Battletome Orruk Warclans: Bonesplitterz Review

“I am the punishment of God.

If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”

― Genghis Khan

I hope you’re ready for the Green Tide, because they’re coming at you hard. Bonesplitterz are very dear to my heart, and along with Mixed Destruction they have probably been the faction I’ve played most across the lifespan of AOS.

Now that we have the FAQ under our belts, we are ready to assess the army in the full light of day. I’ve got a lot of personal attachment here, and I’m very invested in making the best of this book, so join me as I dive into the greenest and therefore bestest part of the Orruk Warclans release.

This is a pretty deep write-up, because I want to do the book justice. Anyone who’s already familiar with the contents is free to jump ahead to the “List Building Archetypes” section, which will hopefully add value for everyone planning on playing the army – but I hope you’ll join me on the full journey through the book in all its glory, because my aim throughout is to analyze rather than regurgitate.

Come On You Boyz In Green!


The Lore

Ever wondered how mummy orcs and daddy orcs make little baby orcs? They don’t – orcs dissolve into a puddle when they die, and their asexual offspring spawn from the fungal goo. This makes them almost impossible to eradicate; once they have infested an area, their spores are pretty much there for good.

They are effectively animals that reproduce like fungus. This is a ramped-up parallel of some things we do see in the natural world: for example the classic taxonomy of animals was turned on its head when Europeans arrived in Australia, and found “mammals” (such as the platypus) that laid eggs.

I quite like this piece of lore, which makes them feel truly “other”, and not just green humans who’ve been hitting the gym.

Another highlight is the boxed section on World Spirits. Bonesplitterz believe there is a God-Beast of each Realm which they worship alongside Gorkamorka, yet simultaneously they are constantly seeking to hunt them. Skwidmuncha the two-headed shark was my own favourite!

If they ever do get their hands on even one of these great beasts, Bonesplitterz will instantly harness so much Waaagh! power that the whole of the Mortal Realms had better watch out. This could make an interesting hook for future storyline developments or some Black Library support – or it could be a nice premise for your own campaign, if you have a narrative focus to your hobby. See, there’s loads you can do with Destruction beyond “We’re calling a really big Waaagh”!

The basic premise of Bonesplitterz is still the same – they start out life as normal Greenskinz, then go a bit weird and wander off to join the nearest Boneys tribe. They are Gorkamorka’s Faith Militant and the Prophets are running the show.

It’s probably worth pointing out at this point that the book really is surprisingly thin. I was astonished that it covers fewer pages than even the old Bonesplitterz book, let alone that and Ironjawz combined. The quality of the content is high enough that this isn’t a major issue for me – I certainly don’t feel short changed. But it does make me wonder if the release was a little rushed, and I don’t think I’m quite ready to recycle the old book just yet. There are some pretty cool sections like a dictionary of warpaint glyphs that didn’t make it into the new book for example.

Worth a mention too is the artwork. There is some seriously good stuff in here, particularly the new pieces showing Ironjawz and Bonesplitterz fighting side by side. I’ll personally be keeping a keen eye out for this one on Warhammer Art:


Battle Traits

Tireless Trackers means that you get to move half your units (rounding up) up to 5″ before the start of the first Battleround.

Let me repeat that:

You get to move half your units (rounding up) up to 5″ before the start of the first Battleround.

How about a little louder?

You get to move half your units (rounding up) up to 5″ before the start of the first Battleround.

This. Is. Huge.

This ability will win you games, straight up. You can spread out to block deep striking. You can push up to stop idiots coming over the Bridge from being right in your face. You can let your opponent patiently measure out his ranges, then feint back out of range. You can step up into unbind range when they thought their wizard was safe. You can get your Arrow Boys up into range for a double tap. You can push your Big Stabbas up for the alpha strike. You can get your aggro units far enough forward to be in position to fly right over screens and into the backfield.

You want me to keep going? I really can’t overstate how powerful this is. And wait until you see the Great Hunter Command Trait!

It doesn’t stop there, either:

  • Warpaint is now a proper aftersave, so you can potentially get an armour save first. Like a Death save with no Hero ranges!
  • The Monster Hunters table now lets you choose rather than having to roll for it. Units with volume of attacks will probably choose to pop a Mortal Wound for every Wound Roll of 6, whereas Big Stabbas might go for +1 to hit to squeeze through every one of those valuable attacks
  • Units who kill a Monster don’t take Battleshock that turn: make sure you don’t forget that one! It doesn’t have to be in melee either, so Arrow Boys can benefit too
  • You also have access to a Waaagh! CA which works in the same way as Ironjawz. Guaranteed 1 extra attack, might get 2. Handy for Big Stabbas whose attacks are all super valuable, or Boarboys who have two melee profiles for a double benefit

All in all this is a powerful suite of abilities, and a major step up from the prior book. I would have been happy with just the upgrades to Warpaint and Monster Hunters; Tireless Trackers is a wonderful, wonderful bonus.


Command Traits and Artefacts

I won’t rattle through the whole lot, but there is some solid gold in there.

Command Traits

You remember when I was banging on and on about how great the pre-game move was? Well take Great Hunter, and that’s an 8″ move instead. The best just got better.

You may well have a Wurrgog Prophet as your General, in which case he also has a couple of good Wizard ones to choose from too. Master of the Weird can go a long way to building a power caster with +1 to cast, unbind and dispell (nice touch there). You can also give him an extra Lore spell and a 3rd cast with Fuelled by the Spirits.

There are some decent Command Point and Aggro options in there too, but really, I think you’ll have a battle on your hands to take Great Hunter off me.

Artefacts

The best artefact in the whole of Age of Sigmar for me was the Big Wurggog Mask. For anyone who doesn’t know, it was the coolest mini-game ever: you did D3 Mortal Wounds to an enemy unit within 12″, then you could keep staring. On a 3+ you do another D3 Mortal Wounds. Wanna keep staring? Roll another 3+, and you do another D3 Mortal Wounds. Keep starting as long as you like, and you can keep doing Mortal Wounds until that unit is dead. Just make sure you never fail to roll a 3+, because on a 1 or a 2, you die.

You don’t take Mortal Wounds, you just instantly die.

This thing was hilarious, and everyone who has used it has so many stories to tell of when it went right, and when it went so, so wrong.

Sadly the artefact has now lost a lot of its character; it is no longer once per game, but the upside and downside have both been heavily curtailed. It’s actually a viable damage artefact, and can do a decent amount of Mortal Wounds (up to 3D3 per Hero Phase); but I can’t help feeling that it’s had a lot of the fun sucked out of it.

Another one for your Wizards is Mork’s Boney Bitz, giving more access to casting bonuses, and it will see some play.

Glowin’ Tattooz is serious business nowadays, giving you a 4+ ignore from your Warpaint instead of a 6+, and is another one for the shortlist.

Mystic Waaagh! Paint lets you have a free crack at a random spell from your Lore (including a second cast if you already know the one you roll up). As you will see below, I would argue that 5 of the 6 spells are good, so this is worth a look for anyone with the joie de vivre to embrace it.

It’s also fitting that the one shit spell is number 1 in the Lore, so you get “punished” when you pop that natural 1. Not the most competitive choice, but not garbage either, and I could see this one making its way into my Friday night Beerhammer lists, especially doubled up with a Balewind Vortex.


Spell Lore

Squiggly Curse: Fucking rubbish.

Within 3″, are you pulling my plonker? I almost wanted to submit an FAQ, but I couldn’t think of anything more constructive to ask than “WTF?”, so I just moved on to the spells that are actually good. I suggest you do the same.

Breath of Gorkamorka: Ooooooh yeah!

This is so much better that it used to be! It doubles your movement and lets you fly…until the next Hero Phase. This is huge. For context, the spell used to be near-identical, except that it only applied in your Movement Phase.

Why is that so big? Well here’s four major applications right off the top of my head:

  • You can now fly with Hero Phase moves for double the benefit. Get those Arrow Boys zooming up the field, there’s nowhere to hide now!
  • For added fun times, slap this on a Rogue Idol and give him a Might Destroyers move in Big Waaagh (via Brutally Kunnin CT or the Ironfist Batallion). That fat fucker is now flying a cheeky 40″ per turn!
  • Arrow Boys can now shoot through Wyldwoods! Dakka Dakka Dakka
  • Perhaps most importantly of all: you can now charge right over the top of screens with combat units such as Big Stabbas

It is worse in one way: the old spell had no range limitations, so you could cast it from way back out of unbind range. Let’s be honest though, that kind of jank was never going to make the cut in an updated book.

The best spell in the old lore is still the best spell in the new lore, and it’s so, so good.

Brutal Beast Spirits: +1 to Run, Hit, and Charge. Crucially, this is not locked to a particular Phase. Huge on Arrow Boys (get the benefit to your attacks in the Hero Phase, your attacks in the Shooting Phase and then your attacks in the Combat phase). But honestly, just really good on any and every unit you are buffing up.

Bone Krusha: Decent aggro spell that gets better the closer you are to your enemy. You have to be within 6″ to get the D6 Mortal Wounds that armies like Tzeentch and Khorne (or Drakkfoot for that matter) get right off the bat. Not garbage, but you’ll probably run out of Wizards long before you get to the point where you would seriously consider this.

Kunnin Beast Spirits: Sit down and pour yourself a cocoa while I take you on a trip down memory lane.

Back in the early days of AOS, one of the very first ways that people found to break the game was stacking the old Mystic Shield +1 to Save on a unit. You get them on a 3+, then a 2+, then a 1+, then a 0+. Try and kill me LOL you can’t. This was the main reason Rules of One were brought in with GH16.

There are still a couple of niche armies that can achieve something similar (Staunchcast springs to mind), but Bonesplitterz have always had high wound count to make up for their terrible armour saves. That’s super thematic, because they are hulking lumps of muscle and blood, while their armour save is basically tattoos and optimism.

Until now.

Stack this with the Glyphdokk Dance from the Wardokk, and you can bang +2 to save onto any unit in the book. That puts Savage Orruks and Boarboys on a 3+, with rerolling 1s if you want to put Mystic Shield on them too. They are basically better Liberators, with a 6++ ignore, and way cheaper.

This is a game-changer.

Gorkamorka’s Warcry: Vastly improved over the old version. Basically the same, but without the weird little Bravery roll-off attached, that you would never win because you have low bravery. Along with Arrow Boys bringing the Dakka, this is your toe hold in Activation Wars. Take it.

Overall, this is a really good suite of spells and a fantastic toolkit to work with; a modernised and improved version of the old spell lore.


Endless Spells and Terrain

What Endless Spells and Terrain?

We’ve been frozen out and overlooked, and honestly, it’s really not good enough.

Everybody gets Endless Spells these days, even anti-magic armies. OK, Cities of Sigmar also missed out, but they at least get to be kings of the generic Endless Spells, brining some really impactful bonuses. We get a single half-arsed “destroy terrain” ability on Gordrakk’s Warscroll, which will have precisely zero impact on the meta.

For an army who already had multiple spells that are literally physical manifestations of magic on the Battlefield (Hand of Gork, Foot of Gork, Green Puke), the absence of Endless Spells really is baffling. Bonesplitterz are a magic army, and they should have had Endless Spells. End of. Skipping them is lazy and frankly piss-weak.

On the (non-existent) Terrain side, one thing that does stand out is the skewered rocks-on-a-pole that keep recurring in the new photos:

It may or not mean anything, but the name embedded in the code for that image on the Community site is “ModelsTerrain”. Was that Terrain originally meant to be part of the release, but something got in the way? I wonder if they were meant to be “Dis Is Ours” markers of desecration, where Orruks vandalise other pieces of scenery? They are certainly very prominent in the photos, perched up there on top of the general terrain so you get a nice clear view of them.

All Terrain is made in China, which heavily impacted the Sylvaneth release, so did something happen there? Although given the leadtimes to print the books, I’m not sure GW could be nimble enough to remove all references to faction Terrain.

In fact the whole timeline around this release is very odd, coming so soon after the significant update to Ironjawz (and barely anyone else) in GH19, and as mentioned above the book is particularly slim. So in some ways this does smack of a rushed release.

Don’t get me wrong, what is in the book is outstanding; particularly the rules, which is my own main focus, but also the art and the lore. But I wouldn’t be doing a proper review of the release if I didn’t cover what’s not in there. Regardless, somebody knows what happened, but it ain’t me!

Hopefully we get Endless Spells and Terrain in the next cycle of updates. But in the meantime, I’m not going to let it ruin the book for me. I had to get that off my chest, and I think it’s fair comment; but the rest of the book is honestly so good that I can move past it pretty smoothly.


Clans

Bonegrinz

Let’s take a look at their ability first up:

Is this any good? Kinda. The first part is utter trash, because it seems to be the intention that you can pull enemy units off Objectives; however it fails to achieve that in all but some rare edge cases.

Specifically, the problem is that they only charge “if is is possible for them to do so”, and it is not possible to Charge if you ran earlier in the turn. So if I’m holding an Objective and I don’t want you to pull me off it, I can declare a Run. Roll the dice, move 0″, and now I don’t have to Charge.

The edge case where you might benefit is that a shooting unit holding an objective will be forced to choose between running and therefore giving up their shooting output, or risking completing a charge they don’t want to; how often will that come up in practice though?

It’s either a poorly thought out rule, or for some reason GW wanted to give this Warclan something shit that will never be of benefit. Either way it’s a flop.

Don’t be downhearted though, because the second part of this rule is way more interesting: preventing your enemies from retreating is a real power move, especially with the absolute tarpit you can create from stacking saves on high-wound units.

Slam a big unit off 30 buffed-up Orruks in their grill, and that’s 60 wounds of Green Delight on a 3+ 6++ save. Tag the ends of 4 different enemy units and pin the lot of them in place. Want to retreat? Sorry, not today! We’re Bonegrinz, remember?

The Command Ability is super strong. Another way to stack exploding 6s on a unit; every 6 to hit can explode into 3 extra hits between this, the Savage Big Boss and the Maniak Weirdnob. I really wanna combo this up with a Teef Rukk!

The Command Trait is both crap and compulsory. The Artefact is also shit, but as long as you don’t give one to a Savage Big Boss, you can avoid the tax. All in all the package is pretty appealing, even without the forced charges.

Icebone

The pigs ‘n’ snow Warclan’s Ability gives you a pip of rend on a Wound roll of 6. Now that’s not amazing at first glance (you have to Hit first), but given the huge volume of dice you will be chucking about, it will certainly add up over the course of a game.

Boarboys and Maniaks will get through a couple of extra wounds, Arrow Boys shooting Monsters will have a splash of rend -2 and Big Stabbas will smash the occasional rend -3 straight past a 4+ save. Like I said – with your weight of dice, it’ll add up.

The Command Ability is absolutely baller. At the end of the Combat Phase (take note, “the” not “your” so it applies on both players’ turns) you can take a unit that is within 3″ of the enemy and wholly within 18″ of a Hero, and retreat. The unit you disengaged from is now -2″ to charge.

The applications for this are insane. We’ll take a look in more detail when we get onto List Building Archetypes below – but trust me, you’ll be putting pigs in places your opponents will not believe!

The Command Trait is where it gets really interesting! First thing to seize on here is that it’s only locked in if you are taking a Maniak Weirdnob as your General.

Don’t.

Take a Prophet instead, and you have the whole book opened up to you. Remember when I was banging the drum for Great Hunter earlier? I love that you can take it within a Clan!

Icebonez are a pretty cool sub-faction and I’ve seen some really nice themed armies out there, with blue orcs and ice weapons, snow on the bases etc. The rules really back it up now too, and anyone who wants to lean into the pigs has a lot to work with here.

Drakkfoot

Well this has caused quite a stir! Your Ability lets to ignore the Ethereal rule and ignore all after saves.

Well, almost all.

There was a direct conflict with Morathi: either we take a dump on her special rules, or she takes a dump on ours. Which do you think will win out, an Order army that is popular with playtesters, or Destruction? Place your bets!

There was also an unfavourable FAQ for this Clan in terms of negating the Ethereal ability. Ethereal Amulet, for example, does not technically grant the Ethereal ability – just something utterly identical to it.

So there were two possibilities here: either the rules writers intended for this Clan to dump on Nighthaunt and only Nighthaunt, which would be a weird and completely unnecessary kicking for a mid-table army; or they intended for it to affect all such abilities, and when they realised it didn’t, they couldn’t be bothered to figure out an Erratum that would actually work as intended.

The ruling was only Nighthaunt. Hey ho.

The good news is, despite those unfavourable FAQs, the Ability is still outstanding. Forget about Ethereal, you don’t have much rend anyway; it’s the after saves that are everywhere in the current meta.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Hearthguard. Verminlords. Hag Narr. The whole of Death. Gotrek. Phoenix Guard.

Dead. All dead.

This alone is enough to make Drakkfoot a power pick, which is just as well because the rest of the package is only average.

The Command Ability lets you attempt an unbind with a unit of 10+ models (+1 to unbind if the unit has 20+ models), which might occasionally come in handy but wouldn’t be a reason to take the Clan on its own.

The Command Trait gives you access to a reasonable damage spell on all Wizards, although it’s better against hordes which you won’t usually struggle against anyway; and the Artefact is a straight-up tax.

Ignoring after saves alone is enough to highly recommend this Warclan, Morathi or no Morathi. Safe to say Drakkfoot is a very competitive choice.


Warscrolls

Again I won’t run through the whole lot in detail, but there are some highlights worth picking out.

First thing to mention is that rerolls have pretty much gone, across the board. So Boarboy Maniaks get an extra attack as their reward for dual-wielding, rather than rerolling hits of 1. That seems to be a switch in design philosophy, to give you similar output with less messing about and therefore a more streamlined gameplay experience. It’s a thumbs-up from me.

Similarly, the Maniak Weirdnob’s Warscroll spell grants an extra Hit on an unmodified 6, instead of rerolling 1s. Still a nice bonus, with much less messing about; picking out the rerolls (and generating extra attacks, rather than extra hits) was what made the old Rukk such drudgery. This is way smoother.

Because I had played it so much, I had a technique to blast through a Kunnin Rukk of dice in double-quick time: 90 Dice in 90 Seconds was what I was known for. At least I think that’s why the girls called me Mr 90 Seconds. Now anyone should be able to roll out a full Rukk of dice without boring their opponents into submission.

And on the subject of extra attacks – there is a really nice pre-emptive FAQ which states that all similar effects (each granting 2 hits on an unmodified 6) do stack. You could have achieved the same result by making it “an extra hit” rather than specifically 2 hits, but nonetheless it’s a good pickup and it’s great that this made its way into the book rather than slipping through. It strikes me as something that may have been picked up at the playtesting stage, and if so, hats off to those guys for a job well done.

Heroes

The Wurggog Prophet got an extra Wound, and a kickass horde-clearing spell. He also pops out a “free” CP on a 4+ in each Hero Phase. He did lose his Hero Phase pile-in Command Ability, but overall he’s in a great spot. The range on his anti-horde spell is super generous, and a cheeky Mystic Shield for his second cast combos really well with the stacking saves available to the army.

The Maniak Weirdnob can reroll a cast or unbind in each Hero Phase, Holy Moley! So, so good when perched near a Rogue Idol. He also has a really important role as “the Hero who can keep up with people”.

The humble Wardokk got a drop to 80 points, and best of all, you can choose which dance to attempt now. Still has no Warscroll spell, but his dance makes up for that; I’ve been taking multiples in every list.

Finally, the Savage Big Boss got an extra attack, but you are still probably taking him because a Batallion requires it, which means he is more important staying alive and out of the serious action – although he can tackle chaff at a pinch. And don’t forget that if you’re willing to invest, the Goonboss has a naughty build that turns him into a liquidiser!

Boyz

Savage Orruks got a much-needed boost to their volume of attacks. They probably get the nod over Morrboys now, who still struggle with 1″ reach on 32mm bases. Buffed up Savage Orruks with Stikkas for 2″ reach can do some serious work, as well as being a superlative tarpit with the defensive buffs stacked on them.

Arrow Boyz are still basically the same. They now trigger their 3rd shot at 15+ models (which helps compensate for the change to the Kunnin Rukk that we’ll discuss in a moment), but they still get their rend -1 against Monsters. Importantly, they dropped to 120 points, which puts them in a great spot as Battleline who can do a bit of work.

Cavalry

Boarboys of all types got a boost to 12″ movement, which is just wonderful! Throw in Tireless Trackers, and these guys are hyper-maneuverable now, particularly in Icebonez. There really isn’t much to choose between the two flavours: Maniaks have a higher volume of attacks, Boarboys have a better save and so can really tank it out with the bonuses.

With their charge bonuses, Boarboys have virtually identical offensive output to Maniaks, but Maniaks get better with the attacking buffs (more dice rolled = more exploding 6s). It’s close enough to be dealer’s choice.

Threshing Machines

Big Stabbas….oh, Big Stabbas! I’ve always been a huge fan of these guys, and in fact I recently ran 12 bases of Stabbas at a 2-day event. They have been dialed back quite a bit from the full-blown insanity of their old Warscroll: their damage output is less devastating, and Da Final Fling (splash back Mortal Wounds when you are slain) has been curtailed significantly.

Incidentally, that rule was low-key the most busted thing in the old book, for the simple fact that it applied in any phase (including Battleshock). Once you were in, you were in, and they were going down one way or another! The number of times I saw my opponents having a sly check of the Warscroll to make sure I wasn’t making it up was cute.

It has been reigned in significantly, which is a shame. Nonetheless, the extra attacks, better hit rolls and run + charge make these guys more reliable, even if the damage per swing is a lot less savage. I will definitely miss the wild rollercoaster, but the new Warscroll is still legit.

Battallions

Kunnin Rukk is still da best. Although the units are capped at 20, so your output is less devastating, the cost has come right down to reflect that. It leaves space for more other fun toys, so the Rukk is now a strong tool within the army, rather than being the army, and that’s a pretty cool space to be in.

The fun part is that with Tireless Trackers, you’ll sometimes be able to get in range to shoot Turn 1, and use the Rukk to double-tap rather than move + tap. What’s more, the new Breath of Gorkamorka spell lets you fly in all phases, and even shoot into Wyldwoods: there’s nowhere to hide!

Teef Rukk is interesting, because a Big Stabba meta is a meta I want to be a part of! 140 points seems a bit stiff, but it’s certainly usable.

The others are garbage unfortunately, and not really worth dwelling on.

Kunnin Rukk is the pick, with Teef Rukk as the alternative. Hopefully the Pigs might get something better next time around, because I can’t imagine their Battalions in this book seeing the light of day very often.

Allies and Generic Endless Spells

Is there anything else I would sprinkle into the army? Big Waaagh is obviously a separate case, and will be reviewed in its own article.

Fungoid Cave Shaman is always a good shout, but in this army the Prophet can bring extra CPs in the same manner. Never rule him out, but he’s probably not the priority.

Some 1-wound chaff wouldn’t be the worst thing, especially with Slaanesh so strong in the meta. You could bring in some Stabbas or even a Merc Company of Marauders.

I like this idea more than I probably should, partly because I think it would be a great hobby project to do some Gork-worshipping humans, who paint themselves in green warpaint (as referenced by Phil Kelly in a recent White Dwarf). They can even take a Mark, which would give you some cheeky protection against Nurgle’s antics. Probably more of a niche interest than a serious competitive pick, but I am intrigued by it.

Amongst the Endless Spells, the Burning Head is a decent shout, because its rerolls are not phase- locked, meaning that a Kunnin Rukk that’s digging in its heels can bang away with rerolls all day.

In general though, I think this army operates well as-is, and your counter play to Slaanesh is probably bringing the Dakka. Most of my Bonesplitterz lists currently are pure Bonesplitterz.

List Building Archetypes

My goal here is to give you the foundations of a list, rather than a 2000 point army to pick up and play. It will give you a solid core which has a defined playstyle, ready for you to put your own stamp on. I believe these are all super powerful in their own way – let me know what you think, and how your own builds are shaping up in the Comments!

Drakkfoot Kunnin Rukk

Dakka Dakka Dakka! This build is all about drowning your enemy in a hail of arrows. All your Battleline is sorted, and you have 440 points for some fun stuff. With the pregame move, you might even be able to get into range to shoot twice turn 1, rather than using the Rukk bonus to move up into position.

It’s still important to keep the Savage Big Boss alive for this Battalion, and the Ragged Cloak is the perfect artefact for that. They’re not getting to him through a wall of green flesh, and they’re not shooting him off either – at least, not until you have had a chance to unload yourself.

Slap the Weirdnob spell on them for exploding 6s, give them Brutal Beast Spirits so they’re hitting on 4s, and if you score a CP from the Prophet you can even have them rerolling 1s in the Shooting Phase with the Generic CA. It’s like a green Agincourt.

Icebonez Super Pigs

Remember that spell that doubles your move and makes you fly? Well that puts your pigs on a cheeky little 24″ flying move. In Icebonez, you also get to retreat at the end of the combat phase: so now you’re moving an extra 24″ + D6″ (because you can run when retreating too).

Let’s not forget that you add another 1″ to run rolls from from Brutal Beast Spirits, and you’ve probably had a +3″ charge in there too (+2″ from your musician and +1″ from Brutal Beast Spirits).

So all up, that’s 52″ + 3D6″ of movement in a turn. And you might notice that we took the Great Hunter Command Trait, because you can do that in Icebonez, so slap another 8″ on there for your pregame move.

What the actual fuck, 60″ + 3D6″ in a turn! Wowzer.

You can fly up to your opponent, obliterate his chaff lines and step back onto the centre objectives.

You can beat up his dickheads, then zip into the backfield to cap his home objectives and threaten his Heroes.

You can tag a unit with the Warcry Spell to make them fight at the end of the phase. Then when the end of the phase comes, you do your stuff first (so phase out of combat) and then they have nobody left in front of them to hit when it’s their time to activate (thanks to The Dark Prince in the comments on Doom’s Bonesplitterz review for that one).

These pigs are serious business too. Both varieties have a good volume of attacks and high wound count, but whereas the Maniaks have more output (7 attacks each = more exploding 6s and more hitting the rend), Boarboys have more alpha bunker potential (stacked up with Kunnin Beast Spirits, Mystic Shield and Glyphdokk Dance to put them on a 3+ save, rerolling 1s with a 6++ on top). Taking 10 of each lets you choose your flavour as appropriate.

You might want to back them up with some heavy rend in the form of Big Stabbas or a Rogue Idol; but whichever one you go with asks serious questions of your opponent.

The Pain Train

As we discussed above, a real power move with Bonegrinz is a tanked-up unit of 30 Savage Orruks to pin your opponent in place and prevent them retreating. Grind armies aren’t my own preferred playstyle though, so let’s have some fun with a redonkulous Big Stabbas build.

Remember when Big Stabbas had 2 attacks each, hitting on 4s, and they massacred anything that went near them?

Well how about Big Stabbas with 5 attacks each, hitting on 2s, with every hit roll of 6 exploding into 3 additional hits?

We’re loading them up with an extra attack from the Batallion, an extra attack from the Waagh Command Ability (so every unit benefits from both), and then stacking one unit with the Brutal Beast Spirits and Maniak Weirdnob spells. Let’s also sprinkle on the Bonegrinz Command Ability and the Savage Big Boss Command Ability, to make it super-more-extra-killy. And that’s before any benefits from the Monster Hunters table.

A pre-game 5″ move, 10″ flying move from Breath of Gork, and run + charge (at +1″ to both from Brutal Beast Spirits) makes these guys hyper mobile, and those small cav bases will fly over screens then leverage their 3″ reach to hit exactly where your opponent doesn’t want them. Meanwhile, 30 Arrow Boys spraying shots around should buy you time to get into position and accrue a couple of CPs to fuel the wombo combo engine.

Once you have tagged an enemy unit or three, you’re fighting to the death: most likely theirs. They can’t retreat – we’re Bonegrinz, remember?

Rogue Idol: The Rock Star

How can we load up Pebbles? Loads of ways!

Breath of Gorkamorka is putting him on a 20″ flying move for starters. His base is a lot smaller than a Maw Krusha too, so with +1″ to charge from Brutal Beast Spirits, you’ve got a decent change of vaulting those screens.

You’ll be hitting on 2s, rerolling 1s on the charge, with all of your attacks at rend -2, and also +1 damage from the allied Warchanter.

The best thing is, he’s virtually indestructiable. His 4+ base save is the best in the army, so by the time you stack the defensive buffs from the Warchanter and Mystic Shield, he’s on a 2+ save rerolling 1s, 5++ ignore, 6+++ ignore. Then when they go through all that drudgery to put on like 2 wounds – let’s heal them right back up with another Wardokk dance. Holy Guacamole!

Most armies can’t ignore him, but also can’t deal with him. And here’s 90 arrows in your face too – thanks for coming.

In Conclusion

Today was a good day.

There are a few clear downsides to the book: some iconic entries (notably Big Stabbas and the Wurggog Mask) have lost a lot of their character, and the absence of Endless Spells is pretty disappointing for a magic army.

However the upsides compensate for that many times over. Tireless Trackers is incredible; you have strong shooting, which puts you in a great position in the meta; and you have enough tricks and combos to pose serious questions of your own.

This book has had a serious lift in power level, and gives you all the tools you need to do well. There’s plenty here to keep all the Big Bosses busy for years to come.

As a long-term Bonesplitterz player, I’m delighted with where this book has taken us; GW have done a great job making so many completely different builds viable, and exciting to explore. I could play this army alone for ages without getting bored – but wait until you see how much fun the Big Waaagh is.

Excelsior!

2 thoughts on “Battletome Orruk Warclans: Bonesplitterz Review

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