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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sisters of Battle Codex Review: Part 3 - Special Characters


They say special characters but what they really mean is true HQ choices. The special characters for Sisters of Battle are miles ahead of their vanilla counterparts in terms of cost efficiency and what they bring to the army. If ever it were the case that you would nearly always see a list led by a special character, it's the new Sisters of Battle codex. Personally, I love special characters and the unlocks they provide but I want them to be options rather than "you're not taking them why?" Anyway enough personal preferencing! let's take a gander.

Saint Celestine -

She's 115 points of proper badass nunnery. She has an impressive WS7 (WS3 hits her on 5's!), I7 and A5 to go along with Ld10, 2+/4++ and the usual Sisters of Battle strength and toughness of 3. This last bit is annoying and she's instant death'd by S6 but we can't have everything and what she does bring is damn good at 115 points. She also has a jump pack and a power weapon which always wounds on 4's (unless she would normally roll better) which means she can keep up with mech, get to places quickly and isn't hamstrung by her strength 3. She also comes with a Heavy Flamer for helping clear out objectives. In short, she's the ultimate beater unit and a mini-Mephiston minus the huge strength/toughness stats and with an invul save.

To make things better though, Celestine can resurrect herself on a 4+ every time she dies with D3 wounds. This doesn't count to KP if she is alive at the end of the game and you cannot block her resurrection. Uh and she's 115 points? Ya I'll take one thanks and have a unit which can engage the opponent quickly and unless it's halfway decent in combat or has a Powerfist, she'll beat face.

One point of contention however - is she an Independent Character? Her beastiary entry has it listed whilst her codex entry does not. If she isn't she's a lot more vulnerable to early firepower as she approaches the enemy and needs to use Rhino/Immolator hulls + terrain to minimise incoming firepower. If she is she can join a squad of Seraphim (or anything else really though it will slow her down) to act either as a bodyguard or slingshot. Either way she will find some use in nearly every army. She's a cheap and effective combat character and whilst she's not going to go toe to toe with anything really scary, she'll hold her own against most opponents.

Arch-Confessor Kyrinov - 

Kyrinov is a Confessor with the exact same statline as before and therefore pretty weak - he still has a 4++ though which helps that T3/5+ statline out quite a bit. As ever you'll be taking Kyrniov to unlock the Battle Conclave and give them re-rolls on the charge but for the extra 15 points you pay over a normal Confessor you get a few bonuses. First he has a power weapon (already making that 15 points up, yay) which acts like a thunder hammer on any surviving models. He also comes with a Laud Hailer and Simulacrum Imperialis which helps out with Faith management a bit though he should be with a DCA unit so is never really going to allow the Faith re-rolls. Kyrinov's major bonus though is a 6" fearless bubble. This is both boon and bust. Certain units, specifically your DCA, are going to stick around and you know nothing is going to break from shooting but it also makes Sisters die in combat faster. Whilst they have no fear of being swept now their opponent's also get a free pass next turn in not being shot by forty bolters.

The fearless bubble can be really hit or miss and it offers your opponent opportunities to get into combat with your army and stay there. You really don't this to happen as there are only a certain amount of units which can bail your sisters out. If you really want to run double Conclave units though, Kyrinov is a pretty good buy over a normal Confessor, you just have to watch out for his fearless bubble being used against you.

Uriah Jacobus -

The next 'auto-include' special character, Jacobus makes your unreliable Faith a bit more reliable. Again, he's a Confessor with the same statline and the usual 4++ but only 15 points more expensive. This 15 points gets you two really awesome abilities as well as Stubborn and a massive shotgun (24", S4, AP4, Assault 2). The two abilities you take Jacobus for though are Protector of Faith and Banner of Sanctity. Protector of Faith allows you to re-roll the D6 for Faith points each turn. Whilst this isn't fool-proof it does greatly reduce the chances of getting those one's or two's so you can reliably be using three+ Acts of Faith a turn. Not necessary as Faith is far less important than it used to be but a nice little reliability boost for any Faith you may want to use.

The Banner of Sanctity is also an amazing piece of wargear. Whatever unit Jacobus joins gets FNP and +1A. With Sisters this is pretty boring but with Battle Conclaves...not only does he give them FNP and +1A but they get re-rolls to hit on the charge and Stubborn. That's a very scary combination with both Crusaders (now with three attacks on the charge) and DCA (now with five attacks on the charge) all re-rolling misses and with FNP. Screw Faith and go Sanctity!

Conclusion -

Each of the special characters are very cheap but both Celestine and Jacobus are steals for their point values. Celestine is oddly unqiue in 5th edition in that she is simply a beat-stick, she's just a very cheap and efficient beat-stick and therefore very much worth it. Jacobus makes the Faith mechanic somewhat reliable but also vastly improves a single unit he joins (not to mention the usual Confessor benefits of unlocking a Conclave and re-rolling hits on the way in). Kyrniov is decent for his points and is probably your cheapest bet if going for a 2nd Conclave and has some nice utility but also brings a fearless bubble into play. This can work in your favor or your opponent's and therefore lags a bit in terms of usefulness.

It's hard to go wrong with a list if you start off with both Celestine and Jacobus with a Conclave attached. Whilst expensive at 205 points for HQ, you get two really good characters who give the Sisters of Battle army some much needed combat presence.

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