Hello out there! Today we are going to examine one of the types of crusader blobs: the bolter blob. This is an unit that is starting to become one of my staple units, due to the ITC format. So let's take a look at the squad.
Why does this matter? In the ITC format, we need to have units that can control objectives with minimal maintenance, but have the ability to have a decent footprint on the board. My preferred method to outfit this unit is to take 20 marines, with bolters. You don't want to put a ton of points into this squad, as it ultimately is there simply to take up space and to hold ground. However, if you have the extra points, investing in some extra ranged "oomph" definitely doesn't hurt (i.e. plasma-guns/grav-guns). Even if you don't take those extra firepower, you have a 240 point squad of 20 marines that will be difficult to dislodge. Those bolters are nothing to scoff at either, expecially if you are in rapid fire range. Most lists do not take a lot of dedicated anti-mob firepower, so its nice to be able to get this on the cheap.
With all of that being said, the unit does have its downfalls: leadership tests, AP3 (cover ignoring), and assaults. Assaulting prevents you from shooting and if assaulted by a dedicated CC unit, they will eventually die with minimal damage to the enemy. Or worse yet, fall back and lose the objective. Leadership tests hurt us because we ultimately have a LD 8 unit, with half of them with 4+ armor, so we will be taking casualties. Obviously, we don't want to fall back off our hard earned objective. I can't do much about the cover save ignoring AP3, but I do something for the other two: The Emperor's Champion. With the EC, we gain LD 10 for the squad. It should be obvious why this is a good thing. Further, he makes the squad Fearless. W00t! That squad is going nowhere until it is either moved by your, or the squad is dead. Chances are, it will be the former. He also gives vast CC deterrant, or a huge CC boost if its time to make that game defining charge. Your opponent won't want to charge this unit when you're rocking counter-attack, lots of attacks, and the EC to kill their characters (or kill several models before they strike). If you need, you can always detach the EC to do his thing. However, the warlord trait could possibly vastly improve the bolter blob if you're using the EC as your leader.
The bolter blob by itself is an excellent, cheaper unit that is a dedicated shooting unit that also doubles as an excellent objective holder. But if you add the Emperor's Champion, you elevate the squad much higher, so its worth exploring if you're using him. In my opinion, this is a great way to bulk up your model count, by taking more troops, and still having an useful unit on the board.