With a Little Help from my Friends
When I first started playing Kings of War a couple of Years ago I was struck by the freedom available for list choice , having come from a background of Warhammer Fantasy Battles ( albeit with a significant gap) I was used to tournaments having "Army composition" rules which were put in place to limit the more competitive aspects of each new Army list book. However the KoW Tournaments were limited only by the rules in the rulebook and the Yearly Clash of Kings supplements released by Mantic. This is a major part of the appeal that KoW has for me and also why I like to take part in the competition side of the Hobby.
I like the flexibility available to me to choose Allies within my Armies , I use Allies a lot in my Tournament armies for KoW and like to try to Theme the allies I use , not as a shallow attempt to justify their use, despite criticism to the contrary , but simply because I like my armies to Match when I put them out on the table top , I don't just grab models from a different army with non matching basing and use them , the allies are painted and based to match the main armies that they are helping. This also means a lot of my Ally models can also be used as the core of their own armies , resulting in a whole collection of interchangeable models meaning I can field quite a selection if I want.
A good example of this is one of my earliest Allied contingents that I used at the Franticon event in 2019 , I was taking an Ogre army as part of the Doubles event and also for the Singles event on the second day , I had the idea of using some of my old 40K miniatures up by mounting Ogres onto Giant Space Marine Wolf things , I was originally going to use them as Chariots but then hit on the idea to use them as Honour Guard Allies from the League of Rhordia , I made five models , put four on one Horde Base and used another to make a Baron on Aralez. Feeling chuffed with myself I also re painted an Empire Volley gun , gave it a red Goblin crew and bunged it into the allied contingent as well. Thus the Models fit in well with the rest of my Ogre army , they matched the colour scheme and looked the part. I even decided that as Ogres were Mercenaries that they had hired themselves out to Rhordia and once their contract finished they had returned to the Mahou Ogre Tribe to share their different fighting techniques with the rest of the Mahou's war machine. They did have mixed success at Franticon , the Volley gun certainly took people by surprise but the Honour Guard were easily out manoeuvred in the dense scenery on the tables at that particular tournament.
The second of my Ally contingents I am going to showcase is the one I have used the most. This is the Use of Northern Alliance Allies , specifically A Frostfang Horde and a Frostfang Thegn/Lord as allies for my Free Dwarf Brock Rider Army. Originally conceived as a way to introduce an extra terrain mitigating second line punch to my multiple Brock Troop/Regiment force without resorting to the slow moving and relatively punch lacking Dwarf Lords on Large beasts ( which is what the Models were originally supposed to represent) their 7" inch move with Wild Charge(1) , Crushing Strength 2 and Strider , combined with Height 4 makes them ideal to sit behind Brocks and add their high damage output to either a double charge or a counter charge. The Frostfang Lords Very Inspiring means he can range out a bit further and seek out flanks and other opportunities alongside Sveri Egilax, they make a lovely "Double Team" especially with Crushing Strength 3 and Strider , he also adds a great Flyer deterrent in the second line of my Free Dwarf Army alongside a Berserker Lord on Brock with the Blade of the BeastSlayer. It is a lovely addition to an already nice army and under the CoK 22 changes ( Pathfinder ability on Free Dwarf Brock Riders + Artifacts) it is undergoing a bit of a renaissance in use.
Interestingly the Bear Horde ( FrostFangs) is also the only FMC Horde in my collection with a full 6 models on the base LOL.
Last Year the Halfling Beta List was released just in time for a weekend of Kings of War at a local Wargames Centre , several KoW players ( including a couple of "A" list celebs ) got together for a weekend of playing and brainstorming armies in readiness for the upcoming Clash of Kings Tournament in Cardiff. During the frenzy of dice rolling and drinking , the use of Halfling Aeronauts as allies was discussed and then tested , Height 5 , Brutal with 9 attacks on 4+ with Blast (D3) and Crushing Strength(2) that also had a Flying move of 7", what is not to like about them ? There was a bit of controversy before the Clash of Kings event but this was mostly aimed at the guys that took full Halfling Armies with Aeronauts. Little ol'me that just took three regiments as allies with my Brock Army List slipped under the radar somewhat , although everybody agreed that my Aeronaut models were cute. The Models I went with , as the official Mantic ones were yet to be released, was a 3D Printed "Gnome Rocket Plane" I had six printed up at 28mm scale complete with exhaust plumes and decided to paint them to match "Wingy Kingy" and his rainbow Wings. Painted and based to match the rest of the Brocks the Aeronauts looked and felt part of the Army. In play they allowed the Brocks to deploy in three lines and strike hard with double charges , lack of Nimble kept the Aeronauts honest in movement but the fact they hit on 4+ made them very swingy in use, either crushing their opposition or failing miserably, This notwithstanding they helped the Brocks to win 4 games out of 6 and I produced my best Clash of Kings result to date coming 24th out of 87 places. The Little Gnome Rocket planes are now irregular and so cannot be used as allies but they are forming the basis for my own Halfling Army which is under construction. The Halfling Jagdgeschwader will take to the skies over KoW tables once more in the not too distant future
So to sum up I really enjoy the variety and flavour that using Allies brings to my games of Kings of War , there are some players that believe in Racial Purity and that using Allies makes you a "shit General" , Self imposed army composition in a composition free Tournament scene is a bit silly in my opinion but each to their own. As long as its allowed by the rules I will keep playing Allies. Now , what shall I do for my next contingent .................