Hey, everyone. 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.