Sisters of Battle Codex for Warhammer 40K, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Editions

With cosmic signs indicating that Games Workshop plans to release an official 2019 Adepta Sororitas Codex for 8th Edition Warhammer 40K (paid link), along with an indeterminate number of new Sisters of Battle (paid link) miniatures, we decided to travel back in time and review a trio of past Sisters of Battle codices from 1997, 2003 and 2011.

We did not, however, look at the 2013 digital-only Adepta Sororitas Codex released in 2013 for Warhammer 40K 6th Edition, or the Sisters of Battle beta codex released in the 2018 edition of Warhammer 40,000 Chapter Approved (paid link). Reason being, we simply don’t have copies of those two publications.

The very first Sisters of Battle Codex, published in 1997 for 2nd Edition Warhammer 40K, is a bit of a collectors item now, as reflected in the high asking prices for it on eBay. So needless to say we were a bit gobsmacked to find a $9 copy for sale at a local used book store a few months ago. Whoot whoot.

We also purchased a copy of the next Sisters of Battle army book, Codex Witch Hunters, which was published in 2003 for use with Warhammer 40K 3rd Edition. This cost us a whopping $3 and has the Sisterhood joining forces with the Ordo Hereticus, a sinister branch of the Inquisition tasked with rooting out mutants, heretics and witches.

It’s a dark turn for the Sisters of Battle. The Witch Hunters Codex features some pretty gruesome imagery and also introduces the controversial Repentia Squads and the Penitent Engine walker, both of which embrace the concept of penance through physical suffering. Since Games Workshop is currently courting younger hobbyists with the Warhammer Adventures (paid link) line of children’s books, I suspect they’ll be gradually eliminating some of these edgier adult themes from 40K gameplay.

The final Sisters of Battle Codex on our list was published in the August and September 2011 issues of White Dwarf magazine for use with 5th Edition Warhammer 40,000. The Adepta Sororitas are the undisputed queens of this codex, as the Inquisitors of the Ordo Hereticus are notably absent. However certain Witch Hunter figures such as the Arco-Flagellants and the Death Cult Assassins are still fighting alongside the Sisterhood in 2011, though they get crammed together in new combined units called Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclaves.

It’s always a hoot looking through vintage Warhammer 40K codices. If you need a little classic Sisters of Battle goodness while awaiting the release of Codex Adepta Sororitas 2019, or if you just want to see how the Sisterhood rolled back in 1997, check out our trippy video retrospective on the first three Sisters of Battle army books, located at the top of this post.