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Fighting Tiger Tactics (pg 5)
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Troop Units (Revised 04/2009)
Let me state this in no uncertain terms: the more Troop units you have, the better off you are. When you're picking out your army for a game, don't look at the Force Organization Chart and groan because you have to take two Troop units. Don't fill these units with the smallest, cheapest squads you can get so you can save points for other stuff. Troops will win you the game.

How's that? Because most players don't sweat Troops (Ork Boyz and Genestealers being some of the few exceptions). They sweat everything BUT Troops. Doubt me?

When you're fighting Eldar, do you worry about the Guardians, or do you worry about the Avatar, the Dark Reapers, and the Falcons? When you fight Tyranids, do you worry about the Termagants, or do you worry about the Hive Tyrants, the Lictors, the Carnifexes? Think Imperial Guard and you think tanks. Think Tau and I’ll bet you think...well, all kinds of things that are unrepeatable on a more-or-less family-friendly website such as this, but I bet you think about those Crisis Suits and Hammerheads and everything else in their codex before you think about the Fire Warrior Squads. 

But as I've said before, don't sweat the big guns, sweat the little guys, because they're the ones who typically have the best chance of accomplishing the mission and winning the game for you. How? Because, if you've picked your army right, there's a lot more of them then there are of the HQ and Elites and anything else.

Space Marines have but two Troop choices: Tactical Marines and Scouts, but there are a number of ways you can configure them to play different battlefield roles. I'll describe each below. 

Tigers of Rudra: Tactical Marines 
If you read older battle reports here on the Jungle, you’ll notice that many times, my Tactical Marines back then either consisted of 10-man squads, each packing two special weapons (by taking advantage of the 4th-Edition era “Cleanse and Purify” Trait); or of 5-man squads, including a plasma gun and a heavy weapon (the mortally-sinful “min-maxed” configuration that knotted many a gamer’s panties into a bunch). However, the current SM codex has eliminated “Cleanse and Purify” and ruled that only 10-man squads may have a special and/or heavy weapon. 

Here's what I take--and why:
In my army, I have six Tactical Squads, each 10 men strong, as follows:

  • Sergeant w/ power fist and bolt pistol; seven Marines w/ boltguns; one Marine w/ flamer; one Marine w/ missile launcher (195 points)
  • Sergeant w/ power weapon and bolt pistol; seven Marines w/ boltguns; one Marine w/ flamer; one Marine w/ lascannon (195 points)
  • Sergeant w/ power fist and bolt pistol; seven Marines w/ boltguns; one Marine w/ plasma gun; one Marine w/ missile launcher (205 points)
  • Sergeant w/ power weapon and combi-flamer; seven Marines w/ boltguns; one Marine w/ melta gun; one Marine w/ heavy bolter (200 points)
  • Sergeant w/ power fist and combi-flamer; seven Marines w/ boltguns; one Marine w/ flamer; one Marine w/ lascannon (215 points)
  • Sergeant w/ power weapon and combi-flamer; seven Marines w/ boltguns; one Marine w/ flamer; one Marine w/ plasma cannon (200 points)
If you’ve read the write-up of my Sternguard units, you’ll know that I have an inordinate fondness for flamers, so much so that I’ve included one (or a combi-flamer) in almost every squad. Like many Space Marine players, I’ve organized my Tactical Squads so that they can be split into an “assault” portion (including a Sergeant with a power fist or power weapon, and one Marine with a flamer or a melta gun) that can go attack the enemy at close range; and a “defensive” portion (including one Marine with a heavy weapon) that can stand back and provide support fire. 

My motto in 40K (and in real-life finances) is that if they’re going to give you free stuff, take the free stuff. It doesn’t cost any additional points to put flamers, missile launchers, and heavy bolters (three of my favorite weapons anyway, based solely on what they do) to Tactical Squads, so I include lots of them. Lascannons and plasma cannons are hideously expensive to field in Devastator Squads, but they’re much more reasonable in Tactical Squads, so here’s where you’ll find mine. 

I want my Tactical Squads to be mobile, so I have several Rhinos and Razorbacks. Each has the nigh-mandatory extra armor (for reducing “Stunned” results to “Shaken”) and many of them have dozer blades for help traversing difficult terrain. Why so much stuff on “mere” transport vehicles? Because for Space Marines, I emphasize quality over quantity. In my army, Rhinos and Razors are integral parts of each squad: without them, the squads aren’t going anywhere and probably won't be able to complete their objectives. 

Tac Squads are naturally suited for killing infantry, so my Razorbacks are armed with twin-linked lascannons or the old-school plasma guns + lascannon so each can act as a tank-hunting, poor-man’s Predator. It’s true that a Razor will never be as tough or dish out as much firepower as a real Pred, but each one is about half the points cost and, best of all, doesn’t eat up a slot on the Force Organization Chart. If they’re going to give you free stuff, take the free stuff. 

I also have three Drop Pods: one of them has the standard storm bolter; two of them has the Deathwind launcher. Drop Pods used to have terrible Ballistic Skill (BS 2, if I recall correctly), but now they’re up to BS 4, so the extra points for the Deathwind is worth it. Yeah, I know I can't use it on the same turn as the pods land. I'm good with that. 

Here's what I don't take--and why:
While I like what multi-meltas do to vehicles and heavily-armored troops, I don’t like their short range or their inability to move and fire, so I keep them out of my Tac Squads and relegate them to my Attack Bikes. 


Fighting Tiger Drop Pods and Tactical Marines

"The Fighting Tiger Recruitment Drive"
In 2004, I decided to substantially expand my Scout collection from four squads of five Scouts each to six squads of 10 Scouts each. If desired, I can fill up the Troops allotment in a Standard Force Organization chart with nothing but Scouts. For background or “fluff” purposes, I explain that the Fighting Tigers of Veda suffered heavy casualties during the Blood Deserts of Auros IX Campaign and have launched a massive effort to increase their numbers.

I arm my Scouts to give them a specific role to play in combat, so I have "Assault Scouts," "Tactical Scouts," and "Devastator Scouts." I’ll describe each below.

Fighting Tiger Recruitment Drive

Tigers of Puchan: "Assault" Scouts
Scouts with bolt pistols and combat blades are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to add hand-to-hand punch to Space Marine armies. Their Infiltration skill and ability to move quickly through difficult terrain nicely complement their fighting style, and I've found that they're frequently underestimated by the enemy. After all, "they're just Scouts...."

Assault Scouts
Above: "Assault" Scouts with bolt pistols and close combat weapons.
These are Etoiles Mortant figures from the Warzone game

Here's what I take--and why:
I have two of these units; for each one, I take a ten-strong squad (150 points) as follows:

  • Veteran Scout Sergeant w/  bolter-flamer; and
  • Nine Scouts w/  bolt pistols and combat blades.
Everything here is pretty straightforward: the Scouts rush in and start kicking putrid alien ass. While I could give the Scout Sergeant a power weapon, I prefer to arm her with a bolter-flamer to offset the Scouts' inability to field a special weapon.

Here's what I don't take--and why:
Heavy weapons are obviously out for squads that intend to rapidly close with the enemy and fighting in close combat. When I was assembling and painting these squads (back in 2004, remember), I gave serious thought to arming all the Scouts with shotguns, just because I could use Games Workshop Escher gangers for figures and because shotguns look cool. But shotguns weren’t so cool as weapons go (S3 and no AP, as I remember) back in the old version of the Space Marine codex (now they are much improved). So I went with bolt pistols and close combat weapons—errr, combat blades, as the new C:SM calls them.

Tigers of Puchan: "Tactical" Scouts
For the longest time, I simply relied on my Scouts with the sniper rifles, but after a while, I wanted some Scouts that could take advantage of their Infiltration ability and engage in short-range firefights, either to attack specific targets ("Good-bye, Mr. Ork Dreadnought") or just soften up the enemy for an assault by other Tiger units. I call these my "tactical" Scouts, because they operate similarly to Tactical Marines.

Tactical ScoutsScout with autocannon
Left: "Tactical" Scouts with bolters. Right: Scout with converted missile launcher

Here's what I take--and why:
I have two of these units; for each one, I take a ten-strong squad (160 points) as follows:

  • Scout Sergeant w/  bolter-flamer;
  • Eight Scouts with bolters; and
  • One Scout with a missile launcher.
Nothing real fancy here: find some good cover and start shooting the heck out of the bad guys. My Scout units are designed to take out infantry, and few basic weapons do that as well as the bolter. The missile launcher can blast large holes through lightly-armored infantry and pastes vehicles. Golden!

One of my favorite tactics is to take both units of "Tactical" Scouts and "leapfrog" down the field: one unit standing still to provide support fire (including the mighty, mighty missile launcher), the other unit moving forward, firing their bolters at anything within 12". The squads alternate moving and firing.

Here's what I don't take--and why:
These squads are designed to shoot up enemy infantry from a ways off, not get stuck in, so I don't give the squad combat blades, nor do I provide the Scout Sergeants with power weapons. 

Tigers of Puchan: "Devastator" Scouts
I have two units of Scouts whose role is to provide supporting fire. A lot of players regard Scouts as cannon fodder, but there is no such thing as an expendable Space Marine--not even a Scout. If the scenario will let me, I will use Infiltration to get behind some cover (out of enemy assault range) and fire from there. 

Here's what I take--and why:
I have two of these units; for each one, I take a ten-strong squad (180 points) as follows:

  • Scout Sergeant w/  bolter;
  • Eight Scouts w/  sniper rifles
  • One Scout w/ a heavy bolter; 
  • All w/ camo cloaks.
My Scout units are designed to take out infantry, especially numerous, lightly armored infantry like Orks, Eldar, and Imperial Guard (because I don't sweat the big guns, I sweat the little guys). They take advantage of the long range of those sniper rifles and heavy bolters, sit back, and shoot. I almost always use both units together, because if they fire enough shots, they can even take out tough guys like Chaos Space Marines. 

Veteran Scout Sergeant and Scout: Jatis GhuyarashtraScouts with sniper rifles

Sometimes, I'll let each  Scout Sergeant have a teleport homer. Then I'll wait patiently as an enemy unit or two closes in on my Scouts--by which time, I've made my Reserve roll and a Tactical Terminator Squad teleports in on top of the Scouts (remember, teleport homers insure that the Termies won't deviate). Man, it's gotta be a real bear to go halfway across the board to squish some weedy Scouts only to find yourself ambushed by Termies. I almost feel sorry for the other player. Almost.

Here's what I don't take--and why:
These squads are designed to shoot up enemy infantry from a long way off, so I don't give the squad grenades or equip the Scout Sergeants with power weapons "just in case" of enemy assaults. If trouble comes along, the Scouts should have enough starting distance between them and the enemy to shoot them up or retreat. I could give each Scout Sergeant a sniper rifle, but the figures I bought for them don't have those weapons. 


Fighting Tiger Tactical Marines, Scouts, Razorbacks, and Assault Marines


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Related Pages
Fighting Tiger Troops
Gallery: Tigers of Rudra
Gallery: Tigers of Puchan
Gallery: Fighting Tiger Rhinos
Gallery: Fighting Tiger Razorbacks
 

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