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Tactica: Seraphim Mk. I

By gen.nehring

INTRODUCTION

Seraphim are literally angels to the Sisters of Battle player. These jump pack sisters are one of the most versatile units available to the Ordo Hereticus, capable of turning the tide of a battle with a well placed strike. However seraphim are a rather tricky unit to use, so this tactica is designed to help the Witch Hunter player using these sisters.

PART 1: The Basics

At 22pts, double the points cost of a normal battle sister, Seraphim are an expensive unit for only being S3 and T3. They do have a number of improvements over normal sisters, that being an increase in WS, I, LD, twin linked weaponry, both frag and krak grenades, as well as the oh so important jump packs and hit and run. This package isn’t necessarily bad for the points cost, but T3 makes seraphim vulnerable to enemy fire. Serpahim are also faithful, meaning that a veteran is not neccessary for them to use AoF and each squad contributes one faith point.

A final advantage the squad is that they add +1 LD to any sororitas squad within 6". This can be nice, but place this in the back of your mind, seraphim have better things to do!

PART 2: The Squad

A critical part of effectively using seraphim is squad number. As a general rule of thumb, don’t have squads larger than 8, larger than this can make some acts of faith hard and the squad becomes rather unwieldy and difficult to conceal/maneuver. 5 man squads should only be used with no veteran and only special weapon upgrades. Squads of 6 or more should have a veteran.

PART 3: Upgrades

Seraphim have two choices available to them in the special weapons category: Either a pair of dual hand flamers or a set of twin linked inferno pistols. Whatever you do, DO NOT mix and match. The squad will become a “jack-of-all-trades” capable of doing anything but not being good at any one thing.
The dual hand flamer option is my preferred choice. Firstly, it’s cheap. Equipping two sisters with sets of flamers is cheaper than having one equipped with inferno pistols. Secondly, with their jump packs and hit and run, seraphim are able to get templates in very good position, perfect for divine guidance. Although the infernos offer powerful anti tank and anti heavy infantry firepower, their short range is what kills them. Your opponent will know that these are anti armour weapons, making it hard to get them within the 6” of that predator to take a shot. At 6” range assault range anyways so your veteran superior should be able to handle any armour. (See section on VSS.)
Seraphim also have the option to take meltabombs, but having to pay double the cost that assault marines pay for these weapons makes them virtually worthless taking. You have free krak grenades anyways, and with hit and run you should have no problem getting back armour.

PART 4: The Veteran Seraphim Superior (VSS)

This model is IMO the most important model you will have in your entire army, hands down. All seraphim squads of 6 or more should always have one. For only 10 extra points, you get a FREE Simulacrum Imperialis, crucial to getting Acts of Faith with small/large squad numbers. But gaining access to the armoury is even more important. The veteran should always be carrying an eviscerator and have a book of st. lucius. The eviscerator gives incredible anti armour, rolling S6 + 2D6 for armour penetration or S8 + 2D6 with an AoF. Normally, eviscerators carried by seraphim become long range anti armour weapons, thanks to the combination of jump packs and “hop scotching” via hit and run. The book of st lucius means she’ll always use her full leadership when making morale checks, which could be the deciding factor when she’s all alone and needs to last another round of cc to knock out that HQ. A brazier of holy fire is another useful upgrade for her but I’ll only take it if I have points to spare.

PART 5: Basic Tactics

First of all, keep in mind seraphim are a surgical strike unit, they usually do not excel in cc. (except for the VSS)

When using seraphim, keep them concealed from enemy fire as much as possible as they are no more resilient than normal sisters. If they need to make a dash across open field, use Spirit of The Martyr to give them all a 3+ invulnerable save from shooting while crossing no mans land. When choosing targets for your seraphim, pay attention to other units within a 24” area of the intended target providing you with plenty of units to hopscotch to. The general strategy with seraphim is no more different than normal mechanized sisters, just remember you don’t have a volley of bolter fire backing up your templates. For this reason, seraphim aren’t usually capable of wiping out entire squads of marines in a turn like a normal sisters squad is, use them to twiddle down the squads, leaving them easily manageable by the other units in the army. Always remember to fire the flamers first, then the bolt pistols.
The most, and best ability of the seraphim is hit and run. ALWAYS hit and run at the end of EVERY opponents assault phase. Even if you plan on attacking the same unit again, you will count as charging again. Make sure other SoB units aren’t within 3” of you when you do this, the optimal distance is about 8”. At this distance you can torch a squad and assault with seraphim, then fly away and let a footslogging squad finish them off with a volley of bolter fire.

PART 5.1 The Hopscotch

Hop scotching is the term I use when making a hit and run move then moving on to another unit. Against armour this is EXTREMELY effective and almost always catches your opponent off guard. For example, your seraphim squad is engaged in close combat with a squad of chaos marines in the center of the table, while a defiler has been lobbing shells on your sisters, blowing them apart every turn and staying out of LOS of your exorcists. At the end of his assault phase, you roll a 13 for your hit and run, and dash your seraphim 13” towards the defiler. It’s now your turn, and you move your maximum move of 12” again, towards the defiler. Now you’re in assault range, and while this squad was in cc half a table away a turn ago, its now about to assault that precious defiler. A 6” assault move brings you into CC with the walker. Your VSS gets 3 attacks with her eviscerator, 2 of which hit, and with that 2D6 roll for penetration, the defiler is easily penetrated and explodes in a fireball. If it was an especially chaosy defiler you could always use hand of the emperor for S8 ;) Also, if the vehicle is not a walker, you can usually get to back armour very easily. (See why I’m such a fan of the eviscerator?) Of course you can hopscotch to whichever unit you please, but the lesson learned is that with hit and run you can essentially get your seraphim an additional move, getting them where needed asap. One final thing in tactics is if you have a jump pack equipped canoness in your army, don’t be afraid to run them side by side, but do NOT join them together, as the seraphim would then lose hit and run. I find that a blessed weapon canoness can mop up what the seraphim don’t kill rather effectively.

PART 6: Example squad load outs

Here are some of example load outs for your seraphim.

1 Seraphim Superior + 4 Seraphim
-3 TL bolt pistols
-2 TL Inferno Pistols
140pts

This cheap load out is ideal for small games of 1000pts or less, as it provides good AT in a situation where you might not have exorcists.

1 Veteran Superior + 7 Seraphim
-Veteran Superior
-Bolt Pistol
-Eviscerator
-Book Of St. Lucius
-5 TL Bolt Pistols
-2 Dual Hand Flamers
230pts

This is my personal favorite, I use these squads in games of 1500pts and up. Excellent flaming firepower plus plenty of punch in cc or against armour.

PART 7: Conclusion

I hope this has helped anyone who wanted to know a little bit about seraphim. This is all coming from my personal experience, playing sisters for a few years now. Feedback is appreciated, and please, if I forgot anything please feel free to mention it and I’ll include it into the tactica

Bottoms Up! :drinking:

gen.nehring
 

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Well you've certainly given me some ideas. I never thought of a Hand Flamer squad of 8 being in any way an Anti-Armour unit! But the Eviscerator does make it pretty damn good at it, as long as it assaults the armour! as well as helping them in infantry-vs-infantry melee too!
 

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LOVED it. You inspired me to change up my seraphim squads a tad bit, as well as giving me some good ideas on how to use them..

rep to you my fine sir.
 

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First off nice tactica, but I feel you have not highlighted the beneifts of the IP well enough. It is my preferred unit to include 8 seraphim strong, 2 IP, and Veteran with Eviscerator.

Firstly the short range of the IP can be used to your advantage, as 6 inches is a fairly easy range to guess. With correct positioning, you can use your IP armed Seraphim to snipe at unit leaders, special weapons, power fists and insta-kill independant characters. Opponents generally have these types of models in the front of the unit, generally models spaced 2 inches apart (to reduce effect of template weapons).

Shooting at such units, when the Seraphim are correctly positioned, allows you to remove casualties that are in range (if you judge it right then this will be that model you wish to remove). This gives your opponent no choice but to remove those power fist models, leaders, or IC as hopefully they are the only model in range of your IP. Doing this can reduced the combat effectiveness of the unit and make it easier to defeat in CC. Being twin linked, AP1, and strength 8, just adds to their effectiveness.

Another useful tactic to get those IP toting Seraphim in back play, to tank hunt, or attack heavy weapon teams, is to bait a weaker CC unit of your opponents into an assault on their turn. With hit and run this effectively gives you a move distance of 3D6, plus 12 inch move, and 6 inch assault. This equates to an assault range of 21-36 inches, which is damn fast. With multiple hit and runs, this can easily place you into <3 inches from those AV 14 tanks your exorcists may struggle destroying.

Well there is my thoughts on IP Seraphim squads, I hope you find it useful.
 

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With correct positioning, you can use your IP armed Seraphim to snipe at unit leaders
Yep. I hate to say it, but that's definitely true.
The 4th ed FAQ explicitly states that "shooting happens all at once", and the owning player is specifically prohibited from removing the closest models as casualties for the purpose of denying a shot to the weapons of shorter range.

I unintentionally sniped an Emperor's Champion this way.

That's a very powerful and applicable tactic, because Seraphim can often approach an enemy squad from any angle.
I'm only just now realizing how dirty, powerful, and applicable this tactic is. Sometimes you don't even need to plan for it.
 

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Shooting at such units, when the Seraphim are correctly positioned, allows you to remove casualties that are in range (if you judge it right then this will be that model you wish to remove). This gives your opponent no choice but to remove those power fist models, leaders, or IC as hopefully they are the only model in range of your IP. Doing this can reduced the combat effectiveness of the unit and make it easier to defeat in CC. Being twin linked, AP1, and strength 8, just adds to their effectiveness.
OMG! This is just plain.... evil ;o
 

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Sportsmanship? Cheese? Balanced? Will ask the next Eldar player I face about this :p
BIG YES to THAT, Smokey!
I betcha if all 40K gamepieces were generic like Chess-pieces, we'd all be playing Eldar.
Simply because they have the most mobile, powerful, varied, and interesting pieces.

But visually... Eldar are the very image of a gay disco in 1970s outer space.
In fact, even gay guys call Eldar "gay". The models really are that bad.

If the game were 9 turns, he who has the most Wraithlords wins.
That stupid gamepiece should have been 0-1 limit.

My due apologies to Eldar enthusiasts.
If I subscribe to the game, I must accept it as a whole. /rant off.

Anyhoots, you ALMOST have no choice BUT to snipe with the friggin Infernos.
I've sniped with them twice now, without even intending it!
 

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I feel a few extra points should be added to the tactica.

1. Seraphim are assault blockers. Sisters battle squads are terrible in close combat. Seraphim, being much better and having H&R are the perfect tool for preventing opponents charging them. I often keep my seraphim moving just ahead of my battle squads where they can either charge opponents or take the charge themselves. This can be hard on the seras but with SotM they have often survived furious assaults by elite enemy HQ retinues, then leaving the combat so my entire army can blast the offending squad into oblivion.

2. Don't automatically discount power weapons for the seras. They're cheap, and their hitting power in close combat against regular troops is reasonable. They do get an extra attack over the evisc remember. Best of all they strike at a decent initiative. Many times they have weakened or killed enemies that would have hurt my seras before I could swing an evisc. Also sera units with twin hand flamers I rarely use in an AT role as a single AT weapon is not usually good enough to be sure of tearing up a tank. Three AT elements in the form of two sets of IP's and an evisc though usually dooms even a Land Raider.

3. Seraphim should no more be sent off by their lonesome than any other unit in 40K. Isolated units are terribly vulnerable to enemy counterattack so I generally prefer to keep my seras close to and supporting my main army rather than bouncing them off into the enemy lines right from the start. Only if the enemy makes a mistake and leaves a unit unsupported do I send them out. Even then that is usually later in the game when the enemy formation is less coherent.

If you have multiple sera squads, especially multiple flamer squads, you can be more aggressive though, as they have the firepower with DG to smash a squad in one shooting phase with maybe a follow up assault to polish off a survivor.
 

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Nice Tactica :). By cutting out parts of your enemy's army with your Rhino-riding sisters and their transports, which support your Seras you can easily destroy the entire parts of armies while forcing others to get stuck in CC with the Seraphims, this way your so easily shot jumpers can stay out of the shooting lot's. By taking down the enemy one part at the time you can win the battle almost without causalities, especially in smaller games. 4 out of 6 my most recent 500pts games have been Slaughters, me only losing about 50pts (my enemies have been mostly SM, but also Ork,DH and IG). The other two were solid victories. I've also discovered that this may easily be used in games up to 1500-1750pts, only more Serphims and Rhino-sisters are needed ;Y. All one have to do is to remember to use the serphims strongest abilities, they are mobile, they are versatile AND they are deadly. Personally I tend to use 3 units of 7-8 Seras in a tourney army.
 
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