It was a mighty busy week on the rumor front with Black Templar tidbits dropping all over the place. Let's take a look at the boys in black.
via Faeit 212
In so far as Black Templar: They are getting a full book not a supplement. The direction of the book is on "crusades," and differentiating the Black Templar when they persecute Xenos as opposed to when they put the Witch to the sword.
They are seeing a lot of changes from their previous incarnation, and are no longer a shooting army (despite the intention of the previous book, they were received as a shooting army).
The army will have a "knights in space" kind of feel with wargear being a very big importance for the characters, and vows similar to old bretonians. The struggle there is with book keeping, but it is a pretty cool concept.
Crusade squads with their hybrid neophyte and space marine combinations are gone. Which will probably anger a lot of people without pleasing any (since in the past you could just take 0 neophytes so in essence this is just removing choices), but take it for what it's worth.
The whole "move after taking casualties" thing is gone and has been replaced with something more similar to battle trance (but less swift, and more assault oriented).
Templar point costs are down even from those of dark angels, and are designed to be balanced by their point cost, but also deliver the feeling that this is a "crusade army" that has never really felt the yoke of the codex astartes, and thus has huge companies of marines.
Scout stat line.
They do not take up a force organization slot, but count as troops for all intents and purposes (scoring etc).
They do not have infiltrate, or move through cover. They also are not subject to rage after taking a casualty.
The number of neophyte squads you can take equals the number of initiate, assault, bike and sword brethren squads total you have in the army.
Sword brethren terminators do not increase this limit.
Once purchased, as a 5-10 unit choice they are their own selection.
When deploying squads with the crusade keyword (initiates, assault, bikes) you can attach a neophyte squad to it. This then becomes one unit for all intents and purposes for the remainder of the game and cannot be split.
If the squad numbers 5 models, neophytes can buy bikes. They cannot buy jump packs. They come with bolt pistol and ccw and they cannot take special weapons. Those on bikes can upgrade to grenade launchers though. Neophytes can take shotguns
if you don't want to attach them, you can just deploy them as their own unit.
From what it seems, you can put neophytes with bikes into squads without bikes, and vice versa.
Initiates have the stats of a basic marine, except their bs which is 3. It's +1 point per model (and the whole squad has to buy it), to get up to bs 4. For 1 more point, you swap their chainsword for a bolter. They are 10-20. Only assault special weapons (meltaguns, plasmaguns or flamers) can be taken. No heavy weapons. Instead of assault weapons they can take power weapons. They can replace both their bp and ccw for a heavy chainsword. They do not have sergeants, and are leadership 8.
Yes it's possible to take 20 initiates and 10 neophytes it seems.
Castellans are a 0-3 per slot elites choice. They are independent characters and take on vows that are reminiscent of oaths of moment from the books. Things like taking objectives, or defending them till the end and confer that benefit to initiates (or better) that are in the same squad as them. They can't take more than one vow and vows have different point costs. They get access to all sorts of interesting wargear, and unique wargear. They do not have to take wargear or vows, and are more expensive than a wolf guard, despite having the same stats. They are leadership 9.
This playtest set is incomplete and out of date, but since it's only one version out, it should be pretty close to what is currently being used.
and a final one sent to BoLS:
A large kit design was reported as follows:
- a fully enclosed "dreadknight"
- wielding a large crusader shield and mace
- upper body mounted assault cannon
~So, hmm, horde Marines... I thought that was the Ork's job. Have at it!