Selecting an army can be so very difficult. You can ask your friends, you can look at the miniatures, you can read the battletome and the lore but it is very hard to get a good grasp on how an army feels before you have actually started collecting and playing it.

This resource is my attempt at giving you more knowledge about the different factions in the Grand Alliance: Destruction. I will go through each major faction one by one, trying to describe all the different aspect you might like to know before you decide to buy and play that army.

Note on images

I have used a lot of artwork from the different battletomes. This is done to invoke the right feeling for each army, as the amazing artwork gives the best window into each faction. It would be so hard to invoke the same feeling by just using words.

All rights and credits of those images are reserved by Games Workshop and their fantastic artists.

A note on links

The links in this article are affiliate links. If you buy from the website after you have clicked a link (or just do it within 30 days), they will pay me a small percentage of that.

I link to Element Games (UK) and Noble Knight (US). They have a significant price cut (10-25% ) compared to buying directly from GW. I link to Element and Noble because I feel they strike the perfect balance between price, speed and customer service. I almost buy exclusively from Element Games myself and Noble Knight comes highly recommended from the people overseas.

If you like this resource, feel free to show your support by buying your next Warhammer purchase through those great sites. It will help me produce new content and keep everything up to date.

Table of contents for this article

Destruction: Grand Alliance Overview

The Destruction Grand Alliance has 4 factions with a battletome and 1-3 (depending on how you count) factions without a battletome. I will only focus on the armies that have a battletome, because starting an army without a battletome is not something I would ever recommend (unless you know what you are getting yourself into).

The 4 factions of Destruction with a Battletome are:

1. Gloomspite Gitz: a collection of small Grots (goblins) doing cunning and brutal things. They ride big spiders, eat crazy mushrooms, bounce around on squigs of all colours and sizes and generally have a good time running around trying to catch the attention of the Bad Moon. With the Gitz we also have the Troggoths (trolls) that have gotten a great revival with the new book.

2. Beastclaw Raiders: big Ogors (ogres) mounted on big beasts! The Raiders do not have a lot of models, but they make up for that with sheer size. You can fill an army of all mounted big guys and there is something immensely satisfying with seeing that on the tabletop.

3. Bonesplitterzif you remember the savage orcs of oldhammer, you will instantly recognise the Bonesplitters. These are savage, mostly naked Orruks out to club you on the head (especially if you are a monster)

4. Ironjawz: big Orruks (orcs), in big plate, with big muscles and with big… you get the point. Bigger is better with the Orruks and the Ironjawz are the biggest and meanest Orruks around!

All four factions existed back in Warhammer Fantasy. The Beastclaw Raiders and the Bonesplitterz have gotten no new models with Age of Sigmar, so they are fairly small in range. The Ironjawz has gotten quite a bit of new stuff (only the Ardboys are from back in the days). The Gloomspite Gitz is a massive faction and got a ton of new stuff when they released in early 2019.

The Gutbusters (Ogres on foot) still do not have a battletome, but it is likely coming at some point. I think they are safe to start as an army if you really want to, but be warned – limited amount of models, no special rules and the warscrolls are quite bad as it stands now.

The Gitmob Grots (non-night-goblins goblins) and the normal Greenskinz (all orcs beside savage and black orcs) looks like they are getting phased out (removed from the GW webstore), but they might be back someday. A merger with some of the smaller Destruction factions could definitely be a possibility. For now, do not try and start them as an army!

Gloomspite Gitz

An image of some squigs and herders from the Gloomspite Gitz faction. A click will lead you to that section of the guide


Image of some Bonesplitterz. Used as image in Destruction faction and army guide to jump to the Bonesplitterz part

Beastclaw Raiders

Image of some Beastclaw Raiders. Used as image in Destruction faction and army guide to jump to the Beastclaw Raiders part


Image of a Brute Boss. Used as image in Destruction faction and army guide for the Ironjawz

Gloomspite Gitz Faction Guide

Image of some gloomspite gitz squigs and herders

The Gloomspite Gitz is a wild Grot (goblin) army. The Gloomspite Gitz use sneaky tricks, overwhelming amounts of bodies and vicious beasts to ambush and cut down their prey. For the Gitz, a fair fight is ridiculous and something to be avoided at all cost. Shank them in the back or overwhelm them from all sides, that is the way to do it. The Gitz follow The Bad Moon, both in a physical and spiritual sense. The Bad Moon races around the Mortal Realms, with the Gloomspite Gitz fast in its wake. They believe that if they could just catch the Bad Moons attention, it will stay put and utter in the glorious “Everdank“. No Git has been sneaky or cunning enough to succeeded yet, and the rest of the mortal realms are thankful for it. Just there mere passing of the Bad Moon rapidly changes the local climate, spawning weird fungi and causing chaos in its wake.

The Gloomspite Gitz is a merger of all the old Moonclan Grots (Night Goblins), Spiderfang (spider riders and the forest goblins) and everything Troggoth (the trolls). You can play a mix of all the different subfactions or you can try and build a list with a specific theme in mind. The allegiance abilities do not require you to chose up front, so the restrictions are very relaxed.

The Gitz is a very modern army, made after the release of Age of Sigmar second edition. You will be completely overwhelmed, in a positive way, by the varied possibilities and interactions of the special rules and the countless possible ways of building an army.

The faction is filled with massive amounts of squigs, big troggoths, cunning grots and creepy spiders. If you like the idea of a nasty, skulking, dank, vicious army filled with slimy creatures and a million murder hobo goblins, the Gloomspite Gitz might be the army for you.

How is the lore and theme for the Gloomspite Gitz

  • The Gloomspite Gitz all worship Gorkamorka, God of war and destruction, but each in their own unique way.
  • The Bad Moon is central to this worship. The Bad Moon is a big celestial object that zips around the Mortal Realms in a chaotic pattern. Scholars have tried and failed at understanding and predicting where the Moon will go. It is said that the Bad Moon has always been there, but it is after the Necroquake (in the storyline of the Malign Sorcery, Nagash and the Endless Spells) that the Moon has gone ballistic – and in turn have whipped the Gitz into a frenzy.
  • The Moonclan Grots believe that Gorkamorka tried to eat the Bad Moon, but that he cracked a tooth on in at let it go. This tooth of Gorkamorka is what gives the Bad Moon its power.
  • The Spiderfang think that a giant spider bit Gorkamorka's toe, and in turn the spider became infused with power. The Bad Moon is a spider egg and if only they could get it to hatch, the world would be covered in spiders.
  • The Troggoth are so stupid no one really knows what they think
The Bad moon - diety of the gloomspite gitz
  • When the Bad Moon crosses above a city, insanity ensues for the poor inhabitants. People go insane, mould grows from the walls, people explode from fungus growing inside their bodies and all kinds of other dank and nasty stuff will happen. For the Gitz caught in the light of the moon, they will be fused with energy and will want to kill every enemy in sight.
  • Because of the great powers of the Bad Moon, all Gitz want to be where it is. This means they will go to great lengths of following it – even if it means going from realm to realm and fighting the civilisation they find.
  • All of the Gitz believe that if they can show the Bad Moon how sneaky and cunning they are, it will stop in place and start the end of the world in the form of the “Everdank“. This is also why it is so important to fight in the light of the moon.
  • All of the Gloomspite Gitz live in the dankest and dark places (they really hate the sun). It is there that the alliances between the different Grots, Squigs and Troggoths have been formed (mainly to ensure their own survival).
  • It is the new glorious power of the Bad Moon that is now waking the Gitz and pulling them from their deep lairs to help usher in the Everdank.
  • Skragrott The Loon King is the only one who has ever had any success in predicting the Bad Moon's path. To do this, the king has captured mad people from all over the realms. These Loonies he has put in his “asylum” realm and it is from this madness he thinks he can get the secrets of the Bad Moon.
Loony gitz used to predict the path of the Bad Moon

How does the Allegiance Abilities, Spell Lores, Command Traits and Artefacts work for the Gloomspite Gitz?

The Bad Moon is what unites the dank tribes of the Gloomspite Gitz. The Allegiance ability (or the battle traits) are all connected to this moon.

The Bad Moon moves and shines down on the battlefield:

If you play as a Gloomspite Git allegiance army, the Bad Moon will join you at the table. When the Moon shines on different units, different things will happen.

The Bad Moon has no model, so you have to get a marker to signify where it is (there will be a token in the printed Warscroll Cards). You decide the corner of the board were the moon starts. It will then move towards the opposite corner, moving diagonally across the battlefield. In the picture below I have decided to start it in the lower left corner.

  1. At the start of the second battle round, and each battle round after that, you roll a dice to see the distance the Bad Moon moves. 1 means it does not move, 2-5 it will move one space and on a 6 it will move two spaces forward.
  2. You have to imagine the battlefield is segmented in 4 equal sized quadrants. One move will be into the middle of the starting quadrant. 2 moves will put it in the center of the battlefield. 3 moves will place it in the middle of the quadrant it started on the opposite corner off. 4 moves will put it out of the battlefield.
  3. When at a board edge the Bad Moon does nothing (position 0 and 4)
  4. When at the centre of a quadrant (1 and 3), it will affect units wholly within that board space.
  5. When at the centre of the table (2), it will affect the whole table.

The Bad Moon gives the following benefits to units affected by it:

  1. +1 on casting rolls for Gloomspite Gitz Wizards
  2. -1 on casting rolls for non-Gloomspite Gitz Wizards
  3. Your General will give you 1 extra command point at the start of your hero phase
  4. Squigs under the bad moon at the start of your charge phase can attempt at charge even if they ran in the movement phase
  5. Moonclan Grot units can reroll hit rolls of 1
  6. Spiderfang units will trigger their Spider Venom mortal wounds on +5 instead of on +6
  7. Troggoths can reroll the roll to see if they regenerate or they can double the number of wounds they heal.

Fangs of the Bad Moon is an extra ability you get. At the start of your hero phase, you can pick an enemy unit on the board and roll a dice. If you roll equal to or less than the number of models in the unit, you deal d3 mortal wounds to it.

So as you can see from the traits, the Gloomspite has the same allegiance ability no matter what units you take. The difference lies in what kind of buff you get for each individual unit.

A sneaky snuffler and a boss from some stabbas in the Gloomspite Gitz faction

How does the Command Traits work for Gloomspite Gitz?

You get 6x4 different command traits to pick from. So depending on what keyword your general has, he can pick one trait from one of these lists:

  • The 6 Blessings of the Bad Moon are for generals with the Loonbos keyword. This can be given to a general that is a Loonboss, Loonboss on Mangler Squig, Loonboss with Giant Cave Squig or Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig.
  • The 6 Gifts of the Gloomspite is reserved for Generals that are Moonclan Wizards. This means only the Madcap Shaman and the Fungoid Cave-Shaman (Skragrott and Zarbag are named character, all the Gobbapalooza guys are not heroes so cannot be the general and the Spiderfang Wizards do not have the Moonclan keyword).
  • The 6 Marks of the Spider God's Favour is only for the Scuttleboss (the boss on a big spider, but not the Arachnarok spider).
  • The 6 Fortuitous Trogboss Traits are for Dankhold Troggoth Heroes only (meaning the Dankhold Trogboss).

Notable Command Traits:

  1. Fight another day: after making melee attacks you can retreat 2d6. Plow that Mangler Squig in, kill stuff and move away before he dies.
  2. Monstrous Mount: Double the number of mortal wounds on the Spider Venom ability of the Scuttleboss.
  3. Tough as Rock: +2 wounds on your Troggoth Hero can make them much more survivable (regen all day).
  4. Mighty Blow: reroll the d6 damage on the Dankhold Troggboss can be a reall killer, especially if you further buff him with a melee artefact.

How do the artefacts work for Gloomspite Gitz?

Much like the command traits, you get 4 sets of artefacts. To make it confusing, the groups differ slightly from the traits.

  • 6 Troglodytic Treasures for heroes with the Loonboss keyword (same dudes as with the traits).
  • 3 Foetid Fetishes – this time only for the Madcap Shaman on no one else.
  • 6 Venomous Valuables for any Spiderfang hero (so all of the Spiderfang heroes)
  • 3 Glinty Gubbins That Troggoths Found  (Dankhold Troggoth hero, so the same as the trait).

Notable Artefacts:

  1. The Clammy Cowl: -1 on hit rolls is really good on a Loonboss on Mangler Squig (note that you can get something striclty better if you have acces to the Malign Sorcery Artefacts).
  2. Moonface Mommet: pick a unit within 12″ of the bearer at the start of the combat phase. That unit gains -1 on saves in that combat phase. Really powerful, but you can only have it on the Madcap Shaman (and that guy is squishy and not that good).
  3. Totem of the Spider God: friendly Spiderfang units wholly within 12″ trigger Spider Venom on an unmodified +5 to hit instead of only +6.
  4. Glowy Howzit: will make the Troggoth Boss much more survivable.
Skaggrot calling down the power of the bad moon

How do the spell lores work for Gloomspite Gitz?

The Gloomspite Gitz get two different lores. Each wizard knows one spell from one of the lores and there is 6 spells in each. There is a lore for the Moonclan Wizards Heroes (note the Gobbapalooza wizards do not get a spell from the lore because they are not heroes) and a lore for the Spiderfang Wizards.

Spells of note in the Lore of the Moonclan:

  1. Itchy Nuisance: a unit within 18″ fights last in the next combat phase
  2. The Great Green Spite: you select a friendly Gloomspite Gitz unit wholly within 18″ of the caster. After that, you select an enemy unit wholly within the Gloomspite Gitz unit. Depending on the size of the friendly unit, you deal mortal wounds (capping out at a solid d6 mortal wounds if your unit is +20 models).
  3. Hand of Gork: you can select a unit wholly within 24″ and not in combat. You can deploy that unit anywhere on the board as long as it is 9″ away from enemy units.
  4. Squig lure: A Squig unit wholly within 18″ can run and charge in this turn.

Spells of note in the Lore of the Spiderfangs:

  1. Deadly Webbing: can be surprisingly good in the right circumstance. It will make a terrain piece Deadly and Sinister (but not for your Spiderfang units) and if that piece of terrain is big enough it can be a real pain for your opponent.
  2.  Scuttling Terrors: 1 friendly Spiderfang unit wholly within 24″ can run, charge and shot in this turn.
  3. Sneaky Distraction: enemy unit wholly within 12″ subtract 1 from their hit rolls until your next hero phase. More minus to hit goodness!
  4. Gift of da Spider God: heal d6 wounds on a Spiderfang Monster within 12″.

How do the Bad Moon Loonshrine Terrain Feature work?

The first thing to note is that the Bad Moon Loonshrine is not the Bad Moon – so has nothing to do with your allegiance ability.

If you buy the Bad Moon Loonshrine terrain, you can set it up wholly within your own territory (before armies are set up). It must be 12″ away from enemy territory and 1″ away from other terrain pieces.

The Loonshrine does two things:

  1. Gloomspite Gitz wholly within 12″ do not take battleshock tests
  2. At the end of your turns, you can pick one Moonclan Stabbas or Shootas unit that has been destroyed. Roll a dice and on a +4 the unit comes back with half of the original number of models in it. It is set up wholly within 12″ of the Loonshrine 3″ away from enemy units. Units that have been summoned in this way cannot be summoned again.

To get the most out of it, you will have to play some Moonclan so you can summon them back. If you do not plan on running any, it might not be worth the purchase. Note that it is also big enough to block line of sight.

A loonboss from the Gloomspite Gitz

Miniatures and units available for Gloomspite Gitz

Oh boy, you will be spoiled for choice in the Gloomspite Gits. Because of the merger of the different Grot factions and the massive amount of new models released, you have a lot to pick from in your army.

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

You will notice that all of the models will have the Gloomspite Gitz keyword and each model will only have one of the following keywords:

  • Grot
  • Squig
  • Spiderfang
  • Troggoth
  • Gargant

Because of the huge number of models, I have separated them by this keyword list.

Grot miniatures:



  •  A pack of 20 Grots (small sneaky goblins that stab or shot things). The Grots can be either Stabbas (small weapons or spears) or Shootas armed with bows. You will also be able to assemble 3 of the grots as netters (and you should always do this, as they are pretty damn good). The Grots are Battleline.
  • A pack 6 Sneaky Snufflers (sneaky grots with small squigs that seek out mushrooms). They can buff your Moonclan units with extra attacks).
  • The five dudes from the Gobbapalooza (really flavour grot wizards and buff dudes). You have to bring them all if you want any of them in your army. Note that they are not heroes so cannot get the lore spells.
  • Zarbag Gitz (a mix of squigs and grots that come with the Zarbag Gitz Underworlds Warband).
  • A pack of 5 fanatics (sneaky mushroom-induced grots with big balls of death). The 5 grots can either be assembled as Sporesplatta Fanatics (fanatics that can buff nearby Moonclan Grots with extra attack and blocks line of sigh) or as Loonsmasha Fanatics (really killy fanatics that hide in other Moonclan Grot units). Both fight first in combat.

All units in each pack are exactly enough for the minimum unit size of their type. If you look for the Moonclan Grots on the second hand market, it is possible to find very cheap mono-pose Stabbas armed with spears and shield (because they were included in a very popular box set in Warhammer: Fantasy).



  • Skragrott the Loonking (The king of the Gloomspite Gitz and the only model that can manipulate the Bad Moon movement).
  • Loonboss (your average fighty Grot that can buff the melee damage of nearby  Moonclan Grot unit).
  • Loonboss with Gaint Cave Squig – not mounted (the old Skarsnik model in finecast. Same command ability as the loonboss, but has a missile attack and the squig in melee. GW direct order only).
  • Madcap Shamans comes in a blister (you get two models and I think they are metal. Both shamans. GW direct order only).
  • Fungoid Cave-Shaman (the Malign Portents Destruction herald. Pretty good wizard).
  • Zargbag (Shaman from the Underworlds warband. Fun spell and not a bad model overall)

It will also be possible to find a great variety of old Grot heroes kicking about (I can count at least 11 different metal goblin heroes in my collection). I plan on using them as champions in different units.

Squig miniatures:


  • A pack of 10 Squigs and 2 herders in the Squig Herd Grots (angry small blobs of bouncing teeth that will eat you alive). Squig Herds become battleline if your general has the Moonclan keyword. You need a minimum of 6 models to make a unit and at least 1 out of 6 models must be a herder.
  • A kit with 10 grots mounted on bouncing squigs (very bouncy blobs of angry death – with grots on top). They can be either Squig hoppers (lightly armoured fast cavalry) or Boingrot Bounderz (heavy armoured knight type grots). The Squig Hoppers become battleline if your general is either a Loonboss on Gaint Cave Squig or Loonboss on a Mangler Squigs. You need a minimum of 5 to make a minimum sized unit.
  • 1 Mangler Squigs kit (two very big, very hungry and very bouncy squigs chained together). The kit can also be assembled to have a Loonboss on top.
  • 1 Colossal Squig (massively big and massively hungry squig). A forge world model, so a bit pricey – and made of resin.
  • 1 Squig Gobba (artillery squig). Is a forge world model made of resin.


  • Loonboss on Mangler Squigs (a Loonboss crazy enough to try and mount a Mangler Squig). Made from the same kit as the normal Mangler Squigs.
  • Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig (Loonboss on a smallish squig). An old model and from GW direct order only. Pretty dated finceast model and the squig is not big compared to the newer models. The Forge World model might be a better option here.

Spiderfang miniatures:

Sadly, GW did not release any new kits for the spider grots. This means that all of the models for Spiderfang er sort of old and you will mainly have to get them from GW webstore (as I think they are direct order only now).

  • 10 Grot Spider Riders (little grots on big venomous spiders). The spiders look good, but their posing is ugly. The legs are not positioned the way a spider would look. If you want to avoid the pose, you have to cut of the legs and reassemble them in a better pose (doable, but time-consuming). If your General is Spiderfang, the Grot Spiders Riders become battleline.
  • 1 kit with an Arachnarok Spider (one huuuge spider). The Arachnarok can be assembled without crew as a Skitterstrand, with a the Flinger on top, with the Grot Warparty or with the Shaman on top as a hero option. This kit is a very good plastic kit and not as dated as the Spider Riders. You can also give the wizard a seperate base and run him on foot.
  • 1 Scuttleboss (grot on big, not huge, spider). The Scuttleboss is quite essential if you want to run an all out Spiderfang army. Finecast model.

Troggoth and Gargant miniatures:

  • Kit with 3 Fellwater Troggoths (very dank and puking water trolls). Such cool, very nasty, much puke. Fellwater Troggoths become battleline if your general is Troggboss.
  • 3 Rockgut Troggoths (big burly stone trolls). Rockgut Troggoths become battleline if your general is Troggboss.
  • Box with 1 Dankhold Troggoth (big troll). Can be assembled as either a normal Dankhold Troggoth or as a Dankhold Troggboss.
  • A box with a baby Dankhold Troggoth (Mollog) and his crew of weird squigs. This is a Warband for the Underworlds game.
  • 1 Troll Hag (big breasted nasty troll). The ever popular Troll hag makes a return, now as part of the army. Cannot have the Troggoth only traits or artefacts, since she does not have the Dankhold keyword. But she can get artefacts from the Malign Sorcery book…
  • 1 Gargant kit (big giant). Have the Giants ever had any edition of warhammer where they have been good? Sad giant is sad.
  • 1 Bonegrinder Gargant (a gaint gaint?). Forgeworld Model.

Quality of the models:

The old Moonclan Grots have held up surprisingly well. They are a bit monpose, but some cool terrain will help spice them up a bit. Everything newly released is just fantastic and dynamic (all squigs, fanatics, snufflers and the new trolls).

The spider riders and all the finecast model are so and so.

Quality of the rules for the models:

It is a bit early to tell, but a few units do stick out.

  1. The Stabbas are just solid. They were good in mixed destruction before, but with all of the Gloomspite buffs and debuffs, they are just amazing at keeping objective.
  2. The bow version of the Moonclan guy is, on paper, quite bad.
  3. The Rockgut Troggoth seem sort of weakly stated for their point value. They will mostly be seen in all Troggoth armies.
  4. The verdict is still out on the Troggoth Boss, but the normal Dankhold Troggoth seems weak.
  5. The Loonboss on Mangler Squigs seems solid.
  6. Skitterstrand spider looks good.
  7. The Boingrot Bounderz might be the best unit in the book. Efficient in every way and very killy.

Any start collecting or box sets available for Gloomspite Gitz?

No, not at this movement. Some substantial rumours from GW are hinting that these sneaky gitz are going to be one of the forces in an upcoming box set (with Wanderers or Sylvaneth mayhaps).

Do Gloomspite Gitz have endless spells and faction terrain?

Yeah they have both. The Loonshrine is pretty cool and has okay rules. At least two of the four endless spells are worth having in some armies (Mork’s Mighty Mushroom and the Scuttletide).

I think both the spells and the terrain is well worth getting.

Endless spells for the gloomspite gitz faction
Terrain piece loonshrine for the gloomspite gitz

A rundown on some of the Gloomspite Gitz Battalions

The Gloomspite Gitz battalions are quite interesting. It is clear that GW are really careful at pricing battalions, because they gave an extra artefact, command point and the ability to make your army very few drops so you are able to dictate who goes first.

This means that the battalions are not that powerful, but some of them will be worth your time anyway. I found this an okay balance: I never feel like I have to get a battalion in order to make an army, but I also feel like I get rewarded with something useful if I do get a battalion.

  • Skulkmob Horde is interesting because the requirements are easy to fulfil and the ability can be good. You need to have 3 or more units of Stabbas and Shootas and exactly 3 units of fanatics (can be both versions). In return, when you resummon units with the Loonshrine terrain, that unit will come back with the full amount of models. If you couple that with the artefact that gives you two chances per hero phase to resummon units, you are going all in on a horde resummon grot theme.
  • Squig Rider Stampede is nice if you want to play a load of squigs. It requires 2-3 units of Squig Hoppers/Boingrot Bounderz and 0-1 Mangler Squig. Now you can reroll the random move distance of the squigs. Too bad you cannot fill this up with more squigs, but GW might be nervous of the alpha strike potential.
  • Sadly, I think the Moonclan Skrap and the Squigalance (big battalions) are both traps. You are paying a lot of points to get a bonus when your units are under the Bad Moon's light. That said, pilling in 6″ for the Squigs can be really powerful as it brings a lot of tactical abilities. You get always strike first (your opponent cannot pile in before you do if you are not within 3″) and you can run out of combat and pile into something new.
  • The Gobbapalooza is a weird one. You have to take all five of the goblins or none at all and this is a battalion with those exact models in it. The bonus is a +1 on their casting or special ability rolls. Okay I guess.
  • Spider Rider Skitterswarm is good if you are going all in on spiders. +-1 Scuttleboss and 3+ Spiders riders (so you can load up on all the little spiders you need). In return, they get +2 move.
  • The Troggherd is the only Troggoth battalion. I think it is cool, but it might not be that good. 1 Dankhold Trogboss, 3-9 units of Fellwater/Rockgut and 0-2 Gargants. When you roll an unmodified wound roll of 6 in combat, you add +1 on the damage on that attack (still save roll as normal). Would be better as mortal wounds. How many times will this realistically trigger in a game?

So not massive buffs, but still cool abilities – and they might be worth it just for lowering your amount of drops, the extra artefact and command point.

Cool artwork of the Gobbapalooza gang for the gloomspite gitz age of sigmar army

What is the Gloomspite Gitz playstyle and how do the sneaky gitz feel on the tabletop?

  1. The Gitz army are made up of so many different units, it is quite bewildering. This means that you have the possibility of only collecting Gloomspite Gitz and make what feels like 3-4 different armies (mix of different stuff, all squig, all spider, all troggoth and hordes of grots)
  2. Because of all the options, it is hard to say “the Gitz are this and that”. They have slow movement, but also units that can go fast. They generally have weak armour, but also some tough units. Are generally weak in a straight up combat, but also units that can eat units for breakfast.
  3. You have access to massive amounts of buffs and debuffs. Giving your own unit +2 attack and stacking -2 to hit on your opponent will not be out of the ordinary. This feels very sneaky and grot like (stab them in the back while they are blind!)
  4. You have access to some shooting attacks, but the Gitz is not a shooting heavy army.
  5. Access to two lores, faction endless spells, Malign Sorcery Endless spells, + on cast attempts and a host of great wizards makes the Gitz a prime candidate for a magic heavy army.
  6. You have multiple ways of gaining extra command points.
  7. Your bravery is weak. Hugging your terrain feature and spamming Inspiring Presence is the way to avoid losing your army to battleshock.
  8. You have a ton of ways to deal mortal wounds
  9. It is very possible that your opponent will underestimate your army because of the lowly grots. Take advantage of this! With the different crazy (and sometimes random) abilities of the Gitz, you can give every other army a run for its money.
  10. You do have a few things that are random. It is important to embrace this random nature of the grots, or you might be in for a bad time.
Some Gloomspite Gitz squigs and herderz running around

Cool combos and fun tech details of the Gloomspite Gitz

Buff the Stabbas!:

The most obvious “combo” is to try and buff the lowly Moonclan Stabbas as much as you can. A few buffs come to mind:

  1. Get 60 Stabbas
  2. Buff with extra attack from the Sporesplattas
  3. Buff with extra attack from the Sneaky Snufflers (or buff them more than once with the Snufflers if you dare). 3 Attacks per grot should be doable (more from the netters).
  4. Command ability from a Loonboss on foot (unmodified wound rolls of 6 cause 1 mortal wound in addition to whatever damage they would otherwise deal).
  5. Get the Bad Moon to shine on them (read: get lucky or get Skraggrot) so they can reroll hit rolls of 1.
  6. The spiker from the Gobbapalooza can  give them reroll wounds rolls of 1

Debuff those pesky aelves!:

You have a huuuge arsenal of debuffs (and you can use it in conjunction with buffing your own dudes).

  1. Itchy Nuisancee moonclan spell makes an enemy unit fight last.
  2. Sneaky Distraction spiderfang spell subtracts 1 from hit rolls
  3. Netters in Stabbas and Shootas units: -1 to hit
  4. Artefacts that gives minus to hit
  5. The Shroomancer can give -1 on hit rolls and -1 on save rolls
  6. The Troggoth Hag spell subtracts 1 from hit rolls and 1 from save rolls

Cool interactions:

  1. Because the Troggoth Hag is not an ally in Gloomspite Gitz, she can get an artefact (but not any of the ones from the Battletome). A -1 to hit extra on her is really good.
  2. You can Hand Gork a unit of Stabbas up 9″ away from a juciy unit. In the charge phase you can pop out a 15 Loonsmasha Fanatics 3″ away from the Grots they where hiding in. Now the fanatics are 6″ away from the enemy and you make the charge. Say hello to 15d6 attacks with +4/+3/-2/d3 damage
  3. You can use the Beastcaller's Bones (realm of Ghur Artefact) on the Dankhold Troggboss to make a monster hunter (he is big enough to kill monsters but does not have the monster keyword himself).
  4. Speaking of the Dankhold Toggboss: because he does not have the monster keyword, he can get cover and the Look out Sir bonus.
  5. The Troggboss can also become better in combat with the Mighty blow trait and the Ghyrstrike artefact (Ghyran artefact). His stat line will be 4 attack, +2/+2/-2/d6 damage that can be rerolled. Hulk smash!
  6. If you are a really sneaky git, you can use the Scrapskuttle's Arachnacauldrons drawback (d3 mortal wounds) offensively.
  7. Squig Hoppers deals mortal wounds to enemy units they jumps over. But remember that you can also retreat away from combat and deal damage while you are retreating.
  8. The Loonboss on Mangler Squigs, The Arak with webspinner on it and the Troggoth Hagg all receive more than one bonus from the Bad Moon light (becuase they have more than one keyword that triggers an effect).


The Arachnarok Gloomspite Gitz spider with flinger

What books will I need to play Gloomspite Gitz?

The Gloomspite Battletome is a must have to play this faction. There are so many special rules in it that playing the Gitz without would be like playing a shadow if what they truly are. There is the 2-weeks-after-book-release Errata, but not much changed. You do not need the Generals Handbook yet, but when a new one releases in the summer of 2019 it is there you should find the updated points for the Gitz.

You have strong capabilities in magic, so the Malign Sorcery endless spells could be useful. The artefacts in the battletome are strong, so you are not in dire need of the extra artefacts in Malign Sorcery.

Because of the absurd number of Warscrolls, getting the printed Warscrolls cards would be good for most players (it gets tiring to flip through that many units in a book and the tokens are also great).

Gloomspite Gitz battletome
Gloomspite Gitz warscroll cards

How up to date is the Gloomspite Gitz?

The Gloomspite Gitz are an Age of Sigmar second edition made army. They have the newest style of rules, which means loads of extra abilities for staying mono faction. They received a ton of new plastic kits, so updates are unlikely to happen again (maybe forever). That said, rumours abound that Gloomspite Gitz will be included in a battle box – where they will be one force out of two. Unlikely to have new models, but new sculpts (and cheaper models by buying the box) could be a possibility.

What is the cost of buying a Gloomspite Gitz army?

Because I collect everything Grot, I have decided to buy one of each new unit. I have 1 million Stabbas (Night Goblins from the old Warhammer Fantasy set) and quite a lot of squig herds so it is possible for me to just sprinkle these new units in and have an army.

This was the cost of the preorder I wanted to make to get everyting:

  • Battletome: £25
  • Endless Spells: £20
  • Bad Moon Loonshrine: £35
  • Skragrott the Loonking: £20
  • Gobbapalooza: £30
  • 2x fanatics (one for each type of build): £50 in total
  • 2x Mangler Squigs (a hero and non-hero version): £100
  • Dankhold Troggoth (a hero and non-hero version): £80
  • Rockgut Troggoths: £35
  • Loonboss: £15
  • Squig Herd: £27.5
  • Sneaky Snufflers: £25
  • 2x Squig Hoppers (one for each version): £60

A total of £522.5! (of course, I could get it for about 20% via preorder on my favourite Warhammer e-store Element-Games)

Granted, that is everything released (with a copy of each build), but it is not really the smartest way of doing it. I ended up cutting all of the trolls and landed on a more reasonable £357.5 (I will get those Troggoths at a later date).

But all of this is just to say that if you are looking for something cheap, this might not be it. It will also be a good idea to think about what units you will need to start your army (likely 500-1000 points) and what you will need to finish your army (2000 points – or just get one of each).

A picture of my ongoing gloomspite gitz army...

My ongoing massive Gloomspite Gitz

What are the Allies available for the Gloomspite Gitz?

The Gitz can ally with:

  • Bonesplitterz
  • Gitmob Grots
  • Greenskinz

It is weird that the Grots lost the option to ally with Ironjawz. I wonder if that could signify an Ironjawz merger at a later date? It goes against the Grots and Orruks can ally and Ogors can ally with each other style we have seen earlier.

Some potential decent ally options:

It is hard to say what you would really ally in. Some warmachines from the Gitmob grots might be an option. The Gitmob Grots archers are also better than the Gitz version. There is not really a lot from the Greenskin range that would be of use (no Urrok keyword to use their command abilities). The classic ally option of the Troll Hagg is a part of the Gitz, so no reason to ally her in. The Rogue Idol could be of use (+ bravery and +1 on cast).

This is not really relevant if you are going to play Gloomspite exclusively. But, the Fungoid shaman can ally into all destruction factions. Because the endless spells are not limited to the faction but tied to the keyword of the wizard, you can bring in endless spells from the Gitz in any destruction army. If you bring in the cauldron, he will have access to the whole Moonclan lore as well! Now start thinking about what kind of buffs that can bring to the other destruction factions!

Scuttleboss from the gloomspite Gitz spiderfang

Sample Gloomspite Gitz build

Even with the battletome and the army being out for a fair few months, I still have no idea what the competitive builds are going to be. There are so many varied builds and the Gitz have the ability to adapt to the meta quite well.

I would suggest you take a look at some of the lists posted on Honest Wargamer or go check out the event coverage on AoS Shorts (where you will find lists from the latest tournaments around the world). You can also follow the discussion on the TGA forum.

Pros of the Gloomspite Gitz

  • The Gloomspite Gitz have a massive range of miniatures and units to pick from. You can assemble your army in a lot of different ways, meaning this is a faction that can keep you occupied for a long, long time. It is basically 4 armies in one.
  • Very few restrictions with regards to how you can mix and match the different units. You will get rewarded for running units that can synergise on each other's keywords, but there are no hard restrictions (like some of the other merged factions).
  • The Gitz has a lot of depth in their special rules and how you can combine them.
  • The rules feel very sneaky, cunning and brutal. The perfect example of an army where the special rules really invoke the theme and flavour of the lore.
  • The debuffs feel insanely grot like and are at the same time really powerful.
  • Only a few units are simply bad/overcosted. A lot of the different units will be playable (unless you are going for a very competitive army).
  • The army has some “random-destruction-grot-rules”, but GW has struck a very good balance.
  • If you like the lore of the old world, you will see plenty of references to old Warhammer Fantasy goblin lore.
  • You will have access to some very capable battleline units. In general, having good battlelines will make your army a lot stronger.
  • The gitz are just so damn fun to play. The cool and fresh abilities, like that the Mangler Squigs degrades and then goes back up in power again, will leave you wanting to play more and more.
  • The lore feels so much more grounded and well described than the other destruction factions

Cons of the Gloomspite Gitz

  • The massive amounts of special rules can be confusing for new players.
  • It can be a bit weird what units can be affected by what abilities. You will have to look, and look again, to make sure that the ability affects the keyword that you think (and that the unit has that keyword).
  • Unpredicable things are never good for very competitive players, and the gitz does have some random stuff.
  • You will have a lot of models to paint! While they are definitely a joy to paint, you could burn out before you get even half done with your army.
  • The massive amount of models means that it would be wise to get some movement trays.
  • You will have to learn how to play your army fast if you want to compete in tournaments.
  • The style and theme can be a bit too goofy for some.

Overall verdict on the Gloomspite Gitz

I can do nothing but recommend the Gloomspite Gitz, at least with the caveats described in the cons section. For me, this is pinacle of what Age of Sigmar has to offer – both with regards to miniatures, lore and rules.

They are by far the most fleshed out destruction army we have, the most competitive, the one with access to the most different miniatures and the list goes on and on. If your favourite faction is not the Gloomspite Gitz, I am sure you would want the “Gloomspite-Gitz-Treatment” for the army that you love the most.

Unless you want Orruks and Ogors, this is the destruction faction you should get.

Beastclaw Raiders Faction Guide

Beastclaw Raiders faction showing of how cool they are with the winter in the back and the sun shinning down

The Beastclaw Raiders are a mobile, mainly mounted, elite Ogor (Ogres) army. The Beastclaw Raiders aesthetic has clearly drawn inspiration from mounted nomads (particularly the Mongolians). They wear some armour, but there is also a lot of skin showing. The beasts they ride on a are big brutish snow-beasts covered in fur. The Raiders have a clear “winter is coming” theme going on.

If you like snow, ogres, elite (low model count) all mounted armies and a melee focused mobile playstyle, you will be right at home with the big guys on big beasts.

The battletome for the Raiders was released with artefacts and battalions, but also at a time where GW was okay with having very small factions. The Beastclaw Raiders have very few units to choose from, the army lacks synergies and buffs and is, competitively speaking, very weak.

How is the lore and theme for the Beastclaw Raiders?

One of the surprising things about Beastclaw Raiders when they came out, was how well crafted and unique the lore felt compared to the Ogres of old.

  • The Everwinter is following all of the Beastclaw Raiders clans. This means they are constantly moving away from the winter (that is constantly coming) and on the hunt all the time.
  • Not much is known of the Everwinter. It might be a curse, it might be something else completely. The Raiders believe it is a part of Gorkamorka, so treat it as their God.
  • Their nomadic lifestyle is key to understanding their culture. Everything revolves around survival. Food, making yourself useful for the tribe and having the strength to smash the enemies of the tribe are important parts of their culture.
  • The Frostlord (leader of the clan) is not necessarily the strongest person. The leader is selected based upon a weird ritual, where the Ogor that had most of his captured meat eaten by the other Ogors gets to be the leader (so if you are not good at hunting, it will be hard to become lord).
  • The Ogors will eat almost anything. In spite of that, they are always hungry.
  • The mounts are sacred and venerated in the Beastclaw raiders tribes.
  • The Everwinter can also be helpful to the Raiders. It will actually hurt their foes more than it will hurt them (they are used to a bit of mind-numbing winter after all).

Miniatures and units available for Beastclaw Raiders

The Beastclaw Raiders only have two plastic kits: a big monster kit with mounted Ogors and a small monstrous cavalry kit also with Ogors on top of beasts.

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

The Big kit can build 2 different mounts and each mount has 3 different options for riders. This means the kit can produce 1 of the following 6 options:

  1. Frostlord on Stonehorn 
  2. Frostlord on Thundertusk 
  3. Huskard on Thundertusk 
  4. Huskard on Stonehorn 
  5. Stonehorn Beastriders 
  6. Thundertusk Beastriders

The Stonehorn is melee oriented and can take some damage. The Thundertusk is also big, but has a great shooting (frost) attack as well as the ability to heal with the right warscroll.


The Mournfang kit will give you 4 Mournfangs with riders. The riders can be equipped with different weapon options (Ogres mounted on semi big beasts).

The plastic kits are very dynamic and of great quality.

Besides the two plastic kits there is also 3 finecast packs available, but only on the GW webstore:

  1. Icebrow Hunter (single Ogor hunter on foot)
  2. Frost Sabres (two big cats)
  3. Icefall Yhetees (3 big foot style foot troops)

The finecast kits are ok, but they are expensive. The Yhetees are not the best looking models around.


The Stonehorn and Thundertusk without a hero on are battleline in Beastclaw Raiders and the Mournfang pack is battleline in Beastclaw Raiders. The Yhetees can become battleline if a Thundertusk is the general and the Frost Sabres can become battleline if a Hunter is the general.

This means that all units (except heroes) can become battleline. This also means that you can make an army made of only big monsters with Ogors on top!

Both the Stonehorn and the Thundertusk have a viable place in armies, but you will quickly see a trend towards Frostlord on Stonehorns and Huskard's on Thundertusk. The non-hero version if the monsters are not in a great place right now.

The Mournfang can have their place in units of 4, but they are mainly a way to fill battleline requirements.

In general, the Hunter is not that good. The cats can have their place as a fast objective taker and the Yhetees also have a spot in certain builds. As a new player, I would probably shy away from the finecast models. They are expensive and are not the best of options on the field (unless you know what you are doing).

The kits all hold the minimum amount of models for a unit. The only exception is the Mournfangs where you get 4 models and you only need 2 for a unit.

Any start collecting or box sets available for Beastclaw raiders?

The Beastclaw Raiders Start collecting box includes:

  • 4 Mournfangs
  • 1 kit of Stonehorn/Thundertusk

The Start Collecting box is pretty damn good, since you are going to get two Mournfang kits and one big monster kit, giving one of each plastic kit. The Mournfang kit is normally £40 and the monster kit is £36 (total of £76). Since the Start collecting box costs £55, it is a saving of £21. The question you are gonna ask yourself: will it ever make sense to buy anything else than the Start Collecting box? The answer is probably no. This box might be the cheapest way to build an army in Age of Sigmar, so you get that as a perk.

You could also get very lucky and stumble upon the Icewind Assault box in your local gaming store. It is out of production now, but the price of it was very good. In it you got all of the Raiders miniatures in one pack (2 monsters, 4 mournfangs, 4 sabres, 1 hunter and 3 yhetees).

Do Beastclaw Raiders have endless spells and faction terrain?

The Beastclaw Raiders where made a long time before endless spells and terrain for an army was a thing. In the future, it is very possible that they will get an update (but no one knows when or if it will really happen).

How does the Allegiance Abilities work for the Beastclaw Raiders?

Beastclaw Stampede: on the turn a Beastclaw Raider unit charges, it can reroll wound rolls of 1 in the combat phase.

You generally want to charge anyway (extra damage on most units) so this is a nice addition. It would have been better if it was rerolling to hit rolls (Raiders hit worse than they wound), but you get what you get. A minor buff, that will likely only make a minor difference.

The Everwinter's Blessing: At the start of your own hero phase roll a D6

  • 1-2: Reroll save rolls of 1 until your next hero phase
  • 3-4: You can move all Beastclaw Raiders 3″
  • 5: Roll a dice for each enemy unit within 3″ of one of your models. On a 6 deal d3 mortal wounds to that unit.
  • 6:  Roll a dice for each enemy unit within 3″ of one of your models. On a 6 deal d6 mortal wounds to that unit.

The save buff is so and so. The movement can be good and the save reroll can be good – but it could also be meaningless. The worst part is that you have no way to manipulate the result so you cannot plan around it. The damage can also be good, but again nothing you can really rely on (how many sixes can you realistically roll?).

Overall the Allegiance Abilities are quite weak. If you go ahead and compare them to some of the newer books, they are lacking some punch. A few more abilities (with more power), as well as better artefacts and traits, would be very welcoming. As it is now, you could just as well play Grand Alliance Destruction instead (Allegiance rules for Destruction overall is in the Core Rulebook).

A stonehorn from the Beastclaw Raider faction/army being a boss

A rundown on some of the Battalions for Beastclaw Raiders

The Raiders battalions are quite weak. This is sad, as the extra artefact you get from one is a huge benefit on your big heroes mounted on monsters.

Both big battalions require more than 2000 points to fill, so they are mainly for cool big thematic lists (so not included here)

  • Jorlbad makes it possible to run and charge in the same turn. While this can be quite powerful, the cost of the battalion is quite high and it requires you to have a Huskard on Stonehorn (which is not the best use of your points).
  • Skal gives 2-10 units of Sabres the ability to deploy with the hunter from reserve (anywhere on the tabletop – but 9″ away from enemy units). While thematically very cool, the Sabres are only gonna wreck weak units so do not pose a huge threat. But, deep strike can be good for taking objectives.
  • Braggoth's Beast Hammer is the first Battalion to actually give you a real reason to build around a Beastclaw battalion (for competitive purposes at least). Sadly, it also requires you to take units outside the Beastclaw Raiders factions. You will need 1 Frostlord on Stonehorn (which you would probably want anyway), 2 Mournfang packs and 2 units of Gore Gruntas from the Ironjawz. The battalion will give you: +1 wound on the Stonehorn, +1 on hit rolls on your raiders unit when they are within 6″ of an Ironjawz unit (and vice versa) and you get to pile in and attack twice once per game. The +1 on hit is massive (big weakness of the Raiders army) and the extra attack is something that can make your alpha strike scary. The downsides are that the Gore Gruntas do not perform that well in combat (and you need to nuyIronjawz units for your Raiders army), you cannot put more units in the battalion than the minimum size and the range on the battalion buff is a bit wonky to play right.

It is a shame that Raiders battalions are so weak. They cost a lot of points, do not add amazing stuff and the unit requirement are never great. You are going to spend a lot of points filling them up with weak stuff, and when the bonuses you get are so poor, it is not really the best way to build an army.

That said, from a hobby and lore perspective, there are some cool things here.

Any cool combos available for Beastclaw Raiders?

There is no easy way of breaking this: there are no big cool combos. Why?

  • The Raiders have 1 command ability (Frostlord) and it is rerolling charge rolls on Raiders units. So no buff or debuff command abilities.
  • They have no wizards in the faction, so there are very few buffs and debuffs you can pass around.
  • The Allegiance ability is limited to the on charge combat buff and the random effect of the winter buff/damage.
  • The battalions are poor with very few meaningful buffs.

The biggest combo I can think of is making a list that tries to maximise the use of the once per game extra attack of the Braggoth's Beast Hammer Battalion, but that is limited by the small numbers of units you can bring in it.

Besides that, you are left with trying to play your army as efficiently as possible and maximising the small buffs and damage you can get from the different units.

Instead of pulling big combos, you have to rely on movement, hit and run, objective grabbing and zoning to win your games.


A thundetusk from the Beastclaw Raider faction in Aqsy being cool

What is the Beastclaw Raiders playstyle and how do the mounted Ogors feel on the tabletop?

  1. The army is crazy fast. Everything except the hunter (that can deep strike) will have a movement of at least 9″. Most units will have some way of gaining extra move (run and charge on so on). That speed, if used correctly, as very viable in the objective based Age of Sigmar. You might lose your whole army each game, but if you come out with the most points you win regardless.
  2. The Raiders are though. your units will have good saves and multiple wounds.
  3. No matter how you slice it, the Raiders will be an elite army with low body count. This can be the draw for many, but it can be incredibly hard to play an objective based game without enough bodies.
  4. With the low body count, you have to make the most of your mobile units. This means strategic hit and runs, knowing when to engage but also when to get out and get the objectives.
  5. Some units can pack a punch (especially the Frostlord on Stonehorn). Sadly, you will quickly find that your units will get brought down in an extended grind.
  6. No wizards in the army mean that you have to ally them in to cast magic of your own or dispell your enemy's magic.
  7. Because of your few units, beware of debuffs on your army. Anything that gives you minus to hit is for example very bad for the Beastclaw dudes.
  8. Terrain can be rough on your big dudes. You have to get your units in the optimal position to win. Big pieces of impassable terrain can have a negative impact on your enjoyment of the game.

Are there any competitive Beastclaw Raiders builds?

As you will probably realize, the Raiders are in a bad spot power wise. They might be one of the worst factions that have a battletome! Sure, a brilliantly skilled player can take the Beastclaw to a tournament and compete with some great armies – but as I see it, that will mainly be in spite of the Raiders, not because of the Raiders.

The movement will help out a lot, as good tactical movement can seriously win you games. But to play with the top dogs, you have to hope they make more than one mistake. Artefacts from the Malign Sorcery will be a must if you hope to play the best Raiders army you can.

The most competitive list might be the Braggoth battalion. But then again, if you are already adding units from the Ironjawz you have to really ask why you are playing mono Beastclaw Raiders anyway? Why not just played mixed destruction, get the best from the Raiders (two big monsters) and cherry pick good units from the other destruction faction?

Another way is to try and spam the best units. This means either Huskard on Thundertusk and try and spam their 6 mortal wound ability (and keeping them healed up with various artefacts, abilities and spells).

You could also go for some melee smash variant, but you will find you get outfought be newer and more powerful armies.

There are also some builds that add in some Ogors on foot as allies. I can see that working out, but it will quickly end being Ogors on foot with the Beastclaw Raiders added in as allies.

A list of things holding the army back with regards to being competitive:

  1. Poor battleline options
  2. Few options with regards to warscrolls
  3. Lack of bodies
  4. Very poor allegiance abilities and artefacts
  5. Very poor Battalions
  6. One poor command ability (so you have to spend command points on running and rerolling charge rolls)
  7. No wizards
  8. No great buffs

All that said, Beastclaw Raiders are not that far from suddenly being much better. They can make great use of extra artefacts on the big guys, so just one great battalion would do wonders. A way to utilise command points on something useful would also be amazing. Let us hope they get a helping hand in an updated battletome.

What books will I need to play Beastclaw Raiders?

The Beastclaw Raiders have a battletome with allegiance abilities, artefacts, command traits, lore and warscrolls. Only very minor things have been changed according to their Errata.

You will need the newest Generals Handbook to get the updated points for the Raiders (or have a look in one of the Army Builders to get the points).

The Malign Sorcery will be helpful to make your army stronger. This will mainly be because you will get access to artefacts that will make your big monsters stronger, but a few endless spells could also prove to be valuable (if you ally in a wizard).

The Beastclaw Raiders battletome
An image of the Generals Handbook 2018

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

The Beastlclaw have a semi up to date battletome, but a very small selection of miniatures. In fact, I am positive that we will never see such a small faction for Age of Sigmar again (it is clear it does not work and GW are actively working towards merging smaller factions). It is possible that Beastclaw will either get merged with Gutbusters (hallo Ogre Kingdoms!). They could also get a few more models (the beloved Moonclan treatment), but I think this will be very far in the future (if ever).

The battletome was made after Sylvaneth, meaning it has the full set of allegiance abilities, artefacts, battalions and so on. They are missing spells, endless spells and terrain. Their allegiance abilities are poor compared to modern Battletomes. There is a good chance they will get an updated battletome, but I doubt it is in the very near future. Might first happen in early 2020.

Mournfang and Thundertusk riding on the avalance of the everwiner

What is the cost of buying a Beastclaw Raiders army?

The Raiders are one of the few factions that can put an army on the table with so few models. As a new painter, this is a very welcome thing (as it will be very feasible to get the army done). From a wallet perspective, it also makes the Raiders a very cheap army to buy. If you want cheap, you have to avoid the finecast models. This also means trying to forge an army based on what you can get in plastic. Luckily, both plastic kits are a part of the Start Collecting box.

  • 2 Mournfangs are 160, so the 4 in the box will be 320 points
  • The monster can become many things depending on how you build it. The Frostlord is 420 no matter that mount. The Huskard is 340 points on a Stonehorn and 360 points on a Thundertusk. If build with normal troops on it the Stonehorn is 320 and the Thundertusk is 340 points.

This means they you are getting between 640 and 740 points for each start collecting box. That many points for £55?Insane. If you stick to the plastic models, the Raiders are definitely one of the cheapest and smallest armies you can get in Age of Sigmar.

What are the Allies available for the Beastclaw Raiders?

The Raiders can ally with:

  • Aleguzzler Gargants
  • Firebellies
  • Gutbusters
  • Maneaters
  • Troggoths

While allies can be great for the Beastclaw, you will be severely limited by the amount you can bring (because 1 in 4 units can be an ally, and you are not going to have that many units on the table).

Some potential decent ally options:

The big downside of the Beastclaw is that you do not get access to cheap, efficient bodies. On the other hand, if you want to keep it mounted an elite that is not really an option anyway. Primarily you will be looking to ally in a Wizard.

  1. The Gargant can be pretty useful, but I am not really sure it brings anything new to the table for you.
  2. If you want a spellcaster, you have to ally in something. The forge world Troggoth Hagg is an option. The firebelly is an option. The butcher is a good option (buff on hit rolls) and the Fungoid Cave-Shaman can also be useful (more command points and ability to double cast spells).
  3. You could get some shooting potential via the Gutbusters or add some more bodies with Ogors on foot.
A lord on a stonehorn killing some khorne dudes

Pros of the Beastclaw Raiders

  • Very few models to paint and they can look crazy good on the tabletop (big and brutal). The kits are also very dynamic and cool. While they were not released in Age of Sigmar, The Mournfang and Stonehorn/Thundertusk kits are quite new.
  • With so few models, it will be easier for beginners to remember what their army can do. Combine this with the few buffs and weird interactions and it makes this a very easy army to grasp.
  • The “all mounted very mobile” army is quite attractive for some people.
  • The “winter and frost” theme of the army is quite cool (pun intended).
  • Somewhat easy to paint, depending on how you wanna go with it. Skin tones can be hard to make look “natural”, but fur and other stuff will be easy. You can easily get away with doing just basecoat, shade and drybrush. You can also use the GW snow texture paint for easy bases.
  • Performs quite solid at the 1000 points bracket (because other armies have a hard time to combo and synergise with so few points).
  • While the army is quite bad right now, a few tweaks could make it really good. Who knows, it might be really good by the time you finish painting the army up!
  • Very cheap army. A couple of Start Collecting Boxes and you could be on the table!

Cons of the Beastclaw Raiders

  • Not a lot of options with regards to units or models
  • Very low tier army if you are looking at things from a competitive angle
  • Not a good army if you are looking for something very complex to play or something that have loads of different options.
  • While the Battletome does have battalion and Allegiance abilities, we have seen a real power creep since this book came out. You will be envious when you hear what your mates new army can do.
  • Even in very casual games, you can get run over. It is possible that you will face factions where you will lose 9/10 games – no matter what build you or your opponent takes. This can be bad if you are mainly playing against the same opponent over and over again.
  • The low skill ceiling of the army means you could get bored quickly (the I-have-tried-everything-in-this-army-syndrome).

Overall verdict on the Beastclaw Raiders

I am really sorry for all the doom and gloom regarding the Beastclaw. But I think it is very important to know those things before you invest your money, time and emotions into an army. Their power level might not mean anything for the first year or so, but it will quickly become a drain on your hobby enjoyment (believe me, I have owned multiple super weak factions). If you only have a few friends who play AoS, it is likely that they play something new and updated for AoS 2.0. Chances are good that you are going to get consistently blown out of the water, and that is no fun in the long run.

While I would never recommend the Raiders to a player looking to compete in tournaments, they can be a great beginner army. One of my friends actually picked up the Raiders mainly because there were so few models he needed to paint and they look amazing (and the lore and artwork of the battletome really got him hooked).

I sincerely hope Beastclaw will get the update treatment, as they need more options and cool stuff. For now, if you want to play this army it should mainly be because:

  1. You like the theme and the aesthetic of the models
  2. You would like an army with few models to paint or something that can be painted up quickly
  3. You are looking for something simple to play

At the end of the day, you should ask the question:

Would I be better of playing the Beastclaw as the allied part to something else? Or should you go Grand Alliance Destruction instead?

Do you love their cool lore, aesthetic, theme and miniatures so much that it will overcome the weakness of the army?

Bonesplitterz Faction Guide

A shaman from the Bonesplitterz faction zaaping some Sylvaneth

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.


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


  • 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.

Ironjawz Faction Guide

Image of a Brute Boss killing some Khorne. Used as image in Destruction faction and army guide for the Ironjawz part

The Ironjawz is a brutal looking all Orruk (Orcs) army. The overall theme is big Orruks clad in big bulky metal plate armour.  The Ironjawz steal metal plate and weapons from other races and bend it into shape to fit their bulky frames and brutal purpose.

In general, the Ironjawz do not really care much for building or crafting their own stuff. Instead, they elect to steal other races big towers and cities and knock them ever when it is clear they cannot hold them anymore. The Ironjawz is that big bully that kicks over your sand castle and laughs about it when you cry.

Ironjawz was one of the first “new” Age of Sigmar armies, but this sadly shows in a negative sense. The faction has very few different models, and their rules are generally lacking the punch to stay competitive. That said, I play them myself and really like their style.

How is the lore and theme for the Ironjawz?

One of my favourite things about Ironjawz is actually the lore and story behind them. The Ironjawz is the orc mentality of old, but turning everything up to eleven!

  • Ironjawz are born to fight. They want to fight the biggest dudes in the world, no matter what they need to do to get there. This means roaming from realm to realm just to see if there is anyone big enough to fight them!
  • Fighting is a big part of the Ironjawz culture. If you can show that you got the might, it could be possible to persuade the Ironjawz to fight for you. On the other hand, the Ironjawz will get really pissed if they see a big scrap and they are not invited to the party. That insult will get them really mad and make them join the brawl in an even more fierce state.
  • The more fights an Ironjaw is in, the bigger and meaner he gets.
  • If a well respected Big Boss dies, it is not uncommon that the tribe will carry the skull around so the old Big Boss can see da' fighting from the afterlife.
  • The Shamans are respected and also feared. In true orc style, they have a tendency of blowing up themselves (and anyone unlucky enough to be around) because of the massive Waaagh! energies they harness and unleash on the battlefield.
  • The Prophet of Destruction, Gordrak the Fist of Gork, is part of the Ironjawz. Right now we know very little of him (just that he is the biggest and badest orruk around), but it is very likely he will be used as part of the overall Age of Sigmar storyline at some point.
A picture of my own Ironjawz army

Miniatures and units available for Ironjawz

Overall you only have a few kits to make up the army. This is generally a really negative aspect, as it leads to only very few (if any) competitive builds. What is worse, even if you play purely the units you like from a hobby perspective, you will struggle to make your Ironjawz army stand out from the rest as they can get a bit “samey”.

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

The Ironjawz is made up of three battleline units (only battleline in allegiance Ironjawz armies):

  1. You have the cool looking brutes (big Orruks on foot, 5 in a box). Two different weapon options (short and longer ranged).
  2. Ardboys (smaller Oruks on foot, the old Black Orcs model with 15 in a box). The Ardboys can actually be equipped with different weapon options in the same unit, making them quite versatile. This is an old kit, so the poses are not as dynamic as one could hope, but it is easy enough to move their arms around. There is also the Underworlds Warband for some additional poses for the Ardboys – and they can also be played as their own separate 4 man unit.
  3. Gore Gruntas (big pigs with Brutes on top, 3 in a box). Can have either short or longer ranged melee weapons.

The kits fit with the minimum size for a unit, except for the Ardboys that comes with 15 models but only require 10 for the minimum sized unit.

Note you cannot run these as battleline in a Destruction: Grand Alliance army, as they are only battleline in Ironjawz armies. But, being able to run an all pig army is pretty cool (and the Battalion for it is not bad).

Overall, all of the units are seen in armies. The Gore Gruntas are kind of weak if not in a battalion that buffs them, but their mobility is key. The brutes are very good and the Ardboys add some survivable bodies (and they can pack a punch when buffed).

The Ironjawz have 5 hero options:

  1. A Megaboss on a Maw-krusha (even bigger Orruk on a big dragon like creature)
  2. Gordrakk the Fist of Gork character (made from the same kit as the hero on Maw-krusha)
  3. Megaboss on foot (big orruk that hits stuff)
  4. Weirdnob Shaman (wizard that can cast the classic foot of Gork spell)
  5. Warchanter (has a very good melee buff)

The Maw-krusha is very good and just a ridiculously cool kit, so will be seen in a lot of armies. The megaboss on foot is okay, but he tends to get left out if you really look at the Ironjawz with competitive eyes. Booth megabosses has a command ability that can give extra attacks to Ironjawz units. Gordrakk can give extra attack to all types of Destruction units!

The Weirdnob spell is cool, but Destruction has access to some better wizards that tend to get allied in instead. The Warchanter buff is quite good, so will be seen in all armies that are trying to maximize win rate.

Overall the Ironjawz just lacks more options – booth for being more competitive but also just from a collecting and hobby perspective. You will need to have at least some multiples of one unit type, which for some can get boring quickly.

Any start collecting or box sets available for Ironjawz?

The Ironjawz: Start collecting box includes:

  • 3 Gore Gruntas
  • 10 Ardboys
  • 1 Warchanter

3 Gore Gruntas will normally cost £48, the Warchanter £18 and the 10 Ardboys about £21 – making it £87 in total. You get it all for the price of £60, so you save about £27. Considering that all of the units in the box are useable, the Ironjawz start collecting box is pretty good.

Personally, I would never buy a single box of Gore Gruntas but instead just boy the start collecting and sell any leftover models I get.

Is Ironjawz Endless spells and terrain features a thing?

Sadly, the Ironjawz do not have any Endless Spell or a specific Terrain feature. But in the future it is very likely they will get updated with them.

How does the Allegiance Abilities work for the Ironjawz?

Mighty Destroyers: in each hero phase you roll a d6 for each Ironjawz hero you have. Your general gets +2. For each 6 you roll, you pick a unit wholly within 12″ of the hero that rolled a six (can, of course, select himself). The selected unit can now make a normal move, if it is in combat it can pile in (but sadly cannot attack before the combat phase) and if it is within 12″ of an enemy unit it can make a charge roll.

The Ironjawz have very poor movement (4″ on the foot troops) so some extra movement is very much needed. This trait helps a bit, but I would like something more reliable.

Eager for Battle: all Ironjawz get +1 on charge rolls.

I very nice boost, and combined with the Chronomatic Cogs and the Mighty destroyers this can lead to alpha strike lists.

Smashing and Bashing: if one of your Ironjawz units destroy another unit in the combat phase, you get to select a new unit to attack instead of your opponent getting a turn to attack.

The Smashing and Bashing is a really cool ability and one of the few key strengths that I like to take advantage off. This will often mean that I try to get multiple units into combat at the same time, all buffed by the command ability of a Megaboss giving them more attacks.

Some Ardboys from the Ironjawz faction smashing up things good

A rundown on the cool Battalions for Ironjawz

The Ironjawz have a few very useful battalions, but also some that are mostly seen in narrative games. I will go through the ones that I find interesting (either as theme element or competitively).

  • The Ironfist is easy to squeeze in since you only need 3 units of either Ardboys, Brutes or Gore Gruntas (all Ironjawz army will have this). It gives you 1d6 extra move on all battalion units in the hero phase (as long as the Battalion Big Boss is alive) giving you some much needed extra mobility. An often seen battalion.
  • The Gorefist requires 3 units of Gore Gruntas (max 5 in the battalion) and can help turn your army into and alpha strike list. If you set up all units from the battalion within 10″ of the unit with the battalion Big boss, all the units get to make a 15″ move in your first hero phase. Couple that with the standard move of 9″ on the gore gruntas, this means they move 24″ in the first turn and can now make a charge! This is all well and cool, but the Gure Gruntas still hit like a wet newspaper, so you need some way of buffing them (multiple uses of the Maw-Crusha Waaagh comes to mind) to make it worth your while.
  • The Ardfist is pretty nice, giving you the ability to replace one Ardboys unit that has been wiped out (as long is your Warchanter is alive). After the change to summoning in AoS 2.0, this extra unit will not cost you anything extra.
  • The Weirdfist will buff a Weirdnob Shaman with a lot of extra range and mortal wounds on their spells. It is cool and thematic, but kind of a bummer when your Shaman gets wiped out first turn. If you are able to keep the shaman alive, you can deal out some serious mortal wounds.
  • Bloodtoofs (big battalion from Generals Handbook) gives +2 bravery, +1 on run and +1 on charge rolls. All pretty good things and you even get to deploy a Realmgate (although it does not really do anything unless there already is another Realmgate on the board). The +2 bravery might actually be the best, as low bravery can become a bit of a problem for the Ironjawz.
A picture of my Gore Gruntas in the Ironjawz faction painted with rusty and scraped black armour

Cool combos available for Ironjawz

Abuse the Waagh!: one of the cool things Ironjawz can dish out is abusing the fact that the Waagh ability can be used multiple times per hero phase.  This means you can buff Ironjawz unit within 15″ of the Maw-Crush (or 10″ of the Megaboss) with +1 extra attack on each of their attack profiles multiple times. This works really well on the Gore Gruntas (+1 on the rider and +1 on the grunta) but the biggest buff is on the Brute Boss armed with the Boss Claw and Smasha (champion in a Brutes unit). Getting 3+ attacks is not that uncommon with the following recipe:

  1. Make sure to have a healthy number of command points to start with (3+).
  2. Make the Maw Crusha your general and give him the “Prophet of the Waaagh!” trait that grants him rerolls on the rolls to see whether or not he grants extra attacks.
  3. Put a realm artefact on him that gives a chance to get command points back after each use
  4. Have a Brute Boss get +3 (or more attacks)
  5. Attack with 4 Boss Claws (+4/+3/-1 and 2 damage each).
  6. Auto hit with the 5 Smasha attacks (+3/-2 and d3 damage)
  7. This is only for a single model. Now you have all the other brutes, gruntas and ardboys buffed as well.

I have seen a single Brute Boss wreck some serious carnage, with his 4 mates just standing on the sideline cheering as he wrecked face. This combo can also be good in a Gore Grunta alpha strike Gorefist battalion list.

While this combo is sweet, it is also the one and only “trick” in the army. Besides this, you are just left throwing a +1 buff from the Warchanter and hoping that you will win the grind.

Foot of Gork ftw: another option is to build the Weirdfist battalion and try to buff your shaman's spells. This can get particularly brutal with the Foot of Gork spell. The biggest problem is, your opponent could just snipe you battalion shaman and your whole army tactic is out the window.

What is the Ironjawz playstyle and how does an Ironjawz army feel on the tabletop?

  1. In spite of their slow standard movement of 4″ on ground troops, the army can surprise your opponent (and yourself) with how fast they can get across the tabletop to smash your opponent's units. +2 move from Chronomatic Cogs, 1d6 (average of 3.5) extra move from the Ironfist Battalion, one extra move from Mighty destroyers and then your normal move. Even on normal ground troops that will be about 15-16″ movement (3.5+6+6=15.5) before the charge phase. Let us say you need a 9″ to make that first turn charge, you still receive +3 on the charge roll (+1 from allegiance and +2 from cogs) making it a good 70% chance that you will get in.
  2. Depending on how you construct the army, you can have a massive heavily armoured body count or a very elite though army. All troops have a +4 armour save and even the small Ardboys have 2 wounds each. The Ironjawz feels though as nails and can take a heavy beating. Armies with access to a lot of rend and multi-wound stuff can be a problem for you.
  3. The Boyz can punch back, but you will find that the Brutes are gonna do the heavy lifting in combat. The Gore Gruntas models look like they hit like a truck, but on the battlefield, their fighting capabilities are severely lacking. While the Orruks look like they can beat up anything, do not get surprised when your units are outmatched in a melee. The Ironjawz lacks the inherent buffs and combos of other armies.
  4. Most Ironjawz armies will be forced to play a very objective oriented playstyle. You will try to camp objectives with some heavily armoured orruks, while the rest of your army will smash dudes in strategic places.
  5. You will only have access to a limited amount of magic and long ranged combat. This will mean that you are not going to do a lot in the shooting phase and the hero phase will primarily be about buffing up your own dudes.
A brute Boss with claw

How do the competitive Ironjawz builds play?

As I see it, there are basically 3 lists that outshine other Ironjawz lists:

  1. Trying to abuse the Waagh ability to spike your damage on the correct turn. Since your units cannot stand up to other units in a fair fight, you need that advantage. This can either be done with an alpha strike list or a more of a “wait and see” approach. The Gore Grunta alpha strike list is cool, but the kit is kind of expensive and on their own, the Gruntas are not that awesome (making it a dicey investment). Because of the way the Waaagh! works, it is likely that you want to run multiple small units (MSU) to make sure you have 5-6 Ironjawz units within your Maw-Crusha. This very much dictates the playstyle (keep your forces together) and the builds you can make.
  2. Try and spam magic with a buffed up Weirdnob. While this can do some damage, it is too easy to counter.
  3. Play a very objective based army. This means loads of Ardboys bodies to pile on the objectives and praying that you can keep them long enough to win.

Most armies will include the Maw Crusha, making it a very safe buy. The Brutes also seem to do surprisingly well, making them a top purchase.

With the rise of the Gloomspite Gitz, there might also be an okay'ish build with some Grots in there, but I have not really seen anything that works yet.

All that said, right now it is very hard to make a competitive Ironjawz list. If you go to a big 5 game tournament, winning 2 of those games will be a real struggle. Winning 3 games will probably be the very best you can achieve. So if you are looking for something that can compete on the big tables, look elsewhere.

If you just want something that can win you a casual game, the Ironjawz can still hold their own.

What books will I need to play Ironjawz?

The Ironjawz have a battletome with Battalions, lore and warscrolls in it. You will find that a few things have been changed according to their Errata and Designers commentary, but not a lot of big changes.

You will need the newest Generals Handbook to get the Ironjawz points as well as their Allegiance abilities, command traits, artefacts and the two extra battalions for them.

The Malign Sorcery book can be useful, as can a few of the spells in the box, if you want to have access to some better artefacts and spells that can help your army out.

Battletome for the Ironjawz
The Generals Handbook 2018

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

The Ironjawz have a very old battletome. There are a few battalions in it, but not much. This means that the allegiance abilities and two additional battalions can be found in the current Generals Handbook.

There are some quite persistent rumours that we will see new models and a battletome for the Ironjawz in 2019. I need to see new kits before I believe it, but a new battletome and endless spells are a very real possibility (now that the Flesh-Eater Courts has been redone with a new battletome).

There is also the possibility that Ironjawz will be merged with other greenskinz. As it stands now, the faction is quite small and maybe smaller than GW actually wants. Only time will tell how this ends.

All in all, Ironjawz are here to stay. The models are very popular and the army would be seen quite a lot of it had some more options and better rules.

Gore gruntas riding down stormcast eternals

What is the cost of buying an Ironjawz army?

The Ironjawz kit are all plastic kits and all except the Ardboys are new kits. This means no expensive metal or finecast stuff and the models are pretty modern.

Most starting beginner armies will probably go like this:

  1. Maw-Crusha worth 440 points and £65
  2. Most will likely want a Warchanter, but paying £18.5 seems a bit stupid when he comes in the Start Collecting box.
  3. So let us say you get at least one start collecting Ironjawz, giving you 15 Ardboys (160 points for teen), a Warchanter (80 points) and 3 Gore Gruntas (140 points) for £60.
  4. We still need one more battleline unit and the Brutes are just generally awesome. We pay £30 for 5 and get another 180 points.

All this equals a straight up 1000 points for £155.

This is not a bad starting army, seeing as the battalions are quite expensive in a 1000 points army. I would start out with that, as it gives you access to all of the units to see what they are about.

If I wanted an easy and cheap way of upgrading this to a 2000 points viable army, I would probably add another start collecting box, another unit of brutes and run with the Ironfist and Bloodtoofs battalion. This will give you a nice all around army doable of doing a massive Waaagh! combo (biggest downside is the lack of magic).

This will be 1990 points and will cost a total of £245 (not including the cost of the Realmgate you have to deploy with the Bloodtoofs).

2k Ironjawz semi-competitive but cheap army list

What are the Allies available for the Ironjawz?

The Ironjawz can ally with:

  • Aleguzzler Gargants
  • Bonesplitterz
  • Gitmob Grots
  • Greenskinz
  • Moonclan Grots, Spiderfang Grots, Troggoths (so it will likely get the Gloomspite Gitz keyword instead).

Some potential decent ally options:

  1. The giants can be pretty useful, is low points costs and can be converted to a great “Ironjawz” look
  2. There are some pretty decent option in the Gloomspite Gitz battletome, if you are looking to ally in a spellcaster with some better utility and access to some pretty good endless spells. The trolls would also fit in nicely.
  3. Some war machines from the Gitmob Grots is an option if you want some ranged weapons (but I would not invest in models before we know whether or not the Gitmob Grots and the Greenskinz are getting phased out).
  4. While the Troggoth Hag from Forgeworld does not fit that well in with the Ironjawz, she is a good wizard so always worth considering.
Gordrak the Fist of Gork flexing

Pros of the Ironjawz army

  • Melee-oriented simple army and battleplan (hold objectives, execute big Waaagh! with loads of extra attack and smash the enemy!).
  • A good army for beginners as you will quickly learn all the special rules and stats by memory (not that many special rules and most units have kind of the same stats).
  • Overall a very easy army to paint. You have a lot of armour and green skin is easy to make look cool. Not a bad army if you are looking to paint your first army ever (you can take a look at my guide on easy armies to paint here as well as my guide on painting your first army here)
  • A brilliant army if you are looking to just buy a small quick 1000 points force (cheap and big minis that are easy to paint).
  • Rumours of a potential update (at least new Battletome but maybe also new kits).
  • Even though the army has so few options right now, that fact that Ironjawz were created for Age of Sigmar means they are very unlikely to get phased out of the setting (unlike other Greenskinz…).
  • The coolest meanest looking Orc models around!

Cons of the Ironjawz army

  • Very small range of options with regards to different miniatures
  • Not a good army, if you are looking for something very complex to play or something that have loads of different options.
  • Battletome and army were released before artefacts, big battalions, endless spells and terrain features were a thing (so semi-outdated).
  • Very hard to play competitively. Even in very casual games, it can happen that you go up against units and armies that are strictly better than what you can bring (try and compare 5 Brutes to 5 Evocators and you will feel the pain).
  • While Ironjawz can get an update, it could also happen that the update is strictly a new Battletome. With so few units, a new battletome is not really gonna make a big difference. There is also the chance that the Ironjawz will get merged with some of the other Orruk factions (can be good or bad depending on your outlook).
  • Their lore needs more fleshing out.

Overall verdict on the Ironjawz

As an Ironjawz player, I have to ask myself if I would really recommend them to anyone in their current state. We are not getting around the fact that the lack of options is really holding them back, from a gaming perspective but also from a hobby perspective.

In the end, I think I would likely recommend them for a new player into Age of Sigmar looking for something simple to play. I would also start out by stating that multiple other armies will beat Ironjawz in close combat, so that new player would have to be in love with the aesthetic and design of the miniatures before they should select them.

I would have a very hard time recommending them to a veteran AoS player. On the other hand, that player would probably know what she was getting herself into. Starting the Ironjawz now in order to get a good portion of the army painted before a new update comes out might not be such a bad idea.

Thanks for reading!

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope you will share this with your friends that might find it useful. If you want to leave a comment with a thank you or some further suggestions, please feel free to do so below.