Space Marine Review: HQ: The Emperor’s Champion

Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of the Black Templars’ character, the Emperor’s Champion. In 8th edition, he is quite a contender and a solid character to add to your army. For more reviews, analyses and battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.

What a difference an edition makes! In 7th edition, he was a decidedly mediocre character that didn’t really see a lot of play, as he was simply too easy to kill off with Instant Death attacks. Now, however, he is a combat monster who will strike fear into the heart of any enemy characters in the opposing army.


The Emperor’s Champion is an HQ choice for a Black Templars army. He is primarily a combat character, able to go toe to toe with a number of enemy threats and come out on top thanks to his wargear and some great special rules. For only 75 points, he is an absolute bargain and I would say an almost auto-include in any Black Templars force.


  • Black Sword- +2S, -3AP and D3 damage. You can re-roll failed wound rolls against Characters or Monsters with this weapon.
  • Bolt Pistol
  • Frag and Krak Grenades


  • And They Shall Know No Fear
  • Sigismund’s Honour- Gains +1S and +1A when within 1″ of an enemy Character
  • Slayer of Champions- You can re-roll failed hit rolls made in the Fight phase when attacking enemy Characters
  • Armour of Faith- Gains 4+ invulnerable save
  • Black Templars Chapter Tactics- can re-roll failed charge rolls
  • Keywords: Imperium, Adeptus Astartes, Black Templars, Character, Infantry, Emperor’s Champion


The Emperor’s Champion should be used exactly as he is described in the background, aggressively hunting down enemy Characters and taking their heads for the honour of the Chapter.

Against normal infantry, the Emperor’s Champion is a solid combat character. He comes with 4 attacks as standard, hitting on a 2+, so you can count on most of them to hit. With the Black Sword, he is S6 with -3AP and D3 damage on each wound. Against Marines and other standard infantry, he should cause a fair bit of damage to a unit in combat, even being able to threaten multi-wound models on the charge.

Against other characters, he turns into a combat monster. If fighting an enemy character, the Emperor’s Champion gets 5 attacks, hitting on a 2+ with a re-roll to hit. He strikes at S7 and gets to re-roll failed wounds. This means that against most standard infantry characters, he will be hitting on a 2+ re-rollable and wounding on a 3+ re-rollable, doing D3 damage with each wound. If he gets to strike first on the charge, he will be able to mess up most enemy characters, with only their invulnerable saves to protect them from harm in most cases (pity the Black Templars don’t get a Librarian to cast Null Zone. You could always ally one in, but not really in keeping with the theme of the Black Templars!).  Add in the re-rolls to failed charges and this should help ensure that the Emperor’s Champion makes it into combat.

In terms of durability, he has T4, 4 wounds, a great 2+ save and a 4+ invulnerable save. This gives him a decent level of durability in combat, especially against any weapons that lack an AP value. As with most characters, you want to have him near a supporting unit in order to prevent most enemy units from being able to target him directly with shooting attacks.

The Emperor’s Champion will work best with a support unit in a dedicated transport. The transport will help him to get into combat faster. Simply point him at a troublesome enemy character and set him loose to kill them. It will come in very handy against characters that buff enemy units, particularly morale buffs that can hamper your ability to kill off the units. He will be great for going after weak characters such as Commissars accompanying conscript blobs, or for killing of synapse creatures to make the smaller gaunts run off (remember, he also gets to re-roll failed wounds against Monsters as well as characters). A supporting unit of a Crusader squad will be a great choice for him to accompany. The squad can use their Bolters to clear out the chaff in the way, allowing to Emperor’s Champion to take out the lynchpin character models in the assault phase. In addition, in squads of 9, the Crusader Squad can still take a Special Weapon and Heavy Weapon, giving you access to more firepower than a Tactical Squad and still have room for the Champion in a transport vehicle.

While expensive, a Land Raider transport will get him into combat in relative safety, as these are quite tough to crack in 8th edition without a lot of dedicated anti-armour firepower.


For only 75 pts, I think the Emperor’s Champion is an absolute bargain. He is a great unit for hunting down enemy characters, or even chewing through standard infantry in combat. On average rolling, he will put around 8 wounds on an enemy character in combat, with the possibility to do up to 15 wounds in a single turn. That will slay or seriously hurt a whole lot of enemy characters in the game, unless they get really lucky with their invulnerable or armour saves. The biggest disadvantage is that you cannot take him in every Space Marine army!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

5 Responses to “Space Marine Review: HQ: The Emperor’s Champion”

  1. Dragnov September 16, 2017 5:22 am #

    How did you arrive at Strength 8 against characters? S4 + S2 +S1 = S7. Which is nice but against most things he fights, will put him at 3+ to wound.

    • Michael Corr September 16, 2017 11:53 am #

      Because apparently, I cannot count! Doh! Thanks for spotting it, I’ll change it in the text above.

    • Donthemagnificent September 16, 2017 1:16 pm #

      If he is near helbrect he gets an additional +1 str

  2. Jacerad September 18, 2017 1:08 am #

    Do you think the lack of a force multiplier makes lieutenants a better option for less?

    • Michael Corr September 18, 2017 1:25 am #

      I think that they both perform different roles on the battlefield, so it depends on the rest of your army composition.

      The Lieutenant is a better force multiplier, giving a nice re-roll to wound bubble. I like to use him next to a unit of Missile Launcher or Lascannon Devastators, allowing you to re-roll around half of your failed wounds.

      I think the Emperor’s Champion is really useful for supporting combat units or hunting enemy characters. You don’t get a re-roll to wound bubble, but I think it more than makes up for it with his 2+ save, as well as the high strength and AP of his sword. He will help chew through basic infantry or really put the hurt on other characters.

      If you are looking for a cheap combat character to add to the Black Templars army, I think he is better than the Company Champion or Chapter Champion, and is better in combat than the Lieutenant.

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