Warhammer 40,000/7th Edition Tactics/Adepta Sororitas
- 1 Why Play Sisters of Battle
- 2 Blessings of the Emprah
- 3 Unit Analysis
- 4 Formations
- 5 Allies
- 6 Building your Army
- 7 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. And with the sausage-fest that is the Imperium, an entire army composed of badass power-armored women with nothing but a flamer and their faith is like a breath of fresh air. 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 Canoness 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.
Sisters used to be a pretty hard force to play. The digital codex release left them with questionable army choices and neutered most of their previous strategies (plasmatroopers, immospam). But, believe it or not, the Sisters have gotten better under the 7th edition updates. Hell, they're probably a middle tier army right now (certainly better than Orks and maybe even better than vanilla Chaos Space Marines), and the new Gathering Storm update has given them a monster of a HQ to buff what was already one of the best parts of their codex. Yeah, they don't get the new Psyker stuff, but the across the board Adamantium Will means you'll resist filthy Psykers better than most armies that either have none (Necrons, Dark Eldar) or avoid the Psykers they have (Orks). Being able to ally with any Imperial Army as Battle Brothers is almost mandatory now and for a good reason! Sisters have power, but lack tools to truly capitalize on their strengths - this is where your allies come into play. The changes to vehicles mean that mech Sisters are now much more viable (since a single Missile Launcher shot or Autocannon hit can't insta-kill your Rhinos) and 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!
With the release of the Imperial Agents book, there are now two different flavours of Adepta Sororitas to field. See here for the difference between that book and the Adeptas Sororitas codex.
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.
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). Make sure that there's nothing nearby reducing the ladies leadership when they start praying. You can't attempt AoF unless the whole unit has Act of Faith / War Hymns (Sisters are very puritan about who can and can't receive miracles). Each of the Sisters' units has its own Act (see below).
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 gravspam edition and all. Its also useful 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 17% better than the average Marine, so don't forget it. All in all, not great, but not bad either for an army-wide rule. Also, while the extra point of toughness on a space marine will be more useful against most small arms fire, SoF makes your basic Sisters are more likely to survive a Power Fist to the face than the average Marine, which is highly amusing. Do not forget Adamantium Will, it moves your chances of negating psychic warp charges from 17% to 33%, however, this should not change your attitude towards allocating deny the witch charges, still throw the same as necessary because you still need to overcome your opponent's casting successes.
It's 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 for each charge you allocate (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.
If a model with this rule is your Warlord and gets killed, Sisters get all hot and bothered and pass all their leadership tests until the end of your next turn. All of your HQ's have this rule and when they die, it usually means that the rest of the Sisters who haven't used their AoF yet will be able to spam their AoFs in addition to not running away scared. There's the possibility of sacrificing your warlord in order to make your next turn hurt, but resist the urge - it's a nice bonus, sure, but never worth giving up your HQ (cheap, powerful special rules (you ARE taking Jacobus, right?)). It's also worth noting that this may mean your Opponent will be reluctant to off your warlord if you have multiple units with primed acts of faith in a position to use them so make sure to strategically "remind" your opponent of this rule every so often.
Alas, this is a pretty sad lot. Two are good, two are not completely worthless but nothing particularly special, and two are almost totally pointless.
- Executioner of Heretics: Warlord gains Fear. Almost entirely useless unless you're fighting Tau or something.
- Indomitable Belief: Warlord and unit with Shield of Faith have 5+ invulnerable save. Jacobus has this by default. Increases your survivability slightly, which is great, particularly with re-rolled saves from a Priest. (Which Jacobus is... imagine that!)
- Pure of Will: Warlord and unit reroll failed Deny the Witch tests. Decent.
- Righteous Rage: Warlord Gains Rage. No shit. Solid on a Canoness.
- Beacon of Faith: All units within 12" of Warlord use her leadership on Acts or Hymn tests. Saint Celestine has this by default. Provides a little help with AoFs, what's with Sisters base Leadership being 8, but really you should just be grabbing Veteran Superiors as a rule.
- Inspiring Orator: Friendlies within 12" gain Stubborn. You've got fearless priests - and Canonesses have Stubborn anyway - so this is mostly pointless.
In Skies of Death, you now have a bonus rule allowing you to pay 35 points for one of 3 special traits for any Flyer or FMC (FGC is still debatable). Sad thing is that the Sisters, being ignored by GW because of icky gurlz, have to settle for the generic tables as opposed to a special one like the other big races.
- Crack Shot - +1 BS. Decent.
- Evasive Manoeuvres - +1 to any cover to a max of 3+. Nice.
- Inspiring Aircraft - All flyers within 12" in the same codex as the Fighter Ace gain Fearless. Pretty pointless, considering you only get the IG's scraps anyway.
The Holy Armory
- Chainsword: Free, but meh. The extra attack isn't really worth all that much, especially when you're losing a bolter for it.
- Power Weapon: Come in Sword, Axe, Maul and Lance forms. Honestly, if you're looking here, for Priests, Canonesses or Superiors, you should probably grab an Axe. At I3, you're probably striking last already (except against IG, Necrons, or Tau, but you're gonna crunch them in CC already) and having S4 and AP2 will probably serve you well.
- Eviscerator: Basically a two handed chainfist without the fist - powerful, but expensive at 30 points. Weigh carefully against a Power Axe and meltabombs.
- Shotgun: Priests only. No. We're aware it's only 1 point, but Priests are your only source of Plasma Guns, so that's what they should have, and if you so desperately want an assault weapon, just pay the extra 4 points to get the below.
- Storm Bolter: No wait, come back. If you've got a squad with Heavy Bolters (say a 20 girl Battle Sister squad or a Retributor squad) this can be an okay buy for your Superior. By no means mandatory, but not a bad buy. Possibly handy on a Priest, too.
- Combi-Weapon: Comes in Flamer, Melta or Plasma form. This is actually a reasonably good buy for Superiors as well. Veteran Dominion Superiors love to take Combi-Meltas to ensure success, and small (5-6) Battle Sisters squads will benefit from the one extra flamer shot. Combi-Plasma is marginal, but could possibly be useful on a basic Battle Sister squad where their AoF offsets Gets Hot.
- Condemnor Boltgun: The Condemner Boltgun is a unique Combi-Weapon that the Sisters and Inquisition get. If you hit a unit with a psyker with the condemnor shot, you cause Perils on a random psyker in the group. This is an Emperor sent buff, but the new randomness may cause some small grief if going against a Brotherhood of Psykers and you want to get rid of that one specific asshat.
- Do note how it's strength 5 on the Condemnor shot, so if you can't reach a Psyker and your enemies all have 4+ or better anyway then you have nothing to lose (then again for 10 points you might as well take a different combi in the first place).
- Plasma Pistol: The same expensive Plasma Pistol that Space Marines know and wish they could love. Not a... terrible choice for Superiors or maybe a Canoness, but not a great one.
- Inferno Pistol: Range 6, S8 AP1 Melta Pistol, for Canoness and Seraphims. Not really worth 15 points, as everyone who can take it can get a Combi-Melta (more generally useful) for 5 points less or meltabombs for 10 points less. Looks reasonable on Seraphim, until you look at the price.
- Storm Bolter: It's okay as a unit champion upgrade, but as a Special Weapon option, it leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe for a big unit hanging on an objective, but other than that, you can safely skip this.
- Flamer: This is a solid choice, especially in large volumes, or in a unit with a Heavy Flamer as well. One of the more classic choices for Battle Sisters.
- Meltagun: If your Battle Sisters are rocking this, take 2 of them in a six girl squad, in an Immolator. Any other configuration will just confuse the squad and make them incapable of doing any job particularly well. It's also the only gun you should be taking on your Dominions, any other is just a waste.
- Heavy Bolter: Good choice for a Battle Sisters squad hanging on back on an objective, or a Retributor squad. One of our only choices that isn't incredibly short ranged, so you should probably have someone toting it in your army someplace.
- Heavy Flamer: We're one of the only armies that can take a Heavy Flamer on our troops (and certainly one of the only ones who can take it on a 5 woman squad) so make the most of it. 5-10 girl squads in Immolators or Rhinos with Flamer/Heavy Flamer are excellent squad configurations Battle Sisters, and a 4 Heavy Flamer Retributor squad is another good choice.
- Multi-Melta: Nah. This is a great choice on an Immolator, but on an infantry squad? Nah. It's too short ranged, we have no access to Relentless squads and its renders Retributors' Act of Faith useless.
- 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 only available for the Command Squad and let's not forget that toughness 3 means there are LOTS of weapons that will negate their FNP.
- Laud Hailer: Lets you reroll failed Act of Faith LD tests. Mathematically, it's more likely to let you succeed on an AoF than upgrading to a Superior would, and can potentially benefit multiple units.
- Neural Whip: Its a melee weapon with Str User and AP3 with Shred on non-vehicle units with leadership 8 or less. Mob Rule? Fuck that noise. Only Mistress of Repentances get these. (Basic Sisters have LD 8... coincidence?)
- Rosarius: We all know what it does. 4++ for your squishy priests, Canoness can buy it. Now costs 15 points. If you take a Canoness, you are buying a Rosarius. No, do not argue. Are you still arguing? Stop it, and buy a goddamn Rosarius.
- 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. But should that happen, it likely means that your other important gears (Sister Superior, Priests, HQ's, Special / Heavy weapons) are still alive and kicking. So don't burn your
hereticspants if the Simulacrum gets sniped.
Your priests / canoness can take one of the following, with the exception of one banner. Only one of each Ecclesiarchy Relic can be taken per army.
- The Book of St. Lucius: 5 points, all friendly units, your Sisters and allies, 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, the key to sisters CC shenanigans. Everyone in the unit automatically passes Act of Faith and War Hymns tests. Extremely useful if you don't have an IC for higher leadership, what with Priests being leadership 7 and all. Best used on a Conclave Priest, since they won't have the option of an LD9 Veteran Superior to help them out with LD tests. If you don't have a Simulacrum at least, however, it's usefulness is somewhat questionable.
- 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, if you are using one.
- The Blade of Admonition: 30 points. +2 Strength, AP3 and Master Crafted, Canoness only. Solid against MEQs. Shitty against TEQs.
- The Mace of Valaan: 25 points, +2 Strength, AP4, Concussive, Master Crafted and gets Armorbane and Fleshbane when there are models with Daemon special rule within 6", Priests only. Combined with the Priest's ability to smash, it becomes deadly (either 4 attacks on the charge at ap2, or 1 attack at Strength 8 ap2). Combined with zealot, your cloth wearing little fanatic becomes the bane of terminators everywhere. Somewhat situational, but you'd be surprised how many armies have Daemon units. (Including one that's an ally of convenience...and the daemonhost from the inquisition)
- 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.
- Note: That's all FRIENDLY units, not all Friendly Adepta Sororitas units or any other restrictions. All. Friendly. So if you're taking an Imperial ally, this or the book is definitely something you should consider, if for no other reason than to make your backfield basically impossible to break. It could also make Repentia or something like allied Blood Claws or Grey Hunters put out a positively terrifying number of attacks.
The following are also called Ecclesiarchy Relics, but are only available if you took Saint Celestine...which is fine for us, since she's from our army. Still, these can be taken by a bunch of different armies (since anyone who allies Celestine in can take them) so some of them aren't very good for us.
- Skull of Petronella the Pious: 30 points, bearer and all models in their unit get a 6++ save. This is probably a little too expensive in general, and for a Sisters army it's exceptionally pointless since we all have a 6++ already.
- Blade of the Worthy: 30 points, take a leadership test at the beginning of each fight subphase. If you fail, it's a Power Sword. If you pass, it gets +2 strength and AP2. Solid stuff, especially for Space Marines since it's AP2 at initiative (and how often are you gonna fail LD10?) but Sisters don't care about their I, so they'd probably benefit more from an Eviscerator.
- Castigator: 15 point pistol, S4, AP2, ignores Invul saves. Practical? Yes. Hilarious? Yes. Also functions as a way to let Characters take advantage of Gunslinger.
- Font of Fury: 10 points, 1 use only, range 8 large blast with Poisoned 4+, 2+ against Chaos stuff. Could be good on a front line Priest (the look on your opponent's face when you huck it from a Repressor will be hilarious) and it's cheap, which is good.
- Shroud of the Anti-Martyr: 35 points, Eternal Warrior. Uh, we have this for 10 points cheaper, so it's clearly for other armies. Still, solid stuff for Space Marines who don't have easy access to Shield Eternal.
- Devsalle's Holy Circle: 35 points, grants the bearer a 4++ and here's the big one: a 12 inch bubble where guys can't choose to Deep Strike, and if they scatter into it, they automatically Mishap. This is BRUTAL on a backfield Priest or Dialogus, since not only does it make a small-ish bubble where your enemy won't be able to drop their Deep Strikers, but unless they have no-Scatter Deep Strikers, the bubble is even bigger, since they won't want to scatter into the first bubble. Oh, and that includes Drop Pod, just so you know.
- This one is a particularly good buy for Inquisitors, since they don't get Invuln saves.
- Dozer Blades: Rerollable Dangerous Terrain. If you're running a mech-heavy army (and why wouldn't you?) this is probably one of your more important choices for Immolators.
- Extra Armor: Crew Stunned --> Crew Shaken. Not necessary overall, but if you're worried about your army being less mobile or want to make sure your squad can stick together, it might not be a bad buy.
- Hunter-Killer Missile: The old classic. Unfortunately it doesn't have much use in a Sisters army, as most of our dedicated transports have Multi-Meltas, which are much better for tank busting, emergency or otherwise.
- Searchlight: Another classic. If you actually do take them and you're out in the open you have no reason not to use them, you're getting 6++ anyway.
- Smoke Launchers: More classic.
- Storm Bolter: Last classic. Absolutely MANDATORY for Exorcists and Immolators, as it basically gives them a 50 percent chance of ignoring a weapon destroyed result. 5 points to make sure your Exorcist doesn't become a 130 point paperweight on turn 2? Yes please. Doesn't go far awry on Rhinos either - it's surprising how often an extra peashooter can make a difference.
- Laud Hailer: Same as the wargear. Lets you reroll failed Act of Faith LD tests within 12". Extremely useful, but be sure to spread them out strategically and not go overboard, at 10 points a piece they'll add up pretty quickly.
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.
- Canoness - The Canoness is the cheapest base HQ Sisters have which in itself is quite handy, since one can never have too many Bolter Bitches running around. Seeing as how she's still just T3 with a 3+ Armor Save you WILL give her at least a Rosarius for the improved invulnerable save. Depending on what you've planned to do with her you can kit her a few different ways, but she's usually used as a supportive meatshield HQ. Generally giving her a combi-weapon or a good supportive relic is a solid option. Her AoF gives Hatred... in the Assault Phase. Decent on the face of it, but Priests/Uriah already have Zealot, so what's the point? She's also Stubborn, which isn't all that important, but good to remember in a pinch (as with the AoF, pretty much only if your priests cark it).
- Consider the following: Canoness can provide valuable support, while Jacobus / Celestine (usually) steal the warlord spotlight. She's a cheap HQ choice, BUT she doesn't HAVE to be cheap. 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 HQs, 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). Retributors love their mistress, being able to tank up wounds, perhaps manning a quad-gun with her impressive BS 5 and providing a Ld 10 for AoFs. If you run her that way, grab a Storm Bolter for a little extra dakka.
- Alternative opinion: While still not the best, she could beat models FAR above her weight in the right squad. Kit her out as mentioned above (with eternal warrior and the eviscerator), but throw her in a battle conclave squad in an inquisitor's land raider with 4-5 crusaders, 5-6 death cult assassins, and 1-2 priests (1 of them having Litanies of Faith). the squad itself will have a re-rollable 3++ in the front of the squad to keep the assassins alive and (if you took a second priest) either shred or more AP2 attacks (depending on your need). As a result, your Canoness' 4++ is now rerollable and she will sometimes have shred. Very strong indeed.
- Consider the following: Canoness can provide valuable support, while Jacobus / Celestine (usually) steal the warlord spotlight. She's a cheap HQ choice, BUT she doesn't HAVE to be cheap. 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 HQs, but she could hold her own against the likes of a
- Sororitas Command Squad - If you take a Canoness, you can get these ladies. They're a little schizophrenic, with their melee-oriented AoF combined with decent-at-best close combat capability. That said, they are a quite solid option for shooting with the allowance of up to 5 Combi-, Special or Heavy Weapons. A lot cheaper then previous edition (WD) and they can use Heavy Weapons without requiring Retributors (and sucking up a scarce Heavy Support slot). They get access to the Endless Crusade AoF in Assault Phase, which gives them Fleet, Crusader and Move Through Cover. You can use it to get into assault more reliably. They do have access to Power Weapons and the CC relic banner (+1 ATK, reroll pinning, fear, morale) so they can provide melee prowess, but considering that Sisters aren't that great in melee (T3)... Either way, they provide you special weapons, another Immolator or banners to buff your sisters.
- Sister Dialogus: Adds a laud hailer and can take other Relics. Could possibly be handy if you really need the relic but generally you're better off slapping a Laud Hailer on their transport and taking another shooty Sister.
- Sister Hospitaller - Adds Feel No Pain. Recommended if you are taking this squad.
- Alternate opinion - this squad is incredibly versatile and usually worth taking in most games, if you have the spare points. In terms of ranged ability, this squad can simply function as a devastator or shock trooper squad. Sitting back and hitting with the Heavy bolters, or popping out of a cab with heavy flamers/combi-plasmas. As a CC squad, they have the ability to really bring out the hurt and hit way above their number, but you have to prepare for it. Take the Hospitaller and 4 axes with a couple priests and a Canoness, or with Jacobus and another priest. If you manage to charge with them, watch them be able to tank wounds and hit pretty damned hard too. Reroll to hit (zealot) with reroll saves (war Hymns) and potential shred (other war Hymns) followed by FnP makes a tough squad to Crack. And sure, most armies can ignore your FnP by just bringing power mauls, but then they aren't getting through your armour, are they?
- Another fun way to use them is as the absolute bane of a psyker or a squad of psykers. Give all 5 condemnor boltguns and perils the living hell out of that farseer/librarian/cheese rerollable 2++ deathstar unit. Fun stuff. Obvious counterpick. But fun stuff.
- Priests - For only 25 points, these independent characters 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). Always take them. Even if you are running a single squad of basic Sisters as an allied detachment. I don't care. Take the crazy preachers. The big puzzle with Priests is figuring out what wargear to take, from your rather extensive armory. There are a few stand-out options, however:
- Plasma Gun: Interesting because they're the only thing in your whole army that can take a non-combi plasma. Less interesting because having your source of Fearless burn his fingers and croak is a bummer, and because Rapid Fire is not a good thing in a choppy squad. Take these if your priests are riding with a standard Battle Sister squad, since their AoF gives Preferred Enemy, and because they generally don't want to charge anyway.
- Power Weapon: If the priest is hanging around with a fighty squad - Celestians, Battle Conclaves - a little more armor-chopping power is nice to have. I'd pass on the sword, since priests are only S3, but both the axe and maul are good options. The maul is more interesting than it looks because if you use a War Hymn to gain Smash, it becomes AP2.
- Eviscerator: Add a bit more heavy punch, if you need it. A good bet with Celestians, or maybe with Repentia, but expensive. If you take this, never use Smash.
- Combi-Weapon: Always nice. For the reasons mentioned above, I'd avoid combi-plasma (take it on someone with a 3+ if you really want it, or just take a real plasma gun), but combi-meltas and combi-flamers can both help out in the right circumstances.
- Storm Bolter: No, really. It's cheap, and it's Assault 2 rather than Rapid Fire. A nice option if you're cheaping out or if you're not sure what squad you'll want the priest to run with. Pass on the Shotgun, and definitely pass on the Autogun, but this is handy.
- Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave - You can take a battle conclave for each priest (including Jacobus) in your army. Pretty similar to the Inquisition's henchmen, these are cheap(ish) choices to fill in your army's close combat hole. Sisters do not have any assault vehicles, so it takes a lot more work to use these effectively - and remember you have no grenades, so watch the fuck out.
- Arco-Flagellant - The base option. They have Feel No Pain, highest strength (5) and most attacks (5 on charge) of the three, but have no armor save and no AP. Cheap pack of attacks at I3, but ludicrously squishy.
- Crusader - The meatier option, but lacking offensively. 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 (only swords in the new codex) 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 strongest option generally speaking. Dual power swords, but 4 attacks on the charge at WS5, STR4, and I6 should allow you to kill most things just on quickness and massed wounds alone. Remember that 5++ is not an acceptable substitute for actual toughness, but with a re-roll from a Priest, they can stick around longer than opponents would like. They are what Howling Banshees wished they were.
- Consider the following: Inquisition has these units as well and they have Land Raiders, so you could just take them as allies from that codex... but what they don't have is priests, relics and Jacobus, which buff close combat units greatly. Get some allies with assault vehicles, stick priests and conclaves (7th edition Battle-brothers) in them and enjoy the show. You should take 3-4+ Assassins with at minimum 2 - 3 Crusaders and 1 - 2 Priests. Priests for their Hymns and Crusaders to tank. A particularly mean version of this teams 3 Crusaders, 6 Assassins and 2 Priests (one could be Jacobus, take along the Litanies of Faith if not) with a Librarian, all mounted in a Stormraven (Iron Hands for that sweet IWND on the transport). Endurance or Iron Arm will make anyone cry, and Warp Speed is pretty nice, too. A similar combo with Space Wolves works too.
- Saint Celestine - Previously known for being the trolling HQ, the living saint was nerfed in the digital codex. Fortunately for Sisters players her latest incarnation (and reincarnation) has been enormously buffed... I mean Kaldor Drago buffed ... in the latest Gathering Storm module - although at the cost of a major hike in points from 135 to 200!
- So what to you get? Her digital version was hampered by the fact that for all her high WS, BS, attacks and initiative, she was only T3, so given the amount of plasma, laser cannon, melta and other AP1 stuff around these days, she was going to be insta-killed a lot. But the new codex gives her (...wait for it...) eternal warrior which, with her 2+ save and 5 wounds, returns her to monster status. Her weapon is still S+2 AP3 and a S5 AP4 flamer, so she can consistently rip through hordes (the pre-digital edition she was only wounding on a 4+). The latest update also adds Armourbane, making her dangerous to soft-skinned vehicles too. At I7, she'll strike first against pretty much anything but the big greater Daemons and some of the Dark Eldar HQs.
- She has some potential as a character killer once again (the Gathering Storm fluff has her kicking Abbadon's ass - with her new stats, entirely possible, if she weren't AP3) and she can still chop up mobs. 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 only comes into effect when she dies for real). And she's likely to given she just needs to pass a Leadership test to revive. She will take a great deal of killing simply to whittle down the 10 wounds she'll get in most games.
- Her Warlord Trait allows all units within 12" of her to use her Ld10 for AoF and War Hymns and she has ability to hit a specific type of unit within 12 inches of her with a special ability (Zealot for HQ, FNP6+ for Troops, Counter Attack and Furious Charge for Elites, Fleet and Crusader for Fast Attack, Relentless for Heavy Support and It Will Not Die for Lord of War (keep in mind that unlike all the other abilities which only last for a turn, IWND affects your Lord of War for the entire game, but since the ability specifically state non-vehicle, no trying to give an Imperial Knight IWND)). 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. All of this being said, she is a great unit. Outside of her strength and toughness of 3 (buffed by EW), she has a fantastic statline, wargear, and special abilities. She still hits at strength 5 ap3 with 5 attacks base (with Master crafted) and weapon skill 7, so she is likely to take out nearly half a tactical squad by herself in one round of CC. Just be careful to kill enemy plasma guns early. Oh yeah, she also gets a one-shot S8 AP3 Orbital Bombardment.
- She also gets a couple of personal Seraphim Superiors, called "Geminae Superia" with Power Swords. If they cop it, she can re-animate one once per turn... so that unlimited "watch out sir!" rolls too.
- Consider the following: A common enough tactic was running her around solo back with her nigh invincible 5E version. This is once more an option. However, with a somewhat-shiny Power Sword she'll generally struggle against most units with a ton of wounds. She has her own (semi-immortal) Seraphim BFFs, but it's still an option to give her a bigger bunch of ordinary Seraphims. She also could be useful marching in a blob of 20 girls, doing some wound tanking and making the most of her WT. Another thought would be Vanguard Veterans, Sanguinary Guard, Death Company(this works very, very well), Assault Marines or Sky Claws from your near-mandatory allies. But if she dies before her allies do, no Act of Faith for you. The new GW FAQ implies otherwise, since the AoF goes off AFTER she dies and most things don't apply to dead characters she should be fine. No Laud Hailer reroll though...
- Uriah Jacobus, Protector of the Faith - Badass old guy who loves to smite heretics with his Twin-barreled shotgun. For 100 points you get a buffed up priest with a decent assault shotgun (basically an AP4 Storm Bolter). His banner gives Counter-attack and Fearless within 12" and, more importantly, he gives the unit he's attached to an additional AoF. Let's not forget he is still a priest, so Zealot, War Hymns (on LD 9!) and for being a HQ, Martyrdom special rule. Not to pile on, BUT his Warlord Trait also makes his squad have a 5++ instead of 6++ and under 7th edition, there's no rule stating that your highest LD character has to be your Warlord. The question is not whether or not you take this guy, it's to what squad do you attach him (9/10 woman Repentia? 20 woman Sisters blob? A bunch of assassins?). If you're taking allies, consider buying him and his squad an assault vehicle (Land Raider for example). Either way, he will not disappoint.
- Canoness Veridyan While a kickass model, Veridyan isn't much different from a standard Canoness stat wise. She carries no unique weapons outside of a bolt pistol and power sword. To top it all off, her act of faith is the same as a regular Canoness. What she does have that is unique is her special ability Clinical Precision. Basically she gives precision shot and strike to ALL sister models. For a cheap 85 pts, she's not that bad of an HQ choice. Park her with some blob sisters and exorcists, and get that sweet precision shot bonus. That being said, avoid putting her in melee, as she has a 6 up invulnerable save at best. Your best bet is to place her in the Command squad with a Hospitaller. Oh, a rather interesting note on Veridyan. According to her rules, she can be used in any formation or detachment that can use a Canoness.
Not the best selection for your army, but they're usable... kinda.
- Celestians - Good news - Celestians are now only 14 points each (only 2 more than a Battle Sister, for +1 point of WS, +1 Attack and +1 LD) 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. If you do this, consider putting your Canoness or St. Celestine in that unit too, and if you have a Command Squad with the Sacred Banner of the Orders Militant, keep it nearby too. A bit of a death star, but an opponent that doesn't know how Sisters work will very likely be caught off guard. They're still not a must have, but if you're playing aggressively they will probably suit your playstyle.
- Sisters Repentia - They are a fragile unit (6++) that pumps out a frightening number of eviscerator swings in close combat. Thanks to Rage they get +2 attacks on the charge instead of +1 and they can take a dedicated transport. Still no assault vehicles on Sisters though. 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?) and 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 get Zealot and War Hymns (reroll wounds, reroll saves (for what that 6++ is worth, do note that a re-roll boosts the Save chance from 16.7% to 30.6%, which is close to the 33% chance from a 5++, and if you have Uriah Jacobus or a lucky Canoness with the right Warlord Trait, that rerollable 5++ is better than a 4++)). 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. Remember that each and every Repentia you keep alive to hit home with a charge will be well worth it.
- Consider the following: Allies! Assault vehicles! 7th edition Battle-brothers! Get them ladies in a Stormraven or a Landraider. For example, stuffing a Grey Knight Stormraven with Jacobus, a priest and a unit of 10 Repentias gives you:
- Powerful assault vehicle with psycannons
- 43 Eviscerator attacks on charge (Eviscerator on priest), extra D6 on penetration (Armourbane), reroll on the first round hits (Zealot) and rerolls on wounds (War Hymns)
- Rerollable (War Hymns) 5++ (Jacobus WT) Shield of Faith and 4++ for the preachers in melee
- 3+ FNP for two assault phases (Act of Faith, Protector of Faith)
- Counter-attack, Preacher smash, Fearless aura for other nearby Sisters, Litanies for guaranteed hymns / AoFs... and with vehicles getting stronger, you could stick even more into a Landraider. So much hurt.
- Alternatively, you could drop the second Priest to pick up a Librarian or a Rune Priest (if you're using a Stormwolf or a vanilla or Blood Angels 'Raven, that is - GK libby is in termie armor), and use Sanctic Daemonology, Biomancy or Divination to pour on even more pain. Hammerhand? Sanctuary? Forewarning? Yikes. Or he could use Iron Arm and Force on himself and waste enemy characters with S9 AP2 ID attacks. Double yikes.
- Problem: While the option is generally still viable, using allied transports now requires quite a bit of setup, since you can't deploy units from one faction inside another one's transports anymore. So your Repentias will have to spend a turn embarking on an empty Stormraven that is already on the table and hovering near them.
- To minimize that bother, consider ponying up the points for a skyshield landing pad. If the buy in seems a bit excessive, remember you now have a reliable 4++ invuln save for whatever units you have that want to stay put
- Consider the following: Allies! Assault vehicles! 7th edition Battle-brothers! Get them ladies in a Stormraven or a Landraider. For example, stuffing a Grey Knight Stormraven with Jacobus, a priest and a unit of 10 Repentias gives you:
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 come with a 6++ Faith save.
- Immolator - Battle Sisters squads have a basic unit size of 5 models, which means a basic squad can fit inside them. PRAISE THE EMPRAH! Basically this 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 a welcome addition, since you'll usually stick Dominions in here. You WANT that AoF to work. The new FAQ also gave it a single fire point: that's not much, but it's better than a sharp stick in the eye, and you never know when that one shot will make the difference. Don't forget it if your Immolator gets charged when there's still a unit inside it.
- 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. (War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes page 239, "Two models 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, though attitudes toward Forge World do seem to be liberalizing somewhat.(Note: This has not been available for sale since August 2015. They need to redo the mould and who knows when this will be done.)
Troops are troops, you know what they do. You only have 1 option, Battle Sisters, but you have a lot of different variations on that with which to work.
- Battle Sisters - Basic Bolter Babes. 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). Also one of the few troops choices in the game that can take a Heavy Flamer. They can also take a Heavy Weapon and a Special Weapon (or two Specials) at 5 models, which is a big advantage. 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 setups. Most of these can benefit from a Simulacrum Imperialis and a Priest. If your opponents tend to be very heavy on monstrous creatures and vehicles as opposed to leg infantry, consider trading the usual flamer/heavy flamer duo for a pair of meltaguns.
- Dirt Cheap: 5 girls with no transport and no upgrades, or at most, a single Heavy Bolter. This option is only useful so that you can spend a huge whack of points elsewhere, for example, if you're taking two Combined Arms Detachments to get a ton of Dominions or the like. Still, five of them castled up behind an Aegis or in a ruin can camp on a backfield objective while providing harassing fire with their Heavy Bolter.
- Small: 6 girls or one priest and his battle harem 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. Consider a storm bolter on the Superior for a little extra dakka while you close the gap.
- 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. A 20 girl squad with a Priest is going to be nigh impossible to shift.
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 - Super-aggressive Sisters! They have access to Special Weapons (i.e meltas), they have Scout, and their AoF gives them Ignore Cover. So let me get this straight: 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? You get my point. Give them an Immolator with Multimelta, run 18" up, and melt their favorite toy. Then hop out of your ride and melt another one. You could have a squad of ten in a Rhino or Repressor, but 10 Dominions, 4 meltas, and a Rhino costs 210 points in total; for roughly the same cost you could get 6 Dominions in an Immolator, with 4 meltas, a Veteran Superior with a combi-melta and a Simulacrum Imperialis, plus either a Storm Bolter or Dozer Blades for the Immolator. 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. Don't forget that since they can Scout they can also Outflank; if you're deploying first, take advantage of this - an opponent who knows about Dominions can easily counter-deploy his tanks somewhere safe. Outflanking plays hell with that strategy. 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. It goes without saying that taking Flamers is a legendarily bad idea. Taking a whole pile of Storm Bolters isn't quite as thunderdumb, but again, it's an expensive way to get them and the cost is loss of a weapon that ends up ignoring both cover and armor. Don't be a bonehead.
- Seraphim - Fuck what Dawn of War thinks, these girls are the rapists instead of the other way around. Jump Pack Sisters, they have Hit & Run, their AoF gives them Shred, and Angelic Visage means they reroll invulnerable saves granted from Shield of Faith. 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 really close to use them effectively (3 inches for melta bonus, max 6 inches) makes them situational at best. That said, even without Armourbane, STR 8 AP1 is nothing to sneeze at. They can also Deep Strike. Hand flamers combined with AoF will be the bane of all horde armies out there as you are able to hop into position from reserves and cover them in templates with rerollable wounds. Just remember, they're still T3, so if you're not taking advantage of LOS cover these girls are as good as dead. They still do some good damage to MEQs 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).
- Consider the following: Hit and Run. Sure, their Initiative kinda sucks, but you're running them with St. Celestine, right? Hers most certainly does not. Most opponents will be hard-pressed to wipe more than a few Seraphim in one assault phase (Angelic Visage and Shield of Faith mean that even power weapons aren't sure-fire), so burn them, jump in, pound them, then rabbit away. Almost nothing can stand up to very much of that, and with Celestine's initiative, you almost certainly won't get swept. Just make sure to take a power weapon on your Superior to take maximum advantage of this.
- Aquilla Lander (Forge World) - An 110 point transport, which you probably shouldn't bother with. Rhino class armor for a flyer isn't bad at 110 points, but we have an abundance of cheap, reliable transports, and all it has to return fire is a nose mounted Heavy Bolter, which can be replaced with a Multi-Laser for 10 points, or an Autocannon for 15. We have enough kickass transports, what we need is gunships.
- Arvus Lighter (Forge World) - What the fuck? Who would take this? 75 points for an ugly flying brick, with armor 10 and (get this) NO WEAPONS. Yeah it has 12 transport capacity and can slap a variety of weapons on for semi-reasonable costs (20 for a Twin-Linked Multi-Laser or two Hellstrike Missiles, 25 for a Twin-Linked Autocannon or 2 Twin-Linked Heavy Stubbers) but it has a special rule that means that it always fires Snap Shots. If you desperately need a Forge World flyer, just get an Avenger Strike Fighter, our existing Fast Attack choices are better than these.
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 - Heavy weapons Sisters, they're unfortunately not an Exorcist. Their AoF gives Rending, so they're able to cope with medium vehicles to a degree. 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.
- Consider the following: 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 (two can fire out of a Rhino). 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. Also, if you're looking for a good transport to make full use of those rending Heavy Flamers, try a Taurox, or better yet, a Taurox Prime. 2 fire points on each side, plus a relatively small model size means you can unleash all four flamer templates with relative impunity. Or you could grab a Repressor (if you have the money) and get an extra Heavy Flamer shot (it's unclear if a transport gets the benefits of an Act of Faith).
- Consider the following Give a 9-sized Retributor squad four heavy bolters and leave the rest with bolters, a Simulacrum Imperialis, and Uriah Jacobus in a Rhino. Dump them as soon as you can near the mid-field in some cover or a ruin. You've effectively established a fire base that covers half the map with enough rending shots to rival Pask in a Punisher tank, that only gets stronger if your opponents dare to close in, especially if this squad is in a higher elevation. Uriah's fearless and invuln buff ensures their staying power, and if he's your warlord, this squad will draw enough fire to allow other units to do their jobs without much hindrance. For added trolling, use the wide end of the leftover Rhino as a mobile roadblock, stopping incoming melee squads, blocking roads and pathways, and generally making it harder for your opponents to close in on your fire base.
- 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. Remember to bring your lucky die though, as the gun shoot d6 shots, which is a little random at times. 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 almost mandatory if you want any chance of winning in a competitive game.
- Penitent Engines - Apart from having quite an interesting looking model, this walker suffers from being stuck in Heavy Support. If it was in Elites they might be an awesome choice (six of these and a squad of Repentia? Good times). The walker has 3 attacks and with 2 CCW and Rage it pumps out 6 on the charge. 4 attacks base is nothing to sneeze at, although the loss of Battle Frenzy (used to get more attacks from unsaved wounds) is a hit to both its damage output and fluff. It's worth remembering that these attacks come in at S10 AP2 - I3, granted, but that's still faster than a power fist. It has two heavy flamers on top of all this (in case some brainiac decides to charge you first!), but 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. Still want to try these? Take nine in a low point game and watch your opponent shit a brick.
- Repressor (Forge World) - The closest thing the Sisters have to a frontline tank; the Repressor is built for one thing and one thing only: blitzkrieg. For 15 more points than an Immolator, you get a tank with better front armor, better troop capacity, and more fire points (two on the top, and three on each side, allowing you to broadside enemy units). Fill it with Battle Sisters and storm objectives, or Dominions and smoke vehicles and/or TEQs with relative impunity. Unfortunately, unlike the Immolator, it cannot replace its heavy flamer or storm bolter, so it's only situationally useful without infantry to tranport. The Repressor isn't sold by Forge World anymore, but the rules are still active, meaning you can legally field these if you have them.
- Avenger Strike Fighter (Forge World) - What's that? Forge World made a flyer for the Sisters? Now the Horse(wo)men are riding. 150 points of pain, this thing 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 six different types of missiles, bombs and guns 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 and 2 measly HP.
- Weapon Choices: The Avenger gets multiple choices for its hardpoint-mounted weapons, and both hardpoints must take the same weapon. Pick the right ones to win big.
- Tactical Bombs: Six individual one-shot bombs, S6 AP4, Barrage, Blast. Since they're individual, you can drop up to four in one turn as part of a bombing run. Not usually useful except against large hordes, and tied as the most expensive option. Pass, unless you're expecting the Green Tide.
- Hellfury Missiles: Two one-shot missiles that deliver a bolter-equivalent, cover-ignoring large blast. You know how useful the Tau AFP isn't? Well, this is two shots, albeit with table-wide range. Sisters get flamers. Many, many flamers. Those are better for rooting hordes out of cover. Use them, skip these.
- Hellstrike Missiles: Two Ordnance hunter-killer missiles with 72" range. They also cost half what the Missile Launcher does. Huh. These might almost be good on a dedicated tank hunting platform if they didn't make all your other guns snap-shoot. But they do, so they aren't. Pass. Oh, and they're AP3, so no one-hit-kills for you, unless you're facing open-topped stuff (or get turbo-lucky against a flyer). Pass twice. Three times on Sunday.
- Two Missile Launchers: Same ones Devastator Marines get. Powerful, versatile, long range, great for greasing those annoying T4 multi-wound guys. Alas, it's really expensive in exchange for being only a little better than the other options. Good, but think about whether the autocannon or multi-laser wouldn't do the job better. Unless, that is, you're expecting to see Tyranid medium bugs or Tau battlesuits (other than Riptides): in that case, take it and strafe with krak missiles and lascannons. Collect tears, win.
- Two Autocannons: It's an autocannon. You know what it does. Great for popping light vehicles with reasonable capability against medium ones. Being mounted on a flyer, it's good AA too. Sisters don't otherwise get autocannons and it's handy for both of the Avenger's main purposes, so it's an all-around good call. A slightly better AA gun in most cases than the multi-laser, though a bit worse against infantry, and surprisingly almost as good for tank-hunting as krak missiles.
- Two Multi-lasers: Not half bad for AA, since no flyer has better than AV12, and a respectable transport popper. Also puts out enough fire to be a threat to infantry, though AP6 kinda sucks. Generally the gun to pick if you don't have a specific reason to favor one of the others.
- Weapon Choices: The Avenger gets multiple choices for its hardpoint-mounted weapons, and both hardpoints must take the same weapon. Pick the right ones to win big.
Lords of War
- Saint Celestine, the Living Saint (Imperial Triumvirate): Holy hell, this update is awesome. For 200 points versus the 135 point Codex version, she gains Eternal Warrior and 2 of the perfect ablative shields. That's not all. In addition, she has the Healing Tears rule, where she can immediately revive one slain Geminae per turn, automatically. All of this plus her Codex rules. For an extra 65 points, not too shabby! Keep in mind until GW resolves this via an FAQ or email, keep Celestine's HQ datasheet up as one can opt to use either (but why would you when you see her much better rules set as a Lord of War?) like the Iron Priest.
This profile can be used either as a Lord of War, or a HQ for any Army of the Imperium, including Sisters.
- Geminae Superior: Jump pack infantry Characters with Power Swords and Bolt pistols, and a 3+/4++. They act as bouncers to The Living Saint in that all hits resolved against Celestine are taken on them automatically. Note, they do not hinder Celestine from joining friendly units, just automatically attach and detach with her.
As with 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.
- Knight Paladin: It's a big walker with a big two-shot anti-MEQ battle cannon, a couple of heavy stubbers, a big D muhfukin chainsword, 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.
- Knight Errant: Mostly the same as the Paladin, but trades the two-shot battle cannon 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. You also give up a peashooter, which probably doesn't matter. If you take him, consider adding the carapace-mounted meltagun for more AP1 fun.
- Knight Warden: Another variation on a theme, but this one has a massive Avenger Gatling Cannon - S6 AP3 Heavy 12 Rending. Ouch. Shreds hordes, heavy infantry, MCs, well, pretty much anything. It even includes an underslung heavy flamer, just in case that horde didn't get the hint (or, you need more heavy flamers, you pyromaniac). Another good choice, and its high rate of fire makes for decent emergency AA.
- Knight Gallant: The melee-only knight, combines the Reaper Chainsword with another D-weapon. The other is unwieldy in a way that even superheavies care about, but it does let you chuck destroyed vehicles and MCs at another unit. Beating a bunch of Lychguard over the head with a Ghost Ark sounds funny, but isn't exceptionally practical. Skip, probably.
- Knight Crusader: Aah, the big kahuna. Combines the Warden's gatling gun with either the Paladin or Errant's pie-plate launcher, you pick. The battle cannon is better artillery support and gives you another peashooter, in case you need it, but the thermal cannon has range synergy with the gatling gun and turns heavy infantry to ash. You still get the chest-mounted gun, and, because the new codex is awesome, you can take a pod of either of two kinds of missiles (krak or heavy flamer-equivalent upgraded frag that ignore cover) or a skyfiring autocannon too. All the other knights can also take the carapace-mounted missiles or autocannons, and should - the autocannon is a really good call for Sisters, since you critically lack Skyfire. If you take only one Knight, I'd recommend this guy. Yeah, he lacks the Big D, but there's not much that laughs at S10 AP2 and Stomp, which is what the Knight Crusader has in melee. He brings unreasonable amounts of dakka and can turn most scary units into goo in one turn. If you get lucky, he can grease two or three.
- Marauder Bomber (Forge World): 400 points, comes with 2 Twin-Linked Heavy Bolters, a Twin-Linked Lascannon and the big draw; The bomb. Either 4 S6, AP4 Apocalyptic Barrage 8 or 2 S7, AP3 Ignores Cover Hellstorm. You'll probably want the latter, since it can (and will) wipe out any single wound models that aren't Terminators under it. Unfortunately the sheer size of the blast means you need to get it all the way over the enemy and with 11/11/10 armor, it'll be mighty easy to shoot down before it gets there. Still, easier the cheapest of our Lords of War, so might still be worth a look.
- Marauder Destroyer (Forge World): 425 points. 9 Hull Points, 3 TL-Autocannons, a TL-Heavy Bolter, a TL-Assault Cannon (rear mounted) and 3 Heavy Bombs (the S6, AP4 Apocalyptic Barrage 8 things from above), plus options for 8 Helstrike Missiles for 80 points. If it weren't for its shitty armor and BS (11/11/10 and 3, respectively) it'd be the most ridiculously broken thing in the world. As is, for the cost (both in pounds and in points) it's easily the most brutal of our (sadly limited) Lord of War choices.
- Warhound Scout Titan (Forge World): Clocking in at 720, this one is pretty badass overall. With 2 Primary Weapons (Vulcan Mega-Bolter, Double Barreled Turbo-Destructor, Plasma Blastgun or Inferno Gun) 2 layers of Void Shields, the Agile Special rule, AV 14/13/12 and 9 Hull Points, this thing can dish out an inhuman amount of pain and take a lot back. You're best off with the Turbo-Destructor, and whichever else you want, although the Inferno Gun is a little on the useless side for Sisters; Better off with a Plasma Blastgun. Beware though; Unless you take the Vulcan Mega-Bolter, it's powerless against flyers, and with WS2 and I1, plus only one attack, anything S10 can probably fuck it up in close combat (10 Deathwing Knights activating their Smite Mode will knock it down in one hit). Use it well, it'll probably easily wreck equal to its points.
- Reaver Battle Titan (Forge World): 1450 points of pure pain. You have 1 carapace weapon (Apocalypse Missile Launcher, Double-Barreled Turbo Laser Destructor, Inferno Gun, Plasma Blastgun, Vortex Missile or Vulcan Mega-Bolter) plus 2 Arm Weapons (Gatling Blaster, Laser Blaster, Melta Cannon, Titan Powerfist and Volcano Cannon). Oh and it has 14/14/13, 4 Void Shields and 18 fucking hull points. Don't bother with the Titan Powerfist, yeah it makes you D Strength in Close Combat, but you've still got only 1 attack at WS2. The rest are all good, except for maybe the Inferno Cannon. Oh and get it far away from your army: When it goes up, the ENTIRE BLAST is resolved at D Strength. Aside from costing over 600 dollars, the only reason not to take this is it's sheer cost: 1450 points is the cost of a normal army, so if it dies you're out most of your army. Oh and you'll lose all your friends.
Purge Squadron (Apocalypse): 3-6 Retributor Squads, 3-6 Immolators, all of the Retributor squads have to have 4 Heavy Weapons, and must have at least one Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer and Multi-Melta. You might think this makes the squads awkward, but there are a few mitigating factors. Firstly, all the squads get Relentless. Secondly, 6 or more squads in the formation can combine fire into Wall of Fire (so if you have 6 of each, you can do it twice). All of the units doing it have to have at least 1 model in line of sight and range The Wall of Fire has 4 firing modes: Bolter Storm, which is Range 36, S5 AP4 Apocalyptic Blast; Flamer Storm which is a Hellstorm, Torrent at S5, AP4; Melta Storm which is Range 24, S8, AP1 Melta, Large Blast; And Holy Trinity which is Range 24, S6, AP3, Ignores Cover, Melta, Massive Blast. Oh and if any one squad in the formation passes it's Faith check, the ENTIRE formation gets Rending for it's Wall of Fire. If you have the models for it, you should definitely consider this formation, it can wreck entire armies when they get in close.
Reptentant Host (Apocalypse): 3+ Penitent Engines, 3+ full units of Repentia (so 27 Repentia and 3 Mistresses of Reptentance minimum). The entire formation gets Rampage, It Will Not Die (only effects the Penitent obviously) and re-rolls to their FNP rolls (only effects the Repentia, again obviously). It could be fun, but you'll be hard pressed to find any Sororitas player with 30 Repentia. Still, Penitent Engines with Rampage? And re-rollable 3+ FNP? Good times.
The Angelic Host (Apocalypse): 2-5 full squads of Seraphim and Saint Celestine. You get Fearless, to re-roll failed Invul saves (only applies to Celestine, as Seraphim already get this), plus you get to Deep Strike at the beginning of any of your turns and get Shred when you Deep Strike, which is basically a free turn of your Faith Ability. It's probably the easiest to field of any of the Formations and it could be really nasty under the right circumstances.
Warhound Hunting Pack (Apocalypse Warzone Pandorax): 2 Warhound Titans. They get Scout, Shrouded if they're within 12 inches of each other and if one shoots at a unit the other one has already shot at, the enemy has to reroll successful cover saves. It's pure awesome, sure but...who the fuck owns 2 Warhound Titans? Seriously.
Castellans of the Imperium
Found in Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia, this detachment skirts the line between using no force org, and being battle forged. Basically, take Imperial Guard, Sisters of Battle, Space Marines (Vanilla Space Marines with Black Templars mind you),Imperial Knights, Assassins, and Militarum Tempestus. Then build the army around the units in their different unit organizations. Ok, so it's not that clear cut. The detachment basically lists what units (by name) can be used in what position. Sisters add some interesting choices to the detachment. Cheap HQs, 6++ on MEQ units, some interesting abilities to units to add as options to the different force orgs. Overall, Sisters add a mix bag. Other factions may offer direct options for what they do, Sisters simply offer a different option. Aside from giving open reign with your army construction, the detachment gives you some other nice benefits.
- Hatred for all. Yep, everyone in the detachment gains hatred. Even better, if you fill out the force org chart, all the units gain Zealot instead.
- Chenkov fun. Yep, if a troop unit is destroyed, it has the chance to be in on-going reserves. Add in that you have no upper limit on the number of troops you may take, and you have some combat staying power. Just hope its not a kill point battle.
- Build a Imperial Crusade. Basically, take what you want to create the perfect army that you always wanted.
The detachment has some problems, though.
- Points cost. You think getting that Zealot is cheap? You are wrong. Three Lord of War Choices ain't cheap. Not to mention the number of heavy support, troop, HQ, elite, and fast attack choices you need to fill out that Force Org.
- Multiple armies. For this detachment, you need at least two of the armies listed. So if you are starting out, this is not the detachment for you.
- LARGE!! This Detachment is large if you plan on filling it out. Having all those books, rules, and units can be daunting.
- Restrictions. Sorry, unless later FAQed, no Forgeworld for you (Except Vendettas, long story). Except that from Forgeworld Emails, all of their 'dreadnoughts' count as Dreadnoughts for the purposes of formations(just remember that the Leviathan's Relic of Darkness rule means that he can't claim the formation benefits, even if you put him in there). In addition, all of their Badab War Characters count as their respective type for formations. Sevrin Loth is a Librarian, while Captain Tarnus Vale is a Captain. That being said, units in armies such as Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, and the like cannot be taken in this detachment.
Here are the general tactics for fortifications 
- 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. 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).
- Promethium Pipeline: Now here's an interesting option. The cover save is cool, though Sisters care a bit less than most T3 armies would. On the other hand, at least if the pipes go FOOM on you, you still have armor against it. The real benefit, though, is giving your flamers the Torrent special rule if you don't move. Awesome. If you position this fortification at the edge of your deployment zone, you can create a very large no-go area for anything without enough armor to weather your fiery onslaught.
- Imperial Bunker: A cheap AV 14 box. Toss some Retributors inside with an ammo crate (re-roll 1's to hit) to allow them to do their holy work unharassed. May also be upgraded with a Quad-gun or Icarus Lascannon for even mo' dakka.
- Skyshield Landing Pad: Besides the questionable utility of multipal sihmultenius defensive dep strikes you don't actually have any useful deep striking options (your Seraphims want to be aggressive). 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. Much better on your allies - stuff models with longer threat range into these boxes.
- 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 Cruddace 'dex be my guest.
7th Edition changed allies pretty drastically - all Imperium armies are now Battle Bros. What do Battle Bros get? Well:
- Warlord Trait affects all BB's
- Independent Characters can join any BB squad
- BB's are friendly units for psychic powers, special abilities, etc.
- BB's can repair each others vehicles
- They can modify each others reserve rolls
- BB's can embark in each others transports (after deploying)
Which means that Sisters just got hella better. Allying with the right people will help you clog up those weaknesses that your ladies have and they will enable you to turn mediocre units into killing machines. Praise the Emprah! However, your Sisters get anxious around people who aren't in their prayer circles, as your units can only attempt their AoF if it's entirely comprised of models with AoF or War Hymns special rules. Be careful where you stick those independent characters.
Officio Assassinorum: One Assassin, doesn't use up another Ally slot. Pretty much a no brainer (another thing we used to have in Witch Hunters which is being handed back to us with Allies). You probably want a Vindicare, since they provide some ABSURDLY long range anti-tank. You can also snipe priority targets and special/heavy weapons out of units with it. Callidus can be all sneaky and provide ample distraction, possibly eliminating any enemy characters that will cause your Cannoness problems. Eversors can be a bit redundant since you can torch hordes left and right with flamers. Culexus Assassins, however, can meld very well with Sisters since the entire army has Adamantium Will to begin with, becoming very potent against psykers in general. And for practical reasons Officio Assasinorium can be the best allies for Sisters since you only need one model and they don't take up too many points.
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, except with Ogryns, but they can fill some of the vehicle count/model count/long-range dakka problems, especially once you've hit mid-to-high points levels and can't rely on Faith anymore. You can also use your Priests to make cheap Conscript blobs into immoveable tarpits while the Guard's Primaris Psykers make your Exorcists, Retributors or Dominions hit with unfailing accuracy. What are you waiting for?
- 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 babes, 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 threaten units before eBRRRRRRRRRT commences. Throw in an Inquisitorial detachment and you've basically gone back to 3rd edition. Welcome home.
Legion of the Damned: When the supplement 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++ save (so no plasma cannon TPK's). Your opponent will have to devote much of their power to kill them, so they can and will draw fire from your Sister groups. Alternatively, kit them for anti-infantry stuff and watch them make quick work of cover campers. And as an added bonus, they have two attacks base and can charge after shooting, providing you decent assault troops. Of course they have to start in reserve, but you can reroll scatter. Not a bad ally choice.
Imperial Knights: Pretty much a no brainer. They don't use up an allies or Inquisition detachment and oh by the way, you get a giant freaking superheavy. You can take 1-3, but you'll usually only need 1. For those of you wondering which Knight to take: The Errant has a middling range Melta shot, but you have a ton of those already, so the massive range Battle Cannon from the Paladin is probably the better choice. The new Knight Crusader with both a battle cannon and a massive stonking gatling gun is even better for reducing most any kind of enemy to wreckage. Sure, you lose the Big D, but S10 AP2 is no joke even still. Not too much more needed, just drop it down and start ripping shit up. Oh and a bit of advice: The thing is such a huge obvious target that it's probably not going to survive the game and when it dies, it goes nuclear. So being aware of those two things, have charge forward at top speed and use it as a crazy big suicide bomber. Either way, just keep it away from your other stuff.
Inquisition: One of the best Sister ally forces. Why haven't you taken it yet? Seriously, you get 3 Elites Choices (Thanks to their special ally rules, which have not been FAQ'd yet) and each of them (Inquisitional Henchmen) 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 act as close combat units and give you flyers, which your Sisters lack. You can fill the need for some long range anti-armor with some Jokaero, maybe toss in an Inquisitor with an Conversion Beam or some Servitors with Plasma Cannons. Don't forget about the cheap basic Psyker, too - who doesn't want more Prescience to hand out? And not to mention that your Inquisitors can buff Sisters with psychic powers, they can provide assault vehicles for you Repentias, good anti-air with Coteaz (I've Been Expecting You) and more. Purge the heretic!
Sisters of Silence: Yes, the Burning of Prospero Datasheet now gives you the option to take these (and the Custodes) in a 40k game. You get 1-3 squads of these badass girls, and for each squad past the first, you can pull a single dice out of your opponents' Warp Charge Pool. These make great allies for Sisters of Battle, because 2 things we desperately need are anti-psyker units, and close combat units, and Sisters of Silence can do both (especially if you equip them with Executioner Greatblades...which since they're free, why wouldn't you). A Priest makes a great addition to this squad, just be careful: With T3, 1 wound and no invul or FNP to speak of, they're even more fragile than your Battle Sisters, and have no transports of their own. Maybe have them jack one from a Retributor squad, or just keep them behind cover in your backfield to counter charge any aggressive Psykers.
Grey Knights: Stormravens and Land Raiders can be useful. Careful though, they're likely to to turn you into armor paint. Secretly, they're total bros with the Sisters (Alien, heretic... both need urgent purgin'). They suffer from the same range as you, although they have a few options to alleviate that. What you will get here is plenty of psychic dice, a librarian with good psychic powers, Land Raiders, Stormravens, psy-loaded bolters, shunting Dreadknights and lots of Witchfire-spewing, power armored dakka. Oh, and Paladins, as if Terminators weren't hard enough to kill. Overall a good choice for an ally. Just a thought on casual Games to get some Trolling with GK. Look at the Librerian (wich is your HQ right?) now look at the ton of Powers he can get from the DAEMONOLOGY SANCTIC. The one you want is Sanctuary. Look at those Crusaders, they are now 2++ LoS Meatshields. Or Place them in front of your Babycarriernemesisdistractionknight. Much Fun.
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. Scouts are good alongside your Dominions and Bikes can help punch holes in your opponents front line while possibly snagging an Objective. 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. As for Chapter Tactics, they're all more or less good. Raven Guard synergize well with Dominions, Iron Hands add some durability, Ultramarines and Imperial Fists have generally useful tricks. Salamanders, despite their similarity, might be the least useful - they're mostly good at things Sisters already do well.
And now with the sudden explosion of various formations and dataslates, Space Marines are now one of the more flexible options for allies. A Battle Demi Company or an Skyhammer Annihilation Force is really potent, while a Armored Task Force or Land Raider Spearhead provide stupidly nasty weaponry and armor that Sisters lack if you don't want to put points into Exorcists.
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.
- Blood Angels: Blood Angels are here to bolster the close-combat part of your army. Assault Marines aren't Troops anymore but they get some impressive firepower (meltas, not that Sisters are hurting for those), 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. Probably worth it now that he's an IC, though. You can also take Death Company in a Stormraven and fuck somebody up in close combat. 7 DCs with hammer and Reclusiarch 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. Don't forget about the fast, durable bikes, too - fast scoring counts for even more in Maelstrom games. (Though, White Scars are faster, Iron Hands more durable and Eldar about as fast as anything can get, so don't take DA just for the bikes...)
- Black Templars: While they are part of Vanilla Marines codex now they really deserve a special mention. Black Templars create a unique fit from the space marine codex as they share the Sisters AW and are the only vanilla marines that can legitimately compete with other space marines codexs in close combat, while also being their closest thing to hordes (I mean potential 20 man crusader squads come to mind). Black Templars synergize well with Sisters with providing lots of extra fire power (a few Land Raider Crusaders never hurt either) and fill the close combat role while sisters provide the ranged heavy support so those crusader squads can rip into the enemy while also providing support incase of counter-charges. To be honest just the idea of an army of high-tech space nuns joining up with a bunch alien and heretic hating space crusaders really just feels right. BURN THE HERETIC!!!!!!!
- Space Wolves: Not as good in the HtH department as Blood Angels, but better than Vanilla Marines, and Long Fangs are better fire support than vanilla, BA, or DA Devastators. 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. This plus your army-wide Adamantium Will crumbles dreams. Sweet psyker dreams. Also, you get Storm Wolves, which are the best way for your Sisters Repentia to travel in style in addition to their formidable air-to-air firepower. This option is also pretty heretical.
Skitarii: Skitarii have big guns with big range, and fast attack walkers that demolish enemy vehicles. Oh, and FOUR HEAVY SUPPORT SLOTS! Use the sisters as meat shields, (and a decent HQ) and laugh as Dunecrawlers provide backfield support. Ruststalkers are good at punching holes in elite units while Rangers can prove nice at providing extra firepower. The main problem is that, like your Sisters, most Skitarii are T3, meaning they'll be just as squishy when it comes to anti-infantry.
Cult Mechanicus: What's that? Your opponent brought three Land Raiders and an Imperial Knight? Worry not, Cult Mechanicus has anti-armor in spades. Seriously, with all the haywire, plasma, and grav weapons Cult Mechnicus has combined with the sheer amount of Meltas Sisters have as well as Exorcists, this combo can annihilate any vehicle based army. Better yet; grab a Kastelan Robot Maniple and chew through any horde you cross. Not only that, Cult Mechanicus has an abundance of high toughness units and high strength weapons, so these two allies hit any army extremely hard.
Deathwatch: The Deathwatch codex is pretty good since you can bring vet teams with heavy weapons behind enemy lines with drop pods and such. And, since they're space marines, they have a few land raider variants. If your planning to use them for close combat, stick them with heavy thunder hammers and beat that Greater Daemon to death. However, they're very medium to close range with a lot of their guns unless you kit out everyone of your vets with stalker bolters, in which case why not just bring guard and make a special weapons squad with snipers for a lot more of them and a lot cheaper. The Imperial Agents formation for Deathwatch is pretty good. A single veteran unit taking a Corvus Blackstar can deal some damage when they pop out onto the field. They can bring the pain and they can take the pain as they'll be a pretty big target with their heavy thunder hammers and frag cannons.
Allies of Convenience
Eldar: Perhaps. They have the ability to utterly annihilate MEQ's and TEQ's that you lack, and as Allies of Convenience, "One Eye Open" isn't a problem. Jetbikes or Shining Spears provide freakyfast scoring on an MEQ chassis, something Sisters could get a lot of mileage out of. A cheap Farseer on a bike can be an annoyingly durable objective-grabber, too. Sisters lack good anti-air, and have only a few good techniques for dealing with Monstrous Creatures - Eldar, on the other hand, can handle both effectively. Wraithblades are an interesting option for high-strength melee, though getting them there might be sticky. A Wraithknight doesn't synergize especially well, but could serve as one hell of a distraction to screen some Penitent Engines.
Dark Eldar: 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.
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). Alternatively, consider Farsight Enclaves, with their durable, mobile hard-hitting Crisis teams as troops. With their mobility, OEO is unlikely to be a serious problem. Also, don't forget, Riptides - fire magnet, anti-aircraft and anti-MEQ, all in one, on a chassis mobile enough to avoid OEO problems. (Hello, 4d6 thrust move)
Come the Apocalypse
Maybe proxy them as "Emperors Angels"? *BLAM* Heresy! Chaos Daemons bring overwhelming mental firepower. The warp charges they can bring in combination with your 5+ Deny the Witch means you have a fairly decent chance to completely negating opposing psychic powers. Flying monster provide anti-air and are fast enough to avoid "One Eye Open". Deep striking daemons get around deployment issues and give you a strong 'left hook' as you drop tough assault units close to your enemy that he has to deal with.
Chaos Space Marines: Almost anything Chaos Marines can do, the loyalists do just as well, and even better in the context of allies. Sure, Chaos is a bit better at melee, but why do that when you can get a zillion force weapons from the Grey Knights? Sure, they have Heldrakes, but Iron Hands can bring you regenerating Stormravens carrying Chapter Master Smashfucker. Sure, they have some interesting weapons, but they're hard-pressed to match the sheer dakka of the Imperial Guard. TL;DR version: You're Imperials, you don't need no steenkin' Chaos.
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.
Orks: Oi! Youz burny gurls! We'z got da choppiest choppas and da fastest trukks! We'z go in and stomp da enemies flat whilez you bring d'em melta fingies and make da tanks all burny. We'z get along right propah! WAAAGH!!! Thanks to new Allies rules, you just need to start your Burna Boyz 12" away from your Burna Gurlz and let them roll up the table like a giant fire fun* ball. One big weakness of the Orks currently is their lack of reliable anti-tank, which da Sistas got in spades. One big weakness of the Sisters is a lack of dedicated assault troops, which the Orks have in spades. Plus, Orks now have some of the best AA in the game. Just be sure to honor the 'One Eye Open' rule and separate the genders.
Tyranids: Because the allies chart doesn't rule out tentacles anymore and that pleases you. Tyranids bring lots of assault power, flying monsters and short range fire power. However the sisters main, perhaps only strength is in short range power so the nids don't bring anything new to the table other then flying monsters, but unless you go unbound your selection of those monsters will be limited to at most two (HQ and fast attack). Speaking of the table, unless your talking Nidzilla the Tyranids take up a lot of board space with big swarms so the having to start 12 inches apart from each other maybe a problem, lastly there Synapse means that controlling a Tyranid/sister army would be a head ache of managing synapse and one eye open.
- Consider the Following: With the advent of the new Tyrannocyte, Tyranids get all kinds of deployment options. They have the ability to be absolutely anywhere on the battlefield, with almost any kind of firepower. Keeping all the bugs in reserve neutralizes the 12 inch deployment restriction, and a bit of caution gets around OEO. Just imagine the look on your opponent's face when his shiny Paladin squad gets double-pie-plated by a Deep Striking Mawloc while an Exocrine in a pod drops behind it and lays down even more AP2 smack and a flying Hive Tyrant swoops down on his tanks, raining Electroshock Grubs. In his haste to get away from the sudden monster onslaught and the rain of barbed stranglers, he runs right into your flamers and massed bolters. Hope you brought an extra tearcup!
Building your Army
As far as HQs go, it's Jacobus or Celestine. You can pick Canoness, but I'd recommend focusing on the special characters, as they're your bread and butter. Canoness can serve her purpose as providing wound tanking support, using her leadership for AoFs or using her BS for Quad-guns, but Jacobus and Celestine bring so much to the table with their special abilities you'll miss out much if you don't get them.
For your basic troops, two groups of Basic Bolter Babes with flamers and heavy flamers is a good start, although you shouldn't be afraid to customize their wargear to your needs. Your basic Sisters gaining Preferred Enemy is damn nice, especially with those flamers. Seeing as how its an AoF you have to pass a leadership test for it to work, so upgrading a superior offers reliability with the increased LD. 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. Remember, Sisters don't benefit from nice things like ATSKNF which means that if they run, you're fucked. (Don't forget the cheap-ass Book of St. Lucius and Jacobus's bubble of Fearless, though.) Eventually, you can build your army to a rhinospam (10-man groups inside each with few special weapons and priests?) or try out a blob of sisters (20-man footsloggers), if you're feeling particularly manly.
Elites? Not the best part of your codex, you might want to stay light on these choices at first. Celestians? They can work with very aggressive playstyle, but as said, you need to devote yourself to them. Give them a try first by proxying, then decide if you want to get more. Repentia are the other 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 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 I1 (instead of 3) is not such a big deal, since generally Sisters go last anyway, but losing the ability to strike even when dead is a definite kick in the giblets. A 3+ FNP only goes so far (T3). 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... Point being: these girls absolutely have their uses, but be VERY careful HOW you use them. No matter what, take a priest with them (War Hymns, Zealot). If you're using Imperium allies (and why wouldn't you), mounting your Repentia in a Land Raider, Stormraven or Storm Wolf will let them get to the fight in style and safety. 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 Sister Superior. Pop tanks, shred infantry, 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, so feel season the taste with Simulacrum and superiors for better LD's. Throw in a Laud Hailer, which is mathematically more likely to let you pass your AoF test than the same points spent on a Veteran Superior - but hell, take both if you can afford it. Why? 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. Necrons, Dark Eldar and Tau can do similar cover-based shenanigans - all their tanks (save the Monolith) can Jink. It's also indispensable against Tyranids, when you really must bust that Exocrine sitting in a ruin with a Malanthrope before it blasts all your Bolter Babes to Betelgeuse. Granted, your opponent will generally 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.
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 (if not three) 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. Alternatively, if you want to play aggressively with the Sisters, equipping Retributors with Heavy Flamers and sticking them in a Rhino makes delicious, mobile, Rending flamers that purge heretics like butter. You can safely skip the Penitent Engines, unless you want to show off one on your display shelf. If you like Forge World, save room for the Avenger - it's hell on wings against flyers, medium tanks and pretty much any infantry without a 2+ save (and with those lascannons, it's a threat to them, too). Let your Dominions focus on the Land Raiders and Monoliths, let the Avenger turn everything else into so much metal confetti.
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, 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. You think you could 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.
So what can an aspiring new player do? There's a few possible options:
- Hound the market for used Adepta Sororitas armies and pieces, they pop up every so often when a neckbeard doesn't love his Sisters anymore, which given the lack of GW support happens more then you might think. They do usually go for a bit higher price than your usual used warhammer figures, due to their status of being collectible and slightly more rare than their plastic brethren.
- Conversions! 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 oversized on Eldar bodies. If you're manly enough you can use DE bodies and legs and a mix of DE and DE heads to come up with some awesome looking models. Scratch some of the spikes and emblems off their armor, 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. You could 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'. 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. For example, Dreamforge Games offers marines that are decently priced and slimmer, which means they could pass for Sisters. Dream forge Games also now make a unit called Eisenkern Valkir, (I.e. girls in power armour) that make very good Sisters if you can find enough female heads to shove on the bodies. A word of warning: this is not a cheap option if you live outside the USA. What with postage and import tax...actually, it still comes in about twenty pounds cheaper than the equivalent number of GW models.
- Another third party options has recently appeared. Statuesque Models heroic female heads can create a very good result when combined with power armor models, like the Dreamforge games ones above.
- Don't worry about Repentia though, you'll find PLENTY of models for them. Like we said, most sculptors like making scantily clad ladies
- 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 (of course you could claim you recasted them/sculpted them yourself from Greenstuff but who does that?). Shipping will be a bitch, costing upwards of $20 and taking about a week usually. And of course, there's always a chance that the models you get can be of questionable quality.
You won't be able to play them at a tournament ITC tournament rules allow for reasonable "counts as" models, so this should not be an issue, but who cares? All your friends will let you use them, and you are supporting a small business.
- For some of the oddities, like the Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave and the Priests, you could look at Warmachine models. Daughters of the Flame or Kayazy Eliminators work fairly well as Death Cult Assassins, while Thyra, Flame of Sorrow is a reasonably convincing dual-power-weapon Canoness. Holy Zealots could work as Ministorum Priests.
- Casting is always an option, though it's a skill that takes time.
- 3D Printing's an option. Laugh all you want at a decent-quality 3D Printer going for over $1000: With the ability to duplicate models and a batch of 3D printer plastic material going for less than a squad of 10 Battle Sisters, GW's shitty practices and shittier pricing mean that any moron with a decent quality 3D imaging program and some time and effort can get their hands on a bottomless supply of miniatures and make a small fortune supplying his or her friends at the FLGS.
- Even if the rumors about plastic sisters of battle is hot air, we are getting sisters of silence for sure. You can use those models in place of sisters, after all what's ten thousand years between friends? Well except the fact that Sisters of Silence have better rules than their inferior non Emperor sanctioned knockoffs.
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 every 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 Sister units generally lack long ranged fire support, though that 3+ armor save is a emprasend there is a lot of stuff out there that negates it and that can cause problems, however given that sisters are cheaper then most other 3+ save models this is, while bad, not as bad as it would be for space marines. 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! 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.
All of this being said, the sisters are an incredibly underrated force. If you are playing them, you'll have probably already noticed that people constantly will say that they feel bad for you for playing such a bad army. But what they don't know is what the units do. Basic sisters squads can come with a flamer and a heavy flamer in a twin linked heavy flamer transport. Dominions are a thing. You get a unit that can have rending heavy flamers/heavy bolters. You have access to st8 ap1 with a 48" range. These are all strong units when you look at them. Especially for their cost. Capitalize on these strengths. You may not be the most durable, but you pack one hell of a punch and it's not like you'll crumble like guardsmen.
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. Don't worry about getting charged yourself: anyone who charges a unit with four template weapons deserves every wound they take. 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. As a backup plan, if you're deploying first, keep your Dominions in reserve. Since they are Scouts, they also have Outflank, which gives you good odds of bringing your Dominions in next to your target.
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 Line-of-Sight 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.
Knights: Everyone's afraid of the big, bad Imperial Knights, but Sisters don't have to be. Repentia positively wreck a hundred kinds of crap out of them. Take a squad of 9, melta bombs on the Mistress, and Uriah Jacobus (and make him your Warlord). Put them in an assault transport if you have one; if you don't, take a Rhino and make good use of cover to survive the turn spent derping. On the charge, they can deal an average (taking Zealot into account) of 12 pens and 5 glances - that's one very dead Knight. Even in the worst case, where the Knight charges you and kills six - and usually it won't, with Uriah and his War Hymns giving your girls a re-rollable 5++, plus misses and failed to-wound rolls - you still deal an average of 5 hull points, thanks to Counter-Attack. All that assumes you never roll an Explodes! and take off d3 hull points - if you do, the odds look even better.
The problem, though, is that while you have Armourbane, you don't have Fleshbane - charging a Wraithknight or a Great Unclean One will not end well.
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. It's also worth pointing out that due to lower model count Mech is significantly easier as of time of writing given the Sisters Model issues.
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. It can also mean that 1 or 2 Sisters survive where they'd normally die, and that can leave a pair of them hanging on an objective and forcing your opponent to deal with them, which is highly useful.