Sep 23, 2012

Versus Cynicism Part 2: Warlords

HQs really haven’t changed much in how you will need to equip them. If you’re going to be spending many points on them or putting them into close combat, then it becomes imperative that you have the tools to handle yourself there, but otherwise the traits are often more important.

Since Power Weapons are AP3 you will need to think about whether or not you want to be able to kill Terminators and the like. If yes, then you need a Powerfist, otherwise a Lightning Claw or less will do just fine and let you keep your high Initiative. You may think that you need a 2+ save in order to keep it against Power Weapons, but don’t bother. Powerfists will be more common than before and a 3+ Invulnerable is a better way to go.

If you expect to face challenges then Terminator Honors becomes a good purchase and if you are really decking-out your Warlord (Powerfist, Terminator Armor, Storm Shield) then you should probably also grab an Adamantine Mantle if points allow.

Commander versus Chaplain comes down to the rest of your list. If you have an assault oriented list or a particular close combat unit then the Chaplain will suit you well. Otherwise the Commander provides a very nice army-wide benefit.

In the new edition, I think that spending the 15 points for an extra wound on your Warlord (a Marshal or a Master of Sanctity) becomes much more worth it, especially if you already have an Adamantine Mantle.

As for the Warlord traits, almost all of them are only selectively useful. However, if you are taking a defensive-based Warlord, such as one leading a Terminator Squad with Heavy Weapons or sitting back with some squads, then Personal Traits are the best candidates, potentially making your Warlord scoring, have FNP when near an objective or Counter-Attack when in your deployment zone. For an aggressive Warlord either Command Traits or Personal Traits are good choices, Command being a little more suited to having several assaulting units while Personal Traits work better for a single powerful unit.
However, since the trait you get is random, make sure that you do not rely on any of them when designing your list. That’s all I have for now, but next I will be getting into Drop Pods hopefully.

Versus Cynicism Part 1: No, our troops aren't terrible.

So I was reading through the comments on a recent article on Implausible Nature ( and what I found in the comments was a general despair at our ability to compete now.

Several people are under the impression that Black Tide was suddenly a good list, Algesan and Bigdunc believe that our troops are basically worthless and that we should either look predominantly to allies for scoring units, go for very few troops and just kill our opponent’s, or just not take Black Templars as our Primary Detachment.

What the hell? Where did this come from? Okay, I can see the reason for focusing on killing the opponent’s troops, but as our only sure option? Was their some new FAQ that I didn’t know about that doubled the price of our initiates or took away their armor save? Did every other army not get affected by the new edition? Did Crusader Blobs suddenly become durable or dangerous?

Sixth edition did not kill the Black Templars, not by a long shot. Are the a few dynamic changes for us? Between the edition and the FAQ, yes, but still nothing that ruins our ability to compete. We are still basically the same army that we were. Our troops are just as good and just as bad as they have always been and a little Righteous Zeal move doesn’t fundamentally change us.

The biggest changes that we have gotten are that we have to move the full distance for Righteous Zeal, we have new Drop Pod Assault Rules, we have to take another HQ and our Typhoons are even less durable in comparison to Rhinos than they were before.

Strategy-wise, this means that we will need to make sure our non-close combat Crusader Squads are in vehicles and we need another HQ. That’s it. There are a few adjustments we have to make to our lists due to the new edition, but those are adjustments that everyone will have to make and are by no means particularly harmful to Black Templars.

Okay, Objective-holding Crusader Squads with guns need Rhinos and we should spend 100 points on a Marshal for Leadership 10 across our army. Got it. Why are we no longer viable as a Primary detachment again? Is it because our lists need some fine tuning to fit better with the new edition?

You know what? I’m going to work on that. I’ll go through what we need to change to get our Drop Pod lists to function right with their new rules, do a thorough examination of some good HQ outfits to go with and what Warlord traits might be good. I’ll analyze which vows are ideal to take now and maybe even get into how we stand between close combat and shooting. Oh, and I will do it all without looking to allies to make our codex function correctly because we don’t need them.

If you want to go with only a few troops and try to out-kill your opponent (Kill Them All), that’s fine. That strategy has been around, fairly unexplored, for a while now and is only recently getting some more attention due to success that at least one player has had with it, but I will be focusing on 4+ troop choices predominantly because we can.

I’m going to get working on those posts I’ve promised now, but if anyone has any questions or comments feel free to bring them forward and I will be more than happy to read and answer them.

Sep 1, 2012

Some initial 6th ideas.

I really should apologize for not posting in…a while, especially since I don’t have school as an excuse anymore (well, until this past week anyway). But this will be the last time I do so.

The last time I apologize, I mean. Warhammer has kind of fallen behind for me, including reading articles from YTTH, Implausible Nature and 3++ (something that I will be trying to start again soon), and with the new school year, I’m just going to not post very often. I’m saying this now so that anyone interested has a heads-up and won’t be expecting regular posts. That said, I will be able to finally get some 6th edition games in soon and I will likely be sharing my thoughts and ideas as they come to me.

Speaking of which I haven’t had a chance to really examine the changes in 6th edition, but I have been able to look at a few and I thought of some things which might affect Black Templar List building. Like the changes to the vehicle damage chart and my thoughts on the little I’ve read about Black Templars now being worth fielding for close combat, but first, Terminators.

Again, I haven’t read much since before 6th came out but I did catch a couple of articles by Marshal Learoth about Terminators being more durable now and Terminator based armies (such as 3-5 units of CML Terminators in a single army). Frankly, I don’t really see that happening for a number of reasons.

First, Mech is generally less durable, especially against Torrent of Fire weapons. So there will likely be more anti-infantry firepower in general now. Second, AP 2 is actually different against vehicles than AP 3, so Plasma will begin to re-emerge to replace some of the Missile Launchers. People will also become more aware that Terminators will need to be cleared out by low-AP firepower instead of protected Power Weapons, and Plasma is again a good choice for that.

So while Terminators will be more durable in close combat, I’m expecting there to be more options taken to handle them. They will still be usable, but not really a huge power-boost.

But I mentioned Torrent of Fire being much more effective against vehicles. That’s true now that we have Hull Points you can be guaranteed that three glancing hits will kill most vehicles. Penetrating is still more effective, but without a low AP you’re relying on a chance to score an instant kill and I see weight of fire becoming more rewarding than before.

Since AP 2 is also more effective, Assault Cannons become a more valid choice over the Cyclone Missile Launchers. Twice as many shots and I think rending hits are AP 2 (they were against Infantry, and I think I saw that they are against vehicles now, too). Range isn’t too much of an issue when you deploy correctly, and with Tank Hunter and harmful glances their lower strength isn’t too much of an issue.

They may not become the new standard, but they are a little bit better choice than they were in 5th.

Related to Terminators and as a side note, Artificer Armor is now “Power Weapon proof” armor. 20 points is still too expensive in my opinion, and Terminator Armor is still better 90% of the time, but it’s worth a brief mention.

Now then, Close Combat. How are we supposed to be better at it again? Rage is a little better than the old Preferred Enemy when we charge, and now we can stack that with Litanies of Hate? Is that it? I guess our Terminators are more durable against Power Weapons, but as I mentioned above they are more likely to be targeted outside of close combat. So what’s our big advantage that makes us a close combat army?

It’s still dead. We will lose our Power Weapons early because we have no Sergeants and after the initial charge we are, at best, marines with an extra attack each. Before we could get by with Accept Any Challenge, because it made us always better in close combat, but now we have one shot and then we wail uselessly against our foes.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just not looking for a close combat advantage because I started out wanting to play more shooty Black Templars, but I just don’t see any real steps in the direction of Close Combat aside from Powerfists being more effective on the first round of combat (but worse afterwards).

Anyway, that’s about all I have for now. Well, there’s a little issue in that we can no longer take Drop Pods in our entire army, but that is a mistake on GW’s part and should be fixed when they get a chance to update the FAQ.

Any comments, thoughts or questions are, as always, welcome. Once I actually get a chance to really read through the 6th edition rules I may have more thoughts and the same will likely happen for the first few games I get in. Until next time.