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Events and Battle Reports
Spring Offensive
"Armies with Character" lists <> "AwC" Battle Summaries <> Ozone Scorpions <> 
"Bug Hunt" special scenario <> Photos <> Why SO is better than Games Day

Spring Offensive: “Armies with Character”
Spring Offensive, the follow-up to Fall From Grace, was an informal gathering of 40K gamers from around the United States, held at the Borderlands store in Greenville, South Carolina, on April 20-22, 2001. I had really enjoyed myself at Fall From Grace and was more than happy to drive 1100 miles (round trip) to attend Spring Offensive.

I didn’t want to waste valuable gaming time writing up army lists, so I started writing up my lists ahead of time. Usually, I create an army list in response to a certain opponent: if I know I’ll be fighting Orks, for example, I’ll bring lots of heavy weapons. If I know I’m fighting Eldar, I try to build a speedy, flexible force that can do well in hand-to-hand combat.

I started making up some lists and soon realized that, for Spring Offensive, my usual approach had problems. Creating multiple lists (one vs. Orks, one vs. Eldar, one vs. Marines, etc.) at multiple point values (1000 points, 1500 points, 2000 points, etc.) would swiftly become tedious. And I found that I had fallen into a rut: I always seemed to pick certain units (Tactical Squads in Rhinos, Land Speeders, my Whirlwind, etc.) while hardly using others (Terminators, Bike Squads, Devastators, etc.). 

I needed a new way to assemble an army list.

Putting character first
I have some well-defined leader characters I’ve created, like Raja Khandar Madu and Zaghnal Maratha, so instead of assembling my lists the usual way, I put each character at the head of their own detachment. Then I selected army units (following the Standard Missions Force Organization chart) to complement each character. For example, Raja Shamshir Talatra rides a bike and likes to assault the enemy, so I included all the bike units with him and included units that would do well “up close and personal.”

In addition, I made sure to include every unit I own, even if they aren’t the most “effective,” somewhere in the lists. This led to forces having a lot fewer Troop units than I am used to. I tried to avoid repetition: the only units I “reuse” from one list to another are Troops and transports, so the Assault Terminators, for example, only appear with Raja Khandar and not in another army.

Strikeforce Jirbu
Jirbu Ghosh (below) is an up-and-coming Fighting Tiger Kshatriya (Captain) who has enjoyed recent success (see the For the Sword! Tournament). She has been placed in charge of a small, mechanized detachment that will engage heavily armored (but not too numerous) foes like Chaos Space Marines. Jirbu is still new to command, however, so the Tiger Eternal (Dreadnought) Shrendi Vashtar will provide advice and his considerable battle skills. 
 
HQ
Jirbu Ghosh. Space Marine Leader w/ plasma pistol, close combat weapon, melta bombs, auspex.  53 pts
Elites
Tiger Eternal Shrendi Vashtar. Dreadnought w/ multi-melta, close combat weapon, heavy flamer, extra armor, and smoke launchers. 
133 pts
Troops
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ bolt pistol, close combat weapon, and melta bombs; three Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ meltagun.
105 pts
Maneater II. Rhino w/ dozer blade, extra armor, pintle-mounted storm bolter, and smoke launchers. 
73 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ bolt pistol, close combat weapon, and melta bombs; three Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ meltagun
105 pts
Maneater IV. Razorback w/ lascannon and twin-linked plasma guns, dozer blade, extra armor, and smoke launchers.
98 pts
Fast Attack
Tiger Sharks. Squadron of two Land Speeders w/ multi-meltas.
130 pts
Heavy Support
Tyger Tyger. Predator Annihilator w/ lascannon sponsons, extra armor, hunter-killer missile, searchlight, and smoke launchers. 
169 pts
Vedic Siege Gun. VDR creation.
130 pts
Total
996 pts

Jirbu Ghosh
Above: Kshatriya Jirbu Ghosh leads a small, mechanized detachment 

Strikeforce Talwar: 1497 points
Talwar Chakram (below) is the seniormost Tiger of Varuna (Chaplain) within the Fighting Tigers and is the advisor to Raja Shamshir Talatra. She is patient, adheres rigidly to Vedic traditions, and prefers to lead from the front, both to inspire her troops and to protect them from harm. Her detachment is a typical “stand back and shoot” Marine force geared to battling Orks, Tyranids, or other foes best dealt with at a distance.

Her army is not completely static, of course. The Tiger Eternal (Dreadnought) Shiva the Destroyer can move and fire, and the Veteran Scout Sergeants bear teleport homers to aid her and her Tigers of Indra (Terminators) should she decide to launch a Deep Strike against the enemy’s flank or rear. 
 
HQ
Talwar Chakram. Chaplain w/ crozius arcanum, rosarius, storm bolter, Terminator armor, purity seal, and holy relic.  145 pts
Elites
Tiger Eternal Shiva the Destroyer.  Dreadnought w/ assault cannon, close combat weapon, heavy flamer, extra armor, and smoke launchers. 
123 pts
Tigers of Indra.  Terminator Sergeant w/ storm bolter, power sword, and purity seal; two Terminators w/ storm bolters and power fists; one Terminator w/ assault cannon and powerfist; one Terminator w/ Cyclone missile launcher and storm bolter. 
255 pts
Troops
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ storm bolter; three Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ missile launcher.
105 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ storm bolter; three Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ missile launcher.
105 pts
Tigers of Puchan (Scouts). Veteran Scout Sergeant w/ storm bolter, auspex, and teleport homer; three Scouts w/ sniper rifles; one Scout w/ heavy bolter.
120 pts
Tigers of Puchan (Scouts). Veteran Scout Sergeant w/ storm bolter, auspex, and teleport homer; three Scouts w/ sniper rifles; one Scout w/ heavy bolter.
120 pts
Heavy Support
Tigers of Agni (Devastator Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ bolter-grenade launcher and auspex; four Marines w/ heavy bolters.
169 pts
Tigers of Agni (Devastator Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ bolter-grenade launcher and auspex; two Marines w/ missle launchers; one Marine w/ lascannon; one Marine w/ plasma cannon.
212 pts
Tiger Claw. Vindicator w/ extra armor, hunter-killer missile, and smoke launchers.
143 pts
Total
1497 pts

Talwar ChakramShiva the Destroyer
Talwar Chakram (left) and Shiva the Destroyer (right) spearhead this strikeforce

Strikeforce Shamshir
Raja Shamshir Talatra (below) is a bold—some would say reckless—leader who likes to strike directly into the heart of the enemy and then withdraw before his forces can be overwhelmed. His force epitomizes the Ghuyarashtran tradition of favoring speed over strength; hence, his army has many bikes and other swift units. 

Despite his daring, Raja Shamshir is no fool and realizes that his small force will require support. Nevertheless, his advisor, Talwar Chakram, and his counterpart, Raja Khandar Madu (co-ruler of the Fighting Tigers) are, to say the least, uncomfortable with the risks that Raja Shamshir is prepared to take and have convinced Tiger Eternal (Dreadnought) Surya Ashoka to “keep an eye on him.”
 
HQ
Raja Shamshir Talatra. Force Commander w/ power weapon, bolt pistol, artificier armor, iron halo, Terminator honors, purity seal, and bike. 176 pts
Elites
Tiger Eternal Surya Ashoka.  Dreadnought w/ twin-linked cannon, missile launcher, extra armor, and smoke launchers. 
143 pts
Tigers of Indra (Veterans).  Veteran Sergeant w/ plasma pistol, power weapon, and purity seal; eight Veterans w/ bolt pistol and close combat weapon; one Veteran w/ flamer; all w/ Terminator Honors.
323 pts
Maneater III. Rhino w/ extra armor, pintle-mounted storm bolter, and smoke launchers
68 pts
Troops
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ bolter-flamer, power weapon, and purity seal; eight Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ meltagun.
205 pts
Maneater I. Rhino w/ extra armor, pintle-mounted storm bolter, and smoke launchers
68 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ storm bolter; three Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ missile launcher.
105 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ close combat weapon and bolt pistol; three Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ meltagun.
100 pts
Maneater IV. Razorback w/ lascannon and twin-linked plasma guns, dozer blade, extra armor, and smoke launchers.
98 pts
Fast Attack
Tigers of Kali (Bikes). Veteran Sergeant w/ power weapon; three Bikers w/ bolt pistols; one Biker w/ flamer; one Biker w/ meltagun; one Attack Bike w/ heavy bolter; all w/ blind grenades.
280 pts
Tigers of Kali (Attack Bikes). Three Attack Bikes w/ heavy bolter; all w/ blind grenades.
156 pts
Flying Tigers. Three Land Speeders w/ multi-meltas.
195 pts
Heavy Support
Sabretooth. Whirlwind w/ extra armor and smoke launchers.
83 pts
Total
2000 pts

Tigers of Kali: BikesRaja Shamshir Talatra
Raja Shamshir Talatra (right)leads his bike squadrons against any foe of the Fighting Tigers

Strikeforce Khandar
Raja Khandar Madu (below) rose through the ranks of the fearsomeTigers of Kali (Assault Marines) to become the first female raja, or co-ruler, of the Fighting Tigers. While she is prudent and calculating, she prefers to take the fight to the enemy, striking where they least expect it and carving her way through them. She also believes in teamwork: she is always accompanied by a Command Squad and her detachment includes Zaghnal Maratha, her closest advisor. Raja Khandar's army reflects her fighting style: fast, brutal, and hard-hitting.
 
HQ
Raja Khandar Madu. Force Commander w/ master-crafted lightning claws, artificier armor, iron halo, Terminator honors, and purity seal.  180 pts
Raja Khandar’s Singh Squad (Command Squad). Veteran Sergeant w/ bolt pistol and close combat weapon; one Singh w/ flamer; Standard Bearer w/ bolt pistol and close combat weapon; Techmarine w/ bolt pistol; power weapon, auspex; Apothecary w/ bolt pistol and power weapon; all w/ Terminator honors. 
181 pts
Maneater IV. Razorback w/ lascannon and twin-linked plasma guns, dozer blade, extra armor, and smoke launchers.
98 pts
Zaghnal Maratha. Librarian w/ force weapon, bolt pistol, Terminator honors, purity seal, jump pack, krak grenades. 
143 pts
Elites
Tigers of Indra.  Terminator Sergeant w/ purity seal and four Terminators; all w/ lightning claws.
245 pts
Troops
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ bolt pistol and close combat weapon; three Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ missile launcher.
100 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ bolt pistol and close combat weapon; three Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ missile launcher.
100 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ bolt pistol and close combat weapon; three Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ missile launcher.
100 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ bolt pistol and close combat weapon; two Marines w/ bolters; one Marine w/ plasma gun; one Marine w/ heavy bolter.
101 pts
Fast Attack
Tigers of Kali (Assault Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ plasma pistol, power weapon, bionics, auspex, and purity seal; seven Marines w/ bolt pistols and close combat weapons; two Marines w/ plasma pistols and close combat weapon; all have blind grenades. 
362 pts
Tigers of Kali (Assault Marines). Veteran Sergeant w/ plasma pistol, power weapon, and purity seal; seven Marines w/ bolt pistols and close combat weapons; two Marines w/ plasma pistols and close combat weapon; all have blind grenades. 
350 pts
Heavy Support
White Tiger. Land Raider w/ dozer blade, extra armor, hunter-killer missile, searchlight, and smoke launchers. 
279 pts
White Tiger II. Land Raider Crusader w/ searchlight, and smoke launchers. 
259 pts
Total
2498 pts

Raja Khandar MaduTigers of KaliAssault Terminator
Khandar Madu (left) leads her "Psycho Attack Grrrls": female Tigers of Kali (center) and Tigers of Indra (right)

Assessing the “Armies with Character”
So there are the lists (1000 points, 1500 points, 2000 points, and 2500 points), each based around a particular character and their fighting style, and using every unit of my (very large) Space Marine collection. Reading through the lists, you may wonder why I picked certain items: for example, why bother putting extra armor on a Whirlwind when I could just hide it behind a building? 

In cases like that, I took the item “just in case”; let’s say there wasn’t enough terrain to hide the Whirlwind—the extra armor would help out then. In other cases, the model had a certain item on it and I was going along with the WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) rule.

So, having made these “armies with character,” what are my initial reactions?

To begin, I’m not very happy with the lack of Troop units. Usually when putting together an army, I pick out Troop units first and I take lots of them, because I’m a firm believer that Troops are the way you win battles. Not to mention that it seems very “fluffy” and keeping with the “spirit of the game” to have lots of regular guys. 

This time, I picked the HQ first, then assigned units (be they Elite, Fast Attack, or Heavy Support) that I thought would go with them, then sprinkled in Troops. In some cases, there were so few “regular guys” in the list that I felt like I was assembling a basketball team, not an army. Maybe I’m too set in my ways, but it just felt wrong to take the bare minimum of Troops. 

Consequently, these armies are smaller than I would like and probably can’t take casualties very well. Raja Khandar’s army in particular looks vulnerable, but hopefully opponents will be so freaked out by facing two Land Raiders that they’ll spend all their time trying to deal with them. 

These lists will hopefully work well against any type of opponents. I tried to include anti-armor and anti-infantry elements in each list, as well as some fast units and some close-combat units. I’ve already accepted, however, that some of my battles might get ugly if I’m fighting a force optimized to take it out. An Eldar army with a lot of bright lances would eat poor Jirbu Ghosh’s detachment for lunch….

But enough dwelling on the negative. What I like about these lists is that they have lots of style and personality, and really, that’s why I play 40K. Winning is nice, but I’d rather lose with a cool army than win with a boring one. I also like the fact that I’ll get to use some units that have been sitting on the shelf for far too long. And I know that I’ll have to use these armies in new ways too: it’s all well and easy use a “stand back and shoot army” to blast up Orks, but what if you need to move that same army across the board (say, for a “Recon” mission)? Conversely, ever try fighting Tyranids with an assault army?

So how did they do?

Spring Offensive
"Armies with Character" lists <> "AwC" Battle Summaries <> Ozone Scorpions <> 
"Bug Hunt" special scenario <> Photos <> Why SO is better than Games Day



Related Pages
Other Events at Borderlands
 

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© Copyright Kenton Kilgore, April 2001
 

Top

Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle