Age of Sigmar/Tactics/Death/Ossiarch Bonereapers
Grand Alliance Death
Get ready to send a chill down your opponent's spine, for this is no time to be humerus. Nagash is rising, and he has a bone to pick with the Mortal Realms!
- 1 Why play Ossiarch Bonereapers?
- 2 Rulebooks
- 3 Allegiance Abilities
- 4 Famous Legions
- 5 Warscrolls
- 6 Battalions
- 7 Army Building
- 8 Tactics
- 9 Allied Armies
Why play Ossiarch Bonereapers?
- They're SPOOKY SCARY SKELETONS!
- You liked playing super-elite units like Blood Knights? Well you now play a different elite FACTION!
- You miss the Tomb Kings and this is as close as it gets for now with a vulture being called a Carrion, undead constructs and a war machine that hurls flaming skulls.
- They collect protection payments of bone like a skeletal version of the Mafia.
- Part of the reason for their existence is to troll Sigmarines.
- You want a sneak peek at what civilization would be like if Nagash wins.
- Immunity to Battleshock!. Not just bravery 10, the Bonereapers do not take battleshock tests. They have no guts, but they're braver than everyone else.
- Excellent at debuffing their enemies in various ways, especially their bravery (spells, Morghasts...)
- Conversely, they have numerous ways to buff themselves.
- Very durable, and various ways to boost that to the point of being arguably the most durable army in the game.
- Point-for-point, they have some of the strongest warscrolls of the game as few units can beat their ossiarch counterpart (Mortek Guard and Kavalos Deathriders are strong contenders for best battleline units in the game).
- They use the Relentless Discipline Points mechanic (also called RDP) instead of Command Points. Things that screw with CP won't work on them. Despite this, they still benefit from Command Abilities.
- They're a Death army that isn't reliant on Heroes. Unit champions have the HEKATOS keyword, which gives a smaller radius of 6+ Deathless saves and allows them to use RDP abilities. Certain elite units are also HEKATOS, so they can function completely independently.
- If you're sick of those magic-heavy armies like Tzeentch's forces, the Lizardmen and the Lumineth, the Null Myriad Bonereaper Legion is for you with army-wide +5 immunity to spells that can be buffed.
- Almost everything is 3+ to hit, with various ways to boost it.
- With the Crematorians Bonereaper Legion, your guys can take enemies down with them when/if they're slain - the more they attack you, the more they die! Rinse and repeat, since you can bring back slain models!
- Nagash and bro-tier mini-Nagash are part of the army roster; they also benefit from keywords and Battle Traits.
- Numerous characters and a unit that can heal anything in your army - including themselves - or bring back dead models.
- Our Endless Spells are awesome. Not only that, they're soul linked, so no friendly fire and they're always under the casting player's control.
- If you like bone puns...
- Most of your army is slow (though there are a few abilities to mitigate this).
- Shooting is almost non-existent. Apart from the amazing Mortek Crawler, you only have the Gothizzar Harvester's shooting and Nagash's laser eyes.
- No extra protection against shooting beyond certain spells. Shooting armies tend to really hurt the Ossiarchs (especially the Kharadron Overlords).
- The army's quite straightforward and lacking in useful tricks. There's no summoning, deepstrike or special combat mechanics like striking twice. Any decent opponent knows what you will do. There is a teleportation mechanic, but it's very gimmicky, limited and requires a lot of cunning to get something out of it.
- Limited means to deal Mortal Wounds. Ossiarchs tend to bounce on really armored units if stalkers aren't around. This can be mitigated with MW dealers like the Crematorians Legion and anyone with "Kavalos" in their name, but still relies a lot on the dice.
- Magic is average and mostly around buffing allies and debuffing enemies. Sure, Nagash and Arkhan are there, but the magic lore is still unimpressive, especially compared to real magical factions (looking at you, Tzeentch and Seraphon).
- Low model count, slightly mitigated by having the means to bring back (re)dead models.
- No allies apart from the Mega-Gargant Drogg; their foreign policy makes the Daughters of Khaine look like the Stormcast Eternals (can still have mercenaries though - unless you bring Nagash or Arkhan).
- If you know the Greek language, it'll be hard to take any unit or hero with "Kavalos" in their name seriously.
- Hope you like bone puns.
Faction rules and abilities: Battletome Ossiarch Bonereapers
Latest Matched play points: Battletome Ossiarch Bonereapers
Core rules: here
Matched play rules, battleplans and expansions: Generals Handbook 2020, plus the battleplans from the Core Book and Endless Spell rules from Malign Sorcery.
Supplement all the above with any Errata and Designers' Commentary from the FAQs.
- Ranks Unbroken by Dissent: Do not take battleshock tests for friendly OSSIARCH BONEREAPER units. Yes, you read that right, immunity to Battleshock. Your enemy's only options are killing, flee or be killed. In addition, you do not generate Command Points. Instead, you generate Relentless Discipline Points at the start of each battle round but lose them when you generate your next batch (they should be all spent before that happens).
- Generate a Relentless Discipline Point if:
- EACH Ossiarch Bonereapers Hero - 1
- EACH Warscroll Battalion - 1
- EACH Friendly LIEGE - 1
- If KATAKROS is the general and on the battlefield - 3
- Roll a die for each UNIT with the OSSIARCH BONEREAPERS keyword, including the previous HEROES. On a 6, you get 1.
- Unfortunately, you can't use the Generic or Scenario command abilities (rerolling Run, charge, shooting rolls) but you have a ton of CAs that will Guzzle your DP.
- Generate a Relentless Discipline Point if:
- Deathless Warriors: It's Deathless Minions from Legions of Nagash, albeit with a rename. It allows you to ignore wounds and mortal wounds on a 6+. However, you'll be able to get more mileage out of it than other Death armies, as any unit wholly within 12" of a BONEREAPERS Hero or 6" of a Hekatos (i.e: the leader for your battlelines) count for the ability, removing the need to have your Heroes babysitting your units. Units that are HEKATOS (elite bone warriors units) always benefit from the ability, allowing them to strike out entirely unsupported.
- Unstoppable Advance (CA): In Movement Phase. Pick 1 unit within X" of a hero or hekatos. +3" movement. It can still run OR charge. You cannot pick the same unit more than once per phase.
- Ancient Knowledge: While on the battlefield, get an extra RDP at the start of the battle round.
- Immortal Ruler: Deathless Warrior trait works on a 5+ for this general. Always good.
- Dark Acolyte: Becomes a 1 cast/unbind WIZARD with one Mortisan Lore spell.
- Peerless Warrior: Melee wound rolls of 6 deal an extra mortal wound.
- Hatred of the Living: +1 to hit in melee (including their mount) against non-DEATH units.
- Life-stealer: If they kill any models in combat, heal 1d3 wounds at the end of that phase.
- Ancient Knowledge: While on the battlefield, get an extra RDP at the start of the battle round.
- Immortal Ruler: Deathless Warrior trait works on a 5+ for this general. Always good.
- Dire Ultimatum: -2 to Bravery for enemies within 12". Although it requires coordinating a couple of units, you can cause a MASSIVE debuff to enemy Bravery by combining this and the Scroll of Command (see below).
- Grave-sand Bones: Knows an extra spell from the Lore of the Mortisans.
- Oathbreaker Curse: Every time your opponent gets a CP, on a d6 roll of 6 it is lost. Obviously Katakros does it better, but this does work more than once per turn if your enemy has CP-generating abilities.
- Soul Energy: You can re-roll casting, unbinding and dispelling rolls, but whenever you do you take a mortal wound.
- Relics of the Kavaloi (Liege-Kavalos)
- Mind Blade: Pick one of bearer’s melee weapons. If unmodified hit roll is a 6, and target is a hero, opponent loses a Command Point and the hero can’t use command abilities for the rest of the battle. Apart from only working on sixes this is incredible.
- Lordly Phylactery: Once per battle start of any phase, gain D3 RD points.
- Scroll of Command: Subtract 2 Bravery from enemy units within 6” of bearer. Only really recommended if you're going for Mortis Praetorians (see their Legion description for more information). Although, a Liege-Kavalos with this, with a Mortisan general with the Dire Ultimatum command trait nearby drops enemy Bravery by a whopping -4!
- Grave-sand Boneplates: At the end of the combat phase, roll dice for each enemy unit within 3”, on a 4+ that unit suffers a mortal wound. Mediocre.
- Marrow Pact: Once per battle, in hero phase pick one enemy unit within 6” of bearer. On a 3+, unit suffers D3 mortal wounds, heal the same number of wounds.
- Helm of the Ordained: Add one to hit rolls for attacks made by BONEREAPERS units and mounts while wholly within 12” of the bearer. One of the best choices for a Liege-Kavalos if including Bonereaper Legion weapons, otherwise it's the best unless you have a very specific playstyle in mind.
- Tools of the Boneshaper (Boneshapers)
- Artisan's key: Before using the bearer’s bone shaper ability, roll a dice and on a 4+ either you can pick two units instead of one, or the same unit twice within 6”. The best of the three by a narrow margin.
- Lode of Saturation: At the start of the Hero phase, choose a unit within 1”, deathless warrior battle trait on 5+ instead of 6.
- Crafter Gems: Hero phase, heal up to 3 wounds. Once the total wounds healed in the battle is 3 you cannot use it any longer.
- Treasures of the Soulmason (Soulmasons)
- Gothizzar Cartouche: +1 to melee wound rolls for units wholly within 9” of bearer if target does not have Death keyword. The best option if you're not facing DEATH armies.
- Soul Reservior: +2 to cast, but if casting roll is unmodified 10+ artifact cannot be used again.
- Thorne of Dzendt: +2 to wounds and +2 attacks for mount. A good all around choice, especially for keeping your chair bound wizard safe.
- Weapons of the Soulreaper (Soulreapers)
- Luminscythe: minus 1 for hit rolls targeting bearer. +1 casting rolls for bearer for Lore of Mortisans or warscroll spell.
- Vial of Binding: Once per battle in hero phase, pick enemy model within 12" of bearer and roll a D6. If roll is equal or greater than the wound characteristic they are slain. The best choice if you take a Soul Reaper, and the obvious choice for offensive.
- Guardian Reavesoul: Negate wound on a 5+ instead of 6+ for deathless minions. Can shatter to negate last wound if about to die. If you're not taking Vial of Binding, this is the go-to choice.
- Arcane Command: CV5. Gain D3 Relentless Discipline Points. Nice if you've got an extra spell, or had some bad luck with your rolls.
- Empower Nadirite Weapons: CV5. Pick 1 BONEREAPERS unit wholly within 24" and visible. Until the start of your next hero phase, the units Nadirite Weapons ability explodes on a 5+ instead of 6, or 4+ if its a DEATHRIDERS attacking with spears after charging.
- Protection of Nagash: CV6. 5+ FNP for the caster. If any wounds get through your FNP, and the caster isn't slain, remove them from the battlefield after all wounds have been allocated, and place them anywhere on the board 9" away from enemy models then dispel this spell. Great for getting important casters out of sticky situations, or absolutely hilarious on Nagash if you wanna fuck with your opponent.
- Reinforce Battle-shields: CV6. Pick 1 BONEREAPERS unit armed with Shields or Nadirite Battle-shields wholly within 24" and visible. Until the start of your next hero phase, they gain a 5+ FNP but only for mortal wounds. Pair this with a gothizzar harvester, the reroll saves command ability for some truly unkillable troops.
- Drain Vitality: CV6. Pick 1 enemy unit within 18" and visible. Until your next hero phase, reroll unmodified hit and save rolls of 6 made by that unit. Good for blunting a spooky unit's charge, but less useful than the other options available.
- Mortal Contract: CV7. Pick 1 enemy unit within 18" and visible. For the rest of the BATTLE, roll a die at the end of any phase that the unit dealt damage to a friendly BONEREAPERS unit (but only if it was with an attack). On 3+, the cursed unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. Lawdy, this is probably the most obnoxious spell we can sling, if you can remember who you marked the entire game. Great into low unit-count armies.
An important distinction to note between these Endless Spells and others that exist is that the ones presented below have the Soul-Linked ability, meaning they always move before Endless Spells without the Soul-Linked ability and are controlled by the casting Player only, meaning your opponent cannot control these Endless Spells to mess with your plans. However on the flip side, the Wizard who cast the spell has a -1 to his casting rolls and cannot cast anymore soul-linked spells while their soul-linked endless spell is up. If the caster dies then the soul-linked spell is also dispelled, so keep him alive if you want the spells to last.
- Bone-tithe Shrieker: 30 points, Gives -1 bravery, and +1 to be hit to enemy units within 12" of it. Simple, but effective. Place it just in front of your battle line to make the enemy think twice, or use it to make holding an objective less than desirable.
- Soulstealer Carrion: 20 points, Gives LOS to the Soul-Linked wizard. You won't be taking it for this. Instead, you'll be taking it for it's actual ability: Soul Thief. Roll a D6 at the end of each Phase if any Chaos, Order, or Destruction models were slain within 6" of it. On a 1 or 2, the Wizard this Endless Spell is Soul-Linked with heals a wound. On a 3 or 4, it does 1 Mortal Wound on each Chaos, Destruction or Order unit within 6" of it, and on a 5-6, it does both effects. AMAZINGLY fun, if you're not playing into Death, so do with that as you will.
- The Nightmare Predator: 40 points, Your standard causes Mortal Wounds Endless Spell (dealing D3 Mortal Wounds to all non-bonecasts within 3" of it), but with a twist - when cast, pick an enemy Hero to be marked as it's prey. If this spell gets within range of them, it spits out d6 mortal wounds instead. For it's dirt cheap point cost, this is almost auto-include.
For awhile the best Legion was Petrifex Elite, by far. But due to Petrifex spam and the resulting complaints GW jumped them with something even they couldn't take - the nerf-bat. Oh, the old gray Petrifex, it ain't what it used to be. Now, Mortis Praetorians are in the lead and the others are good but situational, eg; Crematorians are worth considering if you spam Mortek Guard and Null Myriad against a magic-heavy opponent.
- Battle Traits: The Dread Legion:-1 bravery to enemy units within 12".
- Command Trait: Katakros' Chosen: Once per battle if the general is on the Battlefield, gain D3 RDP points.
- Command Ability: Counter-strike: Pick a friendly unit Wholly within 6" of a HEKATOS or Wholly 12" of a HERO. If charged, they can re-roll hits.
- Artefact of Power: Artificer's Blade: Pick one of the bearer's melee weapons. It has -3 Rend.
The poster boys, the jack-of-all-trades and the best choice if you’re bringing Katakros, otherwise it's decent but not an auto-take. Plus other death armies capitalize on "fear-bombing" a bit more effectively (looking at you, Legions of Grief and Blood).
- Battle Traits: Unstoppable Juggernauts: Re-roll save rolls of 1 in melee.
- Command Trait: Mighty Archaeossian: +2 Wounds.
- Command Ability: Bludgeon: In the combat phase, give a unit +1 rend on one weapon, can't stack.
- Artefact of Power: Godbone Armor: The first wound allocated to the bearer in each phase is negated.
Makes your entire army (including Nagash) overall more tanky, gives your commander a few extra wounds for a chuckle, lets you put some durability on a caster via the relic (especially useful if you're bringing some Endless Spells), AND comes with a command ability that makes you killy, just to throw your opponent for a loop. Pre-nerf it added +1 to everyone's armor save and was THE choice of Bonereaper Legion. Now it's decent but no longer the one best choice.
- Battle Traits: Eldritch Nulls: Ignore the effects of spells on a 5+.
- Command Trait: Unsettling and Sinister: -1 to Bravery in 3", and -1 to be hit during combat phase.
- Command Ability: Holdfast: Make the battle trait work on a 2+ instead of 5+.
- Artefact of Power:
Cheese ChadBaleful Blade: Pick 1 of the bearer's weapons. Saves can't be made against attacks from this weapon and wounds can't be negated (though they can later be healed).
The magic choice. Their innate rules mean you can focus more on offensive magic, and the Artefact is perfect for any combat character... but is obviously best on a Liege-Kavalos. One of the best choices, but if your meta is very magic heavy this is clearly the best. Make those six hallowheart battlemages cry because they can do nothing to you (and then notice that you can't probably do much to them either, so the battle is probably a void of winds of magic).
- Battle Traits: At the start of each combat phase, any IVORY HOST unit within 6" of an IVORY HOST model that is wounded is subject to rage for that phase. While subject to rage, get +1 to hit, but -1 save. Dependent on having damaged multi-wound models nearby and can potentially really mess your own forces up, but can lead to you hitting very hard. Fortunately, as it's only for the combat phase, you don't have to worry about it when you're being shot at.
- Command Trait: Every hero phase your general gains 1 attack for all his melee weapons on a 5+. Best to have a Liege-Kavalos as your general for this.
- Command Ability: Cancel the -1 save from the battle trait. This is what makes the Ivory host interesting, letting you pull some shenanigans with a screen unit or pulling some clutch damage out at a vital time.
- Artefact of Power: Beastbound Blade: One of the bearer's melee weapons gets +1 attack.
The combat choice, though dependent on good dice rolls, positioning and carefully picking your fights. Decent in and of itself, but very situational and the worst choice crunch-wise compared to the others.
- Battle Traits: Run and charge. Pretty good for increasing your threat range on a slow army.
- Command Trait: Pick an enemy hero within 3" at the start of the combat phase. Gain +1 to hit against it but -1 to anything else. Pretty situational and lackluster.
- Command Ability: Retreat and charge in the same turn. Good for repositioning or getting your charge bonuses again. Here's looking at you, Deathriders.
- Artefact of Power: Nadir-Bound Mount: Can only be taken by a Liege-Kavalos. They roll D3 additional dice for their Unstoppable Charge ability.
The speedy and somewhat trollish choice. Do you wanna go fast? Do you want a liege or Zandtos to run fast next to fast cavalry? Or if you take a Liege make them hit like a ton of bricks? Then go these guys. They let you skimp out of the costly battalion with their inherent command ability, and make your already fast cavalry even faster. They even pair well with Stalkers, Morghast Harbingers or Harvesters, to just really irritate your opponent.
- Battle Traits: Immolation: When a model dies you get a chance to cause MW to an enemy within 3" on a 5+, with monsters and characters adding 1 to their roll/going off on a 4+.
- Command Trait: Wrathful Avenger: If the general dies, add 2 to the dice roll for Immolation and it does D3 Mortal Wounds rather than 1.
- Command Ability: Levelers of Cities: One friendly CREMATORIANS unit with 6" of a Hekatros or 12" of a hero ignores cover saves.
- Artefact of Power: Searing Blade: Pick one of the bearer's melee weapons and add 1 to the Damage characteristic.
The TRUE trolling choice. Paired with some revives and harvesters, and laugh as your opponent realizes that killing your models meant their guys died and then revived the dudes they just tried to kill, rinse and repeat. Especially lulzy against Sons of Behemat, given how reliant they are on combat... which is ground zero for your skeleton suicide bombers.
The common keywords of these warscrolls are: DEATH, OSSIARCH BONEREAPERS
- Orpheon Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis: (500pts) Like Skarbrand, his attacks get stronger the more wounds he takes. Katakros himself has Rend and Damage 3 and he can bop foes with his shield to dole out Mortal Wounds, so he can dish out some hurt in combat, but not until he's taken some wounds representing his companions dying so Katakros himself joins the fray. However, he is one of the slowest characters in the game - 4" move (which doesn’t much matter when he’s on a 12 centimetre base, and you can use the Relentless Advance to boost Katakros' movement to 7") and can't fly, but Mortarch of Necropolis allows Katakros to heal up to three friendly OBR units wholly within 24" of his model for 3 wounds worth on your hero phase. Katakros is a friendly OBR unit within 24" of himself, so he can choose to heal himself for 3 wounds every one of your hero phases. Because he is so slow, he hates cannons even more than his boss so engage shooty armies at your own risk. He's pricey in points and cash, but you get what you pay for - no more no less - as he's a good beatstick and support character, just don't try to send him up against other super combat lords who have a damage of 3 or better because he can easily get his shit kicked in, especially if they have some serious wound negation. If your opponent is fielding a character with either (or worse, both) then make sure to screen him out. It's better to not get him in combat and keep your Relentless Discipline points, heals and Command Point sabotage than it is for you to possibly lose all of those.
- Nagash, Supreme Lord of the Undead: (880pts) Changed from his early forms, Nagash is now 30 points more expensive, and no longer loots the spells from all of his Death-based allies. (but he does know the whole spell lore by default.) Instead, he can now restore wounds/models to 5 of his Bonecast Eternals, and can sling Mystic Shield and Arcane Bolt as much as his undead heart (and casting limit) desire.
- As Nagash and Arkhan gain the OSSIARCH BONEREAPERS keyword, they can heal themselves, making them quite a bit more resilient in an OBR army than when accompanying their own legions. Go figure.
- Arkhan the Black, Mortarch of Sacrament: (360pts) Much like Nagash, Arkhan is more expensive now, at a "whopping" 20 points more than before. With an extra cast and deny, and the ability to sling Arcane Bolt and Mystic Shield like his Boss, (along with learning the whole spell lore,) it sounds like that price increase came with some buffs. However, overall Arkhan's in a slightly more disappointing place. Curse of Years no longer succeeds on 1s, meaning it's slightly more fair, and his command ability has now been limited to one use a turn, spoiling an awful lot of fun that could have been had.
- Arch-Kavalos Patru Zandtos: (220pts) A named Mortis Praetorians Liego-Kavalos, with additional abilities like more damage on the charge, rerolls to wound, and another CA that grants a Praetorians unit the same reroll ability. A good choice for leader - practically an auto-take if you want a Liege-Kavalos in Mortis Praetorians.
- Vokmortian, Master of the Bone-tithe: (180pts) He is a Wizard that should be very close to the front lines. He has a chance to prevent a model within 3" from attacking him on a 5+ as a defense. He also has a 12" aura of -1 to bravery and -1 to any Wizard attempting to unbind any spell he casts (which improves in that rare instance an enemy General dies near him). His Unique spell can instantly kill any model within 1" of him on a 5+, and the range on it cannot be modified, which can be used to punish any foolish combat heroes or big monsters he ends up fighting - though it is a bit unreliable to make him a dedicated assassin. Overall, he should be standing behind your troops (ideally Immortis Guard or Mortek Guard), providing the debuff and using his 2 spells per turn.
- Liege-Kavalos: (200pts) Your commander on a big-boned mount that gives two guaranteed Relentless Discipline points. Lots of decent attacks, but nothing too nutty. When he charges he has an increased pile in and the ability to fling out some extra mortal wounds. His Command Ability gives a unit wholly within 12" +1 attack. He probably functions best running with some deathriders for a spoopy cavalry wing, though having him roam around your anvils can make for some good time damage output.
- Mortisan Soulreaper: (120pts) Our CC battlemage, though with his weapon the most he'll be reaping is chaff mobs. His unique spell lets him smack one unit at range, or every unit in CC with him with a few mortal wounds. Probably our worst unit, as outside of his spell-slinging, he's basically a really expensive cairn wraith from nighthaunt. Look elsewhere, unless you really love his amazing model.
- Mortisan Boneshaper: (130pts) Probably your most included HQ, and part of the
glue that holds your army togethercalcium that strengthens your bone boys. With the ability to restore 3 wounds (or 3 wounds worth of boys (raise 3 Mortek Guard, or 1 Kavalos Deathriders everything else has 4+ wounds)) to a friendly squad and sling a few spells, he feels close to auto-include, especially if you left Nagash or Arkhan at home. His unique spell lets him fling BONESTORM! at an enemy unit, roll for each model within 18" and every 6 deals a mortal wound, a nice anti-horde spell being easy to cast on 5. Keep him out of combat and out of LoS so he can spend your whole game building bonecasts in a dark corner away from anyone else.
- Boneshapers and Immortis Guard are a good match, as they can take wounds for him and he can heal them if they take too many hits.
- Mortisan Soulmason: (140pts) The grand vizier will see you now. He's got a passable melee profile, but that's not why you take him. He's a wizard with 2 casts and unbinds and a unique spell, Soul-Guide, that gives a friendly Ossiarch Bonereapers unit the ability to reroll 1's to hit. Pretty good so far, but it gets better. At the end of your hero phase, on a 2+ cast Soul-Guide more times even if it was already attempted that turn. Basically, bring him when you're spamming catapults (or anything, really) and spread the re-rolling to hit love.
- For extra fun, his potential multiple casts force the enemy to consider whether to unbind these spells or other spells.
- Mortek Guard: (Battleline, 130/440pts, Min:10, Max:40) Your basic skellies are a decently-protected lot with a 4+ save. Their basic weapons are 2 attacks with -1 Rend sword or a spear, both can double the hits inflicted on a 6+ to hit. The greatblade, on the other hand, trades that for a slightly better wound score, which isn't remarkable but at least keeps the sword's Rend. Their slow speed is helped by their banner giving them +1 to runs and charges, and the +3" move order mentioned above. A good choice for loadout is sword for smaller units and spears for bigger units.
- Mortek Hekatos: This boy is a mini-HQ that gives to your Relentless Discipline pool and keys to a lot of other things. (in big units you have to pack a lot of models very close together to have Deathless Warriors). He's only got an attack more than the base guard, but he also confers a command ability that lets his pack re-roll all saves for the combat phase - much more valuable for their survival.
- With the Petrifex Elite, you can take the spears and use the Petrifex command ability to give them rend, just save the spears for larger units of Mortek Guard.
- Kavalos Deathriders: (Battleline, 180/460pts, Min:5, Max:15) Your basic skellies, but on a horse! When compared to their foot-slogging brothers, these guys have +1 attack and 3 wounds each, the 2 extra pony swings we all know and love (actually, even their horses are on steroids, wounding on a 3+), and a whopping 12" move compared to the former's 4". Not only that, but their spears have exploding hits on a 5+ roll on the charge, giving you a bit more reason to consider selling the rend on your swords.
- Mortek Hekatos: Much like the Mortek Guard, the Deathrider's hekatos has +1 attack with their weapon, but his command ability gives you some mortal wound output on the charge and a double-range pile in. FAQ'd to confirm a unit can only benefit from this once per phase.
- Necropolis Stalkers: (180pts, Min:3, Max:6) Speedy, Re-rolling,
tyranid warriorsskeleton boys. Each turn, these massive lads pick whether they want to re-roll hits, wounds, saves, or add +1 to their weapons' Rend and Damage. While rerolling saves is nice when you get charged by something scary, you'll almost always use +1 rend and damage, as it turns your basic stalker into a stormcast blender, and your unit leader into a literal monsterinto an equally strong blender as the normal weapons, when enhanced with -1 rend and +1 dmg, are actually stronger than the special weapon, proven by Mathhammer. Their command ability that lets them re-roll run and charge rolls while also ignoring terrain as if they could fly.
- Another option is to run them with a Soulmason equipped with the Gothizzar Cartouche in support which gives +1 to wound rolls. Now, assuming you also have Katakros on the board and you can get Soul-Guide onto your Stalkers then the best Aspect to run is the Destroyer Aspect because this combo would then mean your hitting on 2's and re-rolling 1's AND wounding on 2's (with spirit blades)
- Upon testing with Mathhammer, in this precise scenario, precision still pulls far ahead if you take 3 of the normal weapons and give them all of these buffs. There is around an average damage difference of 5 per round.
- Immortis Guard: (180pts, Min:3, Max:12)The Anvil to the stalker's hammer. These guys have a lower damage output, with 2 3+/3+/-2/2 damage (though the base rend 2 is nice), and the ability to bop someone with their shields for a bit of extra damage, with the occasional mortal wound when rolling a 6. Their main draw, however, is their base 3+ save and bodyguard ability. Whenever they're within 3" of a friendly hero, on a 2+ they must eat a wound or mortal wound that would have been applied to said hero. Their command ability lets them immediately pile in and swing again after their first go, but only with their shields. Less than impressive, but nice for positioning. Having two weapons means they get more out of the Liege's extra attack command ability, and with their own on top of that the mortal wounds do become bit more reliable.
- Morghasts Archai & Harbingers: (190pts, Min:2, Max:6) Nagash's angels of death come in 2 flavors, with the archai having a chance to shrug off mortal wounds, and harbingers getting a 3d6 charge. Beyond those differences either one is monstrous combatants, and tough to boot, with 6 wounds 4+ armor and being Hekatos for the death save. They also have a bravery debuff as a bonus. You should always take the halberd for 3 attacks at 3+/3+/-2/3, as they will only do less damage against units with a 6+ save, shown by Mathhammer. You don't want your Morghasts engaging Chaff, as they aren't meant to be wiping chaff for you. Additionally, adding attacks to the Halberd from your Liege is much stronger than doing so to your swords.
- See the above option for Stalkers and apply to Morghasts - you'll lose out on the re-rolling wounds but up the rend to -2 and the damage to 3 (with halberds) so the Mathammer will result in more wounds on average (even if you run swords) - only real issue with this is keep up with the Morghasts on your bone throne.
- Following the Petrifex nerf, these guys just got a bit more viable. They mesh well with quite a few Legions (the Archai save against spells compliments Null Myriad spell nullifying, the Harbingers compliment the Stalliarch rules - and they're probably our best unit against the Kharadron Overlords and more).
- Gothizzar Harvester: (200pts, Behemoth) Big guy has 10 wounds and a 4+ save. Has good damage potential with 4 solid ranged attacks and a BUNCH of 2 damage melee swings, with a choice between bludgeons or sickles. These weapons have the exact same melee stats, but different effects. Bludgeons do 2 mortal wounds on unmodified hits of 6 instead of normal damage, (basically giving the guy a Nighthaunt's frightful touch) while the sickles get +1 to hit against units with 5+ models. The Bludgeons are the better choice, as there are other ways to boost hit rolls and Mortal Wounds are useful whoever you're up against. More importantly than that, this guy is another source of precious calcium/healer. Each time any models (friend or foe) die within 3" of him, he can heal an Ossiarch Bonereaper unit within 6" on a 4+. The heals he gives depends on the wounds characteristic of the model slain. It's worth noting he can do this to himself, making his relatively fragile 10 wounds and 4+ save last a little longer.
- For the Crematorians, this guy makes the list even more trollish. Camp him by your Mortek Guard, and when they die and cause mortal wounds, he can heal them right back up. Free mortal wounds, anyone?
- Mortek Crawler: (200pts, Artillery, Behemoth) The most trolltastic catapult in all of AoS. With a nice 36" range and solid durability, it starts as a remarkably strong springboard for the absolute terror of its ammo types. Once per battle, you can fire a different choice of ammo from two different options and their effects are trolltastically memeable.
- Necrotic Skulls: Your normal shots. You're getting a pretty hefty 3 2+/3+/-/variable shots that start at 5 damage, and dips down to 1 as the model takes damage. Good as a general all-rounder, but pales in comparison to what follows.
- Just to reiterate however: 3 shots at 5 damage initially. Although lack of rend hurts, this is a horde killing volley beyond compare, particularly as their hit and wound rolls are so good.
- Cauldron of Torment: the first of the meme shots. Instead of firing like normal, you roll a dice for every model in the target unit, and whenever you meet or beat their UNMODIFIED Bravery, one model is slain. "But Anon," you reply, "lots of units have high Bravery! That's not good," To which I say, sure, you're right. this isn't good against undead, Stormcast, or Chaos, but do you know what it IS good against? grots, where you wipe half of whatever squad you fire at. Or freeguild, where you gun down a third of whatever unit you want in a ghostly fog. And we're STILL not done with this bad boy.
- Cursed Stele: Does your local meta not really do hordes? Or do they just love low model-count armies with high leadership? Well, have I got a unit for you! Instead of shooting normally, pick a model within range (so, characters, banners, unit leaders, etc.) and roll 2d6. If you roll equal to or higher than their wound stat, the guy dies (with some modifiers, starting at -3 to your roll, slowly turning to +3 as you lose wounds). This right here is disgusting. With an average roll of 4, you kill support heroes about 60% of the time or get to guaranteed snipe off important banners or unit champions whenever you're feeling cheeky. Did that daemon prince swoop in and drop you to 1 wound? Wouldn't it be great if his failure meant your average roll is now a 10 and insta-gibs the winged sexy, sexy biscuit daemon? (Lovely to consider, but the 6" minimum range on the Crawler's attacks means if it's in melee it's been neutered - protect at all costs!)
- Necrotic Skulls: Your normal shots. You're getting a pretty hefty 3 2+/3+/-/variable shots that start at 5 damage, and dips down to 1 as the model takes damage. Good as a general all-rounder, but pales in comparison to what follows.
- Bone-tithe Nexus: (0pts) Your mandatory accompanying setpiece is a giant monolith surrounded by bones upon bones. In truth it acts more like a sentry that can chuck out one of four different Punishments each turn: -1 to hit, MW Sniping, causes problem for a wizard, or Can't run and only roll 1d6 for charges. The physical footprint of this thing is BIG. You're supposed to place the terrain before defining and placing any of the game's (neutral) terrain. Placing the damn thing can therefore be problematic in organized events, where terrain is pre-set before the game starts.
Ossiarch Cohort 100 pts (min points: 4450) Katakros, Zandtos or Liege Kavalos, 1-3 Mortek Shield-Corps, 1-3 Kavalos Lances, 1 Mortisian Trident, 1-2 Katakrosian Deathglaives, 1 Aegis Immortal, 1 Mortek Ballistari
- The Super Battalion.
For putting together all that dough together your general generates 1d3 additional RDPs at the beginning of your hero phase.
Aegis Immortal 80 pts (min points: 690) 1 Archai, 2 Immortis. The ARCHAI from this battalion has the SOULBOUND PROTECTORS ability from the Immortis Guard warscroll. In addition, if you use the SOULBOUND PROTECTORS and the roll is a 5+, the wound/MW is negated instead of allocated to a unit from this battalion. Take with Petrifex Elite to make your characters near unkillable. Solid choice, pun intended, the only drawback is if you want a more offensive playstyle since this is defensive-based.
Katakrosian Deathglaive 80 pts (min points: 690) 2 Stalkers, 1 Morghast Harbinger After units are set up but before the first battleround, if all units from the btn are WHOLLY WITHIN 12" of the Harbingers, you can move any of them up to 6" The best name for a Battalion in all of AoS. Useful for strategic positioning and claiming objectives, it's a decent choice. One foe it does help against is Kharadron Overlords, positioning your Morghasts and Stalkers to better catch their fliers.
Kavalos Lance 120 pts (min points: 680) Arch-Kavalos OR 1 Liege-Kavalos, 2 Kavalos Deathriders. Units from this battalion can retreat and charge if wholly within 12" of the Liege when the charge roll is made. In addition, once per turn, you can use the Deathrider Wedge CA for a unit from this battalion without spending RDP. Pretty good, especially if you bring a spellcaster with Empower Nadirite Weapons, more so if you're running Petrifex to give the weapons extra rend. Just remember it's a waste of points if you're using the Stalliarch Lords legion because they do this but better and for free.
Mortek Ballistari 100 pts (min points: 760) 1 Boneshaper, 1 Mortek Guard, 2 Crawlers. Roll a die before you allocate a wound/MW to a Crawler from this btn while it is within 3" of the Mortek Guard unit from the same btn. Add 2 if the Crawler is within 3" of the Boneshaper from the same btn. On a 4+, it is instead allocated to the GUARD instead of the CRAWLER.
Mortek Shield-corps 120 pts (min points: 630) Either Volkmortian, a Boneshaper, a Soulreaper OR a Soulmason, and 3 Mortek Guard. Once per turn, you can use Shieldwall for one unit in the battalion without spending RDP. The cheapest option, and a decent choice, making your Mortek Guard that much more durable and freeing RDP to be spent elsewhere. Petrifex Mortek Guard will be even tougher with a free re-roll, and it's a good safety net if a unit loses their Hekatos.
Mortisan Trident 110 pts (min points: 700) 1 Boneshaper, 1 Soulreaper, 1 Soulmason, 1 Harvester. EACH Mortisan from this battalion can attempt to cast 1 extra spell if WITHIN 18" of the harvester AND the harvester is within 3" of any enemy units.
Volkmortian’s Retinue 120 pts (min points: 840) Volkmortian, 1 Mortek Guard, 1 Stalker, and 1 Archai. The exclusive battalion from Feast of Bones. At the start of your hero phase, you can return 1 slain model to a unit within 8 inches of Morty. This battalion, and it's older dreadier brother, is the armies only reliable method of bringing back dead Stalkers and Archai.
Volkmortian’s Dread Retinue 130 pts (min points: 850) Volkmortian, 1-3 Mortek Guard, 1 Stalker, and 1-2 Archai or Harbingers, in any configuration. One of the battalions from May 2020's issue of White Dwarf. This battalion must be taken with the Mortis Praetorians legion. Comes with the same ability as Vokmortain's Retinue, but also gives you a start of game ability to hurt the chances of a single enemy hero hitting Vokmortian. Because you can take Harbingers instead of Archai with this battalion, which opens up returning Morghast Harbingers to play, this battalion is much better than the regular Retinue. The restriction on legion means that, of course, this cannot really be considered competitive at this time.
Harvester Scythe Corps 100 pts (min points: 660) 2 Kavalos Deathriders and 1 Gothizzar Harvester. One of the battalions from May 2020's issue of White Dwarf. This battalion must be taken with the Mortis Praetorians legion. Battalion lets you add one to wound rolls for the Harvester if within 12 of the dead ponies. Decent if you need to generate the RDP and the artefact, but if you are taking a pair of Deathriders, you might as well be taking a Liege and going for the Kavalos Lance battalion, which also doesn't restrict you out of the better legions.
Vokmortian's Tithe Legion 110 pts (min points: 5640) This list of other battalions: 1 Vokmortian's Dread Retinue, 1-3 Mortek Shield Corps, 1 Mortisan Trident, 1-2 Katakrosian Deathglaives, 1 Aegis Immortal, 1-3 Kavalos Lances or Harvester Scythe Corps in any configuration, 1 Mortek Ballistari, 1 Harvester Scythe Corps. One of the battalions from May 2020's issue of White Dwarf. This battalion must be taken with the Mortis Praetorians legion. The boring part of this battalion is that you probably won't ever get to field it, and even if you do, the abilities from it aren't the best. You get to generate an additional D3 RDP per hero phase, and you get to take any number of Nighthaunt allies, without them counting against ally rules. Super battalions are fun, but this one means that outside of the nearly 6k points you have to spend on it, you also need Nighthaunt to make use of it. It's a good goal for a collection, though.
When getting started with the Ossiarch Bonereapers, it's important that you understand the direction you want to take your list in. If you are going for competitive, you're going to be making the most out of Mortek Guard, while if you are going for fun and cool, you have a lot of fun and cool options.
If new to the game, look out for a Feast of Bones set half, as it can be a great start to your Ossiarch Army. Another way to start would be with a box of Mortek Guard and a Liege Kavalos, as this gives you a little bit less than a Start Collecting worth of points, but a lot of cool units to start working on.
The best lists right now center around the fact that Mortek Guard units are incredibly over-statted for their points cost. As for which Legion, following the nerfing of Petrifex, Mortis Praetorians have stepped up to top spot. Petrifex are still viable, but no longer auto-take.
A Petrifex-aligned Liege-Kavalos is a mainstay in the General position, as the Mighty Croissant command trait and Godbone Armor artefact make it a 9 wound, ignoring first wounds of every phase monster, along with the extra RDP generation for being a liege, and a built in Mystic Shield effect making the Liege basically indestructible, as Nagash would want. The other best hero seems to be the Soulmason, as it has great casting for the points, and really fills out the support role of your army.
You can also build Nagash or Arkhan centric lists, and those typically look like Nagash/Arkhan + 40 blobs of guard and a support unit or two.
Mortek Guard, usually a pair of 2 40 blobs are great. Then, fill out the battleline with some of those dead ponies. Seriously, Mortek Guard are only 130 points right now, can be given exploding 5+s and additional rend. They're practically the backbone of any Ossiarch army.
Necropolis Stalkers are your can-openers, popping heavily armored units. They can also move as if flying, opening up more options, and are cheaper than the other Hekatos units.
Gothizzar harvesters can be run as a one of per blob of Guard you manage to field. This means that your Mortek Guard is going to have a 4+/6+/4+ save, which is equal to about a 13.88% (or a "1.25+" save equivalent) chance to wound. Per model. That's like having a 0.83+ save.
Mortek Crawlers can be utilized to constantly rampage as your large blobs of guard gum up the board, create incredibly tough tar pits, and slow down enemy units. Another benefit is that if a cheap unit is used by your opponent to attempt to capture an objective, you might be able to wipe it out before it gains any points if you notice it soon enough and identify that part of your opponent's game plan.
There are several good spells that you can take, although overall the spell lore is kind of boring. Empower Nadirite Weapons is the best spell in the lore, mainly because most lists are running blobs of 40 Mortek Guard and the spell makes them table. Arcane Command can be taken on a second support wizard, as can Mortal Contract, depending on who you think you might be facing. Reinforce shield walls can also be a decent spell, especially if you are combining several layers of saves to make Mortek Guard the ultimate pit of bone.
Because of the ability to increase RDP generation, there are some ways you can use cheap battalions to increase the amount of RDP you have, and lower the amount you need for specific units. One of the best and cheapest battalions is the Mortek Shield Corps battalion, which requires one of your 3 Mortisans or Vokmortian and 3 units of 10 Mortek Guard, allowing you to use one of the CAs on the Mortek Guard for free, once per turn. It also presents you with an additional RDP per turn. The shield wall ability allows you to reroll saves, which means that your 4+/6+ save turns into a 4+/4+/6+ save. Now, add in one of those Harvesters, meaning that you have a 4+/4+/4+/6+ save, or a 10% chance to fail incoming non-rend armor saves. That means that for every 20 armor saves, less than three should convert to a wound.
The Kavalos Lance battalion makes use of a pair of the fantastically modelled (by Nagash or GW) Kavalos Deathriders, and a Liege Kavalos. This battalion allows you to make up some of the difficulties of movement that the Ossiarch are presented with, and the additional RDP are always great for the +3" movement.
Another interesting battalion to consider taking is the Mortisan Trident Battalion, which would be how you go about building a strong Magical Ossiarch Bonereapers army. With the current state of Tzeentch, however, this army might be a bit rough to play. This battalion requires you to take all three Mortisans, as well as a Harvester, allowing you additional spell casts, when close to the harvester. That battalion and an Arkhan would allow you some crazy amounts of spells, and if you can take full advantage of that, you might end up thrashing a lot of armies that can't deal with heavy spell usage. Sadly, a lot of your spells work much better when you have a lot of your points in Mortek Guard, who are core to any army you create.
Other battalions can be taken solely for RDP generation and the artefacts you can take, seeing as your first artefact will generally have to be the Petrifex Elite artefact, Godbone Armor. Both Boneshapers and Soulmasons have decent "tools" for their artefacts, but they are not necessary, so don't feel forced to take a battalion for some bad models.
Mr. Arkhan’s Wild Ride
Take Arkhan the Black as your general, along with two Gothizzar Harvesters and a buttload of Mortek Guard. Finally put them all under the Crematorians legion. Your boney boys will proceed to explode in the faces of the enemy and then be brought back to un-life from the ashes thanks to the Mortarch and Harvesters’ restoration abilities. Is this trolling? Yes. Is it fun? Oh yes. Also take a Mortisan Boneshaper as a cherry on top for extra heals and bring an Endless Spell or two; cast with Arkhan to laugh off that casting penalty.
- Nerfed slightly in December 2019 Errata. Now Gothizzar Harvester ability only triggers "each time a model is slain within 3" of any models with this ability." No double dipping on the Gothizzar heals anymore by choosing to remove a model within 3" of both. Personally, I'd say this is a good thing since this formation would be pretty much unbeatable without enough ranged firepower/artillery to snipe the 10 wound Gothizzars out of the Mortek blob (and in a single shooting phase to prevent 6 wound auto-heal from Arkhan and the Boneshaper).
Trolling with Catapults
Take a Soulmason as your general and put him in a massive blob of 60 Mortek Guard with 4 Mortek Crawlers behind. With some amazing dice rolls (which can be helped by using the Soul Resevoir artefact) the Soulmason can give all 4 Crawlers rerollable hits of 1. The Guard can block any incoming attackers whilst the catapults bombard your enemies from across the table. Even if your skellie dudes are taken out and the enemy damages your Centipedes of Doom it just means that their characters are more likely to be decimated by the most trolling shot in AoS, the Cursed Stele. So just sit back, relax and watch your enemies die before they even reach you.
Alternatively, take 2 of Ballistari battalions. Lose the Soulmason but gain some mad defenses.
Feast of Bones upgrades
If you started with the Feast of Bones kit, there are several ways to build the army. The first is the (maybe subjectively) best, which is to go with the Rule of Cool - buy the cool models. Run 3x10 Mortek Guard to get Battleline out of the way, and then take advantage of how cool Morghasts are to scare your opponents.
Starting with Vokmortian, 10x Mortek Guard, 3x Necopolis Stalkers, and 2x Morghasts, and the Vokmortian's Retinue battalion, you can instead use the Dread Retinue Battalion, to use Morghast Harbingers instead of Archai. Or, get a second unit of Stalkers and create the objectively coolest battalion, the Katakrosian Deathglaive. Add in some more guard or Kavalos Deathriders, and whatever else you want that you like. That's it. It's the rule of cool. With Morghasts - the coolest rule of cool unit.
The other way is to move to a more competitive list, but sadly, the Feast of Bones units aren't great. Vokmortian is pretty bad, as are Morghasts, relative to what is offered in the army, although they can be used as a tool. You can run Vokmortian as a Boneshaper, especially if you figure out a cool conversion for it. Then, add in a Soulmason and another support HQ or Liege, and a lot of Mortek Guard. Add in a few Gothizzar Harvesters and/or Crawlers, and you have the fundamentals to a competitive list.
No Allies. Nope, none. Nighthaunt hate your guts. Legions of Nagash hate your attitude. Not even the Flesh Eater Courts is crazy enough to be your friend. Don't like it? Go play Stormcast, and go fuck yourself while you're at it.
There is...one however...
- Big Drogg Fort-Kicka: A Gatebreaker Mega-Gargant available to all Death factions as an ally. Functions like Gotrek in the Order factions where he uses up your whole allies allowance in exchange for a very destructive monster of a unit. His most important feature is the ability to destroy terrain, including faction terrain. He also has a unique breath attack that attacks one unit within 3" at the end of the combat phase; roll a dice for each model in the unit and deal 1MW on a 6+.
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