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Starting Free Guild Army - 1000 pts List?

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Hi All,

I want to get started with AoS 2.0 using more or less the old "Empire", so a mixture of Free People, Ironweld Arsenal, Collegiate Arcane and Devoted to Sigmar. 
I already read through a couple of posts and list suggestions. Before I order the first miniatures and start painting I wanted to check if this list does make sense :)



The idea is to have a core I can build upon. I am especially uncertain with warmachines and wizards. Maybe a different warmachine and instead of the wizard the hurricanum?

Happy for every comment and suggestion! 



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Hi and welcome to the cult of FreePeople, the most underrated and powerful faction in the game buddy.   


In small point army lists you will want to use the 100 point freeguild general, not the griffon rider. That is because he will give you access to 'hold the line' the most important command ability with a +1 hit, +1 wound.  The griffon general is an extravagance that should only be considered with a 2500 point army, and even then.... nope!

Next, only take demigryphs if you are trying to make the Freeguild battalion, of which they are required, otherwise they are not worth the cost and will disappoint. 

Next, take crossbowmen, not handgunners. They now shoot twice, even after moving in 2.0. This means they well outshine the gunners in damage, range, mobility.  Get many many many many crossbowmen.

No warmachines, for the cost they can't compete with freeguild guard (get block of 40), crossbowmen, and pistoliers. 

Same goes for casters and cost, get more battle line guard and crossbowmen. 


Have fun!


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Thanks for your detailed answer! This does help indeed :)

I totally understand your argument. If you would aim for a less competitive list (so not only guard and crossbowmen)...

What would you ally in from Collegiate Arcane and/or Ironwel Arsenal? Considering small point games in the beginning.


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I disagree with Matador, I think crossbowmen definitely have their place but I still prefer Handgunners to back up Guard. It's not too difficult to get them hitting on 3's wounding on 2s and with a rend of -1 as standard, not relying on 6's. You may find that crossbowmen could be more useful at smaller point levels though to give you the mobility to cap objectives. Hold the Line doesn't allow you to move or charge so you may run the risk of your army being to static.

I've found Demigryphs to be really useful in smaller games, in a Path to Glory game just last night for example they managed to delete blocks of 20 Clanrats at will it seemed.

The General on Griffon can still be viable at 1000 points, with the changes to the Great Company rules, there are a fair few Free Peoples players now looking at running multiple Griffons in a 2000 point list.

Wizards are going to always be useful with all the changes to magic in AoS2 and the battlemage has the benefit of having a wide selection of spells to pick from.

If I personally were to tweak your list a bit, I'd be tempted to drop the Helstorm and add a General on foot/horse in (keep the Griffon to run with the Demigryphs). Then add another unit of Handgunners/Crossbowmen or Guard in so that you can form a great company. I think that would even leave enough points to add something like the Soulsnare Shackles spell in!

Another thing to think about is maybe giving the Guard swords or at least some of them as that improves their save in combat and allows them to hold out a bit longer whilst the Handgunners/Crosswbowmen rip them to shreds.

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Thanks for your reply!

I tweaked the list a bit. 

- are Greatswords a viable option?

- what is the best option from the Ironweld Arsenal?

Of course I could ditch the griffon. It is also a matter of buying the models and the order I am going to paint them. I just ordered 20 Guard, 10 Handgunners and 1 General on Griffon. But I am thankful for all hints!

By the way: I am going for an Asian themed army using these lovely models with round bases 😍 





Edited by Schwachmat

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Personally for his points cost I find the general on griffon to be amazing! Very scary and mobile and his command ability is pretty nice on himself or others when you don't want to hold the line.


Ironweld wise helstorm rocket batteries can be very nice as they don't need line of sight, don't really need an engineer and have long range. Otherwise cannons with a gunmaster to let them reroll their hits is brilliant too! @Double Misfire is the man to talk to about big guns of the ironweld!

Can't comment on greatswords as not used them yet but they don't look bad tbh.


Demigryphs definitely aren't the most competetive but are very lovely models and make fun anvils. Handgunners vs Crossbows is an age old debate, both are good. Crossbows are generally considered good in a large unit whereas handguns good in multiple small units to maximise the sharpshooters with long rifles.

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I played 134 2000< point, and 63 1000 point battles last year using Free people under the 2017 GHB  with a record of 195 wins, 1 loss, 1 tie.  In the last two weeks I've played 19 with no losses and I've been amazed at how much the faction benefited from the new changes. 

So with that said, Handgunner V.S. Crossbowmen was an age old debate, but with the changes in the errata that now allows crossbowmen to use the double fire while moving it has made the debate moot. https://whc-cdn.games-workshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/age_of_sigmar_grand_alliance_order_errata_en.pdf  That right there referring to page 141 finally tipped the scales to the crossbowmen. 

But don't sweat in Schwamat! the gunners you ordered come with what you need to make them crossbows or gunners. In fact with careful assembly you can make them so that you can switch the weapons on models between games. I have 120 xbow/gunner models that can switch back and forth myself, but since 2.0 they have been purely xbows except for the 2 units I still occasionally set up as snipers to kill mages in the first turn. Otherwise it's has to be crossbows now. 

Don't get me wrong, gunners are great fun, but if you are running freeguild it has to be crossbows for the main unit and maybe a flavor of gunners, but really that's a waste of points. Especially when you consider the fact that gunners still lose one of their precious +1 to hit if they move at all leaving the gunners the "static" loser.  I'm sure Divine just forgot that "hold the line" only prohibits movement on the player's turn not the opponent's allowing units in Great companies to shoot or charge, and he also forgot that the Gunners will only get that hit 3 wound 2 if they are under the effect of "hold the line" as well not moving. Where as the Crossbowmen in that instance will have hit on 2 wound on 3, with 33% of those being rend, and most importantly all those shots having a range 4" farther than the gunners. 

And keep in mind that the 4" range superiority is dam near the equivalent of a max move for both gunner and xbows, on top on any movement the crossbows will make!

Demigryphs just can't compete with crossbows, or even handgunners for that matter. Played correctly they will both out DPR the Demis at range and of course Demigryphs don't have stand and fire for the important defense DPR that any decent Free People general must have to compete with other factions. The only reason to ever use a demigryph unit is to make up the unit requirement for the freeguild battalion, it's sad but it's just the way it is. Even their new lower cost makes them too expensive to use in  great companies and the pistoliers and outriders make better objective grabbers by far. So although they are beautiful looking models they are a trap for rookies.  Especially in low point games where the unwise point expenditure will really hurt!

The griffon general falls into the same category, he looks great but he takes to many points for what he does. Keep in mind that a general should always play to the strengths of a faction, and the strength of FP is not big heavy monsters that can be swamped. The strength of the FP is in their battleline units and especially in their Great Companies, of which the General on the Griffon cannot be part of and cannot benefit from. Also the Gen/Griffon can only benefit single units with his Command ability as opposed to the other general's ability to boost 3 at a time. So nobody on the competitive circuit is using Gen/griffs with the great companies, as of yet it has been some theory building that has been disproved.  

The Real strength of Free People units, are other FP units in bulk, the great companies, and the amazing Freeguild battalion when it can be afforded. And the often unnoticed benefit of the FP is the consistency. When you roll vast numbers of dice for each attach with your units you remove the danger of spikes and "one-roll" do or die situations. You embrace the bell curve and can confidently make tactical moves knowing that eventually the averages will play out because you are attacking so many times as opposed to the "all or nothing" of big models that do large damage only if they hit and then wound. Frankly most warmachines have the same weakness, that's why the FP base units are amazing. It may not be flashy, it may not be epic, but it is consistent and even the most average FP player with a decent list will never be in the position where they are winning or losing on just a few dice rolls. 

 With that in mind, any points you spend on allies like wizards, or ironweld is wasting the strength of the faction because they do not benefit from the Freeguild buffs and synergy. The only exception to this could be perhaps be a jade wizard to goose the wound rolls for a unit well placed in an Alpha-strike, but even then it would be points better spent on more FP units. 

I hope this helps!   


P.S. Greatswords are fine units, but they can't compete with Guard, Crossbows, or even Gunners when considered across a whole battle as opposed to the damage they can do in ideal situations where can attack perfectly. Their lack of a ranged attack and cost mean they should only be picked for make up the requirements for a Freeguild battalion.  Just like the Demigryphs, Gen/Griffon they look amazing and can be fun, but they are a point sink for the unwary player. 

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