The Ossiarch Bonereapers are here, it’s time to pay the tithe.
Welcome to another warband review, this time of Kainan’s Reapers. This warband is the 7th released for Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm. This review is up early thanks to Warhammer Community dropping all the cards on Monday. Still, thanks to Games Workshop for providing these to review for free and I always aim to be impartial and honest. With that all out-of-the-way, back to the article at hand.
As an aside, if you prefer video format, I’ve done a YouTube version of the review which you can watch below:
Mir Kainan and his Reapers are some of the elite warriors of the Ossiarch Bonereapers, Nagash’s Personal army. Sent by the lord of undeath into the Beastgrave to harvest the Bone Tithe owed by the Silent People, Kainan’s Reapers soon found themselves lost and trapped within the shifting catacombs of the Direchasm. Still, this was no downside for them. These Ossiarch Bonereapers were already functionally immortal and now they have endless bone to harvest. Not only that, now they can directly punish those who dare to cross Nagash. Either way, the Bone Tithe will be paid.
Kainan’s Reapers are a 6 fighter warband, making them the 4th warband of that size after the Godsworn Hunt, Grashrak’s Despoilers and the Starblood Stalkers. Kainan’s Reapers consist of: Mir Kainan, Binar Khenta, Senha, Karu, Nohem and Hakor. Each miniature has the design hallmarks of the Ossiarch Bonereapers, an almost techno-organic feel like you get with Xenomorphs. People may dislike the design, but I love it as I even have an Ossiarch Bonereaper army. I really like the beady menacing eyes along with the rictus grins. The extra armour shows them off as Nagash’s elite army. My favourite fighter has to be Mir Kainan. He’s big, got an awesome axe/scythe thing and even has an Optimus Prime mouthplate! What’s not to love! He’s also huge, although has tiny feet. The skin cloak is also a nice addition.
The miniatures also come in bone-coloured plastic, just like the Sepulchral Guard. I mean, what did you expect? They are bone warriors after all. Although part of me was expecting something purple for some reason.
Kainan’s Reapers are a 6 fighter warband, putting them into the horde/swarm warband category. As a warband of 6 fighters, Kainan’s Reapers can swarm the opponent either for combat or having multiple fighters grab objectives. However, due to their increased size, they become more difficult to protect by generally being spread out with lower wound characteristics when compared to more elite warbands. All the fighters share a movement characteristic of 3 as well as 1 bock for defence. All the Mortek generally have a wounds characteristic of 2. Comparisons can be drawn with Mir Kainan and Mollog’s Mob plus Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers but that’s something I’ll cover with his fighter card.
The warband shares 3 key things. Firstly, the warband inspires after a power step when you have 3 or more Tithe Counters. The rule for these can be found on Binar Khenta’s fighter card (called Bone Tithe) as well as on some faction cards. When an enemy fighter is taken out of action, gain a Tithe Counter. If that enemy fighter had a 4+ wounds characteristic, then gain 2 tithe counters instead. It’s a slow yet thematic inspire condition. Tying another warband to counter mechanics is tiresome but at least this one doesn’t get too crazy with counter stacking.
Another thing to mention in regard to Tithe Counters is that Bone Tithe only appears on Mir Kainan’s and Binar Khenta’s fighter cards, so once they are out of action you can no longer gain Tithe Counters, outside of power cards. Also, it is not clear where Tithe Counters go. They basically can be placed anywhere, just make it clear to the opponent. This is something that needs clarifying in a FAQ.
Next is Nadrite. This keyword is only found on some of the weapons of Mortek fighters. When attacking, you get +1 damage if you have a supporting Mortek fighter and roll a support symbol when attacking as well as when you roll full supports when having 2 or more supporting Mortek fighters. This is thematic, fun and rewards good positioning! It’s also not too strong and allows the Mortek fighters to hit harder than you think they would. Remember, you can only trigger this with supporting Mortek fighters, so your leader can’t trigger this as well as with cards that make you count as having additional supports when attacking.
Finally there is Mortek Advance. This is present on all the Mortek fighters apart from Binar Khenta. This reaction happens after a fighter with Mortek Advance moves, react to move a friendly Mortek fighter with no move or charge tokens but they must end adjacent to the friendly fighter who made the Mortek Advance reaction. This really helps triggering the Nadrite ability as well as grabbing objectives sneakily while also having a nice way to activate multiple fighters at once. Not as good as Scurry from Zarbag’s Gitz but still really good. Just odd that Binar Khenta can’t trigger Mortek Advance but can be chosen by it.
Mir Kainan is the leader of the warband. He is a level 1 wizard, surprisingly. He is armed with the Soulreaper Axe which is range 2, 2 smash and 3 damage. He has the Reaping Swing too which is range 1, 2 smash, 2 damage and Scything. He is also 6 wounds, making him very durable although giving 2 glory to your opponent when taken out of action.
Mir Kainan also has the Invigorated ability. This allows you to, at the start of your activation, discard 2 Tithe Counters to give a specific modifier to his Soulreaper Axe attack action or himself. These modifiers are: +1 movement, +1 dice or +1 damage. These are nice but you’ll only really spend these once inspired. No modifiers to the Reaping Blow may seem lame but praise be to balance.
Kainan Inspired has his Soulreaper Axe increase to 4 damage. His Reaping Swing increases to 3 smash as well. He also goes up to 2 block. Inspiring him is awesome, plus you basically get a free Invigorated usage too to make the Soulreaper Axe 3 Smash and 4 damage for a single swing.
Binar Khenta is armed with a Nadrite Halberd which is range 2, 2 smash and 2 damage with Nadrite. Thanks to being range 2, he can quite easily proc the Nadrite bonus from afar behind a row of Mortek. He also has 3 wounds to mark him out for his more elite status as a Hekatos within the Ossiarch Bonereapers.
Khenta Inspired just gains Cleave to his Nadrite Halberd. That’s pretty much it. He doesn’t really gain anything outside of that.
Senha is a Mortek armed with a Nadrite Blade which is range 1, 2 smash and 1 damage with Nadrite. Accurate but weak.
Senha Inspired has his Nadrite Blade change to 3 fury and gain 2 damage. Technically gets better at rolling crits but is more accurate once he gets supporting fighters, which is pretty easy with Mortek Advance. Also, he goes up to 2 block as his shield finally kicks in. Inspiring is really important to get the most usage out of Senha.
Karu is a Mortek armed with a Nadrite Club which is range 1, 2 smash, 1 damage and has Nadrite.
Karu Inspired has his Nadrite Club increase to 2 damage and gain Knockback 1. He also gains 2 block like Senha. Once again, inspiring is very important for this fighter too.
Nohem, not Nohman my Zone of the Enders friends, is a Mortek Hunter strangely. He is armed with a Nadrite Bow which is range 3, 2 smash and 1 damage with Nadrite. His bow is amazingly easy to trigger Nadrite with, resulting in Nohem doing surprising amounts of range 3 damage 2 attacks.
Nohem inspired has his Nadrite bow increase to 3 smash, making him more accurate and increases the chances of triggering Nadrite. Outside of that, he doesn’t gain anything else meaning that inspiring is not necessary for Nohem as he’s already quite efficient uninspired already.
Hakor is the final Mortek of the warband. Despite his complex name, Hakor is armed with the Soulcleaver Greatblade which is range 1, 2 smash and 2 damage. Note, no Nadrite here. He hits hard and works well alone.
Hakor Inspired has his Soulcleaver Greatblade gain Cleave. That’s it. A nice buff but like Nohem, he works well enough uninspired.
Now we’re at the card part of the review! As always faction cards then universals. First I go over cards I think are okay to meh, then I cover my top picks for cards I think that are really good!
Craft a New Order is a Surge objective which grants you 1 glory for having 5 or more Tithe Counters. Excluding cards, that needs you either killing 2 fighters with 4+ wounds and any other fighter or 5 fighters with wounds characteristics of 3 or less. Too hard to do quickly and overall, just pass.
Macabre Splendour is a Hybrid that gives you 1 glory if the entire warband is inspired or having 1 or more surviving fighters with 3 or more upgrades. For 1 glory this is just too slow and difficult to score consistently, even with the second option.
Peerless Conquerors is difficult. Score 3 glory in the final end phase for having more Tithe Counters than friendly fighters out of action is just a super tough ask. Not too bad against elite warbands, strangely, but still such a hard objective to score consistently.
Ranks Unbroken by Dissent still has me mixed on it. It is thematic and fairly easy to score but it can be easily disrupted by the opponent with a simple Distraction or targeted kill. 1 glory for having Mortek fighters adjacent to each other is, once again, simple due to Mortek advance but can be stopped by canny opponents. Even then, forcing all that positioning for 1 glory doesn’t really seem worth it.
Walking Mass Graves is a slightly worse March of the Dead. 1 glory for having all surviving friendly fighters have move and/or charge tokens. Once again praise be to Mortek Advance but 1 glory is a lot of effort, especially early on in the game.
Faction Objectives – Top Picks
Created for War is an amazing faction Keep Chopping. Just make 4 or more attack actions during the action phase for 2 glory! Amazing.
Ohohoho yes! Gruesome Certainty is amazing. This Surge gives you 1 glory for having a successful attack with 1 or more crits! CAN YOU ROLL A CRIT??
Nagash’s Will is your standard faction aggro objective. 2 glory for having 3 or more enemy fighters out of action. It basically rewards you for inspiring.
Pitiless Harvest is risky but rewarding. 2 glory for taking out of action 2 or more enemy fighters during a single action phase. Easy against swarm/horde warbands but really tough against elite ones. The good thing here is Mir Kainan who can actually score this quite reliably due to his Scything attack and his normal Soulreaper Axe as it is range 2 with 3 damage.
Pride of the Emissarain Caste is an easier Bold Conquest. This Surge gives you 1 glory after an activation if your leader is holding an objective in enemy territory. Limited a bit by Mir Kainan’s movement of 3 but just invest in movement cards. So easy to score.
Pride of the Thorac Caste is a little dependent on board setup but is still a great objective. Score 1 glory as a Surge if 3 or more Mortek fighters are in enemy territory. Mortek Advance is key here, although don’t forget that general movement of 3.
Tithemasters is 1 Surge glory for gaining your 2nd or subsequent Tithe Counter during the same phase. Thanks to card generation and your leader’s Scything attack action, it’s fairly reliable. Although elite warbands will scupper your plans and you do need to dedicate some deckbuilding towards it.
Deathless Warriors is the perfect card if you’re me. After playing this card, roll a defence dice each time an enemy fighter’s attack action deals damage. On the roll of a CRIT the attack does no damage and the attack sequence ends. This persists until the end of the round. Basically have the chance to negate damage and keeps working the whole round unless it triggers. It’s incredibly niche but nice damage negation tied into how Age of Sigmar Death armies work on the tabletop.
Never Yield is balanced damage negation. Whenever a friendly Mortek fighter is dealt damage, discard 1 Tithe Counter to reduce the damage by 1 to a minimum of 1. And this persists until the end of the round so you can trigger this over multiple attacks. The only issue here is inspiring is more important and most of your Mortek fighters only have 2 wounds. Just more efficient not to run Never Yield and take the enemy kills on the chin. Plus it can only be played while Binar Khenta is alive.
Never Sleep lets you discard 2 Tithe Counters to give +1 defence to friendly Mortek fighters that are adjacent to other Mortek fighters. Persists until the end of the round but it’s only really good while Senha and Karu are alive. It also can only be played while Binar Khenta is alive. I’d just pass as giving defensive bonuses to your Mortek fighters at such a cost isn’t really worth it in my book.
Faction Gambits – Top Picks
Ceaseless Advance is a great mobility faction gambit ploy with an optional cost. Push a friendly Mortek up to 2 hexes for each Tithe Counter you discard as well as an additional friendly Mortek on top of this, even if you spend no Tithe Counters. Synergises well for hold objective and aggro uses but that cost basically stops you inspiring unless this is played late in the game.
Dire Ultimatum is awesome and reflective of the Ossiarch Bonereaper narrative! -1 dice to enemy fighter attack actions to a minimum of 1 unless they target your leader. It persists until the end of the round OR when your leader is attacked! Actively punishes your opponent for targeting your Mortek fighters instead of Mir Kainan. Amazing. Although remember that this can only be played while your leader is alive.
Exceptional Efficiency is an amazingly cruel card for your opponent, like how Toxic Gasses works. Make your opponent choose to either give you 2 Tithe Counters OR you can re-roll any attack dice for a friendly Mortek fighter in the next activation. It may not seem so bad to let a Mortek re-roll all their attack dice but all will be revealed as the review goes on. Still, this is great card design that I love to see.
Lethal Accuracy is here mainly for its normal effect. +1 attack dice in the next activation with +X depending on how many Tithe Counters you discard. Useful while you have little to no Tithe Counters and the discard effect is great once you are inspired because even discarding just 1 Tithe Counter would give a friendly fighter +2 attack dice.
Methodical Assault is another choice card! After a friendly Mortek’s failed attack action, your opponent decides whether you get 2 Tithe Counters OR your Mortek makes an attack action (that can target anyone within range). Although an opponent may decide to just give you the 2 Tithe Counters to save their targeted fighter. Either outcome is basically bad for your opponent but either outcome is also amazing for you.
Mortal Contract is a really interesting gambit spell. Cast on a single channel, choose an enemy fighter within 3 hexes. The controller chooses an option: you either get 1 Tithe Counter or each time a friendly fighter is taken out of action, that fighter is dealt 1 damage. It persists until the fighter is taken out of action. Mir Kainan is only a level 1 wizard but the spell is easy enough to cast. Interesting when cast on tanky enemy fighters like Mollog and Hrothgorn while punishing your opponent for hunting your Mortek fighters unless they just give you a Tithe Counter.
Never Falter is excellent mobility boosting. +1 movement to friendly Mortek fighters until the end of the round which is when it finishes persisting. More helpful than just filing the deck with singular +2 movement cards as this synergises well with Mortek Advance. Just keep in-mind that Binar Khenta needs to be alive for you to play this.
Horrifying Soultraps is interesting. React after Mir Kainan takes an enemy fighter out of action with a range 1 or 2 attack and push 1 enemy fighter 1 hex away from him. Basically works as a Distraction of sorts that needs you to kill to trigger. Fine but not that usable.
Faction Upgrades – Top Picks
Artificer’s Blade is excellent permanent Cleave for range 1 and 2 attack actions. It isn’t even limited to Mir Kainan!
Aura of Shyish is amazing dice negation. -1 dice to adjacent enemy fighter attack actions like with Lady Harrow’s Mournflight’s Debilitating Aura. Can be equipped to any friendly fighter but put it on Mir Kainan and let him get to work!
Disciplined Charge can only be equipped to a Mortek and lets them re-roll all attack dice during a charge. Great for fishing for supports to trigger Nadrite as well as with the general accuracy buff. Exceptionally good on Binar Khenta.
Empowered Nadrite is another upgrade that is limited to friendly Mortek fighters who have Nadrite weapons. It gives the equipped fighter +1 dice to their Nadrite weapons as well as +1 damage if it is range 1 or 2 attack action so no damage 2 range 3 Nohem! Once again this is best for Binar Khenta but it is also great for any appropriate Mortek fighter!
Tithestone can only be equipped to Binar Khenta. At the end of the action phase, if in enemy territory, your opponent picks an option: you get 1 Tithe Counter or they discard a glory point. Very awesome as generally the opponent will just give you a Tithe Counter instead of losing a glory token. You can also react before the dice roll when attacking with a Mortek fighter to discard 1 Tithe Counter and gain +1 dice. Nice but you mainly take Tithestone for the first effect.
Unnerving Synchrony shows off the military discipline of the Ossiarch Bonereapers! After an adjacent Mortek attacks, outside of Scything attack actions, this equipped fighter can then attack. Combine with Binar Khenta via Mortek Advance to attack with a Mortek and then potentially have Binar Khenta finish them off! More activation efficiency is always great and this rewards good positional play too.
Hatred of the Living is Awakened Weapon but on steroids! Can only be equipped by Mir Kainan but gives him a re-roll when attacking. You also get an optional reaction when attacked, discard this upgrade to reduce the damage dealt by 1 to a minimum of 1. Always take, especially as this card is a fusion of accuracy and durability.
Unstoppable Juggernaut can only be equipped by a Mortek and gives them +1 move and wounds. Amazing. Once again put on Binar Khenta but any Mortek makes good usage of this upgrade.
Witchlight Glimmer is good but you mainly take it for the secondary effect. Inspires a Mortek fighter and they cannot be un-inspired. You can also re-roll 1 attack dice. The Morteks just don’t really get too much from inspiring in general but the accuracy buff is amazing.
Now we come to the part of the review where I go over the universal cards which come within this warband expansion.
Formidable Prey is alright. It is a Hybrid that gives you 1 glory for a fighter having 2 or more upgrades that give them the Quarry keyword or you have a Quarry with 6 or more wounds. Just a lot of work for 1 glory unless you’re Mollog.
Futile Hunt is a situational Surge and Hybrid objective. 1 glory for killing a target with 1 or more Hunger Counters or if your friendly fighter was a Quarry. Good depending on how easily you can get Quarry and if you are playing aggro too but still quite situational for general usage.
Immortal Hunger is basically for the Crimson Court but even they struggle to score it. This is a Dual objective that needs you have equal to or more surviving friendly fighters than dead ones AND each fighter needs 4 or more Hunger Counters. Even at 3 glory, this is a stretch as you can only score it during the final end phase. Maybe if this was a Hybrid instead, it would have been better.
Primal Assertion is odd. It is a Surge that gives you 1 glory when you discard the Primacy token while holding more objectives than the opponent. Basically scored…at the end of the round unless you are running cards that make you discard the Primacy token sooooo hold objectives Hedkrakka’s Madmob?
Sated Hunger is just too situational. This is a Surge that gives you 1 glory for removing 3 or more Hunger Counters from a friendly surviving fighter. Basically only for some weird aggro Crimson Court builds.
Tale of Victory is a strange twist on Annihilation. 6 glory if ALL fighters are wiped out and your surviving fighters are all Hunters. Generally a tough ask unless playing Beastgrave and Direchasm warbands but combine with Hunting Season for a hilarious 6 glory combo.
Universal Objectives – Top Picks
I like Peerless Hunter. Yes it is only 1 glory in the end phase but this Dual objective needs you to have a Hunter with Cleave and/or Ensnare plus you need to have the Primacy token too. Inspired Crakmarrow and Inspired Duvalle like this as well as even canny Starblood Stalker players thanks to Otapatl.
Perfect Strike is risky but for 2 glory I’ll take it! This is a Surge and Hybrid objective you score when you take a fighter out of action while only rolling successes with or without crits AND you did exactly the right number of damage for the kill. Basically a more refined Precise Use of Force. Especially good on warbands that can get lots of re-roll effects when attacking like Hedkrakka’s Madmob and Drepur’s Wraithcreepers.
I like Proud Commander, it’s like a more honourable Superior Tactician. This Hybrid gives you 2 glory for scoring 7 or more objectives OR your leader is in enemy territory. Hello Mollog, Rippa, Skaeth, Hrothgorn, the list goes on. The second part makes this a breeze but the first option is great late-game too.
Scant Resources gives me Escalation vibes and I love the mind games it brings. This is a Hybrid which gives you 2 glory if all objectives are held or each player has no unspent glory tokens. Punishes opponents for spending all their glory quickly and can cause interesting decisions in a best of 3. Even then, the hold all objectives part is good for hold objective players and canny Feed the Beastgrave players too.
Keila’s Clarion is a gambit spell that is cast on 2 channels. If cast, you can push all friendly fighters within 2 hexes 1 hex. For 2 channel, it’s way too hard to use. Zarbag’s Gitz could maybe get some usage out of it but if this was a single focus it might have been more playable.
Roar of Defiance is interesting. Yes it is a good way to get rid of the Primacy token and it then gives a friendly fighter a Guard token. But then friendly fighters cannot have the Quarry keyword. Persists until the end of the round but doesn’t feel that good unless you’re always playing against Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers.
Sanity Siphon is another situational Trap card. React after an enemy’s move as part of a charge then roll a magic dice, on the roll of a channel they must target a fighter of your choosing. Just so situational and even then it only works on a 50/50. Just pass.
Universal Gambits – Top Picks
Call to Hunt is an interesting way to discard the Primacy token, it also makes all your fighters Hunters and all enemy fighters Quarries until the end of the round which opens up a lot of plays depending on your game plan.
Carnivores All is some more hilariously easy Hunger counter generation. Players choose 1 or more fighters and each fighter chosen gets a Hunger counter. Fighters with 2 or more Hunger counters become Hunters which persists until the end of the round. Also, this inspires all of Spiteclaw’s Swarm. What a card hahaha.
Eternal Chase, rejoice Chosen Axes and Sepulchral Guard players! All fighters have their movement characteristics changed to 4 for the round and cannot be modified further. They also all become Hunters and Quarries. Basically a better Hunting Season but that mobility change is awesome. It even punishes warbands with base high movement like Spiteclaw’s Swarm.
Great Tremors is some nice flip tech. Roll 5 dice and for each ROLL OF A CRIT you can flip a feature token. Thank you, Games Workshop, you know me well. You can’t flip the same token twice but you have a 59.8% chance to roll a single crit. If you roll 5 crits, hit me up, as YOU’LL BE HEARING FROM MY LAWYERS.
Mazzig is back with a brand new spell! Mazzig’s Machinations is a gambit spell cast on a focus. If cast, flip each feature token within 2 hexes of the caster OR 1 single feature token in no man’s land or enemy territory. Pretty damn good for Feed the Beastgrave decks, namely Ylthari’s Guardians. Flexible and strong.
Quintock’s Quarrel is hilarious. Cast on a channel, choose an enemy fighter within 3 hexes and then you roll-off with your opponent. If you win, that fighter cannot be inspired, is un-inspired and is at -1 wounds. If you lose, nothing happens! Amazing when played on Mollog and so on or if just looking for an easy spell to cast that has no real downsides.
Untapped Resources is awesome. You can only play this while holding 2 or more objectives but if you do then you can either spend a glory to gain the Primacy token or discard the Primacy token to draw 3 power cards. An amazing way to gain AND discard the Primacy token as well as helping hold objective Primacy players too!
Armour of Disdain is an interesting tech card. It makes the fighter a Quarry and they cannot be damaged by gambits and their movement, wounds and defence characteristics cannot be modified. More likely to be seen if there are lots of negative modifiers from opponents but not something you’ll take regularly.
Driven by Hunger is basically for the Crimson Court but is another nice way to get more movement. Remove any number of Hunger counters before moving to increase your movement by that same number. Situational as even most Hunger builds will want to hold onto their Hunger counters for dear life.
Eye for Weakness is…interesting. Enemy fighters with 1 or more Hunger counters become Quarries. Situational unless you’re always playing against the Crimson Court and want to make them Quarries.
Universal Upgrades – Top Picks
Driven by Envy, kill the leaders! +1 move and when attacking enemy leaders, gain +1 dice and Cleave! Cut the Mollog down!
Inured by Hunger is interesting damage negation. Even if it’s for just the Crimson Court, discard all this fighter’s Hunger counters to reduce the damage taken when attacked by the same number to a minimum of 1. This is really good for aggro Crimson Court looking to inspire. Yes, this is telegraphed to the opponent but it is balanced and basically functions as an interesting Great Fortitude in a way.
Painful Brilliance is painfully good. -1 dice from range 3+ attack actions, to a minimum of 1. If you have the Primacy token, this works on all attack actions that target this fighter! Great for Hedkrakka’s Madmob and any other Primacy-focussed builds.
Ready for Action, I mean, Primal Lunge is amazing! Discard the Primacy token after an activation to make the equipped fighter either attack or move, then discard this upgrade. AMAZING! Absolute crazy on Hedkrakka’s Madmob too with how many extra attacks they can make already.
Silent Shield is another Silent Relic. You are a Pira- Quarry and get 2 block while in no man’s land. If you have 3 or more Silent Relics, this fighter now has Guard. Pretty good for people stacking the Silent Relics.
Soundless Step is a better Duellist’s Speed. After this fighter’s activation, push them 1 hex. Pretty damn great. Guaranteed extra mobility, even when not attacking.
Wicked Lash is interesting and I like it! Wicked Lash is range 2, 2 fury and 1 damage. However, if this fighter has 1 or more wound counters then get +1 dice and damage. If the target has 1 or more wound counters then gain another +1 dice and damage! Hitting at potentially 4 fury and 3 damage is very good, especially with warbands that run a lot of weaker fighters with low wound characteristics anyway that don’t mind running through lethal hexes.
Now to the deck section! Once again these are sample decks to get you going and build off of. They’re not super competitive but designed to be optimal and fun. First I’ll do a deck with only Beastgrave cards and then a deck for Championship Format.
Special thanks goes to Underworldsdb.com! As Games Workshop released all the cards during the week I now have an up-to-date deck builder to use for this. It’s a lifesaver.
The Vanguard Format deck focuses on aggro with some Primacy added in. Created for War offers great passive glory for just charging and attacking. Nagash’s Will basically rewards you for inspiring with Clean Kills helping that. Proud Commander you either score with objectives or by having Kainan in enemy territory which you can combine with Pride of the Emissarian Caste. Underdog helps when you lose the Primacy or don’t even gain it to begin with. Savage Exemplar is simple enough and you warband has multiple ways to score Surge of Aggression. Same goes for Perfect Strike with all the high damage, accuracy and re-rolls the warband has access to.
Gambits mainly focus on mobility and the excellent benefits that the faction cards give from accuracy buffs to making your opponent make terrible decisions for themselves. Eternal Chase makes Mortek Advance much more reliable and Outrun Death is there for boosting Kainan when needed. Ferocious Resistance is just there to mass-heal Kainan and Swarming Advance is more positioning power. Hypnotic Buzz is also a shortrange Distraction to setup more supports and disrupt the opponent.
Upgrades mainly comprise of faction upgrades because they’re just that good. It’s very easy to Voltron-up Kainan to a ridiculous degree but you can also do the same to your Mortek fighters for more redundancy and threat. Savage Strength is there for extra damage at a small cost and Soundless Step lets Kainan dance around the battlefield while attacking or going on guard.
The Championship Format deck builds off of the Vanguard Format deck but only with some minor refinements because it’s already pretty much perfect. Show of Force replaces Tithemasters for more efficiency while Great Strength replaces Savage Strength because it’s just better. Distraction replaces Hypnotic Buzz because it’s just better again. If you want, you can drop Soundless Step for Great Fortitude, but I feel the mobility offered by Soundless Step is better and Ferocious Resistance can make up for no Great Fortitude.
Kainan’s Reapers are another new take on aggro horde/swarm warbands. It’s almost a refinement of the “Mollog situation” where Kainan is a real combat beast but balanced by having 5 weaker fighters that can easily bleed more glory to the opponent. Even then, Mortek fighters can hit harder than they look. Kainan’s Reapers really supports good positional play as you can use Mortek Advance to setup fighters for Nadrite attacks as well as using that free mobility mechanic to get onto objectives and setting up future attacks. The warband does need to play close together to get the most out of it but this represents the militaristic nature of the Ossiarch Bonereapers as in Age of Sigmar.
- Kainan hits like a truck and is a more accurate Mollog, albeit with 1 less wound
- Kainan is also a level 1 wizard, allowing for some interesting magic tech space
- Mortek Advance is a great mobility ability that works for attacking, positioning and capturing objectives if you so desire
- Nadrite allows for Mortek fighters to do far more damage than they seem capable of at first glance
- Tithe Counters can be used for extra abilities, although this is generally better to do so once inspired
- The whole warband is movement 3 and not the dreaded movement 2
- An accurate warband with all attacks hitting on smash symbols and all defending on block symbols
- Great faction cards that force your opponents into making bad decisions and punish them for solely attacking your Mortek fighters
- Still a 6 fighter warband with 4 fighters at 2 wounds, meaning they also bleed Primacy easily too
- Movement 3, while great not being movement 2, is still fairly slow and thus you will need mobility cards to work around this
- Inspiring is rough, helped by faction cards but still is not easy to do
In summary, Kainan’s Reapers are an aggro horde/swarm warband that rewards good positioning. Despite having 6 fighters, Mortek Advance gives you the ability to activate 2 fighters at once and maximise the efficiency of your activations. Mortek Advance is also flexible and Nadrite gives the ability for your weaker Mortek fighters to do considerable damage. Even though the warband can bleed glory, faction cards help offset this and even potentially speed-up getting tough Tithe Counters.
So would I recommend getting Kainan’s Reapers? Yes! If it is safe to play regularly where you are in the world right now. Despite being a horde/swarm warband full of 2 wound fighters, Kainan’s Reapers have all the tools to play against this downside as well as having the beast that is Mir Kainan himself. They do aggro really well, better so than Grashrak’s Despoilers, even if all being at movement 3. I keep saying it but Kainan’s Reapers really reward good positioning and experienced aggro players will find great joy in pulling off sneaky Nadrite plays and setting up for Kainan to come in and sweep everyone away. They also have the most interesting faction cards of any warband yet, continually forcing your opponent into making decisions that don’t benefit them at all.
If you want to buy Kainan’s Reapers you can get them (when pre-orders go live on Saturday) via the direct link to Games Workshop here or via my affiliate link to Element Games here which will net you a minimum 15% discount (20% during pre-order week) while helping to support my content, all at no additional cost to you.
Here we are, at the end of Kainan’s Reapers warband review. Once again Direchasm offers another new take on aggro, making this swarm/horde warband a threat that cannot be underestimated. Not exceedingly great for new players but practice and experience will let you get the most out of this warband. Advance as a block and smash the opponent before you! Just as Katakross demands! Everyone must pay the Bone Tithe.
Kainan’s Reapers are in the Direchasm, looking for bones of all varieties. Will you help them in their task or become another bone to catalogue? The only thing that can save you is the power of crits!