Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tigger Visits the Big Apple: 19 Nov 2011 (Post-Mortem)

The new Sisters have significantly fewer options than I remember from before – and don’t appear to have had many new options added in balance.  Although the “Immolator-spam” strategy they employed was largely a matter of limited options in the previous codex, and the new Sisters are back to being the mid-ranged shooting list they were in 2e and 3e, they really don’t do it particularly well.  Their Battle Sisters are basically Tac-Marine-wannabes, and have none of the real benefits of Tac squads (like the ability to Combat Squad, ATSKNF, or Toughness 4).  Although marginally fewer points, they have a minimum squad size of TEN (not five!), and their Faith ability, though versatile, is also unreliable and very limited in terms of what it can accomplish.  It does nothing, for example, to help units armed with flamers in the Shooting phase.

The new Sisters also have fewer unit options (basically sacrificing everything from the previous codex that wasn’t an Ecclesiarchy unit), and while some of the previously overpriced units (like Death-cult Assassins, Seraphim, or Repentia) are a bit more effective, they still don’t seem to be reliable enough to include in an all-comers list.

Sister Repentia by DustyGrafix (deviantart)

Similarly, the Sisters’ Faith Point system is now far less versatile and useful than it might have been previously.  While it’s now much easier to put together an army list that uses the Faith Points, I often found that I had very few units that could effectively make use of any of their Faith Powers, given that each Sisters unit now has a specific Faith power that only it can use – which means (I suppose) that the very limited (but regularly replenished) number of Faith Points that the army gets has only a limited downside – at least with the 1500 pt army list I was using.  I can readily see how a larger army list (1750 points, 2000 points, etc) would constantly be running short of Faith Points.

On the other hand, it’s kind of nice that some previously-underuseful units, like Retributors and Dominions, are now the most reliable and cost-effective units in the list.  I’ve always been a fan of Retributors, and really like that it now makes sense to include them in an all-comers list.  That said, part of the reason they are now auto-includes in a Sisters list is because the Sisters codex no longer has access to PDF units with autocannons (and other long-ranged heavy weapons). 

All in all, I’m finding the new minidex to be rather restrictive and limiting, and the new Sisters units to be significantly less versatile (and more specialized) than before.  It basically plays now like a less powerful Marine army list, complete with fewer options – kind of a shame, given that the Sisters of Battle really ought to have a distinctive flavor and play-style of their own; among other things, being Marine wannabes means that pretty much every opponent all-comers is going to be designed to take out MEQs, only easier in the Sisters’ case because they’re just T3.  But heck, it’s not like I don’t mind playing low-power army lists, particularly if they are fun to play – and with a story concept like the “Swinging Sisters” of Battle, led by Interstellar Man of Mystery Powers, they’re almost never not fun to play.  I imagine there will be further batreps with the Sisters in the future.

Meantime, my next set of 40K games will probably be in February 2012, when I take the Technorecidivists (my proxy Chaos Daemon list) to TempleCon 2012.

Yes, yes, I know it’s primarily a Warmachine/Hordes convention.  I’m also bringing Retribution.

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