The Sylvaneth have had a rocky road. They’ve been one of the firmly lower tier armies in the game, with a restricted range that really does not carry its weight. Real shame too, given how it’s a really gorgeous line of models that is popular with newcomers, but mostly get ignored for Kurnoth Hunter spam. Broken Realms: Kragnos gives them a bit of a refresh with new Warscrolls for Alarielle and the Wyldwood, a new character and a new battalion.
In Broken Realms Alarielle has played a major supporting role through the series. She warned Teclis, albeit in her own vague prophetic way, that destroying Nagash would bring forth Kragnos. She also helped drive Mannfred out of the realm of Ghyran (even if he really wasn’t planning to stick around long anyway). Finally her and her forces make an appearance in the Matched Play section.
Alarielle the Everqueen
Speaking of ignored united. Alarielle the Everqueen is a “Setpiece” model who has been agonizingly ignored, despite her warscroll being rewritten several times. She always cost just a bit too much and did a bit too little. What does this new version of her do? Well it’s similar to her most recent version, though given a few tweaks to soup up her current powers. Notably
- Her ranged attack now remains at 24″ no matter how weak she gets, and the damage is a fixed number. While it declines as she takes damage you’re no longer rolling, and does 6 damage at full health. Pretty solid as you won’t get a disappointing 1 on the roll on your one shot at a hit.
- Talon of the Dwindling now has a weird attack profile. Once it hits, on a 1 to 5 the wound is negated, on a 6 the model is slain. The old version just did D3 Mortals on a 6 which is certainly a much more reliable power. I’m not sure how I feel about the new version, It’s…interesting but the chances of it proccing when you need it (i.e. against Heroes with a lot of wounds) isn’t very high. You just have to hope for the best.
- Living Battlering Ram is both more powerful and more reliable. Instead of a 4+ it now hits on a D3, and does D6 on a 6. Very nice, and on that note she can now fall back and charge to do it again and again.
- Lifebloom saw a massive boost. While it still heals D3 wounds to every unit within 30″ it also heals Alarielle herself for 2D6 wounds. That is insane for a free use power you get to use every turn and is going to make her a lot harder to kill.
- Metamorphasis is slightly better, dealing MWs on a 3+ instead of a 4+. You really need this power to wipe out a unit to be most effective, so a handful more of mortal wounds won’t go unnoticed.
I think all of these changes would justify Alarielle’s 600 points, if that’s what Games Workshop did.
That is not what they did.
They instead hiked her price up to 740 points. I don’t know why they keep doing this. Alarielle has struggled to see play, even for an army with such a limited selection as Sylvaneth, a powerful centerpiece model should be huge for them but she just cannot pull her weight. I don’t understand raising the point cost on an already underused model even with a lot of changes. I do at least thing the number of changes turn her from a hard no to a maybe. She’s definitely a lot more survivable than she was, and will do a bit more damage across the board than she did. Still, 740 points is a lot of your list and I don’t think people are going to be easily convinced to take her without a lot of work. Real shame.
The Warsong Revenant is a new centerpiece model. Alarielle was a bust, but maybe this guy can make an appearance.
This guy is…weird, a warrior-wizard with a decent attack profile, he has a 5+ save which isn’t ideal but he does get a 4+ Feel No Pain. You likely want to keep combat as a last resort but unless he really gets dogpiled, he can probably do OK. He’s really supposed to be a support caster, granting +1 bravery to all Sylvaneth within 12″ and a +1 to casting rolls. What does his spell do? Unleash Swarm of Spites it lets you roll a number of dice equal to the casting roll, and on a 5+ deal mortal wounds to every enemy unit.
And that’s it. Wait, really?
I’m confused here. There isn’t really a lot going for this guy. A “roll some dice, deal some mortal wounds” spell that are a dime a dozen? +1 to Bravery, the most “well I guess we’ll add this” ability in the game? Doesn’t even have a solid enough attack profile. This is really disappointing. He also costs a lot for what he does. I genuinely do not understand it. Another gorgeous model destined to sit on the shelf.
Surprising most people, Awakened Wyldwoods got an update here. Some good, some bad.
- No longer deals damage to wizards casting spells near them. I’m not sure why they dropped this, it was a perfectly fine ability that rewarded clever placement.
- It has however sort of been rolled into the mortal wounds dealt to charging units, as it can now deal D3 mortals on a 4+ if a wizard or endless spell is nearby (from either side).
- There have been some changes to how line of sight blocking works. Models with 10 wounds or more can no longer hide through Wyldwoods (although they took out the exception for unit with FLY) but the most key change is that Sylvaneth are no longer blocked from seeing through the woods, but they can’t be seen back! That’s pretty huge and will reward clever placement to tactically hide from your opponents magic and ranged attacks.
Overall it’s a slight buff. The loss of mortal wounds to wizards casting spells sucks but more reliable mortal wounds when receiving charges and being able to see without being seen through woods is useful to the Sylvaneth. It’s not major, but they’ll take something.
Warscroll Battalion – Drycha’s Spitegrove
A Drycha Hamadreth and 2 units of Spite-Revenants give the Spite-Revenants -1 to rend on their attacks. Well…it’s, something. They really should just have this by default in order to compete with Kurnoth Hunters, as its an army that really lacks rend.
Overall, not a fan of these changes. Sylvaneth are the army I want to love but Games Workshop makes it hard. Every update feels like kicking them when they’re down and even Beasts of Chaos had more interesting buffs while also being a low tier army. Alarielle had a shot at greatness here but the point cost hike is probably asking too much. Ah well, third edition is coming maybe they will finally get some love.
Up Next – Gloomspite Gitz
Next part of our coverage will explore the Gloomspite Gitz who have received 3 “new” subfactions.