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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Black Templars Unit Analysis - Primaris Crusader Squad, Assault Intercessor Squad and Primaris Sword Brethren


Black Templars Unit Analysis - Primaris Crusader Squad, Assault Intercessor Squad and Primaris Sword Brethren

This article is the analytical comparison of three units:

Primaris Crusader Squad (PCS)

Assault Intercessor Squad (AIS)

Primaris Sword Brethren (PSB)

All three are core units, while the first two are troops and count as objective secured. The PCS is the most versatile and can be kitted for ranged shooting, melee or a combination of both. I would argue that PCS is always a better choice over AIS since it’s much more flexible and better at melee since you can take multiple powerfists. The one advantage AIS has is it can fight twice using a stratagem, which can be quite situational and not always advantageous. PCS offers everything desired for Veteran Intercessors, costs less points, is objective secured and again is more flexible. Remember that PCS get most of their wargear for free, such as the powerfists.

To reap the benefits of fielding PCS you must be willing to field squads of 10 or more Marines per squad. Based on my experience the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, such as blast weapons and morale checks. 15 to 20 Marines per squad is optimal and well worth the points.

Now let’s compare a five man PSB versus a five man AIS. Assume the former is armed with a thunderhammer, pair of lightning claws and three power swords while the latter is armed with a thunderhammer and chainswords. The difference in points is only 22 points. Chainswords have been nerfed by the Armor of Contempt rule - the power swords and lightning claws will inflict much more damage than the chainswords. PSB is amazingly cheap for what you get plus they have the weight of attacks at three base attacks per Sword Brother. If objective secured is important Black Templars have a stratagem (Strength of Conviction) that makes a core unit count as objective secured, plus it occurs at the start of the command phase, so you can steal an objective from your opponents and score more victory points - CPs for VPs. PSB have an amazing stratagem (Exemplars of the Crusade) that each time a model rolls an unmodified six to hit in melee scores an additional hit. If you combine this with the stratagem Gene-Wrought Might, then each hit roll of six automatically scores two wounds - that’s a powerful combination.

Some Black Templar players wish that PSB had more to offer but I’ve heard many loyalist Space Marine players for other Chapters state they wished they had an equivalent unit… isn’t that ironic and so typical for Warhammer 40k - some people are never happy.

Monday, September 19, 2022

How to 20 man Primaris Crusader Squad

How to 20 man Primaris Crusader Squad

I finally was able to play a good game versus Chaos Knights to test my new list with a 20 man Primaris Crusader squad. I run them as follows:

Sword Brother -  master crafted power axe & heavy bolt pistol

4x Initiate - powerfist & heavy bolt pistol

7x Initiate - chainsword & heavy bolt pistol

8x Neophyte- chainsword & bolt pistol

You can arm the Sword Brother with the Sword of Judgement (SoJ) and even make him your Champion of the Feast but I prefer to spread the relics around… for example, a Blade Guard veteran sergeant with the SoJ really helps to boost his squad’s overall melee damage. Four powerfists combined with the litany Psalm of Remorseless Persecution (6s to wound inflict mortal wounds) is more than enough punch against any enemy unit.

When deploying this unit make sure the powerfists are placed up front so they can punch right away. The other litany I use for this unit is Divine Protection for the 5+++ Feel No Pain. My Judicar has the relic Aurillian Shroud so that one turn they can have a 4++ invulnerable save… you’ll probably want to pop this either the first or second turn so that the majority of the squad is intact when they reach close combat.

Both Helbrecht and Grimaldus are both excellent support characters for the blob. Helbrecht’ s buffs are twofold… rerolling hits and +1S due to his Crusade of Wrath aura. Grimaldus’ servitors provide a 6+++ Feel No Pain to backup the litany plus the 3" plus d3" run can mean the difference between making a charge the following turn. Pro Tip - use the Devout Push stratagem once they have charged to get more models in engagement range !!

The blob is really fun to play plus it’s something only Black Templars can do. Enjoy !

Monday, August 29, 2022

Black Templars - A Tale of Secondaries

Black Templars - A Tale of Secondaries

Black Templars are an excellent melee army and the vow Uphold the Emperor’s Honor makes them highly resilient as well - every unit has a 5++ invulnerable save and mini Transhuman Physiology (can only be wounded on a 3+).  Yesterday I was playing a game versus Blood Angels and my 20 man Primaris Crusader squad took a full charge from a 10 man Death Company squad hitting on 2+ with full rerolls. Thankfully my squad had Litany of Divine Protection for the 5+++ after save. When the smoke cleared I still had 10 Marines left, including four power fists and they destroyed the Death Company… they simply shrugged off many many chainsword, power sword as well as thunderhammer attacks. I should add that the Death Company squad was in the assault doctrine as well. It was a game changing moment to say the least.

While Black Templars do well scoring primary objectives, scoring secondaries is not nearly as easy. Obviously we typically have no psykers so there’s no need the worry about the Warpcraft category… however, there is a good case to made for including a psychic Inquisitor in your army and they are fairly cheap points wise. The one exception is Abhor the Witch - you score points by killing psychic enemy characters and psychic units - this could work quite well versus armies like Eldar, Grey Knights, Thousand Sons and Tyranids.

No Prisoners is typically a good choice, if you’re playing the Templar game then you’re killing many enemy units (not including characters, monsters and vehicles) and it quickly adds up. This falls under the category No Mercy, No Respite.

Oaths of the Moment also falls under the category No Mercy, No Respite and you can’t take more than one secondary from each category. If you’re playing a large Primaris Crusader squad this is not as good of a choice - you’ll probably fail morale once or twice. You score points killing enemy characters, monsters and vehicles; if you don’t fall back or fail morale and if you have a core unit or character within 6" the center of the board. However, if you’re playing against an elite army with a low unit count it’s possible you could score more than No Prisoners.

If you’re up against an army with a lot of characters take Assassination - you score 3 points for each enemy character you destroy and 4 for their Warlord. If your playing against an army with lots of monsters and/or vehicles take Bring It Down - you score multiple points for each enemy unit with 9 or more wounds. You can’t take both though because they both fall under the category Purge the Enemy.

Engage on All Fronts falls under the category Battlefield Supremacy - you score 2 points each turn by having units in at least three table quarters and the unit must have at least 3 models. If you have units in each table quarter you score 2 points. It’s fairly easy to be in three table quarters but be careful if the mission requires you to start off deployed in only one table quarter… if you’re opponent goes first and has a fast army they can trap you in your table quarter.

Raise the Banners High falls under the Shadow Operations category and is a good choice if you have say ten or more units. You’ll need at least two units that are dedicated to scoring this secondary. The deployment zone is an important consideration when selecting this secondary - again if you have to deploy in one table quarter it could be hard to achieve.

These are the easiest secondaries to score generally in my opinion. We don’t have any really easy ones to choose from so it’s very important to dominate your opponent in the primary game.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Playing Black Templars Competitively


Are Black Templars Competitive

Black Templars have new rules and many new Primaris units:



Emperor’s Champion

Primaris Crusader Squad

Sword Brethren

++ Sword Brethren +

Sword Brethren are the fluff unit but make excellent conversions for Blade Guard Veterans. All other units listed above are competitive. The best way to play Black Templars competitively is Black Tide - all infantry swarming the table. All units listed above are Primaris and as such have access to THP. Black Templars play the primary objectives well. Scoring secondary objectives requires some degree of skill.

++ Emperor’s Champion ++

Our champion is often called out as non competitive by those who have not yet grasped our inner strengths - they cannot win at the competitive level with Black Templars and so look for scape goats  to blame. Often they will also decry secondaries as well. For 100 points you get a true monster with AP4 S8/9 3D melee attacks. AP4 prior to the assault phase I should add… even Sanguinary Guard truly fear him and rightly so. AP4 is the utter bane of Armor of Contempt and at S9 you are wounding Knights on 3+. Consider that you never need more than one Chaplain.

++ Primaris Crusader Squad ++

Even Chaos Space Marines can no longer field squads of Marines greater than 10. I have discussed this unit in great detail in two other articles. There’s absolutely no reason to ever take Assault Intercessors for Black Templars.

+++ VOWS +++

Our two best vows are Uphold and Accept Any Challenge. I find myself always taking the former… it is super powerful for Marines. The latter is excellent versus any faction that has Armor of Contempt. The less you have to think is powerful.


My next tactical article will cover scoring secondaries.