Iyanna Arienal – The Angel of Iyanden in 40K 6th Edition

Iyanna Arienal - The Angel of Iyanden

I’ve been paging through the Iyanden Codex (or Codex Eldar Supplement) the last day or two. It’s an easy book to hate. for reasons both good and bad, but I find it surprisingly enjoyable (which doesn’t mean there aren’t things in or about this book worth criticising).

One thing particularly noteworthy, I thought, was how Games Workshop choose to bring back (or not, depending who you ask) Iyanden’s classic named spiritseer: Iyanna Arienal.

Iyanden Arienal in Classic Warhammer 40K

Iyanna Arienal is an Eldar special character from way back. Here is what her rules looked like when Sega first introduced a game featuring Sonic the Hedgehog and Texan Governor George W. Bush announced he’d be seeking the Republican Party’s nomination to run for President.

Iyanna Arienal Classic Rules

Chapterhouse: Or Why GW Didn’t Give Iyanna Rules?

Of course, if there ever was an opportunity for Games Workshop to bring her back, it would have been the Iyanden Supplement Codex. Games Workshop chose not to do that.

This weeks verdict on the Chapterhouse dispute is a painful reminder on why Games Workshop won’t – can’t – simply publish rules for miniature-less units, such as Tervigons, or for miniature-less named characters, such as Duke Sliscus or Inquisitor Valeria, and why this wonderful hobby of ours will forever be diminished for all the hobbyists, converters and DIY-modellers out there.

Thank you Chapterhouse!

Gifts of Asuryan – The Spear of Teuthlas

That said, it appears Games Workshop’s Iyanden Codex is testing the waters with a new approach to bringing some of the classic “no-miniature” characters back into the game.

Where rules for Iyanna Arienal are sadly missing, there is a return of her trademark weapon, the Spear of Teuthlas, under the books’ Iyanden-specific list of unique items, the Gifts of Asuryan. In a nutshell the Spear of Teuthlas is a Singing Spear with greater range and added Rending. Not bad.

Unfortunately, there is no direct equivalent for the Armour of Vaul. Nevertheless, a Spiritseer of Iyanden, the Spear of Teuthlas and a unit of Wraithguard/Wraithblades is going to make a fine Iyanna + guard of honour.

Sample Build:

  • Spiritseer of Iyanden with Spear of Teuthlas
  • 5 Wraithguard with Wraithcannons
  • Wave Serpent

Probably the most mobile, most range-oriented Wraithguard unit you’ll ever get.

Using Voice of Twilight to give the Wraithguard Battle Focus, this unit would try to stay close to the enemy, but out of close combat. The range of the Spear of Teuthlas is largely wasted, but Rending gives it a shot at hurting the high-armour targets Wraithguards like to hunt.


What do you think?

  • Is it worth it trying to re-create the Angel of Iyanden from the Equipment List?
  • How would you field her? Perhaps with Wraithblades instead?
  • Most importantly, is this a taste of how GW may “return” other lost special characters?

Let me know what you think!




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 www.pinsofwar.net.
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  • Bane

    I think blaming Chapterhouse for the fact that GW, haven’t released rules for a miniature they haven’t released, is going abit far. The army codex’s are full of characters that aren’t made into figures with rules and have been for years or that used to have rules and don’t anymore. Just one of those things!

    • http://pinsofwar.net/ Zweischneid

      True. Characters and other Codex entries without miniatures have been very common.

      And then, some-time in 2012, GW stops publishing 40K Codexes for half a year and quickly filled in all the gaps, not least the Tervigon and the Thunderwolves that have been at the heart of the Chapterhouse dispute.

      After that. Not a single “miniature-less” character or unit has been seen. No new named characters, unless there is immediately a miniature for it. No new units, unless there is immediately a miniature for it. No second waves of any kind. Nothing.

      Sorry, but the coincidence of timing and the abruptness of the shift screams Chapterhouse all the way.

      They could’ve just copy-&-pasted Iyanna from the 3rd Edition Codex. Add some 6th Edition rules. Done. Two years ago, that is probably what they would’ve done.

      Going the odd, circumstantial route with the Gifts of Asuryan isn’t the obvious or easy choice. Why bother, unless you’ll need to protect your stuff from the freeriders?

      • dynath

        Freeriders!? Am I the only one that thought Games Workshop talking up products they never bothered to make was stupid to begin with? Never mind the fact that Chapterhouse’s MASSIVE cute of GW’s bottom line was barely $400,000. They did a damned lot of work to make less money a year than my local tatoo parlor. I wouldn’t really call that a free ride. Even if I read about an idea in a book, if i take the time to sculpt it, mold it, package it, market it, and sell it I still did a crap ton of work. Which is more than GW’s Zero work to not make a product. They didn’t hurt GW making their products and GW’s products didn’t directly compete with them because GW didn’t have a product. You can blame Chapterhouse all you want but if they affected GW at all with the whole debacle it was to realign GW’s business model to what it was. IE make miniatures and rules for those miniatures. Not promise a bunch of junk and never make it.

        • http://pinsofwar.net/ Zweischneid

          Well, I disagree.

          The very thing that made Games Workshop’s worlds special to me, the thing that made them stand out over and above Privateer, Wyrd, etc.. , WAS the fact that they left “gaps” in their setting, their background, their miniature-line, etc, that could be filled by creative hobbyists with their own stories, creations and miniature-conversions.

          That’s what made it a “hobby” in many ways, rather than collectible action toys you need to paint yourself.

          Chapterhouse & Co. have forever destroyed this “hobby”.

          • dynath

            You have the right to disagree but I just can’t see it as doom and gloom as you do.

            You can buy GW’s products, you don’t have to buy any aftermarket kits. Games Workshop is producing more black library novels and rule books than ever before. They are producing just as many kits as they used to. They are just producing a more complete line of products than they have in the past. They have actively engaged in digital releases and white dwarf releases of content such as the storm talon so you could easily see expansion rules whenever GW gets around to releasing a new character. Forgeworld is essentially official so you can see new characters there too and even have new rules to build new characters with. If you do decide to make custom characters or special one off models you have more bits and bobs to do it with.

            You say this ends the “hobby” aspect of the hobby but there is nothing stopping you from kitbashing any model in existence. There is likewise nothing stopping you from choosing one of the literally thousands of black library characters there are no models or rules for and make something up.

            Games Workshop has made nothing but collectible action toys since 4th edition. the instant they started limiting options in codex’s they stopped making the type of hobby products you’re talking about. GW has been in a war on bits for years, they just lost a battle in that war. big whoop. Don’t blame chapterhouse for bloodying the bullies nose when the bully chose the fight.

          • http://pinsofwar.net/ Zweischneid

            I don’t disagree with the first parts of your post. GW is putting out a lot of good things.

            Nor is it likely a major issue. The Spear of Teuthlas works decently enough to “proxy” Iyanna. It’s what is there. It’ll suffice. And yes, I can dip into BL, Forge World, etc.. . Thank God that option is there.

            But having these options and having them from a large company like GW, which isn’t fundamentally threatened by Chapterhouse & co, doesn’t in any way mitigate the demerit of Chapterhouses actions.

            And just because there are other good things and different ways in which I can enjoy Warhammer 40K et al., doesn’t mean the things we’ve lost due to freeriders like Chapterhouse cannot be mourned.

            And yes, they are freeriders, because they are leeching money from something they didn’t help create. The “hobby” of Warhammer 40K.

            There are thousands of non-pirating honest-working miniature entrepreneurs out there forging an honest path with their own games, their own background, their own miniatures. In this day and age of Kickstarter, it easier than ever before to launch something of your own. Chapterhouse clearly has the mini-making skills.

            They don’t NEED to live the life of a parasite. Yet they choose to do so.

          • dynath

            Again, think the freerider’s comment is fundamentally wrong. By your argument every hobbiest who sells a scratch build is a “freerider”, every miniatures painter selling their trade skills is a “freerider”, if you don’t sit in the board meetings where decisions are made you’re a freerider because you get paid for miniatures but didn’t have creative input into GW’s content.

            Chapterhouse and the number of other bits manufacturers aren’t recasting GW’s products (recasters are definitely parasites). But bits companies are making their own products that work with GW’s parts. Is Advanced Autoparts Leeching off of Ford Motor Company by selling aftermarket parts? Not really, they are living in harmony with them, symbiosis, a place for both to thrive and support each other. They are making a product based on demand. GW doesn’t have a bits line. They won’t even let people break up kits to sell bits anymore (a more leech like action if you ask me). Will we see a bits line, maybe. But chapterhouse and the other bits companies are making products that GW doesn’t. And the fact that both of them might make bits just gives the hobby more options not less.

            Yes in this day and age of kickstarter just about anyone can beg for money to make up a rules set no one will play and fund miniatures a handful of people will buy. I can’t blame them for not jumping on the kickstarter bandwagon. Some people don’t want to write game rules. sometimes a miniatures maker wants to make miniatures, or a hobbiest wants to make parts to help support other hobbiests with their conversions. Does that make them parasites, leeches on the underbelly of humanity… Games Workshop sells model paint so they are leeching off of Tester’s good name.

            Also, what are your opinions on GW 30 years ago? back in the 80s GW made a miniatures line for everything, generic fantasy and scifi miniatures designed to leech off the success of big rpgs like D&D and Traveler (or their European equivalent). Are they not leechers for such actions? and if not what gives them a pass and not Chapterhouse?

            The difference between a good company and a bad one is the passage of time. Chapterhouse has better limits on what they can and can’t do now and we’ll see how they grow with those limits over time just like GW did. But calling this the end of the hobby is a bit narrow, the hobby is expanding not contracting. I’ll inherently argue that all the things we have “lost” aren’t due to chapterhouse et al but due to GW’s shortsightedness and that even without chapterhouse we would never have gotten them back because GW has never been a company to give customers exactly what they want.

  • peeyou

    I’m with Bane.

    The absence of a ruleset does not necessarily imply a reaction on GW’s part to the overall DIY’er / conversion scene. Its more than likely simply a matter of having a number of potential special characters to include, and having a limited slots to fill. Plus, this means extra content for additional supplements / white dwarf. Basically cash in a cash cow.

  • Thassias

    I’ve took the route of sending an email with all my faq / errata queries to [email protected] , but also included the question of can an errata for the supplement allow the Iyanna upgrade to be taken in general games for “x” points as a unique spiritseer upgrade.

    It would be better than nothing and at this point i would settle for that, maybe if they see enough people asking for Iyanna , who knows ?

    But model wise, I thought they had made a model for her, it never made it into “general” sales but there was one made and it does come up for ebay and such from time to time, so the argument surely could be made that there was a model for her ?

    • Bane

      During his trial at Games Workshop Juan Diaz modeled a 1998 model of Iyanna Arienal that never went into production. So yes a few were cast but never actually made it to general release. Though you often see nice conversions of her using the old Everqueen model and such.

  • frankio9

    Why not simply use the old rules? Im sure your opponent wouldnt mind.