The Cities of Sigmar are seven warbands for the Age of Sigmar skirmish game Warcry. They represent the pockets of civilization established by the God-King Sigmar across the Chaos-infested Mortal Realms, each with their own culture and military traditions.
The Cities of Sigmar warbands are a bit different from all other Warcry warbands: Instead of having their own unique fighter types, they share a massive list of fighters to choose from, and even some abilities, but then each city has 4 unique abilities that reflects their culture and defines their strategies in the game.
Since the Cities of Sigmar are designed this way, this warband guide is also unique among our guides: It contains an overall introduction to the shared abilities of the warbands and all the fighter types, as well as how to buy and build these fighters, but it also links to a dedicated page for each of the seven cities.
Each individual city page guide contains:
- The lore for the city
- a description of the unique abilities of the city
- recommendations for which fighters and Leaders to pick for the city
- strategies and tactics for playing the warband in games of Warcry
- a guide to the colors and heraldry of each city
You can find each city guide here, but it is probably wisest to read on below for the shared portion of the cities warband first:
If you are craving a bit of old Warhammer, a Cities of Sigmar warband would be a perfect candidate to make as a crossover warband you can use in both Warcry and another skirmish game (like Mordheim or Frostgrave).
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- Pulverising Strike (Double, Destroyer runemark) Add damage points to each critical hit from the next melee attack action made by this fighter.
- Rapid Redeploy (Double, Agile runemark) Add damage points to each critical hit from the next melee attack action made by this fighter.
- Cavalry Charge (Triple, Elite runemark) Make a bonus disengage action.
- Volley of Shots (Triple, Scout runemark) Next time this fighter finishes a move action close to an enemy fighter, do damage to one enemy fighter close to this fighter.
- Form Shieldwall (Double, all Leaders) Improve Toughness of all fighters with the Bulwark runemark in an area around this fighter.
- Forgefire (Double, Priest runemark, which means the Runelord) Improve number of Attacks for the next melee attack action of one friendly fighter at a distance.
Fighter types for the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands Warband
There are 68 (!) fighter types for the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands – 32 Leaders and 36 regular fighters. This makes figuring out what to bring in your warband somewhat different from all other warbands. In this section, we go through all the fighter types, but not in as much detail as in other warband guides. Instead, each of the separate guides for the 7 Cities will recommend specific Leaders and fighters to take for that particular city and go into more detail about how they synergize with that city’s abilities.
Without putting any titles on it, the Sentinels of Order book splits the fighter types into their subfactions, so one page has one type of aelves, another has humans, another duardin and so on, so for the sake of clarity, this guide splits them into these subfactions as well, but you can still search for individual fighter type names on this page.
Darkling Covens/Order Serpentis (75-235 points)
The Sorceress costs 175 points, and is a Leader with the Mystic runemark, which lets her cast the Quad Leader ability of any of the 7 cities. She has a good medium Range attack and 2 inch range melee attack, but she has Low Toughness and low Wounds (which is common to most Cities of Sigmar Leaders on foot).
The Bleaksword costs 80 points, and is a fighter with the Bulwark runemark, which makes it benefit from the Form Shieldwall Double Leader ability shared by all 7 cities. It already has 4 Toughness before that ability improves it, but few wounds and a weak 1 inch range melee weapon. This fighter type should mostly be used if you are going for a dedicated Darkling Covens warband for narrative or aesthetic reasons. The Leader version (of the Bleaksword and the Dreadspear), the Lordling, costs 135 points, but is mostly an improved version of the standard Bleaksword which can also cast Leader abilities.
The Dreadspear costs 80 points, and is a version of the Bleaksword, also with the Bulwark runemark, with a 2 inch Range melee attack with better damage. The combination of 2 inch Range and the Bulwark runemark makes it possible to use them for phalanx-like defensive formations. This isn’t particularly useful in the mobility-favoring battles of Warcry and their often tight spaces for fighting, but thematically it’s pretty cool.
The Leader version (of the Bleaksword and the Dreadspear), the Lordling, costs 135 points, but is mostly an improved version of the standard Bleaksword which can also cast Leader abilities.
The Darkshard costs 75 points and is a fighter type with the Scout runemark, which means it can use the Triple ability Volley of Shots, which is shared by all 7 Cities. It has an average ranged attack and a very weak melee attack, so if you are not planning on making a dedicated Darkling Covens warband, you are better off with other Scout fighters from this list – unless the fact that it’s 5 points cheaper than any other long range fighter in the list makes a difference to how many fighters you can bring in your warband.
The Leader version of the Darkshard, the Guardmaster, costs 130 points and has a slightly better melee and ranged attack as well as twice the wounds, but isn’t otherwise a recommended Leader choice.
The Executioner costs 115 points and is a fighter type with the Destroyer runemark, which means it can use the Double ability Pulverising Strike shared by all 7 Cities. It has 4 melee Attacks with a critical damage of 4, which is good when it can also be boosted easily by Pulverising Strike, and this is one of the better fighter types among the Darkling Covens.
The Leader version of the Executioner, the Draich Master, costs 180 points, has twice the wounds of the Executioner, but only one more point in Strength for its melee attack, which doesn’t matter for a fighter type designed for doing critical damage, so don’t bring it unless for aesthetic reasons. It doesn’t add anything to your tactical arsenal.
The Black Guard costs 105 points and is a fighter similar to the Executioner, but with a 2 inch Range melee attack and without the Destroyer runemark. 2 inch Range is always good, but having access to a useful ability via the fighter’s runemark is always better.
The Leader version of the Black Guard, the Captain of the Black Guard, costs 170 points and has one more Attacks than the regular version. Having 4 Attacks at Range 2 is good, but this Leader should still only be picked if you like the model.
The Drakespawn Knight costs 180 points and is a fighter with the Elite runemark, which gives it access to the Triple ability Cavalry Charge shared by all 7 Cities. It also has the Mounted runemark which prevents it from climbing and going through doors and arches. It has a 2 inch Range melee attack with 4 critical damage, which can be useful, but only a Move of 8, which means that there are faster Elite fighters available further down this list.
The Leader version of the Drakespawn Knight, the Dread Knight, costs 235 points, which makes it one of the more expensive Leaders for the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands. It does have a high number of wounds and high Toughness, but its melee attack isn’t amazing and it doesn’t have access to any special Leader abilities, so it isn’t worth its cost.
Freeguild/Collegiate Arcane/Devoted of Sigmar (65-250 points)
The Battlemage costs 175 points and is a Leader with the Mystic runemark, allowing him to cast the Quad Leader ability of each City. He is a bit slower and has a few more wounds than the Sorceress of the Darkling Covens, but is otherwise the same in both abilities and attack profiles, with a good ranged attack and a 2 inch Range melee attack. Apart from the Handmaiden of the Thorn at the bottom of this long list of fighters, these two Leaders are your only way to cast the impressive Quad ability unique to each city, so consider bringing one of the two.
The Freeguild General costs 180 points and is a Leader with the Destroyer runemark, which gives him access to the Double ability Pulverising Strike. He has a good melee attack profile, but it is also the same attack profile as that of a Guild Champion, so except for the Freeguild General having a couple of more wounds, it doesn’t matter which of the two you choose.
The Freeguild Guard comes with 3 different weapon loadouts:
The Freeguild Guard with Sword and Shield costs 80 points and has the Bulwark runemark, which means it benefits from the shared Leader ability Shieldwall. Like all Freeguild infantry fighters, it has a Move of 4 and 10 Wounds, but its shield gives it improved Toughness, although that doesn’t really justify its points cost. This fighter’s greatest disadvantage is its rather weak melee attack, so go for one of the other weapon loadouts.
The Freeguild Guard with Spear costs 65 points and has a 2 inch Range melee attack with a critical damage of 4. This is pretty good for 65 points, and is the version of the Freeguild Guard I would field in a warband.
The Freeguild Guard with Halberd costs 75 points and is the same as the Spear version apart from an added point in Strength, so it’s not a neccesary upgrade for which to pay the additional 10 points.
The Leader version of the Freeguild Guard, the Freeguild Sergeant, costs 130 points and is a has a mediocre melee attack profile and no access to other Leader Abilities than the ones all Leaders can use, so there’s no real advantage to fielding him as your Leader or Hero over the other choices available.
The Freeguild Handgunner costs 80 points with the Scout runemark, which gives it access to the shared Triple Ability Volley of Shots. It has a ranged Attack with a Range of 3-12 and a downright bad melee attack, but it’s an affordable ranged unit that also really embodies the visual style of the Freeguild with it’s gunpowder weapon.
There are two Leader versions of the Freeguild Handgunner:
The Marksman with Long Rifle costs 200 points, and is mostly noteworthy for its peculiar ranged attack, which only has 1 Attacks, but very long range and one of the highest critical damage statistics in the game. This makes him very cool for narrative games, but with such a low chance of scoring a critical hit, he can’t be recommended as a Leader choice unless you are playing Greywater Fastness.
The Marksman with Repeater Handgun costs 145 points, and he has the Scout runemark, so he can use Volley of Shots to boost his ranged Attacks characteristic. He only has one more Attacks than a regular Handgunner, though, so an added points cost of 65 points seems like a lot, even if you count his extra Wounds (you don’t want your gunners within range of enemy attacks anyway).
The Freeguild Crossbowman costs 80 points, and is essentially the same as a Freeguild Handgunner, but it has longer Range and worse Toughness, which is a good tradeoff, so if you don’t mind your warband looking a little more medieval than if it had guns, the Crossbowman is the best choice for ranged infantry within the Freeguild.
The Freeguild Greatsword costs 95 points, and is a fighter with the Destroyer runemark, which gives him access to the Double ability Pulverising Strike shared by all 7 Cities. He has a good melee attack for his points cost, as it has low Strength and only 3 Attacks, but good damage and critical damage. With Pulverising Strike, his critical damage can improve considerably for one attack action, so among the melee fighter types of the Freeguild, he has the highest potential damage output.
The Leader version of the Freeguild Greatsword, the Guild Champion, costs 175 points and also has the Destroyer runemark so he can use Pulverising Strike to boost his critical damage for one attack action. He has one additional Attacks and twice the hit points, which makes him a good melee hero by the standards of the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands.
The Flagellant costs 65 points and has 4 Attacks with a critical damage of 3. Having that many Attacks for 65 points is not bad at all, so if you want to make a horde warband for Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands, he is a good choice. However, if faction and visual coherence isn’t important to your warband, the other 65 points fighter in the Shieldbands, the Black Ark Corsair With Vicious Blade and Wicked Cutlass, has the same melee profile and a better Move statistic, so pick that fighter type instead (see further below).
The Leader version of the Flagellant, the Prophet, costs 130 points and has a good melee profile for his points cost, but since he has no special runemarks and a critical damage of 4 is not a difficult value to get among the fighters of this warband, there is no reason to pick him, other than the fact that the model looks insane (his helmet is on fire).
The Freeguild Pistolier costs 140 points and has the Agile runemark which gives it access to the Double ability Rapid Redeploy which lets it make a bonus disengage action. This ability is shared by all 7 Cities. It has a high Move characteristic of 10, and its ranged attack doesn’t have a minimum Range, so it can fight in both close combat and at range.
This doesn’t mean that it should stay locked in combat with enemy melee fighters, as it doesn’t do much damage and has a low Toughness score, but that’s why it has Rapid Redeploy. The main use of the Pistolier is its mobility, as it can help you get to treasures and objectives quickly, assuming they aren’t placed in buildings or behind doors or arches.
The Freeguild Outrider costs 165 points and has the same runemarks as the Pistolier, but has two weapon profiles: Its ranged profile does have a minimum Range but also a higher maximum Range, and its melee attack has a better critical damage than the Pistolier’s ranged/no minimum Range attack. These are minor changes, and if you’re mainly using the Freeguild ranged cavalry for its mobility, the Pistolier is probably the better choice for its points cost.
The Leader version of the Freeguild ranged cavalry, the Sharpshooter with Grenade-Launching Blunderbuss, costs 245 points. He has a ranged attack with a minimum range and a maximum Range of 9 inches with a high Strength and high critical damage, as well as a good melee weapon profile for a ranged unit. He is very expensive, but with his option to disengage via the Rapid Redeploy ability and his high Wounds statistic, he is an interesting Leader choice, as he could survive and harass the enemy for a long time, disengaging and hoping for critical hits from his Blunderbuss.
The Demigryph Knight costs 185 points and has the Elite runemark, which gives it access to the ability Cavalry Charge shared by all 7 Cities. It also has the Mounted runemark. While this prevents is from reaching some areas of the battlefield, it is a pretty fearsome combatant anywhere else: It has a 2 inch Range melee attack with a good normal damage and a high critical damage, as well as the standard heavy cavalry Move statistic of 8 and a good Wounds statistic.
This means that if you can get it in range of an enemy and maybe even give it a bonus attack action through an ability, it can do good damage and survive to fight another battle round. One downside to this fighter is that it has Cavalry Charge, which requires you to get within 1 inch of an enemy fighter, but also a melee Range of 2, which means you can’t benefit from both traits.
The Leader version of the Demigryph Knigth, the Preceptor, costs 250 points, but while it has a higher Wounds statistic than the standard Demigryph Knight and access to Leader abilities, it has a 1 inch Range melee attack profile with less critical damage than the standard version. Its melee profile is the same as that of a Guild Champion or Freeguild General, so it doesn’t justify its very high points cost. Don’t take this as your Leader unless you really want to field the model for its impressive design.
The Warden King costs 195 points and is a Leader with the Bulwark runemark, which means he benefits from the effect of the shared Leader ability Form Shieldwall (in addition to being able to use it like all other Leaders). Like the other duardin Leaders, he has a high Wounds statistic for an infantry Leader in the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands, but a very low Move statistic of 3. He has a good melee attack profile, but is otherwise a bit expensive compared to how useful he is (probably due to how Warcry prices high Toughness, which he has, but which isn’t that important).
The Runelord costs 170 points and is a Leader with the Priest runemark, which makes him the only Leader among all the 32 Leaders available to the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands able to use the Double Leader ability Forgefire available to all 7 Cities. This alone makes him an interesting Hero/Leader choice for any Shieldbands warband, as it lets him add 1 to Attacks of a friendly fighter’s next attack action at a distance, which synergizes well Leaders or fighters who can use Pulverising Strike. The Runelord’s own melee attack profile has 3 Attacks and a critical damage of 4, which isn’t too bad, but his attack power is not why you would field him in your warband anyway.
The Cogsmith costs 185 points and is a Leader with the same melee attack profile as the Runelord, as well as a decent ranged attack, but no special runemarks or anything else to make him tactically necessary in your warband. He does, however, look like nothing else in the list with his smoking pipe and option to have a mechanical arm.
The Ironbreaker costs 95 points and has the Bulwark runemark. It has a weak melee attack profile and is priced for its high Toughness, so it’s not as cost effective as, say, some of the Freeguild Guard melee troops.
The Leader version of the Ironbreaker, the Ironbeard with Drakefire Pistol and Cinderblast Bomb, costs 175 points and is a Leader with an unusual loadaout: He has a ranged attack profile with no minimum Range and 3 Attacks, as well as a short Range ranged attack with 2 Attacks and 4 critical damage. This makes him well-suited for supporting your melee fighters, as he can stand behind them and still hit the same targets, so if you want to make a shield wall-based warband, he is an interesting, if not exactly competitive, choice.
The Longbeard duardin infantry comes in to variants and a Leader version:
The Longbeard with Ancestral Weapon and Gromril Shield costs 115 points and is a fighter with the Shieldwall-benefiting Bulwark runemark. It is essentially the same as an Ironbreaker, but with better normal and critical damage, which makes its increased points cost worth it if you want to make a Shieldwall-based warband.
The Longbeard with Ancestral Axe costs 105 points and is a fighter with the Destroyer runemark which lets it use the Pulverising Strike Double ability shared by all 7 Cities. This makes it a pretty good melee fighter, but you still have more cost-effective options for this role among the Shieldbands, such as the Freeguild Greatsword who also has a better Move statistic.
The Leader version of the Longbeard, the Old Guard with Ancestral Weapon and Gromril Shield, costs 175 points and is essentially a cheaper version of the Warden King with lower Strength and a slightly lower Wounds statistic, but with otherwise the same runemarks and weapons profile.
The Hammerer costs 110 points and is a fighter with the Destroyer runemark, giving it access to the Pulverising Strike ability shared by all the 7 Cities. This is great since it already has a high critical damage, so with the right combination of buffs or abilities, this fighter can score some damaging critical hits.
The Leader version of the Hammerer, the Keeper of the Gate, costs 175 points and is one of the stronger melee Leaders in the warband. It can use Pulverising Strike because of its Destroyer runemark, and it also has a strong melee attack profile for its points cost compared to the rest of the warband, with 4 Attacks and 5 critical damage. Like any other duardin, its main drawback is a low Move characteristic. They’re very dangerous on short distances, as the meme goes.
The Irondrake costs 95 points and is a fighter with the Scout runemark, which gives it access to the Triple ability Volley of Shots shared by all the Cities. it has a ranged attack with 2 Attacks and a critical damage of 4, as well as a weak melee attack profile. The high critical damage for a ranged attack arguably makes this the best ranged infantry fighter in the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands, even though it is also a bit expensive. Buff this with a good Volley of Shots roll, and you can have a chance to do good damage at range.
The Leader version of the Irondrake, the Ironwarden with Grudgehammer Torpedo, costs 190 points, but does not have the Scout runemark. It does have a strong ranged attack profile with good Range and a critical damage of 5, but if you want a ranged Leader, there are more interesting options among the Freeguild and the Aelves of the warband.
The Gyrocopter costs 220 points, and the most important thing to say about it, apart from the fact that it has the Fly runemark, is that it is a tiny duardin helicopter usable in games of Warcry. Its attack profiles don’t justify its high points cost, but it has a high Move characteristic and a good number of wounds, so if you want durable mobility that looks like nothing else on the battlefield (except for the Gyrobomber), this is a fun option.
The Gyrobomber costs 245 points, and for those additional 20 points you get a stronger version of the Gyrocopter with higher Attacks in both ranged and melee, as well as more wounds. However, the Gyrobomber is a bit slower, which is a bit of a drawback for a flying fighter. Due to its mobility and wounds it’s not going to be easy to kill for your enemy, but when it also costs almost a quarter of the total points you can use for a standard Warcry warband, it’s not recommendable over what you could otherwise get for those points.
Shadowblades/Scourge Privateers/Phoenix Temple
The Assassin costs 175 points and is a Leader with no special runemarks, but a high Move statistic for an infantry leader as well as a melee attack profile with 5 Attacks and 4 critical damage. He doesn’t synergize well with other Leaders or fighters, but makes for a cool thematic Hero choice to send after key targets among enemy fighters. Just remember that he is not going to survive melee combat for several battle rounds with his low Toughness and moderate amount of Wounds for a Leader.
The Shadow Warrior costs 90 points and has the Scout runemark, which lets it use the triple ability Volley of Shots shared by all the 7 Cities. Like most aelves in the Shieldbands, it has a good Move statistic but few wounds. It has a long Range on its ranged attack profile and a decent melee attack profile for a ranged unit, so it is a pretty versatile fighter.
You can get the same ranged weapon profile cheaper on a Freeguild Crossbowman, however, so it should be mostly a matter of visual style if you want the Shadow Warriors to be the ranged fighters in your warband – unless you plan on using them in melee as well, which they are better at than the Crossbowmen.
The Leader version of the Shadow Warrior, the Shadow Walker, costs 150 points and has an additional Attacks on its ranged weapon profile and a better melee attack profile than the standard version. It’s by no means a bad ranged Leader – it is in fact quite similar to many of the others such as the Sharpshooter with Repeater Handgun or High Sister – but doesn’t clearly excel in anything, either.
The Dark Rider costs 175 points and has the Agile runemark which lets it use the shared Double ability Rapid Redeploy to make a bonus disengage move. It has an average ranged attack profile as well as a good 2 inch Range melee attack profile, which is a solid combination that makes it useful as both a ranged skirmisher and a melee combatant. Keep in mind that it has the Mount keyword which prevents it from climbing and moving through doors and arches.
The Leader version of the Dark Rider, the Dark Rider Herald, costs 230 points. It has a higher Wounds statistic as well more Attacks on its ranged weapons profile than the standard version, but its melee attack profile only has 1 Range, so it isn’t a useful upgrade for its points cost. If you want a mounted Leader for your Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands warband, the Handmaiden of the Thorn is a better and cheaper choice (see further below).
The Black Ark Corsair can be fielded with two different loadouts:
The Black Ark Corsair with Vicious Blade and Repeater Handbow costs 80 points and has the Scout runemark which lets it use the Triple ability Volley of Shots shared by all 7 Cities. This doesn’t matter much since its ranged attack profile is pretty bad apart from its lack of a minimum range, and its melee attack profile is weak as well. The other version below is a much better choice:
The Black Ark Corsair with Vicious Blade and Wicked Cutlass costs 65 points, which is great for something with a Move of 5 and 4 Attacks on its melee profile. If you want a high model count in your warband, these Corsairs are a good choice.
The Leader version of the Black Ark Corsair, the Black Ark Reaver, costs 125 points, and has more wounds and better damage than the Cutlass-wielding Black Ark Corsair. It doesn’t have access to any special abilities, but it has a good damage potential considering it’s the cheapest Leader in the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands fighter list. If all you want is as many models on the board as possible, this Leader is the way to go.
The Black Ark Fleetmaster costs 150 points and is an upgraded version of the Black Ark Reaver who is also a Leader, but the upgrade only consists of additional wounds and an extra point of Strength on his melee weapon profile, so those 25 points could be just as well spent elsewhere. It is a characterful model, though, so that speaks in favor of fielding it for narrative battles.
The Phoenix Guard costs 115 points and is a melee fighter with a good 2 inch Range melee weapon profile. It doesn’t have the Destroyer runemark or any other way of improving its potential damage output, so it’s not one of the best options for an elite melee fighter for your warband.
There are two Leader versions of the Phoenix Guard, one buildable from the same kit and one buildable from a Frostheart Phoenix kit:
The Keeper of the Flame costs 180 points and is a Leader version of the Phoenix Guard with more wounds and one additional Attacks on its melee weapon profile.
The Anointed costs 190 points and is identical to the Keeper of the Flame except for a better critical damage on its melee weapon profile, which is a good upgrade for 10 points. Neither of the two are essential Leader types for the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands, but the Anointed has one of the higher potential damage outputs on a melee weapon profile for this warband. Sadly, it doesn’t have the Destroyer runemark which would have let it boost its critical damage. The Anointed model comes from a Frostheart Phoenix kit, but it wouldn’t look too far off to use one of your Phoenix Guard for it.
The Nomad Prince costs 185 points and is a Leader with the Bulwark runemark, which lets him be buffed by the Double Leader ability Form Shieldwall shared by all 7 Cities. He has a weak ranged attack profile with long Range and a good 2 inch Range spear melee attack profile, as well as the high Move statistic of most Aelves. Since his ranged attack will rarely be worth the use of an attack action, you should mainly bring him in your warband for the spear attack.
In a warband such as Age of Sigmar where you will often need one of your Leader/Hero slots occupied by a Leader with the Priest or Mystic runemark, I think a melee Leader needs to be either stronger or cheaper than the Nomad Prince to earn one of the slots. If you’re planning on fielding a mostly-Wanderers warband, however, he is a very characterful model that will look great as a centerpiece.
The Eternal Guard costs 90 points and is a fighter with the Bulwark runemark, which lets it get a boost to its Toughness from the Double ability Form Shieldwall shared by all 7 Cities. It has a good 2 inch Range melee attack profile, but the same profile costs 75 points on a Freeguild Guard with Halberd, so with the Eternal Guard you’re mostly paying for Toughness and a Runemark connected to an ability that boosts Toughness. Since Toughness isn’t as important as it is priced, your warband is better off with a cheaper 2 inch Range fighter than the Eternal Guard.
The Leader version of the Eternal Guard, the Eternal Warden, costs 145 points and has better normal damage, more wounds and more Attacks than the standard Eternal Guard, but its main difference is that only has a Range of 1 on its melee attack profile, which is a drawback. The Wildwood Warden, which can be built from the same kit, is a better Leader choice.
The Wildwood Ranger costs 85 points and is a fighter with the Destroyer runemark, which gives it access to the critical damage-boosting Double ability Pulverising Strike shared by all 7 Cities. It only has 8 wounds, but its high Move statistic makes it a good candidate for the Destroyer slot in your warband: being able to move fast with a fighter that has the potential to do a lot of critical damage is an asset to any warband.
The Leader version of the Wildwood Ranger, the Wildwood Warden, costs 140 points and has one more Attacks than a Wildwood Ranger, as well as more Wounds. Like the Keeper of the Gate and the Guild Champion, it is a good choice for a damage-dealing Leader, but it has the advantage of moving faster than either of those, and the disadvantage of having fewer wounds. Which one to pick depends on how you would otherwise fill out your roster, and whether you value mobility over survivability. The Keeper of the Gate does have the highest potential critical damage, though.
The Wild Rider costs 145 points and is a fighter with the Elite runemark which lets it use the Triple ability Rapid Redeploy shared by all the 7 Cities. This ability lets you do damage to a fighter within 1 inch after a move action, but like the Demigryph Knight, the Wild Rider has the problem that its melee weapon has a Range of 2, which means it can’t benefit from both its good melee Range and Rapid Redeploy at the same time in most situations.
Its melee attack profile is still good, and it moves fast, but it is also limited in its mobility by its Mount runemark that prevents it from climbing and moving through doors and arches.
The Leader version of the Wild Rider, the Wild Hunter, costs 200 points and has the same runemarks as the Wild Rider. It has a good 1 inch Range melee attack profile, which makes it more meaningful to use Cavalry Charge with it, but having a 2 inch Range attack profile like the standard version would still be better than something that costs a Triple ability roll. It’s not a bad mounted Leader, but the model’s alternate build option, the Handmaiden of the Thorn, is much better (see below).
The Sister of the Thorn costs 125 points and is a fighter with the Mount keyword, which means it can’t climb or move through doors and arches. It moves fast and has an 8 inch Range attack profile with no minimum Range, but few Attacks, so its hard to recommend it over the more useful Wild Rider which can be built from the same kit.
The Leader version of the Sister of the Thorn, the Handmaiden of the Thorn, costs 200 points and is one of three Leaders in the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands warband with the Mystic runemark, which lets it cast the often powerful Quad ability unique to each City. It also has a good ranged attack profile with no minimum Range, but its main advantage is that it has better survivability and mobility than the other two Mystics in the warband. If you have the model in your collection, or you’re buying the Wild Riders/Sisters of the Thorn anyway, I would absolutely recommend picking the Handmaiden of the Thorn as your Leader or Hero.
The Sister of the Watch costs 105 points and is a fighter with the Scout runemark, which lets it use the Attacks-boosting Triple ability Volley of Shots shared by all 7 Cities. Its melee and ranged attack profile is very similar to the Shadow Warrior, with only an improved Strength characteristic on the ranged attack profile added on the Sister of the Watch, so its high points cost of 105 makes it hard to recommend as a ranged fighter to field in your warband.
The Leader version of the Sister of the Watch, the High Sister, costs 170 points and is also similar to the Shadow Walker apart from improved Strength on the ranged attack profile, so its added cost of 20 points isn’t worth it. There are more interesting (if not exactly very powerful) ranged Leaders among the Freeguild and Dispossessed, though you’ll rarely need a ranged Leader in the first place.
Pros and Cons of the Fighters and Leaders for the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands Warband
+ Great variety of fighters and Leaders to choose from
+ good shared abilities and 7 unique ability tables around which to build your warband
+ good access to ranged fighters and 2 inch Range melee fighters, as well as cavalry and a few flying fighters
-great redundancy among fighter and Leader types
-too few of the Leader choices are as powerful as those of other warbands
-some of the most interesting abilities are locked behind runemarks only a few Leaders have
Build options and where to buy the Cities of Sigmar Shieldband Warband
Note: Some kits have the option to build fighters as Musicians and Standard Bearers. These equipment options don’t have rules in Warcry, but they can look great, and as such, this section mentions them wherever they are available.
The Sorceress is available as a separate Hero kit.
The Bleakswords/Dreadspears/Darkshards kit builds up to 10 models, which can be any of the three fighter types, including either a Guardmaster or a Lordling. Some of these might have to be assembled as musicians or standard bearers, but will still be usable as the same fighter types as other models in the kit.
The Broken Realms: Drusa Kraeth – Kraeth’s Shadowpact box contains two Bleakswords/Dreadspears/Darkshards kits as well as one Sorceress on Black Dragon/Dreadlord on Black Dragon which can be used in games of Age of Sigmar.
The Black Guard/Executioners kit builds 10 models that can all be either Black Guard or Executioners, including the option to build a Guardmaster or a Captain of the Black Guard.
The Drakespawn Knights kit builds 5 Drakespawn Knights, with the option to build one as a Dread Knight.
The Collegiate Arcane Mystic Battle Wizards kit builds 5 Battlemages, with many different bits to customize a Battlemage to fit your vision of your warband.
The Freeguild General is a separate Hero kit. If you can find them, there are several out of production GW kits that builds different versions of this hero, but right now only one version is in production.
The Freeguild Guard kit builds 10 Freeguild Guard, and each can built with either Sword and Shield, Spear, or Halberd. One of these can be built as a Freeguild Sergeant as well as a Musician and a Standard Bearer.
The Freeguild Handgunners/Crossbowmen kit builds 10 fighters, and each can be built as either Handgunners or Crossbowmen, as well as the option to build a Marksman with Long Rifle or Repeater Handgun from those 10 fighters. There are also options for Musicians and Standard Bearers.
The Freeguild Greatswords kit builds 10 Freeguild Greatswords, including a Guild Champion, a Musician and a Standard Bearer.
The Flagellants kit builds 10 Flagellants, including a Prophet.
The Freeguild Outriders/Pistoliers kit builds 5 mounted fighters, which can each be built as an Outrider or Pistolier, including the option to build a Sharpshooter with Grenade-Launching Blunderbuss.
The Demigryph Knights kit builds 3 Demigryph Knights, including the option to build a Preceptor, a Standard Bearer and a Musician.
The Warden King, Cogsmith and Runelord are available in each their own separate Hero kit.
The Ironbreakers/Irondrakes kit builds 10 fighters. Each of them can be assembled as either an Ironbreaker or Irondrake (as well as their corresponding Musicians and Standard Bearers), including the option to build an Ironbeard with Drakefire Pistol and Cinderblast Bomb (or another Ironbeard not usable in games of Warcry) or Ironwarden with Grudgehammer Torpedo.
The Longbeards kit builds 10 Longbeards which can be assembled with either Ancestral Weapon and Gromril Shield or with Ancestral Great Axe (or as a Musician/Standard Bearer), including the option to build one of them as an Old Guard with Ancestral Weapon and Gromril Shield.
The Hammerers kit builds 10 Hammerers, including a Keeper of the Gate and a Musician/Standard Bearer version.
The Gyrocopter/Gyrobomber kit builds either a Gyrocopter or a Gyrobomber.
The Start Collecting! Greywater Fastness box builds 1 Warden King, 1 Cogsmith, 10 Ironbreakers/Irondrakes (including Leader versions and Standard Bearers/Musicicians) and a Gyrocopter/Gyrobomber, which means you can easily build a full 1000 points warband from it.
The Assassin is available as a separate Hero Kit.
The Shadow Warriors/Sisters of the Watch kit builds 10 fighters. Each can be built as either a Shadow Warrior or a Sister of the Watch , including the option to build a Shadow Walker or High Sister.
The Dark Riders kit builds 5 Dark Riders, including a Dark Rider Herald and the option to build a Musician and Standard Bearer. Note that these can also be built as Doomfire Warlocks, including a Master of Warlocks, for the Daughters of Khaine Bloodkindred warband.
The Black Ark Corsairs kit builds 10 Black Ark Corsairs with the option to build each of them with either Vicious blade and Repeater Handbow or Vicious Blade and Wicked Cutlass, including the option to build a Black Ark Reaver, a Musician and a Standard Bearer.
The Black Ark Fleetmaster is available as a separate Hero kit.
The Start Collecting! Anvilgard box builds 10 Black Ark Corsairs (see above) as well as a Black Ark Fleetmaster, A Kharybdiss/War Hydra which can be included in your warband as a Monster, as well as a Scourgerunner Chariot/Drakespawn Chariot which can’t be used in games of Warcry.
The Phoenix Guard kit builds 10 Phoenix Guard, including the option to build a Keeper of the Flame as well as a Standard Bearer and Musician.
The Frostheart Phoenix/Flamespyre Phoenix kit builds 1 Anointed, as well as a Frostheart Phoenix/Flamespyre Phoenix which can’t be used in games of Warcry.
The Nomad Prince is available as a separate Hero kit.
The Eternal Guard/Wildwood Rangers kit builds 10 fighters. Each can be assembled as either an Eternal Guard or Wildwood Ranger, including the option to build an Eternal Warden or Wildwood Warden as well as a Musician and Standard Bearer of either fighter type.
The Wild Riders/Sisters of the Thorn kit builds 5 fighters. Each can be assembled as either a Wild Rider or a Sisters of the Thorn (and their corresponding Musicians and Standard Bearers), including a Wild Hunter or a Handmaiden of the of the Thorn.