Friday, July 6, 2012

The Impact of Allies in 6th Edition

The ramifications of the changes that 6th Edition has made to our hobby ripple across the interwebz. Cries of “it’s the devil”, “we love it”, and every other ping-pong reaction you can imagine are prevalent throughout the blogosphere, as well as your local store I’m sure. There’s one topic, among many, that’s hot right now, and I’d like to discuss it:


“But Tim, you’ve always said that you aren’t going to dive much into rules and tactics in this blog, right?”

Right, and I still won’t today. No, this is going to be about how Allies is a game-changer in how we can model and customize our toy soldiers!

Allies give us the opportunity to have some fun, and introduce some variety into the modeling and painting of our armies. Personally, I’m excited by the limitless prospects we have before us now, and can’t wait to dive into new projects! Before I do, though, let’s take a look at some steps we can take to insure that 2 very different armies can still look good together.

Basing Theme
Yes, this is the blatant answer, and most likely the easiest, but it is important. Keep your newly allied force based the same as the army you are complimenting, and they will naturally look like they should be fighting together. I can’t kick this dead horse enough, but basing theme matters!

Campaign Markings
Typically when two forces march off to war together, there are campaign- or theater-specific markings, patches, gear, etc., that the two forces will share as a sign of esprit-de-corps, and camaraderie. A Cadian ally may have this marking on a shoulder pad, where the Space Marine will have it on a knee pad. Either way, we’re taking some sort of symbology to tie the two forces together in a tasteful way that compliments them both, without impinging on their individual army’s color scheme. They don’t have to be painted the same overall, but this will be a great tie-in between the two forces.

Common Paint Scheme
Going one step beyond just Campaign Markings would be planning your allied force’s paint scheme around your existing main army you are wanting to compliment. My thoughts would be something along the lines of an allied Guard unit, modeled and painted as Nocturnean Guard, used as an ally to a Salamanders force. Wash-rinse-repeat your own theme and relationship here.

Physical Conversions
This I’m really looking forward to diving into. Want some beastmen-guard to compliment your Chaos Marines? How about some converted imperials, both mentally and physically, to compliment your Tau? SO many of GW’s kits work so well together, that kitbashing is a regular occurrence in our hobby, and I just see it ramping up form here.

With the changes 6th has made, and the fact that allies brings so much to the table, I’m reviving my old love for the Tau Empire and will be making them my next Army project. I’ll also be planning some Guard allies for them, and maybe even other races and abhumans mentioned in the new rule book!

How have your modeling and painting plans for your army, or even future projects, been changed by the inclusion of allies?

- Tim


  1. I've been hoping for allies for a long time and love the idea of investing small amounts of points (and dollars) into factions and detachments instead of full-blown armies. Now I really CAN have some of everything!

  2. I am already planning out how I am going to bring back the old school 'Angels of Death' codex. I think Blood Angels will really accent my Dark Angels with good assault troops.

  3. The modeling aspect of the allies rules are what excites me most - Not only the ability to use some of my various army choices together on the table at the same time (Blood Axe Kommandos attached to my Guard army, for example!), but also the opportunity to do full-blown "counts-as" units - Why not use the Tau or Necron codex to represent some wild and crazy Adeptus Mechanicus detachment and their techno-sorcerous weapons, or the Ork codex to represent units of Beastmen or other Abhumans?

    I'm really looking forward to seeing what the modelling/fluff enthusiasts come up with, as a counterpoint to the invariable batch of WAAC tourney players who are looking at it from a "How can I abuse this to make an unstoppable death machine" point of view!

  4. I'm all for the allies. It gives me a reason to build/paint those cool models from other armies that I want but not have to have a legit army to go with it. Dabble dabble!

  5. As I mentioned to you in person the other day, I'm excited about Allies as well. Now I get to build an army that represents my Craftworld Eldar and their Pirate/Corsair fleets (i.e. Dark Eldar) that I've written into their story. I just went out and bought my scourges yesterday!! I even found myself heavily contemplating buying the Dark Eldar fighter!

  6. As a Tau player I'm in sore need of some CC units... I've been trying to come up with a way to work in some Marine Bikers or some termies. I think some firewariors are going to have a chain sword and there maybe be a few enhanced bolsters floating around too!