Warhammer Armies: Sisters Of Battle

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Warhammer Armies is back! Today, we’re going to be looking at the beta codex for Sisters of Battle. Because the Codex is in beta, it’s not as flushed out as a full codex, especially when it comes to trait specific things.

So, we’re instead going to be doing one article covering the entire codex as it stands, since it has fewer stratagems and relics, plus the traits don’t have their own specific relics/warlord traits/stratagems. When the finished codex drops, Sisters will get the full treatment other armies have gotten. Without further ado, let’s begin!

ARMY OVERVIEW

Sisters are a very unusual army. They’re closest to what competitive players might describe as an “anti-meta” army, which means that they’re an army that specifically performs well against typical meta lists.

Specifically, Sisters are a horde army with good pseudo psychic powers (courtesy of Acts Of Faith) which dominate other horde and psychic heavy lists. Since high tier competitive lists tend to rely heavily on hordes and/or psychic powers, this leaves Sisters as a reasonable competitive choice.

Of course, if you’re just looking to have fun on the table, Sisters will easily pull their weight.

Pros:

  • Acts Of Faith are slightly weaker psychic powers that your opponent can’t interact with, giving you a high degree of consistency.
  • Although limited, their stratagem line up is very good overall.
  • Your regular trooper is basically a Space Marine at a fraction of the price.

Cons:

  • To some degree the army doesn’t handle allies well due to how gaining Faith Points work, which is painful for an IMPERIUM army. Sisters can handle an allied force, but probably don’t want to be taken as an ally.
  • Your army is full of very close ranged units that are weak in close combat, leading to risky scenarios. Note that Order Of The Bloody Rose combats this.
  • You run off a ton of aura affects, which makes movement very important to get right.
  • You have a limited amount of weapon selections, which hurts your variety and flexibility

TRAIT ANALYSIS

Sisters actually have three traits, technically. The first two are fairly straight forward: Zealot allows you to re-roll all missed hits the turn you charge. Although not present on all Sisters models, the few that do give your army some much needed punch. The other is Shield Of Faith, which is on most units. It provides a 6+ invulnerable save and allows you to Deny The Witch on 1D6, which isn’t much but better than nothing.

The last trait they have is called Acts Of Faith, and it’s extremely long and complex. So, it will be getting its own section a bit further down. In short, Acts Of Faith are your psychic powers, but they follow different rules and don’t count as Psychic Powers, which means they can’t be denied or stopped.

On its own, Shield Of Faith is a very unimpressive army wide ability. A 6+ invulnerable save on a model with a 3+ save is only impactful against an AP-4 weapon. Your vehicles will occasionally enjoy that benefit, but that’s about it. By the same token, denying an enemy psychic power on 1D6 is practically a non-existent ability since most Powers require a 6 or higher to cast, making a 1D6 Deny attempt impossible. However, there are ways to drastically improve the usefulness of both parts of Shield Of Faith which will be discussed.

WARLORD TRAIT ANALYSIS

Sisters have 6 Warlord Traits, however there is unfortunately one that is miles ahead of the rest, making your Warlord Trait choice fairly simple.

1:Inspiring Orator. This allows your Warlord to broadcast a 6” aura that allows friendly <ORDER> units to re-roll failed Morale Tests, and use your Warlord’s Leadership. This is actually a very solid Trait, since Sisters are somewhat of a horde army.

Unfortunately it competes with Indomitable Belief, which makes it a situational pick.

2:Righteous Rage. Your Warlord re-rolls failed charge rolls, and gets to re-roll failed wound rolls if she charges, gets charged, or heroically intervene. Sisters aren’t a huge melee army in general, so this is rarely worth taking.

3:Executioner Of Heretics. This causes your Warlord to broadcast a 6” aura of -1 Leadership to the enemy. Sisters are not an army that attacks the enemy’s Leadership. This is an easy hard pass.

4:Beacon Of Faith. At the start of each of your turns, you get to roll a D6 while the Warlord is alive. On a 4+, you get a Faith Point. If this gave Command Points it would be fantastic. However, most games you should have plenty of Faith Points, making this generally a hard pass.

5:Indomitable Belief: This is hands down the best trait. It causes your Warlord to broadcast a 6” aura that turns Shield Of Faith to a 5+. Although it is Order locked, this trait combines with Celestine to make your entire army have a 3+ armor and 4+ invulnerable, as long as you play tightly. With proper positioning, this is easily your best trait.

6:Pure Of Will. This allows your Warlord to deny an extra Psychic Power on 1d6, and reduce enemy Psychic Tests by 1 if the Psyker is within 12”. You’ll almost never get the negative, and the extra deny is poor. This is a hard pass.

Overall Sisters are essentially locked into Indomitable Belief, as it’s easily your best trait most games. The few games where it doesn’t appear to be useful, Inspiring Orator is a good backup.

ACTS OF FAITH ANALYSIS

Acts Of Faith have seen a total overhaul, moving from a beginning of turn extra action to a resource system allowing you to improve a unit’s performance in a phase. Performing an Act Of Faith(AOF from here) requires a 1D6 roll along with spending a Faith Point. Each AOF has a number you must meet or beat on your 1D6 roll. Where AOF get a tad complicated is in how Faith Points are gained.

Baseline, you start with 3 Faith points. You then receive an extra Faith Point for every 10 models in your army with the AOF ability. There are a few other ways to gain Faith Points, however they are usually not necessary for a person playing a dedicated Sisters army. All AOF cost 1 Faith Point, and you’ll typically have as many Faith Points as you have Command Points, sometimes more. Each AOF can only be attempted once per turn, much like Psychic Powers. Let’s look at the AOF themselves.

Hand Of The Emperor: +3” movement, 4+

Spirit Of The Martyr: Recover D3 wounds or revive one slain model, 3+

Aegis Of The Emperor: 4+ Feel No Pain against Mortal Wounds in the Psychic Phase, 3+

Divine Guidance: +1 to hit in the Shooting Phase, 4+

The Passion: Fight twice, 5+

Light Of The Emperor: Automatically pass a Morale Test, 3+

At first glance, AOF look somewhat inconsistent, especially The Passion. However, you have easy access to get free free re-rolls on your tests, and limited ways to improve the result of a test. Proper use of AOF will be a deciding factor in the success of a Sisters player. Hand Of The Emperor and Divine Guidance will be your main Faith Point sinks, but you can get surprising mileage out of all 6.

RELIC ANALYSIS

Sisters have 6 Relics, and much like their Warlord Traits there is a clear winner. However, you can spend some CP on their other decent options if you wish.

1.Blade Of Admonition: This is a very straight forward relic. It’s an upgraded Power Sword, clocking in at Strength +2, AP-3, 3 Damage. That’s not a D3, that’s a 3. The Blade is easily one of the best melee relics in the game, and it’s definitely worth spending a CP on to include on a Cannoness. Even at Strength 5, you’ll become a serious melee threat against most targets, especially enemy Characters.

  1. Book Of Saint Lucius: This increases the aura(s) of the bearer by 3”. Although this Relic gets a bit more mileage since Sisters tend to revolve around auras, at the end of the day this Relic covers for sloppy movement and that’s about it. Especially when you consider it’s competition, the Book Of Saint Lucius is an easy pass.
  2. Brazier Of Eternal Flame: The Brazier causes the bearer to broadcast a 6” aura that turns the Shield Of Faith deny to 2D6. Effectively this Relic lets you try to deny every Psychic Power the enemy casts, except for maybe on the first turn or long deployments. Coupled with their ability to shrug off mortals and auto deny a power on a 4+, most players will have to function without consistent Psychic Power support. Although some armies don’t use Psychic Powers, any list with even a couple Psykers will turn the Brazier into a must have Relic.
  3. Litanies Of Faith: This Relic provides you with a chance to refund spent Faith Points by rolling a d6 when you pass an Act Of Faith Test. On a 5+, the point is refunded. For starters, the refund is very likely to even occur, as you can’t refund failed tests, and successful ones are only a third of the time. In addition, you usually aren’t struggling with maintaining Faith Points as much as your Command Points, so spending CP for extra relics that provide a bit of extra Faith Points is generally a bad trade. Overall this is a hard pass.
  4. Mantle Of Ophelia: The Mantle can only be put on a Cannoness, and it provides her with a 3+ invulnerable save. In games where you don’t need the Brazier, this is a reasonable second relic to help protect your Warlord. In games where you do need the Brazier, you’ll usually want the Blade Of Admonition over this, but not always. Not worth taking every game, but you want this on your radar.
  5. Wrath Of The Emperor: This is an upgraded bolt pistol, firing 3 Strength 5, Ap-1, Damage 2 shots. This is actually not a bad Relic persay, but it simply competes with the Mantle as your other situational extra Relic, which means the Wrath is rarely worth taking.

Overall, you have a clear 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Relic in respectively the Brazier, Blade Of Admonition, and Mantle. The other 3 Relics simply can not compete with these.

 STRATAGEM ANALYSIS

Sisters have a smaller Stratagem package, clocking in at only 14. This is largely due to the fact that the individual Orders do not have their own Stratagems, but even without these 14 is still rather small. Despite this small package, many of them are highly playable.

Open The Reliquaries(1/3CP): This is your standard extra Relic stratagem. As stated before, the Blade Of Admonition and Brazier Of Eternal Flame should be your main go to’s, so expect to spend 1CP here every game.

Burning Descent (1CP): This allows a unit of Seraphim to shoot 12” hand flamers the turn they arrive from Reserves. Although very cool conceptually, Seraphim can only take a few models with hand flamers now, and Seraphim are far better suited as screening units then work horses. Generally, this Stratagem is not worth using.

Vessel Of The Emperor’s Will(3CP): Vessel is the Sisters most important Stratagem, hands down. It allows a character to broadcast a passed Act Of Faith as a 6” aura to all nearby ADEPTA SORORITAS units. Proper positioning and movement will translate into things like armywide +3” movement or +1 to hit in melee. Vessel is also why Sisters tend to be CP intensive. In an ideal world, you would be able to Vessel 4 or 5 times a game. This is obviously way too expensive CP wise, which means that you will have to use this Stratagem very carefully. As an added bonus, Vessel does not check for other friendlies to have the Acts Of Faith ability, which means you can use it on units like Exorcists to give them the Act Of Faith bonus when they normally would not be able to benefit. All in all this is legitimately one of the strongest Stratagems in the game, and proper use will make or break you as a Sisters player.

Suffer Not The Witch(1CP): This lets any ADEPTA SORORITAS unit re-roll to wound against any enemy PSYKER. There’s really not much to say here, as it’s a very conditional but very powerful stratagem. You have a lot of threat against enemy Psykers, especially if they’re big models like The Swarmlord. When Suffer Not The Witch is useable, you’ll generally want to use it.

Extremis Trigger Word (2CP): This Stratagem lets you change an Arco Flagellants Arc Flails to make 3 hit rolls per attack, instead of D3. If you take Arco Flagellants, this is effectively their Fight Twice Stratagem. Arcos are decent melee units, and this Stratagem gives them a bit more threat. All in all, it’s not a bad Stratagem, just one to be used sparingly.

Final Redemption(1CP): This lets a Repentia Squad inflict mortal wounds on an enemy unit that kills them on a D6 roll of 4+. Repentia Squads are somewhat glass cannons, so they will most certainly be dying. If you can get a big unit in melee that’s likely to die on the return swing, this can be a very CP efficient stratagem. Otherwise, save your precious CP.

Blessed Bolts(1CP): Technically this Stratagem can be used with any INFANTRY unit, but this is realistically a Dominion Squad only Stratagem. It gives Stormbolters an AP of -2 and Damage 2. If you pair this with Holy Trinity, which is difficult but not impossible, then get ready for a Dominion Squad that can 100-0 most non-TITANIC targets. You have to build around this Stratagem a bit, but the payoff is worth it.

Faith And Fury(1CP): This allows a ADEPTA SORORITAS unit to re-roll wound rolls of 1, which isn’t bad. The catch is that it’s done in response to a successful Test Of Faith, which is the name for the D6 check on an Act Of Faith. This means that sometimes you won’t be able to use this Stratagem when you would like to, unfortunately. Despite this shortcoming, it’s still a great strat and one to keep in mind.

Sacred Banner Of The Order Militant(1CP): This Stratagem is actually an upgrade for an upgrade that most units can take called a Simulacrum Imperialis. The upgrade allows you a 1 time use +1 to invulnerable saving throws, which sounds really good for 1CP. The catch is that it’s done at the beginning of the battle round, which means that every turn you don’t use it the unit is vulnerable to not getting to use it, and the turn you use it the opponent can just ignore you. Because of the huge amount of counterplay the opponent has, this Stratagem is generally not recommended.

Rally The Faithful(1CP): This Stratagem lets you cut the number of casualties from a failed Morale Test by half. What’s great about this Strat is that it’s used in response to failing, which means you can use it to help cut unexpected losses from a really bad test. You won’t use it often, but don’t forget about it.

Purity Of Faith(1CP): Sisters already have very good Psychic defense, and this Stratagem just helps push it up to 11. Purity Of Faith lets you attempt to stop a manifested Psychic Power on a 4+ from a single D6. What’s great about this is that if you fail, you can still attempt to Deny The Witch normally afterwards since Purity doesn’t actually count as or modify Denying The Witch. Having a 50/50 to stop a really important power that your opponent cast on an 11 really can’t be understated. All around this is a great Stratagem.

Martyrdom(1CP): This strat generates 1D3 Faith Points in response to having one of your Characters slain, with your Warlord always granting 3. This Stratagem is generally not very good, as you will probably have way more Faith Points than Command Points. However, if your Warlord goes down, turning 1 CP into 3 Faith Points isn’t a horrible idea if you happen to be low on Faith Points. That rare situation aside, this Stratagem should generally be avoided.

Holy Trinity(1CP): This Stratagem is complicated, so brace yourself. When you make a shooting attack with a unit that has a Bolt Weapon, Flame Weapon, and Melta Weapon, all models in the unit get +1 to wound. For starters, this Stratagem requires you to be no more than 8” away, as that’s the range of the furthest ranged Flamer Weapons.

Even factoring movement in, you have a max threat range on this of about 14”, which is very low.

In addition, the firing models all have to be unique. Although this is a minor headache, it means you can’t shoot say, both profiles of a Combi-Flamer and have both your Bolt and Flame Weapon, since it’s still 1 model. A bigger headache is the fact that there are no Assault Bolt weapons, which means that you can’t Advance and have this Stratagem online. So, with all these hoops to jump through…

Is this Stratagem even worth it?

Absolutely.

Regular Sisters units can take two specials and a Combi on their Superior, easily satisfying the requirements. Dominion Squads can take 3 Storm Bolters and a Special while their Superior fires the other Special, which also completes the Trinity. You can pair this with Blesses Bolts, Divine Guidance, and Faith And Fury to 100-0 a critical target. Against a typical Vehicle with these buffs + a nearby Cannoness, you’ll get 9 Damage from the Stormbolters, another 3 or so from the melta, and maybe one point of damage from the Flamer. That’s a dead Vehicle or Monster, and this unit only costs 78 points! You don’t want to go crazy trying to make this Stratagem work with every unit in your army, but it has some serious payouts if you use it properly.

Sacred Rites(1CP): This lets you trade out a CP for a Faith Point. As has been stated, you will burn through CP much faster than your Faith Points, making this Stratagem fairly worthless.

And that wraps us up! All in all, 10 out of the 14 Stratagems are at least occasionally useful in realistic game scenarios, which is actually a very good amount. You’re definitely going to want a lot of CP when you write a Sisters list.

ORDER ANALYSIS

Normally, we look at each Trait for an army in their own article, as Traits tend to also come with lots of other bonuses like special named characters or Relics. As Sisters is only a beta Codex, this is not the case. Instead, we’ll be briefly going over all 6 Orders before going into their recommended units.

Valorous Heart: This gives you a 6+ Feel No Pain, effectively. Although this is not per se a bad ability, it heavily pales against a couple of other Orders, and is not recommended.

Our Martyred Lady: Every time you lose a unit you gain a Faith Point. Once again, you will probably not have a major need for extra Faith Points, so this is also a hard pass.

Ebon Chalice: +1 to Tests Of Faith. This is easily one of the two best Orders, as it provides a huge level of consistency to your Acts Of Faith. This makes the value of your Faith Points and Acts Of Faith higher while smoothing out your actions and planning.

Argent Shroud: Every time you destroy an enemy unit, roll a D6. On a 4+, get a Faith Point. You should have plenty of Faith Points, so this is a pass.

Bloody Rose: On any turn that you charge, were charged, or performed a Heroic Intervention, get +1 Strength and +1 Attack. Remember how we said Sisters aren’t generally good in melee? This changes that math up considerably. Regular Sisters are suddenly  decent in melee, and many of your other units can pull some serious weight. In addition, this doesn’t cost you anything in terms of sacrificing your other Strengths, making the Order Of The Bloody Rose the other very powerful Order alongside Ebon Chalice.

Sacred Rose: You never lose more than 1 model to Morale Tests, and your Overwatch hits on 5 or a 6. Although not as good as Ebon Chalice or Bloody Rose, this is by no means a bad choice. It encourages lots of large units and more fire support which isn’t where Sisters usually find themselves, but you can definitely build a decent list around this.

All in all, most Competitive players will be looking at Bloody Rose or Ebon Chalice, but you may occasionally see a Sacred Rose list. When their final codex comes out, this list may look very different.

RECOMMENDED UNIT ANALYSIS

Normally, we look at the units of an army without considering Traits. However, due to how the beta Sisters codex is structured, we will instead be looking at all units here with all traits in mind. In their breakdowns, we will give extra description or mention to their synergies with certain orders or how you may want to use them.

HQ’s: Celestine, Cannoness, Missionary

 

Celestine: Celestine is part of what makes the army tick. As we mentioned, she’s critical to getting a 4+ Invulnerable Save on the core of your army, which is already more than enough to bring her along. However, she’s also very damaging in melee, and she’s a fairly tough nut to crack. She’s definitely not the one woman army she used to be, but she’s just as critical to bring along. If you don’t own her, you should.

Cannoness: The Cannoness is simply a cheap source to re-roll 1’s to hit in your army. You can give them some equipment if you want, but in general we recommend keeping them cheap. Just make sure you bring at least 1 Cannoness with a Power Sword, since the Blade Of Admonition is an absurd melee Weapon. Otherwise bring 2, maybe 3 if you have some fire support. At only 45 points, they’ll hardly make a dent in your list.

Missionary: The Missionary is an incredible support piece for Sisters. He cuts losses from Morale in half, and adds an attack to all of your models to boot. These are both very useful affects, particularly for the Order Of The Bloody Rose. Bring 1 for sure, maybe two as a Bloody Rose player. Just remember to put them in separate detachments since you can’t have multiple in the same detachment.

Troops: Battle Sister Squad

Sisters only have one Troop choice, so get ready to bring lots of them. Your regular Battle Sisters don’t provide much in terms of fancy battlefield abilities or crazy value, but they are your cheapest access to both Command Points and Faith Points. In general keep your squad sizes small and cheap, although you can splurge and take a couple large units with a Flamer and a Melta for Holy Trinity.

Elites: Arco-Flagellants, Celestian Squad, Dialogus, Repentia Squad, Mistress of Repentance, Crusaders

Arco-Flagellants: Arcos are one of the most so-so units on our Recommended Unit list, as their reasonable melee capability is hampered by their pitiful defense. At Toughness 3 and realistically just a 5+ Feel No Pain for defense, Arcos will die to a swift breeze if you aren’t careful. However, they have the Zealot ability along with a reasonable melee weapon that gets much better if you can keep a Priest with them.

A Missionary turns them into a 15 point model that makes 3D3 attacks that re-roll to hit. The Extremis Trigger Word Stratagem bumps that up to 9 (yes, 9!) attacks per model. Just imagine the look on your opponent’s face when 9 models make a grant total of 81Strength 5 Ap-1 Damage 1 attacks. All in all, Arcos are the epitome of high risk, high reward.

Celestian Squad: Celestians are effectively veteran Battle Sisters, and generally we wouldn’t recommend them. However, they are rather desirable for Bloody Rose players, as they have +1 attack and a 3+ Weapon Skill. Get a Missionary and a Cannoness nearby, and you have a unit that can make 8 Strength 4 attacks thanks to The Passion enabling double fights on an 11 point model in 3+/4++. That’s rock solid, and definitely worth including if you’re out of the Bloody Rose. It should be noted that non Bloody Rose players may get some mileage from the Bodyguard ability, if you’re concerned about your Characters.

Repentia Squad: Repentia are another unit we normally would not recommend, except out of Order Of The Bloody Rose. Baseline, they make 2 Strength 6 AP-2 Damage 2 attacks, which isn’t that impressive. Under the same set of buffs, you climb up to 8 Strength 8 Ap-2 Damage 2 attacks.

Sure you’re effectively only Weapon Skill 4+, but that’s still a ton of incoming damage. Be careful though, as you’re actually even more frail than Arco Flagellants against small arms fire , even with your 4+ invul from a properly buffed Shield Of Faith. Despite this, Bloody Rose players will get some major value out of some Repentia squads.

Mistress Of Repentance: The Mistress is a dedicated character that buffs Repentia Squads by letting them re-roll advance, charge, and hit rolls. She’s only 35 points, and should really just be ran alongside 2-3 units of Repentia Squads.

Dialogus: The Dialogus is a very simple model. He adds 1 to your Leadership values which is cute, and let’s you re-roll all failed Tests Of Faith. This greatly improves the odds of passing your Acts Of Faith. You practically must bring at least 1 of these, and may occasionally want 2.

Crusaders: At 13 Points per model, Crusaders don’t seem to be an amazing choice at first glance. They’re a dedicated melee unit stuck at Strength 3, which means they’re going to have a hard time killing things consistently, even with Power Swords. However, they’re fairly durable for their price, and their base unit size is only 2, which makes them both cheap to field and easy to hide. 1-2 baseline units of Crusaders can effectively hold backfield objectives or control the rear of your army’s space to stop enemy deep strikes. 52 points buys you 2 units of 2, which is a bargain for the utility these guys bring.

Fast Attack: Dominion Squads, Seraphim Squads

Dominion Squads: Dominion Squads are your dedicated Special Weapon teams, and they’re quite good at it. At just 1 point more than a regular sister, you get a free move (including an advance) before the game begins. Specifically, their move is done just before the first player takes their first turn, so you’ll know who’s going first.

A free move means you can easily deploy them on the line as your first deployments and then rush them to safety if you go second, which means they effectively have a hidden benefit of helping you avoid getting counter deployed. Their main use however is the fact you can tuck 4 Specials and a Combi on the Superior. As we talked about with Holy Trinity, this makes Squads with lots of Melta and a Combi Flamer or Vice Versa a great loadout.

You can also load them up with 5 Stormbolters and get some sweet mileage out of Blessed Bolts, or mix and match so you can trigger both Holy Trinity and Blessed Bolts. The squad really can be kitted out to do a lot. However, be careful you don’t get tied up, as Dominion Squads are not good in melee, and they can’t fall back and shoot.

Seraphim Squads: Seraphim serves a very different role than many of the other units in Sisters. Seraphim have poor weapon options since they can now only a couple models can swap out their pistols. However, they are durable thanks to their bonus on their Shield Of Faith, and the Fly keyword means you can stop your opponent from pinning you if you use Seraphim as forwards to screen your army. Bloody Rose players probably won’t need these since you can just kill what you’re in melee with a good amount of the time, but other players will be interested in a few units.

Heavy Support: Exorcist

Exorcists are far and away the best Heavy Support Choice available to Sisters, and they are essentially an automatic inclusion as at least a 2 of, although we would strongly recommend going all in on 3.

To properly explain why Exorcists are the best Heavy Support, we also need to explain why the other two simply don’t make the cut. To begin, let’s look at Retributor Squads. With only 3 weapon options, Retributor Squads are fairly inflexible. In addition, 2 of their 3 weapon choices are anti-infantry based, something that Sisters already excel at killing.

Their remaining weapon, the Multi-Melta, is very good against larger targets but has a serious range issue. You can buy a transport and load them up and try to get across the board, but this is more expensive than an Exorcist and has more points of failure.

This leaves only the Penitent Engine as competition to the Exorcist. In the Penitent Engine’s defense, it has a very high damage output thanks to Zealot and its ability to intrinsically fight twice. In fact, on average you do almost 50% more damage against typical targets while clocking in at 80% of the price. That means that you’re about 85% more points efficient offensively to an Exorcist, which is a very large difference.

So, why do Exorcists beat them out? It comes down to the fact that Penitent’s are made out of tissue paper while simultaneously needing to make it across the table in one piece. The Penitent has only 7 wounds, which it’s 5+ ability to shrug damage effectively moves to 10.5 wounds, slightly less than the Exorcist’s 12. From here, the Penitent has a poor save of only 4+, no Shield Of Faith, and a low toughness of 6.

Compare this to the Exorcists Toughness 8 and Shield Of Faith, along with its incredible high range of 48”, and we have a unit that solves multiple issues that the Sisters codex faces. Exorcists can cleanly control the backfield of your table, preventing backfield deep strikes and winning you the game by covering your precious objectives.

In addition, Sisters have very limited ways to kill large Vehicles without spending a turn or three clearing their way to them. The long range on Exorcists on top of their large height means they can cleanly reach across most tables and tag critical enemy monsters or Vehicles, oftentimes without putting themselves in harms way.

These levels of defense are even more useful than usual, as Sisters have very few multi wound models. This means that the few large targets they have are going to draw serious amounts of heavy firepower for a couple of turns, which in turn makes poor defenses even more of a liability.

Finally, Exorcists also bring excellent utility against other horde armies. Most hordes don’t have a strong way to harm Toughness 8, and proper placement of Exorcists can wall off charge lanes for your opponent while they still rain down on enemy fire support.

Overall, the combination of the Exorcist’s excellent defense and offense along with being placed at a cheap price of only 125 makes them basically an auto-include for most well assembled Sisters list. As a final tip, remember you can roll your Exorcists along with your main frontline to let them benefit from a 4+ Invul and the aura of +1 to hit broadcast thanks to Vessel.

SAMPLE ARMY LIST/TACTICS

Sisters are a very aggressive army that can be tuned to excel in melee, short ranged firefights, or a combination of both. We’re going to look at a sample 2K Brigade out of Order Of The Bloody Rose that has a strong combination of both, along with how to play it and the army tactics at work. As a quick side note, we’ll now be using Battlescribe to display army lists, as they pack far more detail and come in a more organized fashion.

HQ

Canoness [3 PL, 49pts]: Bolt pistol, Power sword, Relic: Braizer of Eternal Flame, Warlord, Warlord Trait: 5. Indomitable Belief

Canoness [3 PL, 49pts]: Bolt pistol, Power sword, Relic: Blade of Admonition

Celestine [8 PL, 160pts]

Missionary [2 PL, 35pts]: Laspistol

Troops

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 45pts]: 4x Battle Sister
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 45pts]: 4x Battle Sister
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 45pts]: 4x Battle Sister
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 45pts]: 4x Battle Sister
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 45pts]: 4x Battle Sister
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 45pts]: 4x Battle Sister
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Elites

Celestian Squad [10 PL, 146pts]
. 7x Celestian
. Celestian Superior: Bolt pistol, Combi-flamer
. Celestian w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Meltagun
. Celestian w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun

Celestian Squad [10 PL, 146pts]
. 7x Celestian
. Celestian Superior: Bolt pistol, Combi-flamer
. Celestian w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Meltagun
. Celestian w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun

Celestian Squad [10 PL, 146pts]
. 7x Celestian
. Celestian Superior: Bolt pistol, Combi-flamer
. Celestian w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Meltagun
. Celestian w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun

Dialogus [1 PL, 30pts]

Mistress of Repentance [2 PL, 38pts]: Neural Whips

Repentia Squad [6 PL, 105pts]: 7x Repentia

Repentia Squad [6 PL, 105pts]: 7x Repentia

Fast Attack

Dominion Squad [10 PL, 110pts]
. 5x Dominion
. Dominion Superior: Bolt pistol, Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter

Dominion Squad [10 PL, 110pts]
. 5x Dominion
. Dominion Superior: Bolt pistol, Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter

Dominion Squad [10 PL, 126pts]
. 5x Dominion
. Dominion Superior: Bolt pistol, Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Flamer
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter

Heavy Support

Exorcist [7 PL, 125pts]

Exorcist [7 PL, 125pts]

Exorcist [7 PL, 125pts]

Total: 136 PL, 2000pts

To begin, let’s talk about our resources and pregame options. We have 3 Exorcists, 30 Dominions, 14 Repentia, 1 Mistress, 30 Celestians, 30 Battle Sisters, 2 Cannonesses, and Celestine for models with the Acts Of Faith ability. This is exactly 110, giving us 11 extra Faith Points for a total of 14. We are a Brigade which gives us 15 Command Points, one of which we definitely spend on a second relic. 14 Faith Points and 14 Command Points gives us plenty of gas to fuel our myriad of abilities.

The pre-game decisions for this list are also a bit more intensive than usual. For this write up we took the Blade Of Admonition and the Brazier, with the intent of the army just rolling forward all game. However, you will have games where you sit a Cannoness and the 3 Exorcists in the backfield and don’t take a second relic for some long range artillery. Your exact configuration of Relics and deployments will vary based on your opponent’s list and the terrain.

With that out of the way, let’s look at how this list actually plays. Essentially, all the characters form a giant deathball with most of your army being barely within 6” of said deathball so they can receive all of the buffs from your many characters. You can spread surprisingly far out as long as you remember you only need a sliver of a single base inside 6” of all the auras to buff the entire unit.

Our Repentia Squads and Dominions provide us with some early pressure by being able to rapidly clear the board. You should plan on using Vessel alongside Hand Of The Emperor to boost the mobility of your army for at least one, maybe two turns. This way you can get up close and personal right away, which is where you want to be.

Our Dominions and Celestians are our main work horses and CP investments. We have access to most of the  powerful offensive Stratagems that can be used with every unit, and proper use will really push the damage on these units up to 11. Just be careful, as 14(15 with 1 Relic) CP can evaporate in 2-3 turns if you’re not careful.

Against hordes, you should be able to simply beat them on quality. Even if you find yourself outnumbered 2 to 1 or 3 to 1, the raw quality of your units alongside the absurd amount of attacks you can make should cut them down in no time.

Where things get dicey for you is dedicated melee unit’s and gunlines. A few units of Berzerkers or Genestealers is far more threatening than a horde of Ork Boyz, generally speaking. Make sure to leverage your Dominions as emergency screening units and try to land charges as much as you can.

If your Exorcists don’t have a lot of targets, they can help protect your army from getting charged first.

Against gunlines, your Exorcists should roll along with the core of your giant deathball. Most gunlines will only have 1-2 turns before you close the gap, and you can rain reasonable damage from your Exorcists while maintaining a 4+ Shield Of Faith on them.

Regardless of who you’re fighting, the Repentia Squads are effectively distraction units that your opponent will fixate on removing most games, as they can plausibly run over most larger targets and they make too many swings to tarpit. Try to take advantage of this by maintaining their 4+ Shield Of Faith and use them to buy time. If they can make it in after clearing chaff and taking hits,  that’s just a bonus.

This just leaves the regular Sisters. These ladies will win the game while the rest of your army does it’s thing by controlling objectives and preventing backfield deepstrikes. This lets you focus the core of your army, which should be running up the table and drowning your opponent in Strength 4 attacks, whether it be bolter fire or melee.

And that about wraps it up for us today. Sisters are a fairly straightforward army, but they’re good at what they do. As long as you properly leverage your many different auras and resources, you should have no problem purging heretics for the Ecclesiarchy at your Nights At The Game Table.

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