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For a change of pace from the Space Wolves, I'd us like to consider the older Black Templars codex and its most effective uses, which leans towards two playstyles; the horde and mech.
Both have obvious advantages and disadvantages, but with the 5th edition's ruleset leaning heavily towards mechanized play, as well as pretty much all other armies that can take transports, I am curious as to how most BT players run their armies now.
I've noticed that most armies that make use of the horde, such as Orks or IG, equip them with shooting weapons and have them sit around on their objectives, which is rather counter-productive to the assault mind set of Templars. Granted, they can be tooled for shooting, but at that point the neophytes become redundant meatshields and they'll annoyingly move around quite a bit thanks to that whole Righteous Zeal buisness.
While we could rely on run and righteous zeal to get there, frankly with so many cover ignoring weapons and other bothersome trinkets, casualties will be extensive to the point of making the squad ineffective. Then there's the whole problem with constant morale checks; while a Marshal will reduce the risk, ultimately that problem is still there.
Then there's meching up, which involves spamming rhinos, which unfortunately don't allow much in the way of assaulting out of them. In the same boat are drop podding Templars, which have the same problem. So, we have a unique solution: The dedicated transport known as the Land Raider Crusader.
The Land Raider Crusader and its fifteen templars allows for a distinct, almost hilarious fusion of mech and horde, but such tactics are prohibitively expensive and prevent taking much else in the army.
I myself use the horde, as I find running large masses of Templar dangerously attractive, but as I noted earlier, I tend to suffer such horrendous casualties getting there that my squads are down to a third of their original strength.
Then there's the problem of enemy transports; while vanilla marines can turn to the masses of free/cheap missile launchers and cheap Preadtor destructors to pull them down, Templars are obviously much more assault oriented and don't have much in the way of long ranged fire to take down transports before they become a threat. Lately I've been using assault cannon equipped Dreads for this role, taking advantage of their cheapness, but I was wondering how other players deal with transports.
Furthermore, how much more shooting are you including in comparison to your assaulting elements? While combat in 5th has gotten much more brutal, it's also gotten much harder to get there and stay there. Shooting has become dramatically attractive consequentially, as most of the newer codexes seem to emphasize.
So, what seems to be the most 'competitive' build now for Black Templars?
well on the point of mech-killing, the classic way to go would still be:
venerable Dread, tankhunter, rockets + synced laser for a whooping 165p total
personally, i still prefer the way of hording, it just fits to the templar-style way more than hiding away in a huge chunk of metal.
As you yourself pointed out, Rhinos tend to get more in the way than they actually help, and LRC are just way too expensive to be of regular use when hording.
i usually go with at least 2 horded squads of crusaders (10,10,flamer,PF,frags,all ccw+bp, shotguns on the neos) and, depending on the enemy, 1 or 2 assaultsquads (5,PF,melterbombs) to clear the heavier stuff up hit&run-style. lately i have been experimenting around with a terminator squad (stormbolters+fists), they kind of do the job pretty well for the extra punch in the frontline, but as a classic with templars, are soft on the shooting-side.
to your problem of mass casualties: as a hq, run grimaldus, fit your crusaders with seals and get yourself some lucky dice you may move, run and then charge to melee, add your relic-power, profit from grimaldus' fury... you move pretty quick, which limits the amount of men you can loose on your charge to combat, and the remaining men pound out such incredible amounts of damage that you wont even notice if half your squad fell, especially if you got your terminators out front, grouped with grimaldus... you know, even if now in 5th, backup troops get higher cover from their men out front, with this they wont have any front for longer than one round
problem is: BT still aint even got any really usable faq by GW, so we don't know jack about how we are really supposed to fit into the new scheme. personally till i know, i continue to max out any possibilities i got for keeping my old style of play with the new rules.. which get pretty hard some times
Last edited by Mithraw; October 15th, 2009 at 01:58.
There's to BT players here that I know. One runs the horde, one runs Mech. The Mech wins waaaaaay more games.
Mech simple let's you get there faster and more reliably, no two ways about it. BT are fast, with Run and the Zeal move but even terrain won't save them against the torrenting most armies can put at them.
Horde armies also have trouble with heavy armor. Your best bet is a Lascannon or a Vindicator, the former is ho hum and the latter is easily picked out with your lack of armor. You can run Meltas, but on foot you won't get close enough until far to late, if at all.
Horde is fun, and it looks nice on the table but it cannot compare to Mech for any SM army, not even SWs, who get as close to foot as you can. You simply get outmaneuvered and have to fight on the enemies terms, which never ever works.
I typically footslog with my Templar, do suffer casualties as I move forward, then promptly strike down whomever had the poor sense to shoot at me. Yes you lose troops as you move forward, but you should be engineering your advance to have your huge crusader squads take those hits anyway. Shoving more marines in there shouldn't be too much of an issue since we're getting 150 more points to play with since the tournament standard is getting bumped to 2k.
Enemy transports aren't a worry so much in my mind. Just means the enemy will be getting to my line that much quicker, allowing the advance to get stuck into combat that much sooner, allowing my other elements such as my dreadnoughts or predators to act around that and pick apart the other surrounding points of interest. That goes hand-in-hand with the Templar's assault orientation, you want to be there
The parts of my army that I intentionally have as firing elements are two or three 5 man crusader squads equipped with Missile Launchers, Lascannons, or Plasma Cannons pending on what I'm fighting. Heavier elements will include a Dreadnought equipped with a Twin-Linked Lascannon and a Missile Launcher stepping right up behind the main advance and a Predator Destructor since it's a good compromise weapons platform for infantry and light armor.
Horde Templar NEED to take full advantage of the Hammer and Anvil mentality to work properly, otherwise you will get slaughtered.
Battle for Pollux
Campaign tick is changing from Wednesdays to Mondays, first week of November.
No offence but saying an enemy transport does nothing but get you into CC faster is a very wrong way to look at it. What if they drive away and shoot you with it's guns? What if they converge on one unit and take it out in one fell swoop? Sure you'll get to take out one of their squads for it sometimes but even than, they're probably winning out.
5 man Crusade Squads are a good backup for your men but they are very easy to take out as far as anti-armor goes. Overall it's just a very risky way to run the army, if people play mech near you than. A lot of people still haven't gotten into it.
Only transport I've had an actual problem with that will be shooting at me thus far in my games have been the Valkyries fielded by the Imperial Guard, especially when three of 'em running around the board with those rocket pods.
Maybe the community I play games with in the Seattle area just aren't 'mech hip' or 'uber-tactical' like you're envisioning most players should be Prince, but what I can do is relate what my experiences have been with my foot Templar list.
Battle for Pollux
Campaign tick is changing from Wednesdays to Mondays, first week of November.
Sometimes I feel like it's not worth the time either. *sad-face*
The problem I have with transports isn't them getting to me, but generally they're smart enough to hop in and drive away 12" as soon as I'm close enough. Can't assault what I can't hit, if I can it its on sixes and by then I'm out of ablative wounds to get Zealin'.
Prince of Excess, mind if I ask what kind of list your mech player uses?
There's another Mech player at my store who runs two vindicators, a normal land Raider, two tac style squads in rhinos and a Crusader filled with marines. Well, from memory I think that's it, but I'm quite sure I'm missing a lot of details.
I see him usually trouncing most non-mech armies and doing fine against standard mech armies. And my store has its fair share of veteran players with plenty of disposable income, so most players run mech. Only the youngsters run footslogers.
Either way, as you said before, mech is the superior way to go, but I'm curious as to how that works. As I said before, rhinos and assaulting marines don't mix too well. Going Raider Nation is prohibitively expensive, but if that's the method you're invisioning, I can see why for the success. Immune to everything but the heaviest of anti-tank weapons with an orkish philosphy; drive 12", pop smoke, drive up six", dakka, dakka and drop cargo.
Currently, I'm seeing a list with two crusaders, two more tac-style rhinos, three Vindicators (Or two and a Predator) however many MM Speeders (Or MM Dreads) I can fit and taking only the Emperor's Champion as your HQ as being the most 'competetive' list I can think of.
Assault Marines and Rhinos are best friends if you model the guys low enough to hide behind the Rhinos.
The player here runs all Rhinos with Crusade Squads, 2-3 Vindies and I think a unit in a Drop Pod. He just runs everything at you with Smoke and dares your luck. Depends on the points as well.
Being new to 5th edition, my experiences using Black Templars as a foot army have been very successful. Granted I have only played 2 games, one of them being Necrons who had a monolith, and Grey Knights with 2 land raiders.
I run 2 big crusade squads, a shooting Tac style squad and a 5 man squad with a missile launcher, A bike squad with 2 Meltas, MM Landspeeder, Lascannon Dready, an assualt squad, and the Champ and a Castellan. All of this in a 1500.
I found that yes, being on foot limits your mobility, but Black Templars still cover ground very fast, especially if you are using your Crusader Seals well. Then you get to take more Brothers and Neophytes to make up for your losses and hold objectives.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the conquest of it." -Anon