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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
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Friday, October 7, 2011

Sisters of Battle Codex Review: Part 6 - Fast Attack


Another slot with more than one good choice...why couldn't we have all slots with good choices or no slots with crap choices? *fist shake at Cruddance* Anyway, Fast Attack has two Sisters units, both of which are quite good for their role. Unfortunately, one outshines the other quite a bit in the scheme of things and makes everyone a sad panda that the other unit wasn't FoC swappable... Three guesses which is which (and really if you don't get it before two guesses, something is wrong).

Dominions -

In the old codex, Dominions were just another way to get another Immolator on the field. They could field a staggering amount of special weapons on low squad numbers (four per five gals) but the cost of these was also increased (15 points for a meltagun). Many would say this is an appropriate costing for a meltagun given the domination of mech currently but luckily Cruddance wasn't that stupid (all the older new books can have 5 point meltaguns but I'll give the babes 15 point ones!). Anyway, Dominions are now much useful as they not only come with two special weapons per five gals but they have Scout. And they can take a dedicated transport.

Quick rules recap as I've noticed this floating around. Scout is transferred to a unit's transport ONLY if it's dedicated. Please check the Scout USR in the rulebook. The FAQ referring to Scout not being transferred to vehicles is so scouting units don't deploy in something like a Land Raider and scout in that. Dedicated only folks.

And back to our regular programming. Did you say, scouting meltaguns? Sure did! Whilst Dominions may have lost volume of special weapons, they are now much more useful in being able to move first turn to put more pressure on your opponent and either get an alpha-strike in or pop smoke. Either way, very annoying for your opponent to have melta-weapons on their doorstep from the get-go. This single ability is also why it's so hard NOT to take Dominions. You didn't take Scouting melta? Shame on you.

Dominions also have their Act of Faith which is for once, useful. Holy Fusillade grants twin-linking to all weapons when successful (i.e. on a 4+) and is therefore in essence, a mini-Vulkan - squadron style. What's more annoying than having one meltagun miss? Having two miss or having two plus a combi-melta miss. At BS4 this is unlikely to happen (though one meltagun missing isn't) and by having the ability to pretty reliably twin-link your meltaguns on that first turn or against that hard target...well that's frankly something I would pay for and Dominions have it for free.

Finally, since Scout is transferred to their dedicated transport, there are some interesting options here. The basic Rhino is never a bad choice and I would recommend two meltaguns and a combi-flamer for duality in this case. Use Scout to get in position for some top-hatch fun or use them as a suicide melta unit to throw at the enemy lines. On the other hand you can use an Immolator with two meltaguns and a combi-melta and take maximum advantage of the Immolator's weapon due to scout. This is particularly useful with the TL-multi-melta option as it allows the Immolator to essentially have an 18" move to get the 24" gun in range (preferably within melta range) and drop off the Dominions (preferably using the V or tri-Rhino tactic) to fry another tank. See what Scouts and meltaguns can do...

Seraphim - 

Okay focus. The other good unit of Fast Attack which is so unfortunately over-shadowed by scouting twin-linked melta Dominions (that really is their review in a nutshell). Seraphim got a needed boost and actually went down in points. Well done Cruddance! Seraphim are kind of like the Assault Marines of the Vanilla book but with some extra flavoring to make them worthwhile. The option to make them scoring with Celestine seems like an no duh choice but unfortunately was not included - sigh. Seraphim aren't that flash in assault just like their Vanilla counterparts and pretty much every Sister of Battle in existence thanks to strength and toughness three. Whilst their WS is four and they have three attacks on the charge, they are much better at engaging units which aren't going to hurt them and bouncing around with Hit and Run to blast things with their double pistols.

Unfortunately the special pistols aren't cheap and are obviously short-ranged. If you can get the Seraphim into the opponent's backfield and dick around with their backfield units + tanks, they really do work well as they are durable enough with 3+ armor to not fold and do have enough attacks to poke some things though of course the real gravy is using Hit and Run during their assault phase, shooting and assaulting again. They are still only I3 though, so Hit and Run isn't super reliable but the units they are engaging shouldn't be beating them up anyway. Their jump packs makes them quite capable of this (hiding behind Rhinos/Immolators until that point - don't bother deep-striking without some sort of reduced scatter rule) and their Faith also improves their shooting ability (re-roll wounds) and Seraphim can innately re-roll failed Faith checks (i.e. 75% chance of success). For good measure chuck in being able to re-roll their invulnerable saves (effectively becoming a 5++) and they don't fall over dead to power weapons and plasma quite so quickly!

If you do use a unit of Seraphim, I'd recommend only one. Dominions are just too good so taking two of them is bright. Using the third Fast Attack slot on Seraphim gives you a harassment unit and a place for Celestine to hitch a ride (slingshot her into a completely different unit and go to work). The question is - how to equip the Seraphim? Each squad can take up to two special pistols per squad. Once again this is a "don't buy more than the minimum models" stupidity move but is nice to allow two specials per five gals. You can go with either infernus pistols or hand flamers and remember, each purchase nets you two of said pistol (so you could have four infernous pistols in a squad). Hand flamers obviously go really well with Seraphim's Faith - re-rolling those S3 wound rolls is fantastic whilst infernous pistols bring some much needed duality to the squad but don't benefit so much from the Faith. Really it's up to the user here and one of both might be a good idea or you can use the Eviscerator upgrade on the Superior + krak grenades to account for your anti-tank duality. Either way, some nice options but don't give the Superior much in terms of upgrades (the Eviscerator is all I'd really consider for the utility against tanks and help smacking units around if Hit and Run fails) and remember to use the squad as harassment, not an assault unit and not a front-line squad.

Conclusion -

Scouting twin-linked melta Dominions with a scouting twin-linked Multi-melta Immolator. If your list doesn't start with at least two of these units, you're doing it wrong. Sorry. The third unit is STRONGLY recommended but taking a Seraphim unit as harassment and Celestine's escort up the field isn't that bad. You just have that huge opportunity cost of one less unit of scouting twin-linked melta with a scouting twin-linked multi-melta tank. It's a real shame Celestine didn't move the Seraphim around as it would have helped the Sisters' FoC issues with Troops and actually been you know...a good idea. Either way, still a fine unit when used correctly but don't field more than one and keep chanting to yourself, scouting twin-linked melta. Scouting twin-linked melta. Scouting twin-linked melta...

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