Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Adeptus Ministorum(8E)
- 1 Why Play Adeptus Ministorum
- 2 Special Rules
- 3 Stratagems and Warlord Traits
- 4 Armory
- 5 Unit Analysis
- 6 Tactics and Strategy
- 7 Getting Models
Why Play Adeptus Ministorum
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. These are blasts from the past, when everything was ecclesiarchal, the force org chart was 50% HQ, and the Canoness had a goddamn laser mace. 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.
The Adeptus Ministorum AKA Sisters of Battle consists of the armies of the Ecclesiarchy, bringing many colorful characters such as warrior nuns armed with flame throwers, priests wielding chainsaws bigger than themselves, gun-slinging angels, disturbing yet sexy assassins, pipe organ tanks, and berserk killing machines whose pilots are driven mad by the need to redeem themselves. Do you like the idea of playing a mostly-female army of paladins? Do you like the idea of burning literally everything to the ground? Do you like playing an army that gets renamed every edition? If so, this army's for you.
Sisters have a bit of a murky history, their previous codices ranging from mediocre to nearly unplayable. Fortunately, this isn't the case any more. While they still lack unit variety, the current meta and rule to vehicles changes made them somewhat of a high tier army when built correctly. Instead of simply being absent/bottom of the pack at events, they can reasonably aim for a upper middle of the pack ranking even in the WAACiest of tournament simply due to the sheer amount of melta they can field and being the paper to the rocks being usually played.
<Order> : Same <Regiment>, <Chapter>, <Forge World>, etc., Faction Keywords and will have the same effect as the rest of them. Having a detachment that shares this will grant CONVICTIONS, the Sisters' name for the benefit ala Tactics for Space Marines or Doctrines for Astra Militarum.
Shield of Faith: (Nearly) Global 6++ - but units that don't have it have a better invulnerable save anyway. Also, features a mini-Deny the Witch, but its odds of blocking even the lowliest psychic power are abysmal (Roughly 2% for Smite and the likes, and powers with a warp charge of 6 or more are undeniable with this). Nearly useless on infantry, will sometime save a vehicle. GW really dropped the ball on this as it should have been a 6+++ FNP.
Zealot: Only applies to Arco-flagellants, Crusaders, Death Cult Assassins, Priests, and Penitent Engines (basically everything that isn't a Sister). Allows you to re-roll all failed hit rolls in the first round of each close combat they get engaged in.
Acts of Faith
Now, instead of each unit having its own once-per-game Act of Faith, all units share the same list of Acts of Faith, with the ability to perform one each turn at the beginning of a relevant phase. It's back to the 5th edition "spend one of your limited Faith points, then roll a d6" system, but now there are units to grant +1 or rerolls to the roll; we'll get to that later. As of the beta Codex Acts of Faith scale with army size, you start with 3 Faith points and then get one additional Faith Point for every ten models in the army with the 'Act of Faith' ability.
Here's the list:
- Hand of the Emperor: Spend a Faith point in the movement phase. If you roll a 4+, the unit immediately gains +3 Movement for the rest of the movement phase. Functionally this lets you Advance without the penalties.
- Spirit of the Martyr: Spend a Faith point in the movement phase. If you roll a 3+, the unit immediately gains d3 lost Wounds. If there are no wounded models, one slain model is returned to the unit with 1 Wound remaining.
- Aegis of the Emperor: Spend a Faith point in your opponent's psychic phase. If you roll a 3+, the unit gains 4+ FNP against mortal wounds for the rest of the phase.
- Divine Guidance: Spend a Faith point in the shooting phase. If you roll a 4+, the unit gains +1 to their hit rolls for the rest of the shooting phase. Definitely a downgrade from an out of phase activation, but great for nullifying enemy special rules.
- The Passion: Spend a Faith point in the fight phase. If you roll a 5+, the unit can fight twice in the fight phase. That 5+ barrier is ridiculous on an army that's mostly S3.
- The exact wording makes this one interesting. It's rolled for at the START of the fight phase, not the end (which is what most "fight twice" abilities do), and if successful it says "the selected unit can be chosen to fight with twice". RAW, this means a unit that charged can be chosen to fight a second time before the enemy fights once (unless they spend their two CP).
- Light of the Emperor: Spend a Faith point in the morale phase. If you roll a 3+, the unit immediately passes its Morale test.
FAQ : No Acts of faith for embarked units.
Acts of Faith are a blessing and a curse. By itself the rule
is was great, but GW has historically costed the Sisters of Battle as if they could use their AOF every single turn while it's still quite random/don't scale up at all. The new rules as of the beta codex have watered down and nerfed the Acts of Faith, crippling a large segment of the codex since so much of it interacts with it. Right now act of faith are a pure rule bloat. Its a mechanic with little impact on the game, especially compared when compared to other armies gimmicks (Fleet of Foot, canticles, ATKNF, etc.)
- Remember, this is the BETA codex, which means that GW has probably over-nerfed this system intentionally as a means for them to boost it again by the time the real codex finally hits store shelves. Unfortunately, given GW's previous attempts at this practice, it will probably never be as good as it was in the index. Emprah damn it, GW.
We're starting to get a trickle of information about the up and coming Sister Beta Codex included in Chapter Approved 2018, starting with our first Order and their Conviction! This tactica will be updated after CA has been released as for now these are leaks illegal to play with. Furthermore their usefulness will be highly impacted by upcoming CA changes and eventually, their proper codex.
- Order of the Bloody Rose - Quick to Anger: Units with this <ORDER> gain +1 Strength and Attack on any turn they Charged, were Charged or performed a Heroic Intervention. This pleases Khorne greatly. +1 STR is usually one of the better traits for armies. Sisters often don't have the volume of attacks or the wargear to make JUST a +1 Strength useful (being S4 is kinda par for the course). Paired with the extra attack however, the +1 to Strength means that a 45 point 5 sister squad of basic Battle Sisters hit at the same strength and with the same number of attacks as a 10-man Tactical Squad, even if their WS of 4+ means they will be less effective. Bring them anywhere near point parity however and the Marines will be bewildered as they got rifle-butted in their heretical organs until death claims them. Of course you aren't thinking about BSS, Celestians, or any of the 'normal' Sisters when you take this. It makes Repentia weak in the knees- watch as they claim any target in the game in a charge. A VERY worthwhile choice for Repentia heavy lists as they greatly benefit from both the increased strength and the extra attack making their (now S8) Penitent Eviscerator extra choppy. Celestian and Seraphim squads may actually want to charge now.
- If you are going to run this <ORDER> take Power Axes and Eviscerators instead of Power Mauls; Consider using Priests & Preachers (armed w/re-rolling 'to hit' Eviscerators, sadly not as S8) for their 'War Hymns' aura; Consider taking Simulacrum Imperialis to help your movement and get additional rounds of combat with 'The passion' (5+ AoF) more often.
- The Sisters Eviscerators will be S8 (see designer commentary).
- Order of The Valorous Heart - Stoic Endurance: 6+ FNP to models with this <ORDER>. This is probably the best overall <ORDER> for your sisters. It helps mitigate one of Sisters biggest weakness, which is staying power as an army.
- Order of The Ebon Chalice - Daughters of the Emperor: +1 to Tests of Faith die roll. Does the same thing that a Simulacrum Imperialis dose only army wide for free.
- Order of Our Martyred Lady - The Blood of Martyrs: Every unit with the AoF ability that dies provides +1 Faith Point.
- Decent way to compensate for initial losses, but difficult to build a strategy around. You are basically betting against your own forces as a means to farm FPs. Unless you intend to sacrifice some cheap elites to get the best out of it, only rely on this Order as a last resort.
- Order of The Sacred Rose - Devote Serenity: Overwatch on a 5+ and never lose more than 1 model on a failed LD test. Good when you are going against melee heavy opponents or if you want to run large blobs of sisters. Flamers obviously don't benefit from this rule.
- Order of The Argent shroud - Deeds, Not Words: Roll a d6 every time you destroy an enemy unit and on a 4+ you gain a faith point.
Stratagems and Warlord Traits
- Martyrdom: (1 CP) Gain D3 Faith points when a Character dies. Guaranteed roll of 3 if that was your warlord. One of those "works fine, if you really need it" strategems.
- Purity of Faith: (1 CP) Your only defense against psyker that is more than a meme. Deny on 4+ for one CP. Stack with actual Deny the Witch, so once again better in imperial soup than in a pure sister army. Still, having access to a strategem like this can be crucial in certain match ups and gives you a certain level of protection that Deny the Witch can often lack.
- Rally the Faithful: (1 CP) Fail a morale test? Halve the number of fleeing models, rounding down.
- Final Redemption: (1 CP) Start of the fight phase, pick a Repentia unit. When a model in that unit is slain for that phase, roll a D6. 4+, enemy unit that does so takes a mortal wound. Considering how suicidal the Repentia are already, no harm in this- though whether you want to spend a CP on it is another matter entirely.
- Burning Descent: (1 CP) Use when a Seraphim unit uses Sky Strike to enter the battlefield. It may immediately fire as if it were the shooting phase, with hand flamers becoming 12' for purposes of this attack. They may still shoot in the shooting phase, though the extra range of the Flamers does not extend into the normal shooting phase.
- Holy Trinity: (1 CP) Pick an Adepta Sororitas Unit in the shooting phase. As long as the unit has a MODEL w/Boltgun, ANOTHER w/melta AND yet ANOTHER MODEL w/flame weapon (so no cheating with a combi-flamer armed superior firing both halves...) in range and EVERYONE in the units shoots at that same target, add +1 to wound rolls for the firing unit until the end of the phase.
- This one is fluffy, but its just strictly worse than things like Chaos Space marines' 'Veteran of the Long War' stratagem for obvious reasons.
- Firstly, while it does say "any" Adepta Sororitas Unit because of the requirements for each of the weapons to be carried by three separate models, realistically only Celestians, Retributors, Dominions, basic Battle Sister squads, and MAYBE Seraphims (6" inferno pistol range) can make use of it; Thus it immediately rules out any units that consist of lone models or units that don't have all three weapon types.
- Secondly, all the listed weapons MUST be in range to the same target, so at best you're looking at a useful range of "FLAMER"(8) for this stratagem instead of range "Combi-palsma"(24").
- Thirdly you loss a significant amount of tactical flexibility because of the requirements that "ALL the models in the unit (regardless of weapon carried) shoot at the same target." I.e. this means that your meltagun sister may NOT splitfire at other, more appropriate targets worthy of melta. So now you have to chose how your are going to waste your squads potential firepower, either by having melta shoot at troops (hilariously wounding most everything not T8 on 2's) or by having flamer & bolt shots wound T8 on 5's.
- There are many things that would have made this one better, for example if they left out the range requirement and also got re-roll to hits or wounds (OR BOTH). It could also be argued that such a restrictive Stratagem needed to be multi unit (up to three target units) to really get your CP worth out of it.
- This one is fluffy, but its just strictly worse than things like Chaos Space marines' 'Veteran of the Long War' stratagem for obvious reasons.
- Blessed Bolts: (1 CP) Storm Bolters in a squad get AP-2 and become Damage 2. Devastating to medium and heavy infantry, potentially becoming a minor threat to some vehicles as well. Very deadly.
- Suffer Not the Witch: (1 CP) Re-roll wounds by a Sisters unit against a Psyker in the Fight Phase.
- Vessel of the Emperor's Will: (3 CP) When a Sisters Character successfully manifests an Act of Faith, sisters unit within 6" of that character can use it as well (no new roll is needed). Obvious target is a Dialogus shouting at two or three units. Useful for giving a gunline +1 to hit or moving a bunch of units up the board. If only you could chain Faith and Fury inside that aura, but alas.
- Extremis Trigger Word: (2 CP) Use this Stratagem in the Fight phase when you pick an Arco-Flagellants unit to fight. Until the end of that phase, replace the unit's Arco-flails ability with 'Make 3 hit rolls for each attack made with this weapon'. At the end of that phase, roll a number of D6 equal to the number of models in that unit. For each roll of 6, one model in the unit is slain.
- Faith and Fury: (1 CP) Use when a unit passes a Faith test; they re-roll to-wound rolls of 1 for the remainder of the phase. Now we're talking! Meltas love re-rolling failed anything, Flamers and Bolters can always use the help in this meta, and charges from the Bloody Rose might get a chance to live up to their name.
- Sacred Rites: (1 CP) Gain one Faith point. In general, you should probably hold onto your Command Points.
- Sacred Banner of the Order Militant: (1 CP) Use before the battle begins to upgrade one Simulacrum Imperialis. In addition to the Simulacrum's normal effect, once per game you can activate its buff: from the start of one battle round to the end of that battle round, the bearer's unit increases its Shield of Faith invuln save by 1, to a maximum of 3++. Is Celestine nearby?
- Beacon of Faith: At the start of your turns, if you warlord is on the table, roll a d6 and on a 4+ you gain a faith point.
- Executioner of Heretics: -1 to the LD of all enemy units within 6".
- Indomitable Belief: The Shield of Faith invulnerable is increased to 5++ for <Order> Models whilst within 6' of the Warlord... Really should read "Adds +1 to The Shield of Faith invulnerable save-" rather than setting it to a static 5++.
- Inspiring Orator: Reroll failed morale test of nearby ADEPTA SORORITAS units and they can use your warlords LD instead of theirs.
- Pure of will: you can deny one additional Psychic power using the Shield of faith rules AND enemy Psykers subtract 1 from all psychic test if within 12" of your warlord.
- Righteous Rage: re-roll failed charges and when you charge, were charged or preform Heroic Intervention you re-roll to wound for the first round of combat as well.
here's how the BRB ones stack up:
- Inspiring Leader: Grants +1 Leadership to all friendly units within 6" of your warlord. Mathematically similar to Inspiring Orator, which is already weak. Your Sisters' leadership is fine, talk to your local Dialogus and then report to your nearest Inquisitor if you're worried about unit Morale.
- Legendary Fighter: Grants +1 Attack in the Fight phase after you have charged. Generally speaking, if you're playing Sisters, you're taking Celestine. And if you're taking Celestine, 9 times out of 10, she's going to be your warlord. This is the trait you will give her. Since she can FLY, she can fall back, shoot off her flamer and then charge again. This ensures she hits even harder when she does. Also not bad on a Relic/Evicerator Canoness if you're in a super low point game.
- Tenacious Survivor: Functionally 6+ Feel No Pain. Celestine is generally survivable enough without this, what with her good saves, automatic Look Out, Ma'am! Bodyguards (that come back!) and a full health resurrection on a 2+. That said, she has a lot of Wounds to save on, so you'll roll that 6 at least once or twice per game. A Canoness might benefit from this, though they are generally cheap and expendable enough to not be worth the effort.
- The Ardent Blade: Only Carried by St. Celestine herself in melee its S+4 AP-3 D2, can be shot like an assault Hv Flamer during the shooting phase (so you can advance and shoot if you like).
- Chainsword: A nearly worthless option (To be fair, it is free) as S3 with AP0 simply won't cut it, even with one more attack; Also, considering the very low price of power weapons and our low need for it (Only our Canoness, maybe a Seraphim or Celestian superior, that's really it unless you're spending leftover; You can find those 4 points, just for them, come on), this should never be considered as a melee weapon.
- Eviscerator: This heavy chainsword is a two-handed monster: Sx2, AP-4, Dd3 damage '-1 to hit'. Remember that re-roll happen before modifiers. An Eviscerator armed Canoness rolling a natural 2 is a miss. 12pts as of Chapter approved 2018. Good, but you should probably use the Blade of Admonition relic instead for you Canoness. The relic performs better except against T6 unless you're running Order of the Bloody Rose.
- Its better than a Power Maul for a second melee Canoness.
- Priests & Preachers 're-roll to hit' mitigate the '-1 to hit' well enough to consider giving them one if you are going to include having them in your list.
- Penitent Eviscerator: Oh dear God-Emperor WHY! It is a NERF'ed AP-2 Eviscerator, only Repentia squads
useSUFFER with them.
- Power Weapons: Each type of Power Weapon has its own profile now, so pick the right one for the situation (almost always the maul). All Power Weapons have a damage value of 1:
- Power Sword: Worst than the maul against every target that you will encounter on the table. Low Toughness have generally poor save, S3 is too little against armored targets.
- Power Maul: Now we're talking. Almost every point of S the Maul gives us is a +1 to wound, against both most infantry and most vehicles. If your opponent has good invulnerable saves (Terminators w/ Stormshields & Thunder Hammers) the AP-1 won't matter too much.
- Power Axe: This is only better than the maul when trying to kill T6 models and light vehicles. Take a power maul... unless your running Order of the Bloody Rose, then by all means take axes.
- Autogun: Available to Priests, a lasgun by another name. The Autogun is 24" Rapid Fire 1 S3 AP0 D1 and a piss-poor weapon. But because of the way strength rolls against wounds now, you stand a chance of actually making a small dent in anything. You'll need a lot of shots (and hits), which you won't get because this is one man with a crappy rifle.
- Bolt Pistol: Its a bolter in 12" pistol 1 S4 AP0 D1 form. Shorter range but can now be fired when locked in close combat so it's useful enough for choppy units or taken in pair by Seraphim. 1pts for Priest since they use the AM codex prices.
- Boltgun: You know what a bolter is. 24" Rapid Fire 1 S4 AP0 D1 . The loss of AP hurts, but if your opponent has a brain he would have been keeping his 5+/6+ units in cover anyway. Apparently, the Adeptus Mechanicus forgot how to make armor piercing rounds. Again, remember it's 1 point for your Priests.
- Combi-Weapon: Now infinite use, your choice of flamer, melta or plasma gun slapped to a bolter that can be fired independently of the bolter, bolter half only or at the same time together. Firing both the bolter and the special weapon causes a -1 to hit (Plasmas half will kill your dudettes on hit rolls of 2's now, YAY!). Your superior can take those, meaning plasma goodness on a Canoness or 5 melta per dominion squads. Sisters love combi-weapons as all of their "sergeants" have access to hit, effectively allowing you to field 5 special weapons per dominions squads and 3 per basic sisters squad. Melta is most often the superior choice, although the Canoness and Retributor Superior can make a good use of plasma due to the reroll 1 bubble.
- Condemnor Boltgun: Special Adepta Sororitas weapon (Note, NOT a combi-weapon anymore). For 1 point you get a 'Bolter' which does Dd3 against Psykers, doubling it's average damage output against them.
- Note that a vast majority of psykers are either Characters or single-wound models, meaning that in most cases the Condemnor either won't be able to shoot at its intended target without the use of a Stratagem... And that is before considering the cost of the Storm Bolter that is an extra point more and has LITERALLY double the "average" damage output of a Condemnor Bolter against everything...
- Hand Flamer A dinky 6" ranged flamer Pistol that throws out d6 'auto hitting' shots at S3. They have a higher wound potential than a Bolt Pistol (d6 vs. 1) and according to Mathhammer are better vs. T8's (both wound on 6's). Something to consider.
- Inferno Pistol: Baby Melta, 6" Pistol 1 S8 AP-4 D d6. Strong choice on Seraphims and melee Canoness. Remember that you can shoot these while in melee, your opponents will often forget that you can.
- Laspistol: 12" pistol 1 S3 AP0 D1, Priests are armed with one... don't. Just throw grenades instead.
- Plasma Pistol: 12" Pistol 1 S7 AP-3 D1. Effective against MEQs when fired normally, and when supercharged it hits harder and deals more damage (S8, D2) but kills the user on hit rolls of 1. Either take an inferno pistol for melee Canoness or a combi-plasma on anything else. Sadly the only shooty option for the seraphim superior (can't even take em in pairs... what's up with that?).
- Shotgun: Available to Priests for 0 points. Buffed since last edition... but not by much. It Remains 12" assault 2 S3 D1 with a new quirk. Should the enemy get within half range, the weapon becomes str 4 AP 0, hilariously becoming makeshift bolters with assault or shootas. An interesting and fluffy choice.
- Flamer: Now 8" Assault d6 S4 AP0 D1 'auto-hiting' The loss of templates hurt this baby ( Along with our souls. I'll never get over not being able to gleefully cover a bucket of dice worth of crunchy chaff ), but it still does the job. It should probably hit 2d3 instead, because a flamer hitting once just should not happen. Overpriced for it's effectiveness.
- Note that enemies charging from further than 8" ( Definitely doable with decent odds for Orks, Gaunts, Howling Banshees, Etc. ) cannot be hit by a flamer's overwatch, as they are out of range for the flamers when they declare the charge and ONLY weapons that are in range can shoot.
- Also note that the flamer doesn't ignore cover anymore.
- Melta: 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 Dd6 'if at half range roll two for damage and pick the higher of the two for damage'. Being in half range is now not as advantageous. Still a big threat and one of the few weapons that negate 3+ armor entirely. A melta wound in melta range average 4 damage. 8th ed Sister is all about them. Down to 14 points as of Chapter Approved 2018.
- Plasma gun: 24" rapid Fire 1 S7 AP-3 D1, supercharged (S8, D2). Available to the Ministorum Priest only. Remember that until Sisters have their codex, you will use Astra Militarum prices for Priests gear : Plasma guns are 7pts.
- According to the FAQ modifiers apply for the purposes of Gets Hot, so if you find yourself a source of bonuses to-hit you can ignore the above and fire the supercharged version without fear. Conversely, plasma guns are more likely to overheat at night or if your opponent pops smoke launchers.
- Storm Bolter: 24" Rapid Fire 2 S4 AP0 D1, Two points as of the FAQ. Rapid Fire 2 is better than Assault 2 in the overwhelming majority of cases, and as such, the Storm Bolter is now a highly effective discount option. Considering how we can potentially get more shots off than others because of AoF or get into double tap range faster, is a legitimately deadly choice. It's still two bolter strapped together, so don't expect too much either.
Some math on stormbolters vs flamers :
A standard nun with bolter cost 9 pts. She will on average hit 2/3 of the time when firing it.
- Above 12" average at 0.66 hits, you pay 13.5 pts per S4 hit.
- Under 12" average at 1.33 hits, you pay 6.75 pts per S4 hit.
A sister with a storm bolter cost 11 pts.
- Above 12" average at 1.33 hits, you pay 8.25 pts per S4 hit.
- Under 12" average at 2.66 hits, you pay 4.125 pts per S4 hit.
A sister with a flamer cost 18 pts.
- Under 8" average at 3.5 hits, you pay 5.14 pts per S4 hit.
Flamers are less cost-effective than stormbolter, at all ranges. They barely average one more hit when in range, meaning if you can shoot a stormbolter once when you couldn't have shot your flamer, it was a better choice. A flamer should only be ever considered if you have 7 points laying around, and even then a Hunter Killer is a better investment. A boltgun sister + a stormbolter sister is only 2 points more expensive, deliver more pain at all range, is tougher, and only VERY slightly lose on cost effectiveness under 8", averaging at 5.44 pts per S4 hit.
The ONLY part were flamers are worthwhile over moar dakka is for firing overwatch, and even then they are not reliable as they simply can't fire when charged for more than 8" away.
Park your flamers. Bring more dakka.
- Heavy Bolter: 36" Heavy 3 S5 AP-1 D1 Acceptable dakka for the cost. Your default weapons for retributors.
- Heavy Flamer: 8" Heavy d6 S5 D1 'auto-hitting'. Despite being much stronger than it's lighter variants, it's still over costed compared to other options. Can occasionally help deter opponents from charging you inside of 8".
- Note that its a Heavy weapon now, no longer an assault weapon. Therefor, you can't advance and shoot these like you can with a normal flamer.
- Immolation Flamer: Now were talking. A lil' hefty at 35 points, 12" Assault 2D6 S5 Ap-1 D1... everything you love about the Heavy Flamer but better. First off it is an assault weapon instead of Heavy, so you can advance with it without any penalty. Secondly it shoots twice as often (duh). Lastly it gets an extra 4" of range, letting it cook things that charge into it. AUTO TAKE ON IMMOLATORS !
- Multi-melta: 24" Heavy1 S8 AP-4 Dd6 'if at half range roll two for damage and pick the higher of the two for damage'... For an obscene 22 pts . The Multi-melta doubles the Melta's range and...that's it. For more than 150% the price and becoming Heavy. Over costed.
- Twin Heavy Bolter: Same as the above Hv Bolter, but twice the dakka (Heavy 6) AT LESS THAN TWICE THE PRICE. good value.
- Twin Multi-melta: Diddo. lil' more affordable now at 40 points with Chapter Approved 2018... but still over priced.
- Brazier of the Eternal Flame: This is the "I really hate psykers" Relic. All Sisters units within 6 inches of the bearer Deny the Witch on 2d6 instead of d6. This can create an effective Deny Bubble, making the army a hard not to crack with powers considering our other moves against. Utterly wasted against armies that don't rely or even interact with the system.
- Litanies of Faith: Refund Faith points on a 5+ after each Faith test. Considering how many FP you can get and how weak individual Acts can be, weigh this carefully. Investure in FP generation demands that you use Acts as often as possible and pray to have the most impact. Do you pla on using enough to justify your free relic or a CP spent on a relic being used for it?
- Mantle of Ophilia: Canoness only, gives her a 3++. You don't the baseline to be tanky enough to justify a save like this and a Canoncess is not that expensive. If you ally there is better stuff to take. Might be fun in a small game on an Eviscorcreazy Canoness.
- Book of Saint Lucius: Increase a character's aura range by 3 inches.
- Blade of Admonition: S+2 AP-3 D3, replaces power sword. Literally more than triple your damage output against multi-wound models over a power maul, for the same price. Your default weapon on a Canoness.
- Wrath of the Emperor: Relic bolt pistol. 18', Pistol 3, S5, AP-1, D2. Like most Pistol relics and all of them without a little spice, it doesn't honestly warrant too much thought. The fact it is replacing a free weapon is nice and having three shots at 18 is good, but it competes against our best melee weapon and the Brazier.
- Simulacrum Imperialis: +1 to Faith test. For most units, cannot be taken on a model that swaps its bolter for a special or heavy weapon. If you have 10 points left over this is fine to slap on a melta squad to give them 2+ chance of hitting on a 2+ every turn.
Common keywords are IMPERIUM and ADEPTUS MINISTORUM. Uriah Jacobus and Ministorum Priests have the ASTRA MILITARUM keyword which allows them to interact with Imperial Guard units and transports, along with ASTRA TELEPATHICA psychic powers.
- Uriah Jacobus: As badass as this guy is, he just ain't worth it. You are paying 65 pts over a priest for a +1 LD bubble. Take an inquisitor as ally AND a priest for better performance at everything, cheaper. If he were to get a significant points drop (which is supposed to happen for named characters as a whole in 40k), he'd be a pretty competitive choice, especially for Guard/Sister soup.
- Interesting fact: Uriah's Ld bubble bring Commissar to 9Ld and Lord Commissar to 10Ld.
- Taddeus The Purifier: A bit choppier than a normal priest. In addition to his laspistol, his servo-stubber is considered a pistol weapon, so he can unload in close combat, which is exactly where you want this guy. Like other Uriah Jacobus and vanilla Ministorum Priests, he gives an extra Attack in close combat to both ASTRA MILITARUM and ADEPTUS MINISTORUM units nearby, but unlike them, he lacks the ASTRA MILITARUM keyword, which means that he can't take Guard transports. Chadeus is basically a maulpriest using a pistol3 instead of a Krak grenade (roughly same damage output against most targets). For 11 more points he is HQ instead of elite, making it a better choice than a second canoness if you play pure church.
- Pious Vorne: For 25 points, you get a glass cannon (emphasis on the glass) with a heavy flamer in all but name (that gets to roll an extra D6 for shot counts against CHAOS units and discard the lower result) and a chainsword. As long as you screen her properly (she is a character) you will get a lot of juice from her assault heavy flamer. Not as good as chadeus, but taking her won't makes your army weaker.
- Ministorum Priest: Gives a +1A buff to nearby ASTRA MILITARUM or ADEPTUS MINISTORUM units. Best used where those +1A will make a difference : Hordes of conscripts, Arco-Flagellants (as their D3 attacks come from their weapons and not their statline), Eviscerator Canoness, etc.. Don't bother putting pricey gear on him, save maybe a power maul. Sister superiors will makes a much better use of those same points. Don't forget to use a krak grenade instead of your puny laspistol whenever possible.
- Arco-flagellants: Arco-flagellants are you default CC unit. Access to transport and the possibility to charge from it gave them a much needed buff. These guys will deal decent damage per model to a wide array of threats -especially hordes- while being surprisingly resilient themselves. Load them with a priest in a rhino. If you hesitate between the different CC options of your army, take them.
- Crusaders: For 15 pts (Including wargear), this is one of the best unit in the game at tarpiting elite melee. While they are not better than basic sisters against hordes of conscripts, only 15 pts for a 3++ and a power sword make them the most cost-efficient speed-bump against those high AP multi wounds weapon carried by dedicated elite CC units and walkers. Don't expect them to deal much damage though. While very good in their niche, what they can do is too narrow to be a recommended choice when building your army. If you KNOW that your opponent will bring those deep striking dreadnought and terminators and that you need your gunline protected, you could take them, as bubble wrap behind your heavy weapons. A competitive sister army don't have a gunline to protect, and hence the crusaders points will be wasted.
- They're significantly more useful in Guard/Sister armies, where they also have the ASTRA MILITARUM keyword while keeping the ADEPTUS MINISTORUM one.
- Death Cult Assassins: Glass cannons that can kill everything via death from a thousand cuts. They are your killiest melee choice.
When comparing Repentia, Flagellants, Death Cultists and Crusaders directly, it is worth looking at how they perform against a variety of targets.
Important note: Every model calculation is done for the first turn of combat, factoring in re-rolls and incorporating the various buff from nearby characters auras.
Also, due to the random number of attacks, Arco-Flagellants have been assumed to have four per turn, which is their average. Though this could go higher or lower.
|Repentia vs Death Cult Assassins vs Flagellants vs Crusaders (Expected damage in First Turn)|
|Target||GEQ (T3/5+)||MEQ (T4/3+)||TEQ (T4/2+/5++)||Crisis Suit (T5/3+)||Avatar / Daemon (T6/3+/5++)||Dreadnought (T7/3+)||Land Raider (T8/2+)|
|Repentia||1.667 ( 0.833 failed saves)||0.889 ( 0.444 failed saves)||0.667||0.889||0.667||0.444||0.333|
|Repentia with Mistress OR Priest||2.5 ( 1.25 failed saves)||1.333 ( 0.667 failed saves)||1||1.333||1||0.667||0.5|
|Repentia with Mistress & Priest||3.75 ( 1.875 failed saves)||2 ( 1 failed save)||1.5||2||1.5||1||0.75|
|Death Cult Assassin||2.37||1.185||0.888||0.79||0.79||0.79||0.296|
|Death Cult Assassin & Priest||2.963||1.481||1.11111||0.98||0.98||0.98||0.37|
|Arco-Flagellant & Priest||2.962||1.185||0.59||0.8888||0.592||0.592||0.296|
|Crusader & Priest||1.333||0.74||0.593||0.74||0.296||0.37||0.296|
Death Cult Assassin do extremely well against all kinds of target : Only T8+ target will be safe from their death by a thousand cuts. Very frail though, so you'd better be sure to seriously cripple the enemy on your charge.
Arco-Flagellant are your designated horde killers, and have the potential to deal the greatest amount of wounds (not shown in the table thanks to averaging) against targets with poor saves if they have good rolls while also being cheaper and tougher than death cult assassins.
Crusaders are best used against MEQ and T5 targets or for general tarpiting of anything that use AP negating melee weapons. They have a decent chance to survive more than one round of combat and could reliably pull out an extra round of Melee Act of Faith. However, being S3, they are the unit which will receive the least extra "juice" from a Priest, making this priest less cost effective. A Rhino of 9 of them and a Priest followed by an another Rhino of 10 Death Cult Assassins will take care of all your melee needs.
Repentia will eat whole terminator squads and characters in a single round of combat, but will fall dead as soon as being shot at or riposted against in melee. Like Crusaders they have Acts of Faith, so their output can double if they survive a round of combat, though they are the least likely to do due to their poor saves. Of the units listed here, they are the only ones with the ADEPTA SOROTITAS and <ORDER> keywords so have the greatest number of interactions with other units in the army list. Order Tactics can make them better, the Order of the Bloody Rose is better than adding a Priest or Mistress without actually paying for one. Repentia can get overlapping buffs from both a Priest and Mistress (they each provide the same overall bonus mathematically) making their their performance exceed everything else. However that performance comes at the cost of having to take two extra elite slots and is really only of use against multi-wound targets, since their extra damage does not carry over, all while still being paper frail themselves.
- Penitent Engines: Penitents saw a massive buff, as they are by and large no longer one-shot by heavy weapons, and while they are still weaker than Dreadnoughts in CC, they make their full set of attacks TWICE. That’s 8 attacks at strength 10 each dealing 3 wounds. They also have a 5+ FNP; helpful, yeah? When taking them, go big or go home. Either deploy none or at least four of them.
- Common keywords are IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS MINISTORUM and ADEPTA SORORITAS.
- Celestine: An angelic Living Saint and definitely not the Imperial equivalent of a daemon prince. She started strong in 8th, being one of the most cost efficient model one could field on the table, but nerfs after nerf made her a glorified jumppack canoness. Her 6 wound makes her vulnerable to a lucky smite or D6 damage weapon, as well as being a multiple of D2/D3 weapons that are everywhere now. She can only move 12" per turn, preventing her from tying enemies in melee T1 and making sisters armies as a whole much more vulnerables. You can't play super aggressive with her anymore, and she should now hide behind your tanks before going in for the kill. Still she is usefull for a counter charge. And she still gives +1 on AoF saves. That said you can have a full rank of 4++ sisters (5++ from the warlordtrait +1 from Celestine). Sounds good for Repentia at first, but you need to throw a lot of points into it. Still, sounds fun to have a 4++ Repentia blob.
- Canoness: Big buff for the lady as her cost didn't bulge despite receiving a free upgrade to a 4++ and the customary re-roll 1s for <Order> units (Yes, the Adeptus Ministorum gets bitch slapped in its own codex. Get used to this lack of internal synergy, it's the signature of this codex). 2+ WS and BS (With re-rollable 1's) along with 5 attacks does make the Canoness a pretty good weapon platform, though she doesn't nearly have the statline to follow, especially for CQC. She's now mostly a gunline buffer with the option of getting in and smashing some heads if need be. Of note is the fact that fairly poor organising of her weapon options makes it so you can trade her bolt pistol with a boltgun, exchange her chainsword for another (Or a combi-weapon/storm bolter) and fire both during the Shooting phase, which makes her kinda like a big sister to a Seraphim so it can be surprisingly thematic.
- Possible goood loadouts: Combi-Plasma/Power Maul or Inferno Pistol/Blade of Admonition with a priest nearby.
- Canoness Veridyan: Sadly, she is lost at the moment. and only a normal Canoness - with an awesome Model - but the hope is not dead yet.
- Battle Sister Squad: Consisting of 5-15 girls, Battle Sister Squads form the backbone of any good Ministorum army. They're tough, affordable, and deadly. Generally speaking, you'll want 5-10 Battle Sisters in a transport to capture and hold objectives. The number of special/heavy weapons you get doesn't scale with the size of the unit, so you're usually better off with multiple smaller squads than one big one.
- A squad of five with 3 storm bolter is 51 points. Useful for cost effective objective secured units.
- 8th ed is all about mobility, tons of cheap wound (hordes) or very high tougness/inv save. While being on paper one of the most cost efficient troops of the game at killing stuff, footslogging basic sisters squads have none of the aforementioned desirable traits that actually matters for winning games.
- 2x squads of 5x sisters 3x storm bolters in a Repressor with additional Storm Bolter clocks in at 194 pts and can reliably deliver 32 BS3+ Storm bolter shot per turn + some heavy flamer roasting. That's 12 GEQ killed per turn. The repressor will need to be destroyed before the sisters inside are vulnerable, making those 200pts a good, sturdy, mobile answer against hordes (while only dropping one unit in deployement). There are more cost efficient allies for this role (Taurox prime), but this setup is a start.
- Geminae Superia: Celestine's bodyguards. They used to be part of the same unit, and now for some unknown reason (maybe wound allocation that was too complicated ?) they are run separately. Though they are clearly still supposed to be used alongside Celestine, because she completely restores a Geminae model each turn if the unit is within 3" of her, and increases their SoF save by +2 within 6" of her. Though if they they are completely slain then they stay dead. They went from overcosted to good to their current useless iteration as they don't guarantee "look out lady" tests anymore, you are paying more than 40pts for a bunch of S3 attacks. Avoid.
- Celestian Squad: They are like normal Battle Sisters gearwise, but have 1 better WS, A, and Ld. What really separates them is their Bodyguard rule, where on a 2+ they intercept wounds taken by an <Order> Character model. They will be outrun by Celestine, and Canoness aren't precious enough to warrant bodyguards. Otherwise their weapon choices are the same as normal Bolter-babes. In terms of function, don't think that extra attack and WS will really help them in close combat, as they aren't kitted out for that job, though giving the Celestian Superior a good melee weapon will serve you better than regular squads. They have exactly the same ranged output as a squad of regular battle sisters for increased cost, and are only marginally more effective in close combat, where they'd rather not be. Moreover, Basic Sisters have Objective secured. Avoid taking Celestians. Even with bloody rose they are just bad.
- Hospitaller: For the low cost of two Dialogi, a Hospitaller can resurrect a friendly ADEPTA SORORITAS INFANTRY model or heal d3 wounds per turn, both on a 4+. She lacks an <Order>, which turns off several synergies, like taking her in a Repressor or letting Celestians protect her, although her healing will stack with AoF healing. Worthwhile maybe if you really want to keep units up and alive, but doubtful she will make her points back.
- Dialogus: +1 LD and reroll AoF 6" aura.
- 'Chapter Approved Consideration' 15 points per Martyrdom is very strong. And luckily for us, her terrible statline is purpose-built to die. Bring a few to fill out Elite slots (in Brigades, or Vanguard detachments) and to generate additional FP upon death
- Mistress of Repentance: Following 8th ed not wanting mixed-saves units, she is now a character, but don't be fooled, she still only belongs with the Repentia (to the point that the Repentias still have maximum squad size 9 to accommodate her). For 38 pts, friendly <Order> Repentia units within 6" re-roll Advance, charge, and hit rolls. Again, in typical fashion of 8th ed Sisters, very poor internal synergy, as she will not benefit from repentia AoF or fight in melee in the same phase as them.
- Repentia Squad: As noted above, their "Penitent Eviscerator" are only AP-2 where as 'regular' Eviscerators are AP-4. So, for 17 points you get a S3 T3 W1 A2 'Shield of Faith's 6++ as its only save' model that's armed with a weapon that got nerfed... (horrible way to start them off in 8th ed.) the points is subject to change with the upcoming codex. Other changes from 7th ed. are that they can use the full range of Acts of Faith now and can even repeat the same act multiple times throughout the course of a game. So they can move an additional +3" (nice), fight twice (VERY nice) or recover dead models (meh). They're still great in melee because, as noted above, they can re-roll failed hits (which they'll need as their Eviscerators hit on 4's) and charge ranges while their Mistress is within 6", but she remember that she does NOT allow them to re-roll failed Shield of Faith saves (Angelic Visage rule is only found on the Mistress). Along with their Mistress, TAKE TRANSPORTS so they don't have to footslog across the battlefield OR ELSE THEIR T3 6++ ARMORED ASS WILL NEVER GET INTO COMBAT. Order of the Bloody Rose's army trait "Quick to Anger" gave them a much need BUFF, +1 to Strength and Attacks. Shove their 'kinky' Mistress, 8 Repentia and a Priest (like Taddeus The Purifier) in a Rhino and you'll have a unit that can easily swing 32 times an activation with S8 Eviscerators! Twice even in the same turn if you're... heh heh, PASSIONATE about it. (AoF joke)
- See the table in the section above for un-typed Repentia performances vs Crusaders, DCA and Arco-Flagellants.
- Beta <Order> abilities are coming in the 2018 Chapter Approved and have the potential to make Repentia significantly better, being the only melee unit part of an order and not just generic church.
- Sororitas Rhino: Good old rhino that can transport 10 ADEPTUS MINISTORUM infantry units, so this goes for your Sisters of Battle as well as any Ecclesiarchy units that you might have taken, which is probably a good thing seeing as the old melee-only Conclave units really need a tranport to ferry them across the field and assault from. With the Shield of Faith to distinguish yourself from every other Rhino in the Imperium, never forget you can at least try to deny a WS5 smite and never forget that 6++ you've got.
- Immolator: This thing is one of the best transports in the game. It has the now decent durability of a Rhino, a transport cap of 6 and its turret is now a terror. It can be equipped with the classic dual linked multi-melta and heavy bolter, vomiting out lots of shots. Or it can be equipped with an Immolation Flamer that auto hits 2d6 times at 12" range, out ranging just about all other flamer competition. In comparison: The Twin Heavy Bolter is cheap. But if you just want a transport, bring a Rhino. The Immolation Flamer is more expensive. But its Assault 2d6, meaning you can advance and fire it, Auto-hitting. With Dominions your Immolator will be nearly Doomrider level of Cocaine Speed, while still burning heretics. If this does not make you wet, please find a Commissar. The over costed Twin Multimeltas suffer from the Immolator not being immune to movement penalty for firing heavy weapons, and hence should be avoided. The Immolator is not good because it is a glorified Rhino, but because of its very large threat range; in fact, it would be the best Ministorum transport if not for...
- Repressor (Forge World): It is a Rhino on crack. Has 6 firing ports, which is a rarity now. Has the option to give it a second heavy flamer or a second storm bolter. Either take none or the storm bolter. The fire power of the Repressor is coming from the embarked squad anyway. If you want to grill stuff, take an Immolator instead. This vehicle is, with dominions, what makes the SoB a decent army in 8th ed, allowing you to release your holy fire without having to expose to enemy fire your frail T3 dudettes. 20pts more since CA, making it best reserved for melta dominions only.
- Neat trick, usable by any transport but even more so repressors : If your vehicle have not advanced in the previous movement phase, it can charge. Useful for either absorbing overwatch (Rhino of repentia/arc-flag/DCA) or simply tie up in CC an enemy shooty unit. With a 24"+D6" move followed by a 2D6" charge, repressors makes great "fuck your shooting" rams. Moreover...
- Firing ports work so that embarked squads can fire even if the repressor is engaged in combat/have retreated this turn.
- Forge World doesn't make a Repressor model anymore, so if you want one you have to convert/order from a communist country with no real IP protections enforcement.
- Avenger Strike Fighter (Forge World): Is no longer an Adeptus Sororitas tagged unit; it is Imperium, Guard, and Aeronautica. Sad day. The Avenger is still a good choice for any list that does not expect Battle Sisters to have any air support. The Avenger Bolter can still drop a load of BRRT on just about anything. 8 shots at strenght 6 and -AP 2 is nothing to scoff at. What you really want to do is load it up Missile Launchers for a versatile unit that can table almost any vehicle you point it at. Autocannons are decent, but they lack the utility of having both Frag and Krak missiles. One use 'Tactical Bombs' are a load of troll against vehicles and Monstrous Creatures. Because of the latest FAQ, we can no longer include the Avenger in our detachments; Either get a fully-fledged IG detachment, get 3 of them in an Air Wing Detachment, lose 1 CP for an Auxiliary Support Detachment, or f#ck you.
- Dominion Squad: These ladies are their good old badass-selves with even more. Their new scout rule lets them move up to 6+D6", or 12+D6" if they are in a transport, before the game begins. And they can make it a potentially 24+2D6" mobility zone at turn one when embarked in a repressor. Storm bolter/Flamer on them is a waste of points. If you want to kill hordes, basic sisters, Arco-Flagellants or allies are better at it. 5 dominions, 4 meltas and a combi melta in a repressor with extra storm bolter is 259 points. For 2000 points games, taking three of those is the strict minimum in the current meta. (Thanks to the Big FAQ 1, three is now your limit.)
- If you can't run Repressors, stick them in an immolator instead. They will play very differently though, being exposed to counter-fire.
- If you are awash with points, consider dropping an extra 10 for a 6th Dominion to serve as Grenadier. That Krak grenade might finish that Leman Russ off, and the 6th firing port needs to be used somehow!
- Seraphim Squad: An optimal way to run them is several 5 girl squads with a plasma pistol on the superior and inferno pistols on two dudettes. Such units cost a meager 98 pts and are able to deliver 5 WS3+ S8 AP-4 multiple wound shots + 3 bolt shots and a krack every shooting phase. This is dominion level of pain. Make them start the game with an AOF move (Imagifier, Celestine...) and they will cover 24", which is often enough to get the target in the 3" melta range of their guns on the first turn. You can then charge an enemy shooty unit to tarpit them for their next turn. Avoid dedicated CC unit as they will get chopped. Feel free to add more models if you have the spare points, but an extra unit of them is better than a bigger unit of them. Best synergy with them would be to run them near Celestine, acting as a screen, using her free AoF and enjoying the rerollable 5++ (which roughly amount to a 4++).
- Sadly, they have no option to take Rapid Fire (or Assault) weapons, which is where jump packs usually really shine. Inferno pistols would be out of range if you deepstrike.
- Do not hesitate to take bigger squads. 4 hypermobile melta shot will attracts a lot of volume of fire, and 11pts is cheap.
- The Strategem that was revealed changes some of this, or at least opens up alternative options. Being able to get within bolt pistol range via DS and popping off twice in a turn means a larger unit with a lot of bolt pistols can potentially be very damaging to enemy infantry. Combine that with Hand Flamers (normally a poor option) having 12' range during the initial, Strategem given shooting attack, and you have a wide range of options.
- Exorcist: An Exorcist will average 2 slain models per turn against any infantry (GEQ, MEQ, TEQ), and 5-6 wounds per turn against rhinos. Not as unplayable as before, but by the time they will have killed their target, your whole sister army would have been shot dead. One way to play them is a pack of 3 of them with fully mechanized sisters, and they will hopefully distract some of the AT fire toward them.
- Retributor Squad: Your cheaper heavy support options. Multi-Melta are completely overcosted compared to dominions with melta, Heavy Flamers will struggle to get in range AND are overcosted : always take Heavy Bolters. They are the only unit that will love staying immobile in the back and shoot at stuff, and hence will feel cozy if you put a Plasma-Canonness and an Imagifier nearby. Cheapest way to spam BS 3+ heavy bolters in the game.
- Castling up with 4 heavy bolters and gaining a 2+ in cover for only 85 points is pretty sweet! They are T3, but they can hug cover as the rest of your army moves around and does the real damage. Because of this your opponent will either take multiple rounds of BS3+ hb shots, or focus far more heavy firepower than such a cheap unit would normally require to destroy. Altogether a good unit that does a great job of complicating and harassing your opponents plans
Tactics and Strategy
Considerations on the meta
The meta is a consequence of both the core rules and the various index/codex released.
- 8th ed is over 1 year old now, and many things have changed with the release
- Vehicles are sturdy in 8th ed, meaning getting in a transport is a safe way to move around.
- The changes to AP and wound rolls mean there are two ways to make a durable unit in 8th ed: you either take more wounds than the enemy has shots (Hordes) or you have disgustingly good toughness and saves (rerollable saves, T8 or better, and/or a Sv of at least 4++). Anything that is low wound (Non-MONSTER infantry) and moderately protected (3+) is bad. This is the main reason "balanced" armies are rarely seen in tournaments this edition.
- The aforementioned balance consequence of making good inv and toughness much more valuable than previous editions combined with codexes deliberately making expensive models overpowered and undercosted have made Knight-class and Primarch-class models very strong.
- Since the smite nerf, psy is not as oppressive as before but some armies (Abbi cultists + Arhiman and it's winged DP court) make a very strong use of it.
- The Knight codex allows Imperium and Chaos armies to field a ridiculous number of T8 20+ wounds models, along with a CP battery or even more disgustingly high T units.
- Since the advent of the Rule of Three for organized play, Tyranid/Eldar armies spamming -1 to-hit abilities are less widespread, but still very strong.
As a Sister Player, what you have to get from it is that your army need to be able to deal with 4 threats :
- High wound number, high save, high toughness models.
- Characters surrounded by bubble wrap.
- Hordes of 4pts/model GEQ.
- -1 to hit malus on elite armies
This mean :
- Meltas, meltas, meltas. A melta gun shooting at a knight do 1W on average. This mean your army NEED to be north of 20 meltas to handle knights reliably.
- No "Blobs" for your sisters as hordes will tarpit them, you won't have the mobility to capture objectives/target characters, and good quality infantry armies are overall not opportunity efficient this edition. Blobs are strong in a casual environment only.
- Being shot at as little as possible. T3 low model count = no staying power on the table. This mean either be in a transport or having shot everything visible dead.
- Have some highly mobile flamers. Coincidence, most of our vehicles have some.
- Celestine and Seraphims for that sweet flying 24" move and choppy/Melta firepower.
This leads to a fully mechanized alpha-strike force with only seraphims and their 12" movement not embarked in a transport or a bunker as the "meta" army for Sisters.
The most important rule to follow with Command points is to remember to use them, they can be a massive boon to sisters who have a couple of very useful strategems to play with. A more in-depth look will follow as games are played.
Your best two units are both fast attack choices. To field them, an outrider detachment is perfect.
- Fill the HQ with Celestine and 1-2 of her Germinae.
- Dominions are at their best full of meltas and in a Repressor equipped with an extra Storm-Bolter (259pts).
- Seraphims are most optimal with a Plasma Pistol on the superior and two pair of Inferno Pistols (98 pts). If you are spamming them, you can go for bigger squads for ablative wounds.
- In a typical 2000 pts game, try to pick at least 3 Dominions squads and 1 Seraphim squad. (This will net you 19 Melta shot, which is the strict minimum for a competitive Soritas army).
With that core, we have a highly mobile force able to deal a frightening amount of multi-wound shot. We, however, still lack units to capture objectives, don't have an answer to hordes or a dedicated CC unit. Now you have to take choice : Will you pick allies or not ? The outrider detachment above capitalize on the strengths of the sisters, and the rest of the pure sister army is simply less good than allies at doing what it does.
Assuming you went pure sister, a Battalion choice will allow us to grab 5 CP:
- For HQ, unless going for allies, you don't really have a choice. Either kit your Canonesses for CC (Inferno Pistol and Evicerator) or Dakka (Combi Plasma and Power maul). Obviously, don't take a CC Canoness if you don't have a dedicated CC unit and it's priest to run along with her.
- Your standard "objective secured" brick is a 5 sister squad with 3 storm bolter in a Flamer Immolator (154 pts).
- Of course, be creative : Two 5-dudette squad in a Repressor, simili-dominions with 3 meltas, etc...
- With the spare points, you have several choices, that will depend on your local meta and the expected game objectives.
- A dedicated melee unit. Load them with a Canonness that will soak overwatch.
- Some Retributors and an Imagifier.
- A bunch of penitent engines.
First, let's be clear on one thing : Sisters are much better taken with allies or as allies than as a unified force. Celestine and a single squad of seraphim can capitalize fully on exploiting the flat effectiveness of the Act of Faith rule. With that being said, let's focus on Adeptus Ministorum as the main force:
Sisters have many strengths as a main force:
- Excellent MSU capabilities
- Top tier transport options
- Extemely high speed
- Very powerful alpha strike
- Above average anti-horde options(Stormbolters/HB Rets/ImmoFlamer aren't the best in the game but plenty of other armies would kill for this much)
- Devastating close range firepower
- Anti-meta army setup: Sisters don't deepstrike, they leap across the board at you, which is a rare avenue for a shooting army and is not subject to the same types of area denial deepstrikers are. They also neither have nor need chaff units so if your opponents spent a significant wack of points to be able to clear things like termagaunts or guardians effectively, they'll be wasted here. Finally, if you have HB Rets you can punch holes in a chaff line BEFORE the movement phase, which can be huge.
Sister sadly also have many flaws :
- Low body count.
- No decent long range options.
- No psykers.
- No mortal wounds dealing.
- The more you take of them, the less cost efficient they are.
- High attrition rate. Don't expect to win a 7 round slug-fest, purge them quick and clean.
Allies can fix all of these. Reworked in Aug 2018, as CA, the Big Faq and knights shifted the meta quite a bit.
A note on allies and army designs : When adding allies or simply creating your army, it's important to consider target saturation. An army full of anti-tank guns can't kill hordes, and an army full of low str dakka will have the same issues against high toughness multi wound high save targets. This mean that the firepower of most balanced armies is somewhere in between : able to take on a few tanks while still being able to kill some infantry, but great at neither. This mean that ideally your firepower need to be mixed (to deal with both kind of targets) while your models need to be of the same kind. EG : A horde of guardsmen with both mortar and canons and a fully mechanized spearhead will both beat a mixed army of the two : each of your gun will have a good value target, while the mixed army will lack either Anti-horde dakka or Anti tank firepower.
Imperial Guard: Between Celestine's 6++ aura that applies to Astra Militarum Infantry and the fact that the Guard also have access to Priests and Crusaders, it's pretty clear that GW intended for the two factions to mesh together, and they do so really well. It's also pretty fluff-friendly, as Sisters fight alongside Guard a hell of a lot more than they fight alongside Marines. Guardsmen are very cheap and points-efficient. The standard guard CP battery with mortars, Celestine and 3 squads of melta seraphims create a very strong and balanced core for any imperial army, and is also how sister appeared in post spring FAQ tournaments.
Inquisition: You can field them in a vanguard detachement along your sisters. Coteaz for psychic dakka, Greyfax for psychic defenses. Nameless Inquisitors makes for decent psykers to load in your Immolators along with your battle sisters. Give them a meltagun or simply let them throw grenades. Acolytes are not very good save for their bodyguard rule because sisters are already a high special weapon count army. Moreover, an extra sister in your squad is better than an acolyte if you want to fill transports, as an extra dominion can throw a grenade from the repressor. If the acolyte don't have the right ordo, a basic sob is much more cost effective in killyness. Before the FAQ they were very worth it. Now, it's a pass.
Space Marine: Vanilla space marines are a power armor army that can't really do anything better than other power armors army. Pass.
Dark Angels Same weaknesses as the sisters. Avoid.
Blood Angel +1 to wound is retarted strong. One of the top 10 list at LVO 2018 was a soup fielding Celestine, 5 9 girl squads of inferno seraphims, A blood angel detachment full of death company and their jetpack/hammer captains, + some IG chaff. Expect a nerf in the next chapter approved. In the meantime, enjoy having a full army that move 12" a turn minimum. Very strong addition.
Custodes The bikes are great. They are basically squad versions of Celestine. Everything they have is as hard as rocks and can annihilate their targets in close combat, shoring up one of your most critical weaknesses. However, they don't bring many models to the table and if you're working with a small footprint they will only make it worse. Still one of the best addition.
Assassins: Culexus is a good anti psyker in an army that have no reliable answers to them, Eversor against hordes. The callidus is great against many codex armies, as they will try to use their stratagems on the first turn. Moreover, her special "polymorephine" deep strike can allow her to avoid chaff more easily, and maybe even tie those god-annoying dark reapers in combat. A trio of assassin is an okay addition to any Imperial Soup.
Adeptus Mechanicus: While most AdMech choices (however few there are)do little to really help your Sisters, Kastellan Robots with Phosphor Blasters and Onager Dunecrawlers with Icarus Arrays or Neutron Lasers will basically fill out all your ranged heavy support needs. Kataphron Destroyers are also great for long-range plasma shooting. Overall good firepower but low target saturation synergy with SoB.
Knights While the typical sister allied detachment is Celestine and her Seraphims, Knights bring CP-hungry high toughness models that work wells with a mechanized sister army, having your opponent to chose with either dealing with the knights or letting the dominions and immolators burn his army. Plus the Warglaive, with its D3 Range 30' Melta and Eviscerator-like CC weapon, is basically a Sisters model in all but keyword.
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 10 girl packs with the upgrades sold separately, they're made of Emperor damned pewter and they all cost WAY too much. To build a single ten Sister squad is 50 quid(80 real dollars), not counting any special or heavy weapons you want to add (you get one meltagun and one storm bolter). 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:
Buy Used Models
- 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.
- In general, the best option is to use Sisters of Silence Bodies and weapons with Skitarii Vanguard Helmets. It's not perfect, but it's simple, and gets the job done.
- To create a Sanctorum-pattern Exorcist, you can combine a Whirlwind with Forge Worlds Adepta Sororitas Rhino Doors.
- You can combine bodies from the
Dark EldarDrukhari with Space Marine arms and weapons, though they will look a bit oversized on Eldar bodies.
- If you're down with using Age of Sigmar models, you can also use Daughters of Khaine and some of the female Wanderers to come up with some awesome looking models. Scratch some of the spikes and emblems off their armor, use Freeguild Handgunners rifles and arms to give them a steampunk look and you got yourself some cool fuckin' models. Think Sisters of Silence, but without the armor that covers half their face.
- Drukharii and Daughters of Khaine models make for excellent Death Cult Assassins, with minimal conversion work required.
- 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 armor) 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.
- If you need some quality female heads for the classic "I left my helmet in the sacristy" look, Statuesque Miniatures makes some good heroic-scale female heads.
- For Seraphim meltaguns, you can order bits online from Shapeways as not everyone is friends with a Blood Angels player with a dozen unused melta pistols lying around.
- Anvil Industry is currently Kickstarting (and breezed past their $21k goal in just one day) a whole new range of multi-part Sisters models called the Daughters of the Burning Rose, modeled on medieval knights. They look awesome, are intelligently designed (no boob plates!), could work as either Sisters of Silence or Sisters of Battle, and are due for early release to backers this October.
- Grishnak does sister models. The good news is that they're actual sister models, basically what GW would do if they made plastic sisters, and each model comes with a bare head and a head crowned by the glorious Sabbat Pattern Helmet. The bad news is, they're pretty expensive, at roughly 30 dollars for 5 ( Basically as much as GW ones, including the delivery from Russia, the land of IP-infringement-lawsuit-immunity ), and, at least for now, they only have 5 models ( Again, each gets 2 heads, and the sister-superior has options for combi-weapons, but that's it ), so you'll need some conversion ( Though, not being metal, it'll be easier than with the pewter ones ) to make what you want of it, or simply avoid your squads looking like a bunch of twins or triplets.
- Raging Heroes' Sisters of Eternal Mercy. They've got the "warrior nuns in power armor" aesthetic, and the models are high-quality as well. Current Army Deals The main downsides are that they don't have any vehicles and the range is currently rather limited.
You won't be able to play them at a tournamentITC 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.
- Wargame Exclusive also makes some decent not-Sisters models, though, like Raging Heroes, their range is pretty limited.
- The Age of Sigmar Shadowblade Assassin is perfect for a male Death Cult Assassin. The Daughters of Khaine Witch Elves make an interesting base for a female alternate model.
- Warmachine models are also worth checking out. 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. Menoth Temple Flameguard work really well as Crusaders if you have some extra power sword arms lying around.
- In addition to the above, if you are willing to sacrifice detail, game quality sisters can be found at affordable models can be found at Foxbox which has quite an extensive range. While they are not recommended for painting competitions or high quality centerpieces they are more than adequate for gaming on smaller budget.
- You can easily find flamers, bolter and storm bolter sisters on ebay. (Even the metal one are often from recasters). The issue is with their other gear options. Some online shops provide conversion kits. Here is a Simulacrum imperialis (Put on top of a backpack) and a Bolter to Melta conversion kit. This should cover your Dominion's needs.
- Don't worry about Repentias, you'll find PLENTY of models for them. Like we said, most sculptors like making scantily clad ladies
- Finally, 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. Shipping is sometimes free, but invariably it takes about a month from your order until it arrives, even longer if you hit a Chinese holiday. And of course, there's always a chance that the models you get can be of questionable quality.
- 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. (Speaking of 3D printing, new files are being released every few days on thingiverse for Sisters proxies)
- For those without a printer, a shapeways store is offering fairly dynamic sisters at $10.00 to $15.00 a pop. Current range is fairly limited but might be worth keeping an eye on.
Wait until 2019
- It was dropped recently that GW is working on new line of Plastic Sisters. Of course they aren't expected to drop until at least 2019.
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