Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
Alright, ladies and gents. The sisters codex 1st half is here and... frankly, it seems that there is nothing truly great in the new rules. The immolators lost their heavy flamers, the celestians can't hit as well now, the inquisition is GONE...
In light of this atrocity, I propose the following:
The Witch Hunters of the World throw that White Dwarf to the ground and play by their old rules. Use the Grey Knights codex for inquisitors and assassins, use the same rhino rules as every other codex that has rhinos.
You don't want a 6++ invulnerable on every vehicle in the army, friends, you want YOUR CANNONESS AND HER GUARD TO HAVE 3++ INVULNERABLES AND +2 STRENGTH AS THEY CHARGE THE HERETICAL ENEMIES OF THE EMPEROR! WHO IS WITH ME?!
I really need to focus on a single army...
Orkz: 3000 pts. Slaaneshi Chaos: 2500 pts. Ultramarines: 1250 pts. Necrons: 1000 pts.
Eldar: 1000 pts. Tau: 1000 pts. Dark Angels: 550 pts. Grey Knights: 450 pts
Seriously, I had to review both the old codex and the first half of this one to realize this, but these Sisters aren't cutting it. There is a serious shift in tone from the first half of my review to the second where I reminisce about the good old days with the old codex and how much better it is than this. Albeit this is only the first half, I don't see a way of redeeming this travesty.
This is my review. TL;DR? Old Sisters Rule, New Sisters Drool
The Codex starts with an explanation of how the Sisterhood came about. This is reasonable, for it is how most things start; at the beginning. Here, the tale starts with a very crazy man that, in some sort of coup, takes over both the Ecclesiarchy and the Administratum (a feat that has been banned since, through dissolving the right for the Ecclesiarchy to "ban together an army of men"). Now, this man finds a very devout sisterhood of slightly militant women on some planet and decides to use them as his elite bodyguard (because he can't trust anyone else, apparently). From this, he builds their order on two core worlds, expanding their power and influence as a strong arm of the Ecclesiarchy. Then, when people have had enough of his ranting sermons, a man rises in opposition and does battle for the true word of the Emperor. At some point, and it's not described how, this man, who has been the enemy of the now insane commander of the Sisters, gains an audience with the leader of the Sisters and her elite guard. Then, somehow, this man gains admittance to the Golden Throne and brings the Sisters with him. Nothing is told about what transpired inside that room, but when the Sisters exit they march to the still insane man who has been leading and deceiving them, and executes him. Then the previously mentioned order of no "Army of men" is established, but this does not include women, and so they are maintained as a serious fighting force for the Ecclesiarchy. Then the guy who lead the rebellion becomes the new Ecclesiarch and creates the Orders by dissecting the now bulging ranks of the two main Sisters planet training... things. Each Order is founded by one of the 6 sisters that entered the Golden Throne room.
What is wrong with this picture?
Besides the obvious unexplained availability for peace between warring leaders (because everyone knows that wars of faith are so reasonable), the main problem is Sexism. I know, you can laugh, I'll wait.
Done? Good. Sexism is still alive and well even this far into the future. Instead of saying "No army of people" the High Lords of Terra, in their infinite wisdom, only think that an army of men would really be a threat to the Administratum. In this, the women, of course, would be docile and subservient enough to control them however the Ecclesiarch pleases and wouldn't be strong enough to overthrow any establishment controlled by men. Even though the fighting force of the recently defeated power crazed dictator was headed by the elite sisterhood. Even though the only way the crazed dictator was defeated was when the Sisters took it upon themselves to end his life.
This is par for the course, of course, because it's the unwritten rule of GW to create an inherently phallic and patriarchal society since its inception. Not only are all the influential leaders penis wielding misogynists, the only reason that women are included, and in fact, wield any power in the Imperium, is at the approval of their male superiors.
Another reason to go xenos, for any women players out there. Seriously, don't expect the sisters to hold up your "Hail to the V" signs.
All is as it should be so far.
Now, the next page (and yes folks, I do mean page) is dedicated to the innumerable battles of the Sisters of Battle. And by innumerable, I mean 6, and by 6 I really only mean 4 whose description, as devoid of detail as they are, are more than an inch long (where the page is separated into three columns, two of which are text and the third is a pretty picture with a quote). Some of these wars warrant real bloody tales that should span pages, like their fraternal partners, but alas, a short synopsis is all they can afford for the "bolter b----es" (those dirty bleeding hussies of the Emperor). One of the descriptions was, and I’m not trying to exaggerate, one sentence long. Why even bother mentioning that? Because it involves the destruction of an entire world of Sisters, so why isn’t it important…
But we knew this going in. We knew the fluff would be terribad, and that none of the virtuousness of the Sisters would really make it to the bastard form of a codex. So far, expectations are still being met, as low as they were, sadly.
But now we come to the fun part. Someone finally was given a chance to write a codex that has balanced rules and can be fielded in battle without their opponent groaning in annoyance, terror, or hate (usually all three when the last two Fraternal codices are in play).
Faith Points are based on a die roll each turn. Only a D6, but then again, the Emperor only has so much love and he can be a fickle mistress, err, mister, sometimes. The FP's are spent on Acts of Faith that each unit in the army has. Every time a unit wishes to use an AoF, they subtract a FP from their pool, roll a die, tack on modifiers based on units in the squad or casualties on the unit, and pray that the total is 5+. They must use it at the beginning of the turn in which it effects. This also implies (if I read it correctly) that they must be used on the turn of the person who is fielding the Sisters. Since the AoF's are mostly offensive in some way or another, it's not that big of a deal, but when I first read it and remembered the all important defensive AoF's we use to have, I panicked. If an independent character has an AoF as well as the unit it is attached to, 1 FP is used for each AoF. Then there's the Shield of Faith. It's not listed under the AoF system, but is it's own special rule (as I read it) and what it does is confer a 6+ invulnerable save. Sometimes, faith in the Emperor can be a better shield than any armor.
The codex continues with a brief description of common wargear and special rules of each of the units available in a Sisters army. The idea here is each unit has a special AoF, instead of the old idea that there were certain AoF's that could be spread around the entire army. This allows for a certain amount of specialization for each of the units, but also creates an even longer list of rules to memorize. But let's not have this discourage us:
The Passion: +1 Init and Preferred Enemy (for unit and Canoness)
Endless Crusade: Gains Relentless and Move Through Cover
Spirit of the Martyr: Single attack for models killed in the assault phase before they were allowed to attack.
Light of the Emperor: Regroup even if normally restricted or reroll failed To Hit rolls of 1 (can use this in Movement, Shooting, and Assualt phases)
Hand of the Emperor: +1 Str and Fearless
Holy Fusillade: Weapons are twin-linked (shooting)
The Emperor's Deliverance: re-roll failed To Wound rolls (shooting)
Divine Guidance: Unit's weapons gain Rending (shooting)
And those are just the AoF. Honestly, I'm really excited about running this army. I think they will work well... in small games. That's the one problem with this army, the Emperor's love only goes to a maximum of 6 and I'll be damned if in a large battle you only have 6 units on the field. This means you need to spend your points wisely... But, the Codex helps you out there as well. If you are afraid you roll poorly on the worst of occasions (we all know we do) then one model in your army is a must: Uriah Jacobus. With his special rule Protector of the Faith, we can re-roll the dice to determine how many faith points you have each turn (it says nothing about having to take the second result, but people may assume it's a given, let's not let them until later).
This brings us back to the Sexism argument. One of the most influential units on the field is a man, in an army called Sisters of Battle. Sounds about right.
But, needless to say, the "nuns with guns" really shine when it counts with the different special rules of the individual units. My favorite is the Seraphim. You want double-pistol wielding sexy girls? DONE. Want a re-roll on that all important AoF? WE GOT THAT TOO.
Dominion squads have the Scout special rule? And use meltas and flamers? Sign me up, ma'am.
Penitent Engines: Ignoring Crew anything results, gets another attack for any unsaved wounds (though these extra attacks cannot create extra attacks themselves), and has 2 flamers? Glory be to the Emprah!
Death Cult Assassin - Sexy girl with 2 power weapons, I 6, 5+ Invulnerable, 5+ armor, and a melee stat line that rivals their Fraternal contemporaries. Awesome. The Crusader is cool enough, but I wouldn't even bother with arco-flagellants... They might be awesome in close combat, but they have no survivability (besides Feel No Pai- okay, maybe I see the point).
Priests and Confessors have the Righteous Rage, sorta like a Litanies of Hate for Sisters... yet again because of men.
The vehicles are pretty awesome too, bringing back the ol' faithfuls like the Exorcists, Rhinos, and Immolators. All with Shield of Faith (invulnerable saves on Imperial vehicles? more likely than you think). Though I do hope they bring back the full out move and then flame on the Immolator... it wasn't mentioned... I will be very sad if this remains true.
Saint Celestine remains her usual self: pure amazing. Her coming back on the field is sexy, her armor is sexy, her weapon is sexy... She's bringing sexy back like Slaneesh was going out of style.
But conspicuously missing from this part of the 2 part entry, would be the point costs and wargear alternatives (and hopefully a bit more of the rules *crosses fingers for those immolators*). How many sisters can I field at a time? How much does a Rhino cost? What's a fast attack and what's an Elite? This gives you a month to dust those girls off, paint a bit more, and start organizing a plan of attack to destroy the enemies of the Emperor.
But how does this compare with the old rules? Let’s take a look:
Psychic Powers and the ability to use them? Absent… but since this codex focuses on the Sisters, maybe that’s okay. The psychic powers were mostly for Inquisitors, not Canonesses. Inquisitors, then, are missing… as well as their henchmen… Maybe they moved to another codex…
The old Faith Point system and Acts of Faith was ill contrived at best. The number of faith points was determined by how large your army wa- okay, wait, that’s cool. The more of the Emprah’s faithful that gathered, the more use of miracles we could have… Well damn. Martyrdom was also pretty cool. Units die, they give points to the army, for glory to the Emprah… Huh. Okay, but what about implementation? The way it works is you roll 2d6 and compare to the number of units in the squad. Some wanted over, and some wanted under… For large units with under, it was pretty simple, don’t roll box cars = get AoF. You could use them on either player’s turn (various phases) unless it specifically says only on the Sister’s turn or phase. What were these AoF’s?
Hand of the Emprah: +2 Str, Init = 1… Sorta like power fist/relic blade… Damn, that sounds pimp especially if the unit was going last anyways.
Divine Guidance: Roll to wound of 6 counts as AP1 (shooting), roll to wound of 6 counts as power weapon (assault). Jeebus, that sounds useful if you roll well… man… Okay, let’s have faith…
The Passion: +2 Init (except on always hit last, Init 1 weapons, and can’t be used with Hand of the Emprah). … ****, that was cool too. Suddenly, bolter b----es go first in combat. Huh…
Light of the Emprah: Fearless until beginning of next movement phase, or if falling back, instantly regroups and also has fearless for that turn. Spend a faith point and get an even more awesome version of ATSKNF? ****, where did that go?
Spirit of the Martyr: Gain an invulnerable save equal to your armor save until end of phase. Wait, WHAT?! ARE YOU ****ING KIDD- Ok, sure… fine.
What about the other rules, certainly there will be some benefits here, right? Bunch of cool specialist rules for war scenarios… terminologies, Force Org., Holy Rage – must move full movement toward enemy +d6” and must assault if they can. That’s cool, kinda fluffy, kinda incentive, I get it, it’s neat. Allying with other armies. Oh, right, because they didn’t expect you to buy hundreds of dollars worth of miniatures and only get 1HQ and 2 troops and expect you to just roll with that. It gives you rules to use while you are in the transition phase. Well let’s see, I play SM, so if I wanted to phase over I could just Use siste- No, no wait, it says **** you to that idea. Can’t use sisters and marines in the same army, because the Marines genitalia might activate and murder their comrades? The Sisters will be so overcome by their machisimo that they will say “**** it” to the Emprah and try to bone the holy into themselves? Sure, let’s go with that. Hopefully in the next section we won’t see this same rule… Hopefully. Fluff wise, I kinda understand, since they were an Inquisition force, they used Inquisition units. If the Sisters could make it, they’d use them. No need to bother the men with such little things as protecting the Emprah’s Imperium… Nope, no need at all to have both forces. (Oh, wait, in the new fluff the Salamanders and Sisters are fighting side by side? Fighting back to back, burning the enemies of the Emprah together? Must be their GIANT BLACK COCKS that lured them over. Get your fluff straight, GW.)
Alright, what about the Units?
Canonesses? Still around, but missing their honour guard; the Palatines (those sexy hoes had to go, apparently)
Priests? Still around.
Arco-Flagellants? Around, but were a separate unit description, now grouped with what seem to be other units in this book… Weird.
Celestians? Still good, but without the Holy Hatred – A special rule that allowed them to hit ANYTHING (unless Independent Character or Monstrous Creature) with a WS value at a 3+, regardless. Well ****, okay, that’s gone so far.
Repentia? Present, and less accounted for. The ‘Only in Death Does Duty End’ is smexy, where did that go? It is affected by Holy Rage, if the Mistress is still around, they roll 2 dice and if EITHER of them is 1 or 2, they get Holy Rage. Double the chances to get those girls in the fray. ****ing. Sweet. And Righteous Zeal? Repentia don’t FAIL Morale checks, no, they ADVANCE towards enemies as quickly as possible, always, all the time.
Assassins? Gone, (last seen with Inquisitors at an awesome party)
Death Cult Assassins? Here, and with the Arco-Flagellants (they didn’t get an invite to the party)
I’m going to ignore the fact that Land Raiders are conspicuously missing from the new codex and hope they bring them back in the next… or something… please.
Sisters? Well, we’d hope they’d still be around.
Seraphims? Here, mostly unharmed… actually, they got a buff I’d say. But they are lacking the cool Angelic Visage (increase Leadership of nearby units).
Dominions? Around, they use to have nothing special, now they are scouts. Cool.
Immolators? Use to have two h-flamers, if you or someone you know has seen their other h-flamer, please call your nearest GW representative and slap his balls… because you can.
Exorcist? Since they haven’t released the rules for its cannon, we can hope it remains a strength 8 ap 1 heavy d6 48”.
Penitent Engines? Mostly unchanged, except the Battle Frenzy and d6 attacks… unless I forgot it was a d6 in the new one.
Orbital Strikes? Missing (They were using them for the awesome Laser show at the party.)
All in all… I’m a little ****ing pissed that my sisters were messed with at all. After rereading the codex, I realize that they had some serious power behind them, even if poorly worded. They had some awesome special rules and sexy AoF’s that could apply to many different units. Maybe more than one of the units wanted to have initiative bonuses? Well, GW says **** you to that. Maybe I shouldn’t have complained so much since what they seem to have done to the Sisters fluff wise, has transferred to the crunch. Getting ****ed. What I wanted to see was a reshaping of points, and an update to the AoF’s, not a complete overhall leaving them in the lurch from the last edition. I use to be a heavy proponent of a Sister’s change, but now? I don’t know anymore… this just seems… blasphemo- OH MY GOD, THAT’S IT. GW HAS BEEN TAKEN OVER BY CHAOS! Don’t you see?! IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW! The Blood Angels are BARELY holding on to their sanity… Khornate Knights? Really?... It’s all so obvious now… Clarity has been achieved brothers! To arms! To arms! Sound the alarms! Fiends are heading towards the Golden Throne! We need all the faithful now (even the new Sisters)!
SISTERS! FIGHT BY MY SIDE!
Last edited by OdantheRevrend; August 1st, 2011 at 08:53.
The sisters of battle originated as a minor all-female emperor cult of around 500 members which Vandire 'recruited' and trained as his personal bodyguard/harem - this took place in M36, several thousand years after the initial confrontations that would lead to the age of apostasy and the war within the Ecclesiarchy.
Vandire's army was called the Frateris Templars, and was comparable to the imperial guard. The sisters only ever fought in direct defense of Vandire and his final stand in the Ecclesiarcal Palace on Terra.
The sisters of battle being permitted to exploit a technicality in the "no men under arms" rule (formed after Vandire's death to stop anyone doing the same) was a concession by the victorious Thor who understood that the Ecclesiarchy would need some kind of military force to protect it's holdings, and the sisters had something of a de-facto rubber stamping from the emperor and custodes after their part in ending the war.
(the original founding sisters of the new orders were the ones taken before the emperor by the custodes at the height of the battle on terra)
Sadly "I don't like the new rules so I'll use the old" doesn't cut it. You might find people willing to play you, but what's to stop anyone else doing the same? There was plenty of bitching when the new SM codex came out and the chapter bits vanished, but you just have to deal with it. Eventually you'll get a new book, and if you're REALLY unlucky it'll be written by Mat Ward.
We could always use the arguement that white dwarf contains codex sisters of battle while we use codex witch hunters? sounds like 2 different armies to me
All i am hearing here is the following
QQ my Army isnt epic broken anymore and iv been dropped down to a level playing field and rather then put up with it untill my shiney new codex of kill comes out (Like BA did) im going to sit here and cry then try and use the old rules.
Guys it mya suck ass and i agree with you but its a case of get on or get out, when you get your new dex you will all be happy im sure, things get worse befor they get better!
PROUD TO BE IN THE BRITISH ARMY.
~~ Surrender and serve me in life, or die and slave for me in death~~
Sister's of battle were never "epic broken", faith was always a key part of sisters. lots of people (myself included) started sisters of battle because instead of being a typical power armored army they were weak individually but could pull off amazing things through acts of faith, rending a carnifex to death in combat with a bunch of girls never gets old lol. But they've taken faith and turned it into tiny abilities that only work half the time and don't seem to have added anything to make up for it.
Maybe in the 2nd half we'll find out sisters are only 5 points each and can all have combi-meltas for 3 points but they won't be sisters of battle, they'll be codex:power armored imperial guard. Yes blood angels had to deal with a white dwarf codex too but they didn't turn a key element of their army into a joke and speaking as a blood angels player a new codex doesn't mean your gonna be happy (especially if it's written by Matt Ward).
Sisters of battle aren't played because their a strong army, they're played because they're a challenge and they offer something unique. Faith was the defining point of the army like death company for BA or we'll be back for necrons. By reducing it to a few unreliable tricks they've destroyed what sister's of battle were all about. They may have gained a points update but they've lost their soul
So you're saying that his personal bodyguard, that should be the best of the best in any army, was a militaristic force of sisters and instead of dissolving the ability to have any army, they decided that only an army of men was a real threat?
So... I don't think my history is mixed up, albeit worded not as properly as it could have been.
The Sisters were approached by the Custodes for admittance into the Golden Throne, I'll concede that notion. Though they were enemies, they were of the Emperor, and they probably remained level-headed enough to understand this.
I'm pretty sure we're saying similar things here, though I'll stick with the sexist argument, because it is.
Can the army possibly do well? Maybe. MAYBE. But not as well as it could have been if they kept to the spirit of the old codex. Because those weren't game breaking or ultimate cheese. You might say to yourself, "Well, that army seems to be a good ranged combat army." But where is the long range? Sisters specialize at close range firepower because that's when Meltas and Flamers become important. But then you're close enough to assault them, where you'd hope the 3+ armor would save them, and it probably will.
The Soul of the Sisters has been stripped. No longer does gathering a larger force of the Emprah's faithful gain admittance to more of his love. It's the same whether it's large scale or small scale... So, If people want to run these girls, I'd say take them as a secondary army. Don't put more than 6 or so units on the field and make sure you have another with 2 troops and 1 hq. Then, their AoF's can still be as potent as they were (even though their power has gone) but you still have another standard army to fall back on.
I'm thinking Salamanders... Because, well, they're Salamanders and they GET the Sisters obsession with fire.
That seems level.
Last edited by OdantheRevrend; August 2nd, 2011 at 05:53.