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ShadowSwordmaster

The Problem of the Free Peoples and the Freeguilds in Age of Sigmar

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Posted (edited)

We are a couple of years into Age of Sigmar and see many different types of factions coming for each Grand Alliance so far. When it comes to the Grand Alliance of Order, there is a problem. The problem comes into the form of humans, more specifically the Freeguilds and their place in both fiction and on the table. At first glance, there are, for all intense of purposes, what is left of the Empire range that has not to be broken apart into different factions like the other factions that transferred over to Age of Sigmar. What the problem I present to you is what the Free Guild represents in the context of Age of Sigmar and the problem of that representation.

In the Grand Alliance Order handbook, page 134, the description of Free Peoples doesn’t mention the race of these groups, but it only talks about a few examples of what they have and where they come from. But what is shown as part of the Free People is where the problem comes in. All it shows are old Empire models before it ends and the next one faction in the books is the Ironweld Arsenal. So, I looked at the description and notice it is very Empire influenced. Essentially, the Free Peoples are just Empire in the book, which is the Freeguilds, which are humans.

Now, the book came out early in Age of Sigmar’s cycle and things are different when looking at the Core Book that came out last year. But the problem remains there. What the Core Book shows, on page 140, that the Free Peoples include other races and not just humans, but then it reaches the Freeguilds section and the problem previously mentioned before is still there, but it changed at the same time. On Page 141, it describes  what makes up the Freeguilds:

“The Freeguilds recruit from every stratum of society – when the city is under attack, military aristocrats from the inner districts and lowborn officers command stalwart professional soldiers, ex-criminals and even armed militia, their common humanity uniting them against the horrors they must face. Over time, these melanges of races and creeds have intermingled, forming new alliances and factions thirsty to prove themselves or to avenge their predecessors. An army or garrison from a Sigmarite city may include a dozen different kinds of footsoldiers, knightly orders, beast riders, proven militia and city guard, all with their own uniforms, traditions and rivalries. Some go to war in resplendent plate armour, others have not even a pair of boots to call their own, but they are rich in spirit one and all. When their hardwon way of life is threatened, they put aside their differences, fighting as one under the steely gaze of a Freeguild general.”

Now where is the problem, it is right here:

“Over time, these melanges of races and creeds have intermingled, forming new alliances and factions thirsty to prove themselves or to avenge their predecessors. An army or garrison from a Sigmarite city may include a dozen different kinds of footsoldiers, knightly orders, beast riders, proven militia and city guard, all with their own uniforms, traditions and rivalries. .”

It does mention other races as to imply it is not just humans in the ranks of the Freeguilds, but the problem comes back that it is still humans that make up the ranks of the Freeguilds. It but also shows the same influences of what the other description in the Grand Alliance Order of it being Empire and nothing else. That the entirety of humanity follows the Freeguild guidelines as a military force with the same structure. In context, this does not seem like a problem, but when looking at the other factions out there it is. We have seen various factions for the Aelves and Durdian show up with their culture and society shown in both models and fiction that is different from their Azyrian counterparts, with the exception of the Daughters of Khaine. But with the Overlords, Deepkin, and the Fyreslayers they survived the Age of Chaos when Sigmar shut the gates and the people who made in Azyr before the gate close are what are the Free Peoples.

This could be a problem with the nature of Games Workshop and how they make new factions for Age of Sigmar, but the problem for the Free Guild that does not represent what it says in the Core Book when it mentions other races being a part of it on the table. The only models for the for the Freeguild are the Empire models again.

The problem that I saw is that the Free People encompass different races and factions, but so does the Freeguild. That the Freeguild is the city-state armies, but only made up of human despite what it says in the Core Book and elsewhere. That humanity and any cultures of humanity gets nicely put into the Freeguilds as if they have nothing better to do with them and have to fit with the structure of the Freeguilds.  Despite what the Free People are supposed to be and the factions of the Devoted and the Ironweld Arsenal being a thing.

 

So, what is the solution to this problem? I have thought of a few, but overall, I would like to see other people think of to fix this problem.

Edited by ShadowSwordmaster
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They had me at "beast riders", but the way out might be to emphasize Guilds. These define armor and arms (and traits) thay define their force structure (foot soldier, knight, militia, city guard), but have several races modeled in those styles, sometimes with unique mounts or weapons, but perhaps with an emphasis on ranged attacks. This would let units of Aelves and Humans, etc. fight side-by-side with a visual continuity while each being a bit unique. That implies a lot of kits, though...

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, MacDuff said:

They had me at "beast riders", but the way out might be to emphasize Guilds. These define armor and arms (and traits) thay define their force structure (foot soldier, knight, militia, city guard), but have several races modeled in those styles, sometimes with unique mounts or weapons, but perhaps with an emphasis on ranged attacks. This would let units of Aelves and Humans, etc. fight side-by-side with a visual continuity while each being a bit unique. That implies a lot of kits, though...

The problem is that this does not reflect in the units you can get for that army currently with what is available. But you could find it in other factions under the Free Peoples, but not there.  

EDIT: I hope to see a fleshed out army that has what you wrote.

Edited by ShadowSwordmaster
Grammar

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AoS is not a new game, its a very old game with a new lick of paint over it; so it has to contend with its heritage of the Old World. This is not helped by the fact that GW removed one entire human faction from the game at the launch of AoS and, furthermore, had removed some from the old games as well (eg Kislev never made it into the newer editions). Meanwhile many of the human factions such as Araby, Cathay and Nippon never got developed from the Old World

 

 

So in the Realms you've now got basically dozens of potential human factions and ONE line of human faction models - the Free Peoples. 

I fully expect that, given time, we might well see GW flesh out the Free Peoples by adding another major human faction into the game; perhaps formed by those who do not see Sigmar as the grand saviour but as the great betrayer who fled at the end and left the world to rot and ruin. Perhaps following a new god, but still under the banner of Order, just not under Sigmar's Sway. This can be done - Chaos already encompasses multiple armies that basically hate each other and most of the Chaos God based armies only ally with each other when it suits them. Meanwhile Skaven have enough trouble trusting each other let another another army. 

 

So combat and strife between factions within Grand Alliances is nothing new. 

 

That said I think we are years off as yet. We've two full Aelven forces to add not to mention fleshing out the current armies that are yet to get a Battletome. There's still armies with a lot of legacy models (Skaven still have a whole bunch of metal and finecast models as do Gutbusters) and more. So there's a lot of practical ground before I think we can expect GW to flesh out the humans.

 

 

 

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I agree that Aelves will get GW love first, and perhaps even Seraphon and Skaven.

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Just now, MacDuff said:

I agree that Aelves will get GW love first, and perhaps even Seraphon and Skaven.

Aelves is given, but Seraphon and Skaven and other factions its much harder to say. It depends a lot on what the design team want to work on and also what is actually selling behind the scenes. Remembering that GW has the trump card in knowing exactly what is and isn't selling in great volumes. 

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3 minutes ago, Overread said:

Aelves is given, but Seraphon and Skaven and other factions its much harder to say. It depends a lot on what the design team want to work on and also what is actually selling behind the scenes. Remembering that GW has the trump card in knowing exactly what is and isn't selling in great volumes. 

I would say that Skaven will get more love than the Seraphon due to the number of people who love that faction.

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I think the Imperial Guard serve as a good example of what to expect from Free Peoples: one or two main lines of units with a few optional kits representing different cultures.

As is AoS already has an enormous number of factions (assuming FP, Aelves, Dispossessed and Gutbusters continue to be supported) so asking for more human factions when we already have FP, SE and StD seems a bit much.

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5 minutes ago, Blightzkrieg said:

I think the Imperial Guard serve as a good example of what to expect from Free Peoples: one or two main lines of units with a few optional kits representing different cultures.

As is AoS already has an enormous number of factions (assuming FP, Aelves, Dispossessed and Gutbusters continue to be supported) so asking for more human factions when we already have FP, SE and StD seems a bit much.

I would argue that example is bad and it goes back to my point on how the Freeguilds throw humans into one faction compared to the other races that we have. That would make it worse.

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1 hour ago, ShadowSwordmaster said:

So, what is the solution to this problem? I have thought of a few, but overall, I would like to see other people think of to fix this problem.

Your spot on with your comments. The solution is making a battletome using the ideas as presented in Firestorm (Order Battletome: Free Cities)

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All they need is for GW to make all new models for those forces and establish them as basically new factions.

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GW needs to do something with these legacy armies. People invest thousands in armies and if GW only half supports them it can be very frustrating.

I have about 3000pts of freeguild collecting dust because they're not exactly competitive unless I play Grand Alliance Order and take those horrible looking Cellastar Ballistas. Taking artillery and wizards out of Free People and giving us 400pts to choose from is just idiotic. 

The problem isn't with models. The problem is with half-baked warscrolls, terrible battalions, having to ally in your own factions.

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10 minutes ago, Saxon said:

GW needs to do something with these legacy armies. People invest thousands in armies and if GW only half supports them it can be very frustrating.

I agree GW needs to do something with legacy armies. But I probably differ with you on what needs to be done. If legacy armies will not be re-imagined and updated in there rules like what they just did with Skaven I believe they should be removed completely from the GH matched play point section. There is nothing stopping ppl from using old models and "Legends" warscrolls in Narative and Open. That's where unsupported armies should be imo. However it is frustrating to try to use an army they still sell with the expectation that they will be playable in matched play when clearly GW has no interest in investing the resources to make them work in game.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Free Peoples= Freeguild, Collegiate Arcane,  Devoted of Sigmar and Ironweld Arsenal.    When we get the new release GW will change the keywords,  new models with a new aesthetic and minor races, like Halflings.  This is what I believe will happen. 

Edited by xking
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9 minutes ago, Saxon said:

 

I have about 3000pts of freeguild collecting dust because they're not exactly competitive unless I play Grand Alliance Order and take those horrible looking Cellastar Ballistas. Taking artillery and wizards out of Free People and giving us 400pts to choose from is just idiotic. 

 

Which funny cause on the official AoS website they say

Quote

 

The warriors of the Freeguilds march to battle in ordered ranks, the best soldiers mankind has to offer. Accompanied by the war machines of the Ironweld Arsenal, the battle wizards of the Collegiate Arcane and the warrior-priests of the Devoted of Sigmar, they offer a plethora of choices to customise an army that can suit any play style.

 

Why can't GW just come out and say "ok listen you will 100% be a Battletome but it'll be like 6 months from now". I mean it was like the Beasts of Chaos situation, it just came out of nowhere (except the cryptic 2.0 preview hints).

 

 

Anyways well like what is said, it's basically an Imperial Guard situation. Thousands of theoretical ways to represent them, but only 1-2 official ways to make them without conversions or buying 3rd parties. I don't think anything will change that, otherwise I'm pretty sure it would have happened to IG first. There may be new freeguild models, but I'm pretty sure they'll try to make a "Cadia" equivalent where it's a generic as possible to cover most realms.

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3 minutes ago, svnvaldez said:

I agree GW needs to do something with legacy armies. But I probably differ with you on what needs to be done. If legacy armies will not be re-imagined and updated in there rules like what they just did with Skaven I believe they should be removed completely from the GH matched play point section.

The bigger problem though is that Free Guild has a GHB Allegiance. So far the current thought process is "GHB=Safe from squatting".

 

 

Meanwhile Greenskinz, Gitmobs, and Swifthawk Agents don't have GHB Allegiances and thus are "easier" to remove. Gutbusters....are in a weirder position.

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4 minutes ago, ShadowSwordmaster said:

The problem is that the Empire models are essential the "Cadia" in this case.

I believe we will get a new aesthetic, I think it will be more greco-roman themed.  Like this without the khorne/barbarian stuff.

BLPROCESSED-The-Red-Feast-Royal-Cover.jpg

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I for one hope they keep a lot of the medieval Holy Roman Empire aesthetic. The concept of something like real medieval humans fighting these supernatural forces with gunpowder and steel is really appealing.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Black Blade said:

I for one hope they keep a lot of the medieval Holy Roman Empire aesthetic. The concept of something like real medieval humans fighting these supernatural forces with gunpowder and steel is really appealing.

We already had this in WFB. Plus, the Empire or WFB, in general, is in no way a medieval fantasy considering what is in that game.

Edited by ShadowSwordmaster
Grammar
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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Saxon said:

GW needs to do something with these legacy armies. People invest thousands in armies and if GW only half supports them it can be very frustrating.

I have about 3000pts of freeguild collecting dust because they're not exactly competitive unless I play Grand Alliance Order and take those horrible looking Cellastar Ballistas. Taking artillery and wizards out of Free People and giving us 400pts to choose from is just idiotic. 

The problem isn't with models. The problem is with half-baked warscrolls, terrible battalions, having to ally in your own factions.

You buy the models, nothing else. Rules change all the time. There is not and never has been a single model sold by GW that has been advertised as “competitive” or good at the game. That’s maybe an expectation of some players but it’s one they have created on the basis of their own aspirations, not something that was ever advertised or listed as being part of the product.

Nor have GW ever claimed that AOS or indeed of any of their systems are a balanced game, that all factions are equally as good as each other or that all factions will receive the same level of investment in respect to rules, models etc. It’s manifestly the case that balance and equal treatment of factions is not their priority and they haven’t ever said it is. 

If it is one’s priority to only collect a “competitive” faction within an imbalanced rules system then said person needs to do their research as to what those factions are before investing, while also understanding that it might change with the release of new rules or factions regardless. Again, you’re buying only models, not a gurantee to an army that functions effectively or even the same way over time. The rules and the game are organic; if one is looking for consistency while that’s understandable it’s not how the game and it’s development works, and given GW’s history, you’re betting against the house of you think it will for AOS.

 

Edited by Nos
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14 minutes ago, xking said:

,I think it will be more greco-roman themed. 

Tzeentch already beat freeguild to the punch

In fact there was even someone who made a freeguild army by using Kairic Acolytes!

Plus I can't imagine a greek looking hoplite with a gunpowder rifle. Unless it's 40k in which case REMUS IS BEST

Spoiler

e9ea873a9ce86bb4a77589c0bf1d4698.jpg

 

@Nos Methinks theres a difference between complaining about competitiveness of an army and feeling your army is being neglected by GW. It's a hard pill to swallow knowing you'll never ever get new models again. Like Bretonnia Circa 2004.

Meanwhile GW has made their 7th (or 8th? I dunno I lost count) Primaris Lieutenant! I can't believe it's an actual meme....

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TBH I though they where going to do something with Devoted of Sigmar when silver tower was release and they designed the Excelsior Warpriest, but it ended up that only the Darkoath Cheftain was the only hero that got a future release in the end.

with regards of legacy army, I think GW is model and hobbyist company first and competitive wargaming seconds, that why they keep selling those models online without transparency if they get an update in the future.

 

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36 minutes ago, kenshin620 said:

Tzeentch already beat freeguild to the punch

In fact there was even someone who made a freeguild army by using Kairic Acolytes!

Plus I can't imagine a greek looking hoplite with a gunpowder rifle. Unless it's 40k in which case REMUS IS BEST

  Reveal hidden contents

e9ea873a9ce86bb4a77589c0bf1d4698.jpg

 

@Nos Methinks theres a difference between complaining about competitiveness of an army and feeling your army is being neglected by GW. It's a hard pill to swallow knowing you'll never ever get new models again. Like Bretonnia Circa 2004.

Meanwhile GW has made their 7th (or 8th? I dunno I lost count) Primaris Lieutenant! I can't believe it's an actual meme....

Tzeentch is Egyptian themed, not greco-roman.   And I said freeguild will be greco-roman THEMED, Not a carbon copy of rome or greece. 

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I could be wrong, I just think Freeguild should and will have a new aesthetic.  To be it's own thing and not just the "Empire in the Age of Sigmar".   No more  codpieces and pantaloons please. And new minor races.

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