List Design for Beginners - Part 3(e) - What Army to Choose?

Well were on the home straight now,

Previous articles can be found below,

Blood Angels, Chaos Daemons and Chaos Space Marines,
Dark Eldar, Eldar and Grey Knights,
Imperial Guard, Necrons, Orks,
Space Marines, Dark Angels, Space Wolves and Tau.

Now for the last three,

Black Templars.

The recent FAQ has been fairly kind to the Black Templars as it has given them the Marine versions of many of the special rules and weapons stats. These FAQ's have breathed a bit of new life into the codex in much the same way that they did with the Dark Angels but not necessarily for all the same reasons ;-)

Mech - Due to the ability to give pretty much all your vehicles Power of the Machine Spirit you can make a mechanised Black Templars army 'pseudo' fast, by which I mean you can take Razorbacks, Predators and even Vindicators and make it so you can move 12" and still fire a weapon. This helps to get side armour shots with the Predators, shots after moving 12" with the Razorbacks and to have an effective threat range of 36" with your Vindicators. Combined with the 'Abhor the Witch/Destroy the Witch' vow and you can get an extra D6" of movement towards the enemy after deployment if the enemy army has a Psyker in it....Even an extra inch or two can make a big difference ;-)

Terminator Spam - Take a pair of Terminator Command Squads and another three units of Terminators from your Elite slots and give each unit a pair of heavy weapons and you have a formidable wall of 2+/5+ saves that are firing a combined total of  40 Assault Cannon or 20 Cyclone Missile Launcher shots per turn. For 3 points a model you can give them 'Tank Hunters' as well.

Black Templars work well enough if you use the codex as it's intended. If however you just like Power Armour then pick one of the other Marine 'flavours'.


Tyranids are a difficult army to do well with based on how the current game works. They're are quite light on anti-tank shooting and in addition have problems with the way their Force Organisation Chart has crowbarred a lot of useful stuff into one slot (Elites). They can be made competitive but you as the controlling player need to accept their limitations from the beginning in order to avoid frustration.

The 'Death-Star' - Take a Hive Tyrant and give him a 2+ save, 'Old Adversary' and a few other upgrades, then stick him with two or three Tyrant Guard and repeat a 2nd time. Then throw both units at the enemy and hope they reach it intact enough to kill your opponent when you reach it. There are of course other variants on this theme but the basic concept remains the same.

The Horde - Termagants, Hormagaunts and Gargoyles are fairly cheap and Genestealers are reasonably priced (as long as you can reach your opponent without being 'torrented' to death)  so an army with over a hundred creatures is entirely possible. This sort of build really requires Venomthropes to give it a 5+ cover save (amongst other advantages) but will have problems vs. vehicle heavy armies, especially ones that have any degree of mobility.

Stealer Shock - An old build that I never really rated even when it was popular. It's the same principle as the 'horde' build but uses Genestealers (almost) exclusively and relies on going first in combat (due to high initiative) and a torrent of attacks in order to cripple what it hits before it gets a chance to hit back. against vehicles you just have to hope that you get enough rending rolls to do the job. It bounces off Land raider Spam as well...

Balanced - This is the way to go with Tyranids (imo). Take a HQ of your choice, Hive Guard as light anti-tank, Tyrannofexes with Rupture Cannons for heavy anti-tank, Tervigons and Termagants as troops and advance the lot in a series of lines designed to give everything (except the expendable stuff at the front) a cover save.

Tyranids are generally considered one of the weaker of the 5th Edition codices and there are fairly justifiable reasons why this is so. With the growing popularity of Librarians (or equivalent) as HQ's making the possibility of your six wound monstrous creature dying to a single lucky Force Weapon hit quite likely and that same psychic defence stopping many of the near essential Tyranid psychic abilities from working it can be a bit of an uphill struggle for the Tyranid player. Grey Knights obviously make that Force weapon issue a much bigger problem as well.

Witch Hunters.

I don't see these anywhere near often enough to have a good handle on them so this might be the weakest analysis I've done so far. If anybody has considerable experience with Witch Hunters and would like to 'chip-in' with some filler in the comments section then that would be much appreciated. In fact I only know one really effective Sisters of Battle list...

Immolator Spam - Take anything that can have an Immolator as a transport and give it one and then fill out the points with Sisters of Battle in Rhino's and give all the passengers all the Meltaguns they can carry. This sort of build needs practice to get right but once you've got the hang of it you'll be popping transports and flaming the contents like there's no tomorrow ;-)

And on that somewhat of an anti-climax we've reviewed all the various codices...

Now that's complete I hope you can pick a codex that suits you and an appropriate build from it as the basis for your army. Next we'll start looking at some list building concepts that apply across the board like Duality, redundancy, Bubble-Wrap etc.

Thoughts, comments and filler for the Witch Hunters section are (as usual) most welcome.
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