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Themed Army Ideas
Jungle Juice

Jungle Juice: November 2009   by Patrick Eibel
It has been awhile since we broke out the Juice, but with a relatively new Space Marine Codex out, there are plenty of players looking for advice on creating an army that does not rely on the ubiquitous special characters.  Recently, I received this:

Top of the mornin' to ya, my name is Jonathan.  I have recently started a new Space Marine army, but now I'm stuck. 

So far I have:

  • A Captain w/ thunder hammer, artificer armor, digital weapons, plasma pistol and melta bombs (190 pts);
  • Epistolary Librarian w/ The Gate of Infinity and The Avenger (150 pts);
  • Tac. Squad 1 w/ flamer and missile launcher; Sgt w/ combi-plasma, plasma pistol and teleport homer (190 pts);
  • Tac. Squad 2 w/ flamer and missile launcher; Sgt w/ plasma pistol and melta bombs (170 pts); and,
  • Tac. Squad 3 w/ flamer and missile launcher; Sgt w/ plasma pistol and melta bombs (170 pts).
My whole army currently comes out to about 870 pts. 

Their primary tactic is to sit in a fortified position and plug away at enemies with long-range weaponry. If an enemy unit is within assault range, then any unit that has taken casualties will wildly charge it while full strength units keep firing at new targets. In addition, my Captain and the squad he's attached to will always charge regardless of unit strength. I want to work this into the army's fluff somehow, but I'm not sure how.

They are probably going to be Imperial Fist spinoffs `cause they seem to show the same disregard for personal safety and are just suicidal enough to try a last-ditch charge to defend an objective on Turn Six (sort of near-sighted, I know, but being in character is more important then winning to me).

I don't want any tanks or transport vehicles if I can at all avoid it (except for maybe Dreads, because I like the fluff for them and the way they look and work next to regular Marines). I don't know why I don't like tanks (other then I think Marines are tough enough already, and as a matter of honor would rather go into battle with nothing but a trusty bolter and a prayer on their lips instead of hiding behind armored vehicles... at least my Marines would).

As far as a color scheme is concerned, I'm thinking about painting them Ultramarines Blue or Emerald Green and white. I would have bronze, silver or gold trim (depending on rank) on the right shoulder pad, where the unit marks are, and Badmoon Yellow trim on the left shoulder pad, where the chapter markings are.

I'm thinking about adding:

  • A Devastator Squad armed with two lascannons and two plasma cannons (these guys will probably be the Librarian's personal squad that he'll be attached to at all times);
  • An Assault Squad for HtH support (these guys may be upgraded to Vanguard Vets for fluff reasons);
  • A Command Squad for the Captain to make his assaults a bit more deadly; and,
  • Two more Tac. Squads just to bolster the army's numbers a bit more (as of now I'm not sure how to arm these guys, but I'm thinking maybe arming them the same as the others).
Where I need the most help is in the fluff categories (and if you have any other suggestions I'd love to hear them). The fluff categories that I really need are:
  • Name ideas for the chapter, company, squads, characters, etc, etc, etc.;
  • A chapter symbol (the simpler the better, as my freehand skills are almost non- existent at best); and,
  • Maybe the beginning of a fluff story (only a paragraph or so, because I have tremendous writer's block when it comes to writing stuff on Space Marines)
I have read the article about writing good fluff (several times,) but as I already said, I can't come up with anything. Once I see something down on paper (or up on screen as the case may be) I'm usually pretty good with taking it from there.

Thank you for the help!

Jonathan 


This is exactly the kind of help that the Jungle Juice idea was meant to address.  There is a lot here to work with, and hopefully Jonathan will find some of my advice useful.

The Army List
I will include the units Jonathan is thinking of adding for the purposes of discussion.  First off, I would give the Sergeants each a power fist instead of melta bombs.  While melta bombs are a cheap way to get some tankbusting in a unit, the power fist is more effective (more attacks) and can be used in close combat as well.  

Number Two, I would not have a Devastator Squad accompany the Librarian with Gate, as they will not be able to fire when they relocate.  Instead, make that a unit of Sternguard Veterans with plasma guns (there seems to be a plasma theme to the weapons choices.)  The unit can relocate to rapid-fire range and unleash a torrent of deadly fire using the psyker’s power.  

Jonathan can still take the Devastator Squad, but just leave them as a stand-alone unit, and I would consider taking all lascannons, as the army is currently very poor at taking out anything with a high Armor Value.  To this point, I would also recommend getting a Dreadnought with twin-linked lascannons and a missile launcher.  Vehicles with AV 14 are becoming more common (Land Raiders and Guard tanks), so it is imperative to have reliable options to take them out.

My last suggestion for the list is to get some Drop Pods.  I respect the no-tanks attitude as part of the background, but with 5th Edition, mobility has become essential in claiming objectives and dealing with opponent’s troops that you cannot see or reach.  I do not think Jonathan needs to go with all Drop Pods, which seems to be a popular tactic these days, but one for the Command Squad and two Tactical Squads should be a good start.

The Background
Based on the way the army is constructed–like to hang back, high powered weaponry–I envision their primary foe being Tyranids.  This would also give a reason for their fury in assaults, as they know that if they big beasties are that close, desperate measures are necessary.  You do not actually have to have a friend who plays Tyranids to keep the backstory going, just that at some point in the Chapter’s past, they had a major campaign against Tyranids and developed fighting tactics to deal with Monstrous Creatures and swarms of Gaunts.  

As for names, the name of the chapter is fairly straightforward.  As a successor to Imperial Fists, you can keep the Fists part and instead of Crimson use Emerald (the blue color scheme would be too close to Ultramarines).  I will describe color schemes in the next section.

Since the Fists and Ultramarines use vaguely Roman sounding names, I found a Roman name generator and a Latin translator on the internet and plugged away until I got some names I liked:

  • Captain: Decius Crassus
  • Librarian: Kaeso Sertorius
  • Dreadnought: Brother Loricatus
  • Squad names: Unum, Duarum, Triarum, Quattor, Quinque
  • Assault Squad: Tentatium
  • Dev Squad: Sepelium
Painting and Modeling
With a name like Emerald Fists and given the colors Jonathan outlined at the start, the color scheme seems simple enough to work out: white armor, Dark Angels Green left arm including hand/fist, Burnished Gold chest eagles.  Using white on the shoulder pad allows Jonathan to use the black fist decals as his chapter badge, so no hand-painting involved.  To reference the background and add some individual character to models, some Tyranid bits could be used to decorate bases and such.

Conclusion
Well, I am all out of juice….err figuratively that is.  I hope that Jonathan, and any other gamers working on similar projects, can find some useful tips in this article, and I look forward to playing against those armies one day.  Sifting through all of the material put out by GW to design, assemble, and paint an army can be difficult enough without having to think about creating a story. That is where the help of fellow gamers can be useful and hopefully some ideas that we present can be related to any army.  Until the next time, get out there and play! 
 

Related Pages
More Jungle Juice

Posted November 2009. Used with permission.
 

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Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle