Arc40k has been run and won for another year. The Sisters of Battle were well represented with THREE players choosing the Sisters for their weekend campaign. I have been lucky enough to be able to sit down with the three players and figure out if the Sisters of Battle are a competitive army in seventh edition Warhammer 40000.
Our first player is the one and only Rick Elliss. Rick has had a number of Sisters of Battle armies of the years and (from memory) has played them across three editions, the latest being seventh edition.
Rick’s seventh edition Sisters of Battle army is extremely visually appealing. The army is built around the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood from the Dune series, along with some allied Imperial Guard representing Atreidis house guard troops. As you can see below, he is making use of allied Imperial Guard Vendettas as Arakeen ornithopters to make up for a lack of long ranged hole punching.
As Rick says,
The first game was in fact the first time to table for a new experiment for the Sisters of Arakis. This year the Sisters lead by Reverend Mother De’Borah Atreidis (proxy for Uriah Jacobis) were provided with Arakeen ornithopters and the support of Atreidis house guard troops.
Along with the Vendettas and the Imperial support, Rick used squads of six armed with flamers, plasma guns and melta guns along with Death Cult Assassins to provided a range of deployment combinations to Grav-chute into the field. He also employed a large squad of Sisters as a blob squad.
Arc40k employed an army marking scheme where players got 10 points for using an “Arc Forged Army”, basically, one force organisation chart and no allies. Again, as Rick says,
Forgoing the 10 points for an arc forged army but it’s all about the hobby for me and I just couldn’t resist converting 3 Huey Hogs into golden Sisters flyers.
Like all good gamers, Rick was up late finishing his army ready for battle on Saturday. The first couple of games, he says, were a bit “hazy”. However, no plan survives contact with the enemy (especially one that is tested on the table that day!) and Rick had mixed success with his airborne sisters. By the third game he had woken up and was facing a Tyranid force:
Basically a secret mission game where we both had the same mission: to take out more of the opponents’ units than they took out of yours. This game I remember quite well as the blob of Sisters hunkered down in a bunker and cut down wave offer wave of Termagaunts and Hormagaunts as they held out for the arrival of the Air support (having 4 units in reserve arrive on one roll) to zoom in, drop effective fire units and knock off the majority of the opposition on turn 4 proved the strategy effective an gave the flying Sisters their first win.
At the end of the third game, Rick’s airborne strategy came good.
Day two and three more games were ahead.
Highlights and thought include:
- A battle was against Space Wolves; great fun resulting in a strong 13 v 13 draw.
- On turn two the flyers tarried and melted Bjorn down to slag.
- Faith rolls for the sisters let them take out units on mass against a Necron army.
- Another victory with battle hymns leading to victory against the Tomb Guard.
- Flyers picking off units of Necrons turn by turn until little was left.
- Only one of the “that guy” games (out of six): if it’s not fun it’s not worth the grief.
A genuine codex for the girls is desperately needed to bring their options up to par with other contemporary codexes, flyers and a better range of troop choices are vital, the faith system has been simplified but also lacks the thematic sense that we had pre- the WD minidex.
I still love them and will continue to play them including at the Geelong Labour day Biff.
You’d have to think that the Sisters of Battle are a bit of a sleeping giant. The ability to call in Imperial Forces for support along with the ever useful (if over simplified) Acts of Faith offer a variety of tactics and play. Coping with “all comers” at a tournament is challenging for most armies, Sister of Battle are no exception. The army list is still a mid-range assault army, bolters, meltaguns, flamers and plasmaguns being the order of the day.