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  1. Chapter 3 – They are here Two days later, on a bright but chilly spring morning, Stadthouder Adriaanus Manstien, Sheriff Albertus and the consigniliari of Montalban stood waiting in the middle of the road, just inside the main town gate . The huge, forged iron gate was thrown wide open, its portcullis raised. The town's guard lined up in front of them outside the gate, on either side of the road leading into the town. Halberdiers on the left, Handgunners on the right. The company of Greatswords stood to attention on one side of the road inside the town a little way past the gate. The dismounted Demigryph Knights stood on the other side of the road facing the Greatswords. Stadthouder Manstien made the decision to leave the Demigryphs in the city's menagerie. They were nervous animals at the best of times and it would be one less thing to worry about. The Demigryph Knights, proud sons and fathers of nobel houses and wealthy merchant families, were not pleased about this decision. The Stadthouder knew he would have to grant a few of them a private audience later in his cabinet room. They were certain to protest their displeasure at having to stand like peasants and ordinary guards to meet the Knights Excelsior. The Stadthouder had already heard some of the grizzled Greatswords jeer at the dismounted knights opposite “Where's your coo-coo bird, son?” Every time Sheriff Albertus boomed “Silence in the ranks!” And so they waited. And waited some more. The Greatswords grew tired and began to lean on their Zweihander swords. The Halberdiers were put at rest and the hand gunners were allowed to put down their guns. Sheriff Albertus shouted up to the gate guard aloft the battlements. “Can you see anything?” “No my lord” was the reply. Some of the consigniliari began to complain. Another practical joke by the festival committee, they argued. Then finally came the cry from the battlements. “My lord, they are here!” A double column of 30 Knights Excelsior Liberators with warhammers and shields, marched briskly up the road towards the city gate. In locked step, they covered the distance in no time at all. Manstien could hear them singing a rousing marching hymn. “As I walk the valleys of Shyish, the lord Sigmar is my guiding light. My resolve, my strength, my righteous fury,...”. Their officer was at the head of the column , marching in silence. Manstien noticed they did not wear golden plate armour but white plate. Sheriff Albertus shouted orders to all around him. Sergeants and captains were redressing ranks and files. Drum rolls came from the far end of the files and the shouts of ‘present arms’ were heard getting ever closer. The Knights Excelsior slowed their pace and silently, they marched past the guard regiments. Under the gate they halted in front of Manstien, Albertus and the party of consigniliari. Stadhouder Manstien looked up to the Stormcast officer in front of him. Dressed in his ornate white battle helmet he stood at one and a half times the Stadthouder's height. The warrior was like a perfect white statue. Manstien's eye twitched nervously. “W..Welcome”, Manstien stuttered. “Welcome. The city and people of Montalban bid the Knights Excelsior welcome. May your stay with us be most agreeable.” The Stormcast officer in unblemished battle plate, decorated with leather scrolls fluttering in the draft, looked down at Manstien. Slowly he raised his arms and removed his helmet. The look on his face made Manstien wish he had kept his helmet on. Manstien looked into the face of the man like a rat hypnotized by a snake. The officer raised his gaze to peer over the heads of the welcoming party and across into the city. He took a long sniff of the air three times, once centre, once left and once right. Sheriff Albertus, who stood next to Manstien, kicked the shins of the Stadthouder. Manstien looked at him “Hmmm?” Then the Stadthouder remembered the young page behind him with the velvet pillow and a large golden key on it. He grabbed the pillow with both hands and held it up aloft to the Stormcast officer. “As Stadthouder of this city, I, Adriaanus Manstien, hereby offer the Knights Excelsior the keys of the city gate and the freedom of the city”. The Knight Excelsior finally answered, still looking over Manstien's head: “My name is Germanus Graghus and I am Lord Veritant of the Knights Excelsior.” He looked down at Manstien. “You can keep your key. We don’t use keys to enter a city.” Manstien was a bit startled. “It is just a symbol, my Lord Veritant.” The Knight Excelsior just nodded. “Thank you for welcoming us. Where do we stay?” Sheriff Albertus took the Knights Excelsior to the guards barracks. Luckily it was not far away. As the Stormcasts marched through the city streets, with the Greatswords behind them forming a guard of honour, the streets filled up with citizens eager to catch a glimpse of the fabled storm warriors of Sigmar. As they walked, shouts turned to murmurs and then to silence. Everybody was overawed by their presence and the aura of solemnity they projected all around them. Once the Stormcasts had entered the barracks, the doors were closed behind them and the Greatswords took up guard position outside the barrack's gate. Inside, Sheriff Albertus took the Lord Veritant through the building, explaining where he would find everything and when their provisions would arrive. The sheriff couldn’t help but noticing how the Lord Veritant seemed to sniff the air as he entered each new room. Finally the Lord Veritant turned around to him and said: “Thank you. This will be all”. “My Lord” answered Albertus. He took a slight bow, turned around and marched out of the barracks without even once looking back. Once Albertus closed the gate door behind him, Germanus Graghus, the Lord Veritant turned to his nearest Knight Excelsior companion. “This place stinks of chaos and every other foul thing to be found in the realms”.
  2. A blog entry which collects all the background and photos of my Freeguild Army. It will collect the posts from my painting log thread into a nice blog post! Towards the east of Ghur lies a region of deserts. They are greatly affected by the unstable magic of other realms, an effect I termed Realm-Bleed during my travels. The northerly desert is an icy, stone-strewn tundra where little thrives. The magic of Shyish bleeds into the northernmost edge of this tundra, ensuring that which does survive the sparse wilderness is truly hardy and fearsome to face in combat. The southern desert is a sandy region where waves of dunes ripple across the horizon. This desert is hot, and the further south one travels, the greater the effects of Aqshy Realm-Bleed. The two deserts are split by a strip where, against all odds, life thrives. This tropical oasis features a vast lake and rivers that feed farmlands before reaching the Eastern Sea. To the north and south of the bountiful lands are the Twin Jewels of the Deserts - Kislavia and Ajier. Kislavia is the city that lies to the north of the oasis. Its people are rugged and used to fighting the cold. They are experienced hunters and have tamed a number of the fearsome beasts that inhabit the northern tundra. While the majority of the population live in the city of Kislavia, there are a number of nomadic tribes that roam the wasteland for food, as well as dangers in the form of monsters and enemies. The tribes can be distinguished by the colours of the tassels their carry. Some tribes specialise in archery, others in trade, while a rare few focus on taming the wild creatures of the tundra. In times of war the tribes will band together to protect Kislavia. These occasions see a formidable force of spearmen, archers, handgunners and beast-riders marching in unison. These dangerous times even see marble-clad remnants of Sigmar's Stormcast and the reclusive Rieklings, or Ice Goblins, join the tribes of Korgoria to protect their lands. Tribesmen Freeguild General The Kalisha tribe is one of the main tribes that make up the Kislavia population. They live a nomadic lifestyle in the region surrounding the capital. They specialise in archery and hunting. Often they will hold archery competitions, both on foot and on horseback. The targets of these challenges range from small, speedy hares to larger beasts like thundertusks. The tribesmen can usually be identified by the pale tassels they wear on their helmets or their immaculately kept bows and quivers. The huntsmaster I met hunted alongside a large hawk who could spot a moving hare from a mile away. He was a stern drillmaster, and often surveyed his men to ensure they were operating perfectly. His right hand was missing its little finger, and, though its disappearence was never explained, I do believe his bad-tempered hawk was responsible. Kalisha Archers Kalisha Archers Closeup The Tradiki tribe are a gregarious tribe famed for its diplomatic ties and trading links. Rivalry does occur douring peacetime between the Tradiki and the Kaslisha, due to the former's desire for technological progress and development, and the latter's wish for traditional arms and rituals. Despite this, there have been numerous occasions where the tribes unite to fend off a greater threat. The Tradiki are identifiable by their ponchos and woollen gloves. They contribute sharpshooters specialising in the use of handguns to Kislavia's armies. Their technology is acquired through trade with Kislavia's Sky-Dawi Enclave. Tradiki Handgunners Handgunner Champion Handgunners Surveying Ammo-Runner In times of great danger the tribes of Kislavia will band together to defend their territory. In these cases specialists from each tribe form units, such as the Kalisha forming groups of archers and the Tradiki forming units of handgunners. Less experienced members of each tribe will join mixed groups of spearmen. These diverse units can even feature some of the braver Ice Goblins from the more civilised tribes that trade with the Tradiki. Spearmen from various tribes Champion Front ranks raise shields! Ice Goblin Allies, an unlikely source of allies that joins the Kislavian forces in times of great danger. The Ursaria tribe is the smallest of Kislavia's Great Tribes. However, it is one of, if not the most, influential tribes in the region. Its members are renowned for their taming of the greatest predators of Ghur's tundra. The tribe will bring its heavily armoured lancers and their ferocious Ursus mounts to battle in Kislavia's defense. A regiment of Ursus lancers is a truly terrifying sight, with both rider and mount working in unison due to their mutual respect. Ursus Lancers Ur-Sak Boris is the leader of the Ursaria tribe. He is easily spotted with his bright red robes and his pristine gold armour. Many legends have been created by the great warrior, his gleaming white blade - Fang - and his enormous mount Kariina. Kariina is a great urserine, a species related to the ursus. Urserines never stop growing, therefore their size is a great indictor of a specimen's age and exerience in battle. Kariina is huge, and those who are not wary of her will soon be crushed beneath her tremendous hooves or savage teeth. . Ur-Sak Boris on the great Karina.
  3. Hi everyone! I'm new here. I've painted for a huge part of my life, and one of my favourite things is following people's project logs and getting inspired by what others have done. Here's my attempt at a project log for a freeguild army. Hopefully I can keep adding to it, as well as inspiring others! First some fluff. The Realm of Ghur. Eastern Reaches. From the writings of Herr Jaeger. Towards the east of Ghur lies a region of deserts. They are greatly affected by the unstable magic of other realms, an effect I termed Realm-Bleed during my travels. The northerly desert is an icy, stone-strewn tundra where little thrives. The magic of Shyish bleeds into the northernmost edge of this tundra, ensuring that which does survive the sparse wilderness is truly hardy and fearsome to face in combat. The southern desert is a sandy region where waves of dunes ripple across the horizon. This desert is hot, and the further south one travels, the greater the effects of Aqshy Realm-Bleed. The two deserts are split by a strip where, against all odds, life thrives. This tropical oasis features a vast lake and rivers that feed farmlands before reaching the Eastern Sea. To the north and south of the bountiful lands are the Twin Jewels of the Deserts - Kislavia and Ajier. Kislavia is the city that lies to the north of the oasis. Its people are rugged and used to fighting the cold. They are experienced hunters and have tamed a number of the fearsome beasts that inhabit the northern tundra. While the majority of the population live in the city of Kislavia, there are a number of nomadic tribes that roam the wasteland for food, as well as dangers in the form of monsters and enemies. The tribes can be distinguished by the colours of the tassels their carry. Some tribes specialise in archery, others in trade, while a rare few focus on taming the wild creatures of the tundra. In times of war the tribes will band together to protect Kislavia. These occasions see a formidable force of spearmen, archers, handgunners and beast-riders marching in unison. These dangerous times even see marble-clad remnants of Sigmar's Stormcast and the reclusive Rieklings, or Ice Goblins, join the tribes of Korgoria to protect their lands. This army came from a desire to come back to Warhammer Fantasy. I wanted to create a freeguild army that decended from the empire. I searched my miniatures for suitable candidates and came across a number of miniatures I had bought to one day create a Kislevite Army. The miniatures are plastic Steppe Warriors from Fireforge. They are detailed and include a range of weapon options which covers the spearmen and archer needs for my army, The first miniatures I finished were five test archers, five test spearmen and a converted model to represent a general. What's that you say? Enough with the text? Ok then. No more rambling and onto the pictures! The Freeguild Guard fend off enemies with their shields. The Freeguild General preparing to draw his blade! The Freeguild Archers let off a volley! The Archer Champion surveys his men. 'Not bad,' he thinks. "They are overrunning us!" screams his second. Test scheme for marble-clad stormcast. Quite happy with it, and it was not terribly time-consuming! Win-win! Next up I'm finishing off the remaining archers and their pet hawk! Things to look forward to in the future include bear-ish riders and the elusive Rieklings! Hope you like them!
  4. With the Cities of Sigmar only days away from pre-order, I figured I'd make blog of my army and the free city from which they hail. The lore is as follows: Aurumburg is a coastal city located in the realm of metal, Chamon. It was build to capitalise on a large realmgate that extends out of the sea and leads to Azyr, dubbed the 'Seaspire' by the city's Azyrite founders. Naturally, the Seaspire has made Aurumburg a centre of trade and commerce. Each member of the ruling council of Merchant Lords takes their wealth through a variety of tariffs on different categories of goods shipped back and forth by the large numbers of trade ships, as well as through the riches brought back from surrounding lands by their own expeditionary forces. In addition to the Seaspire (and unknown to most of its inhabitants) is the fact that the tunnels under the city also lead to a realmgate to Shyish. After this discovery by the city's founder, the local cult of Morrda was charged with the task of guarding this hidden gate and has prevented several necromantic incursions since. Another controversy that surrounds the city includes a great forced exile of aelves from the city after the sole Aelven member of the Merchant Council was discovered by chance to be a Tzeentch worshipper. To this day, many of Aurumburg's inhabitants (and especially its duardin) hold a deep distrust of aelves. As the saying goes in the city, "Better to trust an ogor than an aelf, at least hunger is predictable". This army represents an expeditionary force into the surrounding lands along the coast to secure any valuable sources of wealth (think colonialism but substantially more justifiable what with the natives being orruks / ogors / moonclan / chaos worshippers etc.). The two biggest themes I'm trying to incorporate into the army visually is the nautical nature of its city and its location, being situated in the realm of metal. Aurumburg's military forces wear black and purple in quartered or halves schemes, accented by teal. Given its prevalence in Chamon, gold trim is commonly incorporated into uniforms as well. Aurumburg's symbol is the chamon magic symbol with a trident in place of the arrow. Model pics will come soon.
  5. Hi all, creating one thread to post finished minis, mainly working on Ad Mech for Kill Team at the minute but have finished a couple of fantasy minis lately (but purchased long ago!). Intend to start painting Shadespire warbands when finished with the Ad Mech, might build up a small, regular AoS force all going well! Finally finished the Necromancer, carrying the Penguin Classic Book of the Dead Flowers in skeletons month may be taken out though, are they a bit gaudy? Old Bretonnian Damsel, first of a small, shameful pile of 2004 era Bretonnians to be finished... sometime Cheers for looking, and any advise/critique appreciated!
  6. "Leos von Liebwitz was the younger brother of Countess Emmanuelle von Liebwitz of Nuln, who died under mysterious circumstances." "Hans Leitdorf, brother of deceased Marius Leitdorf, was the Grand Master of Knights of Sigmar's Blood. Though he had a claim on the title of Elector Count of Averland, he decided his position in the Order to be of greater importance. Ten years before End Times, Hans Leitdorf along with witch hunter Tibalt Greer had led the Knights of Sigmar's Blood into Sylvania to destroy the Black Dame of Kervheist. Many good knights had died back then. When the End Times finally befell the world, Hans led his knights against the forces of Mannfred von Carstein. The Grand Master single handedly fought his way through a horde of Skeleton Warriors to reach the Vampire Lord, but was ultimately slain in their ensuing duel." The Freeguild General on Foot / Horse is an essential unit for a Freeguild army. Simply this guy makes your weaker units hit harder and more resilient. He is a great platform as he has so many options at his disposal. He's not much to look at, 5 wounds, 5" move, 4+ save and a Bravery of 7. But he get's better once you start loading him out with the panoply of war he has available. He has the same weapon's options as the Freeguild General on Griffon (which I will review in the future). Sigmarite Weapon - 1", 5 attacks, 3+, 4+, -1 rend and 1 damage each. Great Weapon - 1", 3 attacks, 3+, 3+, -2 rend, D3 damage each. Freeguild Lance - 2" range, 3+, 4+, -1 rend, 2 damage each. Pistol - 9" range, 1 attack, 3+, 3+, -1 rend, 1 damage. The most viable options are the Freeguild Lance or the Sigmarite Weapon because they can be taken with Freeguild Shield and the Stately War Banner (see below). Take the Pistol and lose the shield, take the Great Weapon and lose the Freeguild Shield and Stately War Banner. Warhorse - The warhorse increases the Generals movement to 12" and allows the Warhorses' Steel-shod hooves attack - 1" range, 2 attacks, 4+/4+, 1 damage each. Take this, the General costs the same. ABILITIES Stately War Banner - This is an optional upgrade for the Freeguild General that substantially improves the battle-shock immunity of your army. With this the Freeguild General gains TOTEM and all Free Peoples units at 24" test battleshock with two dice and choose the lower. By itselfs it's strong but along with the benefits of the Freeguild unit banners and Defiant Avengers (Order battle trait) At 24" all units roll battle-shock with two dices, re-rolling failures and all 1's are auto-success. Add the Freeguild Regiment Battalion and it's 1's and 2's are auto-successes. TAKE. THIS. EVERY. TIME! Charging Lance - Give this mustachioed gent a Lance and he can add 1 to his damage characteristic on the Freeguild Lance if he charged. Not bad, but not great. Freeguild Shield - Give's him a save of 3+. You can take a shield and banner, so like the banner TAKE. THIS. EVERY. TIME! COMMAND ABILITY Hold the Line! - If a Freeguild General uses this ability, pick up to three Free Peoples units within 15". These units cannot move or charge during your turn, but you can add 1 to all hit and wound rolls for them until your next hero phase. This is an excellent command ability. It supercharges all your units turning Crossbows, Handgunners and Greatswords into absolute monsters. Yes you can't charge or move, but you rarely charge, you want the enemy to charge you to activate those nasty Great Company supports and the feared Stand and Shoot. This will make your enemy think twice about charging you. Get your troops up the table with your General, plant your feet on that objective and unleash unholy volleys of gunfire, crossbow bolts and greatsword blows with +1 hit and +1 wound. The fact you can choose three units at 15" is great as it's not wholly within and you will rarely have your units outside arms length. Long live the Empire death-star! NOTE: If you have Hold the Line! on a Freeguild Guard and/or Freeguild Greatswords unit, you can still counter-charge in the enemy turn and not lose the ability. Positives Cheap - 100 points! Why not take two? Freeguild Shield - 3+ save. Stately War Banner - stacks with Defiant Avengers and the Freeguild Guard, Crossbows/Handgunners and Greatswords banners. Can take a Stately War Banner, Freeguild Shield and one of the weapons options. This guy doesn't skip arm day. 12" move on the Horse. Hold the Line! command ability is amazing, turns your basic b*tches into rabid killers. Negatives Screams "Kill Me!" to your opponent. This guy is a linchpin in your army. General on a Horse sits up high making him a tasty target for sniper/ranged units. 5 wounds. Mediocre in combat, but that isn't where you want him. Hot Takes Use cover! Run all day with this guy, who care's, you don't want him in combat and it doesn't turn off his abilities. Solid core hero and general for your army, load him up with Indomitable command trait (+1 save for Free Peoples units wholly within 12" in the combat phase and if they didn't charge). Battle-shock banner aids in making your army highly resilient to checks. Keep him with your Great Companies, he gets Look Out Sir! and is essential in buffing up your weaker units. Consider taking two for redundancy. Take the General on Foot to hide behind cover. Must have for a Free Peoples army - makes Free Peoples across the a more efficient and resilient force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SAD NEWS: As of writing this the Freeguild General on Foot / Horse no longer exists on the GW webstore. He went last change to buy about a month ago. With the announcement of the Cities of Sigmar Battletome, finger's crossed we see him come back in a new model or repackaged as he is an essential part of the Free Peoples.
  7. "The herald of the Stormhosts, an avenging angel clutching a glittering starblade that can carve a swathe through the hardiest of foes, the Knight-Azyros wields another, far more potent weapon. He carries a celestial beacon, a lantern radiating the searing light of the heavens, a light that falls upon the forces of Chaos as a sea of torment far more painful than those twisted agonies the Dark Gods gleefully conceive. Wherever this light shines, so might Sigmar cast his divine bolts more easily - the Knight-Azyros is the tip of the spear, bringing glorious illumination to those places thought lost to infinite corruption" My Knight-Azyros is a little different. The Azyrocopter II was inspired by a game I had at Call to Glory 2019 (Cancon) against a fellow Free Peoples player and creator of the original Azyrocopter, Danny Carroll. Danny had a beautiful Freeguild army and I enjoyed the game so much that I wanted remember it by creating my own Azyrocopter to pay homage. I have also painted up the original model in the colours of the Hallowed Knights (my favourite Stormhost) so as to use in games where my opponent may not appreciate the Azyrocopter as a proxy. The Knight-Azyros This is a pretty solid support hero, 5 wounds (normal), 12" movement and fly (very nice), 3+ save (:O) and 9 Bravery, very solid stats. Not to bad on the attacks front, 1" range, 4 attacks, 3+/3+, -1 rend and 1 damage. Abilities This is where he shines (pun intended). Illuminator of the Lost - You can re-roll hit rolls of 1 for attacks made by friendly units that target enemy units while the enemy is within 10" of this model. This is where the Knight-Azyros is worth his weight in gold at 100 points. He makes all your basic Free Peoples better with the re-roll 1's - Greatswords, Handgunners, your Griffon's and even basic become so much more consistent in their attacks. Buff up some of these troops where they are 2+ hit re-rolling 1's and you get some nasty outcomes. Light of Sigmar - Once per battle, in your hero phase, this model can use it's celestial beacon. If it does so, each enemy unit within 8" of this model suffers D3 mortal wounds. Chaos units with 8" suffer D6 mortal wounds instead. Whilst only once per battle, this is a serious deterrent to enemies getting close to the Azyros, especially Chaos plebs. Keeping the Azyros next to a large unit or a General on Griffon and closing with this winged angel becomes and ominous proposition. Positives Cheap - 100 points! Resilient at a +3 save. Highly maneuverable with a 12" move and flying. Re-roll 1's within 10" of an enemy - ultimate pathfinder for making those Crossbow, Handgunner and Lumianrk of Hysh shots more consistent. D3 / D6 (Chaos) motal wounds for those peeps who get too close. Negatives Screams "Kill Me!" to your opponent. Tricky to maneuver without being put in a position that will lead to it's untimely death. 5 wounds. Easy line of sight on those large wings for shooting/sniping units. Misses out on all the Free Peoples buffs Hot Takes Use cover! He likes holding hands - Keep him with a Freeguild General on a Griffon as a deterrent or close to large units for Look Out Sir! REMEMBER! He has to only be within 10" of the enemy for re-rolling ones on any friendly units that target the enemy he is within 10" of. Run all day with this guy, who care's, you don't want him in combat and it doesn't turn off his abilities. Must have for a Free Peoples army - makes the attacks of all the things more consistent.
  8. "The Mountain Guard are the elite forces of Averland who guard Black Fire Pass. They are the cream of the Averland forces and include regular troops, Halflings, as well as a special unit of trappers and rangers. They are often the first forces to intercept invading armies and as such commonly take high casualties. They are successful at their job of patrolling the pass, although it is difficult to patrol such long piece of road" Do you want an unit full of German William Wallace's? The Freeguild Greatswords are the elite infantry of the Free Peoples, wielding giant Zweihanders into battle, they are staunch defenders of the realms of men and veterans of hundreds of battles. They aren't much to look at on paper, they have basic human stats, 1 wound each, 5" move, a slightly better save than the Freeguild Guard at +4 and a slightly better Bravery at 6. Their attack profile is pretty solid, 2 attacks, 4+ hit, 3+ wound, -1 rend and 1 damage each. Not bad really, it's something to work with in the realms of all the buffs the Free Peoples have access to. The Guild Champion (unit Sergeant) gets 3 attacks instead of 2. The Standard Bearer also makes an appearance in this unit. Whilst their save and Bravery is standard for humans. Rolls of a 1 for battle shock in this unit is an automatic pass. This is important as it stacks with the Order Battle Trait Defiant Avengers (allowing you to re-roll battleshock tests) and the Freeguild General on Horses banner (roll two dice for Freeguild units with 24" of the Freeguild General). In brief, ALWAYS keep these guys within range of the Freeguild General with Banner. The Hornblower - Like the Freeguild Guard this creative gentlemen allows your unit to counter-charge after your opponent has moved all of his charging units so long as no enemy models are within 3" of this unit. The counter-charge is a charge based on a D6. Not great, but you will be surprised by the amount of times you can actually get this off (as it overlaps with the Free Peoples Great Company support ability). Abilities Oathsworn Honour Guard - If a unit of Freeguild Greatswords is within 14" of a Free Peoples Hero from your army when they attack, you can add 1 to all of their hit rolls. Only one ability for these mustachio twirling gents. You will rarely move these guys outside of 14" of a Freeguild General (Foot, Horse or Griffon variant). These guys are bodyguards for your General, this ability merely confirms it. As long as you remain within range of your Freeguild General this will bring your guys to a nice to 3+/3+ on their attacks, pretty tasty. Positives Cheaper with GHB2019 - 300pts for 30 finely dressed, mustachioed pantaloons wearing murderers Consistent weight of attacks with rend; a unit of 30 (assuming you can get them all in) has 61 attacks. Standard Bearer has good synergy with the Defiant Avengers battle trait and the Freeguild General to make a highly battle shock resistant unit. They can be underestimated by your opponent - these guys love to get jacked off all the Free Peoples buffs. Perfect as a bodyguard for your General and as the core of your army. Negatives 4+ save - these guys are the hammer to the Freeguild Guards anvil. Bravery 6 - low, but we have have high battleshock resistance. 5" move - They are very slow, hence susceptible to the next point. Highly vulnerable to ranged attack. Very unwieldy in a 30 man unit. They require significant investment of buffs to be viable. Recommendations DON'T put them in threat range of nasty shooters, these are 1 wound +4 save basic dudes, they will get decimated. Keep them supported by Crossbows and Handgunners and within range of your Indomitable Freeguild General. They are great bodyguards for your Freeguild General who is vulnerable at only 5 wounds. Keep him nearby for the 24" battleshock banner, the Indomitable Command Trait (+1 save wholly with 12") and chuck the Hold the Line! command ability on these guys to make them 2+/2+, 3+ save, battleshock resisting monster men. Don't take them below 10 men, it's simply not worth it. A 20 man unit is a nice medium, they aren't to unwieldy to move around the table and you can get two ranks in on the 25mm bases. Good synergy with the Freeguild General on Griffon's Rousing Battle Cry ability. 1+ hit, +2 bravery and +1 to charge roles makes them significantly better. The Amber Battlemage is good to buff these guys with the Wildform spell. +1 wound in the combat phase, couple this with the Rousing Battle Cry command ability and your Greatswords won't be limited by the movement restriction of the Hold the Line! command ability and will have the same attack profile of 2+/2+. A Grey Battleamge is also good for keeping them alive, cast Mystifying Miasma to make the unit they are fighting -1 to hit. Put them in a Great Company, every unit in the Free Peoples needs SUPPORT! Knight-Azyros re-roll 1's just makes them even crazier.
  9. "The Sterntower Marksmen are a newly formed regiment out of Steingart. They are garrisoned as part of the line of sentry post and signal towers that guard the low foothills of the eastern Wissenland, under the shadow of the imposing Black Mountains. Always at the ready to launch their signal flares to signify invasions, the watchtowers are essential for border defence. The Marksmen share the Sterntower with several other Imperial regiments - Halberdiers and Spearmen - with whom they have established a front-line camaraderie. Sergeant-at-Arms Hans Schwarzblut is the tower officer, in command of the Sterntower Marksmen and a unit each of Halberdier and Spearmen. He is a veteran of many battles against marauding Orcs and his tight discipline keeps all the troops at high alert. Unwilling to sit and wait, Schwartzblut often orders patrols up into the narrow mountain passes." - Uniforms and Heraldry of the Empire Crossbowmen are one of the strongest units in the Free Peoples arsenal, providing robust mid-range shooting and a nasty surprise for enemies who recklessly charge them or the Great Company they are in. On paper they don't look that fearsome. A 20" range, 4+ to hit and 4+ to wound isn't that great. 1 wound each, low bravery, low movement and a terrible save. Where they shine is in the synergies with their in-built abilities and the rest of the army. Positives Pipers - Stand and Shoot 2.0! If an enemy ends it's charge within 3" of the Crossbowmen they can open up and shoot with their Crossbows at the charging unit. You lose the Reload Fire (below) ability when you stand and shoot (enemy will be within 3"). But what is truly amazing is that if another ranged Free Guild unit is charged you can support them without being in the same Great Company as the rule reads "Once per turn, if an enemy unit ends it's charge move within 3" of a unit that includes any Pipers, they can signal their unit to stand and shoot; each model can then shoot it's Crossbow at the charging unit". Standard Bearer - Whilst their save and Bravery is bad, the Standard Bearer allows rolls of 1 to be an automatic pass for the unit in Bravery checks. This is important as it stacks with the Order Battle Trait Defiant Avengers (allowing you to re-roll battleshock tests) and the Freeguild General on Horses banner (roll two dice for Freeguild units with 24" of the Freeguild General). In brief, ALWAYS keep these guys within range of the Freeguild General with Banner. Abilities Piercing Bolts - Each time a you roll a wound roll of 6 or more for a Crossbow, that attack is resolved with a Rnd of -1 instead of (-). Why is it good? Give your Crossbowmen Hold the Line! (1+ to hit and wound) and that means -1 rend on 5's and 6's. With 60 shots from the Reload Fire ability (below), that can get scary. Reload Fire - Freeguild Crossbowmen can shoot twice if their unit has 20 or more models and there are no enemy models with 3". Why is this good? You can move and still punch out 60 shots (as long as no enemies are within 3"), this means you can support your Swordsmen on the move without any negative effects (unlike the Handgunners). You can also do 60 shots with the Great Company support (again no enemies within 3") in the enemy charge phase even if the enemy hasn't charged (because the enemy just has to be within 3" of the unit being supported). Negatives 6+ save Bravery 5 5" move Get picked off easily by long range units (looking at you SC Vanguard). Recommendations Keep them 3.5" from the front line of your Freeguild Guard (so as to not jeopardise the Great Company support and your 60 shots). Keep them within range of the Freeguild General (for the banner and Idomitable (Command Trait)). Keep themwithin range of the Luminarks 10", 6+ ward save (if you have one). Use Hold the Line! (+1 to hit, +1 wound) from the Freeguild General to give them 3+, 3+ (though they can't move) Make them insane by getting two command points, giving them Hold the Line! and Rousing Battlecry command abilities (+1 hit) from the General on Horse and General on Griffon and then have an Azyros in range of their target (within 10" targetting unit get's re-roll 1's). Bathe in the sheer ****** of 2+ to hit (re-rolling 1's) and 3+ to wound on 60 shots. Use them to support your Freeguild Guard. These are your damage dealers, they are essentially ranged Greatswords.
  10. "The Swords of Ulric, also known as the Sons of Ulric are a Middenland regiment of Templar's and fanatics dedicated and funded by the Ulrican Church of Middenheim. The formidable training of the Swords of Ulric consists not of marches or military drills, but instead on patrols and war parties led out of the city itself and into the hazardous regions of the Drakwald Forest, where they hunt out the tribes of beastmen that have taken residence in the land. Initiates hoping to join this famed regiment must accompany such excursions into the forest; only those that fight with honour (and survive) in the gruesome endeavour shall be admitted into the regiment. It is left to each soldier to equip himself in the blue and white colours of Middenland, but once he becomes a full member, most of the funding for equipment and supplies are administrated by the Temple of Ulric. Since the regiments founding, in the days when Count Mandred Skavenslayer rallied the Empire behind him and became Emperor, the Sons of Ulric have borne yellow shields into battle, a tradition that still hold true today. Also by tradition, each shield must bear a variation of the same device; a red wolf, signifying Ulric embattled. The grim northerners have little room for formal ceremony, but what they lack in parade-ground discipline, they make up for with uncommon savagery and dedication on the battlefield." - Uniforms and Heraldry of the Empire The heart of any Free Peoples army is the humble Freeguild Guard. There is something intrinsically cool about some basic human dude running into battle with little but a sword, shield, floppy hat and scant armor (let alone some without shoes). This is one of the main reasons I love this army, normal humanity fighting against giant daemons, superhuman Chaos tribesmen, ferocious Orcs and the ethereal ranks of the undead. It's all well and good, being a superhuman Stormcast running into battle with god-forged weapons, but when you are Hanz the baker from Middenland with your hand me down panoply of war and facing a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh, things are a little different. Stats are similar to the Crossbowmen I previously covered: 1 wound each, 5+ save (better than the Crossbow 6+), Bravery 5 and a move of 5". Nothing great. All Freeguild Gaurd with Halberds, Spears and Swords can take Shields. The Freeguild Guard have a variety of weapons to take, each with their unique traits: Stats are the same for all Melee weapons: 1" range, 1 attack, 4+ hit, 4+ wound = 1 damage Halberd - Has -1 rend. Spear - Has a 2" range. Sword - Has the parry ability - +1 save in the combat phase. Militia Weapons - get a shooting attack. Ranged - Militia Weapons - 14" range, +5 to hit, +4 wound = 1 damage. For this blog I will be referring to Swordsmen only, as I believe they are the strongest option here. Positives Shields - "You can re-roll save rolls of 1 for a unit equipped with Shields." Parry - "You can add 1 to save rolls for Freeguild Guard equipped with Swords in the combat phase." These two abilities make Swordsmen the best anvil for your Free Peoples army. In combat they are now a 4+ save re-rolling 1's. Add the Freeguild General on Horse with the Indomitable command trait and that is how a 3+ re-rolling 1's. Taking these guys in a 40 man unit with this kind of save is a serious lump of wounds that your enemy has to deal with. Standard Bearer - "Models in this unit may be Standard Bearers. If you roll a 1 when taking a battleshock test for a unit that includes any Standard Bearers none of its models flee. " As with the Crossbowmen, their Bravery of 5 is horrendous. Luckily these guys also have the Standard Bearer allowing for rolls of 1 to be an automatic pass for the unit in Bravery checks. Again i'll re-affirm how important this is as it stacks with the Order Battle Trait Defiant Avengers (allowing you to re-roll battleshock tests) and the Freeguild General on Horses banner (roll two dice for Freeguild units with 24" of the Freeguild General). In brief, ALWAYS keep these guys within range of the Freeguild General with Banner. NOTE: Couple the Parry, Sheilds and Standard Bearer and the +1 bravery for each 10 models in the unit and this makes this unit highly resistant to basic damage and battleshock. Massed Ranks - "Add 1 to hit rolls for Freeguild Guard if their unit contains 20 or more models. Add 2 instead if their unit contains 30 or more models, and add 3 if it contains 40 or more models." This can make the Freeguild Guard very killy against other horde units they will encounter. A 40+ man unit is hitting on 2+ and wounding on +4. Add a Hold the Line! from the Freeguild General on Horse and/or a Wildform spell from an Amber Battlemage and you are looking at 2_+hit, 2+ wound on 40 attacks. Couple this with a Knight-Azyros (Re-rolling 1's to hit) nearby and you have some scary Freeguild Guard just through highly reliable weight of attacks. Negatives No save's against mortal wounds. You'll need a Luminark or Jade Battlemage (with Lifesurge) to help them with this. Lose the +1 save from Parry ability in the shooting phase. Low movement - 5". No rend (unless you take Halberds, but then you lose the Parry). Awkward in large units. Weak combat in small units. Recommendations / Comments Take them in units of 20+ as core battleline for your Great Companies. Protect your shooting units! Use them as an anvil. Whilst the Massed Ranks ability is nice I recommend keeping them alive as much as possible, retreat them from combat when you can to increase survivability and to draw the enemy into ambushes (from your shooting, cavalry or Griffon Generals). 40 wounds with these defensive characteristics is hard to move. 40 dudes is very awkward to move around the table, especially in a Great Company that may include 30+ other models. Practice using large units (that's a rule for any horde army player). You can c**k-block your other units (*cough* Demigryphs) by not manouvering these guys correctly. Remember, they get +1 bravery for each 10 models in the unit when taking battleshock, therefore a unit of 40 is Bravery 9. Always support with a Freeguild General on Horse with a banner. Keep them blobbed if you have an Indomitable general as it states wholly within 12" for this unit to benefit from the +1 save. Use the Knight-Azyros (Re-rolling 1's), the Freeguild General's Hold the Line! ability and the Amber Battlemages Wildform to increase their combat potency Take them in units of 10 for screening units. 80 points is super cheap and they don't lose any significant defensive capabilities from 10 to 40 man units (except the stacking bravery from 20+ models).
  11. The Free City of Bal’lahast and the Bal’lahast 1st Shyish Campaign Force The City The Free City of Bal’lahast is situated in the far north of Ghur, neighbored by the Spitewood and Spitewood Fens, home to Sylvaneth and Fimir respectively. The city stands on an open grassy plane, surrounded by five concentric rings of moats. There are no walls in Bal’lahast, only the stake laden pits of water that keep the great beasts of Ghur at bay. Only a single bridge crosses each section of the moat, and one would have to circle around having just crossed the first in order to reach the second and so on. This makes Bal’lahast a nightmare to siege without the use of flying beasts, and so the city has never fallen. The people of Bal’lahast are of both human and duardin descent, and so are of stern demeanor, but also stand slightly shorter and are burlier than the average man. They worship the gods Grungni and Sigmar in that order, and venerate Ludwig Schwarzhelm as their patron saint, as well as Karl Franz to a lesser degree. The leader of the Bal’lahastines is called The Schwarzhelm, of which Hector Wallace is the current bearer of the mantel. He is the 21st Schwarzhelm, and like his predecessors, he strives to don the ancient saint’s supposed persona and instill his stalwart nature in all his subjects. The icon of Bal’lahast is a simple letter R in Khazalid, in honor of the city’s founder, Robert Bal’lahast, who lived at the end of the Age of Chaos. The Bal’lahastines prefer functionality over aesthetics, and so their heraldry is often bare-bones and dull in color. The image of the Schwarzhelm upon his horse is more than enough to stir up the courage of any man. The many craftsmen and artificers of the city are duty-bound to ensure the maintenance of The Schwarzhelm’s panoply; a near perfect replica of the original worn in the World that Was, based on a single surviving manuscript found in the depths of Azyr, by a lone priest of the Devoted of Sigmar many centuries ago. This tattered ink sketch is the most prized object of the city. The armies of Bal’lahast go to war dressed in copper-alloy armor and burgundy cloth. The region of Ghur in which the city resides is poor in metals bar copper, and so they craft most of their armor from a synthesized alloy of the metal, produced by the city’s Collegiate Arcane. Weapons of war are still crafted in steel, as the aforementioned alloy is, for the most part, inferior. Steel is otherwise reserved for the most important of tools and armor, and so only the leaders and most well paid soldiers can afford such luxury; namely the generals and Handgunners, as well as the knights who often have shields of steel. The Handgunners in particular are highly valued as they are instrumental in bringing down the rampaging beasts of Ghur, and so every kill is extra coin in their pocket. The uniform of a Bal’lahastine soldier begins a deep green, and it is expected by the end of their first year of duty that it be stained burgundy with the blood of monsters. Some circumvent this by using artificial dyes, but this is frowned upon. What a Bal’lahastine lacks in equipment, they make up for with physical prowess and bravery. Thanks to their ancestry, the average man is thickly built with a penchant for saying ‘no’, be it accepting a day off or fleeing the enemy. The Bal’lahast 1st Shyish Campaign Force The soldiers of the Bal’lahast 1st Shyish Campaign Force are a grim foe to behold. Formed during the aftermath of the Necroquake, these bedraggled yet stalwart men are a force to be reckoned with. Their steel is rusted and their armor stained with verdigris, for there are no supply lines in the land they find themselves in, and the next friend is few and far between. Shyish would suffocate most outsiders, but not them. They fight to bring an end to the death god through the sheer grit of mortal men. Led by Hector Wallace, the Campaign Force has gained a firm foothold in the realm and intends to push ever onwards into the heart of Shyish. The only man who will return is The Schwarzhelm himself, but each and every soldier knows this. Their uniforms are already stained red on the planes of Ghur, and even though the eager recruits will never know this fighting the dead, they fight regardless. Every soldier is a willing soul. Upon death, the soul of the fallen soldier will not be drawn to the Great Necromancer, instead it is immediately obliterated by the power of the Bal’lahastine Luminark’s scorching aura; a well-kept secret by the city’s Collegiate Arcane. This way, they feed no souls to the enemy, and let soldiers die in peace, knowing they will never return. This does however mean that Luminarks are the most prized weapon of war utilized by Bal’lahast, and they are defended as if they were The Schwarzhelm himself. The Campaign Force is the first army of Bal’lahast to fight alongside the Stormcast Eternals. While many mortals would quiver in their shadow, the men of Bal’lahast are most vocal in their distaste for Sigmar’s chosen, seeing them as cowards in the face of true annihilation; something they willingly choose. Regardless, Wallace ensures that their alliance holds firm; after all, they need every new sword they can find, and Sigmarite doesn’t rust.
  12. Welcome to the first entry for my Free Peoples blog. I have been working on this army since 2015. It's been a passion project of mine since first seeing the Empire army in the 8th Edition army book. I had always wanted to start an Empire army but never though I had the painting skills to do them justice. In 2015 my best friend James was painting up his Bretonnian army. We reconnected (we had deployed together in the military and became good friends) after a couple of years and we got talking about Warhammer again. I had picked up the 8th Edition Empire book whilst we were deployed. I read the whole thing front to back, immersing myself in the awesome lore. After speaking to James I picked up the Empire Battalion Box and started my journey. Unfortunately I was deployed again in mid 2015 to early 2016, missing out of the transition to Age of Sigmar. When I came back the Empire was still alive in the form of the warscrolls and was not yet referred to as the Free Peoples faction (except in the keywords on the Empire Warscrolls). I spent most of this time hobbying, including re-basing the few miniatures I had completed prior to deploying (a single unit of twenty Averland halberdiers). Over the next 3 years I built up my army to what it is today. I vowed not to play the army at an event until I had 2000 points of playable Free Peoples painted. Below is the photos of my army at Cancon 2019, the first time I had taken the fully painted army to an event. The point of this blog will be to keep track of my hobby and gaming progress with this army that I love so much. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the content.
  13. Introduction One of the things I really like about the latest Warhammer 40,000 releases for 'The Gathering Storm' is the idea of a Triumvirate. This was a word I had not heard before and as well as sounding very cool I also liked the meaning behind it: I have also recently been thinking about backstory writing for my Age of Sigmar mixed Order army, and as I recently finished my third centre-piece model for the army (A Freeguild General on Griffon), it seemed the perfect chance to add my own "Triumvirate" into my army. The Roots of the Story: When Age of Sigmar first came out, I put together a backstory for my army called 'Siegfried's Desperados'. I had a blog on Dakkadakka which was quite popular at the time, perhaps because it was one of the safe havens away from the heat the game was getting from some disgruntled veterans (especially on Dakkadakka). You can check out the thread here if you are interested: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/663727.page To summerise, the initial background I created for my army was that they were a mercenary outfit (called the 'Desperados') operating out of Azyrheim. I wanted to add a bit more grey and a bit more low fantasy into the backstory (as it was something Age of Sigmar didn't really have at the time), so I came up with some hooks and ideas of the dark side of aelven society in Azyrheim (lots of intrigue and assassinations among the nobles), the ideas of slums in the city, and that a mercenary outfit might employ a necromancer in their ranks. This was also an excuse to add in Aelves, Duardin and even Death into my army which was all a lot of fun to play with before the General's Handbook came out. But since the General's Handbook came out the narrative and story behind my army has taken the backseat. I have been focusing a lot more on Matched play and my narrative outlet has been with Hinterlands. As the recently finished Freeguild General on Griffon was meant to be Siegfried Stormhart once more, I thought it would be fun to update the story of the Desperados, and so the Triumvirate was born. The Triumvirate of Mistmire; Master Geppetto, Siegfried Stormhart and the alchemist, Massym Al-Izzar Creating a Triumvirate: I want to throw out the question to all of you, what cool Triumvirates could you add into your collection? All you would need are the following: 1. 3 Cool Models 2. A Cool Story that connects them For me, I had my 3 Centrepieces. The Griffon, the Steamtank and the Hurricanum. I wanted them to have some sort of purpose other than being in an army together, so I decided to bring back the old Necromancer I used to run in the Desperados pre-GHB. He goes by the name 'Cornacaprious'. I decided that he has since betrayed the Desperados, and has resurrected an ancient vampire (with the title of the "Blood Queen"). This gives me a reason to finally paint my Neferata model and also gives the triumvirate a goal to accomplish (they of course seek to kill both the Necromancer and the Blood Queen). So with the scene set, I put together a 4 pages as if they were from a campaign book and detailed my Triumvirate of Mistmire. I would love to hear what you think, but more importantly I hope this inspires you all to go off and create a Triumvirate for one of your armies too. My Triumvirate:
  14. Kislevite-style bear cavalry! Bodies from Warlord Games Polish Winged Hussars, mounts from Ogre Mournfang Cavalry. This is a unit I have always wanted to create, ever since that old White Dwarf Supplement featuring a Kislev army list! These are also the reason I wanted to make this Kislev-themed army.

    © mcfishstick

  15. Kislevite-style bear cavalry! Bodies from Warlord Games Polish Winged Hussars, mounts from Ogre Mournfang Cavalry. This is a unit I have always wanted to create, ever since that old White Dwarf Supplement featuring a Kislev army list! These are also the reason I wanted to make this Kislev-themed army.

    © mcfishstick

  16. The whole unit ready for undercoating.
  17. Counts as Demigryph Cavalry made from Warlord Games Polish Winged Hussars and Morngul Cavalry
  18. Ice Goblin Spearman made from a Games Workshop Gnoblar kitbashed with Fireforge Steppe Warrior.
  19. Bear Rider made from Warlord Games Polish Winged Hussar and Games Workshop Morngul Cavalry.
  20. Freeguild Guard made from Fireforge Steppe Warriors, Warlord Games Soviet Winter Infantry and Games Workshop Gnoblars.
  21. Ice Goblin Spearman made from a Games Workshop Gnoblar kitbashed with Fireforge Steppe Warrior.
  22. Champion thrusting with his sword through the shieldwall!
  23. Freeguild General made from a Warlord Games Polish Winged Hussar on a converted Stonehorn.
  24. Freeguild Army of around 500pts. 10 Archers, 10 Handgunners, 20 Spearmen and 1 General. Mainly made from Fireforge Steppe Warriors and Warlord Games Soviet Winter Infantry.
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