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Fighting Tiger Gallery (pg 15)
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Fighting Tiger Allies (Part II)
Back in the bad old days of 2nd Edition, I had lots of Allies. While I don’t use these figures anymore, I thought you might like to take a look at them and perhaps get some ideas for your armies.

The Crimson Rakshasas
In addition to the Imperial Guardsmen I mentioned earlier, I had a Vindicare, a Callidus, and an Eversor Assassin, each one named the Crimson Raskshasa, after the demons of Hindu mythology. Everyone else I knew painted their Assassins Chaos Black, so I decided to buck the trend and paint mine Blood Red (in retrospect, that red kind of makes them look like they’re wearing long underwear--ah well, what the heck...).

Callidus Assassin GoldeneyeEversor Assassin Goldfinger
Left: Callidus Assassin. Right: Eversor Assassin

I've always been a big James Bond fan, so the Vindicare packed a Golden Gun, the Callidus had Goldeneyes, and the Eversor's gauntlet had Goldfingers. Get it?

Speaking of Bond movies, if you've ever wondered why you can't take more than one Assassin in a game, watch the beginning of  Goldeneye and see what 007 and 006 do to a Soviet base in mere minutes....

Eldar
Under the Rogue Trader rules, Space Marines could have jetbikes—and I had quite a few! I loved the idea of a corps of “Flying Tigers” zipping around the board and dogfighting with the enemy like their WWII namesakes. 

2nd Edition restricted jetbikes to Eldar, so I bought 5 of them and painted them up as the Tiger Eyes of Craftworld Kashmyrr. Operating under the axiom that my Allies should not be as snazzy as my main army, I gave them what I consider a basic paint job with minimal detailing. I painted an Egyptian-style eye onto each bike and decorated the rest of the carapace (and the bikers’ helmets) with the familiar tiger stripes.

Tiger Eyes of Kashmyrr race across Auros IXClose-up of a Tiger Eye
Left: Tiger Eyes rocket across Auros IX.  Right: Close-up of a Tiger Eye

In battle, I sent the Tiger Eyes rocketing across the field (back then, jetbikes could go somewhere around 35" a turn) to attack heavy weapon units. Under 2nd Edition rules, Eldar jetbikers could pack hand flamers (pistol versions of the 3rd Edition flamer, with a smaller template), and they were ideal for wiping out small enemy squads.

I also had a squad of Screaming Jaguars of Tezcatlipoca—basically, Howling Banshees in spots. Again, I painted these figures very plainly (for Eldar, anyway), and used them to spearhead assaults. Because they were fast and relatively inexpensive (points-wise), they were also good reserve troops, hiding behind cover until the assaulting enemy troops arrived, whereupon the Jaguars would rush out and get them. 

Screaming Jaguar of Tezcatlipoca
Above: Screaming Jaguar of Tezcatlipoca

The Frost Leopards of Stronghold Ferin
Don’t ask me why anybody played Squats. They were pretty much clones of the Imperial Guard: lots of guys in flak armor, armed with lasguns, standing around firing heavy weapons and waiting for the enemy to assault them. They were slow (moved 3" a turn), their psychic powers were kind of goofy, and their Hearthguard looked like eggs with feet. 

Nevertheless, I kind of liked Squats, mostly because my buddy Pat had some during the (really) bad old days of Rogue Trader. And the Squats did have a few things going for them—like the Mole Mortar.

For those of you who are new to the game, the Mole Mortar was the equivalent of a Guess range weapon, but the cool thing about it was it fired a shell underground, using a torpedo that tunneled through sand, dirt, even solid rock. The Mole Mortar’s shell had a variable blast radius and strength, determined for each shot by rolling a d6 on a special table. 

A Frost Leopard of Stronghold Ferin--NOT a Smurf!In general, the Mole Mortar was great for killing hordes of infantry, but you could get lucky with it and take out a vehicle or a bunker. Since I already had a Mole Mortar (from an old boxed set), I painted up a spotter and a gunner and used them against Orks. 

Back then, there wasn't much material on Squats, so you could paint them pretty much anyway you liked. Just to be wacky and because I didn't get much chance to use blue (face it, you don’t use much of it in a tiger army), I painted my Squats—including their skin!—in shades of blue and named them the Frost Leopards of Stronghold Ferin, after Pat’s AD&D dwarf character. 

It was only after I was done painting them that I realized how easily my Frost Leopards could be mistaken for Smurfs. Ah well...just one of those things, you know?

What happened?
So why did I retire all these figures? 3rd Edition allows you take allies, but now they have to be their own army, not just individual units attached to your main force. That means to use any of my Allies, I would have to buy more figures, enough to make up at least one HQ and two Troop units. As if my 6,000+ points of Tigers didn't take up enough of my time!

But more importantly, I got tired of Allies, even well before I had heard about an upcoming 3rd Edition. Allies were a quick fix to gain what I thought was a competitive advantage, but after awhile I find myself relying on them too much. I was always taking Ebon Leopards, always taking a Crimson Rakshasa, always taking Tiger Eyes, game after game after game. And every point I spent on Allies was less points I was spending on my Fighting Tigers, supposedly my main army. 

So I gave away some of my Allies, packed away the rest, and got down to the hard work of trying to win without cheap and easy bulletcatchers and specialist troops. And honestly, it’s been more fun, because I’ve learned a lot about how to use a Marine army. By not taking “the easy way out,” I’ve become a better player. So though 2nd Edition—and my Allies—are gone, I don’t miss them.
 
 
Next page (pg 16): Tigers of a Different Stripe, Part I
Previous page (pg 14): Fighting Tiger Allies, Part I
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Ebon Leopards of Kente
 

© Copyright Kenton Kilgore, August 2000 

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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