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Tiger Ie

Craig’s Tiger Tactics

The Tiger tank is one of the most fearsome “Big Cats” in Flames Of War. Front Armour 9, Side Armour 8, and packing the famous 88mm gun (40"/100cm range, AT 13, Firepower 3+), it can take on most tanks in a gun duel and win. However, one Tiger costs a whopping 385 points in Mid-war and 215 points in Late-war, so you definitely pay for the privilege of fielding one and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to squeeze more than one or two into a standard 1500 point game.

The Germans saved their best tank commanders for the Tiger battalions, they were truly the elite troops of the Panzertruppen. However in game terms Tigers can be difficult to use properly as everybody has, or should’ve, worked out a tactic to nullify their usefulness (see Dion’s article for examples of how they can be bested).

What are the strengths of tigers?

1. Heavy Armour. In Mid-war there are few things that can defeat a Tiger’s front armour at long range. Use this advantage. Try to fight at range (the further back the better) and make use of the 8.8cm gun to kill your enemy.
2. 8.8cm Tank Gun. You are carrying one of the best guns in the game, use it! Rate of Fire 2, Anti-tank 13. Not much can stand up to that! so make use of the awesome firepower of the deadly 88. If you get lucky on your Tiger Skill you’ll even get ROF 3 for free!

Tiger Ie
Tiger Ie

3. Veteran troops. Veterans are hard to hit. You need a 4+ at short range, a 5+ at long range or if concealed and a 6+ if at long range and concealed when firing. What does this tell us? Hide! A Tiger is best sniping from a concealed position at long range. Try to find a place in the centre of the table where you can dominate (hull down behind the crest of a hill counts as concealed) and you can guarantee that the enemy will give you a wide berth.
4. Tiger Skills: Tiger commanders get a number of useful skills which can make them even more deadly. Make Every Shot Count and Rapid Fire is very handy but the Schnell! skill which allows you to storm trooper on a 2+ can also allow you to snipe enemy tanks and then move back into cover with almost impunity- especially useful if on a  hill!

5. Wide tracks: Tigers re-roll bogging tests in difficult going so is less likely to bog in such terrain.
6. Fear Factor: Nothing scares enemy armour like a Tiger. It draws all the attention and makes all medium tank commanders wary- use this fear factor to place your Tiger where you don’t want enemy armour to go but always, always try to locate it where you can make best use of the range of its gun.

Main Roles

1. Mobile Anti-tank Gun: Engage enemy armour from long range. Use your reach. Fire from long range and don’t let the enemy get too close. Retreat if necessary!
2. Mobile Pill Box: Sit on an objective and dare the enemy to get you off it. More often than not the enemy will concentrate on the other objective(s).

Tiger Ie
Tiger Ie 3. Ambusher: There is nothing like ambushing enemy armour with a Tiger. However, more often anti-tank guns are better in this role (more guns = more dice= more chances to kill).
4. Mobile Reserve: The Tiger can be, and is, a very fearsome reinforcement in missions such as Hold-the-Line or Cauldron.
5. Support Weapon: By now it should be obvious that I prefer to use the Tiger as a support weapon rather than the main assault weapon. The rest of you army (especially infantry or panzer grenadiers) are there to dig out dug-in infantry, your Tiger is there to ensure that enemy armour stays away and lets your infantry get on with the job of winning the game for you.   

How Many to Take?

In a 1500 point army the most you can field is 3, but few players are this crazy. I prefer one but others may prefer 2 Tigers so they can support each other and dominate even more territory. It’s really just a matter of taste. I prefer one as if it dies it dies, and I carry on with the game and I haven’t just lost half of my force on a couple of bad dice rolls. My Tiger isn’t there to win the game, it’s there to intimidate, dominate, cover the advance and distract my opponent- and thereby allow the rest of my force to get up close and personal.

Tiger Ie
Tiger Ie Final Comments

Tigers are fun to use but treat them like you would Marders, M10s or other tank hunters/destroyers. Engage from range and only close if you have to. Concentrate on destroying things that can hurt your Tiger first and always protect them vs. air attacks.

Well that’s enough from me, happy hunting,

Craig
Courtis
Notes: I used a single Tiger at tournament recently and it died 3 times. Once vs. dug in British infantry when I threw it into an assault in an effort to grab a victory point in my final turn (the game was already lost) and twice vs. enemy air power (the dice gods say that if you only die on save of 1 you will roll a 1!).


Last Updated On Thursday, August 13, 2009 by Wayne at Battlefront