Tuesday, 28 August 2012

First Battle in the Ruins of Medusa

The Ark Angels are participating in a campaign over on The Ruins of Medusa.  Here they are seen dismounting from a Rhino, before wasting the retinue of lord Arrrrgle.  The Ark Angels are relic collectors.  They seek to recover holy relics of the Imperial creed, where they have fallen into the hands of heretics, or where they are endangered through conflict.
As the Campaign is all about recoverign relics, I thought it time to trot out the Adepta.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Retributor Squad Sabine Veterana

These models were finished years ago.  Of all of my Sisters of Battle, the Retributors have remained the most consistently fielded unit.

The vaugeries of Games Workshop codex design have left this little unit effecive and lethal through all of the codexes.  Four heavy bolters are lethal enough, four heavy bolters with Faith in the Emperor guiding the rounds to the Rending rule make them truely scary.  Despite these women being at the top of any enemies target priority list, they are often one of the only units left standing at the end.
Battle for Sanctuary 9000 in Tortuga Marches
These Sisters were all hand painted in approximatedly 9 layers each.  Strating from a black undercoat, then a Codex Grey base coat up to white, layered with very thin paint in a heavily charged brush.
I have never had the models to change out retributoirs as Multi Meltas, and I do not see the point of fielding a mixed weapons unit.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Sisters Of battle Exorcist Kit Bash

I have signed up to the Bolter and Chainsword 2013 painting challenge. I committed to 5 converted sisters of battle and two Exorcist tanks. I have always loved the Prioris pattern tank, it's highly detailed gothic design is both attractive and daunting at the same time. Years ago I looked at both the forgeworld Sanctorum pattern and the GW Prioris pattern. I evaluated them on difficulty of build, difficulty of paint and practical,it's for gaming. The Sanctorum pattern is a Rhino Mk IIc kit with a resin turret ring and the distinctive "Coke Can" missile launchers. It is made up of four peices and looks OK, not great, just OK. Assembly is simple, and they are not particularly heavily ornamented, the Rhino Chasis can have as much Or as little Sisters Bling as you have in your bitz box, but is supplied as a vanilla Rhino otherwise. It is also highly practical to transport and game with, being essentially a plastic rhino, a shape for which many companies provide carry cases.
The Prioris pattern from GW uses the Sisters variant Rhino IIc with the castle. Then it is modified still further with pewter inserts modelling the launcher bay, pewter castle raising the back of the vehicle as a base for the pewter pipe organ. Not to mention the pewter glacis plate and side armour.
As a model, it weighs a ton. It is highly impractical to carry about due to the crazy shape. The detailing stunning, and there is no mistaking this vehicle as a sisters vehicle.
Back then the decision I took was to go with the Forge world model. Practicality winning out over design. This time I want to use the Exorcist as a basis for a conversion. It will be based on the Immolator turret with Valkyrie missile pods instead of flamers. To keep the theme with the Prioris pattern it will have the pipe organ miniaturised and placed behind the pilot.

As with previous planning posts like the Bane Wolf Squadron and the Valdor Heavy Tank Destroyer, I will be looking to provide a short background and look for some context for the model. By doing this I hope to:
- give some direction to the build
- add some flavour to the model.

Like before this is done by asking three questions:
- What is an Exorcist;
- Why does the Priory have one?;
- When are these particular Exorcists depicted.

What is an exorcist?

From the Games Workshop website:
Sisters of Battle Exorcist
The Exorcist is only vaguely understood by the Tech-priests who must service it. Each one is an individual work of art, its battlefield role of providing devastating long-range fire support being secondary to its significance as divine symbol of the power of the Emperor.

From Lexicanum:
Besides the Rhino, Exorcists are the oldest vehicle in service to the Adepta Sororitas.
The first Exorcists were produced in the Age of Apostasy on Mars, of which some from that period, known as 'Prioris' pattern, still survive.

These machines are highly venerated, although their Machine Spirits are known to be temperamental and require constant work and prayer.
Each vehicle is regarded as a work of art, as much a symbol of the Emperor as a provider of long-range fire support. While other patterns exist, such as the 'Sanctorum', they are not held in as high esteem as the original vehicles, blessed from the nearby divine presence of the Emperor when they were constructed.

The ancient, arcane technology of the Exorcist launcher is only vaguely understood by the Techpriests of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The missiles themselves are armour-piercing explosives and capable of annihilating enemy tanks or destroying squads of heavy infantry in a single salvo assuming the launcher does not malfunction. Though potent, to the Sisterhood its primary purpose is to serve as a divine symbol of the power and glory of the Ecclesiarchy and serve as a mobile shrine for the Sisters of Battle. Each one is hand-crafted and unique. They may also be upgraded with Blessed Ammunition, Dozer Blades, Extra Armour, a Holy Icon, a Hunter-killer Missile, Laud Hailers, Pintle-mounted Storm Bolter, a Searchlight and Smoke Launchers.

Why do the Ark Angels have one?

A prosaic reason really, the codex has too few other options. A fluffy reason would be that the high grandees of the eclesiarchy only supply the convents with one vehicle. When the Ark Angels were invested by the Comvent Prioris, three ancient 'Prioris' pattern hulks were taken from stasis, to be reconsecrated to the God Emperor and pressed once again back into His service.

The time for prayer is past

Rejoice o followers of the Adepta Soroitas! For the time of 6th edition is here! No longer need we suffer with a weak codex and few options for the army! For sixth edition allows the short to medium range infantry army flourish! A category in which the Sisters of battle excel.
When sixth was released and the fan base gestalt started to build is consensus around how it would play one of the first conclusions we reached was that this was the dawn of the infantry army, hull points made the tank army's a thing of the past, everyone in my club, rushed to re-write their lists to remove all or most of their armour and replace them with infantry blobs. People at the club have now come back closer to the middle ground with a few tanks placing less emphasis on them, but the infantry is here to stay.
When I saw the strength of the infantry, and the emphasis the new rules placed on shooting, I immediately thought of my beloved Sisters of battle. They had every promise of excelling in the newly redefined battlegrounds of the 41st Millennium.
1) Cheap power armour infantry in Large blocks, taking advantage of snapfire in assault phase
2) Retributors moving and snapfiring heavy bolters giving greater flexibility in movement
3) A 2+/4+ character able to stand out in front of the key manoeuvre block to soak up wounds and shrug them off.
4) even Exorcist tanks have gained immesurably from the new rules, they no longer spent the game stunned from turn one, and with some judicious placement the can easily get a 4+ save or even a 3+ against hits, allowing their lethal hypersonic crowbar thrower to reach its maximum potential.
5) Allies, allow the the adepta to cover off some of their old weaknesses, long range shooting, pack the allied line with Imperial guard blobs with Lascannons, or veterans in Vendettas (which remain pure, legal, fromage).

So with the vauge notion they might benefit from the new rules I pulled out the much maligned white dwarf codex, and gathered the Ark Angels and Bloody Rose off the shelf.
In 3rd and 4th edition I had normally eschewed the use of eclesiarchy weirdness (EW) and concentrated on an all sisters all female line up. I saw EW as expensive frippery, you had to buy a largely useless priest to open them up, a model which "improved" close combat in an army whos basic units should avoid close combat at all costs.
This time around I went in with an open mind, I had some Repentia painted up from the old days along with some priests and Argo flagellants, so in they went to a list. Sometimes one at a time sometimes in pairs. This time round, all of my test games have left me pleasantly surprised. I still base the list around a solid block of Sisters, then build out from there. My conclusions so far are:

Saint Celestine: yes, almost a must have. The other HQ,s are so rubbish it makes her shine out even more. Being a guards player I'm not used to having a model with 6 attacks on the charge, all of which have a 4+ chance of killing. So she definitely goes in. Plus she gets back up! Not just in the turn she dies but throughout the game!

Uriah Jacobus: yes for more faith, yes for the extra attack from his banner, yes for the re-roll misses on the charge. Blobbed up with Repentia and Saint Celestine this is a horrible Death Star. I have sofar deployed him only once with devastating consequences for my opponent. The blob came out of the building, Celestine took the snap fire on the Ceramite, then lead the charge out of the building, this resulted in 50 Eviscerator attacks, 7 power weapon attacks at WS 7 and a further 5 chain-sword attacks from Uriah himself. All rerolling misses. 10 marines and the the enemy HQ (a blood angel character I can remember)' evaporated.

Repentia: strangely, Yes. Used as an area denial tool,they are very good. I have leant to keep them in cover preferably on top of an objective, anything that gets too close dies. the consolidate them back into cover.

Arco-Flagellants, I have begun to drop these fellows off the list. They are robust counter attack unit with a mess of attacks and a simple stat-line. But without power weapons or even chain weapons they are a bit crap. They usually get too thinned out before reaching the target to have significant effect. I like them, but until I have more models painted they will only come out to fill up points.

Celestians: I just don't get them. They have weapon skill 4 but no ability to get additional close combat weapons, their Act of Faith aids their close combat, but their battle gear is shooty. They unlock an immolator, but with armour on the wane, I'm not so sure. So whilst they went into the first armies I built, they have once again been relegated to the status of points fillers.

Dominions: not tried these, I fact I have not tried these in any addition. I see they are able to take small units of less than ten sisters with up to four special weapons, they might be worth another look, or a first look.

Retributors: a mainstay of all of my Sisters of battle lists throughout all additions. 4 Heavy bolters made rending by faith is evil. They are rightly feared by my regular opponents. Carefully placed, they have a high survivability and a good scalp count of infantry models.

Seraphim: these used to be a mainstay of my army. I have yet to try them in this edition. Their old role of back line close tank hunting doesn't seem relevant any more, but doubtless they will make a comeback at some point.

Imolators: Hmmmmm. No longer a fast vehicle, can't move 12 and fire the main gun? With a Heavy flamer load out that is a serious disadvantage. The twin linked multimelta is an extravagance on a light tank. I never really used them when they were good, and I probably won't now. I've fielded them twice in 6th Ed with marginal results.

Exorcist Tank: Yes, almost always. My moral compass does not allow me to field three. So two has to do for me. In the 6ed games they have gone into so far They have shone even better than before. Can't be glance into not shooting, means they are consistently putting out d6 hypersonic crowbars (as I like o think of them) per turn. Use one to smash the transport and one to sweep away half the MEQ unit that tumbles out. Opposition opens up on them and takes a structure point or two, than next turn you rinse and repeat!

Penitent engine: I don't own any of these so I have not tries them. I could see some utility when used on masse.

Battle Sisters: Yes. Your army is built on a good solid foundation of battle sisters. I tend to take two squads of 13 of them then build them up to usually no more than 16 depending on the points left over. I use them as glue on objectives and built them out multi role with a melta and a flamer / heavy flamer.

I have concluded over the course of 8 games of 6th Ed that the sisters are a viable codex again and I look forward to exploring their list in more detail in the future.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

An Oath of Moment

I will not purchase any more models from any Genre until theAdepta Sororitas of the Ark Anges have enough models to represent the current army with options.

I will complete:

- 2 Imagifiers

- 10 Bolters

- 1 Heavy Flamer

- 1 Thunderbolt

I will complete the conversions on

- 2 Imagifier

Before I move on to other, already purchased and unused models.

This I swear before the God Emperor