Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dusting Off An Old Army

My name is Rob and I am so excited to be a guest blogger for Brother C. I recently had a hobby epiphany and wanted to share some thoughts.

My Local FLGS Adventure’s Guild of Harrisburg has decided to get back into hosting tournaments.  The first one is set for 01/19/12 and is a 1K affair.  I currently have 3 armies to choose from to play in this event: Orks, space marines (who doesn’t) and  Sisters of Battle. Now my Orks are my  most competitive army and I have won with them, placing high in several local tournaments. My drop pod Marines are my fluffy, fun list and have played them pretty regularly over the past year. That leaves my Sisters.

My Sisters were my favorite army when I first started playing ten years ago, before they were tragically White Dwarfed. It was overall a solid army and was the scourge of the table tops, with the ability to table opponents while being fluffy doing it. I tried playing the White Dwarf codex in fifth edition once or twice and just didn’t like it. The codex did not have enough tools to deal with the power builds, therefore making my army non-competitive. I made the difficult decision to shelve my sisters, but no one likes to see an army collecting dust. Although I am not a WAAC player, nobody wants to go and loose every game. So with these reservations fresh in mind I prepared for battle.
The first thing one does when preparing for a tournament is write an army list, considering the local meta or what kind of lists you could see.  My typical goals for constructing an army list in 6th edition is as follows: 

Excel in one phase of the game and be competitive in the other two.
Have an ability to deal with flyers. 
Have a unit that can get into my opponents deployment zone.
Have several durable scoring units.   

Using this template let’s  take a look at how My Sisters can meet my goals.  

Sisters excel best in the shooting phase at mid range,  have mobility in the movement phase and can tar pit with the best of them in the assault phase. They, as with  most armies, have a limited answer to flyers with the addition of an Aegis defense line with a quad gun (which is a bargain at 100 points). 

Sisters have a couple of options in regards to getting to the other side of the table. They have scouting Immolators (think Razorbacks with limited weapons options) with a suicide squad inside and Rhinos and Seraphim (jump pack, storm troopers stats, dual hand flamers and several special rules). 

The base stats of a Sister of Battle is ws 3, bs 4,  s/t 3 with 3+ and a 6i save. They  come in squad sizes of  10-20, have accesses to a good mix of special and heavy weapons, and cost 12 points. I think they define what it means to be a durable troop choice. In addition, they can man the quad gun and receive a 2+i save if behind the Aegis. 

So, in looking at my collection of models, I now have the following list in mind. St. Celestine, 2 twelve man Battle Sister Squads with flamer/multi-melta  and combi-flamer or power maul, two exorcists, an Aegis defense line, and seven seraphim with two sets of hand flamers and a power axe.

The second thing I do to prepare for a tourney is play test my army.  I have now played six games with my Sisters out of retirement and I am happy to report that it has eased most of my reservations. I have found that it is such a unique army to play, and have enjoyed playing the army as I first did so many years ago. I am still a getting to the tipping point of the battle and not having enough force to topple my opponent, but it has been surprising the amount of wounds my seraphim can cause. 
In regards to being competitive, if you play the mission, you always have a shot to win. Most 6th edition missions are predicated on things the army does well, like holding objectives and midrange shooting. It is all trial and error. I am hoping they fair well

So, in closing, don’t be afraid to take a second look at that old unit, army, or model lurking in the back of your hobby stash.  For you might find that they are able to be used with unexpected positive results, at least I have.

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