Natural allies (or non-capital sides) are sides in Erfworld that have no capital, no cities, and no royals of their own.Erf-b1-p079a They can form long semi-permanent alliances, or they can sustain themselves via mining, farming, hunting, and such. Rather than using cities, they can pop more units for their side via Moneymancy WoT-6051503.
Natural Allies such as Hobgobwins have their own languages, and only some units in a tribe speak Language.
Natural Allies know the will of their tribe’s Chief or Chiefs by Natural Thinkamancy, even from other hexes. This explains how, when the Western Giants changed their loyalty from Jitterati to Faq, they all changed their loyalty simultaneously.
Tribes have no purse and keep no Schmuckers. When they are in an alliance, their allied side pops rations for them from its treasury. But a feral tribe must hunt or gather or farm or mine.
If they are given Schmuckers, the tribe must convert it all to new or promoted units or popped rations or equipment on the next turn.
Known natural allies sides:
- Hobgobwins (Gobwin Knob)
- Gobwins (formerly Gobwin Knob)
- Marbits (Jetstone)
- Elf Brands (unspecified member or members of the Royal Crown Coalition)
- Witches (Dagwood)
- Western Giants (formerly Jitterati, now Faq)
Since natural allies can break alliance (such as between Jitterati and Faq or the gobwins betrayal of King Saline IV), there must be additional benefits to having natural allies (as opposed to using ones own units). Otherwise, their less-than-perfect reliability becomes a major liability. Such benefits might include:
- Access to natural moneymancy. Since natural allies pop via moneymancy instead of requiring a city's production, a side can convert smuckers directly into units without a Moneymancer. Stanley did this when he repopulated the hobgobwins from Vurp alone. This is useful both for sides that need units NOW and for those seeking to spend excess smuckers.
- Access to special unit abilities. Since it is known that not all cities can pop all unit types (and it is utterly unknown how those units are determined or how they can be changed), natural allies may be the only way for certain sides to have access to units with particular abilities such as tunnel-fighting (Gobwins and marbits for Gobwin Knob and Jetstone respectively), mountain-capability (Western Giants for Jitterati/Faq), or various flavors of natural casting abilities (Presumably witches and some forms of elf.)
- Improved stats. It is possible that most natural allies are innately superior fighters than men at similar costs.
- Reduced upkeep. While an allied side must pay upkeep for its natural allies, it is possible that they cost less than similar units of men.
Some allies do not ally with a side at the same time as other allies; though it is unspecified if this means that they are unwilling to do so, or if they incapable of doing so.
For instance; Elves and Marbits will not ally with a side that has Gobwin, Hobgobwin, Witch, or Daemon allies.