Allies. Pros and Cons?

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Here's a fantastic article by Larry Vela over at (great blog site, check it out if you haven't already!) regarding Allies

In this article, good ol' Larry makes a lot of the points that I feel strongly about in terms of Allies. On spec, I love the idea - we've all wanted to be able to field our Imperial Fists getting pulled out of the fire at the 11th hour by Deep Striking Blood Angels. That's awesome! It's cinematic, it fits the fluff, it's good army building. All for it!

Heck, have your IG army supported by Space Marines, or Inquisitors, or Sisters of Battle. Imperium forces working together makes total sense. Even Tau, much as Taudar are obnoxious, it does make sense that the Tau and Eldar (Tau and most armies, really) *would* work together.

Or, any of the "Good" (re: not Chaos) armies against Daemons/CSM. Or any combination of armies against the Tyranids, Necrons or Orks. Do some narrative here! Enemy of my enemy is my friend stuff.
BUT, those combinations really only make sense in campaigns where you know who your opponent is. Space Marines/Eldar vs. Space Marines/IG?

I've even seen Imperial Guard modeled as Traitors and Allied with Daemons. That was awesome! Why? Because Traitor Guard are a thing in the fluff, and the guy took the time to model them so it made sense.
Take Eldar supported by Eldar Corsairs, CSM and Daemons are a match made in Hell (in a good way). Heck, I would even take Orks with a small detachment of CSM or Eldar, so long as the Allies kept far out of the Orks' way and some back-story effort was made to say the Orks were being used by the machinations of the Allies.

Then again...

Here's the rub though. We wind up (in tournaments) with players thinking things like "Gee, I know what my Imperial Guard army needs - Necron air support!"

...There every pretense of fluff is thrown out the window.

I played against a guy who clearly thought "I love my Space Wolves, but you know what they need? Wave Serpents!" He even threw in a Wraithknight, but didn't even bother to bring the model. This was a tournament, and he borrowed a Flying Hive Tyrant from another player to proxy his Wraithknight.
I've seen net lists that just make no sense, and are just a mishmash of all of the most powerful units in the game.

I'm especially annoyed by the incredibly popular Eldar/Dark Eldar Alliance. I mean, really? The Dark Eldar are an undisciplined remnant of what caused the destruction of the entire Eldar race! And they would be just as - if not more - likely to kidnap and torture to death an Eldar hero as they would a member of any other race. There's fluff that the Eldar want to preserve as many of their number as possibly at the expense of any other race, but I do not think that truly extends to Dark Eldar. They exist only to feed Slaanesh a little bit more. Bleck!

I agree with Larry, it's every bit as obnoxious and unfun as Revenant Titans. Arguably even more so because so many players so vehemently defend the idea.

I could go on for hours, but let me close with the single best piece of advice any gamer can give another:
Don't be a d*ck. Play for the game (which includes modeling and fluff), make some effort to have your army make sense, make it competitive, but don't toss your units aside in favor of the best from other armies.
I don't ask that everyone be a pro painter, or even necessarily have all of their models perfectly modeled with What-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG), I know things change too quickly to always do that, but make some effort please.

That's all I ask for:
Not have the deep desire to slap my opponent in the face for ruining the fun. A gentleman's game, where I can shake hands at the beginning and end of the game with a smile on my face whether I won or not.


  1. The premise of the article is not correct, saying that allies are an optional part of the rulebook. If this was the case then anything besides compulsory units would be optional since they say that as well. Its simply a misreading of what is written in the main rulebook.

    However whether or not you like allies on your tabletop is a separate issue. I for one love the options it opens up, especially since 5th edition half way through killed inquisitorial allies. Background wise, there is book upon book from the Black Library and codex background, where several forces are fighting the same battles, even if they dont agree with each other. Some are even as opposed to each other, like Tau and Dark Eldar.

    1. Oh I agree, Allies are "Optional" in the same way Heavy Support or extra Troop choices are "Optional."

      And really, in many cases, I like Allies. A lot - I threw out some of the combinations I respond quite positively to. And it is very cool what options it, and Superheavies and Fortifications, open up. There are even many cases where truly outlandish Allies combinations come up and are great.

      But, what bothers me is the potential - no, in a competitive setting, the guarantee - that the rules will be abused (In my humble opinion) by at least one player. If I go to a tournament and fight four Heldrakes or four Wraithknights... Yes, they can be beaten, but that's someone deliberately messing up the game in the hopes they'll be able to win without trying.
      That isn't new to Allies or any of the new supplements, but they have made the super-combos far more common/obvious than they used to be. Mostly, however, it's just me griping.

      Forgive me also for being so hard on Dark Eldar. I love my Craftworld Eldar, and grew very tired of everyone telling me that the "only way to win is to take the Baron with your Jetbikes."


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