"Your assessment (referencing the BT 101 guide) seems to imply Mech is the only real way to go. I still haven't figured out a list or models, but why so many Speeders vs A LR full of Cru Squads?
I'm not done reading by any means. I'll probably have comments again soon. Just asking while it's on my mind."
Reply (continue by clicking "Read More"):
First off, thanks for taking the time to fill out my Reader Satisfaction Survey. Feedback is important to ensure that I provide the best information possible for new players such as yourself. :)
As for your comments. The BT 101 guide makes a huge assumption. The assumption is that the reader is trying to build a competitive Black Templars list (i.e. tournament capable). While the tactical information you find in the guide is useful no matter what type of army list or play-style you are going for, the "Building a 5th Edition List" series is dedicated to competitive players. So if that is not your goal with the Black Templars, you have more options opened up for you.
You mentioned that I implied that mechanization is the only way to play the BT. Speaking from a competitive standpoint, this is a yes and no. Yes, because vehicles/transports are so much better than being footbased in most conceivable ways. You gain superior mobility, protection (if in a transport), and often superior weaponry. Vehicles are also much more resilient in 5th Edition than they have been in the past, making them extremely popular. It is also a no, because Drop Pod armies are also a highly viable way to play with the BT (also extremely fluffy).
With that being said, that doesn't mean you HAVE to go mechanized if all you want to do is play casually. It has always been my preference, even before 5th Edition came out, to play mechanized lists. Just suits my style better. As I mentioned, you also have DP armies. Then there is the "Black Tide" style or hybrid mech armies. Black Tide essentially makes use of multiple large Crusader squads (20 members) and a Chaplain to lead each squad. Then you'd fill in the fire support holes with the appropriate choices depending on if you wanted to be a purist footslogging player or if you're willing to throw vehicles in there. The problem with that type of list is that it is slow to get where its going. And once the force is committed, it cannot reliably move elsewhere, as it simply takes too much time to move them that amount of distance (which is a problem in objective games or against highly mobile forces such as the Blood Angels/Dark Eldar) before the end of the game. So you can kind of see where mechanization helps there. Not all armies are this way. Newer armies such as the Blood Angels, Space Wolves, or Dark Eldar do not have this problem in some army builds. But the Black Templars are ones that do. :(
Land Speeders are taken in my lists because they provide very low cost Multi-Meltas. Having sufficient anti-tank weaponry in the army is essential in the days of mechanization, or else you'll not be able to neutralize your opponent's fire support nor get them out of transports. The lists in the BT 101 guide (and my preferred armies) are not necessarily the way you need to build your army. You can certainly have crusader squads in Land Raider Crusaders (I've not personally had much luck with them...others have though), any other variation of mechanization, or even none at all. I just wanted to present three different types of competitive armies for my readers to give them an example of what works in a tournament environment. Feel free to edit them as you desire. :)
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