Fall of Cadia Review: Celestine

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She’s back and better than ever.  We take a look at The Living Saint, Celestine, who has returned with fantastic rules!

A tactics article written by Michael Corr

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.

Overview:

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.

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Wargear:

Celestine:

  • 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

Geminae Superia:

  • Bolt Pistol and Power Sword
  • Frag and Krak Grenades

Special Rules:

  • Adamantium Will
  • Eternal Warrior (Saint Celestine only)
  • Fearless
  • 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:
  1. Heroic Zeal- All HQ units within range gain Zealot until the start of your next turn.
  2. 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.
  3. Religious Fanaticism- All Elites units in range gain the Couner-Attack and Furious Charge until the start of your next turn.
  4. Devout Determination- All Fast Attack units in range gain the Crusader and Fleet special rules until the start of your next turn.
  5. Pious Grit- All Heavy Support units in range gain the Relentless special rule until the start of your next turn.
  6. Indomitable Faith- All Lords of War units gain It Will Not Die for the remainder of the game.
triumverate-imperium-celestine

Tactics:

I’ll repeat. Wow. Just wow. That’s a lot of special rules. Lets break down Celestine and her retinue in more detail.

Durability

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.

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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.

Combat Ability

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.

celestine-horz-duncan

Army Buffs

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.

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.

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Unit Synergy

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.

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Overall

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.

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!

Frontline Gaming will buy your used models for cash or store credit!

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  • Borja Saiz Bustamante

    Nice 200 points autoplay miniature

    • Pyrrhus of Epirus

      its almost getting to the point of why play anything but armies of the imperium.

      • TheWanderingJewels

        I’ve been there since 5th-6th with Nids

      • petrow84

        That’s some bold statement with the Biel-Tan heroes around the corner 🙂

        • ZeeLobby

          Haha. True. Why play anything but Imperium/Aeldari is probably the right answer

      • piglette

        GREEN IS BEST. ORKS IS MADE FOR FIGHTIN’ AN’ WINNIN’

        • euansmith

          EVUN IF DEY LOOZ, DEY CUM BAK AGIN FRUM DA SPOORZ! DERE AIN’T NO BEATIN’ DA ORKZ!

          • vlad78

            ERE WE GO

      • MechBattler

        Tau. You forgot the bullet hoses of the 41st millenium.

    • David Leimbach

      It’s the end of an edition. They have to add a bunch of edition breaking stuff now so you wont be tempted to keep playing 7th when 8th drops.

      • Admiral Raptor

        Exactly right. The end of 7th can’t come soon enough. These releases are just like the ridiculous End Times stuff fantasy got just before the end. Hopefully the change will be just as dramatic for 40k as it was for Fantasy.

        • vlad78

          But 40k is much more suited for that. And no one will make me play something else than my beloved imperial fists (if 8th rules are worth a penny that is)

  • Maitre Lord Ironfist

    Suddenly, repentia can be played

    • Droth

      My thoughts exactly!

  • Justin McMenomy

    Sorry to burst the Knight bubble but Saintly Blessing is all non-vehicle units. Still Drogo will like it.

    • G Ullrich

      Yup, hearing the same Knight thing error on a couple podcasts – in all the excitement they’re missing that little “no vehicles” sentence!

      • Drew_Da_Destroya

        Admittedly, it’s still dumb that single Infantry models are in the same category as Superheavies and Gargantuan Creatures, so I understand the mistake.

      • Shawn

        An imperial knight isn’t a vehicle though. Granted, it’s a walker, but so is a dreadnought and they’re not vehicles by any stretch of the imagination.

        • Dan Orchard

          u wot, m8? They’re vehicles by the rules. So I don’t even have to use my imagination. Can just consult the rulebook, where walkers are vehicles. You should probably revisit it yourself, because this is pretty basic stuff to be getting wrong.

    • Yeah, sorry about the error. Would be ridiculously good with Knights, but will have to settle for non-vehicle Lords of War now.

  • ledha

    she is stupidly overpowered for her cost. She should be at least 350-400 pts

    • Moises Martinez

      Not really. The points cost is fine. Daemon princes would have no issues 1 on 1.

      • Dan Orchard

        Daemon princes don’t have any buff as powerful as Saintly Blessings. The value of a character isn’t all bounc in their 1v1 potential.

        That said, 40k in general has such horrendous points costs, that this is hardly what makes it unbalanced. She could be 150 points or 300 and it wouldn’t really have been more than a drop in the ocean that is the points set at a whim of 40k. Can’t wait for 8th to show me if GW are going to start taking balance seriously or not.

    • Victor Hartmann

      I don’t think so. While she can absorb a lot of shots before dying (and then do it again), she’s very easy to wound. Mass shooting is not hard at all in 40k. The buffs she’s giving out are good but they’re not great.

      There might be an initial surge of popularity on the table top but in the end, I think she will mostly be played by people who love the model. Players looking for higher efficiency will want more damage output from the 200 pts invested and will go back to old favorites.

      We’ll find out over the next couple of years.

      • Antoine Henry

        She is totally overpowered, if characters have more wounds than Monstrous Creatures now, its starting to be a shame…

        • captkaruthors

          Destroyer weapons exist for characters like this. Makes all her rules pretty much useless except for her coming back. For all the crying about destroyer weapons…D weapons are the great equalizer for stupid crap like this.

          • Victor Hartmann

            Who needs D weapons to kill St. Celestine and friends? You just need a bunch of small arms fire. Or the bane of terminators everywhere, grav cannons. Or scat bikes. Even Dark Eldar can lay in a lot of dakka. Or assault them with stuff with a lot of attacks if you don’t have a shooty army.

            People, this is not hard. Mass shooting is easy in 40k

          • Antoine Henry

            That is so wrong. a D weapon does not always do 6 to kill something. Its also very limited and is not “hit that target” always. In a pack, she can tank if the person is playing it well (2+/4+ and put some psykers) with Eternal Warrior and without Titans on the game, it is NOT easy to kill her. Who cares about 3 Toughness ? Do you think it is better to have 4 ? With Scatter laser and all weapons doing more than STR 5 or 6 now, no its not. Still, she is giving a lot of HP / Free rules / Tanking / Movement/ and other goodies for only 200 pts and 9 HP. So stop being lame and we all see that they put 200 pts to sell her and that SHE is overcheated.

          • Victor Hartmann

            Question, do you actually play this game, let alone at a competitive level? Because you don’t seem to get how things work. You’re even contradicting yourself within your own paragraph. Seriously, if St. Celestine scares you, you can’t have played much 40k. As I said, she’s good. Great even (well, slightly great). But pretty tame compared to the vast majority of killer combos out there.

            Apologies for being so direct though, I’m usually patient and try to help people along. But this is ridiculous. So much fear over St. Celestine.

            I mean really, you’re crying that a 200 pt character isn’t easy for you to one shot while she gives some very minor buffs (you must realize the Saintly Blessings are not all that great, all but one last a single turn or phase, and can only be used once per game, right?), and has very weak damage output.

            In a truly competitive list, I wouldn’t use her. She’s too many points compared to other options that would be more effective at that cost. In a fun list or even semi-competetive list, I might. I used St. Celestine when she was only 135 simply because I love her model and the idea of her. She was a problem because she was so easy to one shot but still fun.

            And I know, you’ll come back with some snarky remark intended to inflame things but there’s not much point in trying to educate you in this. Instead, go play some 40k in a new environment with skilled players. That will help a lot more in understanding how the game works than complaining on the internet.

        • Victor Hartmann

          She doesn’t. She has 5 wounds. She does come with 2 dedicated characters with two wounds each (at T3 so in many cases it may as well be one wound each) which auto pass look out sirs. But as it is, you can put almost any IC into a unit with even more ablative wounds. With auto passing look out sirs in some cases. Does that make Jonnie librarian hanging out with 30 guardsmen hiding in ruins better than an MC since they have more wounds?

          Is St. Celestine good? Certainly. Is she overpowered? Compared to what I see being played, not at all. Some people just panic more easily.

  • Shawn

    So, if I take St. Celestine and her Geminae Superia with an Iron Hands Command Squad, along with a captain in termi armor with the Gorgon’s Chain from a Medusa Strike Force, does that mean the whole squad gets 3+ FNP, while the Captain get’s 2+, and St. Celestine and her Geminae Superior get 5+?

    This is how I worked it out: Iron Hand Chapter tactics state that the Iron Hands have a 6+ FNP, unless they get it from another source, such as a nartheceium, they instead get +1. Normally, that means that the command squad and captain would rock a 4+ FNP. However, since the Medusa Strike Force grants a 5+ FNP, essentially another source for FNP, they get a +1 granting that squad aa 4+ FNP, while the captain with the Gorgon’s Chain gets a 3+ (getting the Wt The Flesh is Weak would make it a 2+). Now throw in St. Celestine and her sisters, She grants a 6+ FNP to those that don’t have it already, but grants a +1 to FNP to those that do. Does this mean that FNP for the command squad and captain drops down to a 3 plus? (Of course, FNP, I think per FAQ can’t be lower than 2+).

    • MelonNeko

      I don’t have the book. But according to the above. The saintly blessing to give FNP effects troop units, once per game. So no.

      • Shawn

        troop, or infantry? Both tactical marines and the command squad are still technically infantry, so is a space marine captain. If it doesn’t work, there’s always Endrance from a libby to give everyone 4+ and St. Celestine and Co. 5+.

        • Victor Hartmann

          “Affects Troops units only.”

          But the effect would additionally transfer to any HQ units who were currently attached to that Troop unit.

  • MechBattler

    Holy crapsicles. She’s like a mini Hive Tyrant. In fact, she’s almost better. She’s way faster, her minions can come back, she can’t be instagibbed, and she gets to resurrect once. With her durability and one pretty much guaranteed respawn, I’ll be she survives to the end of a game a LOT.

    • Shawn

      Stick her with a space marine command squad for 5+ FNP, or have her join up with an Iron hands terminator squad with t-hamers/s-shields and a termi-libby with Endurance.

  • Antoine Henry

    “Buy my cheated characters and game breaking rules”. Way to go before AoS’ing 40K, well lets say its the EXACT same pattern.