Warhammer 40000 Sisters of Battle Tactica Part Two

Again, the internet is teaching me to cheat, but here is part two.  The important thing to remember is that this tactica is specifically for fourth ed. so it’s usefullness in the current edition is somewhat questionable.

Approved Deployment Under the Decree Passive
These are units you will never regret fielding…

HQ Cannoness
  * Cannoness
  * Eviscerator
  * Jump Pack
  * Cloak of Saint Aspira  110

+ There are few units this lethal against all targets for 110 points
+ Menaces non-skimmer vehicles, including Land Raiders with Hand of the Emperor
+ Can instakill Toughness 4 characters using Hand of the Emperor
+ Tests on Leadership to activate Faith so can have a 2+ invulnerable save
– Spirit of the Martyr in melee will eat your Faith fast

  * Blessed Weapon
+ Kills dedicated assault troops before they can strike
+ Mastercrafting is valuable on a (relatively) low Weapon Skill character
+ When attached to a unit striking first can save lives
+ The Passion improves Initiative even more.
– Cannonesses generally do better alone so this is preparing for a rare situation
– Does not menace vehicles which is a weakness for Sisters

  * Mantle of Ophelia
+ Saves first instant kill from Strength 6+ weapons
– 2+ invulnerable makes this a big expenditure for a rare eventuality
– Adds expense to a cost effective unit, generally not worth the points

  * Inferno Pistol
+ Tank killing ability, with Blessed Weapon maximises infantry kills
+ Hits Skimmers that are in range easily unlike Eviscerators
– If your pistol is in range so is your Eviscerator and either will kill a tank anyway
– Redundant shooting investment for a unit who is in assault continuously

  * No Cloak of Saint Aspira
+ Makes the Cannoness obscenely cheap for what she can achieve
– Doubles her chances of injury

TR Battle Sisters
10 Battle Sisters
  * Rhino
  * Smoke Launchers
  * Extra Armour
  * Heavy Flamer
  * Meltagun
  * Veteran Superior
  * Book of Saint Lucius  209
+ Mobility allows optimal template position for rapid fire with Divine Guidance
+ Meltagun provides ranged anti-vehicle flexibility
+ Ability to obliterate multi-wound Toughness 4 model at range
– Vulnerable to assault by Independant Characters and Walkers

  * Flamer & Heavy Flamer
+ Optimal use of Divine Guidance demolishes mass infantry, armoured or not.
+ Generally kills half a Space Marine squad in one rapid firing (use in pairs!)
– Anti-infantry specialisation reduces flexibility…unles s combined with a nice, big…

  * Eviscerator
+Combine with Hand of the Emperor to kill multi-wound models in melee
+Veteran Superior cannot be targeted until the unit is wiped out
+Flame a squad then multiple charge it and a nearby vehicle for carnage
– Expensive assault investment in an already pricey non-assault squad
– Units with Book of St Lucius rarely run so winning melee is not critical, nor achievable
– Should not be considered until all Seraphim squads have Eviscerators

  * Dual Meltaguns
– Fails to make use of a large squad’s ability to use Divine Guidance
– Celestians in a squads of 5 carry two Meltaguns for less points
– Exorcists and Jump Packing Eviscerators are more effective

FA Seraphim
8 Seraphim
  * Veteran Sister Superior
  * Eviscerator
  * Dual Twin-Linked Hand Flamers
  * Book of St Lucius  230
+ Hit & Run is vital to utilise all units’ close range shooting
+ Best close combat squad in a pure Sisters army
+ Shooting capability on par with Battle Sisters
+ Squad size of 8 allows roll over and under Faith abilites to be used
+ Can charge a different target to the Cannoness to retain Hit and Run
– Need to be shielded from anti-infantry fire by Rhinos or Terrain
– Only infantry target in a full mechanized list makes them an expensive target
– Will eat a lot of Faith (and you’ll love them for it)

HS Exorcist
+ Only ranged anti-tank in the army make them a must have
+ Minimum of two Exorcists in tournament armies  
+ Draws fire away from Rhinos which carry your Marine killers
+ Significantly better anti-tank than a Predator Annihilator when moving and shooting
– Marginally worse anti-tank than a Predator Annihiliator when stationary
– Pairing Exorcists may be necessary to mitigate randomness.

  * Extra Armour
+ Keeps Exorcists mobile, advised by many veterans
– Not worth losing a Book, unit or Eviscerator over as it rarely effects the game

  * Dozer Blades
+ Allows pop-out attacks from area terrain
– Only useful if there is appropriate area terrain

Borderline Heresy and Acquired Tastes
These are of debatable worth but if they fit your style can be great…

EL Inquisitor & Callidus Assassin
+ Can lock units in assault and Jump Back to allow focus firing from all squads
+ A Word in Your Ear… combines well with Exorcists to kill valuable units
– Assassins often do not make their points back
– Inquisitor is a token and best fielded with little or no gear, sadly

EL Assassins in General
We’ll leave it to the pros:

EL Celestians
5 Celestians
  * Rhino
  * Smoke Launchers
  * Extra Armour
  * Two Meltaguns  142
+ Maximum tank hunting, Rhino shield and Faith for minimum points cost
+ Fills tank hunting role without diluting Divine Guidance focussed squads
+ Can fire both Meltaguns from Rhino’s firing points without deploying
– Exorcists and Eviscerators do the same job for less points

  * Immolator
+ A fire magnet to draw anti-tank fire from your Rhinos and Exorcists
+ Fluffy and looks fantastic (conversion to Rhinos is easy, too)
– Opponents will learn to fear Battle Sisters more and start ignoring it
– If you need more flamers in your army you aren’t playing Sisters 🙂

EL Arcoflagellants
+ Deperately needed close combat capability
+ Can almost keep up and can be hidden behind Rhinos without much trouble
– Aren’t quite fast enough to stop a Battle Sister unit being assaulted
– Very expensvie, do not generate faith, a gamble to kill their points value
– Factor in the cost of a useless Priest plus his useless gear

HS Retributors
10 Battle Sisters
  * Heavy Bolters
  * Veteran Superior
  * Book of Saint Lucius  189
+ Long range firepower
+ Heavy Support choice that provides faith
– Battle Sisters already provide plenty of anti-horde and AP4  
– Takes Heavy Support slots from Exorcists which are essential
– Sub optimal use of Divine Guidance compared to flamer squads
– Cannot move and shoot and so will be denied targets frequently

HS Penitent Engine
+ Desperately needed close combat capability
+ Will draw anti-tank fire from your Rhinos, the pointy end of your army
– Requires a priest you have trouble finding a use for
– Not remotely as durable as Rhino or Immolator with Smoke Launchers activated
– Can be manipulated with it compulsory move
– Takes Heavy Support slots that are better spent on Exorcists

  * Dual Inferno Pistols

5 Seraphim  140
+ Devastating against vehicles and multi-wound models
+ One of few units under 200 points that are still flexible and effective
+ Better against high AV vehicles than random Exorcists or one shot Meltaguns
+ Swap for flamers for a very cheap but still effective unit
– Small and easily destroyed, even with Spirit of the Martyr
– This is a great unit but usually chosen after one or two Flamer Seraphim
– Mistaken as the best anti-terminator unit – Divine Guidance flamers kill more

Abominable Heresy of the most Heinous Nature laid bare in all its Blasphemous Horror
Things we’ve learnt never to do…

Mixing foot slogging units with Mechanized
– You generally need two units of Seraphim or Battle Sisters to wipe out a marine squad in one round.  They need to strike at the same time or will face melee.
– Optimal flamer template placement is nigh on impossible on foot.
– Splitting your force is a bad thing, no matter what army you play.

Power Weapons
– Disappointment with the inability to wound with Strength 3 is frequent
– Extra 10 points for an Eviscerator brings a disproportionate return on investment
+ Veteran arms chop off nicely to convert to Eviscerators 🙂

Storm Troopers
– Pathetic compared to Battle Sisters and do not have Faith.
– Plasma Guns are weaker than a squad with Divine Guidance.

– If your units aren’t deploying from Rhinos they are footslogging…either way you will not get the charge so his re-roll to hit will never be used.
+ Loonies with chainsaws! Wooooooooohoooooooo o!

– The extra 10 points for a Cannoness is worth it just for the Faith…and then there are the bonus attacks, wounds, etc.
– You can always find 10 points somewhere for a Cannoness.
+ Your only choice in a Combat Patrol game.

Sisters Repentia
– Dead before they strike providing they reach close combat at all.

– Units should be deployed the right size to use appropriate Acts
– There is no point Divine Guiding a unit too small to roll many 6’s
– The only unit where 20 points is justified is Seraphim who have an Imagifier by default from their Veteran Sister.