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40K Op-ed: What Plastic Sisters Might Really Mean

6 Minute Read
Mar 23 2018
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The shocking announcement that plastic Sisters of Battle are coming might mean more things than one.

This week GW shocked the Warhammer world by announcing that plastic Sisters of Battle were coming. This is something people have dreamed of and begged for, for years and years now. While it’s long been assumed they had to be coming at some point, the announcement that yes, actually, they are officially coming was greeted by great joy. However reflecting on it people began to notice that the announcement was pretty sparse on details. Thinking further on it, and the announcement itself, could really mean a lot of things. So let’s take a look at what this all really could mean.

The Announcement

Here is what the Warhammer Community Site has to say:

“You asked. We’re gonna deliver, finally…

Yup, plastic Sisters of Battle are on their way. For reals.

We know many of you have been waiting patiently (and impatiently…) for a long time for the Adepta Sororitas, and that for many of you this is more than ‘just’ a new army. So, we’re going to do something we’ve never done before – right up until the release, we’ll be bringing you updates on the Sisters of Battle, sharing images and snippets of info and a whole ton of behind the scenes goodness.


Emperor willing, the Battle Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas will be ready to take the fight to the renegade, the heretic and the unbeliever in 2019.”


A Most Strange Announcement

So the announcement doesn’t really tell us much beyond they are coming. No models, no CAD sketches, no artwork. Compare this to the amount of stuff they showed off for the Knight Castallen and the Deepkin. It’s night and day. What is really unprecedented (I’m using this word a lot lately in regards to GW) about this announcement how far in advance it is coming. GW normally likes to play things very close. Look at Custodes, no one had an inkling of them until right before they came out. It’s pretty rare to get anything more than vague rumors more than a month or two in advance. This time they are announcing an army more than a year in advance. In addition they are promising constant updates on the development process. That seems like a big new experiment to me.

So What Does Plastic Sister Mean?


Let’s get down the meat of the matter, what does Plastic Sisters really mean? With so little known for sure it could really mean many different things, among the options are:

  • In a worst case situation plastic sisters mean a redone Battle Sister Box, most likely one that can make Battle Sister Squads, Retributor Squads, and Dominion Squads. This would be a fancy new kit and the rest of the army would remain older fine cast models. While disappointing it would still technically be plastic Sisters of Battle. In fact currently the only things bearing the name, or keyword, Battle Sisters is the Battle Sisters squad.  Just remember we’ve been teased with new sisters models, and plastic sisters before, only to get single unit releases like Canoness Veridyan and Celestine. It could happen again.
  • The Mid range scenario is a simple update of the current line to plastic. All the important units get redone in plastic. The army stays functional the same but gets new fancy models. Some of the models remain fine cast.
  • The best case, what we are all hoping for and kind of assuming: The army is totally redone and reworked in plastic. Existing units get new models while new units and models are introduced. Maybe a SoB flyer? This is the really the best case!
  • The Apocalypse scenario: They never  actually come out.

So those are a few options for what plastic sisters could really mean. I’m hoping for a complete rework, but we will have to see.

What Counts As Sisters?

Another interesting question is what falls under the umbrella of Sisters of Battle? Currently there is no Sisters of Battle Army. The Adepta Sororitas is of course really the same thing, but it also functions as a part of the Adeptus Ministorum. So will this army be all female all Sisters of Battle, or will in include ministorum units. Will Penitent Engines and Death Cult Assassins be in the army? It’s all speculation at this point.

Why I am A Little Vexed

A few things about this announcement trouble me. First off the date, “Emperor Willing 2019” is not a confident statement. It seems about as reliable as George RR Martin saying The Winds of Winter is coming out this year. Sure, they could come out next year, 9-21 months from now, but also maybe not. I get that there are possible production snags and issues, so they might want to hedge their bets and not give a solid date this far out. But the lack of even a quarter or a “late 2019, early 2019” is vexing. GW doesn’t have a perfect track record with this kind of thing either, I’m still waiting on Adaptus Tanticus after all.  Lets hope the New GW isn’t back in the habit of letting us down.  Still, having announced it I’m pretty sure they will release something…


“The Battle Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas.” I’m most likely reading WAYYY too much in this wording, but again technically the only part of the Adapta Soroitas currently called Battle Sisters are the troop option Battle Sisters Squad. Am I reading too much or is this a subtle hint? The lack of any miniatures based artwork or real info is unusual for GW. This feels like an army they’ve only just now decided to make, maybe in the very immediate past. If that’s the case it argues towards either a pushed back release date or a smaller scope release.

Sisters of Battle Beta Rules?

Even the simplest rules need a 2nd Editon. 

Another part of the announcement was that we would get Beta Rules in Chapter Approved 2018. This raises its own questions. GW had previously said that all the current armies would be getting a new codex by the end of the year.The Sisters announcement seems to break that. Unless SoB are getting a Codex in mid 2018, Beta rules in Late 2018 and another Codex in 2019, it would seem their book is getting pushed back. Now, I’m not mad, I’d rather wait a little long and get a new book and range, but it’s a little sad. Moreover these Beta rules probably won’t come out till December (then Chapter Approved 2017 shipped), meaning no love for the Sisters until then. And what will be in the rules? New units that don’t have models? Or just updates for the existing units? Stratagems? Who knows! Rules coming out in December does seem to argue that the Codex is slotted for latter in 2019, since why put out rules in Chapter Approved that will be invalidated within a month or two? Again I’m left with only questions and no answers.

Final Thoughts

If one thing is clear here its that we are off the map and flying through uncharted warp lanes. While exciting this announcement raises far more questions than it answers. The new Sisters book and line could and should be amazing. It’s also at this point going to have to survive a year or two of hype and people getting their hopes up. It’s human nature for people to grow dispassionate while waiting for such a long period of time.

For now however lets have a little faith, after all Fortune Favors the Faithful, and trust GW will hit it out of the park with this one.


Let us know what you think about this announcement down in the comments!  

Author: Abe Apfel
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