The idea for this list is to run a ranged list (both magic and shooting), and to do what we can to enhance our abilities in this regard. There is a bit of a combat presence, but this is mainly to finish things that are already weak. Likewise, they can be used to get to objectives that are farther away.
Aetherquartz Reserve: We will be using this as needed to make sure our spells go off, to give us another spell on those turns when needed, and lastly to protect our Wardens. You can use it as well for the Sentinels if you are in need, but we are mainly looking for our mortal wound to trigger on the shots, so we aren’t super concerned for the +1 to hit.
Absorb Despair: We do have the one Cathallar, and with our larger blocks of models, we can use her Bravery shenanigans (and her ability to have an enemy model count our model loses towards their battleshock test).
Lightning Reactions: Since we are not a very combat heavy army, this may not come into play a lot, but could be handy on a turn where your Wardens are grinding out a combat and you charged either Eltharion or your Dawnriders into a combat.
Shining Company: All three of your non-hero units you can deploy as a Shining Company. This means they are at a -1 to hit until you either move them or remove a model in a way that means each model is not touching 2 other models in that unit. If they are in a Shining Company, that unit cannot run or charge though, and they only pile in 1″. For your Wardens and Sentinels where you are not planning on charging (and your Wardens have a 3″ melee range anyway), this isn’t a big deal. Your Dawnriders can be deployed as a Shining Company, just in case you don’t go first, and then break 2 models touching after their normal move to allow them to charge later that turn.
Lambent Mystics: This is the whole reason we are taking this nation. The first cast for each Zaitrec Wizard is at a plus 1. Also, the Cathallar knows an extra spell, not a huge deal, but nice for the toolbox.
Lore of Zaitrec: All Zaitrec Wizards know Overwhelming Heat, which goes off on a 7 (6 if cast first). Pick 1 unit wholly within 24″ (so large area, but needs to be wholly within). You halve their move, and then roll a die, and if that is equal or greater than their Save characteristic, they also take d3 mortals. This will be nice to keep people farther away so you have more time to blast them at range.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
There is a part of me that thinks it’s weird if Teclis isn’t the general in his own army, so that is how I have my list. You could (should probably) have the Cathallar as your general though, so then she gets the Fast Learner command trait, which gives her another unbind and on her second unbind attempt she can reroll it.
Her artifact (since she is the only non-unique hero) is the Gift of Celennar, which gives her a 6+ DPR damage prevention roll) vs wounds and mortal wounds (which goes to a 4+ as long as Teclis is on the table).
If you get a Protection of Teclis/Hysh off, you could have a 4+/5+ DPR on her, which is very nice. Only allowed one DPR now, so she could have a 4+ as opposed to the 5+ from the Teclis bubble.
Teclis: He is here to pull triple duty. First he will be protecting your units with both his ability which lets them shrug off spells on a 4+ as long as they are close to him. He also has his buffed up Protection spell to give them all a 5+ DPR, again, as long as they stay within range. He is also your main source of mortal wounds with his AOE mortal wound blast. He also has a single missile attack that hits and wounds on 2+ with a -3 rend, doing d6 damage, so it is close enough to mortal wounds to be relatively relied upon. Lastly, he also gives your units close to him a +1 to their casting, dispelling, and unbinding, which along with the Zaitrec ability means your Power of Hysh spells for your units are now going off on cast of 4+.
Cathallar: she is here to protect your units from battleshock (and bounce that back, especially if fighting multi-wound units and large horde units that can tank the mortal wounds coming their way). Like I said before, it is probably better to have her as the general if you like to get her a second unbind that is both +1 and rerollable.
Light of Eltharion: I have the box set, so might as well use him. He does give the army some melee punch it could be lacking, and if you Speed of Hysh him, he could get into people’s lines faster than they are expecting. Also, I wanted to have one more hero in the list for the scenarios like Places of Power.
Wardens: They are there mainly for protection for the rest of the army (and battleline requirements). They will be well protected with the Protection of Teclis spell, the Cathallar bouncing their loses back, and if needed their Aetherquartz buffing their save. If they take a charge and get their Power of Hysh spell off, their spears can do damage too, which could make people think twice about charging them.
Sentinels: Your longer ranged source of mortal wounds. Use the Lantern to target things you can’t see, and pew pew lasers. Use this in conjunction with the mortal wounds you did in the hero phase to finish things off, or to neuter other units before they become a problem (either elite units, or knocking monsters down a few rows in their charts).
Dawnriders: There for speed to get to objectives, and with their bonus attacks on the charge, they can blow through smaller chaff units with 1 or 2 wounds. This way you can save your mortal wounds for units that the Dawnriders would have issues with.
To be honest, I am not a big battalion person. For this one, you could drop Eltharion, the Dawnriders, or one of the extra 10s of the Wardens or the Sentinels to get the Auralan Legion. It would make them a bit more survivable (they reroll 1’s to save as long as they are within 3″ of another unit from this battalion, which they will be). But considering that the extra artifact is wasted (you have no one to give it to) and this army doesn’t need CP much, I would rather have the extra bodies for scenario play. You may feel differently though, so if you do the changes I mentioned to fit it in.
None, no one is cool enough to hang with the Realm-Lords anyway (or no one wants to deal with the Realm-Lords’ arrogance, either or).
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
Ok magic time, this is what this army does. Teclis has all of the spells of both the Lore of Hysh and the Lore of the High Peaks. With that covered, I mainly gave the spells to the units that are applicable to what they would want to do, just in case they are outside of ranges or of Teclis is killed. You could give more options to your units if you like though.
Power of Hysh: This is what doubles your chances at mortal wounds for your units. Super important for your Sentinels so they can do it at range, but if you are in combat, or about to be changed, it is good on your Wardens too. Likewise on your Dawnriders, but depending on what they are about to go into, might not be needed. Also, this can be cast by each unit that knows this spell.
Protection of Teclis/Protection of Hysh: You will normally be casting Protection of Teclis from Teclis himself, but Protection of Hysh is there just in case he dies, or needs to run off onto an objective. This gives units within range a 5+ DPR save, which greatly increases their survivability. Having the Cathallar have the Protection spell might be overkill though, so you could swap that out with something that would be more useful, but just know you are banking on Teclis sticking around even more.
Storm of Searing White Light: Teclis’ spell. Super large AOE mortal wounds. Can be cast through the Spellportal to be able to do it from the safety of your castle. Just nuts damage.
Darkness of the Soul: Cathallar scroll spell, 18″ range, and makes them test their Bravery each time they want to do something (move, charge, fight, and shoot, so not quite everything, but close), and if it fails they can’t. With the potential at a -3 bravery (one from the Cathallar ability, and -2 from the Lore of the High Peaks) this could be interesting.
Overwhelming Heat (from the Zaitrec Nation, all Wizards know this): pick 1 enemy unit wholly within 24″ halve their move, and then roll a die, and if it equal or greater tan their Save Characteristic, they take d3 mortal wounds. This is very nice, and will keep things away, and on heavily armored units will be a decent source of mortal wounds. Can still only be cast once a turn though.
Lore of Hysh
Speed of Hysh: double the move of a Lumineth unit wholly within 18″, this is how we can get Eltharion into combat a bit quicker, or get our Dawnriders into combat and/or on an objective, so very nice. Also pairs nicely with the Shining Company ability since it can make your blocked up units faster without them needing to run.
Solar Flare: pick a point within 10″. If there is an endless spell there, dispell it, if it is a unit, roll a die for each model in the unit 6+ they take a mortal wound. Also subtract 2 from all casting/dispelling/unbinding rolls for wizards within 12″ of that point. NOTE: this will be default affect the wizard that cast this, since they are already within the 12″. All of your wizards (save Teclis and this won’t affect him) are only one cast, but it could come up if you don’t move them and you are relying on them dispelling the next turn. This is pretty nice, although Teclis can auto dispell an endless spell, so might not be a huge deal. Could be a good source of mortal wounds if you are facing a 60 model block or something.
Lambent Light: pick a unit within 18″ and visible, reroll hit rolls for missile weapons against that unit. This is super nice to fish for the 5+ from your Sentinels. And since it is tied to the unit being shot, not a buff to your units, both of your Sentinel blocks will benefit from this, so keep this in mind, and it is casting priority if you have something in the range.
Ethereal Blessing: Lumineth unit wholly within 18″ ignores modifiers to their Save. This doesn’t work with the Aetherquartz use to bump your Save, so mind that, but does mean your Wardens could be on a 4+ save/5+ DPR which will go along way.
Total Eclipse: Makes your enemy spend 2 command points instead of 1 whenever they use a command ability. A nice toolbox ability to keep in mind when choosing what Teclis is casting. Against certain armies this will do nothing, but against others it will be very impactful, so remember it when you need it.
Protection of Hysh: a worse version of the Protection of Teclis. need to be wholly within 9″ of the caster, but it is our backup if something bad happens to Teclis (or if he needs to fly off for some reason).
Lore of High Peaks (so only Teclis can cast these in this army)
Unyielding Calm: unit does not make battleshock tests. Since we have the Cathallar already doing something like this, you shouldn’t need to cast this spell.
Crippling Vertigo: pick a unit wholly within 18″ when they move, charge and/or pile in roll 2d6 and if it is greater than their Bravery they cannot make that move. It is nice, and could stop the less brave armies from doing what they want. I would rather use our Overwhelming Heat spell since it isn’t conditional on it kicking in (although no moving is better than half moving) and Heat has a larger range.
Voice of the Mountains: Subtract 2 from the Bravery characteristic for enemy units until the end of the turn, then until your next hero phase, subtract 1 instead. NOTE: this is table-wide, no need to worry about range or line of sight when casting. This can pair nicely with Crippling Vertigo or the Cathallar’s Darkness of the Soul spell to make those 2d6 rolls a bit more in your favor, so there could be something there. If you see a chance coming up, could be a reason to have Teclis cast 4 spells at a 10, if one is this in certain situations.
Living Fissure: pick a point within 9″, draw a line to the caster’s base, each unit passed over by the line on a 2+ they take d3 mortal wounds. You will use Teclis’ scroll spell instead. You could do shenanigans with the spellportal to have that line extend well past 9″, but unless you are trying to finish something off, I don’t see you casting this much.
Entomb: pick 1 model within 18″ roll a die, if it is greater than their wounds characteristic, they are slain. If the roll is a 6, but it not greater than the wounds characteristic, they take d6 mortal wounds. Nice to have a model specific spell, so if someone is daisy chaining a large unit, you could do this to wipe half of it out due to coherency. If you are looking for max damage, this ain’t it, but keep it in mind if someone is getting clever with their unit layout.
Assault of Stone: pick a unit wholly within 24″, roll the number of dice equal to the cast, and for each roll less than their Save characteristic, they take a mortal wound. 1’s and 2’s always fail. Save of – is counted as a 6. This is bad, never cast this. It would almost have a reason against something with no save or a 6+, but even if you use Teclis’ 12 auto to cast, you roll 12 dice. 1s, 2s, and 6s would fail, so you would do 6 mortal wounds, which isn’t bad on paper, but what things with a 6+ save are you that worried about?
Umbral Spellportal: So in this I did the default pick. The idea is either Teclis himself casts this (if you aren’t worried about being unbound) or the Cathallar does for him, and then he auto casts his White Light spell to do a load of mortal wounds, in a bubble, at range. Either way, good times for you, bad times for your opponent.
Now with that out of the way, after you play that list once or twice and get it out of your system, that 70 points could be used in more creative ways. You could use it for 1 or 2 of the below endless spells instead.
Prismatic Palisade: Since your archers don’t need line of sight, even more completely block them off with Palisade. This can act as another blocker (like your Wardens) in more open tables, and acts as a one way valve for damage.
Hyshian Twinstones: with some careful placement of this spell you can give more of a boost to your Power of Hysh casts. With it starting at a +1 by default (so now they are going off on a casting roll of a 3) it makes it super reliable, but if that is still not good enough, you can have units take turns casting. You have the Cathallar place the Twinstones as her cast. You then have Teclis cast one of his auto 10s, bumping the Twinstones to +2. Then use that Twinstone bonus for a +4 to Power of Hysh (now it goes off even on a double 1). This drops the Twinstones back to 1, have Teclis cast his next spell, bumping it to 2 again, and rinse and repeat until 4 of your units cast Power of Hysh at a +4.
Balewind Vortex: Only for your Cathallar, but does boost the range for her Darkness spell, Heat spell, and the Protection of Hysh (getting it closer to Protection of Teclis levels). This could also be a reason to drop one of her spells for Solar Flare, as that can now be a bit further away and not affect herself anymore.
Quicksilver Swords: Always a nice mortal wound output
Geminids of Uhl-Gysh: always a solid choice, but this will take the rest of you points like the spellportal does
Ravenak’s Gnashing Jaws: decent mortal wounds, and yet another Bravery debuff if you are digging that.
Horrorghast: another Bravery debuff if you really want to double down on that plan
Soulsnare Shackles: if you like the idea of stopping your opponent’s movement even more so you can shoot them and blast them with magic even longer before they reach you.
What it all comes down to is you will want to deploy your army in a defensive formation. Wardens in the front (in blocks for their Shining Company bonus), Sentinels behind them, also in blocks), the Cathallar behind/in between them for her battleshock protection. Teclis will also be in the middle of that to make sure he covers as many units as is possible with his protection auras. Then the Dawnriders and Eltharion are your wildcards to deploy where you think they will to the most work. An unprotected flank or a weak side would be good for the Riders to charge into or to be able to hold an objective without much opposing them. The only thing to make sure is they are both in range of someone that has the Speed of Hysh spell to give you the most options for movement that first turn.
With 8 drops, it will probably not be your choice for turn selection. But this also means you can do a few sacrificial drops to see how aggressive your opponent is deploying. Then deploy as close or as far from the line as you see fit. You will be relatively exposed that first turn before Teclis can cast Protection, so you will be relying your Shining Company to protect you. This might be enough for shooting and combat armies, but still be careful.
As the battle goes on, you should be able to wipe out large chunks of units with Teclis’ White Light, and then follow that up with Sentinel shooting to finish things off. Overwhelming Heat will keep things away from your core, as the Dawnriders and Eltharion will keep people honest enough to not completely abandon their objectives. When the major threats to Teclis and your archers are removed, you could start casting blessing on the Wardens to have them hunt down objectives or units. They may be out of Teclis’ Protection, but if you make them Ethereal first, they should still be able to handle the weakened units alright.
You don’t have any teleportation or redeployment abilities in this army, so you want to keep some speed to be able to get to things you need towards the end of the game, so don’t sacrifice your Dawnriders frivolously early game and/or make sure you keep someone with Speed of Hysh always within range of someone useful. Even the base speed of 6″ on your foot troops, when bumped to 12″ can be critical in later stages.