The Lumineth Realm-Lords Are Coming…Again…
Regular listeners of the Sprues and Brews Podcast (listen to episode 121 here) will know that over the last nine months or so I have been slowly collecting, building and painting a Lumineth Realm-Lords army. The lack of any gaming due to lockdowns has meant it has been difficult to stay focused on completing the project and despite being really excited to pick up the Lumineth Realm-Lords Launch Box back in May last year I have to admit my motivation waned a bit through 2020.
In the final months of 2020 though that changed and I found myself really motivated to paint up some of my Lumineth collection. I managed to complete all of the different Heroes (including the big ones like Teclis and Avalenor) ready to start 2021 with the aim of completing the remaining units (check out our New Year Podcast here for more info on the rest of the team’s plans for 2021).
So suffice to say I was feeling pretty good about the Lumineth Realm-Lords army at the end of 2020. We’d just been treated to some additional Warscrolls and models courtesy of Warhammer Underworld : Direchasm and I had a gut feeling we’d see some new Aelves later in the year as part of the Broken Realms series. I was pretty content to spend the first few months of the year painting Dawnriders, Wardens and Stoneguard. Turns out I was in for a nice surprise…
The Lumineth Realm-Lords were released back in Summer 2020 after what seemed like an eternity of waiting (remember they were initially previewed back in January 2020). The army first arrived as a Launch Box in June which included a whole raft of goodies including a Limited Edition Battletome, Cards, Tokens, Dice and some (but not all) of the new kits including the jaw dropping Light of Eltharion!
There was then yet another wait with the rest of the range being released later that year. You can find our review of the Battletome here, but suffice to say whilst we were mightily impressed with the Battletome it is fair to say that it did not feel ‘complete’ as it were, in terms of both Warscolls and model kits themselves.
To begin with there was no Faction specific terrain piece, which whilst not unheard of for an army release is pretty rare nowadays. In addition the Warscroll count was at the lower end of the scale compared to other Battletomes. There were only two generic Hero Warscrolls (the Alaraith Stonemage and Scinari Cathallar) which limited your options in terms of Command Traits and Artifacts when building your list and a lot of the community lamented at the lack of a generic combat Hero (especially as most of the Artifacts and Command Traits seemed well suited for just such a model). Finally the army suffers from a lack of Command Abilities with those few it does have being difficult to utilise outside of certain Great Nation builds.
There is Always Hope
Despite all this the Battletome itself showed great promise. It was packed full of amazing Lore and background for the Lumineth and whilst the main focus was on Teclis and those Lumineth forces alligned to him, there was also descriptions of those elements alligned to Tyrion too. One of the defining features of the Lumineth Realm-Lords are the four Aelemental Disciplines and their respective Temples to which the individual ‘Luminethi’ dedicate themselves.
For the main part, focus is given to the Mountain Aelement and the corresponding Alarith Temple – it being the only discipline to receive corresponding Warscrolls, Battalions and Magic Lore. There was however plenty of information about the remaining three Aelemental Disciplines (Wind, River and Zenith) and even descriptions of the warriors, mages and spirits associated with them. I remember in our Podcast covering the Lumineth release how excited I was in particular to read about the “Slicing Gale” and its Temple Warriors racing across the desert on long limbed mounts firing arrows at the Tzeentch intruders! I think it was clear to most Lumineth Realm-Lords fans that the army would be expanded to include rules and models for these ‘missing’ Temples…it was just a question of when, not if.
Until then we’d have to make do with an army that whilst certainly functional and able to win games, felt a bit limited and incomplete.
There’s Something in the Wind
It turns out that we will not have to make do for very long. Within the first 24 hours of 2021 we were treated to a sneak peak at two upcoming Lumineth Realm-Lords models (by the way you can see our full coverage of the New Year’s Day Preview here).
“That has to be a Lumineth Mage of the Wind Temple!” I cried into the Sprues and Brews group call. “Guys, will we see the fox-faced Wind Spirit too!?!” followed almost within seconds. It felt like January 2020 all over again. Fast forward 3 weeks and we got our first glimpse of the Hurakan Windchargers atop their Treerunner mounts. These models match the description of the warriors of the Wind Temple in the Lumineth Realm-Lords Battletome and looking closely at the models themselves you can spot the Wind rune “Oreali” itself and references to a fox on the banners.
So we’ve seen what must surely be the Oreali Windmage (to match the Alarith Stonemage) and now we have our Alarith Stoneguard equivalent in the Hurakan Windchargers. Will we see the Wind Temple’s version of Avalenor and the Mountain Spirit? Will the enigmatic Slicing Gale make an appearance this Saturday during the next Games Workshop Preview? There is evidence enough to suggest that something else is on the way for the Lumineth this weekend, not least the image we glimpsed via the Rumour Engine earlier this week…
What is this, a new Endless Spell perhaps? I would say this is a good guess and might possibly be accurate however I have a feeling this could in fact be a glimpse of the Slicing Gale model! We know from the Lumineth Realm-Lords Battletome that the Slicing Gale is described as rising upon a spiralling weave of ribbons in it’s duel with the Blue Scribes of Tzeentch – are these ribbons we’re looking at here?
Right now we can only guess at what the rules for these new models will look like. The Lumineth already have acces to some solid ranged firepower in the form of Vanari Auralan Sentinels so what will the Hurakan Windchargers bring to the army?
Speed, I think is a given and I expect this unit to match their Slaaneshi counterparts, the Blissbarb Seekers, in this regard. This trait on it’s own will be enough to see the Hurakan Windchargers find a place in most lists I think as mobility is one of the bigger weaknesses for most Lumineth armies.
The Vanari Auralan Sentinels are rightly feared for their ability to dish out highly accurate mortal wounds to heroes and units no matter where they are hidden on the battlefield using a combination of magic and their Sunmetal Weapons. I have a feeling that the Hurakan Windchargers, just like their Alarith counterparts, will forgo the Sunmetal Weapons rules and instead bring their own ‘wind’ inspired mechanic to the tabletop. Perhaps an ability to shoot whilst running, charging and falling back?
We also have to consider how this new unit will interact with the accompanying Windmage and potentially any new Battalion and Battle Traits rules they may recieve, keeping in line with the Alarith themed rules. Will there be a “Wind Stance” for example (perhaps it is this that will grant the shoot/run/charge/fallback bonus)?
Another weakness of the army currently is a lack of rend and multiple damage attacks and I wonder whether the Wind Temple warrior’s ranged attacks will rely more on high rend and damage as opposed to the mortal wound output of the Vanari Auralan Sentinels? Perhaps these attributes are buffed when in proximity to the Slicing Gale in the same way that the Alarith Stoneguard’s attacks are buffed whilst in proximity to the Mountain Spirits and Stonemages? I quite like the idea of a fast, hard hitting ranged unit which must rely on speed rather than armour for it’s defence.
There are some amazing spells across the two existing Spell Lores in the Lumineth Realm-Lords Battletome and I believe it’s highly likely we’ll get access to a third Wind focussed Lore with this new set of releases too. Perhaps we will see some spells inspired by the likes of the old Warhammer Fantasy magic lores. Spells such as Curse of Arrow Attraction, Wind Blast, Curse of the Midnight Wind or Tempest maybe?
The Lords of Light
The addition of just the Wind Aelemental units would be more than enough to keep me and most other Lumineth players happy but we’re also finally receiving a new non-named Hero for the army and a combat focussed one at that! Finally someone to wield the Blade of Leaping Gold!
The Vanari Lord Regent has now been revealed and looks every bit the High Elf Prince of old! The Vanari units form the mainstay of all non-Ymetrica Lumineth Lists and it really is exciting to be able to finally field a proper Vanari General for them. My biggest hope for this new unit is that it brings with it some new Command Abilities for our army. I mentioned earlier that it can be hard for a Lumineth player to utilise the limited Command Abilities in the current Battletome outside of specific Great Nation builds and I am hopeful the addition of the new Vanari Lord Regent will give us more options. One Command Ability that springs to mind is a way for our Vanari units to reform into a Shining Company. Shining Company is a great ability but can be difficult to maintain throughout the course of a battle due to it’s strict constraints on coherency and movement.
I think there is more yet to see with regards to the Vanari Lord Regent. The images we saw on New Year’s are similar but not identical to the model that was fully revealed this week. Quite possibly this model kit will be a dual kit, just like the Ossiarch Bonereapers Liege-Kavalos and Arch-Kavalos Zandtos model kit. There are currently a lot of named Hero Warscrolls in the Lumineth Battletome so an alternative theory is that the as yet unrevealed model could be some form of non-named mounted Vanari Mage instead? The model does seem quite armoured so perhaps not (although the Dawnrider Guardian model is equally as armoured and yet he is also a mage so who knows).
The final question I have is how will these new Warscrolls and Rules be published. Will we see a new version of the Battletome released so soon after the first version? My guess is this content will instead appear in an upcoming Broken Realms release, alongside some new lore detailing the progress of Teclian Vanguard!
Games Workshop promises more Lumineth Realm-Lords models are set to be revealed on Saturday during the Preview so make sure you tune into Warhammer TV and then head over to Sprues and Brews to see our own reaction!