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Fighting Tiger Tactics (pg 7)
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Heavy Support Units (Revised 04/2009)
Man, how can anyone play Space Marines and NOT love Heavy Support Units? Much as I like to gush about troopers jumping into close combat and tearing the enemy apart up close and personal, there's something equally satisfying--perhaps even more so--about firing a volley of burning death all the way across the board and blowing some poor unit to bits. Perhaps it's the look on your opponent's face when he loses some favorite squad or tank on Turn 1 before they've even had a chance to move. Perhaps it's the exasperated curses they choke back when their Barney Badass assault units spend three or four turns running all the way across the board, only to get blown away at the last instant before they can so much as cock back a fist. Whatever it is, I love it. 

"Maybe", my critics would say, "you like Heavy Support Units so much because they're so simple even a twit like you can use them." They have a point: Heavy Support units are simple to use; like the camera commercial used to say, "just point and shoot."


Devastator Marines, one of them an old-school model with a heavy bolter

Tigers of Agni: Devastator Squads
Guns, guns, guns! Gimme guns! The bigger the better! I have one unit to kill light infantry (like Orks) and one unit to kill heavy infantry (like Chaos Space Marines) and tanks.

Here's what I take--and why:
My anti-infantry unit is a ten-strong squad as follows:

  • Sergeant and five Marines w/ bolters; and
  • Four Marines w/ heavy bolters.
My anti-armor unit is a ten-strong squad as follows:
  • Sergeant and five Marines w/ bolters; and 
  • Four Marines with missile launchers.
Each squad costs 230 points. I usually keep my Tigers of Agni WAAAAAY back, relying on their long range to protect them from enemies. The extra guys with bolters are there to soak up casualties and to lend their firepower against any enemy unit that gets too close. 

Here's what I don't take--and why:
Why go for such a boring range of weapons? Because multi-meltas have too short a range and plasma cannons and lascannons cost too much. Any further questions? 

Tigers of Agni with missile launchers
You don't see these every day: Fighting Tigers with missile launchers, 
from the very first set of plastic Space Marines, made (and painted) in 1987 

"Tiger Claw": Vindicator
There are some things in life--and 40K--that you have to do just because they're cool. I'm prepared to agree with anyone that the Predator (Annihilator or Destructor) is a better value than the Vindicator.  I'm willing to agree that the ridiculously short range of this vehicle make it ill-suited for an aggressive Space Marine army. But there is NOTHING in 40K that quite compares with the thrill of firing a single shot and blowing up a Barney Badass enemy squad or vehicle.ator

Here's what I take--and why:
I take extra armor, of course, because every little bit of protection helps, and an H-K missile. Experience has taught me that at some point in a game, my Vindicator is going to be out of range of any targets, usually because few enemy units are gracious enough to deploy within 30" of the Demolisher cannon. That's where the H-K comes in--it has unlimited range!

Here's what I don't take--and why:
I suppose one of those honkin’ oversized dozer blades (okay, siege shields. Or whatever they're called) that Vindicators can have would be useful, but I bought my model long before those were available and I have enough 40K projects, thank you. 

"Tyger Tyger": Predator 
The word "badass" does not even begin to describe this tank. Outfitted with lascannons, the Predator is substantially cheaper than the Land Raider and almost as good in an anti-armor firefight.

Here's what I take--and why:
After getting my butt flattened a few times by my tank-crazed buddy John and his Imperial Guard army, I went out and got some big guns: twin-linked lascannons in the turret and lascannon sponsons. I also take extra armor, because every little bit of protection helps. 

Here's what I don't take--and why:
This tank is made to stand there and slug it out with the big boys, not move around through difficult terrain, so it doesn’t have a dozer blade. I used to put a hunter-killer missile on it too, but that proved to be superfluous: why bother with an HK when you have three lascannons? 

"Sabretooth" and "Vedic Siege Gun": Whirlwinds
I used to not have a very high opinion of Whirlwinds: then I found myself taking them in almost every game. They ain't sexy, but they get the job done. The “Sabretooth” is the original model that came out sometime in the Bad Old Days of 2nd Edition 40K. My friend Pat made the “Vedic Siege Gun” with an Earthshaker cannon and some cardboard. In the past, I used the Vehicle Design Rules to make the Siege Gun a Barney Badass artillery piece; now, I just count it as a Whirlie and use it alongside the ‘Tooth.     


The Vedic Siege Gun (that grey and black monster towards the right, behind the Techmarine) and some Devastator and Tactical Marines

Here’s what I take—and why:
I use them as is—no upgrades—for some prison-style lovin’ on enemy infantry, especially lightly-armored chumps like Orks, Nids, and Eldar. Normally, I slap extra armor on every vehicle, but there isn’t much need to do that on something that can hide behind terrain every game. God, I love indirect ordinance! 

Here's what I don't take--and why:
These tanks are made to stand there and shoot, not move around through difficult terrain (no dozer blade). I used to have a hunter-killer missile mounted on the Sabretooth, for dealing with enemy vehicles, but that required line of sight to the target, and I decided it just wasn’t worth it. 

"The White Tiger": Land Raider
The 40K vehicle that inspired the exclamation "HOO HAW!" Well, maybe that's not true, but it ought to be. Other Space Marine vehicles are better tank-killers (I'd take the Predator) or better infantry killers (a squadron of Attack Bikes or Land Speeders with heavy bolters), but the Land Raider is a good all-round tactical vehicle, able to fight tanks, fight infantry, carry troops, and survive an enormous amount of fire thrown its way. 

I use my Land Raider primarily for its firepower and toughness. The Machine Spirit lets Land Raiders fire at two different targets, so potentially, the White Tiger can take out two enemy tanks per turn. Booyah! I also rely, to a limited extent, on its transport capability (but the Land Raider Crusader is better suited for that task).

Here's what I take--and why:
I take extra armor, because every little bit of protection helps. Other than that, there isn’t much else the LR needs. 

Here's what I don't take--and why:
I used to put a dozer blade and an HK on this thing, but the current codex doesn’t let you do the former, and—like my Predator— why mess around with the latter when you have lascannons? 

"The White Tiger II": Land Raider Crusader
Like all other Land Raider Crusaders, “White Tiger II” is meant to rapidly close with the enemy, discharge a squad of Marines, and blast away at infantry. I rarely use “White Tiger II” just by itself: usually it’s transporting a squad. The obvious thing to do is use it to deliver Terminators (especially Assault Terminators) led by my Terminator Chaplain, Anhurada Chawla. 

Because the Crusader is such a tempting target, sometimes I put a small, relatively unimportant squad (say, a five-member Tactical Squad) inside. The tank can drop the squad off near an objective, then distract the opponent by drawing a lot of fire away from that squad. Meanwhile, the rest of the army can move up to support the squad “White Tiger II” dropped off.

My favorite tactic for a Land Raider Crusader is to blast the next closest squad. Let me explain by way of example.

A Land Raider Crusader loaded with Terminators screeches to a halt in front of an enemy unit (Unit A). The Termies step out and begin firing on Unit A, softening it up with storm bolters and heavy flamer before they assault and really unload some Vedic Brand ™ Whoop-Ass. 

Meanwhile, “White Tiger II” turns and throws all of its considerable firepower at the next closest enemy squad (Unit B), to keep them off the Terminators’ backs. Space Marines usually do well during an initial assault, but get in trouble when more enemy units show up—and if you fight against Orks a lot (like I do), there’s always another enemy unit around. 

White Tiger II
White Tiger II, Land Raider Crusader

Here's what I take--and why:
I consider extra armor mandatory on just above every vehicle. When I was building the model, I put on the storm bolter and the multi-melta just because I could, and so I include them in WTII’s point total. 

Here’s what I don’t take--and why:
I didn’t put a hunter-killer missile on this tank, because I prefer to put H-Ks on vehicles that will usually be stationary. The multi-melta does a great job of nuking enemy vehicles, and can fire more than once, unlike an H-K. True, the H-K’s range (unlimited) beats the multi-melta’s (24"), but I’ll be moving “White Tiger II” forward anyway.

No Thunderfire? No Redeemer?
The Thunderfire and the Land Raider Redeemer are two very cool-looking models, but I don’t have any in my army. While the TFire can crank out a large can of Whoop-Ass, I’m concerned that it takes a punch about as well as your average Daisy Scout. The Redeemer has lovely, lovely guns, but I don’t need to buy, build, and paint another tank for my already-way-too-large collection, thanks.             
 
 
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Related Pages
Fighting Tiger Heavy Support
Gallery: Fighting Tiger Heavy Support
Gallery: White Tiger II
 

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