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Fighting Tiger Tactics (pg 3)
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HQ Units (Revised 04/2009)
Over the years, my collection of Fighting Tigers has grown very large: currently, I have several figures that I can use as leaders (or tanadars, according to the Fighting Tiger codex). I've divided them into Senior Tanadars and Junior Tanadars. I also have two Command Squads for my Captains.

With their superior Weapons Skill, Initiative, and number of Attacks, HQ units excel in close combat, so, for the most part, I've equipped my HQ appropriately, foregoing longer-range weapons (like bolters or combi-weapons). I’ve also tried to give each one some way of quickly getting into the fight, either by jump pack, Deep Striking via Terminator armor, or riding a Command Squad’s transport. 

With all the neat toys that Codex: Space Marines allows HQ units, it’s easy to go overboard and equip them with enough gizmos to make James Bond jealous. Resisting this temptation, I've attempted to minimize the amount of points I spend on each. Space Marine characters aren't cheap to begin with, so if you “Monty Haul” your characters, add on a heavily-equipped Command Squad, and give them a pimped-out ride, you can spend a heap of points on unit. Admittedly, it will be one GAMF (God Almighty Mother Fornicating) unit, but it will still only be one. No thank you. I prefer to spend no more than 10% of my army total on all my HQ units. 

At the same time, however, it seems out of character for Space Marine leaders to walk around with nothing deadlier (or more flashy) than bolt pistols. In equipping my characters, I try to balance point-cost vis-a-vis combat effectiveness vis-a-vis "coolness." In the sections below, I'll describe each of my HQ units and explain why I chose what I took. 

Senior Tanadars
These are the highest-ranking leaders of the Fighting Tigers. As I explain here in Codex: FT, my Chapter is divided into two sections, each led by a commander who is advised by either a Librarian or a Chaplain. Because these guys are the "big shots," I've spent more points on them than I have other HQ units. They are:

  • Khandar Madu, Raja of Mahaduyana. Khandar Madu is co-regent of the Chapter and commands approximately 500 Fighting Tigers. Raja Khandar Madu is advised by the Librarian Zaghnal Maratha
  • Chandramatie Bahl, Acting Raja of Ghuyarashtra. Chandramatie Bahl is a Librarian who has been temporarily appointed to serve the position vacated by the deposed Shamshir Talatra (details can be found in Traveller of Both Time and Space). Chandramatie Bahl was advised by Talwar Chakram before her death at the Battle of RS-19.               
Here's what I take--and why:
Raja Khandar Madu is a Chapter Master as per pages 52 and 131 of Codex: Space Marines.  Khandar plays an important part in the Blood Deserts of Auros IX Campaign and appears in many Fighting Tigers battle reports and short stories. 

I have two ways to equip Khandar. The first is with two lightning claws and artificer armor, for a total of 170 points. The second way is with two lightning claws and Terminator armor, for 180 points. Why lightning claws? Because they're excellent weapons and because they seem very "tiger-ish," more so than any other weapon. The improved armor (artificer or Termie) is to keep her alive, as I have a lot of points invested in her. In keeping with my practice of not spending more than 10% of my total points on HQ, I usually only bring Khandar Madu in armies of 2000 points or more.


Khandar Madu in Terminator armor, as painted by Matthew ("Kurgan the Lurker") Hunt

Zaghnal Maratha is the seniormost Librarian, or Tiger of Brihaspati, in the Chapter, and he is Raja Khandar Madu's closest advisor. He is an intellectual, and despises the forces of Chaos not so much for their brutality and perfidy so much as for what he sees as their gross stupidity. Zaghnal Maratha is also an important character in the story Tigers Eternal.

In keeping with Zaghnal being the most powerful Librarian, I’ve made him an Epistolary. I've designed him to help out my Assault Marines, the Tigers of Kali, so in addition to his mandatory force weapon and psychic hood, he uses a jump pack to keep up and a bolt pistol for extra attacks. Zaghnal costs 175 points. As for psychic powers, they’re all good, but given his role and the mobility his jump pack already gives him, I prefer Force Dome (to protect himself and his Assault Marines) and The Avenger (to hit targets really hard before assaulting them—range isn’t much of an issue when you can jump). 


Librarian Zaghnal Maratha faces off against a Harlequin

Chandramatie Bahl is armed and equipped similarly to Zaghnal Maratha, but as she is not an Epistolary, she’s only 125 points. She uses Force Dome or Might of the Ancients.                                                  

Here's what I don't take--and why:
As I mentioned above, I've tried, for the most part, to be stingy about spending points on these characters, but that’s hard to do given the “fluff” or background material, I’ve written for them (can you imagine a Chapter Master armed with just a bolter and a chainsword? No? Me, either). 

I could certainly spend more—a bike for Khandar, or some Honor Guard for her; combi-weapons, plasma pistols, or storm shields for the Librarians—but this isn’t Dungeons & Dragons: characters can certainly help in a battle but they almost never carry the whole fight themselves. Remember, don't sweat the big guns....

Junior Tanadars
The HQ units I described above are fine for games of more than 1800 points, but are too expensive for smaller games. For those games, I typically use other HQ units:

  • Kshatriya (Captain) Jirbu Ghosh;
  • Kshatriya Sudra Patel;
  • Chaplain Daksha Ram; and,
  • Chaplain Anhurada Chawla
Here's what I take--and why:
Jirbu Ghosh is the heir-apparent to Raja Khandar Madu. She's a Captain as per pages 54 and 132 of Codex: Space Marines. Because the model carries them, I've given a plasma pistol and a power weapon to her. Jirbu Ghosh costs 130 points.

Sudra Patel is a former Grey Tiger (or harijan) whose redemption began many years ago, as documented in this story. Sudra Patel served bravely in the Blood Deserts of Auros IX Campaign and several other engagements, and has been promoted to a Kshatriya, or Captain. Because the model carries, them, I’ve given a storm bolter and a relic blade to him. Sudra Patel costs 133 points. 


Sudra Patel has gone from an outcast to a Fighting Tiger Captain

If points allow, I can give Jirbu Ghosh or Sudra Patel Command Squads. Both squads have an Apothecary, of course, as well as a Veteran with a Company Standard and two Veterans with flamers and chainswords. Jirbu’s squad (155 points total) features a Company Champion with a power weapon and a combat shield; Sudra’s squad (165 points total) has a Veteran with a power fist. 

Daksha Ram is a Chaplain with a crozius arcanum, rosarius, and a plasma pistol (115 points). Anhurada Chawla has succeeded Talwar Chakram (killed at the end of Traveller of Both Time and Space) and inherited Talwar’s Terminator armor, crozius arcanum, rosarius, and storm bolter (130 points total).     

Here's what I don't take--and why:
These characters' greatest asset is their relative inexpensiveness—but note that “inexpensive” means that each one is only 40 points or so cheaper than the senior leaders. I could have made some of these characters less expensive by cutting out plasma pistols and/or power weapons. The plasma pistols are modeled on the figures that have them, though, and power weapons are almost a must for Space Marine heroes, as there’s not much point in having a lot of Attacks and an awesome WS if all you’re using is a chainsword. 

Final note on HQ units
You’ll notice that I do not use any “special characters” from C:SM. The game designers say it’s perfectly all right to rename special characters and use them in armies they don’t belong to (for example, renaming Lysander and putting a version of him in the Fighting Tigers), but I adamantly disagree (you can read more in my review of C:SM). 

I don’t have any problem with someone using Lysander in their Imperial Fists army, or Tigurius in their Ultramarines, or Shrike in their Raven Guard. I don’t even have a problem with someone using a version of Lysander in their Do-It-Yourself army: you paid your money, so you can do what you want. But it’s not going to happen in my army. 

Would using special characters give my Tigers substantial advantages? Yes, it would, but it would also be nothing more than gimmicky powergaming. I’d rather lose using my own characters, developed using the “generic” stats and equipment for Captains, Librarians, etc., than win using ersatz, “wanna-be” rip-offs of GW’s golden boys.

You’ll also notice that I don’t have a Master of the Forge, but that’s only because I don’t yet have a model for one. I’ve always liked conversion beamers (which first appeared in the original, Rogue Trader version of 40K) and I really like the idea of a SM HQ who stands back and shoots with a really big gun. As soon as I can purchase or convert a MOF, I’ll include him in my army list.  
 
 
 
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Related Pages
Fighting Tigers HQ
Gallery: Fighting Tigers HQ

Raja Khandar Madu
Raja Shamshir Talatra
Zaghnal Maratha
Talwar Chakram
 

Last updated April 2009

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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