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Age of Sigmar: How to Play Ossiarch Bonereapers

6 Minute Read
Feb 17
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Today we check out the basics of Age of Sigmar’s Ossiarch Bonereapers and some tips to wield Nagash’s masterstroke.

Not content to let Sigmar have all the ultimate warrior fun, Nagash has been slowly accumulating bones and souls to make an army of perfect soldiers, the Ossiarch Bonereapers. Recent FAQs made them a bit more varied (see ya later, Petrifex spam), so here are some fast tips for playing the bone boys.

What Are Ossiarch Bonereapers?

The Ossiarch Bonereapers are the ultimate creation of the Great Necromancer, and the only force so far to take back one of the arms of the Eightpoints from Archaon. Led by the Mortarch of the Necropolis, Orpheon Katakros, they are the perfection of Nagash’s death magic, utterly fearless, deadly in combat, and terrifying to behold. They span all eight Realms, demanding a tithe of bone every season and administering harsh punishment to those that cannot meet their steep tax. They are unfeeling and efficient, the perfect machine for Nagash to unleash and spread the dominance of Death.

Why Play Ossiarch Bonereapers?

Powerful, self-sufficient, and tough, this is an army that rewards any style of gameplay. Wanna play Cavalry? You can. Infantry spam? Easy. Stompy/magic nonsense? You can bring Nagash or Arkhan and give them your army keyword. This is an army that is spoiled for choice, and can do just about anything you want (except shoot, but it’s Death, so if you want to shoot pick a new Grand Alliance).

Strengths

  • A unique form of command points, so you don’t have to be so fussy about spending them.
  • Every unit champion is a hero (and sometimes whole units are).
  • Arkhan and Nagash get your army keyword and as such benefit from all your shenanigans.
  • Your basic unit is really tough, and most of your army can dish out mortal wounds like candy.

Weaknesses

  • Like most Death armies, this army is very reliant on its hero choices. Not as much as the others, but still.
  • They’re a bit more expensive than usual Death armies.

Signature Rules

How you play and what rules you worry about depends on your subfaction, but these are the basic rules that you need to know for this army.

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  • Deathless Warriors – Units with the Hekatos keyword, wholly within 6″ of a Hekatos, or wholly within 12″ of an Ossiarch hero can ignore wounds and mortal wounds on a 6+. The Hekatos is the unit champion, and several units have the keyword, so this isn’t hard to manage.
  • Ranks Unbroken By Dissent – Makes your whole army immune to battleshock, which is incredible. This rule also tells you the unique way you generate Command Points (called Relentless Discipline Points for them). Basically, you get 1 for every hero (2 if that hero is a liege), one for every battalion, and 3 if you included Katakros. Then, you roll a d6 for every Ossiarch unit on the battlefield, and on a 6, you get another point. Unlike command points though, they don’t carry over from turn to turn, meaning you don’t have to worry about spending them.
  • Unstoppable Advance – The army-wide command ability that all your units can use. Basically gives them an additional 3″ of movement, offsetting your slower infantry and giving your faster units the edge.

Subfactions

The Realm each Ossiarch Legion resides in determines the style of bones they have access to, and thus determines how they play. The Stalliarch Lords are masters of cavalry, the Petrifex Elite are the toughest infantry fighter, and the Crematorians…explode. Whatever your style, you’ll find something fun in these subfactions.

5 Key Units

When constructing your Undead army, these should be the first five units you look at, even if you don’t decide to bring them along.

Liege-Kavalos – A mounted combat lord that brings a lot of punch on its initial impact charging into combat. Whenever he charges, you roll a number of d6s equal to the charge roll, and every 6 deals a mortal wound to an enemy within 1″. Also, he can pile-in an extra 3″ when he charges, so you can curl around a bunker unit to get at a hero they’re trying to protect. Plus, a command ability that adds 1 to the attacks of a nearby Ossiarch unit and a buttload of attacks means this guy will be a frontline headache for your opponent.

Mortisan Boneshaper – Your important heal caster. He heals a nearby unit passively every hero phase and can resurrect dead models just as easily. His signature spell isn’t great, but you aren’t bringing him along for that. Give him the Empower or Reinforce spell and the Artisan’s Key for a solid support caster.

Mortek Guard – Your basic infantry unit here, and they are GREAT at holding up threats. You have the option to take blades for a point of Rend or spears for an inch of range, and you ALWAYS want to go spears to get the maximum number of attacks. Their Nadrite Weapon ability gives them exploding 6s, and their command ability lets them re-roll their saves. Put your Boneshaper behind them, and they’ll never move.

Immortis Guard – These guys are Mortek Guard on growth stimulants, and they act the part. They’re tough, have a fairly hefty 3+ armor save, and can dish out mortal wounds with their shields. Also, if there’s a hero nearby, they can intercept damage for them on a 2+ (still getting their Deathless Warriors save), and their command ability lets them take a second pile-in to attack with their shields. Keep them next to your slow important heroes (like Arkhan if you take him), and keep them healed with a Boneshaper for the ultimate stall wall.

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Mortek Crawler – A bit of Undead catapult shooting to remind you of the Tomb Kings. You’ve got three shooting profiles, 2 of which can only be used once per battle. You’ll want to use the Cauldron early against a big low Bravery unit, the Stele late against a pesky hero, and Skulls for everything else. It does have a minimum range, so try to keep it away from enemies, but Death shooting is so rare having one around is a worthy investment.

Sample Army (1000 pts)

Army: Ossiarch Bonereapers

Leader: Liege-Kavalos. Command Trait: Hatred of the Living

Leader: Mortisan Boneshaper. Artefact: Artisan’s Key. Spell: Empower Nadrite Weapons.

Battleline: 10 Mortek Guard. Full Command. Spear & Shield.

Battleline: 10 Mortek Guard. Full Command. Spear & Shield.

Battleline: 10 Mortek Guard. Full Command. Spear & Shield.

Unit: 3 Immortis Guard.

How to Play Ossiarch Bonereapers

Ossiarchs, much like Stormcast, prefer a hammer and anvil style of play. Use your tough infantry to tie up your opponent while your faster hitters catch them in the rear or your spellcasters lay down withering bolts with impunity. Even your tank units are heavy hitters, though, so give as good as you get, keep your units healed, and collect your tithe of bone.

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