Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Adeptus Ministorum(8E)

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Sisters of Battle in all but name, the Adeptus Ministorum, albeit a fluffy name, brings nothing new to the table as far as units go. What it does bring is however a fair share of changes ( Both because of 8th Ed' and because the Act of Faith system was reworked ).

Why Play Adeptus Ministorum[edit]

Your rulebook

This article is a work in progress, so feel free to contribute!

The Adeptus Ministorum AKA Sisters of Battle consist 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, this is the first codex where they have strong internal balance and are surprisingly capable, even against armies with more diverse portfolios.

Why play Sisters of Battle?[edit]

Because glorious warrior nuns in power armour are glorious, of course! There probably hasn't been many people who played the sisters (No, don't strike, it was actually the Adepta Sororitas at the time!) in 7th ed for any reason other than the fluff ; They were a weak army in almost every respect, and allying with them was more cumbersome and not that interesting to begin with. But this edition they've been buffed, though probably not a top army, but they do make for fairly fantastic allies; A single squad of bolter babes (nuns with guns, if you prefer) is possibly one of the most interesting dip you can do in another army's codex. Want to know why? Follow us to glory, for the Emperor!

Special Rules[edit]

<Order> : Look I'll make this simple: This is useless. All your units will be from the same order, for the simple reason that we don't have any special character or rule tied to that keyword. Could hint at some in the codex, though it could also simply be GW giving us the same thing as <Chapter> and <Regiment> in pity.

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). It has lost much of its value because AP becoming modifiers instead of flat-out ignoring armour has made it so 3+ has much lower chances of having to fall back on a 6++ invuln, though it's always a nice thing to have, especially for vehicles who can fairly easily be stripped of their armour.

Zealot: Only applies to Arco-flagellants, Crusaders, Death Cult Assassins, Priests, and Penitent Engines. Allows you to re-roll all failed hit rolls in the first round of each close combat they get engaged in.

Acts of Faith[edit]

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 your movement phase, but with a limited number of AoF per turn for your whole army, which you can increase mainly through paying - unlike in 7th when you could unleash the fury of the Emperor, expending all your AoF in one turn. Here's the list:

  • Hand of the Emperor: The unit immediately moves as if in the movement phase. Very powerful, as it can effectively make your units go at transport speed without a transport. Get those Bolters Flamers and Meltas in there.
  • Divine Guidance: The unit immediately shoots as if in the shooting phase. And yes, before you ask, heavy weapons consider the preceding movement phase, meaning they'll get the penalty if you moved last turn. Is, again, very good, though it can be impractical in many cases as AoF are performed at the start of your turn, before moving, meaning you'd be hard pressed to get a nasty shooting on your opponent thanks to this, because few will willingly stay in melta/rapid fire range, unless *they* just rapid fired at you, or are trying to close to melee. Heavy weapons like this obviously.
  • The Passion: The unit immediately fights as if in the fighting phase. This is only debatable good, because most of your units either don't want to get into melee or do but are glass cannons (And would have needed to either having been charged last turn, or to have charged 2 rounds of combat ago, to use this ; Usually, fights under these conditions won't leave you many models to use this with). It will probably see the most use with Crusaders or Celestians hiding a power maul.
  • Spirit of the Martyr: The unit immediately heals as if in the healing phase regains a model or gives back D3 wounds to a wounded model. Probably not the best use of an AoF, especially since, if you're not in range to fire or fight, you'll probably want to move instead; But if you don't (Because your ensuing movement phase will be enough to bring you where you want to be, for example), who doesn't like regaining wounds to sacrifice in martyrdom to the God-Emperor.

Now of course comes the question: What do I have to pay for all this? Well, you get a free AoF on a 2+ every turn; This is what makes a single unit of the Adepta Sororitas a great ally, because said unit will almost always get an AoF for itself every turn, giving an otherwise average unit the ability to move, shoot, or fight twice a turn, or spontaneously grow back bolters.

More AoF? Well, this is starting to hurt. You can get a free AoF for an Adepta Sororitas unit within 6" of Saint Celestine every turn - which isn't a bad idea by any means - but any more will make you shell out 40 pts/2 PL for an Imagifier, a bolter babe with 4W, 3A, WS3+ but mainly the ability to make an <Order> unit within 6" perform an AoF on a 4+ every turn. It is still fairly powerful, if unreliable (But Command Points could offset that somewhat). It should be noted that while the free AoF you get on a 2+ does require the Acts of Faith ability, However, as of the FAQ, they all require the Act of Faith ability.

Acts of Faith are overall very good, though because only the first AoF is free, the bigger your army, the more expensive the AoF are; As said before, they also make a single unit of SoB in another faction's army an extremely powerful addition, as that unit will effectively be able to have 2 instances of a phase of its choosing very nearly each turn (On a 2+).

Armoury[edit]

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Arco flails: S+1, AP0, D1, and a peculiar rule that says: When you make an attack with this weapon, roll D3 dice instead of 1. In effect, granting D3 to hit rolls for every attack made with this weapon.
  • 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.
  • Chirurgeon's tool: AP - 1
  • Death Cult Power blades: AP -2, but hits like a power axe with the assassins' S4
  • Dialogus staff: +1 strength but -1 on the to hit roll
  • Eviscerator: This heavy chainsword is a two-handed monster: Sx2, AP-4, D3 damage, -1 to hit.
    • Penitent Eviscerator: Not wanting to give the slightly heretical Repentia something that powerful they get an AP -2 version instead, it's also fixed at Damage 2 so while it matches the average of D3 damage there is less randomness about it. Not bad considering it's free.
  • Neural Whips: AP-2, granting +1 on the to wound roll if their leadership is less than 8 (ignoring vehicles), Not bad but probably not all that useful
  • Penitent Buzz blades: Typical Dread style weapon, Sx2, AP-3, 3 DMG
  • Power Weapons: Each type of Power Weapon has its own profile now, so pick the right one for the situation. All Power Weapons have a damage value of 1:
    • Power Sword: Not the best option when put next to the Maul, as we direly lack Strength for melee and in that regard, AP only begs to be countered by a good invulnerable save or poor armour to begin with.
    • 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. And if the opponent has a good invulnerable save or a bad armour one, it won't hurt AP-1 too much.
    • Power Axe: As explained in the Maul entry, to us, Strength is very precious, which makes the maul very attractive. The most versatile choice, slightly edging out the maul. People often say the one point difference makes it 25% more expensive, but it's the cost of the unit you should be looking at, not the weapon. So what's 71 to 70 or 141 to 140?

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Autogun: Available to Priests. A lasgun by another name, the Autogun is still piss-poor, 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: It's a bolter pistol. Like other pistols, it has a 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. 12" S4 DMG 1.
  • Boltgun: You know what a bolter is. S4 AP-0 Dmg 1 24" Rapid Fire 1. 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 armour-piercing rounds.
  • Combi-Weapon: Now infinite use, can be fired independently of the bolter or at the same time. Firing both the bolter and the special weapon causes a -1 to hit. Special mention to Combi-flamers, since the flamer part auto-hits.
  • Condemnor Boltgun: Now not a single use Combi-weapon anymore. For 1 point you get a Bolter which does d3 against Psykers.
    • This is essentially giving you a free shot, depending on the range. And they are a god send in evening out that pesky 1-9 point gap. Slap em on a superior and blast those pesky witches away.
  • Hand Flamer Little dinky flamers that only throw out D3 hits at S3, somewhat useful in melee against horde armies.
  • Inferno Pistol: Baby-Melter with 6" - Also remember, you can fire this Baby-Melter in, into, and retreating from Close Combat.
  • Laspistol: Available to Priests. Like the Autogun, it's not a huge threat by itself, but it's cheap.
  • Plasma Pistol: Fairly effective against MEQs when fired normally, and when supercharged it hits harder and deals more damage but kills the user on a roll of 1 to hit.
  • Shotgun: Available to Priests. Buffed since last edition, but not by much. The Shotgun remains an assault 2, 12″ range weapon, however, it does come with a new quirk. Should the enemy get within 6″, the weapon becomes str 4 AP 0, hilariously becoming makeshift bolters with assault or shootas. An interesting and fluffy choice.

Special Weapons[edit]

  • Flamer: 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. It should be noted that until FAQ-ed ( If it isn't intended, that is ) enemies charging from further than 8" ( Which is definitely doable with decent odds for Orks, Gaunts, or Howling Banshees ) cannot be hit by a flamer's overwatch, as you still need range for some reason.
  • Melta: Being in half range is now not as advantageous as before, though it is also more effective from afar, if more expensive than before ( Very slightly ). Still a big threat and one of the only weapons to now negate 3+ armour entirely. There's also the problem that AoF can't be used within transports, which means that Melta mostly won't ever get to shoot twice in a turn against an opponent with good positioning.
  • Plasma gun: Available to the Ministorum Priest: The plasma gun works differently from its earlier incarnations- for a start, it now has two firing profiles, both of which share Rapid Fire 1 and a 24" range. In its normal mode, it's S7 AP-3 1 D so it's basically a flat upgrade from a bolter that does a good job of taking out MEQs and TEQs. In its supercharged mode, it has one extra point of Strength and Damage that lets it one-shot Terminators. But be careful: firing the supercharged mode triggers the new version of Gets Hot!, and this time it just kills a model with no saves on a to hit roll of 1. So only fire the supercharged mode when the boost is worth the risk of killing the user on the spot. Plasma guns are the business now. If you're not sure what to take or want to build a TAC-style list, go with Plasma. It does a little bit of everything, relatively effectively.
  • Storm Bolter: FOUR 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. You can mix these with other weapons in a Dominion Squad if you want to keep it cheap and deadly.

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.

TL;DR
Park your flamers. Bring more dakka.

Heavy Weapons[edit]

  • Heavy Bolter: Strongly buffed by the removal of snap shots, making moving with those an inconvenience at worst. Is also the only heavy weapon to not have had its price increased. You probably won't want to take these on Immolators unless it's carrying heavy bolter Retributors, Rhinos are cheaper and other Immolators can do better.
  • Heavy Flamer: With a slight price hike and a debatable nerf, it's actually fairly hard to justify this over the heavy bolter unless you really think you're gonna get charged (Which you might well if you try to use this weapon, considering its range), as with over 4 times the range, the oversized machine-gun actually barely averages less than half of the heavy flamer's hits when moving, for the same S, AP and D, all for barely more than half the cost. The fact we can fire twice in a single turn does make this absolutely deadly IF the enemy has the balls to charge them AND the horrible luck to fail that charge. It's also decent for Immolators, with their improved range versions, good speed, durability, scaling accuracy, and the fact that it will want to be moving or advancing closer.
  • Multi-melta: For an obscene 27 pts instead of 17, the Multi-melta doubles the Melta's (short) range and...that's it. For nearly double the price, and becoming Heavy. It should, however, be noted that all units having Split Fire and our units almost always being within 24" of the enemy because the lack of longer ranged weapons can turn the multi-melta (which our troop choice can take) into a somewhat practical, albeit expensive, weapon. But considering getting into range involves moving with a heavy weapon, necessitating a transport and leaving yourself open to literally any form of counterattack, OR expecting the enemy vehicles to come within range on their own, this weapon is clearly and obviously overpriced for what it does. But in the absence of las/plasmacannons it can still be worthwhile to take.

Unit Analysis[edit]

Overall a pretty good showing from the Sisters this time around, with several previously bad units (penitents) becoming quite good, and the old good units remaining so.

From a matched play perspective in a list that don't use many allies :

  • OP - Always take one: Celestine
  • Top tier - Spam them: Dominions, Repressor, Inferno Pistol Seraphims.
  • Mid tier/Synergize well - Compensate weaknesses: MSU Basic Sister squads, 4+ Penitent Engine, Priest + Arco Flagellants in Rhino, Combi Plasma + Power Maul Cannonness, Flamer Immolator.
  • Bottom tier - Fluffy: Exorcist, Retributor Squad, Repentia Squad, Mistress of Repentance, Imagifier, Crusaders, Any units with a loadout different than those specified above.
  • Trash tier - Avoid: Uriah Jacobus, Dialogus, Celestian Squad, Hospitaller

Adeptus Ministorum[edit]

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.

HQ[edit]

  • Uriah Jacobus: As badass as this guy is, he just ain't worth it. What he has over a Ministorum Priest is +1 BS and +1 WS, 1 W, 1A, 1Ld. He adds +1Ld to nearby ADEPTUS MINISTORUM and ASTRA MILITARUM units (including himself, which doesn't really help characters) and a fairly decent weapon. Now this does seem like a lot, he clocks in at 100 pts exactly, but this is 65 points over the Ministorum Priest at 35. For reference, for that price, you could take a Priest with a combi-plasma, a Dialogus (Rerolling morale tests isn't as good as +1Ld - though quite nearly - but she's 15 pts), and have 35 pts to spare. If you didn't take the combi-plasma, you could even just take 2 Ministorum priests with 2 boltguns and 2 Dialogus, which would spread the bonuses upon an even bigger number of units, or simply provide much more redundancy.
    • The only way he could be worth it is in an Astra Militarum army, since the Dialogus ability is only for Adepta Sororitas. But then, you could just get a commissar and still end up mostly doing it for cheaper. Commissars got nerfed to hell though so.....

Elite[edit]

  • Arco-flagellants: Now we're talkin', because despite barely losing attack power over the Death Cult Assassins, they have 2W instead of 1 ; Conversely, they are just as tanky as Crusaders against models without Damage 2+ attacks, as their 5++ will let twice as many attacks through than a 3++, but they also have twice as many wounds, yet will pack a lot more punch. For 15 points, M7", 5++, and 2W, backing 2D3 attacks (thanks to the Arco-flails' ability) at S5 AP0. This and the fact they can go up to nine models means you can throw out 18D3 attacks in a single round of combat, or 27D3 attacks when near to a Priest! (you'd think the squad cap was so that a full squad and Ministorum Priest would make ten models, just enough for a Ministorum Rhino!) Granted, they kinda suck against armour, but for 15 pt each for an average of four re-rollable S5 attacks on the charge is nothing to scoff at even when your squad/vehicle has 2+ armour. With two wounds each and a 5+ invulnerable save, nine models plus a Priest for 170 points is a force to be reckoned with.
    • Alternatively, using them as a foot slogging counter-charge unit can work fairly well, as their 7" allows them to move amongst your forces relatively fast while being a good deterrent against enemy charges; It basically announces that if they charge you, they get charged by this in return and pain will be brought; If you know your opponents fancy one or two assault units running into your army, this can put a wrench in their plans.
  • Crusaders: For 15 pts (Including wargear) you get a power sword with two S3 WS3+ attacks, with a re-roll to-hit the first turn of combat, whether they charged or have been charged. They also get Acts of Faith. They also have a 3+ invulnerable save backing T3 and Ld7. Nothing really fancy, especially since they now can't act as living shields for arco-flagellants and death cult assassins, which makes them a fairly efficient melee unit, but that just won't get much done considering its lack of punch. You can make up for that a bit because these are one of the better units to take a priest with. Unlike arco-flagellants you can combine the priest bonus attacks with AoF, to make 6 power sword attacks each in a single turn, or bring one guy back along with his storm shield and 3 power sword swings. And with their decent durability they're very likely to survive long enough to use those Acts of Faith.
    • Alternative Opinion: These guys are great for what you pay for. Any other army would kill to get a Storm Shield and Power Sword for such a low cost. Though they still are feeble human infantry at their core, a Crusader is just as damaging as a Howling Banshee, even more so in the first turn of combat thanks to the Zealot rule. In fact an unsupported squad of Crusaders will kick the crap out of an unsupported squad of Banshees of equivalent cost. Ten Crusaders will actually match a squad of ten Power Fist Terminators, inflicting and losing about three wounds per turn (the Power Fist Terminators actually do less damage to Crusaders thanks to a combination of the reduction in weapon skill and the difference in invulnerable saves, but the Sergeant actually means they get one more attack than the same number of Crusaders, bringing the overall value to near equivalent) yet those Terminators cost a lot more.
  • Death Cult Assassins: 17 pts, but contrarily to Crusaders they do pack a punch, dealing twice the attacks for half the durability. Four Attacks which are re-rollable in the first round of combat, at WS3+ S4 AP-2 (basically an axe to the Crusader's sword) but no Acts of Faith. Not really great despite M7"; They are the choppiest of the Ecclesiarchy Conclave, but also the most expensive and least tanky. Though they need a transport, unless you have other dangerous armoured targets to draw fire, you might want to consider taking fewer than you can fit. A rhino or melta/flamer immolator fully loaded with assassins is an expensive fire magnet that stands a good chance to get wiped out without doing anything.
    • Death Cultists fill a similar niche to Sisters Repentia: Glass Cannons that take up an Elites slot, they are the same cost, both come with low invuln saves, are armed exclusively for close combat, and also have the same AP values. Against T4 Repentia will wound on a 3+, which is a third better than the Assassins, but their accuracy is reduced from the eviscerators meaning they do the same damage against T4 with wounds a multiple of 2, like primaris, terminators or Eldar jetbikes. Assassins will rule killing single wound, dealing double the damage to T4 and even more to T3, and still holding one third more to T5. Assassins also don't mind 3 wound models. Repentia's favourites are T5 and 8-11 with even wounds, where they hold a 50% lead, and T6 where they only deal slightly more. The point where things get weird is against T7 where the Repentias will wound on the same 5+ roll as Assassins, meaning most medium tanks go down a full third faster to assassins with glorified daggers than Repentias with eviscerators, even though light and heavy tanks go down faster to the Repentias.
      • One potential issue between choosing Death Cult versus Repentia is the fact that Repentia can interact with <Order> special rules and can use acts of faith.
  • Ministorum Priest: Still a fairly good force multiplier if you plan to melee, though his usefulness has gone down for most units that have any interest in melee beyond smashing taus or conscripts, as while models with 1A will find the +1A more useful than re-rolling wounds, models with more attacks would have preferred the old version. Has unfortunately lost the Fearless portion of Zealot despite his price increase. Overall probably not the ubiquitous buffer anymore, though Arco-flagellants and Repentia will still gladly accept him into their ranks.
    • Like Uriah Jacobus, they function much better when taken with Guardsmen. Giving 1 additional attack to a 50-man Conscript squad or to a bunch of Ogryns/Bullgryns is actually a really smart move, but that's a topic for the Imperial Guard tactics page, not this one. Consider them if you're running Sisters and Guardsmen together.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • 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, a roll of 4+ allows them to make their full set of attacks TWICE. That’s 8 attacks at strength 10 each dealing 3 wounds. This can really tear squads apart now, but it is still a weaker option than exorcists, especially as they don't get AoF or SoF despite the on foot Penitents, the Repentias, getting both. With the Exorcist being unable to utilise Acts of Faith, the Penitents are a slightly better in-Faction Heavy choice. One shouldn't forget about their Heavy Flamers, which hurts equally in shooting and Overwatch. Just remember, no wall of flaming bacon for you if the charge is more than 8" away.

Adepta Sororitas[edit]

Common keywords are IMPERIUM, ADEPTUS MINISTORUM and ADEPTA SORORITAS.

HQ[edit]

  • 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). 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. Considering her impressive shooting capabilities (Less than 3% chance of missing, which is also her chances of killing herself with a combi-plasma - unless she fires the associated boltgun, in which case she has 1 chance in 9 to kill herself) this isn't a half bad plan.
    • 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.
  • Celestine: An angelic Living Saint and definitely not the Imperial equivalent of a daemon prince, she went up in cost from 7th, though you can now take her without her Geminae Superia if you wish to, only costing 150 points then (each Geminae is 50 pts). She's still a pretty damn good melee fighter, along with an equally good army buffer (Well, mostly for us, adding +1 to Shield of Faith saves, that is, though Astra Militarum units do benefit from a 6++ invuln when within 6" of her). Her ability to automatically make an Adepta Sororitas unit within 6" make an AoF is both an army and personal buff; Moving 24" with that AoF, Celestine has a massive threat range, and with 14 wounds (Keep a Command Point for that rez roll, it's important) along with 2+/4++ and one or two Geminae to take bullets for her, she can fairly easily make it through 2 rounds of fighting with most units to use a second AoF to decimate what is left of her enemies. Of note is the fact that if no Geminae Superia is left when Celestine dies and resurrects (Something which, as of 8th, you can decide will happen), she may deep strike anywhere further than 9" from any enemy units; Use that to your advantage, especially late during the enemy turn, as it effectively allows her to Fall Back without penalty, or even Deep Strike behind enemy lines without much chance to react for your opponent, ready to ruin a crispy unit's day with a guaranteed charge as she'll be able to move at the start of your turn despite just having deep-striked. Consider saving a command point for the times when she dies and you roll a one.
    • Note that you cannot simply field her without her Gemini and Healing Tears them in - Healing Tears only restores slain models, and models absent from your list are not slain. Similar logic applies to trying to buy your Gemini for free with Spirit of the Martyr - it simply won't work.

Troops[edit]

  • 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. Even worse than Guardsmen or Tacticals when it comes to melee ability, but they can fall back and still fire their pistols, which they do just as good as Tacticals for cheaper. Though you usually wouldn't want to do this, you can fire bolters on the charge now. You could for instance, put 5 sisters and 5 assassins in a Rhino together. The sisters can shoot then lead the charge. soaking overwatch. Works best with Stormbolters, as they stay cheap, and after the fight is over they still have the range to help out somewhere else. If you take a power weapon you can stick around and still be a little annoying.
    • Alternate take: Bigger squads get more value from Acts of Faith - though blob squads are probably not a good idea as they can get punished by battleshock (the Dialogus ain't no Commissar). Now that their cost has dropped to 9 points per girl, a squad of 10 with 3 storm bolters (or two and a HB) is some really efficient anti-horde dakka. Bolter Babes fuck yeah.
    • Second take: With Storm Bolters you might mow hordes down quite easy. Remember 2 Special and 1 on the Sarge. But at the same time you might also load them up with one Multi-melta and one normal melta and a combi-melta. Since you can shoot combi-weapons more than once it is worth a thought. Also, plan about the role they should play. three flamers are delicious but will not work on big meanies. Three Melta weapons will be bad against hordes but that big meanie should be dead. All in all, even with a low stock of weapons options they can take a lot of them. So choose wisely.
    • Third take: 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).

Elites[edit]

  • 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. Otherwise their weapon choices are the same as normal Bolter-babes. That means you can take two Special Weapons or a Special and a Heavy. 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. Seeing as they are equipped the same way as regular Troops squads and have exactly the same level of ranged accuracy, what goes for normal babes goes the same for them. Equip them according to your needs. Where Battle Sister would rely on falling back, pistols, flamers, and backup from other units when forced into melee, Celestians can hold the line and repel a unit that had been softened up by ranged fire. After getting charged they will be able to hit back with a power weapon, fire pistols, and optionally use the Passion to get in more power weapon strikes. Then you can support them with a Seraphim drop that can shoot into the melee. You could also fit a 5 squad in a rhino along with a 5 squad of, say, arco-flagellants. On disembark you can fire bolters and storm bolters on the charge, absorb the overwatch, and still have the Superior to help out. Using Celestians effectively takes a little creativity, if you don't have a plan that takes advantage of what they can do better than Battle Sisters or proper Melee units, then you'd be better off bringing something else.
    • Arguably, it's not worth taking Celestians. 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. If you really did want something for close combat then ADEPTUS MINISTORUM has other better choices available to you in the form of Arco-Flagellants, Crusaders, Death Cult Assassins or Repentia. Otherwise by taking them you're using up an Elites slot that might have otherwise been used for an Imagifier or Hospitaler which are cheaper, and could have buffed a regular battle sisters squad up to an equivalent-or-better level of usefulness. The primary reason you'd take is because of the Bodyguard rule and little else, characters by their nature are difficult to target when they're not the closest model and they'll tend to stick behind squads they're supporting anyway so there is no need to give them any more protection than that. That leaves Celestians to become ablative wounds for the Canoness who is the only character likely to get stuck into a fight, (Saint Celestine has a built-in bodyguard and doesn't have an <Order> anyway) but you can take it or leave it since compared to something like a Space Marine Chapter Master, a regular Canoness isn't going to be so expensive as to warrant a bodyguard in the first place.
  • Imagifier: For 40 pts, a Celestian Superior with 4 wounds (and no Bodyguarding, and only Ld8, which doesn't matter), but mainly the ability to make an <Order> unit with the AoF rule within 6" perform an AoF on a 4+ at the start of your turn. Like Celestine, the only major downside to this over actually producing an additional Act of Faith for your army is that your base 2+ one works on embarked units, while the Imagifier needs both herself and her target to be on the table at roll time to work. Unlike the Hospitaller or Dialogus, she can contribute meaningfully to shooting (she has both a Bolter and Frag and Krak grenades, which she can throw freely, due to being a Character), and with her Celestian-grade close combat prowess, will outperform both of the others in melee, to boot (although she does cost almost as much as both of them put together). All told, her cost is completely reasonable for her benefit. Do take care in her placement, especially if you plan for her to babysit footslogging units; if you make a unit perform the movement AoF, said unit will go 6" faster than the Imagifier trying to follow it, so don't keep her at the back. Deploy her very nearly at the front of the unit, so that even with that 6" headstart, she remains within 6" (and remember, due to the timing of her ability, she can't get out of a transport in time to use it). Best used with Retributors, either to let them double tap with their Heavy Bolters, or, if you're in an excellent position, their Multi-Meltas, or to let them move into position to fire without incurring any ranged penalties, or in the case of Heavy Flamer Retributors, just getting into position to fire in the first place. Generally speaking, she'll be more efficient than a Canoness at buffing any single unit - re-rolling 1s to hit is worth about a 7/6 multiplier on their output, while the Imagifier supplies a 3/2 multiplier - but less efficient at buffing two or more, so the "miracle combo" for Heavy Bolter or Multi-Melta Retributors is going to be 1 Canoness, 2 units of Retributors, and 2 Imagifiers, which will have a 50% chance of giving exactly 1 Retributor unit an AoF, and a 25% chance of giving both of them 1 - hence, a 75% chance of providing at least 1 AoF to a Retributors unit - with re-rolling 1s to hit all around.
    • Imagifiers, like all buffers, are better the larger the unit they're buffing - all else being equal, an Imagifier next to a 10-model unit is better than one next to 2 5-model units, since she can only give an AoF out to one. Since she'll give you back about half the performance of the unit she's supporting each turn, try to pair her with units that cost at least 80 points, and certainly with ones that are in your army to deal out at least 20 points' worth of damage a salvo - she's not really worth it next to basic Sisters with no fancy weapons, for example.
    • The Imagifier is a unit that you will need if you are not playing mechanized sisters. And by "need", we mean spam. With only 1 AoF on a 2+, your army does not scale well, and a second with Celestine might not bring you that far. And the 4+, if you are an unlucky fella, will not help a lot. As a support Character it fights in this place with others, like the Mistress.
      • Scaling: Two of these ladies lets you try again if the first failed, but if both succeed, you still only get one AOF out of the target. That means there is rapid diminishing returns, because every Imagifier after the first working on the same target unit will fall back to targeting an Imagifier on a redundant success, which is much less impressive (although they can throw grenades). Usually, it's really not worth it deliberately taking redundant Imagifiers - just let the realities of the battlefield determine when you want to apply multiple Imagifiers to one unit, rather than planning for it.
  • 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, and provides a strictly worse benefit than an Imagifier (since you can use an Imagifier's AoF to heal, on the same 4+ as the Hospitaller), although her healing will stack with AoF healing. The tl;dr is that there's no real way to let her earn back her points - anywhere you'd take her, another Imagifier would be better.
  • Dialogus: For 15 pts, this sister will go down like wet paper in a storm if your opponent has snipers, with only T3 and her 6+/6++ to keep her 4W safe. She also barely has anything to defend herself with, since she's carrying an S+1 WS5+ stick and an SUser WS4+ stick (since she has the same stock melee weapon all models do, which in her case, is actually usually better than the one on her datasheet), which at S3 A2 means she is not likely to hurt anything. She does allow Adepta Sororitas units within 6" to re-roll failed morale tests. Now this is pretty powerful, because it saves 75% of a sister on average on each test (if you re-roll 1, 2 and 3), assuming the unit in question took at least Ld-1 casualties, scaling down as you fail by less to 67%, 50%, 33%, and 14%, but she ultimately has problems finding something worthwhile to support - she's too slow to keep up with Seraphim, she'll slow down mechanized Dominions, and Celestians can only use her after suffering exactly 4 casualties (where she'll contribute less than 1/6 the cost of the final one trying to save her). Battle Sisters, Retributors, and Dominions won't scale up past 5 models without losing points efficiency on taking special/heavy weapons, which is far more noticeable on Dominions than the other two, but Battle Sisters are forced to bring ablative models anyway, which can be allowed to flee with less worry and likewise are worth less effort to keep around. The net result of all this is that the only units with much use for her are Retributors, where you can use her to let the usually-cheaper-than-her Retributors sergeant die first to incoming wounds and hope the Dialogus can keep a heavy weapon still in the fight, or Repentia squads, where she'll have difficulty keeping up, but at 17 points a Repentia, she'll earn back her points immediately, on average.
  • 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). Short of a tooled-up Canoness, she's the best melee character in the faction, with 3 Neural Whips attacks (SUser, AP-2, D1; +1 to-wound if the target unit has Ld 7 or less) and a re-rollable Shield of Faith - nearly as good as a 5++ - protecting her W4. Okay, that's nothing crazy, but we'll take it over the 2 +1S unwieldy staff attacks on a Dialogus. Now, where she does bring the pain, for 35 pts, is that friendly <Order> Repentia units within 6" re-roll Advance, charge, and hit rolls. Before you cream your pants, know that the Repentias have been nerfed, and this doesn't sound as attractive as it should, but still, if you're taking the bad bitches, that's not a bad option
    • The Mistress also allows those Charge and Advance re-rolls, making you wonder: is footslogging Repentias possible? Well, not really. While the Movement AoF does make Repentias as fast as a transport, faster even if advancing, let alone with re-rolls, and using that AoF on the turn they charge effectively gives them a massive 22" charge threat range with a 50% chance of success (increasing very quickly to 92% at 19"), the problem is that it would actually cost you two Acts of Faith since you need to bring the characters along with the Repentia squad (and the Priest won't be able to keep up, full stop). It just isn't reasonable.
  • Repentia Squad: Repentias got nerfed and buffed simultaneously, in that they're only AP-2 whereas regular Eviscerators are AP-4. Though they can use the full range of Acts of Faith nowadays and can repeat the same act multiple times if you wish. so they can move twice, fight twice, or recover dead models if you need them to. At 17 points each, their value can be questionable for a T3 1 wound model with only a 6+ invulnerable save and two attacks. Otherwise, they're still great in melee, as they can re-roll failed to hits and charge ranges while their Mistress is within 6", but she does not allow them to re-roll failed Shield of Faith saves, since the Angelic Visage rule is only found on the Mistress. Repentias can take transports now along with their Mistress so they don't have to footslog across the battlefield and pray to the Emperor that no-one shoots them. Stick them in a Rhino at the start of the battle and keep them relatively safe until they are close enough to disembark since charging out of transports is now legal.
    • As mentioned above, Repentia have two attacks compared to the Death Cult's four however, yet Repentia do twice as much damage per wound. They have the same AP and just a slight strength difference so against tough, multi-wound targets Assassins and Repentia generally do the same amount of damage as each other overall. Though the Death Cultists have a better invulnerable save, Repentia can be augmented by Acts of Faith, any <Order> special rules and are buffed by having a Mistress or Repentance close by.
    • The Fight phase buff provided by the Mistress is numerically identical to the Ministorum Priest, since two rerollable 4+ attacks (1.5 hits) have the same striking average as three attacks that hit on 4+ (1.5 hits) However the Priest is undoubtedly the better option, particularly if you took a transport to move them all across the battlefield together without using acts of faith, not only that but even though the averages are the same, the Priest actually offers the highest damage potential if you have lucky rolls. Unfortunately for the Mistress, the Priest also buffs every Ministorum/Militarum unit in his vicinity rather than only Repentia, so he keeps his versatility if you lose the Repentia or if you wanted to put him somewhere else. However the Mistress and Priest do stack with each other creating a very powerful combination, but that means using a lot of points and several Elite slots for the benefit of only one squad, even if the Priest does benefit everything else. You would be more efficient tag teaming the Repentia with your HQ choices like a Canoness, for less effective rerolls that still benefit everybody, or with Uriah Jacobus, for the Priest and Dialogus bonus in one package.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • 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 a Heavy 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 Immolator Flamer is more expensive. But it comes with Assault 2d6. 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 Multimelta is what we know and love. With melta dominions you can drink tears. The Immolator is not good because it is a glorified Rhino, but because of its options, which are simple but effective - and of course Dominions; in fact, it would be the best Ministorum transport if not for...
    • Don't forget, the Immolator flamethrower is an Assault weapon, so feel free to Advance in your movement phase and still hit automatically.
  • Repressor (Forge World): The rules are in, with T7/W12/3+/6++ and WS5, and 6 firing points (which is huge now - very few vehicles have these any more), and armed with a Heavy Flamer, Stormbolter and a Dozer Ram (3 hit rolls per attack on the turn you charge), it is a Rhino on crack. Has the option to give it a second heavy flamer allowing you to gain a significantly more powerful Immolation Flamer Immolator for only a handful of points more than the real thing; however, as the Heavy Flamer is a heavy weapon and not assault, it does mean you can't advance and fire in the same turn, which hits especially hard as a Heavy Flamer has 2/3 the range of an Immolation Flamer. This makes it difficult to get up close and personal. The second heavy flamer is not cost efficient, take a storm bolter instead. However, firing ports work so that embarked squad can fire even if the repressor is engaged in combat/have retrated this turn. There is many ways to load them : A 5 girl dominion squad full of melta/flamers and a scout move. 1 or 2 squad of sororitas with combis on the superiors. Retributors with heavy flamers/combis. If you were to load them with only 5 girls, do not hesitate to pick an inquisition acolyte with a special weapon to use that spare firing port. Despite their 4+ BS, they are cost efficients.

Flyer[edit]

  • Avenger Strike Fighter (Forge World): Is no longer an Adeptus Sororitas tagged unit; it is Imperium, Guard, and Aeronautica. Sad day. It's also your only flyer. 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.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Dominion Squad: These ladies are their good old badass-selves with even more. Their new scout rule lets them move up to 6", or 12" if they are in a transport, before the game begins. And they can make it a potentially 24" mobility zone at turn one and firing at an 21" Danger zone (Scout, disembark, move, shoot). With new AoF rules up, they no longer are restricted to just meltaguns for optimality.
    • This unit right here. Since the Immolator is good and melta is not the only viable option, these ladies can bring dakka or facemelting. You just have to focus the troop on one task. Melta - Tankhunter/Monsterhunter. Storm Bolter (yes, that's viable now) - Objective Grabber. Flamer - Hordehunter. Add the Immolator and they will not disappoint.
      • Actually, storm bolters are more than just viable. While flamers are absolutely superior when firing overwatch or after advancing -such as when embarked in a repressor-, if you are in a situation where you can fire either a storm bolter or a flamer, a storm bolter will do more wounds per point against almost all targets, since it will hit 2.67 times to the flamer's 3.5 (on average), which is about 76% as much, while costing about 63% as much (12 points for the model, as opposed to 19) - and for obvious reasons, it will also wildly outperform a standard bolter. Do not underestimate storm bolters for horde-hunting.
        • This is even true for the Dominion Superior - while combi-flamers are definitely better than flamers, their high cost point can't stand up to how cheap storm bolters are, and storm bolters will outperform even combi-flamers.
      • As is often the case with Imperium weapons, nothing beats plasma overall if you're willing to overcharge it, so take a combi-plasma if and only if you plan on overcharging it - otherwise, stick to a storm bolter on the Superior.
    • Your takeaway should be that the only reason to field regular bolters on Dominions is when stuffing a pair of squads in a Retributor, and even then, you'll probably regret that choice later, and you should basically never put flamers on them unless you have a reason for them to be advancing and firing (the other context is for charge protection). Use Storm Bolters against GEQs and MEQs and Meltaguns against TEQs and Vehicles.
      • In a similar vein, at 12" out, Dominions with Meltaguns outperform Retributors with Multimeltas, because their cost reduction is better than the damage buff the Multimeltas have, before even considering movement penalties to accuracy.
      • The only proper way to run dominions is 5 of them in a repressor with a combi melta and 4 meltas. A squad of dominion flamers can be considered to tag along in said repressor and disembarked when necessary. Basic SSB are cheaper to pump out storm bolter dakka. Flamer party are better done with retributors/SSB/inquisition acolytes. Unless you want to double tap them via aof, a repressor is always better than an imolator for dominions.
  • Seraphim Squad: It seems that while making the rules transition, these ladies didn't get paid much attention to, both to their benefit and detriment. With the new AP system, all SoBs's Shield of Faith is at an awkward place, where it will rarely come in to play. And with these ladies, their re-rollable 6++ is only beneficial against AP -3 (-4 in cover). They also lack melee strength, as they only have 1 attack and no close combat weapons. They do, however, come with key benefits that can turn them into quite the danger. They are blessed with a 12" move and the FLY keyword, like all jump infantry, but they come packed with 2 bolt pistols, swappable to hand flamers or inferno pistols on up to two girls, if you like. The hand flamers inflict D3 autohits, after the recent errata, and you can have up to 2 pairs of them in a squad. Remember that these are pistols that will be firing away in close combat in the next shooting phase. Now they really are worth it thanks to the fact that they are only 11 pts a model. Best strategy with them would be to run them near Celestine, to have them absorb hits and utilize Celestine's AoF on the fly. Keeping them near Celestine also bumps their re-rollable 6++ to a 5++, making it significantly more useful.
    • Sadly, they have no option to take Rapid Fire (or Assault) weapons, which is where jump packs usually really shine - if you Deep Strike them in, their hand flamers and inferno pistols will be out of range, and dual wielding pistols minimizes synergy with their jump packs' allowing them to leave combat and then shoot back into it. They'd actually be significantly better, for example, with access to meltaguns rather than dual inferno pistols. The only benefit they then get from pistols is being able to fire them if they didn't fall back, or as an AoF before falling back. Their selling point is how cheap they are, and if you really wanted more bodyguards for Celestine, they will keep up with her without breaking the bank and absorb a decent amount of dakka for the points.
    • The best 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 110 pts and are able to deliver 5 WS3+ S8 AP-4 multiple wound shots + 5 bolt shots 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 more than enough to get the target in the 3" melta range of their guns. 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.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Exorcist: The Exorcist returns with a fury, with the stat line of a Leman Russ and a better BS this beauty fires a Heavy D6, S8, AP-4, D1d3 organ mortar all for the low price of 160 points, Oh and did I mention the Invul save? OP as fuck.
    • That D3 damage really hurts it as a tank hunter though. It's got about the same tank-killing ability as a las-razorback for considerably more points, and about half the firepower of a las-pred.
    • It is a good vehicle, especially in comparison to the Leman Russ Not anymore since Leman Russ gained grinding advance and exorcists lost act of faith. But since it doesn't benefit from Acts of Faith, it relies exceptionally heavily on its main weapon, which is too variable to be reliable in either the anti-armor or heavy infantry role. Good? Yes. OP? Not even close.
    • The Exorcist is a great place to spend your command points due to its random nature, and don't forget to take a couple if you have the points spare as that will also help to smooth out the randomness.
    • The maths are clear. Without rerolls, an Exorcist will average 2 wounds per turn against any infantry (GEQ, MEQ, TEQ), and 3 wounds per turn against rhinos. For 160 pts, this is medium tier at the very best, barely getting it's points back if it shoot at it's preferred targets (TEQ) every turn. It's no better than a Basilisk/Leman russ in cost effectiveness, but it lack either the indirect fire or the guard orders these two can make. Exorcists are tough DISTRACTION CARNIFEX so that your opponent don't shoot your other vehicles, which are all higher tier in 8th ed.
  • Retributor Squad: Your cheaper heavy support options. You can get a squad of four Multi-Meltas for 153 points, though the Exorcist has a longer range and only starts losing effectiveness when it drops to about half wounds; Retributors will feel every lost sister unless you pay more for ablative models. However, when combined with an Imagifier you can fire twice, now the damage output becomes scary.
    • Retributor squads are simply the bomb. Buy a Canonness, take 3 squads of 4 heavy bolters each with the superior with a storm bolter for 2 points, take 2 or 3 x of imagifiers combined with your 2+ Army AOF and each turn most of your retributer squads will pump out 24 x Str 5, -1 AP 1 damage (both AOF and shooting phases) at 36" range (rerolling 1's from the Canoness). For just under 400 points. Over 5 turns, each turn you are putting out roughly 60 shots a turn for 300 shots over 5 turns. Best of all, add this to any Imperium army.
    • Double tapping Melta gives you eight (or ten if your Sister Superior took a Combi Weapon) shots that really guarantees you destroy your high value targets; it will even take a large bite out of infantry squads, who then need to attempt to pass a morale check by the end of the phase or lose even more models.
    • Massed Heavy Bolters still work, in fact are even better this edition due to the changes in wounding and armour penetration, so they can now hurt things they couldn't even consider in previous editions. The synergy they had with regular bolter-armed sisters is kinda lost though, since you can freely split your fire. (Melta made regular bolter sisters redundant before) Yet if you're focusing on a pure anti infantry unit pile as many models into the squad as you can, as they'll all benefit from the act of faith.
    • As in previous editions, Heavy Flamers are probably not a great idea, since you're wasting the long range potential of the squad. Heavy Flamers will outperform Heavy Bolters once you're in range - but getting in range is very difficult without a Transport, and AoF happens before you can disembark. Multimeltas will also perform worse than Dominion Meltas - but they'll get into range more easily, and nothing deals damage out like double tapping.
    • Alternative take: 6 heavy flamers in a Repressor are hilarious. While getting them safely in range might require some distraction units in front, the look on your opponent's face when you roll 8d6 S5 Ap-1 hits is priceless. Plus, as mentioned, they'll actually outperform Heavy Bolters against all possible targets - the only trick is getting in range.
    • The FAQ is in, removing the possibility of the double firing vehicles like the Exorcist and thus improving the usefulness of this squad indirectly. In addition, the same errata has boosted the leadership of the Retributor Superior to be in line with that of a standard SoB squad, meaning running blobs is a slightly lesser risk.

Tactics and Strategy[edit]

Command Points[edit]

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 targets. Assuming a battalion detachment you will have six, with Celestine's death roll taking one, and the free act of faith requiring another, you will have four to play with, good contenders for these four being:

The battle length roll, potentially turning a turn 5 defeat into a turn 6 victory finally, Tactical Object Scoring: transform a 1 on D3 into a 3 for 2 extra Victory Points, seize the initiative rolls, and selecting the deployment map. Imagifies also make top candidates as they do so much with a single dice roll.

Army Composition[edit]

As far as HQs go, Celestine. You could take a Canoness or Jacobus as well, but Celestine should be an insta take as she brings so much to the table with the extra AoF and regenerating bodyguards, not to mention how good she is at tanking and dealing with CC units that try to tie up your other sisters. The Canoness is a good, solid HQ unit on her own, but Celestine is one of the most effective models in the game.

For your basic troops, three groups of Basic Bolter Babes with flamers and heavy flamers is a good start, but don't be afraid to customise them to meet your individual needs, Smaller squads can be useful due to the changes to leadership, but this means your AoF will have less of an effect, so finding the balance between them is key. A large squad is more vulnerable to the morale phase, but benefit so much more from the AoFs and a mass of 3+ armor that MSU is not always the best course of action for Sisters. If you do end up taking larger squads consider also taking an Imagifier as this will increase the squad's damage output by 50% for only a few points extra. Of course, Imagifiers are Elites.

Elites, nothing partially special here but Repentias, Flagellants and Death Cult assassins can be fun. Crusaders may win out seeing as they have the ability to tank and deal with units in a way no other unit in the army can. A gunline Canoness could do worse than Celestian bodyguards, but they are otherwise very limited use. Of course, Imagifiers and Hospitalliers are elites as well, and seeing as Imagifiers in particular are crucial to many successful playstyles, it can be a rough place for Sisters role wise.

When comparing Repentia, Flagellants and Death Cultists 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 1.975 0.79 0.395 0.592 0.395 0.395 0.198
Arco-Flagellant & Priest 2.962 1.185 0.59 0.8888 0.592 0.592 0.296
Crusader 0.889 0.494 0.395 0.4938 0.198 0.247 0.198
Crusader & Priest 1.333 0.74 0.593 0.74 0.296 0.37 0.296

Death Cult Assassin do extremely well against all kind of target : Only T8+ target will be safe from their death by a thousand cuts. They are your killiest choice in the first round of combat, otherwise they fall back to being as good as unsupported Repentia against multi-wound models. (They are still superior to single wound models)

Arco-Flagellant are your designated horde killers, being able to deal a lot of wounds to poorly armored target while 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 need buffed from either a Priest or Mistress (since they provide the same overall bonus mathematically) before they start being remotely useful, they can be buffed by a Canoness as well, but the boost is minor. That and their performance is really only of use against multi-wound targets, since their extra damage does not carry over, all while still being paper frail themselves. They 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 the Crusaders they have Acts of Faith, so their output can double if they survive a round of combat, which they are the least likely to do due to poor saves. They are just too frail. They are the only unit here which can benefit from an Imagifer to use another Act of Faith, or be resurrected by a Hospitaler if you had one. But that's just more expenditure on supporting them.


for Fast Attack, you will probably want at least one squad of Seraphim to hang out with Celestine using her AoF to Double shoot, outputting a huge number of shots a close range. Outside of that, Dominions and their Vanguard movement are fantastic, and many alpha strike lists of Dominions can seize and hold objectives, eliminate enemy targets of importance, and generally put the pressure on furiously. They almost require a transport however.

Luckily, the Immolator and Repressor are both excellent transports. The Repressor is tougher, cheaper, have a higher transport capacity and a frightening fire power if loaded with a squad, especially when getting stuck into combat because of the sick way fire ports works. The Immolator, meanwhile, is outrageously mobile, being able to advance and fire it's 12" range flamer without any penalty, giving it a threat zone of 24+1D6".

Consider : Melta Dominions in a Repressor. 5 meltas shots per turn that can scout, double tap (Natural Aof works on embarked unit, just not Celestine or Imagifer) with M12" T7 W12 S3+ at the low cost of 229pts. Storm bolters and heavy flamers included as a bonus. A second heavy flamer on the repressor is a matter of taste. A storm bolter will be more cost efficient in dealing wounds, a heavy flamer is more painful and won't go down in accuracy with the vehicle health getting lower. Most tournament lists run Storm Bolters.

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. Exorcist are distraction carnifex for your other vehicles. They are a better choice than Retributors if your whole army is mechanized (as the ennemy won't have any good target for it's heavy anty infantry weapons anymore), but are the weakest unit of the heavy support selection.

Heavy bolter Retributors in Combi-Plasma canonness bubble make a decent dakka and can make imagifer actually makes their points back. If you want to play aggressively with the Sisters, equipping Retributors with Heavy Flamers and sticking them in a Rhino Repressor makes delicious, mobile flamers that purge heretics like butter. Avoid multi-melta, dominions will simply do the job better and cheaper.

Penitent Engines can finally be considered, as they are still pretty vulnerable to long range fire and will struggle to get into combat, but once they do you can laugh in your opponent's face when you roll a 4+ and get to strike twice. Try to deploy several Penitents Engine if you are taking any, as they will be obvious target and die before coming to CC if deployed alone. Overall, the heavy support category for sister is meh. No horrible choices, but none that are mandatory either.

Close quarters mech[edit]

Mechanized sisters looking to get in close range firefights with your foes. This is the classic sisters strategy that has existed for many edition though its viability has been all over the place. Essentially dominions are the kings (queens?) in these lists. Super fast with their "scout" move and packing a serious punch with 4 Special Weapons and 1 Ranged Weapon options. Just because we are mechanized does not mean we do not like Celestine though as she pretty much always goes in to this list. A squad of Seraphims is also included in most cases in different configurations (5 or 10 gals, with or without special pistols etc). The seraphims are mostly there to use the extra act of faith on the first turn rushing up the table with Celestine and the Dominions. After the sisters have unloaded the first volley of fire in to the enemy it is the duty of the Seraphims and Celestine to get in to combat and tie up enemies. Preferred foes is really anything that is not a dedicated close combat unit since these will eat our girls without issue.

People will discuss Repressor vs Immolator to death but for this type of army any one of them will do though you will have to adapt your playstyle to fit the transport of your choice. The Immolator with it superior range can get to some units that are astonishingly far away. Scout + move + advance + Immolation flamer range is really damn far. While the Repressor does not quite have that threat range being a mobile bunker, tougher and a better close combat fighter is quite valuable but neither is straight up better than the other. Play one or the other or a mix of both, just make sure you adapt your playstyle accordingly.

Dominions loadouts are very interesting to tinker with. The simple old days of "Dominions always carry Meltas" is no longer the case. You will want a mix of Melta and Flamer/Stormbolter Meltas. The choice between the Flamer and the Stormbolter is not an easy one as both comes with their advantages and disadvantages that have been adressed above and that flamers are straight up overpriced. Play a few units of each to start out with and see what fits your playstyle. For not-melta, basic sisters squad are cheaper, can still carry 3 special weapons per squads, and more importantly, fill those troop slots for your detachment. Dominions not carrying meltas should only be considered if you have too much meltas already and are happy with your CP amount.

The great strength of this army is that it gets in your opponents face right away from a great distance. When bringing along regular Battle Sisters they will feel sluggish and lag behind a bit. Retributors are probably a better choice (with heavy bolters) to sit on objectives and dominions are worth the little point bump in order to get the scout move and extra weapons.

Allies[edit]

With the meta being all about hordes or undercosted Named Characters with 3++ saves, disgustingly good melee stats and auras, you may want a solution to deal with them. The usual ways are either to cheat around their saves (Mortal Wounds distributing psyker being the most popular) or your own special chracter. Sadly, Celestine will get her ass handed to her against most of the cast (Mortarion, Raw Booty Gulliman, The Bird, etc...). You can hence either ally with Imperium to spam psykers, start collecting an army that GW want you to play(Death Guard, Ultramarine, Chaos... Are you seeing a pattern here ?) or use SoB strengths. How ? Sisters have a lot of meltas they can easily bring to the face of their target. Space marine Librarians have access to a Psy Power called Null Zone that will negate the invulnerable save of foes in a 6" radius. Gulliman without his 3++ is not tougher than a Razorback, and will fall to a single melta dominion/seraphim squad firing at him. Put some Jump Pack on a Space Marine librarian, give him a combi melta for even more melta goodness, make him follow your Jump Pack girls, keep a CP to reroll and cast null zone to delete that annoying character. And even if it fails/you don't have good targets, a space marine librarian with jetpack is a very mobile rank 2 psyker and not a waste of points anyway.

Plasma drop : Scions make great plasma drop allies in any imperium army. Even more cost effective are Elysian drop troops. For 218 pts, you can have 16 plasma shots re rollings 1's to hit, a droppable sniper team to capture objectives and 1CP.

Inquisition : Coteaz for psychic dakka, Greyfax for psychic defenses. Acolytes are not very good save for their bodyguard rule because sisters are already a high special weapon count army.

Space Marine : Space marine have answers to pretty much everything one can field. And Gulliman. If you start going this way, you'll realize that you'll end up playing a Space marine army with an Outrider detachment of Adepta Sororitas. Sisters are actually extremely good allies due to their AOF scaling very well when a low number of squad are competing for it.

Guards : Used to be able to tarpit with comissar and conscripts. Since the latest FAQ, not anymore. Apart from plasma shenanigans, sisters are better as outriders allies than as main Forces.

Assassins : Culexus is a good anty psyker in an army that have no answer to them. Others are meh for sisters.

Getting Models[edit]

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:

  • 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.
    • Actually Scouts + Witches work quite well for Dominions.
"Eisenkern Valkir Heavy Trooper" body and a Statuesque Models "Heroic female" head. Currently 47.20 for twenty bodies, ~14$ for 20 heads, yielding $3.06 per model. Compare to GW's who sell 10 sister models for $79.80, almost 8 dollars a model and you have less control over squad composition. Further special weapons sisters from GW are between 9 to 14 dollars per model. Those Valkirs? They come with some nice looking flamers and 'heavy rifles' which can be counts as storm bolters at no add on price. Additionally if you don't mind the non-standard gear, you can dip into dream forge Support Valkir troopers range to make heavy weapon Sisters at similar price reduction. In total you can get a full 20 women squad of battle sisters for less then what game workshop sells for ten sisters. Assuming of course you don't go hunting Ebay for bolters to complete the look.. The Valkir heads might even work well for Celestians...
  • 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. 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.
  • A slightly better (and extremely badass) option is coming down the pipe. Keep your eyes peeled for Raging Heroes' Sisters of Eternal Mercy. Raging Heroes generally does amazing work and they are clearly going to be creating Sisters of Battle type models (they are, in fact, nuns in space). You won't be able to play them at a tournament 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, 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. Menoth Temple Flameguard work really well as Crusaders if you have some extra power sword arms lying around.
  • 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 rumours 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 centrepieces they are more than adequate for gaming on smaller budget.
  • Or you could skip all that crap, and make petty sisters of silence into battle ones with the power of green stuff and persistence.
  • You will 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 Bolters to melta conversion kit. This should cover your dominions need.


Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
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