Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dipping My Toes Back In...

You’d thought you’d seen the last of me.  Hah!  I quit hobby for the last 4 or so years because 6th Edition 40k ruined the game as I enjoyed playing it.  You know all the criticisms: too random, too slow, too much roleplaying, clunky rules etc.  When 7th Edition came out, I looked at the rules quickly and read a bit around the community and the vibe was slightly better but I was still unimpressed.  The allies thing didn’t sit well with me, I hated the idea of competitive players being forced to bring the all star units of two or more armies and mashing them together in order to field a competitive list.  Before you list to me all the mono-army lists that were competitive don’t bother, I don’t care and 7th edition is over so no use debating it.  I just wasn’t interested in the Apocalypse non-sense and the allies, and god help us the formations which basically told competitive players: pick the formation that gets you the most free points of models and smash the other players who were too stupid to do what you did.



So yeah, typical gripes.  When 8th edition leaks started hitting, I decided to see what was up.  Lo and behold the game looks… playable again?  It looks like a much more balanced game than it has been since 5th Edition.  While I haven’t played any sample games or deep dived into the rules enough to declare whether shooting or melee or transports or whatever are “best” again.  But, while I haven’t figured the game out by any means, there are definitely some things I noticed that stood out as cool.  These will either be general things or more specifically in regards to Black Templars.  I guess I need to dip my toes in the pool again and see if I like being wet.

First up, Marines can take 5 man Tac/Crusader squads with a heavy weapon.  This is actually huge.  One strength of Black Templars in 5th Edition, and vanilla marines in 4th edition was the ability to bring a 5 man squad with a heavy weapon in a razorback which would give maximal firepower from our troops with minimal points investment.  Since vehicles appear much harder to kill in 8th, their points cost reflects this.  We will have to pay a bit more for this playstyle than 4th edition, but nonetheless, I am excited to see my shooty templars back in action.

Secondly, character Chapter master auras are insanely powerful.  Helbrect (a model I’ve never played in all my years of playing Templars, heretic I know) is amazing.  Remember, Chapter Master rerolling to-hits applies to vehicles and to shooting.  This means Helbrect inside a Land Raider Crusader can mow down a silly amount of troops or light vehicles.  Twin assault cannon gets 12 shots with rerolls to hit for Helbrect.  That’s nutty.  His reroll to hit combined with +1 strength aura means that Lightning Claw terminators are very scary.  3 Strength 5 attacks, reroll to hits, and reroll to wounds.  Thats enough rerolling to threaten Monsters and Vehicles with “only” strength 5.  But they simply chew up any infantry.  Maybe I’m being too fluffy, but I think a LRC with Helbrect and some assault terminators is too good a combo not to at least try.  It’s a bit of a fragile death star for sure.  Also, Thunderhammers don’t strike last anymore.  They do have a minus 1 to hit penalty but… Helbrect allows re-rolls to hit.  The only drawback to a Thunderhammer ball is the cost, 56 points per model is no joke.

Third, unlike vanilla marines, Crusader squads can take a heavy, special and combi-weapon in a 5 man squad.  This is pretty nuts.  Tactical squads need to take 10 man squads to bring all three which limits their ability to MSU though they can combat squad to partially mitigate this.  For Templars that just means our “close combat” army is able to out fire-power our vanilla brothers on a point for point basis.  Why?  Your guess is as good as mine.

All of my 5th Edition Templar lists were similarly structured: heavy long range shooting from 5 man tacs + razorbacks forced enemy to come close if they couldn’t out shoot us, and I would use my terminator assault squads in Land Raiders as counter-charge units to eat whatever of theirs got too close and was too threatening.  For the enemies who could actually beat us in a long range shooting battle the LRC and assault Termies could advance quickly to take out their best shooty units.  Will this playstyle work in 8th?  No idea, but it’s my starting point.

One thing that sorta sucks, is I dont currently own any Grav cannon models since they didn’t exist when I played.  I am reliably informed that Grav cannons are the best heavy weapon for marines.  I’d rather not buy the bits to make 6 of them if I am not sure I’ll be back to the hobby again, but just how big of a drop off is there from Grav Cannons to the next most efficient weapon?  Interestingly, Las cannons and missile launchers are equally prices at 25 points a pop, but las cannons are significantly deadlier single target.  Presumably the versatility of the missile launcher is its selling point.  I think I will at least start with Las Cannons and see how much extra anti-infantry fire I need.  Plasma Cannons also mathhammer quite well too.  

So Command Points.  Battalion brings with it an HQ and Troop Tax.  For me, the Troops I can bring are quite points efficient, however the second HQ is a bit prohibitive.  As cool as the Emperor’s Champion is, he is basically a big dumb close combat monster.  A basic Chaplain would actually be better since it at least buffs the guys with him.  But I genuinely don’t want a second HQ, especially a big dumb close combat monster, because it’s points that should go to shooting.  So the Emperor’s Champion is, essentially, a big dumb close combat character with two bonus command points.  Maybe I’m wildly off base, but in an army with a lot of redundant shooting and close combat I shouldn’t need the re-rolls that much.  Maybe time will tell and those CP are more valuable than I expected?

That said, here is my Shooty Templar 8th Edition 2000 starter list!

Black Templars - Vanguard Detachment

Helbrect - 170
-Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon - 115

Crusader Squad (5) - 103
-Las cannon
-Plasmagun
-Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon - 115

Crusader Squad (5) - 103
-Las cannon
-Plasmagun
-Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon - 115


Crusader Squad (5) - 99
-Plasma Cannon
-Plasma Gun
-Razorback w/ Twin Lascannon - 115

Dreadnaught - 136
-TL Autocannon
-TL Autocannon

Dreadnaught - 136
-TL Autocannon
-TL Autocannon

Dreadnaught - 136
-TL Autocannon
-TL Autocannon

Land Raider Crusader - 244

Terminator Assault Squad (7) - 392
-7x TH/SS

Total: 1979

Command Points: 4

Lean and mean.  Not a ton of models on the battlefield actually, but really good close combat units and also quite good shooting.  10 las cannons, 1 plasma cannons, 2 assault cannons, 12 Autocannons, and three plasma guns.  Not exactly withering firepower but considering assault terminator unit point investment its nothing to sneeze at.  I could imagine a shootier version that ditches the terminators and LRC entirely, brings more shooty units, and a bare bones HQ choice along with combi-plasma guns on all the Sword Brethren to maximize the fire power.

In previous editions, I would probably never consider a single-rock Land Raider unit.  However, the chances of a Land Raider being destroyed on the first or second turn are now really low from what I can estimate.  I’m really excited to see if that holds up in actual playing.


It will be interesting to see how “troop centric” 8th Edition is, or if small elite armies can win battles.  I can’t wait to see.  Thoughts?

4 comments:

  1. This looks like a nice list. I agree with you that *th ed seems to be streamlined.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Quick note that im pretty sure being inside a land raider will mean no aura buff - its in the side bar for transports. So Hellbrect will have to walk + advance behind his tank but it other wise works as mentioned.

    Grav is still good but mathhammer may come into it more. after few games have i have questioned if it is the best option still - wounding a lot of priority targets on 5+ even getting the d3 damage boost is a bit ifffy. Its high volume of fire make it a solid all round weapon though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right about the auras. At very least after a disembark he will still be close enough in the shooting phase to buff the LRC before combat starts.

      Delete