Things look bleak for Black Templars these days. Their current codex is ancient and strictly non-competitive in a tournament setting as the main army. All the rumors point to the BT getting a White Dwarf codex sometime in 2013, and based on the history of the last few WD codices… let’s just say we might actually prefer to keep our ancient over-costed codex if the alternative is anything like the Sisters of Battle. Our current codex is a dinosaur on life support, and our future codex has a good chance of being still-born. Things could be better.
The BT are all but useless as a main army in competitive 6th edition. Our HQ and Troops are significantly overcosted, and as those are areas that every army needs to compete, it puts a strain out. So where is the glimmer of hope? Simply put, as allies. The BT have some interesting units that can be complimentary as an allied force, and I’ll go over the options here.
HQ: BT can bring a Terminator captain with a retinue of Tank Hunting 2x Ass-can/cyclone terminators. When is this useful? Let’s say you have a good codex that has good options in heavy support and elites, but you still want some more strong and tough anti-tank. Getting a shooty anti-tank unit out of an HQ slot is rare. Not many modern armies can bring shooty anti-tank units in HQ so if you are strapped for empty FOC slots, this can really bolster your army
Troops: As I mentioned before, our troops are stiflingly overpriced. But we have one attractive option: 20x man crusader squad with krak grenades. This is a fairly tough to shift blob that is Fearless in assaults and, when a chaplain is attached, will be in your deployment zone immediately if you choose to shoot at them. This unit is pricey for a Troop choice, but it provide something only Chaos normally has access to: a 20 man MEQ unit with close combat potential. There are a lot of armies who bring allied CSM just for this type of unit, and depending on the army and their ally options, this might be better. Or at least legal.
Elites: 5x Terminator squad with 2x heavy weapons and Tank Hunters. These are almost strictly better than any modern codex’ similar options.
Tank Hunting venerable dread with TLLC and Missile Launcher. The ability to glance kill the dread hurts the points investment you take in Venerable. However, your guns are 48” range and hit really hard. There are not too many better anti-heavy tank units in the game. I could easily see this incorporated into a GK list as the “fourth” psyfleman. Or in a C:SM Master of the Forge list as the “sixth” rifleman.
Heavy Support: Power of the Machine Spirit Vindicator. Our FAQ weakened this option by changing PotMS to match the new codices. However, other books can’t take PotMS on their Vindis, so this is a unique option. Many SM lists these days are bringing Vindis, and some other armies that can’t wish they could. This is the option to take an upgraded Vindi. I would definitely consider this one in any list that is considering bringing a Vindi.
That’s about it. Like I said, this codex is on life support/death row; so us remaining Black Templar players have to do the best with what good options are left.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions?