Armies of the Jungle: Fighting Tigers of Veda, “White Tigers” (Shikar #1)

The Jungle is turning 20 years old, and we’re celebrating! Come back every day from February 2 through February 8 for new material! 

In this series, we showcase armies used by your humble Jungle Guides. By detailing how the army was collected, how the background and color schemes were developed, and how the army is used on the battlefield, we hope that this series will provide inspiration for those interested in collecting similar armies.

“We have lost contact with Veda.”

There was silence on the bridge of the Battle Barge where the leaders of the Fighting Tigers had gathered.  Then Librarian Zaghnal Maratha spoke again.

“It is no mere Warp storm that will subside. It is, I believe, something much worse.  The Maelstrom has swelled, shifted, and engulfed Veda.  Our home world may very well be no more.”

“What is the latest on the Red Corsairs?” Raja Khandar Madu asked.

“Nothing new,” Kshatriya Jirbu Ghosh replied, “since we engaged that small force on Kepton’s Minl.”

“We cannot abandon our Crusade against them,” Anhurada Chawla, most-senior of the Chaplains, or Tigers of Varuna, said.

“Agreed,” replied Raja Rama Ayodhya. “And we’re also tasked with ridding this sector of the Drukhari and Aeldari, the Orks and Dvergar, the Kurindans and Necrons, and the remnants of Hive Fleet Ravana.”  He shook his head.  “So many of them, all of them resurgent.”

“Then there is the traitor Shamshir Talatra,” Chandramatie Bahl reminded them, “and his ‘Fearful Symmetry’ of Daemons.”

“Too many threats, all at once,” Khandar Madu said.  “And Veda seemingly lost.”

“But we’re strong,” Rama Ayodhya replied.  “There are many more of us than even in my first tenure.”

“More of us than ever,” Zaghnal Maratha pointed out, “even than at our Founding.  Much more than Guilliman would allow—if he knew.”

Anhurada Chawla frowned. “Varman Kumar would not be pleased.”

“Kumar sanctioned it,” Zaghnal Maratha told her.

“I did not,” she replied.

“Regardless,” Khandar Madu said, rising from the table, “I see no other option but to split the Tigers, at least for a while, but perhaps forever.”

Rama Ayodhya nodded.  “Send most of our forces after the Corsairs, and some against the others.  I’ll finish off Ravana.  They won’t get away from me this time.  But I’ll need help, Zaghnal.  A lot’s changed between then and now.”

“I’ll be with you, Raja.”

“Shamshir is mine,” Chandramatie Bahl insisted.  “For Talwar’s sake.”

“In time,” Khandar Madu told her.  “Daksha Ram, you will return to Veda.”

“I hear and obey, Raja.”

“Jirbu Ghosh, it’s fitting that you serve karma as it relates to the Ozone Scorpions.  Anhurada, you and I—with Chandramatie’s assistance—will keep pursuing Blackheart.”  Khandar Madu looked around the table.  “Are we agreed?”

“We are,” Rama Ayodhya said.  “Assemble the strike forces.  Let the hunts begin.”

Introduction

I’ve been collecting Fighting Tigers, my first army, since 1987, when I started playing 40K.  Starting with a single box of 30 plastic RTB01 minis, the number of figures and vehicles I have for them has ballooned to over 250 dudes and about 30 vehicles.

That’s just way too many to play at once (except for Apocalypse games, and very special occasions like my 40th birthday), so I’ve broken up my collection into 6 armies, each based on a theme, and coming in at or about 2000 points.  Before a game, I can roll a d6 and pick which shikar (or “hunt) I’ll launch against the enemy.

This army’s theme is simple: I took (almost) every mini that I had that was painted white with tiger stripes, put them together, and wrote a list around them.

Modeling and Painting

This is part is long and complicated, so bear with me.  The paint scheme for the Fighting Tigers came from a figure in Issue #100 of White Dwarf, in April 1988, shortly after I got into 40K, and was building an army of Space Marines.

As I started painting squads, I got the idea to paint up half of them in the expected orange-and-black color scheme, and half in a mustard-and-brown scheme.  My thinking at the time was that it would be easier to tell squads apart on the table (and it is).

Compounding my error, I painted up some Tigers in white-and-black (like real-life white tigers), and some in white-and-brown to go with the mustard-and-brown ones.  This army consists solely of those figures and vehicles.

You would think that painting tiger stripes is simple.  It’s not.  Take a long, careful look at a photo of a real tiger, and you’ll see that tiger stripes are not “simple.”

Stripes run vertically across the back and down the sides of the animal and have varying thickness and spacing, with a slight curve to them as they taper off to a fine point. Stripes may split in two and even rejoin. The tiger can have a few very small stripes that resemble spots, but these are usually found around its face.  Also, no two tigers have the same stripe pattern.

It’s important—especially when painting “White Tigers” (aka Tigers of Kali) not to paint zebra stripes. While on a superficial level they might seem similar, tiger stripes and zebra stripes are very different:

Tiger stripes:

  • Length: Varies
  • Width: Varies from thin to thick
  • Spacing: Varies
  • Curve: Slight
  • Number: Varies

Zebra stripes:

  • Length: Usually long and even
  • Width: Thin; usually the same
  • Spacing: Very close together
  • Curve: Mostly straight
  • Number: Many

I’ve found that when painting tiger stripes, the more, the better—up to a point.  It’s possible to have way too many stripes, especially on vehicles (something I’ve been guilty of).

While we’re talking about modeling and painting, I’ll up to two things:

  1. I freely admit that my painting is crappy.  In my defense, the vast majority of my models were done 20+ years ago.
  2. Yes, I have female Marines, using simple head swaps from other minis.  I started making these in the mid 1990’s, just to do something different, but that was before I got on the Internet and discovered all the drama about them.  Had I known they’d be so divisive, I wouldn’t have bothered, but as I hate to get rid of models, I still use them.

Background

The Fighting Tigers of Veda are an old but relatively little-known Space Marine Chapter, founded from unknown geneseed, and stationed on the eastern side of the Maelstrom.  The Fighting Tigers claimed the planet Veda as their own, adding its name to theirs.  Shortly thereafter, the Tigers adopted Vedic names, languages, deities, customs, and traditions as their own, replacing the ones that had before.

A massive attack by the Khornate Chaos Space Marines of the Warband Bloodcomet killed more than 800 Fighting Tigers before the remaining Marines and their allies defeated them.  Forced to rapidly rebuild their numbers in the face of additional threats, the Tigers managed to adjust the processes used to transform humans, and soon, guided by their death goddess Kali, female Fighting Tigers joined their male counterparts on the battlefields.

Waging War

For reasons that aren’t pertinent here, most of the “white” Tigers in my collection are either Fast Attack or Elite units, with some HQ, and a paucity of Troops.  Accordingly, I’ve drawn up the “White Tigers” as being two Patrol detachments:

  • Detachment 1
    • Raja Khandar Madu.  Captain w/ jump pack and 2 lightning claws.  Warlord Trait: The Imperium’s Sword
    • Tigers of Puchan.  Ten Scouts w/ bolt pistols, combat blades; Sergeant w/ power fist
    • Man-eater.  Razorback w/ twin lascannon
    • Tigers of Indra.  Six Assault Terminators w/ lightning claws
    • Tigers of Kali.  Ten Vanguard Veterans w/ jump packs; Veteran Sergeant w/ power fist
    • Tigers of Kali.  Three Attack Bikes w/ twin bolters and multi-meltas
  • Detachment 2
    • Chandramatie Bahl.  Librarian w/ jump pack, force sword; Smite, Veil of Time, Might of Heroes
    • Anhurada Chawla. Chaplain w/ Terminator armor; Litanies of Hate and Faith
    • Tigers of Puchan.  Ten Scouts w/ bolt pistols, combat blades; Sergeant w/ power fist
    • Man-eater.  Razorback w/ twin lascannon
    • Tigers of Kali.  Ten Vanguard Veterans w/ jump packs; Veteran Sergeant w/ power fist
    • Tigers of Kali.  Three Attack Bikes w/ twin bolters and heavy bolters
    • Tigers of Kali.  Three Attack Bikes w/ twin bolters and heavy bolters
    • White Tiger II.  Land Raider Crusader

Point total: 2000 points; Power Rating: 101.

As you can see, the army leans very heavily toward close combat.  I prefer Vanguard Veterans over Assault Marines, and in keeping with the “tiger” theme, my Terminators use lightning claws (as does Raja Khandar Madu, aka “The Redhead”).  The Attack Bikes, Razorbacks, and Land Raider Crusader provide much-needed firepower.

The army uses the Hungry for Battle and Whirlwind of Rage Chapter Tactics.  HfB adds 1 to Advances or charge moves.  WoR gives an extra automatic hit for every melee hit of “6” made after a charge, was charged, or performs a Heroic Intervention.  All of this is very in character for Marines dedicated to Kali, the bloodthirsty Vedic goddess of slaughter.

I haven’t played it yet, but when I do, I imagine that I’ll attach Khandar Madu and Chandramatie Bahl to the Vanguard Veterans in their detachments, and have Anhurda Chawla and the Assault Terminators ride the Land Raider Crusader into battle.  The Scouts would infiltrate from their Concealed Positions, while Bikes would go up a flank.  Razorbacks would act as poor man’s Predators, sniping at vehicles and parking themselves on objectives.

Conclusion

Splitting the Fighting Tigers into 6 separate armies has really revived my excitement for them: before, they were just this huge collection that I didn’t know what to do with anymore.  Come back soon, and I’ll show you Shikar #2: the “Hunting Tigers.”

Make sure you come back tomorrow for more content as we celebrate the Jungle’s 20th birthday!


When he isn’t playing or blogging about 40K, Kenton Kilgore writes killer SF/F for young adults, and adults who are still young.  This Wasted Land, his latest novel, isn’t your typical teenage love story.  It’s more like: Boy meets Girl–>Evil Witch takes Boy–>Girl goes to get Boy back.

He is also the author of Lost Dogs, the story of the end of the world as seen, heard–and smelled–by a dog.  His first novel was Dragontamer’s Daughters, like Little House on the Prairie…with dragons.  With Patrick Eibel, he created Our Wild Place, a children’s book about the joy to be found in exploring Nature.  

Visit kentonkilgore.com, and follow Kenton on Facebook for frequent posts on sci-fi, fantasy, and other speculative fiction.  You can also catch him on Instagram.

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