Codexes are also AOC w/Eldar, Desperate w/Tau and Dark Eldar. Under no CTA they can not ally with exactly 5 Codexes

    Eldar are BB with DE. Eldar are AOC w/Armies of the Imperium (See above) and Tau and Desperate with Orks. Without CTA they can not ally with exactly 4 Codexes

    Dark Eldar BB w/Eldar. And they Desperate with AoI (Armies of the Imperium), CSM, CD, Orks, and Necrons. Without CTA they can not ally with just 2 Codexes

    Tau AOC w/Eldar & Necrons and Desperate with AoI, CSM, DE, & Orks. They only miss 2 Codexes.

    Without CTA Necrons can not ally with 12 Codexes. Ork with 9. CSM with 10. CD with 12. Nids with 15.

    So I see 5 armies that can’t ally with 2/3 of the codexes or more at all. With all the other armies ranging from not being able to ally with less than 1/3 to less than 1/9. And the vast majority of those that can ally with almost everyone also are the top complained about armies (excluding Daemons).

    So why are you drawing your line at CTA? We already determined fluff is busted at this point in your article and when you look at the above. So that can’t be it. Is it gaming? Because I see nothing more busted than what currently exists and in some cases it creates answers to some of the currently existing issues. Honestly a lot of the above sounds like I want my toys but others can’t have them cause they are so good they might take them!

    And I do get tired of the Coteaz comparison. Adepticon, and to a less extent you, made that bed when you ruled to allow IC’s to confer infiltrate. Play that correctly and Coteaz/Inquisitors aren’t needed. And let’s not forget that under a limited format Adepticon pretty much had 5 builds show up in force. FMC Circus, Centstar, Ovesastar, Seerstar, Beaststar. I’m all for Adepticon’s choice this year to open it up. In fact, I might be bringing bugs, with or without CTA πŸ™‚

    So let CTA play. Also I’d point out that while the rulebook includes Unbound it’s very specific that both players have to agree to that format. So it’s easy to dismiss in a tournament format by just saying no. While a broad caveat applies to the entire book for the same thing that’s the only spot they smack you with it in the main rules.

  17. joe love September 17, 2014 8:05 am

    for me it comes back to the imperial toolkit. look how much they get. are there 8 or 9 different choices of battle bros for them?? ok how about necrons? 0 battle bros. that doesnt seem very fair to me. nids- zilch. so until everybody gets their version of the draigo/coteaz/tigurius/cent/bike star attached to a land speeder that DS without scatter on turn 1 i say you hafta leave it in. albeit with restrictions. or should we all just play SM? aren’t they the #1 used faction right now by a landslide. personally i think they are pretty boring.

  18. ZeroWolf September 17, 2014 8:13 am

    Not allowing CTA because it isn’t fluffy? In a tournament setting? Because so many competitive players have a hard on for fluffy, painstakingly themed lists. I’m sure that there’s a few, but they’re coming in at 200th place.

    Just say what this really is: you know that there are jerks who will have even more ways to break the game. But they are doing that anyway.

    So I’m not really sure what the hangup is. Sorry if my comments are sarcastic. I appreciate the article, as it provoked some thought.

    • Jural September 17, 2014 9:41 am

      Exactly- hard core players with hard core lists are already good. They aren’t going to be made better just because CtA is opened up! Especially with the BAO rules (1 CAD, 2 sources, can self ally.)

      so why not allow the fun?

  19. Jural September 17, 2014 9:40 am

    Personally, I just think it would be fun to play with CtA allies. Most of the fluff combinations are acceptable as one considers how Chaos corrupts. in fact, Nids aside, I would only consider 2 or 3 really impossible groupings (aside from the cliched Nids and Knights pairing!)

    i don’t see a lot of potential abuse for CtA allies- frankly the best lists out there already have the best ally options, so I really just see the whole “competitive” issue as people swinging their manhood around saying “My competitive list with my awesome skills is so competitive now that I need a (ineffective) nerf or else I would REALLY destroy everyone else.”

    Meh, I’m not worried about that. I like seeing the cool conversions, and I like Chaos being opened up as it was last edition, with potential Knight and IG allies to really re-inforce a theme.

    The best way to handle the “fluff bunnies” would be to ban the real hard core fluff issues… so no: Nids + anyone (except maybe an AM genestealer cult?), no CD + GK, no CD + Eldar (there may be some I’m missing.)

    I’m also not worried about Coteaz. Yes, the whole “sieze factor” is huge, but Coteaz is really much better as a battle brother… I can’t see him being a staple of CSM, Orc, Nid, or Necron lists as a CtA option! Plus, Coteaz is a sore thumb model anyway… why ruin a whole group of options because one model temporarily is cheese?

  20. bigpig September 17, 2014 9:40 am

    The only thing worse that CTA allies in competitive play is sitting through the 4+ hour Apocolypse Now redux πŸ™‚

    I agree with you whole heartedly on this editorial. It’s interesting that the more options you offer, the more likely there is to be less variety.

  21. Black Blow Fly September 17, 2014 9:49 am

    CtA is one step away from Unbound.

    • winterman September 17, 2014 9:55 am

      Its nothing like unbound. That’s just silly.

      • Black Blow Fly September 17, 2014 10:13 am

        You’re silly.

        • winterman September 17, 2014 11:08 am

          My 6 year old daughter tells me that all the time.

          • BBF September 17, 2014 12:32 pm

            AWESOME !!

            : )

    • Jural September 17, 2014 9:56 am

      CtA, no LoW, unlimited detachments with multiple sources is one step away from Unbound.

      and in my opinion, the LEAST important of those steps. The other limitations that NOVA and BAO put in place pretty much ensure the lists look nothing like unbound.

      Unless you are talking about from a fluff perspective, because I can see that more.

  22. winterman September 17, 2014 9:49 am

    I personally disagree with banning Come the Apocalypse. I don’t think doing so accomplishes anything meaningful. It’s equivalent to banning Forge World in my opinion — you are stifling creativity and keeping people from bringing armies they already built (CSM/IG) all because of fear of some broken combos or seeing a particular model/unit ruin the game.

  23. Jural September 17, 2014 9:50 am

    And of course the least fluffy thing in 40K is when two imperial armies square off against each other… which happens all the time. Why are Grey Knights fighting Grey Knights again? Why are Ultramarines fighting Salamanders? Who cares! It’s a construct which is artificial and put in place to allow a greater variety of games.

    Otherwise we’d have to divide the whole tournament into “good teams” and “bad teams” and stop accepting imperials after the limit is reached πŸ˜‰

    Oh, and if fluff is that important, why are Farstrike and Shadowsun in the same army and same unit? I thought the fluff really frowned on that… but we don’t bat an eye (and shouldn’t- it’s allowed by rule.)

    • bigpig September 17, 2014 10:01 am

      I didn’t get the sense that “it’s not fluffy” was one of his compelling points or the argument he was planting the flag on. It was just stated in passing. To me, “it is/Isn’t fluffy” bears the same weight as “it’s in the rules” when trying to balance a competitive environment. The main point to be considered should be whether or not it creates a more or less balanced environment. Secondary consideration should be given to whether or not it enhances the overall tournament experience. Most forgeworld is now allowed because it passes both of these tests.

      That being said, I woldn’t mind seeing some Chaos/IG lists. That just “feels” right. I also suspect GW will put out a Chaos Knight or at least an upgrade sprue. After the success of the IK, they have to have something like this in the works.

      • jy2
        jy2 September 17, 2014 10:32 am

        How much less balanced can CTAA make it when Imperial armies can already do these types of things and they do it as battle brothers? Does a CTA Imperial Knight make it any less balanced than an Imperial Knight on the Imperial side who can be made Invisible? Making it unbalanced is the furthest thing away from allowing CTA allies. If anything, they make the meta slightly (just slightly) more balanced by lessening the resource-gap between the have’s and the have-nots.

        Allowing the “have-nots” access to a little more toys (still a pittance compared to what the “haves” already have) can only enhance the tournament experience for them. It still wouldn’t really affect the top armies all that much, as they have been enjoying these toys for several editions now.

      • Jural September 17, 2014 11:44 am

        Good point bigpig, but to me this isn’t mostly a competitive discussion. It’s mostly a “what do you enjoy” discussion, or “What would you like to see?”

        The hobby isn’t all about balancing tournaments. Yes, we need to discuss things like “Can I bring 3 CAD’s?”, “Are Unbound legal?”, “Can you ally with yourself?”, “should the psychic phase be modified?” as part of the competitive landscape.

        CtA really I think has more to do with immersion and narrative. Competitive issues are tertiary to this one (my thoughts.)

  24. Hotsauceman1 September 17, 2014 9:54 am

    Reece, of the two things you taught me, Deployment is important and wins you the game often(The other thing is you taught me to love πŸ˜›
    Well. CTA allies really throw a wrench, think on a knight how big the 12 inches is on that giant base to size of frankies EGO.
    Alot of players are not going to really use them. I dont see a problem TBH

    • iNcontroL September 17, 2014 10:02 am

      o m g ,,, lool

  25. Dr.insanotron September 17, 2014 11:10 am

    I have to disagree with it allowing CtA. It was allowed at Nova witch you guys played in. How much of a factors was it there. I have heard nothing about anyone even using it there

    • Dr.insanotron September 17, 2014 11:10 am

      With not allowing it is what I meant

    • Jural September 17, 2014 11:52 am

      Playing Devil’s advocate… but maybe FW + CtA + limited LoW is the issue. That’s a lot more tools in the toolbox than was available at NOVA or BAO… maybe Frontline sees an unbeatable list in that mix which will PWN the scene and be on all the top tables…

      but I’m not seeing it.

      • Dr.insanotron September 17, 2014 12:32 pm

        Sorry but no. FW would only do that yo battle bros. witch they already allow

  26. cuddles September 17, 2014 11:50 am

    This game is not balanced, not in any real way. The new rule book essentially gave the space marines (including GK, SW, DA, Sisters, etc) and IG the ability to BB with each other. What did it give the Nids? What did it give chaos (other than a nerf to one of their only two good units)? What did they give Orks (outside of some really stupid rules)? What did it give Daemons (besides a nerf to FMCs)? One thing they gave them was the ability to share in the awesome shit they keep giving space marines, IKs, and so forth. If you want this game to be competitive, you have to allow every the opportunity to make armies that can compete. Saying that you can’t take CTA is like saying half the armies don’t have 1/10 the options the other armies do should be even more limited in what they can do. That is stupid and I won’t attend any venture – assuming rule sets stay the way they are – that imposes such an asinine rule.

    BTW, as I assume a counter argument to what I’m saying is that it opens the door to abuse. My response is that tournament organizers may have what they feel is an interest in preventing abuse, but some of us non-tournament organizers feel that if there was a real interest in preventing abuse, then tournaments would be designed in a way where it was very difficult to impossible (such as highlander tournaments or rule sets that specifically disallow certain combinations). Tournament organizers that do this, don’t take it all the way. It’s not ok to take certain LOWs, but it’s ok to spam the shit out of wave serpents… Its not ok to take a CAD, but it’s ok for space marines to BB with IKs… Taking a half-ass approach to limiting abuse just allows for certain kinds of abuse, but that is abuse nonetheless. If people want to gather and beat the crap out of each other and manipulate the rules in any way possible, then don’t limit anyone. If you want to foster a level playing field with limitations, take it as far as you can. Limiting one thing, and another, makes no real sense to me.

  27. Anvil
    anvilward88 September 17, 2014 11:55 am

    I think Come to the Apocalypse would not be as damaging as you think, Reece, to a certain extent. There are already a lot of limitations of these allies that prevent a lot of craziness from happening, like models not being able to join units, 12″ deployment, that 6″ rule thing that has a chance of paralyzing units (at work, no rule book with me), etc.

    That being said, there is something that I do agree with you, and that there’s some units that can be way too good on their own, and create an unhealthy competitive environment. A great example of an unhealthy competitive environment would be when Mirrodin in Magic the Gathering came out, specifically the Darksteel set. There was a card called Skullclamp in that set, and WotC had to ban it from their tournaments after a while. The reason was because that card alone caused almost all players to either build their decks to either make use of it or specifically to counter it, and there is no exaggeration to that whatsoever. (They were dark days for me 0.o) A unit in 40k that I think can create that same problem, as an example, is the Culexus Assassin. If CtA were allowed in tournaments without certain restrictions, the Culexus would probably be either included in almost all armies, or players having to build lists specifically to counter it, just because of the insane utility it brings. It’s just got the perfect synergy of points cost (you can take it by itself with no “tax units”), survivability, damage potential, and utility (that’s a big one).

    If CtA were allowed, I think there would have to be the unfortunate circumstance of creating a list of units/characters that cannot be taken in such armies, and try to keep it as small as possible and not be reckless with the ban-hammer (fun word to say, btw). I’m not saying that no army is allowed to take those units, but just the CtA ones.

  28. Big Nasty Blake September 17, 2014 12:08 pm

    “Kurtz got off the boat. He split from the whole fuckin’ program.”

  29. Luke September 17, 2014 2:20 pm

    The slippery slope that you walk on in limiting CTA allies is that you are effectively deciding what is fun for everyone, and not everyone agrees with any single interpretation of that. I understand not wanting to play against a hodge-podge power gamer army just because they can field the models, but you’re going to get that at some level at any tournament, especially the larger ones.

    To give an example, a friend of mine played against someone at our FLGS last week who played old Necrons (like, he had the tiny wraiths and a monolith). My friend plays Nids and is thoroughly enjoying the new Imperial Armour book that he got from Forge World, as well as a Malanthrope and Dimachaeron. He also has a Barbed Hierodule that he uses occasionally, but other than those 3 models it’s a completely normal single-CAD army list with no unit repeated more than twice. Hardly a power gamer. The Necron player requested that the Nid player not use the Hierodule because he thinks that LOW are broken and no fun. The Nid player was fine with that. He also requested that the Nid player not use any Forge World, because all forge world units are broken. The Nid player didn’t have enough points on him to play at the standard 1750 without those units, so he asked if the Necron player wouldn’t mind him using them after explaining their rules in detail. He agreed and they had a fine game. The Necron player also talked about how broken flyers were and how he didn’t like playing against anyone with flyers.

    The point of this narrative is that if you put too many restrictions on what is “fun/not broken” for you, you will inevitably get rid of the very things that make the game fun for the other player. This is especially true in a friendly setting where people aren’t bringing power lists.

    But tournaments are different, you say! This is about an organized competition! We want to make the tournament fun for everyone, not just the one guy who wants to field Grey Knights alongside Daemons! I understand that, but I feel like allowing CTA allies (especially with a limit on total sources) is going to simply make the game enjoyable for the “have-nots”, in terms of allies *coughNidscough* without detracting much of anything from the “haves”. You have to remember that it opens up options for the “haves” as well, but the main sticking point for me is this: a good army list is all about synergy. CTA allies have very little synergy with the army that they happen to be fighting alongside, and certainly are almost never a force multiplier of any kind, which is the strongest kind of synergy. Those are the units that people consider “broken” and “no fun to play against”. I don’t think that you’re introducing many (if any) of those types of elements if you include CTA allies (from a gameplay standpoint, anyhow)

    • Jural September 17, 2014 2:58 pm

      I agree with the reasons against limitation Luke, but at the end of the day this is so much of a personal decision on taste. Some people have this idea that all of the ally matrices and FW + limited LoW is a great representation of the 40K narrative, but CtA Allies would ruin it.

      There’s nothing to say to those people. They aren’t wrong, they aren’t right, it’s just their opinion on a very subjective topic.

      To the point, Frontline did poll it’s players about CtA before the BAO. CtA were voted out at a very high rate. Would it change now? Who know. But I can’t really think of a better way to determine a subjective point.

      Personally, I’m all for CtA Allies. But it’s not like I won’t go to an event or play an opponent if they aren’t allowed. It’s more likely to impact my purchasing choices, I don’t want to invest in an IK and not be able to use it with either of my main armies.

      • TinBane September 17, 2014 3:37 pm

        I agree.

        I think there’s much bigger issues in selecting a tournament than CtA allies being allowed. And I’m sure it will impact on purchasing choices.

        For instance, in 6th I bought probably 1500pts of IG and painted them specifically for use with my CSM force. I wouldn’t have bothered if they had have been CtA in 6th.

        Another alternative is to just change the allies matrix to represent some combinations that you allow. Personally, I’d be happier with a tournament allowing a chaos main force to take IG allies as allies of convenience, than I would having to use CtA. Run a tournament, allow a couple of combinations that are pretty hard done by (Chaos Renegades, Genestealer Hybrids, Orks) and allow them to be allies of convenience.

  30. TinBane September 17, 2014 3:46 pm

    Given the number, and length of replies, this is obviously a topic nobody is passionate about πŸ˜‰

    It’s interesting to think about whether you’d get some of the less competitive players into tournaments if you allowed CtA? Maybe it’s an opportunity to pimp out the FLG friendly format more? Actively get some of those fluffy, funny lists along, and post up pics of the more outrageously funny armies? I’d love to see an army like this one on the field at a tournament:!-A-Genestealer-Cult-log/page3

  31. John Lennon
    jifel September 17, 2014 8:05 pm

    Man, everyone is really hating on my TyraKnights! But really, there are two arguments against CTA Allies…

    1. Fluff: This does have some merit, but really I don’t see it as a big one. A big part of 40k is the fluff and being able to create your own. Plus, a lot of them can be represented through corruption/conversion/infestation. Maybe I’m taking it personally, but I see Tyranids and Knights being harped on about a lot. Why? This has been in the fluff since Rogue Trader. Why should the Imperium get their RT fluff unit back, but my bugs don’t? In a friendly game, I understand you may not want to play that. If an opponent asked me for a Narrative game, I would happily exchange my Knight for more bugs if he also brings a fluffier list. But, in a tournament setting, I don’t think you can ban one kind of allies and not the others. (But, I would GLADLY give up my Knight if we decided to get rid of all Allies!) Perhaps you don’t like some fluff combinations (I saw an Eldar/Daemons/Grey Knights army once… that was weird, and Battle forged surprisingly), but if we banned everything in tournaments we didn’t like, you limit all competition.

    2. Come the Apocalypse breaks the game competitively. This isn’t a commonly held view fortunately, because it’s kinda ridiculous. TyraKnights are not even a game breaking combination. Sure it’s good, better than plain Nids IMO, but would you really rather play 6 Wave Serpents than that? I can’t think of a single Come the Apocalypse combo that is worse than D/Eldar. Actually, Knights and Necrons is pretty good, but they may be desperate? Not sure. All of the best armies now are Battle-forged or convenient at the least, Come the Apocalypse allies are incredibly tactical to use right. Coordinating your army like that to avoid penalties isn’t as easy as adding a special character with no downside, shockingly. It’s really not even close to broken.

    Honestly, I think you have to leave them in the game. In a friendly game, negotiate beforehand what you want to use, but in a tournament who expects a fluffy list anyways? It’s not like Grey Knight librarians and inquisitors have a fluff precedent of abandoning their retinues to all hide behind a Centurion squad, or like a Space Wolf lord would leave his own men to join Iron Hand bikers. If you were to cut Come the Apocalypse, it would have to be as part of major changes to the game that toned down a lot else. Bare in mind, I’m biased. I play Nids and Knights, so I have a dog in this fight, but even unbiased I would hope a lot of people will agree you can’t pick out a single allied type to remove from tournaments.

  32. Slaede September 18, 2014 3:58 pm

    You’re going to see the adamantine lance in like every other list at LVO anyway. And you’ve already cranked them up to 11 by making up a rule that doubles their move through terrain out of whole cloth.

    Who cares if CTA is allowed?

    • Jural September 18, 2014 5:09 pm

      ??? I didn’t see that doubling…

      • Slaede September 18, 2014 11:18 pm

        They ruled super heavies roll 3d6 and double the highest dice in terrain even though there is no such rule. Y’know, so they would be good.

  33. Jural September 18, 2014 5:11 pm

    So it looks like this may be something worthy of a re-vote… and I’d kindly suggest seeking feedback on which LoW are allowed. Certainly allowing thinks like Lord of Skulls but not allowing some war gear which fails a known criteria is warranted.

  34. Alan Bajramovic September 23, 2014 12:22 pm

    Wow, this is perfect timing.

    Reece, I could not possibly disagree more…

    “Come the apoc allies could lead to abuse in a big way. When you have no limitation on detachments”

    Well most tournaments have a limitation on detachments and those that don’t introduce much more abuse with battle brother craziness.

    “the temptation to take very effective, single model or cheap detachments with powerful units becomes more than many players can resist. Coteaz, the Culexus or Vindicaire assassin, an Imperial Knight, etc. will creep into a great many lists”

    So how is this more abusive than armies that can take these things as allies of C or Desperate? I really don’t see any difference here?

    “The downside there, is that you will end up with hodgepodge armies that don’t have a unifying aesthetic or show a lovingly created army with a clear theme. And, you see the same units in more and more armies simply because, why wouldn’t you take them? It creates less diversity in the game and more unfun combos.”

    So allowing for more combos and not limiting what you can take as a ally would limit diversity?

    I would assume that you might see more Knight Titans or Assassins maybe if someone really wants to give their detachment up for this. I would assume that allowing more options would open the doors for more types of armies with similar units but more overall force being played.

    The Bottom line is there is nothing more abusive in the game than Battle Brother combos and Come the Apoc allies don’t even hold a candle. Finally, by saying you don’t want to see a Knight Titan with Nids makes it impossible for me to run my Pacific Rim list of Two converted Jaeger Knights fighting some Nid converted kaiju… and countless more cool themes