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Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands: Hallowheart Guide

This guide is part of a big series of guides for the 7 different Cities of Sigmar Warbands. You can find all of the different Cities of Sigmar guides here:

  1. Overview of Cities of Sigmar warband
  2. Tempest Eye
  3. Hallowheart
  4. Anvilguard
  5. The Phoenicium
  6. Greywater Fastness
  7. The Living City
  8. Hammerhal

Introduction and Lore

Hallowheart is a Free City in the Realm of Fire, located on top of what used to be the lair of a magical Wyrdflame Drake. It is a city of magic, as the lingering energy of the Wyrdflame Drake and the realmstone still being mined from its caverns influence all who dwell within its borders.

Hallowheart is home to some of the greatest mortal spellcasters among the Free Peoples, but even civilians and soldiers get a share of the magical powers present in the city. They are resistant to magical attacks and can carry strange birthmarks or other peculiarities caused by living so close to the raw power of the Realms.

In battle, Hallowheart warbands use magical protection to withstand enemy attacks, and their wizards imbue the weapons of their fellow fighters with magical flames. In the game, Hallowheart is the spellcasting warband among the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands, as they are able to gain more wild dice than any other city, which in turn allows them to “cast” better abilities in later battle rounds.

If you like to play as a classical fantasy warband where frontline fighters are supported by powerful spellcasters, Hallowheart might be just the right warband for you.

Abilities for the Hallowheart Warband

Like all other Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands warbands, The Living City has access to four unique abilities, as well as six abilities shared with the rest of the Shieldbands:

Fighter Abilities

  • Imbue with Eldritch Energy (Double, Everyone) Decrease the damage and critical damage of of attack actions that target this fighter until the end of this battle round.
  • Arcane Channeling (Quad, Everyone) Gain additional Wild Dice in the next hero phase based on a dice roll.

Leader Abilities

  • Warding Brand (Triple, Mystic runemark) Improve the Toughness of friendly fighters in an area around this fighter until the end of the battle round.
  • Ignite Weapons (Quad, Mystic runemark) Improve Attacks of attack actions made by friendly fighters in an area around this fighter until the end of the battle round.

Which Fighters are best for the Hallowheart Warband?

When building a Cities of Sigmar warband, there are two things to consider: First, which of the 68 fighter types available to the faction best represent the inhabitants of the city you’re playing on a narrative level, and second, which fighters can make the most use of the unique abilities available to the city.

When building a Hallowheart warband with narrative in mind, the only thing you really need is for your Leader to be a Battlemage. You might even want to field two of these, since the box you have to buy to get one builds 5 of them anyway,

Other than that, Hallowheart is probably the warband that’s the most free to bring whichever fighter the player likes. None of the city’s unique abilities target specific attack profiles, which means it is a very good idea to mix ranged and melee fighters, especially in the same battle group as your Battlemage, whose Quad ability Ignite Weapons improves the Attacks of both melee and ranged attack actions. Freeguild Guard with Spear and Freeguild Crossbowmen have the same Move characteristic as the Battlemage, so they are a good fit for his bodyguard.

Other than that, it’s a good idea to bring fighters that aren’t too dependent on using abilities, since you might want to use some early Quad abilities (if the dice rolls are in your favor) for Arcane Channeling, which in turn grants you more wild dice later on.

This means Hallowheart is the exception to the rule of always bringing fighters with the Destroyer or Scout runemark. These include Black Guard, Phoenix Guard or Wild Riders as well as the many fighters that do have the Destroyer runemark but whose weapon profiles are strong in their own right, such as Wildwood Rangers, Hammerers and Executioners.

If it becomes neccessary, these can all have their survivability increased cheaply with the excellent Double ability Imbued with Eldritch Energy, which decreases incoming damage to your fighter instead of increasing Toughness, which is a much better way to do defensive abilities.

In summary: As long as you bring a Battlemage or two, anything benefits from being in a Hallowheart warband. Remember that you can compare all the 68 fighter types of the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands on our main page for the faction.

Tactics for the Hallowheart Warband

The two greatest strengths of a Hallowheart warband are the ability to boost both ranged and melee attack actions in an area with Ignite Weapons, and the excellent defensive Double ability Imbued with Eldritch Energy, which decreases incoming damage against one friendly fighter.

The other two unique abilities are less dependable. Arcane Channeling is a Quad that lets you roll dice to gain more wild dice. This can be great if you have the right dice and roll the right dice rolls when activating the ability, but it’s a big risk to run instead of just using your Quad for Ignite Weapons, which is a flat bonus unaffected by dice rolls.

Warding Brand increases Toughness of all friendly fighters in an area, but you’re much better off waiting for the dice to use Ignite Weapons or just using Imbued with Eldritch Energy if you want to improve a specific fighter. Also, Warding Brand can only be cast by a Leader with the Mystic keyword, and you’re already planning to use your Mystics for Ignite Weapons, so the Triple ability is a bit redundant.

Essentially, a good tactic for a Hallowheart warband is to put a good mix of ranged and melee fighters into a battle group with a Battlemage, and then put some strong fighters in another battle group so they can attack targets further away for the main force. If you bring two Battlemages, you can even make two battle groups with mixed forces, or one for ranged and one for melee, so you have 2 shots at pulling off a good Ignite Weapons combo.

The greatest weakness of the Hallowheart warband is the absence of any unique direct damage-dealing abilities. If you have any fighters with the Elite runemark, you can still use Cavalry Charge, but in general, you have to rely on the attack actions of your fighters to take down enemy fighters. Counter this by bringing some ranged fighters, so the option to do damage at range (which is something quite a few other warbands can do with abilities) isn’t something only your enemy can do.

Example List for the Hallowheart Warband

This list employs the tactics suggested in the tactics section above this section, and also keeps the selection of fighters mostly within the Freeguild range, so you will have an easy time playing this warband if you already have an old Warhammer Fantasy Empire army. Split the Freeguild Guard and Freeguild Crossbowmen in two battle groups with a Battlemage in each group, and put the Freeguild Greatswords in a group of their own. Note that you could build 2 of the Freeguild Guard with Halberds instead without exceeding 1000 points, but this list assumes you might want to assemble a full unit with the same weapon options for use in other games.

  • Battlemage (Leader) 170 points
  • Battlemage (Hero) 170 points
  • 3 Freeguild Guards with Spear 195 points
  • 3 Freeguild Crossbowmen 270 points
  • 2 Freeguild Greatswords 190 points
    =995 points

Colors of the Hallowheart Warband

The Colors of Hallowheart are blue and white, with red plumes and metallics in silver and gold. White can be difficult to paint on large surfaces, but with a bright undercoat such as Grey Seer and the Contrast paint Apothecary White, you can give white surfaces depth and contrast with just a few coats.

If you want to make the weapons of your warband look like you have cast Ignite Weapons on them, consider glazing your blades with something like Gryph-Hound Orange (for regular flames) or Aethermatic Blue (for magical flames).