As the name suggests... not considering any financial considerations. Best ranged Warbands need Speed skills access. Sprint (for better positioning), Ambush (for extra attacks that don't hurt your rating) and Hide in Shadows (for alpha strikes) are mandatory. Reiklanders (no Speed skills), Middenheimers (no Shooting skills) and Witch Hunters (poor starting stats) are bad choice for ranged strategies, compared to Marienburgers (long range, average Initiative, discount on stuff) and Skaven (short range, high Initiative, lots of attacks). There's a certain safety in ranged combat, and it may help the survivability of the units. But 100% ranged can get boring and repetitive. It's certainly not as challenging as a good melee combat. For melee Warbands, I also highly value Speed skills. Sprint (for better positioning), Hide in Shadows (for alpha strikes) and Quick Reactions + Lightning Reflexes (for extra free attacks) are excellent skills for close combat. Reiklanders, Undead, Possessed and Dwarves all lack Speed access, and will thus underperform Middenheimers, Skaven and Sisters in melee (at the same rating), IMHO. The Sisters access to Prayers of Sigmar is somewhat better for a melee Warband than Middenheimers' Lesser Magic and Skaven's Magic of the Horned Rat. AOE fear immunity is excellent to make certain no unit gets nervous in front of an Ogre or Vampire (you need all the attacks you can get against these), and Healing is amazing for survivability of the Warband (performed as a free action, costs zero gold and takes no inventory slot). Also, Prayers can be performed with full armor, while Magic suffers big penalties. To fight armored opponents, Sigmarite Hammers are better than Skaven's Mace and Middenheimers' Skull Hammer. And at lower levels, where Defense is low, the Sister's Steel Whip is very good to get some reach (which facilitates alpha strikes). IMHO, the Sisters are strictly better in melee than Middenheimers or Skaven. I think a well developped Sisters warband is better than a Marienburgers band of snipers. But the road to get there is more difficult for the Sisters, with more deaths and injuries. Marienburgers seems a safer bet, but less fun and challenging. That being said, because I can only choose *one* warband, I think I would go with Skaven. If you only have Fate to buy one warband, I think Skaven are more well rounded and versatile than Sisters or Marienburgers. They can be developped 100% range (with Shurikens, and Mace for melee support) or 100% melee (with dual claws, pistols or blades). You'll get more bang for your bucks with Skaven. Note that Witch Hunters can eventually be developped the same way as Skaven (melee or ranged), but they have a more bumpy start (Zealots stats are meh). Their Hired Sword (Priest) is a better option than Skaven's Eshin Sorcerer, however. But the Skaven high Movement and Initiative are a no brainer for me. Of course, they have low Leadership, but just keep them together to avoid All Alone tests, and be happy when they rout. You'll probably lose a few encounters you could have won otherwise, but most of the times, they'll just have saved you from some costly deaths or injuries. Anyway, other than a frustrated ego, losing an encounter is not such a big deal. You get almost the same amount of experience and shards, anyway. For the record, I haven't played the Possessed or Dwarves. I won't play a warband that looks like the KKK or that sports creatures I found offensive to look at (Possessed), and I don't even want the challenge of playing a Warband with extremely low Movement and Initiative (Dwarves). My win rate in PVP against these two with my three favorite warbands (Sisters, Marienburgers and Skaven) is almost 100%, so I don't feel I miss anything here. TLDR : Skaven are the best all around warband (Witch Hunters are the second best jack of all trades). But Sisters are the best in melee, while Marienburgers are the best in long range.