Hello everyone!  Its time to get back into the saddle with the Black Templars.

You'll have to forgive me for the lack of posts lately, as is the case with everyone, real life comes first.  First off, I'm going to finish up the Nova Open battle reports this week.  They are pretty much done, so I just have to finish them up and I'll be simply releasing them in short succession with each other.  Likely all in the same day (looking to do this on Thanksgiving), so we can get them done and out as I promised.  I also have a planned post discussing the merits of our Crusader squads, primarily drawn from the comments in this post, but also from the thoughts from the B&C Forum.

As some of you have noticed, there has been a growing trickle of rumors starting to come out regarding the Black Templars.  Up to this point, the only real solid pieces of news that I had was that Phil Kelly was the codex writer and the time slot for release was supposed to mid-summer or shortly thereafter.  Yesterday, however, I gleaned some new information from certain individuals due to my "standing in the BT community".  However, I am not allowed to disclose any of it.  I cannot even comment on how much info I got or what it references.  Which makes me sad face, because I really want to share it.  :(  Such is life.  The fact that I even got any info at all should give you an indication of where we are in the stage of things.

*Warning:  Long blog post ahead!*
_
Anyway, enough of that stuff, let's get back to the subject of this article:  Getting more mileage out of my Nova Open gunline list.  Nikephoros posted a thought intriguing article on 3++ regarding the matter of over-tuning lists and/or making knee-jerk decisions based on one's performance at a particular event.  Anyway, this article struck a chord with me, as I find myself doing this one more than one occasion.  So I sat down and thought about it a little bit:  am I doing it to my detriment?  In the end, I decided that I was, to a certain extent.

My experiences with the Nova Open terrain gave me a jaded view of what I was going to see in the future at tournaments.  It took what was successful for me in dozens of games against a wide variety of tournament-tuned lists (with very few losses) and tossed a wrench into my game plan.  It took me almost all of Day One to adapt, which is my fault, but I came back in Day Two with a vengeance.  Were the lists that much worse on Day Two?  Not at all.  The difference was I was prepared and had created a new game plan for my army, using the terrain to my advantage.  I was using a list that I was intimately familiar with, which happened to be sub-par in the environment, and did very well considering the obstacles I was faced with.  I didn't need to make list changes.

Now, were all my thoughts and musing in my Looking to the Future post pointless then?  Hardly.  They are still as valid today as they were on Oct 7th.  However, I risk moving too far into the point of no return, the land of over-optimization.  As Nikephoros puts it, I need to find the "Razor's-edge" in my list.  So when I examined my Gunline list, I saw opportunities based on what I experienced at Nova.  I already commented on them in the LthF post (linked above).  But what I didn't do was give my list credit at what it was good at:  taking out vehicles.  Even though I couldn't see anything and those that I could usually had cover, I still was able to kill vehicles very well.  So the point is, I need to take what I was good at and try to improve what it wasn't good at without bunking the archetype or losing my focus.  It does me no good to make changes to my list if I simply screw up what my list does best. 

I know that having more troops means better mobility, durability, and ability to capture objectives.  But in my list, does it fit?  What would I drop to get more of them so I can fulfill MSU?  Can I truly improve my list by adding more expensive Crusader Squads?  The short answer is no.  It would be a detrimental change.  I know that my Crusader squads need to be fixed at the very least, as their weaponry simply does not fit what I needed to use them for my games.  The BT gunline is becoming very successful around the world, and therefore, extremely popular.  Thus, the more I and others use this type of list, the quicker our opponents are at neutralizing the troops.  Our opponents aren't dumb; they'll learn too after being pounded game after game.  This means the Crusader squads are simply sitting in the Razorbacks most of the game, where they aren't using their heavy weapons.  Wasted points.

Thus, one would argue that a Rhino is a better investment of points.  It would save us ~40 points each, for a total of ~160, which could be used for other needs in the list.  But what does work with the Crusader squads is their Razorback.  A person can claim that they are an inefficient use of points and are marginal in their impact on the games, but in my experience (even at Nova), these have far outplayed vehicles such as my Predators.  Are they easy to neutralize?  Yes.  However, what they give you as far as weaponry is worth the cost.  Their twin-linked Lascannon has been invaluable to me in my games, primarily as a suppression tool (and occasionally killing things).  So is change necessary?  Why change something that isn't broken?

So how am I going to address the problem of my troops squads?  I've already decided that I cannot do MSU with this type of list, as there simply is not the points available without affecting the list's effectiveness.  I need to work with what I have and make it better.  My troops will be primarily staying in the Razorbacks as they are now, but when they get out, I want them to DO something.  I want them to be a threat to my opponent, as without that threat, they are able to concentrate on other parts of my list.  A problem with my previous list was that it didn't have melta, so high AV targets were difficult to take down, especially in Nova Open with the terrain features as they were.  So I'm thinking that a meltagun in each unit is a must.  This will give me close-ranged AT, which will allow me to have a presence in mid-field should I need to take it.

Another fault of my previous list was the lack of a close combat presence.  Will adding a power weapon give this to me?  No, not really.  But its enough to give my opponent pause.  Which will be even more of a factor if I add "Accept Any Challenge" back into the list.  I do enjoy my anti-psyker vow, as it has been remarkably effective for me, but one of my biggest flaws in my list has been the inability to mount a counter-assault.  Will the change in vow be a positive one?  Playtesting will tell.

There is another thing that I think needs to change:  my ability to kill infantry.  Its not because it was ineffective, but I simply need more of it in the list.  Once I demeched my opponents at Nova, I had no way of reliably killing groups of MEQ (or anything for that matter).  My firepower capabilities remain strong with my Terminators, Razorbacks, and Land Speeders.  But what I really need is an "Oomph" unit.  Something that scares my opponent.  Something that makes them fear getting close, but will also be able to move forward to clear out objectives if needed.  That unit just might be the Power of the Machine Spirit Vindicators.  A scary unit in its own right, adding PotMS only makes it more effective.  They eat tons of fire, which will lessen the pressure on the rest of my list, but are durable enough to take it.  Unfortunately, I can only afford two, but it should give me the redundancy I need to be effective.  I can also use them defensively, which fits with my list well.  If my playtesting shows that AAC is unnecessary, then "Abhor the Witch" will synergize well with this unit.

The list features relatively minor changes to the core of the list, which is important.  As Nikephoros noted, we need to create a tuned list, but balance that by not going too far in that direction by hurting what is effective in the list.  Anyway, here is the updated Gunline list.


HQ:
* Emperor's Champion w/ Black Sword, Bolt Pistol, Armor of Faith, and the Vow: "Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds." [140]

Elites:
* Sword Brethren Terminators: 5 Terminators w/ 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, 5 Storm Bolters, 4 Power Fists, 1 Chain Fist, and Tank-Hunters. [270]
* Sword Brethren Terminators: 5 Terminators w/ 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, 5 Storm Bolters, 4 Power Fists, 1 Chain Fist, and Tank-Hunters. [270]

Troops:
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun & 1 Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons. [190]
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun & 1 Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon; 1 Neophyte w/ 1 Bolt Pistol and Close Combat Weapon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons. [200]
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun & 1 Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon; 1 Neophyte w/ 1 Bolt Pistol and Close Combat Weapon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons. [200]
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun & 1 Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon; 1 Neophyte w/ 1 Bolt Pistol and Close Combat Weapon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons. [200]

Fast Attack:
* Land Speeder Squadron: 1 Land Speeder w/ 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Typhoon Missile Launcher. [70]
* Land Speeder Squadron: 1 Land Speeder w/ 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Typhoon Missile Launcher. [70]
* Land Speeder Squadron: 1 Land Speeder w/ 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Typhoon Missile Launcher. [70]

Heavy Support:
* Vindicator w/ Demolisher Cannon, Storm Bolter, Power of the Machine Spirit, and Extra Armor. [160]
* Vindicator w/ Demolisher Cannon, Storm Bolter, Power of the Machine Spirit, and Extra Armor. [160]

Total Points: [2000]

 


Comments

11/21/2011 12:33am

I like that version a lot better, it isn't a CC list, but it has that bit of push in it that can make the difference in the end, even if you have to send two squads in to get it. Even if outclassed, you still will score 50% more hits per unit which bumps everything up.

Your THDC squads will actually look real good if you need them for CC now, especially in objective games where you can sacrifice the KP to block, clear or contest an objective with them.

BTW, Lazorbacks are only 90 points. XA, Smoke & Searchlights would be 9 more for 99, but you don't list them.

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11/21/2011 1:38am

Disregard the points comment, I missed the power weapons.

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11/21/2011 1:50am

I thought you might like the addition of AAC. However, I won't lie to you and say it's for sure staying in the list. Its looking that way, but if I find I need the Psychic Defense...

My biggest complaint about my list at Nova was the fact that my troops simply didn't do what I had intended them to do. It really bugged me and there were more than a couple times where I wished I had a PW/Meltagun on them. So now I do. :)

As for the addition of the Extra Armor and Smokes, I'd have done so if there were extra points. But I don't have them. I do have 10 points extra (the two chainfists), but not enough to get every Razorback smokes.

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11/22/2011 12:22am

Well, running my own Speeders and dealing with other people's vehicles I'm not so impressed with the need for smoke across the board. True, it is easier with double Speeder squadrons to get a 4+ obscuring save since you only have to obscure one to get it for both. Yes, it does wonderful things to have that 4+, but from my start with Sisters, sometimes you just have to accept the fact that you are going to take a hit and move past it.

As for psychic defense, they pretty much boil down into three categories:
1. Buffs which totally ignore psychic defenses.
2. Shooting attacks that still have to go through a 3+ armor save (and the extra 5+ does give a nice 11% better chance to avoid them).
3. "Special" shooting attacks that require some other save vs the relatively high stats of a standard SM.

I don't see much that I'm too worried about usually and since my opponent paid the price for it like I did my Cyclones, it works for me. Of course, Abhor the Witch does have that immediate movement bonus that can be real useful most of the time.

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Wareagle
11/23/2011 4:23pm

Hi , I am following your blog for quite some time now. I am from Germany and we usually play around 1750 - 1850 pts. but still many of the hints you give on your site do apply to these sizes as well. Now, the list you published here is very similar to one of the 3 lists I use. However, I find that BA and even Vanilla Marines get away better with gunlines - in particular with Razorback based gunlines. I play also BA und use such a list with 2 LasPlas 2 AC RB - still find enough points for other nasty things. Plus - the BA tanks and troops are fully equipped for less of the cost.

BT differentiate themselves from other Marines by :
Vows, of which AAC is by far the best imho, cheap termi cyclones, Tankhunter ability, cheap and more predictable DP, very cheap LS Typhoons.

But what I missed in BT Gunline lists, and I play alot against DE, BA, GK, is some surprise . They are as predictable as typical Razorspam BA / SM Lists.

I do love Templars for their different way of fighting - and yes pouring torrents of fire on the opponent as long as possible and then advance with blades drawn blank to wipe out the rest is the way to fight for them -

However I do also believe, they need to make use of their Drop Pods - the DP keeps precious Crusaders in Reserve, untouchable for the opponents torrent of fire. They also add a layer of surprise ( given also for the BT player sometimes ;-) ) and makes your game less predictable for the opponent by providing a lot of options.

The DP teams have various tasks - from claiming / contesting objectives ( Crusaders squads ) to destroyer missions ( Termis ) and support tasks.

Troops coming from reserve cannot be taken out by fire in the first 2 rounds.
Here in Germany people often play that way - taking out pointing troops first, then dealing with the rest later. So they crippeling your chances to contest / take any objectives first - so that you can usually hardly whin the game.

So I run a list with 3 DP :
DP 1 Termis w. 1 Cycl, 1 AC, 1 CF,2 SB&PF - all Tankhunter

DP2 Crusader Squad , 6 Ini BP & CCW , 1 Ini w. Bolter, 1 Ini w. MG, 1 Ini w. BP and PF - the CoE goes in here.

DP 3 Crusader Squad similar to DP2 without a charachter unit.

The rest of the list contains the CoE, AAC vow, 1 Termi Squad w. 2 Cyclones, CF and Tankhunters, 2 Typhoon Landspeeders, 2 Attack Bikes w. MM, 2 Destructor Preds with AC and 2 Lascan - all @ 1850 pts ( 1846 precisely ).

I think crusader squads can only make efficient use of the AAC vow when they have some decent size , say 9 or 10 of them will do. 2 Squads of them being able to contest / claim any objective in Rd. 2 - 4 does help a lot, I think.

The Termi-squad in the DP geared with AC and Cyclone + CF and TH can wreck havoc when dropped behind the enemies lines - no matter wether you are facing tanks or some infantery.
The CF can take care of monstreous creatures in CC - so kind of a multi-tool.

I thought of SB as an alternative, but find the termis in this particular role better - they can dish out quite some CC punch while providing also a firebase toi be reckoned with by almost any opponent.
And, if I am not mistaken, BT are the only SM who can have Termisquads in DP..

I am interested to hear about your opinion on such a list...

On a sidenote :
What I would love to have with the BT is the BA Stromraven - it would perfectly fit to the BT way of fighting. I run two in a special BA list and I love them...played right I would rate them higher than a LR because they offer more flexible tactics..for fast moving armies.

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Wareagle
11/23/2011 5:06pm

Oohhps forgot to mention in my list 1 additional Crusader squad with 3 Ini w. BP and CCW, 1 Plasmagun, 1 MM, 1 Bolter - all in Razorback w. TLL

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11/29/2011 1:41pm

If the Vindicators don't end up working, I'll edit the list slightly to this version. I'll still have the ability to kill infantry, but won't suffer from one-gun syndrome. The downfall is that this list has fewer "threats", so the other parts of the list will find themselves targeted much more frequently. Still, AI is a problem point for the Nova Open list, so this would help those matters a bit.


HQ:
* Emperor's Champion w/ Black Sword, Bolt Pistol, Armor of Faith, and the Vow: "Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds." [140]

Elites:
* Sword Brethren Terminators: 5 Terminators w/ 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, 5 Storm Bolters, 5 Power Fists, and Tank-Hunters. [265]
* Sword Brethren Terminators: 5 Terminators w/ 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, 5 Storm Bolters, 5 Power Fists, and Tank-Hunters. [265]

Troops:
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun & 1 Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons. [190]
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun & 1 Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon; 1 Neophyte w/ 1 Bolt Pistol and Close Combat Weapon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons. [200]
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun & 1 Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon; 1 Neophyte w/ 1 Bolt Pistol and Close Combat Weapon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons. [200]
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun & 1 Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon; 1 Neophyte w/ 1 Bolt Pistol and Close Combat Weapon. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons. [200]

Fast Attack:
* Land Speeder Squadron: 1 Land Speeder w/ 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Typhoon Missile Launcher. [70]
* Land Speeder Squadron: 1 Land Speeder w/ 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Typhoon Missile Launcher. [70]
* Land Speeder Squadron: 1 Land Speeder w/ 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Typhoon Missile Launcher. [70]

Heavy Support:
* Predators w/ Autocannon and Heavy Bolter sponsons. [110]
* Predators w/ Autocannon and Heavy Bolter sponsons. [110]
* Predators w/ Autocannon and Heavy Bolter sponsons. [110]

Total Points: [2000]

Reply
DarkmereBT
12/06/2011 5:22pm

Love the list and the changes from the previous one, I'm just wondering how you would effectively scale that down to 1000 points? I don't have enough models or money yet to quickly build a 2000 point army, so for now 1000 is my max. What units would you drop/scale down to keep the duality of that list and still keep it stable?

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12/31/2011 1:42am

Sorry I didn't see this before, but this is how I would tone the list down. I do have to note that you simply cannot fit the PotMS Vindicators into this list...unless you're willing to go without the PotMS, but I don't think its worth picking them up without it.


HQ:
* Emperor's Champion w/ Black Sword, Bolt Pistol, Armor of Faith, and the Vow: "Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds." [140]

Elites:
* Sword Brethren Terminators: 5 Terminators w/ 2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, 5 Storm Bolters, 4 Power Fists, 1 Chainfist, and Tank-Hunters. [270]

Troops:
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun, 1 Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon & Frag Grenades. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons, Smoke Launchers, and Searchlight. [199]
* Crusader Squad: 5 Initiates w/ 3 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun, 1 Bolt Pistol and Power Weapon & Frag Grenades; 1 Neophyte w/ 1 Bolt Pistol and Close Combat Weapon & Frag Grenades. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons, Smoke Launchers, and Searchlight. [210]

Fast Attack:
* Land Speeder Squadron: 1 Land Speeder w/ 1 Heavy Bolter and 1 Typhoon Missile Launcher. [70]

Heavy Support:
* Predators w/ Autocannon, Heavy Bolter sponsons, and Searchlights. [111]

Total Points: [1000]

This will give you a reasonable amount of firepower, as well as some ability to deal damage to infantry. :)

Reply
RCrusader
01/05/2012 8:54pm

Hi, I just joined Black Templar lately, and so far have a total little above 1000 strong army. It did give me a lot of nice ideas as reading your thoughtful posts.
Back to the discussion, I still think taking razorbacks is way too expensive compaired to our fellow chapters. Our naked razorbacks cost almost close to the other upgraded one. So if you wana level up melee or anti-assault abilities, why not take our best assault terminators instead? With 200 points of assault terminators(optimal output as I measured would be 4 LH/SS and 1 LC/LC). In my mind, if we are that short of transports, then we don't need any of them. Make our troop more foot oriented, and let our enemies come forward and use assault terminaters to take them out.
That's my two cents into the jars. Thanks a lot.

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