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How to Play Black Templars in Warhammer 40K

5 Minute Read
Apr 25 2024

Today take a look at some basics of how to play and get started with Warhammer 40k Black Templars. Suffer Not the Unclean to Live!

The Black Templars are knightly Space Marines in Warhammer 40K. They consist of Crusades of zealous Space Marines, motivated by belief in the God-Emperor and their righteousness of purpose. Below, we will offer some tips on how to play Black Templars and get started with the army.

Who Are The Black Templars?

After the Horus HeresyRoboute Guilliman, the primarch of the Ultramarines, ordered the breakdown of the Space Marine Legions into chapters. Dorn thought Guilliman a coward for not being present during the defense of Terra. Guilliman, in turn, thought Dorn a rebel for refusing to accept the dictates of the new Codex Astartes. Neither would give in. Again, civil war threatened to split the Imperium.

Sigismund solved the stalemate and led the more zealous of the Imperial Fists with him to the founding of the Black Templars, becoming their first High Marshal. He swore an oath upon leaving Terra that he and his new chapter would prove their loyalty by never resting in his duties against enemies of the Emperor.

Sigismund spent much of this time remaining vigilant over the Cadian Gate, insisting that Horus‘ Traitors would one day return to plague the Imperium. He was proven right when Abaddon returned in the First Black Crusade. The Black Templar fleet was waiting, and a massive battle erupted that saw Sigismund slain by Abaddon himself.

Since his death, every High Marshal has renewed Sigismund’s oath of never-ending crusade and as such, the Black Templars’ Crusade has continued for over ten thousand years.

Why Play Black Templars

Black Templars take the most classic archetype of Space Marines, the knightly crusader, and turns it up to 11. What’s left is a gothic and brutal version of the valorous Astartes that is best suited to getting into the thick of it. If this sounds like your style, then the Black Templars may be for you.

black templars emperor's champion

Strengths of the Army

  • Powerful, unique combat units.
  • High flexibility for missions due to variable Templar Vows.
  • Powerful wargear options for each unit.

Weakness of the Army

  • High point costs often result in being outnumbered.

Black Templars Detachment Rules- Righteous Crusaders

  • Rules: The Templar Vows rules are a set of powerful rules that you pick from at the start of the first battle round.
  • Enhancements: Each Black Templar enhancement has an extra layer of rules based off the active Vow. Can be powerful if planned in conjunction.
  • StratagemsFervent Acclamation allows you to activate a second Vow for a select unit, which can have some real synergy.

Also, remember you are still an Adeptus Astartes army, so you still get Oath of Moment and the full roster of Space Marine units!

Key Black Templars Units To Know

Warhammer 40K Black Templars have a sizable unit roster, and knowing which units to take can be tricky. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.


Emperor’s Champion

The most iconic model in a completely iconic army, the Emperor’s Champion fights in style. Wielding the Black Sword and with a panoply of wargear and rules suited to taking on the best, this leader is a character-killer extraordinaire.


Though it’s really just a fancy name for a Black Templar Primaris Lieutenant, that does nothing to dull the Castellan’s effectiveness. The Lethal Hits he gives his units are even more helpful up close and personal with the Black Templars! Plus, it’s an absolutely gorgeous model.


Finest Hour means the Marshal can be an absolutely devastating close combat menace, while Rites of Battle still gives you a free, repeatable Stratagem.


Primaris Crusader Squad

The core of a modern Templar crusade, the Crusader Squads are unique among the Space Marine Legions. Mixing full battle brothers with young Neophytes into on-foot horde units is highly effective in this formation.

Crusader Squad

Classic but not forgotten, the Crusader squad also comes in Firstborn flavor. While they are less fearsome than their Primaris brothers, they are also a cheaper, more efficient power-armoured horde.


Other Units

Primaris Sword Brethren

The elite veteran combat core of a Black Templar force, Sword Brethren, has superior weaponry and the skills to back it up, thanks to Vow-sworn Bladesmen. If they can make contact with the enemy, watch out!

Sample Starter Warhammer 40k Black Templars Army

Army: Black Templars

  • Emperor’s Champion . 1 Model. He is equipped with: bolt pistol; Black Sword
  • Crusader Squad. Fifteen Models
  • Primaris Crusader Squad. Twenty Models
Other Units
  • Redemptor Dreadnought. 1 Model. It is equipped with: 2 fragstorm grenade launchers; heavy flamer; heavy onslaught gatling cannon; Redemptor fist.
  • Redemptor Dreadnought. 1 Model. It is equipped with: 2 fragstorm grenade launchers; heavy flamer; heavy onslaught gatling cannon; Redemptor fist.

How to Play Black Templars

While they have the same versatility that any Space Marine Chapter can bring to bear, these Sons of Dorn are, first and foremost, a close combat-oriented force. This means combat troops, heroes, dreadnoughts, and transports will be the first place a Black Templar player looks to start their force. Personally, I think a horde of Battleline (somewhere around 60) supported by a cache of buffing heroes is a great-looking (and decently effective) place to start a Black Templar force.

Author: Allen Campbell
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