“Smash Da Gitz. Get da Teef.”
-Wise words attributed to an Orruk Shaman known as Snoop O.R.C.
The Bonesplitterz are a warcry warband available through an expansion card pack, or the chaos wastes of reddit and 4chan if you’re so inclined. Much like the core Chaos warbands, the Bonespliterz are available from a single box, making it one of the most economical warbands coming in at about $50 USD.
If you want a cheap hoard of half naked Orruks chanting savagely and working in unison to wear down your enemies with volleys of arrows and bone swords then this is the faction for you.
Background and Lore of the Bonesplitterz Warband
Wild Frenzied Orruk armed with little more than bone weapons, primitive bows and the protection (or at the very least confidence boost) of their warpaint.
Few Orruks join the bonesplitterz of their own accord. In truth, most seem to be chosen by GorkaMorka. Particularly violent and superstitious Orruks often find themselves consumed by the Waagh!!-a mystical concept and primal, almost psychedelic state, a focused warlike frenzy that for most Orruks lasts only in the heat of battle. Orruks often chase after this feeling leading to a great deal of conflict between them and any other living creatures. In this way, to be a Bonesplitter is to be truly blessed by Gorkamorka because the call of the Waagh! Is constant.
More than just a state to the Bonesplitterz, Waagh! Is a way of life and they spend all of their time venerating it as a living creature composed of the souls of mighty monstrosities and beasts or harnessing it in the form of bone totems and the aforementioned warpaint under the guidance of the great Wurgog Prophets. Beyond this Bonesplitterz live much like any other Orruk, engaging in wanton butchery and destruction. Indeed, it’s truly a marvellous life.
Overview and Points for the Fighters in the Bonesplitterz Warband
Note: if you haven’t read the basic rules for Warcry before reading this article, it might be helpful to know that the game’s abilities are activated by using 6 dice that you roll at the start of your turn. If two of the dice show the same value, they can be used to activate a Double ability. If three show the same value, they can be used for a Triple ability, and so on. So, when this article refers to an ability being a Double, a Triple or a Quad, it refers to this system. It might sound a bit confusing, but takes no time to get used to when you start playing
Savage Morboy Boss: 205 Points
One of the 3 choices for a Warband leader and frankly if you want a melee beast this is your man/Orruk. While his Strength and Toughness of 4 may seem somewhat underwhelming for his points, where he truly shines is his damage output.
With four attacks per combat action and a 3/6 damage layout, he can easily punch far above his weight class. I’ve personally seen him 1v3 a Crypt Infernal and 2 ghouls survive the 2 round fight and go on to massacre another 2 ghouls before succumbing to his wounds on his next turn.
Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s some Mathhammer (Also my word but backed up by statistics. Your statistical variance may vary. Don’t kill me over bad rolls.)
- Against an opponent with Toughness 3 or Less, you have average roughly 9 damage per combat action.
- Against an opponent with a Toughness of 4, you average roughly 7 damage per combat action.
- Against an opponent with a Toughness of 5 or greater you average roughly 6 damage per combat action
That’s just one combat action in many cases you’ll easily manage to get 2 engaged and thanks to (Double) Charge!, you’ll often find an easy time getting into the fray or moving to the next prey.
In addition (Quad) Rampaging Destroyer also gives the Morboy Boss quite a lot of mobility in dealing with hordes of grots and ghouls but I’d caution against its overall use and recommend using the Universal (Quad) Rampage which you’ll often get more mileage out of.
The difference is pretty stark. Rampaging Destroyer gives you +1 attack per action and a bonus move action any time you would kill an enemy. While it certainly has use, you’re still limited by the action economy to 2 non-bonus actions. So in the best-case scenario you kill someone, move to the next threat, kill them and move to a location where you can either charge next turn or right next to another enemy model assuming they activated (or if you’re feeling particularly confident.)
Meanwhile, Rampage grants you a Bonus move and then a subsequent Bonus attack. This ability is perfect for taking out opposing leaders, oftentimes in a single turn if the dice are on your side. 3 attack actions are definitely nothing to scoff at and can greatly increase your chances of surviving against whatever is nearby be it waves of chafe or an imposing commander.
However, something worth remembering is that the Morboss is a Boss and only the worst bosses lack any underlings to boss around. It’s always worth having at least 2 morboys or savage orruks to serve as support in taking down enemies and to make use of his (triple) Waagh! Ability granting everyone within 6” inches an additional 3” of movement can help you secure objectives and worry less about losing to far more mobile warbands and given his role, as a frontline fighter he is positioned to make the most use of this ability.
Savage Boss with Chompa and Bone Shield: 185 points
I can’t recommend this model unless you need the points. The lower damage may seem like a solid trade-off but it definitely is a trade-off that becomes more apparent during prolonged engagements and frankly, if you want to save points then it may be better to consider the Savage Orruk Arrowboy Boss.
Savage Orruk Arrowboy Boss: 125 points
The Budget Leader but don’t let that mislead you. This Orruk is worth every point. His low strength definitely lends to a focus on fighting grunts rather than focusing on elite models and leaders.
His arrow attacks seem rather underwhelming at first. In fact, they're exactly the same as the standard arrowboys. What makes it worthwhile is that his higher toughness and wound count gives more incentive to make use of (Triple) Loadsa Arrows.
This allows him a permanent +1 to attacks with his arrows for the rest of the game. If possible, ideally you can make use of this multiple times in a match allowing you to offset his rather mediocre damage with a significant increase in attacks.
The beautiful shooti boss has been nerfed quite badly. In the FAQ, his ability has been changed to adding half the value to his next attack. So you cannot even get double value from two attacks. A max of +3 attacks okay, but you need a triple 6 for that. Not really the most powerful option.
Savage Big Stabbas: 175 points
What’s better than a spear? Two orruks carrying a big enough spear to make Teddy Roosevelt envious. Coming in at 30 wounds and 5 strength but with a lacklustre 3 toughness, these two are somewhat of a Glass Cannon, capable of wrecking anything they reach so long as they’re fortunate enough to roll well.
Let’s get into the Mathhammer here. It’s worth noting that it’s rare to fight someone with 5 toughness let alone 6 so more often than not you’ll only have to roll a 3+ to hit.
- Against models with a toughness of 4 or less, which once again is most models, you deal an average of roughly 8 damage
- Against models with a toughness of 5 you deal roughly 7 damage.
- Against models with a toughness of 6 or greater, which is virtually no one, you deal roughly 5 damage.
The Savage Big Stabba is incredible on its own and can make great use of (Double) Charge in order to maximize it’s combat activations but more often than not you’ll want to pair him with a Savage Morboy with a Bone Totem to ensure he stays alive during tough engagements.
Savage Morboy with Bone Totem: 110 points
Everyone needs a standard bearer and there’s no better battle standard than the bones of something fearsome. Coming in with a Strength of 4 and a 2/4 damage spread with 3 attacks against 3” inches, you’d be forgiven for thinking of this amazing support piece as being merely another glass cannon bruiser.
Where he truly excels, however, is that he is the sole model able to make use of (Double) Beast Ju-Ju, turning a tightly packed group of orruks into a brick wall of meat or simply just protect your Big Stabbas.
Savage Orruk Morboy: 110 points
The lesser of the two Morboys. They both have the exact same stats but with only a 1” range. The main difference though is you lose out on (Double) Beast Ju-Ju and instead gain (Double) Toof Shiv. Frankly, this isn’t a good trade-off.
Toof Shiv functions as little more than a bonus attack where you deal 1 or 2 damage. Honestly if you have the money to buy the extra Bone totem bits, I would suggest using them instead in every circumstance.
That being said despite being markedly worse than the Savage Morboy with Bone Totem, they make excellent glass cannons capable of dealing solid damage to elite models.
Savage Orruk Arrowboy: 90 points
Unlike most Warbands, Bonesplitterz have dedicated ranged infantry. They don’t deal too much damage but given their long range and ability to use both of their activations on attacks they can definitely wear down attackers.
Interestingly enough despite their toughness being 3 instead of 4, and their crit being 2 damage, they aren’t much worse in melee than your standard Savage Orruk warriors.
Savage Orruk with Chompa and Boneshield: 90 points
A Solid defensive unit best used to hold objectives while capable of wearing units down. Not much else to say. It has less versatility than the Arrowboy but has a higher critical threshold and toughness.
It’s a fair trade-off but the Arrowboy seems better overall.
Savage Orruk with Stikka and Bone Shield: 85 points
You lose out on one attack and gain +1” range for 5 points less. These guys definitely seem to hold their own and fill the same role as the Savage Orruk with a Chompa at 5 points less.
Strategy and Tactics for Bonesplitterz
Bonesplitterz are painfully average. They don’t have the toughest, most powerful or fastest models. What they have is a good range of specialized slight above par models that can be combined to utilize their strengths to the fullest.
A lone orruk can kill a grot or ghoul, but will rarely hold their own against truly elite models. What they excel at is group cohesion and versatility. They can be played in many different ways and are excellent at adapting to whatever comes up.
The most important thing is to build orruks in small groups, ensuring each of your 3 deployments are self-sufficient and working in cohesion – ideally with as many Bone Totems as possible.
Pros and Cons of the Bonesplitterz
+ Good Selection of Models
+ $$$$ CHEAP $$$$
+ Easy to Play
+ Auras and Buffs
+Solid wounds across the board
– Average powered models that don’t excel in any one area
– Losing your Bone totems or Leaders can be utterly devastating
Tips on painting and modelling Bonesplitterz
You made it this far, so I’m going to make a confession, I don’t own a single Bonesplitterz model. I use Freeguild Soldiers on 32mm bases as proxies because quite frankly I’m a Freeguilder through and through and mechanically it works.
I bring this up because I’m quite a fan of proxies and this is a wonderful way to express your warband in a unique way. While I use Free Guilders, there’s nothing stopping you from exploring the use of other proxies.
Now onto the topic of painting genuine Savage Orruk models, it’s worth mentioning that while Orruks are green there’s no written rule saying you can’t make them any color you want. I’ve seen quite a number of impeccable LOTR inspired models making use of dark earthy skin tones or even pallid vampiric whites.
War paint also gives you a great opportunity to express your model’s individuality, while Duncan from GW has some excellent videos on the subject matter it may be worthwhile to look into making custom Waterslide Decals for very detailed designs that would be difficult to paint by hand.
Orruks give a great excuse to break the rules and frankly, there’s no reason to even make the warband a cohesive style. Given the lore of disparate Orruks from hundreds of different tribes joining Bonesplitterz Tribes, you can easily paint each model as an individual with different skintones, warpaints etc. and maintain the lore of your warband. Orruks don’t have any uniforms after all!
How to buy a Bonesplitterz Warband
You are in luck! All of the models in the warband come from exactly one AoS box.
The box comes with 20 models. Two of them can made into a model with the big stabba and there is two totems in there as well. If you need more than that, you need to either get more boxes or do some conversions.
If you want to learn more about how to build an effective Bonesplitterz Warband, I would suggest the video from Orkhammer embeded below: