Hello! I am happy you arrived in one piece from the Warp. Tough times, they are. Haha. In all seriousness, great to see that the BT 101 guide has helped you. A lot of the traits of the Black Templars lore you mentioned drew you to the army are similar for me. Its why I signed up with them in 2001 and I have not abandoned them since. While our best lists do not entirely play to the “vision” of the Black Templars lore, I always make an effort to keep the theme alive whenever possible. There is a ton of information out there on how to play the game, especially in a competitive sense…but I focus my efforts around the Black Templars and what they can do in such a style. The game is always evolving, and much like yourself, sometimes life gets in the way of a proper update to the website. I’ve tried to keep it as current as I can throughout the years and I am glad that there is still readers out there that get use out of it! The BT 101 guide is not wholly complete though. I am still missing the BT 101: How to build a competitive 8th Edition list page, as well as finishing the unit analysis. With that being said, not all of my army lists are competitive. Sometimes I build stuff just for fun to see how it would work.
Your first purchases are a great place to start, though admittedly, the starter boxes lack the customizable options of the squad box sets. But Games Workshop has done a pretty good job of arming their starter set minis with decently useful weaponry. The best advice I can give you on that front is to simply chip away at them a little bit a day. Even if its only one mini. Once you get to the painting stage, do the same thing. If you steadily make progress over time, you’re less likely to burn out looking at the sea of gray. Let me tell you: seeing your painted army on the battlefield is an amazing feeling. Unfortunately, it will make you want to spend more money. Haha.
Thanks again for reading!
First off, thank you for your kind words! I’ve spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours maintaining Implausible Nature over the years and it has span three game editions. So I appreciate your comments!
I will admit, the best way to make that transition to 8th edition is to play the game. If you’re not adverse to it, download a 3rd-party army list building application called “Battlescribe”. This will allow you to play around with the different options available to your army, as well as show you the current points for your army. It will also, for the most part, show you the rules for those units you have selected. The app will take some practice to learn how to use, but after that, it is hugely important to your list building. Otherwise, you’ll need the 8th edition rulebook, the current Space Marine (Adeptus Astartes) codex, and the associated FAQ’s from Games Workshop’s website. Eventually, if you want to use our additional unique special rules, you can invest in the Vigilus Defiant book. Everything else you can find scattered around the internet.
Honestly, the best way to start is to use the stuff you currently have until you can get your 8th Edition legs under you. Outside of Implausible Nature, there is also a forum named Bolter and Chainsword that is a reasonably good source of information. You’ll just have to navigate to the Black Templars section. I will warn you, however…there is quite a few players who are disillusioned with the state of the army and how it fits within the theme of the BT lore. While they are not entirely wrong, how they convey that to other players (especially newer) is unnecessary in my opinion. With that being said, the Black Templars army isn’t a top-tier competitive force right now in 8th Edition. With practice and good lists, you can win more than you lose but there are other armies out there that have gotten too many toys since our codex was released for us to consistently beat them. And often, those winning BT lists are not completely to theme and/or other chapters can utilize the list better (with their chapter tactics). But I am stubborn, so I make lists and use them with the Black Templars despite this because I love them. Even if a list I build might be better off using Raven Guard chapter tactics, for example.
So to answer your question…there really isn’t a set BT ethos so to speak right now. Most people think close combat and rampaging Crusader squad. The closest we would have is to utilize the Sword Brethren detachment that you can find in the Vigilus Defiant book and utilizing our special characters in your force. Crusader squads are still great in a lot of lists, but built in special ways. You are either full/near-full sized squads or the 5-man shooting squads. Mechanized rhino lists are somewhat a thing of the past due to the high cost of transports, which is disappointing. You will find yourself taking longer range firepower units in your list, simply because you will not be able to compete without it. Ultimately, the most effective lists in 8th edition are those that have units that are useful in both shooting and close combat or have ultra-effective units at shooting and they avoid close combat. But if you're shooting more for narrative games, you will have no problems winning games after you get some practice in.
If you have specific questions, you can always drop me an email and I will do my best to reply as quick as I can! Thanks for reading!