Welcome to the Freeguild Guard young solider.
I’m Anthony Magro, Captain of the Freeguild Guard, and you’ve joined the ranks of the first line of defense in this fine Free City.
We’ve fought hard to keep the beasts of the Mortal Realms at bay and return to the prosperity that we enjoyed before the Age of Chaos. We cannot rely on the salvation of the Stormcast Eternals and must be prepared to rally the regimental detachments.
If you want to make it back to your home alive, you will take this journal and study it. I’ve documented the many successful (and unsuccessful) campaigns to protect this fine city.
Remember that there is no peace, only war!
It’s hard to find a faction quite like the Free People anywhere else in Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. When the Old World was destroyed, and the Age of Chaos came around, the humans were displaced from their cities and had an uphill battle to reclaim their lands. With the factions of Order slowly retaking control of the Mortal Realms the “average joe” humans are re-settling… and with that an opportunity to tell your own story.
The Free People offer the hobby enthusiast an opportunity to create their own style of humans from a wide range of Warhammer kits, while the competitive wargamer has a large range of unit options and allies.
While the Free People don’t have a battletome, they do have their own allegiance abilities which can be found in the Generals Handbook.
Mastery of the Free People will be a challenge, however; nothing worthwhile ever came easy.
In the first edition of Age of Sigmar, the Free People were the traditional gunline army. The army would host over 100 battleline models with a lot of short range shooting. The centre of the army was a Freeguild General on Horse due to the way Command Abilities worked, and the Hold The Line ability being superior to the alternative Command on the Freeguild General on Griffon.
Triple Threat takes the best of the most popular builds from the previous edition and shifts the focus from a slow-moving hoard that will attempt to shoot off your opponent from the table to a mobile Hammer & Anvil build which can seize early objectives while still being supported by that core regiment of battleline.
The Free People allegiance ability allows you to organise Freeguild units into Great Company. It doesn’t reduce the number of drops in your army like a warscroll formation, however; it creates a new level of synergy between your three chosen units with benefits in shooting or combat (depending on which units you choose in the Great Company). A unit lending support to another unit from its Great Company can either shoot as if it were your shooting phase or charge as if it were your charge phase.
Assuming you’ve met the allegiance ability criteria, the Great Company will allow you to;
- Shoot with units like the Handgunners at your opponent in your opponent’s charge phase. This will let you chip wounds off the unit and potentially degrade any benefits may come from your opponent if they have a certain amount of models in the unit (e: Moonclan Grots gain benefits to wound rolls with 20+ models)
- Charge with combat units like Freeguild Guard or Freeguild Greatswords at the end of your opponent’s charge phase, even if they were previously denied of being within 3” of the enemy
Countering A Counter
One of the most interesting mechanics in the Free People is the ability to counter the counter of our allegiance ability via the Piper / Drummer. Within the Freeguild Guard, Handgunners, and Crossbowmen you have the option to take a drummer or piper which allows you to counter-charge or counter-shoot an opponent if they finish a charge within range.
With Great Company units having to be wholly within 12” of the unit that they are supporting, there is a chance that your opponent may charge your Handgunners instead of your Guard in an attempt to deny the free shooting that’s generated from the Great Company lending support. If they charge the Handgunners, they will deny your Great Company shooting…. but!
Your musician/piper will take over from where your Great Company left off. The Handgunner piper will allow you to stand and shoot at the end of the charge phase and before the start of the combat phase, allowing you to shoot at the charging unit.
Charge the Freeguild Guard, Handgunners in the Great Company get a free round of shooting. Charge the Freeguild Handgunners, the piper gives them a free round of shooting. Either way… we’re going to shoot you!
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
The Indomitable command trait is too good to ignore. With your armies General being a Freeguild General on Griffon, it can provide an additional 1 to the save rolls to the other Griffons (assuming that you’re hunting in a pack). 2x Freeguild Generals on Griffin with a 2+ armour save when they haven’t charged? Yes please!
I’ve specifically not chosen an artefact for this army because there are a number of strong options available. My personal favourites include;
- Armour of Meteoric Iron, Free People Allegiance, +1 armour save on Freeguild General on Griffon
- The Broken Shackle, Free People Allegiance, allows a retreat & charge move in the same turn
- Greenglade Flask, Artifact of Ghyran, heals d6 wounds on your hero once per battle
- Gryph-feather Charm, Artifact of Ghur, adds an additional 1” to the move of a Freeguild General on Griffon and makes them -1 to hit against them
- Rune Blade, Artifact of Chamon, makes a weapon -3 rend characteristic. I would swap one of the Freeguild General on Griffon’s weapon choice from a great hammer to a sword to increase the amount of attacks with the Rune Blade
- Ethereal Amulet*, Artifact of Shyish, makes your Freeguild General on Griffon a 3+ unmodified save
*note: if you take the Ethereal Amulet, your General won’t benefit from Indomitable. You’ll be taking that command trait to help it’s fellow Griffons, not itself.
Freeguild General with Stately War Banner
The Freeguild General is the backbone of your battleline. Unlike most hero choices, you want to actively avoid getting this unit into combat. You take the Freeguild General because it provides incredible value to your battleline through the Hold the Line command ability which provides +1 to hit and +1 to wound to up to 3 of your Freeguild units, as well as the Stately War Banner option which allows you to roll 2 dice when taking a battleshock test, and choosing the lowest figure.
The power of the Stately War Banner is quantified when combined with your Allegiance ability that allows you to re-roll your battleshock tests within range, as well as the battleline units banner option which let’s you ignore battleshock if a 1 is rolled. Essentially you have 4 chances to roll a 1 to completely ignore battleshock!
You may want to take the General on horse to increase the movement profile.
The Freeguild General on Griffon is the bestial damage dealer that the army needs, however; easily becomes your opponents first target if you run it alone. The best Free People performances come when your Griffon’s hunt in a pack. The unit has a high movement, loads of wounds, a strong command ability, and a high armour save.
Much can be debated on if a lance/sword is better than the great hammer. I’ve elected to choose the great hammer due to the high rend and high damage potential. The profile on the Griffon doesn’t degrade very much after taking wounds, and it’s relatively easy to bring down the hit and wound rolls via the two command abilities, and the potential re-rolls offered through the Knight Azyros (below).
The Freeguild General on Griffon isn’t a Stardrake, so pick your battles and don’t be too eager to run it into the enemy. Keeping the unit within support range of your Handgunners will increase it’s survivability and allow you to continue causing havoc for the full 5 rounds.
Freeguild Guard are the core of your army. The unit fills in your battleline choices, benefit from the massive regiment discount, and have a variety of weapon choices which change the dynamics of the unit. This list is built around the sword & shield variety of the Freeguild Guard due to the survivability (anvil) of the unit.
Taking the swords over the halberds/spears/militia will give the unit a re-roll 1’s to the units save (Shield) as well as 4+ save in the combat phase (Parry). Having a Standard Bearer will let you ignore battleshock if you roll a 1, which combines incredibly well with the allegiance ability and the Freeguild Generals Stately War Banner (above).
The 25mm base will allow you to fight in two ranks when positioned correctly. They’re not your damage dealer but they will hold up your opponent away from objectives and/or often find themselves holding onto objectives with more models.
Freeguild Handgunners are the wingmen to your Freeguild Guard. The unit fills in your battleline choice, is a perfect addition to the Great Company, and provides a medium ranged shooting threat. Handgunners have a higher to hit roll than other shooting options, however; they have the ability to bring that number down if they don’t move, if they have 20 or more models, and/or receive the Hold The Line command ability from the Freeguild General.
You could take 1x 10 & 1x 30 unit to increase in this list instead of 2x 20. I’ve elected the units of 20 to make it easier to keep them wholly within abilities. A unit of 30 would keep the +1 to hit benefit on the unit for longer.
An additional perk to the Freeguild Handgunner is the unit leader can have a Long Rifle, which has a 30” range with 2 damage weapon.
Handgunners are a strong enough threat with their piper to sit on an objective and hold it, or to be deployed on the wings of your Freeguild Guard as a Great Company support.
Outriders are a fast cavalry unit that is perfect to support your Griffons, challenge objectives (especially ones deep in your enemy’s deployment zone), or generally annoy your opponent while they sit on the flanks shooting them.
Depending on where you position your Freeguild Generals on Griffon, they can combine quiet nicely with the Rousing Battle Cry command ability with a +1 to hit, +2 Bravery and +1 to the charge.
Free People battalion is hot garbage, so we won’t be looking at that!
Free People are fortunate to have a range of ally options from the Collegiate Arcane, Devoted of Sigmar, Ironweld Arsenal, and Stormcast Eternals factions. Within their ally choices there are wizards, war machines, elite combat or shooting units. I’ve chosen two allies for my Free People that complement this list design;
This list wouldn’t be a triple treat if it didn’t source a third Griffon and I’ve chosen a Collegiate Arcane ally instead of an additional Freeguild General on Griffon. Free People do not have any access to magic within their allegiance so it must be sourced from their ally pool or elect not to participate in the phase.
The Battlemage on Griffon isn’t as strong in combat as the Freeguild General on Griffon. While it does still have significant damage potential in the combat phase through the Griffon’s Twin-Beaks and Razor Claws, it does add an offensive magic threat with its warscroll spell (Amber Spear). As a high movement wizard, you’ll be in a strong position to unbind your opponents spells, run support with your Freeguild Generals on Griffon, seize objectives, and stretch your opponent’s line by challenge the flank.
The Knight Azyros went from Good to Great in the new edition. Previously, the Knight Azyros would allow you to re-roll 1’s to hit against enemy units within 10” of the Knight Azyros (Illuminator of the Lost), however; in the latest edition this feature has been extended to the combat phase as well as shooting phase.
This makes the Knight Azyros a fantastic supporting character for your Freeguild General on Griffon. If you find your Griffons in a battle they may not win, the Knight Azyros has a once per battle d3/d6 mortal wound bomb for enemies within 8” (The Light of Sigmar).
Free People are an army that heavily relies on the synergy and combinations available to them. With several abilities which require you to be wholly within, it’s important that you understand you ranges and distances between your units and your enemies’ units. While this might sound like a common activity for every army, it’s easy to be denied from your free round of shooting from the Great Company, re-roll benefits from the Knight Azyros, or lose +1 armour save from Command Trait.
The biggest trap a Free People player can fall into is being kept in their deployment zone. The high amount of shooting can incentivize you to slowly advance up the board so you (hopefully) gain your full 5 rounds of shooting. The Free People are an army which is better at holding an objective, not claiming it off an opponent. It’s worth sacrificing your first turn of shooting to run up the board to better position yourself for Turn 2 and beyond
The strength of the Free People is that they are an army who can withstand the full 5 rounds and get stronger as the game progresses. You’re extremely unlikely to ever win the deployment which means that your opponent will get to choose who goes first. A smart opponent will give you the first turn which denies you 1/5 rounds of shooting due to not being in range, however; you can use this to your advantage up running up the board and preparing for the Great Company counter shooting.
The greatest challenges that you will face are in scenarios which require a high degree of movement to claim an objective. A poor deployment can challenge you in Gift from the Heavens / Star Strike, while Knife to the Heart can be exceptionally hard to claim.
2 additional command points have been kept so you can use the Hold the Line and Rousing Battle Cry command abilities, while still having an Inspiring Presence available should you fail to roll a 1 on your battleshock tests.
9 times out of 10, you’ll find yourself losing the deployment and at the mercy of your opponent to decide who goes first in Round 1.
It’s important to deploy your units with the mindset of keeping within the range of your synergies such as your Great Company.
I prefer to start deploying my Freeguild Guard & Freeguild Handgunners first so I know that their in range of the Great Company. Starting with these units first tells your opponent very little about your deployment strategy and allows you to position your Griffons and supporting characters in response to your opponent.
Alternatively, you may wish to deploy one of your Griffons early to bait your opponent to drop one of their stronger units/characters.
Armies You’re Good Against
Armies who are slow, low armour value and/or low in model count are the armies that Free People love to play against.
A lot of the Free People units have low or no rend, and will rely on large volumes of attacks to bring down their opponent. It can be done through the range of to hit benefits within the army, however; 3+ saves will need the focus of your Freeguild Generals on Griffon or LOTS of attacks.
Slower armies will allow you to shoot at your opponent for longer and lets you better position your large units like the Freeguild Guard.
Low model count armies may have a tough time against the Free People due to the amount of models that you will be fielding, as well as the survivability of units like the Freeguild Guard.
Armies You’re Not Good Against
Long range shooting armies like certain Stormcast Eternals builds (i.e. long strikes) and Kharadon Overlords can be a frustrating experience as they pick off your characters or reduce your unit counts while keeping you out of range.
Arkhan the Black & the Gaunt Summoner LOVE playing the Freeguild as their warscroll spell can just delete a whole unit. If you see this model on the board, make sure you prioritise your dispel attempts.
Mortal wound output armies will just delete your Freeguild and likely target your characters. Attempt to protect and keep your characters hidden or out of range. Your army becomes significantly worse without key characters like the Freeguild General on Horse.
With a wide choice of units within the allegiance and strong ally choices, there are a number of ways that you could tweak this list for your style of gaming;
- Crossbowmen instead of Handgunners
- Archers instead of Handgunners
- Guard with Halberd / Spears instead of Swords
- Luminark of Hysh instead of Battlemage On Griffon
- Endless Spells instead of additional Command Point
Secret Mission –
Ancient Hierlooms –
Centre Ground –