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Events and Battle Reports
Games Day 2003
Battle Summaries <> Photos <> Scenery

Games Day 2003 (Baltimore, Maryland): Battle Summaries
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve attended Games Day in Baltimore—at least six or seven times. While there’s lots to do there, I prefer to hit the Open Gaming tables and show off my Fighting Tigers. Being married with two kids doesn’t provide me with many opportunities for gaming, so when I get the chance, I like to make the most of it. 

Games Day 2003
Games Day 2003 logo © Copyright 2003, Games Workshop Ltd.

Lately, because of the Tooth and Claw Campaign, I’d been neglecting my Marines in favor of my Dark Eldar. In fact, I hadn’t used my Stripeypants in almost six months. Clearly, it was time to rectify that situation. 

I have about 7000 points of Tigers, with a wide variety of units, so I’m able to craft just about any sort of army list. For Games Day 2003, I planned to bring two 1500-point lists, each variations of a force I’ve used recently. 

I’ve had mixed results with two variations of my “Tigers Eternal” list, which features nothing but infantry and Dreadnoughts. I’ve won with against Tau and Ravenwing and been butchered by Tyranids and Iron Warriors. After some re-vamping, I came up with something that I hoped would win more consistently. 

I debuted my “Don’t Rush Me” list earlier this year at the Games Workshop Battle Bunker Open House. It’s designed to stop those nigh-ubiquitous “Rhino Rush” armies dead in their tracks, but I hadn’t had a chance to properly test it against those annoying Blood Angels, Black Templars, or Psycho Headcase World Eaters. I felt confident that I would find suitable targets at Games Day.

Both lists are very “shooty;” my Dark Eldar army is assault-oriented, so I was ready for a change of pace. My hope is that you can use the concepts behind these lists for your own army.

“Tigers Eternal” Version 3
This is an army of nothing but infantry: Tactical Marines providing the firepower and Assault Marines thrown in for mobility and hand-to-hand fighting. No vehicles. Well, that’s not entirely true: the army includes Dreadnoughts, which I call “Tigers Eternal,” hence the name of the army. For HQ, I usually use a Librarian with a jump pack, who accompanies the Assault Marines.
 
HQ  
Zaghnal Maratha. Librarian w/ force weapon, bolt pistol, jump pack, Terminator honors, and frag grenades
137 pts
Elites  
Tiger Eternal Shiva the Destroyer. Dreadnought w/ ccw + heavy flamer, assault cannon, extra armor, and smoke launchers
123 pts
Tiger Eternal Surya Ashoka. Dreadnought w/ ccw + heavy flamer, multi-melta, extra armor, and smoke launchers
133 pts
Troops
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ plasma gun; three Marines w/ bolters
81 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ plasma gun; three Marines w/ bolters
81 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ missile launcher; three Marines w/ bolters
85 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ missile launcher; three Marines w/ bolters
85 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ missile launcher; three Marines w/ bolters
85 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ heavy bolter; three Marines w/ bolters
80 pts
Fast Attack  
Tigers of Kali (Assault Marines). Vet Srgt + 9 Assault Marines. Vet Srgt and two Marines have plasma pistols and ccw. Seven Marines have bolt pistols and ccw. All w/ jump packs and frag grenades
290 pts
Heavy Support
Tigers of Agni (Devastator Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; four Marines w/ heavy bolters
135 pts
Tigers of Agni (Devastator Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; two Marines w/ missile launchers; one Marine w/ plasma cannon; one Marine w/ lascannon
185 pts
Total
1499 pts

Zaghnal MarathaShiva the Destroyer
Zaghnal Maratha (left) and Shiva the Destroyer (right) lead the latest version of the "Tigers Eternal" army

As I mentioned, I’ve used two other versions of this list before, with limited success. The old versions of this list really couldn’t move all that well, and they couldn’t dish out lots of firepower. As I found out the hard way, all they could really do was take punches. But that gets old quick. So if I wanted this list to be halfway worthwhile, I needed to address at least one of those two weaknesses.

So long as I stuck with the “all-infantry” theme, there was no way that this army was going to be much more mobile. The two previous versions had two full squads of Assault Marines, but I doubted I would be able to keep both as I pared the list down to 1500 points. A 12" move with a 6" charge is nice, but nothing to give Dark Eldar or Speed Freeks anything to sweat. So making the army faster was out.

What I could do, however, was up the firepower. I cut down all the Tactical Squads to 5-man units, each with a special or heavy weapon. Some players might insist that building squads that way is “cheesy” or “beardy,” or reeks of “mini-maxing.” To which I reply, “Sorry you feel that way.” 

I agree that the vision of six 10-man Tactical Squads, each lined up behind the other, marching in step, bolters at the ready to dispense the Emperor’s justice, is cool and inspiring and very, very “fluffy.” But I can tell you from personal experience that such armies usually get their tin butts kicked, especially against Eldar with starcannons, or Tau, or Necrons, or Imperial Guard, or Iron Warriors (the Flavor-of-the-Month-Army since Codex: Chaos came out). Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, took it home, tried it on, found out it was too small, and had to use it as a crying towel. No thank you. 

I did draw a line in that each Tactical Squad would have either a special weapon (plasma guns, this time around) or a heavy weapon (usually missile launchers), but not both. This not out of some slavish devotion to 2nd Edition-era “fluff,” but out of practicality. Putting two “good” weapons in a 5-man squad means one less guy to suck down a bullet (or a shuriken catapult, or a pulse rifle burst, or whatever). 

For more gits and shiggles, I brought along my Devastator Squads, mostly because I really like them. They’re older figures and I don’t often get a chance to use them. I installed another favorite character, Zaghnal Maratha, as the leader of this merry band, and included two Dreadnoughts with short-ranged firepower and good close-combat ability. Some players don’t like assault cannons or multi-meltas on Dreads, and I agree that they aren’t necessarily the most “effective,” but I happen to like Shiva and Vashtar. Shiva isn’t that much of a battlefield terror, as far as Dreads go, but I’ve found that he gets people’s attention just by how he looks.

With the previous versions of this list, I had tried to march across the field, which didn’t always work out. This time, I went back to a strategy I used ad nauseum back in the Bad Old Days of 2nd Edition: counterattack. Meaning that I would stand back and fire heavy weapons, hopefully goading my opponent into moving his forces towards my lines, whereupon the Librarian, the Dreadnoughts, and the Assault Marines would intercept them. 

So how did this army do?

Battle Results for the “Tigers Eternal” Army, Version 3
Stan Reed, owner of the awesome store Borderlands, in Greenville, South Carolina, often makes the trip up north to Games Day. This time, he brought along his way-cool army, the Borderlands Chapter, the premise of which is that it acts as a training academy for other Marine Chapters. So any Borderlands army features lots of Scouts painted in different colors—Blood Angels, Howling Griffons, Ultramarines, you name it. 

Mission: Patrol (page 141 of the main rulebook)
Opponent: Borderlands Space Marines (Stan Reed)
Points per Player: 1500

What happened?  True to form, Stan brought heaps of Scouts—60 of them, in fact, each squad armed for a different combat role. Some had bolt pistols and close combat weapons, some had bolters, some had shotguns, some had sniper rifles. He also brought along some Terminators, some Assault Marines, and a Space Marine Hero with a jump pack to lead the “newbies” in battle. 

Tigers deploy
Fighting Tigers deploy, hoping to get lines of sight around the forest in the center

We spent the first four turns of the game bringing our forces onto the board, maneuvering for position, and taking the occasional potshot with long-ranged weapons. I did my best to stay out of hand-to-hand combat with the Terminators, gunning them down from afar. Finally, Stan sent his jump-pack Marines and some close-combat Scouts against my jump-pack Marines. I threw in both Dreadnoughts and a nearby Tactical Squad, and after four fierce Assault Phases, the Tigers had prevailed. 

Outcome: Tigers win (574 Victory Points to 359 Victory Points)

Tigers shift their attack
The battle shifts to the left end of the board as the assault units near each other

Scrum
A furious scrum settles the matter, and the Borderlands Marines fall 
 

My pal Patrick Eibel is building a new Daemonhunter army that draws its inspiration from the Star Wars films, and we gave it a test-drive at Games Day. Because Pat only had about 1200 points available, I dropped the Assault Marines and set out to best Inquisitor Lord Vader.

Tigers deploy
Above: Tigers and Lord Vader's Daemonhunters deploy

Mission: Patrol (page 141 of the main rulebook)
Opponent: Daemonhunters (Patrick Eibel)
Points per Player: 1200

What happened?  Pat had an Inquisitor Lord and retinue (mounted in a Rhino), a Grey Knight Hero and accompanying squad of Knights (mounted in a Land Raider), and a Chimera full of Inquisitorial Stormtroopers. Hmmm…maybe I should have used the “Don’t Rush Me” list against these guys. No matter. I popped his transports ASAP and wound up with his Grey Knights (painted in the red robes of Emperor Palpatine’s bodyguard) in hand-to-hand combat with the Dreadnought Vashtar. I then asked myself the question I always regret learning the answer to: “Well, how tough could those guys be?”

Tigers and Grey Knights mambo
Grey Knights (in red) battle Vashtar as Stormtroopers (left) and Vader (right) watch

Turns out, Grey Knights are pretty darn tough, even when fighting Dreadnoughts. I thought Vashtar would make mincemeat of them, but he and that squad were evenly matched. It didn’t help matters that Shiva got immobilized just inches from the fight. I could almost imagine the big white tiger-bot snarling in frustration as it uselessly pawed the air….

Meanwhile, the rest of my army carried on with its assignment, which was shooting the [excrement] out of whatever was in line of sight. The Stormtroopers went down, Vader and his retinue fell, and when Zaghnal arrived to back up Vashtar, the game was effectively over. Pat’s army is very cool, but needs some tweaking and more practice (which is only to be expected).

Outcome: Tigers win.

“Don’t Rush Me,” Version 2
The original “Don’t Rush Me” list was 1750 points and was led by Captain Jirbu Ghosh (a Space Marine Leader) and her Command Squad. In cutting down the list to 1500 points, I left out Jirbu and the Command Squad to make room for the way-cool Captain Khandar Madu figure (see below) that my pal Thomas Prince made for me. The figure represents Khandar Madu before she became co-leader of the Fighting Tigers; if you want to know her “present-day” stats, you can find them here.
 
HQ  
Khandar Madu. Space Marine Commander w/ lightning claw and bolter-flamer
80 pts
Troops  
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ missile launcher; three Marines w/ bolters.
85 pts
 Man-eater IV. Razorback w/ twin-linked plasma guns and lascannon; dozer blade, extra armor, smoke launchers.
98 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ missile launcher; three Marines w/ bolters.
85 pts
Man-eater V. Razorback w/ twin-linked lascannons; dozer blade, extra armor, smoke launchers, and searchlight.
104 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ missile launcher; three Marines w/ bolters. 
85 pts
Man-eater VI. Razorback w/ twin-linked lascannons; dozer blade, extra armor, smoke launchers, and searchlight.
104 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ missile launcher; three Marines w/ bolters.
85 pts
Tigers of Rudra (Tactical Marines). Srgt w/ bolter; one Marine w/ lascannon; three Marines w/ bolters.
90 pts
Fast Attack  
Tiger Shark Squadron. Two Land Speeders w/ multi-meltas
130 pts
Flying Tiger Squadron. Two Land Speeders w/ multi-meltas
130 pts
Marut Squadron. Two Land Speeders w/ multi-meltas
130 pts
Heavy Support
Tyger Tyger . Predator Annihilator w/ lascannon sponsons, extra armor, smoke launchers, and searchlight.
154 pts
Tiger Claw. Vindicator w/ extra armor, smoke launchers, and hunter-killer missile.
143 pts
Total
1503 pts

Kshatriya Khandar Madu
Above: Kshatriya (Captain) Khandar Madu 

The list features lots of heavy weapons just perfect for crippling and popping open Rhinos and Razorbacks. Because you can never have too much mobility, it also features some tanks of its own as well as three squadrons of Land Speeders. So how did it do this time?

Battle Results for the “Don’t Rush Me” Army, Version 2
Last year, I faced off against Drew and his Zulu-themed Amabutho Marines in a close game that I managed to win only because time was called. Drew was itching for a rematch, and I was happy to oblige.

Mission: Cleanse (page 139 of the main rulebook)
Opponent: Amabutho Space Marines (Drew Binsack) 
Points per Player: 1500

What happened? Drew’s army isn’t exactly a “Rhino Rush” army, but it was as near as I would get that weekend. He had:

  • Two Chaplains w/ artificer armor and plasma pistols
  • Dreadnought w/ plasma cannon
  • 10-man Veteran Squad w/ Rhino
  • 9-man Tactical Squad w/ Rhino
  • 9-man Tactical Squad (Vet Sergeant w/ thunder hammer) w/ Rhino
  • 10-man Devastator Squad w/ one missile launcher and one plasma cannon
  • 10-man Devastator Squad w/ lascannon, three missile launchers
  • Whirlwind
Again, not exactly what I had designed the “Don’t Rush Me” army to counter, but I was in no hurry to mambo with those Chaplains and the fellow with the thunder hammer. 

I left two Tactical Squads, my Predator and the Vindicator in my deployment zone to hold it. I sent my Speeders into the other deployment zone on my side of the board and followed them with the Razorbacks. The Razors stopped behind some cover, the troops inside dismounted, and all three squads started firing. Drew’s Devastators knocked out my Predator on Turn 1, so I threw all my heavy weapons fire on them until they were gone. 

The Tigers weather a pounding from Amabutho
Tigers weather the first turn's firing, losing the Predator (turned backwards) 

Tigers dig in and return fire
Above: The Fighting Tigers advance into cover and return fire

By that point, Drew’s Rhinos had cautiously advanced and his Veteran Squad and Tactical Squads had dismounted. I turned my attentions to them, using frag missiles, lascannons, multi-meltas, and Demolisher rounds to blow big holes in each squad. Soon, none of those squads were above half strength, so I took out the Dreadnought and the Whirlwind. Finally, I drove my Vindicator into one deployment zone and two of my Speeders into another, taking all four quarters.

Outcome: Tigers win

A closer look at the Tigers
Above: Fighting Tiger Tactical Marines dismount. The white disc under the 
lead Razorback indicates that this vehicle has fired smoke launchers
Photo © copyright Drew Binsack, June 2003. Used with permission. 

Spot keeps an eye on things...
Above: The Tigers' mascot, Spot, guards the Communist Orange Tiger Dice ™ 
Photo © copyright Drew Binsack, June 2003. Used with permission. 

I played three other games with the “Don’t Rush Me” list, none of them against a “Rhino Rush” army.  I’ll briefly mention them….

Mission: Recon (page 142 of the main rulebook)
Opponent: Necrons (Mike Miller) 
Points per Player: 1500

What happened? This was my first battle against the Bots and I was pretty nervous, as I had seen what they can do in the right hands. Mike had:

  • Nightbringer 
  • a Necron Lord with Resurrection Orb and Veil of Darkness 
  • five Immortals 
  • three Wraiths
  • three Destroyers
  • eight Scarabs
  • one Tomb Spider...
…but not a lot of Warriors. At first, I thought I would rush his lines, but swiftly changed my mind after seeing Nightbringer. I went for the phase-out, concentrating my firepower on one unit at a time, starting with the Destroyers and Wraiths. I also took out the Immortals early, then went after Warriors. Mike managed to take out my Vindicator with gauss rifle fire (yikes!) and get the scarabs into hand-to-hand combat with a Tactical Squad, but Nightbringer never got near my lines and by Turn 4, all the Necrons were dead and the rest of the army vanished. 

Outcome: Tigers win. 

Tigers line up against Necrons

Above and below: Fighting Tigers line up to outgun the Necrons

Tigers line up against Necrons

Nightbringer's not much of a factor
Above: Two tanks are down and Nightbringer nears, but the Necrons phase out 

It’s become a tradition for me at Games Day that my pal Micah and I get together to slug it out. This year he left his French-inspired Les Fleurs de la Mort Space Marines at home and brought his Guardsmen.

Mission: Patrol (page 141 of the main rulebook)
Opponent: Imperial Guard (Micah Allen)
Points per Player: 1500

What happened?  In addition to a the required two platoons and HQ, Micah had: 

  • Deathworld Veteran Snipers
  • Vindicare Assassin
  • Two Leman Russ Battle tanks w/ heavy bolter sponsons
  • Vanquisher tank
The table we were given had little terrain (as you can see below) and Micah’s Reserve rolls worked out better than mine. My mechanized Tactical Squads (which I was counting on to rush Micah’s lines) took their sweet time showing up (one of them arriving on Turn 4, the other on Turn 5, if you can believe it). Meanwhile, Micah set up shop and did what Guard do best. I managed to pretty much knock out one tank and got the Redhead into close combat, but she was driven back by weight of numbers. All in all, it was really no contest.

Outcome: Imperial Guard win. 

Micah's Guard come on the board
Above: The wrong reserves show up for Our Stripey Heroes
 

Micah establishes a great battle line
Above: Micah establishes a good firing line and hammers the Tigers with his tanks
 

Khandar Madu attempts to engage the Guardsmen
Above: Kshatriya Khandar Madu engages the Guardsmen, but it's too little, too late 

One of the fringe benefits of running this site is that at any type of 40k get-together, I usually don’t have to go looking for opponents. It’s very flattering to have people recognize me and my army from the site and ask for a game. Such was the case with Cole, a young gamer there at Games Day with his older brother and his mom. Some gamers my age don’t like playing against kids, but being a parent myself, I think it’s always good to encourage younger gamers. So we went at it.

Mission: Cleanse (page 139 of the main rulebook)
Opponent: Dark Eldar (Cole) 
Points per Player: 1500

What happened? Though a new player, Cole had a fairly solid army that included:

  • Six 10-man squads of Warriors, each with two dark lances
  • Archon plus nine Incubi, on a Raider
  • Ten Wyches on a Raider
Thanks to owning my own Dark Eldar army, though, I’m familiar with all the strengths and weaknesses of the Death Twinkies. I won the first turn and set to work, my Speeders and Predator shooting down his two Raiders and then going after the survivors. Meanwhile, my Vindicator and dismounted Tactical Squads fired template weapons into his squads, blowing large holes in them. My Razorbacks rolled into a storm of dark lance fire, and only one reached his lines. Turns out that was all it took, as the lone 5-man Tactical Squad easily carved through the Warrior Squads. In the end, the Tigers held three quarters and one was contested.

Cole may not have won this game, but he handles a difficult army pretty well, and I bet that if he stays with 40K, he’ll become an excellent player. 

Outcome: Tigers win.

Games Day 2003
Battle Summaries <> Photos <> Scenery

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Your Guide to Games Day
Games Day reports from other years
 

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© Copyright Kenton Kilgore, July 2003
 

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Fighting Tigers:
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