Nagash's newest creation's are sending out strike teams for some covert ops while Bonechad himself is busy getting his asskicked by Archaon. The skeleton version of Sigmarines, these dudes were hand crafted by Nagash himself by fusing the souls of various hardasses into murderous psychos who's skill in battle is unsurpassed. This Warband is sent by Katakros himself out into the bloodwind spoil to complete important side-missions and claim precious artifacts, wherever they may be.
- Fantastic Durability-They have some of the highest base value toughness in the game (Toughness 5 for most fighters) and abilities which can increase this further, making them one of the most durable warbands in the game. Especially since some of those fighters are fairy cheap comparted to other Toughness 5 fighters.
- Strong Damage Capabilities-While their base damage isn't spectacular, they have access to strong abilities which can easily and effectively increase damage for most fighters. Necropolis Stalkers are also among the most dangerous damage dealers in the game.
- Great Zone Control-Given their high durability, they can easily lock down certain areas of the board for extended periods of time, making them ideal for battleplans which rely on objectives or survial.
- Low Mobility-They have very low base movement. While they have numerous abilities which can increase this deficiency, you often have to sacrifice other abilities just to increase basic movement.
- Low Model Count-Their points-per-fighter costs are slightly above average, meaning that you'll probably be at a model count disadvantage compared to many other warbands.
- Lack of Ranged Attacks-They do not have access to any ranged attacks at all. Meaning they must move into combat to deal damage. Coupled with their already slow movement and overall below average base damage this can make killing important targets difficult.
- [Double] Nadirite Weapon: Add 1 to the damage points for each hit and critical hit from attack actions made by this fighter this activation that have a range characteristic of 3 or less (Faction-wide Ability)
- Ability Commentary-A very useful universal ability that can be spammed to increase your overall damage potential. Remember that the damage increase applies to each hit, not simply the overall damage, and applies to crits as well as regular hits. This can make even lowly Mortek Guard put out some good damage. The big question is whether to use this or [Double] Onslaught to fish for an extra crit. In most cases, this will result in an overall net increase in damage on average rolls, while [Double] Onslaught has a higher upside if you manage to score a crit with the extra attack.
- [Double] Form Shield Wall: Until the end of the battle round, add 1 to the Toughness characteristic of this fighter. In addition, until the end of the battle round, add 1 tot he Toughness characteristic of friendly fighters with the Bulwark runemark while they are within 3" of this fighter. (Mortek Guard w/Sword, Mortek Guard w/Spear, and Mortek Hekatos Ability)
- Ability Commentary-Improves your already above-average toughness of 5 into 6. What's even better is that it will improve the toughness of every other fighter with the Bulwark runemark within 3", which means you only have to activate this once if you have a battlegroup comprised of Mortek Guard all within 3" of each other to confer this bonus to every other fighter for the rest of the battle round. Interestingly enough, most low-to-mid cost fighters are not going to have access to even Strength 5 attacks, which means you really on need to activate this if the fighter (or battlegroup) is threatened by something who can deal Strength 5+ attacks. This makes Mortek Guard arguably the best tank fighters in the game.
- [Double] Hunt and Kill: A fighter can use this ability only if there is a visible enemy fighter within 6" of them. This fighter makes a bonus move action and must finish closer to the closest visible enemy fighter than they were at the start of that move action. (Necropolis Stalker w/Nadirite Blades Ability)
- Ability Commentary-A very powerful ability attached to one of the best damage dealers in this Warband, this ability will essentially allow you to move into combat range and then use two full attack actions with a very dangerous attacks and damage profile. While movement isn't the strong suit of this Warband, the Necropolis Stalkers have an above average move value of 5", increasing their threat range. This makes the Necropolis Stalker one of the more scary fighters in all of Warcry and may force your opponent to make sub-optimal movements and placement choices while giving you a distinct advantage for maximizing damage.
- [Triple] Deathrider Charge: Until the end of this fighter's activation, the next time this fighter finishes a move action within 1" of an enemy fighter, pick a visible enemy fighter. Allocate a number of damage points to that fighter equal to the value of this ability. (Kavalos Deathrider Hekatos, Kavalos Deathrider with Spear, or Kavalos Deathrider with Sword Ability)
- Ability Commentary-A standard "charge" ability, it can be really devastating to certain units. Given the high movement value of Kavalos Deathriders, this is an incredibly easy ability to activate (assuming there is enough open ground to charge through...more on that below). Activate it before charging in and then follow up with an attack action and you can typically finish off low-to-mid wound models in one activation. When using it, you want to look for at least a value of 3 for chaff and 4+ for higher wound models.
- [Triple] Unstoppable Advance: Until the end of the battle round, add half the value of this ability (rounding up) to the move characteristic of friendly fighters that are in the same battle group as this fighter. (Kavalos Deathrider Hekatos or Mortek Guard Hekatos Ability)
- Ability Commentary-This single ability will typically offset the inherent move disadvantage of the warband. This essentially acts as battlegroup-wide [Double] Rush. Keep in mind that it only applies to units in the same Battlegroup of the Hekatos, which can be very interesting if one of the fighters in this battlegroup somehow manages to find himself far away from the rest of the battlegroup. It has no range limit in this regard, meaning that, theoretically, a fighter can be on the total opposite end of of the board from this model and still receive the benefit. On Mortek Guard, it should be used to get them into important zones quickly (typically round 1). On Deathriders, it has the potential to have them move almost half-way across the board in a single movement action. Its only downside is that it will be competing with the standard [Double], [Triple], and [Quad] abilities for ability/wild dice.
- [Quad] Blade-strike Aspect: Add the value of this ability to the Attacks characteristic of attack actions made by this fighter this activation. (Necropolis Stalkers Ability)
- Ability Commentary-Oh my word, this ability is just flat out filthy. Necropolis stalkers are already some of the best damage dealing fighters in the game and this ability pushes them into the elite-tier in terms of raw damage potential. This ability is rather unique, as most other abilities in Warcry which confer similar effects are adding only half the value of the ability. This one simply adds the flat amount, meaning that you could potentially looking at adding an additional SIX ATTACKS to fighters who already have above average attacks and damage profiles. Most of the time, you won't even necessarily need 6 attacks to completely one-shot even elite fighters. Even just adding an additional 3 attacks will be enough to put away models in the 15-20 wound range on a SINGLE attack actions. With two full attack actions you can easily take out 30 wound fighters confidently. One of the best damage dealing abilities in the game. It is best used on the Necropolis Stalker with Dread Falchions, as it has a higher base Strength and Damage profile, and so boosting the attacks with this weapon will net you much more damage (particularly against Toughness 5+ fighters).
Kavalos Deathrider Hekatos
- Stats: Movement 8"; Toughness 5; Wounds 30; 240 Pts.
- Nadirite Blade-Range 1"; Attacks 4; Strength 4; Damage 2/4
- Fighter Commentary-One of two leader options you can take with this Warband, the Deathrider Hekatos is in an odd position. His high movement can be very valuable for this Warband, and at Toughness 5 and 30 Wounds, he is a fairly durable leader. His damage output is pretty average, even for a leader, and below-average when you consider his cost. His biggest disadvantage (which also applies to Deathriders in general) is the fact that he is a Mounted fighter. This means that he cannot Climb any terrain features. In Warcry, where the board is very small and terrain will often take up large portions of the board, this will mean that he will often be extremely limited in his movement capabilities. Even with Movement 8", he will be force to maneuver around obstacles and other terrain features which most other fighters can move through with ease. It also means that he will not be able to attack targets above him, which in some cases can COMPLETELY negate him wholly as a fighter. The only terrain board on which he can excel is the Shattered Stormvault. Given that this set is NOT the baseline/starter set terrain set, chances are it won't be played very often (this is assuming you're using official GeeDubs Terrain to play on). He is also far more expensive than the other leader option. Given the fact that the Mortek Guard Hekatos can also confer [Triple] Unstoppable Advance, he doesn't offer anything unique either. Overall, an overcosted leader hampered by a very serious movement limitation in a Warband which can struggle with board control and movement. Here's to hoping some updated rules regarding mounted fighters happen someday.
Mortek Guard Hekatos
- Stats: Movement 3"; Toughness 5; Wounds 20; 180 Pts.
- Nadirite Blade-Range 1"; Attacks 4; Strength 4; Damage 2/4
- Fighter Commentary-The second leader this Warband can take and the one you will take. While his movement is below average, he has above-average toughness. His damage output is also relatively average for a leader. His real value comes in the ability to spam [Double] Shield Wall and [Triple] Unstoppable Advance. He is obviously meant to be used as a support leader, lending his battlegroup and his other fighters crucial buffs to both Toughness and Movement. [Triple] Unstoppable Advance should almost always be used in the first battle round, to get both himself and his battlegroup into position for future battle rounds. It can also be used if you need to pursue a high-value target or move to a new objective in Battleplans which has shifting objectives. Given the inherent defensive advantages, the Warband has, putting him with a few fellow Mortek Guard makes for a solid objective-holding Battlegroup. Works best in conjunction with Mortek Guard given the synergy of [Double] Shield Wall but an interesting tactic may be to put any Deathriders you may be fielding in his battlegroup so that he can give them [Triple] Unstoppable Advance given the fact that it is a board-wide ability.
Mortek Guard with Nadirite Blade
- Stats: Movement 3"; Toughness 5; Wounds 10; 85 Pts.
- Nadirite Blade-Range 1"; Attacks 3; Strength 3; Damage 1/3
- Fighter Commentary-The backbone of this Warband is the Mortek Guard. This variant trades off 1" of reach for 1 extra attack. Given how slow their base movement is, it can sometimes be difficult to close on targets if they have a longer reach and higher movement values (which is something that will happen often unless your local meta is composed of nothing but Nurgle, OBR, and LoN). They can be solid targets for [Double] Nadirite Weapon to boost their damage slightly but you're probably better off saving the ability dice for another fighter. Their high toughness and access to [Double] Shield Wall means that they can hold down objectives and zones better than almost any other similarly-costed fighters in the game.
Mortek Guard with Nadirite Spear
- Stats: Movement 3"; Toughness 5; Wounds 10; 85 Pts.
- Nadirite Spear-Range 2"; Attacks 2; Strength 3; Damage 1/4
- Fighter Commentary-This variant swaps out a sword for a spear. With it, he loses an attack but gains an extra 1" of reach and a slightly better crit profile. He has access to the same abilities as his sword-wielding brother and costs the same amount of points and his general utility is more than that of the sword variant. Reach 2" extends his threat range an extra 1" and may allow him to more effectively chase and threaten targets but you sacrifice an attack to do so. He can be a decent target for [Double] Onslaught to give him an extra attack but his real role is to hold down objectives and tank.
Mortek Guard with Soulcleaver Greatblade
- Stats: Movement 3"; Toughness 4; Wounds 10; 95 Pts.
- Soulcleaver Greatblade-Range 1"; Attacks 3; Strength 4; Damage 2/5
- Fighter Commentary-The last variant of the Mortek Guard trades out a point of toughness for an increase and strength and a better damage profile for 10 pts. more. He can be used to increase your damage output in a Battlegroup of Mortek Guard but his diminished toughness and the inability to benefit from [Double] Shield Wall make him more of a specialist. He is a prime target for [Double] Onslaught or [Double] Nadirite Weapon, maximizing his damage potential. He is still hampered by his slow speed, but when mixed in with one of his shield-wielding brothers he can add some very much needed damage for a Warband which can struggle to put targets down.
Necropolis Stalker with Spirit Blades
- Stats: Movement 5"; Toughness 4; Wounds 30; 200 Pts.
- Spirit Blades-Range 1"; Attacks 5; Strength 4; Damage 2/5
- Fighter Commentary-The buzzsaw of this Warband, the Necropolis Stalkers can be seriously scary. They're above average movement can be combined with their [Double] Hunt and Kill ability to extend their threat range by a significant amount. This variant trades off 1 strength and a lesser damage profile for 2 additional attacks. He is best used to clear out chaff and can be given [Double] Nadirite Weapon to increase his damage output. With 5 attacks, it will benefit him more than his Falchion-wielding brother. One of the best low-wound model killers in the game. He can also take a good amount of damage with a hefty 30 wounds.
Necropolis Stalker with Dread Falchions
- Stats: Movement 5"; Toughness 4' Wounds 30; 205 Pts.
- Dread Falchions-Range 2"; Attacks 3; Strength 5; Damage 3/6
- Fighter Commentary-The apex killer of this Warband, he trades off 2 attacks for an increase in strength and a better overall damage profile for only 5 points more. This is the can opener of this Warband and he is the prime candidate for [Quad] Blade-Strike Aspect which, as discussed above, can quite effortlessly kill 20+ wound models in a single activation. His higher strength and better damage make him ideal for taking out high toughness targets. If you don't have a quad available, giving him [Double] Onslaught can be done as a poor-mans substitute. The scariest unit in this Warband. You'll want to take him in almost every matchup.
Kavalos Deathrider with Nadirite Sword
- Stats: Movement 8"; Toughness 5; Wounds 20; 170 Pts.
- Nadirite Sword-Range 1"; Attacks 3; Strength 3; Damage 2/4
- Fighter Commentary-For his points, his statline is fantastic. Elite movement, high toughness, and above-average wounds make him VERY appealing. He also has access to the fantastic [Triple] Deathrider Charge ability. In most other warbands, he would be an auto-include. But he is hampered by the very big disadvantage of being a mounted fighter. As discussed with the Kavalos Deathrider Hekatos, this means his ability to effectively maneuver around the board is significantly reduced. Still, it can often be worth including one in your Warband to have a fast and reliable beatstick who can effectively chase down low-wound fighters and finish off anything that runs away from your slow-as-fuck Mortek Guard. The sword variant trades out 1" of range for an extra attack and a slightly less powerful crit. Given his high movement value, as well as the fact that you can only use your [Triple] Deathrider Charge on units who are within 1" of him, he is more valuable than his spear-wielding counterpart.
Kavalos Deathrider with Nadirite Spear
- Stats: Movement 8"; Toughness 5; Wounds 20; 170 Pts.
- Nadirite Spear-Range 2"; Attacks 2; Strength 3; Damage 2/5
- Fighter Commentary-The same price and statline as the sword variant, only trading out an attack for a 1" increase in weapon reach and a slightly better crit stat. As discussed above, given how easily you can get into and out of combat with him, the spear is overall inferior.
The Bonechads play very similarly in Warcry to their general tactics in AoS. They can hold objectives and take damage better than almost any other warband in the entire game but it comes at the cost of movement and damage. This is mitigated by the inclusion of the Deathriders and Necropolis Stalkers--who both have good damage profiles and above average movement--and a smart use of [Double] Nadirite Weapon. While you aren't exactly swimming in fighter options, you don't really need much more than what you get. The general strategy is to take some Mortek Guard, stick them in the Shield, and pop [Double] Unstoppable Advance on turn 1 to get them into position. On Victory conditions which rely on objectives or defensive conditions, you can safely park your guard in one place for most of the battle while your Stalkers murder anything that needs killing. On Victory conditions which require high movement, you'll basically be reduced to running around like scooby and the gang trying to catch up to whatever it is that needs killing/holding. While Mortek Guard form the backbone of the Warband, you are going to want to include Necropolis Stalkers in just about every list. Their increased movement, coupled with [Double] Hunt and Kill make them invaluable for offsetting your movement disadvantage. Taking one Deathrider can be very beneficial for offsetting your inherent movement disadvantage but he's best used on boards that aren't going to have too many obstacles/terrain features which will completely shut down his high movement. Most of the time, you're better off going with another Stalker over a Deathrider for this reason. Remember that at base toughness 5, you often won't even need to pop [Double] Form Shield Wall unless something which can dish out S5+ attacks threatens your Mortek Guard. Some interesting battlegroup choices are below:
- Mortek Hekatos+Mortek Guard x2+Mortek Guard w/Soulcleaver Greatblade-Your most basic battlegroup. The Mortek Guard can simply sit on objectives while the Hekatos throws out [Triple] Unstoppable Advance to get to an objective (typically in round 1). The other guard can throw out [Double] Form Shield-Wall to boost toughness if needed. For damage, you can throw [Double] Nadirite Weapon on your Mortek w/Soulcleaver Greatblade and all of a sudden his damage goes from 2/5 to 3/6, which is on par with most 200+ costed Fighters. You can take either the spear-wielding or the sword-wielding guard here. It's really your choice. The spear offers increased threat range, which can really help for Victory conditions which require a more movement (Assassination, shifting objectives, or protection victory cards) but suffers from a really poor attack value. The sword variant offers more consistent damage at the cost of reach. Guard aren't exactly damage dealing powerhouses, so increased reach offers a little more utility. The Guard w/Soulcleaver is going to be your damage dealer in this battlegroup. Best used in the Shield (obviously). The most basic and boring of battlegroup choices but one you'll use often.
- Mortek Hekatos+Necropolis Stalker x2-A weird group, but one that offers a pretty interesting tactical strategy. You take this grouping to confer [Triple] Unstoppable Advance onto your Stalker. [Triple] Unstoppable Advance has no range attached to its effect. As long as the fighters are in the same battlegroup as the Hekatos, they will receive the increased movement, regardless of where they are on the battlefield. This means you can pump up the already high movement values of both the Stalkers to absurd levels. You'll have to sacrifice throwing out [Double] Form Shield Wall to your other Guard, but if your facing a Warband that has trouble putting out S5 attacks, it doesn't really matter. This grouping is very effective against high movement Warbands who rely on hit-and-run tactics (Cypher Lords, Corvus Cabal, Untamed Beasts, etc.) as your Stalkers will be able to chase down most enemy fighters even if they do have above average movement values. It also helps on Victory conditions which require high movement to win. Best used in the dagger or hammer battlegroup.
- Mortek Hekatos+Necropolis Stalker+Kavalos Deathrider w/Sword-A variation on the battlegroup above, this one trades out a second Stalker for a Deathrider. In most games, taking a second Stalker is the better option. But if you're playing on a board with mostly unobstructed or passable terrain (Shattered Stormvault is best for this) then taking a Deathrider will give you even more speed and access to [Triple] Deathrider Charge, which can finish off low-wound models if you really need something to die.
- Mortek Hekatos+Mortek Guard w/Soulcleaver Greatblade x2-The "budget" version of the two battlegroups listed above. The same principle applies here--you're using [Triple] Unstoppable Advance to increase the threat range of the Guard. While nowhere near as effective as Stalkers (or even Deathriders), this grouping can be useful if you're tight on points. As discussed above, putting [Double] Nadirite Weapon on the Guard boosts their damage significantly, as does [Double] Onslaught. If you're facing a warband that relies on cheap chaff (LoN, Untamed Beasts, Splintered Fang, etc.) then this grouping may even be preferred over taking Mortek Guards with shields. It honestly depends on your matchup
Minions, Thralls, and Allies
As with every other warband, when it comes to allies you're looking for fighters who can either offset your weaknesses or increase your inherent strengths. The Bonechads can really do with a decent fighter who can deal ranged damage--as this can help alleviate your poor reach and slow movement (Sadly this option isn't really available). They are a Death Warband, which means they can ally with LoN, Nighthaunt, and FEC. Below are some viable Ally options:
- Cairn Wraith-The Cairn Wraith brings a couple of things to the warband which it lacks. Firstly, it has a high movement value (6") with Fly attached to it. This means that it is even more mobile than Stalkers or Deathriders as it can easily ignore terrain when moving. Secondly, he plays into one of the warbands strengths of being pretty tough at T5 and 25 wounds. Thirdly, his 2" Scythe makes his effective threat range a whopping 8"--which is 2" more than even Stalkers on a damage profile which is on par with Stalkers. Lastly, his [Quad] Reaped Like Corn ability is a fantastic AoE/chaff killer (It deals value damage to all enemy models within 3"). He is pricey at 220 pts., but for a warband which can struggle to put damage on multiple models at once, he brings some much needed utility.
- Lord Executioner-Another high movement, high toughness fighter with a scary damage profile. While not as universally useful as the Cairn Wraith, he does offer an ability which can be the difference between a win and a draw in certain victory conditions. [Double] Staring Death in the Face targets an enemy fighter within a number of inches equal to the ability value. Then you roll a dice. On a 3+ that fighter can't move or disengage. In an army which can struggle to catch and effectively finish off Fighters, this single ability can potentially totally negate this disadvantage. At 230 points, you're probably better off taking another Stalker, but he can do what the Stalker does while offering an ability which can often decide a game.
- Spirit Torment-He shares the same points and stats as the Cairn Wraith, but comes with another additional 1" of reach on his weapon--making his threat range 9". Like the Cairn Wraith, he should utilize his extended weapon reach to hunt down or engage high-value targets while staying safe from retaliation. His ability [Triple] Nagash's Bidding adds +1 Strength to every visible friendly fighter within 6" of him, increasing his value against warbands with above average toughness.
- Lone Necromancer-He doesn't offer much in terms of damage potential on his own, but he does come with a beefy ranged attack (although its only got 2 attacks). The real reason you want him is for [Quad] Vanhel's Danse Macabre, which allows a number of friendly models equal to ability value and within 6" to make a bonus movement action or attack action. It's debatable whether this or [Triple] Unstoppable Advance is better, but given that this can potentially effect almost the entire warband if the dice go your way make it particularly appealing. He also has access to [Double] Necrotic Siphon, which lets him steal health from his allies to heal himself. Not the most effective ability, but it can keep him going of you really need him to stick around to hand out [Quad] Vanhe's Danse Macabre.
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