Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Black Templars, 6th Edition, and Close Combat

I've tried to stay away from everything coming out of the rumor mill in regards to 6th Edition, but I think some of the recent stuff is solid enough that it's worth speculating on.  Two things I've read recently seemed to scream out "Black Templars" to me, and that's a good thing.  Good Black Templar news has been pretty slim lately after the codex rumors were proven to be fake.

Fingers crossed, but we're coming back!
First, AP is a thing in close combat so we hear, and we also hear that power weapons are AP3.  Terminators rejoice!  This is a huge, huge deal.  In most armies, the dedicated close combat units are armed with power weapons.  These units are no longer scary to terminators.  Thus, the tier system for close combat is much different.

Close Combat Tiers 5th Edition:

1.  Storm Shield Terminators
2.  Rending infantry units with lot's of attacks
3.  Power weapon armed elite infantry of various sorts
4.  Non-dedicated units that can still beat normal troops (shooty terminators)

Now it's safe to assuming that Rending is going to be AP3 which would give it parity with power weapons.  I could be totally wrong, and it could be AP2, but it would seem odd to me for Rending attacks to be superior to power weapons.  Time will tell.

Close combat tiers 6th Edition

1.  Storm Shield Terminators
2.  Power fist armed 2+ infantry (shooty terminators, mega-nobz)
3.  Lightning Claw Terminators (these are usable again because while they still lose to SS terminators, they beat power weapon and rending infantry now, where they used to lose to.)
4.  Shooty terminators
5.  Renders
6.  Power weapon armed infantry (these guys dropped way down the ladder.  Sure they can take out basic troops with ease, but so can everything above them on the list.  And they lose horribly to everything above them on the list.  In a world full of Paladins (who become insanely powerful in close combat now to everything except SS terminators) these things are practically unusable.)

These changes put BT in a pretty good position, if true.  While Preferred Enemy is likely catching a nerf, our SS terminators are likely superior to anybody else's except Vulkan.  Our Lightning Claws terminators are also superior to most others' with the ability to get Furious Charge; so if they turn out to be a usable unit, they could see play.  The problem is it would be hard to think of a situation where you'd want the LC guys when you have the choice, maybe against horde armies, but that's about it.

Also, since our shooty terminators are the best in the business.  Yes, hi we get 2 Cyclone Launchers, Tank Hunters (which will do something good in 6th we can assume) and we no longer have to fear getting assaulted by power weapon armed infantry.  This puts BT in a very good place.  Our shooty terminators literally only fear TH/SS terminators, which is something they already feared.  Since fearing TH/SS terminators is nothing new, and BT players still usually took 2+ squads of the shooty terminators I don't see why you would take fewer now.  In fact, an argument could be made to bring a 3rd squad over the usual heavy support choice of Predators/Vindicators that people bring.  Really, the only thing that could slow it down is if Tank Hunters is useless.  If it remains the same, it will be a no brainer to load up on these guys.  If it comes lame, we will have to re-evaluate.  But even without Tank Hunters, 2 units of these are still one of the best things a BT list could be doing.

Moving along.

The next 'rumor' is a bit more speculative.  Stelek has been stating that Land Raiders will be competitive in 6th Edition.  What will the change be?  He hasn't said specifics, but the reason why they are unplayable now is that they die to cheap crap melta units.  So we can assume that anything which makes them good again means that either melta gets some kind of a nerf, or AV14 gets some kind of a buff.  No real need to speculate.  But let's assume that Land Raiders are competitive again.  While I take that with a grain of salt, Stelek has been known to be not talking about of his ass about upcoming releases.  

So who has the best Land Raiders?  That'd be Black Templars.  Our Land Raiders don't die to Lances, and if AV14 is somehow melta-resistant, that means our Land Raiders don't die to very much at all.  This is good for BT, obviously.  Remember the new close combat tier list I made up there?  Our dedicated CC units are better than almost everybody else's.  And now our delivery mechanism is better than everybody else's.  This could be very good.  Since our Heavy Support section has, since our Typhoon Land Speeders got buffed, been the weak link in our FoC we have the points to spend on a Land Raider.  The hard part will be deciding between CC terminators in a Land Raider or 3 units of Shooty Terminators.  

The answer, I suspect, will come down to what they do with Tank Hunters and Preferred Enemy.  I haven't heard anything about those abilities, so it's hard to speculate further.  One thing I will say, if AV14 is hard to kill, and Kill Points stick around, that could be something to consider.  BT can do a kill point denial list with 5 Land Raiders very easily.  If the switch is made back to VP, there will be a lot to figure out.

For the first time in a long time, I'm excited to be a BT player.

Thoughts, comments, questions?


  1. Gah! You beat me to it and I didn't even realize it. I was writing my own version of this article myself to be posted up tonight, but you got me on it. Should be enough differences in our posts to make it worthwhile though. ;)

    1. Can't wait to read your thoughts.

    2. Have to make some alterations to mine, to reference stuff that you said in yours. Should be good to go soon. Had some car-related maintenance to take car of first. ;)

    3. "after the codex rumors were proven to be fake."

      The guy who posted up the original rumors recanted his "I made it all up" statement, noting he was tired of the whining. I would be careful of throwing out the rumors completely just yet. Rather, postpone them a little while... ;)

    4. Just to spam up your thing a little bit more:

      Anyway, I don't think I really addressed your article in my comment. I think most of what you said here is dead on. The only thing really that I'd add is that I don't necessarily think that Assault Terminators will be making that resurgence that is theoretically possible. At least in mass. Why? Because we have the ability to create an effective "Blackwing" force that is actually competitive now. 6th Edition sounds like it will only make it BETTER than it was before by taking out one of its biggest weaknesses: close combat.

      Now, you still have to be careful with your troops, but that has always been the case. Toss 3-4 basic Crusader squads in Drop Pods and they are given a measure of protection from incoming fire. That'll help their survivability. Or if you're playing higher level points (2000+), put a couple of Crusader squads in Land Raiders and laugh.

      The only army that will give us difficulty in that format will be Deathwing as it currently stands. In a Terminator vs Terminator slugfest, they've got the upper hand because they can take SS's. But we might be able to equalize the odds with our more numerous long range firepower.

    5. One thing to consider, missiles are only awesome because of the mech situation in 5th. If 6th is Infantry on foot and Land Raiders, leaving light mech out, missiles lose a lot of their utility. If that light mech spam does die, assault terminators start to lose better because they have game against foot infantry and land raiders.

    6. But you also have to remember that our terminators also have the opportunity to take dual-AC's in our squads, with Tank Hunters. Depending on how rending works out, these could very well be a viable replacement for the CML if the change is needed. Especially if we're going to be aggressive with the termies.

    7. Very true. I'm not going to complain if BT become too competitive.