This is a short bit of why any semi-competitive list and up should consider blast and template weapons even at the cost of losing killing power. (and because I am dodging work this way)
Out of all my battles I have played I have noticed my game plan and goals become way easier to achieve when I find out my opponent does not have any templates in his army list. This is due to the fact I do not need to spread models when deploying and moving.The best way to go about this (I think) is with questions:
'My list is fine tuned and ready to go, why the hell would I want to trade my treasured melta weapons for a flamer....why should I take a missile launcer when I can have other options that suit me better?,
'What do blast and template weapons do my other superior weapons cant?,
All these weapons one thing in common, they have the potential to hit lots of models at once and inflicting hefty damage.
'What does it do for me? my opponent is not stupid and would not allow for this and spread his models, or will make a calculated risk in keeping the models together.,
Templates make your opponent spread (or not and huzzah for you).
This spread might not seem to impact the game much but I have noticed that you lose firepower on basic weapons making a unit of ex. 20 necron warriors with pharao (relentless) less effective, not all models can be deployed within cover leaving a couple out making them vulnerable to assault. Assault units also suffer ex. power fist delivery systems take their place in the middle of a unit (due to getting favorable engagements) can lose charge range potential when sustaining heavy casualties from shooting. Embarked units are also at a higher risk when they embark and but can use the vehicle as cover, but this also results in loss of firepower or threat. And the most hefty impact is loss of maneuverability in your army, the more space your units take up the harder it is to coordinate movement within your entire army.
So including these weapons have effect on how your enemy reacts to your army giving you an edge.
Now a couple of things to note.
- A single missile launcher will accomplish absolute squat! You do need a decent damage potential threat, ex. grey hunters with 5 missile launchers.
- Having a single glass cannon in your army might not influence your opponents play style as he will can remove the threat early on, ex. vindicator, banehound (the IG 2+ poison flamer template) or a venom with wracks and liquifier.
- Units that use the flamer template do need a way of getting to a target fast, otherwise your opponent can calculate very easy when to spread when needed, any unit footslogging it.
- I do not use deep strike in these examples as they are usually designed to accomplish one task and after that any damage they might do or lucky saves are a from enemy fire is a bonus.
- I am not telling you what unit to take, every list has certain options that fill in this niche better than others.
Agree? absolute rubbish? Examples of these kind of units that work for you (or not)? Discuss.
TLR, Using blast/template weapons in your army can make your opponent change his battle plan.