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Warhammer 40K: Sisters of Battle Better Not Just Be Female Space Marines

4 Minute Read
Apr 27 2021

Let’s talk about the upcoming Adepta Sororitas Codex, and a concern.

Sisters of Battle seem to be getting a new Codex sometime soon. While we don’t actually have confirmation of this, or an exact date, they sure are getting a whole ton of new models. This large number of models means that a new book is coming at some point, though it could still be a while off. We’ve already looked at some things we want from the book, today let’s look at one major thing we don’t want from it, for Sisters of Battle to just turn into a Marine copy-cat army.

Their Own Army

Now it’s hopefully obvious that I don’t mean Sisters will literally turn into Female Space Marines, rather I mean that their units, and fighting style will just become more and more like Marines. As an army that uses a lot of the same equipment, including tanks, bolters and Power Armor, the comparisons between the armies are already pretty close. And yet Sisters currently have a distinct feel and playstyle. They are their own army and not a copy. The hope is that any new book will continue to push them in a different direction, rather than bringing them closer. And I’m a little worried in that regard.

A Similar Base

Now Sisters of Battle did in many ways start off as a Marine clone army. You can see that their base DNA is very similar to Marines for instance:

Battle Sisters Squads = Tactical Squad– They fill similar roles and have very similar weapon load-outs (bolters+ 1 heavy and specials weapon for 10 models and a sergeant with power or combi-weapons).

Retributors = Devastator Squad– Again again you units that fill the same role, 5-10 models with 4 heavy weapons. In recent years they’ve even both got the option to take cherubs.

Seraphim = Assault Marines with Jumppacks– Another pretty straight match up here in roles, though the Seraphim diverged more in wargear than the other units, getting extra pistols rather than chainswords.

Canoness = Captain– similar roles and gear, and now pretty similar rules.


Rhino = Rhino– I mean it’s a Rhino.

Immolator = Razorback – while the weapons are a bit different it’s a similar idea and role, and the same base tank.

These make up the core models, and units of the classic older Sisters line up and we can see how it was once very close to being just Marines.

Age of Divergence 

After the initial run Sisters slowly started to move away from being a Marine copy. New units introduced to make them function more on their own. Units like the Arco-flagellants, Repentia, Death Cult, and Crusaders helped set them apart. Tanks like the Exorcists and Repressors don’t have any Marine equivalent. Saints and the like of course stand out. Sure the Penitent Engine is very similar to a Dreadnought, but its role was quite different, and the new rules for them make them very different. Overall, even with things like some of the minor characters having Marine counterparts the Sororitas army has really gone its own way. Until now maybe.

Getting Close Again

The latest batch of Sisters reveals have me a little worried we are moving back towards the armies becoming too similar. For instance, we have:

The Paragon Warsuit = Invictor Tactical Warsuit. Both are powered Warsuits worn by a person in powered armor that amplify their prowess while failing to provide adequate head protection.

The Palatine = Space Marine Lieutenant. Both are supporting HQ.


 Sister Dogmata = Judciar. Both are support characters that serve an “enforcer” role.

Celestian Sacresants = Bladeguard Veterans. Both are heavy close combat footsloggers with stormshields and power weapons.

 New Auto-tapestry Lady = Bladeguard Ancient– It’s a special elite person with a flag.

Castigator = Predator. It’s a Predator with better guns. It still has the same stupid side sponsons.

Anwyay, as you can see a lot of the new units seem like they have direct Marine counterparts, though we won’t fully know until the rules come out. My worry here is that Sisters are moving back into being a Marine copycat army and won’t feel unique. Hopefully my worries will be shown to be unfounded and  Sisters will remain their totally own thing.


Let us know what you think about all the new Marine, Sisters units, down in the comments! 


Author: Abe Apfel
  • Warhammer 40K: New Sisters of Battle Battle Standard Miniature