4

I already had tau that my relative gave to me and I wanted to know if I could employ them as allies to the custom space marine chapter I'm making.

3

If you mean can you use them in the same army, no, you can't.

Your army needs to share a keyword, your space marine army's keywords would be the name of the chapter, "Adeptus Astartes" and "Imperial". None of these keywords are on any tau units, so they cannot be included in the same army.

8th edition did away with the allies matrix, keywords are all that matter now, and they do not share any keywords.

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  • This is certainly true in Matched/Tournament play. In a casual or Narrative game all you need is your opponent's permission. – aslum Feb 22 '18 at 17:13
  • @aslum Well if you're going to casually house rule anything in, you can change just about anything you want, you could play by 7th rules still in a casual game if you wish. – Andrew Feb 22 '18 at 17:27
  • 1
    While that's technically true, you could also just as easily play by 2nd ed rules, or whatever you want to do. That said convincing your opponent to allow you to bring an allied detachment hews much closer to the rules than some of these other suggestions. Ultimately do whatever you want as long as your opponent is cool with it. Hell, play with 40k 'Warscrolls' in Age of Sigmar if you want and your opponent is cool with it. – aslum Feb 28 '18 at 20:16

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