Illic Nightspear – Did Mat Ward Write the Eldar Codex?

Mat Ward - Return of the King to write Codex Eldar

The Return of the King?

The Eldar will arrive this weekend (for pre-orders at least) to the 6th Edition of Warhammer 40K. Games Workshop’s been exceptionally tight on this one, though the first images from the White Dwarf have started to appear the last couple of days. If you haven’t seen them, take a look:

Curiously, the details of the Codex are currently more opaque than the miniatures (though word on Dakkadakka has it Eldar get some rule to allow them to run after or before shooting).

Illic Nightspear

There is one miniature addition to the Eldar range that has me particularly: Illic Nightspear.

Eldar Special Characters Illic Nightspear

Illic Nightspear

Does Illic Nightspear Point To Mat Ward?

I am a sucker for cool special characters. Warhammer 40K 6th Edition was, sadly, defined by a surprising dearth of new special characters from Chaos Space Marines to Chaos Daemons.

Only the recent Tau Codex broke the trend by adding new faces – Longstrike and Darkstrider – to the Warhammer 40K list of characters.

Codex Eldar – obviously – will follow suit with (at the very least) Illic Nightspear. Only Illic Nightspear isn’t entirely new. He appeared in the closing Codex of 40K 5th Edition: Necrons.

Several of the fugutives are slain by Obyron’s warscythe, leaving only Kor’sarro and an Eldar Ranger by the name of Illic Nightspear to fight on [...]

- Codex Necrons p. 25

Guided by the prophecies of Farseer Eldorath Starbane and the strategies of Illic Nightspear, the Eldar attempt to stall the Necron invasion with a series of hit-and-run attacks.

- Codex Necrons p. 27


  1. Mat Ward first invented Illic Nightspear (as far as I am aware)
  2. Mat Ward is known for linking characters across his different book (for example Trazyn and Inqusitor Valeria and her Hyperstone Maze)
  3. Mat Ward is known for foreshadowing future Codexes in his work (for example the hints of the Necron-changes laid down in the Blood Angels Codex, which famously went over the head of the Neckbeard-crowd at 4Chan)

Will the King of Codex-Writers Return?

The majority of rumour-mongers seem to agree that the Eldar Codex is getting a Phil Kelly encore.

However, I haven’t seen an official confirmation of this yet (and with White Dwarf leaks all over the place, I wonder why it hasn’t been mentioned).

Still, seeing the Illic Nightspear-ties to Codex Necrons, all hope may not yet be lost.

Could Mat Ward give his Warhammer 40K 6th Edition début?

What do you think?


Update: Mat Ward seems not to have written the Eldar Codex, though he did write the Craftworld Iyanden Background supplement. Half wrong, half right I s’pose.
Mat Ward Writes Craftworld Iyanden Codex


I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Hopeless painter and founder of Pins of War. I hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at
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  • Panagiotis Galanis

    Hey Z,
    If memory serves, there were comments on Faeit that Codex writing is now a collaborative effort between writers to ensure balance and consistency. It might very well be a Codex by Kelly and the idea from Matt Ward!

    • Zweischneid


      Word has it it is actually Phil Kelly and (!) Adam Troke.

  • Hungry nid

    Oh Matt Ward…Can’t wait to hear about how the Eldar and necrons are now BFFs

    • Zweischneid

      Seems unlikely. The heart of the Illic Nightspear story is how he first shadowed the Necrons and was later captured and tortured by them, before escaping.

      If the White Dwarf Battle-Report is Necrons vs. Eldar, it may well tie in to this enmity.

      • Meekaeel Khan

        Ohh i see the sarcasm went straight through! XD
        I dont blame you though! ;)

        • Zweischneid

          It’s not sarcasm if the intended ridicule is based on an obvious fallacy.

          If you make a sarcastic remark such as “I work 40 hours a week to be this poor”, but don’t actually work, the very basis of the quip is missing and the point you were trying to (sarcastically) make is moot.

          • Meekaeel Khan

            I didn’t mean any offence! XD

          • Zweischneid

            Non taken.

  • kaptinscuzgob

    i dont see why not, if he somehow wrestled them away from phil kelly

  • Agent666

    Matt Ward is the ultimate heretic. He had to be apprehended and taken out in the name of the Emperor. Worst writer and the ideas looks like he is smoking something addictive.