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Tactica: Black Templars
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Old 14 Jul 2006, 21:37   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 143
Default Tactica: Black Templars

OVERVIEW
BT is an assault-oriented army. Thanks to some special rules (Righteous Zeal is the most famous), we can reach enemy lines faster and suffer less incoming fire, or gain advantages in cc, or ignore psychic powers.

SPECIAL RULES

RIGHTEOUS ZEAL
This rule forces you to take Morale tests very often, but it rewards you making your army advance faster towards enemies.
The downside is that you have to test after EVERY casualty and if you fail the test, your unit will start running, while every other army start testing only when 25% of the squad dies.
Another problem is that this rule makes your unit move towards the closer* AND visible enemy unit, so an opponent with good mobility will use fast-moving units to lure your army in the wrong direction.

How to maximize its efficiency:
You can take Crusader seals to re-roll the number of inches you move, but it is a very point-expensive way. A better option is to add a IC with seals to the squad, because in the description of the seals there is written that the whole unit will benefit even if only one model has them.
To make sure you pass the test, you can improve the Ld of your army taking a Commander, or adding a Chaplain to the squad (Fearless units pass every Morale test automatically).
I suggest to add a Chaplain because his ability grants you'll never risk failing and also because he has the possibility to take Cenobites servitors that will make you move 1 extra inch for every servitor (max +3"). Another bonus given by the Chaplain is that he allows you to chose where to go, so you aren't forced to rush toward the closer enemy unit, you can go towards any visible enemy unit. This prevents being lured in the wrong direction.

Some tactics using this ability:
First: remember that only the death of at least one model in the unit will trigger this ability. So you will need big units with "expandable" elements (= neophytes) in order to gain benefits to this rule and still be effective when you reach cc.
Second: the movement is considered like a consolidation move after a Massacre result, so you can use it to get in base-to-base contact with enemy units. The advantage is that this maneuver happens before the assault phase, so your opponent can't charge you because you are already in cc with his unit.

A risk is when your unit is about 15"-18" far from the enemy.
If he doesn't fleet, he can't assault you, because you are too far. Right? Wrong!! He gets close, then shoots you. Now Righteous Zeal makes you advance, but not enough that you reach him, so when it's his assault phase you are close enough. The only way to prevent it is making intelligent movements and placing your units so far that you'll not even risk to get assaulted, even if you move. Then in your turn, you will be in the right position.


OTHER SPECIAL RULES:
BT suffer a penalty to Ld when they make the test to shoot to an enemy unit that isn't the closer.
This brings to the conclusion that BT shouldn't rely on fire supports to win. However, if you want to go that way, you can improve your Ld by taking a Commander for your army. (It isn't very fluffy, but it is comprehensible against other cc-oriented armies).

EDIT: How could I forget this rule?! BT are fearless during cc. This is a great bonus, but can turn to a problem when you are defeated and out-numbered. The simplest solution to this problem is maximizing your cc squads.

VOWS
The vow is a very useful way to specialize your army, but it can turn in a waste of points. The way to make the best use of it is to think your list around it.


Uphold the honour of the Emperor:
The cheapest vow. It really helps you if there isn't cover on the table and your opponent is full of AP 3 weapons (or better). The save it provides isn't very reliable, but it can be better than nothing. It helps only those who don't have any inv-save, because Terminators and Chaplains can rely on their own, and bikes can use turbo to be more protected.
The added bonus is immunity to Pinning for the whole army. This is awesome against Alaitoc Eldars (no pinning, no party) and snipers in general.

This vow is a waste when the table is full of cover, or if your opponent don't use many weapons that deny your normal saves.


Abhor the witch, destroy the witch:
Even more free movements for your army, and partial protection from psyonics.
Note that you must move towards an enemy VISIBLE unit, so this vow helps you only if you place your army where it can see the enemy (and obviously, be seen by them).
That movement takes place before the beginning of the match, so you can't
activate smokes on your vehicles, and leaving a Rhino out in the open without smokes isn't a good thing. And if you place it where he can't see/be seen, it will not benefit from the vow (= waste).
The protection from psychic powers is an added bonus, but it works only if those powers are directed to your army, so the Eldar Farseer that casts Fortune or Guide on his Guardians will not be hindered by this vow.

The drawback of this vow is that your army loses the possibility to Infiltrate, so you have to walk across the whole table.

My opinion is that this vow won't fit an army full of vehicles (for the above reasons), but it will be very good for an army with a lot of foot-slogging infantry. You run in the open? No problem, if he shoots you, the Righteous Zeal will make you run even more!!


Suffer not the unclean to live:
This vow is great if you know that you are going to fight enemies who are much faster (high initiative) or much slower (low initiative) than you in cc.
His bonus to strength is useful against tough people, but it forces you to sacrifice your I4.

The only situations where it doesn't matter is where the I doesn't matter, so against Necrons, I2 Orks, terminators, Tau, and on the other side I5 Eldars, Banshees. In those situations, you get the advantages of the vow, without any drawback.

It can be more a problem than a help when you fight I4 enemies, because suddenly you strike after them, and it hurts.

With I3 people, you attack at the same moment as them (without the vow, they would have hit after you).

Another problem is about your ICs. They rely on their I value to kill people before starting taking hits back. If they lose this privilege, their resilience is reduced.

Note that Neophytes aren't affected by this vow, so they are useful to dish out some I4 attacks before your I3 marines start theirs. This can soften enemies (specially I3 ones), and reduce the number of attacks you get.
However taking loads of neophytes means to waste this vow, because they aren't helped by the vow.


Accept any challenge, no matter the odds:
The most expensive, and my favourite. It forces you to charge everytime you can.
I don't see it as a problem, because we are a cc-army, so I would have charged even if I could choose.
Note that it say that you must charge IF YOU CAN, so just shoot twice with pistols or use heavy or rapid-fire weapons to declare that you CAN'T charge.
This vow makes your army benefit from the "favoured enemy" rule, so you hit on 3+ (only exceptions: vehicles, ICs and monstrous creatures).
As usual, this vow doesn't affect neophytes, so the least the best.

It is a waste against enemies that you already hit on 3+, or against armies full of monstrous creatures.



THE ARMY
I don't want to describe every choice for the army. Stam already did it for SM here

http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=27594.0

and what he said applies to BT too.
So I'll only add comments on how to use them well for a BT army.

HQ

COMMANDER: The leadership bonus is a great help to the army, because it makes easier to pass Righteous Zeal tests and leadership tests to shot to a distant unit. He is also a great cc character if equipped properly, so he is always welcome in a BT army.

CHAPLAIN: He makes you pass Righteous Zeal everytime, allows to take cenobites, so even more distance covered in the rush and he has Crusader seals for free. Add to this that he makes you re-roll to hit when you charge. What else can you ask?

LIBRARIAN: Every psyonic is a witch, so you can't have any psyonic in a BT army. Not even as an ally. (let's forget that the Emperor himself is a psyonic..... :P )

EMPEROR'S CHAMPION. This guy is the signature of a BT army.
You must field him and buy a vow, so he will dictate how your army will work. He has a impressive stat-line because he's born to kill ICs and in general every enemy on his way. His special rules help him in this risky job: if the unit with the Champion is in cc with a unit with a IC, the Champion must be moved in base-to-base contact with him, even if this means moving away other people form your unit (the Champion takes their place).

The huge utility is that if he moves your people away from ICs, their attacks will not hurt your unit for this turn. Ok, he will take those attacks at their place, but he has good saves, he has the I to strike back (often at the same time as the enemy IC), and the Ws and Str to make sure his attacks won't be wasted.
If you aren't satisfied by this, think that he also provides to the unit a good Ld.
The drawback is that he is a SM after all, so many weapons can insta-kill him, and he can be a point sink, due to the vow.
The only solution is to buy vows that will really improve your army, so those points won't be wasted.


ELITES
Same as SMs. See Stam's article.

FAST
Same as SMs.
The only difference are bike squadrons.
There you can get up to 3 times the same weapon, so you can create a very specialized unit.

3 Flamers, to hunt light infantry. Bikes have the movement to reach a good position to place the template, and after that they can also assault.

3 meltas can turn your squad in a nightmare for every tank. Add an attack bike with melta if you want to be extra-sure.

3 plasma can deal a good punch to heavy infantry and light vehicles, just remember that the plasma isn't mounted on the bike, so if the bikes move, they are forced to rapid-fire at 12".

3 power weapons are a good way to use the twin-linked bolters when approaching, and then assault.
However, remember that bikes aren't that strong in cc, so try to never leave them alone. Use them as a support for the rest of your army.

HEAVY
Same as SMs. The difference is that we can take as many LR Crusader as we wish (always respecting FoC) and that we can't have Devastator squads nor Whirlwinds.
The fluffy reason is that glory can't be achieved by shooting from the distance, or worse, from behind cover.

TROOP
The Crusader Squad
BT can't have scouts, but they can add neophytes to their squads. This gives us the possibility to create enormous squads of up to 20 men. The only drawback is the rule for mixed armors.
Is it really a drawback? I don't think so.
When you deploy your squad, there are about 24" between them and any opponent's unit, so he can target them only with middle-to-long ranged weapons (I mean, no rapid-firing requiems).
When the squad gets hit by a lascannon or a krak missile, there is no difference, it wounds easily and you can't make saves. I prefer to remove a Neophyte instead of a Initiate, because they don't benefits from vows, are worse in cc, and this triggers Righteous Zeal.

When you get closer to the enemy, where you may suffer from rapid-firing weapons, the majority turned to 3+, (thanks to the death of those Neophytes) so you can try to save them with better odds.

Note that attaching a Chaplain to the squad sets the majority at 3+. If you really want a 4+ majority, you must buy your Chappy a 2+ armor.

The only weapon that will ruin your day when you use this tactic is the heavy bolter, because it has the range to hit you in the first turn and it has AP 4. If majority* armor was 3+, you could have rolled for it, but if it is 4+, you can't make saves and you'll lose more neophytes.

There is a link in my signature ("Make the best of your Crusader squads") that shows that adding the most neophytes makes the squad cheaper and it reduces the* number of points-per-model.
This means that losing some models give to your opponent only a few VP.

How to equip the neophytes: they can choose only between shotgun or pistol + cc weapon. I would suggest pistols and cc weapons, to get more attacks when you reach cc.
The only advantage of the shotgun is the number of dice rolled in the shooting phase.
However, I think that before an assault, you shouldn't shoot.
Think that your squad will dish 8 pistol shots+ 14 shotgun shots (I'm assuming that the squad will arrive with some casualties). It's an impressive number of dice.
It risks to make the enemy run away for the fire, then you are unable to assault, and in the open. So, don't shoot.
And if you don't shoot, avoid shotguns and take pistols for the imminent cc.

Obviously Crusader squads can be smaller so you can give them the lovable Rhino, or can be tailored to be heavy weapons team. But for those uses, I again want to direct you to Stam's article.

BT EQUIPMENT
BT armory has one intersting item: the Holy Orb. This awesome one-shot weapon is good against tough opponents and monstrous creatures thanks to the fact that it wounds always at 2+. It also has an intersting AP value, and is an assault-type
weapon. Add that its point cost is really low, and it can damage vehicles too. I think it's a must-have.

Ok, this is my experience with Black Templars. I don't want to say that this is the only way to win with BT, or that this is the best way.
This is just what I do. Let me know what do you think of my strategy and what is yours.

And don't forget to scream: "For Sigismund!! For Dorn!! For the Emperor!!" This is the most important skill to master to be a real BT
__________________
Black Templars: we are the real men in black vs the aliens

Tactica: Black Templars
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=28873.0

Assault cannon for Dreadnought rules!! Here's why:
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=17692.0

Make the best of your Crusader Squads. How?
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=18509.0
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Old 14 Jul 2006, 22:15   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: Black Templars

Well i thought that was quite good, if i was a mod i think it would be worthy of a cup of Karma for effort, but unfortunately this is well out of my power. I know absolutely nothing about Black Templars but your 'tactica' sort of gave me a better understanding about Black Templars.

Well done.
 
Old 14 Jul 2006, 23:09   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Fran Bay Area, CA
Posts: 640
Default Re: Tactica: Black Templars

Nice job Ballloz!
A great writeup about the Black Templars,
I myself am new to the Black Templars (1 tactical squad and the codex) so this was very helpful to me .
Overall, great job, and I hope you get some karma for this.

Very thorough, good job mate, good job.
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Old 15 Jul 2006, 06:47   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 562
Default Re: Tactica: Black Templars

Nice article, though for me to officially call it a tactica it has to be a wee bit easier to read. Maybe some indentation and such? I personally try not to write tacticas for exactly this reason. To much formatting and not enough talking. Oh well, overall this is a very nice job! Only one mistake(I think). If I remember correctly, the Emporers Champion cannot be given a command squad nor can he ever join a squad. He is destined to always be an independant character, *sigh* oh well...

Steel Skeleton
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Unfortunately I then glued it so that the multi-melta was sticking out 90 degrees to the side of the tank, so it looks like the Adeptus Mechanicus guy is doing a drive-by.

--Commissar_Will
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Old 15 Jul 2006, 08:40   #5 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Posts: 143
Default Re: Tactica: Black Templars

Thanks a lot!!!

Quote:
Only one mistake(I think). If I remember correctly, the Emporers Champion cannot be given a command squad nor can he ever join a squad. He is destined to always be an independant character, *sigh* oh well...
You are right. He must always be an IC, but this doesn't mean that he must stay alone.
Of course he can't have a command squad, because that would make him lose its IC status, but this doesn't prevent him to join squads.
Like every IC he can join units and leave them, and he follows all the restrictions for ICs in cc.
__________________
Black Templars: we are the real men in black vs the aliens

Tactica: Black Templars
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=28873.0

Assault cannon for Dreadnought rules!! Here's why:
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=17692.0

Make the best of your Crusader Squads. How?
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=18509.0
Balloz is offline  
Old 15 Jul 2006, 18:38   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 562
Default Re: Tactica: Black Templars

Sorry, my mistake. I went back through and it says "...always fights as an independant character and may never lead, join, or be attatched to a command squad..." Sorry about that. Thank you for pointing that out to me or else I would have been in some sticky situations.

Steel Skeleton
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Unfortunately I then glued it so that the multi-melta was sticking out 90 degrees to the side of the tank, so it looks like the Adeptus Mechanicus guy is doing a drive-by.

--Commissar_Will
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Old 15 Jul 2006, 19:09   #7 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Black Templars

Why does everyone always paint the Templars as being an all-or-nothing assault force? They make a great shooting army, they just behave more like Sisters than a Guard gunline.

Ugh, it really annoys me when people pidgeonhole an army like that.
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Old 15 Jul 2006, 22:58   #8 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tactica: Black Templars

Well, let me see if I can explain why people generaly don't think of the Black Templars as a great shooting army. IMHO, I have to say that its because they are not a great shooting army. Actually, they take a penalty to shooting. They loose 2 of the "great shooting units" from the regular Space Marines army; the Whirlwind and the Devastator squads.
However, I also disagree that the Black Templars are an assault army. They are a close combat army. The biggest difference for me lies in the fact that Blood Angels have speed and are an assault army while the Black Templars have numbers and lots of CC weapons. If you want assault, play Blood Angels and not Black Templars. However, that does not make the Black Templars a shooting army. Vanilla Space Marines do that much better and vanilla marines are fluffier for that type of role anyway.
I think alot of people hate having and army deemed a "close combat army" or an "assault" army becuase they think that it means that it is all the army can do. I have never used an army title in this way. I use it to describe the theme of the army. In my Black Templars prospective list I have heavy weapons troop squads but for the most part I have them geared for CC and versatility. If you want to have a Space Marine army that is shooting themed then you are far better off with a different army.

Steel Skeleton
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Unfortunately I then glued it so that the multi-melta was sticking out 90 degrees to the side of the tank, so it looks like the Adeptus Mechanicus guy is doing a drive-by.

--Commissar_Will
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Old 16 Jul 2006, 07:14   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 143
Default Re: Tactica: Black Templars

Quote:
Why does everyone always paint the Templars as being an all-or-nothing assault force? They make a great shooting army, they just behave more like Sisters than a Guard gunline.

Ugh, it really annoys me when people pidgeonhole an army like that.
Quote:
Ok, this is my experience with Black Templars. I don't want to say that this is the only way to win with BT, or that this is the best way.
This is just what I do. Let me know what do you think of my strategy and what is yours.
I'm really interested in your strategy.
What do you do to make BT a good shooting army? Please, educate me. It can make the difference when fighting really-cc-oriented armies (Chaos, Tyranids, Orks).
__________________
Black Templars: we are the real men in black vs the aliens

Tactica: Black Templars
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=28873.0

Assault cannon for Dreadnought rules!! Here's why:
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=17692.0

Make the best of your Crusader Squads. How?
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=18509.0
Balloz is offline  
Old 16 Jul 2006, 09:58   #10 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 111
Default Re: Tactica: Black Templars

Steel Skeleton: Codex Marines do shooting better. And? Guard have the best tanks, does that mean nobody else should bother taking tanks because the Guard are so good?

Im not saying Templars are the most effective shooting army, Im saying they can be as effective in a shooting role as they can be in an assault role. Im just sick of people defining an army based solely on how it can be min-maxed from an army list standpoint and then telling every new player do do the same because "it's the best".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balloz
Quote:
Why does everyone always paint the Templars as being an all-or-nothing assault force? They make a great shooting army, they just behave more like Sisters than a Guard gunline.

Ugh, it really annoys me when people pidgeonhole an army like that.
Quote:
Ok, this is my experience with Black Templars. I don't want to say that this is the only way to win with BT, or that this is the best way.
This is just what I do. Let me know what do you think of my strategy and what is yours.
I'm really interested in your strategy.
What do you do to make BT a good shooting army? Please, educate me. It can make the difference when fighting really-cc-oriented armies (Chaos, Tyranids, Orks).
Didn't notice that little bit mate, sorry.

It's not that different to using them as an Assault force. First things first, trying for a gunline isn't going to work well, as Zeal will hinder you. It can be done, but it would be similar to playing ranged Blood Angels; you will always Zeal at the worst possible moment, it's just Sod's Law. The best way to play it is to treat them a little like Sister of Battle, just with S4 T4 and Vows instead of the whole Faith thing.

Load up on Neophytes; you want as many Bolters as possible to close with the enemy, so those little guys are going to soak up most of the casualties. Go with close-range weapons, plasma or melta(or flamer for cityfight), leave the heavy stuff to vehicles. A large(8 strong) Termie squad with dual assault cannons adds some serious backbone to your advance, and will make even niddies think twice before going for assault. Arm Neophytes with BP+CCW, so that any of them left by the time a CC occurs can throw in some extra attacks.

Basically, they play much like a Cleanse and Purify traited Codex force, how shooty they are overall depends on what support elements you throw in. For example, I love Assault Squads, and try to always have at least one. Dreads are also very handy; a las/missile dread will put the fear into any vehicles that are laying around, and in cityfight a FW dread with Inferno Cannon will be amazing.

The bolter seems to have gotten a bad rap lately, you either have True Grit or you should be toting BP+CCW, according to many, which I cant stand. In the end, Templars are not as serious a threat in assault as any of the main assault oriented armies, they will not stand for long against Khorne Berzerkers for example.

A lot of people play Templars with huge Assault units and a couple of support squads(5 man las/plas, usually), all Im saying is that they can be just as effective with those roles reversed; focus on short-range firepower, keep assault elements small and use them to reinforce your main line, leave the serious tankbusting work to dreads or speeders, and pick vows which compliment your personal tactics(I, for example, am a big fan of Abhor the Witch, Destroy the Witch, because it both fits with my army's theme and allows me to get an extra move towards any pesky Eldar or Marines with libbies, and helps negate the BT's lack of 'hoods to defend against enemy psykers.
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