AOS Tactics: Countering the Lumineth Realmlords with Sylvaneth
So this weekend the Lumineth Realmlords, which I love(!), are up for pre-order. Straight off the bat we can see that they have a lot of magic ability and are strong on the defence, amongst other things. Despite both being of the forces of Order, I’m sure there will be instances on the tabletop that the Sylvaneth face these new aelves so let’s jump into a few thoughts on what to look out for and what their weaknesses might be.
Strengths of the Lumineth Realmlords
Every unit is a Wizard
Most of their units - certainly the most common ones - have ’sunmetal’ weapons, which deal a mortal wound on a 6 to hit. This can be boosted to 5+ with a spell each unit can attempt to cast (not limited to one attempt like other armies).
They can activate two units in combat when it is their turn to activate.
Wardens unit (spears) are exceptionally strong on the defensive, gaining bonuses when charged.
Sentinels unit (archers) have an 18” and 30“ range profile. The 30” profile can be used without line of sight.
So what does this all mean for us? Well, working down the list (which is by no means complete) we’ll have a lot of magic coming our way and a lot of our spells could end up being dispelled. Regarding the sunmetal weapons, we could be taking a lot of mortal wounds and Sylvaneth aren’t known for their ability to ignore that sort of damage. This is especially dangerous as their archers will be hitting us from range, ignoring the line-of-sight blocking of Wyldwoods, forcing us to close distance to engage, and then we come up against the spears. Once in combat, we’d have to be careful in our activations to not let their double activation catch us out.
We know what at least two of our Wyldwoods (if you are using a Treelord Ancient) will be on the table for free. Three if you are using the Acorn artefact. We all know that Lumineth are a little slow as they bunch up to get their ‘shining company’ -1 to hit bonus, but can’t run or charge when doing that. So we have the advantage in speed and board coverage, but we need to jump right in that strategy from the outset as their archers will be doing what they do best.
Once we have closed the range, we will need to be careful about charging them, but there are things we can do there. While they can activate two units in the combat phase, they can only do that when it is their turn to activate. We should be looking to focus on one unit with one or two of ours, destroy it, then consolidate into another which we know will be close by (Lumineth will work well by being bunched up). Treelords of all varieties can still stomp and that will still make their units strike last.
There will be lots of mortal wounds coming our way so Regrowth and Verdurous Harmony will be important for healing / resurrection. It is worth remembering that their normal units, while all Wizards, are only Wizards if their champion and 5 others remain alive. Get those units (minimum size of 10) down a few members (and they are only bravery 6) and all of a sudden they aren’t Wizards anymore. While I am a Gnarlroot player, I can see morale shenanigans - especially from the likes of Dreadwood - doing quite well here. Heck, maybe even a well-timed (and hopefully not unbound!) Vengeful Skullroot into their midst (again, they WILL be bunched up) could do a number on them, causing mortal wounds and increasing the number of models they lose to failed battleshock. Speaking of magic, the Lumineth have a lot of it, but they don’t have summoning. Make sure, as ever, those Dryads are being cranked out each turn!
One of my worries is that, since their archers at 30” can ignore line-of-sight, they can fire at things hiding in Wyldwoods, like our Branchwraiths! Obviously our Branchwraiths would be -1 to hit in their as per their ability, and +1 save for being in cover, but we may need to think about bringing two of them for redundancy. Or give one Regrowth, just in case. Bow Kurnoths might do well against Lumineth, though beware their cavalry moving 14” - the Dawnriders! Luckily, though, the cavalry gets bonuses to number of attacks against units with 1-2 wound, so Kurnoths and Treelords will fare better there.
Generally, assuming you already have your army list decided, the strategy I would go for here would be to play the objectives, take advantage of your superior speed and manoeuvrability, and focus on one or two units to destroy then consolidate into others to mitigate their bonuses.
Well, these are a few initial thoughts. I’m sure there will be more and I am planning on updating this article as we know more, but what do you all think?