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Besides being a 'basecoat and trim' color scheme, what makes BTs different than other SM chapters?

This thread is part of what I hope is now a pattern for staying on topic. Please start separate threads for anything beyond general tactics and strengths/weaknesses of the BT chapter.
 

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I think the most obvious would be their emphasis on the up close and personal hand to hand combat tactics. If you go by the flavor of the codex anyway.
 

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Posting here to get it all in one spot.

Contents


+Introduction
+Footslogger
• Introduction
• Codex analysis
• General strategy
• Army construction
• Specific strategy
+Mechanised
• Introduction
• Codex analysis
• General strategy
• Army construction
• Specific strategy


Introduction


There is no armed force in the galaxy that makes war like the Black Templars chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. The clinical precision of the Space Marine and the savage berserker butchery of the fanatical psychopath fuse to create a breed of warrior like no other. They combine tactical brilliance refined from the finest military minds of the Imperium, the martial tradition and spirit of honour forged in the crucible of ten thousand years of war, and the fanatical zealotry of the most dedicated of the Ministorum’s warrior priests. They are also one of the most powerful military forces in the Imperium, consisting of almost six thousand skilled Space Marines and their vehicles, as well as an enormous fleet of command, supply and support ships. It is said that were they ever to gather in a single place, the Black Templars would become a truly irresistible force. If the concept of the perfect fusion of superhuman skill, martial honour and zealot rage appeals to you, the Black Templars are the army for you.


Introduction – Footbased


Your vast force lays arrayed before you, armed to the teeth and ready for anything. Artillery in purpose-built bunkers, capable of taking a direct Battle Cannon shot, sited and aimed and with enough shells to level the entire battlefield twice over. Tanks at the ready, ready to obliterate any armoured attack or crush entire infantry battalions. Thousands upon thousands of trained and ready infantry, with enough combined firepower to carve a gaping hole in any advance in a single volley.
Then, they arrive. A silent deployment, in perfect precision. Barely two hundred warriors and support vehicles, marching into line, standard at the head. Surely not even Space Marines could carry the day against thirty times their number?

Suddenly, they fire, and the battlefield goes dark beneath blankets of smoke. A howling roar falls from the sky as jumppack Marines descend into your artillery, leaving it a second later as Meltabombs start chain reaction that obliterate the entire division. Armour is picked off, tank by tank, from precision-guided fire before they can get a bearing. Then, they burst from the smoke, hulking colossi of war passing through a fullisade of lasgun bursts as though it was a light breeze. Soldiers drop their guns and run, but the Templars bursts through them, shredding through entire squads in minutes. Dreadnoughts tear apart tanks with contemptuous ease, the enemy commanders and the Sword Brethren clinically slaughter their way to your position. Here and there a black-armoured superman falls, but it isn’t enough. Minutes later your force lies in ruins, your lifeblood gushing out of a chainsword wound. The Templars regroup, gather the bodies of their fallen, and continue their march.

Unit by Unit


This time around we’ve actually got some choices here and there. The nature of the codex splits the armies you can make pretty evenly into motorized and pedestrian. Now you can actually make footslogging Shootan Templars with reasonable success, but that’s not why I’m here. This guide is specifically to see what will make a pedestrian force kill many things by stabbing them until they die. This is my opinion, and despite the high opinion I have of my opinion, it could possibly appear to be wrong. If this is the case then adjust reality to fit.

HQ

Marshal: Close, but no Chaplain
Do not take a Castellan. The only reason to use a Marshal is Ld10. This Ld10 helps with making your Righteous Zeal tests, which is your most important concern by far. However, if you have a Chaplain or Champion in each squad you want to Zeal this isn’t really necessary. If you already have that, then the Marshal’s useful. Keep him cheap so you can take more guys.


Chaplain: Best. HQ. Ever.
The Chaplain is your bestest bud in Pedestrian armies. He gives you back strategic choice with Righteous Zeal, makes you hit with epic force on the charge, and gives you some extra power in CC. The Fearless is excellent too.

Emperor’s Champion: No choice.
The champion may be compulsory, but he’s so good you’d take him anyway. This guy is a combat powerhouse, so stick him with your chaplain in the huge squad, and have him make a beeline for characters, since he can tear much more expensive models apart. As for the vow, make a proper choice. Suffer Not is good against armies where you can take what they dish out, or that strike first anyway. Accept is good in combat, but the drawback means a smart opponent can screw with you in unpleasant ways. Uphold is surprisingly good, the invulnerable saves you a lot of headaches from AP3 heavy armies, and Zeal means you can’t rely on cover saves anyway. If you need the Ld10 you can move him.

Command Squads: Unnecessary.
Sword Brethren are better utility squads, and these guys cost a fortune to use. Maybe in an apocalypse-scale game, but otherwise, no.


Elites


Sword Brethren Terminators: Only if you have the points.
These guys are powerful, and in a pedestrian army their teleport attack really comes in handy. However, those terminators are a bunch less initiates and Neophytes. If you have points you can throw around, they’re alright. Otherwise, don’t.


Sword Brethren Assault Terminators: Tits on a bull.
These guys are the kings of close combat, but do not have a single ranged weapon. You are pedestrian, so this makes them much, much less useful because the enemy can take their time to pick them apart. The teleport attack is useless because it gives the enemy a free shot before they can even move. Don’t bother unless you know for a fact you can get them into combat unscathed.


Sword Brethren: Very good.
These guys are only slightly more expensive than initiates but come with a free Veteran skill. They are a fantastic utility squad. You can customize them for close combat with Furious Charge and have them spearhead your assault, or Infiltrate a small squad with heavy weapons to attack enemy armour. Consider them for every fight, their utility is your best infantry-bases strategic tool.


Dreadnought: Pretty much necessary.
You more or less need these guys as they are the only foot-based fire support available to you. A Venerable with Lascannon, missiles and Tank hunter is great at busting the armour that threatens your front-line infantry. If you have adequate fire support (yeah right) you can take a combat support dreadnought on the cheap.


Techmarine: No.
You have cheaper combat support and the firepower just isn’t worth the points. Unless you really, really want one, don’t bother. Exceptions if you genuinely can’t get good firepower elsewhere, but even then think twice.


Troops


Crusader Squad: Like you can say no.
These guys are everything for you. You will need at least one squad of ten Initiates and ten Neophytes, and you want two. Give them Power Fists and Meltaguns so you can kill tanks because pedestrian armies ain’t so hot on anti-armour. CCWs should be obvious. Consider frags, you may need them. You can also take fire support squads, five Initiates and one Neophyte with Bolters, a Plasmagun, and whichever heavy weapon is appropriate. These guys will most likely be your main source of firepower.


Fast Attack


Assault Squad: Often necessary.
If you are a purist pedestrian army, you will need these guys. They are fantastically useful for two reasons; Meltabomb runs on enemy vehicles, and tying up Heavy Weapons squads. Keep them small, five or six, give them a Fist and Plasma against AP4 or Flamers against less. Fly them straight towards the enemy and charge. Don’t worry that you’re not actually that likely to storm over an eight-man Devastator squad with a Fist Sergeant. You’ll tie them up most of the game and kill enough that they’re effectively out of the fight. This is the only practical tool you have against infantry-based Heavy Weapons.


Land Speeders: Borderline.
If you are a purist pedestrian then you won’t take these. They are very useful at hunting tanks and Devastators, your natural enemies, but they don’t have feet. Still, if you must, use Tornados only. Take Asscan against squads, and Multimelta against vehicles. Move them fast enough to downgrade hits and you won’t have to worry that they’re the only visible armour you have.


Bike Squadron: Awful.
Despite the fact that a bike squadron that rocks in combat would be so incredibly fitting for the Templars, these guys suck. Their only use is tankhunting with three Meltaguns in a minimum size squad. Anything else is a waste of points.


Attack Bike Squadron: Deceptively potent.
These guys are, surprisingly enough, very good in a pedestrian Black Templar army. Three have almost as much firepower as a Devastator squad and as many wounds, but are much faster, thanks to turbo boosting, and tougher, thanks to boosting’s save and their T5. At 150 points or 195 with Multi-Meltas, that’s a bargain. Take them to fill your firepower gap, Heavy Bolters against infantry and Multi-Meltas against armour. Given the overwhelming lack of Heavy Weapons in a Black Templars pedestrian force, these guys are most definitely worth your consideration.


Heavy Support


We can't stop here. This is tank country.


General Strategy


This is not a complex force. You will run at the enemy until they are Chainsword’s length away, and then stab at them until they die.
For actual play, keep it simple and keep on the offensive. Your big fat squads are your main source of murder, and will be the focus of your strategy. Move them the maximum every turn, and use the Chaplain’s Unmatched Zeal to move them towards the closest opportune target. Be aware of the enemy leaving ‘bait squads’ in your way, and be especially wary of them trying to exploit you ‘falling forwards’ to their own ends, leading you into killzones, ambushes, and dedicated anti-MEQ CC units. That’s why you want a Chaplain in every big squad. Just run them towards the biggest concentrations of easy-to-kill points, take potshots with your gun if you can, and remember to run away towards the enemy. Also, if possible, take Neophytes away first, because they’re just not as useful. Exceptions are against weapons that are specifically AP4, where you should aim them at the Marines.


Your other combat squads, presumably smaller but more heavily armed, should be sneakier. Often the presence of 20-40 Templars running down the middle of the field will blind an opponent to smaller distractions. Try not to draw attention to them until they’re ready to engage.
Dreadnoughts and Characters should lend their support wherever needs it most. This is usually backing up the big squads.

The rest of your army, the shooty bits and Jump packers, should be busy destroying any threats to the big squads. Target the things each squad is best suited to destroying. Be smart with targeting, because if these guys don’t soften up their counterparts on the enemy force, you’re going to lose.


This strategy is extremely simple, and that is its strength. A strategy with few details has less that can go wrong. Regardless, a few pointers.


One, self-preservation is for wusses. Your big squads should only be concerned with running towards the enemy to commence stabbing. Your Shootan units should only be concerned with killing things that would stop the big squads from reaching the enemy. Shootan units especially should not be cowardly, because every shot fired at them is one less fired at the real force.


Two, this doesn’t mean you should be suicidal. Don’t do anything genuinely stupid in slavish obedience to the above, because it’s a guideline and not a rule. Walking into ambushes and killzones is dumb. Not sticking your Shootan squads in cover is dumb.


Three, use those characters. I’m serious when I say they can win or lose you the game. Your chaplains in particular are vital because they allow you choice in running and make you fearless, making it much harder for an opponent to screw with you. The Champion is not to be underestimated as Ld10 is a squad that is that much more likely to flee forward than back.


Assembling your force


As is often the case, the easiest mistake to make in this game is by far the most expensive and time-consuming, that being simply buying things without any overall plan as to what you want. what you must do first is plan out your army. This will save you money, aggravation, and the guilt of owning units you never use.

First you need two troops and a HQ. I recommend a combat squad of ten, a support squad of five, and a Chaplain. A box of Marines, a Combat Squad box and an Upgrade Pack are all you need to make these chaps. An Emperor’s Champion can also come from the box, and you will need it sooner rather than later.

While you assemble and paint these models, read the codex often and play all the games you can, proxying if allowed. By the time you've made your models, chosen a paint scheme, and applied the thing, you should know where you want to take it next.

Next up, the rest. Get ten scouts (unless you’ve got other plans) to make your combat squad huge. You need a twenty-man squad ASAP. While you’re at it, get another twenty-man squad if you can, because you will want two. Then, get a Dreadnought or some Attack Bikes for fire support.
Painting this will take an age. So, fill in some other time by planning out vague lists at the points caps people play at, like 1000, 1500, 1850 and 2000. You’re not going to go straight for them, but it will give you an idea of where you need to go and what you need to buy.

Your new goal is to fill out the lists you've created from cheapest to most expensive. Play with them always so you can refine them, and your general strategy, as well as possible. Get units that all of your lists might use first, so you don’t suffer if you change your mind. Once you have the basics you should know your force well enough to be able to pick out the niche units that you’ll need. At this stage you can’t be helped by generalities, so use the tubes of the internets to find specific help. Finally, if at any point you feel that pedestrian ain’t your style, make a list before you change direction. Changing direction once on a whim can be very expensive, and all those models that you will never use or even paint will make you very sad. Changing direction twice on a whim will probably break you from the hobby forever and clean out your finances completely.

Specific Strategy

Due to the simplicity of the pedestrian Templar force, I have yet to encounter (or design) a specific strategy worth mentioning. If I do, I’ll stick it in here. If you think you have one, send me it and I’ll see.

Introduction - Mechanised

If there is anything more terrifying as to be on the receiving end of the wrath of the Black Templars space marines, it's being on the end of a mechanised Black Templars assault. Rhinos speeding towards you at speeds belying their bulk, churning up a cloud of dust so great as to be visible for miles. Predator tanks charging past, weapons blazing, ripping apart main battle tanks and carving up infantry. The Vindicator tank, destroying entire buildings and squads with a single shell. Land Speeders howling through the air, far in advance of the main force, diving down to attack any targets of opportunity that present themselves, and swooping away before any response can be made. Assault Squads descending without warning from the dust-choked skies, slaughtering men like cattle and destroying armour with lightning strikes, before jumping away. Bike Squadrons appearing with a howl of supercharged motors kilometres from the battle lines, tearing through the heavy fire support that is the defender's only means of slowing the assault. The Land Raider Crusader, a mobile fortress, charging towards your position, spitting death, battering aside incoming fire with near-contemptuous ease. And then, the moment when the fanatical Black Templars make impact, dozens of Initiates and Neophytes against hundreds or even thousands of enemy troops, leaving rivers of blood in the wake of their advance, the screaming of chainswords and men as they are hacked limb from limb in the name of the Emperor. The scattered survivors of charges, entire platoons reduced to a handful of men in a minute, running for their lives, before black-armoured colossi tear them apart. Then, after the Templars remount, with the few corpses of their fallen retrieved lest they be dishonoured in death, the dread quiet, a silence somehow far louder than the unbearable roar of a battle moments ago, punctured by the moans of the dying, and the laboured breathing of the scarce few who survive.

Unit by Unit

Unlike our last codex, we actually have a fair few options this time around when it comes time to select your forces, especially in terms of Templars-unique options. Unfortunately, most of them don't do that many jobs. However, there's only one real reason to be reading this guide: to make an assault-oriented mechanised force. There are plenty of other guides for footslogging assault and shooting Templars forces, and if you're making a mechanised shooting Templars force, then good luck with that. As a result, all choices will be evaluated by that criteria. In addition, since everything here is obviously my opinion, I may well be wrong.

HQ

Marshal: Only if you really want to.
You may notice I did not mention the Castellan. This is because there is only one reason to use a Commander, and that is for the universal Ld10. If you just want a fighting character, a Chaplain is better all over, and the Champion is better in a squad. Besides, the Ld10 doesn’t apply in a vehicle, and you're almost certainly going to have him there when it counts. It won't hurt you that much to take one for your second HQ choice, and you can have them fairly cheap, but you wouldn't go out of your way for one.

Emperor's Champion: Not an option.
Well, you don't have a choice here. However, even if I did, I'd still take the guy. The vows change your entire army, and the guy himself is a solid backup for a Crusader squad. As for the vows, they're pretty simple for us. Accept is great for big forces, when the cost-per-model goes down, but otherwise is a bit much. Uphold is fantastic, because the Invulnerable is nice, you're not going to use cover anyway, but most importantly, you ignore pinning. For those who think that's not important enough to put in italics, it is, for one reason: Penetrating hits. Your Rhinos can be penetrated by a lot, so this means if the thing lives, the squad can carry on, get in next movement, and keep rolling. However, if you're playing a rare LRC force, you won't need it. Suffer is very good against Eldar of both sorts, since the dangerous ones hit first anyway, and you can now hurt Wraithlords with basic troops. Abhor is okay in some cases, but the others are generally better.

Chaplain: YES.
This is THE Templars HQ. Sure, you don't need Zeal so much in Mech, but those rerolls to hit are exactly what an assault-oriented force needs. You need one, and want another.

Terminator Command Squad: Big Games.
You don't want one. If you've got a Chaplain, you want Claws. If you've got a Marshal, you want cheap. In big games, a Marshal with a 4-man 2-Cannon squad is a good variable choice, but it's too expensive for small-medium games.

Command Squad: If you've got the points.
These become viable in medium games and above, when you can put points into them. However, you must be careful, because it's incredibly easy to get carried away. Keep them cheap, use them like a more variable Crusader squad. Save the Hypersquads for the 3000+ games.

Elites

Terminators: If you really have to.
These guys can do shooting quite well, and assaulting fairly well. However, a Templars army must make a choice and focus on it, or lose. If you have some super-secret strategy with these guys that actually works, use it. Otherwise, leave them at home.

Assault Terminators: If you can, do it.
These, on the other hand, are all slaughter. They are hyperfocused on close combat, and as such, fit into a Black Templars army easily. Since we're Mech, a Land Raider Crusader (Heavy Support, before you ask) is the way to go, with a Terminator Chaplain. Why a massively expensive squad? Because, unlike many other similarly expensive squads, this thing is everything it's cracked up to be. If the LRC combo hits, you've probably won the game. More than that, it will absorb the firepower of most of the enemy army. Use that. Finally, it forces your opponent to react or die, and once they're reacting to you, you've got the advantage. Also, I would recommend the 5 Claws/2 Hammers layout for sheer efficiency.

Sword Brethren: Swiss army knife.
These guys do it all. Combat supersquad with Furious and a Rhino, Infiltrating gun platform, small but powerful bodyguard, and almost anything else. Use them to fill any gaps you have in your force, or as a powerful unit in their own right. They're the only unit in the game that can take Terminator Honours individually.

Dreadnought: Combat's the way.
One thing right up; a Tankhunting Venerable Dreadnought with Lascannon and Missile Launcher is exactly as good as a Trilas Predator at killing AV14, and progressively worse at lower values. Any configuration but the aforementioned just can't compete for busting tanks. However, the extreme durability of the Venerable means that it's still viable, even when the rest of your army is armoured, so it's still a viable firepower platform. Combat Dreadnoughts are good, in or out of Pods, since anything that kills your Crusader squads is in turn killed by them.

Techmarine: Why?
They make for good combat support, but you've already got that. They're far too expensive to make an ersatz-Devastator squad, since they die more than twice as fast. Simply put, no.

Troops

Crusader Squad: Hell yes.
Although you're paying extra for it, the Crusader Squad is variable as hell, so you can do anything with it. However, since we're aiming for assault here, you'll want predominantly two types of squads; the big assault and the small shooter. The big assault consists of as many Initiates as you can cram into a Rhino, or ten Initiates and Neophytes to fill in a Land Raider Crusader. The Power Fist is the best choice here, since it'll always get to hit unless the whole squad is wiped out, and the Meltagun is the best Special, since it can kill Dreadnoughts and Wraithlords, which if unchecked will occupy your unit for the whole game and likely kill half of it. Shooting units should consist of six Initiates, and the weapons you take are up to you, though I would recommend Plasma and a Missile Launcher. Razorbacks are a decent choice if you've got a lot of vehicles, but they're usually not worth the expenditure otherwise, since they seem to draw an inexplicably large amount of fire.

Fast Attack

Assault Squad: One job.
Since we're already moving at 12" a turn, and hitting just as hard, these guys no longer serve their footsloggery purpose. However, they do do one thing right, and that's going after strategic targets. Six to eight with two Plasmas, two Storm Shields and a Fist can be used as a surgical strike to take out Devastator squads and equivalents, to rush and kill Wraithlords and equivalents, or, with Meltabombs, to take out artillery, exceptionally useful against Imperial Guard. One small squad will do for most games, with two for more.

Land Speeder: If you have to.
If you really have to use Tornadoes, then use them. Personally, I don't like the idea of paying eighty points for a gun platform that'll be lucky to survive turn one. Typhoons really don't do anything worth mentioning here. Finally, just your basic speeder with a Meltagun is an okay suicide Tankhunter platform, especially for Land Raiders, if there's enough terrain to get within 12".

Bikes: No.
Despite the massive affinity you'd think the Black Templars should have with these modern cavalry, they're crap. Even if you go to the extreme of five bikes with three Power Weapons and an attack bike, you're still going to do laughable damage for the massive points cost. The only combo worth mentioning here is three Bikes with three Meltaguns, if you need some serious tankhunting power. Otherwise, avoid.

Attack Bikes: Oddly enough, Devastator substitutes.
Attack bikes are actually a very feasible option for Templars. For two hundred points you can get eight wounds with the firepower of a Devastator squad. Sure, it takes two slots and is more vulnerable to Instant Death, but you're far more mobile and resilient. If you've got the slots and need the anti-infantry, they're excellent. The Multi-Melta option is a bit extreme, but if you're up against more than one Land Raider, it's going to help.

Heavy Support

Vindicator: If you can afford it.
If you can afford to spend the points on a tank that will almost certainly die before it fires, this is the tank. if it lives, you can obliterate hundreds of point per shot. Take Power of the Machine Spirit so that it can't just be chain-stunned.

Predators: Yes.
These are your heavy firepower. You'll probably need a Trilas against most armies except Tyranids, and just about any other option is good against the right force. You're going to want at least one, probably two, in most lists.

Land Raider: No.
It's neither a total firing platform, nor a total transport. Predators are as shooty but much cheaper, and Land Raider Crusaders are by far the superior transport. Unless you need to take it, do it.

Land Raider Crusader: If you've got the points, take it.
The ultimate vehicular transport, the Land Raider Crusader is the only vehicle to take if you can afford it. Not only can it destroy entire squads of infantry and survive through entire games against heavy fire, but it enables you to take much more and better squads than you can fit into a Mechanised army without it.

General Strategy

There are a few things to keep in mind when using a mechanised Black Templars force. Firstly, you need to target anti-vehicular weapons above and beyond anything else. Without them, you're just a badly-built footslogger force. Until you can disembark and charge next turn, the transports need to survive.

Secondly, those vehicles can still do things once they're empty, so don't forget them. There's no counting the number of games I've turned in my favour with Tank Shocking empty Rhinos, or shielding units from Devastators with them. They've served their purpose, so let them die honorably. On the other hand, the Land Raider Crusader is a beast of a tank, and once it's dropped its occupants into the middle of the enemy force, there’s a few things you can do with it. Weaken other squads that're about to be assaulted, letting your own troops move faster, is a decent option if they need cover. Using the LRC as an offensive weapon in its won right is fine too, tank shocking squads and following up with a metric buttload of fire. If heavy weapons are still live on the field, the LRC can shield your vulnerable spots, and massacre Devastator squads.

Third, never forget that just because you've lost a transport doesn't mean the squad inside is useless. Try to downplay the squad as much as possible, especially if you've los half the members to an exploding tank, and with any luck your opponent will discount them as useless. When they do this, move them up slowly, and attack from the flank while they're occupied with the rest of your force. Hopefully, they'll forget you're there until the squads within Zeal distance.

Finally, don't forget your characters. Just because you've put lots of points into HQ doesn't mean they're unstoppable. Unlike, say, Chaos or Tyranids, our HQ choices aren’t self-reliant. If they charge across the table solo, they'll die and cost you half a Crusader squad's worth of points. Instead, use them in their intended role, supporting your squads and making them even more dangerous.

Assembling Your Force

As is often the case, the easiest mistake to make in this game is by far the most expensive and time-consuming, that being simply buying things without any overall plan as to what you want. As such, what you need to do before you do anything else is plan out your army. This will save you a great deal of money, and will mean you can play much much faster.

The first things to buy are, of course, those that you need. Since in every real game you play you will need at least two troops choices, and you're playing Mech Assault, you'll need two squads of ten Initiates. You'll need an Emperor's Champion, and your first one doesn't need to be anything spectacular. Hell, it's fairly easy to make one with the parts in the Templars Upgrade Set. You'll need another HQ, and I cannot recommend a Chaplain strongly enough. Of course, the first thing you'll need to get is the codex, since it's rather hard to play an army without it. You'll also need a Rhino, since you're not a Mech force without the Mechanised components. And finally, my personal recommendation, though not compulsory, is the Black Templars Upgrade Pack, which will give you enough components to make your initial two squads excellent. These will make you Champion, a Chaplain, a squad of nine Initiates to hang with your Champion in the Rhino, and a squad of ten Initiates.

While you assemble and paint these models, read the codex as often as possible, and play small games with your forces. If possible, proxy larger games. By the time you've finished all your models, found a paint style you like, and applied it to your whole force, you ought to have gotten a petty good idea of what sort of army you want.

Now, get the next sort of things you want, your fire support, and another transport. My personal recommendation here is a Predator, since you can, if you don't glue on the turretplate and sponsons, use it as a second Rhino. Some people like the Land Raider Crusader for their other squad, and that's fine, so get that and some Scouts to use as Neophytes to fill it out.
Otherwise, just get a Rhino, and maybe a Dreadnought to support your squads. During the time you're assembling and painting this force, you should be calculating your general strategy, and the lists that accompany it. Not precise point-for-point lists quite yet, but the sorts of things you'd like to have at 1000, 1500, 1850 and 2000 points. These lists should be done just about the same time as your new models, and they will be your guide from then on.

Your new goal is to fill out the lists you've created in ascending points order, and playing your strategy as often as possible. Work from the core outwards, that is, first get the sort of units that are useful in any list, just in case you change your general strategy. Once you've filled out these lists, you should know you and your army well enough that you don't need any more help in deciding how to fill it and play it, and in any case your army should be individual to the point where generalised collection advice is useless, so you're on your own. If you have questions, there's plenty of people here on the internets to ask. But, because I like to hear myself type, I've got one last bit of advice. Make sure you complete a list before you try expanding your army to be able to use other strategies, especially if they're drop-poddy or Footsloggy strategies. If you lose your direction in assembling your force, you'll end up with literally hundreds of dollars of useless miniatures, get despondent, scream, and quit the army altogether, having never known the joy of looking at your force and saying "Yeah, that's done."

Specific Strategies

Since coming up with an original strategy is fiendishly difficult, most people don't until they're quite experienced, and just use the long-held 'run towards the enemy and see what happens' tactic perfected by the Norse. It's quite all right to borrow a strategy when you first start. As such, here’s two of my strategies I've found to be interesting and competitive, the Mechanised Trident, and the Fist of the Emperor.

The Mechanised Trident

The Mechanised Trident consists of the obvious components, the Mechanised aspect, meaning it will have a large number of vehicles, and the Trident itself, which consists of the Centre Prong, the Side Prongs, and the Shaft.

The Centre Prong is, like its namesake, very hard hitting. This is the solid core of the army list, and consists of the most expensive and potent units. The minimum setup is usually seven Terminators, five with Lightning Claws and two with Thunder Hammers and a Chaplain in Terminator Armour, with a Land Raider Crusader transport. This serves dual purposes, primarily scaring your opponent into wasting a great deal of firepower stopping it, leaving your Side Prongs intact, or secondarily, reaching enemy lines intact and carving the army in two with the sheer force of the charge.

The Side prongs are simple, a minimum of one Rhino a side, filled with a Crusader squad. You should put any further HQ units with these, including the Emperor's Champion, to improve greatly their ability to deal with dedicated countercharge units. The role of the Side Prongs is to hug cover and move to the flanks of the enemy's force, then charge in, preferably simultaneously.

The Shaft is the final aspect of the Mechanised Trident, and much like its normal role, it holds up the Prongs. This will consist of whatever long-range firepower support you have, and is specifically designed to destroy whichever aspects of your opponent's army which will interfere with the Prongs the most. There is no set form for the Shaft, but Trilas Predators and Lasmis Venerable Dreadnoughts both fill the criteria quite well.

The basic battle plan is simple. Your Centre Prong drives directly towards the middle of the enemy force, as intimidatingly as possible. This will draw the firepower of all but the most levelheaded players, and you must maximise this effect wherever possible. Hopefully, the enemy will pour firepower into the Crusader, almost all of which will simply roll off. The only things you must worry about are the vehicle being immobilised or destroyed, which, given AV14 on all sides, would take the majority of an enemy's heavy fire over a few turns to achieve. If this happens, simply disembark the squad, and run it towards the exact same place. Again, the toughness of the Terminators works in your favour. Either the Crusader and occupants will be wiped out before they reach enemy lines, or they will hit like the fist of an angry God. If, by any chance, they do hit, keep them in combat to rack up as many kills as possible, and generally direct them towards the more valuable (VP points wise) units as best you can.

While the Centre Prong screams for a reaction from your opponent, ride the two Side Prongs around to the flanks of the enemy, using terrain to block LoS wherever possible. As soon as you can, disembark the squads out of heavy firepower, using the Rhino as cover if you have to. Hopefully, you'll either take no casualties or Zeal into the enemy, but expect losses as an opponent realises they've forgotten at least twenty heavily-armed and very angry Space Marines that've just shown up on their flanks. Each Prong, once engaged, should be directed towards the opposite side of the enemy force.

The Shaft, meanwhile, will be sitting back and engaging targets in priority order. First to go will be vehicles, particularly those mounting powerful weaponry that threatens your Prongs, followed by infantry bearing heavy firepower, such as Devastator Squads. If, by any chance, you destroy all of these targets with firing phases to spare, gun down high-value targets and unengaged combat specialists.

Some important points for this strategy are as follows:

1. This is an Active strategy, designed for use against more Reactive forces. It will do best against any army that sits there most of the time, such as Imperial Guard, and will struggle against anything both active and highly mobile, such as Dark Eldar, the bastards. As such, it is vital you keep the momentum going, unless you won't increase the chances of losing as a result of slowing.

2. This strategy uses psychological means to overcome some of the physical limitations of the Black Templars, meaning the better you are at playing mind games, the more successful this strategy will usually be. Emphasising the already-considerable threat the Centre Prong poses while never drawing attention to the Side Prongs is your aim here, and there are a few obvious tools to help you. Constantly remind your opponent of the occupants of the Crusader, and of the horrendous damage they would wreak should they ever make impact. Refer to it constantly as the Juggernaut, and make statements as such. Appropriate quotes each and every time you move it are quite useful. Pretend to forget the Rhinos, or move them very causally, almost apathetically. However, this strategy becomes weakened when facing an opponent who not only knows what he's doing, but knows what you're doing.
3. This strategy is fun and fairly potent, but is in no way intended for high-level tournament use by anyone other than a true master, somebody significantly better than me. not only are tournament players less likely to be fazed by your psychological tactics, not only are they completely capable of holding anything but a full-forced charge, but they are intelligent enough to take out all three prongs before they hit combat, more likely than not. Given that this is the prelude to an epic failure, this army is NOT INTENDED FOR TOURNAMENT USE.

4. Finally, this strategy has lost some of its potency since the switch to fourth edition, but not in the manner you'd expect. The near-total flaccification of all mechanised close-combat forces by new vehicle rules passes over the Templars, for one simple reason. They can all but ignore the effects of a penetrating hit on their transports. Before you go running for your rulebooks, let me explain. It's rather clearly mentioned in the Transport section of the Vehicle rules that any squad in a vehicle suffering a penetrating hit must disembark and becomes pinned automatically. However, The Uphold the Honour of the Emperor Vow states that you may ignore the effects of pinning and cannot become pinned except by becoming entangled. Now, before you yell at me for being silly, you'll note that in the rulebook only in the case of a vehicle being destroyed is the squad actually entangled. As such, if your transport should ever be hit, you can simply walk back in and drive off. In addition, the ability of the Rhino to repair Immobilisation means that you'll only be stranded if the vehicle is outright destroyed. Also, the 6+ Invulnerable save offered to all your initiates by the Vow protects them from the one major opportunity the enemy has to destroy them, being the turn after they disembark. Finally, since every foot unit in the army is in a transport, you would have never been in cover anyway, utterly negating the negative effect of the Vow. Immunity to the scourge of Mechanised armies, a 6+ Invulnerable save for each and every model in the army, all at the cost of one Neophyte? Yes, please.

Now that I've covered the good stuff, I'll have to cover the negatives. These are what the Mechanised Trident is vulnerable to, and how, if at all, you can counter it.

Since the Mechanised Trident is very much an active strategy, and really wants your enemy to stay relatively still, mobile armies are going to be the only issue common enough that it can be dealt with generally. You'll be facing armies with both vehicular and intrinsic mobility, the latter subdivided into one-shot and permanent, and these general tips will help you with these issues.

First up we have vehicular mobility. This, in short, is when a unit possesses a transport vehicle capable of allowing them to move faster than they would normally. Since these vehicles tend to be armour-light, gun them down as early as possible. You know it messes us up, so it's probably going to do just as bad to your opponent. In fact, the fewer transports your opponent has, the more critical it is to kill them, because you know if there's one transport in the whole army, it'll be holding a brutally powerful unit. If they're in land-based vehicles, those that travel at a maximum of 12", they're not that important. In fact, unless they're going to scatter across the whole field (extremely unlikely), you should pop the tanks just before you charge the host unit, since they can't shoot from inside, and they can't countercharge if they're Pinned. Skimmer transports (24" a turn), though, should be blown up as soon as possible. Why? Despite their incredibly irritating Glance-only rule, they're easy to blow up (or immobilise and subsequently watch explode), and they take the entire enemy squad with them. Beyond that, you have to blow them up before you charge, because they move fast enough to move a full turn, drop their load for two rounds of shooting, then pick them up, and if they just hold onto their occupants, you can't touch them in CC. Eldar are somewhat irksome in this respect, but Dark Eldar are horrific. Their entire army consists or armour busters and superfast skimmers, so you really have to know your target prioritisation, and they kill MEQs (i.e. us) with contemptuous ease. Against Dark Eldar, do whatever it takes to kill all their vehicles, run at them, and hope you get lucky, because you're not going to win the old-fashioned way.

Intrinsic mobility, though, is an entirely different concept, since you can't take it away from the enemy. One-shot mobility first up, consists of either Deep Strike or Infiltrate. Infiltrate doesn't concern us overmuch, since deploying closer to us isn't the sort of 'advantage' a sane player would pay points for, but you've got to watch out for suicide infiltrate Melta squads. Deploying outside of your transport means you won't be entombed if it blows, so that's your best bet. Against armies that all infiltrate, there's another aspect to consider, that they get to deploy based on how you will. There's no real way around this, but be sure to take it into account. Then, you've got your Deep Strikers. These guys get to deploy wherever they want, but since they're paying points so we don't have to run as far, that part's fine. As long as you don't get surprised by a suicide Melta unit near your LRC, it'll work out. Against a part-Deep Strike army, just fight as you normally would, since they're at least one squad down for the first turns, but leave some of your force uncommitted, so you can react to a genuinely dangerous threat. Against an all-striking (or close to it) army, you're at an advantage. Kill anything on the table, and spread out to cover as much ground as possible to make the Strike risky, but make sure none of your units are left unsupported by another. If the enemy comes in piecemeal, take them out one by one, overwhelming them before reinforcements can show up. If they arrive in just one or two turns, play the game as you would normally, and hope you can make up for the huge advantage a unified Strike gives them.
Permanent intrinsic mobility, in the form of Bikes, Jetbikes and Jump Packs, tends to be limited to a few if any units per army. Just treat them like faster versions of their normal type, keep in mind their speed, and deal with them as you would anything else. The extremely rare armies consisting entirely of intrinsically mobile units are incredibly annoying, but rare and small in numbers. Just herd them, outnumber them, and wipe them out.

The Fist of the Emperor

The Fist of the Emperor is designed to be a quite competitive list, while not entirely sacrificing the ideals of what a Templars army should be. It's about taking whatever we have that nobody else does, in the way that ignores most of our less pleasant drawbacks.
First off, you'll be wanting at least one Crusader Squad in a LRC. They should have ten Initiates, four Neophytes, all with BP+CCW, a Meltagun, and a Power Fist. The space is for a Chaplain or your Champion. In a thousand points, you can only fit one LRC squad and one Chaplain, two and one Chaplain in 1500, and diversify with Rhinos at 2000+. Some prefer to cut down three Neophytes for three Cenobyte Servitors on their Chaplain, and that's fine, if you prefer Zeal and toughness to extra attacks.
Once you've assembled the main attack force of your army, you'll want it to live to make contact. For that, you want Predators, customised by opponent. One will suffice in 1000, since you've also got a shooty Templars squad, but two is nigh-compulsory from that point on. Since Devastator Squad equivalents will give you a crappy time of it, take a six man Assault Squad with two Plasma, Two Storms and a Fist, and rush them into combat with them as soon as physically possible. Also, if you feel the need, a combat Dreadnought is very much useful, to support your LRC Crusader squads.
Now, for tactics. Fortunately, the strategy behind this is simple and effective. The very first thing to do is rush each LRC squad at a separate target, preferably either the objective, if taken, or the highest concentration of basic troops or shooting infantry. The main job of these guys and their tank support is to simply kill as many things as possible, then park themselves on objectives or quarters at the last possible second. Your firebase will support these guys with a strict target priority: S9+ dies first, followed by enemy transports, followed by Wraithlords/Dreadnoughts, and finishing off with high-value infantry. If you have a Dreadnought supporting your combat forces, keep it with whichever group's going to have the hardest time.
In terms of specific directions, there aren't really any. The entire premise of this strategy is that it's brutally simple, and as such almost completely immune to bollixing up. There are countless little details, things you can do against specific armies, but I can hardly list them all here, and none are so good as to warrant individual attention. Finally, some last points.
1. Again, this is an active strategy, though it can be used against any army. If you can't keep the initiative, you're going to have a hard time of it.
2. This is a tournament-designed strategy, meant to dispel some of the disadvantages of the Templars, and make them very efficient. As such, don't use it against people who don't warrant it, or you'll get a reputation for jerkery. This doesn't mean you can't use it for casual games, it's just a fair warning of what will happen.
3. This army will, like the last, have some issues with mobile armies, though to a lesser extent. Against vehicular mobility, you'll note the guns of the LRC are almost designed to take out light armour. Against permanently intrinsically mobile armies, treat them as any other, as with Infiltrate. Deep Striking armies are completely different. Move your LRCs to the objective/s, put your firebase somewhere nearby, and disembark your Initiates ready for action. There's nothing so difficult as Deep Striking successfully a prepared army.
 

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Just wondering what everyone has an opinion on Black Templars vs. Ork Horde? It's going to be pretty hard to deny them the charge when they can WAAGH! And for some reason i don't think BT's CC skills are quite on par with charging Orks. Would spamming more dreadnoughts be helpful?
 

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This is where the Land Raider Crusader comes in handy, run it straight at his horde and enjoy the look on his face. On the other hand with anything without skimmer transports it's incredibly difficult to take down an ork horde, as with such a wide frontage ground transports quickly run out of places to hide. Also suprisingly accurate fire from lootas and the like will be constantly pounding your army (the principle ork player at my club is notoriously lucky with anything involving dice rolls).
 

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Templars: Chop chop stab stab gotta love it!!

I liked your stories about the templars carving up the guardsmen it brings back fond memories...:so_happy:

anyway, can chaplains have lc's and can bretheren that have termie honours select from the armoury??
 

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I switched to Black Templars recently (and hesitantly, I might add!) from Vanilla Marines, and I must say, I was more than surprised. WHatI lost in rows of fancy options and wargear from that other codex, I more than made of for in raw close combat ability.

I can easily see why some call the templar the best loyalist army. Compared to Ultramarines, my force has become a real powerhouse. The local players fear my chapter's approach, cause they know whatever they are looking at likely isn't going to survive the next turn if I can make that assault.
 
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