Black Templar Rumours and Heavy Chainswords

Warhammer 40K Black Templars

I find it interesting how much foresight went into the Warhammer 40K 6th Edition rulebook. There are a lot of little bits in the book that only get to the table as new Codexes are released.

The Vector Dancer rule was the obvious one with the recent Eldar Codex. It’s a nice little mobility-rules for flyers, which had no application in the game itself until the Eldar Flyers arrived on the scene. With Vector Dancer, they immediately were among the more mobile flyers in the game (though the Heldrake’s still laughing at the petty need to pivot at all, shooting 360° all day long).

Recent rumours about the (allegedly) soon to be redone Black Templars Space Marines highlight another hidden morsel from the 40K rulebook: The Heavy Chainsword (p. 60 mini-rulebook).

Black Templar Rumours via Faeit212

Black Templar Rumours via Faeit212.

Scout Stat line.
They do not take up a force organization slot, but count as troops for all intents and purposes (Scoring etc).

They do not have infiltrate, or move through cover.  They also are not subject to rage after taking a casualty.
The number of Neophyte Squads you can take equals the number of Initiate, Assault, Bike and Sword Brethren squads total you have in the army.

Sword Brethren Terminators do not increase this limit.

Once purchased, as a 5-10 unit choice they are their own selection.

When deploying Squads with the Crusade keyword (Initiates, Assault, Bikes) you can attach a Neophyte squad to it.  This then becomes one unit for all intents and purposes for the remainder of the game and cannot be split.

If the squad numbers 5 models, Neophytes can buy Bikes.  They cannot buy jump packs.  They come with bolt pistol and CCW and they cannot take special weapons.  Those on bikes can upgrade to grenade launchers though. Neophytes can take shotguns

If you don’t want to attach them, you can just deploy them as their own unit.

From what it seems, you can put Neophytes with bikes into squads without bikes, and vice versa.

Initiates have the stats of a basic marine, except their BS which is 3.  It’s +1 point per model (and the whole squad has to buy it), to get up to BS  4.  For 1 more point, you swap their chainsword for a bolter.  They are 10-20.  Only assault special weapons (meltaguns, plasmaguns or flamers) can be taken.  No heavy weapons.  Instead of assault weapons they can take power weapons.  They can replace both their BP and CCW for a Heavy Chainsword. They do not have sergeants, and are leadership 8.

Yes it’s possible to take 20 Initiates and 10 Neophytes it seems.

Castellans are a 0-3 per slot elites choice.  They are independent characters and take on vows that are reminiscent of oaths of moment from the books.  Things like taking objectives, or defending them till the end and confer that benefit to initiates (or better) that are in the same squad as them.  They can’t take more than one vow and vows have different point costs.  They get access to all sorts of interesting wargear, and unique wargear.  They do not have to take wargear or vows, and are more expensive than a wolf guard, despite having the same stats.  They are leadership 9.


I am not good at judging the value of rumours. Nevertheless, some things on the interwebs sound overtly fishy to me, while other rumours strike a chord that makes me listen up.

After the (re-)introduction of Vector Dancer with the Eldar Codex, the Heavy Chainsword reference in the Black Templar rumours was precisely such a thing that made me listen.

These rumoured rules may well be from some form of play-test booklet. I wouldn’t expect all these rules to come through like that.

However, in the broader spirit of things, large units (up to 20) of Templar Initiates wielding two-handed Heavy Chainswords, possibly charging from a Land Raider Crusader, seems to be what’s in the pipeline for the Knights of Dorn.

Would that be a direction for the Templars you approve of?

Let me know what you think and leave a comment below!


Image: Black Templar Digital Art by Nicholas Kay

P.S.: I wonder if the (almost) inevitable large Black Templar walker will wield a giant chainsword? Could be cool, no?



I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Hopeless painter and founder of Pins of War. I hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at
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  • StephenPSmith

    Personally I give 6th edition a C- for “spirit of the game” and rule structure. I took about 9 years off from the game (played all through 2nd and 3rd Eds.) and skipped from 3rd to 6th – talk about enormous changes!

    It is a completely different game now, and I am having to learn how to organize and deploy my IG all over again…

    • wibbling

      That is quite a jump though, but generally 6th works much better.

      However, 40K really isn’t about narrative. There is far, far *FAR* too much dice rolling to ever allow for narrative games.

      I love my guardsmen. Well, I love my tanks. That there are men driving them is a side issue. Give me an armoured column codex!

  • Lysere

    Not sure how I feel about the current Castellan rumor but I will say the parts about the Initiates and Neophytes seems fun. Also looks like losing a guy will grant rage to Initiates for their next turn, meaning a 30 man squad charging across the table would be able to lay down some serious pain if they just gave up Neos on the way over. I’m hoping the squad can get more than one power weapon this time.

    • Zweischneid

      Castellans, if those rumours are true, will depend on the gear they can use. The rumours make it sound like that is their schtick. If there is good and useful equipment in the mix, I can see them being popular.

  • Brad

    It seems my squads are going to cost more