Shining A Light On The New Lumineth Realm-Lords
If you’re a fan of the Aelves from Hysh then you must be feeling pretty hyped right now for the imminent release of the new Lumineth Realm-Lords. We’re expecting at least 12 new Warscrolls, a Scenery piece and a new Battletome very soon, which is pretty impressive considering the Lumineth only had access to 10 Warscrolls and 3 Endless Spells on their release just under a year ago. What’s more it’s not clear whether this is everything we should expect to receive – there are certainly hints and clues amongst the stuff we’ve seen so far in 2021 to make one wonder whether there are still surprises yet to be revealed.
Let’s deal with the most contentious element of the new wave of releases first, the fact that Games Workshop are releasing a new Batttletome so soon after the first was released. It’s important to remember that the first Battletome release was delayed somewhat (it was initially previewed at the beginning of 2020) however even accounting for this delay it’s still quite a small window between the different versions. I can understand how some people may be disappointed at the prospect of having to pay another £25 so soon after purchasing the previous version of the Battletome. It seems Games Workshop are certainly working hard to sweeten the deal somewhat though – this is not just a small revision of a Battletome but a very substantial update! The number of Warscrolls is more than doubling and we can also assume there will be a range of new Battalions, Artifacts, Spell Lores and additional lore and background. Owners of the current Battletome also have the choice of purchasing just the forthcoming Broken Realms :Teclis book instead which we’ve been told includes the new Warsrcolls, although it’s not clear if this is ‘all’ it includes and whether rules for the new Battalions, Artifacts etc. will also appear in this book too.
One element of this release that I think we can all agree is fantastic though is the expanded range of Warscrolls and new models to support them! We’ve often discussed the Lumineth’s limited Warscroll range on the Sprues and Brews Podcast and explored ways in which they could be expanded in the future but I was not expecting to see such a substantial addition to the range so soon! So let’s have a closer look.
The Hurakan Temple
The Hurakan aligned models were amongst the first that we glimpsed in 2021 during the New Year’s Day Preview and subsequent ‘Potato-Cam’ drama back in January. As mentioned above, we’ve often discussed ways in which the Battletome could be expanded in future and the addition of a new Aelemental Temple was, for us, the most obvious route. Therefore we were not so surprised to see the addition of a full complement of Wind Temple Warscrolls. We were still ‘blown’ away by the models themselves though!
We’ve already discussed what kind of rules we think the Hurakan Temple aligned units may have in a previous post (check it out here) but even three months later there are still a lot of question marks about what we can expect. I don’t think it is outside the realms of possibility that we’ll see a new Hurakan Temple Warscroll Battalion mirroring the existing Alarith Temple version and a new “Lore of the Winds” Spell Lore too. What’s not so clear is whether we will see an additional wind themed Endless Spell along the lines of the Rune of Petrification? We’ve not seen a model previewed for such a spell but can we be sure Games Workshop are not holding something back? We have some suspicions this may be the case.
One of my few criticisms of the original Lumineth Realm-Lords Battletome was the limited option for a combat oriented Hero – The Light of Eltharion was really the only option you had (ok I guess Avelanor is pretty good in a fight too). It was a bit disappointing for fans of the old High Elves who may have wanted to relive the glorious days of noble Elven Princes charging into combat on an elegant mounts, with marvelous helms, glistening armour and silver tipped lances leveled at the enemy. Well it seems those days are upon us once more.
What we know so far is that the new Battletome will contain four new Vanari aligned Warscrolls. The Vanari Lord Regent, Vanari Bladelords, Vanari Bannerblade and Vanari Starshard Ballista!
The existing Vanari units such as the Wardens and Dawnriders benefit from a host of very strong rules. They can maintain a Shining Company formation to make them harder to hit and can also boost their already substantial mortal wound output using a combination of the “Power of Hysh” spell and their sunmetal-tipped weapons. Will these traits apply to the new Vanari units too or will we see an update to the existing Vanari rules? Well for the Vanari Bladelords we already have an idea of what to expect thanks to the Myari’s Purifiers Warscroll!
It certainly looks like the Vanari Bladelords will in fact benefit from the Sunmetal Weapon rules (although I suspect not with a 2+/2+ profile). The High Elves Swordmasters of old used to be able to deflect missile weapons with their blades so is it possible the Vanari Bladelords will forego the Shining Company rules in place of a similar ability? Having said that we do know that the Vanari Starshard Ballista will come with a -1 to hit effect on it’s Warscroll, albeit not from Shining Company but rather the Aetherquartz pillars on it’s base.
We’ve already discussed what kind of rules the Vanari Lord Regent may have in our previous post here so lets now move on to my favourite new model of the Vanari line – the Vanari BannerBlade!
Firstly, it is an incredible model and very reminiscent of the old Battle Standard Bearers from earlier editions of Warhammer Fantasy. It’s yet another nod to the old High Elves range and I’m sure will find a spot in most armies on this basis alone. BSBs as they were affectionately referred too were often included in most armies for two main reasons. They provided a powerful leadership boost to your army and also allowed you to bring powerful magical standards to your battle too. Bravery is an important consideration for any Lumineth General, our Troops don’t have a fantastic Bravery stat to start with – further compounded by the Aetherquartz mechanic. A unit which can be placed amongst your defensive troops to help anchor them and mitigate the army’s inherent Bravery weakness would be very useful indeed. But I think there will be more to this unit still, I mean that banner is very impressive and I’m hopeful it will provide additional benefits to your army besides a simple Bravery buff.
There was just a single Scinari unit in the original Battletome which felt at odds with the amount of additional Scinari related rules. There are Scinari Command Traits and Artifacts of Power (albeit currently restricted to Scinari Cathallars only) so it really should not have come as too much of a surprise to see the Scinari sub-faction expanded with the addition of two new Scinari Warscrolls.
First up is the Scinari Loreseeker, sharing a similar name and background as the old High Elves Loremaster. What we know so far about this unit is that it is both a competent wizard and warrior who travels the Mortal Realms seeking and collecting powerful arcane artifacts in an effort to prevent their use by the ‘lesser’ races. How this interesting background will manifest itself on the table in terms of rules is unclear. Perhaps the model will be able to ‘disable’ the opponents own magical artifacts or perhaps ‘steal’ them to turn them against their former owners? Perhaps the model will have access to a unique collection of arcane artifacts from which you can choose and bring along to the battle?
The second Scinari unit is the Scinari Calligrave, a scholarly looking fellow with an interesting choice of footwear. We’ve been told this unit uses the power of written runes to cleanse or purify the very earth itself. Scenery plays a big part in Age of Sigmar games and ability to interfere with opponent’s scenery pieces (such as the Bonetide Nexus or Sylvaneth Awakened Wyldwoods) could be a powerful tool during games. We have precedent for this kind of mechanic too in the recent Sons of Behemet Battletome. Perhaps instead, the Scinari Calligrave will have access to elemental themed Prayers that he can recite to effect areas of the battlefield? He does not look like much of a fighter so I suspect he will need some protection.
Well I have to say I was really surprised to see the Luminor Shrine during the preview event, what an incredible model!
Sharing design elements with the various masonry and pillars found on many of the Lumineth bases the Luminor Shrine really does look like an impressive centerpiece for your army. It’s described as providing a focal point for the different elements (wind, river, mountain) upon which a wizard can harness such powers, but to what end? The most obvious guess would be that it acts in a similar way to the Balewind Vortex, increasing spell range for any casters sitting upon the model amongst other effects. Maybe the Shrine can be used to provide buffs to selected Aelemental Temple units, improving the rend resistance of Alarith models even further for example. Perhaps the Warscroll includes a selection of elemental themed buffs and debuffs that can be targeted at specific friendly and enemy units in similar fashion to the Ossiarch Bonereaper’s Bonetide Nexus? One other question I have about this piece is whether it can move? That would be a very unique and interesting rule for a piece of scenery if it is indeed the case.
The Sun is Rising?
And finally we come to the perhaps the most intriguing models of the new releases, Lyrior Uthralle, Warden of Ymetrica and Ellania and Ellathor, the protegies of Teclis and Tyrion themselves!
If this were any other faction release there would be nothing strange about a handful of named Heroes released alongside the rest of the range – but the Lumineth are unique I think amongst the current range of Age of Sigmar armies in that they have two main leaders, not one. It’s true that until now Teclis has been the focus from both a background and rules point of view, and this looks set to continue with the next book in the Broken Realms series. Tyrion himself has been relegated to small background passages in the current Battletome with no in game presence as of yet. That is all set to change though with the arrival of several Tyrion aspected Warscrolls and we can assume also a much bigger presence in the background of the new Battletome. I’m not going to talk too much about what Lyrior’s Warscroll might look like, suffice to say I’d expect him to be a fast, well armoured combat piece with perhaps some advantage whilst fighting Daemonic opponents (his lance is called ‘Daemonbane’ after all). It is interesting that the character is named as the Warden of Ymetrica as I was expecting Tyrion’s right hand Aelf to hail from one of the Tyrionic regions of Hysh. This perhaps points to us not receiving any additional Great Nations this time round.
Ellania and Ellathor are equally as intriguing from both a background and gaming point of view. Both characters have been hand picked by their respective Twin God and I can only assume will epitomise both the martial prowess of Tyrion and the magical ability of Teclis. Perhaps this unit will operate in a similar manner as Syll’esske – benefiting from the presence of nearby Vanari and Aelemental/Scinari units? Perhaps the abilities of each individual hero wax and wane over the course of the battle mirroring the rising and setting of both Sun and Moon? I’m instantly reminded of the Balance Druid from World of Warcraft and its Eclipse mechanic – it would be interesting see an additional Sun/Moon based resource that this unit has to balance effectively.
I mentioned at the beginning of the post that there are hints of as yet unrevealed releases still to come for the Lumineth. The presence of so much Tyrionic aspected units and design elements, from the Warden himself to the Sun iconography scattered across the new range, to me points to an imminent reveal of the Lord of Illumination himself! Perhaps not in this Battletome but in a future Broken Realms book maybe? We’re pretty confident the model has already been created however and the most convincing piece of evidence for this claim can be found on the banner of the Vanari Bannerblade, where upon there is shown a stylised version of Tyrion’s mount in opposition to the Celannar, the mount of Teclis!
Just Around the Riverbend?
Before we finish I’d like to peer even further into the future and look at other potential expansions to theLumineth army. We now have both Mountain and Wind aligned options available to Lumineth but what of the River and Zenith aligned Temples? There is not much information yet on what the Zenith Temple warriors, mages and spirits will look like beyond the “beings of pure light” references in the current Battletome and Core Rulebook however we have recently been treated to some enlightening insights into what might be coming down the river for the Ydriliqi Temple.
When the Lumineth were first revealed back in 2020 and we started to learn more about the different Aelemental Disciplines I had assumed that a re-imagined High Elves Swordmaster would form the basis for a new unit of River Temple Warriors. We now know this is not the case as that unit of legend has been reborn in the Vanari Bladelords. So, what could the River Temple Warriors look like then? Well there are two recently published pieces of information that might give us some clue.
The first comes from a passage in the recent White Dwarf which tells the story of a band of Flesh Eater Court monster hunters tracking down some “colossal moss-covered pachyderm sages” along a Hyshian river. Some kind of Hippo or Elephant Spirit would certainly be in keeping with the trend of animal inspired Aelemental Spirits. The second clue appears in the “Broken Realms Teclis Revealed” video where at one point we appear to see a host of hooded figures armed with spears and swords marching to battle. There is a bit of debate at Sprues and Brews HQ as to whether these are some new Aelf unit or perhaps something else entirely (Undead perhaps?). Some of the figures appear to resemble Wyldwood Rangers whereas others appear to be exhibiting a more ghost-like quality. I have no doubt we’ll see a River themed expansion for the Lumineth at some point in the future.