I’m sure many of you are excited about the new allies system for 40k. I’ve been thinking about which allies would be appropriate for the Reavers, my Space Wolves offshoot. The Reavers are, for the most part, cut off from the Imperium and do not have the network of support that most chapters enjoy. In fact, being cast adrift in the warp aboard a space hulk means the only allies that make sense are those that are riding with them. There are two allies that I am considering: Space Marines and Imperial Guard.
Space Marines Allies: The Machine Sect
When the current Space Marines codex came out I envisioned using that for the Reavers. I had always envisioned them as Space Wolves with an Iron Hands approach to technology and dreadnoughts replacing most of their tanks. So the idea of a Master of the Forge list with dreads as heavy support was very appealing. I also wanted Sternguard and Termies deep striking into battle. Imagining an elite sect within the Reavers that work more closely with the Iron Priests and specialize in the acquisition and use of captured technologies, I’ve considered building a MotF Space Marine army to represent this group of specialists. I never got around to it in part because it would essentially be another army competing for table time. With allies back in the game I can represent this special sect on a smaller scale, in support of the main army as I feel they should be.
This special sect exists in part because of the Reavers attitude toward technology, as espoused by Raemos, and in part because of the breeding stock of the Reavers. The Forsuttenstam are the refugees from Herjolfsnes, the planet lost to Chaos when the Reavers became stranded in the warp. The Forsuttenstam have essentially become an entire people held in thrall to the Reavers. Their nomadic tribal culture was not dissimilar from that of the Fenrisians, and has been heavily influenced by the Fenrisian culture of their protectors. However, life on the space hulk Nidhogg is not life on Fenris. Fierce warriors are needed to protect the settlements from the wildlife and alien threads entrenched upon the space hulk but survival also depends upon teams of rangers who delve deep into uncharted areas to salvage materials and find suitable areas for new settlements. These teams are experts at tracking, hunting, and stealth raids. Pragmatism trumps tradition amongst the Reavers and Forsuttenstam so rather than being forced to fit into the Blood Claws recruits from these ranger teams are often utilized as scouts. Their salvage skills are vital to the acquisition of resources and new pieces of technology so they are trained under the guidance of the Iron Priests. Although they leave the direct guidance of the Iron Priests when they join the ranks of the Grey Hunters, those who don’t eventually become Wolf Scouts often find their way into the Iron Guard. The members of the Iron Guard are tech-savvy veterans charged with the protection of the Reavers more valuable machines of war. When not acting as crew for such machines they go to battle with specialized equipment to execute pinpoint strikes and capture valuable equipment from the enemy.
In game terms, the machine sect would probably be led by a Master of the Forge with Scouts as a troop choice. This would allow me access to two additional dreads, possibly Iron Clads, or one dread and a Sternguard unit. For fast attack options I could bring in a Stormtalon to give me a flyer but it will be a while before I can pick up a model for that. Scout bikers could also be an option with a locator beacon to aid the drop pod assault and maybe grenade launchers for some extra punch.
The other allied option would be Imperial Guard, representing units of the Forsuttenstam mobilized in support of the Reavers. I’ll delve into those possibilities later on. For now I appreciate any input on Marine allies. Thanks!