I am, in a word, adrift. My podcast is currently on pause, as Dan “Badcast” Boyd is exploring the wonders and terrors of being a new father. My ongoing Imperium review series is somewhat in flux due to the vagaries of the US Postal system and Hachette Partworks’ own whims and challenges regarding timely shipping. As a middling to average heterosexual white man, I feel the need to be heard, and as an aging millennial who cannot grasp TikTok whatsoever, written blogs are my chosen means of expression. In short, welcome to:
SRM’s Road to the Roadshow: US Open Seattle 2022: Part 1: Black (Templar) Hole Sun: I Promise To Have A Better Grunge Pun Next Time
Extremely recently at time of writing and slightly less recently at time of publication, Games Workshop announced a bevvy of new events in their traveling US Open series. The soonest of these is May 6-8, and being in Seattle, relatively close to my neck of juniper-laden woods. I did what was expected of me and windmill slammed the “Crusade” and “Trivia” buttons until my bank texted me to ask if I was Doing A Fraud, and promptly started thinking about what I would bring.
Attending the illustrious Goonhammer Open’s Crusade event last year, I think I know what to expect from squeezing an entire Crusade into a weekend. I’m going to need to not only be on top of my own rules, but be ready to do an entire middle school math class’ worth of homework between games. I also am absolutely ready to get immediately dumpstered, then wheeled out to Puget Sound where I will be illegally dumped into the estuarine system and carried out to sea. Crusade shouldn’t have that cutthroat atmosphere, but you never know with randos.
List requirements are yet to be announced at time of writing, so the specifics of what I will bring are still, at least in part, up in the air. Now is the time for broad strokes, and if you know anything about my comedy, broad is the name of my particular game. If you couldn’t tell from the (clever, funny, borderline masterstrokerly) pun title of this article, I’m thinking of taking my Black Templars. Templars are an army I greatly enjoy playing, and they also happen to be rather effective in Anno Domini 2022.
There are no shortage of Black Templars in my collection, but over the course of my games lately I have found them to not be all too great. As an Island of Misfit Toys army, they largely consist of leftover Marines from prior armies, eBay lots, and Firstborn dumpster runoff. In the parlance of 2022, they are Short Kings. I have been fortunate enough to review some of their recent models for Goonhammer, however, and painting their upscaled Primaris brethren has been a delight. With this in mind, I’m hoping to have if not an all-Primaris Black Templars army for the event, at least a mostly Primaris army. Just under a quarter of my nearly 5000 points of Black Templars are Primaris, and much of that is tied up in special characters, which in my opinion are gauche in Crusade. In other words, I’ve gotta get some more size 32 boots on the ground and fill out my roster with newer options. At worst, I can just build a middling army with what I have and not compromise my health/job/marriage by cramming ~1000 points in over the next two months, but I do like me a theme.
Without a list to build towards, I’ll prioritize what’s in my backlog. This won’t just save me money vs. buying up what’s most effective this month, but make my eventual Viking funeral with my unpainted models slightly less ecologically disastrous. I’ll earmark the units that excite me most, have the best track record on the field, or some combination of the two. A quick inventory of my unpainted Templars shows that I have:
- 6 Bladeguard Veterans
- 5 Primaris Sword Brethren
- 3 Aggressors
- Chaplain on bike
- 3 Outriders
- 3 Eradicators
- Bladeguard Ancient
- Primaris Captain
- Primaris Lieutenant
- Impulsor with a multimelta, obvs
- Primaris Grimaldus
- Redemptor Dreadnought
- The 5 Hellblasters currently sitting at 60% on my desk
After finishing said H-E-Double-Hockeystick-blasters, I hate to say the unit that excites me most are those probably bad and definitely stupid Aggressors. Maybe Black Templar Flamestorm Aggressors are secretly the Cool Meta Pick that nobody knows about yet, and I’ll be the guy to find that out. At the very least, that Redemptor and those Bladeguard seem like shoe-ins to not only do some damage on the tabletop, but fill out my points a smidge. If I get the Imperium issue with Outrider bikes in it though, 6 bikers and a biker chaplain would be an extremely fun and funny pick to throw downrange.
I will be presenting these fellas on my display board, originally built for NOVA 2019. I was unfortunately unable to attend due to a death in the family, but I’ll finally get to wheel out that hunk of terrain, spit, and bubblegum and carry my dudes around on it. The ruin is even magnetized so I can pack it and fly with it! I was smarter in my 20s.
Anyway, this is the part where I probably talk about gaming? I guess? My Templars have been on a bit of a roll lately, only taking the L twice over my last dozen games or so. I should play more games with the one guy at my store who’s actually good at 40k, since even though I’m not going for the gold in a highly competitive event, it’s no fun getting stomped. I also don’t have the off-meta advantage I had going into Adepticon 2019 and NOVA 2017, where I brought an army of smol Templars that nobody cared about or planned on dealing with. It helps that my plan is generally “charge” and “kill dudes” but we’ll see how that works against cannier opponents utilizing the latest flavors of Eldar Bullshit.
Lastly that leaves trivia, the event where the wheat is truly and definitively separated from the chaff. I am a certified trivia medal winner, along with my other, less impressive medals from Adepticon 2019. I normally would not mean to be so boastful, but this is trivia we are talking about here, not some dice-based game for children and their action figures. I will do no further research or preparation for this. I will drink no fewer than 36oz of beer before the first question is asked, and that much again whilst competing. Some poor sods who write for this website will be saddled with me on their team, and I’m calling this shot now:
We will win.
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