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).
What changed in the new edition for Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands Warband?
Only 2 profiles of the entire warband did not see either a point adjustment or wounds going down or both. In addition few ranges were tuned, 1 or 2 inches up or down, nothing radical.
Even the abilities saw only smaller rewordings.
Note: if you haven’t read the basic rules for Warcry before reading this article, it might be helpful to know that the game’s abilities are activated by using 6 dice that you roll at the start of your turn.
If two of the dice show the same value, they can be used to activate a Double ability. If three show the same value, they can be used for a Triple ability, and so on.
So, when this article refers to an ability being a Double, a Triple or a Quad, it refers to this system. It might sound a bit confusing, but takes no time to get used to when you start playing
- Pulverising Strike (Double, Destroyer runemark): Add up to 3 to the damage for each critical hit from the next melee attack action.
- Rapid Redeploy (Double, Agile runemark): Perform a bonus disengage action.
- Forgefire (Double, Priest runemark, i.e. the Runelord): Up to +3 Strength for the next melee attack action of one friendly fighter within 9″.
- Form Shieldwall (Double, all Leaders): +1 Toughness to all fighters with the Bulwark runemark while around the leader.
- Cavalry Charge (Triple, Elite runemark): At the end of the next move action allocate up to 6 damage to an engaged enemy fighter.
- Volley of Shots (Triple, Scout runemark): Up to +3 attacks to the next missile attack action.
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.
To improve clarity and searchability, this guide splits all fighters into their subfactions, but you can still search for individual fighter type names on this page.
Darkling Covens/Order Serpentis
- Sorceress: 140 points
- Lordling: 105 points
- Bleaksword: 65 points
- Dreadspear: 65 points
- Guardmaster: 125 points
- Darkshard: 90 points
- Draich Master: 155 points
- Executioner: 100 points
- Captain of the Black Guard: 135 points
- Black Guard: 90 points
- Dread Knight: 215 points
- Drakespawn Knight: 170 points
The Sorceress 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″ range melee attack, but she has Low Toughness and low Wounds (which is common to most Cities of Sigmar Leaders on foot).
The Bleaksword is a fighter with the Bulwark runemark, which makes it benefit from the Form Shieldwall ability shared by all 7 cities. It already has Toughness 4 before that ability improves it, but few wounds and a weak 1″ 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, is mostly an improved version of the standard Bleaksword which can also cast Leader abilities.
The Dreadspear is a version of the Bleaksword, also with the Bulwark runemark, with a 2″ range melee attack with better damage. The combination of 2″ 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, is mostly an improved version of the standard Bleaksword which can also cast Leader abilities.
The Darkshard 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 slightly 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, has a slightly better melee and ranged attack as well as more wounds, but isn’t otherwise a recommended Leader choice.
The Executioner 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 2/4 damage, 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, 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 hits, so don’t bring it unless for aesthetic reasons. It doesn’t add anything to your tactical arsenal.
The Black Guard is a fighter similar to the Executioner, but with a 2″ range melee attack and without the Destroyer runemark. 2″ 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, 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 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″ range melee attack with 4 damage on critical hit, 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, is one of the most 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
- Battlemage: 135 points
- Freeguild General: 150 points
- Freeguild Sergeant: 110 points
- Freeguild Guard with Sword and Shield: 65 points
- Freeguild Guard with Spear: 70 points
- Freeguild Guard with Halberd: 75 points
- Marksman with Long Rifle: 165 points
- Marksman with Repeater Handgun: 140 points
- Freeguild Handgunner: 90 points
- Freeguild Crossbowman: 115 points
- Guild Champion: 145 points
- Freeguild Greatsword: 80 points
- Prophet: 110 points
- Flagellant: 65 points
- Sharpshooter with Grenade-Launching Blunderbuss: 205 points
- Freeguild Pistolier: 135 points
- Freeguild Outrider: 160 points
- Preceptor: 225 points
- Demigryph Knight: 180 points
The Battlemage is a Leader with the Mystic runemark, allowing him to cast the Quad ability of each City. The only difference with the Sorceress of the Darkling Covens is a slower movement (4″), having access to the same abilities and weapon profile. 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 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, except for few more wounds, so 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 has the Bulwark runemark, which means it benefits from the ability Shieldwall. Like all Freeguild infantry fighters, it has a Move of 4″ and 10 Wounds, but its shield gives it improved Toughness (4). 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 has a 2″ range melee attack with a damage on critical hit of 4. This is pretty good for its cost, and is our favourite version of the Freeguild Guard.
The Freeguild Guard with Halberd is the same as the Spear version apart from an added point in Strength, that is useful to score more attacks but with a minimum damage of 1, either is just fine.
The Leader version of the Freeguild Guard, the Freeguild Sergeant, 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 has 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 is mostly noteworthy for its peculiar ranged attack, which only has 1 attack, but very long range and one of the highest damage on critical hit 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 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, not justifying his higher cost, even if you count his extra Wounds (you don’t want your gunners within range of enemy attacks anyway).
The Freeguild Crossbowman is essentially the same as a Freeguild Handgunner, but it has longer Range and less Strength, 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 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 (2/4). With Pulverising Strike, his damage on critical hit 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, also has the Destroyer runemark so he can use Pulverising Strike to boost his damage for one attack action. He has one additional Attacks and more wounds, which makes him a good melee hero by the standards of the Cities of Sigmar Shieldbands.
The Flagellant has 4 Attacks with damage 1/3. Having that many Attacks for his cost 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 Black Ark Corsair With Vicious Blade and Wicked Cutlass, has the same melee profile, similar cost and a better Move statistic, so pick that fighter type instead (see further below).
The Leader version of the Flagellant, the Prophet, has a good melee profile for his points cost, but no special runemarks or anything else remarking that would make him a better options than other leaders, other than the fact that the model looks insane (his helmet is on fire).
The Freeguild Pistolier 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, although its melee profile has 1 attack more.
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 has the same runemarks as the Pistolier, same melee profile but the ranged profile does have a minimum Range but also a higher maximum Range (3-12″), and higher Strength. These are minor changes, and if you are 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, has a ranged attack with a 3-10″ range, high Strength (6) and high damage (2/6), 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 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″ range melee attack with good damage (2/5), 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, that needs to be used within 1″ of an enemy, contrasting with the 2″ range of its weapon that would allow it to attack without engaging.
The Leader version of the Demigryph Knight is the Preceptor, and while he has a higher Wounds statistic than the standard Demigryph Knight and access to Leader abilities, it has a 1″ range melee attack profile with less damage on critical hit 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.
- Warden King: 150 points
- Runelord: 120 points
- Cogsmith: 140 points
- Ironbeard with Drakefire Pistol and Cinderblast Bomb: 120 points
- Ironbreaker: 60 points
- Old Guard with Ancestral Weapon and Gromril Shield: 110 points
- Longbeard with Ancestral Weapon and Gromril Shield: 70 points
- Longbeard with Ancestral Axe: 75 points
- Keeper of the Gate: 130 points
- Hammerer: 80 points
- Ironwarden with Grudgehammer Torpedo: 155 points
- Irondrake: 85 points
- Gyrocopter: 195 points
- Gyrobomber: 220 points
The Warden King is a Leader with the Bulwark runemark, which means he benefits from the effect of the 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, high Toughness, but also a bit pricier than similar leader profiles.
The Runelord 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 up to 3 to the melee Attack characteristic of a friendly fighter within 9″, which synergizes well with other fighters who can use Pulverising Strike. The Runelord’s own melee attack profile has 3 Attacks and a damage of 2/4, which is decent but not why you would field him in your warband anyway.
The Cogsmith 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 has the Bulwark runemark, a weak melee attack profile but high Toughness (5). Comparing with a Freeguild Guard is more resistant with higher wounds but at the cost of a slower movement (3″).
The Leader version of the Ironbreaker, the Ironbeard with Drakefire Pistol and Cinderblast Bomb, is a Leader with an unusual loadout: he has a ranged attack profile with no minimum Range and 3 Attacks, as well as a short range missile attack with 2 Attacks and higher 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 Shieldwall-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 is a fighter with the Shieldwall-benefiting Bulwark runemark. It is essentially the same as an Ironbreaker, but with better damage, which makes its increased points cost worth it if you want to make a Shieldwall-based warband.
The Longbeard with Ancestral Axe is a fighter with the Destroyer runemark which lets it use the Pulverising Strike Double ability. 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, is essentially a cheaper version of the Warden King with a slightly weaker melee profile but access to the same abilities.
The Hammerer is a fighter with the Destroyer runemark, giving it access to the Pulverising Strike ability. This is great since it already has a high damage on critical hits, 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, is one of the strongest 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 2/5 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 is a fighter with the Scout runemark, which gives it access to the Triple ability Volley of Shots. It has a ranged attack with 2 Attacks and a damage of 1/4, as well as a weak melee attack profile. The high damage on critical hit 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, does not have the Scout runemark. It does have a strong ranged attack profile with better range and damage (2/5), but if you want a ranged Leader, there are more interesting options among the Freeguild and the Aelves of the warband.
The Gyrocopter‘s most important thing to say about, 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 is 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
- Assassin: 185 points
- Shadow Walker: 135 points
- Shadow Warrior: 100 points
- Dark Rider Herald: 195 points
- Dark Rider: 155 points
- Black Ark Fleetmaster: 145 points
- Black Ark Reaver: 110 points
- Black Ark Corsair with Vicious Blade and Repeater Handbow: 75 points
- Black Ark Corsair with Vicious Blade and Wicked Cutlass: 65 points
- Anointed: 180 points
- Keeper of the Flame: 160 points
- Phoenix Guard: 105 points
The Assassin 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 2/4 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 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 a similar 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, has an additional attack 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 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″ 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 Mounted keyword which prevents it from climbing and moving through doors and arches.
The Leader version of the Dark Rider is the Dark Rider Herald. It has a higher Wounds statistic and 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 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 has a good 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, 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 one of 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 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 points could be just as well spent elsewhere. It is a characterful model, though, so that speaks in favour of fielding it for narrative battles.
The Phoenix Guard is a melee fighter with a good 2″ range melee weapon profile. It doesn’t have the Destroyer runemark or any other way of improving its potential damage output, but is still a good option for a slightly more elite 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 is a Leader version of the Phoenix Guard with more wounds and one additional Attack on its melee weapon profile.
The Anointed is similar to the Keeper of the Flame with better damage on critical hit and more wounds. 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 damage on critical hit. 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.
- Nomad Prince: 170 points
- Eternal Warden: 120 points
- Eternal Guard: 75 points
- Wildwood Warden: 140 points
- Wildwood Ranger: 100 points
- Handmaiden of the Thorn: 190 points
- Sister of the Thorn: 130 points
- High Sister: 145 points
- Sister of the Watch: 100 points
The Nomad Prince is a Leader with the Bulwark runemark, which lets him be buffed by the Double ability Form Shieldwall shared by all 7 Cities. He has a weak ranged attack profile with long range and a good 2″ 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 Cities 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 centrepiece.
The Eternal Guard 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″ range melee attack profile, and compares with the Freeguild Guard with Halberd for its point cost trading higher Toughness for Strength that can protract its life.
The Leader version of the Eternal Guard, the Eternal Warden, has better 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 is a fighter with the Destroyer runemark, which gives it access to the 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 damage on critical hits is an asset to any warband.
The Leader version of the Wildwood Ranger, the Wildwood Warden, has one more attack 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 damage, though.
The Wild Rider 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″ 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.
Its melee attack profile is still good, and it moves fast, but it is also limited in its mobility by its Mounted runemark that prevents it from climbing and moving through doors and arches.
The Leader version of the Wild Rider, the Wild Hunter, has the same runemarks as the Wild Rider. It has a good 1″ range melee attack profile, which makes it more meaningful to use Cavalry Charge with it, but having a 2″ 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 is a fighter with the Mounted keyword, which means it can’t climb or move through doors and arches. It moves fast and has an 8″ 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, 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 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 an improved Strength characteristic on the ranged attack profile.
The Leader version of the Sister of the Watch, the High Sister, is also similar to the Shadow Walker apart from improved Strength on the ranged attack profile. 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 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.