Monday, September 12, 2011

Black Templars. Why they're the bomb.

As you may have guessed from the name, this is a post about black templars. What to do and what not to do, how to maximise your army's capability, and some simple speculation on how beautiful they are.

OK. So, to fill you in on what you probably know, Black Templars are a 4th edition codex. This has ups and downs wich I'll explain later. Also, in my opinion, black templars are the coolest looking space marines out there, with dark angels as a close second.

Lets start with what makes them good, and what makes them less good. Less good first. Sorry tournament goers, this is 4th edition, your Rhinos are 50 points, your Heavy Bolter Razors are 70, your Lascannon Razors are 90, and your only other transport option is a Land Raider, but have no fear, we make up for it. In the book, a lot of wargear is different, but this is fixed by FAQ. Generally everything is now what it would be in a 5th ed codex, but at fourth edition prices. Except storm shields, witch are now always 15 points from the armory, and a 10 point upgrade instead of 3 on assault marines.

Now we've moved into the good, I'll do that. The first thing I should explain is righteous zeal. What it is is a rule representing your guys getting really pissed when their buddy dies. Basically you have to take a leadership test for any casualties at all, not a quarter dead, however, if you pass this test, you consolidate up to d6 inches towards your opponent. It says up to so that your enemy can't kill one guy and make you run shouting off an objective in the last turn. Crusader Seals let you opt to reroll the d6, wich is nice. This move isn't affected by terrain, and it counts as the unit hasn't moved for purposes of heavy/rapid fire weapons.

#2 The Emporer's Champion, my favorite, and one of the best HQs in 40k. Is it cause he's a hulking wolf man with an axe? Is it because he's a scary man with stats way too high for a psyker? Or is it simply because his name is Lysander? No, no, and no. This guy isnt a close combat beast. Though he isnt shabby with 4 s6 i5 power weapon attakcs on the charge. What makes this guy great is vows. You pick one of these babies as part of your Champion's unit entry.

The first one is "Uphold the honor of the emporer" I've used this before in small games and had fun, but I wouldn't use it in bigger ones. It's the cheapest at 10 points, totaling your Champ at 100. What it does is gives all your infantry on the field a 6+ Invul save. "Why wouldn't you use that Grandpa Rhino? Thats Awesome!" Patience child. It also makes it so no one, including vehicles can benefit from cover. And since cover makes the world go round in 5th, this is huge. Another bonus effect is that nobody can ever be pinned. Believe me its fun in a tiny game to have that dreadnought arm bounce off a space marine. But not worth it if you have a single tank in your list.

The second is "Abhor the Witch, destroy the witch." This one is more interesting. If the enemy has a psyker in his list, all your guys, including vehicles, make a d6 inch righteous zeal move before the game starts, after scouts. Also it gives everybody on the table a 5+ save against psykic powers targeting them. You can use and abuse this if you want. It's probably the second most popular of the vows. By the way I'm listing these in order of points costs, and this one is 20.

The third is "Suffer not the Unclean to Live." Which in my opinion, isnt really worth taking, but let me explain. What it does is it gives all your guys +1 Strength, but they strike at -1 intitiative. It affects dreadnoughts, not neophytes, and is not cumulative with furious charge. It dosen't say which is cancelled, but I assume its the furious charge. Thats pretty much it for this one. I don't recomend it. S5 all the time is nice, but you'll usually like that I4 more. And ruins your wonderful furious charge guys. 35 for this one.

The fourth and finally is "Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds." I always take this baby. It's increadible. It gives every guy in your army who attacks in close combat prefered enemy. Which is huge. You can no longer wiff an important assault, your guys do way more damage than average marines, and the only downside is you have to charge whenever you get the option, wich believe me, ends up being alot like the movie Yes Man. 50 points but definately worth it in my opinion.

#3 Crusader Squads, these are your one and only troops choice. But they can do any job. Trust me. The really cool thing about these guys is the number of guys limit is 5-10 Initiates (Space marines) AND 0-10 Neophytes (Scouts) you can't take more neophytes than initiates. Now, this means three things. One, you can have a freaking 20 man squad! The second, you can have scouts as 10 point just as good as initiates in close combat filler. The problem with these guys is 4+ armor and 3 Ws/Bs, but hey, one dies and your d6 inches closer to assault range! The third is that you have no sergeant, so your power fist only has one attack without charging. Oh well. The other good thing is the weapon selection is one 4th Ed priced heavy weapon or 1 4th Ed priced close combat weapon, and one special weapon, no required number of guys. Also, everybody can have close combat weapon/bolt pistol. So I usually use 5 initiates, 4 neophytes, 1 power fist, one melta, in a rhino w/ smoke launchers. This comes in at 195 points. A ten man rhino squad of grey hunters is 215. Mine win in combat pretty much every time. Believe me, when your talking about troops, that 20 points goes a long way. In fifth edition you need to have around 4 usually. Thats 100 points saved. That could buy you quite a bit.

#4 Veteran Skills, all of the elites in your army can either purchase, or have veteran skills. This leads to some awesome stuff. Sword Brethren can suddenly have Infiltrate, Counter Attack, or Furious Charge. Wich btw, don't look at Sword Brethren as expensive. The extra three points is for the special rule, and they can also take some really cool weaponry. Your Dreadnought can have tank hunter or furious charge. This means either a I5 Dread assaulting, or a tank crusher with a twin linked s10 lascannon, and a s9 krak missle. However, you have to make them venerable to get this option, a twenty point upgrade. I honestly don't take dreads too often. As they dont quite suit my play-style. But I have used both the options above and they've performed fine. Shooty termies can have furious charge or tank hunters. Also they can take two big guns. This usually means 4 s9 tank killing shots. And sometimes means 8 s7 rending anti-tank shots, and 8 s6 rending ap4 anti infantry shots. I like the second more. 8+7+Rending=more than 4+9. And where it really gets insane is your assault termies. With lightning claws, these bad boys have 4 I5 S5 reroll to hit reroll to wound power weapon attacks on the charge each. This will demolish anything. Also storm shield guys are good for taking those ap hits and killing big stuff. Remember that these thunder hammers reroll to hit. They have less attacks but will destroy anything they decide is too cocky. I take six, three with each equipment option, and one with crusader seals, so that can't wiff either.

Thats about it for the really insane stuff. Other little things are vindys are 125, but predator anhialators are 145, and typhoons are 70. Also vindys can get power of the machine spirit for 30 points. which is awesome. Basically means demonic possesion and blood angel speed combined. Without the 18 inch option. Oh, Chaplains are cool again, I5, and can take cool wargear. Marshalls are also very cool. When you take one your entire army uses his leadership. Cool wargear, one downside is he dosent come with an iron halo, and they are pricey to buy. When I use a marshall I use him with terminator honours (+1 attack) and thunder hammer and storm shield. This guy is 160 points, when you have him with a command squad they can all take veteran skills. Witch can mean 5 s9 reroll to hit attacks on the charge. Pretty dang cool if you ask me. You can also buy something to make him eternal warrior.

So in conclusion, Templars are awesome, can be great at anything, but they blow you away as a close combat army. Also, pretty dang spiffy lookin'. You just have to be careful cause they're an out-dated book. So bikes, assault marines, all those perfectly good space marines, are way overpriced. But once you get the hang of it, an absolutely amazing army. Goodbye, from Grandpa Rhino

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