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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Sunday, July 09, 2023

10th Edition Black Templars


10th Edition has been kind to the Black Templars, the Emperor’s own Holy Bearzerkers. I’m here to highlight some of the top tips and combos for playing this faction in the new edition.

The first subject to discuss is their inherent resiliency. While we have lost faction wide 5++ invulnerable save and mini-Transhuman Pyshiology, the vow Uphold the Honor of the Emperor (UtHoftE) now provides an army wide 6+++ Feel No Pain (FNP) and a leadership characteristic of 5+. 5+ is about as good as it gets, on the same level as the Primarchs. It’s important to note that the previous version of this vow had a big negative aspect, that is, no cover saves were allowed. Now there is an abundance of cover, and it’s no longer limited to just infantry… this is a big deal. We also have access to the 1 CP stratagem Armor of Contempt, which worsens the AP of enemy attacks by -1 for the chosen phase. Stacked with a cover save, that’s -2. Yesterday versus Astra Militarum I did not lose one model in my 20 man Primaris Crusader Squad (PCS) with Grimaldus and his Cenobite Servitors attached for a sweet 5+++ FNP, shrugging off over 20 wounds taken from two Basilisks. The new version of Tännhauser’s Bones, which is an Enhancements, also grants a 5+++ FNP to the unit to which the character is attached if you select the vow UtHotE. So, it’s possible to run two units with the 5+++!

The 20 man PCS is back with a vengeance and better than ever… models with chainswords have five base attacks and models with powerfists have three base attacks, and now hit on 3+. Grimaldus always grants reroll hits. It’s possible to boost the chainswords to AP3 and the powerfists to AP4, select the Temple Relic Scepter of the Anointing coupled with the Crusader’s Wrath 1 CP stratagem. If you really want to turn the blob into a real blender use the 1 CP stratagem Fervent Acclamation so the you can switch the squad over to the vow Suffer Not the Unclean to Live for lethal hits (that is, a 6 to hit automatically wounds). You can fish for 6s rerolling hits due to Grimaldus’ Litany of the Devout. You should easily be able to drop a Knight on the charge.

The Primaris Sword Brethren Squad (PSB) is another big winner as well. Each Sword Brother now sports three wounds and the Castellan (squad sergeant equivalent) can field a master-crafted power sword hitting on 2+. Their vow sworn Bladesmen ability allows them to add +1 damage to their melee attacks, which translates over to an attached character as well. The Helbrecht Bomb features our epic Marshal leading the squad, whom grants unmodified rolls of 5+ confer Critical Hits… again use the 1 CP stratagem Fervent Acclamation so the you can switch the squad over to the vow Suffer Not the Unclean to Live for lethal hits (that is, a 5 to hit automatically wounds). This squad is another murder ball as well.

That’s all for now to get our brothers started off in the right foot. My next tactica will cover best choices for serious tank hunting ranged firepower.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Choosing your Black Templar HQs


HQs are vital to running a tight list and Black Templars have some serious solid choices. What’s best for you depends on what you want to do with your army. Here are some abilities I want:

+ Chapter Master Rerolls -> Makes your Eradicators armed with heavy melta rifles super killy

+ Litanies of the Devout -> We have some of the best litanies, every list should have a Chaplain

+ Utility -> heavy dreads, take a Forge Master… want a beat stick, the Emperor’s Champion, etc.

I consider High Marshal Helbrecht an auto take unit. Sure he costs some serious points but he has two weapons that are both relics for all practical purposes, and his ability to buff core units with +1S can be quite handy. One thing our HQ have going for them is they are Primaris, so don’t forget to pop Transhuman Physiology if they are caught in a tight pinch. You can roll your own but he won’t be as killy and will be comparable in points.

Grimaldus is the best choice for a Warlord versus psychic heavy armies such as Thousand Sons and Tyranids. Grimaldus takes some skill to properly utilize since he has his cenobite servitors… they must always be protected via Look Out Sir. The generic litanies are good as well so running double Chaplains can be quite effective - in particular 2" added to a unit’s charge roll can be game breaking. It’s very important that your Chaplain is very reliable when casting litanies so make sure to take the proper upgrades such as Ancient Breviary, you’ll be glad you did.

The Emperor’s Champion is a true murder machine and requires some skill to reap his benefits. The Black Sword is AP4 when attacking with the thrusting strike… this is a natural anathema to Armor of Contempt along with three flat damage. He is our most underrated HQ choice for sure.

If you like to run dreadnoughts then the Primaris Techmarine upgraded to Forge Master is an excellent choice, healing up wounds and handing out +1 to hit.

These are my top choices, let me know if I missed any you like to take.

Sunday, October 09, 2022

Heavy Support for Black Templars


While Black Templars are primarily an assault army, some ranged shooting that can deal effectively with enemy armor is critical. Eradicators are my go to choice and I typically I run a five man squad with four heavy melta rifles and one multi-melta. That’s 12 shots due to their special rule Total Obliteration, which will typically trash most targets unless it’s got a good invulnerable save. Heavy melta rifles are always +2 damage and +4 damage at half range. This is extremely effective versus any target with -1 damage, as its basically ignored.

There are two tricks for Eradicators, one is giving them the Chapter Master rerolls, and great when they have to move to shoot or are shooting through certain cover (-1 to hit). The other trick is to use the stratagem Devout Push during your assault phase with them positioned so they move back towards an objective, taking them out of line of sight from enemy ranged weapons.

Eliminators with Lasfusils are another popular choice but I don’t rate them due to the low number of shots, plus they are quite squishy being a three man T4 squad with a 3+ armor save.

While dreadnaughts are typically an elite choice, they have many good options for ranged heavy weapons plus they are resilient and move-shoot well. The Redemptor dreadnought with a heavy plasma macro canon is a very popular choice - some players bring as many as two to three. The main drawback to the macro cannon is its d6 hits, which is extremely swingy. You’ll need at least two dreadnaughts to help endure you have enough effective fire power. I always arm my dreadnaughts with a dreadnaught close combat weapon so they can effectively deal with enemy units that charge them. Dreadnoughts have Eternal Duty for -1 damage plus there’s a stratagem, Wisdom of the Ancients, for them to provide reroll 1s to hit or to wound for core units, so are good to have around.

Another choice are Hellblasters but they aren’t nearly as effective as Eradicators. Gladiators are still overcosted and not core units either.

As a game progresses your melee units should be able to take out enemy armor with powerfists and thunderhammers - once you’ve reached the enemy lines if say your Eradicators are still in play it’ll be a tough choice for your opponent to focus on them, so it should be easier to find juicy targets for them to obliterate.

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.