Friday, February 4, 2011

Black Templars: Evolution of an 'Ard Boyz List

Hey all, as promised yesterday in my thoughts on Cyclonators, I said I'd share my thoughts on how my 'Ard Boyz list was evolving.  Before I get to the list, I wanted to go over my thought process, starting with a checklist of what I need in a 2,500 point Templar list.

Stand still while I cleave you in twain
1.  Mech Saturation.  The starting point of a 2,500 Templar list, in my opinion, is how you want to set up your Heavy Support.  Your choices are triple Predators, or Cyclonators in HQ or Elites.  If you go with Cyclonators, you won't have the points for mech saturation AND a close combat presence too.  A close combat presence being essential to me (see below), I decided that triple Predator Destructors is the choice.  So having made that choice, I will be playing heavy mech to have armor saturation.

2.  Close combat presence.  I want a the ability to either defend my firepower from opponent's close combat units, but also have the ability to throw down against opponents who are firepower based.  As I said in my post about 'Ard Boyz semis last year, I won't play a list that doesn't have a close combat element for a variety of reasons.  It also goes into my thoughts on Who's The Beatdown?  There will be match ups where I am the firepower list, and my opponent is the aggressive beatdown list.  Other times, it will be reversed.  Having a solid CC unit will allow me the versatility to play either role as needed.

3.  3+2.  This was a big mistake from my last list.  I tried to go with 6 firepower troop units, and I ignored my own advice about trying to control the midfield.  I didn't bring any midfield units, and it was a big mistake.  I was also obsessed with having 6 scoring units, which was a mistake.  Say what you will, Templars just don't have the cost efficiency to take 6  mechanized units.  I'd rather have 5 troop choices that do their jobs well, than 6 units that miss the boat.

So that's the checklist.  Now for the list, and my thought process for each unit.

Emperor's Champion
-Accept Any Challenge

[No need to explain why this is good.  AAC makes my Assault Terminators better than the same unit in other Codices.]

3x 5x Initiates
-Missile Launcher
-Smoke Launchers

[These are my three firepower scoring units.  Getting 1+1 from the slots, along with good anti-mech shots, and a plasma gun and potential frag shots to get some duality.  These will sit in my backfield and plink away with lots of firepower in a relatively cheap package.]

2x 5x Initiates
-CCW and Bolt Pistols
-Rhino w/ Smoke + Extra Armor

[These are my midfield troop units.  Basically designed to park near the midfield objectives and provide a melta threat bubble.  The question is, why not two of these and 3 of the Razor units, rather than vice versa.  Normally, you'd want to go heavier to the midfield, but I have midfield melta in other areas of my FoC so I can shift my Troops resources to more firepower.]

5x Landspeeders

[10 missile shots a turn, lots of armor saturation.  Decent duality.  Low points.  BroLo was right, only taking 3 of them isn't enough to provide saturation, and isn't as much firepower as you'd expect at 2,500.  5 seems more appropriate.]

3x Predator Destructor

[I've already explain my rational for this choice.  Armor saturation, and good mech suppression.  Also strong against monstrous creatures.  Obviously, I'll drop Searchlights off my list if there is no DoW scenario, but when has that ever happened at Preliminaries?]

2x Dreadnought
-Heavy Flamer
-Drop Pod

[I am not bringing the epically amazing Tank Hunting Ven Dread.  It's a great unit, but what this list needs is the ability to bring melta to the midfield or enemy backlines, and these do it.  Since they won't come in turn 1, the opponent can't game against them, and they will be more survivable.  The Heavy Flamer adds duality, because frankly, this list needs more game against hordes and this is an easy way to do it.]

10x Assault Terminators
-Furious Charge

[Here is my CC punch.  I've explained how integral they are already.  I'm not sold on Furious Charge because A. they will have a high proportion of TH/SS who don't benefit from it very much, and B. they are footslogging and even with Righeous Zeal they won't be getting the charge off all that often.  I'm think 7 TH/SS and 3 TLC terminators with the EC attached is a unit that not many people want to fight in CC, and it will give most anybody reason to pause.]

Total: 2,494

So some stats...
15 vehicles not counting drop pods
13 Missile Shots
9 Lascannon shots (3 twin linked)
3 Autocannons
4 Multi-meltas
2 Meltaguns
2 Heavy Flamers

Still a bit light on Meltas, but this is a metagame decision for me.  I do not believe that I will run into a 4+ Land Raider list at the prelims, but I know I'll run into Rhino/Razorback heavy lists.  I might re-think the balance for semis, but knowing my area the way I do, I think this is a better balance.

There are a couple of variations in my head that I will playtest as the tournament approaches, but I'd like to try switching a Dread out for a CC tooled up Marshal.  That will make my CC punch super scary, but also help my Troops shoot better.  I don't think it's worth the points, but it's questionable enough to be worth testing.  If I do that, I'd probably switch the other Dred for the Tank Hunter Ven Dred.  Whether that weakens my midfield presence too much, I'd probably have to switch the Troops around to having 3 melta bunkers 2 razors to maintain the same balance of midield/backline units.


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