New Battletome Lumineth Realm-Lords 2022 Review – Warhammer Age of Sigmar
The Lumineth Realm-Lords are back with a 3rd Battletome, bringing the Hyshian Aelves up to date with the current version of the Age of Sigmar game. There have been a fair few changes to the army (even to those units that appeared recently in the Arcane Cataclysm box) so let’s not waste any time and dive right in to the review!
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Allegiance Abilities and Battle Traits
The Allegiance Abilities and Battle Traits section is now much smaller, with the old Vanari, Scinari, Alarith and Hurakan specific Battle Traits (like Shining Company and Deep Thinkers) now moved directly to the appropriate Warscrolls themselves (useful for any armies in the future that may be able to take Lumineth allies!). Shining Company is now much easier to gain the benefit from simply requiring that each model in the unit is touching the base of two others, you no longer need to worry about ‘breaking’ it in order to declare a charge and you don’t need to worry about losing the -1 to hit bonus in later turns. Deep Thinkers has seen a rework as well, now granting a once per game auto-cast (counting as a casting roll of 9). This change will impact some gameplay strategies whereby you players were able to ‘stagger’ certain spell casts between a pair of Scinari Casters – just one of many small adjustments Lumineth players will need to adapt to. Enduring as Rock works in pretty much the same way as before (although the wording has been simplified somewhat), as does Move like the Wind. Tectonic Force though has been removed – although this was always a bit of a fiddly ability to make use of anyway.
The Aetherquartz mechanic remains almost identical, the only change being the removal of the Magical Insight ability (which used to allow you to make an additional casting attempt). Heightened Reflexes (granting a +1 save bonus), Heightened Senses (granting a +1 to hit bonus) and Magical Boost (granting a +1 to cast or a re-roll to cast) are all here though, as is the Bravery penalty for consuming an Aetherquartz.
Lightning Reflexes also returns, a really strong and unique ability of the Lumineth that allows the player to pick two units to fight with rather than one each time it is their turn to pick. This can be used to really press home a key attack or to disrupt the opponent’s own offensive plays.
You’ll also note that the Absorb Despair ability is missing from this section but ‘despair’ not as this has also been moved to the Scinari Cathallar’s Warscroll!
In line with other 3rd edition books we get a new Enhancements section which is where you’ll find the different Command Traits for the Vanari, Scinari, Hurakan and Alarith heroes alongside their respective Artifacts in addition to the three Spell Lores. Each of the four ‘Lumineth sub-types’ get access to three Command Traits and three Artifacts but keep in mind that you are no longer locked to a particular trait or artifact based on your choice of Great Nation – you now have a lot more freedom to pick and choose.
For Vanari heroes we get Grand Strategist, Consurmate Warrior and Almighty Blow (an improved version of the old Ymetrica Command Trait!). Grand Stratagist is the only one that has really changed and now grants a +1 bonus to the Heroic Leadership roll. Vanari heroes get access to some useful artifacts, granting extra Aetherquartz, the ability to run and charge and even a new ability to set up again with 12″ of their original postion instead of moving. What’s really cool is you can set up just outside 3″ of an enemy unit too ready for that critical charge perhaps!
The Scinari Command Traits also look good. Spellmaster allows you to make use of the Magical Boots Aetherquartz ability once per game without burning through your Aetherquartz reserves. Loremaster is very similar but now grants two additional spells rather than one! Finally we have Fast Learner, which works in the same way as the old Zaitrec Command Trait. Scinari heroes get access to some interesting Artifacts too. The Blade of Leaping Gold is gone, in it’s place is the Rune of Senthoi which grants a bonus to unbinding and dispelling rolls depending on the number of nearby Scinari heroes. The Phoenix Stone returns albeit with a different, much more useful, effect. It now triggers when a nearby Lumineth Realm-Lords hero suffers a wound or mortal wound that would cause that hero to be slain. In this scenario you roll a dice and on a 3+ the hero is not slain and instead heals up to D3 wounds. This is a once per game effect but does allow other heroes, such as Teclis for example, to come back to life.
For Hurakan heroes we find that Loremaster has disapeared and been replaced with a new trait, Gravity-defying Champion, which grants a once per battle re-roll which can be used for a run, charge or casting roll. The other traits remain pretty similar to their previous iterations. The Hurakan Artifacts have also been reworked slightly. The Wind Stone now does 1, 2 or 4 mortal wounds on a 1, 2-4 and 5+ dice roll respectively which at least makes it a bit more reliable. The Buffeting Aspiragillum no longer provides a Ward Save and instead gives the bearer a once per battle -1 to hit and wound bonus which lasts for a single combat phase.
Alarith heroes get the most exciting of options for Command Traits and Artifacts in my opinion. Enduring remains as it was, granting +3 wounds to the Alarith Hero but we also get two new options, Tectonically Attuned and Unyielding Toughness. The first allows you to increase the number of ranged attacks a nearby Spirit of the Mountain can make each turn, a great force multiplying effect especially considering you’ll most likely want a Stonemage to accompany your Mountain Spiritss to battle anyway. The last option, Unyielding Toughness, allows you to select a nearby Stoneguard unit in your Hero Phase and add 1 to their wounds characteristic until the next hero phase. This makes the already resilient Stoneguard (especially with their new Warscroll buffs) even more more so. The Molten Talisman Artifact provides yet another way to further improve the effectiveness of nearby Alarith Stoneguard and Mountain Spirit units, granting a +1 to wound bonus to ‘all’ such units wholly within 12″ of the bearer (provided the bearer did not charge). This is a great buff for both the regular Stoneguard and Avalenor himself who wound on a 3+ ordinarily.
The Lore of Hysh, the Winds and the High Peaks all return in this Battletome although both the Winds and High Peaks lists now only contain three spells. The Lore of Hysh has seen a few changes. Lambent Light has been removed, replaced instead with Overwhelming Heat (taken straight from the old Zaitrec rules). The only other change of note is to Solar Flare which no longer includes the debuff to enemy Wizards.
The Lore of the Winds now consists of Howling Gale, Transporting Vortex and Healing Zephyr, the latter now lacking the old Bravery buff (Bravery buffs seem to be lacking overall in the new Battletome I’ve noticed). The Lore of the High Peaks contains two really useful spells. Unbreakable Stoicism acts a sort of Power of Hysh spell for Alarith Stoneguard, allowing them to trigger their mortal wound effect on a hit roll of 5+ (whch, you’ll be pleased to know, is in addition to their normal damage). Crippling Vertigo works in the same way as it’s previous version allowing you to mess around with the enemy’s ability to perform certain move actions.
Overall I really like the spell options available to the different Lumineth Wizards. Alarith in particular get some great options now although it’s plain to see that Sentinels have lost access to a lot of useful buffs with the new revised Spell Lores.
The rules for the Great Nations are much simpler now with each providing just a single bonus to units in your army. Three of the Great Nation bonuses remain the same (Ymetrica Alarith units ignoring -2 Rend for example) however three have changed. Illiatha now allows two units to benefit from an Aetherquartz ability in the same phase rather than one and now no longer provides any bonuses to Bravery or Command Point usage. Zaitrec now grants a flat +1 to cast, dispell and unbind for all Zaitrec Wizards and finally the Helen +1 to the attacks characteristic now triggers within 6″ of an enemy unit, not 3″.
As we’ve seen with all the 3rd edition Battletomes, the fact you’re no longer tied in to a specific set of Traits and Artifacts based on your Great Nation selection means you have much more freedom to combine interesting Enhancement selections in your army. It’s clear to see that the previously strong Sentinel army build is already much diminished (and that’s before we have even got to the Warscroll itself) but to counter that there are some pretty nice combos that can really enhance the Alarith units in your army – even outside of a Ymetrica force.
Lumineth players get access to four Grand Stratagies, each associated with one of the four Lumineth ‘sub-types’. Vanari Assault seems pretty tough to achieve, requiring four Vanari units to survive the battle ‘and’ for the opposing General to have been slain – this seems like a tall order, it’s likely you’ll only have a small number of such units to begin with and your opponent will make sure to reduce this number over the course of a battle. Scinari Illumination is a thematic choice but again could be quite difficult to achieve, requiring you to end the battle with a Scinari unit in each quarter of the battlefield.
Alarith Aftershock looks like a great pick (I’m sensing a theme here…) requiring that you end the battle with two or more Alarith units contesting two or more objectives. The fact that Alarith units are so difficult to remove anyway (even more so when actually contesting an objective) and the fact that you don’t even need to control the objective means your opponent will really struggle to prevent you from achieving this. Finally the Hurakan option, Hurakan Cyclone, seems pretty good too. It requires you to end the game with three Hurakan units with 6″ of the same enemy unit. Hurakan units are very mobile and certainly have the movement tricks to attempt to get into position however there is a risk the opponent can undo your careful placement should they get the final turn of the game.
There are six Battle Tactics options for Lumineth players which give you plenty of flexibility during a game. There are a couple of ‘magic’ focussed options, such as Blind the Enemy, requiring four different units to each successfully cast a spell and then Hysh Made Manifest which requires two of your Endless Spells be in play at the end of the turn. These both seem like pretty good fall back options that could be used in any turn. Ignore the Odds also seems like a good pick, requiring you to select a Lumineth and enemy unit within 1″ of each other. As long as the enemy unit has been destroyed and the Lumineth unit has not you’ll claim the point! We also get options which work with Starshard Ballistas and Aelementiri units as well which may or may not prove useful depending on your army build.
So let us move on and take a closer look at the changes to the Lumineth Warscrolls. The first thing to note is that we get one additional Warscroll, the Scinari Enlightener, who now has a slightly improved weapon profile and a tweak to the Rune of Enthlai ability (can no longer target the same unit twice) but otherwise remains unchanged.
Archmage Teclis and Celennar, Spirit of Hysh – Teclis returns with very minimal changes and a reduced points cost. His damage table is now slightly more forgiving for a start and perhaps more importantly, his Archmage ability now interacts with it as well. The old ability to choose to cast one, two or four spells works just as it did before however as Teclis takes wounds you lose the ability to cast one spell which can’t be unbound and at 13+ wounds suffererd, the ability to cast even two spells on a 12. I’d also like to draw attention to the Protection of Tecis spell which now explicitly only affects Lumineth Realm-Lords units, as opposed to the Protection of Hysh spell which affects friendly units. This is an important point as Lumineth Realm-Lords armies can now select allies from Stormcast, Cities of Sigmar, Sylvaneth and Idoneth Deepkin! One other thing to note is that it is not clear exactly how many spells Teclis actually knows, I assume it’s all twelve from across the three lores but it’s not explicitly stated as such in the Battletome. I think Teclis remains a strong option for Lumineth armies and if you can fit him in alongside some Alarith you’ll have very ‘rock-solid’ army that your opponent will find difficult to damage.
The Light of Eltharion – Wow, this famous hero from the world that was has seen some great changes. Firstly let’s deal with the negatives, Unflinching Valour no longer exists which is a shame as it provided a good workaround for the bravery debuffs associated with Aetherquartz use. Right, that’s the negatives dealt with! Eltharion now hits like a ton of bricks with flat three damage on all his attacks. In addition his Celennari Blade now does 2D3 damage (rather than just +1) aganst a Hero or Monster unit! Searing Darts of Light, Spirit Armour, Supreme Swordsmaster and the Fangsword of Eltharion all remain unchanged which is great! Oh and he has an extra wound too!
Lyrior Uthralle – Not too many changes to the Warden of Ymetrica’s Warscroll but I do think he looks a much more appealing option . He gets a slightly improved damage profile on his Regent’s Sword and, just like the regular Lord Regent, a buffed up version of the Sunmetal Weapons rule which causes him to inflict two mortal wounds rather than one on a hit roll of 6+. Greater Power of Hysh works in the same way as before but is even more useful now as it allows you to enhance the Sunmetal Weapons ability of the Vanari Bladelords who themselves have no access to the Power of Hysh spell. I also like the new version of the Voice of Tyrion ability which can be used to issue a free command to a friendly Ymetrica unit.
Vanari Lord Regent – This unit receives the same damage profile and Sunmetal Weapons upgrade as Lyrior but otherwise remains unchanged. The additional flexibility with regards to Command Traits and Artifact options may make the Lord Regent a very useful addition to even Alarith or Hurakan themed armies.
Vanari Bannerblade – I really like the changes to the World Banner ability. In place of the Bravery bonus this ability now grants a re-roll charge bonus to nearby Lumineth units wholly within 18″. I’ll be looking to include this model alongside some Alarith Stoneguard and some Mountain Spirits for sure!
Vanari Auralan Sentinels – Love them or hate them it’s fair to say large numbers of Sentinels have appeared in plenty of Lumineth armies since their appearance back in 2020. Their ability to deal large numbers of mortal wounds to targets outside of line of sight has now been removed via changes to the Scryhawk Lantern which now grants additional range whilst within range of other Sentinel or Starshard Ballistas units. Sentinels also lose out a bit due to the lack of Lambent Light meaning you’re no longer able to go fishing for those 5+ hit rolls. The age of the legions of Auralan Sentinels darkening the skies with their lofted arrows is over I feel.
Vanari Auralan Wardens – I’m happy to see that the reliable Warden unit remains pretty much unchanged. The changes to Shining Company really benefit the Wardens and allow you to be much more mobile and aggressive with them whilst retaining that defensive -1 to hit bonus. The only other change of note is the absense of the Moonfire Flask ability. I like the look of running big units of Wardens alongside a Wizard with Protection of Hysh and perhaps a Bannerblade too. It’s worth noting that Wardens are the only true Battleline option in the Battletome but unlock either a single unit of Sentinels or Dawnriders as Battleline just like before.
Vanari Dawnriders -WIth the exception of the changes to Shining Company there is have been no other updates to this Warscroll.
Vanari Starshard Ballista – The Ballista has had some nice quality of life improvements when compared to its previous incarnation. The +1 to hit and +1 attack buff are now baked in as standard which is great. On top of this the Ballista gets a nice damage boost when targetting monsters. They are still pretty fragile with only a 5+ armour save and 6+ ward if they remain stationary but at least now they can put out some reliable and substantial damage at range. I have a feeling we’ll see the poor Sentinels switched out for a few of these in future.
Vanari Bladelords – Finally we get a decent Swordmaster Warscroll! It’s now much easier to trigger the additional attacks gained via the Swordmasters rule (now adding additional hits based on the number of models in the target unit). Although they still lack rend on their Flurry of Blows profile they now benefit from Sunmetal Weapons (but do not have access to the Power of Hysh spell – you’ll need a Lord Regent to help there). The Perfect Strike profile now inflicts a single mortal wound on a 2+ as well which I feel is much better than it’s previous effect. I was surprised to see their Vanashimor Banners ability disapear however. Once again this unit can be taken as Battleline alongside a Scinari Hero just as before.
Scinari Cathallar – Hmm, I’m not overly impressed by the Cathallar. The Emotional Transference ability has been removed which is a shame I feel as this was a unique and interesting mechanic. Other than this change the Cathallar remains unchanged save for the fact that Absorb Despair now appears on the Warscroll itself.
Scinari Enlightener – We touched on this unit briefly at the beginning of this section. Overall I feel this unit is quite useful. The ability to apply Ethereal or Speed of Hysh to two different units is very useful, as is a 2 cast/2 unbind Wizard in general. I expect to see the Enlightner replacing a Cathallar in many lists.
Scinari Calligrave – The Calligrave has received a much needed buff to their Erasure spell. This works in exactly the same way as it used to but can now inflict a massive 2D6 mortal wounds on subsequent casts!
Scinari Loreseeker – Once again (but for how long this time?) the Scinari Loreseeker is no longer a unique option, meaning you’re now able to take more than one in your army and take Command Traits and Artifacts too. They no longer have the Loreseeker ability and there has been some changes to the Lone Agent ability too. This still allows you to deploy in much the same way but instead of the old objective controlling effect you now just count as ten models when contesting the objective you deployed next to, and only if the objective was not being contested at the time.
Alarith Spirit of the Mountain – Some nice improvements for the generic Mountain Spirit who now sports 14 wounds and a much less aggressive damage table. The Faith of the Mountain ability has also been buffed slightly and can now be used up to D3 times for a single command point to grant +1 attack to a friendly Alarith Aelf unit. The only slight negative is the reduced 25″ range on the Geomantic Blast attack.
Alarith Stonemage – The Stonemage now sports a 4+ save, a better damage profile on their weapon and an improved Gravitic Redirection spell which also allows the caster to fly in addition to the original movement debuff effect. A Stonemage with the right combination of traits and artifacts will be a key component of a tough Alarith lists I think.
Alarith Stoneguard – This unit has seen some much needed improvements and is now possibly the best unit in the book. Firstly they now benefit from a 2″ range which means they should still be able to get plenty of attacks through even when benefitting from the rend bonus of a nearby Stonemage and unable to pile in. They no longer have access to the Diamondpick Hammer ability, instead the Crushing Blow ability now inflicts a mortal wound on a 6+ to hit on top of normal damage (the two effects have almost been combined). Fortitude of the Earth is a new ability which grants a 4+ ward save against mortal wounds whilst contesting an objective. The amount of buffs you can stack on this unit is pretty impressive. Extra attacks from Mountain Spirits, additional rend via a Stonemage, an improved mortal wound trigger, +1 to wound and finally +1 wounds characteristic from the various Enhancements. I think we’ll see a fair few Ymetrica Stoneguard lists going forward (they are still Battleline in Ymetrica armies).
Avalenor – Just like the regular Mountain Spirit, Avalenor also benefits from two additional wounds (for a total of 16) and an improved damage table. It’s also great to see rend -2 on his Firestealer Hammers! His Unshakable Faith of the Mountain Command Ability has also been improved and now can be used 3 times rather than D3!
Ellania and Ellathor – The twins return with minimal changes to their Warscroll (the Owl companion’s attacks have been reduced to 1). I think this unit will struggle to find a place in lists, competing as it is with the great Enlightener unit.
Hurakan Windmage – The Windmage benefits from a more reliable damage profile on their weapon but otherwise remains unchanged.
Hurakan Windchargers – There have been a few changes to the Windchargers Warscroll. The Windcharger Arrows ability now has a nice and unique effect which allows the unit to ignore an opponent’s ward saves when attacking with missile weapons. The second change worth noting is that their melee weapons are now only rend -1. To be fair I was always a bit puzzled as to why they had access to rend -2 attacks in melee to begin with.
Sevirith – The legendary Wind Spirit, just like it’s ordinary brethren, has certainly been reduced in power – primarily due to the changes to its Spirit of the Wind ability which now longer allows the unit to move in the opponent’s shooting phase. I would have liked to have seen this ability remain on Sevireth (and removed on the regular Wind Spirits) as it was quite a unique and interesting ability. Gone to is the ability to reduce the opponent’s pile in move and also the Windmage Symbiosis ability too! They really toned this unit down. Scour remains though, albeit reworked slightly so that it now allows the unit to make a Smash to Rubble monstrous rampage instead.
Hurakan Spirit of the Wind – This unit has seen the same changes in line with Sevireth.
Myari Lightcaller and Purifiers – Aside from the addition of Deep Thinkers to the Warscroll there have been no other chnages to Myari himself. His Purifiers have obviously been working out though as they have some additional rend and a better damage profile!
Endless Spells – The only change of note regarding the Endless Spells is the requirement for a Wizard benefitting from the Sanctum of Amyntok to remain stationary. Still, I think it could be quite a useful spell to use with an Alarith Stonemage to give some additional protection.
Shrine Luminor – The iconic Luminth scenery piece has a small quality of life improvements in the new Battletome, (the Shrine Guardian range buff now kicks in whenever the Shrine is garrisoned rather than having to wait until the second battle round) but otherwise remains very similiar to its previous incarnation.
Path to Glory
As with all 3rd edition Battletomes we now get an expanded Path to Glory section for the Lumineth which allows you to expand and enhance your own Lumineth force and territories over the course of a narative campaign. There is a strong theme of cleansing and healing the Mortal Realms that runs throughout the Lumineth lore and has a big influence of the Path to Glory mechanics presented in the Battletome. After each major victory you’re able to ‘seal’ the battlefield and stamp a Hyshian rune onto the earth. Each of the different runes grants a different effect, such as the Thalari which grants additional glory after the battle or the Alaithi which provides a small discount when upgrading your Stronghold.
We also get a selection of Quests, Veteran Abilities and Territories unique to the Lumineth. I especially like the Ruins of Faded Glory territory which is able to negate the bravery debuff associated with the use of Aetherqaurtz! Some of the Veteran Abilities look pretty strong as well, Gift of the Mountain in particular further improving the Alarith Stoneguard.
Unless you’re a massive fan of Wind Spirits and Sentinels I think you’ll be quite pleased overall with the new Lumineth Realm-Lords. Whilst the aforementioned units are now much diminished due a combination of Warsrcoll changes and Enhancement updates I was pleasantly surprised to see so many small buffs and quality of life improvements across the rest of the army. Small changes to Warscrolls like the Lord Regent and Bannerblade open up a lot more options in terms of list building – especially with the additional flexibility granted by the relaxation of the Great Nation Command Trait and Artifact restrictions. I often felt that the Lumineth army was a very defensive and surprisingly slow army to wield but that is certainly not the case now. Changes to Shining Company, charge re-rolls and the Enlightener/double Speed of Hysh combo will, I think, encourage a much more aggressive playstyle. Even slower units such as Alarith Stoneguard and Mountain Spirits should find themselves moving quickly up the board before planting themselves firmly next to an objective. Now that we’ve mentioned Alarith I think it’s worth pointing out that this sub-faction has certainly seen the most improvement. The basic Stoneguard unit has seen numerous beneficial Warscroll changes which synergise so well with the variety of interesting and powerful Enhancement effects. Even the larger Mountain Spirits themselves have seen some great improvements too. I suspect most competitive armies will lean heavily into the Alarith theme, complimented by an Enlightener or two for some additional speed and Ward Saves. That said, I also think and army Wardens and Bladelords backed up by a Ballista or two and led into battle by a Lord Regent would make for a strong force too, and very reminise of the High Elves of old!
The new Battletome Lumineth Realm-Lords is up for pre order today and released on the 15th of October.
Games Workshop sent Sprues and Brews a free copy of Battletome Lumineth Realm-Lords for review purposes.