She’s back and better than ever. The Living Saint, Celestine, has returned to help Cadia in its hour of need with some fantastic rules and abilities that make her a great addition to any Army of the Imperium. For more reviews, analyses and battle reports, check out the Tactics Corner.
Wow! Just wow! The wailing and gnashing of Sisters of Battle and Imperial players at the release of Imperial Agents and the loss of Saint Celestine was short lived. The Living Saint has returned in the new Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia book, and she is back with a vengeance.
For 200 points, you get a highly durable character that is pretty potent in combat and provides some very nice buffs to Armies of the Imperium. She is accompanied to battle by two Geminae Superia (that do not prevent her from joining a unit). Expect to see Celestine in a lot of Imperial armies, tournament and casual.
- The Ardent Blade- A Master-crafted Power Sword that is +2S and AP3, as well as Armourbane. It can also be fired as a Heavy Flamer in the shooting phase.
- The Armour of Saint Catherine- Provides a 2+ Armour Save and 4+ Invulnerable Save
- Frag and Krak Grenades
- Bolt Pistol and Power Sword
- Frag and Krak Grenades
- Adamantium Will
- Eternal Warrior (Saint Celestine only)
- Hit and Run
- Jump Infantry
- Independent Character (Saint Celestine only)
- Divine Guardians- The Geminae Superia get a 4+ invulnerable save. Whilst at least one is alive, any wounds suffered by Celestine are resolved against the closest Gemainae Superia instead. Saint Celestine can join other units with the Geminae Superia (they all join the unit) and must all leave the unit if Celestine leaves the unit.
- The Emperor’s Vengeance- A once per battle shooting attack by Saint Celestine. This is a S8 AP3, Assault 1, Large Blast with unlimited range and the orbital special rule (always scatters 2D6″ unless a hit is rolled).
- Healing Tears- At the start of each of your turns, a slain Geminae Superia is returned within 2″ of Saint Celestine.
- Martyrdom- If this model is your warlord and is slain, all friendly units in which all models have the Acts of Faith special rule automatically pass all Leadership tests until the end of the next turn.
- Miraculous Intervention- The first time Saint Celestine is removed as a casualty, take a Leadership test. If the test is passed, place a counter on the table where she was slain. At the start of your next turn, Saint Celestine is returned to the battlefield with full wounds and can act normally (even using Healing Tears to replace a lost Geminae Superia). If Saint Celestine is your warlord, she does not count as slain for the purposes of Martyrdom or Slay the Warlord. If she is removed and cannot be returned before the end of the game, she counts as destroyed. This rule only works once, the second time she is slain, she is removed as a casualty.
- Beacon of Faith (Warlord Trait)- All friendly models within 12″ of Saint Celestine use her Leadership value when taking Acts of Faith or War Hymn tests.
- Saintly Blessings- At the start of each turn, Saint Celestine can bestow a Saintly Blessing. It affects all appropriate units from the Armies of the Imperium within 12″, each blessing can only be activated once. Saintly Blessings include:
- Heroic Zeal- All HQ units within range gain Zealot until the start of your next turn.
- Fanatical Fortitude- All Troops units within range gain Feel no Pain (6+) until the start of your next turn. If you already have FNP, you gain +1 to your FNP roll.
- Religious Fanaticism- All Elites units in range gain the Couner-Attack and Furious Charge until the start of your next turn.
- Devout Determination- All Fast Attack units in range gain the Crusader and Fleet special rules until the start of your next turn.
- Pious Grit- All Heavy Support units in range gain the Relentless special rule until the start of your next turn.
- Indomitable Faith- All Lords of War units gain It Will Not Die for the remainder of the game.
I’ll repeat. Wow. Just wow. That’s a lot of special rules. Lets break down Celestine and her retinue in more detail.
Saint Celestine is a pretty damn durable character. She has 5 wounds, Eternal Warrior, a 2+ armour save and a 4+ invulnerable save. On its own, that is not too shabby. She is only Toughness 3, meaning she is quite easy to wound, but has Eternal Warrior, so no Instant Death to worry about. Five wounds with a 2+ armour save and decent invulnerable would be great on any independent character.
Once you factor in the other special rules, her durability increases dramatically. Celestine essentially gains 4 ablative wounds from the Geminae Superia. The Geminae Superia each have 2 wounds, a 3+ save and 4+ invulnerable save. They are only toughness 3, so are susceptible to S6 Instant Death removing them easily. Any wounds against Celestine are automatically taken against the Geminae Superia, meaning that you must kill them first in order to hurt Celestine. This occurs automatically and is not a ‘Look Out, Sir’ roll, so is unaffected by any special rules or wargear that affect a normal ‘Look out, Sir’ test. In addition, the Healing Tears special rule allows you to bring back a slain Geminae Superia at the start of each of your turns, meaning that Celestine essentially recovers two wounds each turn. As a result of this, you are pretty much getting a character with 9 wounds, with Eternal Warrior on 5 of those, who also has the potential to recover 2 wounds each turn.
Not only that, but the first time Celestine is slain (if she is slain!), on passing a Leadership test, she comes back on the board with full wounds (plus one Geminae Superia). At Ld 10, the odds are good that you will pass this test, requiring your opponent to put a lot of firepower into Saint Celestine in order to kill her.
Add her to another unit for more additional ablative wounds or gaining Feel No Pain (such as from an Apothecary), and she will become even more insanely durable and harder to kill.
Celestine is no slouch in combat either. In combat, she has WS7 and 5 attacks that strike at initiative 7, S5 and AP3 in combat (with a single Master-crafted re-roll). Against MEQ and any character that does not have a 2+ save, she has a pretty good chance of causing a lot of damage in combat. She may not be able to take out a dedicated combat character (especially if they have a good invulnerable save or FNP), but is unlikely to be slain quickly in combat either.
On top of that, the Geminae Superia also get 3 attacks at WS5 and I4 with Power Sword attacks. They are only S3 though, so will struggle to harm a range of enemy units in combat.
In addition, Celestine will confer Hit and Run and Fearless to any unit that she joins, boosting their combat abilities further.
Not only is she insanely durable and a great combat character, Saint Celestine also provides some very potent buffs to any Army of the Imperium.
The Saintly Blessings allow you to momentarily boost certain units in your army for a single turn. This gives you some nice tactical advantages that can be enacted to boost your army during the game. Indomitable Faith would be great for any army that includes one or more Imperial Knights, giving them It Will Not Die for the REST of the game, not just a single turn like the other blessings. This will be pretty potent for keeping your Knights alive for longer. (EDIT- As was pointed out in the comments below, the Blessings only work for NON-VEHICLE units, so no boosting Imperial Knights).
The other Blessings are great for giving you access to a range of special rules such as Zealot, Fleet and Relentless. The Blessings will also work on any Independent Character that joins an appropriate unit affected by the blessing. This can be useful if the character is able to confer Feel no Pain, giving a Troops unit a 4+ Feel no Pain (in general). There are a wide number of situations where the Blessings could have a great effect on the game. Each Blessing can only be used once per game, so it will be important to choose the right time to use them.
If Celestine is your Warlord, you also get a Leadership bonus to Acts of Faith or War Hymns on units within 12″. This will obviously be very useful for any Astra Militarum Priests or Sisters of Battle within range, giving you a greater chance of passing the rolls.
The Martyrdom special rule will also provide some nice buffs to a Sisters of Battle army for the turn that Celestine is slain, though there is not a huge risk of this given her many special rules to keep her alive.
There are obviously a huge number of units and armies that Saint Celestine can be added to and boost their abilities considerably.
Any Imperial Knight army would benefit from having a small Allied Detachment consisting of Saint Celestine and a single unit of Space Marine Scouts or Astra Militarum Veterans. She can then use her Blessings to give the entire army It Will Not Die (assuming you deploy all the Knights within 12″ when the Blessing is used).
Celestine can also be added to any unit to grant them Fearless and Hit and Run, as well as providing a very potent character for tanking wounds against the unit. As much as you may hate it, she will dramatically increase the durability and abilities of any Deathstar unit, as well as being able to keep up with them thanks to her Jump Pack.
There are very few armies that will not benefit from the addition of Saint Celestine and her bodyguards.
At 200 points, Saint Celestine is an absolute steal for any Army of the Imperium. She is a great buff for an army, as well as an extremely durable and a decent combat character. Expect to see her in a lot of tournament armies in the future.
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