Start Competing: Adepta Sororitas/Sisters of Battle Tactics

Do you want to run an infantry-heavy force of devout warriors, marching forth to war (literally) shielded by their faith in the emperor? Does being able to call in miraculous assitance to pull off improbable dice rolls at key moments sound like your kind of fun? Or do you just want to throw a large number of fanatics wielding chainswords bigger than they are at your opponents? If any of these sound like you, read on.

A few months ago the Sisters of Battle finally got the dedicated, blowout army book they’ve long deserved, and since then the tournament scene has started to really get to grips with what makes the army tick. We were very impressed with the army when we first reviewed it, and while they haven’t been dominating the scene some decent results have been posted with a variety of lists, and a model range that isn’t yet complete has somewhat held back adoption. One of their best tools also gets considerably better with the recent Marine changes, leaving them well positioned. Finally, the Adepta Sororitas have a lot of nasty tricks available to them, and as they get more popular it’s going to be vital for those who want to fight back against them.

It’s worth noting that as our initial review of this faction was very detailed (and not too far off the mark in most places) we’ve re-used quite a bit of the content here, but rest assured we’ve done a full pass on it to make sure it’s up to date! And as always, any tactics article like this represents a specific time and environment. This article was published on March 6th, 2020, before any potential Psychic Awakening updates for the Sisters of Battle.

 

Army Strengths

  • Powerful Army-Wide Abilities: Between Shield of Faith, Order abilities, Sacred Rites and (especially) Acts of Faith Sisters have a ton of strong special rules that charge the army up.
  • Great Core Infantry: Battle sister units are cheap, have decent firepower and can be made extremely resilient.
  • Lethal Melee Units: Early successful builds have leaned on the terrifying power of fully buffed-up Zephyrim and Repentia squads, which are already carving themselves out a place as some of the most cost-efficient melee killers in the game.

Army Weaknesses

  • Low Toughness: Sisters have decent saves and near army-wide invulnerable saves, but at only Toughness 3 for their infantry, many weapons in the game are gonna be wounding you on a 3+ or even a 2+. While they can ensure they have good saves, volume S4+ firepower can take them down.
  • Psychic Powers: Sisters have some tools for denying powers, but lack any native access to psychic of their own, and they don’t really have any other mortal wound options to compensate.
  • Short Ranged: Sisters do have a few powerful ranged units, but the bulk of the army needs to close to operate at full efficiency.

 

Competitive Rating

Sister Superior Amalia Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Good. Pure Sisters have only put up a few top finishes thus far, but the range is still only partially complete and player numbers are tiny thus far. The successful builds that have emerged appear to have the strengths to take on all comers, and they should only get better now that Marines have been taken down a peg.

 

Special Rules

As suggested by us listing it as a strength, the Adepta Sororitas have a tonne of special rules going on. We’ll break them down in this section, starting with the one that everyone got most excited about when the book released (and with good reason).

Just before that, it’s worth quickly noting that this book is slightly unusual in how many units have different keywords from one another. The unifying faction keyword for the book is Adeptus Ministorum, with a large sub-set also having the Adepta Sororitas keyword and a further sub-set of those having an <ORDER> subfaction keyword. For convenience in further discussions (as there are quite a few rules generalisations based off this), the following units have neither Adepta Sororitas nor <ORDER>:

  • Missionary
  • Preacher
  • Crusaders
  • Death Cult Assassins
  • Arco-Flagellants
  • Penitent Engines

The following do have Adepta Sororitas but don’t have an <ORDER>:

  • Triumph of St. Katherine
  • Celestine
  • Geminae Superia
  • Dialogus
  • Hospitalier
  • Mortifiers

Acts of Faith

Adepta Sororitas Sister Superoir

Adepta Sororitas Sister Superior. Credit: Jack Hunter

The Acts of Faith special rule is one of the most powerful in the game, giving you access to a pool of pre-rolled dice that you can use instead of making a roll once per phase. Access to this ability is based on whether the rule appears on a unit’s datasheet, which it does for every Adepta Sororitas unit except Mortifiers and also on the Crusaders datasheet.

Miracle Dice

Acts of Faith (AoF) run off Miracle dice. As long as your army contains at least one unit with the ability, you gain them in the following ways:

  • One at the beginning of each battle round
  • One at the end of a phase if one or more of the following conditions are met:
    •  A unit from your army with the AoF ability destroys an enemy unit.
    •  A Character unit from your army with the AoF ability is destroyed.
    •  A psychic power is resisted by a unit from your army with the AoF ability (without performing an AoF to do so)
    • You roll an unmodified 1 for a Morale test taken for a unit with the AoF ability (without performing an AoF to do so)
  • Via various special abilities, trait and relics.

When you gain a Miracle dice, roll a D6. The result is the value of that Miracle dice. Keep it to one side in your Miracle dice pool.

A very important thing to bear in mind as an implication of this is that whenever you lose any models in a unit with AoF, roll the morale test! Normally people just shortcut and don’t bother rolling tests they can’t fail, but it still technically happens, and now gives you a free chance to earn a Miracle dice in the morale phase. It also makes pulling off a wrap/trap/kill in the enemy fight phase extremely valuable as it earns you an extra die.

Performing an Act of Faith

Once per phase, before making a dice roll for a model or unit with AoF, you can choose to use one or more of the dice from the Miracle pool instead. For each individual die that is being rolled as part of the dice roll, you can select one Miracle dice to be subbed for that dice roll. Once all Miracle dice subs have been made, remove the chosen Miracle dice from your pool, and roll any remaining unsubbed dice that are a part of the dice roll.

You can do this for the following types of roll:

  • Advance
  • Charge
  • Deny the Witch
  • Hit
  • Wound
  • Save
  • Damage
  • Morale

A Miracle dice is not a modifier, so the result counts as an “unmodified” roll of the number showing you selected if that’s relevant.

When re-rolling a dice roll, no new Miracle dice may be used and the number and values of any Miracle dice that have already been subbed in the dice roll remain the same for the re-roll (i.e. you can’t re-roll the Miracle dice if you suddenly decide you don’t like the result).

An important note here is that your Act of Faith applies to a single roll. That means you can’t use one to sub in multiple dice for hit rolls when a single unit fires all its guns – while normally people fast roll every weapon of the same type at once, they are technically separate rolls, so you can’t miracle multiple of them. You can, however, make both dice in a charge be 6s, so if that comes up, knock yourselves (and hopefully shortly afterwards your target) out.

How to Use Them

This ability is one that’s incredibly powerful in its basic form but also has some depth to it in where you get the most value out of it. In general, like any variance-reduction ability you’ll get the most value out of using it when there’s the least variance “left” after processing the result of the fixed roll. In simpler terms you get the most benefit from spending a resource to avoid relying on luck when there aren’t any steps left where luck can still screw you over!

If you want something dead, for example, and choose to use a Miracle dice on the hit roll you could still fail to wound, leaving the dice effectively wasted (though judicious use of the Faith and Fury can let you avoid having to choose). It won’t always be wrong to pick one for a hit roll – if you need a much higher roll to hit than to wound it could be worth it – but these are a limited enough resource that you don’t want to just go throwing high-rolled ones at anything. If you’re firing any sort of d6 damage weapon at critical targets and have a 6 in your pool then the damage roll is probably where you should be blowing it, as there’s no more variance left after that step of the attack resolution.  You can be a bit more liberal with dice showing 3s, as they aren’t nearly as useful for charges or damage rolls, so blowing one of them to lock in a wound might not be such a bad plan. If you’ve got some ones or twos around you can also use these to modify a hit, wound or save with the Moment of Grace stratagem, which helpfully also doesn’t count as an Act of Faith itself (so could be a way to get a hit through prior to you using a Miracle dice for the wound.

A final thing to remember when trying to use them for attacks is that if you’re shooting a batch of powerful shots into a single target (say an Exorcist into a vehicle) you may want to roll your attacks a few at a time – you decide whether to use an Act of Faith before rolling an individual step of a single attack, so if you have six melta missiles going towards an enemy, maybe roll out the first four and see if they just kill it outright, then use the Act of Faith on one of the last ones if needed.

While reliable shooting is cool, the most effective use of these is definitely on things that provide a straight binary success/failure, most notably on pulling off 9″ Zephyrim charges from Deep Strike and firing Repentia a long way across the board with a maxed out advance which they can follow up wtih a charge thanks to Holy Rage. The additional consistency with which you can deploy these two units is a big contributor to their early success, and the fact that they can do this is critical for those playing against the Sororitas to bear in mind.

A example of this is that thanks to the next ability, all the units that can use this ability have a 6++ at worst. THat means if you have a six in your pool youhalways have the option of saying “nope” to any one attack coming at you, which can be particularly nice if a melta shot has just slammed into a Rhino carrying precious Repentia. Moment of Grace again provides an alternative here.

Finally, try to hold on to one low-value dice in your pool as often as possible, as the other strat-based use for them is to save a dying character using Divine Intervention, always a trick you want up your sleeve.

Getting More

Of the tools that provide access to additional or modified Miracle dice, the key ones that see the most use are:

  • Litanies of Faith (relic) – optionally re-roll one gained Miracle dice per player turn.
  • Terrible Knowledge (Ebon Challice warlord trait) – your first gained dice at the start of the first BR is always a six.

The former is used in almost every list, while the latter shows up in the Repentia/Zephyrim heavy builds to load up an early six to guarantee a charge. In those build, a utility Ebon Challice Canoness tends to load up with both of these.

The other key options are:

  • Beacon of Faith (warlord trait) – Gain an extra dice each turn. A great option if you don’t need the guaranteed early 6, but the builds that need that sometimes need to use their second warlord trait slot on Indomitable Belief.
  • Triumph of Saint Katherine Hasn’t yet shown up in lists much, possibly as everyone is still painting the damn thing, but provides an hefty flow of dice when you include it.

There are some strats that Ebon Chalice units can also modify die they use to a six, but they’re currently mostly seen as a utility inclusion to power up other units. There’s also the mysterious wildcard that is the Battle Sanctum. This is a fortification that gives you an extra miracle dice at the start of each battle round as long as you have a unit near it, and is pretty reasonably priced. Sadly, the model hasn’t yet been released and tournaments have pretty much universally ruled that until we know how big it’s supposed to be it can’t be included in lists, as its dimensions are going to be an important part of how it interacts with the game!

Finally, there are a couple of stratagems that give you one or more. Test of Faith (which gives d3) can be worth rolling if you get the chance, but the conditions are somewhat outside your control (make a deny or roll a 1 on morale), but Vessel of the Emperor’s Will gives you a fairly unappealing one for one CP to Miracle die trade after a character uses one, and isn’t usually worth it.

Overall, while options exist to add more of these the options aren’t always going to fit in your armies, so make sure you rack these up from killing stuff wherever possible, and aim to get one in both players turns if you use melee builds – because this ability is so powerful you always want to have it lined up.

Shield of Faith

This ability is common to almost all Adepta Sororitas units in the army except Mortifiers. Models with this ability get a 6+ invulnerable save. In addition, one model in the unit can attempt to Deny the Witch once per turn, but the roll is taken on 1D6.

At a baseline this is merely fine – the save is nice but the Deny will rarely work. However, there are several ways to improve both aspects. There are multiple aura abilities available that boost the Shield of Faith save for INFANTRY (all capping out at 4++), and Sacred Rites can boost the power of the Deny. The presence of these abilities (and the fact that for the latter you can choose it on a per-game basis) turns this into a genuinely useful trait, and a big pile of 4++ infantry rolling around the board is very standard for successful builds. Sadly, you can no longer buff the save on VEHICLES, so the wall of 4++ Rhinos that were staples in beta codex builds are gone, but cheap-ish high quality infantry with an invuln is a great staple for an army, and it also lets you keep units like Repentia (that would otherwise be very fragile) a bit safer.

Zealot

When resolving an attack made with a melee weapon by a model in this unit, you can re-roll the hit roll if that model’s unit made a charge move, was charged, or performed a Heroic Intervention this turn.

This ability is common to various Ministorum and Sororitas melee units, and is extremely useful on Repentia in particular, helping them do appalling damage on the charge. This ability is what makes most of the units with it good, and is overall a very powerful one.

Credit: RichyP

Order Convictions

Most membersof the Adepta Sororitas belong to an <ORDER>, which is a sub-faction that will give them a special trait (here called a conviction) if all the units in an Adepta Sororitas Detachment belong to the same Order. Units that don’t have an <ORDER> tag don’t stop other units gaining a trait but don’t gain one themselves.

Three of these have emerged as clear early favourites – Valorous Heart, Bloody Rose and Ebon Chalice. The Valorous Heart conviction, when combined with an Imagifier, allows the majority of units to take their 3+ save against most incoming fire (and certainly anything high volume), providing either an incredibly tough infantry core or protecting backline Exorcists. The Bloody Rose abilities, on the other hand, combine to turn their melee units into brutal offensive threats, and it’s here where a lot of the damage dealers in successful armies come from. Finally, the Ebon Chalice gives access to an exceptional warlord trait, and thus turns up in mixed lists to power them up.

We’ll look at these key three first, then glance at the rest.

Valorous Heart

  • Order Conviction – Stoic Endurance: Ignore AP-1. Stacks with an Imagifier for ignore AP-2. In addition, models have a 6+++.
  • Warlord Trait – Impervious to Pain: The warlord has a 5+++.
  • Relic – Casket of Penance: Enemy units within 1″ of a model with this relic have -1T.
  • Stratagem – Blind Faith (1CP): Use when a unit from this order shoots. Ignore hit penalties. ‘sup there Raven Guard, dodge this.

Valorous Heart infantry are some of the most resilient in the game thanks to their faction trait. With the (practically mandatory) Imagifier you’ll be rolling their 3+ most of the time, and often have a 4++ to fall back on from Shield of Faith buffs, followed either way by a 6+++. Very few armies can put out infantry that tough in bulk, and anything short of Assault Centurions will find chewing through a blob of these a real slog. The trait has only gotten better with the change to Marine Doctrines, as the AP-1 version will now be relevant more of the time, and the AP-2 version will be online against stalker bolt rifles after turn one.

As well as buffing up infantry this order is a popular choice for anyone packing Exorcists, as they too can benefit from the inspiration of an Imagifier to shrug off hits from heavy burst cannons and the like. Building around that is a bit more of a gamble, as tanks are more likely to draw high AP firepower, but Exorcists are pretty good on rate anyway and being able to shut down incoming fire from some armies is still a nice bonus.

It’s mostly the order trait you’re here for, with the stratagem being the only other draw in some matchups. It’s obviously great when used on an Exorcist against enemy planes (booooooooo), and can be helpful if you need to move one in a pinch as well.

Valourous Heart has quickly become the default for the infantry core of a lot of builds, and it’s so good at that that it’s largely shutting out the non-Bloody Rose orders – while they all have stuff that appeals, Valorous Heart has thus far proven to be just better in that slot.

Bloody Rose

  • Order Conviction – Quick to Anger: Add an extra -1AP to attacks with pistol and melee weapons. In addition, gain +1A on any turn in which the unit charged, was charged or heroically intervened.
  • Warlord Trait – Blazing Ire: The model has an extra attack and can advance and charge.
  • Relic – Beneficience: Super chainsword. +1S, AP-2, D2, 3 extra attacks. Hi Teeth of Terra!
  • Stratagem – Tear them Down (1CP): Give a unit from the order +1 to wound in the Fight phase.

Bloody Rose are the other mainstay simply because they do something vastly better than Valorous Heart – kill stuff up close. Most of the stuff here contributes to this, but the conviction is what ties it all together. As anyone who’s played Marines since their new book or seen Ancient Relic Shining Spears in action, +1A makes a spectacular difference to the output of melee units, and all of the stuff that wants it here is well positioned to benefit from the additional AP as well, being a mix of AP-2 or AP-3 on baseline. Even the boost to pistols is a surprisingly big deal – Seraphim are very popular in Bloody Rose builds, and adding AP to their bolt pistol volleys makes them a lot more relevant.

The stratagem is hugely important too – flat +1 to wound is one of the best effects in the game, and using it on Repentia lets them wound most stuff smaller than a tank on a 2+, and gets them back to a respectable 4+ against a Knight that can be improved with an Imagifier. It’s also critical for Zephyrim, as it means that even against T6+ targets they only need a 5 to wound, at which point their re-rolls and volume of attacks can allow them to actually do damage.

The relic, meanwhile, combines with the Righteous Rage warlord trait to make an extremely efficiently costed melee killer. You won’t always be able to spare the warlord trait slot, but the relic is sufficiently powerful that it’s fine by itself, so don’t be afraid to add it solo. Righteous Rage is basically just flat out better than Blazing Ire, making that the one miss from this Order.

Making effective use of the fight phase is one of the most powerful things you can do in competitive 40k, and Bloody Rose’s abilities combine with the charge reliability from Acts of Faith to let Sisters excel at this, likely cementing its place as a mainstay of lists.

It’s also worth saying that it’s highly advisable to bring an Inquisitor along with the Terrify power if you’re running Bloody Rose – it turns out that running these units in a metagame full of Assault Centurions is where the answer to the question “does anyone actually need this?” is a resounding “yes”.

Ebon Chalice

  • Order Conviction – Daughters of the Emperor: Gain a 5+++ against Mortal Wounds. In addition, when performing an Act of Faith you can discard an additional dice to make the dice you used a 6.
  • Warlord Trait – Terrible Knowledge: Your first free start of the round Miracle dice of the game is an automatic 6, and you gain d3 CP.
  • Relic – Annunciation of the Creed: Relic condemnor boltgun. S5, AP-2 Dd3, can character snipe PSYKERS and does straight damage 3 against them.
  • Stratagem – Cleansing Flames (2CP): Use when a unit from the order shoots or overwatches. You automatically roll the maximum number of shots on any flame weapons they are using.

The Ebon Chalice Order Conviction is very powerful in the abstract, but in practice on the table the diminishing returns from it are too great to make it worth going wide on this order, and because of how powerful various aura abilities in the army are you generally want to unify around two orders at most. We do think there would be room for a small detachment of Ebon Challice loaded with some big guns to exploit the ability to line up sixes just whenever, but it’s not enough to build an army around.

What is extremely good is the Warlord trait, so much so that either minimum sized battalions (sometimes with Celestine in the other HQ slot) or even mixed detachments containing a single Ebon Chalice Canoness see plenty of play. Getting a guaranteed six in your Act of Faith pool is great, and coming with d3 command points as well is fantastic. The fact that this trait is so powerful also, paradoxically, holds the conviction back, as it’s providing a similar effect (reliable access to a 6) at a lower cost and more broadly (as you can use the dice for any aura).

Both the relic have the potential to be extremely funny but the normal play is to use the Canoness from this faction as a backline objective holder also carrying the Litanies of Faith, so they don’t see much use.

8th Edition is littered with subfactions that people basically only want for their relic and/or trait, and the Ebon Chalice has definitely joined that group with a vengeance.

Our Martyred Lady

  • Order Conviction – The Blood of Martyrs: Gain an extra Miracle dice at the end of any phase where a unit with this conviction was destroyed. In addition, add one to hit rolls for any unit with this conviction that has lost any models.
  • Warlord Trait – Shield Bearer: The warlord has an extra wound and adds one to their save characteristic (so not invulnerable saves) to a max of 2+.
  • Relic – Martyr’s Vengeance: Relic inferno pistol. 12″ range, S9 and always gets to roll 2d6 pick highest for damage.
  • Stratagem – Honour the Martyrs (1CP): Use when an enemy unit kills a CHARACTER from this order. Units from this order re-roll 1s to hit against that enemy unit for the rest of the battle.

Our Martyred Lady has often been used as the “default” order in official art and so forth, so it’s frankly a bit strange that they’ve ended up somewhat underwhelming. Their order trait isn’t bad but stacks up poorly against Valorous Heart for builds going wide with Sister squads, which both kind of want you to do. OML offers you a comeback mechanism if your stuff starts getting beat up – but Valorous Heart just stops you getting beat up in the first place, and ends up way more powerful because of it. The second part of the trait here is also somewhat outside your control to set up, and really wants you to be running full sized squads of stuff – but the first part rewards you for running lots of small squads!

The rest of the stuff here is kind of mediocre too. Defensive buffs on random characters aren’t super worth it – this army wants to be spending those slots on utility effects. The pistol is cute but incredibly skippable, and the strat is just not that valuable when it’s easy to have Canonesses bouncing around.

The one notable thing OML does have going for it is access to Junith Eruita, a super canoness on a floating pulpit thing. Her rules are remarkably restrained for a brand new named character in a marquee faction, but she does bring some useful stuff to the table, notably having a re-roll 1s to wound aura as well as the standard hits one and having a stack of +1 to Shield of Faith built in (which works for other <ORDERS> as well).

Her existence probably does open up a path for OML to see some play as people experiment more, as she effectively frees up a warlord trait in the lists that need Indomitable Belief. The Bloody Rose heavy lists want lots of Miracle dice to play with, so a detachment of these might be worthwhile alongside them – Junith and Celestine together cover the base of providing a 4++, so you can take Beacon of Faith somewhere, and when the regular infantry die you pick up a few extra dice.

Argent Shroud

  • Order Conviction – Deeds, Not Words: When it advances, this unit only counts as having moved for the purposes of shooting.
  • Warlord Trait – Selfless Heroism: The warlord has a 6″ heroic intervention and fights first (although still after the first charger) if they were charged or heroically intervened.
  • Relic – Quicksilver Veil: -1 to hit the bearer.
  • Stratagem – Faith is our Shield (1CP): A unit from the order gets a 5+++ against Mortal Wounds for a psychic phase.

The Order conviction here is pretty attractive, allowing you to run a more mobile firebase of Sisters and potentially keep firing special and heavy weapons while doing so. Sadly, at the moment most people are leaning on melee for killing power, and if you’re just filling up on basic Sisters for board control and screening you’re usually better with Valorous Heart. There’s definitely fun to be had here though, and it’s worth looking at if you want to pack stuff like Dominions, Celestians and Retributors.

Sadly, the non-Conviction stuff here is all pretty weak – there’s yet another defensive buff for Canonesses and a melee buff in an order that doesn’t have access to the best melee boosts. The strat also isn’t super useful, but can be worth blowing if your opponent manages to drop mortals on something good.

Sacred Rose

  • Order Conviction – Devout Serenity: Can only lose one model to morale. When you use an Act of Faith on a unit with this, you roll a dice and get a new Miracle Dice on a 5+. Finally, you overwatch on 5s.
  • Warlord Trait – Light of the Emperor: You immediately gain a Miracle dice after performing an Act of Faith for the warlord instead of rolling for the order conviction.
  • Relic – Light of Saint Agnaltha: A relic Brazier of Holy Fire that you can reload by discarding a Miracle dice.
  • Stratagem – The Emperor’s Judgement (1CP): Gain Bolter Drill – a unit from the order deals an additional hit on 6s to hit with bolt weapons when they shoot or overwatch.

The last subfaction here again has some somewhat interesting stuff going on but doesn’t really do enough to put it ahead of the best ones. Losing only one model to morale is kind of mediocre – Sisters have good leadership and easier ways of mitigating morale failures than this. Overwatching on 5s is better, and combined with the stratagem sort of leans these towards being tuned for beating melee horde lists, but the army has plenty of ways of achieving that anyway so doesn’t super need it in the normal lists. You could definitely build a firebase with this that’s very intimidating to charge, and the chance to get Miracle dice back with the order conviction encourages to plug away with Acts of Faith while shooting. One thing to consider in that regard is that if you have a random three kicking around it’s probably more useful to blow it on a random shooting attack than it otherwise might be, as you get a chance to upgrade it to a better one. A similar thing applies to the Warlord trait – if you stick it on a Canoness with a boltgun it effectively lets you transform a random 2 (heck even a 1, you probably don’t care about skipping one bolter hit) into a new dice if you have nothing better to do in the shooting phase.

That honestly is kind of cute, and I’d almost wonder about trying that out in a utility detachment Canoness slot for armies that otherwise don’t care much about shooting. It isn’t as good as the auto-6 from Ebon Chalice for the armies that really want it, but could actually be worth testing. The rest of this just doesn’t quite have a place right now.

Strength of Faith

Your standard Objective Secured ability, applying to all Troops in battle forged armies that are in Soroitas detachments (which are any detachments entirely drawn from this book).

Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave

Most of the weird and wonderful units in the book from the wider Ecclesiarchy (except Penitent Engines for some reason) have this ability. It means that in any detachment with a Ministorum Priest (either a Missionary or a Preacher) they don’t take up any detachment slots. If you don’t have a Ministorum priest you can only include one unit with this ability in the detachment and they do take up a slot.

This is, sadly, pretty much a straight downside (since filling slots is usually a good thing), though doesn’t matter too much as of the units with it only Arco-Flagellants are especially great, and they seem to be being edged out by Repentia in top builds anyway. Still, make sure to bear this in mind when building lists for events – you don’t want to get half way through a tournament and realise you’ve galaxy brained yourself into something illegal.

Sacred Rites

Lastbut not least we have a new rule that is a “Doctrine” style effect for the Sisters of Battle. As long as your whole army is Adepta Sororitas or Adeptus Ministorum (i.e. drawn from this book) units with the Sacred Rites ability (all SORORITAS units except mortifiers) gain a bonus.

After deployment but before the first battle round pick one of the following to be active or roll two dice to choose two at random. If you roll a duplicate you don’t get a second effect, but the second one counts as active for a stratagem that lets you roll into a new one later on. In either case they’re active until the end of the game.

  • Hand of the Emperor: Add +1 to advance and charge rolls
  • Spirit of the Martyr: On a 5+ when model dies means it can shoot with one ranged weapon or make one attack with one melee weapon
  • Aegis of the Emperor: +3 to Deny the Witch rolls
  • Divine Guidance: Unmodified 6 to wound from ranged weapon improve AP by 1
  • The Passion: Unmodified 6 to hit in combat scores 1 additional hit
  • Light of the Emperor: You can re-roll Morale tests

These aren’t as powerful as Doctrines (probably even after their nerf) so it’s not as important to keep the army pure in the abstract, but they’re certainly still powerful and the first on the list means that the current top strategies definitely want this active. We keep talking about how popular Sororitas builds are leaning heavily on brutal melee threats pulling off improbably long charges and would you just look at Hand of the Emperor, chilling out up there making this substantially easier and giving your opponent even more threat range to worry about. This feels like a slam dunk pick for any army that wants it.

Aegis of the Emperor is also very good in the right matchups, and feels like a strong consideration if you’re up against Grey Knights or Thousand Sons, both of which are popular. The basic 1d6 Shield of Faith deny will rarely do much by itself, but adding this makes it much more likely to actually help, especially if you combine it with the Brazier of Eternal Flame.

Any of Spirit of the Martyr, Divine Guidance and The Passion are generically fine, though for a combat army you probably prefer Hand of the Emperor to the latter. Light of the Emperor  is the only real miss here – you do not in any way need this effect.

Ultimately, it should be pretty obvious if you’re playing an army that wants Hand of the Emperor, and if you’re not then pick between Spirit of the Martyr or Divine Guidance based on whether the occasional extra AP from the former is worth it, and take Aegis instead when it’s relevant.

Stratagems, Traits and Relics

Sister Superior of the Wounded Heart.

Sister Superior of the Wounded Heart. Credit: Corrode

With 28 stratagems and 6 Order stratagems Sororitas are definitely not wanting for answers to whatever situation they find themselves in.

Stratagems

  • Open the Reliquaries (1 CP): The modern stratagem for adding extra relics to your army, repeatable for 1CP as many times as you wish. A
  • Embodied Prophecy (1 CP): Pick a unit of Zephyrim at the start of the Fight phase; they give other ADEPTA SORORITAS units within 6” re-roll 1s to wound. Popular builds combine Repentia and Zephyrim, and this can definitely have its uses in that situation. B+
  • Furious Recital (1 CP): When you choose an Exorcist to shoot with, enemy units within 12” suffer -1 Ld, with Chaos units suffering -2 Ld. She’s just that good at the pipe organ. Sadly given your Exorcists should never, ever be within 12” of enemy units this really won’t come up basically ever and leadership shenanigans remain underwhelming. D
  • Blazing Piety (1 CP): At the start of your Psychic phase pick a Chaos unit within 6” of a Dialogus and ping them for a mortal wound; if it’s a Daemon ping them for a flat 3 mortal wounds instead. Cute, will greatly annoy someone using a Possessed Lord from the Word Bearers Faith and Fury rules,  but otherwise not particularly useful. D
  • Battle Rites (1 CP): Select a Sacred Rite that is currently active and randomly roll a rite to replace it, re-rolling if that rite is currently active. Good if you find yourself having rolled for rites and ended up with a double, but we suspect that’s relatively unusual – there are enough “duds” on the list that you usually want to pick besides Light of the Emperor. Can be useful if you pick a specific one and circumstances change so that you no longer need it. C+
  • Moment of Grace (1 CP): After making a hit, wound or save roll, discard 1-3 miracle dice and add +1 to the roll for each die discarded. The key word in this stratagem is “after” so when you have burned a command point to try and save someone or make a clutch hit or wound and still failed, you can add up to 3 to the result, keeping in mind that while yes you can discard 3 to turn a 1 into a modified 4, unmodified 1s are still a failure so it won’t affect the result. Still, a fantastic stratagem and a useful outlet for any 1s and 2s you roll when generating miracle dice. A
  • Final Redemption (1 CP): Use this when a unit of Repentia are targeted in the fight phase, on a 4+ whenever someone dies you ping the attacker for a mortal wound after it has fought. Useful on a maximum sized unit of 9 Sister Repentia, as it can waste a character that has waded in to murder them or finish off something big like a Knight if you went after it and just missed on the kill. B
  • Martyr’s Immolation (1 CP): When an Immolator dies force it to explode. That’ll teach them. Cute, but unfortunately no one is really using Immolators C
  • Holy Trinity (1 CP):Broadly a reprint of the existing stratagem from the beta codex of Chapter Approved 2018, in your shooting phase +1 to wound if you have a unit firing everything at a single target including a bolt weapon, a melta weapon, and a flame weapon and everything is in range. Hard to pull off but powerful on paper if you do, especially if you use a combi-weapon on a superior to squeeze out an extra melta shot. Currently the challenge of pulling this off is leaving it on the bench. B-
    Mentor’s note: There’s been a lot of talk and theory crafting spent on making Holy Trinity work, but it’s really just not worth it. The hoops you have to jump through to make it activate are a big ask in terms of unit composition, points and game-plan pretty much negate any benefits this strat promise. It’d take a pretty big change to make it actually viable.
  • Heroine in the Making (1 CP): After picking your warlord, pick another Sororitas character who isn’t a named character or your warlord and give them a warlord trait. Most lists want this, usually so that they can get 2/3 of Indomitable Belief, Terrible Knowledge and Beacon of Faith as appropriate. A
  • Divine Intervention (2 CP): When a character other than Celestine, the Geminae Superia, Junith Eruita, or The Triumph of Saint Katherine dies, discard 1-3 miracle dice and set them up as close as possible outside of 1” at the end of the phase with a wound for each miracle die discarded. Fortunately they caught this one so there will be no killing Celestine 3 times or rather importantly, stopping your opponent from ever actually killing the Triumph, and each character can also only be saved by this once per battle. Making this 100% reliable compared to some of the other similar effects is pretty good, and this is really useful in a pinch. Because it’s the end of the phase when you re-set them you often won’t need more than once dice to do it relatively safely. It’s very nice for keeping Imagifiers in the game for an extra turn against snipers. B+
  • Holy Rage (1 CP): In your Charge phase, any single ADEPTA SORORITAS unit that advanced can charge. Great with Celestine, Repentia, Zephyrim and Mortifiers, but it’s a little sad that you can’t use this on Penitent Engines or Arco-Flagellants. Still, especially because you can also max-out advances and charges with Miracle dice in a pinch, this is great. A
  • Faith and Fury (2 CP): After you use a miracle die for a hit roll, you can spend 2CP to use the same die for the wound roll as well. This is a steep price, but it can still be worth paying in some circumstances, although it would probably be better if you could use it for the Wound and then Damage instead! Nice with various effects, such as the Triumph of Saint Katherine, that let you modify the miracle dice as you apply it. Sometimes powerful, but expensive enough to only use it when you really need it. B
  • Martyred (1 CP): If your warlord is definitely dead, i.e Celestine has failed her roll or you haven’t used divine intervention to save them, generate d3 command points. Assuming you haven’t run out of command points this is just a two thirds chance to generate free command points if your warlord dies. You don’t want to have to use this but it’s nice that it’s there. A
  • Venerated Saint (1 CP): Upgrade stratagems are the Hip New Thing right now and so the Sisters have their own; upgrade a single Imagifier during deployment to give out two buffs rather than one; you’re mostly going to be using this to take +1 strength and immunity to AP-1 at the same time. You won’t always use this, but some armies definitely want Tale of the Warrior and Tale of the Stoic in every game., and that’s even more true now Marines will be capped at -1 on their volume firepower for more of the game. B+
  • Suffer Not The Witch (1 CP): Pick a unit at the start of the Shooting or Fight phase. That unit re-rolls wounds against enemy PSYKER  units this phase. Got a considerable boost with the uptick of the number of Grey Knights and Rubricae in the metagame as “attacking a psyker” is going to be much more common. It’s especially relevant against Grey Knight Paladins if you’re trying to kill them with Bloody Rose Repentia, as popping this substantially reduces the extent to which Transhuman Physiology shuts you down (and is thus a safer thing to pop than Tear them Down). B+
  • Storm of Retribution (2 CP): When shooting or overwatching with a unit of Retributors you can pick one of three buffs; heavy bolters get +1 to hit, heavy flamers can re-roll wounds, or multi-meltas get +12” range and +1 to their damage roll. It’s broadly a waste of time on the heavy bolters, but when committing to an alpha strike with a melta squad they will absolutely ruin whatever you point them at, and similarly a squad of heavy flamers in overwatch placed in the way of an important charge target will make your opponent thing long and hard about declaring that charge. Retributors aren’t currently showing up much, as they’re still very fragile for their costs, but if any build exists that does want them this would be part of it B
  • Last Rites (1 CP): Pick a Hospitaller at the start of the Morale phase, units within 6” of it don’t add the number of casualties they take to morale tests. Just not really needed – overwhelmingly Battle Sisters run around in 5 model units and their Superiors are Ld8, so this will rarely do enough to be worth it. Do remember if you do use it that you still roll the tests even when they’re unfailable, so remember to do so to fish for your miracle die on a 1. C
  • Devastating Refrain (1 CP): Re-roll any or all dice for the number of shots an Exorcist is firing. Mostly just useful insurance against rolling triple 1s when trying to destroy an enemy tank, as while it only increases your mean number shots from 6 to 7 it drops the odds of you rolling minimum shots from 1/9 to 1/729. Theoretically better on the conflagration rocket build, but that’s a much worse loadout that on one is using! B
  • Deadly Descent (1 CP): When you set up a unit of Seraphim you can add 6” to the range of their pistols until the end of the phase and have them immediately shoot out of sequence. Allows Seraphim to at least do something with their special pistols if they deep strike as the 6” range leaves you in the lurch otherwise. This is a very cheap price to drop four melta shots onto something with relative impunity, and is definitely contributing to Seraphim being a top unit. B+
  • Vessel of the Emperor’s Will (1 CP): If you use an Act of Faith on a character generate another die to replace the one you spent. This, we think, is a trap – you are going to be more constrained on CP than Miracle Dice, so trading one for one isn’t usually good, especially as some of the ways to use dice need CP. Can occasionally be worth it if you only have bad dice in your pool, have a vital charge coming up and have purchased the Litanies of Faith, giving you a good chance of levelling your die up.  C
  • Test of Faith (1 CP): When generating a miracle die by either rolling a natural 1 for morale or denying a psychic power, generate an additional d3 miracle dice. Better than the above, and will often be worth it when it comes up, but one in three times you’re still trading one for one. B
  • Exceptional Proficiency (2 CP): Gives Celestians re-roll all hits and wounds when they shoot, fight or overwatch. It’s expensive but it’s making a squad of Celestians 75-100% better than they would be depending on the weapon/target matchup. Use it if you have a large unit of Celestians for some reason. C+
  • Blessed Bolts (1 CP): An exact reprint of what it was before, still AP-2 D2 storm bolters and helps add some punch against Primaris and the like. Great on a Dominion squad that’s maxed out on storm bolters, and not horrible on regular squads or Celestians in a pinch, though you cap out at two of these guns per squad. B+
  • Purity of Faith (1 CP): Nullify a psychic power within 24” of one of your units on a 4+. Assuming you have a CP re-roll available (and you will because you have no psykers) a 75% chance to cancel an enemy power with nothing they can do about it remains as strong as ever. A
  • Judgement of the Faithful (2 CP): After a Sororitas unit falls back, they can shoot and charge. Good for throwing a wrench in someone’s plans when they tie up a unit of yours, use it to back off some Mortifiers, set fire to the impertinent heretics that bothered you then charge someone else or just disengage some Zephyrim towards their next target. Also protects you from a low roll if you’re using a wrap to keep some Repentia safe through your opponent’s turn, as it can pull them out of combat for a new charge even if the enemy survives. A
  • Extremis Trigger Word (2 CP): Another reprint from the beta codex, max out the attacks on a unit of Arco-Flagellants in exchange for losing 1/6th of the unit at the end of the phase. Powerful, but the extra tricks of Repentia have made them the overwhelming choice for melee threats. B
  • Desperate for Redemption (3 CP): Sisters lost their fight twice Act of Faith, so now they have the run of the mill 3CP fight twice but with limitations; in this case it only works on Repentia, Penitent Engines and Mortifiers. Luckily, Repentia are exactly who you want to be able to use this on, and it helps Bloody Rose ones murder even more stuff once they hit combat. A

Warlord Traits

Credit: RichyP

  1. Inspiring Orator – Add 1 to your warlord’s Ld and everyone within 6” can use the warlord’s Ld instead of their own, so a Ld 10 bubble. Will do you well if you’re running infantry heavy but there are better options for it, and minimum sized units aren’t often failing morale tests anyway. C
  2. Righteous Rage – Your warlord can re-roll any or all dice of a charge, and whenever they charge or heroic intervention they re-roll wounds for that phase. Given the loss of an option for a jump pack Canoness its diminished how much this can contribute, but it’s perfectly serviceable if given to a Canoness moving up the field with that contingent of the army, and especially good with the Blade of Admonition or Beneficence. B
  3. Executioner of Heretics – Enemies within 6” of your warlord are at -1Ld. Do not take this. F
  4. Beacon of Faith – If this warlord is on the field at the start of your turn, generate a miracle die. This will literally always be useful and a solid choice, especially for a Heroine in the Making trait. A
  5. Indomitable Belief <ORDER> INFANTRY within 6” of this warlord add +1 to their Shield of Faith save to a maximum of 4+. Useful if you’re running infantry heavy and stacks with similar effects from special characters to a maximum of 4+, and a pile of 3+ 4++ Battle Sisters will be quite hard to shift.  A
  6. Pure of Will – This warlord can deny a second psychic power through Shield of Faith and enemy casting is at -1 if they are within 12”. Can be a good flex pick against some armies, but probably never quite gets to the front of the queue. C+

Realistically, unless you’re taking one of the <ORDER> specific traits near every Sisters army is going to want Indomitable Belief and Beacon of Faith. Both make the army better at doing what it wants to be doing.

Relics

  • Blade of Admonition: Replaces a Blessed Blade, S+2 AP-3 D3 . Has always been good, but ironically gets taken down a little bit in value just because a blessed blade now does most of this, and you have to pay the higher price. Now merely fine. B
  • Brazier Of Eternal Flame: Replaces a Brazier of Holy Fire. Psychic Tests taken within 18” of the bearer are at -2. A big change from the codex but still extremely effective against Psychic heavy armies – combine this with Aegis of the Emperor to give psykers absolute fits. Suffiicently potent as a flex choice that most armies are including a Brazier so they can add this if needed, and that’ll only get more true now that Grey Knights are about. A
  • Wrath Of The Emperor: Replaces bolt pistol. Pistol 4, Range 18”, S 5, AP -2, D2 . This is ridiculously deadly and something you can plausibly chuck on a random Canoness B+
  • Litanies of Faith: Once per turn, if the model with this relic is on the battlefield, when you gain a miracle dice, you can re-roll that dice. Near every competitive Sisters build is taking this, allowing it to get the coveted A+
  • Mantle of Ophelia: Canoness only. Gives the model a 3++. Extremely meh – Canonesses are neither valuable enough nor deadly enough (at least, not without spending your relic on a weapon) to want this. C
  • Triptych of the Macharian Crusade: A 5+++. See previous. C
  • Book of St Lucius: Add 3” to the aura abilities of a model with this relic. Most armies will want a Canoness with Indomitable Belief and this helps them spread the love, making it a useful pick. B+
  • Iron Surplice of St Istaela: 2+ armour save, wound rolls of a 1, 2, 3 against the model always fail. Another major defensive buff for a Canoness that you don’t really need. C

The generic relics sadly leave a lot to be desired for the Sororitas, with a couple of auto-takes and really not much else, though the Wrath of the Emperor is highly entertaining when it’s relevant.

Units

Order of Barry

The Sisters of Barry

With all of their rules and traits out of the way, it’s now time to look at the Sisters of Battle units. There isn’t a massive range here, but pretty much every slot has at least something you want in it, and you van

To save too much repetition in the entries; all of the Battle Sisters derived units i.e Battle sisters, Celestians, Dominions and Retributors have an option that are common to all of them in the Simulacrum Imperialis. These let you use an Act of Faith on a squad in a phase where you’ve already used one on another unit.

Battle Sisters, Celestians, and Dominion squads (but not Retributors, they have their own toys) can also take a single Incensor Cherub; a weird vat-grown old-man baby who can be expended for a once per battle bonus. At the start of any phase you can elect to use up an Incensor cherub, you roll 2d6 and pick the one you want for a Miracle die. This die can only be used this phase on the unit it came from. These run 5pts each and given that they aren’t modeled onto any specific squad member, instead floating along behind the squad disconcertingly.

The options obviously work well together, but although it’s only 10pts for the combo the cost will rack up if you put them on everyone. They’re probably worth thinking about if you’re running Dominions or Celestians, but leaving on the bench for pretty much anyone else.

HQ

Sisters have never been an army with a lot of variety in the HQ slot and while that’s still true they did get a couple of useful new options for special characters.

Canoness

Sisters of Battle Canoness

Sisters of Battle Canoness Credit: Dionycia

A fairly standard HQ choice with BS/WS 2+, 4A, a re-roll hits of 1 bubble for <ORDER> units and decent defences at 5W 3+ 4++. The Canoness is less punchy than a Marine Captain, but she’s a steal at a base cost starting from 45pts, making filling out detachments or sneaking in a utility one with a relic/trait you want nice and easy.

Canonesses have a weird array of options that attempt to cover all the ways the new kit can build them. The model starts with a bolt pistol and chainsword, and you can make the following changes:

  • Swap the pistol for a condemnor boltgun, hand flamer or a plasma/inferno pistol
  • Add a brazier of holy flame (once per battle mortal wound overwatch) or a null rod (can’t be affected by psychic powers and -1 to enemy casts within 18″)
  • If you don’t take a brazier or null rod, swap the chainsword for a power sword or blessed blade (d3 damage S5 power sword)
  • Take a plasma pistol, power sword and rod of office (+3″ to her re-roll bubble) instead of making any other changes.

Why this needed to be so complicated no one is quite sure, but overwhelmingly the current preferences in lists are either to keep them cheap with just the chainsword (which Bloody Rose can turbo-charge to Beneficence) or buy them either a blessed blade or a brazier. The brazier doesn’t do much by itself, but can be relic-ified into the Brazier of Eternal Flame, which is a potent anti-psyker tool (and a better one than the null rod, so generally favoured).

All lists are going to want at least one of these, and they’re cheap enough that you don’t mind forking out for two. The latter is also mandatory if you want to squeeze in an extra <ORDER> specific trait or relic like Terrible Knowledge, another reason to bring them.

Celestine

Celestine. Credit: Corrode

Celestine may never quite hit the heights she did in Index 8th (where she was a value add in a lot of IMPERIUM lists) but she’s still very strong in Sisters builds thanks to being one of the sources of +1 to Shield of Faith saves. Most lists want at least the option of pushing their infantry core up to a 4++, and including Celestine means that’s always on the table by adding Indomitable Belief to another character and bubbling around her. She’s also great when running with Zephyrim or Seraphim, as they have a built in +1 so she tops them out by herself. She also gives a 6++ to Astra Militarum and Adeptus Ministorum infantry, which can be relevant in a mixed list or if you bring Arco-flagellants along.

Of course given her cost you probably want a little more than that and luckily she’s also a pretty decent killer, having 6 S7 AP-3 D2 attacks. That’s certainly enough to put a hurting on a lot of things, but it’s actually a little underwhelming compared to other units in her weight class, so don’t expect her to start soloing knights, especially as she has no way to double fight. The lack of any sort of re-roll bubble compatibility also means she sometimes spikes down hard. In damage output terms she’ll definitely do some good work, just be realistic about your expectations with her. Her sword also has a heavy flamer built in, so don’t forget to fire that whenever relevant!

Defensively she has one very nice trick on top of her 2+/4++, which is that the first time she dies she gets back up where she died on full wounds on a 2+ at the end of the phase. Although this has again been tuned down from older versions (where she also teleported wherever you wanted) it’s still extremely powerful, as a lot of armies won’t be able to put her down in two phases in the same turn, meaning you’ll get a chance to either utilise her offensively or beat a (very valorous) retreat in your turn. The only armies you need to be extremely wary of with this ability are ones with high smite output – she’s very vulnerable to mortal wounds, and if killed in psychic can then just be shot to bits.

From a competitive point of view, the new ITC missions are also a big boost to her, as one of her downsides used to be that she pretty much always gave up full Kingslayer. That’s gone, so she’s no longer a liability from that point of view, which combines with the boosts she gives to the army to make her a very attractive choice. She also doesn’t have an <ORDER>, which though it prevents her from benefiting from some abilities also allows her to act as a wildcard filling out detachments, a useful upside.

Fundamentally, you’re pretty much always going to be happy with Celestine in a pure Sisters list, and while various builds will get more or less benefit from her, she’s always worth considering.

Triumph of Saint Katherine

Remember the Bretonnian Grail Reliquae? It’s back, in Sisters form! One of the new units in the Sisters of Battle Codex, the Triumph of St. Katherine has one of the most interesting statlines in the entire game, sporting 3 Strength, 3 Toughness and 18 Wounds and, at full health, 14 Attacks, of which up to 4 can be made with a S+3 AP-3 3-damage power sword (the rest are S+2 AP-1 1 damage). T3 with a 3+ save is a bit of a rough combo. That’s just begging to be brought down with small arms fire like bolt rifles. Fortunately, it protects itself with a 4+ invulnerable save and an ability that gives units attacking it -1 to hit. Combined, that means that, on average, it’ll take 109 bolt rifle shots to bring it down, which should keep it from being immediately swept off the table. Amusingly, despite being a literal crowd of people, it is still INFANTRY and as such will draw a cover save from having any part of its base toeing into cover.

While you could fight with it in combat, the real reason you bring the Triumph of St. Katherine into battle is for the buffs. At full health, the Triumph holds five Relics, and these turn off/go away as the model hits its damage brackets, at 9W (2 active) and 4W (1 active) remaining. As it loses wounds, you choose which relics it loses, and if it regains wounds you choose which ones to get back. At full health, all five buffs are active:

  • Censer of the Sacred Rose – Gives you 1 miracle dice at the start of each turn (yours and your opponent’s).
  • Simulacrum of the Ebon Chalice – At the start of each Shooting phase, roll a D6 for each enemy unit within 6” (add 1 if the unit is a Psyker and/or Chaos) and on a 5+, the unit takes D3 mortal wounds.
  • Petals of the Bloody Rose – Add 1 to hit rolls for melee attacks by friendly units within 6”.
  • Icon of the Valorous Heart – Once per phase you can do an extra Act of Faith for a friendly unit within 6” that has the Acts of Faith ability.
  • Simulacrum of the Argent Shroud – When you perform an Act of Faith for a friendly unit within 6”, you can modify the value of the miracle dice used by 1 (up or down) to a max of 6 and a minimum of 1. This doesn’t stack with other abilities that modify the result, though.

These are a bunch of very nice buffs, with the big winners being the Censer of the Sacred Rose, the Simulacrum of the Argent Shroud, and the Icon of the Valorous Heart. Giving yourself extra Miracle Dice and Acts of Faith are incredibly helpful, and at the very least, they ensure that, at full health, the Triumph always has a 3+ invulnerable save using one of the miracle dice it generates (use a 3 for a save, add 1 to the result). Dropping to 9 wounds takes you down to 2 relics, so you want to put that off for as long as possible. Ditch the Ebon Chalice and Bloody Rose first, since those are more nice-to-have, and then probably drop the Simulacrum with them. Fortunately with it being infantry and Hospitallers not being picky who they give medical attention to, you can heal the Triumph for d3 a turn, and whenever you pass the threshold for more relics you can decide which ones to pick back up again.

The Triumph is weird and thus far, despite its many cool powers, hasn’t seen too much competitive use. That’s probably at least partially because the model hasn’t been out long and is incredibly complicated to paint, but it may also be an issue with it being somewhat “clunky” on the table. While it has decent defences, it’s very killable with pretty much any kind of firepower thanks to having only T3, and is especially vulnerable to massed anti-infantry Marine artillery and Raven Guard Centurions. While the volume of the former in the metagame is probably going to diminish slightly, the fact that a full squad of Raven Guard Cents with their special tactical doctrine up just straight up kill this with their hurricane bolters alone is probably going to be a major obstacle to success, as it’s almost impossible to hide it from them while still getting value from the unit.

Until a big metagame shift kicks Raven Guard out we can’t see much of a path for this in top end tournment play, but it’s a fantastic unit to slam down in a more relaxed environment, so if you’ve put in the painting legwork definitely bring it out. The emphasis on improving/enabling acts of faith means you probably want to make sure you’re bringing some Retributors or Dominions alongside it, as they’ll give you lots of opportunities to benefit.

Junith Eruita

We’ve already kind of talked about Junith on the discussion of Order of our Martyred Lady, but to quickly re-iterate – she’s a souped up Canoness who brings a lot to the table in an army heavy on that faction, but hasn’t yet proven to be quite enough to draw people to them away from Valorous Heart. There probably will be a list found that wants her at some juncture, and if you’re a Martyred Lady player you should definitely be picking her up, as she’s great rolling around with a big blob of infantry from the faction.

Missionary

Missionaries are the final HQ choice and are cheap and terrible at nearly everything except giving out a +1A aura, which they are extremely good at and thus worth bringing one of in most lists. All the melee options in then army benefit significantly from +1A, and Bloody Rose in particular love it, as their top units get better and even their random battle sisters start tossing out 3A. Like Celestine they’re also a non-ORDER HQ you can use them to fill a slot once you have enough Canonesses. You can only include one of these per detachment, but that’s probably all you want.

There’s not a tonne more to say here – these are good and you should bring one most of the time.

Troops

Your army only has one Troops choice but thankfully they’re a good one.

Battle Sisters

Battle Sisters Squad

Credit: RichyP

Sisters are an extremely cost effective troop unit, running either 45pts for a bare-bones squad or 49pts for the popular loadout of chucking in two storm bolters (plus a free chainsword for the superior in both builds). With BS3+ and a 3+ they’re reasonably durable and have decent output for the price, and you can soup up their durability by either bringing Shield of Faith boosters to get them to a 4++ or running them as Valorous Heart with an Imagifier so that they can use their 3+ most of the time. Both options make them exceptionally durable, and a core of six units of these filling out two battalions is a fixture in most lists. If you aren’t running them as Valorous Heart there’s a good chance you’re making them Bloody Rose, at which point they can also throw a decent punch in melee, with 2A at AP-1 each in the first round of combat (or 3A if they’re near the Missionary you probably have).

Sisters aren’t a complicated unit but they are a very good one – most armies would be very happy to have such a reliable core unit to use in their forces.

 

Elites

Preacher

A slightly cheaper version of a Missionary without the one-of limitation or the feel no pain aura. If for some reason you’ve run out of HQ choices and want the aura go wild, but in general filling an HQ slot is an advantage worth the few points it costs extra so you’ll usually take that option instead.

Geminae Superia

Celestine’s bodyguards, who roll around with her intercepting wounds and getting repeatedly revived by her. Used to be a staple but repeated rules changes have sadly left them in a really bad spot. They used to form a unit with Celestine, so you could let one die/soak wounds then revive them as long as the boss was still about, but now that they’re a separate CHARACTER unit in their own right it’s way easier for your opponent to just blast them away as soon as they’re in a vulnerable position. They also can no longer get to a 3++, leaving them very squishy (though cheap). Their other problem is that they give up 2 points of Headhunter by themselves in ITC, and can easily be sniped off the table by Eliminators.

Overall, give these a miss at the moment.

Dialogus

An inspirational buff character, these give a +1Ld aura and let you +/- the value on a Miracle die you use by 1 (to a max of 6/min of 1) if the unit performing the AoF is within 6″. That’s an interesting bonus and these are very cheap, so given they also make morale near completely not a problem for min sized squads nearby it’s definitely worth trying them out in lists, especially if you’re planning on using Acts of Faith offensively.

Repentia Superior

Credit: RichyP

A buff character strictly aimed at improving Repentia, it turns out that at 35pts what they bring to the table probably is worth it when you’re running big squads of them. They grant re-rolls to advances and charges and re-rolls of 1s to wound for Repentia squads within 6″, and while there are other ways to boost, fix or re-roll these results it’s extremely good to have this aura to fall back on if you’re running low on good Miracle dice or CP. Especially when Hand of the Emperor is up, advances and charges start to pretty reliably hit high numbers with this effect, and the wound re-rolls are definitely nice, especially for Bloody Rose, which most Repentia are run as anyway.

Not mandatory, but if you have big Repentia units consider one.

Sisters Repentia

Repentia of the Wounded Heart

Repentia of the Wounded Heart. Credit: Corrode

Repentia are quickly proving to be one of the best units in the book, being an incredibly deadly glass cannon in Bloody Rose. On baseline stats you probably wouldn’t run these – they’re fragile (having only a 6++ and 5+++ to go with their T3 and 1W) and while nasty in melee only have two S6 AP-3 D2 attacks with their Eviscerators. However, once you stack all the buffs Bloody Rose want to put on them you’re looking at a unit with a 4++ and four S8 AP-4 D2 attacks with +1 to wounds which is quite the thing for a unit that’s only 117 points at its maximum size. Although their weapons have -1 to hit, Zealot cancels that out a fully buffed Bloody Rose unit will go clean through an Imperial Knight in a single swing. Because of the volume there isn’t much smaller than a Knight that will stand up to them either, with fully buffed up Possessed bombs and Paladin squads being the level of thing needed to not just immediately die.

Repentia have proven themselves to be a mainstay of competitive Sisters lists over the past few months since Codex release, typically in blob-squads of 7-9 strong. Bloody Rose Repentia, when properly supported by the likes of Preachers, Repentia Superiors, Zephyrim and Celestine, can easily sprint across the board scarily swiftly and punch far above their weight class thanks to the sheer number of attacks they fire out.

Celestian Squad

Celestians are basically an upgrade on a regular Sisters squad, getting +1A and WS, being able to bodyguard characters and getting full hit re-rolls when any friendly Canonesses are nearby. That’s a heck of an array of boosts, and run only one extra point per model, but it turns out that this is mostly just evidence that GW have finally realised how intrinsically valuable being Troops is – these are fine, but entirely skippable.

If you want a cool unit to roll around in your army core throwing out accurate firepower they’re still at least fine, but the flipside of being “slightly better non-troop sisters” is that they don’t open up any extra options for you, so you’ll usually look elsewhere if you want some spicy options.

Mentor’s Note: I really wish Celestians had gotten a bit more of a revamp with the current codex. They’re neither cheap nor durable enough to fulfil the role of catching bullets, especially compared to Crusaders, and anything they can do a squad of Retributors or Dominions can do better and for less. A Sternguard-like update and/or some unique toys would have gone a long way to make Celestians more viable.

Hospitaller

Credit: Starvolt

Another cheap buff character, this one able to heal a model for d3 wounds or revive one dead model from a unit. They can also use Last Rites to make nearby units essentially fearless for a phase. All of this is fine, but because there aren’t really any multi-wound sisters infantry around to exploit the revive with (as is popular with Marine Apothecaries) these are another unit that you won’t mind having, but also don’t need. There one standout use is healing up your other buff characters if your metagame is sniper heavy.

Imagifier

Now these are the buff characters you really want. When you deploy these you pick one of three aura abilities (or two, if you use Venerated Saint which you often should) from the following:

  • +1 to S for <ORDER> units within 6″
  • Order units within 6″ ignore AP-1 (or AP-2 if they’re Valorous Heart)
  • Re-roll denies for <ORDER> units within 6″

Both of the first two abilities here are fantastic, and S boosted Bloody Rose or defensively boosted Valorous Heart are huge staples of strong lists, and you should include an Imagifier defaulting to the relevant ability in those detachments.

Recent metagame shifts have arguably made these even better. The change to Marine doctrines means that you’ll much more often be dealing with AP-1 firepower/melee over the course of the game, while the advent of Grey Knights as a real force means that even the deny re-roll aura can be good, especially combined with Aegis of the Emperor and the Brazier of Eternal Flame.

These are amazing and if you’re serious about playing sisters, get one. Do be wary of enemy snipers – these are enormously attractive targets for them, so if there are any about save some CP and Miracle dice to use Divine Intervention when needed.

Crusaders

An Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave melee unit that just doesn’t really fill a niche or have synergies that make you want them.

Arco-Flagellants

Arco-Flagellants are another Ecclesiarchy unit that suffers from a lack of synergies, but does at least have a task they’re incredibly good at doing, which is scything through hordes. Combining a full unit with a Missionary and the Extremis Trigger Word strat throws out a cool 93 S5 AP-1 hit rolls, which is a lot of dead chaff (and such spectacular volume that even bigger stuff will be dragged down). They’re not too pricey either, and if you bring an Inquisitor to put an invuln on them can be decently tough thanks to having 2W each and a 5++.

All of that’s perfectly fine, especially if you start them in a Rhino, but thus far it appears that Repentia’s many options for buffing up push them ahead as the melee murderers of choice. These are still far from a bad unit and you can have lots of fun with them, so if you’ve picked a few up from one or more army boxes don’t be afraid to give them a try (but definitely bring that Inquisitor).

Death-Cult Assassins

Another Eccelsiarchy melee option that doesn’t really get there. Pass.

Zephyrim

Zephyrim

Zephyrim. Credit: Games Workshop.

One of the real surprises out of the Codex is that these have turned out to be great. These are a melee alternative for Seraphim, coming with bolt pistols, power swords, 2A each and built in wound re-rolls. While at baseline this isn’t quite enough to get them there, stacking buffs on the as Bloody Rose actually does. Most notably, being able to add 1 to wound rolls with Tear them Down massively broadens their possible targets, as they’re then wounding on 5s at worse with a full re-roll, and can get up to at least 4s against most things if you can get them Imagifier bubble. Adding in the extra attack and AP from the Bloody Rose Conviction (plus a Missionary is possible) suddenly gives these some very reliable damage output – and you can also auto-charge them out of deep strike with an Act of Faith, further increasing their consistency on the table. While they aren’t cheap at 17PPM, effectively low-variance stuff is extremely useful in competitive situations as it lets you plan ahead with lots of certainty. Attaching all of that to a unit coming out of Deep Strike also puts a lot of pressure on your opponent while the threat hangs over them.

In addition to what they do themselves, Zephyrim can also buff nearby units, being able to buy a banner for a charge re-roll aura and use a strat to give other nearby units re-roll 1s to wound in the fight phase. If you’re bringing multiple squads of these bringing a banner on at least one is definitely worth it, as you won’t always have an Act of Faith available for all your charges, and you can deploy the re-roll squad when you can’t afford to use one. The strat is very much a nice to have – although in Bloody Rose if can be good if you’re doing a massed counter charge with lots of basic squads.

Zephyrim have massively outstripped a lot of people’s expectations for them (Wings Note: including mine) and are already a proper staple unit. Hopefully they’ll have their actual kit out soon!

Fast Attack

Credit: Games Workshop

Seraphim Squad

The other flavour of wingèd Sisters are also really good as Bloody Rose. These seem pretty innocuous on paper, but they’re extremely versatile on the table and that makes them worth having around. They’re packing two bolt pistols each (with two models being able to swap for inferno pistols, which you should pretty much always do) along with a slightly enhanced Sister profile (gaining WS3+ and a native +1 to their shield of faith), and have a 12″ fly speed plus the ability to Deep Strike. The key things that make them shine are:

  • In Bloody Rose their bolt pistols have a flat AP-1, making them considerably more effective against almost all targets.
  • They can use Deadly Descent to immediately shoot with all their pistols at +6″ range in the phase they arrive. This lets them actually get off 4 melta shots straight away, which is scary for anything with vehicles, and lets all the rest of the models shoot twice for the turn, letting them chew through a lot of chaff and chip wounds off better stuff.
  • They only need Celestine buffing them to get a 4++

The amount of damage these can put out on arriving is surprisingly horrific, and they’re a great counter punch to any enemy Deep Strike units. They’re a huge problem for current darlings Grey Knights in particular – if you drop a full squad into a Canoness bubble you can likely pick up one strike squad with the landing volley thanks to the infernos then a second with bolt and plasma pistols powered up by Suffer not the Witch in the shooting phase. Take that checks notes most-holy-paladins-of-the-Emperor!

Pulling off this kind of nonsense on a turn where you’re also going to slam in Zephyrim or Repentia charges is going to deal a huge body blow to your opponent and put you well on the path to victory. Given that this unit is always generically fine even when not firing on all cylinders (they’re still pretty good outside Bloody Rose), and has the mobility, endurance and numbers to pull off sneaky wraps to keep themselves safe when needed, you end up with a unit that has a tonne to recommend it.

Dominions

Dominions are a special weapon squad for the sisters, and they’re theoretically where you want to come to try out various buffs like Blessed Bolts and Holy Trinity, as you can stack up lots of toys to squeeze value out of them. In practice, however, this is proving to be a bit too much like hard work compared to using units like Seraphim or Zephyrim, who are self-delivering and also give you many more bodies at the same price you’d pay for a tooled up unit of these.

Like most of the stuff in this book that isn’t top tier these are still fine, and running either…

  • 6 models with a combi-flamer superior, four meltas and a banner/bolter model
  • 5 models with four Storm Bolters

…gives you a unit that can pop out of a Rhino and ruin someone’s day, it just likely isn’t the most efficient thing you can be doing.

Heavy Support

Credit: Dunkelbrau

Exorcist

Exorcists are great. The Exorcist Missile Launcher is Heavy 3D3, S8, AP-3 and D6 damage, which straight up threatens to blast enemy vehicles off the table with one volley, especially if you save an Act of Faith for a damage roll. The earlier advice about not necessarily fast rolling these against vehicles if you have an AoF “live” is definitely important to remember – the potential damage output against anything less than T8 is big enough that you might well not need it, so roll out a few shots to check first!

They do also have a second missile option, swapping out to a 3d6 anti infantry mode at a cheaper cost, but at the current price this is a trap – it isn’t better enough at the anti-infantry job (especially with a lot of current-relevant infantry being 3+ with two wounds) to make it worth losing the incredible anti-tank punch.

Being natively T8 is also pretty great as it means your opponent needs to use real firepower to put them down. That’s even more true if you babysit them with a Imagifier in Valorous Heart, protecting them from up to AP-2

Exorcists have found themselves a mainstay in pretty much any list as a 2-3 of in Valorous Heart detachments. Sisters really need long range fire-support and Exorcists do a damn good job for being their only option for it.

Retributor Squad

Games Workshop had a real go at making these good in the new book, giving them the ability to ignore the heavy penalty, armorium cherubs to let them fire additional times on your alpha strike turn and a dedicated stratagem (Storm of Retribution) that can soup up whatever weapon you’ve given them. Unfortunately they still don’t really make it into lists.

Neither the heavy flamer or heavy bolter builds is really doing anything Sisters can’t already do in spades, while although the melta build does give you access to a powerful anti-tank punch you can throw, 32ppm is just too much to spend on a unit that has no way of shooting and then getting back into cover. Even buffed by the strat you also have to contend with the fact that their range caps out at 36″, so quite a lot of stuff you want to shoot with them can just hide out of range.

Putting everything together, it just isn’t worth paying for these right now – realistically a big cut to the cost of infantry multi meltas is needed to make them worthwhile. If you need the long range fire, buy an Exorcist instead.

Penitent Engines

Credit: RichyP

Penitent Engines are in a bizarre place out of the codex – they a much more useful statline than their old version, getting weaker but a lot cheaper to compensate. However, at the same time Mortifiers got added – and they’re better in almost every way, especially being faster and getting to benefit from the Holy Rage strat to advance and charge. Whoops.

Mortifiers

Credit: Starvolt

So Mortifiers. These are actually seeing some real use in competitive builds, as they’re pretty cost efficient and provide an excellent counter-punch option against any sort of aggressive horde list. The relevant build for them is to take two heavy bolters and two penitent flails. This gives them some decent shooting output (especially as they count them as assault weapons) and a vicious swing in melee, with a unit of four throwing out 60 S6 AP-2 attacks at WS3+. They’re not the most durable unit in the world, but have a pretty decent number of wounds for their cost, T5, a 4+ and a 6+++. You can also buy an Anchorite as an upgrade for one model in the unit, who has a 3+ save, which can be useful as some extra ablative defence against high rate firepower.

A unit of four of these runs you 224pts, or 230 with the Anchorite. That’s sizeable but manageable, and if your metagame is full of horde Orks (who are currently pretty popular) starts to look really worthwhile. Some people have even been trying spamming three units of these, as the melee output they present is pretty universal in killing stuff. On balance that probably isn’t the way to go with lists when all the amazing stuff Bloody Rose can do in melee is right there, but it would probably be a fun thing to get out at an RTT.

 

Dedicated Transport

Sororitas Rhino

It’s a Rhino, the standard transport Marines and Sisters have had for ages, with 12” movement, T7, 10W and the ability to transport up to 10 models. Sororitas Rhinos are made slightly better by having the Acts of Faith and Shield of Faith special rules, which make them a little more resilient, especially after you’ve used the vehicle’s smoke launchers to give enemies -1 to hit when shooting at it. Repentia turning out to be so very good has lifted these up alongside them – most armies with those berserk killers want some Rhinos to start them in, especially as deploying them on the line gives you an extra 3.5-ish inches of threat range for an AoF powered early charge.

Immolator

Essentially the Sisters version of the Marine Razorback, i.e. a Rhino that trades some transport capacity for firepower. Immolators come with Immolation flamers and a heavy bolter, but can swap out the flamers for a twin heavy bolter (the cheapest option) or a twin multi-melta. Sadly, none of these builds is sufficiently priced to move that you want it, and the main thing you want to put in transports (Repentia) tend to be utilised in full squads.

 

Fortifications

Battle Sanctum

Its been a few months since a codex has come with a terrain piece and the Sisters one definitely breaks the mold by at least being sort of useful. The biggest limitation with this is – as ever – that Fortifications take up their own detachment slot, which limits your potential command points, but that’s less of a problem for Sisters as you will almost always be bringing a Brigade to a fight. In terms of rules it’s 50pts for a piece of cover that you can place; additionally, if any MINISTORUM (not just SORORITAS) units are within 6” at the start of each battle round you generate a miracle die. Ministorum units within 6” get +1 Ld, Chaos units get -1 Ld. Currently, it’s untakeable in events because the final kit hasn’t been shown, so no one knows how big it’s actually supposed to be!

5-7 extra miracle dice from setting this and a backline Canoness or other support character up next to an objective seem like it would be a no-brainer were they not so hard to take. Hopefully whenever 9th edition arrives they will add some better support for adding fortifications to an army. It is worth saying that this is a potent enough effect that it could just about sneak into lists anyway – one of the ones we’re about to look at only uses two detachments and might even plausibly want one when the kit arrives

 

Credit: RichyP

Army Lists

Competitive Sisters lists are still evolving, but early successes have mostly been with either balanced lists running a mixture of Valorous Heart for shooting/durability and Bloody Rose for threat or all-in Bloody Rose murder lists. We’ve got an example of each to close out the guide.

Angus Patterson’s Balanced Sisters

Angus has been playing SIsters for a long time on the UK scene, so he’s been right out of the gate with new lists now that the codex has arrived. This is the version he took to a 4-1 finish at Winter Warfare in London, picking up his only loss in an extremely tight  (28-31) game against LVO Top 8 finisher Boris Michev’s Iron Hands (and this was pre-nerf).

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Adepta Sororitas) [38 PL, 671pts] ++

Order Convictions: Order: Valorous Heart

+ HQ +

Canoness [3 PL, 53pts]: Boltgun, Brazier of Holy Fire, Chainsword, Warlord, Warlord Trait: 5. Indomitable Belief, Relic: Litanies of Faith

Celestine [8 PL, 160pts]

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 49pts]
. 2x Battle Sister
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 49pts]
. 2x Battle Sister
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 49pts]
. 2x Battle Sister
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword

+ Elites +

Dialogus [2 PL, 35pts]

Imagifier [2 PL, 45pts]: Tale of the Stoic

+ Fast Attack +

Seraphim Squad [4 PL, 88pts]
. 2x Seraphim
. Seraphim Superior: Chainsword, Plasma pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols

Seraphim Squad [7 PL, 143pts]
. 7x Seraphim
. Seraphim Superior: Chainsword, Plasma pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols

++ Vanguard Detachment +1CP (Imperium - Adepta Sororitas) [29 PL, 581pts] ++

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ HQ +

Missionary [2 PL, 38pts]
. Autogun and Laspistol

+ Elites +

Sisters Repentia [5 PL, 117pts]: 9x Sisters Repentia

Sisters Repentia [5 PL, 117pts]: 9x Sisters Repentia

Zephyrim Squad [9 PL, 175pts]
. 9x Zephyrim: 9x Power sword
. Zephyrim Superior: Bolt pistol, Power sword, Zephyrim Pennant

+ Dedicated Transport +

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 67pts]: Storm bolter

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 67pts]: Storm bolter

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Adepta Sororitas) [41 PL, 748pts] ++

Order convictions: Order: Valorous Heart

+ HQ +

Canoness [3 PL, 53pts]: Bolt pistol, Brazier of Holy Fire, Chainsword

Missionary [2 PL, 38pts]
. Autogun and Laspistol

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 49pts]
. 2x Battle Sister
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 49pts]
. 2x Battle Sister
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 49pts]
. 2x Battle Sister
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword

+ Heavy Support +

Exorcist [8 PL, 170pts]: Exorcist Missile Launcher, Heavy bolter

Exorcist [8 PL, 170pts]: Exorcist Missile Launcher, Heavy bolter

Exorcist [8 PL, 170pts]: Exorcist Missile Launcher, Heavy bolter

++ Total: [108 PL, 2,000pts] ++

This list makes full use of the incredible resilience of Valorous Heart Sisters with the right buffs to create an immensely durable core that can roll around the field holding objectives and mowing down enemy infantry. They’re backed up by some hefty firepower from three Exorcists (which have strong alpha strike protection if the Imagifier stays nearby) and the deadly threats of the Bloody Rose Repentia and Zephyrim waiting to deploy at the perfect moment. Finally, the Seraphim constantly threaten to drop in and make a nuisance of themselves, picking up backline objectives, scoring Behind Enemy Lines or picking off vulnerable targets.

Matt Robertson’s Bloody Rose Beatdown

The UK players are really leading the charge with the Sisters, and the other list we’re looking at is Matt Robertson’s brutal Bloody Rose build, which he took to 4th place at the North East Open Major (and an earlier iteration to 2nd at the Glasshammer GT).

Army List - Click to Expand

==Mixed Battalion Detachment (+5 cp)==

HQ: Celestine [160]

HQ:Cannoness (45), bolt gun and chainsword (0) [45]
WARLORD - Terrible Knowledge, RELIC - Litanies of Faith (Ebon Chalice)

HQ: Inquisitor, bolt gun and chainsword (0) [55] (Xenos - terrify)

Elite: Imagifier [45] Tale of the Warrior (Bloody Rose)

Troops: 5 Sisters of Battle, bolt gun (0 and chainsword on superior (0) [45] (Bloody Rose)
Troops: 5 Sisters of Battle, bolt gun (0 and chainsword on superior (0) [45] (Bloody Rose)
Troops: 5 Sisters of Battle, bolt gun (0 and chainsword on superior (0) [45] (Bloody Rose)

==Bloody Rose Battalion Detachment (+5 cp)==

HQ: Cannoness(45), bolt gun and chainsword(0) [45]

HQ: Missionary, shotgun and bolt pistol (0) [38]

Troops: 5 Sisters of Battle, bolt gun (0 and chainsword on superior (0) [45]
Troops: 5 Sisters of Battle, bolt gun (0 and chainsword on superior (0) [45]
Troops: 5 Sisters of Battle, bolt gun (0 and chainsword on superior (0) [45]

Fast Attack: 10 Seraphim (110), 4 inferno pistols (28), plasma pistol (5) [143]
Fast Attack: 8 Seraphim (88), 4 inferno pistols (28) [116]
Fast Attack: 8 Seraphim (88), 4 inferno pistols (28) [116]

No Slot: Repentia Superior (35), bolt pistol(0) [35]

Elite: 9 Repentia [117]
Elite: 9 Repentia [117]
Elite: 9 Repentia [117]

Elite: 9 Zephyrim (117), Zephyrim Pendant (5), 9 power swords (36) [158]
Elite: 9 Zephyrim (117), 9 power swords (36) [153]
Elite: 8 Zephyrim (104), 8 power swords (32) [136]

Transport: Sororitas Rhino (65), stormbolter (2) [67]
Transport: Sororitas Rhino (65), stormbolter (2) [67]

 

We already talked about this list a bit in our writeup of the NEO, but boy oh boy is it a vicious one. Obviously this army is very focused on getting the cycle of charge/wrap/murder going, but a big part of its strength is just how much different stuff is going on. With three units each of Seraphim and Zephyrim, opponents are going to have to play incredibly carefully on turns 2 and 3, and that’s going to give this list time to move its infantry core and Repentia buses into position. As long as there’s some decent mid-board terrain, once the centre-ground is under this army’s control it’ll be incredibly hard to shift, between the huge number of 4++ bodies and the fact that anything coming too close is getting immediately eviscerated. We’ve already seen two great finishes from this army, and I’m sure more are coming.

 

Wrap Up

Sisters are a potent army that seems extremely well positioned to benefit from Marines being taken down a peg, especially as they have a bunch of great tools against rising stars Grey Knights. With the rest of their model range hopefully arriving any week now (please GW) and some model lists starting to emerge, expect to see this faction on the rise. Hopefully you now feel prepared to either lead the faithful or at least understand the many tricks they can throw at you.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions you can, as ever, hit us up at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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