Spiderfang Grots

New week, new army!

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Seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment with the forces of Destruction (won’t last, but will be diving back into them soon enough), with the appearance of the Spiderfang Grots. These guys will take part in battle for the first time with a Battleplan from the Everchosen book, but their main showing will be coming up in Godbeasts.

I thought these would really be a drag and I had not intended to do forty of the little buggers (was originally planning on twenty but, umm, eBay happened) but, as it turned out, they were fairly quick to go through, helped in no small part by a dedicated painting day in the office when the chaps came round and did their Dark Elves & Space Marines.

I somewhat agonised over the colour scheme of the spiders themselves but in the end went for an easy but poisonous-looking black with yellow detail.

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After that, everything was fairly… standard really.

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The only real purchase made for this army was the Big Boss on Gigantic Spider, who I just could not get hold of on eBay, so a GW mail order had to be made.

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I wanted him looking a little different, so his spider is an off-white.

I do have two Arachnaroks on the painting table right now – the original plan was to get them done this weekend (they are big models, but there is not a huge amount of detail work, so they are fairly quick models to do), but despite getting them started I was concentrating more on The Plan.

 

The Plan

As regular visitors will know, we have been playing through the Realmgate Wars campaign, as printed by GW in their various books. However, it is starting to get a bit silly.

At the beginning of this year, we had about 20-odd Battleplans on our List of Games to Play. Decent enough, something to aim for, just the odd model (army) here and there to get ready to play.

Today, that lists stands at about 50-odd Battleplans to play. And that is with us playing an average of about a game a week. Put another way, the sheer speed at which GW had been doing Battleplans makes, I think, what we are doing utterly impossible for anyone who does not paint and play GW models on a full-time basis.

And some of us have to work for a living.

However, are we just going to lay our paint brushes to one side and give up? Not a bit of it!

I instead instigated The Plan.

Basically, I figured out that if we started Godbeasts fairly soon and played one game a week as per normal (adding in the new battles from the Ironwarp Citadel book too), then it would basically be Christmas before we got round to finishing it. And that is not even the ‘current’ campaign book, as All-Gates is out, we have a bunch of battles fom the Battletomes to go through, and I don’t trust GW not to release yet another campaign book before year’s end!

So, I figured, let’s concentrate on the models needed for Godbeasts, knuckle down, and get those puppies on the table! That done, we can probably fit in more than one battle per week on average – but only if we have the models ready.

This weekend, I gathered all the necessary models together (yeah, there might be more than I had originally thought…) and started putting them together. I also lumped in some models from the fights in the Battletomes, plus a few more that could easily be painted alongside the Godbeasts lot because, you know, I just cannot help make life a bit more difficult for myself.

Thew list is actually not that bad, if you look at it in a certain light. I mean, sure, there are three Ghorgons and a Cygor to do, but they are not that bad (or time consuming). The biggest block will be the sixty-odd Flagellants from the Devoted of Sigmar force, but I have been looking forward to doing them anyway. And there are some real highlights on the way too – a brand new Daemon Prince of Nurgle (from the Horus Heresy range), the War Altar of Sigmar, and Skaarac, the new mega-Khorgorath.

I have all the models I need, managed to get about half of them put together over the weekend. Stand by for some intense painting!

Battle Report – Relentless Assault

Time for a classic, of sorts. This Battleplan popped up way back in Battletome: Khorne Bloodbound but, because of the models involved, we are only just getting to it now.  This is actually quite an interesting battle, in terms of background, as it takes place right before the Age of Sigmar audio dramas. If you want to know what Mannfred was up to before the Stormcasts found him, read on!

 

The Story So Far

Within the Realm of Death, Exalted Deathbringer Vrak Brazenfist led his Skullfiend tribe Bloodbound deep into the Gulf of Regrets, hoping to find enough skulls to get Khorne to recognise him. However, poking about in the Realm of Death is rarely healthy, and as they started hewing their way through legions of skeletons, they were unaware that dark eyes were watching them.

The Skullfiend tribe eventually fought their way to a Dragonfate Dais, and here they mounted a solid defence as wave upon wave of the dead crashed against them. The skeletons were soon joined by more powerful creatures – wights, wraiths and Black Knights, all watched from the edge of the courtyard by their master, Mannfred von Carstein, Mortarch of Night.

However, the number of skulls being claimed by the Bloodbound gained them the attention of Khorne, and Mannfred saw his army begin to dissolve from the foul energies coming from the dais. Snarling, he ordered his Dread Abyssal, Ashigaroth, to carry him into the fray…

 

The Forces

This is a fairly small scale battle, with the dead coming at the Bloodbound in three waves – the last led by Mannfred himself!

Khorne Bloodbound
Exalted Deathbringer (Vrak Brazenfist)
Slaughterpriest (Kordrok)
Bloodreavers x 20
Blood Warriors x 25 (two units of 10, one of 5)
Skullreapers x 5
Mighty Skullcrushers x 3

This is a small but solid force, with the Blood Warriors creating a tough barrier to crack as the likes of Skullreapers and Skullcrushers do what they do best. The tribe is led by Vrak, an Exalted Deathbringer, and his Slaughterpriest, giving us a chance to use the new models I have recently painted!

Deathrattlers
Mannfred, Mortarch of Night
Wight King
Cairn Wraith
Grave Guard x 20
Skeleton Warriors x 60 (two units of 30)
Black Knights x 10 (two units of 5)

Mannfred’s army is a little tougher than the Bloodbound and, of course, it features the Mortarch himself. However, there are some problems. First off, the army is split into three waves, meaning it is coming in piecemeal (though there is a chance to recycle any units completely destroyed in an earlier wave). Second, the Bloodbound can create makeshift barriers from the bones of their attackers as the battle progresses.

In order to attain a major victory, Mannfred needs to wipe the Bloodbound out to a man. Alternatively, the Bloodbound need to either destroy half of the third wave, or drive off Mannfred himself…

 

Deployment

From the start, it was clear that the Bloodbound were less than interested in using the Dragonfate Dais as a defensive position. As the forces of the dead approached, they saw nothing except walking skulls ready to be harvested for Khorne.

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Mannfred had not taken to the battlefield yet but was watching from the shadows. He directed his Black Knights to attack from one side while a Cairn Wraith led Skeleton Warriors from the other. As they marched forwards, the Bloodbound were already rushing to meet them.

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Battle Round One

The Slaughterpriest led a stirring prayer to Khorne which infected even the Skeleton Warriors. Overcome with a fury that the Cairn Wraith could not control, they stumbled forward into the waiting axes of Blood Warriors.

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Seeing more skulls with the Skeletons rather than the Blood Knights, the Bloodreavers were left to deal with the cavalry lurking in the woods while almost every other member of the Bloodbound headed for the Skeleton Warriors.

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The first clashes proved deadly for both sides, as nearly a dozen skeletons were smashed to pieces while their own swords claimed four Blood Warriors.

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The slaughter continued in the woods as Bloodreaver fought Black Knight, with one Bloodreaver killed and another two running for their lives before their general spotted what they were doing.

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As the Cairn Wraith moved in to battle the Blood Warriors, Skeleton Warriors that had been smashed apart started to reassemble and begin fighting once more.

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More Blood Warriors fell to their blades but it was rapidly becoming clear that the Khornate forces were having the best of it so far. Even the Bloodreavers surged on, bringing down three Black Knights though they lost more of their own number in the process.

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Battle Round Two

The Slaughterpriest called upon Khorne to boil the ectoplasm of the Cairn Wraith, but Khorne’s favour was weak for this servant, and the prayer had little more effect than causing the Wraith to trail a little smoke.

More Blood Warriors piled in and, between them, they hammered the Skeleton Warriors, this time ensuring they would not rise again, before finishing off the Cairn Wraith.

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As the Bloodreavers dispatched the last of the Black Knights int he woods, Mannfred directed his second wave forward into the fray. The Bloodbound hastily reformed their positions around the Dragonfate Dais but the Bloodreavers were too far away to respond to the rallying call of the Exalted Deathbringer.

 

Battle Round Three

While the Bloodbound had sustained some losses, mostly within the ranks of the Blood Warriors, Mannfred decided he would end this battle quickly and his second wave was a far mightier sight than the first.

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The undead approached from three sides, two big units of Skeleton Warriors trapping the Bloodbound between them, while Black Knights arrived ready to charge their way through the Khorne worshippers.

 

Battle Round Four

Crying out praises to the Blood God for the delivery of yet more skulls, the Bloodbound moved as one. They chose to ignore one unit of Skeleton Warriors, instead attempting to engage everything else on the other side of the battlefield.

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The two units of Blood Warriors who had destroyed the first Skeleton Warriors were eager to repeat their success, and they charged at full tilt.

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However, this time the Skeleton line held and while a few bones were smashed, the Blood Warrior charge was broken, five of them slain by ancient swords and the scythe of another Cairn Wraith.

Further along the battleline, the Skullcrushers smashed into a new unit of Black Knights, one of their horses blasted apart by the weight of the charge alone. As their riders started hacking at the undead cavalry, another two Black Knights dropped to the ground.

Even the Bloodreavers had found a renewed purpose and they rushed out of the trees to engage yet another unit of Black Knights. However, they fared less well, the careless swings of their axes easily dodged or parried while lances spitted down to skewer three of them.

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It was with some dismay that the Bloodbound watched the crumpled form of destroyed Skeleton Warriors and Black Knights rise up to fight once more. Across the battlefield, the Khorne warriors were being contained by the relentless nature of the undead. The Blood Warriors were hit the hardest, with only one surviving from the units that had charged the Skeleton Warriors, Bloodreavers were beginning to drop like flies, and even the Skullcrushers had been brought to a halt by the constantly reassembling Black Knights.

Then, Mannfred took to the battlefield, swooping down on the back of his Dread Abyssal, Ashigaroth.

 

Battle Round Five

Mannfred had assembled a unit of Grave Guard to act as his bodyguard, but he had sent them in a wide loop of the Bloodbound so that they appeared at one end of the Khorne line, while he appeared at the other, just yards from the Skullcrushers.

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The vampire gestured at the Skullcrushers and a Wind of Death blew through their line, claiming one of them immediately as his skin shrivelled and rotted.

More Skeletons picked themselves off the ground and rejoined the ranks of the dead, and Mannfred’s army began to surround the remaining Bloodbound.

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The Cairn Wraith proved a little too foolhardy for its centuries of existence, and swept forward to engage the Exalted Deathbringer. Though he aided the leader of the Bloodbound, the Slaughterpriest rushed in and, together, they dispatched the Wraith.

Elsewhere, though, the Bloodbound were suffering, with both the last Blood Warrior fighting the Skeleton Warriors and the Bloodreavers all slain.

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The Slaughterpriest tried to commune with his god for the power to reverse the undead tide, but Khorne had grown weary of listening to his constant bleating for help, and the Slaughterpriest suddenly twisted in pain as punishment was delivered.

The Skullreapers, for their part, were eager to be the ones to claim Mannfred’s skull, but the Mortarch proved too elusive and they slaked their bloodlust against the Black Knights.

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However, the shields of the Black Knights proved firm once more and they took the charge, coldly dispatching another Skullcrusher as they fought.

Seeing his chance to shatter the third wave of undead, the Exalted Deathbringer attempted to lead a charge against the Grave Guard but while the last Blood Warriors and Slaughterpriest smashed into their shields, he was waylaid by the Skeleton Warriors who had started to stream through the woods.

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Five Grave Guard were smashed in this attack but the Slaughterpriest was wounded and Blood Warrior dead had already started to carpet the ground. And already the destroyed Grave Guard were starting to reassemble themselves and reach for their swords…

 

Battle Round Six

The Exalted Deathbringer was beginning to realise he might have bitten off more than he could chew, for while a single Skeleton Warrior was no match for a fighter such as he, their numbers marching through the forest seemed endless.

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Despite fighting bravely, every cut from their swords began to count and soon he was overwhelmed by their sheer weight.

Meanwhile, Mannfred was eager to drive the rest of the Bloodbound away from the Dragonfate Dais, and he led the Black Knights forward.

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Swinging Ashigaroth round, he plunged into the rear of the Skullreapers. It was a short fight.

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The tipping point of the battle, however, was on the far side of the woods from Mannfred. The Grave Guard were putting up a staunch defence, and the Slaughterpriest soon joined the fate of his Exalted Deathbringer as he fell to their swords and axes along with half a dozen Blood Warriors.

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In their death throes, the Blood Warriors hurled themselves at the Grave Guard, desperate to break their shield wall. One Blood Warrior managed it, smashing in the skulls of Grave Guard before finally being cut down.

This last effort proved just too much for the Grave Guard and their spirits began to flee the battle, leaving their skeletons to drop, lifeless, to the ground.

Mannfred’s third wave had been broken and now the Mortarch had to flee before more Bloodbound showed up…

 

Conclusion

That was an extremely tight battle! Just as things looked hopeless for the Bloodbound, their Blood Warriors made one final push which was just enough to force the Grave Guard to take a Battleshock test which, failing, reduced their numbers just enough to give a victory for Khorne!

As anyone who has listened to the Age of Sigmar audio dramas will already know, Mannfred will flee this battle but be captured by another Deathbringer and then imprisoned and tortured. He will eventually be freed by the Hallowed Knights and then promise to help them find Nagash.

I won’t spoil the rest, but it will not go well for everyone…

 

The Story Continues…

We are continuing our tour of the realms, next time taking a look at what the Tzeentch Arcanites are doing in the Realm of Fire with a Battleplan from the Dominion of Chaos book.

The Errant-Questor

Games Workshop recently released their first Warhammer World-exclusive model for Age of Sigmar, meaning you have to take a trip up to Nottingham to grab it (or pay well over the odds on eBay – £20 in Nottingham, about £30-odd on eBay). I did the former last weekend, and finished painting him up last night!

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Like all Stormcasts, he is dead quick to do and, you will notice, this is the first Stormcast model to have a bare head.

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Aside from that, there is absolutely nothing complicated with this model at all, and now I am thinking I should have perhaps picked up another for the Stark Hammers…

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This is a plastic model, and it comes in its own box rather than a clamshell – even though this must be a very limited run model, Games Workshop has not skimped on it in any way.

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It also comes with a full colour instruction booklet, complete with game rules and a Pitched Battle Profile meaning you can use him in Matched Play.

So, what is he like in the game?

Well, 140 points buys you a Leader model with a 3+ Save and 5 Wounds, like many Stormcast heroes. His Rune-etched Blade has three attacks, Rend and kicks out D3 damage – so, he is not the be-all-and-end-all, but a perfectly respectable Hero all round.

However, it is his three Abilities that make the Errant-Questor stand out.

Relentless Purpose allows him to re-roll all failed charges – useful for any Hero as you always get a moment when they just cannot be bothered to get into a fight.

The Oathsworn ability has you declare an oath the Errant-Questor has taken before the game starts. This will result in him protecting another Hero (lumping their wounds onto the Errant-Questor instead), picking an enemy Hero and getting to re-roll all failed hits and wounds (making him a nice little assassin), or just adding +1 Attacks for every ten enemy models he kills. This latter could be all sorts of fun, though it is unlikely to get hugely high in an average game. You would be very lucky to get to 20 models dead (giving you a total of 5 Attacks) though, of course, it will get easier the more models he slays!

Finally, until his oath is complete, the Errabnt-Questor ignores all Rend. Which is very nice.

As for how he fits into the Stormhosts and what his actual role on the battlefield is… no idea! I have not seen any ‘fluff’ written for him, nor is any provided in the box. We’ll just have to wait for him to pop up in one of the books!

Mantis Warriors Continue

While I have still not completed the vehicles I am intending for my ‘basic’ 1500 point Mantis Warrior force (just a couple of bits and pieces left to do on them though!), I have managed to finish off the two Dreadnoughts, plus I popped in a handful of Terminators.

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Beginning to look like a fairly strong army!

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The Terminators were an eBay purchase and not really organised into too much of a sensible squad, so these guys might well not end up fighting together – as I pick up some more, they will get drafted into suitable squads. However, I think these chaps have turned out quite well and the transfers are looking good on them!

Incidentally, in the past I have messed around with various liquids that promise to ‘seal’ transfers and almost make them look as if they are painted on – to date, I have found nothing that works better than (of all things) Lahmian Medium. Probably a bit cheaper than some of the others too!

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Then there are the two heavyweights, the Dreadnoughts. The first is just bog standard, I nice way to get a walking Multimelta into the game that will, in the very least, provide a threat to any Rhinos and their equivalents that come into range.

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And finally, the long-ranged hitter that does pretty much the same job but with a twin-linked Lascannon.

The next update you see for the Mantis Warriors should be a bunch of Rhinos, Vindicators, Land Speeders and a Stormraven!

Event Report – Seeds of Hope

Games Workshop had another one of their one-day free events for Age of Sigmar this weekend. So, we loaded up the car and made the trip into the wilderness of the North to attend!

This was (I think) a dry run for their 2,000 point ‘tournament’ event in a month or two, being a three-round, 1,000 point event, using all the Matched Play rules. I went up with Andy and James, who took Ogres (Gutbusters) and Daughters of Khaine respectively, while I went with my Hallowed Knights:

Lord-Celestant on Dracoth
Fulminators x 4
Liberators
Judicators

So, a nice, compact force that was not too over the top but it had it where it counts. The Lord-Celestant was a Legendary Fighter (giving his hammer +1 attacks) and he carried the Phoenix Gem (healing him every round).

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I did not count up the attendees, but it was well attended, with more participants than any other Age of Sigmar event I have been to, I believe.

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My first game was against a chap called Andre who hailed all the way from Florida (he hadn’t flown over just to play, he was in the UK for other reasons!) with his Ironjawz. Now, I have picked up some of these guys, but had never played or faced them before, so was interested to see how they went.

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It didn’t go well!

In the first turn, the Lord-Celestant grabbed an objective, putting the Hallowed Knights in the lead (as I did not think his Warchanter or Megaboss could get to an objective in the first round), and the Fulminators charged into the Ironjawz flank, wiping out an entire unit of Brutes as they went.

Then the Ironjawz just turned around and mauled the Stormcasts! There were still some high points, such as the Lord-Celestant abandoning his objective to kick the snot out of the Megaboss (though he was badly wounded in the attempt and was quickly pulled down by a Brute), and a desperate last stand by the Judicators, who managed to destroy another Brute unit in close combat!

However, victory was very firmly in the hands of the Orruks.

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The next battle was against a combined Chaos force, which included Nurgle and Khorne daemons, with a big unit of Bullgors, all led by a Great Unclean One. This battle had a random placement of objectives in the second round and, just my luck, mine landed right in front of the Bullgors – so, they needed to be dealt with!

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As it turned out, just about everything went my way in this fight – the Fulminators wiped out the Bullgors in a single charge, and then went on to clock the Great Unclean One. Even the Liberators did respectable work, tying out and bashing a combined Bloodletter/Plaguebearer force.

Victory for Order!

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The final battle was against a Deathrattler force, and things went well, initially. The Fulminator charge was pulled off flawlessly, wiping out a big Grave Guard unit, and though they got bogged down by a Wight King who was reducing their hit rolls, they finally managed to fight their way through him and his Skeleton Warrior bodyguard.

So, they were ready to plough forward and grab the enemy objective from a single unit of Skeleton Warriors – easily done!

However, I had let two Tomb Banshees sidle up the middle of the table to attack the Liberators and Judicators guarding my own objective. Nothing to worry about, as they are only Banshees – so I thought…

As it turned out, these Banshees were way, way more effective than the ones I had used in the past! Their screams almost annihilated my units and they were even bringing Stormcasts down in close combat!

If my Lord-Celestant had not doubled back to support them, I would not have had five models on the objective to claim it, and victory might not have happened – that game was a lot closer than it looked!

And that was the Seeds of Hope event – a very enjoyable day and while the Death Faction was the overall winner of the event itself, Order was able to claim Warhammer World for the Season of War summer campaign.

Yay!

I have to say, this was probably the best Age of Sigmar event I have been to. Everyone was very friendly and there were no TFGs in evidence – at all. Like, none. There were no forces that looked terrible to face, and I did not meet anyone who was absolutely determined to win all their battles. A very positive experience, and I am looking forward to the next one!

 

Review – Battletome: Bonesplitterz

The forces of Destruction are getting some love at the moment with the recent release of the Ironjawz Battletome, Bonesplitterz this week and, of course, the Beastclaw Raiders!

We have already had a look at the Ironjawz and Beastclaw Raiders, so the Bonesplitterz are up next.

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There are no new releases for the Bonesplitterz but just a few pages in, one thing will be made clear – these ain’t your Pappy’s Savage Orcs, not by a long shot.

In fact, there is nothing ‘primitive’ about the Bonesplitterz at all, despite their garb. The basic idea behind them is that they feel the call of the Waaagh! far more keenly than other Orruks, and have decided that the spirit of Gorkamorka rests within the bones of the greatest monsters in the Mortal Realms. So, the Bonesplitterz, driven on by pure Waaagh! energy, have become monster hunters!

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As with the Ironjawz book, the classic orcish humor of past editions lurks just beneath the surface of this book – nothing crass or in your face, just a hint of the writer smiling as you read. For example, there is a description on the various ways an Orruk becomes a Bonesplitter (they are not born into it). Perhaps they get caught up in too much Waaagh! energy during a fight and never really come back, or perhaps they got zapped by lightning. There is also a theory among Orruks that they can become Bonesplitterz by being headbutted by a Weirdnob, so long as it is done often enough and hard enough…

Once an Orruk becomes a Bonesplitter, he seeks out the nearest Wurgog Prophet, who tells his tribe where they will next hunt the spirit of Gorkamorka. It is pretty clear from the text that the prophet really is just making this up (even if he believes it himself) but wherever the Orruks go there will be things to duff up, so they won’t complain.

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As a side note, there have been some questions on a few of the forums about whether the Bonesplitterz are going to ally with the Ironjawz. The answer: Absolutely. In fact, all the Greenskinz factions will happily thump each other or fight alongside one another, from the biggest Ironjawz to the weakest Grots. So, go ahead and build up your Orruk legion, it is all in conformity with the background.

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Once the Bonesplitterz kill a great monster, they will hack it apart to steal its bones, believing (and who is to say they are wrong?) that if they wear the bones or use them as weapons, part of Gorkamorka’s spirit and strength will be theirs. The picture above shows some of the weapons they make from various creatures, and it is interesting to note that note everything is strictly bone – there is a reference to the bone fragments of volcanoes (obsidian), and that shards of Magmarite are thought by the Orruks to be the bones of Aqshy. Even the blood of Frostheart Phoenixes can be turned into weaponry…

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There is a quick guide to the language (such as it is) used by the Bonesplitterz, and this is not an idle side piece, as it links in to the way the tribes organise themselves for battle.

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The way the Bonesplitterz fight is a cross between the Fists used by Ironjawz and the Horns of the Buffalo, which will be immediately recogniseable by anyone who has seen the film Zulu.

The individual elements of the tribe are called Rukks (it is possible that reference may only be understood if you are British), with the leader of the tribe, the Wurgog Prohpet, in the centre and back within the Kop Rukk (Kop meaning head or brain). To the flans are the Snaga Rukks (boar-riders), and right up front are the Teef Rukks (the Orruks that carry the huge two-man spears).

The bulk of the force comprises the Kunnin’ Rukks (dedicated to Mork) and the Brutal Rukks (who have pledged themselves to Gork). The Kunnin’ Rukks sneak and shoot stuff before charging in, while the Brutal Rukks just bash stuff. As you can imagine, there is a fair bit of rivalry between them…

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As we have come to expect from Battletomes, a painting guide is present – however, as far as the Bonesplitterz are concerned, this more or less boils down to different coloured tattoos and different materials used for their weapons. However, there is some background tit bits buried in here, such as the symbols that need to be painted/branded onto a boar to make it go faster…

The different units of the Bonesplitterz are described next, though instead of each having its own section, they are done within the context of the the Rukk they are found within – so, the page on Snaga Rukks covers the Maniak Weirdnobs that lead them and the Savage Boarboy Maniaks. Oh, and in another shout to the past, squigs are back, little beasts that the Weirdnob squeezes to get extra magical oompf!

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As always, there are plenty of photographs showing every unit off and, it has to be said, they have me itching to do some Bonesplitterz myself!

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Next up is my favourite section of the Battletomes, the Battleplans and, as usual, there are three presented in this book.

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The first presents an interesting dilemma for the Bonesplitterz – the Seraphon have some really big monsters, but how can the Orruks get hold of their bones if the beasts simply disappear in a flash of light when killed? As it turns out, this does not stop the Orruks from trying, as shown in the The Beast Hunt. A nice touch is that this Battleplan contains a nice little balancing mechanism, with the size of the forces being dictated by the number of Monsters chosen by the defender (so, load up on beasts and you will be facing a massive Bonesplitterz horde). Look like it should work quite well, at least for Bonesplitterz vs. Seraphon.

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The next Battleplan (Slay the Prophet) reverses things a bit. A Khornate warband is really annoyed at the Bonesplitterz because every time they try to take the skull of something big, the Orruks show up and kill it first. The Khorne Lord decides to hit the Bonesplitterz while they are not looking, striking directly at the Wurgog Prophet.

This is an escalating battle, with the Khorne player trying to kill the Prophet before too many Bonesplitterz show up and terminally out number him.

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Finally, there is Horns of the Beast, which pits the Bonesplitterz against the Stormcasts.The Bonesplitterz are after one of the Stormcasts’ Stardrakes and, this time, the Wurgog Prophet has a plan. He wants Gorkamorka to blow up the sky for him.

This is a big one. The Stormcasts have an Extremis Chamber, with Stardrakes, plus support from a Warrior Chamber. You are going to need a big Bonesplitterz force to face them – but I quite like this idea. The other Battleplans can be used with small enough forces, and it is nice to have something to aim for as you build up your tribe, Rukk by Rukk.

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The Forces of the Bonesplitterz is, as we saw in the Sylvaneth Battletome, a new feature of all these books, containing all the rules needed to play, starting off with the Allegiance Abilities that are granted if you use a ‘pure’ Bonesplitterz force.

The Battle Traits are nicely atmospheric, with the Bonesplitterz Warpaint always giving them a save of 6, regardless of Rend or mortal wounds. In addition, their Monster Hunters rules means they never take Battleshock tests and gain random benefits (such as bigger pile-ins or re-rolling wounds) while fighting big beasties. Command Traits follow a similar vein.

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The Lore of the Savage Waaagh! grants new spells to Bonesplitterz wizards, such as the Squiggly Curse which can turn a Hero or Monster into a squiggly beast which the wizard can then squeeze for its ju-ju power, or Gorkamorka’s War Cry, that unleashes a terrible roar which can damage and stun an enemy unit.

Artefacts of Power are divided into Magical Artefacts that any Bonesplitterz Hero can take, and Arcane Treasures which are for wizards only. These include Mork’s Boney Bitz, which give bonuses to casting rolls depending on how many Monsters are nearby, and the Big Wurrgog Mask which is unleashed once per game and deals D3 mortal wounds on a 3+ – the trick is that you can keep on rolling but if you ever roll a 1 or 2, then the wearer is instantly slain!

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The Warscroll Battalions are next, and I think these will be somewhat more relevant than those of other forces we have seen in the past. Other forces can benefit from Battalions, but the Bonesplitterz seem to be very heavily based around them – I can see these being the ‘default’ way Bonesplitterz are played rather than just a source of some added benefits.

The Savage Warclan is the mega-Battalion that combines all the others into one horde, as we have seen on some other Battletomes. Never used one of these in a game, and I am not sure I ever will. However, it is always good to have something to aim for, and a single page given over to something like this will never be a waste.

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The rest are the various Rukks that go to make up a Bonesplitterz force.

Allied to this are the Warclans – similar to the Wargroves in the Sylvaneth book, these are Battalions that reflect the dispositions of specific groups of Bonesplitterz. This time round, there is no facility for combining units from other factions, but that is no hardship with the Age of Sigmar force composition rules, whatever system you are using.

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And finally, all the Warscrolls you need for the individual units among the Bonesplitterz.

 

Conclusion

This is a good, solid entry in the Battletome line. In Fantasy Battle, Savage Orcs tended to be the poor cousins of regular Orcs, with just a unit popping up here and there to take advantage of all their attacks. They always seemed to be on the periphery of the Orcish background, something slightly removed from the mainstream of Greenskinz culture.

Not with this book! The Bonesplitterz are fully fleshed out, with a solid reason for being in the Mortal Realms, and a definite drive that marks them apart from other Orruks – they are far more than just ‘Waaagh! Hit Stuff!’.

If you are new to all things green, the Bonesplitterz are a good solid force that will give the biggest models in your opponents’ armies the willies. If you were always a Savage Orcs fan, you will love the way they are portrayed now.

This book gets a big thumbs up.

 

The Stark Hammers

Though the Hallowed Knights are coming on nicely, I had been debating about doing another Stormhost for some time – partly because forces of two combined Stormhosts pop up in the Age of Sigmar storyline fairly regularly, and partly because a bit of variation is, well, interesting!

So, I had picked up a few Stormcasts with the intention of doing something with them at some point and, last week, I finally got the inspiration.

Like some other models I have done, the idea for the colour scheme was shamelessly ripped off from elsewhere on the Internet (in this case the Age of Sigmar Fans Facebook page) but I can finally present the first models from the Ironmen Warrior Chamber of the Stark Hammers, led by Tonius Ironman (though I haven’t done him yet – waiting for a new Lord-Celestant model to appear…).

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I am not going to go mad with these guys – just a few units to support the Hallowed Knights from time to time, probably starting with some of the battles in the Godbeasts book. I used the opportunity to put the variant Heraldor in, as well as a Vexillor with the banner rather than the icon. A second Lord-Relictor is needed for one of the upcoming battles, so he went in as well!

The only models I am planning to add right now are a single unit of Retributors, but the Stark Hammers will probably become the repository for all ‘variant’ models, like the Heraldor.

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As with just about all Stormcast colour schemes, this one is very, very easy (and quick!) to do. They start with a base of Mephiston Red, get a Nuln Oil wash, and then highlighted with Mephiston again before a final touch of Evil Sunz Scarlet.

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After that, the metal and scroll work follow (the scrolls are Zandri Dust with a Nuln Oil wash, highlighted with Pallid Wych Flesh).

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The last major job is the gold, using the normal Retributor Armour/Reikland Fleshshade/Liberator Gold scheme. Then the black items – weapon handles, hair pieces and leather.

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The Vexillor in particular came nicely in this scheme, which gives hope for the forthcoming Retributors.

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And the Lord-Relictor!

This weekend we had a bit of a joint painting session and while the guys worked on their Badab War models, I got stuck into my Spiderfang Grots – and got through a lot more than I expected!

In the end, I managed to do all the base colours, shading and highlighting on the major areas of forty (!) Spider Riders, leaving just the detailing to do. I probably won’t get that done on so many models during the week, but I believe I can get them all done this coming weekend and, with a Big Boss on Gigantic Spider also in an advance stage if completion, I will just have the two Arachnaroks to polish off to complete the army, which shiould also have a decent amount done to them by the end of the weekend.

Just in time for their first battle in two to three weeks time!

 

 

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