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I know we can effectively build him (or a close approximation) with the Prince and dragon combos and various weapons, but are we ever going to see him come back? Whatever was the point in removing him? Or was it just a case that he would've been cheaper/better than a normal tooled up prince?
I happen to have the model, and she was arguably one of the best mages in the game - along with the maiden guard (also got them - although don't ask me to show you pictures, the paintjob I did was years ago and particularly dire) - they are simply awesome.
Eltharion the Blind
Again, you can sort of get close to almost being Eltharion with a white-sword toting prince, but he lacks all of the various fighting styles and some of the neater stats and psychology effects.
Does this represent a step back to ignore the fluff around these characters (especially Eltharion) and are the special rules previously downloadable from the GW website still valid?
High Elves have 6 special characters right now so they probably had to drop a few but I don't know about Eltharion.
The downloads for prior characters were written for 6th Edition and so would not be valid. Imrik can be cosntructed from a standard Prince on Dragon, although with arguably lower WS and lacking the special rules for Dragons.
Eltharion the Blind is the probably current incarnation of Eltharion, the Eltharion from teh book is a histroc character (note the use of "was" in his description).
It would have been nice to have had both like Manfred the Acolyte and Count Manfred in the VC book, but that was done to justify fielding Vlad in the same army as Manfred.
Given Tyrion, Teclis, Korhil, Caradryan, Alith Anar and Eltharion could all conceivably be in the same timeline using their book stats, it's not a biggie that Eltharion the Swordmaster is missing. TBH, it was all a little too "Blind Fury" for me..
As for Alarielle - yes she was the best mage in the older books, and her hand maidens are great infantry. But two questions:
1) Would Alarielle really take to the battlefield? All the above characters HAVE fought at the forefront of armies
2) Do we need another fragile, expensive elites choice?
You can never have too many fragile, expensive elite choices!
And yes, Elarielle /did/ take to battle at Finuval plain, didn't she? (I think the 'older' fluff in the new book refers to earlier incarnations of the Everqueen having fought against Chaos, also).
I rather enjoy using the special characters - although as you say, Imrik is a bit redundant now. The book Star Dragon is far superior to Mithnathnir... they would need to make him far beefier (and more expensive) in order to make him 'special' enough to warrant taking over a 'built' prince.
Alarielle was at the battle of Finuval Plain, but she didn't participate (that was all the Twins...), but yeah, earlier incarnations may have fought against the minions of Chaos. However, she shouldn't be a character that is rolled out in most battles, and as GW have no limits on special chars, it just seesm wrong to include her...
Minaithir would be upgunned to a new "Star Dragon"+ and Imrik would have to be +1 WS, I etc to make him worthy of the name, whilst also denying the Starlance, Armour of Caledor and Dragon Horn from other characters. He is better off, as you stated, as a built prince.
What disappoints me a little is that there is not an easy way of bulking up the Dragon models to represent different sizes of Dragon. I have several older models, and the biggest are obviously bigger than the smallest, so I can do decent size differentials between them. The irony is that the largest Dragon I have (the old Imrik Dragon) is actually on a a smaller base than some of the smaller dragons (horned dragon, Kargos teh despoiler etc)
I do not have a source at the moment, so this could be wrong or just a rumour that didn't happen, but I definitely read somewhere that Imrik died. Apparently he was at sea when his ship was attacked and fell in the water, all his armour made him sink.
I can deal with Imrik dissapearing, characters do come and go from the books as they are replaced by different ones, can't have too many. But I am rather annoyed that Eltharion the Blind is gone. It had such a beautiful model and really really cool fluff. As I have mentioned in older threads, the new book is really weird. Like it has just completely ignored recent history. Eltharion the Blind has no mention, nothing on SoC or even Albion, Imrik has gone again. Its like our current book is set a few hundred years in the past from where the warhammer world 'currently' is. Mostly because the author just lifted the vast majority of fluff in our current book from older books, which is quite lazy.
That was Caledor, who was named Imrik before taking ascension of the throne... I believe that the present Imrik is still alive and kicking, he certainly survived the Great War against Chaos, not sure what happened after this....
Imrik isn't strictly gone, he is just gone as a special character, as the introduction of the Star Dragon as a mount for regular princes means he can be easily proxied....
I do agree that the present book appears to be set some time earlier than the "Storm of Chaos" timeline, as it makes no mention of the role played by Tyrion and Teclis in that war, nor does it show the most recent Dark Elf invasion, though perhaps this is because that invasion may be being replayed in the Age of Reckoning Campaign?
Though I guess that HE are now the only army that can take them with non-special characters?
I know the new plastic dragon is a massive model, though bulk-wise, and head-wise it is smaller than Minathir and possibly the older serpentine Imrik dragon. Lengthwise I knoe it is bigger than Kargos the Despoiler, so I will probably use the new version exclusively as a Sun Dragon...
I'm content (given a lingering desire not to have to buy a larger flat, or more models) to just paint him up, paint up a prince /and/ a mage using the parts, and have them as interchangeable, and the dragon be whatever I fancy at the time (despite having applied the various 'star dragon' parts and the white on blue scheme).
At GW prices, I think it's sensible
And yeah, 3+ save for Gwindalor, but he does have a marginally weaker stat line (slightly worse than Seraphon). Star Dragon is about 50 points more, but has better WS, S, Attacks, leadership, and the extra wound... it's just interesting to see how well the army books carry over with the 'codex creep' you usually see.