This is an overall information article about the Destruction Faction the Bonesplitterz. It will cover the following topics:

  1. Lore and theme of the Bonesplitterz
  2. What units and miniatures that are available for the Bonesplitterz
  3. The special rules the Savage Orruks gets (including a bit about the spells and battalions)
  4. The playstyle and feel of the army
  5. Some cool combos you can make in the army
  6. The books you will need to play faction
  7. The general cost of buying a Bonesplitterz army
  8. Some good allies for the Bonesplitterz
  9. The overall pros, cons and verdict on the army

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A note on the artwork

In this article, I have used the amazing artwork from the faction battletome. I have done this to convey the right aesthetic and feel of the army. All rights for the images are reserved by Games Workshop and the very talented artists that have made them (and I hope they will not get pissed by me displaying the army artwork here).

A short Bonesplitter Overview


The Bonesplitterz are a savage Orruk (orc) army. The Bonesplitterz rely on massive amounts of swarming Orruk bodies, crude weapons, brute force and wild Waaagh! magic to defeat their opponents. The Bonesplitterz believe that the energy of their diety Gorkamorka is trapped in the wild beasts of the realms. The savage tribes of the Bonesplitterz are intent on releasing and gaining this god energy, by killing the mightiest monsters in the mortal realm.

The Bonesplitterz army is made up of (almost) naked wild Orruks. Some are mounted on big pigs, while others darken the sky with as many arrows as possible. No matter how they kill you, it will be savage. The leader of the Bonesplitterz is the Shamans, unleashing the power of the Waaagh! on their enemies.

If you like tribal stuff, savage dudes, lots of green skin, killing monsters, attacking multiple times and rolling a crap ton of attack dice – the Bonezplitters might be for you!

The battletome for Bonesplitterz was released with artefacts, command traits, unique spell lore and battalions. While the Bonesplitterz does not have an amazing amount of different units, they have enough to make them worth your while.

How is the lore and theme for the Bonesplitterz


  • The Bonesplitterz are all about capturing and releasing the power of Gorkamorka. His essence is captured inside the wild beasts of the realms.
  • The bigger the monster the more power it is infused with. The tribes of the Bonesplitterz will hunt out the biggest best in the realms (so Ghur – realm of beasts – is a place they like a lot) in order to get all of that juicy monster power.
  • When they kill a beast they will infuse themselves in its power by eating it, decorating themselves with its bone, using bones as piercing and wielding them like clubs.
  • The Bonesplitterz shun armour. The magic warpaint and the power of Gorkamorka are enough to protect them.
  • The tribes are lead by heroes they call prophets. Those shamans are attuned to the powers of the Waaagh! and can sense the direction of the next big beast or dragon.
  • All Orruks can suddenly become a Bonesplitter. An Ironjaw could get banged over the head in a fight, and suddenly see the Waagh! the way the Bonesplitterz do. He would suddenly behave very differently from his normal clan. In the end, he would seek out a Bonesplitter prophet and follow him for the rest of his life.

Miniatures and units available for The Bonesplitterz


You can find all of the kits for the Bonesplitterz here (affiliate link to the store I recommend for your country).

If you want to play Bonesplitterz, you have to get real familiar with the Savage Orruk box

This bad boy will form the backbone of your army, so it is suitable to start here. This box have 20 Savage Orruk on foot in it. They can be assembled as the warscroll for:

  • Savage Orruks (your average very angry Orruks)
  • Savage Orruks Morboys (a bit more fighty, but no less angry Orruks)
  • Savage Orruk Arrowboys (Orruks that are so angry, they simply shoot a million arrows into the air).

You can also decide to assemble two of the Orruks as a “Big Stabba”. The big stabba has its own warscroll, but it is only from this box you can get it (unless you convert something up). The Stabbas are good, so I would reccomend you always make the maximum amount.

The second (and final) plastic kit is the Savage Boarboys.

From this kit you will get 10 orruks mounted in big warboars. These can be either:

  • Savage Boarboys (average angry orruks on pigs)
  • Savage Boarboy Maniaks (you guessed it: very pissed off orruks on pigs)

Booth options contain double the minimum size you need for a unit in matched play.

That is all you get with regards to unit choices.

Battleline:

The normal Savage Orruks are battleline and the rest are battleline if you have the Bonesplitterz allegiance. The Stabba cannot become battleline.

Heroes:

  • Savage Big Boss (cool hero orruk on foot. Plastic kit, but rarely seen because his rules are a bit crap).
  • Wurrgog Prophet (cool shaman orruk with tribal mask)
  • Wardokk (dancing shaman with a weird dance buff).
  • Maniak Weirdnob (mounted shaman)

All the wizards are finecast (and gw direct only).

Quality of the models:

In general, the sculpt of the models is quite good, at least compared to their age (they are getting old). At some point, you will get very tired of painting, what is essentially, the same body over and over again. The horde style of the Savage Orruks can look so friging cool on the table. Because of the way the sculpts are made, they are quite easy to kitbash and convert – so at least there is an easy way of making them look somewhat unique.

Quality of the rules for the models:

All of the units have at least one style of army where they are have a role to play.

The mounted Orruks have an army where they are quite cool, but for the most part, you should be buying a lot of Savage Orruk boxes to start off with.

Any start collecting or box sets available for Bonesplitterz?

No, there is no Start collecting box for you. That said, you can actually build an army from just the plastic box of Orruks – so it is not that bad (I will cover this in the price section).

Do Bonesplitterz have endless spells and faction terrain?

Not yet. The Bonesplitterz battletome predates this newfangled madness, but damn they could get some cool endless spells when they get updated. Big foot of Gork stomping around on the table would be madly funny!

The bonesplitterz faction are showing some chaos the true power of the Waagh!

How does the Allegiance Abilities work for the Bonesplitterz


Warpaint: a save roll with a six on the dice is always a success, no matter the rend of your opponent. If the wound is a mortal wound, the magic warpaint will also save that on a roll of six.

With the exception of a few heroes, your army has a 6+ save. So basically, you just always save on a six with this army.

Monster Hunters: 

If one of your units kills a monster, they no longer need to take battleshock tests.

When you select a unit to fight that is within 3″ of a monster you roll a d6 and they gain a buff for the phase:

  • 1-2: You can pile in 6″
  • 3-4: You can reroll all wound rolls against the monster
  • 5-6: when you roll a 6 or more to wound against the monster, you do a mortal wound in addition to the normal damage

The allegiance buffs are so and so. The armour buff helps to make your army just a bit more durable (and they really need that). The monster hunter stuff can be very good in some games, but in other games, it will do nothing.

At the end of the day, I guess you pick the allegiance so you get Bonesplitter units as battleline and because the spells and some of the artefacts are good (and mono factions are just the best).

How is the lore of the Savage Waagh!?

I find it quite amazing really. I think this is the biggest selling point of the army: loads of savage orcs getting pumped up and enhanced by their shamans. The theme is just so damn good.

Thankfully, the spells fit this narrative.

  1. Squiggly curse is a long-range character sniper
  2. You have Hand of Gork that can double the movement of a unit and make it fly
  3. Brutal beasts will give a unit +1 on run, charge and hit rolls
  4. Bone Krusha is a short range character sniper
  5. Kunnin' Beast Spirits is a combat debuff
  6. Gorkamorka's Warcry can halve all movement, charges and runs off an enemy unit (good, but dependent on Bravery roll off).
Some Savage Orruks from the Bonesplitterz faction killing some Stormcast Eternals

A rundown on some of the Bonesplitters Battalions


The Bonesplitterz have some very awesome battalions, worth building around both from a theme and power perspective:

  • Kunnin Ruk' is dreaded by many, as it had a run where it was quite competitive. You will need 1 Savage Big Boss and between 2-5 units of Savage Orruk units on foot. In turn, they become “Dead Sneaky” – giving you the ability to either shoot or pile in and attack with one unit in each of your hero phases. This is cool on its own, but people had a blast doing this with a full unit of Arrowboys (30x3=90 shots in your hero phase and the same in your shooting phase, triggering extra attacks and being ridiculous). The Ruk is by no means top dog anymore (maybe not even the beast battalion in Bonesplitterz), but if you like rolling loads of die, this might be something for you. It is very effective with Arrowboys, but can also be worth it with melee units.
  • Bonegrinz Warclan is an option if you are already going down the Kunnin Ruk'. It requires that you take the Kunnin Ruk' (with a few more units). The battalion lets you roll a d6 each time a Savage Orruk, Arrowboys or big Stabbas unit dies. On 6, you can set up a new identical one within 6″ of a table edge (free of charge in AoS 2.0). It also adds +1 on your boys bravery each time a monster is slain in the battle. Finally, your general and Bonegrinz unit within 12″ can pick the result you want on the monster hunter table.
  • Snaga Rukk is a mount heavy battalion, requiring 2 Maniak Weirdnobs and 2-10 Savage Boarboy Maniaks. The Snaga Rukk is okay, giving one of the units in your hero phase the ability to charge. It can reroll the charge if they are within 10″ of either of the Maniak Weirdnobs. If you get in, you roll a dice for each unit that ends within 1″ of the enemy. For each 4+ you deal a mortal wound. So not amazing really.
  • Icebone Warclan is something you probably want if you are going cavalry heavy. It requires that you take the Snaga Rukk (but you will need 4 Savage Boarboy Maniaks instead of 2). The kicker is that the movement of your mounted troops in the battalion will gain movement 11″ instead of 9″. You also get some icy weapons (if you damage a monster it has to fight last in that combat phase), but the real key here is extra movement.
  • Kop Rukk is my favourite battalion in the Bonesplitterz. The battalion consists of 2-5 Wardokks (dance shamans) and 2-5 units of Savage Orruk Morboys. The Waaagh! energy of the boys gives the Wardooks +1 on casting attempts when they are within 20 boys (range 12″) and +2 if they are within 30 boys. It also gives you are chance to blow up some of your own Orruks. In turn, when the boys attack and are within 12″ of one of the Wardokks they gain +1 on the wound roll.
  • Drakkfoot Warclan is the super battalion of the Kop Rukk. It requires the Kopp Rukk with 3-6 Wardooks and also a Wurrgog Prophet. The wizards in the Drakkfoot will always succeed on their casting attempts if you roll a double (making some of the harder to cast spells more likely). Drakkfoot units also gain a chance to ignore the effects of spells. When a unit is affected by an enemy spell, roll a d6 and on a 6 you ignore the effect. Finally, Drakkfoot wizards know the Blood Waaagh!. On a casting of 8, you can pick a Bonesplitterz unit within 6″. That unit can immediately pile in and attack like it was the combat phase (but will also get to attack in the combat phase as normal).
  • Teef Rukk requires 2-5 units of Big Stabbas. Once per hero phase, you pick an enemy monster. Each Teff Rukk unit can pile in 6″ and attack the monster (and can attack again later). Since the Big Stabbas do some very good damage against monsters, this can be devastating if you can pull it off against your enemy's monsters.
The Bonesplitterz are bringing down a mighty beast

What is the Bonesplitterz playstyle and how do the savage Orruks feel on the tabletop?


  1. Low durability, loads of boys: You save on a 6+ – just get used to it, as it is very unlikely you will get better save (cover and a few heroes can be an exception). This means you do not really care about the rend of your opponent (which is very nice for a change). Your boys on foot will have 2 wounds and mounted guys will have 3. Because of the horde mentality of the army, you are gonna have a lot of wounds. Even small units like 10 Arrowboys on an objective will still have 20 wounds your opponent needs to chew through. All this means efficient wounds, and those are certainly not bad in AoS.
  2. Somewhat slow movement of infantry: Your boys on foot will only have a move of 5″, making them relatively slow. Not a lot of abilities will buff this, so your army will tend to get outmanoeuvred.
  3. Low bravery: A bravery of 5-6 on your normal units makes them prone to fleeing. It will get better in combat, where most of your melee units receive +2 from their bone totem (banner). But still, it is something you should watch out of. Lots of boys dying will usually mean loads of other boys running away at the end of the round.
  4. Magic heavy: A lot of the spells are good. There is a great possibility of doing a magic heavy army, where you utilise the Bonesplitter lore and some of the good endless spells. This coupled with a lot of cheap bodies can be quite great.
  5. Lots of extra attacks: The Bonesplitterz do not hit hard. In fact +4/+3/no rend/1 damage is very normal. The only thing you get that can hit a bit harder is the Big Stabbas. This means you have to rely on lots of attacks and you have to utilize the various ways you can get units to attack more than once. Blood magic spell from battalion, Kunnin Rukk, Teff Rukk, command ability on Prophets and Savage Boarboys Maniaks are all ways you can get to attack more than once. Couple that with a few buffs and the multiplication of it all makes the boys quite deadly. Beware that it will require some finesse to set up. A lot of the abilities will let you attack in your own hero phase, but in order to get there, you either need to get charged (and survive) or charge on your turn and survive all the way to your own turn again. It requires great cunning to become truly brutal with the Bonesplitterz.
  6. Lots of anti monster abilities: the Bonesplitterz really want to kill those monsters, which means you have various ways of gaining extra buffs against those big creatures. Some will find this to be cool and flavourful, others will be annoyed at how situational their buffs are.
  7. Heroes are not that punchy and you have no monsters: Because of the Bonesplitterz relationship with monsters (kill them all!) you have no big dudes in your army. You will also find that your heroes are not that fighty, nor that though really. You will mostly want your heroes to be buffing your other units, rather than letting them do the heavy lifting in combat.
  8. Objective based plan: In a fair fight, you will be outgunned by most other things. Your alpha strike abilities are there (mounted army), but your best bet is to swarm objectives. You are very good at defending with your buffed boys, but you can also put on the pressure on your opponent's objectives (Hand of Gork in some buffed boys).
  9. Utilize all of your small buffs: The Bonesplitterz does best when they synergise their different buffs, spells and special abilities. You will need the allegiance, the spells, the battalions and everything else to come together in order to win. This will require you to learn the different intricacies of how the abilities work together, making it a somewhat complex army to play.
A singe Orruk showing who da boss is

Cool combos and competitive builds for the Bonesplitterz


The cool combos are also some of the strongest builds the Bonesplitterz can muster.

Kunnin Rukk Arrowboy stuff:

  • The Kunnin Rukk battalion will let you shot or pile in and attack with a unit in each of your hero phases.
  • 30 Arrowboys can shoot 3 times each, giving you 90 shots each time they shoot. If you shoot in the hero phase and the shooting phase that is 180 shots (+5/+4/no rend/1 damage and +1 rend against monsters).
  • Slap the command ability of the big boss on them, and they generate an extra attack each time they roll a 6 to hit.
  • So far this is good, but a few more buffs can make it really good. The Maniak Weirdnob spell will let them reroll hit rolls of 1. The Brutal Beasts spell adds +1 on hit. Great Greenskin Big Boss with banner can let them reroll 1 to wound.
  • You could also forego on some of the buffs, and work on making the army one drop by getting the Bonegrinz Warclan battalion. This will also give you the chance of bringing back dead units!

Some people will argue that you can stack the command ability of the Big Boss (so you more than one extra attacks for each 6 you roll to hit), but I have my doubts to whether or not it actually works that way. At least, that is now how I would play it.

You can read a great rundown on this type of list over at the Honestwargamer (rundown by Peter Atkinson).

If you do not like shooting Orruks (I know I have a bit of problem with them), you could also make this a melee build (Morboys and Big Stabbas).

Drakfoot magic heavy:

Not really a combo, but just a style of army.

  • You need A Kopp Rukk and Drakfoot Warclan
  • I would go with 4 Wardokks (so you make sure you get their buff on your boys), 1 Prophet and some big units of Morboys backed up by some Big Stabbas and a Rogue Idol.
  • Your wizards casts all spells on a double and gain +1 on casting from the Idol and +2 for being near the big units of Orruks. +3 is pretty damn good and if you couple the bonesplitterz lore with some endless spells you can do some good buffs and mortal wounds.
  • Your Morboys are pretty good at defending objectives and get +1 on wound rolls just by being near the Wardokks. You can also get to attack more than once via the Blood Waaagh! spell and the prophet command ability.

I find this type build really cool, because it is the essence of what I think Bonesplitterz should be: loads of Orruks getting frenzied by their shamans.

Loads of pigs!:

This build is quite simple and is a bit of an alpha-strike one trick pony.

  • Get the Icebone Warclan so your Savage Boarboy Maniaks move 11″
  • Get chronomatic cogs endless spell out
  • Move up 13″
  • Something in the other army should be 9″ away so you try and charge it
  • You get +4 on the carge (cogs +2 and the boars have +2 on the scroll)
  • Have the greenskin Wyvern about and give everything within range extra attacks
  • The Maniaks can pile in twice by default, but you could throw in other buffs and spells as well

What books will I need to play Bonesplitterz


In order to play Bonesplitterz, you will need the Bonesplitterz Battletome. The spells, the artefacts, the allegiance traits and everything else is what makes this army great – and they are all in that book.

Only very minor things have been changed according to their Errata, so not much has changed in the book. The updated points will be in the newest Generals Handbook, but you could also just look the points up on the Warscroll builder or Azyr.

The Artefacts in Malign Sorcery are not that helpful for you. You got some strong artefacts for you wizard in the battletome, and because of your weak combat heroes, you cannot leverage the strong artefacts in that book. On the other hand, you have access to + to cast on your wizards and the ability to get all spells of on a roll of a double. This means that some of the endless spells could be a real boon to your army if you go magic heavy.

The Battletome for the Bonesplitterz faction
The generals handbook 2018

How up to date is the Bonesplitterz and what are the chances for future changes?


The Bonesplitterz battletome is surprisingly good. All of the spells, artefacts, allegiance traits and abilities takes an army that has very few model options and makes them playable. Granted, the Bonesplitterz is in no way top of the tier list – but that is mainly the warscrolls and the points holding them back.

GW are pumping out Battletomes fast and furious right now, but we have not yet seen if battletomes made after the Sylvaneth (so tomes with spells and everything) are going to get updated this year. Time will tell if Bonesplitterz gets an update to the book together with endless spells and terrain. I doubt any more than that would be in the cards for the savage green dudes.

Savage Orruks being savage

What is the cost of buying a Bonesplitterz army?


No Start Collecting box makes them a slightly expensive army. You can kitbash a lot of your characters, so you might be able to make some savings there.

It is very possible to buy a lot of Bonesplitterz on the second-hand market. I have bought non-painted Bonesplitterz from old fantasy players (who had them from Orcs and Goblins and was looking to get rid them).

What I would do if I wanted to start the Bonesplitterz semi cheap:

Buy 4 boxes Savage Orruks (£120 in total). Now make the following out of it:

  • 30 Orruks (30 is max unit size)
  • 30 Orruk
  • 8 Stabbas (using 16 bodies to build Stabbas might seem like a lot, but they pack a punch!)
  • With the 4 leftover bodies you kitbash together 4 amazing looking Wurrgog Prophets/Wardokks (use leftovers from the four boxes, ask a friend for some cool leftover bits or do some greenstuff yourself).

With that setup, you have something like 1400 points. Now you need a box of something else to fill one more battleline. Maybe some pigs to give you a bit of movement. You have what is required for the Kop Rukk and the Drakfoot Warclan battalion (if you do 1 Prophet and 3 Wardokks), so some endless spells to utilize your magic strength would be good.

And that is basically 2000 points for buying  5 boxes for a total of £150.

What are the Allies available for the Bonesplitterz


Bonesplitterz can ally with:

  • Aleguzzler Gargants
  • Greenskinz
  • Ironjawz
  • Moonclan Grots, Spiderfang and Troggoths (so will probably change to Gloomspite Gitz in the future)

Some potential decent ally options:

You got plenty of wizards and cheap bodies in your army, but you do lack a bit of punch. It is rare to see Bonesplitterz ally in a lot of things. With all the buffs connected to the Bonesplitters keyword, bringing in stuff that cannot synergise with that is a bit of a waste. That said, there are some good things you could ally in:

  1. Most people would find it weird to bring in a monster in an army that primarily just kills monsters when they see them. But most also agree that the Rogue Idol can be explained in the lore and it also brings some good things to the table. It can buff your magic and bravery, it is survivable, when it dies it is a monster (so will buff different things in your army) and it can pack a punch.
  2. Something weird, but also funny, would be to bring a Gargant. You would have to find a cool explanation for it (a slave giant of some kind?). But, you would use the Gargant for what it is really good for: dying quickly. After it dies, it will be a monster slain – giving your Savage Orruk Morboys +1 to hit (massive if you plan on attacking 3x times with a 30 strong unit).
  3. In the Greenskinz range (not available to buy the models anymore) there are a few gems hidden away. The Orruk Warboss on Wyvern has the Waaagh! command ability, giving all Orruk units within 12″ 1 extra attack on each weapon when they attack (stacks). Great for on Morboys or pigs.
  4. Also in the Greenskinz faction, we also have the Orruk Warboss – but specifically the version with the Great Waaagh! Banner. The banner gives you reroll rolls of 1 to wound on all Orruk units within 16″ (not wholly within). It also does the Waaagh! for extra attacks.
Seraphon and Bonesplitterz clashing

Pros of the Bonesplitterz


  • The horde style of the army can look stunning on the tabletop. Loads of models mean loads of attacks – Waaagh on!
  • The Bonesplitterz can be pretty easy to paint. You got a lot of skin, but if you start with a bright green basecoat and do a wash on top it will look pretty good just from that. If you want to highlight all of that skin, it is going to take a while. There are some cool details, but not too many (so quick to paint). Airbrush would definitely be an option if you are looking to do that.
  • The rules of the army are somewhat complex. Remembering when your buffs triggers, what order you should do things in and making sure you are within range of everything can be fun for some. The skill cap is high (at least on some builds).
  • There are a few different ways of building the army –  both very mobile and more foot troop oriented armies are viable.
  • The magic heavy aspect will be very attractive to some.
  • A good portion of the battalions are good, the spells are fun (and good), some artefacts are really cool and the allegiance traits are not bad (but not that powerful either).

Cons of the Bonesplitterz


  • For a beginner, the Bonesplitterz can be overwhelming. Spells, buffs, contingent buffs, range of stuff, the order of things – you are going to forget a lot in the start, and it can be frustrating.
  • You have very few options with regards to different miniatures. It will get boring to paint the same style of model over and over and over again. The models look cool, but they are also slightly dated on their styles and poses.
  • No matter how you slice it, your army is going to be a horde. That is a lot of green skin you have to do!
  • While the Bonesplitterz have some ok builds, they are not top tier. Even if you play the top tier armies, they might not be for you (kunnin rukk arrow-spam will quickly become boring for you and your opponent).
  • All wizards are finecast and there is no start collecting box. You need a lot of models to play the horde style, so army will cost you some money.
  • The wizards are cool, but the big boss is a bit weak. Where are the very big brutal Bonesplitterz?

Overall verdict on the Bonesplitterz


It is quite amazing how fresh and viable the Bonezplitterz feel. Their unit choices are limited, their battletome is old, the miniatures are not that dynamic in their poses. In spite of all this, they are still alive and kicking!

Their battalions, spells, combos and efficient wounds are keeping them afloat. It will be great to see what GW does with an updated battletome.

For now, you have to know what you are getting yourself into with the Savage Orruks.

You have to love their aesthetic, their theme, their models and the overall feeling the Bonesplitterz have. That love needs to overcome the army's limitations. If it does not, you will get frustrated by their lack of power and the limited choices you have. If it does, you will be rewarded with a very cool, savage, rock and roll army.

 

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read. Feel free to leave a comment below with suggestions or just a friendly thanks.