Warhammer Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review - Tactical Powder Kegs

Soldiers riding Ogors? That just feels SO Warhammer. Follow along as we parse out all the new Cities of Sigmar releases!

Published: October 28, 2023 2:18 PM /

Reviewed By:

The header image of our Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review depicting a man drinking from a bottle and a manticore

The mortal realms of Warhammer Age of Sigmar have a bold new batch of defenders in the Cities of Sigmar army! And with this Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 release slate, we’re finally seeing the full strength of the range. 

We recently covered these brave men and women in our review of the Cities of Sigmar Army Box, and have continued to follow the story of the Dawnbringer Chronicles (which traces the army’s attempt to claim untamed lands).

Now, Games Workshop has provided us with a slew of new releases in the Cities of Sigmar range, so I’m going to dive in with a brand new rating system breaking down some of my favorite models in our Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review!

An image from our Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review featuring Thalia, Lioness of the Parch

Tahlia Vedra, Lioness of The Parch

Model Build Complexity: 8/10
Aesthetic and Feel: 9/10
Battlefield Viability: 8/10
Role On The Battlefield: Hero, Powerful Striker

Tahlia Vedra, Lioness of the Parch is truly the showstopper model of this release set (though as you’ll soon see, I have a lot of love for many of the models in this range). As one of the lead tacticians of Hammerhal Aqsha, she’s a central figure in the Cities of Sigmar line (and though she’s marked Hammerhal Aqsha, she can be slotted into any City you choose).

A relatively complex model to build, Tahlia rewards careful dry-fitting and taking your time. She’s not as difficult as old Tree-Lords, Warcry Gnarlwood terrain, or ghosts, but she’ll likely give newcomers to the hobby some pause. Letting the more precarious joined parts dry before moving onto the next step goes a long way. 

Aesthetically, it’s hard to beat the look of Tahlia atop her manticore Infernadine, and I love her dynamic pose. She’s also just such a huge miniature, as you’ll see from the unpainted mini photo.

A full color image of Thalia of the Parch Image: Games Workshop
Thalia in glorious full-color. Image: Games Workshop

Rules and abilities-wise, Tahlia is a force to reckon with. She deals out buckets of dice of attacks between her Relic weapon and Infernadine’s claws and poisoned tail. 

She can also receive two orders instead of one, enhances the Rally command, and has a special Monstrous Rampage ability afflicting enemy monsters with Strike-Last.

With a huge 14” fly move (at full HP), you can have her lead the charge, swooping in and smashing apart weaker units before rendezvousing with the rest of the team.

Thalia Vedra, Lioness of the Perch Now Available On Sale via Noble Knight Games - $122.83

An image from our Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review featuring Pontifex Zenestra

Pontifex Zenestra, Matriarch of The Great Wheel

Model Build Complexity: 7/10
Aesthetic and Feel: 8/10
Battlefield Viability: 8/10
Role On The Battlefield: Hero, Flexible Spellcaster

Carried on her palanquin, Pontifex Zenestra unleashes prayers onto the battlefield - acting as the voice of the God-King Sigmar himself.

Her build isn’t too complicated, but ensuring you line her palanquin up properly on the two lugs carrying her around can be a bit tricky. Overall, if you’re familiar with kits that have multiple components, Zenestra will be a relatively quick assembly for you.

Aesthetically, it really doesn’t get much cooler than Zenestra. With a powerful position, casting her disapproving gaze while she holds her hour glass, this figure is one of the most visually arresting of the range.

An image from our Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review featuring Pontifex Zenestra
Such an intricate paint job! It really brings out all the finer details. Image: Games Workshop

On the tabletop, she generally wants to stay fairly out of the action, with minimal combat prowess (though she gains a benefit from being in enemy territory). Where she shines, however, is in her Vessel of Sigmar prayer.

With only a casting value of 3 (meaning this should be fairly trivial to cast), you can choose from a suite of abilities that range from dishing out mortal wounds to adding 2” to all friendly Cities of Sigmar Human units (on the battlefield, not just near her).

Move her somewhere safe, and she can quickly become almost as potent as a cannon on the battlefield.

Pontifex Zenestra, Matriarch of The Great Wheel now available on sale at Noble Knight Games - $61.39

An image from our Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review featuring a Fusil-Major on Ogor Warhulk

Fusil-Major on Ogor Warhulk

Model Build Complexity: 6/10
Aesthetic and Feel: 9/10
Battlefield Viability: 9/10
Role On The Battlefield: Brute, Long-Range, Buff-Machine

This is one of the units I was most excited to receive, build, and get onto the table. And for good reason, just look at this model! A long-range shooter sitting atop an Ogor? Are you kidding me?

The build for this model was moderately complex, but overall not as complicated as Thalia or Zenestra. And it’s worth it for the look here, which is so clever that it’s almost laughable, but the sculpt is done so earnestly it isn’t quite tipping over into comedy. I love it.

On the battlefield, I think this could be an extremely potent combatant. First off, it has a range of 24” with its Long Fusil. And let’s not ignore the height advantage here. Get too close, and the Ogor will stomp you to bits. It can also increase the range of other ranged units near it, and call a “crack shot” where you can take a chance to outright slay models from an enemy unit.

Thematic, fun, full of personality -- it truly doesn’t get much better than the Fusil-Major on Ogor Warhulk.

Fusil-Major on Ogor Warhulk now available on sale at Noble Knight Games - $47.95

An image from our Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review featuring freeguild fusiliers

Freeguild Fusiliers

Model Build Complexity: 4/10
Aesthetic and Feel: 9/10
Battlefield Viability: 8/10
Role On The Battlefield: Long-Range

Get stuck into a good position and fire away! That’s the best advice I’ve got for the fantastic Freeguild Fusiliers. 

To start, this unit looks impeccable, especially all lined up in a shield wall. But aside from looking incredible when all squared up, it benefits greatly from staying in a fortified position (which it attains if it doesn’t move). Double the attacks and distance of its ranged attacks when fortified, the Fusiliers know how to dish out damage.

As would be expected from such a potent ranged force, these units do not do great when you run up on them. With only their bayonets to protect them, they can easily get overrun. So keep them out of range of anyone who would charge upon them (shouldn’t be hard with that 24” fortified range), and light em up from afar.

An image from our Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review featuring an Ironweld Great Cannon

Ironweld Great Cannon

Model Build Complexity: 5/10
Aesthetic and Feel: 10/10
Battlefield Viability: 8/10
Role On The Battlefield: Long-Range, Heavy Artillery

In my opinion, the award for the best-looking model in the entire Cities of Sigmar range goes to the Ironweld Great Cannon. 

I don’t know what it is, but this is an absolute show-stopper piece, especially when you look at it in person. Pictures don’t do it justice, pictures of my unpainted miniature even moreso.

A full color image of the ironweld great cannon
The Great Cannon fully painted looks immaculate. Image: Games Workshop

With the ability to shoot either a Cannonball, Armour-piercing Shell, or Grapeshot depending on your needs, this is a fairly versatile unit.

Now you can only fire Cannonballs and Armour-piercing Shells if you’re in a fortified position, but the damage this model deals out is absolutely nasty.

It only has a move characteristic of 3” - but who cares! Just set this baddie up in a good position and blow the enemy army to smithereens!

An image from our Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review featuring the Command Corps

Other Warhammer Age of Sigmar Releases This Week

Also released this week are several more units for Cities of Sigmar that we don’t have the space to go into full detail on here, including the motley crew Freeguild Command Corps - a unit of six different big personalities who all bring a valuable role to the battlefield.

There’s also the mounted Freeguild Cavalier-Marshal, who leads your Freeguild Cavaliers by boosting their charge.

Speaking of Freeguild Cavaliers, also coming out this week are all the models previously available in the army set box, so now’s the time to stock up if you’re planning on running a Cities Army.

An image of the Blades of Belthanos
The Blades of Belthanos, another Age of Sigmar new release, brings buggy power to the skies! Image: Games Workshop

Also out this week is the next chapter in the Dawnbringer Chronicles, Book III: The Long Hunt, which follows the grand crusade of the Cities of Sigmar as they continue their trek through the mortal realms.

Pairing nicely with that release are two impressive unit boxes, the Sylvaneth-focused The Blades of Belthanos box and the Stormcast-centric Cryptborn’s Stormwing box.

Both of these boxes are centered around larger-models, with rules for said models included in The Long Hunt.

Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review - Final Thoughts

I really can’t say enough how much I enjoy fielding this army. From the way it looks on the table to the flexibility of playstyles empowered by this range, I think it’s some of the sharpest, smartest work Games Workshop has put out in a long while. It also just drips with personality, from the drinker manning the Great Cannon to hidden little details on Zenestra (you'll have to build her to learn more).

If you’re looking to jump into a new army, or looking to get into Age of Sigmar in general, I highly recommend getting in on the ground floor. 

Want to begin your journey into Warhammer Age of Sigmar? Check out the Core Rulebook to get a taste of the rules.

The copies of new Cities of Sigmar releases used to create this review were provided by Games Workshop.

*TechRaptor participates in an affiliate program with Noble Knight Games.

Review Summary

Giant cannons, soldiers atop ogors, a manticore - what more could you ask for? We cover all this and more in our Cities of Sigmar Winter 2023 Release Review (Review Policy)

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More Info About This Game
Learn more about Warhammer Age of Sigmar
Games Workshop
Release Date
July 1, 2015 (Calendar)