My PCs are currently staying in a place with many allies including guards, soldiers and battle-hardened family members.
I have shot myself in the foot because for every mission and quest my PCs attempt, the obvious first step is to take 10 soldiers with them, or take along Sulkul, the dragonborn general to help with the battles. I want to avoid running NPCs or a mob in combat as it is just one more thing to think about. I have tried it before but I didn't really get on with it.
So far there have been valid excuses story-wise for the PCs to be unaccompanied but these excuses will only last for so long and whilst they haven't actually said 'Let's take a large detachment of armed guards with us', it's perhaps only a matter of time.
I would like to know how people avoid such a situation or if people always run allies in combat and how it works out.