Monday, May 9, 2011

Codex Review: Black Templar Heavy Selections

As has been the trend, Templars have a fairly limited selection when it comes to heavy slots.  Of these, we have 3 basic types: vindicators, predators, and land raiders.

The biggest issue that we see in this section is the same one we have been fighting with from the beginning, equality of points costs.  For some of the vehicles, we are extremely high compared to the newer marine chapters.  For others, we actually come out in good shape.  We will address each as they come.

Despite their shortcomings, we need our heavy selection because they provide our most reliable ranged fire support.  Tanks do not have to take the Kill ‘Em All test to fire as they don’t have leadership values and are not constrained by those tests.  This makes them wonderful.


These tanks are actually good tanks for what they do.  Like other predator-ish tanks, they provide front armor 13 which is huge.  If placed well in cover, they will more often than not be able to weather most shooting unless a meltagun gets around their sides and back.  S10 AP2 large blast ordinance is an enormously useful tool in our army.

It is at this point though, that we need to discuss redundancy and its applications to the Black Templar army.  I was initially not a follower of the “2 is necessary, 3 are better” rule, but it really pays out with vindicators.  Since their gun is so damaging, they simply become huge targets.  If you take only a single vindicator, chances are that it will not be firing much due to being stunned and shaken.  Always, always, always take at least two if not three.  That is simply a must for these tanks. 

One important thing to mention about vindicators is their ability to take power of the machine spirit.  This is a huge boon for this tank as it does two things. First it allows you to shoot the demolisher cannon after having moved further than you could normally.  With a 24” range, you need to move up to be able to shoot the big gun.  This helps out.  Second, it allows you to mitigate the effects of shooting as it allows the tank to shoot even if stunned or shaken.  This is a huge deal for such a devastating tank.  Here’s the catch, though. PotMS costs an additional 30pt.  That takes our vindicator up to a whopping 155pt.  I generally think that the cost isn’t worth it.  Instead, I like to just take additional vindicators.  With some planning and luck, at least one should be able to shoot each turn. 

Final verdict: This is a good tank, but you have to play it well or else you run the risk of it becoming high ineffective. 2/3 of the results on the vehicle damage chart severely neuter this tank’s ability to function. The other 1/3 make it a headache to play.  You simply have to play it and protect it well, so take extras to insure that you get a few shots off. 


Bottom line, you at least need these guys in your army.  Unfortunately, our dakka pred costs 110pt., a fairly steep 25 points more than the newer codexes pay.  However, our tri-las pred runs about 20pt. cheaper than the newer codexes.  GW, you rock!

I generally go for either a dakka pred or an autocannon/ lascannon sponson variant.  These both provide significant threat while maintain somewhat cost effective returns.  Otherwise, these do exactly what they do in other codexes, just not as cheaply in most cases.
Final verdict: I usually take predators in the previously mentioned setups.  They don’t run as much risk of having their guns silenced as the vindicator and can provide quite a few high strength shots.  This is good.  We need lots of long range, high strength fire support and this is where we usually get it.

Land Raiders

Templars have access to two variants here: The Crusader and the Godhammer (TL lascannon sponsons).  In both cases our variants run about the same as newer codices.  However, our land raiders don’t normally get that much play in the heavy slot.  Here’s why.

Crusaders are listed as dedicated transports for terminators and crusader squads, so you really shouldn’t be putting them in heavy slots unless you are running a large squad of sword brethren in power armor or a command squad. You simply don’t have to, so don’t. 

Godhammers provide 2 TL lascannons and a heavy bolter for 250pt.  Remember that our goal with heavy support options is to provide long range, high strength shots.  For 250pt. I can get two dakka preds, or just shy of 1 dakka pred and one tri-las pred.  The point is that a land raider is not a cost effective allocation of points.  If you want a transport to deliver units close in, the crusaders works better.  If you want ranged fire support, you want to go with vindicators and predators. 

The one use of the land raider would be to create an almost impenetrable objective camp for a small unit of crusaders to hold a home objective, but again melta can make this expensive bunker slag in no time. 

Final Verdict: Give your heavy slots to vindicators and predators, period. 

That rounds out our discussion on the various units of the Black Templar codex. Next, I will throw out some possible army lists that you might see run and how they are most likely played. 

If you missed it, here is the articles before this one in the series:
Codex Review: Black Templar Fast Choices

And here is the next articles in the series:
Codex Review: Black Templar lists Part 1


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