Do you want to play Orcs? Gimme a Hell Yeah!
Do you want to spend your entire weekend removing your Ironjawz models from the table, after they die pathetically to armies like FEC and DOK? Erm…
This army is ready to rumble on the top tables and take the fight to the meta. This list made the Top 10 and took out Best Destruction at SAGT 2019, a 48-player in Adelaide in March 2019.
Now, I have my share of “Turn up with a Destruction army” medals at home, but this was not one of those – there was a strong Destro representation, but the Bonesplitterz came out on top. Read on to find out how we did it, and what this army is capable of!
A save of 6+ is always successful for Bonesplitterz, and they also ignore Mortal Wounds on a 6+. Not bad, but not amazing either. You always get to roll a dice at it, but it will rarely come to your rescue.
The Allegiance also gives us access to an excellent spell lore (of which more later), and most importantly, Arrow Boys as Battleline.
Big blocks of Arrows Boys as Battleline.
Multiple big blocks of Arrow Boys as Battleline.
Multiple big blocks of Arrows Boys that can be summoned back for free as Battleline.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
With the double battalion, you have access to 3 artefacts, one for each Hero.
Because the Savage Big Boss is so key to the army, your first move is to put the Command Trait “Squirmy Warpaint” on him. That makes his Mortal Wound shrug a 4+ instead of a 6+, which is HUGE. Given that he has 6 Wounds, and ignores half the Mortal Wounds coming his way, it will take 12 Mortal Wounds to knock him over on average (more if you can get him near Mystical). A couple of D3 splashes at infinite range is not a problem for this fella.
Given that he will be in the middle of a tide of green, surrounded on all sides by a wall of muscle and blood, nobody is getting to him in melee without doing it the hard way.
But there must be a big risk he gets sniped, right? Wrong! That’s where the Ragged Cloak (Ulgu artefact) comes in – thanks to Sam Valdez for the suggestion on this one. You can entirely switch off an enemy’s shooting output for a key turn with this thing (or at least from Da Boss’s point of view, which is what matters). That’s HUGE. It also means you can safely position him prominently, right up with your army, in those crucial early turns.
That is of course a huge trade off, because you are giving up the Aetherquartz Brooch, which would be dynamite in this build. It might come down to how much shooting there is in your meta – if sniping is not a problem, maybe the Brooch could work for you. One thing is for sure – this army brings enough shooting to bear for an entire meta, all on its own!
His stackable Command Ability gives extra shots on a 6+, multiplying the output from your Arrow Boys.
We are taking 2x Maniak Weirdnobs, and the Big Wurrgog Mask is the first thing on every Bonesplitterz roster. It gives you so many great stories and memorable moments, and can get you out of a hole on occasions. The single most fun thing in AOS – let’s hear those Wurggog Mask stories in the comments!
Our 3rd and final artefact is the Mystic Waaagh! Paint. Gives you a 36” unbind at +1, and therefore a puncher’s chance at shutting down a clutch spell from Turn 1 onwards. Better on a Wurrgog Prophet (with his 2x unbinds), but we’re not taking one of those today.
Probably the most important model in your army, hence the Max-Protect loadout of CT and Artefacts. He is reasonably good in combat (although also liable to die quickly), but really his role here is a buff piece. If you do find yourself under siege, don’t forget the Warscroll ability to trigger a second pile in from a different unit straight after his activation.
The most important wizard in the book. Why is he better than a Wurggog Prophet, who gets 2 casts and a sweet Command Ability?
Repeat after me:
Reroll a failed cast
Reroll a failed cast
Reroll a failed cast
The importance of this in a shock and awe list cannot be overstated. With achievable (6+) casting values, that reroll makes it extremely reliable that you will get both clutch casts off when you need them. And as noted elsewhere, you are able to cast them from out of unbind range. Good times!
The Big Batallion that we are taking requires 4+ units of Arrow Boys and / or Savage Orruks. We are taking 2x 30 Arrow Boys, and 2x 10 Savage Orruks. The basic Savage Orruks are truly awful, and must be one of the worst and most overpointed units in the game. A single attack, 4+ 4+, no rend, damage 1. And these are supposed to be a combat unit…don’t laugh, it’s not funny! Their 2 wounds makes them look more durable than they are, because they have a terrible save and low bravery. Take these purely as Battleline + Batallion filler…all they will ever do is screen and claim your home objectives.
But that’s ok, the sheer insanity of the Arrow Boys makes up for it. 3 attacks each when the unit is above 20 = 90 shots. And that’s just getting started. They also have a nice Warscroll ability “Aim Fer Its Eyes”, which gives them Rend -1 against Monsters. Pew Pew!
A lot of people think the Kunnin Rukk is easy to counter by locking up “the” Arrow Boys, and forcing them to waste their shots – hence the need for two blocks. Block A gets locked up, Block B unleashes hell.
The final unit we are taking is 4x Big Stabbas. They have a few little gems on their Warscroll, not least of which is that 3” melee range. The ability to hit over the top, and get all the bases into melee reliably, is one the most underrated statistics in AOS in my opinion. They bring heavy rend, a melee threat, and Mortal Wounds. They are utterly terrifying to Monsters, doing 3+D3 damage (at Rend -2). I have been known to one-shot Archaon with an unbuffed unit of 4, which was nice!
We are of course taking the most unpopular Batallion in Warhammer, the Kunnin Rukk. This is rightly feared throughout the game for its power, and equally hated for the sheer tedium of rolling so many dice. Then rerolling them. Then rolling the extra attacks. Then rerolling them.
Let’s run through how it works in this particular build:
- You cast your spell, with a reroll if required, to give a big block of Arrow Boys +1 to Hit (in all phases)
- If the enemy is already within range, you cast your spell for the Rerolls to Hit (in all phases)
- Alternatively you take a Damned test or use your Triumph for those rerolls
- You burn a CP to use the Savage Big Boss Command Ability which generates an extra attack for every 6+ to Hit (in all phases)
- That is now an extra attack for every 5+ to Hit
- You have 4 CPs in Turn 1, so that’s up to 4 activations of the Command Ability
- You are now rolling 90 dice, hitting on 4s and generating 4 extra attacks for every 5+, with rerolls to go fishing for the 5+s
- You are wounding on 4s, with Rend -1 against Monsters
- I regularly force 120+ saves from the original 90 shots
- This is still just the Hero Phase and you have the Shooting Phase to do it all over again
The lesser-known Batallion is the Bonegrinz Warclan, which is a big Batallion encompassing the Kunnin Rukk into a one-drop.
This costs 110 points, but bearing in mind how much you love multi-banging those CPs, it is effectively 60 points. That gets you a single drop, an extra artefact and a small bravery bonus.
The hidden Golden Nugget in this army is that it also comes with free summoning – every time one of your units (other than the Heroes) is destroyed, you roll a dice, and on a 6+ you get to replace it on a board edge for free. Obviously that is dicey, to say the least – but in a tough game where you are losing units, you have 5 rolls at it. A free 420-point block of Arrow Boys would needless to say be utterly devastating, but even the Savage Orruks could come on for a late objective-grab in a tight one.
Not today, thanks – we’re going one drop.
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
Let’s take a look at the spells from our Lore:
- Brutal Beast Spirits for the +1 to Run, Hit and Charge. Synergises with the Savage Big Boss Command Ability to make the extra attacks pop on a 5+ instead of 6+…these are not unmodified 6s, people!
- Hand of Gork for the double (or treble) flying move. This gives you a reliable 33” shooting reach Turn 1, meaning they have only a 3” window in which to hide on the backboard (their big monsters probably have a base too large for that anyway)
My standard play with this army is to bunker up, invite your opponent forward, then unleash hell.
- One unit of Arrow Boys at the front (with the Big Stabbas tucked in behind the front rank, ready to hit over the top if you are charged)
- The Savage Big Boss in behind them, so he can keep up as you advance forward
- A unit of 10x Savage Orruks down each flank
- The second block of Arrow Boys bunkered inside, set back 3” so they cannot be engaged in combat by a unit that charges the flanking units
- The Wizards tucked in behind that, so they can cast their spells from out of unbind range
As a general guide, my experience is that your target priority is Monster Heroes, followed by Artillery that can threaten your own Heroes, followed by general Units, followed by Heroes.
The reason being that your Rend against Monsters (and their expensive wounds) makes it very efficient to kill them. Terrorgheists will not have a good time against you! On the flip side, smaller Heroes get Lookout Sir which effectively switches off your exploding shots. You have such a huge volume of output that you get more juice out of harnessing the exploding shots and bludgeoning through big blocks, than you would by forcing through 12 saves onto a 6 wound Hero – unlike most shooting armies, this is not a scalpel. Your best bet is usually to massacre their troops and leave them with 6 models against 80.
Most of the time you will let your opponent go first, so they step forward into the Lion’s Den. Because you are putting out a surreal amount of shots in both the Hero Phase and Shooting Phase, a single turn is a double turn for you, and a double turn is a quadruple turn. And if you don’t need Hand of Gork for movement (because they are already within shooting range), you can cast the Warscroll spell for rerolls and therefore even higher output. I would usually pop 3x CPs on the first turn, keeping one back as a Panic Button or more likely for 2x CPs for the second turn.
Triple Bang followed by a Double Bang, job’s a good ‘un.
You are also capable of an alpha strike if you Quad Bang the CPs turn 1 (if you have an angle on a Death General for example), or if you are facing an Alpha Bunker, you might go first and spread out by using your CPs to run 6” if required (stop those Wyldwoods going down!).
Whilst a lot of opponents will roll their eyes at your list, the truth is that you can have some very good games with this build – the first salvo takes a while to roll out (it gets quicker with practice), but once you’ve shot your load, Boyz are dying and fleeing in droves, and you are panic-casting Hand of Gork to fling your last remaining Ladz onto objectives. The game speeds up dramatically later on, since unlike DOK for example (who also move a million models and roll + reroll a million dice), your units will actually die as the game develops.
To wrap it up, I’ve ran Kunnin Rukk quite a bit over the years, and in my opinion it is as strong as ever. The stacking CA on the Savage Big Boss and free summoning gives access to the best of AOS 2, while the retained “within” (not “wholly within”), modifiable procs and one-drop retains the best of AOS 1. Coupled with the prevalence of big Monsters and a general lack of shooting, that puts the Kunnin Rukk in a unique position in the meta – which I believe this particular build executes on perfectly.