The Alliance rules represent a short-term alliance between a player’s gang and a body such as a Guild, a criminal organisation or a Noble House. The benefits of having an Alliance depend on the ally, but can mean access to cheaper weapons and Wargear, bonuses when playing certain scenarios or special Hired Guns who will join the gang while the Alliance lasts.
Alliances also come with drawbacks. These can include the allies taking a cut of the rewards from a scenario, gangs being forced to play certain scenarios favourable to their allies, or their opponents getting help from the allies’ enemies.
Alliances are optional rules that can be included in a campaign at the discretion of the Arbitrator. While it is possible to use the rules for Alliances in Skirmish play, provided both players agree, they really come into their own when used over several games – meaning players must take both the good (cheaper weapons, special Hired Guns) with the bad (having to play certain scenarios or giving up some of their scenario rewards).
Players and Arbitrators are encouraged to keep track of Alliances as they can really help build an exciting narrative over the course of a campaign, with certain allies refusing to work with a gang based on their past history, or gangs developing rivalries depending on the allies they have chosen to back. Arbitrators could even require all gangs to make Alliances for their campaign, forcing themto choose sides in a larger confrontation between Guilders, Enforcers, recidivists or seditious cults!
Making an Alliance
Alliances are not to be entered into lightly. Once a gang has pledged its support to an ally, you can be sure their new friends will force them to stick with it – at least until the ally gets some results or they decide the gang has become a liability.
Follow these steps to make an Alliance:
- Any gang can decide to enter into an Alliance at the beginning of a campaign, or before any battle in a campaign, provided they do not already have an ally.
- Choose an ally from those on offer, both in this supplement or from another supplement. Note that the allies presented in this supplement represent those that House Van Saar has a long history of collaboration with, meaning that House Van Saar gangs can make a Strong Alliance with these. Making an Alliance with an ally from another supplement is possible, but the Alliance may prove to be weaker.
- Once a gang has made an Alliance it will last until the end of the current phase of the campaign, or until either they or their ally break it as a result of their actions. If a gang breaks their Alliance before the end of the current Campaign phase then they cannot gain another until the following phase unless their Arbitrator decides otherwise.
- While part of an Alliance, a gang may not use any Sub-plots or roll on any of the House Favours tables.
- Unless otherwise noted, a gang can never have more than one ally at a time. A gang should make a note of their ally on their gang roster, along with any benefits and drawbacks which the ally brings.
Benefits And Drawbacks
Each Alliance brings with it a set of Benefits and Drawbacks. These are special rules that will apply to the gang for the duration of the alliance and can include things such as access to certain equipment, special Hired Guns or having to play certain scenarios when given the option. The exact details of an ally’s Benefits and Drawbacks can be found in their individual descriptions, along with guidelines on how, and when, they come into play.
Testing The Alliance
Sometimes the strength of an Alliance might be tested. This is usually because of something the gang has done or wants to do, or because the ally wants to exert their will upon the gang and the gang wants to resist. This is known as Testing the Alliance, and applies to the use of some Benefits and Drawbacks.
When an action requires the alliance to be tested, it will be noted in the ally’s description. When Testing the Alliance the gang must roll a D6 on the table below, adding 1 to the result for each time their alliance has already been tested during this Campaign week:
Testing the Alliance Table
|Disquiet: The ally is not happy with the gang’s actions but continues to hold up their end of the Alliance… at least for now.
|Warning: The ally issues a warning to the gang, who must work to restore their good faith. During the next battle the gang takes part in, it does not gain any of the Benefits of the Alliance, though must still adhere to its Drawbacks.
|Broken: The Alliance is broken. The ally leaves the gang and the gang may not enter into an Alliance with another ally until the next phase of the campaign.