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Ossiarch Bonereapers Demi-Cohorts Warcry Warband: Overview and Guide

The Ossiarch Bonereapers are the elite legions of Nagash: an army of restless bone constructs led by Katakros the Undefeated.

They don’t collect money or glory from their victims but bones to continue creating more Bonereapers to join their glorious crusades.

If you are ready to exact the tithe, dig in to know more about this warband.

This article is part of a larger series of warband guides. You can find all of our Warcry content here.

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What changed in the Warcry: Bringers of Death Book for the Ossiarch Bonereapers Warband?

Note: The new Warcry books released with Tome of Champions 2020 brought some changes in how Thralls, Monsters but especially Allies work. The roster of available leaders has been massively increased and it’s now possible to use more than one as a “Hero” (1 in matched play and up to 3 in a Narrative campaign).

Link to the 4 new books:

Warcry: Sentinels of Order (all Order warbands updated)
Warcry: Harbingers of Destruction (all Destruction warbands updated)
Warcry: Agents of Chaos (all non-warcry specific Chaos warbands updated)
– Warcry: Bringers of Death (all death warbands updated)

In the new Bringers of Death book the Demi-Cohorts doubled in size with the addition of 4 leaders (6 now) and 5 more fighters (12 now).

The new fighters are:

  1. Liege-Kavalos
  2. Mortisan Boneshaper
  3. Mortisan Soulreaver
  4. Mortisan Soulmason
  5. Morghast Archai with Spirit Halberd
  6. Morghast Archai with Spirit Swords
  7. Morghast Harbinger with Spirit Halberd
  8. Morghast Harbinger with Spirit Swords and Immortis Guard.

The new abilities are: Unbridled Ferocity, Endless Duty, Soul-guide, The Boneshaper’s Art and Soulreaper Scythe.

Background and Lore of the Ossiarch Bonereapers Warcry Warband

The Ossiarch Bonereapers were hidden underground by Nagash in a plan that took centuries to unfold.

When the time was ready, Nagash released his legions providing them a valid general freed from the prison Sigmar put him into: Katakros.

It was Katakros that re-structured the Ossiarch society in a strict hierarchy that better suited his own scopes.

This rigid caste system does not allow growth, on the other hand failure will be punished severely.

The Ossiarch Bonereapers are not only formidable warriors rebuilt from the souls of the best warriors, but also tireless masons and craftsmen able to create a complex layer of fortifications to defend their cities.

To sustain this growth, they need a constant and ever-growing influx of bones, their base material for construction and “recruiting”.

To do so they march towards enemy empires imposing a heavy toll: either they surrender a portion of their bones or they get destroyed. Whichever the choice, the tithe has to be paid!

Recently Nagash mounted a campaign against Archaon fortress itself in the Eightpoints searching to gain control of the main passageway between the realms. Katakros himself is guiding his legions in the war against Chaos.

To sustain his armies Katakros needs to employ smaller warbands to gather bones and souls and for this purpose the Ossiarch gather to achieve secondary but not less important missions.

Since Katakros invasion of the Eightpoints and the first permanent non-Chaos outpost created in the Eighpoints, Ossiarch Demi-Cohorts are seen more often mapping the area preparing for the next assault.

But how do they play on the tabletop? Let’s take a look at their fighters and bone-crunching abilities.

Overview and Points for the fighters in the Ossiarch Bonereapers 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

Liege-Kavalos: 250 points

The Liege-Kavalos is a majestic model that rightfully should lead any cavalry based Ossiarch army / warband. He is the most expensive leader of this warband but also the one with most hit points (32) and damage output (4 attacks at strength 4 for 2/5 damage).

He compares with the Kavalos Hekatos and for 10 points more he adds 1 damage on critical and 2 wounds: unless you are 10 points short the Liege beats the Hekatos.

His special ability, Endless Duty, for a Double allows him to perform a bonus move or attack once he kills an enemy in his activation.

Mortisans

  • Mortisan Boneshaper: 185 points
  • Mortisan Soulreaper: 195 points
  • Mortisan Soulmason: 200 points

The Mortisans are the commanders and bone-mages of the army and they come in different shapes. For the Demi-cohorts they add the only ranged options of the army: 2 attacks at Strength 3 for damage 3-6 and range 3-7″.

They are otherwise more fragile than the rest of the army with Toughness 4 and 20 wounds (25 for the Soulmason).

In melee they have different profiles but in general they are as effective as a Mortek Guard making them more useful when disengaged.

The main differentiation comes from their special abilities. The Boneshaper is the healer, able to remove 1 damage to all fighters in range for a Triple. The Soulreaper is the damage dealer, with damage to all fighters within range for a Quad. While the Soulmason is the support guy, able to add Attacks to fighters within range, pity for the short range (3″) that forces him too close to the fight. For some reason he is also Mounted, preventing him from going through doors and archways.

Morghasts

  • Morghast Archai with Spirit Halberd: 250 points
  • Morghast Archai with Spirit Swords: 245 points
  • Morghast Harbinber with Spirit Halberd: 235 points
  • Morghast Harbinger with Spirit Swords: 230 points

The Morghasts are the elite fighters of this warband. Twisted angelic form reflecting Nagash disdain towards other living forms, they are distinguished by their main role: Archai are effective protectors while the Harbingers are messengers of destruction.

They are further differentiated by the weapon load-out: each has access to Spirit Halbers for higher damage concentrated in less attacks (2 at Strength 5 for 3/5 damage) or Spirit Swords for more balanced attacks (4 at Strength 4 for 2/4 damage). On average Swords deal much more damage than Halberds so do not hesitate in your choice.

The other difference between Archai and Harbingers is that Harbingers have a free move for a Triple and Toughness 4 while Archai cost more and have Toughness 5. Considering the high value of Wounds (35) Harbingers with Swords seem the better option of the four.

Kavalos Deathriders

Kavalos Deathriders for the Ossiarch Bonereapers Warband in Warcry

  • Kavalos Deathrider Hekatos: 240 points
  • Kavalos Deathrider with Spear: 170 points
  • Kavalos Deathrider with Blade: 170 points

The Kavalos Deathriders are the cavalry of the Ossiarch Bonereapers, the Hekatos being the leader of the unit and one of the leader options for this warband.

All Kavalos have Movement 8” and Toughness 5 making them extremely flexible and tough. The Hekatos has 30 wounds, the normal Deathriders 20.

All Kavalos enjoy the Deathrider Charge ability that for a Triple does incredible damage on a charge.

This ability is much stronger than other similar abilities as it does not require to roll a die and the full value of the ability is allocated as long as the Kavalos ends the move within 1” of an enemy.

Guaranteed damage is good damage!

The Hekatos, as a leader, has access to the Unstoppable Advance ability allowing to add half the value of the ability to the Movement characteristic of all fighters within its battle group (hammer, shield or dagger). It costs a Triple but would allow your knights to be able to move up to 11” per action!

The Hekatos is armed with a blade (damage 2-4) and is able to do 4 attacks at strength 4, that means an average 6 damage per action against an average Toughness (4). For 10 points more the Liege-Kavalos adds 1 damage to critical and 2 wounds.

Not excellent but a good potential for a model anyway able to move up to 22” in his activation.

The Kavalos Deathrider with Blade drops 1 attack and 1 in Strength but it’s also 70 points cheaper.

At the same price you can swap the Blade for a Spear, losing one attack (only 2) but increasing the range (2”) and the damage on critical (5).

Blades on average fare better than Spears. Furthermore Kavalos ability to damage on charge works only within 1”, making the spear lose its advantage, but there may be occasions in which you want to attack without being engaged (or you simply don’t have a Triple available).

Mortek Guard

Mortek Guard for the Ossiarch Bonereapers Warband in Warcry

  • Mortek Guard Hekatos: 180 points
  • Mortek Guard with Soulcleaver Greatblade: 95 points
  • Mortek Guard with Spear: 85 points
  • Mortek Guard with Blade: 85 points

The Mortek Guard is the basic infantry of the Ossiarch but do not under-estimate them: they can be extremely lethal especially in groups.

Their main ability, Form Shield Wall, allows for a Double to increase their Toughness from 5 to 6 as well as any other shielded Guard within 3”.

And as it stands the ability is cumulative so you could reach Toughness 7 or more on a single 10 wound unit…

The only one unable to use this ability is the one armed with the Soulcleaver Greatblade. He is also the only one with Toughness 4 (instead of 5) but compensates by doing more damage (2-5) on his 3 attacks at Strength 4.

All Mortek Guards have a movement of 3” making them quite slow to get into position but they are quite resilient once they get there.

To increase their movement, you can keep the Mortek in the same group as the leader so that when you have a Triple available you can use Unstoppable Advance to improve their movement independently from their position on the table.

Be careful with the critical hits as 10 wounds (20 for the Hekatos) don’t allow much room for mistakes.

The Hekatos is a valid melee fighter with 4 attacks at strength 4 and same damage as the Kavalos (2-4). He can also use the Unstoppable Advance ability to increase his own movement. He is also the cheapest leader (other than the slowest).

The Mortek Guard with Spear increases its weapon range to 2” at the cost of one attack (only 2) and increased damage on critical hit (4).

The Blade, on the other hand, provides a more balanced profile with 3 attacks at strength 3, 1-3 damage but only 1” range.

As for the Kavalos, the Blade performs better but the Spear allows for attacking without being engaged.

Necropolis Stalker

Necropolis Stalker for the Ossiarch Bonereapers Warband in Warcry

  • Necropolis Stalker with Dread Falchion: 205 points
  • Necropolis Stalker with Spirit Blades: 200 points

There are 2 different weapon loadouts for the Necropolis Stakers: the Dread Falchion and the Spirit Blades.

The Dread Falchion reduces the number of attacks (3) for maximum damage (3-6 at Strength 5, the highest on this warband).

The Spirit Blades are a more conservative weapon with 5 attacks at Strength 4 (2-5 damage).

Necropolis Stalkers are an interesting model attack-oriented considering they have the lowest Toughness in the Ossiarch Bonereapers (4).

However, they compensate with 30 wounds and a movement of 5″ half-way between the Mortek and the Kavalos.

The Stalkers have also two abilities at their disposal: for a Double they can run (bonus move) towards the closest enemy. It can be useful to close the gap with enemies running away, but for a Double you could also increase the damage output of 1 using Nadirite Weapon.

The Quad is definitely the most powerful ability of this warband and in the right context one of the most effective of the game: you can add up to 6 attacks per action to one Necropolis fighter.

A Dread Falchion can then become 9 attacks (18 if already engaged) at Strength 5 for a minimum of 3 damage per successful hit…

Considering the large base (50mm) they could easily engage 2 enemies at a time and with some luck remove even 2 Ogor Breachers in one single turn (potential maximum damage 45 per action, on average 21).

Never leave home without one of these boys!

Immortis Guard: 200 points

The Immortis Guard is the alternative model available from the Necropolis Stalkers box.

It has a really similar profile as Necropolis Stalker with Falchions with 1 attack less (2), less damage on critical (3/5) and Toughness 5 that can be further increased with Form Shieldwall for a Double.

Not that 30 wounds model on Toughness 5 requires to increase even further their Toughness, but they benefit from other Mortek Guards using the same ability nearby.

Abilities for the Ossiarch Bonereapers Warband

  • Nadirite Weapon (Double, Everyone): Add 1 to the damage characteristic (for both hit and critical hit).
  • Form Shield Wall (Double, all Mortek Guard except with Greatblade and Immortis Guard): Add 1 to the Toughness of this fighter (and anyone with same runemark nearby) until the end of the battle round.
  • Hunt and Kill (Double, Necropolis Stalkers): If the fighter is within 6” of an enemy model, can do a bonus move towards the nearest enemy.
  • Endless Duty (Double, Liege-Kavalos): Allows extra bonus move or action when killing an enemy.
  • Deathrider Charge (Triple, all Kavalos Deathriders): The next time this fighter moves next to an enemy fighter, pick one within 1” of this fighter and allocate as much damage as the value of this ability.
  • Unbridled Ferocity (Triple, all Morghast Harbingers): Allows a bonus move.
  • Unstoppable Advance (Triple, all Leaders): Add up to 3″ to the Movement of all fighters in the same battle group as the leader.
  • Soul-guide (Triple, Mortisan Soulmason): Add 1 to the Attack of friendly fighters within range.
  • The Boneshaper’s Art (Triple, Mortisan Boneshaper): Heal 1 to all friendly fighters in range.
  • Blade-strike Aspect (Quad, Necropolis Stalker): Add the value of this ability to the Attack characteristic.
  • Soulreaper Scythe (Quad, Mortisan Soulreaper): Do up to 6 damage to all enemies within range.

Strategy and Tactics for the Ossiarch Bonereapers

Ossiarch Bonereapers are a quite flexible warband with a bit of everything: from cheap and numerous fighters to more elite, from fast moving cavalry to slow paced infantry, with various degrees in between.

With the addition of ranged attacks (even if just on a leader option) and some extra degrees of variation in the weapons load-outs, the Demi-Cohorts are now a full-round warband for plenty of options for beginners and experts alike.

The Mortek Guard are slow, but in the appropriate battle group they can move faster at the cost a Triple. They are cheap and can be used for grabbing objectives at the right moment.

They don’t have big hitters (3-6 of the Necropolis Stalker with Falchion being the highest) but they can improve any weapon adding 1 to the damage for a Double or increase the number of attacks of Necropolis Stalkers for a Quad.

An example of a balanced warband would include a couple of Kavalos, a Necropolis Stalker and 3 Mortek Guard depending on who you select as your leader.

The leader choice now becomes harder because on one side you have cavalry with Liege-Kavalos slightly preferred for his better ability and damage to the Kavalos Hekatos, on the other you have the bone-mages with particular abilities and the only ranged damage available in the warband. And lastly you have the Mortek Hekatos, but only if you want a cheap leader to leave space to more elite units. Our preference would go to the Liege-Kavalos or the Mortisan Boneshaper.

The Necropolis Stalker are your strongest fighters, you will need to choose between more damage or more attacks. Their ability (for a Quad) will make them formidable fighters but Quads are not that easy to find. Their big base also allows to engage multiple enemies and 30 wounds should allow them to survive long but do not let them be surrounded by top fighters because their Toughness is not on par with the rest of the warband.

The Kavalos can be used to grab objectives but be careful as they are Mounted fighters and as such they have limitations like being unable to climb or pass through archways or doors, etc.

In certain situations, those 8” movement may seem really little. On the other hand, if you have a Triple available, you can engage enemy units and damage them at the same time (up to 6 damage with Deathrider Charge). The use of the Spear does not allow you to keep the distance and damage on charge so placement will be important.

The Morghast add flying to an already complete warband. They have different options but really the best one is the Morghast Harbinger with Spirit Swords.

Immortis Guard are the opposite of the Stalkers with Swords, but suffer from the excessive cost due to Toughness 5 and the low attacks.

Finally, the Mortek Guard are your horde unit. Their high Toughness can easily be circumvented with critical hits so be careful to not leave them alone especially if they are your opponent main target. The different loadouts will allow you to choose those that fit better your profile: more damage of the Greatblade, the 2” range of the Spear or the more balanced Blade.

Either way you will have few spare points to enable you to test different possibilities. Don’t forget the core abilities: if you really need to advance the Mortek fast you can also use Rush for a Double reaching 8” total per activation (before considering Unstoppable Advance).

Another useful ability applicable to all fighters is Nadirite Weapons that allow to increase the damage output. Even the Mortek Guard with Greatblade would become a mini-Necropolis Stalker at the cost of a Double (3-6 damage at strength 4) for a fraction of the points.

If you are starting Warcry but you already have invested in Ossiarch Bonereapers for Age of Sigmar, the transition will be extremely smooth.

Pros and Cons of the Ossiarch Bonereapers

Pros:

+ Good toughness

+ All-round

+ Extreme versatility

Cons:

– Does not excel in anything

– Few ranged options

Some thematic warbands for the Ossiarch Bonereapers

Just for fun here we present few thematic warbands, meant more for fun or narrative context than for competitive play. Note that in narrative play you need to control at least two territories before mustering your first hero.

Fast skeletons: a Liege-Kavalos, 2 Kavalos with Blade, 1 Kavalos with Spear and 1 Morghast Harbinger with Swords. Have you ever thought what happens if skeletons become actually quick? Try with this super-elite warband, only 5 models but movement 8″ and even 1 Flying unit.

The Horde: Mortisan Boneshaper, Necropolis Stalker with Dread Falchion, Mortek with Greatblade, 3 Mortek with Blade, 3 Morker with Spear. Use the Boneshaper to heal your troops when required, the Necropolic for some heavy lifting and the Mortek Guards to form a wall against which your enemies will shatter. Big downside the speed of this warband.

How to buy an Ossiarch Bonereapers Warband

Note: all prices used are standard Games Workshop prices. It is possible to get the different things cheaper (check the links for prices).

The Ossiarch Bonereapers are one of the new armies in Age of Sigmar and as such they don’t yet benefit from any Start Collecting box or discounted set.

If you want to collect the Ossiarch Bonereapers you need to buy multiple different kits.

Most leaders are available in convenient one box pr. leader so you can pick which one you prefer:

For £35 you can get a Mortek Guard box with 20 models!

This will allow you to build one Hekatos and the other 19 with any preference of weapon mixing and matching.

While this box alone would allow enough points to get a valid Warcry warband, it will be an extremely slow and not very versatile warband.

The next step would be to integrate with a Necropolis box (£30) that allows you to assemble 2 with Spirit Blades and one with Dread Falchion.

The other option available from this box is the Immortis Guard and you could potentially create one of each from the 3 models included.

The flying Morghasts are all available from a single box that contains two models for £37.5.

Finally, for the fast-moving units you will need a box of Kavalos Deathriders (35£).

The box comes with 5 models of which one can be assembled as an Hekatos.

If you need to use the unit also in Age of Sigmar, you will be able to form the unit only with one weapon load-out (spears or swords) or trying to magnetize the arm (the shoulder is covered by the shoulder pad).

Tips on painting the Ossiarch Bonereapers

There are currently not many guides on how to paint a warband of Ossiarch Bonereapers but considering they are bone constructs any skeleton scheme you prefer should suit fine.

If you are looking for general painting tips or guides, take a look at our Hobby Hub here.

There are different legions in the main battletome for Age of Sigmar: from burning to fossilized or glowing bones you basically can go any style.

Luckily, the Bonereapers will be pretty easy to paint (we have an article on what makes miniatures easy to paint here).

Do you have some sweet looking Ossiarchs painted up?

I would very much like to display them right here on this page.

All you have to do is send my some files. You can read more about how to make that happen here.