Having seen some of the preview videos on the Armies of Panithor book the concept seems pretty good. The ability to tailor lists and give them their own flavour is great.
I do have a reservation though. One of the great things about KoW is that with the core book and Unchartered Empires [yes I know and the 2ed Kin list] you got access to all the lists and artefacts. It meant you could not only have a wide choice but it also limited the chance of someone pulling out a list and saying
“Well I’m running this theme list that was released in this small magazine arrival or supplement.”
This, a new player would probably never have heard of! This happened a little with new units that were available in CoK and I feel this was reasonably tempered by the fact that there were only a coupe of extra options. CoK has never had a whole new theme army list with 8/9 units to comprehend.
I am a huge fan of the annual Clash of Kings supplement as it has led to a tightening of the game in 3ed with the majority of the good things being brought in to the core rules. My hope is that the game will always attract new players. The last thing I want for a new player turning up to their first game is for their opponent to pull a list out that they’ve never even heard of and have no understanding of how it works!
I am maybe just being paranoid but is codex creep and the “ta-da! Out of a hat” army a possibility going forward with theme lists? All the hints point towards an Ophidia list for example that would fall into the above.