Black Templars are at last getting their own codex. Not only that but it comes in a very nice army box set with some nice new models to boot. We are going to have a look through and see what is what ready to launch our very own crusade.
Diving straight into the box we have the models and although the price is high on this set there are not very many of them. Thirteen to be exact. While this seems a bit steep there is a Codex and set of Data Cards in the set, and unlike some Army sets that have come before I can’t see these being put out by a new edition for a while yet.
Models in the box set are the Emperors Champion, a Marshall Redemptor Dreadnought and a new squad of Crusader Squad. This unique unit has a sword brother, five initiates and four neophytes, what is mad about this unit is its ability to go up to eleven initiates and eight neophytes. That squad if maxed out is going to tank around the playing field like a boss possessed.
The models are absolutely great, not to bad to put together and with some splashes of contrast I can’t see them taking long to get onto the table. I am really loving the unique detailing on the kits, these are not easily going to be mistaken for other armies of the Adeptus Astartes. The variation in composition of the Crusader Squads really does mean that each army can be unique, both with the old style miniatures and of course the new Primaris versions.
Included in the Army set is the codex and with the full page glossy artwork, it really should be a crime to store this book on a shelf and not on display.
It’s kind of tricky to know where to start with the codex rules. The Black Templars are incredibly versatile. Before the battle even begins there are four vows that can be selected. Each viw comes with a bonus, but also a draw back. One of these vows must be chosen so you can pick one to suit the mission or your play style. Startagems allow you to get the edge on your opponent at that critical juncture such as vicious riposte which allows down troops from a squad to lash out in their death throes causing mortal wounds to their attackers.
With only three specific data sheets for characters you will still be relying on the generic Space Marines lists with notable exceptions that Captains and Lieutenants have additional options and names. But what a trio they are the Emperor’s champion, armed with a Black Sword. He has a four plus invulnerable save and is minus one to hit in melee. This could cause problems with lower skilled armies
High Marshal Helbrecht and Chaplain Grimaldi’s are no slouches either. Both characters in my favourite 40k book. They are now alive in the tabletop with their own miniatures coming soon. A quick look at Helbrechts rules for the Sword of the High Marshals and it has two attack profiles. One handed and two handed. From reading it and I could be well off here if you make a one handed attack you make 12 to hit rolls.
Grimaldus is no slouch either, although not as hard hitting his them is definitely that he is very hard to kill. With three Cenobyte Servitors in his entourage, these models take the first wounds. Then when is finally laid low Indomitable resolve can set him back up on the battlefield with three wounds remaining. On a four plus dice roll! Essentially this gives the Black Templar Chaplain up to 11 wounds!
Following the fluff if not the Codex Asartes a Primaris Crusader squad is definitely something to be reconned with. Starting out with 5 initiates, 4 neophytes and a sword brother, not only has this unit got a very varied array of arms to choose from but you can bump the numbers up to 20 models. You can’t combat squad them but still. A blob of 20 Marines is going to cause some headaches wherever they go. The only difference between each rank is the leadership save roll and amount of attacks. But at full strength this unit can pump out 41 attacks per round!
Whilst I have been shying away from Space Marines for awhile, with the notable exception of the 1st legion of course, The Black Templars are a really interesting and unique force that I would love to get my teeth into. These small differences in compliance to the Codex Asartes really does throw a whole new way of playing for the Neopythe Black Templar player, I have no doubt veteran Marshals shall be wringing their hands with glee on this release.