Start Competing: Ossiarch Bonereapers Tactics

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Welcome, great Necromancer, to Start Competing: Ossiarch Bonereapers! Do you like completely sick skeleton warriors? Have you demanded that your loved ones leave “Rest In Peace” off your tombstone so you can be drafted into the great skeleton war when you die? Do you want an entirely new model range that can reliably play on the top tables of tournaments? Well then these are the boney constructs for you!

Ossiarch Bonereapers

Credit: Silks

Faction Overview

The Ossiarch Bonereapers are a relatively new addition to Age of Sigmar, having been released in October alongside some very cool models. And since then we’ve seen the army achieve great results with some of the more obvious combinations in the book. But there’s a lot more to this book than just the Petrifex Elite, so let’s dive in!

Strengths

  • Swole Skeletons. Unlike other, sadder undead armies, the Ossiarch Bonereapers aren’t horde-based. You’ve got some real power behind those bones.
  • Amazing Battleline Troops. You have some of the most powerful battle line troops in the game
  • Incredibly sweet models. The Ossiarch Bonereapers have an entirely new model range with some of the prettiest minis GW has produced.
  • Versatile. You can interact with all of the phases of the game.
  • You don’t have to worry about CPs or Battleshock!

Weaknesses

  • You may become “That Guy.” Some of your options are obnoxiously strong and may not make you friends easily.
  • Limited range of models. They’re very cool, but your choices are limited.
  • Harsh Learning Curve. The Ossiarch Bonereapers have quite a lot of new and complex rules which can take a while to learn and keep track of.
  • Low model count. Although your units are awesome and better “independent operators” than most factions, your model count is very low.
  • Slow. With some exceptions your units are slower than usual, combined with the low model count that means you could potentially be out-maneuvered.
  • Trouble empathizing with other, lesser factions. As Ossiarch Bonereapers, you get to ignore a lot of basic rules, meaning if you’re learning AoS you may not understand what other factions do, or their struggles. Over time you will become detached and aloof, unable to connect with the plight of the common battleline infantry person in these armies, or even their generals. You will sit in your tower, alone save for your undead servants, growing bored with this life and the petty squabbles of its inhabitants. Until the only thrill you feel will be from crushing your enemies so utterly that only the sight of their masks of naked contempt turning to terror as you mow them down brings you any joy. At this point, you will have truly completed your metamorphosis into a “That Guy.”

Competitive Rating

Top-Tier.

The sky isn’t falling quite as much as some people expected when the Bonereapers got released (though that is, in part, because Disciples of Tzeentch were released shortly afterward). They are currently doing very well and consistently placing in the top 3 of large tournaments but they are not dominating (again, largely thanks to the rebirth of the Disciples of Tzeentch). All of their top placings have been using one subfaction, however – there is very little data on non-Petrifex Elite armies doing well.

  

Special Rules

Mortek Guard

Credit: Silks

Ranks Unbroken by Dissent

This has 2 parts. First of all you don’t take Battleshock. Simple enough, ignore that phase of the game for your models. Secondly, you don’t generate command points at all. Instead you get Relentless Discipline points which are used to power up your units. You get these at the start of each turn before you roll for priority. This is important to note as it means you can use your defensive abilities if your opponent goes first, but also means you have to think carefully about whether to spend them all defensively or keep some back for your own turn. You gain point for

  • Each Friendly Bonereaper hero on the table
  • Each warscroll battalion you have
  • Each Friendly Liege on the table
  • Roll a D6 for every unit you have (including the above ones) and on a 6 gain a point

Katakros also grants an additional 3 if he is your general and is on the board.

The army therefore starts out strong and declines in power as you lose key pieces (canny opponents will take out your Relentless Discipline generators as soon as possible)

Rather than the generic Command Point abilities such as reroll charges, Bonereapers all have access to Relentless Advance which can be used to give a unit +3 move, making their fairly slow units suddenly quite speedy.

Deathless Warriors

Like most Death armies, you can ignore wounds on a 6+ for all your models! The only catch is that you have to be wholly within 12” of a hero or wholly within 6” of a Hekatos (unit leader). This can actually be harder than you think so a lot of game time is spent finding that skeleton with a slightly different hat to make sure he’s in the middle of your blob of Mortek Guard.

Nadarite Weapons

Most units have Nadarite weapons which cause them to score additional hits whenever you roll a 6+ to hit. There are various ways of improving this.

 

Legions

Ossiarch Bonereapers have access to six distinct subfactions. As is usual with these, they add an additional trait and command ability, but in exchange require you to take a specific command trait and relic before you’re allowed to take anything else. 

  • Battle Trait, something all units in your army gain
  • Command Ability which allows you to spend Relentless Discipline Points on a unit within 12” of a hero or 6” of a Hekatos to do something funky
  • Command Trait which has to be taken as your choice of Command Trait if playing that Legion
  • Artefact of Power which has to be the first relic you take

All named characters in the book (except for Arkhan and Nagash) are part of the Mortis Praetorian faction. You can include them in other legions but they do not gain the benefit of that subfaction.

Mortis Praetorians

  • Legion Ability: The Dread Legion – Units within 12″ get -1 Bravery. Not so great on its own but combine it with other leadership reducing abilities or simply stack up a bunch of minimum sized units on the enemy and it’ll do ok. C
  • Command Ability: Counter-Strike – Affected units get to reroll all hits after a charge. With most of your units hitting on 3+s with some rare exceptions so this is damn near guaranteeing all your hits will get in. A
  • Command Trait: Katakros’ Chosen – Once per battle gain D3 Relentless Discipline points. A bit of a downer, since its once per game and you could get garbage. D
  • Artefact: Artificer’s Blade – Change a bearer’s melee weapon to Rend -3. Very nice, put this on a Liege-Kavalos and watch it cut through every the toughest saves. B

Overall the Praetorians come with an average set of abilities, but they really come into their own when using Katakros as their general (more on that later)

Petrifex Elite

  • Legion Ability: Unstoppable Juggernauts – +1 to saves for all units. Simple and incredibly powerful making your units incredibly hard to kill and since they often come back to life, a real nightmare. A+
  • Command Ability: Bludgeon – Pick a unit, improve its rend by 1. Again, simple and effective. Not only do you live longer you kill things better. With swords on your Mortek Guard you’re at +2 rend on all your attacks! A+
  • Command Trait: Mighty Archaeossian – Add 2 to the general’s wound characteristic. It’s not bad but not brilliant. B
  • Artefact: Godbone Armor – Ignore the first wound allocated each phase. This is really good, especially combined with the improved save and bonus to wounds. A

You can see why almost all of the tournament contenders play Petrifex. They don’t have any downsides and become very hard to shift as well as much better at killing. Clearly the top choice. By a lot…

Stalliarch Lords

  • Legion Ability: Equumortoi – Units can run and charge in the same turn, although this applies to all units it definitely is meant to appeal most to cavalry. Combine it with the Unstoppable Advance ability all ossiarch get and there’s nowhere you can’t reach B
  • Command Ability: Rally Back – Applies only to models with a mount, allows them to fall back and charge in the same turn. This is mostly meant to combo with the deathriders who can deal mortal wounds on the charge, and who’s nandrite spears explode on 5s instead of 6s on the charge A
  • Command Trait: Twisted Challenge – At the beginning of a combat phase, choose an enemy HERO within 3″, your general gets +1 to hit against that Hero, but -1 to hit anything else. This is ok for killing heroes C
  • Artefact: Nadir-Bound Mount – Adds D3 dice to the Kavalos’s Unstoppable Charge ability, which for reference lets you roll a die for each number you rolled on a die when you made the charge. For each 6, deal a mortal wound. This is OK, but kind of underwhelming given how finicky it can be. C+

Stalliarch Lords are so close to being really good in a mostly cavalry army. They’re going to hit your opponent’s lines super fast but you’re sacrificing the defensive and offensive abilities other legions get for speed in most cases. Still, they’re definitely playable and an all cavalry build will be great fun and a unique challenge for your opponent.

Ivory Host

  • Legion Ability: Shimmering Rage – At the start of the combat phase all units within 6″ of a unit with wounds allocated to it become enraged, which gives +1 to hit and -1 to save. This encourages running lots of multiwound models and keeping them next to your Mortek if you want them to trigger but sacrificing your excellent defence to be able to hit better is rarely worth it. D
  • Command Ability: Temper Fury – Lets you ignore the -1 save while keeping the +1 to hit. This makes Shimmering Rage much more appealing but could force you to spend a lot of discipline points B
  • Command Trait: Scrimshawed Savage – Every Hero phase roll a die, on a 5+ the general gains +1 attack for the rest of the battle. Not bad, on average you’ll gain 2 attacks over the course of a game, but the question is will those come turn 1, or turn 6? C
  • Artefact: Beastbone Blade – Simple +1 to attack for one of the bearer’s melee weapons. B

Rules that change up the way the faction works are always hit and miss and this one is probably a miss

Null Myriad

  • Legion Ability: Eldritch Nulls – Ignore a spell on a 5+, this is an optional roll so you don’t have to ignore your own buffs. B
  • Command Ability: Holdfast – Oh man this is the good stuff, before you roll for Eldritch Nulls you can use this ability to make it a 2+ instead of a 5+, virtually guaranteeing you resist the spell. Cities of Sigmar Hallowheart lists or Nagash heavy lists will be brought to their knees. A+
  • Command Trait: Unsettling and Sinister – Subtract -1 from melee hits against this general and give -1 bravery to enemy units within 3″. Good both as a defensive and offensive tool. B
  • Artefact: Baleful Blade – An extremely good relic, when an opponent is struck by this weapon, they cannot make a save and cannot make a feel no pain check. Put this on a Kavalos and watch them cleave through enemy Heroes, saves be damned. A

Null Myriad can either utterly dominate a magic army or make you wish you were playing Petrifex against a smash face list. Worth noting that Eldritch Nulls also works on endless spells. An intriguing Legion who could be strong depending on the meta you play in 

Crematorians

  • Legion Ability: Immolation – Whenever a model dies in melee, roll a die, on a 5+ deal 1 mortal wound to an enemy unit within 3″, 4+ if the slain model is a Hero. When combined with the various ways of bringing models back this could be quite good. B
  • Command Ability: Levellers of Cities – Lets you ignore cover saves for units in melee. It’s ok and you’ll get use out of it but nothing to make you pick this legion C
  • Command Trait: Wrathful Avenger – If the general dies, Immolation triggers on a 3+ instead of a 4+, and deals D3 Mortal wounds. Anything that requires your general to die is probably not something you want to be counting on D
  • Artefact: Searing Blade – +1 to damage. Simple but effective B

More of a “gimmick faction” that won’t win you many games but still is fun to play. It turns your army into walking bombs that regenerate, overwhelming your foes.

Relics

The only way to get access to these is to either not play one of the named Legions or to take a Battalion to give you access to a second relic (don’t do the first, maybe do the second). As such they have to be worth spending the points to get (unless you’re taking a battalion for other reasons). They’re split into sections for Kavaloi (Liege Kavalos), Boneshapers, Soulmasons and Soul Reapers so you’re limited in what you can take by what you have in your list (you should probably have at least one, if not two of the above units). 

Relics of the Kavaloi 

  • Mind Blade: On a hit of a 6+ your opponent loses a command point and that model can’t use command abilities. Not brilliant due to the low proc rate B
  • Lordly Phylactery: Get D3 relentless discipline points at the start of the battle. Since they don’t carry over until your next turn you’re limited in what you could do with them and you could just roll a 1 C
  • Scroll of Command: A 6” bubble of -2 Bravery. Could be good when combined with other leadership debuffers B
  • Grave-sand Boneplates: Roll for each enemy unit within 3” at the end of the combat phase and on a 4+ do a mortal wound. Mortal wounds are good but 1 on a 4+ isn’t amazing B
  • Marrow Pact: A once per game ability to do D3 mortal wounds to a unit on a 3+ and heal the same number back. Cute but not really worth the points investment to take C
  • Helm of the Ordained: +1 to hit for bonereapers within 12”. Excellent A

Tools of the Boneshaper

  • Artisan’s key: On a 4+ you can heal two units instead of one, or the same unit twice. Excellent if you’re going with the never dying Mortek blobs A
  • Lode of Saturation: Choose a unit in the hero phase within 1”. Grants Deathless Warriors saves on a 5+ rather than 6+. Not bad B
  • Crafter Gems: Heal up to 3 wounds in the hero phase but once it’s done 3 it’s used up. Not exactly amazing C

Treasures of the Soulmason

  • Gothizzar Cartouche: +1 to wound for units within 9” if you’re not fighting Death models. A very popular choice and probably reason enough to take the Soulmason A+
  • Soul Reservior: +2 to casting values but goes away if you ever roll a natural 10+. Meh C
  • Thorne of Dzendt: +2 wounds and +2 to your mount attacks. It’s ok but always take the Cartouche C

Weapons of the Soulreaper

  • Luminscythe: -1 to hit him, +1 to cast. If you have one and a spare relic slot it’s not bad but not worth building for B
  • Vial of Binding: A once per game auto kill a model within 12” if you can roll higher than their wounds on a D6. Incredibly unreliable D
  • Guardian Reavesoul: Grants a 5+ Deathless minions instead of a 6+ and can be destroyed to stop the model dying when he takes his last wound. Again, ok but not worth building for C

Command Traits

Honestly, you aren’t going to use these in matched play since you will be taking one of the named Legions, which forces you to use their Command Trait.

Spells

Every Wizard gains one of these spells as is usual. Nagash and Arkhan however, know all 6.

  • Arcane Command: Casting Value 5, gain D3 Relentless Command Points. This can be the difference between winning a fight and losing one, definitely worth taking A
    • RagnarokAngel’s Take: I’m not sure I’m as enthusiastic on this one. D3 is pretty variable and depending on how your army is structured you may be stacked enough with Relentless Command Points. I’d probably give it a B, possibly a C if you have Katakaros as your general.
  • Empower Nadirite Weapons: Casting Value 5, many bonereapers units have Nadirite weapons with a rule that they deal 2 hits on an unmodifed 6. This allows you to pick a unit within 24″, and turn those exploding 6s into exploding 5s (or 4s for Deathrider’s spears, as those are already 5s on the charge). This is something you should be casting every turn you want to be in combat A+
  • Protection of Nagash: Casting Value 6, gives the caster a 5+ feel no pain and if they ever take a wound, you must teleport them anywhere on the field more than 9″ from enemy units. Be wary though, the teleport kicks in after all the attacks have been resolved so unless you’re putting it on Nagash himself it’s unlikely you’ll survive to use it C
  • Reinforce Battle-Shields: Casting Value 6, gives you a 5+ save against Mortal Wounds *only*. Pretty handy if you’re going up against a mortal wound outputting army but fairly irrelevant if not B
  • Drain Vitality: Casting Value 6, Pick an enemy unit within 18″ and force them to reroll all unmodified 6s to hit and save. This is a great debuff and can make armies with abilities that fire on a 6 very sad. A
  • Mortal Contract: Casting Value 7, select an enemy unit within 18″ and whenever it attacks and deals wounds to your units, roll a die, on a 3+ deal D3 mortal wounds. This is a good spell and a really strange one, it never goes away once cast and works for each phase of the game, so no matter what kind of attack wounds your army, you can get your retribution. Spread this one around judicially and your opponent won’t be able to attack with anything without some payback. A

Endless Spells

Ossiarch Endless spells work differently to other factions. Only the casting player is allowed to move them (hurrah) but in return the casting wizard gets -1 to cast while he is soul linked to an endless spell and he can’t cast another endless spell. All of the spells are both cheap and good and with very few low points options or the ability to get an extra command point these should always be what you’re filling up your list with.

  • Bonetithe Shrieker: Casting Value 5, has an aura of -1 to hit and +1 to be hit for enemy units within 12” of it. Rather excellent A
  • Soulstealer Carrion: Casting Value 6, at the end of every phase if any Order, Chaos or Destruction models were slain within 6” of it roll a dice. On 1-2 the wizard soul-linked to the spell heals a wound, on 3-4 it does a Mortal wound to every Order, Chaos or Destruction unit within 6” and on 5-6 it does both. This is great, especially on a big multi wound wizard, just try and remember it every phase! Also gives the wizard line of sight from the bird A
  • Nightmare Predator: Casting Value 7, a rather standard endless spell that does D3 Mortal Wounds to enemies within 3” except that you also get to set a prey for it which suffers D6 instead! A

 

Battalions

  • Ossiarch CohortNot usable in standard matched play
  • Mortek Shield-Corps1 Mortisan and 3 Mortek Guard, Once per turn you can use the Mortek’s command ability for free. This is a good command ability you will likely use constantly so this is a good investment, using units you probably were using anyway. B+
  • Mortisan Trident1 of each non-named Mortisan and a Harvester – Each Mortisan can cast an extra spell while within 18″ of the Harvester. They don’t learn any new spells mind you but this does help squeeze a bit extra out of them, which is great given how good the spell options you have are. B
  • Katakrosian Deathglaive2 Necropolis Stalker units and 1 Morghast Harbinger Unit – Basically gives all the units within the battalion scout, giving them a free 6″ of movement at the start of the game. Good rules but an unlikely combo of models you’ll want to include C
  • Aegis Immortal2 Immortis Guard units, 1 Morghast Archai unit – Immortis Guard exist to block wounds from hitting heroes, with their Soulbound Protectors being a 2+ Look Out Sir!. This Battalion not only gives it to the Morghast but also makes it so on a 5+ the wound or mortal wound is negated instead of allocated to the Immortis or Morghast. A very expensive investment in models you’re probably not going to take C
  • Kavalos Lance1 Liege- Kavalos (or his character) and 2 Kavalos Deathriders – Lets all units fall back and charge again, letting the death riders hopefully proc more mortal wounds using deathrider wedge, which also can be used once per turn for free. If you’re taking cavalry and not going for Stalliarch Lords this is definitely one to think about B+
  • Mortek Ballistari1 Mortisan Boneshaper, 1 Mortek Guard and 2 Mortek Crawlers – Essentially gives Crawlers a 4+ Look Out Sir! from the Mortek Guard, a 2+ if the Boneshaper is nearby. Catapults are good. Mortek are good. This seems good, but you’re having to leave some excellent models near your catapults to get the most use out of it C

Unlike some factions, there’s no standout Batallion and since you don’t get CPs for having one it’s perfectly valid to go without. However, if you want a second Relic then this is the only way to get one so pick the one which matches what you want in your army.

Units

Heroes

Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis

Katakros

Credit: Silks


Katakros is an odd model, and the first of its kind in Age of Sigmar. He’s basically a diorama with several models included who are usable until they are killed (40k later used this gimmick for the Triumph of St. Katherine). He himself sits back and lets his minions die (in increasing power levels) until he gets fed up enough to get involved. That means that his abilities decrease as he takes wounds but his combat gets nastier. 

His companions are

  • Gnosis Scrollbearer: Dies after 2 wounds, allows you to pick an enemy unit anywhere on the battlefield in the hero phase and make it hit at -1 until your next hero phase. Has an ok dagger.
  • Prime Necrophorus: Dies after 4 wounds, Allows you to use your command ability with a range of 36” instead of 18”. Has a big sword that hits ok
  • Aviarch Spymaster: Dies after 8 wounds, Allows you to roll a dice whenever your opponent receives a Command Point, on a 4+ it is lost. Has a slightly better dagger
  • Liege-Immortis: Dies after 12 wounds, doesn’t grant any abilities. Has twin duelling swords which put out 6 attacks 

His own combat starts off relatively weak with just one sword attack (although it’s rend 3, damage 3) which increases to 2 attacks after 4 wounds and 4 attacks after 12. He can’t use his shield to attack until he’s taken 13 wounds but when he does it’s a fairly tasty rend 2, damage 2 with 4 attack which inflicts an additional 2 mortal wounds if the attack roll is a 6.

His own ability is to heal 3 wounds or return 3 wound’s worth of models back on 3 units within 24” in the hero phase which is excellent for keeping your Mortek Guard alive, and thoroughly depressing to your opponent after they spent so long trying to kill them. He can also use it on himself, to gain some of his dead allies back.

His command abilities are 

  • Endless Duty: +1 attacks to a unit within 12” 
  • Supreme Lord of the Bonereaper Legions: +1 to hit rolls to *all* units within 18” and +1 to Save rolls for all Mortis Praetorian units within 18”. While the Necrophorus is alive that’s a massive 36”

These are both excellent, especially so in Mortis Praetorians giving them the same save as though they were Petrifex Elite. Then again, in Petrifex Elite you get that automatically but also gain the +1 to hit and +1 attacks to stack on top of the +1 rend from Bludgeon.

His only downsides are how quickly he loses the Necrophorus, slow movement and his relatively high points cost for a unit which until he’s wounded exists mainly as a buffing piece. Still a very strong choice and often included in competitive lists.

Liege Kavalos

The Liege Kavalos is your non-character mounted hero. He’s fast and hits like a truck on the charge.

His unstoppable charge ability allows you to roll as many dice as you rolled for the charge move and on a 6 cause a mortal wound to a unit within 1”. His sword is damage 2 with 3 base attacks but don’t forget his absolute beast of a horse who has 6 attacks hitting and wounding on 3s!

His command ability is

  • Endless Duty: +1 Attacks to a unit within 12” for that phase (can be used in combat or shooting phase, making him one of the few ways to buff catapult shots)

Since all of our other “combat” heroes are named characters the Liege is a popular choice as the general and relic holder otherwise these would likely be wasted.

Nagash, Supreme Lord of Undeath

Credit: Brin

For a God, Nagash seems about right, but costs an ungodly amount of points.

His combat is pretty good, he has a D6 damage eye laser and hits pretty hard with his staff whilst having 16 wounds to chew through with a base 3+ save, ignoring mortal wounds on a 4+ and reflecting them on a 6+! Combined with “Protection of Nagash” and his healing abilities, he is a beast to kill. 

But the main reason he’s here is for his spellcasting and he doesn’t disappoint. Firstly he knows all of the Bonereaper spells and can cast Mystic Shield and Arcane bolt for as many of his spells as he likes, giving him a proper D&D magic missile look. He can cast and unbind 3 spells but his books of Nagash grant him 5 extra cast and unbinds (which decline as he takes wounds). His staff of Power also grants him +3 to his casting and unbinding rolls (again declining). His two unique spells are 

  • Soul Stealer: Casting Value 6, pick an enemy unit within 24” and try and beat their bravery on 2D6. If you succeed they take D3 mortal wounds and if you double it they take D6. For every wound that isn’t negated Nagash heals one wound.
  • Hand of Dust: Casting Value 8, pick 1 enemy model within 3” of the caster, hide a dice in one hand and get your opponent to pick a hand. If they pick your empty hand the model is dead, gone, kaput.

Like most of the named heroes Nagash can heal 3 wounds or return 3 wound’s worth of models back in the hero phase but he gets to do it on 5 units and there is no range limit!

His command ability is

  • Supreme Lord of Undeath: Reroll 1s to hit and 1s to save for *all* your units on the board which is fantastic

The combination of all of this makes Nagash the best spellcaster in the game with unrivaled versatility and power. Add in endless spells (notably the Umbral Spell portal), his high wounds, large base and decent combat abilities plus his very powerful healing and you have a piece that is definitely worth his extremely high points cost. You will have to build your army around him but that seems to be a choice worth making.

Arkhan the Black

Arkhan the Black

Credit: Silks

Arkhan is like a mini Nagash, with similar spell casting rules but less power in combat (and a much cheaper points cost to reflect it)

He has 11 wounds and only a 4+ save, with none of the extra abilities that Nagash has to keep him alive. He has a couple of decent melee attacks which can heal him if he does damage but you really want to be keeping him out of combat where you can as he will die fairly easily.

Like Nagash he knows all of the Bonereaper spells and can cast Mystic Shield and Arcane Bolt for as many of his spells as he wants. He can cast and unbind 3 times and has a +2 to both (which degrades). His unique spell is:

  • Curse of Years: Casting Value 6, pick an enemy unit within 18” and roll 10 dice. Each 6+ does a mortal wound, then gets rerolled with a 5+ doing another mortal wound, then being rerolled for 4+ e.t.c until you get to 1 which automatically fails. 

Arkhan can heal 3 wounds or return 3 wound’s worth of models back in the hero phase for 4 units within 24”.

His command ability is 

  • First of the Mortarchs: Add 6” range to all death wizard’s spells within 18” of him

Arkhan is definitely a good choice for a spellcaster if you don’t want to pay out for Nagash. The combination of both him and Nagash eats up a hefty amount of points but should allows you to utterly dominate the magic phase a throw out a lot of mortal wounds.

Mortisan Boneshaper

A wizard who can keep your models alive.

His Boneshaper ability lets him either heal 3 wounds or return 3 wound’s worth of models back in the hero phase. This only works within 6” so make sure to keep him close to your units who will need it (most likely the Mortek Guard) since he won’t get to move before using it.

He’s a wizard who can cast one spell. His own Shard Storm is ok, but since he’ll be following your Mortek Guard round he’s a good source of Empower Nadarite Weapons.

Mortisan Soulmason

This is a strange piece. He’s a wizard who can cast and unbind twice. His special move is his signature spell 

  • Soul Guide: Casting Value 6, give one unit reroll hits of 1 for all attacks until the next hero phase

His creepy bone chair lets you roll a dice at the end of the hero phase, on a 1 nothing happens, on a 2-5 you can cast Soul Guide again and on a 6 you can do it D3 times.

If you want a wizard with 2 casts then he’s a great pick and the Soul Guide is a nice bonus.

Arch Kavalos Zandtos

Arch Kavalos Zantos

Credit: Silks

A named version of the Liege Kavalos who hits slightly harder in combat and grants Praetorians rerolls of 1 to hit or wound depending on the allegiance they’re attacking. He’s pretty good, especially in Praetorians but generally a Liege Kavalos is a better choice due to being a non-named combat character who can make the most use of your command trait and an artefact.

RagnarokAngel’s Take: He actually does have one other redeeming quality worth considering. While he keeps the “Endless Duty” ability from his unnamed counterpart, he has another command ability, “Still Their Breath”. Still Their Breath lets a unit you select within 18″ reroll 1s to wound against Order and Destruction armies and reroll all wounds against Chaos armies. Given the proliferation of Chaos in the meta right now, this is pretty good, since your army has a lack of ways to improve wound rolls. It does nothing against Death armies if you end up paired with one, but you still got your other command ability.

Vokmortion, Master of the Bone Tithe

A two cast / dispel wizard who’s main gimmick is his signature spell which can straight up kill a model within 1” on a roll of a 5+. Getting your 6 wound 5+ wizard into combat with something worth doing this on (with a low chance of success) is really not worth including him for.

Mortisan Soulreaper

A combat wizard with the chance to do mortal wounds in combat and a mortal wound spell. Only 5 wounds with a 4+ save means he won’t survive very long to do any of that. Not a great choice despite being a cool model (and reasonably cheap).

Battleline

There are only two battleline choices but luckily both of them are excellent.

Mortek Guard

Mortek Guard

Credit: Silks

Mortek Guard are one of the best battleline units in the game, especially with the Petrifex Elite Legion abilities.

Able to be taken in units of 10-40, they are single wound models with a 4+ save, however their command ability means they can reroll all of their saves

  • Shield Wall: Pick a unit of Mortek Guard which includes a Hekatos, you can re-roll all saves for attacks targeting that unit in that combat phase.

When combined with Petrifex Elite they have a save of 3+ rerolling which is absurdly good, especially when combined with many of the healing abilities the army has, a large unit will last a lot longer than any battleline has any right to.

Their weapons can either be swords (+1 rend) or spears (an extra 1” range). There is no real correct choice here but when it comes to positioning them around their Hekatos to get the Deathless Warriors save and possibly around a Mortek Harvester the actual number of additional attacks the spears would give you is questionable so the rending swords may be more powerful. All of their weapons are Nadarite and have 2 attacks, hitting on 3+ and wounding on 4+ (with each 6+ becoming two hits, or 5+ if you have cast Empower Nadarite Weapons). That’s a very respectable amount of damage, especially if you’re using Bludgeon from Petrifex with swords meaning your rend is +2!

One in ten can take a banner allowing them to reroll charges (may as well take as many as you can)  and one in ten can take a Soulcleaver Greatblade which simply wounds on a 3+ rather than a 4+ for no real downsides. Make sure to give this to your Hekatos to get an extra attack out of it.

Either take these in large units to cause your opponent headaches or smaller ones to hold objectives whilst still being a pain to remove.

Kavalos Deathriders

Kavalos Deathriders

Credit: Silks

The cavalry choice. These can be taken in units of 5-15, have a great movement of 12” and the same save as the Mortek Guard whilst also being 3 wound models and having 3 attacks each.

Whilst they are pretty survivable their main ability is to dish out large amounts of damage with their 2” lances (always take the lances) since their special Nadarite Weapon rules is to get additional hits on a 5+ (or 4+ with Empower Nadarite Weapons up) causing almost double the amount of hits they would normally get.

Combine this with their command ability and they should kill a lot of things

  • Deathrider Wedge: When you charge a unit roll a dice for each model in the Deathrider unit and do a mortal wound on a 5+. You can also pile in an extra 3”.

Both large units to make use of the Deathrider Wedge and smaller units who can flank and capture objectives quickly are excellent choices.

Artillery

Mortek Crawler

Mortek Crawler

Credit: Silks

Only one choice here but boy is it a good one.

A giant, slow moving catapult with 3 attacks at 6-36” range, hitting on 2+ and wounding on 3+ doing 5 damage although this degrades as it takes damage. Even that alone would be pretty awesome but it also has two additional shots it can use once per game.

  • Cauldron of Torment: Doesn’t need to hit or wound, instead pick a unit in range and roll a D6 for each model in the unit, adding a modifier which gets weaker as the crawler takes damage. If you the D6 is greater or equal to the target’s unmodified bravery then a model is slain. Ok against hordes of low bravery models like Skaven but not going to put a dent in most things.
  • Cursed Stele: Doesn’t need to hit or wound, instead pick an enemy model (not unit) in range and roll 2D6 adding a modifier that gets stronger as the crawler takes damage. If the result greater or equal to the target’s wounds characteristic it’s slain. This is especially good for targeting units that are strung out in a line as you can target a model in the middle and leave half the unit out of coherency to kill them all in battleshock. This is incredibly strong, but something that a knowledgeable opponent can stop happening through positioning. Even then it’s great for taking out multiwound models.

One of the key pieces in almost every single Bonereapers army.

Behemoths

Gothizzar Harvester

A strange support unit, which can either choose Sickles (+1 to hit 5 or more models) or Bludgeons (6s do 2 mortal wounds) in combat. The sickles are probably better in most cases but the bludgeons arent bad either.

However, the main reason to take these is for it’s bone harvest ability. This lets you roll a D6 for any model slain within 3” and heal (or return) a model to a unit within 6”. The amount you heal depends on the wounds of the model that was slain. You can use this by either placing him just behind the front ranks of Mortek Guard to return them to life when they’re killed by an opponent or send it into melee to heal up other units around it. When combined with the other ways of healing models and the high survivability or Mortek Guard this can combine to form a nigh on unkillable unit.

Definitely something you want to consider one or two of if your goal is to have big units of unkillable Mortek Guard, especially in Petrifex Elite.

Other Units

Necropolis Stalkers

Necropolis Stalkers

Credit: Silks

One of the 4 multiwound options in “other units”. Takeable in units of 3-6, these are the most offensive of the options, being 4 wounds each with a 4+ save. Their weapons are pretty nice Spirit Blades which give 5 attacks hitting and wounding on 3+ with -1 Rend. One in every 3 can swap the Spirit Blades for Dread Falchions which are only 3 attacks hitting on 4+ but doing 2 damage with -2 rend.

Their main selling point is their Quadrarch Aspects rule, which lets them choose from a variety of modes during the combat phase.

  • Blade Strike: Reroll hits
  • Blade Parry: Reroll saves
  • Destroyer Aspect: Reroll wounds
  • Precision Aspect: +1 rend

Having the ability to choose this on the fly really lets them threaten all sorts of units and makes them a very good option for damage dealing.

Their command ability is 

  • Hunt and Kill: Can reroll run and charge and can move across terrain as if they can fly but has to be done in the hero phase so forward thinking is essential.

Immortis Guard

Body guard versions of Stalkers who can take damage on behalf of other models and have a 3+ save. They’re ok in combat, dealing 2 damage at rend -2 but they don’t really pull their weight and are incredibly expensive as bodyguards.

Morghast Harbringers

Hitting slightly harder than the Stalkers base attacks but with no rerolls. They do get to charge at things 18” away and can roll 3D6 to charge, as well as flying but don’t have any relentless discipline command abilities on their card. They make fairly good hard hitters if you need a simple smashing unit.

Morghast Archai

A lot like the Harbringers but with a Mortal Wound save instead of the extra charge distance. Not really worth considering.

Scenery

Bonetithe Nexus

A pretty chunky scenery piece, that does come with the associated problems of trying to place it on terrain dense tables. It comes with 4 different punishments you can use in your hero phase

  • Punishment of Agony: Pick an enemy unit within 18” and on a 4+ it’s subtracts 1 from its hit rolls until your next hero phase
  • Punishment of Death: Pick an enemy unit with 36” and on a 2+ it takes a mortal wound
  • Punishment of Ignorance: Pick an enemy wizard within 36” and on a 2+ it’s -1 to cast and unbind until your next hero phase
  • Punishment of Lethargy: Pick an enemy unit within 18” on a 4+ it can’t run and can only roll 1 D6 for charge rolls.

It’s free so you’re going to take it anyway, but you can almost always find a good use for it each turn, with Lethargy and Agony being the most powerful effects but needing a shorter range so place it where you expect the enemy to be near if you can.

Army Lists

Liam Jordan’s Petrifex Elite

6th place, Sheffield Slaughter

Coming 6th at the recent Sheffield Slaughter, Liam’s list is taking what’s good and taking as much of it as he can fit in. After discussing it with him, he’s trying to work out a way to get some Deathriders in for the next iteration.

Petrifex Elite

Mortek Shield Corps

Mortek Ballistari

Liege Kavalos

  • General
  • Mighty Archaeossian
  • Godbone Armour

Mortisan Soulmason

  • Soul Reservoir
  • Empower Nadarite Weapons

Mortisan Boneshaper

  • Artisan’s Key
  • Drain Vitality

20 x Mortek Guard

10 x Mortek Guard

10 x Mortek Guard

10 x Mortek Guard

Mortek Crawler

Mortek Crawler

Gothizzar Harvester

Bonetithe Shrieker

Soulstealer Carrion

 

Silks’ Null Myriad List

This is primarily an attempt to make something other than Petrifex Elite work on the tabletop. It’s good, but honestly you should probably still take this list as Petrifex.

Null Myriad

Liege Kavalos

  • General
  • Unsettling and Sinister
  • Baleful Blade

Arkhan the Black

Mortisan Boneshaper

  • Empower Nadarite Weapons

20 x Mortek Guard

20 x Mortek Guard

10 x Kavalos Deathriders

Mortek Crawler

3 x Necropolis Stalkers

Soulstealer Carrion

 

Wrapping Up

And that’s it. With many, many words above there’s inevitably some mistakes or stupid decisions in here somewhere, so if you spot any, or have any other feedback, drop us a note in the comments below, email us at contact@goonhammer.com, or drop us a line over on our Facebook Page.

 

 

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