A couple years ago, the Black Templars got a jolt in the arm with a new FAQ from Games Workshop.  Since that day, Terminators and Typhoons have graced nearly every BT army list.  And that isn't a bad thing...they are just so good that it is pretty stupid not to take them unless you're not looking for competitive play.  We've seen our lists shift very visibly from close combat, towards gun-toting zealots.  One can argue whether or not this is the "fluffy" way to play, but let's face it, shooting your opponent often is more effective with our codex (with some rare exceptions).  Thus, my lists often feature strong fire support as the core of my army.

With both a new Warhammer 40k edition on its way, as well as a new codex, the BT player-base doesn't know what is in store for them.  Which is sad, but what has been done, cannot be undone.  With the Grand Tournament season starting up, Black Templars players likely only have a few more months to play with their current armies.  But that isn't such a bad thing.  It allows us to play a few builds that we'd not normally try, to produce a little bit of fun for ourselves.
So, as you know, the Emperor's Champion has a piece of wargear called the "Black Sword".  Well, that presents some issues to a painter when you consider the model we're working with.  Namely, I want to keep the sword black, but I also want the detailing of the sword to stand out.  This means the engraving on the sword.  However, I'm at a loss at how to accomplish painting it and is the main reason I've held off painting him for so long.

I'm considering a couple things to get this done.  The first one is simply painting the engraving on the sword with a lighter color (I'm thinking gray) then paint black carefully around it to clean the sword back up.  Another option I've considered is simply painting the sword in a gray, then giving it a black wash a couple times.  Depending on how thickly I apply the wash, this will give the sword natural definition, shading, and highlights...but it will be difficult to pull off I think.  Not only that, I'm not sure if it'd look right with the rest of the model.

Thus, I welcome any advice or alternate methods to painting this.  As I said, I want to keep the sword black but I want to be able to read the script engraved on the sword if possible.  Any assistance would be most appreciated.  :)
As promised, here are more updates on my progress.  Unfortunately, I'm not the speediest of painters as I can only sit down and paint for a few hours at a time.  If I go beyond that, my concentration starts to waiver and eyes/neck starts to get sore.  Not to mention, I prefer to paint where I have good lighting.  So that typically means during the day, as my current painting area isn't set up with three lamps like I used to have.  Because I work 7-4pm Monday through Friday, my painting time is slim at best.  But nevertheless, I'm still going at it!  :D

My Razorbacks need only minimal work at best, so they aren't really a concern.  The Terminators are done decently enough to pass for an average tabletop standard, but I want them cleaned up and finished.  Even the Typhoon's will only take minor work to get them up to snuff.  Its primarily the unpainted Initiates that will be the problem.  As well as the Vindicators.  I'm not sure what it is, but the Space Marine models take forever and a day to paint.  It'd be so much quicker if it wasn't black armor.  lol!  Needless to say, I need to start moving though.  Time is a wastin' if I want to put a reasonably painted army on the board.  Anyway, let's get to it!
As the title suggests, its time to put in my suggestions for beating Necrons into the BT 101 guide.  However, because this is a community, I'd like to hear your comments as well before I put something solid down.  With that being said, I do have some thoughts on the the Necrons and therefore, how to beat them.
  • First of all, their sweet spot is definitely 24" or closer.  That is when most of their weaponry is most effective, so staying out of range of that is important.
  • While their Reanimation Protocols are improved, they cannot stand up to focused firepower.  Many of the Necron's armor saves were nerfed, so "killing" them is easier to do.  Shoot them and shoot them some more.  :)
  • To help ease that problem, Necrons feature several units with the ability to grant Nightfighting to the battle.  Solar Pulse wargear and Imotekh the Stormlord are main methods.  So if you're able to get a couple of Searchlights off, then this advantage will cease to exist.  However, its important to weigh the pros/cons of using a Searchlight to the situation at hand.  Sometimes using Nightfighting to your own advantage is beneficial.
  • They still suffer from initiative 2 on the majority of their units.  If you can manage to get into assault with them, even with a 5-man squad, you'll likely take them down in a Sweeping Advance.  However, the downfall with that is you're likely going take heavy incoming fire the next turn.  To couple with this, very few of their units are worth their salt in close combat, so you'll have little difficulty winning combats.
  • All of the Necron's vehicles are relatively fragile.  Sure they have Quantum Shielding, but if you can simply put a single Penetrating Hit on them, the shielding goes down permanently.  Then AV11 (usually open-topped) is what you're working against.  Taking high strength weaponry like Lascannons and Tank-hunter CMLs will work wonders here.
  • The Necron's are also extremely slow.  They have some transport capability, but taking significant numbers aren't really cost effective.  So they will likely be footslogging around the board, making them vulnerable against highly mechanized forces who can redeploy rapidly.  Which leads me into my next point...
  • Necrons seem to have a slight problem busting open armor.  At least in the shooting phase.  The only unit that really has that ability is either Crypteks with the Eldritch Lance (36" Str 8 AP2) or the Triarch Stalker.  Necrons can open armor in the close combat phase, however, with Canoptek Scarabs and with Warscythes (especially Command Barge sweeping attacks).  Beyond that, there isn't much that can hurt you there.  So if you're able to neutralize those units, your mechanized forces will be able to influence the battle dramatically.
The Necrons do have a few nasty vehicles to watch out for.  Namely the Doom Scythe and its uber-dangerous Death Ray weapon.  Fortunately, it has an extremely limited range (12") and is mounted on a fragile vehicle without Quantum Shielding.  If you can take it down early on, that removes a whopping 175 points from your opponent.  Watch out for Scarabs and if you're able to, shoot them down by the dozen.  Torrent of fire is your friend here.  If they get to your lines, you're going to be pulled down quickly.  The same with your vehicles.

Stay mobile to stay out of range and focus your fire on the most dangerous pieces of your opponent's list.  Usually this will be Command Barges, any Heavy Support vehicles, and small sized CC units.  Just keep firing and jump into close combat when the time is right to bust some robots up.  Use bubblewrap if you have to, but make sure to stall the giant line of Scarabs for as long as possible.

Anything else I should add to that?  Something I'm missing?  Disagree with what I said?  Let's hear it.  :D

As was noted a couple posts ago, I was going to start posting up emails to start getting collective assistance from the BT community.  At least from those willing to help out.  Hopefully this will help ease my load of emails and give those emailing me a broader opinion.  With that being said, keep all of your comments respectful and on topic.
Heya everyone.  While the painting is progressing as well as can be (updates soon) on my Black Templars, I thought I'd share another list with you guys.  Since I've done competitive lists to death and we've pretty much refined each list as much as we can, I'm going to do something different this time.

I've done something similar before, but this time, I'm going another route.  I often get requests to build people "Black Tide" lists, but its a difficult prospect because they always want to make them competitive as well.  Unfortunately, that isn't really possible because the infantry is slow and exposed to incoming fire.  Not to mention, its exceedingly easy to block the advance of a large block of infantry with sacrificial units if you need to.  So what am I going to do?  Let's take a look shall we?  :D
Hello everyone!  As promised, I told everyone that I'd give regular updates on my painting progress.  This is as much for me, as it is for you.  It'll keep me motivated to finish my army, as well as getting better as a painter.  By putting my models up for everyone to see, I open myself up to critics and "embarrassment".  That way, I'm always pushing myself.  The stuff done here was done a few nights ago, but I was too tired to get everything uploaded.  So here it is.  :)