new sisters of battle codex.

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new sisters of battle codex.

Post  dusktiger on Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:01 pm

so im looking around for this in pdf, and the one i found had an interesting word file with a unit effectiveness summary tucked in with it that runs through all the units.  figured i'd post it here and we can discuss what we think.  my own personal commentary i'll just add in color through the post. here we go:


This is a mini Guide on How To play SoB (Sisters of Battle) with the new Codex.
It is mainly aimed at new SoB players, or veterans coming back because of the new 'dex.
Given the fact that sister of battle are very expensive, being one of the few armies with ONLY metal models, read this before buying anything.

=================================================================================
                                     Why play SoB ?
 
Now, speaking about the SoB as a Tabletop army :                                    
Basically, sister of battle are cheaper (in points), weaker marines with less heavy weapons and more flamers and melta. The whole codex is built around those two kinds of weapons. Your army is a close range shooting army with a lot of light vehicles that excel at shooting other armours. Best setup for SoB is Night Fighting, because they don't really have weapons that shoot over 36" anyway.

As a primary force, they are maybe the most difficult army to win with, and one of the most expensive citadel army to purchase the models for. Their only rivals for price are Vostroyan First Born. Long story short, they ARE NOT for beginners. If you are discovering warhammer 40k, Sister of Battle is maybe the worst army to begin with.

On the other hand, as an allied force, they can bring terrifying close range firepower, anti-tank and infantry harassment capacity. Things that their battle brothers, the guardsman, are lacking. And you won't need to buy as much of them if SoB are allied.

You don't have any air defense. Like, none at all. The best you can do is maybe take an aegis defence line with a quad gun, that will also be of good use to hide your Exorcists.
OR
You can pick an Avenger Strike Fighter, from Forge World Imperial Armour aeronautica. More on that at the end of the Tactica.

=====================================================================================
                                  Units Analysis
 
All your sister have a 6+ inv save. meh, they will use their 3+ most of the time anyway and 6+ isn't reliable enough for your IC. Adamantium Will is also welcomed, given that we don't have any psykers in the codex. having Adamantium Will army-wide is a nice addition, but i think the 6++ army wide is still useful since it gives you a slight chance not to lose your girls to AP 3 and better weapons. looking at you, baledrake.

Acts of Faith have changed. No more faith points. But each unit can only do one Act of Faith per game. 2 if they have a simulacrum imperialis in the squad. hard to say if this is a nerf or buff to the army. makes you think more about using your Acts, but since many are based on your weapons to start with, you probably weren't using them in the first 2 turns anyways. (most guns being template/24" range)


------- HQ -------
A bit disappointing, but a lot better than the previous iteration anyway, where Matt Ward stole all the good stuff and gave it to the Grey Knights. now fixed with Codex: Inquisition being released. so hurray for that?

Canonness :
Mandatory choice if special characters aren't allowed. But be ready, you gotta invest a lot of points if you want her to be useful. She is VERY likely to face some enemy commander, or another cc beast; so you might as well prepare her for the upcoming confrontation.  Give her at least a rosarius, and a Mantle of Ophelia. (grants Eternal Warrior)
An inferno pistol is a welcome addition for 15 pts, a condemnor bolter is a good choice too to kill those pesky psykers. As for a melee weapon, go for an eviscerator : Str x2; AP 2; Armorbane, Unwieldy.  this is because your I is low anyway. 
Do NOT give her :
-Cloak of St. Aspira (allows re-roll of failed armour and Shield of Faith rolls) : she will face characters that will always negate her amour and
the cloak doesn't work on her rosarius (4++) save : wasted points.
-Book of St. Lucius (friendlies within 12" autopass fear and regroup tests) : Better given it to a priest.
-Mace of Valaan (Str +2; AP 4; Chaos Bane, Concussive, Master-crafted) : This is Ministorum priest only.
-Blade of Admonition (Str +2; AP 3; Master-crafted) : Same price as the eviscerator, but not as good. also only allowed on the cannoness.

For 150pts, you have a very decent model that can deal with a lot of different threats, may they be infantry or armour. (don't forget the 6+2D6 armor pen. of the eviscerator).




Sororitas Command Squad :
Heavily improved in this version of the codex. Give them power axes (they'll strike last anyway being I3) and watch them kill stuff. Always take an Hospitalier for the Feel No Pain buff. The dialogus is optional, given that all your vehicles can take laud hailer for a cheap 5 pts, it's an adjustment variable if you have leftovers at the end. Useless Act of Faith, so don't take a Simulacrum Imperialis. The Blessed Standard is not so useful because you'll spam priests and have fearless sisters anyway. If you have some battle conclaves or repentias, the Sacred banner may be worth it.


Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave :
One of your few CC unit. This is the bulkiest of them, and probably the best of them. Arco-Flagellant are only 10pt models, DCA (Death Cult Assassin) and crusaders are 15 each (the price of a tacical marine). Feel no pain or 5+ inv DOES NOT count as actual resillience, so always put at a lot of crusaders. Sadly, they are now power sword only, so they now lack a bit of punch from their previous iteration. Arco-flagellant are good for horde extinction with their 4 Str5 attacks, while DCA excel at killing marines with their three (4 in charge) S4 AP3 attacks. Beware though, they have no frag grenades and SoB don't have any assault vehicles to embark them. Always put crusaders in front, 3+ inv all the time. Try to have has many crusaders as other units in the squad, so the whole unit can be WS 5 in melee.
Use with caution.


Ministorum Priest :
This is, by far, one of the best units of the codex.  For only 25 points, any unit he is attached to becomes fearless and gain hatred (you can take 5 per detachment and they don't take up HQ slots!). With his War Hymns, once locked in combat, the squad can either :
- reroll failed saves (both armour and invulnerable). 20 sister blob are now unmovable from objectives (Remember the fearless part ?)
- reroll to wound dice. remember that the squad already gets Hatred, and watch DCA kill things.
The priest can also gain smash instead. This is particulary lulzworthy with a power maul. The priest will have 2 S8 AP2 Hatred attacks if you do this. Watching your cheap 40 point model insta-killing terminators is always fun. The Mace of Valaan is not really worth it. Basically you are paying 10 extra points for master crafted on a model with Hatred and 1W. And even if demons are close, a smashing priest will already wound most things on 2+.
Extra Lulz : You can attach several priests to the same unit. Each of them can use their own war Hymns, and the effects stack (A priest can smash while the squad reroll failed save rolls and to wound dice).
Also, they always come with a rosarius, and can carry a Relic from the armory, such as the Book of St Lucius (friendly units at 12" of the bearer automatically pass fear and regroup test) or Litanies of Faith (Automatically pass Ld check for Act of Faith or War Hymns).
Moreover, it should be noted that War Hymn is a basic Ld check, unlike psychic powers. A priest has a Ld of 7, but can use the highest Ld of the unit he is in (8 most of them, 9 if you spent 10pts to make the superior a veteran) -page 7 of the rulebook-.


--- Special characters ---
A whooping number of... 2, with 1 being mandatory if special characters are authorized and the other one being "meh" at best.


Saint Celestine :
Well, from being a rape-train to "lol i'm not dead" in older versions, she is now only a buffed up canonness with heavy flamer and jump-pack that can respawn once.
Her obvious role should to be with your seraphim squad. But she is worth as much as a whole 8 model, 2 flamer, seraphim squad, and is far less effective. She is not even that good in cc, not having AP2 and not being immune to instant death. Lastly, she is a beacon of faith, meaning she drastically increase the effectivess of nearby priest and that she's a laud hailer. But she wont if she is on the frontline. While the priest
thing is interesting, laudhailer only cost 10 points on vehicles...
Overall not useless, but she will rarely bring her points back. Best suited if sisters are an allied force.
this summation is a bit surprising after seeing how well she played in 5th. but now that she can only get back up once, that is quite a hit to her rules, especially since she also went up like...20 or more points and didn't gain anything new.

Uriah Jacobus : (the pimp, as selik calls him)

This guy makes an excellent leader for your army. Only 75 more points than the standard priest. you've got one additional Act of Faith for his unit. So up to three Acts of Faith for the unit if a Simulacrum Imperialis is also taken. Every unit within 12" of him are also fearless and have counter attack. Btw he his still a priest, with war hymns and shit put him in a huge sister of battle blob and let him do his job. Only downside is that he doesn't have a power maul. (and thus, while efficient, is not lulzworthy)


------- Troops -------
The greatest weakness of the SoB, with a tremendous amount of different units to chose from : 1

Battle Sister Squad :
    They are still the marines of the poor, but they gained a lot of flexibility in the new codex. They now can come into packs of 5, meaning that they can be joined by an IC and still have an Immolator as dedicated transport. Always give them 2 flamers, or one flamer and one heavy flamer. With the wall of flame rule and the possibility to have multiple immolators as transport, this is the best option.

You must play two of them as troop choice, so you should at least make them useful.
3 possibilities here :
- Small strike team of 5-6 sisters in an Immolator with Multi-Melta. Once a transport is cracked open (either by an exorcist or the Immolator), the role of these ladies is to throw a bbq party for the freshly disembarked occupants of said transport. You can, and should, spam these.
- 10ish squads. At short range, they are even deadlier than tactical space marines thanks to the extra flamers and preferred enemy Act of Faith. Combi plasma on the superior sister may be a good idea for those, and SI will often be worth it.
- 20 sister blob with power axe/Eviscerator veteran sister, SI and priest for fearless and war hymns (using the ld 9 of the veteran sister). Put them on an objective and make camp. With cover save, power armour and a lot of models, they will be very difficult to wipe from afar. At close range, they have enough bolters to severly punish any closing enemies, and once engaged in close combat, they have all 3+ rerollable saves. This option cost a lot of money but not so much points.
A full 20 sister blob, with flamer, heavy flamer, SI, Veteran sister sup with power axe and a "surprise" priest with power maul cost 340 points and will require a lot more from your opponent to be wiped out. Do not use them as an assault force though, such a blob is for holding ground and holding ground only.
Overall, sisters do not suck so much as before at holding objectives, having gained a lot of mobility with the now possible Immolator spam (you should do this) and the large fearless blob option. But do not take them for what they are not : any unit will get wiped in open field and they have no long ranged firepower at all. So stay mobile, or under cover and with your priests.



------- Transport -------


The rhino got more expensive, the immolator got cheaper and spammable through troops choice, and is as awesome as before. Guess which one you'll take.

Rhino :
    This is a rhino. You know what it is and how it works. The SoB one is a bit expensive. And for only 20 more points, you can have an Immolator. Use the Immolator.

Immolator :
    From meh in the previous edition, they got awesome. Why ? They are now cheaper, come with free multi melta and can be spammed through basic squads of sister of battle. For 10 points, you can put a laud hailer on them. Try to have at least 2 or 3 laud hailer per army for maximum coverage. Oh, and don't forget the 6+ inv save.


------- Elite -------
meh. You won't see them winning in tournaments.
   
Celestian Squad :
    Basic sister of battle with +1 Ws, +1A and +1 Ld for 2 more points each. Their Act of Faith allows them to gain Furious Charge, for Up to 4 attacks per model in assault. And that's all. On the other hand, the upgrade from a basic 5 model SoB squad only costs 10 points. You will pick these only if you have extra points at the end of your army creation and you are willing to transform one of your scoring unit into something a bit more punchy at CC. (Remember that every Sob carry a bolt pistol, so you can fire with those then charge).

Repentia Squad :
    Maybe one of the most glass cannon of the game. If exposed to enemy fire, the repentia have only a 6+ Inv save (read : nothing). They will be fired at. Always take them at full size (155pts). Maybe the most difficult SoB unit to use. Hide them behind blobs (somebody said guardsmen ?). Buy them a rhino. Do not expose them until they can charge. Once in CC, each girl can put out up to 4(!) S x2 AP2 Armorbane attacks. Their Act of Faith can actually allow them to survive the first round in order to be able to land these blows. Given the high strength, high command and lack of save of the unit, the only bonus a priest will have for repentia is "Hatred", but it's still a useful bonus.

------- Fast Attack --------
One of the best section of the codex. Both units here are awesome at doing their job and complete each other very well.

Seraphim squad :
    They are a very efficient infantry hunter unit. Give them hand flamers. You may be tempted to give them inferno pistols, but they are 30pts each, very close range, and it's not their role anyway to bust armour. Their Act of Faith gives them shred. They are totally able to kill large blobs of weak units. Once the shooting is over, just charge the survivors and let the 4 attacks per Seraphim do the job. (Hammer, Charge, Double
Pistol and one base attack). A sister superior is a good investment for Improved LD. It's better to take more Seraphims than to buy a plasma pistol or a Power sword. Hunting space marines is not their role anyway. They should stick to horde and camping unit hunting : DO NOT charge a cc unit. Again, don't forget that they are T3 and as good as dead in open field.

Dominion squad :
    Scouts. With four meltaguns. That ignore covers. FUCKING BROKEN. Expect a lot of delicious tears from your opponents. Always put laud hailer on the dedicated transport. You DO NOT want to fail the Act of Faith. Move up to 18" with your scout move, then melt the shit out of your  opponent's favorite pricey armour. The Ignore cover is completely crazy. Given their capacity to melt everything, they will get focused.
That's why buying 10 of those and a rhino may be a good choice. Sure, you lose the Multi melta, but you can withstand a lot more fire, and with a simulacrum imperialis and a bit of luck, it's easy to earn their points back. DO NOT put flamers on these ladies. They have ignore cover, it's for a reason. The seraphim are more efficient at burning infantry anyway, and even basic SoB squads can do the job very well.

------- Heavy Support ------
Or : WHY CAN'T I TAKE MORE EXORCIST ?


Exorcist :
Play 2-3 of them. All the time. Why ? 48" S8 AP1 D6 heavy. Since V6 and the hull points, they were a must have in the previous version, and now they are even cheaper.
Eat light vehicles at breakfast, can seriously damage heavier one, rape any elite unit. The only thing they can't do well is shoot flyers. But it's still one of your best option, three exorcist firing at the same time to a flyer will likely bring it down. That said, three exorcist firing at the same time  at anything will do shitload of damages to it.

Penitent Engine :
WHY THE HELL are they heavy supports ? They would have been an AWESOME Elite choice. Now they are just open-topped light walkers that take a precious heavy support slot. On the other hand, it's unlikely that they will get focused if you take a squad of them instead of just one, as your opponent will have other priorities in mind (Immolators and Exorcist for example). And if he focuses on them, the rest of your army is free to do their shit. Overall, play them just for the lulz. But don't expect winning.

Retributors :
Well, first of all, they are not an exorcist. They got nerfed with the new Act of Faith system, and can now rend only once or twice per battle. In any case, give them 4 heavy bolters, other setups are just a waste of points. They are also a good unit to hide in your aegis line and to fire at flyers, out of the 12 heavy bolter shots, one of them may eventually damage your target. It's also a nice squad to get an Immolator or a rhino for your repentias.


------------ FLYERS ----------------



As you can find out in Imperial Armour Aeronautica, sister of battle have access to three different kind of flyers, one of them being an interesting addition to the army.

These flyers are :
Arvus Lighter (Dedicated transport)
Aquila lander (Fast Attack)
Avenger Strike Fighter (Heavy Support)


Arvus lighter : A flying rhino for twice the price. meh. Everyone (except sisters of battle) have skyfire anyway now.
Aquila Lander : A flying immolator for twice the price. Same shit as the arvus : meh


Avenger Strike Fighter :
    A very strong addition to the sob army. It comes with 12 front armour, a 36" Str 6 AP 3 Heavy 7 main gun, two wing lascannons and a crappy skyfire defensive turret that can shoot freely at other flyer even if they are not the main shooting target. While being able against other flyers, especially if you also give him additional multi-las or missile launcher, he has only a BS 3 vs flyer (4 vs ground), and you can only fire four of it's weapons at full BS. He his a terrific elite, troop, and light vehicle hunter, as he'll reduce any space marines or light armour to ashes. If you want to give him additional weapons, rememeber that you can only fire up to 4 of them at full BS, so it's better to give him one use weapons.
Your best choice here is either one use weapon or Missile Launcher :
VS Infantry - Missile Launchers, Stubber and Avenger Bolt Cannon
VS armour and other flyers - Missile Launcher and Lasgun
This guy's is the bane of back-end devastator and such, so try to fly him as long as possible before he is shot to death by the skyfire weapons that are now everywhere.

here are his additional special rules and equipment you can't find in the common rulebook :

Armored cockpit :
    A vehicle equipped with an Armoured Cockpit may ignore results of Crew Shaken or Crew Stunned on a roll of 4+.

Flare or Chaff Launchers :
    Flare or Chaff launchers are a single use item. A vehicle equipped with Flare or Chaff Launchers has a 4+ invulnerable save against any damage inflicted by Missile weapons.

Infra-Red Targeting :
    A vehicle equipped with Infra-Red Targeting gains the Night Vision special rule.

Illum Flares :
    A vehicle equipped with Illum Flares may drop a single flare per turn. They are fired in the same manner as Bombs, placing a marker where the flare lands after it has scattered. Leave the marker in place until the end of the turn. Any unit targeting an enemy within 12" of the flare marker gains the Night Vision rule for that Shooting phase. if the firing unit also has the Split Fire rule, it only gains the benefit of Night Vision while firing at units with at least one model within 12" of the flare marker.
   
Distinctive paints/marking:
    Single use item. While the owning vehicle is in play and on the board (it is not in Ongoing Reserves), one friendly within line of sight of the vehicle may reroll a single Morale test. Distinctive Paint Scheme or Markings must be represented on the model.

 =================================================================================
 
 Well, you should now have an idea on how to build those nuns with guns efficiently.
 
The real workhorse of your army are the exorcists, you should have the largest possible amount of them. Given that they are quite fragile, you want to do target saturation with as much other vehicles as possible and bust asap most of the opponents anti tank capacity.

Sisters suck at sitting on the ground and firing. Sisters are bad at engaging the enemy in cc. If you want to win, you're gonna have to play with your head and not only with the dice. ALWAYS stay mobile. Use cover all the time. Use your dominions and immolators to burst tanks, your seraphims and classic SoB to roast infantry. With most of your units, it's better to let the enemy charge on your flamers than to charge yourself (no assault grenades, remember). Use priests to make most of your units fearless and overall tougher (you can take 5 per detachment and they dont take up HQ slots!).

Sadly enough, one of the weakness of the SoB is a double weakness :
Flyers loaded with shit tons of anti tank weapon are now common in tournaments, and SoB do suck at anti air. That's why you should always bring an aegis defense line with the awesome quad-gun. If you KNOW that your opponent have flyers, man it with dominions. Why ? Because they can negate the jink cover of said flyer. Don't worry, your squad is not lost at all not being on the frontline, they destroyed their assigned target, and even better, they are still safe at the back of your line.
If they are still flyers on the other side, try some Exorcist focused-fire. Sure, you'll lose a full shooting phase with these babies, but the damage flyers can do to all of your light armoured vehicle is too terrific to be ignored.
                     OR
You can exchange an exorcist and a bit of points for an avenger flyer, maybe loaded with missile launcher (but that's a lot of point for a SA 10, hp 2 vehicle).

Now, the Battle.
The two hardest for the sisters are Crusade and The Scouring, because in both case, they have only a few scoring units, and they are not exactly resillient. That's why you should play at least one big blob of sister. At least, now, we have mobility, allowing for some late game scoring.
(the fact this guy went on earlier to say how good seraphim and dominion squads were, it seems odd he thinks the scouring (fast are scoring) would be a problem for them)

On the other hand, the Big Guns Never Tire is maybe the best mission for us : The ladies excel at melting stuff, and you'll often have 2 if not 3 heavy support exorcist ready to make a capturing move on the final turn.

Purge the alien is okay for us, it will mostly depend of your opponent's army.

The Emperor's Will is a gamble, as sisters can easily take up fortified position with their shit tons of flamer and ignore cover meltas, but on the other hand, they are not really good at static defense.

The relic is a bit different from the other one. We can easily burn to death anything holding the relic or getting too close to it, but on the other hand, we don't really have mobile tough units that can carry it. If a blob squad with a priest gets its hand on it, it's a win, but they'll have difficulties getting there on time to do it.


Have fun playing

_________________

dusktiger
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