Faction Focus: Adepta Sororitas

GW brings us some info on how Sisters play in 9th ed 40k courtesy of the Warhammer-community page.

The Sisters of Battle may be among the Imperium’s most elite military wings, but how will they adapt to the new edition of Warhammer? Well, we’re here to investigate, channelling the wisdom of playtester Andrew Gonyo to get the inside scoop. Have your boltgun, flamer and melta at the ready, as it’s time for the Adepta Sororitas Faction Focus!

Who Are They?

The Adepta Sororitas are the military arm of the Ecclesiarchy. They are divided into several Holy Orders of highly trained and dedicated warriors, whose faith in the God-Emperor of Mankind is absolute. In battle, they purge the enemies of Humanity with a zealous fury and steely determination that rivals even the mighty Adeptus Astartes. So strong is their conviction in the God-Emperor’s divinity that it is not uncommon for them to perform deeds on the battlefield that are nothing short of miraculous.

How They Play in the New Edition

They may wear power armour and wield boltguns as their primary weapon, but the Sisters of Battle are a very different beast to the Space Marines on the battlefield. Here to give us some pointers on how they’ll play in the new edition is Andrew Gonyo. In addition to being a playtester and member of Team USA, he’s won tournaments more times than Saint Celestine has returned from death!

Andrew: The Adepta Sororitas were a big hit when they released earlier this year, and one of the biggest improvements we’ll see in the new edition for them is an increase in the number of available styles of play. While there are currently several viable styles, the strongest Adepta Sororitas armies in matched play tended to be very infantry heavy, with a fairly high model count. However, my favorite army compositions for the Sisters of Battle – and probably in general – is now more of a mechanised/mixed force approach. With the changes to how vehicles interact with the game, I think you’ll see more viability to these styles of play than we currently do.

Next, while some Factions have many ways to deploy, Adepta Sororitas have generally been a bit more straightforward: they’re either hoofing it on foot, riding in a transport, or are one of the two units – Seraphim and Zephyrim – capable of dropping directly onto the battlefield. However, we’ll soon be able to get some of our key units into more interesting positions using Strategic Reserves. This gives a new lease on life to a few units that were a bit too fragile for me to want to deploy or that needed to get close to the enemy, but previously couldn’t – Mortifiers and Penitent Engines, I’m looking at you.

Lastly, as a brief note on the Fight phase, I think there are two main ways the Adepta Sororitas are going to excel. Multi-charges are getting much riskier and harder to perform for most,* but with the help of their faith and a couple of trusty Miracle dice, the Sisters of Battle are really going to shine. Secondly, many Adepta Sororitas units are quite squishy – and the prevalence of Overwatch in the current edition really made certain unit types questionable to go charging into. In the new edition, that will become much less of a problem with the changes to how Overwatch works.

I think the largest challenge players will face in the new edition is the change to the Look Out, Sir rules, which requires more careful positioning of your Characters for them to benefit from the same level of protection. Adepta Sororitas armies tend to be somewhat dependent on key support Characters, so having them become more vulnerable will present a new challenge. I intend to overcome those by keeping a close eye on what I keep near them – there should be no shortage in my army of both Vehicles and decently sized Infantry units, and the two of those together should give me all the protection I need to keep my linchpins alive.

In the new edition, I’ll be approaching the Sisters of Battle with more use of multiple small units. The changes to both Blast weapons and morale favour armies that field medium-sized units. I previously used larger units, but now with the benefit of playing smaller, more sensibly sized squads, I’ll have some points left to take other units – more Dedicated Transports, maybe even the Mortifiers I always wanted but couldn’t quite fit in.

Key Units

Now that we know the score, let’s take a look at some units from the Adepta Sororitas roster upon whom the God-Emperor’s divine benevolence has fallen.


Andrew: There are a few Adepta Sororitas units I never leave home without, the first being the Hospitaller. Failing Morale tests can be devastating in the new edition, which is going to make the Hospitaller’s Last Rites Stratagem key to keeping your important units around for longer.


Andrew: Adepta Sororitas are spoiled for choices when it comes to units that can drop directly into the fray, but I’ll almost always end up taking both Seraphim and Zephyrim for their speed and ability to pop into a backfield at a key moment. Whether you choose one or both units really depends on what you’re after – the close-range (literal) fire support of the Seraphim or the armour-shredding melee punch of the Zephyrim, backed up by their access to the handy Embodied Prophecy Stratagem.

Penitent Engines

As if these engines of mutually destructive horror weren’t already geared up to dish out some serious pain in melee, the Big Guns Never Tire rule will mean that Penitent Engines can use their heavy flamers at point-blank range – much like the Blaze of Agony ability allows Mortifiers to do. Get them stuck in and start cooking your targets even as you bloodily dismember them with buzz-blades and beat them to death with enormous flails!

Thanks, Andrew! How do you plan on delivering the God-Emperor’s holy wrath to your foes in the new edition? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page, Instagram and on Twitter using #New40K.

* In the new edition, your charge roll has to be sufficient to reach ALL of the units you have declared a charge against, otherwise your charge is unsuccessful and no models are moved.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

27 Responses to “Faction Focus: Adepta Sororitas”

  1. Paul Winters June 18, 2020 9:08 am #

    An edge case on “Look Out, Sir”, is that Chaos Daemon chariots cannot screen for their Heralds because they are single model units that are not MONSTER or VEHICLE.

    Chariots aren’t seeing any real play anyway but not being able to get character buffs doesn’t help their viability.

    Unless GW is doing something with that we haven’t seen yet.

    • Reecius June 18, 2020 9:45 am #

      Yeah, there will always be edge cases with things like this. The Chariots may change with 9th, too as things unfold.

      • rvd1ofakind June 18, 2020 10:18 am #

        Speaking of edge cases. Why do they use wounds for the obscured keyword? It makes no sense – this way units get caught in the crossfire. Why not add a new keyword or just use “titanic”?

        • Tacobeasty June 18, 2020 10:54 am #

          I feel like it doesn’t matter what they go off of, anytime you draw a line in the sand something is going to be just on the wrong side of it. Something always gets caught in the crossfire.

        • Paul Winters June 18, 2020 12:02 pm #

          GW had this issue with how different keywords interact with going up and down in ruins until it was eventually fixed in CA19. Because originally they gave an explicit set of keywords. Like a CHARIOT could go up and down in a ruin but CAVALRY could not because GW forgot about CHARIOT.

          The issue is there isn’t a finite set of unit keywords in 40k (maybe there is in 9th, who knows?). When GW explicitly states keywords it causes a backward compatibility issue where new keywords aren’t in the scope of rules. Where if they implicitly stated the addition of new keywords doesn’t matter.

          Like everyone thinks of VEHICLE, MONSTER, BIKE, INFANTRY, etc. Then there are the weird ones like BATTLESUIT, DRONE, CHARIOT, or CAVALRY. That only a couple of codices that have these.

          In this case, CHARIOT isn’t quite a VEHICLE but it is something substantial enough size-wise it probably should be included in “Lookout Sir”.

    • David Hughman June 19, 2020 2:20 am #

      Admech’s new cavalry not looking out for techpriests would be another edge case.

  2. Paul Winters June 18, 2020 11:51 am #

    There is a footnote at the bottom of the page about charge targets working differently.


    It is a feels bad for melee because, with multiple charges, you cannot try to kill a screen, then subsequent units piles into another enemy unit and fights. MSU screen units in 9th seem like are kind of like ablative wounds in the fight phase and pigeonhole charge target options.

    Like, it is tough to get hyped for #New40k with the drip-feed reveals because if you are playing a horde army, it doesn’t feel like the game is getting better for your Codex. Especially after your archetype hit the dumpster after Space Marines 2.0.

    • Reecius June 18, 2020 12:41 pm #

      Combat is very different in 9th. It’s one of the bigger overall changes. And hordes function in that you can still make a high model count army but big units in general take some hits for sure.

      • Paul Winters June 18, 2020 1:06 pm #

        I don’t mind switching up my army, changing up tactics, or whatever because honestly playing Slaanesh Daemons sucked the entirety of 8th edition. They are like the Dark Angels of Chaos or something. But so far nothing in 9th is making go “oh boy this will be my edition”.

      • Paul Winters June 18, 2020 1:09 pm #

        Also, you are a saint for these comments.

        • Reecius June 18, 2020 2:30 pm #

          Haha, thanks. I wish I could say more of course but cannot. Try to help ease peoples concerns though where I can.

  3. red3_standingby June 18, 2020 12:49 pm #

    look out sir is a big hit to how some tau players were screening their farsight armies.

    I can understand the change to charges, since there’s no longer threat of multiple overwatch. Its definitely going to buff characters threatening heroic interventions, since a character can easily position within heroic intervention range without being threatened by attacks from chargers. So long as there’s screening models preventing chargers from getting within 1″ of the character they’re untouchable in the impending combat phase.

    • Reecius June 18, 2020 12:56 pm #

      Well, hang tight, haha, because one of the biggest changes to the game has yet to be revealed and it has a big impact on things like screening. All will be revealed in time but as we’ve been saying, 9th is a lot of little changes that make a very big overall impact on how the game plays.

      • red3_standingby June 18, 2020 4:36 pm #

        cool. even though there’ve been a lot of changes so far, I haven’t found any of it objectionable. shaking up all of the game mechanics is fun if only done occasionally

        • Reecius June 19, 2020 10:20 am #

          Yeah, you have to really. Like, I LOVED 5th ed, it was great but it got so stale at the end, over 5 years of the same game really gets old even if it is a great edition.

      • Alec C June 18, 2020 4:41 pm #

        So I’ve been speculating about this, given the small hints so far.
        Some other games have a “unit is measured from squad leader” mechanic, but this is a big change so maybe something not quite so drastic.
        Or something like “all models in the unit must be within X distance” to clump large units up a bit and get rid of huge conga lines, and all the mechanical movement messes they cause.

        All baseless conjecture though…

        • Reecius June 19, 2020 10:20 am #

          All will be revealed soon I am sure =)

        • Charles Lowry June 20, 2020 6:30 am #

          I like the mechanic of movement is measured from the squad leader in Star Wars Legions. It took a bit of getting used to coming from 40K, but it works so well. Granted, that game does not have 30+ model units, but it is such an easy and quick mechanic.

      • Image June 18, 2020 6:06 pm #

        Let me guess: unit coherency is being reduced to 1” (or less?) and GW is hoping more of us buy their movement trays??

  4. Spoiler June 18, 2020 3:03 pm #

    Reecius is clearly referring to the LD based Fall Back that you have to pass before doing that action (which otherwise fails)

    • red3_standingby June 18, 2020 6:05 pm #

      that would be cool, I would like to see LD matter for more than the wonky morale phase and some psychic powers.

  5. Zweischneid June 19, 2020 12:47 am #

    Does the requirement of having to “make” all charges refer to the distance in a straight line or being able to “theoretically” move your charging units into 1″ of everything you declared a charge against (around intervening enemy models, terrain, etc..).

    I like the idea, but having to “theoryhammer” through 3-4 hypothetical charge moves towards the back you actually won’t do just to figure out if your charge to the front guys is successful sounds like it could potentially be the new “is this model under the blast-template”-debates.

  6. black mage June 19, 2020 4:36 am #

    but…about look out sir…if i have 2 DP 3″ to each other and another unit is closer (but hide so not targettable as well) to enemy that mean the 2DP are untargettable because they are both within 3″ of a CM and NOT the closest target, it is not stated that the closest unit must be visible.

    • Zweischneid June 19, 2020 6:32 am #

      Yes. Same for 2 Chappy Dreads (in their current version).

      Camping a back objective, they can „Look Out Sir“ each other as long as something else is screening closer tonten enemy.

  7. Mathieu June 19, 2020 11:24 am #

    I do hope you will be able to shed a light on this, but I can’t get my head around the wording of the new Look out, Sir! rules.

    If I get it right, you can’t target a character with 9W or less if :
    – They are within 3″ of a / / Friendly unit with 3 models or more.
    – That Character unit is visible to the firing unit AND it is the closest to the firing unit.

    So far so good. But… Does it mean that both conditions need to be applied to target this character ? e.g. Being within 3″ of a friendly unit and being the closest and visible target to the firing unit ?

    What if I have a squad of 5 Infiltrators that is 6″ from my opponent’s Obliterators, hidden in a ruin, and a Librarian, 2″ in front of 5 Intercessors, 18″ from the Obliterators.

    The Librarian is within 3″ of a unit of 3 or more models, the first condition is checked. But he’s visible to the firing unit, and the closest model since the Intercessors that are “protecting” him are further away. So, the Obliterators would be able to declare the Librarian as a valid target ?

    But actually they would not be able to, because the Infiltrators that are 12″ away from the Librarian are closer to the Obliterators, hence preventing the fulfilment of the following statement : “[…] and it is the closest ennemy unit to the firing model.”.

    In that case, the Infiltrators would be screening for the Librarian even though they are not within 3″ of him ?

    I hope I made it clear, ahah ! If you can clarify this but find it hard to picture, feel free to hit me up with an e-mail, I’ll scheme the situation with a diagram.

  8. Gabe June 19, 2020 11:55 pm #

    Way I read it is, that the character can’t be targeted by enemy units whilst within 3″ of friendlies if there are closer friendly units, for example if they stand in front of their ‘bodyguards’. . .

    But if there were no other units closer to the enemy and the character is the closest model and visible then they can be targeted. . .

    If they’re out on their own and visible they can be targeted and also characters can’t screen other characters like in the example for the chaplain dreads above because you ignore other characters under 9 wounds, this obviously stops the nonsense with the untargetable assassin list. . .

    Hope that makes sense. . .

    • Zweischneid June 20, 2020 11:22 pm #

      That is clearly the intention of the rule, but not how it is written.

      The general rule that your character needs to be within 3“ of a 3-model-unit, a vehicle or monster doesn’t distinguish between character/non-character vehicles/monsters.

      Only the additional exception for range, where even the 3“ protection is no longer valid has the caveat for characters unable to screen characters.

Leave a Reply