Warhammer 40,000/6th Edition Tactics/Adepta Sororitas
This is the 6th edition tactica, you can find the 7th edition one here.
- 1 Why Play Sisters of Battle
- 2 Blessings of the Emprah
- 3 Unit Analysis
- 4 Allies
- 5 Building your Army
- 6 Tactics
Why Play Sisters of Battle
Because you're a proud fa/tg/uy who can remember the good old days when the models were pewter, the vehicle armor was Papier-mâché, and the universe was populated by manly motherfuckers instead of whiny power armored Mary Sues. Whats that? Inquisitors? Fuck your shit. Go play Grey Knights. This is second edition Sisters, when everything was ecclesiarchal, the force org chart was 50% HQ, and the Cannoness had a goddamn laser mace. New models? Updates? Real codex? Fuck them. You're going to win for the same reason you always have. You're the hardest, beardiest, motherfucker around and you've been pushing these kids' shit in since they had pokemon lunch boxes. Welcome to the new hard mode.
OK, now that we're done with the dick swinging, Sisters are a pretty hard force to play. The mini-codex release has left them with a clown car of an army and eliminated most of their previous strategies (plasmatroopers, immospam). The force org has become incredibly top heavy. On the one hand we have some incredibly cheap HQs, but most of your staple units like Sisters and Dominions are now more expensive. This is a challenge army and isn't for newbs. Then again if you own a Sisters army you probably knew that.
With the new Codex out, the Sisters of Battle got changed with so many buffs and nerfs that no one can agree if they are overall better or worse. Expect evaluations of rules and individual units to change on a daily basis until there's an actual chance to try out new lists and see what happens. Though it's pretty much agreed that Codex Inquisition has given this army one heck of a powerful buff. Essentially, Sisters are a below average army on their own, but most of their problems can be fixed with allies.
Believe it or not, Sisters may have gotten better under the 7th edition updates, or at least moved up a bit in the metagame. Yeah they don't get the new Psyker stuff, but the across the board Adamantium Will means you'll resist Psychic attacks better than most armies that either have no Psykers (Necrons, Dark Eldar) or avoid the Pyskers they have (Orks). Being able to ally with any Imperial Army as Battle Brothers is a pretty nice bonus so feel free to pick and choose what you like. And the changes to vehicles mean that A, mech sisters are now much more viable (since a single Missile Launcher shot or Autocannon hit can't insta-kill your Rhinos) and B, mean that Sisters are more efficient than most at vehicle killing since most of our anti-vehicle stuff is AP1 (meltas), high volume (Rending Heavy Bolters) or both (Exorcists). Playing Sisters may still be an uphill battle but the slope hasn't been this easy in a long time, so get out there!
More specific 7th edition updates to follow.
Acts of Faith
AoF = Act of Faith
Good news- Faith Points have been removed. Bad news- you can only use one Act of Faith per game for each unit, unless you take a Simulacrum Imperialis, which is 10 points.
- It should be noted that there is a risk of a simulacrum getting sniped out of your squad and you losing not only your ten point trinket BUT the ability to use an AoF later on, as well. But should that happen, it likely means your two special weapons (or special and heavy) AND your Priest (who you should be taking--see below), AND your Sister Superior (meh, but since AoF require leadership tests, you should always be upgrading to one) are still alive and kicking. Not the best trade-off in the world. My point is simply that you need not feel the need to rage-quit if your Sim gets popped.
For those of you who are wondering: An Act of Faith can be attempted immediately before a Sisters of Battle unit acts during a phase. To attempt an Act of Faith, select the unit and make a Leadership Test; if the Test fails, that unit will not be able to use its AoF and will be unable to try again (unless it has a simulacrum). Each of the Sisters' unit has it's own Act (see below).
- With the advent of some of the newer 6th edition books, awareness is key on taking LD tests.
For example the new Nid Synapse is a -3 LD (Only for Psychic powers)Nope, -3 to psykers for all tests within 12". If unfamiliar with a book's rules, always ask.
Shield of Faith
Pretty much everybody in the army gets Adamantium Will and a 6++ invulnerable save... you know, in case your enemy brought a ton of plasma or something, which, come to think of it, they probably did, given that this is the plasmaspam edition and all. It also has its uses against pain in the ass template weapons (I'm looking at you Heldrake). In case your opponent hits you with something that can punch through your 3+ save (or 4/5+ cover save), you've got a 1/6th chance to save your little dudettes, which is better than the average Marine, so don't forget it. All in all, not great, but not bad either for an army-wide rule. It also means your basic Sisters are more likely to survive a Power Fist to the face than the average Marine, which is highly amusing. Also, do not forget Adamantium Will, it moves your chances of just shrugging off a psychic power from 1 in 6 to 1 in 3, which as you can imagine is a VERY important difference.
It's also very (VERY) important to remember that it works for vehicles as well, 6++ and Adamantium Will. So if your opponent fires off a Psychic power that can hurt vehicles (like Eldritch Storm) you get a 5+ roll to make it go away (yes vehicles get to Deny the Witch too), even before cover/invul saves. And it'll also occasionally make meltabombs bounce off which will make your opponent rage.
The Holy Armory
- Blessed Banner: Any Sisters of Battle unit within 12" of the Banner Bearer re-rolls failed Morale, Fear and Pinning tests. Meh. Take priests instead.
- Chirurgeon's Tools: As long as the Sister Hospitaller is alive, her unit has the Feel No Pain special rule; if you can spare the points, take one...or don't? They are okay to have, but they require taking a command squad, which isn't cheap, is worse than a battle conclave, and it doesn't score. Oh, and let's not forget that toughness 3 means there are LOTS of weapons that will negate their FNP.
- Condemnor Boltgun: The Condemner Boltgun is a unique Combi-Weapon that the Sisters and Inquisition get. Not as good as they were back in October, since the recent update fixed a wording mistake and put its use in line with that of the inquisition. Now it only causes Perils to a Psyker on an unsaved wound, making it nowhere near as OP as it was back at release (where one didn't have to hit the Psyker, one merely had to hit the squad the Psyker was in and a perils was suffered by everyone. Sigh...
- Eviscerator: Basically a two handed chainfist without the fist; Raised from 20 points to 30. Has its uses, but is expensive.
- Laud Hailer: Lets you reroll failed Act of Faith LD tests. Kinda meh (unless you aren't upgrading to Superiors [why?]), but you can strap it on all your vehicles so might as well.
- Neural Whip: Is a melee weapon with S- AP3, and against non-vehicle units strikes at Str 8 against the opponent's unmodified Leadership. Mob Rule? Fuck that noise. Its been dropped to Str User AP3 now, with Shred on non-vehicle units with leadership 8 or less.
- Rosarius: We all know what it does. 4++ for your squishy priests, Canoness can buy it. Now costs 15 points.
- Simulacrum Imperialis: Units with this can perform 2 AoF per game instead of one. Any unit that NEEDS its AoF to be useful (which, lets face it, is more or less everyone) should take these as standard. Be careful though: if the bearer dies, you can't use either of your AoFs, so if you have one of these, don't be waiting until turn 3 to attempt your first Act.
- The Book of St. Lucius: 5 points, all friendly units within 12" automatically pass any Fear or Regroup tests they have to make. Presumably this includes if they're under 25% so it could be useful for a backfield unit that wants to catch fleeing units.
- The Litanies of Faith: 15 points, everyone in the unit automatically passes Act of Faith and War Hymns tests. Extremely useful, what with Priests being leadership 7 and all.
- The Cloak of St. Aspira: 20 points, reroll failed armor and Shield of Faith Invulnerable saves. A little on the pricy side, and doesn't let you reroll saves from your Rosarius (which you bought, right?).
- The Mantle of Ophelia: 25 points, Eternal Warrior. Your girls are T3, so this should be the first buy for your Canoness, assuming you are even using one...
- The Blade of Admonition: 30 points. +2 Strength, AP3 and Master Crafted, Canoness only. Can be okay against MEQs. Shitty against TEQs, and if she already has Eternal Warrior, why not just equip her with an Eviscerator?
- The Mace of Valaan: 25 points, +2 Strength, AP4, Concussive, Master Crafted and gets Armorbane and Fleshbane when there are Daemons within 6", Priests only. Combined with the Priest's ability to smash, it becomes deadly (either 4 attacks on the charge at ap2, or 2 attacks at Strength 8 ap2). Combined with zealot, your cloth wearing little fanatic becomes the bane of terminators everywhere.
- Additional cheese: Ally with Grey Knights and keep Daemonhost within 6" for permanent Fleshbane/Armorbane, or ally instead with the Big I, for Daemonhosts at Battle Brother level and an additional ally slot.
- The Sacred Standard of the Order Militant: 40 points, Sororitas Command Squad only. Gives ALL Friendly units within 12" +1 Attack and lets them reroll failed Morale, Fear and Pinning test. Expensive as all hell, but could be worth it if you're running a front lines Sororitas Command Squad. Keep it near a Battle Conclave or Sisters Repentia and laugh.
- Dozer Blades: rerollable Dangerous Terrain.
- Extra Armor: Crew Stunned --> Crew Shaken.
- Hunter-Killer Missile: the old classic.
- Searchlight: another classic.
- Smoke Launchers: the last classic.
- Laud Hailer: Same as the wargear. Lets you reroll failed Act of Faith LD tests within 12".
- 1. Executioner of Heretics: Warlord gains Fear.
- 2. Indomitable Belief: Warlord and unit with Shield of Faith have 5+ invulnerable save.
- 3. Pure of Will: Warlord and unit reroll failed Deny the Witch tests.
- 4. Righteous Rage: Warlord Gains Rage. No shit. Nice and original GW.
- 5. Beacon of Faith: All units within 12" of Warlord use her leadership on Acts or Hymn tests.
- 6. Inspiring Orator: Friendlies within 12" gain Stubborn.
Easily the best section of our codex, so don't be afraid to unashamedly drop points here. Both special characters range from modestly useful (Celestine) to borderline mandatory (Jacobus), while even the Canoness--when kitted right--has her uses (see below).
- Saint Celestine - Went from being a trolling HQ in 5E to...something not quite as good in 6. For 135 points we get only a pale shadow of the monster she used to be. At T3 she's probably going to get crumped by another monstrous creature or executed in a challenge, but at least now that her weapon is S+2 AP3, she can consistently rip through hordes (last edition she was only wounding on a 4+). Maybe not a character killer, but mobs will cry. She still has the ability to come back from the dead (and does so with full Wounds[!]), but she can only do so once per game (and her martyrdom [see the Jacobus entry] only comes into effect when she dies for real). On the bright side, she's more likely to do so now that she just needs to pass a Leadership test to revive. Her WT allows all units within 12" of her to use her Ld10 for AoF and War Hymns. It should be noted, however, that these abilities make her a bit schizophrenic in a footslogging list. She should be at the vanguard of your assault, but if you are marching, she's going to outrun her bubble.
- ATTACH HER TO A UNIT. A common enough tactic was running her around solo back with her nigh invincible 5E version. With T3 and just a Power Sword she'll generally struggle against most HQ's or units with a ton of wounds. Giving out Slay the Warlord wantonly is not the best choice. Seraphims are probably the best way to go, but she also could be useful marching in a blob of 20 girls, doing some wound tanking and making the most of her WL trait.
- Uriah Jacobus, Protector of the Faith - Still Awesome. Now boosted to (a measly) 100 points. His banner gives counter attack and fearless with 12" and, more importantly, gives the unit he's attached to an additional AoF. Oh, and let's not forget he is still a preacher, so: HATRED, fearless (redundant, I know), prayers (on leadership 9!), AND he has the martyrdom special rule (i.e. if he dies, sisters get all hot and bothered and pass all their leadership tests for a turn). Not to pile on, BUUUT his warlord trait also makes his squad have a 5++ instead of 6++ (although this only applies if he is the ONLY HQ you are taking from the AS codex. The model with the highest leadership is always the warlord, and both Celestine and Canoness are leadership 10). The question is not whether or not you take this guy, its to what squad do you attach him (9/10 man Repentia? 20man Sisters blob?). Either way, he will not disappoint.
- Canoness - (Just had to scratch the entirety of the previous post. I apologize to the original writer but it's both outdated and just too long winded.) The Cannoness is the cheapest base HQ Sisters have which in itself is quite handy, since one can never have too many Bolter Bitches running aroung. Seeing as how she's still just T3 with a 3+ Armor Save it's generally a good idea to give her at least a Rosarius for the invulnerable. Depending on what you've planned to do with her you can kit her a few different ways. Generally giving her a combi-weapon is a solid option. See also the response below.
- Response: (No apologies necessary! I wrote the original, but it got muddled by like six other hands). I would like to add that she doesn't HAVE to be cheap. She is NOT your best HQ option, but given that she can have eternal warrior, a 3+/4++ AND an Eviscerator, she can become pretty formidable. Don't go up against big-time cc HQ's, but she could hold her own against the likes of a
TyphusLucius, for example. Let's face it, Typhus would crump her. Or, alternatively, you could lose the eviscerator, but take the cloak and have her tank wounds (in this instance, she should NOT be your warlord). This is a common tactic in Deathwing armies. She has 3 wounds, put her in the front of a squishier unit (10 Death Cult Assassins? Repentia? Dominions? etc.) and basically grant the unit 3 extra wounds on a 4++ save. Not as important in a quasi-blob army like sisters, but nevertheless this tactic has its place.
- Response: (No apologies necessary! I wrote the original, but it got muddled by like six other hands). I would like to add that she doesn't HAVE to be cheap. She is NOT your best HQ option, but given that she can have eternal warrior, a 3+/4++ AND an Eviscerator, she can become pretty formidable. Don't go up against big-time cc HQ's, but she could hold her own against the likes of a
- Sororitas Command Squad - HEAVILY improved in the update, if only because of a hefty price drop (80 points for full squad with Dialogus and Hospitaller, down from 115). They're quite solid of an option with the allowance of up to 5 Combi-Weapons, a lot cheaper then previous edition (WD) and they can use Heavy Weapons without requiring Retributors. Remember, though, they don't score, and they get access to the Endless Crusade AoF, which gives them Fleet, Crusader and Move Through Cover. Remember that Acts of Faith are attempted "before it acts during a phase" which is the blanket statement and still occurs before it strikes blows in the assault phase so rules as written it's not a waste since you can use it to get into assault more reliably.
- Sister Dialogus: Adds a laud hailer and can take other Relics (which could be useful).
- Sister Hospitaller - Adds Feel No Pain. Recommended if you are taking this squad.
- Priests - Only 25 points now. Take 5 of them.
ALWAYS(Okay, fine, maybe you don't NEED 5, but what's wrong with a little hyperbole to emphasize their usefulness?). Even if you are running a single squad of basic sisters as an allied detachment. I don't care. Take 5. These guys are your cheap unit buffers. They are Zealots (Fearless and Hatred), they can take relics (litanies anyone?), and they can use war hymns to additionally augment their unit (reroll to wound, reroll failed saves, or grants the Preacher Smash, which is hilarious, albeit for the most part impractical).
- A note on Strategy: If you give your priest a Power Maul and have him activate The Emperor's Strength, then they've got three S5 AP2 attacks. If you choose to make them Smash Attacks, that becomes two (three on the charge) S8 aP2 Tank Hunter attacks. Both of these are at I3, which, while not great, is better than most AP2 weapons. (I'm looking at you, Eviscerator.)
- Alternate Take: Priests won't often make combat effectively enough to really abuse the combo above. The best option Priests have is still the fact that Plasma isn't available to the army outside of them, handy considering the amount of 3+ MCs of 6th.
Alternate Alternate Take: If you ally with Inquisition (you fucking should), you can take a squad of 3 Acolytes with Plasma Guns to free up your priest. Stick him in a Henchmen Squad with 4 Daemon Hosts, 1 Crusader and an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor in Termy Armour (With Psycannon and whatever weapon you want (You want the Daemonhammer.)) and pump him up to Mastery Level 1. Then, give the Priest the Mace of Valaan and a boltpistol(maybe a plasma pistol if you're feeling lucky), lump him into the Henchmen squad along with the inquisitor, and you have yourself a fairly solid CC squad, although the footslog up the field will give them some trouble. The Mace of Valaan is gonna be perma-boosted since it's gonna take a bit to actually put the Daemonhosts down, and once you get into an assault, battle hymns will help give you that boost you need to survivability, with a rerollable 4+ on the priest.Problem being that it lacks transport, and it's not mobile enough to be effective. Since C:Inq has Priests by themselves, they can use their own inside of a Land Raider to make a deathstar far more effective.
- Perhaps I'm being silly, but in a pure RAW way I don't think the Mace of Valaan benefits from the Daemonhost. The Mace says specifically that it has to be within 6' of a model with the Daemon special rule and Daemonhosts don't TECHNICALLY have the Daemon special rule (hence why they have to have a special rule to give them a 5++). It seems like it's nitpicking, but it might get in your way.
- Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave - Pretty similar to the Grey Knights' henchmen, these are cheap(ish) choices to fill in your army's close combat hole. Now that you can't assault out of a vehicles, it takes a lot more work to use these effectively - and remember you have no grenades, so watch the fuck out. Honestly, you're better off allying them in from Codex: Inquisition and putting them in a landraider. Expensive as hell, but at least they will get into assault (in this setup, btw, I probably wouldn't take anything but DCAs. One need not worry about tanking shooting wounds with them mounted in a LRC, and DCA are just plain better than Arcos).
- Arco-Flagellant - Lost their power weapons but gained Feel No Pain and no longer OD at random. They are now 5 points cheaper, which might give them a role.
- Crusader - The meatier option. They aren't as killy as assassins but you can use them to soak up attacks with their 3++ saves and they have power weapons if you get to strike back. Worth taking a couple to soak up wounds; just remember to keep them up front.
- Death Cult Assassin-The best option. Only dual power swords, but 4 attacks on the charge at ws5, str4, and Init6 should allow you to kill most things just on quickness and massed wounds alone; If you aren't allying these ladies in (see above) just remember 5++ is not an acceptable substitute for actual toughness. You should then take 3-4+ with at minimum 2-3 Crusaders and 2+ Priests. Priests for their Hymns and Crusaders to tank.
Still not great, but now the Elites slot is usable...kinda.
- Celestians - Good news- Celestians are now only 14 points each and get Furious Charge as their AoF. If you want to take them, you have to commit to them, and I mean fully. Want a squad of 5? Fuck you, just go get some more basic Sisters. 9 Celestians, Flamer, Heavy flamer, Combi-Flamer and Power Sword/Axe for your Sister Superior and a Priest (with a Combi-Flamer and Power Axe of his own). This is probably not going to be cheap, but it'll make your Celestians a fairly nasty close combat unit, which could easily be used for a downfield push or contesting an objective late game. They're still not a must have, but if you're playing aggressively they will probably suit your playstyle.
- Sisters Repentia - No longer the joke in poor taste they were in third edition, but they aren't as good as the 5th update. They are a fragile unit (6++) that pumps out a frightening number of eviscerator swings in close combat. Thanks to Rage they now get +2 attacks on the charge instead of +1, and they can take a dedicated transport (!). It's not clear that a DT is the best strategy for using them, however, since they cannot charge the turn they disembark. Moreover, if your opponent doesn't shoot them to death after blowing up their limo, he can assault the two you have left, thus negating your awesome charge bonus. If you're not running a Mech list, do what you did before and keep these ladies behind a moving screen of blob cover (suicide IG blob, anyone?), or give a squad Jacobus. Note their FNP is now an AOF (although an incredible 3+); it doesn't come standard. A full squad only costs 155pts. Season to taste with Preachers. You may lose Fleet, but you gain HATRED and the ability to re-roll failed invulnerable saves (for what little that's worth). It might not be a bad idea to invest in Litanies of Faith, either. These bondage babes are a glass cannon, and you can't really afford them forgetting their safety word. Depending on whether you gave them the Litanies of Faith or Uriah Jacobus, it might be worthwhile to toss the Mistress of Repentance at the front of the unit, as she might absorb a couple of bolter shots up front that would otherwise cost you a Repentia.
Getting your meltas/flamers into position is priority, so running anything less than full mech infantry is a dangerous gambit, unless of course you run blob squads with Preachers, thereby making them Fearless. On vehicles we get smoke and Shield of Faith standard, so extra armor can be safely ignored. Dozer blades are always welcome point sinks, though by no means mandatory.
- Rhino - It's a Rhino. You've seen it elsewhere and you know what it does. They've gotten 5 points more expensive, but now come with a 6++ Faith save.
- Immolator - Battle Sisters squads now have a basic unit size of 5 models, which means a basic squad can fit inside them. PRAISE THE EMPRAH! Basically this just means immo-spam is back; twin-linked multi-meltas add reliable tank-busting, leaving your sisters to tool up with flamers for the wall of death. Mercifully, they now get a 5-point price drop, searchlights and free multi-meltas now. And the Laud Hailer is also a welcome addition. Since non-AP1/2 weapons can no longer explode a vehicle, Multi-melta Immolators are now probably the most points efficient antivehicle dedicated transports in the game.
- Repressor (Forge World) - Under the latest Imperial Armor, it's a 75 point Rhino with AV 13 front, a free Dozer Blade, a Heavy Flamer and enough room for 8 models to shoot out of.
(only two models total can fire from inside not eight)War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes page 239, "Two modesl may fire out of the top hatch. In addition there are three firing points on either side of the troop compartment, each of which may be fired out of by a single passenger." This is a pretty solid model for units that can fire at full capacity out of it (8 girl Retributor squads, maybe a Dominion squad), if you're willing to put in the points, much less the Pounds. Now has Shield of Faith too. Note that most tournaments won't let you use this.
Troops are troops, you know what they do. You only have 1 option, Battle Sisters, but with the Digital Update, you've have a lot of different variations on that with which to work.
- Battle Sisters - Basic Bolter Bitches. Their AoF gives Preferred Enemy on assault or shooting. Come stock with Bolters, Bolt Pistols and Grenades. They therefore CAN be used as Assault troops, but that's a risky tactic at the best of times, so only use it against really weak CC opponents, or if you sprung for a Priest (which you probably should have). With a basic squad size of 5 and a multitude of options, there are a lot of viable builds for how to use them. Here are a few basic variations (note that any of these mounted in a vehicle can benefit from a Simulacrum Imperialis or dropping 1 member for a Priest).
- Small: 6 girls in an Immolator, with either a Heavy Flamer for improved Infantry burning or a Multi-Melta for emergency tank hunting. This squad will benefit the most from either a pair of Flamers or a Flamer and Heavy Flamer, as their job is to drive the enemy off an objective.
- Medium: 10 girls in a Rhino. This is best used with a Flamer and Heavy Flamer, as these can be fired out the top hatch without penalty. This squad is quite good at grabbing early game objectives and holding them against opposition.
- Large: 20 girls on foot. What special/heavy weapons you give this squad is dependent on what you want to do with them. Some squads will be good at forcing less numerous enemies off objectives, in which case they should take Flamers and Heavy Flamers, whereas others will be good at hanging back behind an Aegis to hold an objective, in which case you might make good use of Storm Bolters and Heavy Bolters to maximize your fire output. Either way, this squad really benefits from a Priest.
Fast Attack units are the scalpel of a Sisters force. Each of the units is designed to do precisely one thing and do it well. Since they do opposite things, you're going to want one of each (at least) at all but the smallest points levels.
- Dominions - Lose one broken unit (Celestine), gain another! Their AoF gives them Ignore Cover. So let me get this strait: Str 8 ap1 armourbane scouts that ignore cover? Seriously?! If you're not giving them 4 meltaguns, punch yourself in the face right now. Eldar Serpent spam? Mmmm...delicious space elf tears. Tau suits sitting in a forest? Bend over, you're getting a lesson in MY Greater Good. Leman Russ line castled up behind an Aegis? Well, you get the idea. One option is to give them an Immolator with Multimelta, run 18" up and melt their favorite toy. Then hop out of your ride and melt another one. Alternatively, one could make a case for a squad of ten in a Rhino or Repressor. These death stars are going to be priority target number one for any opponent whose head isn't firmly lodged up his own rear end. You're going to need some soaks. Any other use of them is essentially a waste, as they're your only source of Melta Weapons that can reliably get close enough to make proper use of them.
- Seraphim - Dangerous as all hell now. Fuck what Dawn of War thinks, these girls are the rapists instead of the other way around. Angelic Visage means they reroll invulnerable saves granted from Shield of Faith. Their Act of Faith gives them Shred, and hand flamers are now half price. Inferno Pistols are the other special weapon option, but at 30 points, half the range of real meltas, and having to get realllllly close to use them effectively (3 inches to get the melta bonus), makes them situational at best. Hand Flamers, alternatively, let them negate hordes, and along with their AoF, they still do some good damage to MEQ's through volume of wounds alone. Moreover, between their dual pistols giving them an extra attack and Hammer of Wrath they can be decent at finishing off a unit they just shot at in combat (unless it's a dedicated close combat unit, in which case you should bolt). Just remember, they're still T3, so if you're not taking advantage of LOS cover, these girls are as good as dead.
If Fast Attack is the scalpel of a Sisters force, then Heavy Support is the sledgehammer. Don't expect subtlety or specialization here, all of these units are designed to just bludgeon the enemy into submission. On the plus side, they're quite versatile and both Retributors and Exorcists can probably find use against any enemy, regardless of their setup.
- Retributors - They suffer from the crippling disadvantage of not being an Exorcist, and now that they only get access to Rending as an single use AoF, they aren't too useful against vehicles. Still a 5 Girl squad with Heavy Bolters, a Rhino and a Simulacrum Imperialis can be quite useful under the right circumstances (extra round of rending). The rest of the time they are stuck on chewing up light infantry duty. They are also your only real hope of dealing with Flyers without getting an Aegis, Allies or Forge World (12 Shots can probably cause the odd bit of damage here or there) You can also take 4 multi-meltas and giggle about how they rend, but that's not an exceptionally efficient choice.
- Alternate Opinion: While still not an Exorcist, a large squad (7-10, possibly with a Priest) in a Rhino with Heavy Flamers can be a truly scary squad in certain playstyles, especially extremely aggressive ones. You could get a lot of mileage out of 4 Rending Heavy Flamers. Against small squads you could often wind up with more hits than there is in the squad and against large ones you can often just flat out ignore their armor saves with the flamers. They'll take careful use, but they can be devastating if used right, especially if they can contest an objective (or even grab one, under The Big Guns Never Tire)
- Exorcist - Hoo boy- a 10 point price drop makes these the best choice for HS. With the advent of Hull Points, Exorcists have become one of the most important units in your army. A single round from one of these will negate Rhino and Chimera class vehicles' armor and they can even shave Hull Points off AV13 and 14(!), especially when taken in pairs and castled up. Aside from vehicle rape, they can find a use against almost every type of army. They knock MEQs and TEQs on their ass (especially if they're counting on FNP to save them), are magnificent at knocking giant T6 monsters down to size, and a single round from them has been known to reduce Nobs/Battlesuits/Tyranid Warriors to tears. Also, don't forget that your Exorcist Launcher is turret mounted, meaning it has 360 degree arc of sight, which can be useful if you're trying to avoid exposing your rear/side armor. Taking 3 is mandatory if you want any chance of winning in a competitive game.
- Consider the following: Allying with the Big I gives you access to Presience primaris psychic power, which makes a friendly unit reroll all failed To Hit rolls. This is extremely useful in making your musical notes hit those high value targets. (Yeah, those Inquisitors really love them sisters.)
- Penitent Engines -
The little engine that could has now hit a new low. Not so sure about that. It "only" has 3 attacks, but with 2 ccw and rage it pumps out 6 on the charge and 4 base is nothing to sneeze at, though the loss of Battle Frenzy is a hit to both it's damage output and fluff. Do remember that it still has 2 Heavy Flamers, as well. Still, with its slow speed, rhino class armor, and open top walker status the chances of things going Just As Planned are virtually non-existent. It's also competing for vital Heavy Support slots. Even with a 5 point decrease in price, its not your best option. Target saturation can help get these guys where they need to be. If your opponent focuses on them, everything else gets to do its job. Since no opponent will focus on them (unless he's a moron), you have a decent chance of getting at least one into CC to cause havoc. This is especially the case if you ally in guard. A Leman Russ squadron (or flack tanks) combined with 2 exorcists will give your opponent enough other things to worry about to potentially justify running some penitents. If it was in Elites they might be an awesome choice(six of these and a squad of repentia? good times), but as is? Nah. Still want to try these? Take nine in a low point game and watch your opponent shit a brick.
- Avenger Strike Fighter - What's that? Forge World made a flyer for the Sisters? Now the Horse(Wo)men are riding. 150 points of pain, this guy comes with an hull-mounted Avenger Bolt Cannon (36" S6 AP3 Heavy 7), 2 wing-mounted lascannons and a Defensive heavy stubber (36" S4 AP6 Heavy 3, Skyfire) watching its own back. This guy is pure awesomesauce. Field two against an Elysian Drop Troops player and watch him cry. It can take 3 types of missiles/bombs to deal with any enemy, and the Armoured Cockpit rules lets you shrug off Crew Shaken/Stunned with a 4+. Too bad it comes with a 12-10-10 armor. Strap a pair of Missile Launchers to it's wings and watch it be able to handle both infantry (Missile Launchers, Stubber and Avenger Bolt Cannon) or Vehicles/Flyers (Lacannons and Missile Launchers).
- Aegis Defence Lines: These are a must for many armies, mostly because they combine a neat cover save with a Skyfire weapon at a low cost. Now, all Battle Sisters have a 3+/6++ save, so the cover save usually isn't that valuable. Still, you have no other Skyfire options in the Codex, plus the gun inherits the Acts of Faith of the Sisters manning it. Yes, that means Quad-Gun with Rending (Retributors) or Icarus Lascannon with Ignores Cover (Dominions).
- Skyshield Landing Pad: Besides the questionable utility of multipal sihmultenius defensive deep strikes you don't actually have any useful deep striking options.
Why are you still here?Might be usable if you stick your Exorcists there to enjoy a 4++ save.
- Imperial Bastion: Even in 6E sisters can't make a viable gunline. Giving up this much mobility is going to leave you outgunned and outclassed by armies that are actually good at shooting.
- Fortress of Redemption: Investing this many points in a fixed structure as Sisters should qualify you for the Darwin awards. But sure if you have the cash and points to drop and want to make believe that yours is the good Robin Cruddance 'dex be my guest.
As will all Imperial factions, you may take up to six Imperial Knights as a Superheavy detachment. Alternatively, if you're playing Escalation you have a choice of a Marauder Bomber, Marauder Destroyer, Warhound Scout Titan, or Reaver Battle Titan as a Lord of War. However, note that this is only provided for by the Forge World update, so your group may not agree to let you use them.
- Paladin Knight: It's a big walker with two big anti-MeQ battle cannons, a couple of heavy stubbers, and a 4+ invuln save on one facing of your choice (chosen at the start of your opponent's shooting phase, you may chance the shield's position each turn). There's really not a lot you can do wrong with this guy, just plop him down and start ripping things up. It's longer range will probably help Sisters out more.
- Errant Knight: Mostly the same as the Paladin, but trades the two battle cannons for a single melta cannon: S9 AP1 large blast Melta. Great for cracking heavy armor and TeQs, but fewer pie plates per turn means it has a slightly harder time with horde armies. Honestly, you're probably better off with the Paladin. Sisters are pretty fixed for mid-ranged and melta weapons, what they don't have is long range stuff.
- Marauder Bomber (Forge World): Coming soon.
- Marauder Destroyer (Forge World): Coming soon.
- Warhound Scout Titan (Forge World): Coming soon.
- Reaver Battle Titan (Forge World): Coming soon.
Your top priority is to get someone who can cover for your near-total lack of anti-air capabilities. Three Exorcists and a quad gun or TL-Las manned by dominions that ignores jink saves make flyers eat shit. Use your points for more immolator spam.
NOTE: Your sisters get anxious around people who aren't in their prayer circles, as a unit can only attempt their AoF if it's entirely comprised of models with AoF or War Hymns special rules. This means that when you pick an ally from battle brothers, be careful where you stick those independent characters.
Imperial Guard: Well, they have a lot of dakka and a lot of bodies. Park a couple artillery pieces and Russes alongside your Exorcists and whack them with your Techpriests' wrenches (no, not like that!). They can't fill the close combat hole in your army, but they can fill some of the vehicle/model count holes, especially once you've hit mid-to-high points levels and can't rely on Faith anymore.
Space Marines (Red Hunters): If your group is OK with Forge World, and if you have the new Inquisitor supplement, then you can take a Space Marines force with the Red Hunter chapter tactic as battle brothers. The problem is that there is a lot of overlap between your two codices- you're both bolter shooting, power armour wearing armies, just that they shoot better, while you have more bodies and therefore more shots. However the actual nature of the Red Hunters chapter tactic makes them ideal for supplementing a sister force, in that they get a number of one turn special rules the longer the game goes on, at turn three or even two you stand to have all of your ally units with Tank Hunter or even Skyfire. Combine this with your priests and you can boost the marines to absurd heights.
legion of the damned: when the mini dex dropped it's allied table included the sisters as Battle Brothers. Legion squads give you deep striking melta weapons that ignore cover, and with a +3 invul save (so no plasma cannon TPK's) they will have to devote so much power to killing them that they can draw fire from your sister groups as you advance. Alterneatly, kit them for anti infantry work and watch them make quick work of cover campers. And as a added bonus, they have two attacks base, and can charge after shooting as they can act also use them as assault troops. Course they have to start in reserve, but they can reroll scatter, call that bag mixed. Over all not bad, plus they don't take up a normal ally or a inquisitor detachment. . . man the lines between armys are getting blurred.
Militarum Tempestus: Do you remember the Witch Hunters codex? GW does apparently. What's better than having your old Plasmatroopers back? When they replace their Chimeras with VALKYRIES. Sure, if you want to go the full nostalgia route, you'll have to replace your ChimBoxes with TaurBoxes, but aren't we just glad to see our hot plasma boys playing with those fiery melta girls again? Orphan army of the Schola Progenium at its finest. The old Stormies are back with orders, marine kill'n dakka, flyers, and fast METAL BOXES. The Big Toy Soldiers can provide a delicious distraction, via deep strike or fast transports, for your advancing wave of bolter bitches, or park their Sanctioned Trukks next to the Exorcists for screening and to pump out EVEN MOAR Str 8 shots a turn. You can point them at high priority targets while the Sisters mop up, or let those righteous meltas do the talking while Anti-Marine Snipers pin units down before eBRRRRRRRRRT commences. Throw in an Inquisitorial detachment and you've basically gone back to 3rd edition. Welcome home.
Imperial Knights:Coming soon.
Inquisition: Why haven't you taken it yet? Seriously, you get 3 Elites Choices (Read: 3 units of Inquisitorial Henchmen) and each of them can take a transport like a Rhino, or a Chimera or a Land Raider or a freaking VALKYRIE! That makes it worth it right up front, but with the right load out, they can fill the close combat and flyer holes in your army, so this should be your first choice right here, but do not take them as allies. Inquisitors have this trick of acting a bit like a part of the normal detachment allowing you to still take another ally. You can also fill the need for some long range anti-armor with some Jokero, maybe toss in an Inquisitor with an Conversion Beam or some Servitors with Plasma Cannons. Consider, a inquisitor in a Valkyrie, while still having a full Guard artillery battery while screen with large blocks of bolter nuns, or consider a four lascannon Devastator squad buffed by a psyker Inquisitor while sisters deal with the enemy infantry. The possibles are exponential with combinations of Inquisition, Guard, Red Hunters and Sisters, not counting allies of convenience at all!
Allies of Convenience
Blood Angels: Blood Angels are here to bolster the close-combat part of your army. Assault Marines are Troops, either jetting ahead and tying up the enemy in assault or using the lulzy 35-points discount on Land Raiders. Mephiston is also funny, though takes lot of points. You can also take Death Company on Stormraven and fuck somebody up in close combat. 7 DCs with hammer and Recclusiarch are perfect for that. And if THAT is not enough HtH power for you, Furioso and DC Dreads are looking on you with smiles. If you want just to have fun and have aesthetic taste, take Dante and Sanguinary Guard which looks cool with Seraphims and Saint Celestine.
Dark Angels: Dark Angels are a good choice, helping fill the gaping close combat hole in your army: Sisters 6++ save not enough? why not stand them next to one of their cheap Librarians sporting a power field generator and boost them to a 4++. And this guys provide some cheap dakka options plus motherfucking Deathwing Knights.
Grey Knights: Stormravens and Land Raiders can be useful. Careful though, they're likely to to turn you into armor paint. To avoid this, just take Inquisitors.
Vanilla Marines: Tougher than Sisters and with a codex full of toys, allied Marines are useful for objective grabbing or filling gaps in your army. About the only thing Vanilla Marines can't really do well is HtH unless they use Assault Marines or Assault Terminators, both of which are limited to a single squad in an allied detachment but you can take Lysander if you can't take Assault Termies, his cost is the same. And now Vanilla Marines have Stormravens. Good times. Just try not to spend all your points on your ally detachment. Black Templars are now here too, as shown in the allies matrix within the =][= codex, where the Templars do not appear.
Space Wolves: Not as good in the HtH department as Blood Angels, but better than Vanilla Marines. Space Wolves also benefit from being able to double-fill their HQ slots with some meaty choices, not least of which are Rune Priests, which can give reliable anti-psyker cover thanks to their 4+ Deny the Witch rolls, a field the Sisters are sorely lacking in.
All in all, each marine army provides you with reasonably-priced (mostly) guns with low AP, some nasty close-combat units, different kinds of bikers, good long fire support (DA-devs with lascannons are awesome), flyers, drop-pods (except Grey Knights) and psykers, something that your army cannot do. Use it. Love it.
Dark Eldar: Because the allies chart ruled out tentacles and that makes you sad. In all honesty, while DEldar are a solid army and their mobility mostly overcomes One Eye Open, they don't have a ton of synergy with Sisters. They could fill the close combat hole in your army (hello Beastmaster packs and Incubi) and they can provide some downfield anti-tank (ANYTHING with haywire weapons), they don't do a whole ton for Sisters that most Marine armies couldn't do better. They do however have some truly nasty flyers.
Eldar: Perhaps. They have the ability to DESTROY MEQ's and TEQ's that you lack, and their mobility helps mitigate "One Eye Open" (not as much as Dark Eldar, but still good).
Necrons: Oh sure, the massacre at Sanctuary 101 is ancient history, right? RIGHT? (Still not as big an affront as the Khornate Knights incident). That aside there is potential. These guys have all the anti-tank a good ally needs and more, in addition to being great cannon fodder. Take Crypteks for flavor if possible. While Eldar are fast enough on their own, Necrons need Scythes to negate "One Eye Open". Like you wouldn't buy these cheap cheese croissants anyway.
Tau Empire: Foul blue-skinned xenos would provide you one of the best anti-air in the game (which you desperately need), as well as awesome battlesuits, though in new codex they are more cover camping gunline rather then mobile army - pretty much like your girls. And you do not want to mix them into your gunline and risk to fail OEO checks. With this in mind Kroots should be your obligatory troop choice, as they have infiltrate, (and fuckhuge guns on the backs of their krootoxes).
Building your Army
As far as HQs go, it's Jacobus or Celestine. Although I do have a potentially fun tactic with a Canoness ya'll might enjoy (see below)
For your basic troops,
the 1-Click Collection on Games Workshop's site is a fair loadout, obviously a combi-flamer is far better than a power sword, so just proxy or make one (Sister with Storm Bolter and Death Company Hand Flamer works well.). All of the aforementioned is valid, I only strike it out because the one-click costs the exact same as the sisters individually, so if you are buying through GW, might as well avoid the one-clicks and customize to your heart's content. Veteran Superior can be very useful, and I would take one. Your basic bolter sisters gaining preferred enemy is damn nice for a turn. Seeing as how its an AoF, though, you have to pass a leadership test for it to work, so the superior offers some security. Not required, of course, but far more justifiable than, say, upgrading to a veteran sergeant in a DA army. I would also recommend taking a Simulacrum, because it means you can now get preferred enemy twice (!). There are a variety of sizes in which you can run your troops, and honestly, I think all have their uses. A shitton of immolator spam with 6 man squads could be hilarious, but with special weapons, Simulacrums, and vets, that will get real expensive real quick, and remember, sisters don't benefit from nice things like ATSKNF, which means that if they run, you're fucked. I am going to skip the ten man squad in the rhino. The mechanic is similar to that of the immolator, and if you have ever played with or against a marine army, you have a basic idea of how this works. My personal preference--and if you want to feel like an incredibly manly motherfucker-- is just to spend the damn money and make blob sisters: 2 squads of 20, with priests as well.
Elites? Good joke. Celestians? Please. Priest could be cool with War Hymns, but really, Sisters are crap in CC, and a polished turd is still a turd. Here Repentia are really your only option. They could potentially pop tanks, but if that's what you need, scroll down to Fast Attack. Their best use is as a suicide unit (duh) pointed directly at your opponent's dedicated close combat squad. As much as I love the Repentia in theory, in practice they have serious problems. Striking at initiative one (instead of 3) is not such a big deal, since generally that means they will go last anyways, but losing the ability to strike even when dead is a definite kick in the giblets. A 3+ fnp only goes so far. If you point them at terminators, good on ya, because generally those terminators will strike simultaneously (unless they are chaos and equipped with power maces, then you are fucked. So long fnp), and the end of that combat will be a wonderful hot mess, with you coming out on top insofar as his 200+ point squad just got reamed by your 155 pt masochists. But if you point them at a blob squad of orks, or chaos marines, or hormagaunts, or hell, even blob squads of imperial guardsmen/cultists, well, you might find yourself in trouble. Point being: these girls absolutely have their uses, but be VERY careful HOW you use them. No matter what, take a preacher (for the reasons discussed above in the Repentia entry), and war hymns are probably smart. While I cannot say for sure, my guess is that these ladies are at their best when behind a wall of other sisters (I think a ten man squad of basic troops with a priest should suffice), rather than in a Rhino, for the reasons discussed above in their entry, but if someone has had other, better experiences, please let me (and all of us!) know. One more thing to note: don't COMPLETELY neglect these ladies. Their apocalypse formation (and seeing as how its war in the 41st millennium. EVERYONE should be playing an apocalypse game or two) is actually pretty cool, especially when combined with the proper strategic asset (like, say, I don't know, preventing the opposing army from shooting at them for a turn [i.e. shield-generator]?).
When it comes to Fast Attack, you'll want one squad of Seraphim, with two Hand Flamers and Melta Bombs on your Veteran Sister Superior. Pop tanks, shred infantry, the works. Nuff said about that. Dominions work amazingly when spammed with Melta and put in an Immolator with T/L Multi-Melta. Take 2. Ignoring cover is extremely useful as now tanks get cover from 25%, but
if you don't have the points to spare, you won't miss a Veteran Sister Superior or Simulacrum Imperialis. Not so sure about this. In certain circumstances, yes, such a statement is correct. Generally, cover is only 5+ for tanks, BUT...anybody ever fought Eldar serpent spam? All sorts of GW Cheesiness has been slathered on those stupid tanks, and you need to be able to ignore their cover to take them out. Even if not Eldar, ignoring cover is just so damn useful. Granted, your opponent will only have a 30% chance to save, but if he happens to make that save on his Leman Russ demolisher, you're going to be really butt-hurt you didn't spend the points to assure your passing your AoF. Generally, if you don't have the points to spare, I would probably not drop them here. There are other places where you can shave points in your army.
Now you're at Heavy Support, and if you're not taking at least one Exorcist, at any points level, punch yourself in the face. At 1500 points you want two with Laud Hailers, along with some Retributors loaded up with Heavy Bolters, a Veteran Sister Superior, and an Simulacrum Imperialis. Sit the three behind an Aegis Defense Line with a Quad Gun, you'll have two chances at Rending at Ld9 with a reroll. Don't argue, do it.
- Canoness tactic!!!! Yes, folks, here it is. I give you a potentially effective way to use her [!]: Give her the mantle of Ophelia (perhaps the cloak of St. Aspira too? if she's behind an aegis, I am not sure a Rosarius is all that useful, and the cloak is only 5 pts more) and join her with the Retributors. Put her and the quad gun OUT FRONT. Now you have a ballistic skill 5 model manning the quad gun (2+ rerollable to-hit rolls, anyone?), AND she can tank wounds for your retributors, since she is immune to instant death! Oh, and the squads AoF(s) is now at leadership 10, so there is that too. As an added bonus, I would also put an inquisitor back there (with a hellrifle) and a cheapy squad of acolytes. Flank them with two exorcists. Now you have prescience to give all your retributors when firing their rending shots, and when not you can prescience your exorcists. Once the retributors AoF(s) have been spent, have the inquisitor join them to give them stubborn, since your canoness will likely be close to dead by this time from the wound tanking, and with the Hellrifle, she synergizes well with the Heavy bolters. Obviously, it still remains useful to have a couple of soaks in the retributor squad for when the canoness gets down to one wound.
- Additional thought: I am debating whether or not to give the inquisitor a Liber Heresius. On the one hand, without the rending on the HBs, the ability to split fire the quad gun might be exceedingly useful (since it can still pop tanks and fliers, which the HB's really cant do without rending). On the other, by turn 3 (or 4, depending on whether or not night-fighting happened for turn one), once the AoF(s) have been spent, I have my doubts the quad gun will still be alive, seeing as how it will almost certainly draw fire (if not round one, certainly round two when your opponent realizes you can make it rend). Plus such a load-out on the Inquisitor is beginning to get expensive.
- Final notes: Dont forget that generally speaking, the inquisitor's WL traits are more useful than the Canoness (who, remember, if you take her, is GOING to be your warlord, unless you also took Celestine), so there is that added bonus. No matter what, I STRONGLY recommend getting an inquisitor for this back-line, since prescience is just too damn useful. Remember as well to at least roll on the Divination table, since some of the other powers work really well against certain armies. If, for example, you happen to get perfect timing against an Eldar opponent, you probably want to take it, cuz your retributors suddenly ignoring cover would be rather hilarious. This is a bit of a long entry, and technically its not just about the canoness, but the combination just described is (I think) an exceedingly effective way to use her, and should be considered in your games. You're welcome
Quite unfortunately, the Sisters have two major problems to anyone trying to create an army with them.
- Problem one: all their units are sold in three model packs and they're made of Emperor damned pewter and they all cost WAY too much. To build a single ten sister squad you need to get at least four of those and that's almost 60 dollars right there, not counting any special or heavy weapons you want to add. So your other option is to proxy the sisters using other models, which leads to problem two:
- Problem two: the sisters are unique. If you look around among other miniature manufacturers you'll find that the 'army of nuns in power armor' theme is, surprisingly, uncommon. Sure you can find one or two models but nothing you can replicate army wide. Your odds of finding a good model go up if you just look for 'girls in power armor' but even then your pickings are slim (for some reason miniature sculptors tend to make female models with very little clothing on, not so much full sets of armor, go figure) and again any option you do find will likely be hard to use army wide unless you really commit to kit bashing to deal with weapon and pose problems.
- The running best option seems to be to combining body's from the Dark Eldars with Space Marine arms and weapons, which both look a bit oversize on Eldar bodies. If you're manly enough you can use dark eldar bodies and legs, and a mix of dark eldar and dark elf heads to come up with some awesome looking models. Use empire rifles and arms to give them that steam punk look and you got yourself some cool fuckin' models. Think Sisters of Silence, but without the armour that covers half their face.
- Another option may be going 'screw it!' to the sisters aesthetic and use Space Marines with female heads on them. But this makes proper Sisters sad. A third option would be to find miniatures that while 'slimmer' than a space marine are still in full armor. Something you can point to and say 'looks like a girl can wear that' but again, this only solves the 'army of girls in power armor theme' not the 'army of nuns in power armor' issue, which is truly what the Sisters are about. Don't worry about Repentia though, your find PLENTY of models for them. Until GW puts some plastics out, there are no good options for sister players at the moment.
- If you're particularly desperate, the chinese recasters have taken notice of the "re-release" Adepta Sororitas and are offering resin versions of Sisters. Unfortunately, they've also taken notice of the GW prices and while cheaper, they're still quite steep in price compared to other armies. You probably won't be able to take these to a tournament either, since any organizer worth their salt will know that Sisters should be metal.
- One more (extremely badass) option is coming down the pipe. Keep your eyes peeled for Raging heroes' 'Sisters of Eternal Mercy'. Raging Heroes generally does amazing work, and they are clearly going to be creating Sisters of Battle type models (they are, in fact, nuns in space). You won't be able to play them at a tournament, but who cares? All your friends will let you use them, and you are supporting a small business. Plus they will look WAY cooler. the kickstarter will begin in the spring. Heres a link to the concept art (its the pic at the bottom of the page):
Update In Progress
Learn to enjoy the challenge?
Ahem. You're going to lose a lot, but there's a lot you can do to minimize that. You should know what you can afford to lose, but given how little played sisters are, your opponent may not and you can pull some slight maskirovka to make sure what needs to live that game does, and that you lose what can afford to. A bit underhanded, sure, but sisters need ever perk they can get. Plus, you can't do this more then three to five times against any one guy as he will figure what is the most threat and what is not.
Objective capturing will be a pain on a good day, most of your units do not have the long ranged fire support or the "durability" other armies have for back/midfield scoring so in most cases sisters are pretty much knee deep trying to keep out of charge range while keeping in effective shooting distances as such PLACEMENT is key!
Your best hope to drop your basic Sisters on objectives early on and try to keep them away from the action, while your other units clear the others off the other objectives. Doing so will just enforce the concept of target prioritizing the low toughness Sisters and removing them from the objectives early which means significantly less scoring in later turns which could lose the game. Keeping mobile but close enough that you can head for objectives towards later turns, early game is crucial in neutering most of the opponents long range weaponry as Sisters won't match up to most of it. Trying to send these girls against anything above Guardsman or BRUTALLY weakened units is the fastest way to get them killed. Target priority and making sure focusing is brutally important, sisters have some very solid mid range shooting but they need to make sure that it is effective or the return fire will just as much punish you.
Seraphim vs Dominions: This will boil down to two things, 1. HQ preference and 2. Playstyle preference. Both of these units will more then often die early, the key is to making the most of them. Seraphim will be the best option for bubble-wrapping Celestine as well as providing a very mobile harassment unit that against most troop options will be able to beat them out in the shooting + charge combination. Dominions are for lists more tailored around Jacobus and the Cannoness as they're suicidal melta units, scouting forward to executing a few of the opponents tanks. *Note* that unfortunately due to the shenanigans that is the Wave Serpent it'll be the hardest tank to deal with for sisters as we focus on penetrations that they naturally ignore compared to the glancing that most other armies aim for, although if you can get 3 glances with Ignore Cover, it'll become moot. I have also found that Coteaz helps reinforce Dominions in the fact that he help secure first turn a bit better for the scouting sisters to make sure their payload is delivered.
Retributors vs Exorcists: Retributors and Exorcists function quite similarly, Exorcists have seen a points decrease and the Retributors a slight difference with the changes to the cost of Heavy Bolters. Retributors handle sustained reliable fire a bit better then Exorcists but trade their effectiveness against mech that's above an av 10-11. If taking Retributors, consider either the Bastion or ADL as it provides them some cover and prehaps a body or two as well as the Simu to provide them a solid chance at pulling of their AoFs. Exorcists with their av13 and a 6++ is very nice especially if you can grab them a Skyshield for the increased LoSight benefits as well as the better save (4++). A bit less mobile but functionally better at making sure Exorcists stay on the table as they're arguably one of the key lynch pins of any Sisters army.
Mech vs Horde: This is where you'll have the largest drift in Sisters of Battle or Adeptas Sororitas players opinion. To go with increase bodies for more guns and more cumulative wounds or the MSU style of Nuns and Guns rolling around inside their tanks and taking pot shots out the front.
Horde: Benefits more from certain allies like Imperial Guard and Inquisition as well as from fortifications like ADL. Provides you with larger unit sizes requiring more firepower to effectively remove them as well as benefitting from certain AS/SoB relics/HQ options like Priests or Jacobus. Limits the actual amount of scoring to a few select units as you'd have less number of scoring then MSU but more durable in most cases. Remember that a horde style list has less tanks and leaves the player a bit less mobile compare to MSU Mech. Effective shooting distance still remains for a majority of the army in being 12-24' distance as they're mainly equipped with Bolters, though you'll see a lot less Flamer/HF in these style lists as they're not as effective compared to other Heavy Weapon options available.
Mech: Immolators and Rhinos in a larger number then what's seen in a Horde style list, generally there's two versions seen a near total immersion with Immolators or a more varied list with both taken in numbers depending on the unit they're wanting to transport. Dominions are seen in higher numbers in these style lists as they sync perfectly with the TLMM Immo and Scout. Certain allies like MEQ pod based and chim/mech style IG/Inq tend to help increase the number of hulls cheaply enough not to hinder the list and provide more target saturation. This is definitively a more aggressive play style that hinges less on combative HQs like Celestine and more on massed fire from multiple targets and taking units down. Target priority is probably the most important factor in these lists as the body count is significantly lower and easy to lose momentum once units starting falling. Exorcists benefit a bit more in this list style compared to the Horde style as theres more AVs forcing some of the higher strength weaponry away from them which is fantastic.
There are ways to play these lists hybridized where the player has a few aspects of both in a list and depending on the points level it can be fairly effective as well as what the current meta. The most important thing to remember is that one persons meta can be drastically different from another's, so maximizing the list tailored to the meta is vitally important for success, a lack of high strength weaponry allows Mech lists to function far better then Horde or vice versa where there's not enough shots to effectively remove the multitude of bodies prevent in a Horde style list.
Don't forget Shield of Faith. On average it'll save 1 out of 6 casualties, which means a Squad of 10 can last longer than you expect with it, so always remember it.