Warhammer 40k Space Marine Chapters Faction Focus showed us some new rules for the Dark Angels, the Blood Angels and the Space Wolves, but now it’s time to go dark.
While the Space Wolves, the Blood Angels and the Dark Angels are among the most popular non-Codex compliant Space Marine Chapters, there are another 2 of those who don’t follow the rules – and not because they just didn’t want to give up their Legion formation, but because they are just that cool. The two special Space Marine Chapters remaining are the Black Templars, the successors of the Imperial Fist on an eternal quest for atonement and the Deathwatch, the highly specialized xeno-hunters of the Ordo Xenos. Games Workshop have shown us some great new rules about these chapters which we didn’t have time for in yesterday’s piece, but now, the spotlight is all theirs!
Warhammer 40k Space Marine Chapters Faction Focus – Black Templars
Their hate for the enemies of the Imperium is only beaten by their love for the God-Emperor, the Black Templars are one of the most feared champions of humanity. They don’t have a homeworld as they are constantly on the move to atone for the sins of the past – and they’ll have their Templar Vows Detachment Rule to help them defeat all that stands in their way.
The Templar Vows lets you choose a Black Templar Vow at the start of the battle, which will be active until the end of the game, giving your Adeptus Astartes units extra power:
- Suffer Not the Unclean to Live gives Black Templars the Lethal Hits in melee, making them autowound on a Critical Hit roll,
- Uphold the Honour of the Emperor gives all Black Templars improved Leadership to pass Battle-shock tests easier, while also making them more resilient thanks to the Feel No Pain 6+ they receive,
- Abhor the Witch, Destroy the Witch spells doom to the Psykers opposed to the Imperium, as Black Templars receive a 4+ Invulnerable Save against Psychic Attacks, while their melee weapons receive the Anti-Psyker 4+ keyword, making them Wound on a 4+, ignoring the relation of Strength and Toughness,
- And finally, Accept Any Challenge, No Matter the Odds gives melee weapons of Black Templars exploding 6’s with the Sustained Hits 1 ability.
The Vows will all have their place on the battlefield – and as a Grey Knights player, I fear the power of Abhor the Witch. The other three rules are also great, as they make the Black Templars capable of face big Monsters and Vehicles, armies that want to fight them on the objectives, and hordes of enemies who would dare to stand against the Imperium.
We also received the Datasheet of the Primaris Sword Brethren, who are eliets among the elite. They received and extra Wound, and their weapons got the decreased AP of 10th Edition. They also got a new Vov-sworn Bladesmen ability, which let’s them buff themselves even further beyond in the Fight phase, as they can choose an extra Attack or an extra Damage at the start of each brawl. Combined with the new keywords and the Vows, the Sword Brethren will be scary to face, especially in close quarters combat.
Warhammer 40k Space Marine Chapters Faction Focus – Deathwatch
While all four previous Chapters are special in their own regard, the Deatwatch is even more so, as they gather veterans of other Space Marine Chapters in order to slay the alien forces threatening humanity. But the xenos are many, and you need a different approach to Orks than Tyranids – thankfully, the amassed knowledge and experience of the Deathwatch let’s them deal with any threat.
This is reflected in their Mission Tactics Detachment Rule, which let’s them choose a different Tactic at the start of each Command phase, which will be active until your next – but each one can only be chosen once:
- Furor Tactics gives all the weapons of your Adeptus Astartes units Sustained Hits 1 – and not just the melee weapons, but the guns as well,
- Malleus Tactucs gives all Deathwatch Space Marines the Lethal Hits keyword, so they can bypass Wound rolls with some lucky dice throws,
- Purgatus Tactics gives your Astartes the Precision ability on a Critical hit, meaning that they can single out xenos leaders if they can roll a 6 in their Hit rolls.
While the Templar Vows are extremely similar in their bonuses (bar from Purgatus Tactics), the Deathwatch can only choose each Mission Tactic once, meaning that they have to find the right time and place to go all out in order to purge as many xenos as they can.
Similar to the Black Templars, we only received one Datasheet for the Deathwatch, but it’s their most iconic unit, the Deathwatch Veterans. Their state-of-the-art weaponry received some great keywords, such ash the Rapid Fire D3 on the Frag Cannon, the Anti-Infantry 4+ and Devastating Wounds on the Long Vigil Ranged weapons, and the Devastating Wounds on their Xenophase Blade. They will also have some new abilities in the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k, like the Death to the Alien skill, which let’s them reroll Hit rolls of 1 – or the whole Hit roll if their target doesn’t have the Imperium or the Chaos keywords. They can also take an Astartes Shield for a 4+ Invulnerable Save on one of their models.
The last two unique Space Marine Chapters are looking as strong as the Space Wolves, the Blood Angels or the Dark Angels, and while their Codex supplements will be outdated, they received some great new tools to face their opponents head on. There’s only one Faction Focus left, which is the Titan Legions of the Imperium of Man and the Forces of Chaos – which means that the release of 10th Edition is getting ever closer. Don’t miss out on any of the news about the next chapter of Warhammer 40k by following ESTNN and keeping up with the Games Workshop releases!