Two players who are permanent allies in all games


Is this acceptable? It wouldn’t be so bad if they announced this at the start of the game but I guess it’s usually done covertly.

I imagine it can’t be policed either…

What do people think (advocates welcome to comment but I guess they’d prefer to remain anonymous).


I would prefer it didn’t happen but can understand it.

I occasionally play with my misses and would never attack her.


I recall a thread originated by Arth about 2 years ago discussing guilds and NP2 team / league games. But that thread fizzled out to the ether.


I think it’s alright if you announce it beforehand, as then people can take that into account and develop a strategy against it.
It would still give them an unfair advantage, but it’s not really something that can be balanced (unless you would allow for permanent alliances in the game-mode or something)


I think it’s alright regardless. I assume it happens in pretty much 100% of games.

Edit: I generally only play dark or dark start, scan-only trading games, so that severely limits the effectiveness of this strategy. I almost always join games with the same irl friend, and yeah, if we wind up next to each other we generally are allies (though sometimes we try to screw each other over and more often than not we’re too far apart and so we wind up distant rivals).

It is what it is, I’d imagine there are a large number of roommates/classmates/offficemates who do this.


I agree, its very common. When I played more frequently I kept track of players who frequently ally, then would alert their neighbors to my suspicions. I agree, dark start/trade scan only effectively negates this tendency, at least in early game.

As to whether its a problem, it depends on the size of the game. 2 out of 8 is a lot, 2 out of 64 is immaterial.

All of us tend to have opinions as to trustworthy allies from previous games. Where it can disrupt gameplay is when the alliance is unbreakable at the end game, and when number 2 refuses to attack number one. This happens very frequently, and tends to cause end games to die with a whimper.


I joined an 8 player game where 3 players knew each other and agreed to work together until the end. I can’t understand how that can be considered challenging as it is such a huge advantage. Fortunately one of them let it slip so I was able to convince other players to rally against them but if they keep quiet it is a stacked game.

I understand wanting to play with people you know but try keeping it fair. If you will never attack each other join a 64 player game, or join a game where everyone knows everyone else, or announce it to the rest of the players so they have a shot.


well you could… How well do you like the couch?


for me, if I find people that I have allied with before I know their play style, and whether they are trustworthy and if they will stick around if the going gets tough. I know I can trust them, and they know they can trust me. I will still ally with a new person, but it’s always a crap shoot. All that being said. there are some people that I will never ally with again because I know I can’t trust them because they might quit, or backstab at the first opportunity.


Although I have been guilty of this a couple of times in the past, I am generally against it, but then what can you do about it?!

For the last year I’ve only been joining games where I don’t know anyone, partly to avoid this. I must admit I miss forum organised games though, seems to attract players with more… character than standard games.


Can’t do much against it really. But if you do form a permanent alliance before you even start, it would behoove them to notify the other players. If you’re going to play by other, non-paranoid rules, at least inform everyone else you rewrote the rulebook.


There is no rulebook. This happens, people playing more than one account happens, other stuff happens… best thing to do is win in spite of it.

Space is dark and full of terrors. And ants. Space ants, with their ant sounds.


As someone else noted, I mostly play dark games, so maybe this isn’t as much of an issue for me. But even without knowing people IRL, there are maybe a half a dozen players I respect who I’ve worked well with in the past, and I would tend to ally with them again given the opportunity. And I’ve been backstabbed by my RL friends too, so I just don’t see this as such a big deal.


There is an implied rulebook though: Everyone is in it for themselves, every alliance is temporary and doomed to be betrayed, and there can be only one victorious in the end.

That, and space elves beat everything else. And if they lose, it’s all part of the grand plan, and will totally come back to bite you in ten thousand years or so.