Last week we talked about the upcoming Warhammer the Old World and how we could use that setting as in inspiration for some games of Warcry. One quirk of that upcoming release is GW have decided to focus on a particular part of the world at a particular time in the history, which unfortunately means many well loved armies are just being given some legacy rules with no real plans to develop them. Of particular interest for this video: the Lizardmen, Skaven, Vampire Counts, and Dark Elves were all left out. That’s notable, because today we’re going to visit Lustria.
The original Warhammer setting, like so many fantasy settings, takes heavy inspiration from the real world and history. As occasionally happens, the real world map is used as the basis for this fantasy world. The majority of the fiction focuses on the Empire which is heavily based on Holy Roman Empire in Europe. For the most part, we never really got to know about the lands outside of the old world, but Lustria the South American inspired setting was an exception.
The first reference I can see comes from 1st Edition Warhammer with the 1983 First Citadel Compendium. In it we have The Legend of Kremlo the Slann by Richard Halliwell. This has a viking settlement in Lustria and their battles versus the native Slann. Now these are a lot more like the Dungeons and Dragons Bullywug rather than the Slann we’re familiar with now, but it has some of the core elements we’ll see developed later.
There is an absolutely fantastic article that I’ve linked in the description by Zhu Bajiee called When Warhammer was Radical that looks at among other things how GW approached Lustria. Taking historical elements and using them for fantasy can fall flat, especially when we’re essentially replacing historic peoples with monsters while using the same style and dress. In this instance though, these are sympathetic characters with the leaders of the Lizardmen, the Slann considered some of the most powerful and wise individuals in the setting. The article is a good read and I definitely recommend it.
As the Lizardmen are a major army, each update to the army book gave us a little more insight into Lustria. We also had a campaign book which really expanded the setting. Rather than just for the Lizardmen, this was intended for any army willing to battle through the jungles of Lustria. The book has lots of tips on how to make jungle terrain along with campaign rules on to battle your way through part of Lustria.
Most recently, we have the Lustria book from Cubicle 7 which gathers up all the various strands for use with their Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game. This goes into great detail with the majority of the 200 pages just focused on the lore and background. This is the primary source for the rest of this video where we look at how we could set our Warcry games in Lustria.
The physical Lustria book is still up for Preorder but you can get the PDF right now!
So why Lustria. In short, this is a fantastic setting that has a totally different feel to playing in the old world. Rather than the classic Norse mythology we have a weird mix of South America, Pirates of the Caribbean, and whatever the Skaven are. As we talked about in the Warcry the Old World video, taking a setting and limiting the options is a great way to shake things up. It makes for a very different meta game letting some of the weaker factions rise to the top. It also means you can get really creative with the theme. While you can do some fun hobby stuff anyway, having a theme already really helps you focus and once you bring all the different warbands together it’ll look great.
The main factions with Lustria are obviously the Lizardmen, they’ve had a big line refresh so you’ve got some awesome looking models to pick from. Their primary enemy is Clan Pestilens from the Skaven, so that’s all the Plague themed Skaven stuff. Along the coast we have something of a Pirates of the Caribbean thing going, with the Vampire counts lead by Luthor Harkon a Pirate lord, the Dark Elf Corsairs to a certain extend, and the Vikings of Norscaa who have one of the very few human settlements on Lustria. The remaining humans are typically the Tilean or Estalian explorers, so the Italians or Spanish, who often don’t survive too long. There are also a small number of Amazons, they’re not really a big faction but it’s a fun opportunity to do something fun. For the most part, we don’t have model lines for these various factions, so it is an opportunity to kitbash or try kits from outside GW.
We start with the Lizardmen. This one is pretty easy as we have a brand new range of models and a full set of warband rules to play with. The Cubicle 7 book is jammed with lore and background for these cold blooded creatures. There is even some lore on Huanchi the Jaguar god, often invoked by Skinks who remain stealthy. Although we’re looking at the Warhammer Fantasy lore rather than Age of Sigmar, since AoS starts with the destruction of the old world there isn’t actually a difference, especially when it comes to the Slann. We have more details on the Slann, I had always assumed they were the old ones but it turns out they were the direct servants of the old ones. This book looks at the Skinks, Saurus, and Kroxigor in detail talking about their culture, physiology, and psychology and really is a great resource for any Lizardman fan.
When the Skaven first arrived in Lustria, they found empty caverns beneath old Slann cities that were perfect for burrows. In time though, the were ravaged by horrible diseases which went through them in droves. It was in those dark times that the remaining Skaven discovered the throne of a foul Daemon deep in the hidden caverns. What deals were struck are unknown, but from that day Clan Pestilens were born carrying plague and death along with them.
Anything from the Warband is good, but the Plague Monks are particularly thematic for Lustria. You could allow Nurgle heroes as allies to add to the plague theme. For the models, you do have lots of options but the Skaven line hasn’t been updated in quite a while. This might be a place where looking for conversions or even 3d models might be a good option.
Along the south-east of Lustria we have what is known as the Vampire coast. Luthor Harkon, a Necromancer and Vampire from Ancient Lahmia found himself stranded on the coast of Lustria. Over centuries he slowly built himself an army of undead. Now he rules over one thousand miles of coast from north to south, stretching hundreds of miles inland but constantly pushed back by the Lizardman empire. Harkon has styled his it on the Empire of the old world, with six provinces ruled by a trusted Vampire of Ghoul.
Again we have full rules for a range of undead here, whether that be the Soulblight Vampires or the Flesh Eater Ghouls. The Ossiarchs don’t fit but you could justify the Nighthaunt. The Lustria book has an interesting write up of the Brine Wife, a powerful water themed spirit. What you really want to do though, is pirate all of this up. There are some plastic pirate kits out there that could be mixed in with undead kits to get some really fun looking warbands.
We also have the Norse, who aren’t particularly well represented in Warhammer. The Lustria book goes into detail on these marauders. Clearly inspired by the Norse raiders of history, these humans believe in the 4 primal forces of Savagery in battle, delight of bodily lust, certainty of death, and unpredictability of change. Sounds familiar. In this culture, mutations are considered a blessing but for some reason they are not lost to corruption. In Lustria they have one of the longest human settlements on the continent, Skeggi. This is lead by King Adella, a fearsome woman who has been blessed by Tzeentch with mouths covering her body which constantly whisper to her. For the models and rules, the Ravagers warband probably fits the bill best. If you wanted to try some conversions, the bloodbowl range does have Norse players which might make for some fun looking fighters.
The Lustria book has a full write up of the High Elf as well as the Dark Elf presence in Lustria, but I definitely think the Dark Elf Corsairs fit the theme a little better. They are lead by Lokhir Fellheart, who wears the golden Helm of the Kraken which was found in sunken ruins older even that Elven civilisation. The Dark Elf raiders are known for their classic Sea Dragon cloaks and this also gives you a chance to sneak in some cold one riders as Lustria is likely where the Dark Elves get them from. For this faction we’re back to the Cities of Sigmar with the Anvilguard Loyalists like to be the best option, if only for the Kraken symbol. Fighters themselves are a mix between the Darkling Coven and Aelf heroes. The Aelf’s are more of a mix of High Elfs and Dark Elfs but it does include the Black Ark Reavers and the Assassins.
Humans are there, but rather than the classic Empire fighters you’re more likely to see Tilea or Estalia adventurers. So those are the Warhammer equivalent of Italians and Spanish, so track down some Conquistador models and you’re spot on. We’re looking at some pretty typical Cities of Sigmar models here. Of course, the story for these particularly adventurers is going to take a pretty drastic turn when they encounter the Lizardmen. There are also some pirate settlements that are not overrun by undead, so you could use some pirate models for a Cities of Sigmar warband as well.
Last of note are the Amazons. The Cubicle 7 book doesn’t go into great detail about the Amazons, instead just mentioning that there is an island called Amazon island and giving some of the legends around the all female tribe that lives there. They might have been women who left Skeggi and later began worshipping Lizardmen gods or they could be a creation of the old ones for some unknown purpose. Regardless of the background, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get some South American styled female warriors and make a really unique warband. For rules I’d be tempted to try a limited Blades of Khorne Bloodbound warband, to have these warriors really kick ass.
For terrain, the Ghur sets obviously work quite well. It has both the forest and Lizardman runes theme going for it. I also quite like the Sigmarite Temples although you might want to leave out the actual statues of Sigmar. You also have the opportunity to do coastal battles and even ship battles if you’re crazy enough to try.
The Ghur campaign rules with the various camps could still work although you might need a slight retheme for certain elements. The Lustria book does have some helpful tables like Jungle Encounters, River Travel, Temple Ruins, and more general Lustria events which could make for some good inspiration.
As we talked about last week, it would be fantastic if GW were to release a book, or even just an online pdf, that gave us additional warbands and campaign rules for a setting like Lustria. Luckily, we don’t have to wait. There are over 50 warbands available for Warcry currently. Choosing to limit our warband options lets us enjoy a few flavours rather than being overwhelmed by everything at once. You can of course adjust to your own taste, Lustria could easily fit in Savage Orks and Spider Goblins both of which are mentioned in the Cubicle 7 book in brief. Having this limitation though is a great way to drive creativity and make for some really fun games where the narrative elements get a chance to shine.
As an example, I made a pdf that pulled together all the profiles that you can find here.
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