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Age of Sigmar: How to Play Cities of Sigmar

6 Minute Read
Sep 1 2023

Today we take a look at the basics of how to play Cities of Sigmar in AoS. For the glory of the Lord of Hysh!

Sigmar’s mortal servants, the Cities of Sigmar represent settlements across the Realms where the races of Order work together to repel the tides of Death, Chaos, and Destruction. They are the most multifaceted army in the game, bringing together the strengths of all the different societies that make up the greater cities. Whatever you want to play, the Cities probably have a list for you, and they’re a surprisingly rewarding force.

Who are the Cities of Sigmar?

Bastions of Order across the Mortal Realms, the Cities of Sigmar are the product of Aelves, Dwarves, and Men working together to make a safe haven against the forces arrayed against them. They combine the ingenuity of the Duardin, the cunning of the Dark Aelves, with the natural order of Men. Each city has a focus, like the druidic Living City or the oil-bleached forges of Greywater Fastness, and they keep the spark of Order alight in a world choked by Chaos. The Dark Powers may own the Eightpoints, but the Cities of Sigmar ensure their reach moves no further.

Why Play Cities of Sigmar?

The Cities of Sigmar are the most varied army in the game, with multiple ways to play to suit almost any playstyle. If you like guns, there’s an army for that. Likewise Allies of whatever flavor. Every unit is viable in every army, though some fit the balance better than others in each case. Whatever you build, you’ll find a richly rewarding army with easily customizable lore if you like Lorehammer. And hey, if it doesn’t work, try another city.


  • No army in the game has as many options as you (except maybe the Stormcast)
  • You still get to play a few older models (the Duardin and Aelves), while also adding some surprising support models
  • More conditional Battleline than you can shake a flail at
  • The STEAM TANK (which is also conditional Battleline)


  • All that choice can make your army unfocused if you aren’t careful
  • Some of the Cities do have a “right” way to play, limiting the choices you have a little bit


For subfactions, each City has its own special rules, making them quite unique armies. I will give a quick rundown of each city below.


The Cities of Sigmar

  • Excelsis – A Ghurish army that rose up during the events of Broken Realms. They have have tough Monsters and fearsome Cavaliers.
  • Greywater Fastness – The shooting army. This is the land of cannons, guns, and blackpowder. Use this if close combat makes you queasy and you just want to blitz the enemy with gunfire. They get to use All-out Attack up to three times in the Shooting phase.
  • Hallowheart – The Arcane College army. This is the army to play if you want to unleash magic on your foes with 3D6 casts that will likely blow you up.. Lots of mages and enough magic to make Tzeentch blush.
  • Hammerhal Aqsha– This army gets to take extra advantage of the Order system, giving one Hero an extra one every round. Also includes the awesome Talia Vedhra.
  • Hammerhal Ghyra– This army gets an extra Reinforcement point when list building, which is a quite unique mechanic.
  • Misthåvn – A city of Dark Aelf assassins. This is the army of skirmishers that don’t want to play fair and want to win at any cost. They can surprise the enemy with sneaky Hero phase moves.
  • Settler’s Gain – A city in Hysh under the watchful eye of the Lumineth Realm-Lords. While they provide the citizenry with training, they have a bad habit of “cleansing” the inhabitants. Lumineth Allies can give you extra Command points and all your Wizards have +1 to Casting.
  • Tempest’s Eye – The skirmishers army, and the one to play if you want to enhance your army with some skyboats. All of their units can retreat and still shoot.
  • The Living City – The ambushing army of life. You can set up to half you units in ambush, including Allied Sylvaneth.
  • Vindicarum  – The faithful Flagellant army. This army wants to get up close where it can use Rally even within 3″ of the enemy. If you Rally Flagellants, you do it on a 5+!
  • Lethis- In this city from Shyish, all the Human Heroes in the army become Priests dedicated to Morrda. They all have a Ward save cancelling Prayer.

Key Cities of Sigmar Units

Cities of Sigmar has the largest roster of almost any book in the game. Still, these are a few units you’ll always want to consider.

Alchemite Warforger

The brand new Cities of Sigmar Wizard is very effective at buffing combat or shooting for your Human troops. His spell ignites the weapons of a unit, giving them Mortal Wounds in addition on ‘6’s to Hit.

Freeguild Cavalier-Marshal

This mounted Marshall is the perfect compliment to a hefty block of Freeguild Cavaliers. Not only can he buff their movement when taking his Finest Hour Heroic Action, but he can also get strike first on the charge and pass it on to a nearby unit of Cavaliers!

Freeguild Steelhelms

The human rank and file- really the gruntiest models you can get besides Gore-gruntas.  The Battle Priest in the unit can consecrate objectives to make them emit Ward saves and if that isn’t enough, they are easy to command- one Command Point can impact two units of Steelhelms for attack and defense!

Ironweld Great Cannon

A powerful and deadly war machine, this monster is rightly feared by the enemies of Order. It is a cannon with a nice hefty shield in front. To get the most deadly shots with this weapon, you’ll either need to stay still or expend an order from a Hero to maintain a Fortified Position.

Freeguild Cavaliers

Fast and punchy cavalry, that really specialize on taking the charge. They have native 3+ armour and a good number of damage two attacks when they charge. Just don’t get bogged down or you’ll lose effectiveness fast.



Sample Cities of Sigmar Army (2K pts)

Army: Cities of Sigmar (Hammerhal Aqsha)

Tahlia Vedra
Alchemite Warforger

30 Freeguild Fusiliers
20 Freeguild Steelhelms
20 Freeguild Steelhelms
Freeguild Command Corps
5 Freeguild Cavaliers

Ironweld Cannon

Cities of Sigmar Tips

It’s hard to give tips for Cities of Sigmar since there are SO many ways to play them, but just try to make sure you don’t get choice-blind. Decide what you want your army to do, then focus on that, and you’ll be fine.

~For the Glory of Sigmar!


Author: Allen Campbell
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