“Warhammer Fantasy is Dead! Long Live Warhammer Fantasy!”

Note: some of the stuff in this article is speculation. It might not turn out to be true at all.

Factions long forgotten finally have their time to bask in Sigmar’s light. Cities of Sigmar will release in the coming months. This no doubt shocked many- given the Great Greenskin Squat of 2018, but this has been a few years in the making.

In 2017 we got Firestorm and Cities of Secrets. Our first taste of the Free cities rules wasn’t quite satisfying. It was thematic and interesting but lacked unique command traits and artifacts.

Cities of Secrets (Black Library Novel), however, was a fascinating first glimpse into the lives of mortals struggling to survive and thrive in the mortal realms. Worlds of mortals, Human, Aelves, and Dwarfs Duardin, forced to band together to weather the storm.

Now before I start speculating or browbeating the finer points of life in the Free cities it's important to discuss what we already know.

Release date for Battletome: Cities of Sigmar


The book will likely get released in September with the new Gotrek model, who will be included in  the book.

We know his release is in september because they blatantly said it coincides with his new novel release.

Further confirmation of a September release came at the Nova event, where they told the audience that “Cities of Sigmar and Warcrlan Orruks are so close, they were not even going to talk about them”.

Various rumours regarding Cities of Sigmar


A rumour is going about that Cities of Sigmar (and Warclan Orruks for that matter) will not get Endless Spells.'

Furthermore, the Factions Terrain for Cities of Sigmar will be the old Watchtower kit.

True not? We will find out soon.

Which Factions or Armies will be included in Cities of Sigmar?


  1. Collegiate Arcane
  2. Darkling Covens
  3. Disposessed
  4. Free Peoples
  5. Ironweld Arsenal
  6. Order Serpentis
  7. Phoenix Temple
  8. Swifthawk agent
  9. Wanderers

All the factions survived the ‘Great Cities of Sigmar Squat of 2019' to varying degrees and will appear in the book.

Stormcast are also included in the book. It's not quite clear if they're Allies or a dedicated faction for use in your army. I lean towards the latter given they're on the cover.

Sylvaneth and Kharadron Overlords also are included in the book in some capacity. Sylvaneth are associated with the Living City while Kharadron Overlords reside in the Tempest's Eye. Like Stormcast, their role as an ally or dedicated faction is unconfirmed and arguably more blurry. (If only GW had the good sense to put them on the cover.)

Eldritch Council, Lion Rangers and Order Draconis did not survive the Squat and won't be included in any capacity. This poses some issues for the existing line ups of certain cities…

No new models, endless spells, or special terrain pieces have been confirmed as of yet. I will update the article, when anything noteworthy is leaked, confirmed or rumored.

Gotrek Gurnisson

We are getting a miniature for Gotrek.

Gotrek is either A. Not in the game and just a model like Grombindal in power armor OR B. In Free cities/Disposessed.

He's not a fyreslayer. He hates fyreslayers. (No dwarf should ever be a mercenary for Chaos).

He's not a Kharadron. (No interactions and let's be real theres no reason he would be.)

Currently he works alongside a DoK Witchhunter but he's not DoK. So by process of elimination what is he?

Disposessed. He holds on to the old ways of clans, honors and grudges. He is a dwarf. Plain and simple and what better time to release a new dwarf than alongside the Cities of sigmar release.

The Warhammer Community Article covering the Cities of Sigmar announcement can be found here.

Warscrolls and Units in Cities of Sigmar


Every warscroll will be examined for updates.

The Lead Designer tweeted that they will be paying special attention to Cavalry (at long last Demigryph Charges won't be thwarted by a score of grots and a stiff breeze).

We have nothing confirmed so far.

So, now let's get into the baseless (I mean lore-based) Analysis and Speculation.

Cities of Sigmar: Everything We Know + Rumours and Speculation 1

Speculation and Analysis on what squatted units will return in the Cities of Sigmar book


Dispossessed

Warriors, Quarrelers, and Thunders – Odds of returning 100:1

That's a good thing honestly. Expect Dispossessed to become a more powerful and elite faction befitting dwarfs rather than just stunty bearded humans and frankly you can always proxy them as freeguild.

Unforged

Odds of returning 0:1

Wait. What? Guaranteed Return? Well sort of. We're getting Gotrek. We lost a weak nameless hero for a Real Slayer.

Cities of Sigmar: Everything We Know + Rumours and Speculation 2

Devoted of Sigmar

War Priests – Odds of Returning: 50:1

Excelsior War Priests now exist. Frankly they've been in the position to get squatted for a while now. Especially given that they were finecast.

Witch Hunter – Odds of returning 5:1

This one struck me as strange. Witch hunters have been a very key part in quite a few novels and short stories. The Callis and Toll series, which focuses on Cities of Sigmar, follows the adventures of a Witch Hunter and a Freeguild Guardsman. It seems odd that Witch Hunters would entirely disappear.

I theorize that they will make a new (more expensive) Witchhunter model.  It will likely come with a Spare Head so you can run your very own Hannover Toll.

War Priest on Altar of Sigmar – Odds of returning 100:1

Frankly if this model was going to stick around, he wouldn't have gotten squatted.

He's an 8th edition Fantasy Model, the last releases for Fantasy. He certainly didn't need an update.

Free People

Freeguild General Heavy Cavalry – Odds of returning 6:1

Let's face it GW hates horses. Something about those majestic stallions just doesn't sit right with them. (Probably the inability to trademark.) That doesn't mean it's gone necessarily, but he'll likely ride a demigryph.

Freeguild General – Odds 10:1

I'm not saying it's unlikely we'll get a new general but it won't be customizable to any extent. Expect a monopose model like the existing Freeguild General on Foot Model

We might see a General on foot, with a head swap capable of making him Armand Callis. If Hannover Toll (see Witchhunter) is added then Callis would be a guarantee. 

Ironweld Arsenal

Gunmaster – Odds of returning 50:1

He's a newer plastic sculpt. If he was going to come back then he wouldn't have gotten squatted.

Cannon – Odds of returning 5:1

This one struck me as odd given the recent mercenary company released just this year.

They are likely going to modernize the cannon with more armored Dispossessed units.

Cities of Sigmar: Everything We Know + Rumours and Speculation 3

Wanderers

Glade Guard – Odds of returning 20:1

Made during 6th edition. They needed an update but Sisters of the Watch fills the role of Aelf Archers already.

Spellweaver – Odds of returning 6:1

A finecast model that provided Wood Elves with proper magic utility. I wouldn't guarantee it but certainly wouldn't be surprised by this models return.

The Other 3  Wanderer Heroes – Odds of returning 15:1

While yes they're finecast, I just see GW pushing away from standard Wood Aelves and frankly the Spellweaver is the most likely to return.

 

High Aelves (All of them. They don't get their own individual listings. Sorry.)

Odds of return: Not even worth quantifying

Fact is the Squatted Elves are gone for good, which likely means Tyrion's new breed of High Elves will get their day in the sun someday within a year or so.

All we know is that Teclis messed up so bad by making his Idoeneth Deepkin. In fact they were so scared about looking they just went through chemotherapy that they fled to the sea and told their God to sod off. Tyrion, on the other hand, did a good job and made proper ‘Angelic' Aelves.

Allegiance Abilities in Cities of Sigmar


There are confirmed to be ‘no less' than 7 Allegiance Abilities coinciding with the Seven Free cities established in Firestorm:

  1. Hammerhal
  2. Tempest’s Eye
  3. Anvilgard
  4. The Living City
  5. Grey Water Fastness 
  6. Hallowheart
  7. The Phoenicium
Cities of Sigmar: Everything We Know + Rumours and Speculation 4

Speculation regarding the Allegiance Abilities in Cities of Sigmar (based on everything we know)


So we know quite a lot regarding the 7 “factions” from Firestorm. This is my speculation and everything we know so far regarding the 7 allegiances.

Hammerhal

The Golden standard (most boring) of the free cities.  It was built around a Stormrift Realmgate connecting the realms of Ghyr and Ashqy. In fact it is 2 cities ruled as one great Metropolitan Republic.

Factions Included: All of Order, except Seraphon. (Lizardmen just can't be trusted to empty their chamber pots into the streets like civilized people do. As such they're banned from all cities.)

Old Allegiance: +1 to Bravery during battleshock phase. +2 if outnumbered 2:1. +3 if Outnumbered 3:1.

Potential New Allegiance: Same as above with the addition of rerolling failed saves.

Potential Artifacts: Hammerhal is known for its vast deposits of Realmstone. As such I'd expect some artifacts made from Ragerock (Ashqy) and Cyclestone (Ghyran).

Cyclestone Artifacts are best used for healing while Ragerock can be used to make peerless weaponry that causes great rage in its bearer.

Anvilgaard

A port city bordering a jungle in the realm of Ashqy filled with dour and superstitious folk. While frankly an awful place to be it has a thriving trade driven economy, protected (and siphoned) by the Aelven Corsairs.

Factions Included: Stormcast, Free people, Disposessed, Devoted of Sigmar, Darkling Covens, Scourge Privateers, Order serpentis

Old Allegiance Ability: “During your hero phase, roll a dice for each enemy within 1″ of your units, on a 5+, the unit must make a 6″ non-run move and if any non-monster models end this movement within 3″ of your units, they are slain.”

Potential New allegiance Ability: The old one was strange and incredibly powerful in equal measure. I'm not sure where they will go but it won't likely stay the same.

Potential Artifacts: Being first and foremost a city of superstitious merchants and pirates, the city will likely have plenty of situational reroll artifacts and artifacts that offer protection against magic and mortal wounds.

Tempest's Eye

Carved into the face of a mountain in the city of Ashqy, the many layered city makes great use of technology for transportation and defense. (Because being atop a giant mountain isn't quite as defensive you'd think.) Kharadron Overlords are quite fond of this city and even have a dedicated skyport here.

Factions Included: Stormcast, Free People, Kharadron Overlords, Swifthawk (Mostly Squatted), Eldritch Council (Squatted), Ironweld Arsenal

Former Allegiance Ability: During the first battleround, gain +2’ movement (+4” if flying) and +1 to saves.

Potential New Allegiance Ability: a flat +2″ movement buff to turn the ability from situational to impeccable.  Coupled with an additional flat +2″ movement buff and +1 to saves during the first turn to keep the thematic element intact. 

Potential Artifacts: Known for Blitzkrieg tactics and Stealth Ops, I’d expect artifacts focusing on positioning and movement. Expect something that allows you to retreat and charge in the same turn. Another artifact will likely grant flight.

Cities of Sigmar: Everything We Know + Rumours and Speculation 5

Hallowheart

A Mining city built into the shimmering abyss, a colossal pit filled with realmstone and precious gems. Not surprisingly this city is also located in Ashqy. (GW really likes Ashqy. There's enough volcanoes to discard of squatted models after all.) Having been conquered from Tzeentch’s worshippers, the inhabitants have gotten quite skilled at fighting against sorcery.

Factions Included: Stormcast, Fyreslayers (Obviously not included), Free People, Collegiate Arcane, Dispossessed, Eldritch Council (Squatted), Order Draconis (Squatted), Phoenix Temple (Squatted)

Faction Note: A lot of squatted factions, it’s likely that they will either add more factions or merely allow all units in the Cities of Sigmar book to be in any city.

Former Allegiance Ability: +1 to a Wizard’s Unbinding Rolls and once per game a standard unit can unbind a spell within 18” at -1 to roll.

Potential New Allegiance Ability: Change once per game to once per round and you have a very strong and thematic ability.

Potential Artifacts: I wouldn't be surprised if a few disposessed artifacts get ported over. Such as the Heavy Metal Ingot and Ancestral Pickaxe.

Cities of Sigmar: Everything We Know + Rumours and Speculation 6

The Living City

Unfortunately for GW, a city built by the Sylvaneth Goddess herself just doesn't make sense in Ashqy. This Ghyrani City is a vibrant metropolis that combines the natural world with mortal innovation in a wholly organic fashion.

Factions Included: Stormcast, Free People, Sylvaneth, Wanderers, Dispossessed

Previous Allegiance Ability: Deepstrike Units into Sylvaneth Wyrdwoods.

Potential New ability: Maybe a +1 to bravery within 9″ of wyrd wood? The ability is already pretty epic, especially for the Immobile Free People Gunlines and Sluggish Dispossessed. 

Potential Artifacts: Expect one or two artifacts that increase the efficiency of Wyrdwood trees. There may even be one that would allow you to summon WyrdWoods.

Cities of Sigmar: Everything We Know + Rumours and Speculation 7

Greywater Fastness

Built in Ghyran, this highly industrialized city is a proverbial middle finger to the Sylvaneth. When it's famed architect and founder came up with the brilliant idea of using realmstone as fuel, he managed to create a city so steampunk that the Kharadron Overlords are ripping out their metal beards in envy and irritation.

Factions Included: Stormcast, Free People, Ironweld Arsenal, Collegiate Arcane, Dispossessed, Wanderers.

Previous Allegiance Ability: Roll a Die for each Warmachine in your army on a 6+ you get a free cannon shot.

Potential New Allegiance Ability: Unless they bring back cannons, I'm genuinely lost on how they'll redesign this. Maybe rerolls to hit for warmachines?

Cities of Sigmar: Everything We Know + Rumours and Speculation 8

Phoenicium

An ancient city discovered by chance and reclaimed by Aelves. Frankly, little is known about this city.

Factions included: Stormcast Eternals, Free peoples, Dispossessed and Phoenix Temple.

Previous Allegiance Ability: Re-roll hit rolls of 1 for all units during the combat phase which one of your units where destroyed. They also gain +2 bravery for the turn if 2+ units were destroyed during Combat.

Potential Allegiance Ability: Seems pretty solid and thematic as is honestly.

        

While we wait for more news…


Maybe you would be interested in some more to read?

A general Age of Sigmar Faction overview and Army guide

My recommended resources and tools

 

 

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