BT fluff got me hooked on these guys, and I enjoy a challenge.  I know they aren't as "broken" of a codex as some others, but that's kindof what I like about it.  But, in playing a back-table codex like this, it makes it all the more important to play a tight game- and that starts with list building.  I think I could use a bit of help in that department.  This is what I'm working with currently:
Been a busy, busy weekend to be sure.  I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving weekend.  :)

In my absence, several discussions have raged full force in a limited part of the blog-o-sphere.  Namely between here, Bigdunc's blog, B&C, and YTTH.  If you haven't noticed already, Stelek introduced forums into his blog so that it would ease his email counts.  I've been quite active on them thus far, primarily in the Black Templars and Dark Eldar forums (as those are my armies of choice).

Several serious discussions have resulted from my prodding.  The first one was in reference to 10-man Warrior squads armed with a Blaster and Splinter Cannon in a Raider.  I noted that almost everyone was bashing them, but I could not understand why as the unit provides excellent duality.  This prompted a special blog post by Stelek, explaining his reasoning (albeit not very well).  I can understand why they would take this position, but I'm not sold on it.  Fortunately, none of my armies currently make use of that type of setup, so it doesn't matter a whole lot.  It was more out of curiosity sake.

There were two other main discussions.  The first started out in regards to the Righteous Zeal move, its interaction with "Go to Ground", and the new FAQ ruling.  Its caused quite a stir between Black Templars players, as well as a duel of wills:  Stelek vs Bigdunc.  Its somewhat humorous and I'm only watching, though I side with Bigdunce more than I do Stelek on their points of argument.

The last discussion was prompted solely by me and my tactics for the "Defensive" Drop Pod list.  I had been attempting to teach the Black Templars players out there how to use my list, as it occurred to me that they weren't using them optimally, nor to the army's strengths.  In that thread, Bigdunc presented some possible basic alterations to my list that I liked a bit, so I decided to put it on YTTH to garner opinions before I play-tested it. 

That is when Stelek went off the handle, calling B&C numerous derogatory names, as well as calling into question MY list building skills/tactics, even though the list was created using Bigdunc's changes.  But Stelek criticizing my tactics, I couldn't stand by.  So I proceeded to defend my tactics.  Unfortunately, Stelek neglected to read the entire B&C thread I purposefully linked in my original post, so did not get to my tactica for using the list.  Figures.  But it annoyed me that he criticized the list when it was almost exactly the same as his "Best Of" list for the Black Templars.  I even mentioned that I had built off the tactics he very basically described in that article, but he wouldn't see reason, making the assumption that because I called the list "defensive" and that it used "defensive, not offensive tactics"...that the list and my tactics were flawed. 

At that point, Thanksgiving was upon us.  Fortunately, Bigdunc had my back (Thanks sir) and continued the fight in my stead.  To make a long story short, Stelek ended up describing almost to the letter how I play the list (minus some devious manipulation tactics that I make use of).  So his whole argument was based on a flawed assumption that could have simply been corrected if he had spend the time to read a few more posts down in the B&C thread to read my tactics.  So yeah.  I win (with Bigdunc's assistance).  :D

You'll be seeing a much more refined article this next month as a result of these discussions, so I'm glad we've done this exercise.  Hopefully I can do the same for my Gunline army.  ;)
This blog has been given a new name, as to be more consistent with the alias I use in the Wargaming community (Marshal Laeroth).  "Raven" was confusing too many people and I didn't go by that name in our community anyway, so I think the change is overdue.  This change will likely only affect those with me listed on their blog reels, but there are quite a few of you out there that I know about.  I've sent messages to each of these webmasters, but just in case I missed some of you, we have this post to rectify the issue.  Please update the links/bookmarks at your earliest convenience.  It's much appreciated.

The new address for the blog is:

Thanks much!  :D
The lack of painted miniatures is starting to nag at me, so I think I'm going to make a solid attempt at rectifying this issue after December's update.  That means fully building all the models that I have currently piled up.  For the Black Templars, I have 2 Razorbacks, 1 Land Speeder, and 5 Marines (2 Lascannons, 1 Meltagun, and 2 Flamers) to build.  Nearly the entirety of my army needs paint, so I won't bother listing what needs that.  Before I paint my vehicles, I'm hoping to be able to purchase an airbrush and compressor so that my vehicles won't look like crap with brush strokes.  Once everything is built, I have a project in mind that I started once in the past but discarded after IRL started to take over.  I do have some minis that have been finished for a good while that need to be photographed and placed in the gallery, so I'll get on that soon too.

In addition, I want to finish assembling these wonderful new Dark Eldar miniatures that I have.  I've almost finished assembling the first Warrior squad (10-man Dark Lance unit), but I have another one waiting, along with their Raider transports.  Before I buy anymore DE minis, I want to get these painted up so I don't have the problem I currently have with my BT: unpainted models galore.  I'm thinking that I'm going to have to set up an official "painting day" and see if some of my friends want to join me for the festivities.  I'm still not fully decided on my paint scheme yet.  I did up a test mini to see how my scheme looked and it looks nice enough, but looks a bit cliche.  I'm looking to get away from the whole "black" thing for the Dark Eldar if I can.  With that being said, I don't want an ostentatious looking army either.  Either way, I'll get pictures of the test figure up shortly.

Last, but not least, I must apologize.  I've not been 100% through with my updates the past couple months.  With the last of my classes taking up much more of my time than anticipated, I have been forced to be slim on detail or simply not finish some of the updates.  As such, I am going to push back most of my scheduled updates for December to January, but possibly longer.  With the rest of the December, I plan on getting myself caught up on emails (AbortedSoul, you're on the list) and updates that were not finished.  Unfortunately, some of the issue is due to lack of motivation to write long articles after spending so much time writing for homework, essays, or exams.  But with the end of my classes in sight, I can start to refocus some of my attention to the unfinished and neglected sections of Implausible Nature.

If something pressing comes along that I want to talk about, I will of course, include it here on Implausible Nature.  One such article is the "Big Three" tactica discussion of my current Top 3 BT armies (Gunline, Defensive Drop Pod, Balanced Mech).  Of those three, I plan on highlighting the Defensive Drop Pod list next month and doing the others in later updates.
Its been a few days since my last real blog post.  Well, they aren't actually blog posts like internet personalities like Stelek and Kirby, more in line with updates to the site and changes to lists, etc.  I prefer to put articles in a permanent place on the website, rather than having them scroll off the page, potentially losing important articles. 

Anyway, I wanted to give everyone a quick heads up on what's been going on.  Stelek recently created a forum for YTTH, and I've been quite active there the past couple days (besides Stelek, I've contributed the most, post-wise).  Even prompted a special blog post regarding my question on why people are pooh poohing 10-man Warrior squads with Blaster/Splinter Cannon in a Raider.  I'm still not sold, but I can see the point he is making there.  Regardless, my "Venomwing" army isn't really concerned with it, as it is more of a sit back and shoot 'em type list.  On that topic, the DE Codex review is nearly finished and should be up Monday evening or Tuesday sometime.  To go with that, tactical information regarding some of those units will be expanded on. 

I've also started building my new Warrior squads (two of them) and two Raiders.  So far, while incredibly delicate, the sprues and models themselves are extremely detailed and well crafted.  I'm quite pleased with them.

For the Black Templars players out there, we've got a few topics of interest.  The first is in regards to the FAQ ruling regarding 'Go to Ground' and how 'Righteous Zeal' breaks us out of it.  There are still opponents to this, so a full-blown discussion has broken out about it.  Hopefully this topic will settle most of the issues that are presented and bring a larger set of consistency for the Black Templar community.  Either position could argue successfully against an opponent now that the FAQ ruling is out, but its more of the specific procedure of the rule we're trying to work out.  More of an internal thing so everyone is on the same page.  Bigdunc puts down his thoughts on the subject on his blog.  Most of what he says has good merit, so reading the article is worthwhile.  I might do the same here on Implausible Nature, so there is a permanent reference point available for readers to find.  But no promises.

In addition, the discussion has started regarding the Black Templars Drop Pods, and more specifically, the Defensive Drop Pod list I support here on IN.  The B&C thread containing this discussion will help unveil the "mysteries" of the army and how it works.  I'm not going to sit here and say that I'll win anyone over with my points, but at least they'll be more knowledgeable about the archetype.  That is the goal, education.  I try to provide it and let people make their own minds up.  That's all I can ask for!  This topic will be a nice warm-up to refine my "Big Three" articles I'll be putting out next month.

With that, time for bed.  I'm exhausted and its been a very long day. :(
If you haven't seen it already, I suggest you taking a look at it here.  There are a couple of important things to note from this update:

First, I was correct in my RAW interpretation of Righteous Zeal canceling 'Go to Ground'.  For me, that ruling doesn't change anything since I've already been using it.  However, I suspect many players didn't believe me when I said this was the case, so this has a significant impact on some situations during your games.  You can find some discussion regarding implications of this "ruling" in this B&C thread.

The second item is regarding this ruling:

QUOTE: "Q: If a transport vehicle is destroyed in the same turn as it
moved flat out what happens to any embarked models? (p70)
A: They are removed as casualties."

This is the correct interpretation and why: This ruling is only a clarification as to what happens if you go flat out in your turn with a transport full of guys. If you happen to smash full force into terrain and fail the terrain test, the vehicle is destroyed...with all of the passengers. If you flat out ram an opponent's vehicle and accidentally destroy your transport full of guys, they all die. If you flat out tank shock a meltagun dude and he kills the vehicle, they all die.

This does NOT include getting shot down in your opponent's turn after going flat out in your turn. There are several good reasons for this.

1) The ruling says "the same turn as it moved flat out". That means that PLAYER'S turn, not game turn. (BRB Pg 9, Top of 2nd column).

2) On BRB Pg 70 under 'Fast Transport Vehicles', it says that "Passengers may not embark onto or disembark from a fast vehicle if it has moved (or is going to move) flat out in that Movement phase." Key word(s): in THAT movement phase. Getting shot in your opponent's turn is a completely separate phase entirely.

3) If the Internet's interpretation was correct, take the following situation: If you are first and you move flat out in your turn, then your opponent shoots and kills that vehicle in his turn (2nd player turn). Its part of the same GAME turn. So by that not-right interpretation.. .the guys inside are dead. However, if you go 2nd and then move flat out in your turn and get shot in opponent's next turn (they went first), then its a separate GAME turn, invalidating the FAQ ruling.

This interpretation would penalize players for going first and completely unbalance the game. Not only that, it would significantly nerf the new Dark Eldar codex and the new Blood Angels codex.  Not something GW would likely do.

Finally, as was mentioned in post #8 of this thread, it'll be interesting how quickly GW puts out rulings for the Blood Angels and Space Wolves regarding their Las/Plas Razorbacks saying they are separate weapons.  Currently, only the vanilla Space Marines have a FAQ rulings saying this.  So until the SW/BA FAQs are updated, a weapon destroyed result kills both weapons.  :O

Remember boys and girls:  Codex trumps the rulebook in all things. Logically, you can surmise that the codex FAQs also trump the rulebook FAQs.  ;)
I finish the last of my midterms on Thursday.  Once those are done, the Dark Eldar review is going up.  Just wanted to give you all a quick heads up on that.

I'm also tweaking my DE lists a bit for better optimization.  The "Venomwing" changes are purely cosmetic and will just streamline things.  My other list is still in flux, however.  While the list has become more pleasing to me with each new change, it is still in a process of evolution.  While I believe myself to be happy with it when I'm done, I realize soon afterward that I'm not 100% yet.  Each list is surely competitive, but getting the perfect mix of units is more difficult than I had realized.  But we're getting there.  :)

Over a month with the book and I'm still not settled on a list.  I suppose that is a good thing.  Shows that I'm not settling on an old codex build and that the new codex contains numerous builds depending on your tastes.  And I'm still trying to create a list that makes use of Incubi that works.  They are good, but they unfortunately take up Elite slots, which means no Trueborn.  One of these days I'll make a breakthrough...  ;)
As a result of the question presented in my last blog post and Bigdunc's blog post regarding the topic, I believe we have an excellent opportunity to educate the public on how the Defensive Drop Pod list works.  Not only that, I will be doing in depth discussions on how to properly use the three BT armies that I use most commonly in battle.  These will be the BT Gunline, the Defensive Drop Pod army, and the Mechanized Templar list.  It does my readers no good to build these lists if they don't know how to use them.  I hope to change that with these future articles.

As a reminder, I am not the original author of the Defensive DP list.  I have never tried to claim to be so, and have stated as such in the list's entry.  It is, in fact, Stelek's list.  I just scaled it up and made some minor tweaks to fit my preferences.  However, I would be willing to bet that I'm far more experienced using the core list than he is (I've been playing it consistently ever since he released it).  Does that give me ownership of the list?  No.  But I know how to use the army and wield it expertly.  What I say usually isn't theoretical, its from experience.  When I make assumptions about something, its based on experience from either A) My local gaming scene or B) The American national gaming scene.  Most likely, I will assume that the missions for battles will be styled after Nova Open's mission pack, since they are the most balanced I've seen yet (and are spreading like wild-fire).  They certainly have replaced my gaming club's rulebook missions.

With all that being said, I'm not a know-it-all player.  I make mistakes like everyone else.  Nor do you have to use any of the information you find here on Implausible Nature.  It is here to provide you with a competitive perspective, with a goal to help you to learn to better use your Black Templars army, whether or not you use the advise given here.  If you think I'm wrong about something, let me know.  Discussion only helps those involved; provided everything remains respectful.  So let the games begin!  :D

Oh, on a side note:  I'm pre-registered for Nova Open 2011.  Once tickets are available for purchase, I'll be doing so, as well as making my travel/lodging arrangements.  I hope to see some of you there!  ;)
Q: "Marshal Laeroth, I have read the reasoning on your site regarding the competitiveness of defensive pod lists, and unless I'm missing something key, I don't see it. This list seems strong against death-star heavy lists, but weak against almost everything else. Would you be willing to explain how this list works against say, anything with bubblewrap capability."
Due to some unscrupulous individuals, my email account has become compromised and is no longer safely usable.  As such, I created a new account and I would appreciate everyone who has my previous address saved in their address books, to update their contacts.

My new email is:

I apologize for any inconvenience!