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Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands: Greywater Fastness 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

Like The Living City, Greywater Fastness is a free City of Sigmar in the Realm of Life. That’s basically the only thing the two cities have in common, though: Where the Living City is a garden sanctuary of all living things, Greywater Fastness is a smoking, noisy industrial hub in the middle of a desolate landscape.

Greywater Fastness is the weapons factory of the Free Peoples. It produces cannons, rockets and gunpowder weapons like no other city, and the lands outside its walls have been torn apart by of ordnance of both magical and technological ordnance.

In battle, Greywater Fastness armies are all about ranged firepower. Riflemen and artillery fires on the enemy in the hope that there will be no one alive to reach the Greywater frontline. If any enemies survive, the duardin of the Dispossessed clans working in the industrial areas of the city stand ready with shields, axes and hammers to protect the valuable weaponry of the gunlines behind them.

If you like a comparatively high tech warband that excel at fighting at range like no other Shieldbands warband, the Greywater Fastness warband may be just the thing for you.

Abilities for the Greywater Fastness Warband

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

  • Greywater Welcome (Double, Everyone): Only on the first battle round, you can make a bonus missile attack.
  • Perfect Position (Double, Leaders with Agile runemark): Perform a bonus move up to 6″ away.
  • Rune of Unfaltering Aim (Triple, Leaders with Priest runemark): Increase by 1 the damage on critical hits on missile attacks within 6″.
  • Runic Munitions (Quad, Everyone): This fighter makes a bonus ranged attack action with up to +6 Strength.
  • Descending Ash Cloud (Quad, Leaders with Mystic runemark): Reduce by 1 the attack characteristic of enemy fighters around this leader.

Reaction

Introduced in the new season of Warcry, Reactions are things that can be done in certain circumstances, but always during the enemy turn. They cost one action, so they can be used only by fighters that have not activated yet or are waiting. There are 3 universal reactions and one specific to each warband:

Return Fire (Everyone)

  • When: During an enemy melee attack action but before hit rolls.
  • What: As long as the attacking fighter is in range of one of the defending weapons, allocate 2 damage to the attacking fighter for each 1 rolled or 1 damage for each miss.

Which Fighters are best for the Greywater Fastness 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.

For Greywater Fastness, anything with gunpowder weapons, such as the Freeguild or the Dispossessed, fit the theme perfectly. Freeguild Handgunners or Irondrakes are a good fit for your gunline, and you could even bring a Marksman with Long Rifle or Marksman with Repeater Handgun as your Hero or Leader.

For reasons both narrative and tactical, either your Leader or hero should be a Runelord. This duardin Leader has the Priest runemark, which is required if you want to use the Triple Leader ability Rune of Unfaltering Aim, which can boost the damage on critical hit of missile attack actions for all friendly fighters in an area around him. You may not need a Leader with the Mystic runemark, if you point your strategy on critical hits, but Descending Ash Cloud is a good defensive debuff.

Lorewise, Ironbreakers or Longbeards with Ancestral Weapon and Gromril Shield should be your defensive melee fighters, but since Shieldwall and the Bulwark runemark aren’t as effective as the runemark is priced, it’s better to for Hammerers or Longbeards with Ancestral Great Axe if you want to stay within the Greywater Fastness visual theme, or some 2″ range fighters such as Freeguild Guard with Spear for a greater number of models on the battlefield.

Since there is no artillery for you to field, and that is otherwise something a Greywater Fastness army would always bring, you could also bring a Gyrocopter or a Gyrobomber to emphasize the technological aspect of your City. They are very expensive, but they add some much needed mobility to your warband, as well as being fairly durable with Wounds characterstics in the twenties. Another, cheaper way of adding som ranged mobility to the army could be bringing a Freeguild Pistolier or two.

Tactics for the Greywater Fastness Warband

A Greywater Fastness warband is a shooting warband first and foremost. You can improve ranged attack actions and let your fighters make bonus ranged attack actions, so you can almost always outgun the enemy.

Fielding a shooting army has its drawbacks, and you have to prepare for them: if the enemy gets into melee combat, the minimum range of your best weapon profiles poses a problem, so either be very wary of positioning or bring along some melee fighters to put between the enemy and your gunline. Bear in mind, however, that there are so many more fighters to choose from than the ones native to the Greywater Fastness, and that the shared abilities are always available to help you do some more melee damage if you bring fighters with the appropriate runemarks.

The warband reaction, Return Fire, is perfect with cheap high Toughness fighters like the Ironbreaker to fire back some damage to the attacking unit (1 damage for every miss or 2 damage for every 1 rolled by the attacker). You can use the same reaction even against shooting units taking advantage of your own shooting unit (as long as at least one weapon is in range of the attacking fighter, you can use this reaction).

Make sure to put your Runelord in the same battle group as the fighters whose ranged attack actions you wish to boost, as he is a very slow Leader who will not be able to reposition easily during the battle, but also put ranged fighters in other battle groups, so your enemy will have to make difficult decisions about which part of your force to eliminate first.

So, remember these three points:

  • Ranged combat is your greatest strength.
  • Mobility will always be a problem because your best Leader ability travels on duardin legs.
  • Melee combat is not something your warband is tailored for.

Example list for the Greywater Fastness Warband

This list aims to take advantage of synergies between the abilities unique to the Greywater Fastness, as well as bringing a bare minimum of melee support.

The Marksman with Long Rifle can end up with 4 Attacks on his first activation (assuming he makes 2 attack actions), if you have two Double rolls so you can use Forgefire with the Runelord on the Marksman first, and then Greywater Welcome on the Marksman’s activation.

This gives you a shot at doing some serious damage to a single target in the first battle round. Then, you can rely on moving towards your objectives, shooting whenever you can.

  • Runelord (Leader)
  • Marksman with Long Rifle (Hero)
  • 5 Freeguild Handgunners
  • 3 Longbeards with Ancestral Great Axe

Colors of the Greywater Fastness Warband

The colors of the Greywater Fastness are a dark green that’s almost verging on grey contrasted with a bright, fiery yellow. Warhammer TV has made a video showing how to paint those colors on a Freeguild Guard here.