Category: Ally Template

The 5 Stages of dealing with what GW is doing to 40K

obsoletaMany of us see the Formations currently being released as creating a huge shift in the balance of power between codexes and forces in the game we love, the viability of the armies we’ve painted and built, and changes in how the tournaments and events we enjoy will be run.

Gamesworkshop sees this as a fun December Advent Calendar likely to put more of their products in Christmas Stockings worldwide.

That statement should be hyperbole or at least exaggeration, but appears to be literally true. This article is an attempt to take a mature look at where we are, where we’re going and how to reconcile the gap between that and where the players who enjoy tournaments as well as casual games would like it to be. Read more

Formations and Their Impact

imagesCATD7ZGXOkay, the Space Marine formation has come out and isn’t going to cause as many OMGs as the Tau one (Stormraven gets Strafing run the oft forgotten rule which makes them +1BS against ground targets; Stormtalons can both escort the Stormraven) but I think what is being filtered down through a lot of the white noise in regards to the Formations is the complete disregard for the FoC these bring to the game.

Now when Allies were rumoured to commence with 6th edition I was pretty vocal against them and I’ll happily admit to being wrong in that department as Allies have assisted to build as close to balanced lists as possible, provided more army diversity and for the most part, the rules were done solidly for that.

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The Solitaire and a Standard Eldar Ally Template

Click me for the thread in which I was made!- Credit to precinctomega

Click me for the thread in which I was made!- Credit to precinctomegaThe Farseer is good.

In fact, the Farseer is REALLY good. He’s so good that you should be sticking him in just about every Eldar army, and in any army where you’re taking Eldar as allies and you’re Battle Brothers.

But when you’re not, he loses a lot of his effectiveness. He can’t cast on allies of convenience or lower, and while he can get some offensive psychic powers, he really is mostly just a buff machine.

And so, there are those scenarios where the Autarch starts to become a more attractive choice. Unfortunately, you can’t build an Autarch in a ton of different ways. Very fortunately, there is one way which is very effective. I’m talking about the Solitaire.

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Optimising Allies: Imperials and Guard

“What I cannot crush with Marines I will crush with the tanks of the Imperial Guard!”

As part of the mini-series on Imperial Guard as Allies I received some army building requests which I’ll be tackling before moving on to the rest of the Force Organisation Chart.

The first batch are Imperial, namely Space Wolves, two Blood Angel builds and finally a rebuilt pure Guard army. Watch this space for Guard and Orks in the very near future. Read more

Optimising your IG Allies: Don’t take a Vendetta

As part of the mini-series on taking Imperial Guard as allies, I’ve decided to skip ahead to start in the most obvious place: The world-class Vendetta, that almost 4 years after being introduced to 40k remains a top-tier choice and the Flyer all others are compared against.

My advice to anyone considering Imperial Guard allies is don’t take one.

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Understanding 6th Edition is Understanding Guard


Like it or not, the Ally rules are a vital part of the game in 6th Edition. Love them or not, the Imperial Guard are the best allies most other armies could ever hope for. Take them as your own allies or not, you are likely to see them crop up in opponent’s forces and you need to know their capababilties and weaknesses. If you want to really understand 6th, it is almost as important to know Guard as it has been to know MEQ in the past.

To try to help, I’ll be writing a mini-series on using Imperial Guard allies. I’ve dabbled in several other armies, but it is Guard that I’ve used to win about 20 local, 1 national and 3 state championships over the last four years so this is the area I excell in. If this counts as a credential, over the years I’ve drawn twice (Buddah at the ATC and a friendly game in 2010) but have never actually lost a game against Guard, so apparently I know how to kill them too. So they can’t be that tough, right?

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Ally Template – Hybrid Guard

Imperial Guard are an ally we haven’t really discussed in much depth but have joked about as being the best ally in nearly every case. This is unfortunately too close to the truth for comfort given we’d prefer one army to not be heads and shoulders above the rest but unfortunately Imperial Guard work very well as Allies. Why? Because the limitations upon the Fast/Heavy/Elite/HQ Force Organisation slots isn’t that huge and Imperial Guard can bring a lot to the table through a single Troops choice and still bring impressive options through the other FoC slots.

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Nightmare Guard (Army Build)

After I won the State masters with an IG/GK list that I called ‘not optimal’ I’ve had quite a few requests in the Chatbox and email for an example of what I would rather have taken instead. For your viewing pleasure, I present Nightmare Guard.

This is a variation of the army build I will take to the Australian 40K Masters this weekend. The idea is to take the firepower-orientated, reliable but slow and predictable Imperial Guard army and meld it with the close-combat orientated, haphazard fast and unpredictable Chaos Daemons. The result is something I’ve had a lot of fun playtesting.

There are some extremely powerful armies and talented players coming to this event so I’m not going to jinx it by claiming this is one of better builds, but I do think it has the tools to deal with most threats including the ubiquitous Necrons.

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Metatransition – Scarab Farm


Necrons on the whole transferred pretty well so most of their builds can be assume to have transferred well. Let’s look at how the infamous Scarab farm did.

The Scarab farm was all about taking tiny amounts of Scarabs and turning them into huge units with nine Spyders. This provided really large Scarab units which could molest even moving vehicles and leave points free for other Necron goodies. In 5th edition it had a few flaws though – Scarabs would hit vehicles, drop them to paper thin armor, destroy them and then turn around and die. Scarabs were a great unit when supported by extra firepower but by taking nine Spyders, one would often lose a key support unit in the Annihilation Barge. Imothek was also common with Farm lists which meant Necron shooting was impacted negatively as well – what are Necrons good at again?

Right so let’s look at what changes we have specifically for Scarab Farm as we’ve looked at the general Necron stuff already…

  • vehicles are hit on a 3+ at worst. Scarabs chew through vehicles now. Think the Mummy series and imagine those human beings are tanks and those scarabs are…soulless scarabs. Ya, vehicles hate combat now and Scarabs are one of the best at it.
  • Fearless rocks – Fearless sucked before for Scarabs as they would often lose combat and then lose several more bases for their efforts. Anything which could ID them would wipe out entire farms in a matter of seconds but now, well now they are a great tarpit. They aren’t going to kill infantry still but they can at least stick around and annoy the crap out of them.
  • movement & charge changes make Scarabs faster over a period of turns thanks to a 12″ move plus RCL (Random Charge Length) but in a given turn, RCL reliability can bite Scarabs on the bottom. They generally aren’t engaging infantry units though so Overwatch isn’t that scary despite their poor statline.
  • Cover changes hurt Scarabs a lot – they used to be cheap with an annoying durability but now getting such a good cover save is harder. Still possible but harder. 
  • And Night Fight is no longer what it was. Although most armies generally had a counter to Night Fight through things like Searchlights, it’s a lot easier to completely IGNORE Night Fight on some very specific units. You know, like a building Scarab farm which coupled with the above change, makes growing the farm a lot harder to do.
  • Spyders are scarier with RCL however since they got potential movement gains though cover reduction hurts them as well – they were pretty easy to get a 4+ for before base on 50%.
And then of course you have all the awesome changes for Necrons in general with Gauss & Tesla loving Hull Points, fake AV13, Jink saves, etc. So what’s this mean for Scarab farm?
Scarabs, particularly lots of Scarabs, were really done as a ‘solution’ for anti-tank I feel. Imotekh + Scarabs was a pretty good solution for MSU mech in terms of the vehicles for Necrons but it suffered versus infantry. Now Necrons don’t need help against mech thanks to Hull Points and their excellent shooting so the question really becomes: do you still want to take away from that awesome shooting available to Necrons and replace them with MCs and Scarabs? The answer should really be no in terms of an entire list construct but you can certainly have a sort of mini-Farm within a balanced list and do well. Especially if you’re playing double FoC as you’re not really taking away from your ability to take Annihilation Barges. 
So if you were really looking to add something like this to your army, I’d be looking at keeping it as simple as possible. Scarabs have some pretty nice upsides in 6th edition and make a nice tarpit unit for your normal Necrons but if you go for a full farm you’re losing a lot of extra firepower by not taking the Barges. Rather than consider this an army template, I’d more think of it as a plug-in for a basic Necron army. Hell, it could even be used as an Ally plug-in though you’d obviously only have one Fast Attack unit.
2x8x Scarabs

3x Spyders, 1 w/Gloom Prism

Totals: 395 points
You don’t want Imotekh as he stops your own shooting. You don’t want mass Spyders as that takes away from Annihilation Barges. You want two Scarabs so you have a 3rd Fast Attack slot for Wraiths if you want and you have a second layer of Scarabs. One works as well though, particularly if you’re running it as an Ally plug-in. You’re not fiddling around with all the extra goodies Necrons can get like a Writhing Worldscape C’Tan + Tremorteks (Crypteks with Tremor staves) because that takes points away from things which actually drop crap dead in the Necron codex. It’s a simple mini-farm which can plug into lists if you’re looking for a screening option and back-up MCs all for less than 400 points. Hell, the Spyders aren’t even needed – I’d still rather another Annihilation Barge and let the Scarabs do their thing – pop some vehicles, delay the opponent.

Ally Template: Ork Green Tide

CSM, Necrons, Imperial Guard & Tau can all take Orks as Allies of Convenience and with Fearless not being a liability for hordes in close combat now, Orks aren’t a bad choice as your Ally at all. In this post we’re going to look at the ‘Green Tide’ for Ork allies where those large Boyz units are going to come to play. This is a great option for shooting armies and with three of the strongest shooting armies in the game available as Allies (Necrons, IG & Tau), this should be a good plug-in to protect those shooting elements with more aggressive units.

Big Mek w/KFF

30x Boyz w/Nob, PKlaw, Bosspole
30x Boyz w/Nob, PKlaw, Bosspole

3x Kannonz w/6x extra crew, 3x ammo runts

Totals: 612 points

A very cheap 612 points which brings a lot of bodies. The main point of this list is to bring those bodies (most of them scoring) and plop them in midfield – there’s very little subtlety about it. This helps the shooting and more combat vulnerable units of the parent army to continue what they do best – shoot from far away and avoid combat. By being large and decent in combat, the Orks force the opponent to deal with them or suffer the consquences all the while being pummelled by actually good shooting rather than the

Now the Boyz are written down as Boyz because both Shoota & Slugga are the exact same in terms of points but I prefer the Shootas as they make a better deterrent in midfield. Orks do not have to blindly run forward and smack people around and having 60 odd shots, even at BS2, while sitting on an objective puts the opponent in a mini lose-lose situation. Sluggaz don’t have this option but if you have solid scoring backing up the Boyz, pushing them forward might be a better idea and thus the extra attack in combat can be very useful. Remember, vehicles will now very reliably drop to mass S4 attacks assuming they are rear AV10. The PKlaw can take care of anything else.

The Big Mek makes getting cover for these very large squads easier – always very useful, particularly given the reduction in the cover mechanic as a general rule of thumb. The Orks are more vulnerable to being shot off the table but at least they’ll have a save each time and even with a 5+, the opponent has to inflict ~46 wounds – not an easy feat. Adding a PKlaw to the Mek makes him a scarier opponent in combat as well so isn’t a bad option to consider.

The Kannons are cheap firepower and quite durable with the extra wounds bought. The firepower isn’t fantastic but it’s cheap and in any mission where Heavy Support can score, well they’re scoring so that’s a nice bonus.

Options: You really want to keep the Mek + Boyz here, otherwise you’re looking at really changing up what this Ally Plug-in does (which is fine but not what this template is for). There’s very little which can be of use in the Heavy Support slot other than a Battlewagon and only if you bring along some Nobz to get a second Battlewagon (who with four Hull Points and being cheap, aren’t too bad). Otherwise your main options to look at are Fast Attack & Elites.

With Scout being nerfed and only having one Fast Attack option available, about the only good thing here is the Dakkajet but even then, it’s not great and there are better Flyers for half the armies which take Orks (Necrons & Imperial Guard) and rumor has flyers coming for Tau & Chaos soon, too. Elites also have very few choices here that are viable as one-offs. Nobz/MANz, as mentioned, can help bring a second Battlewagon but what do they themselves do? They can help out midfield but unlike Boyz, aren’t cheap and plentiful and thus generally need the Battlewagon to be useful. Burnaz & Tankbustas are likewise more expensive than Boyz and generally need something to help push them up the field though Burnaz can be an excellent “assault me if you dare” choice. Shame they are still just as weak to shooting as every other Ork. This really leaves Lootas who can act as a semi-cheap firepower unit where the duality for such is taken up by the rest of the army they are allied into. Not necessary by any means but something to think about.


Orks are much improved in 6th overall and this transfer over to their ability to Ally to other armies. By bringing in units which are more capable of operating in midfield and in combat, you’re getting the best of the Ork world with the best of the parent army which is generally going to be oriented around shooting. This can be useful for options with stronger Troops (Necrons, Chaos) or weaker Troops (Imperial Guard, Tau) as the Orks can play differently depending upon what’s backing them up in the Troops department (i.e. can the Orks run across the field and trap the enemy in their Deployment Zone and have sturdy Troops move behind them to claim midfield objectives or do they need to pressure the opponent into pushing them off the midfield objectives, etc.).

If you’ve got a fast, zippy army which doesn’t really have a midfield core then Orks probably aren’t going to be a great asset as they get minimal support from behind. However, none of the armies they can be AoC to can do such a list without spamming flyers (Necrons) so such a plug-in is generally going to be a good idea if you’re looking for such a force.