Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Mystery of the Black Templars


Howdy, Apocalypse 40k readers. A short while back, I did a post on my speculations for the future of Psychic Powers and Warlord Traits. After the apparent confirmation with recent rumors, I thought it was safe to make another attempt at farseeing the future of 40k. So come along with me while we look at the mystery of the Black Templars.

Now, as some of you may know, the Black Templars are conspicuously absent from the 6th edition rulebook. Seriously. They are entirely absent. No artwork, no codex coverage, no models posed in epic battles, nothing. Where are they? Their only appearance is on page 246 where they're grouped with the Space Marine codex! Every other marine codex has their own pages dedicated to their models. The only other place I caught what I thought might be a Templar is on page 47.



The Black Templars aren't here, but where have they gone? That's the question that's on my mind. Now, before I carry on with my explanation, let me preface it by saying that I have no rumor confirmation or any secret information to ratify what I have to say. This is entirely based on my own speculation. That being said, however, if you've got any hard info on this theory, please feel free to send an email my way.

Well, before we go jumping to conclusions, where is the last place we saw the Black Templars? The last time we had any solid rumors was in January. Heck, the flow of them was pretty good and we had a decent idea of many of the new characters and the direction of the codex. Then, a bombshell. Ghost21, one of the main rumor mongers providing information on the codex recanted everything he'd put forth and vanished.

Fast forward eight months; we're now into the new edition and rumors for many fourth edition codices are now beginning to come to the fore, again. Well, that is, except for the Black Templars. After extensive perusal of the new rulebook, I've realized that where the Black Templars have gone could be right under our nose. Now, this is where it gets a little crazy, but stick with me...

Codex Imperial Fists. I know. Makes you a little uncomfortable doesn't it. And where do get the nerve to throw something so crazy and off the wall in your face? Well, please allow me to elaborate. The idea for all of this started mulling around in my noggin not too long ago when we saw the 2013 releases list posted by Natfka. While there are many glorious new additions to 40k in this list that I'm excited for, there were several that really stuck in my craw.

200462312010203 Space Marine Astartes Battle Fortress Defence Wall PL
200462412010202 Space Marine Astartes Battle Fortress Tower / Pillar of Heroes PL 02 cc
200462512340209 Space Marine Astartes Battle Fortress Monastery PL
200470231080276 Space Marine Defender Upgrade Pack RE

While I'm not saying that these alone form a basis for this idea, they did get me thinking as they all seem distinctly 'Fisty' to me. I also understand that there are several new Black Templars box sets and HQ units list in the list, but stick with me a little longer.

The designers have told us to pay attention to the rulebook for the direction they're going and what's going to be coming out. I'll bet you didn't notice the special appearance of the Helbrute in the rulebook. I'm totally serious; check it out. You'll find it at the bottom of page 397. While it's not an exact copy, it does 'bear' a striking resemblence to the final model we see in the starter set. We see the big paw of a fist, the mutated and decked out multimelta, and the occupant's mutated head coming out the front. Guess even Games Workshop didn't know how organic the final one would come out, but there it is. Feast your eyes...


So you can see, they hinted a bit in the rulebook at what the new model would look like. But what does this have to do with Imperial Fists and Black Templars? Well, on page 185, get a load of the Imperial Fist pictured there. Notice anything different? He's got different armor. Notice the crenelated leg plates? Could this be part of the Defender Upgrade Pack? All of the other models have standard armor, with the exception of the Iron Hands guy, but that's to be expected. Also note that the Black Templars aren't even mentioned in the Second Founding section. Odd, right?


Now I know what you're going to say. Why would there be new Black Templars boxes and upgrades slated for release? Why basis is there for roping them into another codex? Why are they on the allies chart? These are all hugely valid points, and I'll remind you that this entirely speculative, but there's one more thing that has me largely convinced. Check out the following diagram. We have every marine codex represented but the Black Templars. Who is filling in for them here? The Imperial Fists...


Back in the Blood Angels codex, we saw a Flesh Tearers HQ added. Anyone who has been watching the subtle changes in Matt Wards marine codices will notice he tends to build upon experimentation from the previous ones.Wouldn't it be great to see a Codex Imperial Fists, with rules for fielding Black Templars and Crimson Fists? Between Special Characters and Warlord traits, it would be easy to create some very unique differences among the 3 that allow the book to play different ways. It would also explain why the Black Templars still have an entry in the Allies chart. Also, it explains the very Fists/Templars-esque Universal Special Rules: ADAMANTIUM WILL; CRUSADER; HATRED; and ZEALOT.

However, if I'm entirely wrong about this, I won't be too heart broken. There's always the Forge World codex and White Dwarf mini-codices to bank on. And even failing that, there's bound to be more Fists in the new Codex Space Marines. Who thinks we'll see the 13th Legion's codex for Christmas of 2013?

Well, there you have my theory. What do you think? Feel free to hit me up with questions and comments.

Son of Dorn

14 comments:

CLBenarius said...

I can imagine you could be right. It would make sense to me to cover the crimson fists, black templars and imperial fists in one book. But i can also imagine them being incorporated in the regular sm book. I wouldnt read too much in the crenelated leg armour. All 2nd ed devastators had that type of leg armour.

Son of Dorn said...

Yeah. It could go either way. I just want it to go my way ;)
*looks at his 2nd ed missile marine*
I got ripped off then! :(

CLBenarius said...

I apologize i should have specified better. The metal devastators from the 'blood angel' devastator boxed set had them. See here a pic. http://store.wargamingtrader.com/system/files/imagecache/product_full/M2851%20-%20Blood%20Angels%20Space%20Marine%20Devastator%20Squad%201992%20%20%20%20%2012-05-2.jpg

Son of Dorn said...

Slick. I like the idea of reaching back to some of the older styles. I hope that goes somewhere in the future :)

Honda said...

I don't know if you're right or wrong, but I do think you used a reasonable line of logic to arrive at a reasonable conclusion.

I did like your postulation so much that I posted this thread over on the Black Templar sub-forum on Bolter and Chainsword.

Nice piece of detective work.

Son of Dorn said...

@ Honda: Well, I thank you very kindly. I hope folks enjoy it. :)

Anonymous said...

I just don't want to share a codex with the smurfs!

Honda said...

This is from a report out of the Australian GD, per BoLS:

>>
Jeremy Vetock:

I asked about any word on Black Templars being updated. On his own accord he said Black Templars are in a difficult situation... do they put them into Codex Space Marines or do they keep their own book.
<<

Although, he's not saying one way or another, I do think it is an indication that the BT are not getting their own book. At least that's my general impression from the tone of the comment.

Son of Dorn said...

Hmmm.... interesting.... :)

Anonymous said...

Massive Narrative campaign like the old Eye of Terror GW campaign forming up on dakka dakka: Check it out!
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/469742.page

Son of Dorn said...

@ Anon: Intriguing. I may have to do a post on that. Should you have something interesting to share in the future, you're always welcome to email Loken or I as well. :)

Rui Albino said...

Black Templars are not a Chapter, they are crusades!

Rui Albino said...

As Templars do not follow the Astartes way, they do not have a chapter. Founding Chapters and Second founding chapters are not Black Templars. My first Love is Black Templars and I will remain true to them, even though I am finding it even harder to remain competitive... Those advanced rules are enough for me to see that Templars have been in the plans. Adamantium Will, Zealot and Crusader are enough for me to see the writing on the wall.

Rau said...

I know this will upset a lot of Chapter-Specific marine players, but I honestly believe there should be one, and only one, Space Marine Codex. GW should then bring chapter variants into the game with WD / digital releases for the other armies. For example, Blood Angels follow the marine codex, plus have access to a few additional units (printed in the update; Priests, death company, Furiosos), give them a few army wide rules (red thirst replaces combat tactics, all vehicles are fast, devastators pay double for weaponry, Assault marines are troops and Scouts are elites). Jobs a good un. 20 – 40 page booklet/release, half rules, half background.

The same principle applies to every chapter, incl. Ultramarines. This way, chapter specific characters can be kept separate so you don’t end up in a situation where you have a complete Ultramarines force with Shrike or Lysander in there making your opponent scratch there head and wonder how it’s any different than taking an Avatar or Khaine for their dark elder army.

This also frees up GW time to update much more desperately needed codices, like Tau, Orks and Nids to name but a few. Every other codex released being marines is so incredibly depressing for none astartes players. Chapter updates working from one core codex would enable GW to release chapter and chapter after chapter, without impacting on core army updates, enable them to introduce new units without a complete codex re-haul, and take the marines back to their roots and remind them all that apart from a few differentiations in rules and armour colour, they’re all the same bio-enhanced super-mutants underneath! (except for Grey Knights, they should be kept segregated and beaten and whipped every night until they learn that five points to upgrade to a storm bolter, force weapon and gain a psychic power is NOT ACCEPTABLE!)

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