The New Black Templars as described in the Codex:Armageddon and my Crusade,
The “Iron Cross” Crusade
With the release of the Codex:Armageddon, I find myself forced to re-write the background to my Black Templars Space Marine Army. Having fought with this army several times with the background I originally created for them, building certain characters as in integral part of the army, I do not wish to drastically change the conception or composition of the army or the characters within. My original background was very similar to the new story of the Black Templars. My army was off on a Crusade throughout the Empire, as all Black Templars Crusades are described as doing in the Codex:Armageddon, so the army’s concept is not changed. However, while I like some aspects of the new rules for the Black Templars as given in the Codex:Armageddon, they would cause great changes in the composition of my army. Most distressing to me would be the loss of Brother Librarian Jerome, who has led many victorious battles for me. Therefore, I offer up
The “Iron Cross” Crusade of the Black Templars Chapter of Space Marines.
The Story of the “Iron Cross” Crusade
The Black Templars Chapter of Space Marines were created when Rogal Dorn split the original Imperial Fists Legion into Chapters at the behest of the Emperor. It was under protest, and only accusations of heresy convinced Dorn to concede. The original High Martial of the Black Templars, Sigismund, started a grand crusade to prove the loyalty of the Black Templars. It has lasted 10,000 years.
.The Black Templars Chapter is divided up into many, mostly independent, Crusades. This is the story of one such Crusade, called the Iron Cross. This Crusade has grown large, and the entire Crusade patrols the Imperium in a single large fleet currently consisting of one Battle Barge, two Strike Cruisers, and nine Escort Ships. Though this fleet may be broken up for a short period of time to handle several crises, it always comes together to continue its Crusade as a single entity. In its years, it has also grown more independent of the Black Templars as a whole, and has determined its own fate. The Iron Cross has developed an organization more closely resembling what was laid out in the Codex Astartes than other Black Templars Crusades. They have maintained some ranks used by the Black Templars, and due to their independence and size, have their own Grand Martial. They also have a Sergeant-at-Arms whose duty is to maintain discipline amongst the Marines. This is not necessary due to undesireable activities amongst the Marines, but though the “Iron Cross” Marines are no less zealous in their Crusade against the Emperor’s enemies than other Crusades, they do not allow this furor to take control of their actions, preferring to act in a more controlled manner in combat. Sometimes, however, they are overcome by their desire to destroy the Emperor’s enemies, and lose themselves to the fight. In these times, the Sergeant-at-Arms watches over the brethren in the combat and acts as the Emperor’s Champion for the Crusade. They also have a Master Sergeant who leads the commander’s bodyguard squad, assuming he is not leading the mission himself. Finally, the largest difference is the presence of Iron Cross Librarians. Are not Space Marine Librarians the Emperor’s chosen as are the other Brothers? Are their powers not guided by the Emperor himself? The Iron Cross has a very strict training program for their Librarians, and only psykers most in command of their abilities and pure to the Emperor complete the training, so though there are Librarians amongst the Iron Cross’s forces, there are certainly fewer than in other Space Marine Chapters.
The Iron Cross Crusade has encountered many of the Emperor’s enemies. The various alien races infesting the Imperium are often encountered, but the worst of all battles are against humans who are either misguided or have turned completely against the Emperor. Both forms of enemy, alien and human, must be crushed for the Imperium to prosper and humanity to maintain its fragile hold.
The rules used for armies of the “Iron Cross” Crusade
I will use the Standard Space Marine Codex to make the armies. This will allow me to use Brother Librarian Jerome and Scout Squads as normal. I will take the one LandRaider Crusader limit and not use any of the Black Templars special rules. In the instances where I deem the zealous furor to have overcome the army, the Black Templars list as detailed in Codex:Armageddon will be used. The only irksome thing is the requirement of having an Emperor’s Champion in every army made using these rules. My Emperor’s Champion model represents Brother Sergeant Acacius, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the “Iron Cross” and he will be the Emperor’s Champion in that battle, watching over the over-zealous Space Marines under his care as described in the story above.