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Tactics for Units: The Canoness

tactica Adepta Sororitas 8th Edition

42 replies to this topic

#1
CaptainHelion

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So, with the release of 8th Edition having been several weeks past, I figured we'd all had a decent amount of time to play some games, do some theorycrafting, that sort of thing. This is intended to be the first in a series of topics along the lines of the fantastic Unit of the Week that're all over the place. I can't exactly commit to doing a post every week, and sometimes the discussion doesn't fit as neat a timeframe as a week. But, like the UotW threads, these are meant to be all about discussion of each unit. Please feel free to share your thoughts, any comments on my analysis, your experiences with the units in game, anything.

 

An old favourite, and a mainstay of the Adepta Sororitas. Between the utility she brings, our unfortunately sparse HQ slot, and the multitudes of detachments available, you can expect to see her on practically every Sororitas list, and usually more than once.

  • Statistics: With both WS and BS 2+, she's a reliable and kickass combatant, and is almost guaranteed to hit whatever you point her at. As you might expect, her Strength, Toughness and Move are all nothing much to talk about, all laying at the regular human level, which means she's going to be relying on her wargear to make the most of her 2+ WS/BS and 4 attacks. Leadership 9 is nice, but she has no way of sharing that with her army, so it ends up being much of a muchness. Useful against attacks that target leadership, but not much else. Her save of 3+ and wounds are both pretty solid, but nothing special. Overall, pretty standard for a captain-level hero.
     

  • Special Rules:

    • As a Sororitas, the Canoness has the ever lovely Shield of Faith, though with the demise of Adamantium Will, it's anti-psyker efficacy is questionable at best, and the invulnerable save is overpowered by the Canoness' Rosarius special rule, which gives a 4++ as standard. Oh well, you might deny the occasional Smite?

    • Act of Faith is the other Sororitas rule for the Canoness, and unlike SoF, it's a real doozy! The chance at an extra movement, shooting, or combat is huge. That said, you're likely to have better choices for your AoF than the Old Girl, but it's worth keeping in mind. It pairs well with a combi-weapon, effectively doubling the special weapon fire she throws out, and can let her throw plasma or what have you at two different units. If she's already in combat, then an extra 4 attacks when she can't be hit back could help turn the tide.

    • Rosarius, as mentioned in SoF, gives a 4++ to the Canoness, which is fantastic, and helps deal with her less than perfect armour save. You'll never be saving on worse than a 4+ with this. Golden.

    • Lead the Righteous: Aha, here we go! This rule is where the Canoness goes from good to great. A 6" bubble of rerolling 1s To Hit. Glorious. It's a Keyword linked ability, only working for <Order> units, but that's unlikely to be an issue, outside of cases such as Celestine or Priests, or if you have the Old Girl babysitting some allied Guard. Note that this bubble includes herself, so pairs wonderful with her 2+ to hit. Consider using plasma, as rerolling ones drastically reduces the chance of her killing herself by overcharging. Note that, as ever, rerolls happen before modifiers, so don't overcharge and fire both weapons in a Combi Plasma. Rerolling 1s will not save you. All in all LtR is a great utility rule that helps boost the firepower of the army around her.
       

  • Equipment: The Canoness comes with a bolt pistol, chainsword, and frag/krak grenades. Swapping the bolt pistol for a boltgun is free, and trades being able to shoot into combat for range and extra firepower. As ever, bolt weapons are a solid work horse. No ap does hurt them, but s4 will hurt anything short of t8 on 5s or less, and her BS2+ and LtR will mean you're hitting most of the time. Given they're free options, you can't go too far wrong with them.
    The chainsword is about as good as you might expect. It grants an extra attack when used in combat, giving the Canoness 5 attacks. Like before, 2+ WS and LtR means she'll hit often, but at s3 and no ap, she's unlikely to really hurt anyone bar guardsmen.

     

    • The bolt pistol can also be swapped for anything on the pistols, melee, or ranged weapons lists, and the chainsword can be swapped for the latter two or an eviscerator. Nice, though it's a shame we've lost gunslinger Canonesses as an option.

    • We all know and love the bolt pistol. A solid budget option. It can be swapped for either the plasma or inferno pistol, which are both interesting choices. The inferno pistol is a pistol meltagun, with all the delicious s8, ap-4 and d6 damage, but suffers immensely from a tiny range of 6". It's likely to kill anything it touches, but getting it to touch is the problem. It gets the most out of the pistol ability to shoot into combat, as the short range means you're practically already in combat. Being in combat also means that you'll be within the inferno pistol’s remarkably small melta range. It's expensive and not the most versatile, but it is certainly deadly. The plasma pistol has become a much more enticing option with the new plasma rules. A risk free s7 ap-3 shot is pretty nice, even though it is only damage 1. And with LtR, overcharging the pistol for s8 and 2 damage is much lower risk than it appears. Compared to the inferno pistol, it's cheap, it's versatile, but it's much less deadly to anything with 3 or higher wounds.

    • Ranged weapons. The Stormbolter is an enticing choice, as it effectively doubles the firepower of the Canoness compared to a regular bolter, for a staggeringly low price. All the good stuff of bolt weapons in a cheap, high volume package. However, unlike some of the choices here, it won't let her kill things much better than she already does. The Condemnor boltgun is almost embarrassingly mediocre, being a boltgun that does d3 damage to psykers. It might be useful if you play Grey Knights a lot? Otherwise, I'd pass. Combi-weapons are probably some of the best options for the Canoness, or indeed any captain equivalent, making fine use of their BS2+. Being a bolter AND a special weapon, they're a straight upgrade from a bolter. Plasma has similar range stats to a bolter, at 24” rapid fire 1, so it meshes well with the boltgun portion. Overcharging a Combi-Plasma has the same risks and rewards as the pistol, but be careful to not overcharge and fire both weapons. A Combi-melta lets you threaten just about anything, thanks to its high strength and marvelous ap. A combi-flamer is a useful overwatch ward, and hitting automatically means you ignore the -1 to hit for firing both weapons. Both the -melta and -flamer are assault weapons, so you can use them AND keep mobile, very useful considering the relatively short ranges of them.

    • Melee weapons. The Eviscerator and Power weapons. Power Weapons come in three varieties, each with their own benefits and problems. The Power Sword, a Sororitas staple, comes with an excellent ap-3, but no other bonuses. If the Canoness wounds, that wound is pretty likely to go through, barring decent invulnerable saves. However, the Canoness is still only s3, so wounding in the first place is.... Tricky. Good if you’re against low toughness with low armour saves, like, ironically, Sisters. Against opponents like guard, you’re almost better off with a chainsword and it’s extra attack. Against marines, it’s not good, but it’s not bad.You only wound on 5s, but they save on 6s, so it evens out a bit . The Power Axe comes in as a nice middle Ground, with a lower ap-2, but a neat little +1 to strength. It’s a solid choice, but it won’t excell at anything. The other end of the curve is the Power Maul. The least ap of the group, but the most bonus to strength. +2 strength will help the Canoness wound, but at only ap-1, those wounds aren’t likely to stick. Useful against armies with bad armour saves, or only invulnerables, like daemons or Imperial Guard, as the ap-1 is less important than the bonus strength.
      The Eviscerator is perhaps the Queen of melee weapons, as far as the Canoness is concerned. It has the highest strength bonus (x2), best ap (-4), and best damage (d3). It is, however, the most expensive, at over 4 times the most expensive of the power weapons, and it comes with a hefty -1 to hit. What it does well, however, is let the Canoness threaten anything on the battlefield. At s6, most vehicles and monsters will be wounded on 5s, and the lighter varieties on 4s or even 3s for some Aeldari. Most anything else on the field will be wounded on 3s, and the ap-4 is going to ignore any armour save other than a 2+. The d3 damage allows her to reliably threaten other characters and monsters, the very same that she’s somewhat reliably wounding with the higher.strength.

  • Tactics

    • Honestly, you can just throw a Canoness where you want to reroll some 1s, and go from there.

    • An Eviscerator Canoness hanging out with Retributors and Exorcists boosts their shooting, and provides a potent counter-charge unit for anything trying to gank you from behind.

    • A Power/Combi-weapon Canoness can lend your advancing squads a hand. Match their combi weapon to the needs of the squads around, and Power Weapon to Taste. Same thing can be done with pistols, just with slightly less firepower.

 

Thanks for reading all the way down here. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!


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#2
Beams

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I'm very partial to the eviscerator Cannoness, and the exceedingly cheap stormbolter/Bolter Cannoness for buffs an dfilling out the multiple hq requirements.

If the eviscerator Cannoness ends up near a priest and a dedicated melee squad, she can handle the characters while the squad handles the opponents sqaud. I usually use my canonnesses and then Repentias or Arcos in Repressors/rhinos as a counter charge.
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#3
Servant of Dante

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I want to run 7 Celestians in a rhino with Raedia (evicerator canoness) a priest, and a Hospitaller

For me the load out on a Canoness is all about the character and rule of cool (and WYSIWYG) for example I thought the normal Canoness model was too flashy when selecting a model to use as VH Canoness Commander Luxia Telnayan, so I got one of the old plasma pistol and chainsword superior models, and run her with just those 2 weapons (and a rosarius in 7th when that wasn't basic wargear)

The Evicerator is just really fun to me, and now it always hits on a 3+, where a lot of the time I hit on 4s with it in 7th

Edited by Servant of Dante, 18 July 2017 - 03:19 PM.

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#4
Gen.Steiner

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My Canoness totes an Eviscerator and Inferno Pistol.

She likes to get up close and personal with heretics, and send them to the God-Emperor's judgement with melta and big whirring chain-thing.

In all honesty I haven't used her re-rolls to hit aura because I didn't realise she had it... wacko.png



#5
dracpanzer

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I have been tinkering with my backline Canoness either running stormbolter/eviscerator or plasma pistol/power maul. Plasma isn't an inferno pistol, but it isn't bad for the price on safe mode. My go to backline Canoness has been and likely will be just a stormbolter/chainsword girl with a Celestian squad with three stormbolters to stand watch over their mistress. I have run a priest with them a few times but honestly don't know if it helped. The Retributors were taking good care of those few units that my Doms and Seraphim haven't been able to take out in my opponents half of the table. The Celestians are basically extra wounds and stormbolters for her, but they pack a good amount of shots, attacks, and give my Canoness more wounds than Celestine. The first time anyways....

Loving Sisters this edition.

Edited by dracpanzer, 19 July 2017 - 09:45 PM.

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#6
sedibear

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Hold up, I've been under the impression that I could replace both my bolt pistol and my chainsword with a pistol. I'm still running an akimbo inferno pistol Canoness.

 

The exact wording is: This model may replace either its bolt pistol or its chainsword with a weapon from the Ranged Weapons or Pistols list.

 

Now that I'm reading it, is there actually anything stopping me from replacing both pistol and chainsword with dual combis?


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#7
RedSquig

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Would be nice to know, a dual pistol canoness can be very cool. (yeah, two combis could be better, but for conversions i prefer the pistolero lady)



#8
taikishi

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You can only do dual pistols if one is a bolt pistol:

 

Per text in index:

 

* May replace bolt pistol with Boltgun

* May replace chainsword with eviscerator or Melee Weapon

* May replace either bolt pistol or chainsword for Ranged Weapon or Pistol

 

Either is the operative word there, so you can have the following combinations:

-Bolt pistol (BP) + Chainsword (CS)

-BP + Eviscerator

-BP + Melee weapon (MW)

-BP + Ranged weapon  (RW)

-BP + Pistol

 

-Boltgun (BG) + CS

-BG + Eviscerator

-BG + MW

-BG + RW

-BG + Pistol

 

-RW + CS

-RW + Eviscerator

-RW + MW

 

-Pistol + CS

-Pistol + Eviscerator

-Pistol + MW

 

 

What can't be done:

-RW + RW (other than BG + RW)

-RW + Pistol (other than BP)

-Pistol + Pistol (other than BP + Pistol)


Edited by taikishi, 20 July 2017 - 05:02 PM.

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#9
radionausea

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That's an exclusive or.

#10
Sister Alessia

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And remember there is a warlord trait, so your Canoness can give out her leadership :)
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#11
sedibear

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I see, makes sense. Would you have an example off the top of your head of a unit that allows double pistols?

In any case, time to reconvert. What's our consensus, btw? Combi-weapon? Combi plasma sounds incredibly tasty rn.


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#12
CaptainHelion

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I believe taikishi is right. I've been assuming it was an exclusive 'or', but a bolt pistol-other pistol gunslinger is still possible, which I had overlooked.

 

Sister Alessia, the warlord trait gives +1LD in a 6" bubble, so not quite sharing her leadership, but honestly, just as good. Warlord Traits are definitely something worth considering.

 

sedibear, as I said, I reckon combi-weapons are a really great option for the Canoness. She's got BS2+, and a combi-weapon really lets us use that to it's full potential. As for which one, the combi-plasma is pretty good, given how it's something that we do really lack. In the past, missing out on plasma wasn't such a hassle, as it was good, but it wasn't THAT good. But that has certainly changed.

The combi-melta is always a nice option, given the potential for multiple damage, and a great strength and AP, but it loses out on range and number of shots as compared to the plasma. It's the one I use on my canoness, mind you.



#13
foxlight713

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You can only do dual pistols if one is a bolt pistol:

 

Per text in index:

 

* May replace bolt pistol with Boltgun

* May replace chainsword with eviscerator or Melee Weapon

* May replace either bolt pistol or chainsword for Ranged Weapon or Pistol

 

Either is the operative word there, so you can have the following combinations:

-Bolt pistol (BP) + Chainsword (CS)

-BP + Eviscerator

-BP + Melee weapon (MW)

-BP + Ranged weapon  (RW)

-BP + Pistol

 

-Boltgun (BG) + CS

-BG + Eviscerator

-BG + MW

-BG + RW

-BG + Pistol

 

-RW + CS

-RW + Eviscerator

-RW + MW

 

-Pistol + CS

-Pistol + Eviscerator

-Pistol + MW

 

 

What can't be done:

-RW + RW (other than BG + RW)

-RW + Pistol (other than BP)

-Pistol + Pistol (other than BP + Pistol)

 

Yup pretty much this.  Gun slinging is possible with pistols but it will be a Bolt Pistol + Pistol ( Bolt pistol, Plasma, or inferno).  However what is interesing is that the cannoness can dual wield a similar Bolt Gun + Combi Bolter combo, I would imagine that you would have to select one or the other when shooting in the shooting phase, yes/no?. Or would that require a "true grit" special rule like grey hunters have to "shoot a bolter one handed"


Edited by foxlight713, 21 July 2017 - 05:38 AM.


#14
CaptainHelion

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Not so far as I'm aware. You may fire all your non-pistol weapons in the shooting phase, should you choose. So that's quite an interesting catch, foxlight! It gives you the option for a stormbolter level firepower for no extra points. Very interesting.

#15
taikishi

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I see, makes sense. Would you have an example off the top of your head of a unit that allows double pistols?

In any case, time to reconvert. What's our consensus, btw? Combi-weapon? Combi plasma sounds incredibly tasty rn.

 

Space Marine Company Veterans and Space Marine Company Veterans on Bikes

 

* May replace their bolt pistol with a storm shield or an item from the Melee Weapons or Pistols lists (pay particularly close attention to this part)

* May replace their chainsword with a storm shield, boltgun, or an item from the Melee Weapons, Pistols, Combi-weapons or Special Weapons list.

 

So they can dual wield pistols....

 

OR

 

RAW they can replace their bolt pistol with a chainsword, then replace both chainswords with a combi-weapon and a special weapon, giving them the twin bolters on their bike, a combi-weapon and a special weapon to fire in the shooting phase. x.x


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#16
Jacinda

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Any time you have to rely on order of operations you get into unsteady grounds.  While there have been exceptions it is traditionally not allowed without a FAQ to say you can.



#17
taikishi

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A squad of five on bikes with all flamers/combi-flamers is also close to 300 points. Regardless, only brought them up because it was asked about units that can dual-wield pistols. Back to the canoness talk!!!

 

Edited to clarify the points cost was about company vets on bikes, not straight up company vets.


Edited by taikishi, 21 July 2017 - 08:20 PM.


#18
sedibear

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With the ministorum priests no longer being necessary I am reconverting them into Canonesses (canoni?)

 

2 generic, 2 combi, 1 eviscerator.

 

My gunslinging one has a lot of battle experience and will be relegated to a shelf until she is legal again. :D She deserves her rest!


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#19
Gen.Steiner

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I think if you're going to go for a ranged Canoness then combi-plasma is probably the best bet; it synergises well with the 24" range of the bolter(s), and enables you to sit her back with some Storm Bolter BSSs or Dominions or whatnot and contribute firepower as well as re-rolls to hit.



#20
Servant of Dante

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Not really a tactics thing, but Raedia's evicerator got complements last night :D

 

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#21
Montford

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I have one of those Sister Superior models which has the combi-flamer and power axe. I'm going to use it as a Canoness. I'm going to see if there's something I can find to make her look a bit more canoness=like. (My first thought was to use the model as a Dominion Superior but the wargear on the model is no longer legal for that)

 

*edit*

 

I realized now I must have modified her. I think she used to be holding some sort of Icon in her hand, and I put an axe in it.


Edited by Montford981, 23 July 2017 - 03:12 AM.

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#22
foxlight713

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Not so far as I'm aware. You may fire all your non-pistol weapons in the shooting phase, should you choose. So that's quite an interesting catch, foxlight! It gives you the option for a stormbolter level firepower for no extra points. Very interesting.

 

If you go combi plasma that grants you  4 rapid fire bolter shots plus 2 plasma shots at -1 to hit. Could be tempting with non-overcharged plasma shots for a 2 extra dice at str. 7 ap -3 shots.



#23
Gen.Steiner

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Montford - that figure is a Canoness; she's the original 2nd Edition Canoness! I use her as my Celestian Superior though.



#24
CaptainHelion

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Played a game against Necrons tonight and I just want to reiterate how much I LOVE the Eviscerator. My Canoness with power Axe bounced off of most of his stuff (admittedly due in part to my curséd demon dice), but the eviscerator just chewed through 2-3 models a turn.

#25
Gen.Steiner

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Yeah, the Eviscerator is nasty. It, well, it eviscerates!





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