“That is not dead which can eternal lie,

And with strange aeons even death may die.”

HP Lovecraft, Call of Cthulhu

CRAFTWORLD IYANDEN & WRAITH CONSTRUCTS

Craftworld Iyanden Logo. Credit: PInterest.

Wraithbone is a psycho-engineered material that can be created and shaped into almost any form by a psychically adept crafted known as a “Bonesinger”. Due to the manner in which it is created, Wraithbone is psychically charged, acting as both a conduit for Aeldari psychic ability and a defensive layer to predations from entities in the immaterium. It forms the basic building material for the Aeldari war construct; everything from weapons to entire Craftworlds are made from it.

When Aeldari die, their souls are captured in a prism known as a “Spirit Stone”. If a Spirit Stone is damaged or missing, their soul is immediately devoured by the Chaos God the Aeldari birthed into existence with their exuberant indulging of excess; Slaanesh. Once a Spirit Stone is embedded into a Wraithbone construct, it becomes part of the “Infinity Circuit”, providing a communal refuge. In times of conflict, these Spirit Stones can be taken and implanted in Wraith Constructs; allowing the Aeldari soul to fight their enemies. When Wraith constructs are used in this way, they see their environment through the eyes of the warp, in a dream state. Due to this Wraith Constructs are overseen by Spiritseers, psychics that specialise in the summoning and guiding of the dead (Wraiths).

Craftworld Iyanden has the largest amount of Wraith Constructs due to an attack on the Craftworld by Hive Fleet Kraken in 992.M41; an attack that almost saw the Craftworld destroyed outright. As a result, nine tenths of the Craftworld population are interred in Sprit Stones, forever part of the Infinity Circuit, or consumed by Slannesh upon the destruction of their Spirit Stone in battle.

Craftworld Iyanden. Credit: Pinterest.

THE MIDNIGHT WHISPER

The Midnight Whisper was a fast moving infantry and hover tank heavy force that was used by Iyanden to destroy difficult targets with brute force. When Hive Fleet Kraken engaged Craftworld Iyanden, The Midnight Whisper was returning to the Craftworld for repair and refit from a recent action against a Tendril of Kraken that had previously engaged them.

When The Midnight Whisper arrived at Craftworld Iyanden, three tenths of the bio domes had already fallen and been butchered by Hive Fleet Kraken. A further two tenths were witness to heavy fighting. The situation was bleak. The Midnight Whisper, embarked on a battered Shadow Class Cruiser, docked and immediately set about reinforcing the Craftworld.

Led by Farseer Taesys, The Midnight Whisper rallied to the suffering bio domes. Repulsing a wave of Tyranids, Taesys ordered the majority of The Midnight Whisper to form a defensive screen at the next bio dome, before leading the remaining element into the breach ahead of the next wave of Tyranids. It was an engagement she would not return from.

Wraithguard & Wraithblades fighting against Hive Fleet Kraken. Credit: PInterest

The Tyranids overwhelmed the vast majority of The Midnight Whisper but they did not go down easily. Thousands of termagaunt and hormagaunt lay dead as a testament to this in the access ways of the remaining bio dome. Carnifex and Tyrannofex were naught but shattered carcasses; however The Midnight Whisper was a shadow of its former self. With a casualty rate of eighty-eight percent since joining the battle, the last surviving member units of The Midnight Whisper made their last stand.

By the time Prince Yriel had defeated Hive Fleet Kraken, The Midnight Whisper were nigh on entirely destroyed; their Shadow Class Cruiser floating unpowered and shattered in the cold void, still with docking apparatus attached to it.

Post the battle, Craftworld Iyanden set about collecting intact Spirit Stones and introducing them to the Infinity Circuit. The Spirit Stone of Farseer Taesys was shattered. Her corpse was found frozen in the final moments of battle with the dead Carnifex her Singing Spear impaled; her soul long consumed by Slaanesh. Those of The Midnight Whisper who’s Spirit Stones had not been destroyed were doctrinally reformed into Wraith Construct units, introduced to the Infinity Circuit and held at readiness.

The newly appointed Commander was known as Idyhaa; she had been part of the Command Cohort of a similar unit to The Midnight Whisper, known as The Shadow Walkers and was one of the few survivors of the defence of the seventh bio dome; though it had cost her all but three Wraithblade squads to do so.

She set about refitting The Midnight Whisper, composing it almost entirely with Wraith Constructs. She eschewed the fielding of Guardians en masse, favouring elements of Dire Avengers; placing great emphasis on the specialised firepower they brought with them in their fighting vehicles.

Idyhaa decreed that The Midnight Whisper should be able to call upon support from Pulse Laser, Distort and Bright Lance weapons platforms during battle to overmatch the enemy. As a result, there are several different types of platforms organically held by The Midnight Whisper; from Bright Lance equipped Wave Serpents, Distort Flail bearing Warp Hunters all the way up to Pulsar wielding Scorpion Type II Grav Tanks and Wraithknights.

Distort weapons are advanced vortex weapons. They function primarily by manifesting a miniature vortex to the warp within the target. On biological targets, it has the effect of severing the soul from the body and sending it into the warp to be consumed or toyed with by those that reside there. On armoured targets, it effectively tears them to pieces. Not even Imperial Titans are immune to Distort weapons technology, with the largest Distort weapons effectively ignoring the presence of Void Shields.

ETERNAL WAR

Idyhaa liaised with the Iyanden Command and secured the transfer of her old Second in Command from The Shadow Walkers; Dhumin. Dhumin brought with him the last remaining Shadow Walkers Wraithblades to The Midnight Whisper.

Together, Idyhaa and Dhumin began to develop the new modus operandi of The Midnight Whisper. Instead of a blunt and resilient instrument, Idyhaa opted for a far more specialised approach; stealth and surprise. Wraith Constructs by their nature move silently and despite their Wraithbone and Spirit Stone structure give off little in the way of psychic emissions. This lends them well to advancing silently through the night to enemy positions to launch vicious surprise attacks.

Antellas Prime would be the first time that The Midnight Whisper would enter battle in its reborn form. A major threat existed on Antellas Prime to Craftworld Iyanden; WAAGH! Rekkfist. Supporting this WAAGH! was an entire fleet of Ork vessels. Iyanden rallied together with Prince Yriel and conducted a pre-emptive strike on the Orks.

Descending to the surface of Antellas Prime as part of a much larger offensive led by Iyanna Arienal; the new leader of Craftworld Iyanden; The Midnight Whisper deployed en masse. Silently Idyhaa led Wraith Constructs through the heavily wooded areas; thick rolling fog adding to their stealthy aspect. Ork Warbosses were executed, run through with Ghostswords or had their souls ripped into the warp by D-Scythes. Where the gloomy fog rolled, The Midnight Whisper walked; and death was left in their silent wake.

Iyanden forces fighting Orks on Antellas Prime. Credit: Pinterest.

The Orks soon began to speak of the invulnerable supernatural enemy amongst the fog in the woods. Rekkfist ordered the woods set ablaze. This did not slow or stop The Midnight Whisper. The flames, wrapping around the silent Wraith Constructs served only to illuminate their malevolence for all to see; Monstrous spectres moving silently through a sea of flame.

Whilst the battle for Antellas Prime would be won by the Aeldari with the assistance of the Drukhari; the modus operandi for The Midnight Whisper had been successfully proven.

Idyhaa and Dhumin increased the size of the Spiritseer cohort to provide greater support to the Wraith Constructs and provided the opportunity for powerful Seers that had fallen in battle to take up the role of Wraithseer. These Wraithseers were also supplemented from those lost from the wider Iyanden ground force.

Idyhaa prefers to attack during the dark hours; where The Midnight Whisper can maximise their advantage of stealth. Even the largest Wraith Constructs, the mighty Wraithknights and Revenant Titans (The Midnight Whisper does not yet count Phantom Titans amongst its number) move with silent, malevolent grace and when coupled with holofields are entirely capable of manifesting from the darkness to wreak destruction on their foes.

In combat zones that have a wider freedom of movement, such as urban, tundra or desert areas; The Midnight Whisper uses Wave Serpents and Falcon Grav tanks to mobilise their forces. The pilots of these grav tanks are highly skilled, masters of the art of using terrain to mask their approaches before providing heavy supporting fire to the Dire Avengers, Wraithguard or Wraithblades they deliver.

ARMOUR OF THE DEAD – COLOUR SCHEME

The Midnight Whisper are an Iyanden force, so they have the Iyanden colour scheme. The only exception to this is the Aspect Warriors of the Shadow Spectres, who will retain their colouration of Grey/White.

The Iyanden scheme will follow the steps listed:

  • Primer: Vallejo Mecha Black
  • Armour Base: Vallejo Model Air Light Rust 71.129
  • Armour Layer: Vallejo Model Colour Sunny Skin Tone 70.845
  • Armour Zenithal: Vallejo Model Air Ivory 71.075
  • Armour Glaze: Vallejo Yellow Ink 72.085
  • Helm Base: Scale75 Cantabric Blue
  • Helm Layer: Vallejo Electric Blue 72.723
  • Helm Zenithal: Vallejo Electric Blue 72.723 & Vallejo Dead White 72.701 70/30 mix.
  • Cloth Base: Vallejo Model Air Blue Grey 71.304
  • Cloth Layer: Vallejo Model Air Blue Grey 71.304 & Vallejo Dead White 72.701 70/30 mix.
  • Joints Base: Vallejo Model Air Black 72.751
  • Metal Base: Vallejo Metal Colour Burnt Iron 77.721
  • Metal Layer: Vallejo Metal Colour Burnt Iron 77.721 & Vallejo Metal Colour Aluminium 77.701 50/50 mix.
  • All Over Wash: Ammo by Mig Dark Brown Wash MIG-1005.
  • Remove excess with AK Interactive Odourless Thinner 00050.
  • Base: Vallejo Model Air Blue Grey 71.304
  • Base Layer: Vallejo Model Air Blue Grey 71.304 & Vallejo Dead White 72.701 70/30 mix.
  • Base Foliage: Army Painter Deadland Tuft
  • Varnish: Vallejo Matte Varnish.

This will give the army a very grimdark feel instead of the bright colours that normally adorn Aeldari armies. It is a time consuming scheme to apply, and not a lot can be cut out of it to speed it up.

A Wraithlord of Craftworld Iyanden surveys the battlefield. Credit: Pinterest.

ARMY CONSTRUCT

The Core of this army revolves around Wraith Constructs – to me that means more than 50%. To do this you’re looking at two realistic choices:

  • 1 Battalion, 1 Spearhead/Vanguard (depending on your chosen Wraith Constructs).
  • 1 Vanguard, 1 Spearhead.

This means that if you chose option 1 you’re running with 9CP (8CP with Wraith Host) and option 2 leaves you with a paltry 6CP (5CP). The only other choice I can think of is to run a Patrol with your Warlord in it. This leaves you around 8CP to play with – but you do end up with the same issue that the 1 Vanguard, 1 Spearhead construct would be; you don’t really have the legs to cover Primary Objectives effectively at the cost of losing a Spiritseer that could be better used to buff the Wraith Constructs.

The army uses Custom Craftworld Traits:

  • Expert Crafters: When a unit with this attribute fires Overwatch or is chosen to shoot or fight with, you can re-roll a single hit roll and you can re-roll a single wound roll.
  • Wrath of the Dead: When resolving an attack made by a WRAITH CONSTRUCT with this attribute, re-roll a wound roll of 1.

The re-rolls from Expert Crafters provide a nice buff per unit and the Wrath of the Dead re-rolls really help out for those Wraith Constructs by maximising your organic re-rolls without taking a toll on your CP reserves; thus giving you the ability to use those CP on more tasty Stratagems like Spirit Shield, Feigned Retreat, Supreme Disdain or Fire and Fade.

If resilience is your concern, the you can’t go wrong with using Diviner’s of Fate and casting Enhance on those important constructs:

  • Diviner’s of Fate: Models with this attribute have a 6+ invulnerable save.

Whilst Diviner’s of Fate it isn’t a sure fire way of saving wounds, it’s better than the fact that you universally have no invulnerable save on your core army (only the HQs have a 4++, and the Wraithseers have a 5++) organically.

That said, there’s nothing wrong with using the Craftworld Iyanden Trait either to assure the shooting and melee of the larger units as the game develops:

  • Craftworld Iyanden (Stoic Endurance): Each time a Combat Attrition test is taken for a unit with this attribute, it is automatically passed.’. In addition, if a unit with a damage chart has this attribute, double the number of wounds it actually has remaining whenever you are consulting the chart to determine its characteristics.

Depending on the prevalence of psychic in your meta, you may want to swap it out for:

  • Warding Runes: When a model with this attribute would lose a wound as a result of a mortal wound, roll one D6; on a 5+ that wound is not lost.
This is a sizeable force that is designed to be both mobile and resilient. Composed from a Wraith Host Spearhead Detachment at its core, and supported by a mechanised Battalion of Dire Avengers; this army can both cover objectives and bring some viciousness to the table. The Wraith Host has two Wave Serpents that are loaded with Spiritseers and Wraithblades. Being a Wraith Host this allows stratagems like Wrath of the Dead to seriously up the ante of the Wraithblades; whilst Spirit Shield improves their resilience. As a Wraith Host costs 1CP – it leaves 8CP left over to work with. To this end, Expert Crafters and Wrath of the Dead Craftworld Traits provide some built in rerolls to hit and wound rolls across the army; supplementing the natural Spirit Host rerolls from Spiritseers; keeping the CP Reroll spend down to the minimum. Supreme Disdain is 1CP and makes sixes explode – and when combined with a Spiritseer dishing out Enhance for +1 to hit it has a solid effect of increasing the Wraithblades potential. Anti tank is taken care of by the Pulse Lasers and plethora of Bright Lance smattered around the army, with the Aeldari Missile Launchers lending a hand against enemy infantry. This is my go to army construct.
This was more like the original idea for 8E – though the lack of Objective Securing and the elite nature of the force makes it an up hill struggle from the off. That said, when I don’t want to use the Falcons and Dire Avengers – this is still my go to choice. You suffer with only 5CP to start, further dropping to 4CP to get the Wraithblades in Webway Strike. The Shadow Spectres can deep strike in, meaning you’re starting the game with two infantry units on the table in their Wave Serpents. Due to the lack of bodies on the ground, this army will live or die by its secondary objective choices; you simply cannot dominate the ground. What you have is resilient, but can’t be used carelessly: this is one army that benefits from Spirit Host stratagems and Protect powers to enhance their saves.

SUMMARY

This is the first time I’ve been able to field something even close to what I envisaged back in 8E Warhammer 40,000 when I wanted a Wraith Host army (before that was even a Specialist Detachment). With the Battalion army list being filled with 1,250 points of Wraiths, it still meets my original criteria of making it rely heavily on Wraith Constructs; but with less of the limitations present in the Spearhead/Vanguard type army list.

Both of the army lists have some merits, though they’re not meta chasing top tier or even slightly optimised by any stretch. These are rule of cool armies to their core! The last time The Midnight Whisper deployed was against a Grey Knights meta list in 8E and even though they took an absolute pounding, haemorrhaging 36 unsaved wounds in the first turn Psychic phase alone, they still did well enough to make me wish I could run something like I can now.

This marks the first time in four years that I’ve actually been excited to paint and play Warhammer 40,000 – The Horus Heresy has been my go to for the last three years and for good reason. Whilst I doubt this will see me re-engage with Warhammer 40,000 on a major scale, I hope it will be fun enough to allow me to run the army on a few occasions throughout the year. As a painting project it will be a few solid months at least!

The next post about The Midnight Whisper will be of the Wraithlords as the paint scheme goes down!