Saturday, 5 March 2011

Black Templar Email

"Hi Killswitch,
I follow you over on the Space Wolves blog and thought I’d get your email from there. You tend to write some fairly solid Wolf lists so I’d be interested to hear your personal thoughts on Black Templars, taking into consideration the latest FAQ. I don’t really have a clue where to start and would like some kind of list to base my army upon. Hope you can help. I tend to play 1850pts so if you could write me something along that point value, it would be much appreciated.
John Reegar."

Well as we all know, there has been a nice FAQ to revamp the old marine codex’s which has helped them a fair bit.
We have seen quite a few interesting Hybrid lists so far, with a plentiful amount of shooting.
Id like to have a go without looking too much online and see what takes my fancy from the codex.

Now let’s look at the codex. What does it give us that no other codex does?
Well Termies with USR’s which are very devastating.
Vows which enhance the effectiveness of the whole army, cheaper options i.e. preds & Ven dreads, Rites of Battle & the ability to run towards the enemy in their turn.
I’m unsure of what type of army you want from the templar codex, so I’m going to have a flick through and just pick out what I like the look of...

First is the compulsory Emperors Champion. This guy is pretty decent in combat with a Str 6 power weapon and some decent stats (considering his low point cost).
He also can take some very nice Vows, two of which tend to shine are “Abhor the witch, Destroy the witch” & “Accept any challenge, no matter the odds”. Why these two? Well one allows you to run towards the enemy if they have a psyker before the game begins and is very cheap. With the amount of Psykers we are seeing these days (Grey knights has an army of them upcoming), this vow is very powerful for combat based Templars.
Then we have the preferred enemy which gained a huge boost in 5th ed. This is self explanatory and boosts your armies combat potential to exceptionally high levels. People tend to say “re rolls win you games”, and from experience, I tend to believe them.
So in this army, we will take the cheap vow, as I feel it that there isn’t much in this army which will benefit from any other vow. If anything, against psyker armies it gives me a chance to deploy into a more suitable position if I roll well.
110pts for the Emperors Champ with Abhor the witch, awesome.
Next thing I noticed was the Tank hunting Termie Squad. I really like the look of these, so I want 2 of them. 2 units of 5 Termies with 2 cyclones & tank hunters for 530pts. Perhaps a little excessive but very useful. If I have any pts left over at the end I may pop on a Chain fist or two.

The Troops are fairly standard in this codex. To make them worthwhile & effective in combat, I am going to have to spend a fair amount of pts kitting them out, so instead I am going to keep them basic and use them in a Fire support/end game contest or capture kind of role.
5 Initiates, Las/Plas in a Rhino with Extra armour & smoke. 3 of these form a good firebase & gives me some fairly reliable Rhinos to throw onto objectives when I need them. This comes to 477pts, fairly standard, if not slightly over priced but due to the age of the Codex, I will have to put up with it.
Venerable Dreads are a lot cheaper than their predecessor Space marine codex. Taking Tank hunters is a fantastic option for them and fairly cheap to boot, shame I can’t take more than 1 venerable.
One of these bad boys with twin-las & Missile launcher for 165pts. Dreads are great for assisting your line when it comes to getting stuck in. Blood Crushers, Sang Guard and the like tend to tear through MEQ units, but once they are assaulted or countered by a dreadnought (which should be hiding behind rhinos for a cover save), they tend to get bogged down or simply held up, which is something VERY useful in stopping these units tear through your flimsy Initiates whilst your Terminators may be held up elsewhere.
For our Heavy Support, we want to put some solid hulls on the board for saturation and some extra fire fupport. Two Preds with an Autocannon & 2 sponsor Lascannons should do the trick.

I have little in the way of responding to something getting too close too quickly i.e. a Land raider. Killing these from afar can be a pain, and we cant rely on killing them in combat, so with my remaining points I’d take a unit of 3 bikers with 3 Meltaguns. I love the fact you can take up to 3 special weapons so I am going to make full use of that and take two units of them, and give one an Attack bike with a Multi-melta for a bigger punch. With Abhor the which, these 2 bike units may allow them to get a little closer which is rather helpful. Although all those meltaguns is overkill, its certainly something which can’t be ignored, more so when facing mech as each individual biker is a threat, not just one or two of them.
The army should look like this now:
Emperors Champion: 110pts
Abhor the witch, destroy the witch.
5 Terminators: 265pts
2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, Tank Hunters.
5 Terminators: 265pts
2 Cyclone Missile Launchers, Tank Hunters.
Venerable Dreadnought: 165pts
Twin-linked Lascannon & Missile Launcher. Tank hunters.
5 Initiates: 159pts
Lascannon & Plasma gun. Rhino with Extra Armour & Smoke launchers.
5 Initiates: 159pts
Lascannon & Plasma gun. Rhino with Extra Armour & Smoke launchers.
5 Initiates: 159pts
Lascannon & Plasma gun. Rhino with Extra Armour & Smoke launchers.
3 Initiate Bikers: 126pts
3 Meltaguns.
3 Initiate Bikers: 191pts
3 Meltaguns & Attack bike with a Multi-melta.
Predator: 125pts
Autocannon & 2 sponsor Lascannons.
Predator: 125pts
Autocannon & 2 sponsor Lascannons.
Grand Total: 1849pts
So a grand total of 6 Hulls is fairly low but I believe with the amount of firepower, you have the potential to stun-lock most gunline armies.
- You still have the ability to reserve this army but I would not recommend it, instead using the AV13 of the preds to cover your Rhinos.
- The dread will be a tough nut to take down so hopefully, due to his large threat level, will draw much attention away from the rest of the army.
- I’d put the Emperors champ in one of the Rhino’s to counter react with your opponent, using it to stop your opponents foot units or MC’s (str 6 ftw) from getting too close to your objectives.

Remeber those tank hunting termies do have the ability to deep strike, and although its fairly risky, sometimes its worth the risk. Dropping down to hit side armour with 4 str 9 shots against a vehicle is fairly nasty.
Hope this helps form a basis for your army, and if theres something you don’t like, feel free to hit me up.
For anyone else interested in advice, tactics or just a chat about anything, hit me up on


  1. I've been thnking bout Templars myself...Army ADD and all that...I think they are a great force and what you have put up is a very sold little list.
    Tank hunters on CML - pure gold.
    Ven Dread..TH - sweet.
    Troops with cheapo lascannon/plasma... nice.

    But, without the PoTMS I would not really be looking a the Preds as all that effective, same as Vanilla marines, if it has to move to get a decent shot, any shot, or no cover on the shot..then it loses the output that is so very often frightening.

    with PotMS, it effectively becomes a fast vehicle right, so it can move and stll fire at full output, or even 12" and stll get autocannon shots, maybe into side armour..

    Just my thoughts..

  2. PoTMS is one of those tools that make's for a potentially strong BT build, but I am not sure this is one of them - its not cheap - 90 points to get those preds with it - which is probably going to lose you either the ven dread or bikes (+ some point swapping).

    I think if I were to go down the POTMS route I'd go full out - not just the 3 tanks - go with min squads in TLLC razors w/ POTMS - 150 points - but they can now move 12" fire, and cant be stun locked, and then the preds (or even vindicators) - but again its a different build - no terminators (though actually wouldn't be bad choice if I could fit a couple of squads in).

    I like the list though, I was just playing around last night to see if BT can do an effective foot list - which I think they could, its a lot of high power fire coming at you (at 1500 points was something like 6 lascannons and 12 S9 ML's and 50ish bodies)

    I think post-faq its a great codex.

    (Ven you still wanting some more wip stuff btw? Not seen the other post so was stalling on doing the ravenwing one, but I got some free time today to write up 1 or 2 if you want them).

  3. Correction - 60 points - thought there were 3 preds.

  4. BT bikes are expensive and not really worth the points. I've played with them before to try them out and just 'cus I like them and I'm ALWAYS underwhelmed.

    Consider switching 2 crusader squads for Witch Hunter IST squads and steal the crusaders' rhinos. That saves >130 points. Drop the bikes for another 320 points and you've got a huge whack of points. I'd go for at least 4 speeders and another crusader squad. That's 380points, so you'll probably have enough for a fifth speeder or a 6th Troop squad should you deem it necessary. I wouldn't. Overall you lose a couple of melta weapons (but they're now more survivable) and 1-2 lascannons/plasmaguns for 8+ missiles. Typhoons for 70 points is a pure steal.

    From playtesting, you may find the dread a little underwhelming for it's cost, but the Railgun can be nice.

  5. Agreed. The bikes seem tasty on paper, but I do like the speeders. I personally don't write lists with allies as the new GK codex is upon us, but its certainly an option.

    Speeders with MM is certainly a good option though (with typhoons ofcourse).

  6. well it's the witch hunter dex, not the DH one so it's fine. I'm not a huge fan myself. MM/melta crusader squads in rhinos are the other option.

  7. Oh.... and MM/TML speeders are a bit of a waste. They're usually dead by the time stuff gets close and the range of the HB is useful. I've tried squads with 2 speeders, 1 MM/1HB and that's okay, but otherwise, I'd save the points and get some melta in elsewhere.