“Warhammer Fantasy is Dead! Long Live Warhammer Fantasy!”
Update: the book has been on preorder and this article will no longer be updated. Wait for the incoming review of the book for more on Cities of Sigmar.
Factions long-forgotten finally have their time to bask in Sigmar’s light. Cities of Sigmar will release the 5th October.
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.
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Release date for Battletome: Cities of Sigmar
Finally, an actual release date!
The Cities of Sigmar Battletome was preorder from September 28th and will be released Saturday October 5th.
This is a bit later than expected, as we thought it would release with the new Gotrek model in the middle of September.
Want to get hyped? Watch the teaser video:
What new stuff is coming out for Cities of Sigmar?
If you are looking for new models, you are sadly going to be disappointed. But you are going to get some new bits and bobs.
This is what the release for Cities of Sigmar contained:
- Start Collecting Box city of Greywater Fastness (Duardin)
- Start Collecting city of Anvilgard (Corsairs)
- Cities of Sigmar Battletome
- Cities of Sigmar Warscroll cards + tokens
Are Cities of Sigmar not getting Endless Spells?
It is confirmed that there will be no faction-specific endless spells.
This makes some sense since Cities of Sigmar is like… a lot of different armies inside one army. It would be really hard for them to make a sculpt that would aesthetically fit with all different options.
But, instead of Endless Spells the Cities of Sigmar get the faction trait that all endless spells cast by the army are empowered, just as if you were playing in the specific mortal realm required for the spell to be empowered.
The following is a list of the current Endless spells and how they will behave differently.
- Purple Sun: Move goes from 9″ to 12″
- Ravenaks Jawz: Move goes from 12″ to 12″+d6″
- Suffocating Gravetide: Move goes from 8″ to 12″
- Prismatic Palisade: +1 on the roll to see if unit within 6″ gets -1 on hit rolls (normally +5, now +4)
- Pendulum: no change
- Malevolent Maelstrom: +1 extra energy point at the start of each battle round (so it will explode quicker than normal)
- Burning Head: +1 on mortal wounds from this spell (so it is d3+1 mortal wounds)
- Soulsnare Shackles: Range the second and third shackles must be within the first is changed to 9″ up from 6″
- Umbral Spellportal: The second spellportal can be anywhere on the tabletop instead of within 18″ of the first instead
- Geminids: Reroll the damage dice (probably on both of them)
- Quicksilver Swords: Instead of rolling 12 dice that deal a mortal wound for each +5 you roll 15 dice. Hot damn, solid cheap damage indeed.
- Chromomatic Cogs: No change
- Emerald Life Swarm: Normally heals d3 wounds, now it heals d6. A lot better!
- Balewind Vortex: No change
- Lauchon the Soulseeker (boat dude): move up to 18″ from 12″
- Soulscream Bridge: The second bridge can be set up within 24″ (!) of the first instead of 12″. Clearly some broken movement stuff can be made with this.
- Horrorghast: move is now 12″ instead of 9″
- Shards of Valagharr: The first shard is setup wholly within 12″ of caster instead of 6″.
Are Cities of Sigmar not getting faction terrain?
The Watchtower rumour turned out to be just that, a rumour. No terrain for Sigmar’s small bois.
Which Factions or Armies will be included in Cities of Sigmar?
- Collegiate Arcane
- Darkling Covens
- Free Peoples/Freeguild/Devoted of Sigmar
- Ironweld Arsenal
- Order Serpentis
- Phoenix Temple
All of the factions above survived the ‘Great Cities of Sigmar Squat of 2019’ to varying degrees and is confirmed to be in Cities of Sigmar.
Stormcast are also included in the book. They will not be allies (they just gain the keyword of your the city you pick), but it also looks like you cannot use them as battleline units (as they are not in the big “all potential battleline units” image).
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.
It seems they will act as the Stormcast Eternals, being somewhere between part of the army and allies (so not quite either of those things).
Eldritch Council, Lion Rangers and Order Draconis did not survive the Squat and won’t be included in any capacity.
What units are battleline in Cities of Sigmar?
Well, quite a lot! A lot of them will need you to take a specific general to unlock them as battleline. Below is the picture from the community article showing all of the potential battleline units.
Battleline Steam tanks anyone?!
How does the Alliagience Abilities of Cities of Sigmar work?
Cities of Sigmar works different from other mixed faction battletomes we have seen so far.
- All Cities of Sigmar armies get a universal set of Allegiance Abilities (empowered endless spells and bodyguards for a unit/hero with wounds 6 or less)
- You can then pick a city that your army is from. That city gives you access to some city-specific artefacts, command traits and a command ability.
- Each city also has a battalion themed to that city.
- All units in the Cities of Sigmar book can be used in all of the different cities (with the exception of the semi-allies kharadron and sylvaneth).
The Cities available in Cities of Sigmar are:
- Greywater Fastness
- Tempests Eye
- The Living City
- The Phoenicium
Confirmed Allegiance Abilities for Cities of Sigmar
Allegiance trait for all Cities of Sigmar armies (no matter the city):
- Endless spells are cast as empowered (see section about endless spells for details).
- You can pick a unit with 6 or less wound characteristic. You can then pick a retinue for that unit/model. The retinue can soak wounds from the primary unit/model (we do not have the wording yet, and the GW article is quite vague on how it actually works).
Abilities for the city Hammerhal:
The banner ability is a nice way of getting some more command points. At least, as long as you have something useful to funnel them into.
Fighting multiple times is, as we have seen in the meta post AoS 2.0, really powerful. Combine this with the extraordinary amount of different combat units you have available, and this could get quite good.
The downside is having to be wholly within your opponents deply zone and needing a hero within range. Clever people will make sure to deny this and then it can be hard to pull of consistently.
You do have an easier time protecting your units via the general Cities of Sigmar ability and you have a lot of high movement stuff available to get where you need them to be.
Do also note that the bridge from Forbidden Power is ridiculously good in Cities of Sigmar (that movement!).
Abilities for the city Tempest Eye:
You can get stuck in more quickly and quite some damage on the first turn charge.
We will see what else the city gets in terms of supporting an alpha strike army, but this looks promising.
Abilities for the city Greywater Fastness:
A bit of extra range is quite solid and extra guns are always good.
The +1 hit is king, especially when you combine it with the fact that you can make sure your general as hard to kill with the Cities of Sigmar universal command trait.
I can imagine a big old gunline shooting you to pieces and then redeploying away 24″ with the endless spell bridge once you get close. Let us just hope your opponent also sees the fun in that!
Abilities for the city Phoenicium:
Quite a powerful trait when it triggers. Sad part? It can be hard to get it to trigger when you really need it.
Abilities for the city Anvilgard:
Hard to say whether this is good or not until we know more.
Battalions revealed for Cities of Sigmar
The battalions are slightly different from other tomes.
It looks like we will have at least one battalion for each City and those battalions are “themed” around the city.
This also means that while the allegiance abilities for the different cities lets you choose units from the whole book, the battalions is where you get restricted with regards to what units you can have.
Anvilgard – Charrwind Beastrunners
While it is quite thematic, +1 to wound on only monsters seems a bit on the weak side. It might be super cheap which can make it ok (extra artefact and command point is always nice).
Phoenicium – Phoenix Flight
The “will-not-die” phoenixes have made plenty of appearances in tournaments in “mixed order” armies. Healing wounds back on these guys will make them even more annoying to play against.
Throw in the Emeral Lifeswarm heal for d6 more wounds and this can make a sturdy army for sure.
Whether or not the 1 heal on each unit is good depends on the point cost of the battalion.
Warscrolls and Units in Cities of Sigmar
A lot of the warscrolls got reworked. Check them out in the Age of Sigmar app.
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).
Below are some pictures of the rules for units GW have previewed:
Various rumours regarding Cities of Sigmar
- The book is out, so no rumours any more. If you want a review of the book check out the video below (and by review I mean a dude reading the book aloud…).
Cities of Sigmar: a converters dream
To be honest, I was pretty lukewarm on the Cities of Sigmar release. Units got squated and I was afraid that units would still be siloed into different allegiance abilities.
Thankfully, Cities of Sigmar is a wide open book. If you are looking for a big daunting conversion project to challenge yourself, this is the thing you have been waiting for.
Normally we know what an army looks like. Sure, you can convert your Gloomspite Gitz or Stormcast Eternals to from some other realm, but we all know what the units are supposed to look like.
In Cities of Sigmar the kits are old and ready for a good makeover.
Who knows what gunpower loving aelves from the Greywater Fastness looks like? Sea hardened duardin from Anvilgard? The possibilites are staggering.
If you are keen to get going I suggest looking for inspiration in the Cities of Sigmar facebook group (cool album about conversions) and learning the basics of conversions in my guide here.
If you want to make your own city from scratch, check this site out.
Speculation and Analysis on what squatted units will return in the Cities of Sigmar book
Note: the text below was written before we knew anything about Cities of Sigmar. It turned out that nothing (at least with the release) came back. Maybe a warband in Underworlds could be a possibility?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Tempest’s Eye
- The Living City
- Grey Water Fastness
- The Phoenicium
Speculation regarding the Allegiance Abilities in Cities of Sigmar (based on everything we know)
This text was speculation written before anything was released for Cities of Sigmar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.