Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Are Black Templar Terminator Command Squads a More Viable Option?

It's been awhile since I last posted about 40k.  I have to say that Warmahordes has really captured my interest.  That said, I sold my Blood Angels DoA army because I just wasn't going to get it painted with all of my commission work and Menoth army to work on.  In its absence, I am left with a Black Templar army, a Space Wolf army, and models to pull off a vanilla Marine list.

That got me thinking about my old school love, the Templars. I started 40k because of them and drifted towards more competitive armies after a while, but they are still my favorite army.  I have even done an entire codex review on the army.  Scroll down to see it.  That said, awhile back now, GW released an FAQ that updated some of the rules for outdated wargear for BT.  This gave us, overall, a significant bump.  Combining some old rules with new wargear game Black Templar some interesting options.  The missile spam list became viable using terminators since we can get 2 cyclones in a 5-man squad. This gave our ranged output a significant boost.

However, I wanted to spend a bit of time focusing on some synergies that make me think of how Terminator Command Squads can be used to provide some serious threats. 

Command Squads as they appear in the Black Templar codex are an outdated animal.  The idea of having a unit attached to an HQ as a retinue providing certain benefits just doesn't exist anymore.  That said, with the inclusion of the FAQ, I feel like Terminator Command Squads become a great toolbox for Black Templars.

First of all, we need to discuss what you need. The prime ingredient is an HQ.  Unfortunately, you can't assign a command squad to the Emperor's Champion, that would rock.  You have to pick an additional HQ choice in the form of a Commander/Castellan or Chaplain/Reclusiarch.  Unfortunately, from a points budget standpoint, our HQs are not cheap.  However, they provide quite a bit of combat power. To accomplish our goal, the HQ has to wear terminator armor.  For our purposes, let's go with a Castellan.  He is the cheapest HQ.  We then want to consider his role in the unit.  To do this, we probably need to know what the unit will look like.  A terminator command squad comes with 4 models, 3 grunts and a sargeant.  They have to be tactical terminators, so will come equipped with storm bolters and powerfists.  The sarge can be outfitted with a plethora of terminator weapon options. 

Above we mentioned that our tactical terminators have gotten a huge buff in the form of updated cyclone rules.  Thus, we want to take our two cyclones in this unit.  Then, we want to consider a few things for the sargeant.  What is his role?  He can't provide additional dakka except in the form of a storm bolter, which while nice, if he is in a unit with two cyclones, he probably won't be shooting at infantry until late game.  So, let's look at allowing him some surivivability options and combat options. Since his gun won't even scratch a vehicle, I think he would be a good wound soak.  Giving him a stormshield and a chainfist will mean that most tanks will get chopped up and he provides the unit with a 2+/3++ buffer before we have to put a wound on cyclones.  Add to the unit the tank hunter veteran skill and you are shooting S9 missiles and have S9 powerfists when hitting vehicles. 

Along the same lines, if we give the Castellan a storm shield and chainfist, we add redundancy in combat and a multi-wound model with a solid invul save. 

Thus, I propose the following squad. 

Castellan-terminator armor, chainfist, storm shield
Terminator Command Squad- tank hunters, 2x cyclones, sarge with storm shield and chainfist

This comes in at a hefty price tag, but provides us with a unit that can confidently walk up the table popping armor and then throwing templates into units until it reaches their lines.  At that point, it can get into combat and hold its own with 2+ saves and 5++/3++ invul saves and can punish units with multiple S8 attacks per model.  The diversity of saves also means that power weapon wounds can be effectively dealt with.  These units become very similar to DA deathwing units. 

What's more, an army can have 2 HQs + the EC, so you can bring two such units.  This, with the EC will eat up half of your army, but can provide two brutal rock units.  Combined with min sized crusader squads and Elite tactical terminator squads, you can create a punishing missile spam army that is effective in the shooting phase against both vehicles and infantry and that can hit hard in combat. 

I will work out a 2,000pt list that utilizes at least one terminator command squad to illustrate how it fills out the army. 

What do you think?  Are TCSs too expensive for what they bring?  Are they really a viable combat option?  Let me know.

Other Black Templar articles I have written include:
Codex Review: Black Templar HQs
Codex Review: Black Templar Heavy Selections
Codex Review: Black Templar lists Part 2

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1 comment:

Student Teacher said...

Gah! I totally would have bought that DoA army!

I love to see some BTs on the table, such a cool army.

and if you sells yours, call me! :)

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