Email:  Hi Bob!

It's been awhile and I read your post about missed emails so decided to give it another shot. Originally I asked for some advice for a list that would contain Helbrecht and Sword Brethren (non terminators). Since then I've decided to follow your list building excercises to create my own list.

However, as there is very little information about Helbrecht and advised tactics on the web (and you never see him in competitive play), I thought it would be cool and interesting to see what we can do with him in a 2k list. So hereby I challenge you to create a competitive 2k CC list containing Helbrecht. Im sure you can pull it off, and by doing so will make Implausible Nature stand out even more in the BT community then it already is because in the rest of the community I find Helbrecht pretty under appreciated.

I also would like to thank you for the wealth of information on your blog and website. As a new player for W40K and Black Templars, it really helped me start off on the right foot.

Thanks

Reply:  Helbrecht is an interesting Special Character, who has only been getting more popular with the release of the Necron codex.  He is the ideal for what we want out of our Black Templars.  What he isn't, however, is an efficient HQ in a competitive list.  So your request certainly is going to put me to the test, but I've never been one to turn down a challenge before!  Hopefully, I'm up for it.  Haha.  Let's take a look at him to start off with.
  • To start off, we really need to discuss his cost.  At 175 points, he's clocking in a far more points than we would normally spend on ANY of our HQ units.  He does come with quite a bit of equipment, which comes at a discount had you did the same with a normal Marshal, but quite a few of those upgrades don't add much to his role on the battlefield.  His cost is the main driving factor in why he's not taken in most lists, as we're already pretty limited by points.
  • Time to elaborate more on his equipment.  He has a Combi-melta, which is actually useful.  Mech is king, and if you cannot get to your opponents in their transports, you'll lose.  His bionics are unnecessary, as most things doing wounds to him will be using power weapons or rending attacks.  Crusader Seals come on every Black Templars IC, so they don't count.  Frag and Krak grenades are nice to not have to pay out for.  The rest:  Artificer Armor, Terminator Honors, and Iron Halo are also unnecessary.  Perhaps in the past they would have meant more to us, when CC was "good".  Last item he is carrying is the Sword of the High Marshals, which is a master-crafted power weapon with an extra D3 attacks in the first round of combat.  Decent, but not something we'd take him for.
  • Special Rules:  He's got Rites of Battle, which is normally the only reason you'd take a Commander (minus some extra CC oomph).  There is also his "special" command squad, which has the ability to take Neophytes and a Fighting Company Banner.  You also are forced to take Furious Charge for everyone, including any Neophytes, making the unit ultra-expensive.  Because of this, I would avoid his command squad unless playing Apocalypse.  And that is it.  Nothing else.  Not even Eternal Warrior, which would help prevent him from getting insta-squashed.  :(
  • His stat-line is pretty standard for 4th Edition special characters.  The "best" commander's stats, but with one more wound and attack.  If I recall correctly, that is what all of the special chapter masters had back then too (i.e. Grimnar, Calgar, Dante, etc).  So that isn't anything to fuss over either.  The extra wound is okay, I suppose...but it won't help him out all that much due to a lack of Eternal Warrior and a poor invulnerable save.  Its more useful if he's hiding in a squad, where they can eat those wounds for him.
Anyway, let's move on, shall we?  What does all of this tell us?  He's good for a couple things.  First, giving us Rites of Battle which is important for our more shooting-oriented lists.  Even if you don't roll that way, having extra leadership is never a bad thing.  He's also decent in close combat, due to the Sword of High Marshals.  Just make sure to kill whatever you charge, as his efficiency drops sharply in any lingering combats.  Nevertheless, he's slightly worse than the standard Marshal with a Lightning Claw and Storm Shield on the charge (3.111 vs 3.333 against MEQ respectively).  But remember, we don't do CC-oriented lists well anymore, so his options are limited on that front.

But what else is he good for?  You could create a deathstar unit with him, if you wanted.  But honestly, I'd not advise that.  He's already expensive and adding more to it only hurts the support elements of your list.  So he doesn't kill as much as a LC/SS Marshal does, nor does he have the durability that the SS provides.  But he does have the utility of the Combi-melta, something the LC/SS Marshal cannot assist with.  Just by having an emergency melta shot available, combined with the squad's meltagun, you significantly improve your chances to destroy a transport and be able to charge the juicy insides.  Besides that, he doesn't have a whole lot of upside.

Let's see what we can do about using him in a list now.  I prefer to start with my core of BT units.  While players may argue about what that core is, its pretty hard to deny the strength of 2x DCML Terminator squads and 3x Typhoons.  They provide excellent long range firepower, so we'll start with them.  We also have our Emperor's Champion, which we'll give AAC, just because that is the most expensive vow.  Nothing is forcing us to take that one, but its likely we'll keep it anyway.

Here is where you need to make some decisions on the route you're going to go with your list.  Will you continue the gunline route and compliment Las/Plas units with Rites of Battle?  You could also go more of a hybrid route and attach Helbrecht to a small-ish CC squad in a Rhino to bolster their effectiveness.  Its not a bad idea, as it'll give you a mobile dual-melta bunker with some CC punch.  You really could go a number of ways with your troops, but I'd stay away from the large CC Crusader squads.  Its just not worth it.

In the list I designed, I opted to continue following the thinking behind my Hybrid v3.2 list and took 4x 5-man CC units in Lascannon Razorbacks.  They'll be able to provide mobile firepower, as well as give me some CC counter-attack power if needed.  Now, the only thing that would remain from my other list is the Vindicators.  We won't be adding them.

That makes us a little thin on AI killing power and a lack of a clear threat.  But I might have something that compliments Helbrecht quite well:  a Sword Brethren squad in a Drop Pod.  Give them a meltagun and a pair of Lightning Claws, and you're set.  The squad will be taking counter-attack, and will also have a Veteran with a BP/SS for some squad durability. 

Now why would I take such a squad?  Let's review:  Helbrecht has a reasonable kill potential against MEQ in CC due to the SotHM.  He's also got Rites of Battle and a Combi-melta.  What does this Sword Brethren squad lack?  A second melta.  But wait, Helbrecht has one.  Check.  Efficient CC-deadliness due to needing a melta and lack of numbers.  Well, Helbrecht helps that.  He also helps them pass their Counter-Attack test, as he's giving them leadership 10.  Not that anyone would be very smart to charge them, unless wielding lots of SS.

So this DP squad sits in reserve, waiting for the chance to come down.  This gives your opponent pause, as you could potentially drop in their backfield or deny a critical objective from them.  Meanwhile, the rest of your forces keep your opponent busy.  It is a risk, as you don't have those nice Vindicators for vehicle saturation, but you should be durable enough to keep pressure on your opponent until the big guy comes down.  You can drop and take out a vehicle/transport, then go for a charge the next turn.  You can deny objectives for your opponent.  You can kill off enemy long range shooting.  These are things that a Vindicator has a more difficult time accomplishing, especially if facing a highly mechanized opponent.  He's his own little threat bubble.

Here is the list in full.


HQ:
* High Marshal Helbrecht.  [175]

* 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]
* Sword Brethren: 4 Initiates w/ 2 Bolt Pistols and Close Combat Weapons, 1 Meltagun & 1 Pair of Lightning Claws; 1 Veteran w/ 1 Bolt Pistol, 1 Storm Shield, and Terminator Honors.  All with Frag Grenades and Counter-Attack.  Mounted in a Drop Pod.  [185]

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. 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. 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. Mounted in a Razorback w/ Twin-Linked Lascannons. [190]

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]

Total Points:
[2000]


There are other routes we could go, such as a full drop pod army...but that isn't something most people are willing to put out the cash for, so I didn't make a list for that.  There is also the gunline list, but I felt that you'd be wasting one of Helbrecht's few saving graces then...his Combi-melta.  Anyway, feel free to comment and we can discuss him a little more if you'd like.  ;)
 


Comments

Nathan
05/14/2012 6:06pm

So I happen to own 6 drop pods and a bunch of templars...What would an effective all drop pod list look like?

Reply
05/21/2012 6:08pm

Check my website. ;) I only use five pods, but I could do six if I wanted to.

Reply
05/15/2012 4:59am

Marshal Laeroth sorted me out with this one, increase the squads to allow for a few less pods. As a fluffy player I have to say this looks the business on the table, and is a real head turner. Mine isn't fully painted up yet (not by a long shot), so pics but here's the list courtesy of the great man himself. And no I still haven't won a game ;p

HQ:
Castellan w/ combi-melta, melta bombs and holy orb of Antioch
1 Apothecary w/ bolter and narthecium
1 Command squad sergeant w/ bolter.
3 Command squad initiates w/ 2 meltaguns and 1 bolter
Mounted in a drop pod

Emperor's Champion
w/ black sword, bolt pistol, armor of faith, frag grenades,
and the vow; "Abhor the witch, destroy the witch"

Elites:
Dreadnought w/ multi-melta, heavy flamer, and extra armor
Dreadnought w/ multi-melta, heavy flamer, and extra armor
Dreadnought w/ assault cannon, heavy flamer, and extra armor
All mounted in Lucius pattern drop pods.

Troops:
Crusader squad: 5 initiates w/ 4 bolters & 1 meltagun
Crusader squad: 5 initiates w/ 4 bolters & 1 meltagun
Crusader squad: 5 initiates w/ 4 bolters & 1 meltagun
Crusader squad: 5 initiates w/ 4 bolters & 1 meltagun
Crusader squad: 5 initiates w/ 4 bolters & 1 meltagun
Crusader squad: 5 initiates w/ 4 bolters & 1 meltagun
All mounted in drop pods.

Fast Attack:
1 Land speeder typhoon w/ heavy bolter and typhoon missile launchers
1 Land speeder typhoon w/ heavy bolter and typhoon missile launchers
1 Land speeder typhoon w/ heavy bolter and typhoon missile launchers

Reply
Lucion
05/15/2012 5:22pm

Lol Carcharadon that list looks very annoying

Just been playing Diablo 3, the launch is massive. Laeroth I think your right about there being a serious future for GW online cuz like the servers were SO full no one could get in :D

Reply
Lucion
05/15/2012 5:31pm

The barbarian character is very templarish - Leaps into battle increasing his armour, on taking damage he activates revenge which is like mass damage all around him, calls forth a threatening shout to reduce damage, goes into a frenzied state of faster and faster attacks and finally calls down the hammer of the ancients!

Reply
Nathan
05/15/2012 11:45pm

Lucius pattern pods are Forge World. I was hoping to get a list I can build out of the book.

Reply
05/17/2012 4:44am

You can use Lucius pattern pods in regular games, I made sure these were allowed before I played in last years Throne of Skulls. You can't use the assault rule though (pity). Personally, I wouldn't buy the FW pods again, they are very old sculpts, the hinge for the door actually looks like a feed on the resin and is unbelievably weak, 70% of mine were broken during the build, and I'm at worst a competent model builder.

The day these get remade in plastic, now that's a different story!

Good luck with the pod army, looks like no new codex on the horizon for a while yet, so you'll get the benefit of reserving for a turn

Reply



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