Though the Realmgate War has been fought and (sort of) won, fighting does not stop in the Mortal Realms. We are in a kind of interbellum period at the moment as we wait for the new campaign books to drop, advancing the storyline further, but in the 50-odd years between those and the Realmgate War, there is plenty going on.
This time round, we are going to take a look at a brand new army for us, the Bonesplitterz, and see just what they have been up to.
The Story So Far
Bonesplitter Orruks believe that the power of their god, Gorkamorka, literally resides in the bones of the greatest monsters that roam the Mortal Realms. So, they spend their time following the directions of their Wurrgog Prophets, who promise to lead them to the biggest beasts within reach. However, the Seraphon have always provided a certain fascination for the Bonesplitterz, as their monsters simply vanish into starlight when slain. This has not stopped the Bonesplitterz from repeatedly trying to get at their bones though…
Within the Realm of Fire lay the Dragon’s Gullet, a winding valley so mountainous that the sides curled back on themselves so peaks hung overhead. Here, the Bloodbound had built the Gorefane, a great fortress that sucked in magic and breathed out fire. Starmaster Koatok had selected this fortress for destruction, and his Seraphon slaughtered the defenders and took apart the Gorefane piece by piece.
Then, the Bonesplitterz arrived, carried across the Scorched Seas on ships of living stone. Wurrgog Prophet Gurkak Weirdteef had been following the signs (that only he could see) of great beasts coming from the stars. Sighting the Seraphon’s great beasts, the Bonesplitterz leapt from their ships and started thundering forwards.
Starmaster Koatok had not foreseen this, and cursed the unpredictability of the Orruks. However, he was well versed in warfare, and the Seraphon were soon deployed to meet the new threat.
The background of the Bonesplitterz very much suggests they are arranged around their Battalions, as opposed to their Battalions representing specialised formations or just cool things to try out. So, I have been building my Bonesplitterz with this in mind and, as this is the first outing for them, we are just trying three simple Battalions.
Wurgog Prophet (Gurkak Weirdteef)
Big Boss x 2
Boarboyz x 10
Savage Orruks x 40 (two units of 20)
Arrowboys x 20
Big Stabbas x 4
These are arranged in a Brutal Rukk (faster when they run), a Kunnin’ Rukk (which will be familiar to many on the tournament circuit, though we have toned down the units within it – one of the Savage Orruk units and the Arrowboys basically get a ‘free’ action in the hero phase), and a Teef Rukk (all the Big Stabbas, allowing them to get free attacks against specific monsters).
Slann Starmaster (Koatok)
Oldblood on Carnosaur
Saurus Warriors x 40
Skinks x 20
Chameleon Skinks x 5
Saurus Knights x 10 (two units of 5)
Saurus Guard x 15
The Seraphon have come loaded for bear and, to the joy of the Bonesplitterz, they have three monsters among them (Carnosaur, Bastiladon and Stegadon). We don’t really know how the Bonesplitterz are going to perform (and being our first game with them, they are unlikely to be played in an optimum manner), so we have avoided taking any Battalions for the Seraphon. Let’s just assume the Starmaster is very confident about handling a bunch of green-skinned savages…
In this Battleplan (The Beast Hunt), the Bonesplitterz have completely surrounded the Seraphon and are so pumped up with the thrill of the hunt that they will automatically pass all Battleshock tests.
For their part, the Seraphon brought some particularly vicious beasts to deal with the Gorefane and they are still around to face the Bonesplitterz. All Seraphon Monsters add +1 to all their hit rolls (that is going to be savage!).
Victory conditions are simple – if all three of the Seraphon monsters are killed, the Bonesplitterz earn a major victory. The Seraphon gain a major victory if they can wipe the Bonesplitterz out…
It was with no little surprise that Starmaster Koatok looked up from his contemplations to see eighty fist-throwing Orruks racing towards him, bellowing as they ran. The Seraphon reformed their lines in a disciplined manner, ensuring a barrier of Saurus Knights, Warriors or Guard would face the Bonesplitterz from every direction. High above the battlefield hung the constellation of the Great Drake, a good omen, the Starmaster knew.
For their part, the Bonesplitterz were running to battle within their Rukks, the Brutal Rukk from the east, while the Kunnin’ and Teef Rukks approached from the north. The Brutal Rukk had further to run, but comprised the fastest Orruks.
Battle Round One
The Kunnin’ Rukk was well named, for the Arrow Boys launched a sneak attack at the Stegadon who had ventured just a little too far forward among the other Seraphon, and a wave of arrows arced through the air. Some penetrated the Stegadon’s thick scales, causing the beast to bellow in pain.
Not to be outdone, the Savage Orruks accompanying the Arrow Boys tore forward, eager to claim the bones of the beast. Behind them, Wurrgog Prophet Weirdteef danced and capered, until a massive spectral fist appeared above the Skinks. It slammed down, and six Skinks burst into starlight instantly, before the fist opened and scooped up the Savage Orruks, depositing them within yards of the Stegadon.
The Brutal Rukk had already promised themselves they would not be left behind by the sneak Kunnin’ Rukk, and they raced forwards as their Wardokk performed a ju-ju dance behind them.
The Arrow Boys loosed another volley at the Stegadon, and what they lacked in accuracy they more than made up for with volume of fire. This time many more arrows struck the Stegadon, and it started to limp as it turned to face the Savage Orruks, who crashed into the beast with an impact that reverberated around the battlefield.
The carnage they inflicted would have impressed even the toughest Orruk of the Brutal Rukk, and the Arrow Boys were hot on their heels, slamming into the side of the Saurus Knights.
The Stegadon was simply overwhelmed by the rush of the Savage Orruks, and the beast moaned as it faded into starlight. Cheated of any bones, the Orruks yelled in frustration, and immediately started to find more prey. They did not have long to wait as the Oldblood piled into them on the back of a Carnosaur, the Saurus Guard flowing around the Bastiladon to support him. All of a sudden, the Savage Orruks had a real fight on their hands.
Then it was the turn of the Brutal Rukk, as the Boar Boys galloped to reach the Saurus Warriors. Neither unit was in a position to overwhelm its enemy, but both sides started to suffer casualties.
The sheer ferocity of the Bonesplitterz unnerved some of the Seraphon, and a handful of Skinks and Saurus Knights fled the battlefield. Starmaster Koatok paid them scant attention, for he knew he had to act quickly if he were to stop the Bonesplitterz from completely overwhelming his force.
Harnessing the arcane power of the Numinous Occulum, the Slann Starmaster threw a Mystic Shield over the Oldblood and Carnosaur, before hurling an Arcane Bolt at the Wurrgog Prophet. However, the mad capering of the Prophet created a complex weave of mystical energies that the Starmaster just could not penetrate, and the spell went awry before it came close to the Orruk.
With a silent command from the Starmaster, a small group of Chameleon Skinks scampered out of a rock cluster, and raised their blowpipes – the Wurrgog Prophet was in their sights, and they had a chance to decapitate the Bonesplitterz before their attack could gather strength.
Unfortunately, their aim proved to be less than legendary, and Weirdteef barely noticed the darts that thudded into his flesh.
The Oldblood started getting into his old rhythm as he and his Carnosaur tore apart the Savage Orruks. They tried to avoid the Carnosaur and instead launched an attack on the Bastiladon, but its thick shell protected it from all but the heaviest of their blows, and as the beast turned about, a massive swing of its tail knocked the last of the Savage Orruks flying.
On the other side of the Numinous Occulum, the Brutal Rukk was beginning to get bogged down by the horde of Saurus Warriors, and the fight was beginning to dissolve into a confusing melee – just how the Boar Boys liked it!
Battle Round Two
The momentum of the battle was firmly with the Bonesplitterz, and Wurrgog Prophet Weirdteef was quick to take advantage of it.
The Arrow Boys loosed a thick volley at the Bastiladon, but were disappointed as most of their arrows simply bounced off its shell. Cursing their ineptitude, Weirdteef decided to show them how things should be done, creating a great spectral Fist of Gork that crashed down among the Saurus Guard, flattening four of them. However, as he prepared to hurl an Arcane Bolt at the Bastiladon, the Slann Starmaster picked apart the spell as if it had been cast by an infant.
However, the Wurrgog Prophet had another trick up his sleeve…
With bellows that were equal part aggression and pure joy, the Big Stabbas of the Teef Rukk ran in, slamming into the Carnosaur and burying a Gork Took deep into the beast’s flank. The Prophet Weirdteef proved he indeed had the power of the Waaagh! with him as he urged the Big Stabbas onwards – they pulled their Gork Toof free and then charged again, driving their weapons deep into the Carnosaur until it burst in a rain of starlight.
They, too, were disappointed to see the creature simply disappear before their eyes, but they were still elated – the Bonesplitterz had now accounted for two of the three beasts the Seraphon had in their ranks. Now, only the Bastiladon remained.
As one, the Arrow Boys and more Big Stabbas started to converge on the Bastiladon, keen not to let other Orruks have all the fun.
Just a short distance away, the Orruks of the Brutal Rukk were perturbed that the Kunnin’ Rukk was claiming all the beasts, and so they tried an old trick. As their own Savage Orruks neared the Seraphon, the Boar Boys retreated, leaving the Saurus Warriors wide open…
…before returning with a new charge alongside the Savage Orruks.
The Saurus Warriors buckled under this fresh attack, but continued to hold firm.
Seeing the rest of this tribe approach the Bastiladon, Wurrgog Prophet Weirdteef was keen to help, but he saw the Chameleon Skinks closing in on his position, so he instead opted to heroically relocate to somewhere safer.
The fighting began to intensify as the Bonesplitterz concentrated their efforts on the Bastiladon, but the beast was proving tough. Missiles form the Arrow Boys continued to bounce off its thick shell like rain. However, the Stabba Boys were close. Barely missing a step after they had slain the Carnosaur, they raced in with their Gork Teef.
Even the Bastiladon’s mighty armour was no match for the power of the Big Stabbas, and armour plates were shattered and split as the Gork Teef were driven in at full speed. Gasping once, the Bastiladon dissolved into nothingness.
Seeing all his beasts destroyed, Slann Starmaster Koatok had no choice but to withdraw back to Azyr, the sound of excited, chanting Orrusk ringing in his ears as he departed.
As it turns out, Bonesplitterz are very, very good at killing monsters!
Those Big Stabbas are just brutal against anything large and, when combined with their Battalions and the Wurrgog Prophet, can deliver an amount of attacks that, frankly, even Archaon would have a problem with.
The Bonesplitterz are an exciting little force, capable of punching far above their own weight. Their basic foot troops (Savage Orruks) are ‘okay’ – they are durable enough, but don’t expect them to work miracles. They might be best used to hold up the enemy while the more specialised units do their work but, at the end of the day, this is just our first battle with them.
The Wurrgog Prophet is a good leader and wizard but the stars of the battle, without any doubt, were the Big Stabbas. Just a single unit was responsible for the Carnosaur and Bastiladon and, if they had had a crack at the Stegadon, I have little doubt they could have claimed three beasts in that fight!
The Story Continues…
Well, the Bonesplitterz have certainly made their impact upon the Mortal Realms, and we will be sticking with them next time as a full Brass Stampede of Khorne has isolated a Wurrgog Prophet and seeks to crush him into the ground before the rest of his tribe can arrive…