Thursday, January 20, 2011

PotMS on a Vindicator - Just Think About It

It's time to stop resisting the urge to talk about the recent Dark Angel and Black Templar FAQs.  I know its a little bit like low hanging fruit, but its a pretty monumental thing for the player base.  Not only does GW care about you, they care about their game.

There's some pretty ridiculously cool things that are going with the 'new' books beyond the equipment normalization.  For instance: the DA FAQ used the word 'penultimate' at least once.  CRAZY!  Some equipment costs were even updated too.  That's really what I'm excited about - it bodes well for Space Elf buddies in relation to their evil cousins.  I'm not saying its gonna happen - just that it could.  I could get some much needed pricing love in the future. 

The image we all had in our heads is now a gaming reality.

Reading around the intertubes, there's a lot of good analysis already.  3++ and Purgatus have jumped into the Dark Angels feet first and I'm already starting to see some lists I like.*  However, I just haven't seen much for the Black Templars.  Stelek's been giving us some very good tech, but that's about all I've seen (though I may be looking in the wrong places). 

Which is a shame, really since the Black Templars are the more tactically interesting of the two armies.

Don't get me wrong, I myself am decidedly more interested in the Dark Angel changes. Its just that once you get past the OMGWTFBBQ of the improved Deathwing, there isn't much going on - the book is still basically crap.  That's not to say that the Deathwing isn't fucking terrifying, its just that the book is a one trick pony - like the Eldar and the Tau.

The stripped down and overpriced  'regular' marine section is the big problem.  Scouts as an elite choice, gimpy HQs, extra gimpy librarians, overpriced tanks and a complete lack of any army-wide special chapter abilities are not the kind of foundation that's worth building a battle company on.  On top of that, the Ravenwing is kindy shitty too - the HQ that unlocks bikes as tropps costs almost twice as much as a regular bike captain, but brings half as much to the table since you can't get the all important tooled-up command squads that make SM biker lists work.

The ONLY thing the regular marine codex can't do better is the wall o' terminators.  So the only good build the DA have is the "lots of terminators + not terminators".  Kinda lame.

"I'm unshakable, un-stunnable and can move 12" and still fire.  You jelly, BA?"**
The Black Templars on the other hand have almost everything a book needs to be flexible (read: interesting) enough to make a number of cool builds.  It has army specific rules that drastically affect how you play (the emperor's champion being first and foremost among these) , a whole ton of WTF equipment options and a general trend towards more options in general (it has a full 1.5 pages more of army list the the Dark Angels).  The book was already kinda good before the updates.  Now its just plain good.

Despite the pants-shitting terror that comes with a viable 25 terminator army, the Black Templars are a better choice.  I think a lot of what's driving the DA fever is the fact that their codex got royally screwed last time around and people have been holding a grudge ( I know I have).  Being ignored is one thing (BT), but being outright gutted is another. 

In any case, everybody wins.

*Though Kirbs has been pumping out the DA lists, it always comes with a healthy dose of realism.
**Painted by Titan 126, as far as I can tell.  Whoever, that is.


  1. For BT stuff: Check out Implausible Nature, Rites of Battle, Bringer of Victory and Indy40K (though he posts very infrequently due to a computer issue).

  2. "Not only does GW care about you, they care about their game."


    GW only care about MONEY.

  3. Allow me to rephrase on Lauby's behalf: they are sufficiently interested in money to address the problem of piss-poor sales on Black Templar and Dark Angel kits. This happens to involve acknowledging that, in the long term, after the initial rush of "KEWL!" has worn off, rules drive miniature sales, or at least have an impact on them, and therefore they've had to take steps to improve their game.

    Slightly cack-handedly in my opinion, as the Dark Angels have received a "KEWL!" upgrade that doesn't address their fundamental problems, and the novelty will wear off once people start thinking again. It'll give them a short term sales boost, though, which I suppose is the point.

    Is that more to your liking?