Codex: Adepta Sororitas 10th Edition: The Crusade Rules Review


The tenth edition Codex for the Adepta Sororitas is just around the corner and as always, we’ve got a full review of the new book’s Crusade rules. In case you missed our review of the book’s matched play rules and datasheets, you can find that here. In this review we’ll be talking about the book’s Crusade rules, how they compare to those from ninth edition, and offering thoughts on how to apply them to your games and campaigns.

Before we dive in we’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a preview copy of the codex.

The core mechanic for the Adepta Sororitas is around building living saints from the characters in your army. And if that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s basically the same as the mechanics we had for the Sisters in the ninth edition codex. Which is largely good, because this is more of an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” situation than some of the other books.

Credit: Evan “Felime” Siefring

Trials of a Living Saint

One of the defining traits of the Adepta Sororitas is their martyrdom, and the way they become living saints on that path to martyrdom. The faction’s Crusade rules model this nicely by giving you a way to put your Sororitas characters on the path to Sainthood, giving them different trials to overcome, with each success bringing them one step closer to the Emperor’s divinity.

When you start your Crusade force, you can pick one of your Sisters Characters to become a Living Saint, and they gain the SAINT POTENTIA keyword. On top of the standard experience points that units in your armies gain, this character also gains Saint and Martyr points, which factor into their journey to become a living saint.

Credit: Thanquol

Saint Points

Saint Points are the core currency of the Trials of Faith. During your Crusade, your SAINT POTENTIA undertakes various trials to gain Saint Points. You pick a trial when you first nominate your Potentia, and then each time you do the required deeds for that Trial you’ll earn Saint Points which earn you rewards. Accrue 10 Saint points and you gain a Saintly Reward Battle Honour, at which point you complete your trial and can pick a new one and start again (you start over at 0 Saint Points). Unlike ninth edition, these Saintly Rewards are Battle Honours, and if gaining one would cause you to go over your limit, it just replaces an old one. When you gain your fifth Saintly Reward your character becomes a LIVING SAINT and loses the SAINT POTENTIA keyword.

You can abandon your trial at any time, but if you do you lose all those benefits and your Saint Points.

Battle Sisters. Credit: Corrode

Martyr Points

Martyr Points are the other side of the trials coin. Each time your Saint Potentia/Living Saint fails an Out of Action test, they gain 1 Martyr point and you take a Martyrdom test for them. This test is a D6 plus your current number of Martyr Points. Roll above* your Leadership and you “pass,” becoming a Martyr (yes, passing is kind of bad in this case). The model is removed from your Order of Battle and every other unit in your army gains XP equal to the number of Saintly Rewards that martyred Saint Potential/Living Saint had.

TheChirurgeon: I assume that this means if your Leadership characteristic is 6+ you have to roll a 7 or higher. This is pretty bonkers as it’s just a copy-paste of the rules from ninth with no consideration for how Leadership characteristics in 10th have changed, and now the implication is that having a lower Leadership value (good) now means you are more likely to die and become a martyr (not bad but not ideal).

This weird rule aside, the saintly status of your army will be in constant flux as you grow a saint from nothing, then eventually watch her die to improve the rest of your army. It’s a solid mechanic that strongly mitigates the downside of losing a character while adding a much-needed dose of dramatic tension and permadeath to Crusade – one of the system’s biggest failings.

Now let’s dig into the trials. There are only five, so your living Saints will always have the same five rewards. While conceptually these are similar to the trials in Ninth Edition, they’ve been shaved down here, with only two deeds each, and the rewards have changed substantially.

  • Trial of Faith – Gain Saint points for doing Acts of Faith and having Miracle dice left over at game’s end (max 2). Reward: At the end of each Command phase you can discard a Miracle Dice to gain one with a 6.
  • Trial of Suffering – Gain Saint Points for gaining Martyr points or for ending the battle below your Starting Strength or dying on an Objective Marker. Your reward is that at the start of any phase you can chuck a Miracle Dice to regain all your lost wounds.
  • Trial of Purity – Gain Saint Points for being near the centre of the battlefield and for not failing a Battle-shock test during a battle. The reward is you can discard 1 Miracle dice when this sister’s unit fights to give model’s melee weapons x2 Strength and [DEVASTATING WOUNDS].
  • Trial of Righteousness – Gain saint points for killing enemy characters and destroying 5+ models in a battle. Your reward? Your model’s unit can discard a miracle dice to give her unit IGNORES COVER and PRECISION on Critical wounds.
  • Trial of Valour – Gain Saint points for being in your opponent’s Deployment Zone and if your model gained more XP than any other unit. The Reward is at the start of the Battle-shock step of your opponent’s Command phase you can chuck a Miracle dice to make every enemy unit within 12” take a Battle-shock test if it’s below Starting Strength. They get -1 to the test if they’re below half-Strength.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones


We’ve got the usual package of four Agendas but with some having a fun twist using the various Sororitas mechanics they have to offer

Test of Faith lets you sacrifice an additional Miracle dice whenever a unit performs an Act of Faith. Doing so means at the end of the battle, for each die spent in this fashion earns that unit an additional 1XP. There is a bonus Saint point as well if the Saint Potentia is also in the habit of throwing away excess Miracle dice. There is a chance this could backfire however, if the unit fails a Battle-shock test, their pool of dead dice is zeroed out.

Atonement in Battle is an awesome Agenda for your Battle Scarred units to lose the aforementioned Battle Scar by simply destroying one or more enemy units. That by itself is a pretty sweet deal but this Agenda also lets Repentia Squads gain Redemption points which are needed for the Glorious Redemption Requisition.

Defend the Shrine is the typical objective marker Agenda where your opponent gets to choose one of the objective markers not in their own deployment zone and then you get to spend the rest of the game making damn sure you’re holding onto that very special marker for the free 1XP rewarded to a unit at the end of each of your turns. Bonus points for holding the objective at the end of the game will also reward a unit with a free Weapon Mod, Crusade Relic or 3 Saints points. Failing to secure the objective at the end of the game however does mean you will not gain the 1 Requisition point that you would normally gain at the end of a battle.

Pious Purgation may be the best Agenda we have seen and will almost certainly be your Agenda of choice when fighting the Thousand Sons, Grey Knights and that one guy trying to make Aeldari Warlock Conclaves viable. Simply by just killing enemy units, this agenda will net your Adepta Sororitas units 1XP which is a pretty sweet deal by itself. But it also turns every single Psyker model into a XP filled piñata rewarding 1XP per model destroyed with an additional toasted 1XP on top again for using Melta or Torrent weapons. Thankfully to prevent your Retributors from maxing out their level caps too quickly, each unit can only gain a maximum of 3XP from this Agenda.

Credit: Games Workshop


Divine Calling is the Cowards Requisition where for 1 Req, it allows you to game the Trials system in which you would gain 7-9 Saint points in an easier one like Trial of Faith, abandon that Trial and then start a different Trial with half those Saint points rounded up. If there was any justice then this Req would cost 7 Req and all of your Miracle dice for several games and the Emperor would be sorely disappointed in you personally.

Ascension to the Order is a fun requisition where for 2 Req you can swap out your Sisters Novitiate squad for a Battle Sisters, Dominion or Retributor squad and keep the same XP, Battle Honours and Battle Scars. Beanith: From a narrative perspective this is a pretty cool way of growing the story for your Sisters but I’m not sure I’d want to spend that much Req to remove my Kill Team weirdos from my roster.

Space Marines may inter their most vaunted champions into dreadnoughts using their Even In Death I Still Serve Requisition. The basic squads of Sisters on the other hand, should they misstep in their Devotion to the Emperor, are far more likely to strip off their armour and run straight at the enemy intent on causing mayhem with great big swords via The Penitent Path requisition. This Req will replace that squad with a Repentia squad with the same Battle Honours, Battle Scars and XP. Better yet, if they manage to somehow muck that up, you can then replace that entire Repentia squad with a single Mortifier. Even with all that, it still gets better as this unit will also gain 2XP from Dealers of Death as a permanent upgrade while it remains in your Order of Battle.

That said, you may want to hold off on trying to fit 4-9 Repentia into a Mortifier and instead let them find Glorious Redemption on the battlefield. You will get to use this requisition when your Repentia Squad has gained 3 Redemption points via the Atonement in Battle agenda. You can now replace your Repentia squad with a squad of Seraphim, Zepyrim, Celestian Sacresants or Paragon Warsuits with the same Battle Honours, Battle Scars and XP. But wait! There’s more, you also gain one Battle Trait of your choice which does not count that unit’s maximum number of Battle Honours it can have which would be 4 unless you use the Legendary Veterans, which in case there wasn’t enough cherries on top of this treat, now costs 1 Req to remove the level cap for a possible ridiculous 7 Battle Honour.

For those actively trying to gain various Battle Scars and Saint points but are cursed with godly dice rolls and opponents that couldn’t hit the side of a space barn from the inside, will find that the In Suffering, Enlightenment Req will give them 1 Battle Scar and 1 Battle Honour of your choice to a Sororitas unit along with 3 Saint points and 1 Martyr if the unit in question was your Saint Potentia.

Lastly for those with Req to burn, you can spend 1 on Saintly Benedictions to ensure that the Miracle Dice you gain at the start of each turn in round one is automatically a 6.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Battle Traits

There are four tables of traits on offer here, with six traits for Infantry/Paragon Warsuits to roll for because you’re all decent, upstanding folk.

  • Pure of Soul lets you subtract 1 from the Wound rolls on Psychic Attacks.
  • Valour of Saints lets you discard a Miracle dice to autopass Leadership and Battle-shock tests.
  • Armour of Faith reduces the Armour Penetration of incoming attacks by 1 for a phase when you discard a Miracle dice.
  • Veterans of the Convent lets you re-roll failed Out ofAction tests and increase the XP gain from Marked for Greatness by 2XP
  • Zealous Devotion increases the Weapon Skill of melee weapons by 1 when charging.
  • Exemplars of the Order lets the unit perform an additional Act of Faith per phase.

The Penitent only have three choices to make, which is handy because they’re all amazing and you’re going to want all three floating around on the battlefield.

  • Unquenchable Fanaticism will add 1 to Advance and Charge rolls.
  • Faithful Devotee will gain an eye watering 4+ Feel No Pain roll whenever they are Below Half-strength.
  • Blood Begets Absolution rewards you with 1 Miracle dice whenever they destroy an enemy unit in the Fight phase.

Your Adeptas Sororitas Characters are in for a treat unless they happen to not be your Warlord and end up with Beacon of Faith somehow.

  • Deeds, Not Words lets you re-roll both Hit and Wound rolls whenever they make an attack.
  • Aegis of Belief gives them a 5+ Feel No Pain and because they were feeling generous, you also regain 1 lost wound in your Command phase.
  • Beacon of Faith is the trait for your Warlord allowing you to convert 1 CP into D3 Miracle dice at the end of your Command phases.

Rounding out the section is a little something for your four tank options you may have trundling around.

  • Mobile Shrine is an aura, remember those? In this instance, it’s a 6” bubble of +1 Leadership.
  • Pious Machine Spirit lets you improve the result of a Miracle dice by 1 before you use it.
  • Thrice-blessed Hull is another 4+ Feel No Pain but thankfully only against Mortal Wounds.

Beanith: I was fully expecting to find something to grumble about in this section as in the past trait tables like this have tended to be the same stuff from ninth but slightly adjusted to fit with the tenth ruleset but GW has knocked it out of the park here with some awesome Traits not just for the rank and file but some fun stuff for the Penitent and Vehicle units and some truly obscene traits for the half dozen characters running around in your Order of Battle.

Palatine Apraxia Val
Credit: Evan “Felime” Siefring

Crusade Relics

There are eight Crusade Relics on offer here – four Artificer, three antiquity, and one Legendary. There are some solid options here – for Artificer Relics, Tears of the Emperor gives your character +1 Attacks, Strength, and Damage on their ranged weapons, plus ANTI-CHAOS 4+ and DEVASTATING WOUNDS, which can turn them into an insanely nasty little Chaos killer – it’s probably best used on the new Canoness with Jump Pack, where her Hand Flamer suddenly becomes a S5 2-damage Flamer putting out D6+1 shots. The Sigil Ecclesiasticus is also pretty spicy, as a SAINT POTENTIA-only relic which makes it so when its bearer is destroyed you automatically get a “6” Miracle Dice, plus 1 Saint Point.

The Antiquity Relics are largely kind of blah with the exception of the Battle-Psalms of Vespania, which lets you pick an extra Sisters Agenda to be used each battle and actually is downright broken in that regard – it’s a must-take for anyone looking to score extra XP and can destabilize campaigns if you’re not careful.

The Legendary Relic on offer here is the Weapon of the Matriarch, which goes on a LIVING SAINT and turns here into an insanely powerful melee threat: She gets +1 Strength and +1 AP on her melee weapons, plus ANTI-CHARACTER 4+, PRECISION, and DEVASTATING WOUNDS. This is just bonkers. I think its best application is on a Jump Pack Canoness, especially one with a Holy Eviscerator, but if you can get this on a Palatine that can create some incredibly funny moments, though her [LETHAL HITS] tends to get in the way of the Dev Wounds. Either way, a character with this suddenly becomes the kind of legendary campaign threat your friends will be talking about for some time.

Beanith: I’m still going to stick the Vortex Grenade on the Jump Pack Canoness.

TheChirurgeon: Just take more than one Jump Pack Canoness.

Beanith: Sheer Genius. And that’s why we pay you the imaginary big bucks that comes with being the Supreme Grand Overlord CEO of Goonhammer.

The Ongo
Ongo Gablogian, Sister of Battle.

Final Thoughts

TheChirurgeon: Yeah this is all fine stuff. I was a fan of the Living Saint rules before and I’m still a fan now – it’s a cool way to do small amounts of progression in your army on a single character without getting too bogged down in tracking a toon of doodads, and it introduces some much-needed permadeath into the game so your potential saints can die Historic. That said, I think Battle-Psalms of Vespania is a mistake and I’d just ban it in any campaign I run as I’m not a fan of mechanics which let you snag extra XP – Crusade campaigns can already get lopsided enough without dedicated mechanics allowing you to score an extra 3-5 XP per game.

Beanith: I started off a bit meh on this particular ruleset being a bit too focused on the Warlord/Saint Potentia but I quickly fell in love with the narrative ruleset made available to your rank and file troops via the Agendas and Requisitions. Watching a squad of Sisters Novitiates become full fledged Battle Sisters, stumbling on the path and having to redeem themselves as Repentia before becoming Celestian Sacresants makes for some fantastic world building. It also doesn’t hurt that doing this means you can eventually end up with some truly nasty mix of Penitent and Infantry Battle Traits on a squad of Paragon Warsuits or Celestian Sacresants. I mean who doesn’t want to see half a squad of Sacresants with a 4+ Feel No Pain, bonuses to charges and extra XP for killing things?


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