New Battletome Sylvaneth 2022 Review – Warhammer Age of Sigmar
The forces of Life return to the battlefields of the Mortal Realms as the Sylvaneth receive their new Battletome for Age of Sigmer 3rd edition. After flicking through the new rules I can certainly see that Alarielle has been watering the plants well, the Sylvaneth really feel like a force to be reckoned with now!
Thank you to Games Workshop for providing Sprues and Brews with a free copy of the Sylvaneth Battletome 2022 to us to review. If you would like to support the site then why not order your copy through our affiliate Element Games and save yourself some money too!
There have been some interesting changes to the Sylvaneth Allegiance abilities. The Glades return although as you’ll see shortly, they have changed quite a bit. Places of Power is still here, now allowing you to pick three terrain features on the battlefield to count as ‘overgrown’ terrain features, a new mechanic that was introduced on some of the Echoes of Doom warsrcolls. You’ll find that many (but not all) of the abilities and rules that interact with the Awakened Wyldwood terrain feature interact in the same way with the overgrown terrain feattures. This is great and really makes a Sylvaneth player’s life a bit easier as you now now longer need to worry so much about finding room to place one of your Awakened Wyldwood models. In addition, Places of Power also causes each of your Sylvaneth units that are wholly within 9″ of either an Awakened Wyldwood or overgrown terrain feature to heal 1 wound at the start of your hero phase.
Forest Spirits and Navigate the Realmroots have been removed (the latter has now been replaced by the From the Woodland Depths ability which I’ll cover shortly). You’re still able to place an Awakened Wyldwood at the start of the game but you can no longer hold a unit in ‘reserve’ to enter play later in the game. The aforementioned From the Woodland Depths ability is made up of two sub-abilities. The first, Walk the Hidden Paths, is an improved version of the old Navigate the Realmroots allowing you to teleport a unit between Awakened Wyldwoods or overgrown terrain features with the usual 9″ restrictions. The difference is that this is done at the end of the movement phase, meaning you’re able to move into range of a terrain feature in your movement phase to then trigger the teleport ability. The second sub-ability is Strike and Fade, as previewed on Warhammer Community, this allows a single Sylvaneth unit to teleport to a different Awakened Wyldwood or overgrown terrain feature immediately after striking in combat, protecting them from any return hits!
The Verdant Blessing spell is also detailed in this section of the book with all Sylvaneth Wizards automatically knowing it as before however the range has been reduced to only 18″.
Finally we have the new Seasons of War ability which provides a selection of four different army wide bonuses from which you select one to apply (during list creation). The Burgeoning is the most straight forward, providing a 6+ ward save to all Sylvaneth units wholly within 9″ of an Awakened Wyldwood or overgrown terrain feature.
The Reaping extends the range by 3″ to which Places of Power and From the Woodland Depths abilities interact with the Awakened Wyldwood and overgrown terrain feature terrain features. With this season in play I’d expect almost 100% coverage for the Awakened Wyldwood and overgrown terrain feature triggered abilities! The Dwindling buffs your spell casting abilities, allowing you to re-roll a single casting and dispelling roll and finally Everdusk applies an exploding hits mechanic to all Sylvaneth units in range of an Awakened Wyldwood and overgrown terrain feature. In my opinion it will be a toss up between the first two, with the Reaping looking like a particularly strong pick just for the amount of options and flexibility it gives you during a battle with regards to the many effects and abilities that trigger from Awakened Wyldwoods and overgrown terrain features.
This section of the Battletome, like other 3rd edition books, is much smaller than the previous iteration with a selection of six Command Traits and six Artifacts (with three of each being restricted to Wizards). Keep in mind though that you are no longer locked to a particular trait or artifact based on your choice of Glade so you do have a lot ore freedom here. On the Command Trait side there are some nice picks such as Warsinger which adds 3″ to the movement of all Sylvaneth that start their movement wholly within 12″ of the hero or Spellsinger which allows a Sylvaneth Wizard to cast spells ‘through’ Awakened Wyldwoods (almost like a natural spell portal!). Nurtured by Magic is still here (although now not locked to just Gnarlroot Wizards). There are some nice Artifacts too, the Greenwood Gladius would work well on either an Arch Revenant or Spirit of Durthu, granting an additional D3 attacks with a melee weapon. The Crown of Fell Bowers is also very strong (especially on an Arch Revenant surrounded by Kurnoth Hunters) allowing you to pick an enemy unit within 6″ and grant all Sylveneth that attack it a +1 to wound bonus! The Acorn of Ages and Vesperal Gem also return!
Alongside the aforementioned Verdant Blessing we find that all six spells from the previouse version of the Battletome return although there have been some big changes. Throne of Vines for example now no longer provides a casting bonus and instead applies a nice heal of time effect, allowing the caster to heal one wound per phase until their next Hero Phase. Dwellers Below has been buffed and now triggers the mortal wound effect on a 5+ instead of a 6+ and has an improved range. Treesong has changed a bit too, targetting an Awakened Wyldwood which then provides a ‘Rend’ improvement to nearby Sylvaneth units.
Finally we come to the Glades themselves which as I mentioned earlier are a lot smaller really with just a single bonuse or ability applying to the army and no compulsory artifact or command trait restrictions.
Oakenbrow – If you have a lot of Treelord variants in your army this is the glade for you. Not only are Treelords counted as battleline but all your tree flavoured monsters count the number of wounds suffered as half when referencing the damage table.
Gnarlroot – Now provides a single once per turn bonus to either a casting or unbinding roll (roll 3D6 and choose the two dice you want to keep).
Heartwood – This is the Kurnoth Hunter themed Glade which make Kurnoth Hunters of any variety battleline! In addition you choose three enemy units which will be the quarry of the hunt with your whole army benefitting from a +1 to hit when targetting them! This is probably the most powerful Glade, especially when you consider how fantastic the Kurnoth Hunters and Arch Revenant Warscrolls are!
Ironbark – This Glade gives the player an additional Command Ability option that can be used issued to a Sylvaneth unit that is within 3″ of an enemy unit that charged. You roll a dice and on a 2+ the enemy unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. This command ability is issued at the start of the combat phase but you can’t target the same enemy unit more than once. Remember though that you’ll not be able to issue any other command ability to these units.
Winterleaf – This Glade restricts your opponent’s options during a game due to the fact that enemy units are unable to retreat whilst within 3″ of a Winterleaf unit. In addition, if the Everdusk Season has been selected the opponent can’t even use abiilities that would ordinarily allow them to remove and set up units either!
Dreadwood – This Glade unlocks Spite Revenant units as battleline and provides two bonuse for such units. You’re able to make use of the Walk the Hidden Paths and Strike and Fade abilities (although the at least one of the units selected to use these abilities must be a Spite Revenants unit).
Harvestboon – This Glade unlocks the new Spiterider Lancers and Revenant Seekers as battleine and is a stong contender alongside Heartwood for the most competitive option. It also allows you to make a single 12″ move before the first battle round with each of the aforementioned units!
Sylvaneth players get access to three Grand Stratagies, although one is sort of locked behind the Outcasts keyword. Chorus of the Woodlands is completed so long as you have completed at least four of the Sylvaneth specific Battle Tactics (which might be a bit difficult depending on your army composition). Vengeance and Spite requires that the enemies General is slain by a unit with the Outcasts keyword, which means either Spite Revenants or Drycha herself and might prove tricky to achieve. The Roots of Virtue requires that the battle ends with an Awakened Wyldwood in each table quarter. Whilst not an impossible task (there are multiple options for placing such terrain) your opponent will be working hard to zone out the board and prevent you from placing any.
There are five Battle Tactics options for Sylvaneth players with a couple of nice picks. Harness the Spirit Paths requires that you complete a charge with a unit that has made use of the From the Woodland Depths ability which really boils down to how good you are at rolling 9″ charges. The Spiteswarm Hive Endless Spell can reduce this to a 6″ charge so with good planning and a bit of luck this should be a guaranteed point. If you’re certain you can finish off an enemy Monster unit with one of your Treelord variants then March of the Forest Lords is a good option for you. Balance the Cycle requires that you destroy an enemy unit that is not only within range of an AW but is also destroyed by a unit that has been added to your army in that turn. This also requires you to make that 9″ charge so is especially tricky. Unleash Ghyran’s Wrath is a bit of a risky pick as it requires you to destroy an enemy unit with spell or Endless Spell. This could prove quite tricky, many of your Wizards can only cast a single spell and if you get unlucky on that casting attempt you’ll forfeit this point. Finally we have Eradicate Trespassers which I think is a nice pick, simply destroy an enemy unit within 6″ of an Awakened Wyldwood.
There is just one Core Battalion option, Lord of the Clan, which allows you to put together a collection of Treelord Ancients and Treelords. The bonus for such a battalion is the Strategist ability. I think this may have been a good choice in the previous General’s Handbook where the focus was on monsters but I have a feeling players will be trying to squeeze as many Infantry units into their lists during this new season.
So let us move on and take a closer look at the changes to the Sylvaneth Warscrolls. Straight away we see that there have been some additional Warscrolls added (Lady of the Vines, Gossamid Archers, Spiterider Lancers and Revenant Seekers) and one removed (the Branchwraith). It’s a shame to see the Branchwraith disapear as she had a useful summoning mechanic. This ability to summon Dryads has now been moved to the Lady of the Vines Warscroll (and reworked slightly).
Alarielle the Everqueen – Much of Alarielle’s profile remains the same although there is now a much more forgiving damage table (now requiring 7 wounds to be inflicted before dropping to that first bracket). In terms of abilities there have been a few changes. To start with the Talon of Dwindling now has a chance to outright slay an opponent as it used to in earlier editions. The changes to Lifebloom are perhaps more impactful, no longer providing a D3 wounds healing aura it now only affects Alarielle herself, allowing her to heal 2D6 wound in each of her Hero phases and also, and this is very cool, allowing Alarielle to return to the table in later turns (after being destroyed) with 8 wounds remaining! Living Battering Ram now works alongside a Stomp monstrous action to inflict D6 mortal wounds on enemy units with a single wound. The only other change of note is the replacement of Ghyran’s Wrath with a new, once per game, ability called Rite of Life which can be triggered to make all terrain features on the table count as overgrown!
The Lady of the Vines – She returns with the same Warscroll we saw in Echoes of Doom. She is a great force multplier for any kind of Sylvaneth army and with access to a summoning ability and able to cast and unbind 2 spells I think she’ll find a place in many Sylvaneth lists.
Drycha Hamadreth – There have been some small tweaks to Drycha although much of her profile has been improved with better ‘To Hit’ and ‘To Wound’ and ‘Rend’ characteristics. The Song of Spite ability has changed slightly as well to now provide a +1 to wound bonus instead the old re-roll wound rolls of 1 bonus.
Warsong Revenant – The only change here is the addition of an extra attack profile, the Spirit Falchion, with an average profile and modest damage.
Arch-Revenent – Wow! The Arch-Revenant looks great! They get an extra wound and an improved melee weapon profile but has unfortunetly lost the Ultimate Sacrifice ability. This is a small price to pay for the rest of his abilities though! Crescent Shield now either grants a 4+ ward save or an addiional attack. Champion of Kurnoth provides a +1 to wound bonus to Kurnoth Hunters wholly within 12″ – an amazing buff for the already incredible Kurnoth Hunters! He also keeps his unique Command Ability, Call to Battle, which works in much the same way. If you’re taking Kurnoth Hunters you’ll definitely wany to include an Arch-Revenant as well, especially now that you have much more flexibility on a choice of Command Trait and Artifact as well.
Treelord/Treelord Ancient/Spirit of Durthu – All three Treelord variants have seen similiar changes so I’ll cover them together. They now all have 14 wounds and a much more forgiving damage table (dropping a bracket at 7 wounds suffered). All random damage has been replaced with flat damage (at least on the starting profiles) so they each deal much more reliable damage (the Doom Tendril Staff for example is much nicer at 2 attacks hitting on a 2+, wounding on a 3+ for rend -1 and 3 flat damage). All of the Treelord variants keep their Spirit Paths ability which gives you additional mobility options on top of the various Allegiance Abilities options. The changes to Groundshaking Stomp (now just Groundshaker) are in line with the Echoes of Doom warscolls we’ve seen. I think the Treelord Ancient comes out as the worst choice, still only a single cast attempt wizard and now lacking the Heed the Spirit-song Command Ability too. Both Durthu and the regular Treelord look pretty good though, the latter being battleline in the Oakenbrow Glade and now having a new ability called Lash and Tangle which prevents an enemy unit from piling in. Such a shame this book was not released during the previous season.
Branchwych – There are not many changes to the Branchwych warscroll, just a few buffs to the Fury of the Forest and Unleash Spites abilities.
Gossamid Archers/Spiterider Lancers/Revenant Seekers – The Gossamid Archers are here with an identical Warscroll from the Echoes of Doom set. The Spiterider Lancers and Revenant Seekers make their first appearance though and wow, they are pretty impressive. The Lancers themselves are quick with a movement of 14″, hit hard with their 7 attacks (with nice range, rend and hit/wound stats). In addition they have some great tricks. They have the strike-first rule for start, which is fantastic when combined with the Strike and Fade rules detailed earlier and they also pile in 6″ instead of 3″. They are pretty resilient too, with 5 wounds each and a 4+ save. The musician allows them to rally on a 5+ and there are lots of ways to return a model to the unit in the Sylvaneth Battetome. If they are able to kill any enemy models they also heal back to full strength!
The Revenant Seekers are not too shabby in a fight either with damage 2 attacks (although fewer of them). Their Harvesters of the Lamentiri ability allows them to restore a single, up to 5 wounds, model to a unit on a 2+ at the end of the movement phase. A couple of units of these backing up some large units of Kurnoth Hunters will be a solid tactic I feel.
Kurnoth Hunters – On the subject of Kurnoth Hunters…well, I’m really happy Games Workshop did not preview the new versions of these warscrolls in the Echoes of Doom box as it was an amazing feeling to see them for the first time when opening the book. All varieties of Kurnoth Hunter now have a 3+ save standard and get a new Envoys of the Everqueen ability which allows the unit to project a 6″ aura around themselves in which Sylaventh units count as being in range of an overgrown terrain feature. This aura only activates whilst the Kurnoth Hunter unit is contesting an objective but is still a very powerful ability due to the amount of rules and abilities that interact with such terrain features. All Kurnoth Hunters keep the Trample Underfoot ability which works in the same way. The Greatbow armed Kurnoth Hunters are the least interesting of the group (although keep in mind that Awakened Wyldwoods do not block line of sight at all for Sylvaneth units). I’m pleased to see that the champion now gets an extra bow shot rather than an extra Viscious Claws attack.
Those Kurnoth Hunters armed with Sword have an unchanged profile but now inflict 2 mortal wounds instead of 1 on a hit roll of 6. The Kurnoth Hunters armed with Sythes have seen the most changes though, now with rend -3 and flat 2 damage. They also gain access to a new Tanglethorn Thicket ability which automatically inflicts a single mortal wound on any enemy units that finish a pile in move within 3″. It’s worth pointing out as well that both varieties of melee Kurnoth Hunter champion now get an extra melee attack (rather than a +1 to hit). It’s quite possible to get these guys hitting and wounding on 2’s with additional attacks granted by the Arch-Revenant. In this new season I think Kurnoth Hunters make a great candidate for the Bounty Hunters Battalion. Sythes with 2+/2+/-3/3 damage look like a powerful tool in the Sylvenath’s arsenal.
Dryads/Tree-Revenants/Spite-Revenants – These have all receieved some changes. Dryads now get a -1 to hit and wound defensive ability whilst within range of an Awakened Wyldwood and overgrown terrain feature but have lost the inherent ability to buff their own hit rolls or saves. Both Revenant varients get an extra wound which is great (especially as so many Sylvaneth abilities can restore wounds). Martial Memories has been reduced in power somewhat, now just a once per batttle effect that allows the unit to benefit from an All-out Attack or Defence command for free. Spite Revenants now no longer inflict a Bravery debuff but instead gain the ability to inflict a mortal wound on a hit roll of 6.
Underworlds warbands/Endless Spells – Last but not least we have the Underworlds warbands and Endless Spells. Ylthari, her Guardians and Skaeth’s Wild Hunt return with pretty much identical warscrolls as do the Endless Spells. The only changes of note are some more forgiving ranges for the different aura effects and such.
Path to Glory
The Path to Glory content in this new Battletome sees the Sylvaneth army attempt to nuture and grow an Wyldwood Stronghold through the different Seasons of War. There are selection of Sylvaneth specific Quests, such “Begone. Intruders!” which upon completion unlocks a Sylvaneth specific Battleplan with its own unique mechanics and rewards. We also get a selection of Sylvaneth specific Veteran Abilities, Territories and Heroic Upgrades.
Overall I’m extremely pleased with the new Sylvaneth Battletome for 2022 and I think there are some great options here for players looking to compete in the new season of Age of Sigmar. The overall healing theme of the army has been significantly improved with multiple powerful abilities and spells to restore wounds and return entire models. The Sylvaneth have always been a very mobile army and this has inherent strength has also been boosted due to the addition of powerful abilities such as Strike and Fade and also due to the fact that it’s now much easier to litter the board with Awakened Wyldwoods or the very similar overgrown terrain features. It’s this new overgrown mechanic which provides the biggest quality of life and ease of play improvement to the entire book. You’re no longer handicapped if you’re unable to find a space to summon a new Awakened Wyldwood due to the ease with which you can project auras which replicate the effects of such terrain without having to physcially place any!
Thanks again to Games Workshop for providing Sprues and Brews with a free copy of the new 2022 Sylvaneth Battletome to us to review. The Battletome is available to preorder today, Saturday the 18th of June 2022.