Saturday, June 13, 2015

Back in Black!

Well, it certainly does sound as though the Black Templars have come out of the new Codex quite well.

Chatter over at the Bolter and Chainsword points to a whole lot of excitement around some units that hadn't been that widely used in the previous codex simply because there were other more effective options, and which I happen to own but didn't use before! (always a nice bonus to realize you have a model to put on the table!)

But now...

The Emperor's Champion really is a Champion!

My Emperor's Champion

Now with x3 attacks at Strength 6, AP2, instant death on a 6 AND re-rolls in a challenge? Sounds pretty good!  The EC has always been an interesting part of the fluff - gifted with a vision and a big sword - now he might just actually perform as a Champion on the table, as well as in print.

See "The Emperor's Champion is a Big Winner in the new 'Dex"

Grimaldus, now new and improved...
Methinks you will be joining my next crusade...
Not only has his points cost become a bit more reasonable (150) but he (his servitors) now grant Feel No Pain to UNITS within a 6 inch bubble. I think previously that rule only granted FNP to Models within 6 inches, so this significantly ups the game for units around him. (Stick him a Landraider Crusader and units around the Crusader will be affected?)

See "Grim just got cheap enough to be worth runnin"

Kids these days...
...actually can shoot fight worth a damn. 

Black Templar Neophytes (Templars in training) being Space Marine Scouts, have had their Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill improved back to WS4 and BS4, the same as a regular marine. I guess they will be more expensive then previously, but from a BT game point of view (where they could make up around half of a Crusader Squad to bulk up the squad to a large size and act as meat shields) this is interesting...

...but not without controversy from a fluff/ game point of view.

"If they are a Space Marine in training, then they shouldn't have the same stats as Space Marines"
"In game terms, making more and more units WS4, BS4 is getting ridiculous!"

See "How do you feel about WS 4 BS 4 Space Marine Scouts"

Looking forward to learning more as the new Codex gets devoured and tested by more experience players than I.


In other news, I will be naming a squad in honour of Christopher Lee, who sadly passed away last week...

...RIP to a man who played Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes, Count Dooku, Frankenstein, Saruman, Scaramanga, and many more...
...and who also happened to be (probably), a secret agent, and (definitely) an actor who out-Bacons Kevin Bacon in any game of "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" 
...and an award winning Heavy Metal artist.

If you think you are man enough (and can handle the feeling that you are by comparison a pathetic loser), read more about Sir Lee here: 

(TL;DR: "22 Incredible Facts about the Life and Career of Sir Christopher Lee".)

Metal for the Metal God!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tampering with the Templars?

Hmmm, interested to see a post today over at Bell of Lost Souls with a snippet of BT information from the new Space Marine Codex, this time about Chapter Tactics in the new book. Looks like some changes?

Holy Crusaders?
Lost Librarius?
Righteous Zeal?

If nothing else, it is good to see the Black Templars listed there.

There was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth in the run up to the last Marines book, with everyone wondering what would happen - would the Templars disappear entirely? That turned out not to be the case, despite some changes. Although I have only used them a few times, they are turning into one of my favorite armies. That COULD be because I only started with them in the most recent edition so the changes didn't make much impact on me. The way I see it though, even if there are some rules changes, you still get to kit them out with with chainswords and run (or wheel) them across the field.

Looking forward to getting my hands on the Codex...
... The printed version that is!
(I won't make the same mistake I did last year in getting the PDF version. It simply wasn't as accessible as the iBook/ Apple version, sadly.)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Tau v. Black Templars, 1,500 pt Battle Highlights

The very same afternoon my Skaven got beaten up, I played a 1,500 point game of 40K using my Space Marine Black Templars against Tau. For the sake of time, this used exactly the same list I had some success with against a Tyranid force in a previous game


- a layer or two of cover-ignoring template death from afar (Whirlwind Missile Launchers)
- a dash of tracked, high-powered pew-pew (Lascannons on x2 Razorbacks)
- a pinch of backfield harassment (Sternguard in drop pod)
- a slathering of airborne support (Stormtalon)...
...all of this wrapped around a sweet core of Xenos-squashing, chainsword-wielding fanatics (blob squad in a Land Raider crusader).

My opponent brought a shooty, Tau foot-slogging list (is there any Tau list that isn't shooty?). 

- A couple of Broadsides with rail weapons and plasma.
- Crisis suit unit.
-Commander with bodyguards.
-Kroot unit with sniper rifles.
-Two units of Firewarriors.
-Two units of Pathfinders.
- A unit of Stealth suits with drone markerlight support.

At this point, you might be thinking...

"...wot no tanks?"

Yes, as a former Tau player, I was initially surprised to see a complete lack of heavy armour or flying transports, but as it turned out, my opponent had no option but to bring a foot list, as he hadn't been able to find his tanks before coming over...

Even so, I was looking forward to my first game against Tau in this edition. Also, my first 40K army was Tau and I still have a soft place in my heart for the minions of the Space Pope. 
AND, it is always great to see Kroot on the table!

The game:

Game type: Keeping it simple, we went for a VPs game.

Tau Deployment:
Pathfinders went on either flank (assuring nice interlocking fields of Markerlight fire!). 
One broadside took up position in a bunker, anchoring his two units of Firewarriors on either side. One was in the open, the other clustered around an old bunker.
On the far hill, another Broadside was supported by a second unit of Pathfinders.
All the crisis suits, Kroot and Stealth suits stayed in reserve.

Black Templars deployment:
A line of black, tracked boxes...
Subtle eh?

Razorbacks stacked opposite the Broadside on the hill, with Whirlwind Missile launchers in the centre, and Landraider on the opposite flank. I hoped to take a chunk out of his Firewarriors with my missile launchers, while rushing my LR down a flank.

Game Highlights.

Early on in the game, the Landraider faces a unit of Pathfinders. A round or two of cannon fire would take them down to 1 man, but not destroy them entirely.

Tau Stealthsuits come in, accompanied by Markerlight drones. 

It isn't long before the Razorbacks go down. Hmmm, massed Firewarrior Pulse Rifle fire sure does glance those hull points down pretty quickly! The Crusader squad makes it out alive, but is now staring down a whole load of Tau firepower...

After a couple of turns, the BT left flank is now a mass of destroyed hulls! (See image below) One Razorback and a Whirlwind has been destroyed. To make matters worse, a unit of Crisis suits manages to deepstrike in the back field, right behind another Razorback.

Fortunately for me though, my Stormtalon has come on. Although it isn't equipped properly for this fight (no enemy flyers upon which to unleash my Skyhammer missiles) the pilot still makes use of his cannon on the Tau infantry around the table.

Now this next image is what we (Black Templars) like to see! 
Noting that the Landraider won't be able to make it around the side of the table in time, the Black Templar blob squad disembarks, hoping to foot slog to glory (and the juicy Tau Firewarriors in the centre field...)
...meanwhile the Landraider continues to whittle down the Kroot with cannon and bolter fire.

The Tau have done a jolly good job of taking out the Whirlwinds and Razorbacks , but the Stormtalon looks like it may dominate this side of the field, as evidenced by its ability to take a few wounds at a time from the Firewarriors.

The Stormtalon zooms towards one of the Firewarrior units.

...and although I don't have an image of this, that same Tau Firewarrior squad manages to defeat a small Crusader squad in close combat!

Unfortunately we didn't have time to finish the game, but at this point, the game was even (in terms of points won by either side). It would have been an interesting second half though:
-The big BT squad with Captain heading towards the Tau (will the unit of sniper-round Kroot nearby take them out?)...
-The Sternguard and Drop pod still to come in (can I take out his Warlord?)...
-The Landraider Crusader barreling down the flank...
-The Tau commander and his bodyguards still to come in from reserve.

Thanks to my opponent for a fun game - really great to see Tau on the table - makes me want to fight for the Greater Good again!
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