View Full Version : Creating an allied force for SM

01-07-2013, 13:35
Hey guys, I'm looking into starting a new army to ally with my space marines, but I'm not sure what direction I should go in. I am between two at the moment, Tau and Eldar. I really cannot decide between which army I like more, I like tau's more upbeatness (not being the typical grim dark theme like other armies) and their technology aspect, but I also like the psychic warrior aspect of Eldar, I love the variety in models, and I like their characters more. I have wanted both of these armies for quite a while too, which makes it even harder to decide. I also am not, incredibly, worried about how well they will ally with the space marines because I know both can fill good roles. I intend to build it up to be able to play it solo as well.
If anyone has anything that can sway me either way that would be fantastic.

01-07-2013, 16:57
Depends on what you want the allies to do for you. Eldar are faster, with pretty good psykers (though as allies they don't get the warlocks) and specialist units.
Tau are slower but still quite mobile, more durable, and have heavy firepower, but are mediocre shots without markerlight synergy.
Tau have little to no close combat ability and no psychic ability, while Eldar do, but Tau have easy access to cover removal, interceptor, and skyfire
Hammerhead with Railgun and Fire Prism are pretty much tied for first place in killing enemy armor. Prism has the more flexible gun and is better at AV14, but the Hammerhead is better at AV10-12 and can take Longstrike
Wraithknight is harder to hurt and good in close combat, but weaker save and shorter range. Riptide is more mobile and flexible with its support options, and has long range weapons and better saves, but will fold in assaults and is not as tough as the Knight. It is cheaper though.
Kroot are cheap skirmisher/snipers, while Rangers are much more expensive but far more durable and better shots.
Fire Warriors are better armored and armed than guardians, especially since guardians don't get warlocks as an allied detachment. Dire Avengers are more mobile than fire warriors though, and jetbikes are fast with a good save, but not very strong on offense unsupported. And if you take a Spiritseer, you can take the tough but slow wraithguard as troops.
Wave Serpent is more expensive but far superior to the Devilfish.
Crimson Hunter has more powerful weapons and is more manueverable, but is a paper plane. Tau Razorshark a bit more durable, and has a 360 turret but a weaker weapon mix.
Vypers are fast and have a better weapon selection, Piranha are cheaper and marginally more durable
Warp Spyders are extremely fast and have a nasty short range weapon, but Stealth suits have infiltrate and are much more durable, with better range on weapons.
Fire Dragons and Striking Scorpions are very good at killing tanks and most infantry respectively, but Crisis suits are tougher and extremely flexible, with a wide range of weapon options.

If you are looking to decide based on fluff, the Eldar are more elegant, fast but fragile specialists. Tau are more functional, less skilled individually but with high flexibility and firepower.
If you are looking to complement your Marine force, Eldar are fast, with decent psykers, and specialists to fill in nearly any gap in your list. Tau are slower than Eldar but still can be more mobile than marines, have heavy firepower, and can provide support with cover removal, interceptor, and skyfire.

01-07-2013, 17:07
Don't choose. Tau and Eldar are actually a great combination. You could start one as an allied contingent for your marines and then the 2nd to use as an allied contingent for the first. You'll still always be able to use them with your marines too if you like.

01-07-2013, 21:41
MajorWes, that was exactly the kind of post I was looking for to help decide! Thank you very much the unit breakdown really helped see the overall differences between the two and what I could use and would not be as useful against local players.
And Mandragola, you also make a very good point. I think what I'll do is take a hybrid of both of these pieces of advice, I'll probably start up a few eldar, then start up a few tau, add to both based on what I think I could use (I need something to deal with AV14, I'll grab a fire prism) and go from there.
That being said, any advice on what I should start with and what good combos between eldar and tau would be?
I'm thinking the new ranger HQ choice and some rangers for tau, or maybe a spiritseer and some wraith units?
For Tau I'm thinking darkstrider with some pathfinders and fire warriors and a riptide.
Any thoughts on this plan either way?

01-07-2013, 23:05
I'd actually recommend jetbikes to start with for troops. They are an incredibly mobile scoring unit and useful for Tau, Marines or Eldar. They were the default choice for people taking eldar allies with the last codex and now that they are cheaper and get bladestorm, they really are excellent.

Other than that I'm not sure how I'd run eldar allies for marines to be honest. Marines are pretty good at killing vehicles already I think so I might look to the Eldar for weight of fire instead. Things like war walkers, maybe. Tough stuff like wraithguard are a decent option, as they could go forward in wave serpents while your marines held the line.

01-07-2013, 23:22
That makes sense. I do favor the wraith type armies as it is I may end up starting off with Indayden. Thanks for the tip!

01-07-2013, 23:56
If you take Darkstrider with Pathfinders, you have a nice markerlight base, and his debuff works well if you give a couple pathfinders rail rifles or ion rifles. Riptides are expensive (points and money) but can put out a lot of firepower and have a good selection of support systems (I run mine with the ion accelerator, interceptor, and skyfire). Sounds like a good base for an allied force, though it works out to somewhere between 400 and 500 points, so it could eat a chunk of your army list.
Given the amount of markerlights pathfinders put out, I'd say if you want to expand that force you suggested, go for a Sky-ray. The skyfire is nice, and using markerlights to put BS5 Krak missiles onto targets that ignore cover is a lot of fun.

Nightspear and Pathfinders can be a nasty though somewhat expensive unit. They are very good at picking out models in squads, and can hurt monstrous creatures. They are hard to hit, but flamers and smart missile systems make them cry, so positioning and range is important. To add to this, you want some anti-vehicle and/or close combat (to keep stuff away from the Pathfinders)

Spiritseer and Wraithguard/blades are a more durable choice (T6 and 3+ on the wraiths) but rather slow and short ranged. A Spiritseer with then can get powers from Runes of Battle and Telepathy, so primaris powers of conceal and psychic shriek. A good roll on Telepathy could get you Hallucination or invisibility, both of which the Spiritseer has enough points to cast. To expand on that, first choice would be a Wave Serpent to carry them around, or just to go play mini-battle tank.

04-07-2013, 14:45
Some great advice as usual! I was thinking of doing exactly what you said with the elder, and for now with tau what I was planning to do was just throw darkstrider in with fire warriors and have a unit of pathfinders to back them up. Some good fire support for an advancing marine army I think (with plans to add on to that later). I made my first purchase for eldar and I actually ended up getting a farseer and dire avengers (because my shop had a 10 man box of them left! couldn't pass that up) and I plan to soon add a spirit seer, wave serpent and wraith guard.