So I finally got the last of my first company Terminators built for my Ultramarines making it 57 including Captain Agemann, his command squad and Chaplain. And if I do say so myself they look awesome. And it got me thinking about their role in the game and how the changes to close combat weapons impact on these mighty warriors of the Imperium.
Originally designed for breaching enemy vessels and space hulks, terminator armour is the most resilient form of personal protection in the galaxy. It was designed to withstand meteor strikes. Meteor. Strikes. Which is why the idea that a poxy power weapon wielded by an even poxier Eldar bird with bad hair could fell one rankled me no end. Yes, arguably they could have found a weak spot but considering a Space Marine can (and I’m talking fluff now) take a multimelta to the face and all it’ll do is piss him off, lopping off an arm isn’t going to stop them.
It just made no sense. No sense to the point that before I embarked on collecting the full 1st & 5th and just had a generic army, I’d use Scout Squads against Banshees because their stats were the same, they got as many attacks and a fraction of the cost and their saving throw was just as irrelevant as a Terminators.
During the days of Second Edition a Terminator got a 3+ armour save on 2D6. That gave him a survival rate of something like 97% in the average game. Third Edition changed that to 2+ on a single D6 and a (eventually) 5+ Crux Terminatus save. That’s a drop to 83%. Couple that with power weapons ignoring all armour saves and Terminators were rarely worth the points and when they were it was usually against something very squishy.
Terminators are the ultimate defenders of humanity. Standing inviolate against the Emperor’s enemies in their tactical dreadnought armour. Wherever the fighting is thickest they can be found. When all hope is lost they will deliver the day. They are the blessed of Emperor’s sons and they his most deadly instruments of vengeance.
On the battlefield and gaming board a like they should inspire fear in your enemies and be the anchor of any assault or wreaking untold havoc behind enemy lines as they’re teleported from their orbiting vessel. Terminator squads should be the bane of every enemy generals plans and the stuff of nightmares for his men. Terminators are death incarnate and thanks to the introduction of AP for close combat weapons they are once again elevated to this supreme status.
More importantly you’ll actually be able to use them as all rounders once more. Being locked in combat with units armed with anything other butter knives will no longer fill you with dread. What it will mean is that your opponents will direct unreasonable amounts of resources to taking them down but that’s as it should be. Five Deathwing Terminators liberated a world infested by a Genestealer Cult. Five.
It’s absolutely right that it should take dozens of traitor marines or seething hordes of Orks to bring Terminators low because they are extraordinary. Even by the standards of Space Marines. They are warriors without peer, noble beyond reproach and deadly beyond reason. A Veteran in Terminator armour will never waste their lives bust understand that to wear such valuable and vaunted armour is a dire portent and they will willingly give their lives in the pursuit of their cause and the defence of their brothers and humanity.
Terminators are a the manifestation of the Emperor’s wrath, the will his Sons and the very noblest of ideals that the Space Marines cling to as they fight to hold back the encroaching night. Deploying Terminators on your gaming board is as much a psychological blow to your enemy as it is a boon to you. Where they tread your enemies will perish and die. I’ve always believed that faith in your models is what gives you good dice rolls and fear of your opponents is what gives you bad. And woe betide those poor saps who should find themselves facing down a terminator, let alone 57 of them.
And that is why I love Terminators.