Warlord: Savage North Army Analysis - Sisters of the Blade
September-15-2010 - An in-depth review of the Sisters of the Blade by Wedge Smith
This week we're going to take a closer look at the Sisters of the Blade army. The Sisterhood has been a part of Warlord since 1st edition, when they were a subset of the Mercenary faction with just a handful of models. This summer's Savage North rulebook has turned them into a full-fledged faction!

Pros

Versatility with excellent tactical coordination among models, unique faction doctrines help control the randomness of dice rolls, it’s an all girl faction.... What’s not to love?

Cons

Lower number of damage tracks per model, less raw power requiring more finesse in the style of play, fewer monsters and other fantasy beasts

Overview

The Sisterhood is a faction composed entirely of female models and has a very dynamic play style. With extremely accurate ranged attack models, deadly mages, and coordinated melee support, the Sisterhood truly has it all.

Faction Doctrines

Tired of always failing those critical rolls by rolling too low? Ever wish you could bring more than one Luck Stone per game? Try the Mercs at Heart Faction Doctrine which allows you to bring an extra Luck Stone for every leader-led troop you field. It also gives you an extra Luck Stone each time one of your leaders destroys an enemy model. Don't forget to bring Joeliyn, who gives each of your Luck Stones a +2 bonus to your die rolls rather than the normal +1!

Or perhaps you are sick of constantly being afflicted with negative Model States? You might want to give the Angels of Justice Faction Doctrine a try, which gives you a chance to ignore negative models states with a die roll, field angels as their own troop, and allow those angels to aid in the healing of your other models.

Ranged Combat

At long range, the Sisterhood has the deadly tri-fecta of archers: Callindria Silverspell, Kyla the Vampire Hunter, and Lorielle Silverrain: These can very effectively be played with the Bow Sisters soldiers whose Indirect Shot can make the enemy sweat no matter where they hide. Rounding out the ranged threat we have the unique solo Volendria of the Blade who is equipped with a new SA called Sniper. It makes any of her victims automatically fail any Tough checks! Paired with the Sisterhood's mage cadre, any of these archers can be boosted with the always-devastating Barrage spell, forcing your opponent to spread their forces apart or suffer the consequences of raining arrows.

Spells

Speaking of spell casters, the Sisterhood comes equipped with some very potent new spells including Prismatic Light, which creates a cone-shaped Spray attack that Stuns all models in its area of effect. [Note: The rulebook erroneously lists the AoE as 8” Spray. The spell simply uses the normal Spray template found in the back of the book.] In addition, there is a new healing spell, Blessed Healing, that restores 1 damage track to a wounded model and grants it the Blessed model state. Elliwyn Heatherlark is the first model that comes ready to play with the Musician equipment included, ensuring that her troop is well organized and supported with her Enchant tome spells.

Melee Combat

No faction would be complete without a variety of interesting melee characters, and the Sisterhood is no different. From the stout Paladins clad in full plate mail to the stealthy Shadow Sisters, to the mounted Sable Guards and the vengeful Angelic Warriors, the Sisterhood has a variety of tactics to employ once battle is joined. If that’s not enough, the sisters also have access to one of the most powerful dragons in Taltos – Lavarath – an ancient Silver Dragon that is allied with Kyra on their quest to restore the Order of Dragonknights.

Suggested Army List

Sisterhood – 998 points

Troop 1
Joeliyn, Leader of the Blade
Armor of Mettle
Kyla, Vampire Hunter
Lorielle Silverrain
Blade Warden x 3
Angelic Warrior x 2
Chain Sister

Troop 2
Callindra Silverspell
Magic Ranged Weapon
Siellendria, Spell Sister
Blade Warden x 3
Chain Sister

Troop 3
Kassandra of the Blade
Armor of Courage
Shaedra, Paladin
Chain Sister x 2
Blade Warden x 3

Troop 4
Volendria of the Blade

Equipment
Luck Stone

This army list is played using the Mercs at Heart Faction Doctrine, which will allow you to start the game with 5 Luck Stones, each of which has a value of +2 to any roll, thanks to Joeliyn.

Tactics

The army is built with three main tactics in mind:

Luck Stone Regeneration: The three leaders and their supporting elites and soldiers were chosen to ensure that they get the most possible use out of the Lead By Example Faction Doctrine, which generates a Luck Stone each time a leader slays an enemy model.
  • Joeliyn is a very potent hybrid threat with both melee and her deep magic set. She is a key piece for the army as her Warlord Benefit boosts all Luck Stones to +2 and her damage potential finds her earning several more Luck Stones throughout the course of a battle. She wears the Armor of Mettle to increase her odds of survival.
  • Callindra Silverspell, with the Magic Ranged Weapon, should be an extremely deadly archer when coupled with Siellendria. Siellendria can cast Barrage on Callindra, which gives Callindra the potential to really rack up the kill count.
  • Kassandra of the Blade is one of the strongest melee models in this faction, and giving her the Armor of Courage significantly increases her chances of successfully defeating her targets.


Ranged Domination: There is a very strong theme of ranged domination in this army when you choose four unique ranged attackers that are all offensively explosive.
  • In Troop 1, we have Kyla, Vampire Hunter, with her high RAV Piercing/Sharpshooting crossbow and Lorielle Silverrain with two attacks at RAV 4 with Weaponmaster/Indrect Shot bow. Both of these can work independently to surgically remove high-value targets at long range, regardless of Stealth, Deflect, or LOS. Or they can gain the benefit of a Barrage spell from Joeliyn and deal AoE damage to grouped units.
  • In Troop 2, Callindra provides a very similar threat to Lorielle except that she can Rapid Shot, which makes her Barrage potential extremely deadly to swarm armies (thanks to Siellendria, Spell Sister). Finally, Volendria of the Blade is a very fast-moving, long-range archer who is best kept in reserve until your enemy’s high-value Tough models fall to their last damage track. Then she can move into range and use Sniper to destroy the model and prevent it from making a Tough check.


Diverse Model Composition: To successfully handle a wide variety of threats, this army has many tactics it can employ on the fly, depending on the opposing army composition or the scenario which they are playing. This army also has high ranged damage, respectable magic power, deep strike potential, flying support, has respectable melee interference models, and is “bad dice proof,” thanks to the large number of Luck Stones.

This all adds up to a very enjoyable game experience on the table with an army that can be played in several different ways and still come out on top.



Check out the previous strategy articles in this series:


Week 1 - Sisters of the Blade
Week 2 - Icingstead
Week 3 - Darkreach
Week 4 - Bloodstone Gnomes