A variant of the Penitent Engine equipped with heavy flamers or heavy bolters in addition to its blades, the Mortifier serves a special purpose as a punishment for Sisters Repentia whose faith is so weak that they try to flee from battle rather than atone through death. So essentially, unlike the Penitent Engine where it is most usually a form of masochistic self-loathing that may or may not borderline into some kind of kink fetish, Mortifiers are those who have definitely done something wrong. Abandoning your comrades in battle is after all, a big no-no, and given that a Repentia is intended to seek martyrdom in battle the act of fleeing is nothing short of sacrilege.
Consequently, the Mortifier chassis features a wide array of nasty devices designed to amplify the pilot's self-loathing while literally bolting her skeleton into the walker - even the words of the faithful have no solace for them because their hood blocks them out. Overall, Mortifiers are more of a range Dakka variant of the more flamer-heavy CQC specialists of normal Penitent Engines, with the usage of heavy bolters being the most prominent range weapon. This does not make Mortifiers piss-weak pansies like most Tau Battlesuits however, as Mortifiers still come standard issue with its penitent buzz-saws and penitent flails.
In 8th Edition tabletop, Mortifiers are essentially WS3+, BS3+, T5, W5, A4, Sv4+, 6++, FnP Penitent Engines. Unlike Penitent Engines, they have an additional purpose: Gun Boat. They can contain up to an additional 3 engines in a unit, for a total of 4. Each engine is equipped with 2 Heavy Bolters and 2 Penitent Flails stock. Like the Penitent Engine, you can swap one or both of the Penitent Flails for Penitent Buzz-Blades. You can also swap one or both of their Heavy Bolters for Heavy Flamers too. When they die in combat, they mete out Final Vengeance where on a 4+ every enemy units within 1" suffers D3 mortal wounds (Can you imagine when 4 die in combat...).
In addition, they may choose to change their Heavy Bolters to Assault 3 (i.e. no penalty for shooting while moving and can advance with -1 to hit penalty if desired) or their Heavy Flamers to Pistol d6 for any shooting phase (your opponents can't silence their guns by getting stuck in). Unfortunately, Mortifiers lack the "Zealot" rule, meaning that they don't reroll to hits. This means that for the first phase of combat (if they're likely to live through) Mortifiers are actually 'worse' than Penitent Engines - their 3+ to hit grants a ~66% chance vs 75% chance, but you do get better gun options and better tactical flexibility as a result of it... and you move at 9" instead of 7". So 'dems the trade-offs.
For those extra-naughty Repentias who actually try to betray their Orders, they obviously get it even worse. Their Mortifiers, called Anchorites, further entomb them in an iron maiden-like sarcophagus. While being encased in an honestly pretty awesome metal tomb is meant to protect their tortured bodies from incoming fire and desperately swung blades, the reality is more of a punishment meant to deny them the release of death for decades on end like a loyalist Helbrute. However, there are those who did nothing wrong but instead volunteer to be interred in these Anchorites like normal Dreadnoughts. It turns out that this method of service is becoming increasingly common among the Orders, perhaps owing to how they're already overwhelming with zeal and loyalty.
Anchorites, like their Mortifier cousins, are largely range-based walkers, sharing largely the same weapon loadouts as the Mortifiers. However, Anchorites are also obviously much tougher, owing to its pretty obvious iron maiden sarcophagus acting as a protective cocoon from incoming enemy fire. While this means that Anchorites won't fold like wet toilet paper, it is likewise understandable that controlling one ain't the most swell existence to be in. However, it is 100% on the person inside. Honestly, what did you think that a group which hooks up cowards to combat mechs designed to get them killed would do to traitors? Also, as mentioned on the Arco Flagellant page, when its your literal soul on the line then the fact that people who have been indoctrinated for ten thousand years straight would bother trying this actually speaks to some human decency if anything.
In 8th Edition tabletop, Anchorites are basically the 'leader' of a Mortifier squad. Henceforth, you could allow one of the Mortifiers in her squad to be upgraded to an Anchorite which gives it a Sv3+. Makes sense since they are at least armored and protected by that Iron Maiden coffin.
Other than that, Anchorites behave similarly to her Mortifier sisters and, like the Penitent Engines and Mortifiers, they also do 'not' have the "Shield of Faith", "Acts of faith", "Sacred Rites" abilities OR the <ORDER> keyword, meaning (if you haven't figured it out by now) they don't benefit from MOST of your army wide bonuses such as: "Indomitable Belief" Warlord trait or a Canoness "Lead the Righteous" ability. Hospitallers can't even heal them for God Emperor's sake!(sorry Bloody Rose players). So yeah, expect your walkers to die if you're a Sisters player.
|Forces of the Sisters of Battle|
|Command:||Triumph of Saint Katherine - Canoness |
Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave - Imagifier
Ministorum Priest - Sororitas Command Squad
|Troops:||Avenging Angel - Arco-flagellant - Battle Sister Squad |
Celestians - Crusaders - Death Cult Assassin
Dominion Squad - Retributor Squad - Seraphim Squad
Sisters Repentia - Zephyrim Squad
|Vehicles:||Exorcist - Immolator - Penitent Engine - Repressor |
Rhino - Mortifier
|Special Vehicles:||Pulpit of Saint Holline's Basilica|
|Flyers:||Avenger Strike Fighter|
|Spacecraft:||Aquila Lander - Drop Pod|
|Saints:||Living Saint - Geminae Superia|
|Non Militant||Orders Dialogous - Orders Famulous - Orders Hospitaler|