Monday, March 18, 2013

Sisters of battle:Paper Tigers of a Thousand Paper Cuts

Watch for those paper cuts
     So after my first five games with my sisters of battle I have decided that I am going to go off to a tournament. I have had great success with them. The results for the army have been rather surprising. I have dominated the relic in the one game where I chose to go for objective and the other four games I have come really close to tabling my opponent or the game ended really early. The most notable of these was when I played a test draigo wing on turn four. I noticed a few things that seemed strange. When I first looked at these girls on paper, they looked good, but there were several things I noticed that really set the sisters apart from everyone else.  I want to talk about a few of these advantages that I have found.

Good luck with Target Saturation

      Sisters of battle have one of the strangest and most difficult choices for target saturation. The tournament army I am running at 1850 has all but 2 units  of 10 units costing 175 points. Each and every unit is a particularly nasty threat to everything. The game usually opens with 2 squads of 2 melta, a combi melta, and a twin linked multimelta scouting forward. You can kill them, but than the rending heavy bolters are gonna go to town on you from behind an aegis line. Kill the rending sisters and you have to worry about celestine and her friends running up and hit and run jumping from combat to combat surgically gutting your army. Celestine is immortal, so good luck keeping her down. While you are trying to kill all of this, the forty power armor sisters in rhinos are running around the field clogging the place up and scoring.  Often the only clear target is the Excorcist battle tank. I only run one, so shooting it often hurts you more than helps. AV 13 is hard to kill behind an aegis defense line.  This presents the problem of what to actually kill first.  To make this problem ever harder, a lot of people have rarely seen Sisters of Battle. I have seen two other people play them in five years. The only way to solve this problem is to play against Sisters and most people can't.
It's power armor but better!

    Sisters of battle are power armor soldiers, but better in an odd way. They are reduced in cost and things like toughness, initiative, and strength to show they are regular humans. They are better because they have something called the Shield of Faith.  It is a six plus inv save. Doesn't sound like much, but it really helps. Most weapons that kill marines in bulk are ap3-1. At the same time, most of these weapons are str 6 or higher. This means that such weapons like plasma guns and battle cannons kill less sisters than they do regular marines. Also, Sisters of Battle vehicles die less often then their Marine counterparts. I have had plenty of vehicles actually survive an extra round because they saved a lucky pen or glance that would have killed them. It is random enough that you can't rely on it. Strangely, it is quite encouraging to make a save like this every once in a while. This also means that Sisters are better apt at handling things like Monsterous Creatures and anything with a power fist. Also, things like Mawlocs and Doom of Malantie are not as effective.
Killing them all with fire

     Sisters of Battle are incredible at overwatch. These girls have killed a lot of people with overwatch. Logan Grimnar has fallen to the flamers of Sisters of Battle. They are a medium to short range army. I run my units to fight specific unit types. The basic Battle Sister squads have two flamers for their heavy weapons because they have so many bolters that go for infantry, so add in more anti infantry to those squads. This also means that while 16 bolter shots go at the enemy for overwatch, 2d3 flamer Hits go to the enemy jsut for declaring a charge. This gets even worse when you add in vehicles as they usally end up charging the rhino (2d3 overwatch hits), destroy it, see the whole squad get out, get rapid fired by bolters and than templated by two flamers. This wouldn't be so bad if you could consolidate against vehicles, but because you can't you are left bunched up in a great formation for max template hits. Than, they get to attempt to finish off the squad charging again.That is just the basic sister squads. Seraphim that I  run get 2 hand flamer per models. I run two, so that is 4d3 flamers per charge against them. Add in celestines d3 heavy flamer hits, and you have a ton of hits before a charge. The Wall of Death special rule has made Sisters very tough.


     So, to conclude this article, I want to talk of the future. Five games isn't enough to really talk about definites, but this army is by far the my favorite army to play. I am attending the Brawler Bash in april with my Sisters. The tournament has forge world, so I expect flyers to be kept at a minimum because there will be so much Anti Air units. Rending quad gun is all my AA for this event. I will be running 70 armored battle sisters in vehicles. It is a tough list. It is a beautiful army too. I have a good chance to win any of the accolades the event offers. Everything is painted well, so best painted is good, I have never had a problem with sportsmanship (won sportsmen from my first tourney) , I have never done worse than 2-1 at a 3 game tournament and that was with a list that was both weaker and less diverse than this army. I think I can do this.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The sisters first outting...

Sisters of Battle in all their glory
Howdy everyone. It has been a while. Since I last wrote, I got engaged. It has been a great month. In that month, I acquired an entire Sisters of Battle army. When I say an entire army, I mean it. I got roughly 1200$ worth of them at one time. The list totals something along the lines of this

  • 40 bolter sisters
  • 4 meltagun sisters
  • 6 flamers sisters
  • 4 heavy flamer sisters
  • 2 heavy bolter sisters
  • 2 multimelta sisters
  • 10 seraphim, 2 with hand flamers
  • 5 rhinos
  • 3 immolaters
  • an excorcist
  • 10 repentia
  • inquistor and friends
  • 5 power sword superiors 
  • 4 power maul superiors
  • 3 flag sisters
  • various odds and ends
This is just a list off the top of my head.  It an amazing deal that I was happy to make. I have been writing something to play with this for a while and I finally just said screw it and decided to run what I wanted to try. There was a little bit of everything. I ended up with this

10 sisters 2xflamers rhino with dozer blade
10 sisters 2xflamers rhino with dozer blade
10 sisters 2xflamers rhino with dozer blade
Fast attack
5 dominion sisters 2xmeltaguns combi melta immolater with twin linked Multimelta
5 dominion sisters 2xmeltaguns combi melta immolater with twin linked Multimelta
9 seraphim with 2 hand flamers
 Heavy support
Excorcist (proxy)
5 retributor  4 heavy bolters (2 proxy)

1500 points. This list was surprisingly good. I played two games. They went something like this.

                                                                 GAME 1

Chaos demons!
 My friend rob got the new Demons of Chaos codex and we decided there was no better way to test a codex that we had no idea about like an army that none of us had any real idea about. I have only seen one sisters of battle army played in five years of play.  It was gonna be a wierd game. Here was his list at 1500 points

Blood thirster-2 greater gifts, lesser gifts
2 heralds of nurgle-2 greater gifts, 2 psyker powers
18 blood letters
15 blood letters
10 plague bearers
10 plague bearers
5 nuglings
Demon prince of khorne with wings

Or something close to that. The game was a long but interesting set up. Hammer and Anvil+Big guns never tire saw me with six scoring units. Tons of viable upgrading with the rewards. The demon prince got It will not die, reroll inv save, 4+ feel no pain, and +1 Wound. This guy was a nightmare as an entire round of shooting saw no damage sticking. The blood thirster was almost as tough , but with 1000 points of sisters dumping fire into him, he only died by an extra wound. Celestine and the seraphim squad Hit and Run with 3 inches of the big blood letter squad and they caused 28 wounds in a round of shooting. It was pretty incredible. This game also saw my only shield of faith save as a random Warp storm saw a pen on an excorcist. Saved on a six. We called the game on turn 2 as demons are gonna be a complicated game and by turn 2 I had killed almost all the blood letters easily and had only lost an immolater and 2 dominion sisters. Gotta get a rematch on the books for this one.
Game 2
Game 2 was against a friend from work named Micah. He is a friend from work. He was kind of new and he wanted a game and I was the only person available to play. His list was kinda suit heavy. Here it is

Shasel with twin linked plasma gun missile pod and toys
2 crisis suits with plasma gun, mutlitracker, and missile pods
2 crisis suits with plasma gun, mutlitracker, and missile pods
2 crisis suits with plasma gun, mutlitracker, and missile pods
6 fire warriors
6 fire warriors
6 fire warriors
6  warriors
fast attack
2 terta
2 terta
2 broadside with 2 shield drones
hammer head with toys
hammer head with toys

This game was alot closer.  Relic with dawn of war deployment. The suits all died to dominion sisters meltagunning them to death when he moved them forward. This is where the sisters were awesome. It was relic and I ended up clogging up the objective the entire time with all my marines with a 6+ inv save and vehicles. Dominions scouted up onto the relic and waited for back up. 50 Power armored sisters decided the relic was the place to be.  After killing all his suits, he didn't have enough to really kill my guys with the objective after I had LoS blocked with every rhino and wreck I could manage. Celestine died a few times, but kept getting back up. The tertas ended up lighting up anything they shot at, but since it was mostly vehicles, I wasn't to hurt by it. The vehicles showed their worth by being boxes against fire.  I feel it I had gotten first turn, this game would have gone a lot different, but I didn't get it.  It was a fun game.

Overall, this army has recaptured my love of the game. Beautiful models combined with fun rules. I really gotta get more organized in this. I want to pursue an idea with this army. I want to look at the idea of units being good without having to make their points back. For instance, where the dominion sisters melta'd the suits. Not nearly enough of a trade to make back points, but it really defanged the opposing army.  I am still ecstatic about the army and I will have more for everyone the more I play. Lets share in this adventure together!