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Monday, January 17, 2011

Hybrid Black Templars: post-FAQ

Right so Black Templars. One annoying thing with the codex FAQ is no updated Rhino/Razorback costs or weapon options. However, the ‘armoury’ updates and the maintaining of Black Templar ‘uniqueness’ such as two weapons for five man strong squads has led Black Templar to run even more effective foot lists. Pre-FAQ Black Templars were a decent but not terrible or fantastic army; run of the mill if you will (excuse the rhyming). Like Dark Angels and to an extent Chaos Space Marines, BT suffered from being over-priced compared to the newer SM books whilst not really having a truly unique build that was far more effective than anything the other books could put down whilst also being highly competitive. How exactly does the FAQ help this though? First, Black Templars are now capable of running a bit more offensively based lists in terms of aggression. BT Assault Terminators were always scary in combat with furious charge and preferred enemy but without the new 3++ storm shields, suffered when struck back by other combat units. Furthermore, Typhoon and Cyclone missile launchers are now two shots which gives BT more effective anti-tank on the move; something which they suffered with before (tank hunting CML < tank hunting assault cannons).

So what does this mean for BT? Are they viable again in the tournament scene? To an extent. These changes open a few builds (and improve a few others) in terms of competitive play but you’re not going to have as much flexibility as the newer books obviously. So let’s take a look at a quick list using the new FAQ…

Black Templars have quite a few unique advantages remaining for them compared to the newer books. The most obvious one is veteran skills for their Terminators and the ability to take two heavy/special weapons in five man squads. Add in the ability to gain preferred enemy on an army-wide basis and when the opponent shoots you, you generally run to them (this can both be problematic and a good thing) and Black Templars can be an effective mobile shooty force. However, their mech is quite expensive and previously ‘relied’ upon old smoke to improve their survivability. With this in mind Black Templars are able to make quite effective foot lists as their Terminator firepower can move and shoot whilst also being effective in combat but are also capable of running Hybrid ‘thunder bubble’ styled lists. Let’s see what we can do with this concept in mind…

Let’s see if we can make a shooty Hybrid list. Normally we’d start with the centrepieces of our army and the essentials but let’s start with the filler and work our way down so we know how many points we have to work with. With the new Typhoon Missile launcher, 70 point Typhoons are an amazing buy for Black Templars and highlight the mobile shooty force we want. However, AV10 is pretty weak even if you have squadrons of them so we’re going to need to supplement our mech with some more wholesome tanks. The cheapest of these whilst also providing some decent firepower are dakka Predators for 110 each. If we compare 6x Typhoons and 3x Predators directly to the Space Marine codex…we’ve saved 45 points and still have the same firepower! Awesome.

We’ve got 9 vehicles on the table then and the Rhinos/Razorbacks are really expensive so let’s see if can forego them for the moment. A cheap LasPlas squad costs 101 points and gives out roughly the same firepower as a LasPlas Razorback but without the combi weapon or vehicle bonus. Not bad but the issue here is Ld8 means our Troops aren’t too durable especially since they aren’t mech’d. We’ll see if we have the points to deal with this later but for the moment we’ll take four of these squads taking our points total up to 1154 points. We also need to add in the Emp Champ who is an annoying addition we don’t really want in this list so we have a couple of options. Take him cheap and use him as clean-up crew or make him buff your army in case they get in cc. With Terminators as mobile firepower this isn’t a bad idea as they become quite scary in cc with re-rolls to hit so for the moment we’ll take the Accept Challenge vow and we can downgrade if we need. This takes us to 1294 points so we can start working on our Termiantors with lots of points to spare!

With the new CML this is the weapon of choice for Terminators, especially with Tank Hunters. This takes these guys to S9 and they are obviously capable of firing on the move. The best part? You get two weapons in a five man squad. A couple of chain fists for Dreadnought/Vehicle penetration in combat just in case and you’re spending 275 points per squad of death. Three of these suckers takes our points well over 2000 points so we’re going to need to go back to the drawing board somewhere.

Looking at the list we have the major issue of Ld8, five strong squads of Marines on foot. Not great. Whilst our Predator/Typhoon combo is more efficient than other chapters, the Predators really are quite expensive. We could upgrade them to ACLC for them to be more efficient but then become quite static (yes I know the LasPlas squads are static, too). Instead we’ll drop them and buy Rhinos for the LasPlas squads which alleviates the Ld8 issue to an extent but obviously makes them more survivable but importantly takes our total to just under 2000 points (1989). The main issue now is we have no real melta threats and even with a bunch of S9 from the Terminators/lascannons backed up by the chain fists, high AV could be a problematic issue.

A few options here. We can make our LasPlas squads LasMelta or even MMmelta or replace a Typhoon squad with some Attack Bikes w/MM. Personally I prefer adding some melta into my Initiate squads and running a pair of LasPlas and MMmelta squads gives you some melta whilst not sacrificing too much ranged firepower. This gives us:

Empeorer’s Champion w/Accept any Challenge
3x5x Terminators w/Tank Hunters, 2x CML, 2x Chainfist
2x5x Initiates w/MM, meltagun, Rhino
2x5x Initiates w/lascannon, plasma gun, Rhino
3x2x Typhoon

Totals: 1987 points
10 vehicles
36 infantry

Certainly a step up from their older lists. That’s 14 S9, 12 S8, 2 plasma guns and 4 melta weapons along with a bunch of power fists in combat and enough vehicle saturation to give most armies pause and also has the ability to scale down to 1750. New Centurion list? Lol

1750 version:

Empeorer’s Champion w/Accept any Challenge
3x5x Terminators w/Tank Hunters, 2x CML, 1x Chainfist
3x5x Initiates w/MM, meltagun, Rhino
2x2x Typhoon
1x Typhoon

Totals: 1750 points
8 vehicles
31 infantry

Anyway, I’ve asked BroLo to do a foot list for us so let’s see what the duder can come up with ^^.

Also, an obvious alternative here is foregoing the concept of mech saturation completely. Turn the Typhoons into single squadron duders and have them come on from reserve and increase the squad size of the Initiates whilst adding in a Marshal + Terminator Command squad for more bodies and a roughly equal output in firepower.

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