Ossiarchs have been out for enough time, some powerful combinations and army lists are doing the rounds. Here are my three favorite ways to run the Bonereapers, and why I think they’re strong.
Ossiarchs have been out for a good while now, and several generals have already concocted some powerful combinations and army lists to best make use of their unique talents. They are an incredibly versatile army that can be adjusted to fit just about any style of play and still be viable.
As with most Death armies, the Ossiarch Bonereapers have some amazing defensive potential, and with the right kit, you can finish the game with barely any permanent losses. Unlike most Death armies, however, the Ossiarchs don’t rely on their heroes for their abilities and tricks, so you can be a little more free with them. Still, should you want to keep them kicking until the end, take an Aegis Immortal battalion, then let your Immortis Guard babysit your slower heroes, like Mortisans, Vokmortian, or Katakros and stick your Archai with any Liege-Kavalos you bring or, should you have him, Arkhan. This will let you bounce all of your wounds over to the guardians, ignoring them entirely on a 5+, and then still take your 6++. In Arkhan or Katakros’s case, they can bounce all their wounds over and then heal their comrades, virtually guaranteeing your heroes will carry out whatever task you set them to virtually unharmed (especially since they can also heal themselves).
For a really special trick, declare that your army is Petrifex Elite, take a Boneshaper, give him the Artisan’s Key, then set him up behind a unit of Morteks with a pair of Immortis as his bodyguards. This will allow him to not only bounce all of his wounds onto the Immortis, but also heal both them AND the Morteks, plus since the Petrifex increases armor saves, your army will be much tougher. Since the Immortis have a 2” range, they’ll be able to attack over the heads of the Morteks, so they can focus on protecting your ‘shaper while still dishing out some damage. For extra fun, give the ‘shaper the Empower Nadirite Weapons spell to make your wall even scarier. And as the final cherry, bring a Mortek Crawler to shoot over your immovable blockade to chip off even more wounds.
On the other side of that coin, the Ossiarchs feel plenty comfortable dishing out major damage, and with Kavalos being a solid battleline choice it’s easy to make a good death star army. The obvious choice if you favor cavalry charges is Stalliarch Lords, since it buffs most of your cavalry and gives them some decent maneuverability. However, for my money the best combat choice is Ivory Host, who get scarier the more hurt they become. The Beastbound Blade on a Liege-Kavalos or Soulreaper will result in some huge damage potential, giving them a permanent attack boost, and your general will get MORE attacks on a 5+ every turn.
A unit of note for the discerning general is the Necropolis Stalker, which can move further for a RDP and will almost always hit combat when and where you want it to. It has a pair of weapon options, but you should ALWAYS take the Spirit Blades, and when choosing your Aspect, always take Precision. This gives the Stalkers 5 3+/3+ Rend -2 attacks that do 2 damage EACH, and should you have a Liege-Kavalos nearby to buff their attacks you can expect whatever you pointed that to become a fine mist in a turn or two. Also worth considering is the Katakrosian Deathglaive battalion, which will allow 2 of your Stalkers and a unit of Harbingers to make a 6” pre-battle move, potentially getting them into first turn charge range (especially if you are Stalliarch, who can run and charge in the same phase).
The Master’s Call
Even though Ossiarchs don’t NEED their heroes to function like other Death armies, I can’t discount how awesome their heroes are, and there is no reason NOT to take a bunch of awesome heroes. Most notable of these is of course Katakros, who has an incredible array of abilities and attacks, more wounds even than Nagash, and the more damaged he gets, the harder he fights. Of course his abilities benefit the members of his specific legion the most, he is still a powerful force multiplier and worth considering.
The Mortis Praetorians are definitely the way to go should you bring him though, and they gain some incredible buffs as long as he lives, which will be a loooooong time. Bring an Immortal Aegis along too to babysit him and you’ll never have to worry about losing him to a rogue mob. Another hero of note is the Soulmason, who can power up the hit rolls of friendlies nearby, and has a chance to get extra support spells every hero phase. Put him near a Crawler or bunkered in a unit of Morteks (especially if you also gave him the Empower spell) and watch the fun begin. Make sure to keep your heroes defended though, as even the best of them aren’t indestructible. Petrifex is a good way to ensure this, as it gives most of your heroes a 3+ armor save and gives your big boys like Nagash, Katakros, Arkhan, and the Liege-Kavalos a 2+!
How do you like to run your Legion?