Saturday, February 11, 2012

Revisiting Black Templars

By Spaguatyrine

After reading the 40k novel Helsreach, which was incredibly awesome and my favorite in the new 40k series, and playing against black templar armies in the last few tournaments I decided to buy the codex. I found a codex for $17 at an old comic shop in Evansville.  As I am looking and studying the codex a lot of interesting options are jumping out at me....

It is true I am in love with marines and close combat, but have been working on my dark eldar to bring them to a level I am comfortable with as far as competitive play. I have again had to put them on hold as a friend is using them to get ready for the Indy open.  But being played very tough by 2 Black templar players against my Space Wolves has opened my eyes to the possibilities.  Since I want to be in close combat a majority of my games can I build a force of templars to match the tenacity of my space wolves.....?

Preferred enemy and fearless.  These 2 items army wide for only 50 points is an amazing attribute to the Black Templars.  If you combine these with lightning claws things can get nasty.  With the errata that now the wargear is the same as other codecci than assault termies with preferred enemy are amazing.  Plus they can have furious charge which make them able to stand up to TWC. 

Old rules such as tank hunters make regular terminator squads viable with black templars.  You can take 2 cyclone missile launchers per squad and give them tank hunters for 250 points.  This means 4 strength 9 missiles coming out of the squad.  That is the awesome!  In addition you can give a venerable dread tank hunters and give him a lascannon and missile launcher to make him strength 10 lascannon and str 9 missile launcher for 165 points which is a super bargain. 

The HQ choices are cheaper and pretty amazing when you look at the emperors champion with the preferred enemy vow at only 145 points and a good chaplain with 3 wounds at 110 points.  Grimaldus is expensive at 195 points but he can join any squad with his retinue and even when dead gets back up on a leadership check with 1 wound left.  That is where they got that from!!!!  Helbrecht is not worth his points in my opinion. 

I see the troop choices as a liability at this time when I first scan them as their modes of transport are so much more expensive than newer armies. The leadership 8 is kind of annoying but if you can get in combat you will be fine since they are fearless in combat.  One great option is to use neophytes as cheaper alternatives to the 16 point per marine you pay 10.  They will die faster, but they can take the melta gun shots anyways. 

The heavy slot is the big downer for me.  The only thing they really have are landraiders, predators, and vindicators.  I like landraiders for big games, but 1 melta drop pod and you loose so many points it is hard to take them.  The vindicator is nice as you can add power of the machine spirit meaning you can move 12" and still fire the cannon, but I don't think a 150 point vindicator is worth if for me.  The predator is probably the best long range heavy this army has but they are also more expensive than the standard predators. the version I like is the autocannon, lascannon sponsons but this version is 125 points. 

The elite spot as is filled with some great choices such as the venerable dread as discussed above, and terminator assault and shooty squads, sword brethren (which are veterans that are not worth it), and Techmarines. Now they actually have a good techmarine which has 2 wounds for 70 points. He has a servo arm, bolt pistol, auspex, and power weapon.  This is much better than the equivalent in other armies.  for 35 points he can have a full servo harness.  With the elite slots being full I am not sure I would ever see one played but he is an option.

The fast attack section has some good choices as well. The assault squads can have double plasma pistols of flamers, 1 power weapon or fist, and everyone can take a storm shield.  This makes them expensive but with having a preferred enemy makes them a force to worry about.  Their meltabombs also only cost 2 points per model.  The Bike squads are where I am looking.  You can have 3 meltaguns, flamers, plasma guns, or power weapons per squad. Talking about great options!  They can also add an attack bike which can make a total of 4 melta shots in a bike squad.  Pretty nasty. Or you can go all power weapons in the regular bikes.  You also have the option of actually taking an attack bike squad with up to 3 attack bikes.  I have never liked speeders but their speeders do cost less, but you can only have 1 typhoon per squadron.

So with all this being said I am looking at a list with these options. What do you think?

Emperors champion with vow of preferred enemy
Master of Sanctity-Good Chaplain with teleport homer

Terminator squad-2 cyclones with tank hunter
Terminator  assault squad with 2 LC and 3 TH/SS
Ven Dred with Las/ML and tank hunter
3 x 6 Initiates and 3 acolytes with melta and powerfist in Rhino
2 x 5 initites and 1 acolyte with missle launcher
5 bikes with 3 meltaguns and attack bike with multimelta
Predator of some variant.

I am still messing with it but am not sure on the rules yet for command squads.  Does the Chaplain have to stay with the command squad with Black Templars. If he does do they count as a retinue?  If not I would try and fit another Terminator squad with 2 cyclones in as a command squad.  If he does have to stay with them, then that idea is out the window. 

What are your thoughts? 


  1. Holy Orbs of Antioch, they're a reference to a certain scene in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" which involves the beast of Caerbannog.

  2. Brother Maynard! Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade!

    but he's got big... huuge...

  3. Funny,

    But thoughts on the actual 40k version?

  4. Your points are off in a few places. EC with Accept Any Challenges is 140 and Tactical Terminators with x2 CML and Tank Hunters is 265. And you can squadron your Typhoons... giving you the option to take up to 9 in a single game.

  5. I have a mate that plays Black Templars (not competitively mind, he's a GW staffer so is much more relaxed and kid centric as per the requirements of his job - gotta sell the stuff afterall not trounce newbies out of the hobby no matter how friendly you do it) and he has stood by them since their release with the 3rd battle for armaggeddon all those years ago.My one question is - how are you for anti-psyker? How do you protect against more psychic centred armies and prevent them from getting off powers they want to get off (hello Nids and GK's as a start)?

    Also, the Holy Orb of Antioch is a must regardless of in game effectiveness. Simple. :p

  6. I think that you might be discounting their TAC too quickly. They are the only smurf left that can do the las/ plas min squads. through in a couple of neophytes, and take two you know have a good back field scoring squad that can do more than just keep a chair warm.

  7. Good to hear from taak. Bout time. Well my thoughts on psyjers are overwhelming them with firepower and assault units. Templars have no defense unless I take Abhor the witch, which is kind of silly compared to preferred enemy army wide. I am not worred about nids with the amount of firepower these guys can have for monstrous creatures without involuntarily saves.

    I am thinking a master of sanctity with a teleport homer and Orb of Antioch. Only 15 points total for both I believe.

  8. Chambers,

    I like that idea. Ill look into it. I was thinking missle
    / plas but both sound good.

  9. With furious charge and preferred enemy your LC termies can chew threw units like crazy. Consider have three or four instead of one. They are very scary in close combat.

  10. @Flekkzo, Whilst great at chewing through things in combat terminators still suffer from the whole 'we cost a fair wack of points and do die fairly fast to concentrated ap 1 or 2' and as a lot of armies routinely carry these pretty much as standard, the Storm Shield survivability aspect comes into play a lot more (I assume SS's are 3++ now after the last FAQ?), and that you can mix both is really nice. So In the case of upping the LC numbers it's useful aye, but the points efficiency of the army and the unit as well as the unit size needs to be considered.

    I'm lazy. And haven't been in an ultra competitive 40k mindset for a while, hence quietness. I'm actually really considering going back to my beloved Nids which I started with 15 years ago (yeah, it's been that long now heh) and messing with a larger variety of forces even if it's not over the top in power (as much as you can get with Nids these days) because I have loads of old school models now and why not. That said, I'm also co-designing a tabletop miniatures skirmish game so stuff is focusing towards that as well these days, hence quietness. Besides, haven't seen you over at 3++ for a while either and i even wrote another article the other day (part 1 of several and they are written so not the usual here's one, ahh I'll do it later, articles :p).

    to the BT's, PC's in the min/max Tacky Squads? Or do you have ap 1 and 2 covered across the army more effectively then with the SW's? I don't own a BT codex copy so only know bits and bobs with them (though own a bunch of their character models i got in a random massed job lot of GW stuff off ebay).

  11. Taak,

    Cool about the new game. I am also looking at other armies like Dark Eldar and Black Templars here.

    I have seen what the Lightning claw termies can do on the charge. Now I need to see about getting them to combat without a landraider. I am trying to build a list and I think Deepstriking is the key for me.

  12. Do not forget the templars still suffer from 'Kill them All', where it's a leadership -1 or you shoot at the closest foe (and since assaults are only against what you shot...). And Templars are usually only fearless in CC. I've logged about 15 games vs my regular foe, a BT player, since last July, and have been beat twice while using chaos. Sure, Darkwyne won a toruney with them, but they have as many weaknesses as they have precieved str. They pay a large amount for a rhino (50 pts?) and their machine spirit still uses very low ballistic skill, making their vindis only slightly better than Blood Angel's. They are, however, one of the best terminator armies, easily equal to Deathwing (2 reclusiarchs + command squads + elite slots = 16 STR 9 vs tanks.... Take a look at Implausable Nature, a BT blog. He does an in depth analysis of BT vs BA and SW hand-to-hand

    I would also look at getting the Reclus can get 3 and add +3" to your Zeal moves

  13. Here's a Battle Report with Pics of one of our various battles:

  14. Yeah. Read Implausible Nature. A LOT. Also check out Nikephoros at Bringer of Victory. Both have good, understandable and SMART BT tactic and army discussions, as well as some great list suggestions. Marshal Laeroth at IN is also super at responding to emails and queries. Tell him I sent you =)))

  15. Hehe. I'm a little late to the party, but thanks for the plugs ladies and gents. Spags, if you have any specific questions, feel free to hit me up. As Loquacious mentions, I regularly answer all of my emails so you should get a response reasonably quick.


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