Games Workshop wraps-up their Chapter Focus on the final three Space Marine Chapters in the upcoming codex!
Dorn be praised! The final three Space Marine Chapters are here under the Chapter Focus series. It’s time for the Sons of Dorn (Imperial Fists, Black Templars, and Crimson Fists) to get their time in the spotlight.
The Imperial Fists and their successors are renowned and feared across the Imperium, and while they may differ in tactics they are all stubborn, indomitable warriors, infused with bitter pride and martial prowess. The Imperial Fists are masters of the close-ranged firefight, making maximum use of bolt weaponry, while the Black Templars are zealous crusaders famed for their fighting spirit and expertise in melee combat. The Crimson Fists, too, are renowned warriors, having escaped destruction at the hands of the Orks through sheer tenacity and recently been given a new lease on life thanks to reinforcements from the Ultima Founding.
First off, we get another look at their Chapter Tactic: Siege Masters. If we’re honest, this one didn’t rank to high on our scale. Removing cover sounds great – if you’re playing 7th edition. In 8th, it’s a little tricker to get a cover save for most things and even then it’s a straight +1 to your armor (in most cases). Sure, that could be fantastic vs things like Scouts and Sniper units – or to prevent other armies with a 3+ from getting a 2+…but it’s highly dependent on the board and the Terrain.
The other part of the tactic is also pretty lack-luster. Again, it’s highly situational as your opponent has to have brought a building (or fortification that can be shot) to the game. So unless you’re playing with a ton of Terrain and all the building rules these might not happen a ton. Then again, if you’re playing a Narrative style game where the Imperial Fists are sieging a Fort then you’ve just brought a great force!
Games Workshop also showed off their Warlord Trait: Architect of War. It’s not a bad trait, either. Again, it’s highly situational and only applies to AP -1 weapons (thus making it even MORE situational). At least it helps to cancel out those AP -1 shot and still grant Imperial Fists a bonus to cover. Who would have guessed that the guys painted in bright yellow armor would have been so good at hiding in cover.
The last teaser we got from GW about the Imperial Fists is that they are getting a unique Strategem called “Bolter Drill” – which if it’s anything like previous editions will probably allow them to re-roll to hit or wound with bolters. Then again, Chapter Masters/Captains have buffs that already allow them re-rolls…Maybe Bolter Drill will be additional shots or something extra. Who knows!
“Naturally, the Imperial Fists are a great Chapter if you want to focus on using bolt weapons – their unique Stratagem, Bolter Drill, allows for you to drown enemies in devastatingly accurate fusillades of bolter fire, while even their unique relic, The Spartean, is a bolt pistol.”
As for their relic all we know is that it’s called “Spartean” and it’s a bolt pistol. Hopefully it will somehow combo with Bolter Drill (it’s a bolt pistol) but I don’t see it being some uber game changer based on the Warlord Trait and their Chapter Tactic. I’m guessing it will be master-crafted in some way. Maybe it will have some extra AP, or more shots or higher damage – something to make it worth taking. It’s also a pistol and has all the benefits that entails.
In stark contrast to their brethren, the Black Templars are an assault army first and foremost. Every unit with the Black Templars Chapter Tactics can re-roll failed charges; this is an enormous bonus, and one that will make the Black Templars one of the most powerful assault armies not just for the Space Marines but in the entire game. Deep-strikers like Assault Terminators and Inceptors, in particular, are going to be very dangerous in the Black Templars army. As well as the new units, Black Templars retain access to old favourites like the Crusader Squad and the Emperor’s Champion, and there are some great combinations to be unlocked by combining characters like High Marshal Helbrecht with new assault units like the Reivers.
Good news so far! Re-rolling that charge will certainly help out a close combat assault focused army like the Black Templars out. We rated this chapter tactic pretty highly and now that GW has pretty much confirmed that Tactics will apply to Infantry, Bikers, and Dreadnoughts, I look forward to seeing some Black Templar Bikers and Dreads return to the Tabletop to beat their opponents into submission!
We also get a look at their unique Stratagem as well: Abhor the Witch
Who needs Psykers when you’re going to be walking around with a 4+ all day! You might want to bank some extra Command Points though as I could see myself burning through a TON of them in the Psychic Phase with Black Templars. Then again, the threat of using them might be enough to at least make your opponent waiver a bit. This one is extremely powerful and 1 CP seem almost too cheap…good thing that’s a limited resource.
No word on their Warlord Trait (if they get one) or their relic (again, if they get one) – but considering they did get a Chapter Tactic and a unique Stratagem it would odd if they didn’t have those as well.
The Crimson Fists are the the last Chapter to get a mention. What struck me as odd is that they don’t have their own Chapter Tactic. We didn’t see one in the list and GW has yet to mention one for them. We do know that Chapter Master Pedro Kantor is back and apparently he’s bringing some good aura buffs to the table. Those will be in the form of “additional attacks and re-rolls to hit.” I’m guessing that’s probably in line with the Chapter Master and Oath of Rynn abilities we saw in the the Index Imperium I book.
“Perhaps one of the most exciting additions to the Crimson Fists is a literal Crimson Fist to equip your characters with. Combined with their Warlord Trait, which allows an outnumbered general to increase his number of attacks, this is going to be a fun and thematic addition to your army.”
So we know they are also getting a relic and a Warlord Trait. We don’t know the names of those but it sounds like some type of Power Fist and the Warlord Trait will allow you to increase your Warlord’s attacks when outnumbered. Hopefully it’s a good number of swings!
If I’m honest I do find it odd that the Crimson Fists didn’t get more mentions. The lack of a Chapter Tactic on the page worries me and we also don’t see a mention of a unique Stratagem either. However, we are seeing Kantor (a Chapter Master), a relic and a Warlord Trait. Maybe GW is keeping those secret – or maybe the Crimson Fists just aren’t getting those. I guess we’ll find out soon!
What do you think of the Three Chapters showcased today? Do you see a clear leader in the “Space Marine” pack or are you waiting until you get the full rules to make the call?