The Age Of Sigmar Dawnbringers Boxes Are The Perfect 40K Aeldari Exodite Force

Highlights

  • The Dawnbringers campaign for Age of Sigmar introduces new models for the Sylvaneth and Stormcast factions, including impressive centrepieces like Belthanos and Ionus Cryptborn.
  • The author is excited about the potential for converting the Sylvaneth models into Aeldari units, such as using the Spiterider Lancers as jetbikes and the Kurnoth Hunters as Wraithguard.
  • The author plans to convert Ionus Cryptborn’s dragon into a Wraithknight for their Aeldari-inspired army, even though it doesn’t follow the same logic as the rest of their force.


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I’ve never paid that much attention to the Sylvaneth range for Age of Sigmar. I always preferred Wood Elves to Dryads and Ents to Games Workshop’s more violent vision of treefolk, so I let the woodland wraiths pass me by. Other than Allarielle, that is. What a model, eh? Stood mighty atop a great stag beetle, she was the sole recipient of my Sylvaneth sympathies. Until now.

Dawnbringers is an ongoing narrative campaign for Age of Sigmar which brings with it a new book and two tasty new box sets. Each box contains some existing miniatures for the Sylvaneth and Stormcast respectively, and a brand new model currently only available in the bundle.

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The Sylvaneth portion of this opened my eyes to the totality of the miniature range. There are dudes riding dragonflies, dudes that are half-tree, half-spirit, and a big dude on an even bigger bug. This big dude is Belthanos, hence why the box is called the Blades of Belthanos, and he seems to very much be a spiritual successor to the old Orion miniature. He’s an impressive centrepiece, but I couldn’t help imagining Warhammer 40K’s Aeldari warriors commandeering it all.

Aeldari jetbike converted using a Sylvaneth dragonfly-1
Work in progress Aeldari Exodite jetbike riding atop a Sylvaneth spiterider dragonfly from Warhammer Age of Sigmar

I’ve never been much of an Aeldari man, mostly because my two best friends both played Eldar back in the day – so why would I collect Space Elves too? My flavour of xenos leaned towards T’au, but when I could switch out a jetbike for a dragonfly from the Sylvaneth, an idea started to form in my mind…

Eldar riding bugs. What’s not to love? The Blades of Belthanos’ Spiterider Lancers became jetbikes, and the Kurnoth Hunters are a headswap and weaponswap away from Wraithguard. That just leaves the big boy, but I’m still not sure exactly how his shape fits the Aeldari aesthetic. Too narrow for a tank, but too large for almost anything else. I might try to work him into a Vyper, but you’ll have to watch this space to find out more.

balthanos first thorn ofd kurnoth blows his horn atop a giant beetle

“But Ben,” I hear you say, “In all your impressive knowledge of Aeldari Exodites, you’ve forgotten they ride dinosaurs, not bugs!” That’s where you’re wrong. While traditional artwork of Aeldari Exodite forces has depicted them riding Diplodocuses and the like, this is my army and I’ll do what I want. But if it’s reptiles you’re after, that’s where Cryptborn’s Stormwing come in.

The other half of the Dawnbringers release is three mighty Stormcast riding dragons. They’re impressive models, especially the new sculpt of Ionus Cryptborn, a Lord-Relictor returned to the land of living to find a cure for a fatal flaw in his species’ Reforging. He finally gives the Stormcast some grit, a foil to the angelic characters we’ve seen added to the range in the past, and the highlight of Dawnbringers for many.

Warhammer 40,000 players want to convert him into a Chaplain, and Age of Sigmar players want to field him as an ally, but I want to use his dragon – sorry, draconith – as a Wraithknight.

ionus cryptborn on his dragon

This conversion will be very different from the rest of my force. Guardians substituting jetbikes for dragonflies is simple to explain in lore terms. The same goes for Wraithguard made out of animated trees – with a lack of Wraithbone available on this planet, these Exodites look to their environment to house the souls of their kin. A dragon, though? It doesn’t follow the same logic.

I’ll probably create a manned turret to sit atop the mighty draconith, making sure the heights and base size matches loosely with those of a Wraithknight. I think I can make it work, to include a more traditional Exodite unit in my bugged-up army. That way, I can still make old Ionus into an Army of the Dead Space Marine character as well.

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