Sunday 14 June 2015

Black Templar Review and Death Company Progress

Hello again readers, I'm actually updating on a Sunday for once! Lets hope this is a regular occurrence from now on.

Today I'm going to go over the new Black Templars as seen in the new Space Marine codex released yesterday! I have the ebook addition as I am an eager beaver and downloaded it as soon as it became available and I have ebooks on both my phone and tablet so it works out pretty well. In general the book is very nice looking as we have come to expect with GW's recent releases but I shan't dither on that today, lets get right to the meat of the topic, the Templars!

Black Templars - Chapter Tactics

Now there are 3 of these and 2 of them are essentially unchanged from the previous codex with one lost and one gained. Previously we had:

Accept any Challenge, No Matter the Odds - re-roll failed hits and gain rending in challenges (REMOVED)

Crusaders - gain crusader and adamantium will rules (KEPT)

And a separate rule outside of chapter tactics was the inability to take Librarian (damn witches!)

I am sad to see the loss of Accept any challenge.. it was nice and fluffy but was very situational and my sword brothers usually got smushed anyway :(

Now what do we have from the new Chapter tactics? We have:

Holy Crusaders - exactly the same as the previous crusaders rule

Lost Librarium - No librarian allowed - just rolled into CTs

Righteous Zeal - casualties sustained in the shooting phase or during overwatch grant the squad the Rage and Counter-Attack special rules (NICE!)

I think this is an overall gain for the Black Templars as with a 20 man blob squad of crusaders your are unlikely to lose all of your models in the shooting and if you are assaulted you have a good chance of putting wounds on the enemy with the additional attacks from counter attack and having 2 x CCW. A 20 man squad at half strength after shooting being charged still puts out 30 attacks! That is awesome sauce. Not only does this work well in combat I feel the knowledge of this will make people sit back and just shoot them even more so than usual, this has implications with board control and manoeuvring your enemy with threat bubbles. Stuff I know about but never really put into practise....

White Dwarf Exclusive Black Templar Warlord Traits

1: Masterful Swordfighter: +1 to WS and Attacks of the Warlord

2: Furious Rage: If the unit the Warlord is in fails Morale Test in the Psychic or Shooting Phase, it does not fall but, but moves 2D6 inches towards the next enemy unit.

3: Loathe the Witch: The Warlord has Hated (Psyker) and Preferred Enemy (Psyker)

4: Honour requires Battle: You can re-roll failed Attack rolls for the Warlord and his unit

5: Loyal to the Oath: The Warlord gets Fearless. Additionally re-rolls failed rolls to hit in Challenges.

6: Iron Resolve: The Warlord and every friendly Unit in 12” around him re-roll failed Morale, Pinning and Fear-tests

I bloody love these! They are characterful and great for individual characters but also buff the Warlords units nicely. They aren't the most competitive if you're going for tournament level but for regular games where you still want to win they will hold their own nicely!

Black Templar Special Characters

Lets start with Helbrecht shall we. Sadly he is almost virtually unchanged. His warlord trait now grant Furious Charge to him and his squad all game which is a nice minor buff, but for a space crusade borne chapter master he still lacks an Orbital Bombardment which makes no sense whatsoever. I will still pick him up as he is an awesome fluffy character with some good rules but I wish he had a little more punch about him in close combat to be honest.

On to Grimaldus now. His is now 150 pts. That is a whopping 35pt drop! His rules remain largely unchanged, but I now have great incentive to use his awesome model (after I paint it.. cough) as it makes him so much more affordable. His warlord trait Rite of War also now grants his leadership to all models in his detachment whilst he lives, its no longer limited to a 12" bubble, great news! His cenobyte servitors have got more expensive but still grant FNP to units within 6" of one of them. Whilst this sounds good, I always have preferred putting him in a unit to protect his squishy 3+/4++ myself. But I can see use being had out of Grimaldus at the centre of 5 Servitors flanked by 2/3 20 man crusade squads in a true black tide!

Finally, but my no means least, The Emperor's Champion! This fella remains the same points value as before but is infinitely better now I think. Instead of choosing between a stance that grants Instant death rule on a 6 or a stance that grants +2 strength but unwieldy The Emperor's Champion now has re-roll failed to hit rolls AND Instant death on a to wound roll of a 6 AND +2 strength (so strength 6) AP2 goodness AT INITIATIVE! Oh and the sword is mastercrafted... The only thing keeping him from being an absolute monster is his 2 wounds, but any more and he would need a good points hike or be OP I feel. 

Overall The Emperor's Champion is the best of the three for character and values for points, followed by Grimaldus and then Helbrecht, who while fairly fluffy doesn't fulfil his points cost compared to a standard Chapter master with the Shield Eternal and Burning Blade and getting Orbital Bombardment, a real lost opportunity with him personally (Oh Holy Orb of Antioch where art thou!).

Crusade squads and conclusions for my Army

Crusade squads are exactly the same, no change there at all, nope... Wait, whats that? Neophytes (or scouts as lesser chapters call them for some reason) now have a marines stat line with a 4+ save!? This is brilliant for Crusade squads, we alone can now have a 20 man squad that pours out up to 20 bolt pistol shots hitting on 3's and on the charge at full strength this squad will put out 60+ attacks hitting on 4's most of the time. The Black Tide lives!! As I have said earlier this coupled with Chaplain Feel No Pain Grimaldus would be a nightmare to face (unless you're a wraithknight but yeah, who do you struggle against!?)

I will be taking 2 of these 20 man squads all with bolt pistol and CCW set up I think, and I have plans for a 10 man squad of 5 initiates (2 x CCW) and 5 neophytes with shotguns in a drop pod for funsies.

Other than reinforcing how I would play my army anyway and making me overjoyed to run my Emperor's Champion even more so than I was already not much as changed for my Black Templars. I will happily take the Black Templar Specific traits as they are fantastically fluffy and a lot of them will buff The Champion (I'm looking at you +1 WS and +1A), or are great unit multipliers so would be great for a character in a black tide crusader squad high tailing it at the enemy to bash their heathen skulls in!!

Other stuff

Right after that wall of text here are some pictures of my Death Company as they come along and also a little chat about paint brushes right at the end (If you aren't already sick of reading!!)

So here is my death company at the moment after almost all base coats, there are some blue gems that I will leave till the end and I am leaving the eyes till everything else is done. I plan on trying a dark blue highlight for the armour and seeing how that turns out.

And finally brushes! I have been after new brushes for a while and I have been pestered a few times by Nathaniel at objectivesecured and Nick at theburningeye about buying Windsor Newton series 7 brushes. I bought a very fine, fine and a medium/large brush today for about £25 and I am very pleased with the results. I used the two smaller ones for putting all the paint onto the death company an it was a wonder to not have to fight the paint and it really follow your direction. On the flip side I can't blame mistake I made on these models on the brushes any more.... Would thoroughly recommend these brushes to anyone else looking to upgrade! I also went the whole hog and bought brush cleaner to boot!

Anyway, thanks for making it through the wall of text if you did and see you again soon!

Peace out



  1. I am pleased the changes have not affected your army adversely. I remember too well the disappointment of the new DE codex so to have some buffs to am army you have created and still have the flavour is awesome :)

    Way to go on the series 7. You will never go back to cheap brushes now. Buying the brush soap was very wise as it prolongs the life of your brush massively, and a clean brush is much easier to use. Do you use a wet palette? This will push your painting to the next level. I highly recommend you buy one (or make it yourself, there are loads of articles on the net on how to). I will,pester you until you do ;)

    1. Yeah I remember that codex,,,, pre-ordered it and everything! But then went and left my army on a bus so at least my True Kin didn't suffer the slow demise they would have at my poor generalship hands.

      They really are wonderful and have made a massive difference. I am really pleased with my Death Company and the brushes have contributed massively towards that I think.

      I looked up wet palettes when I first got back into the hobby but they looked complicated and I judged that my skill level was so low that it wouldn't make much difference. I feel I am getting to the point where I may need to take that plunge to push myself further. So pester away :)

  2. I'm super excited about the BT changes. Chapter tactics also apply to dreads now as well, so all the dreads got 5+ deny's, and crusader...which is HUGE!

    And Grimmy's bubble will effect dreads around him too (granting them zealot).

    There are all sorts of mega black tide combo's floating's absurd. With helbrecht now granting FLEET on his turn pop, you can do all sorts of insane things with banners, and the raging, and the honor guard...eeee I'm just giddy.

    1. I totally hadn't considered the implication with dreadnoughts! I don't have any at the moment, though I am saving to buy a couple of forgeworld Black Templar dreads as they are swiiish!

      The thing with Helbrecht is that unless I'm playing a large points value game I don't think I'd take him with Grimaldus and I think Grimmy has a lot more utility and so will get picked more often. And the Emperor's Champion is just a sexy beat stick. Will be rolling on the Templar traits and praying for 1's!

      Its a shame that the traits are in the white dwarf as if in the book then grimmy and helbrecht could have some of those instead of the generics, not that I'm sure which I would give them.