Another HQ review of the mighty Space Marines, this time around, Chief Librarian Tigurius! As always, for more tactics articles, check out the Tactics Corner!
Chief librarian of the Ultramarines, psyker powerful enough to interact with the Hive Mind and remain sane, and all around awesome dOOd, Tigurius is an absolutely fantastic HQ.
Tigurius is a stellar force multiplier. His primary purpose is to make everything in your army do what it already does, better. In that roll, he is an all star. He is not, at all, a combat character. Don’t use him as such except when totally necessary as to do so is to risk one of your best assets for little gain. Used correctly, he can be game winning, thrown into a combat against dedicated assault units and he is points wasted.
- 3+, no invulnerable save.
- Bolt Pistol
- Hood of Hellfire: Psychic Hood that lets Tigurius reroll failed psychic checks. Nice! This means the odds of failing a psychic check drops to 1/144! Almost a certainty. It also makes getting past things like Fiends much more doable. However, it also increases the odds of Perils on double 1’s. This is largely offset by his having 3 wounds.
- Rod of Tigurius: pleases the ladies, ahhhhhhh yeah! Just kidding, it is a Force Staff that is also Master-crafted and has both Concussive and Soul Blaze. Pretty dang solid, but typically you don’t want Tigurius in combat. However, if it is required, he is good against hordes of light troops where you will get the most mileage out of his weapon.
- Level 3 Psyker, nice!
- Gift of Prescience: reroll reserves, even successful, but only from his detachment.
- Master Psyker: Tigurius can reroll any or all of the dice when generating his powers. He also generates powers from all 5 of the book disciplines. Wowzers! That is incredible as it effectively gives you 6 tries at getting any single power. And, as with all of the Ultramarines characters, it makes him super flexible as he can adjust his tactics and powers to match the in-game circumstances he finds himself in. This is seriously an incredible special rule that makes Tigurius arguably one of the best psykers in the game.
- Warlord: Storm of Fire. Ballin, this is, in my opinion, the hands down best all-around Warlord Trait in the SM book. He can twin link a unit in the shooting phase once per game, within 12″. So good.
Tigurius is a boss dipped in boss sauce and for my money, the point for point best HQ in this book. He is reasonably priced too for everything you get, 20pts less than Sicarius, or equivalent to 10 Tactical Marines + 25pts. If you only take a single HQ, I think he is a strong contender for that spot.
What makes him so good, is that he makes the rest of your army so much better at everything it does. His incredible flexibility in choosing powers means that he can adapt to the opponent you are facing on the fly. It is a theme with Ultramarines to have this flexibility and as with the other characters, it means a highly skilled player can get a lot of mileage out of Tigurius.
Obviously, Divination powers are very powerful and in most cases, will be the default choice. Prescience, Misfortune, Perfect Timing, Forewarning particularly are a tremendous boon to Marines. Sternguard especially love Tigurius as their already potent shooting can become devastating. Pair him with them, and Prescience increases their damage output considerably, but particularly Misfortune. Misfortune is so absurdly powerful, especially with a unit like Sternguard who put out a high volume of wounds. Forcing players to reroll successful saves when you put 15 on them, is brutal. Also, Perfect Timing to ignore cover on Sternugard means they can use their AP3 rounds (and remember Presiceince dramatically decreases Gets Hot! results) or Hellfire rounds and just punish enemy units. Forwarning is great for Sternguard but also REALLY helps Centurions. They need that invul save and Tigurius can provide that, although don’t assume you’ll get it. If you strategy hinges on a variable, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. One of my other favorite tricks is to cast Forewarning on a unit and then assault a nasty MC that would otherwise pulverize a unit, and keep it bogged down in assault. And of course, Foreboding can make some units almost un-assaultable (again, like prescienced Sternguard…noticing a pattern here?).
Telepathy is also a great school for him as powers such as Terrify can win you the game against the right opponent. Again, his ability to adapt to the current opponent is so useful, experience will really help to guide your choices, but definitely experiment with him in practice games to find which combo of powers to use in which situation.
Assault units benefit from his as well, with Biomany and some of the Telekinesis and Pyromany powers (not to mention Invisibility) but often, Divination just provides so much and 6/7 powers in that school are so good. Even Scrier’s Gaze, if you want to get a unit on or keep them off of the table, combined with Tigurius’ reroll, makes getting the result you want a near certainty. Considering that Tigurius himself doesn’t particularly want to be in combat, he is often best used with primarily shooty units. Keep a powerful assault unit close if you need, such as Hammernators, and buff them or debuff their target before they go in, but with the unit may not be the best place for him.
The other nice synergy Tigurius has with Sternguard is that you can put them all in a pod, and drop down in the backfield, use his Warlord Trait to twin link that turn, and then subsequently he can buff them with blessings (you can’t cast blessings or maledictions the turn you come out of reserves). You can also toss them in a Rhino, as you can cast blessings on a unit you are with, even while in a transport.
Space Marines and Drop Pods will be even more common this edition, particularly with Ultramarines whose Tactical Doctrine is really strongly oriented towards close range firefights, which Drop Pods facilitate, as he dramatically increases the reliability of reserves. A 3+ reroll is slightly better than +1 to reserves. It results in 8/9 of your reserve units coming in turn 2. That is a huge help.
The downside to Tigurius though, over say Sicarius or Calgar, is that he doesn’t bolster army leadership. With ATSKNF though, it isn’t terrible, but still, breaking off of an objective turn 5 due to crummy Ld8 and then the game ending before you can rally will still lose you the game, ATSKNF or not. With Tigurius you may not want to go so intensely infantry heavy as you may go with the other characters or you may want to consider Sargent upgrades. The difference in failing a morale check from Ld8 to 9 is fairly dramatic, from 1/6 to 5/18. That means you need to plan for that when writing your list and envisioning what each unit will be doing.
That said, Tigurius is still an excellent choice, and I would use him in a more mixed arms style list. Storm Talons and Ravens love him for increasing reserves as do any units that always or frequently reserve. Offensive units, particularly those with lots of powerful shots (a la Sternguard) give you more mileage from any bonus to shooting. Focusing on putting the highest damage output units around Tigurius where he can get the most impact out of his buffing and debuffing abilities is the key to using him best. Then, fill the rest of your army with units that are largely autonomous as you don’t want too many units that depend on his buffs. Storm Talons, Predators, Thunderfire Cannons, Scouts, Bikers, etc. all do well as they can operate on their own while Tigurius runs around with a few hard hitting units to apply maximum pressure where you need it most.
With characters like this, I have had a lot of success in building in deployment flexibility into lists that revolve around them. For example, taking 9 Sternguard in a Rhino or Pod, and 9 Tacticals in the opposite and then deploying him with whichever squad you think will put him in the best position during deployment works extremely well. Having that flexibility allows you to adjust and play your best game without being shoe-horned into set tactics that may not be the best choice against a certain opponent.
Tigurius is a great HQ, definitely an A+ in my book, and one that provides a lot of depth as you can branch out and experiment with different unit/power combos.