Monday, 21 October 2013

Codex Adepta Sororitas: Guest Review by David Baillie

So for those that don’t know me, my name is David Baillie and I have been playing 40k from the very beginning of 5th edition. My very first army was the Sisters of Battle. I have always loved them and think the Witch Hunter’s codex was actually a great codex.

I don’t think Codex Witch Hunters ever needed to be re-written, just fixed and brought in line with 5th and then 6th ed.
Sure there were a few things that needed a good rework as editions progressed, but on the whole the army was fairly balanced. We needed a few more troops options and some of the units were useless (Repentia and Penitent engines) but on the whole I never really heard anyone saying they were broken or overpowered.
But as the editions progressed and everyone got a new codex I looked forwards to my new book with new models and new rules and units…

If you want to hear my rant on the Ward/Cruddace WD codex failtacular then please take a listen to the review I recorded on The Overlords Podcast.

I won’t bore you too much with it now, only point out that I was very disappointed and even wrote a letter to GW  (that’s how upset I was)
A few years down the line and we have another “codex” though update is probably a better term.
I can’t help but think they should have left the codex WH alone and spent the last 5-6 years writing a decent codex rather than these “tide you over” abortions.

An interesting quote was that the AOF system needed to be made simpler. It seems to me that it worked just fine before and provided an interesting mechanic.
However the Acts of Faith have been nerfed yet again!
 It was bad before but now it’s just awful. Why don’t they just leave them alone? They were not over powered before and the whole system of having a set amount and then losing and gaining them (through martyrdom) worked really well. They even scaled with the points system and led you into making some decisions based on how many faith points you had. The fact that when a sister died the unit got a little bit more powerful was really cool. I never heard anyone complaining about the old faith system.

I am hoping to give a bit of an insight to SOB players as to why there is so much rage about yet another crap codex for this much loved and little supported army.

So let’s take a look at this “straight to ipad” codex in all its digital glory (don’t even get me started on the digital only release) as I give it a review of sorts.
It’s not a comprehensive run down and you should really take a look at the codex if you want a better understanding.
I have highlighted some good and bad points and explained a few things which should help people understand the new codex.

Army wide Special rules

Act of Faith
There is no longer a Faith Point system. You get one AoF per unit and that’s it (unless you take wargear)
You now take a  leadership test and if you pass you can use the act  if you fail your leadership test the unit loses that Act of Faith attempt and  can't get it back. (Unless you take wargear).

Shield of Faith
6++ Invulnerable save and Adamantium will (plus Deny the Witch USR) 5+ DtW J

Our Canoness’ got nerfed yet again; she is even more useless than before as she now has the “Martyrdom” special rule. Martyrdom sucks now (no more gaining back a faith point)
If a model with this rule is your warlord and they are removed as casualty all friendly units who consist entirely of models with the Acts of Faith rule automatically pass all Leadership checks”.
So, get your HQ killed for a LD test pass for 1 turn.
 She still cost as much as a chaos lord…

War Hymns (Priests)
A special rule for priests that allow you to take a leadership test during the fight sub-phase, if they pass (LD 7) they can activate one of three War Hymns:
  1. Re-roll all failed armour and invulnerable saves
  2. The Priest gains the Smash special rule until end of phase
  3. The Priest and his unit re-roll all failed to wound rolls until end of phase

Warlord Traits

·         Warlord causes Fear – Not great to be fair.
·         Warlord's (and the unit they're attached to) Shield of Faith becomes a 5+  not too bad especially when there are things in the 'dex that let you re-roll all failed saves. I like this.
·         Warlord's unit re-rolls failed Deny the Witch rolls- good if you are playing a psyker heavy army as it will combine with their 5+ DtW roll
·         Warlord has Rage – Your Canoness is not a CC beast, do you want her to have rage?
·         Friendly models in 12" use the Warlord's leadership value when making Act of Faith or War Hymns Leadership tests.- not a bad one as you will really want to pass them AoF and great for the hymns on your priests
·         All friendly models within 12" of the Warlord have the Stubborn special rule- Great, they are giving us back what we used to have (A piece of wargear called “Book of St Lucius” that you could put on all veteran sisters for 5 points)


Saint Celestine
She has gone up 20 points but who didn’t see that coming?
Miraculous Intervention is now an Act of Faith (so she can only come back once?) which brings her back with full wounds if she passes the LD 10 test. She has Hit and Run, and Martyrdom (which is still lame) her sword is now +2S and AP3 and Master crafted and still a flamer in the shooting phase. She has the Warlord trait that allows units to use her leadership for Faith Tests. Still a great HQ.

He has gone up 10 points, can use a bonus Act of Faith automatically and can do this even if the Simulacrum has been died (see war gear). He also has the Martyrdom, Zealot and War Hymns special rules. He comes with the 5+ Shield of Faith Warlord trait and his banner now gives friendly models in 12" Fearless and Counter-Attack.
So pretty much still an auto take! When you take him you may also take an  Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave (1 per priest)which are now made up of three 10 point Arco-Flagellants with the option to take 7 more at 10 points per model, these can be upgraded to a Crusader or Death Cult Assassin (for 5+ points)

A rubbish HQ, cheap(ish) but rubbish. Her Act of Faith now gives Hatred but as she is not great in H2H I don’t see the point of this even when taking into account the Sororitas Command Squads you can put her with. (1 per canoness)
These consist of 5 Celestians,
You can take the Blessed Standard or the Sacred Banner and a Simulcrum. Any model not upgraded to be a Dialogus (may take items from the Relic list) or a Hospitaller (FNP) may take Melee, Ranged, Special or Heavy Weapons.
Their Act of Faith now gives them Fleet, Move through Cover and Crusader USR.

Ministorum Priests
20 points cheaper and gain Zealot and War Hymns. You may take up to 5 in a single detachment. They still don't take up a FOC slot, and don't count as mandatory HQs anymore). Each one can take a an Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave

We still only get the 1 troop choice but they can now be taken in 5 woman units ( more on that later) Simulacrum is now 10 points and the Heavy Flamer has gone back down to 10 points, instead of the 20 points they bumped it up to for no real reason (Ward...)
Their Act of Faith now gives them the Preferred Enemy special rule in either your shooting phase or either assault phase

Dedicated Transports
Went up 5 points, guess that’s to pay for the 6++ they can take Loud Hailers which will help in the AoF issue

Went down 5 points but the Heavy Flamer is still rubbish and pointless. The Heavy Bolter lost the special ammo it used to have and they made the Multi-Melta free. Again it also has access to the Loud Hailer.
Its good that Immolators get the twin-linked multi-melta for free as this is the only way to play them because a twin-linked heavy flamer that can't shoot if you move more than 6” like it could before Matt Ward ruined the entry.
I am pretty sure we will now see a lot of list that have 6 troops of minimum size with 6 dedicated immolators with multi-meltas, Uriah Jacobus stuffed somewhere and the rest of the points filled up however you like.

Are now 70 points for 5 and a point cheaper per model up to a max of 10. Other than that, they get Furious Charge now for their Act of Faith. They are not too bad to be fair but still on the pricey side.

Went down to 85 points for 4 plus the mistress and they are 3 points cheaper per model (14).
Repentia are still rubbish. You can stick them in a vehicle but… they can't assault out of it, and your act of faith that gives you a 3+ feel no pain isn't going to do much with your T3, single wound models with no armour save.
They cost as much as a space marine but can’t shoot, have no armour and will die against fire warriors in hand to hand even if they do get to charge and don’t get gunned down by over watch. If you get them into CC they might be decent against vehicles as long as your opponent takes pity on you and lets them get into combat in the first place.

Fast Attack
Are now 75 points for 5, but stayed at 15 points per model. Their Act of Faith now gives them the Shred USR.
hand flamers went down to 10 points which is awesome.
The Angelic Visage special rule now only gives a re-roll on Shield of Faith saves though.

Went down 5 points for 5. It will cost you 13 points for extra models. 4 Dominions can take Specials again (after being nerfed they bumped it back up from 2 to 4) Their Act of Faith gives them the Ignores Cover special rule which is a fucking joke in my opinion. Cover ignoring melta is nice if someone’s terminators are hiding or a vehicle is getting a cover save, but what use is that for flamers?
The way I see this unit being used is:
Drive up in a scouting immolator which will then pop a tank. The sisters then kill what was inside and don’t allow the crater to give the unit a cover saves……. great

Heavy Support
Are 5 points cheaper and the Act of Faith still gives them rending. Take heavy flamers here and mount them in an immolator with a priest for a good unit (at the cost of an exorcist)

10 points cheaper YES!!!!!! Love me some S8 AP1 missiles. Still, how hard would it have been to give them a few missile options? SKYFIRE anyone???

Penitent Engines
5 points discount but are still the frailest walker in the game. They only have 3 attacks/4 on the charge (unless they get + 1 for 2 h2h weapons?) They even had their extra attacks for killing a model taken off them. Oddly enough this was already a powered down version of the BA Furioso Dreadnought with its blood talons.
A shame as I have 2 and love the idea and model

·         Blessed Standard - Friendly units in 12" re-roll faith Morale, Fear and Pinning.
·         Loud Hailer- All friendly units within 12" of a model with a Laud Hailer re-roll failed Leadership tests when attempting Acts of Faith. It's in the vehicle wargear too. Not bad if you don’t want to take a Veteran sister to get the Ld9
·         Simulacrum Imperialis reduced to 10 points from 20 and gives the unit a second Act of Faith uses/attempts? If the model carrying it dies the unit loses ALL ability to use their Act of Faith for the rest of the game. So watch where you place her.

Only one relic can be taken per army and most of them are only for your Canoness or Priest.

·         Litanies of Faith - The model with this, their unit and any Independent Characters with Acts of Faith or War Hymns automatically pass all leadership tests to activate them.
·         Cloak of St. Aspira - The wearer re-rolls all failed armour saves and Shield of Faith invulnerable saving throws. Used to be great for giving your Canoness a 2+ save, not anymore.
·         Mantle of Ophelia - Eternal Warrior. This was a 1 use item and now works all the time which is good on a T3 model.
·         Blade of Admonition – A master crafted Relic Blade that doesn't count as a two-handed weapon. The Canoness is the only HQ who can get this.
·         Book of St. Lucius - All friendly units in 12" auto-pass Fear or Regroup tests
·         Sacred Banner of the Order Militant - Friendly units in 12" re-roll Acts of Faith, Morale, Fear and Pinning and adds +1 Attack
·         Mace of Valaan - master crafted power maul with “Chaos Bane” which gives Fleshbane and Armorbane when its within 6" of one or model with the Daemon special rule not bad if you are fighting daemons but not what the sisters are meant for ( Grey knights should have weapons like this)

·         The Eviscerator has gone up to a massive 30 points and can only be taken by the Canoness, Seraphim Superior and Priests (and repentia of course)
·         Storm bolters went up from 3 points to 5 points.
·         Power weapons at 15 points per model?  All well and good for a SM at S4 T4 I4 but for a sister (as good as vet IG in combat) it’s a waste of points
·         Though some Skyfire built into the book would have been nice.

So, will my sisters be making their triumphant return to the table? Maybe
Is the codex a complete failure? Not totally.
Should you buy it as a SOB player? Yes, support the sisters and we might one day get some new models!

Should I start a new SOB army? At those prices? Only if you’re made of money.

1 comment:

  1. They seem to be hell bent on making sure sisters don't have better equipment than Space Marines, and if we do, we're going to pay for it (for example the Sister's Rhino). And they seem to be trying to tie the price to the item itself, not the model's stat line; I remember weapons having different cost based on who used them; no longer though. The 15 power weapon made me take them out, just not much use on a T3 I3 model.

    However, I do like the faith point system, it is better than the White Dwarf's version (of course no where near as good as Witch hunters), but having the ability to control when the faith are activated is nice, and they go off more reliably.