As Templar’s we have five unique datasheets, and the Sword Brethren Specialist Detachment. They are for reference, Crusader Squad (Crusaders) Emperor’s Champion (EChamp), Grimaldus (Grim), Helbrecht, Cenobyte Servitors (Cenos) and then a psuedo unique unit via that is Company Veterans with the Sword Brethren Keyword. I will discuss each of these in turn.
The Crusader Squad:
Crusaders the single biggest, disappointment in the book. Games Workshop (GW) took it out to the back and shot it. They remove the Faux-Devi Configuration (Heavy-Special-Special at 5 Man), didn’t give us the point reduction to match Tacticals on Initaites (Init) and kept Neophytes (Neo) same price as Scouts. Instead we got a lackluster ability that if equal or more Init to Neo’s in a Crusader Squad, Neo’s may reroll 1 to hit in melee.
That said, Crusaders still have a role. That role is simply now only real as Tide Crusaders or 8-9 man squads in Rhino’s or Pods. Shock Assault has made 1A Power Weapons solid and worth the price of admission, and having larger squads are important for buffs and strategems to which will be elaborated on later.
A Templar Force should always include 1 Tide Squad or 14 man and larger Crusader Squad. Debatably even two of those squads. Simply for how good they take our buffs. And as always to save points, you should always be taking these units with as equal Init-Neo ratio as possible. And secondly it should be noted that Sword Brothern do not count as Init’s for Equal Init-Neo ratio. Still a mediocre to good unit just not the best of its style of unit anymore.
Overall 3 out of 5.
(Marshal Laeroth -- While I would agree that it is disappointing that initiates did not get a point cost update to match tactical marines, it isn't so much of a problem to me since we're really only going to see 20-30 point differences at max in a list. Losing the min/max weapon configuration was also a blow, but its not something I've not been expecting for several editions now. The biggest use of our Crusader squads is to become a large block of dudes that are recipients of our new litany/warlord trait buffs. Fully buffed and in the Assault Doctrine (or via Crusader Helm), we can put out ridiculous amounts of unsaved wounds. Knights of Sigismund works better with higher amounts of attacks and a large Crusader squad fits the bill perfectly. Protect them with our 5+ FNP litany and increase their offensive potential with the +1 attack litany...then you have a scary unit indeed. But alas, the unit does not have concealed position or the ability to deep strike without a drop pod, so you will only be able to fit one or two footslogging units in your list. 3.5 stars.)
A Templar player should not leave home without one. A 75 points it hits against proper targets as hard as a vanilla smash captain. Before the supplement, after the supplement? He now has a -1 to hit in melee, and another attack.
He has three layers of “buffs”, the first layer is if he is within 1” of a character or monster add 1 to his attacks and to his strength. The second layer if he is rolling to wound Monsters or Characters he rerolls wound rolls. Third and final layer if he attacking characters he rerolls hot roll.
With 5-6 attacks depending, strength 6-7 and potentially rerolling all or just wound. He is solid unit. And 75 points he is dirt cheap. Never leave home without him. The only downside, and it’s a significant one is his lack of a pack.
Overall rating 4.5 out of 5.
(Marshal Laeroth -- He certainly is a close combat beast, upgraded from the previous SM 8.0 codex. Now he can certainly take on a smash captain and win. However, I would disagree with Schlitzaf in only having one fault besides having the jet pack. He has another: no auras or buffs for other units around him. He is entirely a selfish character, even if he is good at that. No force-multipliers in the list makes it hard for me to justify taking him, when Chaplains vastly improve the efficiency of our other units. 3.5 stars.)
High Chaplain Grimaldus:
Of our characters, empirically the big winner. He has a relic crozius now (-2 AP and 2 Damage), cast 2 Litanies, kept his additional attack aura, can deny the witch. There is one debatable nerf he got which I’ll discuss about in the Ceno’s.
At 90 points, like the EChampion, never leave home without him. Especially given that we have a whole host of amazing litanies and he grants us two without command point (CP) investment. As with the Emperor’s Champion his primary downside is his lack of a pack.
But unlike EChampion, he cannot utilize his abilities if you pod him. And he still has a disappointingly 3 attacks. It should be noted his mandatory warlord trait (WT) grants an additional deny and that WT adds plus 1 to any deny tests taken by the user.
Overall 4 out of 5.
(Marshal Laeroth -- HUGE buffs for Grimaldus. If you are running anything worthwhile on foot (i.e. not deep striking/concealed positions), you need to be taking this character. He is ridiculously good. While he is slower than his generic jump pack chaplains, he already has several rules baked into his cost without the use of CP. Combo Grimaldus with a large crusader squad and you're doing stupid amounts of damage, while being able to deny psychic powers. Just remember that his litanies do not work inside of transports, so he's stuck on hoofing it. 4.5 stars.)
High Marshall Helbrecht:
Helbrecht is a solid character, at 150 he is pricy and requires you too think. Sense he does hit hard but costs an intercessor more than a vanilla smash captain.
His major change has been his aura is now units within 6” vs models within 6”. He got another attack and his sword procs, on charging or HI’ing vs just him charging. I don’t play him in my lists personally but, he is still a supremely solid character and worth the price of admission. He like our other characters suffers from the lack of a pack.
Overall 3.5 out of 5.
(Marshal Laeroth -- Slight upgrade to the new wording on rerolling hits and another attack. Otherwise, functionally the same as before. He did get an improved warlord trait (+1 charge/HI) so that's awesome. Still kind pretty good for 150 points though. 3.5 stars)
Ceno’s got a nerf and a sideways nerf. First if in same detachment as our boy Grim, they don’t take up a slot. Easily fixed but it’s an issue especially since we are almost always taking a Brigade-Battlelion with how many good stratagems we have.
The second is now instead of battle shock immunity they improve our mortal wound save to 4+. Which is makes us go “Smite? What Smite.” At 6 points a unit, I’d never leave home without one. Ever.
On price alone I consider them mandatory. And a amazing unit.
5 out of 5.
(Marshal Laeroth -- While I think these guys are a great filler for 6 points each, especially when they improve our mortal wound protection...they are certainly Kill Point bait for your opponent and an easy way to help them get "kill more" in ITC missions. But, if we're being honest, we're losing 6 points of models while your opponent is spending their shooting on relatively unneeded units. 4.5 stars)
A unit that gains Sword Brethren keyword we got in Vigilus not directly affected by anything in our book. Buffed indirectly because whole host of other buffs we got.
Notably in our codex our chapter tactic changed and the fact these models take mortal wounds when character body blocking. Means we can reduce damage they take due to body blocking for characters. This can be improved to a 4+ due to Cenos.
The detachment itself is something I’d always take. So taking a couple units of these guys to have another target for suffer in case master swordsman marshal is unable to is biggest reason.
Also small squads of them to fill elite slots in a brigade. Alongside Ceno’s make a Brigade easy to fill for us. Overall 3.5 out of 5.
(Marshal Laeroth -- These guys are still the most versatile unit in the whole book for us. While they don't have access to jump packs, they can be huge first turn drop pod threats to your opponent for minimal points. Add in their mortal wound shenanigans and excellent prowess in close combat, these guys should be a consideration in all types of lists. Their only big downfall is the unit size maximum of 5, which limits their use of stratagems (I think may have been intentional by GW to prevent being too strong. 4.5 stars.)
*It should be noted EChampion has a power level 9, so it’s a possibility that our point values are incorrect and potentially might be rectified.
We'll see you soon for the next part!