Welcome to our Closer Look series. We are digging into the changes for each faction in Age of Sigmar 3.0. Join us moving forward as we bring on different authors to give insights into their favorite factions!!
My name is Kyle. Since its launch, I have been playing AoS and in the hobby for longer. I am excited to write about how Ossiarch Bonereapers have fared into the 3rd edition Age of Sigmar!
The Ossiarch Bonereapers(OBR) is the God of Death Nagash’s constructs, made entirely out of the bones and souls of warriors/mages/monsters and the like that have fallen in battle or diplomatically been tithed to the group. The result is a legion of bone armored soldiers and war machines to go out and collect more bones to further Nagash’s goals.
Since Warhammer fantasy, I have been a proponent of Death armies; I started with hordes of Skeletons and Zombies. So when the new flavor of Death comes out, it’s sure to interest me. OBR was no exception; coupled with war machines, consummate leaders, and unbreaking ranks(More on that later), I was excited!
OBR came out a few years ago now, and up to 3.0 had not experienced many changes to shake up how they operated on the table. 3.0 started with OBR in a tough spot. The changes to command abilities not being able to be used more than once in a phase and units not able to benefit from multiple in a phase wrenched how OBR worked fundamentally. These issues have been cleared up since, and the army is in a lovely spot both competitively and otherwise. This leads to the first point on how the army fundamentally operates, as it does not follow the rules of any other army in the game.
OBR plays with a different set of abilities than the rest of the armies in the game. OBR does not receive command abilities; they use what is known as Relentless Discipline Points. These are used in the same manner as to command points, but they cannot use them for the core Command abilities (Rally, Redeploy, All out Defense/Attack). Trust me; you will miss the re-roll charges when you fail a 3″ charge.
Relentless discipline points are generated before a Battle Round begins similarly to command points. One for taking the first turn in a battle round or two points for taking the second turn in the battle round. You then gain one extra for each hero you still have alive, and you then roll a dice for each unit still on the board, every six resulting in an additional point. A few heroes provide extra discipline points, but you will roll for the unit-based generation in every hero phase.
The second point is that OBR does not take battleshock tests. They do not take them, presenting an army that needs to be outright removed from the table or it will persist and allow you to roll for the unit generation of Relentless discipline.
OBR has a Deathless Warriors battle trait, much like all Death granting them a 6+ after damage roll, also known as a ward save, to prevent the damage from occurring. Finally, OBR has access to a “Command ability” Unstoppable advance, where a unit may move an extra 3″ in the movement phase for a Relentless Discipline point, adding a little bit of movement to an otherwise relatively slow army.
I want to use the next section as a broad overview of the army and how a few key units have seen changes, both good and bad moving into 3.0. My Disclaimer: I’m in no way an expert on any of this; I have played enough games with the army to know what I like and what fits my style, but I wholly encourage everyone to try things that work for them and draw their own conclusions.
I used to run my OBR lists central to adding +1 attacks to 2 Mortek Crawlers and having them shoot four shots at 2+/3+/-/5dmg every turn, removing foot heroes, or taking off chunks of larger units while my other units marched forward to an objective where they would have a tough time being shifted from said objective, considering their high armor and decent damage.
OBR of 3rd edition is more of the marching towards objectives and being tough to shift without the support of the Mortek Crawlers. The advent of All-out Defense and Finest hour have made Mortek Crawlers less effective, and it’s hard to have spare points to squeeze them into a list.
I will be Grading the units with an A, B, or C scale. There are no Ds or Fs in the army as everything can fill a role well. Also, I will only be discussing units I have used extensively, so some will be left out.
I will also start by briefly outlining the sub-factions in OBR; otherwise, this article will get out of hand.
The Sub Factions:
- Mortis Praetorians (A), This is Katakro’s personal legion. The outstanding point of them is the buffs they get from Katakros when you take him in your list, which is +1 to save and +1 to hit
- Pertifex Elite (A+), -1 to enemy rend Army-wide
- Stalliarch Lords (A), Run + Charge army wide
- Ivory Host (C), +1 to hit, but -1 to armor once a unit has taken damage.
- Null Myriad (B), basically immune to spells
- Crematorians (C) explode and damage the enemy when they die.
The Units (Heroes)
The Bone Pope Himself. Nagash costs a massive 955pts. Eight casts (reducing if he takes dmg), good melee profiles, good army support, and a reworked command ability (as of the Winter 2021 FAQ) that adds +1 to ward save rolls Nagash is a 1 model wrecking crew, and I cannot recommend he finds a way into an OBR list more. However, keep in mind that Nagash no longer benefits from the army’s allegiance abilities with his new scroll and rules. So no more ignoring rend -1.
Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis (A)
If you’re playing Mortis Praetorians, this is the choice, excellent command ability of +1 to hit/Save in a huge range. He gives 5 Relentless Discipline points per turn, and the model is amazing.
Arkhan the Black (A)
Level 3 wizard, on a monster with some nice speed.
Mortisan Boneshaper (B)
Simple level 1 wizard, with an ability to return three wounds(or models) to a unit within range.
Mortisan Soulmason (B)
Level 2 wizard, with the potential ability to cast D3 extra re-roll 1 to hit spells.
Liege Kavalos (A)
A good save, gives 2 Relentless Discipline Points per turn and has a great command ability of +1 attack wholly within 12 inches.
Mortek Guard (A+) (Battleline)
These are the bread and butter. At 140pts for 10, they have an ability they can give themselves for a re-roll saves in combat. Be careful. These will go away to effective shooting.
Kavalos Deathriders (A)(Battleline)
Fast and heavily armored cavalry, these work well to secure objectives and will hit above their weight a lot of the time.
Necropolis Stalkers ( A-)
Great melee damage, and take to the + movement command abilities well.
They are a little pricy for their role and fit in a similar place as Necropolis Stalkers. These come in pairs and have fly, giving them some speed over an otherwise slow army. They are a great pick for solid damage and speed in either variant.
Gothizzar Harvester (A)
A nice tech piece for OBR, this Monster sits with another unit, and as models within 3″ of it die on a 4+, they are healed back up. Basically, it makes an OBR block that is organized around it indestructible, forcing your opponent to target this. It also has a nice little shooting and melee profile.
Mortek Crawler (B+)
As mentioned above, this was the go-to piece pre-3.0. The ability to take out a hero or support piece from across the board was massive. However, the advent of additional saves makes the lack of rend on this a little disappointing. Still a great piece, just not living in its prime any longer.
I want to take the time to dive into a few lists I have used previously and how swapping even a few pieces can lead to a massively different army. These are just lists I’ve used previously and have seen some success with; I’m sure different builds could present stronger fronts, so I urge you to try out what works best for you!
The following is a list I had taken to the Michigan GT back in October(Updated points values for the FAQ). The idea was to bring enough Discipline points to beagle to weather any storm. In this case, the list generates 3+ rolls for five units every hero phase while Nagash terrorizes the enemy.
A couple of key points:
– The Liege will become a 3+ ignoring rend -1 save and adds two wounds to its profile, making it pretty tough to take down.
-The two blocks of Mortek power pair with the two heroes. One is giving +1 attack command abilities when you need to push, and the other is giving +1 to ward rolls when you need to hold.
– The Deathriders became one of the most useful pieces of this list, and the loss of their speed cannot be understated. Use the, cautiously, and you will be scoring back objectives and Savage spearhead in the late turns.
I try always to have the Hunters of the Heartland Battalion on the Mortek. One roar, and you lose your ability to re-roll saves= Catastrophe.
The next is a list I’ve run just because Love the Morghast models, and it turns out it actually packs quite a punch
This list boasts some nice speed and flying 3D6 Charges. meaning if your opponent isn’t careful, that hero behind their lines can be in real danger
-Pertifex again -1 rend army-wide is nice.
-Arkhan can cast three spells from the lore and increase the range of spells cast by 6″ for a Discipline point. He also has some nice speed and can knock out a five-wound hero on his own. Just keep it safe, or you’ll lose it quickly. Coupled with some healing and it’s a compliment to this list.
-Bone Shaper Artifact, Lode of Saturation. Gives the target unit within 3″ a 5+Ward. Pairs well with the 20 Block of Mortek and babysit them with some healing and improved wards!
Endless spell Bone-Tithe Shrieker gives a +1 to hit rolls for attacks made within range, and your opponent cannot rally or inspire presence units within range. (Note Arkhan can add 6″ to the deploy range, so this can get cozy right in your opponent’s army and makes those Morghast halberd swings into 2+ to hit!
-Morghast Harbingers, 3d6 charges, flying, high rend, high damage attacks. These will pair great with the +1 attack command from the liege and the +1 to hit rolls from the endless spell!
That about rounds out how OBR has fared in AOS 3.0. To summarize, I feel like they stand in a really nice spot. Some definite strong pieces, but you will find you can’t take everything in list building, and those points get eaten up quickly. This army is great for heavy magic use or for reactive players who like to hold out against an army crashing into them. Still, it can also play aggressively and reward thinking and preparing ahead of your opponent. Hopefully, this breakdown helps you better grasp the army and some of its intricacies.
Thanks for reading!