Dalton Copeland’s 5-0 Bonesplitterz

Well done that man! My long-term sparring partner and fellow Megaboss Dalton Copeland has picked up his first event win at Bathurst GT and we’re here today to celebrate that.

Bonesplitterz just got worked over pretty hard with the nerf bat so I think this is likely a swansong for the army – we have lists locked in for a teams event next weekend (Runeaxe) but after that I’ll be shelving the Green Machine for the foreseeable future, and (spoiler alert) it looks like Dalton will be moving on too.

I must be psyhcic

Big D was running his Bonesplitterz with a list that follows a similar structure to my Drakkfoot army – but it’s not merely copy pasta because he’s gone for Icebone Warclan, with the corresponding Battleline switch out from Morrboys to Boarboys:

Ignoring ward saves is switched out for some mortal wound output, with that burst of extra speed and a triumph bid coming at the cost of some Expert Conquerors and wounds on the board. We’re running with a slightly different format from your classic tournament report today and doing this as an interview to keep things punchy, so let’s see how it all went down.

Where are you at with the hobby currently – are you enjoying this Handbook?

Yes and no. I’ve had no problems with battle tactics and grand strategies as they’ve come along, as it’s just another thing to keep track of, which is the reason I now keep a notebook in my box of dice and widgets. I’m also happy to see endless spells are now worth including in lists outside of the two or three that were clearly really points efficient.

What I don’t like in this GHB is how I’m noticing competitive builds are pigeonholed into avoidance of hordes or taking minimal Galletian Veterans (so as to still have access to the tactics with minimal points investment), which unfortunately leaves some books dead in the water. What’s even more unfortunate is that I own some of those books.

Fair enough. So what made you switch out the Morboys for pigs? Did you try both?

I did at first plan to run Drakkfoot, and was even just going to settle for a copy of your list from Snake Eyes (with some alterations to cater for the pack if testing showed it needed that). This lasted exactly one game against local legend ‘Spooky Luke’ Ingram, but I ended up seeing some Icebone players getting good results and I could not resist the call of the angry bacon.

We’re here for the Boarboys. Was the lack of GVs ever an issue for Proving Grounds?

Not really, most of the time I was taking second turn as I wanted to keep turn order and set myself up for the double turns that came along. This lead to me picking my own objectives as Proving Grounds when they were completely safe from enemy GV’s, so as to waste them and keep them from being picked later in the game.

Nicely played. What was your typical deployment and pregame moves?

I mostly set my key pieces outside of threat range from my opponent’s ranged output, then pushed forward my Big Stabbas and battleline pigs to act both as screens and threats to convince my opponents that taking first turn was a good idea and definitely not a trap. To that end I usually had my Glowin’ Tattooed Wurrgog Prophet waiting just within 12” of the front of my screens, just so I could punish any over-eager charges.

Step into the lair and get stared the fuck down. So for your Day One games, what was the strategy? How did you set about winning your matchups?


First two rounds were fairly simple for me as a long time Big Waaagh! player. I knew to break these lists you have to get in early and start removing heroes and units before they get the Waaagh points stacking, and the only difference lay in how the missions changed that formula; Round 1 was Prize of Gallet against Austin Cranfield and his beautifully painted list. If you like Uruk-hai from the Lord of the Rings this man has got you covered! Austin castled up and I ran at him, wanting to pin him down and hold him in his deployment with as few units engaged as I could manage. Austin did well to try and fight his way out with his Wurrgog being a monster and staring down the Krondspine a level, while only taking one wound himself. He had a good crack at getting through the walls of meat I had thrown around him but eventually they couldn’t outgrind the Icebones and I got the win.

Round 2 was against Jake Gunning on Nidus Paths: Jake was a bit wise to my pregame move shenanigans and had his army castled well within the reach of his 12 Man-Skewer crossbows and the triple moving Maw Krusha, as well as his home deployment Nidus Path. Jake then gave first turn, so I promptly triple wrapped my Stabbas while the Wurrgogs prayed to Gorkamorka that he would take the double, and sent a unit of Maniaks to go kill some Brutes for a battle tactic.

Jake in turn triple moved his cabbage into the back of my wrapped-up bundle of laser eye goodness and won the double. I promptly hit my 4+ ward panic button and lived through a Destroyered cabbage double, then lifted it with a Wurgogg stare, all for the price of two Big Stabba units and 4 battleline pigs. The rest of the game was essentially mopping up as I used spare pig survivors from the cabbage to eat Unleash Hells while the Krondspine did Krondspine things.

ROUND 3: Tzeentch

Round three saw me up against Jacob Strachan and his Host Arcanum. A trick-filled summoning list on Realmstone Cache was not my idea of a great time but I managed to get myself pregame moved onto the objective and posturing an intent to pin Jacob’s army in his deployment, which Jacob didn’t really have to care about as he has probably had enough output to clear room for himself. However he did talk himself into taking first and dropped a unit of Horrors onto the objective, moved his screens up behind them and dared me to charge the Horrors.

Not being a coward, I took up his challenge, however Jacob did let the rest of his army get too close to the Horrors which allowed me charge nearly my entire list into his army turn one while not needing to actually hit the Horrors themselves with anything more than a pig or two. I got a lucky cast through of Fists of Gorkamorka and collapsed one of his Kairic acolyte units while putting a Krondspine and Maniak pigs into the others, and then spent the rest of the game on the objectives that split to the middle of the board while trying to chase down Kairos and a Lord of Change who kept desperately casting spells in an attempt to summon a huge blob of Horrors and clinch the game. Luckily for me I got my charges in and kept that from happening.

Three Zip overnight and sitting pretty. And how did you approach Day Two?

ROUND 4: Daughters of Khaine

Round 4 was Silksteel Nests against Jarrod Baker and his 30 gross snakes. Lovely man, prick of a list. However, with the traditional Saturday night panic over Round 4 the thing I learnt about DoK is that they are blatant thieves and basically are reskinned Big Waaagh! This means the game plan of Rounds 1 and 2 are in effect here: get in early and hit hard before the buffs turn the snakes into unstoppable monsters.

I did my usual pregame stuff of moving myself up to threaten a pin, Jarrod then decided that I needed a wild Krondspine in my backfield and took first to throw arrows downfield at my General. Some unlucky rolling for Jarrod and some stellar rolls for me kept the Krutchspine bonded and I knew I had to get into those bow snakes posthaste. I stared a hole into his screens and absorbed Unleash Hell with Big Stabbas, then managed to pick up a unit of melee snakes with the Kronspine.

They in return slapped it down a level with their death frenzy, but importantly I had got a model within 3” of the bow snakes who were well within the No Retreat aura from the Incarnate. This basically won me the game as the third unit of snakes was too far away fighting some pigs on an objective to impact the rest of the game. These lucky early turns got me so far ahead that the rest of the game was mostly mopping up, however the Krondspine did manage to blow itself up on snake eyes trying to eat some Chronomantic Cogs. [Echoes of Dalton’s famous Colossal Squig who always found intriguing new ways to die – getting lost in a Realmgate being one highlight].

ROUND 5: Sons of Behemat

Terence rocked up to the game and proceeded to show me why he was on top tables. While I was favored due to the mission being Close to the Chest and me having so many units, he made damn sure to make my life as awkward as he could manage in a match-up stacked so heavily against him. Terence took turn one and began taking the objectives in my territory, launching himself forward early doors. I did my best to hold objectives and sent the Krondspine in with some Stabbas and pigs to drop one of the gatebreakers, however I only got it halfway dead. Uh oh.

Terence won the next turn and sent in Kragnos, and only narrowly missed a charge with his other Mega-Gargant. I managed to survive the turn with some decent rolling and popping the 4+ ward, but when it came around to me I got another God roll with my Wurrgog and stared down Kragnos down in one go. Once I got the Gatebreaker during combat this left a big priority; if I won, I drop the last Mega who was in range of all my Stabbas and Krondspine, and get three turns of max capping to win. If Terence won he probably manages to get another turn of max scoring which could let him keep ahead of me.

Lucky for me I won that turn three priority and that wrapped up the game with the last Mega falling to massed spears and Krondspine, while the survivors of Kragnos scattered to claim the now-vacant objectives.

Yesssssss! Here we go! So what was the coolest moment across the weekend?

Winning my first tournament, hands down, best feeling.

Which play were you most proud of?

Avoiding the Horror trap round 3. If I engaged it would’ve cost me the game for sure as I couldn’t have gotten into the rest of the army and I would have eaten massed shooting and magic, instead of just the magic.

And which play by one of your opponents made you think damn that’s good?

Jacob’s sneaky hero phase screen hopping with Kairos and the Lord of Change. He used the Hosts Arcanum pregame move to get those flying units up the table and punt Ravenak into the middle of my army. Because he had a one-drop he could reliably jump forward then use the first turn to move back to safety: jump over, cast, fly back.

Smooth. Now you mentioned to me at Snake Eyes that you were done with playing Orruks for a while: what changed your mind?

It’s my favorite model range, no matter how mad I get about one of the warclans I always find myself coming back. That and I’m saving my Slaves to Darkness-heavy Nurgle collection for the new S2D tome. The leaks are making Nurgle look really good again. Between Slaves, Ogors and Gargants, so much good stuff is coming out I still have no idea where to go first.

Once you go green, you never go back. Any changes you’d make to the list?

Drop the battle regiment core battalion; it doesn’t have a place here as it limits me padding out important drops so I can see where my opponent is going. Add a Vanguard to lighten up CP consumption and get those charges and runs firing.

I’d also change the spells on the Wurrgogs: the General should have Tusks whereas the Glowin’ Tattooz Prophet should be running around with the +1 to hit, run and charge spell.

Any tips for people picking up the army?

Practice your list, I got lucky with winning on no practice but I got two match-ups I know better than most players running it, so that mitigated a lot for me.

Learn to plan ahead and screen effectively: you’d be surprised how few people know how to screen properly.

Finally, learn to embrace the term acceptable losses because you won’t be able to keep the whole army intact and sometimes you just have to lose a unit to win the game.

OK. Now I’m making you king for the day. What changes would you make to AOS?

Remove the Aelves, all of them.

Done. Next: one unit buff, one points change and one rule change?

  • Rogue Idol gets the Orruk keyword again
  • Krondspine needs the points increased
  • Remove the cap on how many endless spells can be taken.

And finally, I’ve always admired that flat green skin tone on your orcs – are you willing to share the recipe?

Deathworld Forest base, Athonian Camoshade wash, tidy with base and highlight with 70:30 mix of Deathworld Forest and Cadian Fleshtone. You might wanna fiddle with the mix and highlight incrementally.

Thanks for that Dalton, and congratulations again. Well Krondspine got that points increase which was to be expected, and it was good to see meaningful adjustments to Kruleboyz and Gits too. Once we move on from Bounty Hunters I’ll be super keen to give my Squigs a hit out, but for now I’m all in on painting up Ogors ahead of their new book.

I’ll be back next week with the results of the October Listbuilding Challenge for Gnomad Feastmasters – last call for anyone who wants to get involved in that – and until then, good look to everyone involved at Bush Bash this weekend. See you on the other side.


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