Hey guys, as many of you have seen from our many Facebook, reddit, and Bolter & Chainsword posts...Acebaur and I have started a YouTube channel! We've discovered that there really isn't a lot out there in terms of competitive strategy for us in the video medium; in fact a lot of content creators either ignore us completely or just brush us off giving misinformation because we aren't the flavor of the month. Hopefully we will help to put BT back into the spotlight and help the influx of new players we've been seeing! To start, we're going to be looking at doing detailed analysis of tactics, rules discussion and strategy, army building, and eventually the more hobby related things like painting, building, and conversion. All exclusively for the Black Templars. Once we are free of Covid-19 and tournaments are actually accepting some players (looks to be Spring 2021), we'll try to get some tournament battle reports. Its going to be a fantastic ride. We hope you join our little crusade! We hope you guys enjoy and subscribe so you get notified when we drop videos. Look for the next one soon where we go over the F&F stuff and talk about datasheets and rules and the implications for 9th!
Hello all! As you probably saw, Implausible Nature was kind of in a holding pattern when the news of 9th Edition hit. I probably should have made a post about that, but I was answering all of your emails at a furious rate so I figured I got to most of you. Haha. Anyway, 9th Edition is officially released and its time to start list building! We are going to take a look at one of the 9th Edition lists that I've finished. :)
Hello everyone! I hope that everyone is staying safe. With everyone locked down, I was hoping that a new article series would be beneficial to some of the readers out there. Over the past couple of months, I've gotten to have quite a few conversations with a gentleman many of you may know: Acebaur, one of the Black Templars moderators from the Bolter and Chainsword forum. Over the course of these conversations, I've gotten to know him a bit better as a player and based on his questions, comments, and list-building, I asked him if he would be willing to be the subject of this experimental series. As Acebaur is not an all-in competitive and tournament player, I thought it would be a great way for casual/competitive players to learn from his experiences and the questions he has been bringing to me. Not everyone has the ability to travel around their respective countries, or internationally for that matter, to get in ultra-competitive games. I would be willing to bet that most of us stick to a group of common friends and play with those people predominantly. However, with that being the case...no one wants to consistently lose. That is where I feel Acebaur sits. He has a competitive mind, but has some self-imposed restrictions on how to assemble his Black Templars army. This prevents his lists from becoming as competitive as they can possibly be and that is okay! This series is going to look into his army's evolution and learning to become the best player he can be. We are going to start with an interview with Acebaur so that everyone can get a better understanding of who he is and what he is all about.
Good afternoon everyone! Over the course of the past few weeks, I've gotten a lot of emails asking to do some analysis on my lists: how I use them and why I chose those units. So I am going to start with the list that has gone through a ton of iterations since Faith and Fury, to a point where I think its pretty optimized. The meta has shifted, especially after the FAQ to nerf Iron Hands (and lesser so Raven Guard), so we've needed to adjust our lists slightly to compensate. Let's take a look at my current version of my PA2 Sword Brethren list.
I was wondering if you would consider doing a listbuilding article or just tips using only classic/mini Marines as a constraint.
Seeing as the official Templar range is classic, and many Templar players are mini marine nostalgics from the codex days.
(also personal OCD with mixing models of different scales)
You are also the only publication that focuses on the boys in black, it would be grand.
Hello all! Good to see you! With the holidays and some big ITC tournaments over, we're getting back into the saddle for the the 2020 tournament season! I have several articles pending, including an email response regarding classic marine list building and several tactica articles on using some of my posted lists. I am also going to start working on updating the BT 101 guide, now that we've gotten the PA2 book and the follow-up FAQ for it. However, for today, I wanted to do something a little bit more fun. I want to show you a list that I've been playing around with for a couple weeks now and am hoping that I can get some heavy use out of it while I am painting up my current ITC list.
Hello everyone. By now, everyone has had some time to play around with list building and digesting what PA2 has given us. The book has given us a good amount of stuff to play around with, but it changes how we do things now. We've got the benefit of having a very strong codex in the base Space Marines book, but a lot of what that codex does well is in the shooting phase. So what we need to do is adapt the SM book to what our chapter does well: getting into combat quickly and efficiently, then doing enough damage to take out your opponent. Let's take a look at some of the things we can do.
Black Templar Warlord Traits and Relic:
Our Warlord Traits: We have 7 chapter specific warlord traits, mostly all usable. The big ones are Master Swordsman (From Vigilus), Epitome of Piety, Master of Arms, and Frontline Commander.
Master Swordsman: Swordsman is +1 Attack and unmodified sixes to hit give another automatic hit. This trait is key to most of our smash Marshal builds. Is essentially a must take for our Templars. It’s only “downside” is being forced to spend 1CP (for specialist detachment) to unlock it.
Paragon of Piety: Piety gives an additional deny and the warlord adds +1 to any deny test they take. Grimaldus required trait, it’s another solid trait. It’s a question of being situational enough if it’s worthwhile or not. And almost always cost you 1CP in some form or another (either directly or via using field commander to use Master Swordsman).
Master of Arms: It’s an always fight first trait. In combination with fight first litany you can have 2 or even 3 units fight first every combat round. Making this an overall solid if situational build trait.
Frontline Commander: Helbrecht required trait, it is add +1 to any advance rolls and charge rolls for Black Templar Units in 6”. In combination with with advance and charge (and lesser extent canticle of hate) is another very noteworthy trait.
(Marshal Laeroth -- Master Swordsman is super, super good. You get another attack and you generate additional hits on 6's. Combine it with Teeth of Terra and you have a wrecking ball of a character. Paragon of Piety gives us yet another deny, which is deceivingly good. We already are good against psykers, but this helps push us over the top if chosen. Frontline Commander is another almost must take trait for us. Getting that additional +1 advance/charge rolls is super important for our units. It lets us concentrate on litanies that up our offensive prowess. Finally, Master of Arms is a whole load of junk in comparison to the other traits. We'll be charging when it matters.)
Vanilla Codex Traits:
The most relevant regular marine and Phobos traits, are Imperium Sword, Champion of Humanity, Rites of War, and Master of Vangaurd.
Imperium's Sword is if you charge or heroically intervene, you get +1 attack/strength and get reroll charges. The relevancy comes from the additional attack.
Champion of Humanity grants +1 attack if within 1" of an enemy character, and when striking a character add 1 to wound and hit roll. The relevant aspect here is once again the situational +1 attack. But the +1 to and wound is nice given either offer Thunder Hammer -1 to hit or our relic weapons strength 5.
Rites of War grants Objective Secured to the warlord and 6” battle shock immunity. Given the value of our tide squads that goes without saying.
Master of Vangaurd is frontline commander but only affects Phobos units but always grants additional movement. For those playing Phobos heavy builds it’s a trait worth considering.
(Marshal Laeroth -- This trait is close in usefulness to "Master Swordsmen", with the caviat that Imperium does not work unless you charge/HI. However, on a smash captain, you can reach strength 10 on your attacks...reaching the promised land of wounding most things on 2's. Definitely useful there. But if you want a more well rounded trait that works anytime, "Swordsmen" is where its at. But its a nice 2nd trait to have.
Champion of Humanity is useful if you are looking to stack it onto the Emperor's Champion, but not much else. Rites of War is definitely a good spot, but in an offensive list, there are better places to look.)
The Templar Relics;
We have gotten several good relics the most notable three for me personally are Crusaders Helm, Sword of Judgement, and Witchseeker Bolt.
Crusader’s Helm, is the reason we mono build. Normally Assault Doctrine essentially pointless turn 3, is like what turn 3? (through in fairness turn 3 most competitive (as in games between two equal players and armies) is not over just end is nigh).
Crusader’s Helm allows you to turn 1 to let a unit be in assault doctrine. Which given plethora of other single target buffs we have, one unit is all you need anyways.
Sword of Judgement: Replace a Power Sword, it’s a three damage weapon and +1 strength. It’s a solid weapon about as good as a Teeth of Terra, and on par with Thunder Hammers sense no -1 to hit. I am trying to over traditional teeth builds at the moment.
Witchseeker Bolts: One of the options for our squad leaders. Essentially turns any character or squad leader using it into a sniper weapon. But that sniper always does d3 mortal wounds. The main question as with the anti-Pysker trait is it worth the CP for somewhat specific opponent.
(Marshal Laeroth -- This list has one relic that is above and beyond the rest: Crusader's Helm. This relic is what makes our alpha strike run. Getting to use our Super Doctrine early, while potentially buffed with litanies/stratagems is huge. By far the best relic we got.)
Honorable Mention: Litany Relic, roll 2 dice and discard one for litany chanting. Makes it almost impossible to fail, but given its 3+ anyways, it’s not something I am worried really about.
Notable Generic Marine Relics:
Teeth of Terra, Emperor’s Wrath, Benediction of Fury, and Burning Blade, all four just basic/weapon damage relics. But that alone is amazing. And often used most of those pre-supplement and post one maybe even two.
The other notables one are honor vehement, which is more attacks but no shock assault.
The armor indomonitus is note worthy for granting a 2+ save and only way to give our Castellans an invulnerable.
Conclusion: We got a solid set of Relics and Warlord Traits. And in combination with everything else our chapter is competitive, no asterisk, no “but worse....”. We are competitive, got solid rules, solid set of unique units, and really solid everything.
So good job Games Workshop.
Black Templar Stratagems (Vigilus and Faith):
We got several stratagems in Faith joining the two we retained from Vigilus. I am splitting this section into four parts, the “Mediocre”, The Good, and Amazing. Following a brief discussion on relevant vanilla codex Stratagems.
Between all of them we have only two....let us say mediocre. They are “Uphold the Honour of the Emperor” (from Vigilus) and “Shock and Awe”. Uphold is bad because it’s only usable on units with low wound count and characters are often overkilled.
In contrast “Shock” is only bad because the cost of Land Raider Crusaders leave much to be desired. The other ones? Well they are good to bonkers.
(Marshal Laeroth -- So I have to disagree here. I think there is still value in "Uphold" in the right circumstances. Perhaps you want the chance to hold onto an objective or quarter of the board. Maybe you were charged and you want to attack back against your opponent. Lots of situations where a 5+ FNP in combat would be useful. Its just unfortunate that it only affects certain units. As for "Shock and Awe", I am not convinced it will be viable. It requires you to get reasonably close to the enemy to unload the squad from the LRC, plus get in range for its guns. This means your opponent can potentially charge the LRC and surround you, preventing you from disembarking. Even more dangerous is if they can kill the LRC, then you'll likely lose the vast majority of your unit due to not being able to place your models. But if you can pull it off, its a nice perk.)
The Simply Good:
There is only two of our stratagems which belong to this category, “Vicious Riposte”, “Devout Push”, and “Crusader Relics”.
The first one is....well simply put unreliable, but what makes it good is the fact we have several methods of feel no pain available to our boys. Meaning it we have more chances to proc it (NB a rolled 6 on a FNP save does not Proc this stratagem it simply means that instead of dying an model lives to try again).
If we are taking 30 wounds, on 15 man marines squad. You would net 14 saves before all your neophytes dies, meaning 7 pass. Of that 33% or 2 mortals wound Proc. Then for the 16 saves you take on marines. You save 10-11 of them. 25% of that or around 2-3 will proc mortal wounds. You just did two smites worth of Mortal Wounds. That be 5 dead Zerkers, Ork Boyz or otherwise.
The second one is Crusader Relics, is not bad, because you have several good options for relics to gift to sergeants. Which be discussed in greater detail on next section. It’s more of a question of CP expenditure.
The final one, "Devout Push" is either amazing or just mediocre depending on interpretation and/or faq’ing. But simply put as of right now by raw you can get a very different reading than like intended. For our purposes I am assuming worst case scenario. That it makes your pile-in and consolidation move 6”. Which allows for much better tagging, and performing a tri-lock.
(Marshal Laeroth -- I really like Vicious Riposte. It allows us to throw cheap units as speed bumps against enemy units to slow their progress across the board. This is especially useful against units that have a lot of attacks like Orc Boys, Nids swarms, or GSC units. Its in your back pocket and is a threat that your opponent cannot ignore. Crusader Relics is kind of hit or miss, depending on who your opponent is. Its basically another relic in your army, but handily on a sergeant...which hides the relic a bit. Devout Push is actually really good. Even if it is FAQ'd to not allow you to pile into multiple combats, it does allow you to get more of your models into combat. Which is especially nice if you tag more than one enemy unit into combat. Even better if you FLY, so that you can get into position even better.)
Our other stratagems, are nothing short of awesome.
We have all played "Suffer Not the Unclean to Live", +1 attack and reroll wounds on either our company veterans espacially fist or hammer armed ones, or on a Smash character be it EChampion or Marshall never disappoints.
The "Oaths of Honor" is the reroll wounds one we have for scouts, flavor grumbles aside, it’s amazing. Suddenly now we are can actually clear chaff easily with our own screens with a simple 1CP investment. Especially sense scouts likely be dead far before t3 meaning they wouldn’t benefit from our super doctrine.
The incredible notable ones are "Abhor the Witch", which is a 4+ CP rerollable (with CP use) deny the witch can be used after normal deny the witches are tried. Meaning you can use Grimaldus or other denies first.
"The Emperor's Will" is an advance and charge stratagem which allows us to shoot pistols for 1CP.
And then finally Tenacious Assault, 2CP to stop cowardice. While Night Lords got a strictly better one. Simply having this one as an option is awesome for us. Only downside it’s 2CP.
(Marshal Laeroth -- "Suffer" is pretty darn good. It does cost 2 CP, but in combination with our super doctrine, it can turn a 5-man unit into a ridiculously dangerous unit. Especially if you have a Captain nearby. "Oaths" officially makes a 5-man Scout squad more dangerous than an equal sized Reiver or Incusor squad. That's pretty impressive for a 55 point unit. It gets even better as the size of the squad goes up, making a 10-man unit a legitimate first-turn threat to your opponent. "Abhor" is just another tool in your chest to deny psychic powers for a tiny 1 CP fee. 24" range that can be used after any other Deny the Witch attempts, is huge. Combo with our Chapter Tactics and psykers are going to have a difficult time against us.
"Emperor's Will" is also a huge threat to our opponents. This allows us to bring an advance deployed unit dangerously close to a first turn charge without using concealed positions or deep strike. When you can potentially get a Crusader blob squad into close combat on turn one with a little bit of luck? Awesome. Finally, "Tenacious Assault" will be used frequently to prevent key opponent's from falling back from our combats if we were not able to take them down. Very good synergy with small concealed position units that can survive a turn of combat. This is how you dictate the battle and protect yourself from return fire.)
The Vanilla Base:
I won’t go into too much detail here, but essentially:
"Honor of the Chapter", fight twice is awesome for our boys in black. "Only in Death Does Duty End", letting one of our characters fight again after dying, is amazing in one sense a 1CP cheaper Honor.
"Hero of the Chapter", second warlord trait, especially given we are essentially always using Master Swordsman, a second way to open warlord trait is welcome.
Finally "Trans-human Anatomy", which makes us only woundable on 4+. Remember how we stressed one should always be taking tide squads? This is another reason for that.
Now there are other good vanilla stratagems, Hellfire and Gravitic Amplification for example but those are more list dependent. But in summary, Marines have an extensively good stratagems, we add on top of that several goods ones of our own. Vanilla Marine ones tend to be more list building reliant while ours, save two, are not so at all.
In general our solid strategems is where GW had really knocked our rules out of the park. We'll see you in Part Five!
Part 3: Black Templar and Codex Marine Litanies
Likely the most exciting part for any of our boys in black; new litanies. Now we have the standard six litanies, which have several notable ones.
Those are mostly tied to shooting, so I’m only gonna focus on three of those the six litanies; Canticles of Hate and Mantra of Strength especially. You also have Exhortation of Rage which is also solid.
Mantra of Strength, is a +1 damage, strength, and attack on a Chappy. That is one of the two components of the Smash Chappy build, using Crozius Relic, Benediction of Fury. But in fairness, between EChampion, and Master Swordsman we have two Marine Smash level characters on the onset of any build. Making a third a questionable worth. Especially given our limited number of litany counts.
Canticle of Hate; gives an additional 2" charge range to any unit in the 6" aura range, makes all pile-in and consolidations 6” instead of 3". Not stackable with other buffs. Now there is some minor anti-synergy elsewhere. But by and large this is an amazing trait. And one regardless of striking build, concealing or footslogging mandatory. Given its an essentially an extra 12” movement for all of our units in combat.
Exhortation of Rage: Select a friendly <CHAPTER> unit within 6". Their unmodified 6s to hit in melee generate another attack with that weapon, which cannot proc extra attacks itself. This is Grimaldus static ability as a litany. As with Grimaldus it’s a solid ability, and as anyone who played with our Vigilus WT can attest more reliable than it seems. Or anyone playing with or more hopefully against death to false Emperor. Main issue is it competes with all the other solid litanies we have.
(Marshal Laeroth -- So yeah. Our generic SM litanies are pretty decent. The real big go-to though will be Canticle of Hate, as this will all but guarantee that we're going to make our charges and ensure all of our models get to fight. Mantra of Strength helps create a cheaper smash captain. Just remember that the Chaplain has to be on the board at the start of the turn when they are using it, so more than likely you are slogging your Chaplains. A good way to increase their speed is via jump packs or bikes.)
Black Templar Litanies: We have six. Two amazing, two average and two that leave much to be desired. The two amazing ones, are Litany of Divine Protection and Fires of Devotion.
Each of those litanies are pick one unit within 6” for both and that unit gains a 5+ Feel No Pain (Divine Protection) or +1 attack when it charges or heroic intervenes (Fires of Devotion). The latter can be used to buff smash characters. But it alongside divine protection are best used on large squads. Like Crusader Squads.
These two litanies alone make running one or two tide Crusader worth the price of admission.
(Marshal Laeroth -- These two are going to be your bread and butter litanies for one of your chaplains. The 5+ FNP litany can help preserve the integrity of larger Crusader squads, Vanguard Veterans, or even Terminators. It also works on vehicles, so this can help keep your LRC alive to drop off its load. Between this litany and our mortal wound defense, we've potentially have some of the most durable units out there. Then the Fires of Devotion is a huge offensive buff for units, especially larger squads. The higher number of attacks helps activate our super doctrine and a huge number of auto-wounds. Things of note is that we need to choose that unit right away in the turn, so plan accordingly. You should ALWAYS have at least one Chaplain in your list with these two litanies...they are that good.)
The average litanies are Fervent Acclamation and Oath of Glory. Each of those are basically for niche builds. Acclamation adds 3” to any aura for BT Units (NOT just BT Characters) within 6”. Meaning you can easily get 12” auras one something like a Marshall or other character w/ Helm. Or 9” aura for named character auras and for non-Helm aura litanies. Oath of Glory is choose one unit and it always fight first.
It’s a solid choice but one you’d one to use with the always fight first warlord trait. I would not discount it just keep in mind it’s for a more niche build.
The other litanies are (Vow of Retribution) a minus -2 leadership within 6” to enemy units and (Psalm of Remorseless Persecution) which is a re-roll wound rolls of 1. Basically like taking a lieutenant (Castallen). Neither of them are pointless just mostly superfluous, leadership modifiers are underrated. Killing 2 marines and stacking -2 aura means they now fail leadership on a 5 or 6. For an MSU Squad that is notable. Psalm gives you a Castallen with a solid relic for cheaper.
The final litany is our basic Chappy Litany. Chappy can recite it and al BT Units 6” can reroll hit rolls in melee. We have Marshall’s, Helbrecht, CP-Chapter Masters I never feel a desire to use this ability but it is one we have.
Overall rating for Litanies: 4.5 out 5. I only don’t give a 5 because I dislike giving perfect scores for anything. But this makes us taking multiple chaplains viable and useful. Were pre-v2 Marines we often ran into redundant HQ’s after the 3rd or 4th.
This blog is devoted to the Black Templars chapter and the tactics, list building, and general musing associated with them. Readers will see posts from both Schlitzaf and Marshal Laeroth regularly. Enjoy!