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. They were reasonably strong in the index, and while their Beta codex have gutted act of faith and hence made the jetpack part of the army much less good, a competitive list of sister will still reliably win against other non-competitive lists, which was not the case in previous editions. However do not bring them to a tourney and expect to win.
Is this Tactica WAAC ?
No. WAAC means "Winning At All Cost". Sisters are not top tier and there are clear holes in their army building. They have no access to psykers, and their cheapest troop is still 9 pts per model, they have very limited long range shooting, and they have abysmal staying power. If you are playing a pure Sister of battle army, you are not WAAC. However, the goal of a tactica is nonetheless to learn how to win more. If you just want the rules of what a model can do, simply read Chapter Approved. If you want to run a fluffy and balanced army, why the hell are you reading a tactica in the first place?
<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.
Strength of Faith: Objective Secured for battle-forged Adepta Sororitas detachments.
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.
Priestly Delegation: Under normal circumstances units of Crusaders, Arco Flagellants, and Death Cult Assassins do not take up slots in a battle forged army. However, if the army does not include a MINISTORUM PRIEST then it may only include one such unit.
Acts of Faith
All units that can perform Acts of Faith share the same list of Acts of Faith to pick from, with the ability to attempt each once per 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. Yes it scales poorly and in a 2k point game you're likely to get fewer acts off compared to the old system, which is a shame because the acts themselves got fucked hard.
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 (and you can then do a normal Advance on top of it).
- 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. Do not forget this for Celestine !
- 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 or overloading plasma safely for your seraphim superior.
- The Passion: Spend a Faith point in the fight phase. If you roll a 5+, the unit can be chosen to fight twice in the fight phase instead of only once. 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). Too bad melee units want to be Bloody Rose and hence will struggle to pull off this AoF
- 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.
- When successfully pulling off a Divine Guidance or Passion, do not forget to spend 1CP for the Faith and Fury stratagem and reroll 1's to wound.
- Due to the way they work -one attempt per phase per turn- and games being decided by bottom of turn 2, you will realistically only have the opportunity to spend 5, maybe 6 points. This means that you should spend them as often as you can and that any mechanics to gain them back/more of them is often worse than the alternative rules.
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 their effectiveness can be either limited or unreliable. 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.) and are a massive step down from what they were in the Index. Still, this is a beta codex, so hopefully the AoF are subject to change for the full release. Getting rid of the faith roll for example, simply making the effects more powerful or going back to the Index system would all be much better. Who knows? For now whishlist all you want and be stuck with a tedious random chance to gain a random chance to do something slightly beneficial but too unreliable to plan around.
- The good news is that GW actually cares now and will rework aof fully for the codex release : See community post
Much like guard, to benefits from those rule, your detachment must be fully made of a single <ORDER>, while most other <ADEPTUS MINISTORUM> without the keyword in the detachement do not prevent it from applying it's benefit. Please note that only <INFANTRY> get to benefit from their <ORDER> convictions. No FNP immolators for you.
- Order of The Valorous Heart - Stoic Endurance: 6+ FNP to models with this <ORDER>.
- This is maybe the best overall <ORDER> for your sisters if you are running many infantry units. It helps mitigate one of Sisters biggest weakness, which is staying power as an army. And is what shield of faith should have been all along, not a 6++ on power armored models.
- Order of Our Martyred Lady - The Blood of Martyrs: Every unit with the AoF ability that dies provides +1 Faith Point.
- AoF have very limited impact, and this order requires you start taking serious loss before having any benefits. Let's politely call it "flavorful".
- Order of The Ebon Chalice - Daughters of the Emperor: +1 to Tests of Faith dice roll.
- Does the same thing that a Simulacrum Imperialis does only army wide for free. Useful for pulling off a faith bomb with the stratagem. Otherwise, the models who would benefit from it the most (melee models) are simply better served by either Bloody Rose or do not have an <ORDER> keyword.
- 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.
- Would be somewhat interesting if orders were truly army wide, but now realize that you must deal the finishing blow with sisters infantry, as vehicles don't benefit from conviction.
- 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 sadly don't have the volume of bodies, Ws or the wargear to make a +1 Strength +1A super useful for the whole army. A VERY worthwhile choice for Repentia heavy detachement as they greatly benefit from both the increased strength and the extra attack making their (now S8, see designer commentary) Penitent Eviscerator extra choppy. Celestian and Seraphim squads may actually want to also 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 or Mauls, 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.
- Order of The Sacred Rose - Devote Serenity: Overwatch on a 5+ and never lose more than 1 model on a failed LD test.
- Maybe 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. Overall overshadowed by the FNP or +1A/STR.
- Alternate Take: 6+++ is pretty crummy, except on infantry horde lists. But if you're taking an infantry horde with the 4++, longevity isn't nearly as big of an issue as Sisters' abysmal damage output, and anything that actually gives them a shot at killing something is pretty darn valuable.
Stratagems and Warlord Traits
- Open the Reliquaries: (1/3 CP) Standard relic giver stratagem.
- If running sisters with a different faction warlord, use it to give the Blade of Ass-Kicking to your Canoness.
- Suffer Not the Witch: (1 CP) Re-roll wounds by a Sisters unit against a Psyker in the Shooting or Fight Phase.
- Situational but useful. Do not forget about it whenever your blade Canoness is duelling other HQ's. Also exceptional on storm bolter dominions when combined with Blessed Bolts (goodbye Daemon Prince!)
- 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. You cannot use the Divine Guidance act of faith (thanks FAQ) in conjunction with this, because the acts of faith apparently weren't neutered enough already.
- Sadly, inferno pistols are still 6". Against GEQ, this will kill on average 5 extra models on the deep strike while wildly varying in performance due to 4d6 hits. Overall, you have to gimp one of your source of mobile melta to be able to use a stratagem that doesn't have much extra oompf. Safe to forget about until it also affects inferno pistols.
- 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.
- A good and cheapish way to make Arco-Flagellant more reliable in their damage output. This rule scale with any source of +1A you can give them (priests).
- 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).
- AoF bomb, usable even by lowly Dialogus shooting at units around her. Useful for giving a gun+line +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. Sisters of Battle don't have a character that would like to hang around Seraphims and boost their shooting, dominions prefer to be embarked and hence can't AoF. Keep in mind that it affects all AoF-able unit in range, not just those from the same order as you. An Ebon Chalice character could trigger a second melee round for Bloody Rose unit around it. It also affects every Adepta Sororitas units in range, not units with the Act of Faith rule. I.E: Crusaders don't benefit from it, but your Exorcists do.
- As of the FAQ this does not stack with the Book of Saint Lucius, because that would mean acts of faith would be in danger of becoming useful or Emperor forbid, outright good.
- 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. In addition to Bloody Rose, this finally makes the Repentias useful at HQ killing.
- Blessed Bolts: (1 CP) Storm Bolters in a squad get AP-2 and become Damage 2.
- Make Storm bolters basically equivalent in damage output to plasma: half the strength, double the shots and slightly worse AP.
- Devastating to medium and heavy infantry, potentially becoming a minor threat to some vehicles as well. At 51 pts, 5 Sister, 3 Storm Bolter basic squad of Sisters of Battle will kill 3 Primaris on average with this stratagem.
- Purity of Faith: (1 CP) Deny on 4+ for one CP.
- Your only defence against psykers that is more than a meme. Stack with actual Deny the Witch, so once again better in imperial soup than in a pure sister army. Still, having access to a stratagem like this can be crucial in certain matchups and gives you a certain level of protection that Deny the Witch can often lack. Combine with the relevant AoF to prevent MW.
- 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. One of the stratagems that you should use as often as possible.
- Consider stacking with the above Blessed Bolts strat.
- Martyrdom: (1 CP) Gain D3 Faith points when a Character dies. Guaranteed roll of 3 if that was your warlord.
- Due to the weakness of AoF and limited spending rate, very dubious use of your CP.
- 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? Overall gimmick due to you having to select the unit before the game begins. The use case would be something like Bloody Rose Celestian or Dominion Squads.
- 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.
- OMG +1 TO WOUND THIS IS THE BEST STRATAGEM
- Oh wait. The restriction makes it unusable unless you specifically gimp your army for its use as mixed loadout are simply bad on the tabletop.
- Only Dominions, basic Battle Sister squads, and MAYBE Seraphims (6" inferno pistol range) can make use of it due to the loadout restrictions
- 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.
- You lose 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 split-fire at other, more appropriate targets worthy of melta. So now you have to chose how you 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.
- Other armies have access to a strictly better version of it, such as Chaos Space marines' 'Veteran of the Long War' that don't have all the requirements but have the same benefits. GW rule writers are sexists.
- OMG +1 TO WOUND THIS IS THE BEST STRATAGEM
- Rally the Faithful: (1 CP) Fail a morale test? Halve the number of fleeing models, rounding down.
- Sisters are MSU, meaning that often it's only that one surviving model that will flee. This is effectively passing a moral test for only 1CP. Quite good, do not forget to use it.
- Sacred Rites: (1 CP) Gain one Faith point. In general, you should probably hold onto your Command Points.
Finally, Sisters of Battle have more useful traits than the bogus standard +1A of the BRB.
- Inspiring Orator: Reroll failed morale test of nearby ADEPTA SORORITAS units and they can use your Warlords LD instead of theirs.
- Your Sisters' leadership is fine, talk to your local Dialogus and then report to your nearest Inquisitor if you're worried about unit Morale.
- Righteous Rage: re-roll failed charges and when you charge, were charged or perform Heroic Intervention you re-roll to wound for the first round of combat as well.
- Combine with Bloody Rose and Blade of Ass-Kicking for 49 points and strike at S6, AP-3, D3 with 5 Attacks, hitting on 2's re-rolling 1's...then weep at the lack of jump-pack options.
- Executioner of Heretics: -1 to the LD of all enemy units within 6".
- While on your own you can't stack this (except with the Missionary's banner), remember IMPERIUM (and especially Sisters) is about coordination. Consider combining this with Space Marine Reivers and Relic Banner for another -2 to enemy Leadership. Additionally, you can add in an Imperial Guard psyker for another -2 to Leadership, for a total of -5 (-6 if CHAOS).
- If you want to be fluffy, use an Astropath instead of a normal Primaris Psyker, as the Ministorum is noted to tolerate them in the fluff, due to their soul-binding.
- You know who also loves low leadership fuckery? Dark Angel librarians. Space monks fighting alongside space nuns for the glory of the Emperor!
- If you want to be fluffy, use an Astropath instead of a normal Primaris Psyker, as the Ministorum is noted to tolerate them in the fluff, due to their soul-binding.
- While on your own you can't stack this (except with the Missionary's banner), remember IMPERIUM (and especially Sisters) is about coordination. Consider combining this with Space Marine Reivers and Relic Banner for another -2 to enemy Leadership. Additionally, you can add in an Imperial Guard psyker for another -2 to Leadership, for a total of -5 (-6 if CHAOS).
- 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.
- Maybe the worst warlord trait in the game. The only reason it exists is to nerf Celestine even further, as she MUST take it if she is your warlord.
- Indomitable Belief: The Shield of Faith invulnerable is increased to 5++ for <Order> Models whilst within 6' of the Warlord.
- Stack with Celestine aura for a 4++ on everyone, up to 3++ on Seraphims. Now you really wish for jump-pack options on Canoness. Again.
- 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.
- Combine with the Brazier of Eternal Flame and sisters can pretty much shut down any offensive Psyker army in the game.
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.
- Legendary Fighter: Grants +1 Attack in the Fight phase after you have charged.
- This used to be the standard trait but is now facing serious competition from Righteous Rage and Indomitable Belief
- Tenacious Survivor: 6++ FNP.
- You don't have enough wounds to justify taking it.
- 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, D3 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.
- 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. With bloody rose, makes you S6 and wound T3 on 2+.
- 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 and facing MEQ, then by all means take axes.
- Bolt Pistol: It's 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 (meaning plasma 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 it, 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). Suffer from being in direct competition with inferno pistol on any model that can take one.
- Seraphim take these in pairs. Two Seraphim models with two Hand Flamers each will be dropping 4d6 (~14) hits. Not shots, hits. If you are running 3++ seraphim screen, this is an interesting option.
- 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.
- 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?).
- Flamer: Now 8" Assault d6 S4 AP0 D1 'auto-hiting'. Only 6 points since CA 2018, but still suffer from the lack of shot making it bad against hordes and the lack of AP against elite while requiring to takes your model within very short range of the enemy.
- 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.
- 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.
- Storm Bolter: 24" Rapid Fire 2 S4 AP0 D1, 2 points and one of the most cost efficient dakka in the game, especially paired with the AP-2 D2 stratagem. It's still two bolter strapped together, so don't expect too much either.
- 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. Therefore, you can't advance and shoot these like you can with a normal flamer, gutting their usefulness...
- Immolation Flamer: Now were talking. A lil' hefty at 30 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 on paper, except that the only model having access to them have a degrading statline and access to Assault weapon auto-hitting...
- Twin Multi-melta: Ditto. lil' more affordable now at 40 points with Chapter Approved 2018... but still over priced.
- Blade of Admonition: S+2 AP-3 D3, replaces power sword. Literally more than triples your damage output against multi-wound models over a power maul, for the same price. It should be your default weapon on a Canoness. Two unsaved wound rolls from this baby will outright kill most non-monstrous models on the tabletop.
- Brazier of the Eternal Flame: This is the "I really hate psykers" Relic. All Sisters units within 6 inches of the bearer can try to Deny the Witch on 2d6 instead of d6. This can create an effective Deny Bubble, making the army a hard nut to crack with Psychic Powers considering our other moves against them. Utterly wasted against armies that don't rely on or even use psykers.
- 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 plan on using enough to justify your free relic or a CP spent on a relic being used for it?
- Even weaker when you remember that it has a 6" bubble. Unless you castle your army, this won't come into play as often as a relic should.
- Mantle of Ophilia: Canoness only, gives her a 3++. You don't have the statline to be tanky to justify a save like this and a Canoness is not that expensive. If you're running Adeptus Ministorum as allies or with any kind of allies, 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. Usable by priests and their +1A aura. It doens't increase the Vessel of the Emperor will stratagem range (see CA2018 FAQ)
- 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 footslogging squad to give them 2+ chance of hitting on a 2+ every turn.
Adepta Sororitas Units
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.
Note that for the purpose of the beta codex, all units are referred to as Adepta Sororitas units, even those who are not Adepta Sororitas for some reason (it's at the top of page 94).
- 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 models one could field on the table, but nerfs after nerf made her a disgustingly overcosted jumppack Canoness, to the point where she can easily be outperformed by them since she costs three times as much and her best ability was outright removed, along with the majority of strategies that involved her since they used that ability. 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 vulnerable. You can't play aggressive with her anymore, and she should now hide behind your tanks before going in for the kill, but if this was your plan then you're still better off with an kitted-out Canoness.
- Keep in mind that her Geminae being separated from her is also a really fucking massive nerf (on top of all the others), because now she might make charges they won't and can be fucked for it, and vice-versa. She can also be targeted separately from them which also sucks since they can't auto-take wounds for her, and a lucky hit going through could mean the end for her.
- About the only way to make her worth it is to make a Celestine Cathedral. Use Celestine with an Indomitable Belief+Book Of Saint Lucius Canoness, this gives every nearby <ORDER> unit a 4++. Prime targets for those are Exorcists or Repentias. If you are not going to use her for this strategy then skip her, you can get better results elsewhere for a third of the cost.
- 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 1's for <Order> units (Not Celestine, not Priests, etc...). 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 organizing of her weapon options in the index 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.
- The Canoness can now finally play different roles, thanks to the beta codex:
- Cost efficient melee: Make her Bloody Rose, give her Righteous Rage and the blade of Ass Kicking.
- Saint BFF: If you are taking Celestine in your army, you should make a Canoness your warlord and give her the Indomitable Belief trait (as well as maybe the Book of St Lucius). Enjoy your 4++ aura.
- Now that you have other generic HQ options, having other canoness loadouts available is not as useful as before. Without any relics or specific order, those will nonetheless love Combi-Plasma, Inferno Pistols, Evicerator and Power Mauls.
- The Canoness can now finally play different roles, thanks to the beta codex:
- Uriah Jacobus: Got a huge points reduction in Chapter Approved 2018. He's now 50 points including all his wargear, which is 15 points over a normal missionary, but with an improved statline across the board. Better WS/BS with better guns, an extra wound and attack, and adds to +1 Ld to his aura on top of the new ability to ignore morale failures on a 4+, means the Sisters never have to worry about running away while he's around.
- Interesting fact: Uriah's Ld bubble bring Commissar to 9Ld and Lord Commissar to 10Ld. Better used in a guard army than in a sister army, as the sisters won't benefit as much from the extra Ld, which comes for 15pts over a Missionary
- Missionary: Best used where his +1A aura will make a difference, or near hordes of conscripts to make sure they don't run away. Arco-Flagellants (as their D3 attacks come from their weapons and not their statline), Eviscerator Canoness, etc will all benefit from the added attack, though under the beta codex, missionaries only have an autogun, a laspistol and a chainsword with no room for customisation. Maxed at 1 per detachment, which doesnt matter much as they don't stack well. He's your cheapest HQ option that also act as melee buffer to anything nearby, and a good alternative to an extra Canoness.
- Remember that this dude and every other churchman can throw a krak grenade every turn instead of using his crappy gun
- Taddeus The Purifier: A named Missionary from the Blackstone Forteress boxed game. In addition to his laspistol and power maul, his servo-stubber is considered a pistol weapon, so he can unload both in close combat, which is exactly where you want this guy. Like other Uriah Jacobus and generic 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. Taddeus is basically a missionary that for 15 extra points lost his moral aura but got a bit more punch in CC.
- Battle Sister Squad: Consisting of 5-15 girls, Battle Sister Squads form the backbone of any pure 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, but 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. Only think about taking them if you either need troops or already maxed out your Dominions.
- 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. 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.
- If you want to use those additional four transport slots, the Dominions won't be able to Vanguard move if something else than more dominions are embarked with them.
- Geminae Superia: Celestine's bodyguards. They used to be part of the same unit, and now for some unknown reason 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. But if both of them are slain then they stay dead. They went from overcosted at 8th release to good after CA to their current useless iteration. They don't guarantee "look out lady" tests anymore, stay dead, and succeed/fail charges independently from Celestine (possibly breaking the aura). You are paying 50pts for a bunch of S3 attacks. Do not put on them on the tabletop as they are just a waste of points. Hands down the worst unit of the codex, as they can't even benefits from convictions or <ORDERS> aura.
- 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 Canonesses 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.
- With bloody rose, you can have budget makeshift assault marines. Still not a great choice: assault marines are bad, and celestians are worse.
- Mentioned to be getting some improvements for the actual codex. Increasing their offensive output was mentioned as a priority, but we'll see how things pan out.
- 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). 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: Their "Penitent Eviscerator" are only AP-2 where as 'regular' Eviscerators are AP-4. So, for 15 points you get a weak model that's armed with a weapon that got nerfed. 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, don't take them without it, as otherwise they are your worst melee option. If you want to make them useful, get ready to load up on a Priest + Mistress + Celestine + Canoness + Dialogus and 3CP (for the Vessel of the emperor double melee tap), and now you are looking at 300pts of support before transports. This is a heavy commit. If you don't want to commit then take Arco-Flagellants instead.
- Imagifier: Simulacrum imperialis models are now supposed to be an upgrade for squads, but this datasheet still exist in the index, and nothing in the rules prevents you from taking it, not that you ever will. Sadly, for 50 pts with the only effect of being slightly better at making aof for itself (See CA2018 FAQ), it's a useless piece of shit and the worst 'unit' in the entire game.
- Hospitaller: For the "low" cost of 30pts, a Hospitaller can resurrect a friendly ADEPTA SORORITAS INFANTRY model or heal d3 wounds per turn on a 4+. She lacks an <Order>, which turns off several synergies, although her healing will stack with AoF healing. Now slightly worth it to take her as your AoF aren't going to happen (and you can sometimes make her points back by healing/bringing back at least 3 models). As any other medic in the game, points spent there is less firepower for the gunline, and should be looked not only as "making points back" but as "points not spent firing at the ennemy/filling a tax" 30pts is two combi-plasma on your Superiors so think carefully on this one.
- Dialogus: +1 LD and reroll AoF 6" aura for 30pts. Like all buffer units, it's value depend on what you are buffing. If you are playing an army dependent on a vessel of the emperor combo, then the dialogus is indeed a necessary addition. If not, you should buy more dakka instead. Keep in mind you can take her alone in an Ebon Chalice auxiliary detachement before triggering Vessel Of the Emperor from her.
- Pious Vorne: A borderland sadist that come into the Blackstone Fortress boxed game. 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. Please note that picking her will prevent your detachment from gaining an <Order> conviction.
- Preacher: The missionary's little brother who also gives a +1A buff to nearby ASTRA MILITARUM or ADEPTUS MINISTORUM units within 6", but instead of the extra save vs morale checks they carry an icon of the Ecclesiarchy that causes CHAOS units to drop one point of leadership. Best used where those +1A will make a difference. Don't forget to use a krak grenade instead of your puny laspistol whenever possible. Keep in mind they don't have access to any customization option.
- Ministorum Priest: At the release of 8th ed, their datasheet used to sit in the Adeptus Ministorum section. Now, they are found with their option in the Imperial Guard Codex. They cost 10 pts extra over Preachers, don't have any aura outside of their +1A buffs, but they can be customized with things like Plasma Guns or Power Mauls. Overall an option if you wanna be WYSWYG over a cost efficient one.
- Arco-flagellants: Arco-flagellants are you default CC unit and designated horde killers. 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 13 pts (Including wargear), this used to be one of the best units in the game at tarpiting elite melee, but unfortunately they lost their niche with the beta Codex. A competitive sisters list has no gunline for them to protect and with the AoF nerf you won't use the ability to move twice/fight twice on them much, if at all. Avoid them unless you're bringing them as allies for a Guard army.
- Death Cult Assassins: Glass cannons that can kill everything via death from a thousand cuts, they do extremely well against all kinds of targets without needing extra support: Only T8+ target will be relatively safe from them. Very frail though, so you'd better be sure to seriously cripple the enemy on your charge and always stick them in a Rhino.
- Dominion Squad: These ladies are their good old badass-selves with even more. 5 dominions, 4 meltas and a combi melta in a repressor with extra storm bolter is 230 points. For 2000 points games, taking three of those is mandatory in the current meta. Dominions are your only reliable anti-tank in the entire codex, always have some with meltas (and even if there are no more big targets left, any hit with a melta is a quasi-guaranteed kill on infantry). At 24pts a model, they can very easily get their points back on Primaris and TEQ. 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! Additionally, consider giving this additional
guygirl a Simulacrum, as it'll be your only way to take it.
- If you can't run Repressors, stick them in an Immolator instead. They will play very differently though, being exposed to counter-fire.
- Seraphim Squad: A jetpack unit sporting pair of various kind of pistols. Except for the superior, because GW only ever made a model with a plasma and power sword for her. They used to be deadly thanks to the old AoF system allowing them to cover 24" a turn to offset the inferno pistol short range, but are now much more easily shot off the board before delivering any pain due to their meager range. The other option is to run big squad of them and use them as a cheap 3++ screen (via the Celestine Cathedral method) that can fly.
- 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 88 pts and are able to deliver 5 BS3+ S8 AP-4 multiple wound shots + 3 bolt shots and a krack every shooting phase. This is dominion level of pain. If you want to run this then keep in mind Inferno pistols are out of range if you deepstrike. The handflamer buff and low cost also makes running it a good choice if you have other anti-tank source (Doms, Exorcists, allies, etc).
- Exorcist: A Leman Russ firing with half the shots that do D6 damage instead of D3, with a better AP. At 125pts, the good old organ is finally not hot garbage and just average instead. Their D6 number of shots and D6 damage makes them very temperamental and unreliable to use to consistently win. They will sometime win the entire game for you on the first turn, and other times be not more useful than a fancy paperweight. Both extremes are expected to happen more often than the median damage output. In term of practical use, it means that they will have either reduced their designated target to a bloody pulp or left it unscathed.
- They have a possibility to gain a 4++ inside a Celestine Cathedral as well as a potential BS 2+ rerolling 1's thanks to Vessel of the Emperor (Pushing them to an average of 8 wounds per rhino or 5 on Land Raiders).
- Because Vessels of the Emperor's Will is so expensive, you really need to get a lot out of it the turn you use it for it to be worth its cost. If the Exorcists don't agree and roll 2 shots a piece, you're up a creek without a paddle. This compounds the unreliability issues they already have something fierce.
- Funnily enough, an exorcist is one of the very few models in the game that has a chance to one shot a Warhound Titan, but will still only shave 5 wounds off a rhino on average. Said chance is 1/18075490334784, or comparable to hitting something the size of an atomic nucleus on a 1m long ruler. It is so small of a number that a computer can only represent it as a 0 without specific formal mathematics software.
- As a side note, this unit was specifically mentioned as a unit being rebalanced and being looked at to improve its consistency, so don't expect most of the statements about randomness to stick fully.
- Retributor Squad: Your cheaper heavy support options. Multi-Meltas are completely overcosted compared to dominions with Meltaguns, Heavy Flamers will struggle to get in range AND are overcosted: long story short, always take Heavy Bolters. They are the only unit that will love staying immobile in the back and shoot at stuff. If you are not playing a Faith Bomb with Vessel of the Emperor, give one of your Retributor squads a Simulacrum Imperialis and use the +1 to hit AoF on them, combined with a Canoness to provide re-rolls of one. They're the cheapest way to spam BS 3+ heavy bolters in the game and 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 decent job of complicating your opponents' plans and harassing your opponents' heavy infantry/light armour. Always give the Superior at least a Storm Bolter, and consider upgrading it to a Combi-plasma if you have leftover points.
- If you want a really sticky unit, Retributors are one of the few sister squads that can be run with a full crew of 10 without issue. Doing so gives the squad a extra few extra wounds while adding a few extra bolters in and gives you a bearer for a Simulacrum Imperialis, allowing easier AoF early game if you don't have other units to perform AoF on. A MSU squad is a much more tempting target when you know every casualty is going to hurt. Knowing they have to chew through 4 or 5 other models to get to the creamy center might help discourage them from being targeted outright.
- Penitent Engines: These sweet half-naked sinners, fused with grimdark killing robots of death exist for one sole purpose: MURDER. Hordes? Dead. Dedicated melee elite units? Dead. Knights/Greater Daemons/other LoW? DEAD. Being only 100 pts per model (max 3. And you always want to have minimum 2 Engines in a unit) they carry an incredible amount of killing power. Khorne would literally sell half of his skull collection for these girls. Unfortunately Penitent Engines are not the most resilient units in the game. They only T6 with 7 wounds and Sv4+. Their new inbuilt 5+++ is cool, but against excessive dedicated firepower they wont last long. Treat these ladies like a gentleman, hide them behind LoSblocks, or cover and wait for the right opportunity to unleash their holy retribution (in other words, rush them into the enemy, but dont yolo them through the open battlefield).
- Just to reiterate, Penitent Engines are incredibly fragile, especially for their cost. On average if you bring 3, 1 might make it into combat.
Tactics and Strategy
- It's dangerous to go alone, take this.
Considerations on the general 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 since 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.
- Chapter approved point changes made a lot point reduction for the special and heavy guns of many armies, as well as hard hitting elites. The unforeseen by GW consequence is that it made alpha strike even more important, as more units are able to fire on the first turn.
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 cheap 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.
- 4++ Celestine Cathedral is now a Staple for sisters of battle.
This leads to a highly mechanized alpha-strike force in transports and a Celestine Cathedral as the "meta" army for Sisters.
Considerations on the Castellan and WAAC 40k
Since the release of the knight codex, there is one unit that is polarizing the whole competitive 40k : The castellan knight.
- For those of you who don't know about it, it works like this : Super Heavy Auxiliary detachment, Exalted Court (-1Cp), Extra Relic (-1CP), House Raven > Castellan Knight with Cawl's Wrath and Ion bulwark
- This gives you a T8 3++ 28W non degrading statline (1CP stratagem), the firepower of roughly 6-7 exorcists but rerolling 1's to hit and to wound, at 60% of the cost. Only downside is that it's CP hungry.
On average, a sister of battle melta shot in melta range will inflict 0.5 wound to a 3++ Castellan. This mean you need to shoot 56 time at him (!) in melta range. 56 melta alone (without the sisters to carry them) are more expensive than the castellan ! And that's of course assuming it's a sitting duck and that you don't have the rest of your opponent army firing at you.
The only way to deal with a Castellan reliably is to fuck it up in melee with thunder hammers, but it is always surrounded by his Imperial Guard brigade giving it CP and screening it.
So while Index 40k allowed any pure army properly optimized to sometime win against optimized soup, this is not the case anymore. Pure sisters can't deal with -3 to hit eldars flyers or Castellan + IG brigade.
As of the beta Codex, even hyper-optimized sisters of battle can't win in a competitive meta. Everything you do, someone else does it better. Every other army (with a few exception for soft squatted model lines like Grey Knight) powercrept since the index, sisters of battle suffered a straight, hard, downgrade.
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. If you are starting with them, make yourself a cheat sheet that contain a bullet point list of every AoF and Stratagem you can use in every phase, like the one provided at the beginning of this section.
The standard post beta codex SoB army list is pretty similar to the Index SoB army list. Simply park the Seraphims and bring exorcists instead. Due to AoF nerf, they now play a bit differently.
Non-fast attack parts of our codex are now more attractive, but battle conclave units don't take an elite slot anymore. It is preventing us from taking an efficient Brigade Detachment.
As before, the core of the army is 3 squads of Melta-Dominions embarked in repressors. If you are playing something else than meltas on dominion, first turn deepstrike from a chair IRL. Scout move Meltas inside repressors is the only thing saving the whole codex from the trash. Alternatives are flamers (Retributors do it better) or Storm Bolter. Using the Blessed Bolt Stratagem on Dominions implies you are running them on foot, with Storm Bolter. This is retarded and a waste of your best unit. The good thing about Dominions that they don't really care about conviction, stratagems, or all that rule bloat since the release of 8th ed. All they need is their datasheet. They will take 3 fast attack slot that can be slapped in any detachment. The second brick of your sister of battle army is Celestine and her new BFF, an Indomitable Belief Warlord Canoness with the book of St Lucius. Together they project a 4++ aura for the units that share their order with your warlord.
From there, you only have 2 real options : are you making a risky repentia bomb or are you making a Cathedral with some organ music and pious sisters castling up and marching to the hymns of the ecclesiarchy.
If you are going the repentia way make everyone Bloody Rose. Take 2 full squads of them and an another squad with 8 members. Buy a priest, a dialogus, a mistress of repentance, and an eviscerator for your Canoness. Embark everyone in 3 rhinos. You will clock in at 925pts for the repentia bomb, but will also dish out more than a hundred S8 attacks (with more than a chance in two to do it twice) and everyone has a 4++.
If you are going the cathedral way buy 3 exorcists and maybe a squad or two of Retributors. Give the Canoness a plasma gun and attempt a +1 to hit every turn -guaranteeing overcharging hit-. If you pull off the aof, spread it to the nearby Exorcists and Sisters for 3cp and everyone will be hitting on 2's rerolling 1. Point for point, a cathedral is less shooty than a Cawl castle, but is much harder to remove as a T8 4++ severely handicap long range AT while Celestine and her new BFF Canoness can easily smash the heads of infiltrating melee units. Also consider seraphims as a 3++ screen that can literally lock enemy units in place every turn thanks to their fly rule.
Finally, depending on your detachment structure, fill the leftovers points with you allies or troop requirements. Immolators are great, and basic 5 girls 3 Storm bolters sisters squad make very cost efficient objectives holders, especially if they can get to cover and obtain a 2+ save.
With Chapter Approved 2018, a lot of armies got rebalanced, and what is the meta gonna look like is unclear. Sisters now have excellent (if a bit unreliable) anti tank capacities at all ranges, and the Bloody Rose doctrine is filling the hole in their previously terrible melee weakness. Due to their now plentiful good stratagems, sisters are suddenly CP hungry.
- A minimal imperial guard battalion can easily feed some of that craving, on top of having very good synergy with several sisters HQ, such as Celestine giving your guards a 6++ or your priests boosting their morale.
- Make them catachan, gives them flamers, have your Celestine cathedral and a Priest hanging out behind, and enjoy your horde of morale protected 2A S4 5+/6++ cheap bodies protecting your 4+++ Exorcists
- Rather than look for allies to Sisters, maybe you should look at Sisters as allies. A battalion of sisters with 4++ start at 340pts. From here, you can either add 3++ Seraphims, Exorcists, Retributors, etc...
They make excellent allies to protect an area and providing long range support, be it Anti-Horde or Anti-Tank. They will be cost efficient at killing, cost inefficient at being removed (4++), annoying to hug due to Seraphims 3++ FLY, and not too shabby in Melee due to 3A S4 and Celestine. With brazier and stratagems, they have the most cost effective psy defense in the game. The devoted 22 bring more utility and firepower to the table than the loyal 32 with the tradeoff of being slightly more expensive and having less wounds.
For 295pts, the sisters of battle can bring a battalion that can hard deny psychic power even from turn 1.
-Canoness with stormbolter and bolter + Relic Brazier
-BSS with 3 stormbolters
-BSS with 3 stormbolters
-BSS with 3 stormbolters
-Dominions with 5 stormbolters
Dominion scout move daisy chain in range of brazier so that they are in range of enemy psykers. On a 6" advance move, they can cover up to the opponent edge of the table. As psyphase happen before shooting, your opponent will need to smite the dominions to death before he can safely attempt to cast a buffing power.
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.
- Shieldwolf Ministures has a “female Space Paladin Sisters Of Faith” range which has a proxy for all of your non-Repentia footsloggers and vehicles. Currently they have the cheapest squads available and are looking to continue expanding their range. They carry a fantasy version ss sell.
- 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. They also have a fantasy version of each mini.
- Wargame Exclusive also makes some decent not-Sisters models. Might actually have the most complete range thus far. From your standard troops with heavy weapon choices, your elites, Seraphim to even Celestine and and her Geminae. Does have their particular risque element to the models, so check your sensitivity to such styling first.
- 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.
- There is also an etsy store that carries sororitas rhino upgrade sets and custom rhino chassis vehicles when they aren't sold out
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 late 2019.
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