Well, having tried out the new codex on the battlefield, I though it was worth giving it a review.
First, the bad!
1) Immolators, those beautiful wonderful chariots, are now pretty much worthless. In the previous codex, you could move up to 12″ and open fire with sprays of flame … and you could fire from the firepoint with the passengers. Now, there’s no firepoint, and you lose the fast move and fire. It’s basically a more expensive razorback with short range weaponry…. it might be worth taking with multi-meltas, but then the extra cost is a little prohibitive. I’ll still be fielding them as they look awesome, but they are crippled!
2) No land raiders, no orbital strikes, no inquisition, no assassins … and nothing really to replace them. The long range, hard hitting component of the Sisters is almost entirely removed, except for Exorcists. What of Retributors, I hear you cry? Well, though they are great value and cheap for their effectiveness, they lack long range punch – heavy bolters are great against troops, and multimeltas against vehicles, but multimeltas only have a 24″ range. You lack that long range tactical ability the land raider or assassins gave, and the close combat punch the assassins gave too.
3) Acts of faith are much more restricted – each squad has only a single type of act of faith, in line with their function, making the force less flexible.
4) If, like me, you had a dominion squad based around the original rules of a five person squad number with up to four special weapons, you’re in trouble – you can now only field 2 special weapons for every five people in the unit. I need to paint up more sisters to be able to field a dominion squad again!
There are a few good points, though!
1) Saint Celestine loses hit and run, but drops to 115 from 210points! Thats more reasonable, as I never saw the Saint fleeing much anyways! Her resurrection facility is also nastied up – she comes back from the spot she died, with d3 instead of 1 wound, and she moves normally that turn – you don’t lose a turn with a deepstrike return to play, and she’s still in the think of things.
2) Acts of Faith are much easier to track and use. I think it integrates with the flow of play much better, and it gives the various squads more character – your role and faith determine your ability. Its odd – I think depending on taste the changes are either positive or negative here. Combining the Canoness’s ability with the Celestians ability gives you an absolutely brutal close combat round – Preferred enemy (reroll missed hits) and +1 initiative for the whole unit, while the Celestians give +1 strength and fearless. That puts your squad superior to marines offensively with the reroll to hit, though the toughness 3 is going to count against you, but if you aren’t wiped out, you’ll tie the enemy up into their round, as you aren’t breaking! Add celestine to that mix, and wow!
4) Bolters, Bolt Pistols and Frag and Krak grenades are all standard, which comes in pretty useful. I’m not sure how useful defending cover is any more though, since so many troops have grenades by default with the current codex crop.
Overall, this is just like the Blood Angels White Dwarf codex … a bit rubbish, but plays more in line with 5th Edition rules. Its in dire need of new units to replace the Inquistorial options, but the sisters still play well and are rather fun. 🙂