Adepticon AoS Tournament Report: Free Peoples go 4-1


Here’s my Tournament report with my Free Peoples from the Adepticon 2017 Age of Sigmar Championships.

Hey there neighbors, Reecius here to report the fate of my brave Free Peoples in the face of the horrors of the realms. When faced with spiteful daemons, flesh eating monsters, and fireball chucking wizards, what’s a normal human to do? Muster his courage, strap on his cod piece and grab a sharp stick, that’s what!


Sorry for the crummy pictures, will take better ones, soon.

First of all, my list can be seen, here.

A lot of people have been asking me what makes the list work as many consider Free Peoples to be under-powered and for good reason,. Their stats are pretty poor on paper: low saves, low Bravery, generally weak attacks, etc.

The trick though, is their Battalions. Those are what makes them work, IMO. The Freeguild Regiment (found in the Order Compendium) and the State Troop Detachment (found in the Empire PDF) have absolutely incredible buffs that take your crummy Free Peoples from a rag tag group of toothless farmers wielding pig-stickers to a disciplined team of ass kickers!

Both regiments have the same benefits, just different unit requirements. The State Troop Detachment (which I use) is actually more expensive but requires less units so is in the end, the less expensive choice. You must take a Freeguild General, and 3 units in any combination of Freeguild Guard, Crossbowmen, Hand Gunners or Archers. Lastly, you have to take a unit of either Pistoliers or Outriders. All good units!


However, it’s the Battalion benefits that really make this choice shine. While within 6″ of another unit from the Battalion, they get +1 to hit. They also gain +1 Bravery when near the General. Lastly, and more importantly, they ignore Battleshock on a 1, or a 1 and 2 if they have a Banner. This is the best part of the Battalion. +1 to hit is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but ignoring Battleshock for a horde army with low Bravery is critical to making this army function. Combined with the Freeguild General with Banner–allowing you to roll 2d6 and take the lowest for Battleshock tests within 24″–and the Inspiring Order Command Trait–reroll Battleschok tests within 24″–that gives you 4 chanes to roll a 1 or 2 and ignore Battleshock….which is AWESOME. It really makes the list work.

Freeguild General: certified BAMF

Freeguild General: certified BAMF

This combined with the layered buffs from the Freeguild General and Celestial Hurricanum make for a pretty savage combo. The Freeguild General may not appear as cool as the General on Griffon, but he is soooooooo good. Best model in my army, without a doubt, even though he rarely does any damage. He’s a tremendous force multiplier. In addition to the morale buffs listed above, he also has what I consider to be one of the best Command Abilities in the game. Holed the Line! allows him to give up to three Free Peoples units +1 to hit and wound so long as they don’t move. For an army like this that likes to play defense, it is stupidly good. Often it means units are hitting on 2’s and wounding on 3’s or 2’s. So good. While the benefit to ranged units is obvious, I find myself using it on melee units all the time, too. As I use my Halbrediers as a screen, they’re often static, anyway. Once they get stuck in, I hit them with this buff and they’re typically hitting on 2’s and wounding on 3’s with rend -1. That is pretty amazing for 8pt models. Read more about this awesome leader, here.


The Celestial Hurricanum, likewise, is crazy good. Too good, honestly, this thing could use a minor nerf, lol. What it does besides pumping out Mortal Wounds is to give all Order units around it +1 to hit and +1 to cast spells. Wow. This means my army when positioned properly typically is working with a minimum of +1 or +2 to hit, often +3 or even +4. I have morale control, a lot of bodies, and great firepower in the form of the Hang Gunners which are just nasty! Also, the Hurricanum gives me some critical mobility and is a Hero in addition to everything else, helping me out in many

Off the cuff they look mediocre at a glance (hitting on 5’s and wounding on 3’s, 16″ and rend -1). But when all buffed up, they typically are hitting on 2’s and wounding on 2’s! They average 16 rend -1 wounds per volley. So brutal. I actually use them to take out big monsters more than the Rockets as they average more damage against them. Plus, they have stand and shoot, an awesome ability that allows them to shoot after an enemy unit ends its charge move within 3″ of them. If you position them correctly behind a screen unit, you will blast the charging through your screen unit before they swing but usually be out of range for them to actually hit you back. This is a cornerstone strategy to the list.

The other major damage dealer in the list are the Helstrom Rocket Batteries which are just brutal. They have 36″ range, don’t need LoS, can shoot up to 3 targets, with Rend -2, D6 damage. When you shoot all 3 shots at the same target you get +1 to hit and can do potentially 3d6 damage. So savage. These guys are just murder.


Lastly, the Pistoliers. My favorite unit fluff wise and looks wise! These guys are young, brash noblemen’s sons on their way to becoming knights. What they lack in experience they make up for in balls, and go charging in to combat, pistols a-blazing! When not kicking ass, they’re chasing women, telling tall tales and drinking strong drink. I love it! Besides their awesome backstory, they serve a very important purpose in my list: mobility. They go out and grab objectives for me, sweep flanks, kill enemy artillery and characters, etc. As they get two shots a piece and can shoot their pistols as their close combat attack, they back a wallop. They can also move, run, shoot and charge, making them very speedy. I often keep them behind my screen until they need to charge off after an objective, where when fully buffed they shoot just as well as Hand Gunners, and can do so again in melee which if you position them correctly you can shoot through you screen without fear of reprisal.


They need some more paint (just like the rest of the army, lol) but what a cool unit!

So there you go! Some sound tips for playing Free Peoples. I am still learning as I go, but in a lot of games, these tactics and combos have served me very well and I hope they help you, too.


Round 1

  • Mission: 4 terrain pieces as progressive objectives.
  • Opponent: Travis and his Tzeentch Chaos army.
  • List:
    • Gaunt Summoner: General, Illusionist, Fold Reality spell
    • Tzaangor Shaman: Aura of Mutability, Treacherous Bond spell
    • The Blue Scribes: Bolt of Tzeentch
    • Tzaangors x 20
    • Pink Horrors x 10
    • Chaos Warriors x 20: MoT
    • Tzaangor Skyfires x 6
    • Tzaangor Enlightened on Discs x 3
    • 320 points in summoning pool: Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury

My first tournament game in AoS! I was pumped. My opponent was a super nice dude and we had a fun game. The mission favored his more aggressive army as all of the objectives were on the dividing line, so I knew I’d have to do some work with my shooting right away to buy time to jump on objectives later.

As I only have 5 drops, I chose to go first as I really wanted to take out the Skyfires before they picked off my artillery. We had a little rules mix-up, his Skyfires were on a hill which he thought gave them cover (which by reading the rules, you’d think they did) so had a 6 up save vs. my rend -2 rockets when normally he wouldn’t have. He then used all his 6’s from his Destiny Dice to block my volley which would have killed half the unit on average dice….ouch. The GW FAQ actually clarifies that you don’t get a save on hills, but I was later told that in the Adpeticon event spcifically hills sometimes did give a save….so I don’t know if we played it wrong or not, haha. Either way, that is how it went down but it left my Artillery exposed and they got mopped up pretty quickly after that, unfortunately but not before they were able to also take out all of the Pink Horrors and a chunk of the Chaos Warriors. Skyfires are NASTY! Extremely good unit.

The game was a brawl after that, with both of our armies really getting hammered. Tzaangors are so good and the big unit of them with 40 wounds sat on an objective and without the Rockets, I had no means of shifting them so they earned points every turn. We battled for the central objective to a stalemate and the game came down to my Halbrediers failing a 4″ run onto an objective early game, which would have given me a 1pt win had they made it but alas, I rolled a 2. That left me 1pt shy of victory.

Highlight of the game for me: Bloodthirster is summoned and charges Handgunners, who deal 8 wounds to him with Stand and Shoot. He whiffs in combat, they then gun him down. Huzzah! Lol, extremely unlikely to occur, but was fun for me.

Result: Free Peoples lose by 1 pt.


Round 2

  • Mission: 4 Objectives, hold all 4 during the game and you win, or whomever holds the most at end game wins.
  • Opponent: Alex and his Ironjaws
  • List:
    • Megaboss: Battle Brew
    • Warchanter
    • Warchanter
    • Warchanter
    • Weirdnob: Talisman of Protection
    • Ardboyz x 10
    • Battalion: Ironfist
      • Brutes x 10, Boss is General
      • Brutes x 10
      • Ardboyz x 10
      • Gore Gruntas x 3
      • Gore Gruntas x 3

My army absolutely excels against melee armies like this. I don’t always win these fights but often do. When you have to run headlong into my guns it can be pretty tough to recover. However, the mission gave him a chance to simply take objectives and try to weather the storm. However, as a true Orruk, he came right at me. As I went second, i was just waiting for my double turn to come and he was getting eaten up as he came across the table. When he did hit my lines (which he did) he took some heavy overwatch fire from my Handgunners and then another volley from them and the Pistoliers again in my turn. It was pretty brutal, just too much firepower. Turn 4 my Pistoliers left the safety of the Halbredier screen and ran off to grab a far objective while my Hurricanum did the same. That gave my 3 objectives held by turn 5 to win the game.

My opponent and I talked it out and he would have been better off leaving two units back on his two objectives to pretty much assure a minor loss at best (assuming my Rockets couldn’t reach out and grab them), but that wouldn’t have been all that much fun.

Great game and great opponent!

Result: Free Peoples Major Victory.

Round 3

  • Mission: 2 objectives fall on to the table on turn 2, 2 more on turn 3.
  • Opponent: Mixed Order army with a majority of Dark Elves.
  • List from memory:
    • Lord Veritant
    • Liberators x 10
    • Gryph Hounds x 4
    • Sorceress
    • Drakespawn Knights x 10
    • Executioners x 10
    • Reaper Bolt Thrower
    • Reaper Bolt Thrower
    • Darkshards x 10
    • Darkshards x 10
    • Celestial Hurricanum

This mission can be tough depending on where the objectives fall. I had the advantage with firepower but my opponent certainly had mobility on me. As I have only 5 drops, I finished deploying first and opted to have him go first to give me the first chance at a double turn. My opponent quickly learned to hate the Helstrom Rocket Batteries! They were blowing holes in his army but the carnage went both ways as those Reaper Bolt Throwers were just brutal! First volley saw 20 of my Handgunners get wiped out…yikes. We had an artillery duel, staying out of one another’s range while smashing units.

The game looked to be one sided early on as both of my objectives fell right into my lines and one of his fell on my side of the board. However, when his Lord Veritant just smoked my entire unit of Pistoliers with some flukey dice, and his Reapers took out my Hurricanum that I played too aggressively with, and his Executioners made it into my Halbreiders, things got interesting! He took a long shot at killing my General and had he done so he may have routed me but my General with a 2+ save in cover proved too tough to kill. As such, my screen held and I was able to repel his assault and get a unit over to deny him one of his objectives while I held two of mine.

Again, great opponent and very fun game.

Result: Free Peoples Major Victory.


Round 4

  • Mission: 4 Objectives
  • Opponent: Chaos Dwarves
  • List from Memory (I’m probbaly getting some of these wrong, first time playing Chaos Dwarves):
    • Drazhoath the Ashen
    • Shar’Torth
    • Bull Centaurs (large unit of them, can’t remember exactly how many, I was pretty hung over at that point, lol)
    • Fireglaives x 10
    • Fireglaives x 10
    • Ironsworn x 10
    • Deathshrieker
    • Deathshrieker
    • Dreadquake Mortar

I know I am missing some stuff, but those are the only units I can recall and I didn’t manage to snag a list. Sorry for that! But, absolutely cool opponent, was nice enough to share some of his Monster energy drink with me as I was a bit rough from the night before.

We had a very fun game, and much like the last round, was largely determined by an artillery duel. He had three nasty ranged units as did I. But again, I got first turn due to finishing deploying first (Battaltions ftw!) and despite some tricksy deployment on his part, was able to range his Dreadquake Mortar with my Rockets and take it out straight away while staying out of range of all but one Deathshrieker. That gave me the advantage straight off but he did give me a run for my money when his Bull Centaurs and Drazhoath got into my lines and started ripping things up. They died but not after taking a bloody toll on my forces. Repelling that attack gave kept both of my 2 objectives safely in my possession. I sent my Pistoliers and some Handgunners after his weakly held objective (protected only by a unit of Fireglaives) and they were able to take them out with the help of a salvo of one of the Rocket Batteries.

This gave me the Major Victory in a very fun game with a gracious opponent.

Result: Free Peoples Major Victory.


Round 5

  • Mission 5: Mission: 3 relic style Objectives you pick up and carry, earning points every turn.
  • Dan with his Clan Skryre Skaven
  • List:
    • Clan Skryre Battalion
    • Arch-Warlock: General, Cunninc Deciever, Favour of the Gods
    • Warlock Engineer
    • Engincover 1: Gautfyre Skorch
    • Warlock Engineer
    • Stormfiends w/ warp-fire projectors x 3
    • Stormfiends w/ warp-fire projectors x 3
    • Warp-Grinder Team
    • Enginecoven 2: Gautfyre Skorch
    • Warlock Engineer: Crown of Conquest
    • Stormfiends w/ Doom-Flayer Gauntlets
    • Warp Grinder Team
    • Warpfire Thrower Team
    • Warpfire Thrower Team
    • Warpfire Thrower Team

Brutal list! Yikes, this was going to be a tough fight. I also have to mention, it was a great looking army, too. The way this army works is to pretty much all go into reserves and then pop up and blast you with buckets of Mortal Wounds. Just nasty stuff. I knew this would be a tough fight. So, I pulled out some old school anti-drop pod deployment tactics!

I put my entire army in a clump against the board edge near an objective, with the Halbrediers in half-circle around them with enough distance between them and my core units to force the Skaven back far enough to not be able to shoot through the screen. I then put my Pistoliers as far away as possible, near an Objective on the other side of the table. This forced my opponent to use an entire half of his army (all of the units in the Gautfyre Skorch have to come up in a clump) to take out the Pistoliers or allow them to pick up an Objective and start earning my points from turn 1. As the Pistoliers were so far away, that meant if he went after them he’d then be pretty much out of the game in regards to coming after the bulk of my army.

My opponent did indeed send a chunk of his army after the Pistoliers (really, he had no choice, he would have lost the scenario with certainty had he not) but as I had deployed them well, he would not be able to pick up the objective in the same turn. He kept the Warp-fire projector Stormfiends off of the table for a turn to see if I would come out of turtle mode with everything else.


My Pistoliers got mulched by the overwhelming damage of his Gautfyre Skorch units but in my turn my Rockets lit up all of his units that had enough wounds in them to pick up the objective (you had to have 5 wounds at the beginning of the turn in a unit to snag an objective). I then got the double turn, too, and smashed them up before they could recover, leaving only a single Storm Fiend and Warpfire Thrower team way out of position. I also picked up an Objective with my Halbrediers as I had been scooting my entire turtle formation towards it.

He then realized he was on the ropes and brought his remaining units into base to base contact with me inside my screen (WHAT?!?! lol). Apparently you can do that with this formation which I think is a bit much, you shouldn’t be able to just enter melee with nearly any unit on the board. There’s no skill to that. But, salt aside, haha, he popped up into combat and took some wounds as a result. His little units died off due to the Mortal Wounds you take but the Stormfiends with 6 wounds a pop are very unlikely to take any casualties as a result. He then nuked all three rockets and my Hurricanum! OUCH.

He got the double turn and blasted a bunch more units but in the ensuing battle the humans managed to grind all of the Stormfiends down, taking heavy casualties in the process. One of his Arch-Warlocks had snagged an Objective but by then I had two turns on him of earning points and when the dust settled, I had held an objective for 4 turns to his 2.

Great game, great opponent. It really came down to deployment and using my Pitoliers to force him to fight 4/5 of my army with 1/2 of his. By denying him the ability to pick up objectives for 3 turns, I was able to secure victory against a savage list.

Result: Free People Major Victory.

I ended up in 28th place with paint, sports and battle points. I am not a big fan of soft-scores figuring into your total score as most people know, but I had a lot of fun despite any philosophical differences of opinion in regards to tournament format. I got 39/40 on spots so thanks to all of my gracious opponents and my army ticket off enough boxes on the paint rubric to earn me a decent score considering the army wasn’t done. All of my opponents were very cool dudes with gorgeous armies, too.

Great event, thanks to the staff that worked hard to run it! I am already looking forward to the next AoS tournament! Thanks for reading.

Final Result:  Free Peoples go 4-1

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!

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About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

21 Responses to “Adepticon AoS Tournament Report: Free Peoples go 4-1”

  1. Avatar
    Leopald March 30, 2017 2:22 pm #

    Can you use Freeguild Guard, etc, in a State Troop Detachment? It says “State Troops, Handgunners, Crossbowmen, or Empire Archers in any combination”, not Freeguild Guard, etc. If so, that is AMAZING and I would much rather use the State Troop Detachment as opposed to the clunky and overloaded Freeguild Regiment. Was this FAQ’d or something? Or is this somewhere in one of the books that I am missing like an idiot?

    Congrats on the superb play too, Reece. I am really hoping you continue to share your thoughts on using Free Peoples in AoS since I am a long-time Empire player and am struggling a bit with them. Thanks again for sharing your valuable insights!

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 30, 2017 2:36 pm #

      Hmm, good question! I was under the impression that you replaced the the old Empire units with the Freeguild versions (as they’re identical in all but name). Most tournaments instruct you to replace the older version of a Warscroll with the newer (thus replacing State Troop with Freeguild Guard, etc.). However, please correct me if I am wrong on that. They all have the Free People key words, too, and as the Battaltion has points in the General’s Handbook it’d be really weird if you couldn’t actually use it. My list got approved so I assume I did not make an error on that end.

      But thanks. Yeah, the army is quite good if you use its tricks. I will certainly continue to post bat reps!

      • Avatar
        Borbgamer March 30, 2017 5:06 pm #

        Sadly, the December FAQ for the General’s Handbook ruled that “Battalions which include units which no longer have a warscroll cannot be used in Matched Play.” That took State Troop Detachment away from the Free Peoples, and steered the Destruction meta away from the amazing Moon Clan Grot Hooded Villain. It’s such an odd ruling, to give these battalions points and then to take it all away six months later; bravo to Adepticon for going with the opposite.

        I’ve been using State Troop in my friendly local games and discussing it with my opponent first. We only have time for 1000 point games, and I’m trying to learn to get along without it. At 2000 it’s super-solid, and unlike the Freeguild Regiment, State Troops doesn’t trash up your army with Demigryphs!

        • Avatar
          Leopald March 30, 2017 7:37 pm #

          So unless I get my opponents’ consent, or play in a tournament that specifically allows the State Troop Detachment (like Adepticon it seems), I can’t run it? That’s disappointing. I knew it sounded too good to be true!

          • Avatar
            Ytook March 31, 2017 3:46 am

            Compendiums were only ever meant as a stop gap, Empire got updated to a few factions so their old stuff is invalid.

            This is why I personally think Compendiums should be phased out as the SCGT tried to do (with a possible exception for Tomb Kings and Bretonnia for a while), just doesn’t seem fair to new players to have alternative versions for things and models they can’t get or have any real reason to know about.

          • Reecius
            Reecius March 31, 2017 8:24 am

            See, I really enjoy having compendium stuff for the variety it adds to the game! Not just because I use some of it (although not any more it appears, lol), but because of the cool combos and additional variety it brings. I would be very sad to see them go, i greatly enjoy having access to them.

          • Reecius
            Reecius March 31, 2017 8:22 am

            Yeah, bummer.

        • Avatar
          Ytook March 31, 2017 3:53 am #

          So we’re going to allow units that aren’t the units listed to be in battalions? Awesome! My Warrior Brotherhood of Durthu’s should be fun! 😉

          • Reecius
            Reecius March 31, 2017 8:23 am

            Well, let’s not jump to any conclusions yet, I may have just been playing wrong on accident =(

            Although, I sense sarcasm in your tone, haha

          • Avatar
            Ytook March 31, 2017 10:34 am

            Sorry, yeah that wasn’t meant to be a dig, just more of a joke on the constant “can I use X in formation Y even though it doesn’t say I can” silliness from the 40K FAQs.

            You clearly weren’t playing wrong or illegally because your list was cleared. If I was running Adepticon I wouldn’t allow it, but then if I was running Adepticon it would be a complete shambles and everyone would hate it 😛

            And I wouldn’t want Compendiums to go completely, but at a competitive level it just seems off to me that there are options, in some cases just strait up better options that some players who play the game completely normally just don’t have access to and never will without paying dumb amounts on eBay.

            I can see both sides, but can you imagine being a new player, seeing how good Tomb Kings can be and then finding out you have no chance of actually getting an army of them because you weren’t collecting Fantasy 5 years ago.

            It’s not a big deal really, shooting needs some more inbuilt counter play before anything else happens 😉

          • Reecius
            Reecius March 31, 2017 2:13 pm

            Yeah, fair enough. However I think at this point it would be very reasonable to allow conversions for some of the models you cannot find any longer.

            And no hard feelings at all! I thought you were joking =)

          • Avatar
            Ytook March 31, 2017 10:42 am

            Also, congrats on the wins and thanks for the great write up!

        • Reecius
          Reecius March 31, 2017 8:22 am #

          Bah, that stinks! They have literally the exact same rules, just a different name, lol. Well, I assume it was OK for Adepticon but I feel bad if they just missed it =/

          Yeah, the Freeguild Regiment is just not that good. Not terrible but really hard to use competitively.

          And poor Demigryphs…such awesome models but they are so underwhelming.

  2. Avatar
    Biasco March 30, 2017 4:16 pm #

    Great write up Reecius , been searching for a bat rep from Adepticon. Thanks

  3. Avatar
    Dunmer March 30, 2017 4:40 pm #

    If you are so inclined, you can use the bretonnian archers( which are amazing) and the king of the bretonnians in in a freeguild army if I’m not mistaken. The king’s abilities mean all free guild ignore battleshock while he is on the board.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 31, 2017 8:16 am #

      May have to switch to Leoncoure….

  4. Requizen
    Requizen March 31, 2017 6:55 am #

    Congrats dude! I only went 3-2 but had a blast. Looking forward to more AoS GTs/Majors!

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 31, 2017 8:15 am #

      Well done! And same here, going to another event, tomorrow!

  5. Avatar
    Frostsphere April 18, 2017 11:35 am #


    you wrote:

    […]The other major damage dealer in the list are the Helstrom Rocket Batteries which are just brutal. They have 36″ range, don’t need LoS, can shoot up to 3 targets, with Rend -2, D6 damage. When you shoot all 3 shots at the same target you get +1 to hit and can do potentially 3d6 damage. So savage. These guys are just murder.

    i cant find the rule “When you shoot all 3 shots at the same target you get +1 to hit” in which book / rule can i found this?


    • Reecius
      Reecius April 18, 2017 12:09 pm #

      It’s either on the crew or the gun waracroll

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