When my game shop closed in Buffalo, NY, some buddies from the Fallout Gaming Group in Erie, PA invited me to a 40k tournament. Not knowing what the future of my personal hobby was, I vowed to use this as an excuse to ham it up. I had one month, half a dozen finished armies to choose from, and a group of guys that I only got to see once every couple of months (so I didn't know what was played down there). All gamers have some superstitions (don't try to lie about it, gamers!), and one beat into me by my gaming group growing up was that you should never take the same army to another tournament. Well, that ruled out my Ultramarines, my Dark Angels, and my Imperial Guard. That left me with a brilliant idea. In the span of four weeks, I would furiously create a space marine army out of the cave of wonders that was my hobby room. Every day my buddies would come over and see me bent over under a pile of boxes and tupperware full of sprues and bitz and untouched boxes of model glory. Every night my friends would leave with armfuls of bits snuck out just for helping me find the perfect parts. But each new day brought the army closer to glorious, elegant completion!
Now, you're thinking to yourself- 'self, why is he going on like this army is some kind of miracle?' Let me answer that by saying that it was my THIRD miracle in the hobby. The first being my first trophy, the second being a DA army in a month, and now this. From the ashes of a bitz room came the vicious, yet barely proper, Black Templar army:
also, I would like to note that the camera really enhanced the grey line highlighting on everything. As I'm not as expert in camera-work, all I can do is assure you that the models look far crisper and subtle in real life.)
(one of my buddies can tell you about a time this pair targetted the muchly-feared Typhus, Bringer of the Hive. No amount of Nurgle protects you from that much pew-pew, sadly...)
(If you look closely in the first pic, you'll even notice a Deathwatch brother hidden in there. The Dark Angels were done fast and well. The Black Templars were done fast and fun.)
This army travelled with me to Erie, PA. I was accompanied by a number of my buddies, amongst them a young man named Hoff, new to tournaments and with a newly created army himself. I had a number of trophies under my belt already, so I gave Hoff all the tips and advice I could. My army, during the weekend frenzy of playtesting before the tournament, did very well against everything. Massacred face. Religiously. Except Hoff's Tau army. For some strange reason, that Tau army was my bane. My Templars didn't care who the enemy were, as long as they weren't those damned red Tau! The tournament in Erie actually sucked (not at all). I gave away a whole bunch of shoulder pads (around $600 worth, because I had it 'laying around'), hung out with some buddies (one whom would later come work with me in Illinois!), and watched as Hoff walked out with the trophy! Dammit Hoff! I was slightly upset (not really), but that was the start. I played with my Templars in a GW staff tournament, where they crushed Grey Knights, demolished Necrons, and, going into game 3, were listed at second place (out of 40 or so). Then it happened- my Templars ran into their primogenitors, the Imperial Fists. Every plan failed, every initiate faltered, every roll went south. Again, poor performance.
Then the new 5th edition came out. The templars were tired of almost winning. Hoff's Tau had been kicking their butts all over the tables for months, and then the steady progression of other hollow-victories. Battling the newb, the untested, the unsure, crushing them, waiting for the day... Then it happened. Nowicki's Dark Eldar and my Black Templars were the last two undefeated armies in the shop, and everyone demanded an accounting of who's best.
It was a hard game. Not! Nowicki was a very good player with a pretty darn good army. He knew the mission, understood the rules very very well, and had been crushing every opponent. I thought I was worried. Until I used the mission rules to 'outflank' his xenos scum. I thought I was concerned. Until my lascannon brigade downed all his transports right away. It was overwhelming force coming from all directions. Every benefit he had, I eliminated. Every skill the Dark Eldar claimed to have, the Templars simply crushed out of them.
The Black Templars went crazy from that point forth. Marshall Chamberlain commanded his army to excellence and glory, and I lost less than half a dozen games afterwards (out of scores of games with this army). Eventually, I treated the army as an 'enforcer', bringing it out just to destroy the egos of wargamers that like to win more than play. It worked. (ask Hodgy, his sallies still don't know what happened!)
The army is now proudly owned by a gentleman in New Jersey named Jeff. He was so ecstatic when he finally openned up the cases that he replied immediately. It sent a tear down my cheek. Marshall, take care of your troops. Jeff, take care of my army.