Thursday, March 3, 2011

Adapt or Die: Black Templar Troops in 5th Edition Updated

Waaaaaaaay back in the mists of time, I posted an article about Black Templar troops in 5th Edition.  A lot has changed, thanks to the FAQ.  And really, it isn't that the troop choices themselves have been greatly altered, but that the armies in general are constructed differently, and thus the troops do different things and are built differently.

So it's time to update this for 2011.  Let's party.

Troop Choice #1:  5x Initiates with HW and SW in a TLLC Razorback.  

This combo costs more than the equivalent loadout for SW or BA or SM AND it doesn't get LCTLPG Razorback.  Despite those weaknesses, it has some strengths.  For starters you cram a heavy and a special weapon into a 5 man squad.  So you are getting 3 (counting the Razorback) support weapons per troop slot.  That's good.  The fact that two of them are heavy weapons, as opposed to double specials, means that these units are best used as a gunline.  Typically, they operate by having the Initiates deployed in cover and then the Razors are free to move 6" per turn firing with the TLLC as needed.  I've kept the weapon choices for the Crusader squads open, since what you pick depends a lot on army construction.  Since these will be backline units, most often the Special weapon will be a Plasma Gun.  The heavy can be a lascannon or missile launcher depending on your needs.

Troop Choice #2 5x Initiates with meltagun in TLLC Razorback with Power of the Machine Spirit.

This is expensive, but powerful.  The Razorback can move 12" and still shoot.  That means it packs the same mobile firepower as a Blood Angel's Razor, with the added bonus that it can shoot even if Shaken or Stunned.  If, or when, you get demeched, your initiates have a meltagun.  This is an aggressive troop choice, and it's often seen speeding up a flank trying to get side armor shots off and putting meltas in people's faces.  But do remember, this is a points expensive way to go and it should be used only if a list demands it.  Not bad for a dual rock list at 2k points.  The Razorsbacks will be the least of your opponent's worries and should have some survivability.

Troop Choice #3 10x Initiates with Meltagun and Powerfist in a Drop Pod

Clearly, this is another choice that goes in a highly specialized list.  I haven't seen a Drop Templars list that knocked my socks off, but having the old drop pod rules gives them potential.  If I was going to play such a list, this is the way to do it.  Melta gives you something to shoot when you come down, and the fist will help in close combat.  10 bodies is preferrable to 5, since the Pods cost a bit more, and 10 bodies is a legit close combat threat whereas 5 can be torrented away.

Troop Choice #4 5x Initiates with a Lascannon

This is the dirt cheap option.  For 95 points you get 5 3+ save bodies to sit on an objective in cover and plink away with a lascannon.  These fulfill the role that you normally see scouts with camo-cloaks do in 'Nilla Marine armies: a cheap, hard (for the points) to shift objective sitter with a heavy weapon.  These go pretty well in aggressive lists where you will be pushing forward with your other stuff and need to hold some bodies back and don't want to commit tons of points to a Razorback to do it.

Troop Choice #5 5x Initiates in Rhino with Meltagun and Multimelta.

Most mech armies need midfielders.  To be considered a real midfielder, you generally need dual (or more) meltas in a relatively cheap package.  That's where these come in.  Put them to the midfield turn one and pop smoke, your opponent will likely have to commit significant resources to killing a Rhino and then the demeched Initiates will still be able to fire double meltas on your turn.  They will provide a nice 12"/24" melta bubble until they get wiped out.

So that's competitive Templar troop choices as they stand today.  For a codex with only a single troop choice, you can get a surprisingly high variety out of it, enough to suit almost any role you could ask of them.  Did I miss anything major?  Let me know!


  1. THX for the nicce review! Why no plasma in the 5 man lascannon troopers?

  2. To keep them as cheap as possible. You could add plasma if you have the points, but generally when you use the 5 man no box with lascannon choice, it is to get a cheap, dangerous scoring unit under 100 points.