Tamara Duke is a major character in the MechWarrior: Dark Age novel Blood of the Isle and a short story published in MechWarrior: Technology of Destruction (the short story serves as a prologue to the novel). Unfortunately, she is an average unit, not particularly exciting. Her chief value lies in belonging to the Stormhammers faction, which had relatively few units overall. This makes any Stormhammers unit valuable to a faction-pure player.
This is a medium 'mech, on the light end of the scale. It's point value allows easy integration into a standard 300 point game (Dark Age rules). It's speed is unremarkable but it's attack value is slightly above average. Combined with Pulse special equipment, this could put the hurt on any 'mech with a poor heat dial (remember that energy attacks do damage and heat on a successful hit). However, since this unit only has energy weapons it makes a poor anti-infantry tool, nor is it suited for close combat attacks.
Strategies and game play:
Being a "laser boat," this unit is best used to hunt 'mechs with poor heat dials and vehicles. She has only average maximum ranges but no minimum ranges so you'll want to close a bit with your target to take advantage of any possible minimum ranges your opponent may have. The Electronic Camouflage will help a little if you use blocking terrain to screen your approach. You may want to pass up the Pulse special equipment early in the battle since it's one-time use. You may get the second hit and deal extra damage, but you'll also take the click of damage for using Pulse. Her repair markers are well spaced out, but since the dial is relatively shallow (medium 'mech remember) you can ill-afford to use Pulse unless it's absolutely necessary. Save Pulse for later in the game to deliver the killing blow or the game-changing offense that breaks your opponent. Her secondary energy weapon actually does more damage than her primary, so if you only need a little more oomph and your have closed appropriately (her secondary weapon has a bit shorter range) then go with the secondary instead of wasting Pulse.
Combos with other miniatures:
Due to the energy weapons-only nature of this unit, you'll want some ballistic-equipped vehicles and infantry along to provide indirect fire support. Given Tamara's reasonable point value, this should be quite doable. Although her repair markers are well-spaced, it may not be worth it to bother with a repair/recovery vehicle - she's just not worth enough.
Ways to counteract it:
Tamara's Defense value is only twenty with no Defense special equipment, so it shouldn't be too hard to hit her. If you're cheap, send in a full formation of good infantry with energy weaponry (her heat dial isn't bad, but it's not great either). Better still, a small formation of vehicles equipped with Armor Piercing special equipment will make short work of her. Try to avoid sending in any 'mech with a bad heat dial - Tamara will overheat you and make you pay for your insolence!
An unspectacular unit, her only real attraction is being a Stormhammer. There's also that panache that comes with the character (and 'mech) having played a significant role in the MechWarrior: Dark Age published fiction.
She has a relatively low Defense value, with no Defense special equipment. Her primary weapon has Pulse, but is one-time use as long as it exists which weakens her significantly if she uses it. Her heat dial is a little harsh for a medium 'mech.
Artwork and aesthetics:
I've never particularly liked the Wolfhound 'mech design. However, this sculpt is very nicely done and rather true to the original design. The paint job is excellent, blending the Stormhammers sky blue with grey accents and metallic bits very nicely. The mini looks great overall.
I give this unit a 5 out of 10. It's an average, affordable 'mech most attractive to Stormhammers purists.