Age of Sigmar Review: Lumineth Realm-Lords Battletome

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After a long wait the Lumineth Realmlords are finally (sort of) here! Due to the current pandemic disrupting shipping networks worldwide, Lumineth Realmlords were originally supposed to launch “Spring 2020” but were pushed back until late June, and have now debuted with a soft launch with the Lumineth Realm-lords Army box. Although the army isn’t ready to play, and might not be for a few more weeks (possibly months) the book is here and that’s what we care most about, so lets jump in.

Overview

Credit: Games Workshop

The Fluff

The Lumineth Realm-Lords are the final project of Teclis, one of the best high elf mages of The World That Was. After ascending to godhood he made a few attempts at creating a race of people to replace the high elves who were lost in The End Times. The Idoneth Deepkin were an early stab at it, which he wrote off pretty quickly. The Lumineth were his most promising projects, though not without some challenges along the way. The elves discovered Aetherquartz, solidified minerals of the Light of Hysh, the realm of light in which they lived in.  It allowed them to function at increased capacity, and avoid sleep, but drained their emotions and created a volatile society in which everyone sought to compete with each other and secure more Aetherquartz.

The Lumineth broke into civil war and when the dust settled, Teclis and Tyrion were very cross! Teclis taught the elves how to reach symbiosis with Hysh instead of trying to steal its resources. The Lumineth are now a pseudo-religious society seeking to attain harmony with Hysh rather than dominate it, with hundreds of temples dedicated to “The Aetherpact”.

On The Table

The book itself is actually surprisingly thin. There aren’t as many options as many other armies, and since the army hasn’t officially debuted outside of the army box (as of this writing) the warscroll aren’t freely available. Since there’s less individual options to cover I’m going to go more in-depth than our usual reviews and give you all the goods, or at least an overview. This is going to read like a Start Competing article but to be clear, it’s not that. As the army just came out, there hasn’t really been enough time to see how it all comes together or how it will interact with the meta, given there isn’t really much of one right now.

In terms of playstyle the army is very low model count. Your cheapest unit is 100 pts for 5 guys, with your only battleline being 120 pts for 10 (There’s more to it than that but well discuss that in the “units” section). Units are glass cannons, with generally so-so saves but potential to do a lot of damage. What they really have going for them is that there is a lot of synergy going on between units. Many units have buffs for being near other units, and every unit is a caster which further expands their utility. In order to get the most out of lumineth you need to track a frankly dizzying number of mechanics to get the most out of them. To me at least, it seems like if you can really push these mechanics they will be near impossible to stop.

Credit: Games Workshop

Battle Traits

There is a lot of army abilities here, possibly more than any other book. Definitely more than I can recall from reading other army books.

Aetherquartz Reserve

This is a big one to track, every unit in the army starts with 1 “Aetherquartz Reserve” by default and can spend it to gain a short term buff. After it’s spent, the aetherquartz is gone and the unit takes a hit of -1 Bravery. So you’ll definitely want to keep tokens or something nearby to track who has and who hasn’t used their aetherquartz. The buffs you can get from expending aetherquartz are all excellent, and you can choose which one you use when you want to use it, so there’s no need to rank them, you just pick whichever is most useful to you in the moment.

  • Heightened Reflexes – +1 to save rolls, you can use this when your opponent declares the unit as a target
  • Heightened Senses – +1 to hit, you can use this when declaring a shooting or attack action.
  • Magical Boost – Use this after rolling to cast a spell but before your opponent attempts to unbind it. You can either add +1 to that roll or reroll the cast entirely.
  • Magical Insight – Use this at the start of the Hero phase. This model can attempt an extra spell.

Worth nothing is the Lumineth have pretty mediocre bravery stats outside of Teclis and the Light of Eltharion (Who have 10s) which makes a permanent -1 Bravery hit potentially nasty and will definitely incentivize sticking to minimum sized units. There are ways to mitigate it, one of which is Absorb Despair.

Absorb Despair

If a Cathallar unit is within 18″ of a unit that has used its Aetherquartz, it can essentially cancel the -1 bravery debuff on the user of the Aetherquartz, and pass it to an enemy unit within 18″ of the Cathallar. Each Cathallar can only do this once per turn though so it’s not a cure-all.

Lightning Reactions

Essentially a remix of the “always fight first” rule for high elves from Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Whenever you nominate a unit to fight, nominate 2 units instead. Its that simple.

Shining Company

Vanari units (Which entails the Sentinel archer unit,  the Warden spear unit and the Dawnrider cavalry unit) all get this ability. The description is complex but to boil it down if every model in the unit is touching 2 or more models from the unit then they become a “Shining Company”. All units targetting them take -1 to hit but the shining company cannot run or charge, and can only pile-in 1″. It basically lets you form a phalanx to protect your dudes at the cost of more limited movement. Be cautious on placement and which models you remove, as once the “touching 2 other units” is broken for any reason, you lose this buff until you can reposition

Enduring As Rock

Alarith units (The stonemage, stoneguard and the bull models) can activate “Stone Stance” at the start of each turn, which turns Rend -1 attacks to Rend -. I’m not sure if this will be FAQ’d because as written this needs to be manually activated but there is no cost or any downside to activating this every turn. If this is intentional I’m not sure the point in just making it an “Always on” ability.

Tectonic Force

Also for Alarth units, at the end of each combat phase each Alarth can force push an enemy model back 2″, though each enemy model can only be moved once. Not a bad way of pushing the battle line further back, since it is free and all.

Credit: Games Workshop

Command Traits

Real short list here, only 6 in total. 3 for the Cathallar and 3 Alarith units (Stonemage being the only non-named character option)

Cathallar Traits

  • Spellmaster – Once in each hero phase, reroll a failed casting role for your General. Lets use use your Aetherquartz on other things B+
  • Loremaster – Know one extra spell from the Lore of Hysh, giving a bit more versatility B-
  • Warmaster – Each hero phase roll a die, on a 4+ gain a command point. Average of 3 bonus command points a game isn’t bad. B

Alarith Traits

  • Majestic – Add 1 to bravery characteristic of friendly units wholly within 12″ and reduce enemy bravery by -1 within 18″. Really solid pick since due to the Aetherquartz mechanic, bravery hits are going to be a consistent issue you put up with B+
  • Enduring – Add 3 wounds. Give your Stonemage an extra chance to survive B-
  • Loremaster – Give your general an extra spell from High Peaks. B-

Artefacts

Same as the command traits, 3 for Cathallar and 3 for Alarith.

Cathallar Artefacts

  • Phoenix Stone – If a friendly hero is slain within 12″ of the Bearer, roll a die. On a 6+ they come back with full health. If it weren’t for needing a 6+ I’d rank this higher but you really don’t want to blow an artefact slot on something so unlikely to proc. C-
  • Silver Wand – Bearer can cast an extra spell. Combines great with Loremaster. B+
  • Blade of Leaping Gold – Boost the attack of the bearer to 4. The weapon on the Cathaller is interesting, because it’s 4+ to hit, 2+(!) to wound and does D3 damage but you only get 1 attack out of it by default. 4 Attacks is pretty damn decent but this trait remains situational. With 5 wounds and a 5+ armor save, you dont want this caster to get into a fight most of the time. C+

Alarith Artefacts

  • Hearthstone Amulet – 5+ Feel no pain. Protect your stonemage in a pinch B-
  • Ebony Stone – Anytime the bearer would be affected by a spell, roll a die. On a 4+ ignore it. Similar survivability buff. B
  • Magmic Hammer – Add 1 to the number of mortal wounds Arcane Bolt does. Remember, everything in this army is a wizard so it wont go unused. B

Spells

There’s a whopping 12 spells here, 2 schools with 6 a piece. Teclis knows all 12 spells as well if hes in your army. We’ll get into him when we get down to units. Lumineth are magic heavy to a degree that hasn’t been seen in Age of Sigmar: everyone is a caster. That even includes your batteline units. It’s a lot to keep track of so you’ll probably need to keep it written somewhere accessible.

Lore of Hysh

The Lore of Hysh will be the one most used by your army. It’s know by the Light of Eltharion (Even though he’s not a wizard?), Cathallars all Vanari units (So spearmen, archers and horseback riders)

  • Speed of Hysh – Casting Value 5. Give a unit wholly within 18″ double speed. As you’d expect, being elves Lumineth already have above average speed so this really kicks in for them A-
  • Solar Flare – Casting Value 8. This does a lot. Pick a point within 10″ and visible to the caster. If at that point there is an endless spell, dispel it. If there’s a unit, roll a die for each model in the unit and on a 6+ deal a mortal wound. What “A unit on the point” means is not defined, but I assume it means if a model is there. Regardless of the effect, all wizards within 12″ of that point  will take -2 to casting, dispelling and unbinding rolls within 12″. I wanted to rank this one higher but its big pressing issue is the short range. At 10″ it’s impossible for your wizard to not get caught in the anti-caster bubble which feels self defeating. Still, its a very versatile spell and worth considering if you have the slots. B
  • Lambent Light –  Casting Value 5. Choose an enemy unit within 18″ and reroll all missile weapons. Slap this on your archers or someone supporting them. B+
  • Ethereal Blessing – Casting Value 6. A unit within 18″ ignores all modifiers to saves. Most units have pretty OK saves but this is really crucial on protecting characters like Light of Eltharion or Teclis.
  • Total Eclipse – Casting Value 8. Your opponent has to use 2 CP instead of 1 CP. Wow. Despite the high casting value this will absolutely mess with your opponent making it practically an auto take. A
  • Protection of Hysh – Casting Value 8. Gives a unit wholly within 9″ a 5+ feel no pain. Teclis has an identical spell with 18″ range instead of 9″. You cant cast both in the same turn. If you have Teclis its a bit redundant, but a FNP save is still valuable for a somewhat delicate army. B-

Lore of the High Peaks

Slightly less used, this is the domain of all Alarith units (So the stone sage, in terms of casters).

  • Unyielding Calm – Casting Value 4. Pick a unit wholly within 18″ and they can ignore Battleshock tests. Due to your armies generally low bravery, it can save a few CP from having to auto-pass battleshock tests. B+
  • Crippling Vertigo – Casting Value 6. Pick an enemy unit within 18″ and any time that unit tries to move, pile-in or charge roll a 2D6 and if you beat their bravery they can’t move. A really good way to mess with the opponent and can completely shut down low bravery armies like Gloomspite Gitz. Against daemons or undead it’s basically useless though B-
  • Voice of the Mountains – Casting Value 6. All enemy units take -2 to bravery until the end of the turn, and then -1 until the end of your next hero phase instead. An army wide debuff is insanely good and combines great with crippling vertigo B+
  • Living Fissure – Casting Value 6. Pick a point within 9″ and draw a line. For all units it passes across roll a die and on a 2+ deal D3 mortal wounds. Pretty heft damage for this type but requires some maneuvering to get just right. C+
  • Entomb – Casting Value 7. Pick an enemy model within 18″ of the caster and roll a die. If the roll is higher than the models wounds, it is slain. If you roll a 6 and thats still doesn’t beat the model’s wounds, Deal D6 mortal wounds. This spell is still really good but not for the reasons that make it obvious at first blush. Against most characters, its useless. Most characters have 5+ wounds meaning you wont consistently roll high enough to stop them (It procs off wound characteristic, not wounds remaining). However it still lets you isolate upgrade models in a unit, such as a leader or a banner holder. Use it to selectively pick off these units to help weaken a unit a bit before charging in. B-
  • Assault of Stone – Casting Value 8. Pick an enemy unit wholly within 24″. Roll a number of dice equal to your casting roll. For each roll below the targets save characteristic deal a mortal wound (1s and 2s always fail). This is solid if you know youre fighting hordes but wont dish out much damage otherwise. That said most of your spells are utility spells, so your options for mortal wounds from magic are pretty limited anyway. B-

Endless Spells

Pretty solid buffs here. The first 2 are priced to move and the third seems powerful enough to justify its 70 pts.

  • Hyshian Twinstones – Casting Value 7. Predatory endless spell of 8″. Place a die next to the spell with a 1 facing up and any time a spell is cast within 12″ of this endless spell, add 1 to the die (up to 6). A Lumineth caster within 12″ of this spell can draw energy from the spell before casting, to add that number to the casting roll. At only 30 points I think this will be reasonably popular as its benefits are transparently clear and it can follow a caster. B+
  • Sanctum of Amyntok – Casting Value 7. This spell creates a ritual circle that follows the caster (the spell and model count as one model) which grants the caster -1 to be hit and +1 to saves. In addition if any enemies tried to attack the caster, roll a die for each unit. On a 4-5 deal 1 mortal wound, on a 6 deal D3 mortal wounds. Also cheap at 30 pts, this spell is also pretty good. I can’t tell how big the circle is, unfortunately so its hard to tell what models can cast it. B
  • Rune of Petrification – Casting value 8. Set this model up 18″ away and at the beginning and end of the movement phase, roll a die. On a 4+, that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. All units also take -1 to run and charge rolls. Lumineth arent affected by either of these. The wording here is odd, it doesnt say the enemys movement phase so it seems like it could hit your opponent twice without them having the choice to move out of the way, so I think this will be clarified. Still a great way to scare people off of objectives. B+

Credit: Games Workshop

Subfactions (Nations)

This is a pretty light section compared to most books. There’s only 4 Subfactions, called “nations” here which have some decent variety in playstyles. Same story as usual. Get a few perks, with a mandatory command trait and artefact attached. Unlike most books, I find picking a best pretty difficult. There’s a compelling argument for all four which does show a sense of balance we dont usually see here.

Ymetrica

This subfaction is leaned toward Alarith models, so if you want to play a lot of hammer guys and Spirits of the mountain, this is a solid faction. The only named character with a pre-set faction, Avelenor, is here.

  • Army Ability: Mountain Realm – The Enduring as Rock battle trait lets you ignore Rend -2 and -1 instead of just -1. If you want to go heavy on the Spirits of the Mountain, this is the ticket. B
  • Command Ability: Redoubled Force – If a unit within 18″ has used Tectonic Force this turn this lets them use it again (but not on the same unit). Seems situational, its rare you’re going to want to push back a unit 2″ for a CP. But if you do, its here. C
  • Command Trait: Almighty Blow – When your general attacks, you can choose to instead of attacking normally, deal D3 mortal wounds on a 2+ instead. If you want to guarantee an opponent on its last leg goes down, this probably is worth a shot. Math wise, it’s probably not going to deal as much damage as the Stonemage’s staff but if you need to make sure a Hero on its last legs goes down, this might work. C-
  • Artefact of Power: Mountain’s Gift – Pick a bearer’s melee weapon, once per phase you can add 1 damage to one attack. In addition it gives a 5+ FNP save. Solid all around buff for melee characters. B+

Syar

Aetherquartz junkies. I think this faction is going to be the most popular simply for its army ability with gives it a unique flexibility that allows any unit to shine.

  • Army Ability: Gleaming Brightness – Get 2 Aetherquartz instead of 1 for every unit. Incredibly powerful, Aetherquartz give you a flexible buff you can use when you most need it. Although not stated, I assume you take a -1 bravery each time you lose an Aetherquartz, meaning bravery issues could crop up if not controlled, but the ability to use 2 Aetherquartz is well worth the gamble. A
  • Command Ability: Deplete Reserves – Essentially lets a unit within 18″ of a Hero use both Aetherquartz in the same turn. Situational but probably will be a relief when it comes up B
  • Command Trait: Goading Arrogance – Pick an enemy hero within 6″ of your general. That enemy hero can only target your general. In addition, your army gets +1 to hit against that enemy hero. Putting your general in harms way is potentially dangerous but 6″ is actually a pretty flexible range to play around with this. It’s very possible with clever screening to challenge them to a duel and then not actually be able to fight because theyre blocked off from each other, and your opponent’s general can’t attack anything. Meanwhile, your general will not be similarly constrained. B+
  • Artefact of Power: The Perfect Blade – Pick a weapon, all unmodified 3+ to hit always hit, 3+ to wound always wound and save rolls of 3 to defend against attacks from this weapon always fail. Most heroes you can put this on aren’t combat beasts, so at least it gives them a chance if they get cornered. C+

Iliatha

This is a pretty solid all-around choice if you want to go infantry heavy. Most of the buffs aid Vanari units, which in case you forgot is your spearmen, archers and horsemen. Interestingly, this faction has no set command trait, freeing you up to pick another.

  • Army Ability: Soul-bound – Add 2 bravery to basically all your infantry units. Almost everything else has 10 bravery anyway so thats fine, and makes a good defensive buff against your lost bravery from Aetherquartz. B-
  • Army Ability: Unity of Purpose – If a Vanari unit uses a command ability, a Vanari unit within 3″ can also use the same one, without spending a CP. While this does reistrct you to generic ones, those are potentially very powerful so shouldn’t be written off. B+
  • Command Ability: Strike in Unison – Pick a Vanari unit with 2+ models in the shooting or combat phase. Reroll hit rolls of 1 in that phase. Simple but doesn’t require a Hero around to use allowing you to combo with Unity of Purpose. B
  • Artefact of Power: Simulacra Amulet – First time the bearer dies, roll a die. On a 4+ they come back with full health. I don’t necessarily like artefacts that require the bearer to die to work but coming back at full health is a nice second chance, and you have to take it anyway. B-

Zaitrec

The caster nation. Already a caster-heavy army, this jacks it up to 11. So pick this if you like casting, this has something for you.

  • Army Ability: Add 1 to the first casting, dispelling and unbinding roll for each Wizard in your army, and give them an extra spell from their appropriate school. Simple and straightforward. Not so useful for Teclis though, as his ability lets him cast with a specific number, ignoring modifiers. B+
  • Command Trait: Fast Learner – The bearer can unbind an extra spell per turn. In addition on the bearer’s second unbind, the bearer can reroll the unbinding roll. This does add a layer of strategy as you might be more willing to unbind a spell early on to get that reroll after. B
  • Artefact of Power: Gift of Celennar – 6+ FNP for the bearer. 4+ if Teclis is present in the army. A 4+ FNP is no joke, otherwise a 6+ is kinda OK B+
  • Lore of Zaitrec: Overwhelming Heat – Zaitrec get a unique spell instead of a Command ability. Casting Value 7, pick an enemy unit wholly within 24″ of the caster. Half the unit’s move characteristic. Then, roll a die, if it is greater than the units save characteristic deal D3 mortal wounds as a little extra treat. Sold all around spell that I wouldn’t mind having. B+

Battalions

Very slim pickings here. There’s a super Battalion as is usual but Im going to skip over it for the same reason I always do: it’s impractical for any game. So that leaves 3 actual battalions. They’re actually pretty good overall. Largely due to the army’s limited unit selection you almost never feel like you’re taking something you didn’t want to bring anyway.

  • Alarith Temple – Avelnor or a Spirit of the Mountain, 1 Stonemage and 1-3 Stoneguard – At the start of the combat phase, any Stoneguard unit can choose to turn their skin to stone which allows them to reroll saves but can only move 1″ to pile-in. Not a bad tradeoff honestly, though the Spirit of the Mountain might be an expensive tax if you didnt expect to bring it anyway. but combine this with Enduring as Rock and your Stoneguard will be nigh indestructible. B+
  • Auralan Legion – 1 Scinari Cathallar, 2-4 units of Vanari Sentinels and an equal number of Wardens -The Vanari unit requirement is pretty steep, but all units in the battalion get to reroll saves of 1 if within 3″ of another friendly unit from the battalion. So practice the buddy system! B
  • Dawnrider Lance – 2-3 Vanari Dawnriders – Reroll hit rolls of 1 for attacks made by melee weapons by the units in this battalion the turn they charged. If you’re bringing Dawnriders anyway this is a pretty nice little perk for them. B-

Credit: Games Workshop

Units

For those of you hoping we’d shed some light on new units, I hate to dash your hopes but there aren’t any. Everything revealed has been in, which leaves the army in a weird position where it feels like so many gaps are left in the army. I’m hoping they get filled as the army feels very barren and every list is going to look similar. I’m not going to go into an in-depth look at every unit because they do have a lot of abilities going on. I’m going to draw attention to what sticks out as potentially interesting. I will say of what is here, everything at least seems potentially viable, though it’s more that few things have to compete for a niche so nobody is left out in the cold.

I won’t go super in-depth into everything like I’ve done so far as almost everything has a lot of abilities which will overwhelm a reader. I’m going to draw attention to what looks neat.

Leaders

A slight note, the leaders section is…off. There’s only 2 non-named heroes, the Scinari Cathallar and the Alarith Stonemage. both are predictably delicate casters (though the Stonemage could do some damage if you’re lucky). There’s no real non-named “martial hero” here which implies a huge hole. For now you’ll have to settle for the Light of Eltharion.

Archmage Teclis (Unique)

Remember this guy? He’s a god now. Looking at this guy’s data sheet there is a lot to be excited for here. His Archmage ability allows him to do one of 3 things every hero phase

  • Cast one spell which immediately works, no unbinding allowed.
  • Cast two spells, which count as if you rolled a 12 on both.
  • Cast 3-4 spells, which count as if you rolled a 10 on all of them.

In most cases you’ll probably take the last option because a 10 is going to require a fixed attention to unbind. Don’t forget, Teclis knows all 12 spells from both Lores, so you will never be at a loss for tactical flexibility when taking this guy. On top of that he can auto-dispel one endless spell and auto-unbind one spell per turn. He also adds +1 to casting, unbinding and dispel rolls for other wizards in the army and lets them ignore a spell cast on them on a 4+ (sending D3 mortal wounds back at them for even trying). He has 2 unique spells, both very solid. A 5+ feel no pain save for everyone within 18″ and a super Arcane Bolt that can deal D3 mortal wounds on a 2-4 and D6 mortal wounds on a 5+. If that wasn’t enough, he’s a solid combat monster, even if his 4+ save might make him a little delicate.

The only real downside is his cost. At 660 pts thats more than a quarter of your army and while I think he can earn his pay, you really have to build the army around him. This is an expensive army too, you won’t have a lot of room to mess around with extra units so make sure Teclis is protected because an opponent with enough dedication could probably Alpha him out early on.

The Light of Eltharion (Unique)

A sentient suit of Armor and one of your few martial options. This guy has a ton going on. His primary sword has 4 attacks which hit on a 2+ and wound on a 3+, striking with Rend -3 (!!!) and dealing D3 damage. His off-hand blade has a similar profile, though with a more reasonable 2 attacks and -1 Rend. He has a shooting attack that deals D3 mortal wounds, D6 on a 5+. His 3+ armor save cant be modified and he takes half damage. If all that wasn’t enough, he also is gifted with other abilities like the ability to add +1 to wound on the charge, ignore negative modifiers to hit and exploding hits on a 6. At 220 pts its hard to argue this guy won’t be taken a lot, as he’ll certainly put in the work. Especially given the army’s rather jarring lack of a martial hero.

Odd discrepancy is the book says he can take a spell from the Lore of Hysh and yet he is not a Wizard. He has no feasible way to learn to cast either, meaning I think he was meant to be a Wizard earlier in development but things changed.

Avalenor (Unique)

The named version of the Spirit of the Mountain. Compared to his generic counterpart, he gets more attacks, and gains a few abilities while also losing others. The standout here is Elder Wisdom which lets him nominate an Aelf Hero within 6″. If that hero doesnt move more than 6″ away by the next hero phase gets to use a command ability for free (worth noting however that the unnamed version shares this power too, just with a shorter range of 3″)! He also has Guardian of Hysh, giving a -1 for the enemy to hit within 12″ though with a degrading statline. His command ability allows him to add +1 attack to D3 units within 24″. (the generic version has a similar ability, albeit at 18″ and 1 unit instead of D3). He’s only 20 points more and I think he’s a bit of a no-brainer to take as your first pick of the Spirits. His only downside is being the only Leader who has a nation spoken for him, Ymetrica. If your army is from any other nation, then he simply doesn’t benefit from either army ability.

Scinari Cathallar

Our first of 2 generic heroes. This veiled oracle will likely be a staple to most lists. Her melee ability is pretty terrible, while it hits on a so-so 4+, wounds on a very respectable 2+ and deals D3 damage. She only gets 1 attack by default. And with a 5+ save and 5 wounds, keep her out of melee. Her utility comes from being able to prevent nearby units from taking a -1 bravery hit when expending Aetherquartz (and pass it on to others). She also can shield them from battleshock tests with her ability, which in turn to forces an enemy unit, when they take a battleshock test, they have to take a penalty for all the models you shielded lost that turn, letting them feel the grief they inflicted instead.

Her unique spell is powerful, anytime a targeted unit tries to do basically anything it has to take a bravery test and if it fails, the action fails to occur. This includes movement, similar to the Lore of High Peaks Crippling Vertigo spell, but goes on further to include attacking and shooting as well. Use her to manipulate bravery to your advantage.

Alarth Stonemage

The Stonemage is a bit more combat capable than the Cathallar. He has D3 attacks with a 3+ to hit and wound and Rend -1, Damage D3, which makes his damage output really variable. At Range 3″ he can at least remain in relative safely behind your frontline. His Stonemage Stance allows him and Stoneguard to be unable to pile in in the combat phase, but their weapons gain -1 rend. His unique spell is alright, allowing him to fly while halving the movement of one enemy unit within 18″. Mostly you want him if you bring stoneguard, so as to give them a bit of a boost.

Battleline

The book handles Battleline in an interesting way. While by default Wardens are the only battleline, for each Warden you take you may take one unit of Sentinals or Dawnguard as a battleline. Ymetrica armies also get Stoneguard as battleline, which is fitting as many of their abilities exist to aid Stoneguard. The 3 “standard” battleline cover the niches people come to expect by now: a shielded frontline protector, a ranged attacker, and cavalary.

Vanari Auralan Wardens

Shield and spear guys. These guys stick out for their bafflingly long pikes, at 3″ each. Not that it matters as much, you’re likely not running them in large enough groups for it to matter due to potential bravery issues. These guys are so-so attackers but will really hold down the fort if planted in a defensive position. Shining company makes them hard to dislodge, and woe to anyone who might try and charge them regardless as after they are charged they gain +1 to wound and rend. Their Sunmetal Weapons deal mortal wounds on 6s (with a unique spell that turns it to 5+ called Power of Hysh, which can be cast multiple times a turn). These guys aren’t as strong if you go looking for a fight but they will protect your more delicate units very effectively.

Vanari Auralan Sentinels

Archers with a comically long range of 30″ or an improved chance to hit and better rend at 18″. They can designate one unit per turn they can’t see as being visible, giving them nowhere to run. Otherwise there’s not a ton interesting, they also get Sunmetal Weapons and Power of Hysh but their overall damage output is likely so-so other than the fact that they are near inescapable. They do what archers do, so keep them out of harms way and block out the sun.

Vanari Dawnriders

Your cavalry. While Wardens hold the line and let the enemy come to them, Dawnriders need to charge in to be most effective, as cavalry is want to do. Deathly Furrows is an ability that lets them add 1 to their attacks characteristic (But can only target models with 1-2 wounds) or add 2 (but can only target models with 1 wound). As an inverse to the wardens they gain +1 to wound and rend when they charge instead of when being charged. Finally, they also get Sunmetal Weapons and Power of Hysh. These guys are the hammer to your warden anvil and you probably want a decent mix of both.

Other

Alarith Stoneguard

Only one here, and remember these guys are battleline in a Ymetrica Army. These guys are pretty powerful, while they might lack a defensive ability like wardens, they still have a very solid 4+ save and are much better on the attack. The unit can either take Stone Mallets for the chance to do 1 extra damage on a 6 to hit, or Diamondpicks for the chance to do a mortal wound on a 6. The former is probably better for enemies with poor saves, while the latter is good for better saves. Statistically the damage will work out pretty similarly.

Behemoth

Alarith Spirit of the Mountain

The Battle Cattle, The Divine Bovine, The Steer of Fear. The army’s only behemoth option is a real monster. It (and its named variant) pack a potent ranged attack and several painful hammer blows in melee. The Spirit is unfortunately not as good as his named counterpart, and at only 20 points more it seems more likely you’d take Avalenor first. This is just a watered down version of him, but if you want to run multiple Spirits, these guys are still pretty good.

Credit: Games Workshop

Conclusion

Having been able to scan the book, but not read through as much as I’d like, the thoughts that stick out to me as to the quality of the book and army in general end up shaking out as follows:

  • Unit Selection is Awful – The lack of unit selection is bad. Age of Sigmar has a lot of small armies with less than a dozen units (and many are often just variations on the same model) and I wish this would stop. Lumineth are particularly bad as it probably has the fewest models in an army I’ve seen in some time. Their only allies are the Idoneth Deepkin, which also suffer from lack of unit options which means it’s not going to get any better. The book makes several hints that there’s more potential out there (other elements other than earth, Tyrion still being a major player) and I’m hoping this leads to things in the future rather than just abandoning the army.
  • Ceiling for the army is very high At first blush I felt like this army was overpowered. It’s really hard to  judge right now, due to COVID putting a moratorium on most major tourneys, but on paper the Lumineth seemed like potentially the new Tzeentch. When one breaks down what each unit does, the units are above average but far from unbeatable. What the Lumineth rely on is synergy, there’s a lot of interlocking parts in how units support each other and I think it’s going to take the average player a lot of time to memorize the nuances of how to keep units grouped together and support each other. If a player can master this skill though, their opponent is in for a tough fight.
  • Not Knowing when the rest of the army is coming – The army seems to have a lot of potential but only seeing the warscrolls and not being able to use units is a real hurdle to serious tactical analysis. Proxies and such can be used for now, and I’m sure many will do this, but it does feel empty to only have 3 possible units right now with their actual models. Even then, its limited to a limited time box that not everyone is going to be able to get. It ends up making the “soft launch” feel a little less exciting. Given the circumstances, I can’t complain too much.

Overall I’m very excited. I genuinely love the aesthetic of the Lumineth and can’t wait to expand the force. I love elves, and I love magic heavy armies so this was a match made in heaven for me. If you feel similarly I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, if you can get your hand on an army box. Did you get the box? Let us known on social media or contact@goonhammer.com

 

 

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