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.
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Background and Lore of the Ossiarch Bonereapers 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 over-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.
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
The Ossiarch Bonereapers warband is made from 3 kits with 9 options of which 2 are leaders: one mounted and one infantry.
- 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 (or in this case of the 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). 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). Considering its ability to damage on charge works only within 1”, it may seem a waste using a spear, 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 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 Mortek 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.
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.
- Necropolis Stalker with Dread Falchion: 205 points
- Necropolis Stalker with Spirit Blades: 200 points
The Necropolis Stalker are one of the 2 different options available in their box, but the other one, the Immortis Guard, cannot be used in Warcry (which is a bit weird). There are 2 different weapon loadouts for them: 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 (as long as there was at least one within 6″ when they started the move). 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!
Abilities for the Ossiarch Bonereapers Warband
- Nadirite Weapon (Double, Everyone): Add 1 to the damage characteristic (for both hit and critical hit) for attacks with range 3 or less.
- Form Shield Wall (Double, all Mortek Guard except with Greatblade): Add 1 to the Toughness of this fighter until the end of the battle round. Add 1 to the Toughness of other friendly units with the Bulwark keyword (Mortek Guards armed with shield) within 3” of this fighter.
- 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.
- 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.
- Unstoppable Advance (Triple, Mortek and Kavalos Hekatos): Until the end of the battle round add half of the value of this characteristic (rounded up) to all fighters in the same battle group as the leader.
- Blade-strike Aspect (Quad, Necropolis Stalker): Add the value of this ability to the Attack characteristic.
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.
What they are missing are extremely specialized fighters that excel in a particular characteristic.
They also depend on their abilities more than other warbands.
The Mortek Guard are slow, but in the appropriate battle group they can move faster at the cost a Triple.
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. And so on…
A balanced warband will be able to fight in any situation making Ossiarch Bonereapers an excellent starter warband (although on the expensive side).
You could get a couple of Kavalos, a Necropolis Stalker and 3 Mortek Guard depending on who you select as your leader.
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 the first Mounted fighters in the game 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.
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 for an increased movement of 1” (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
+ Good toughness
+ Extreme versatility
– Does not excel in anything
– Depend on abilities
– No ranged options
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.
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.
How to buy an Ossiarch Bonereapers Warband
The Ossiarch Bonereapers are one of the newest 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.
There are 3 boxes available and you will most likely need all 3 of them for a flexible warband.
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, the Immortis Guard, is not available for Warcry.
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).