This week on Warscroll Wednesday we take a dive into the brutal and uncompromising realm of Destruction.
Ironskull’s Boyz bring a whole lot of beating to the table in Shadespire, with a massive wound pool and potentially devastating damage output. When push comes to shove how will the boyz fare on a bigger playing field? Grab your choppas and prepare for a Waaagh!
The Pitched Battle profile for these boyz is, much like the Sepulchral Guard before, an alternate take on the Ironjawz Ardboys readily available in Destruction armies. For 80 points you get four Ardboyz with three carrying pairs of choppas and one carrying an even bigger choppa, with the additional benefit of them all having a special rule – Dead ‘Ard – which effectively gives them the benefit of having shields.
This makes Ironskull’s Boyz a cheap and smaller alternative to the regular Ardboyz who do not quite have the same all-roundedness of these ladz, which is the greatest strength of this warband. Just like in Shadespire, you have the benefit of a very choppy unit with a great amount of durability. It is difficult to draw a comparison in terms of points between these and the regular Ardboyz, as there is a whole 100 point difference between the two, which is rather staggering compared to the difference in points between Liberators and Skeleton Warriors compared to their Shadespire counterparts.
In a pure Ironjawz army, this makes Ironskull’s Boyz a good filler if you have another 80 points to spare and don’t feel like taking a battalion.
In a general Destruction army or Orruks army, a better comparison might be to the Greenskinz Orruk Boyz. Coming in at 90 points, these Boyz supply us with eleven attacks at a 4+/4+ with either 2″ range or -1 rend and ten wounds.
Comparatively, Ironskull’s Boyz give us nine attacks at 4+/3+ with no rend, two attacks at 4+/3+ and -1 rend and finally the boss’ ‘Eadbutt attack which is, effectively, a choppa with d3 damage. Against weapons with a rend characteristic, Ironskull’s Boyz come out of the brawl as the more durable of the two units, even with less wounds, while the rerolling saves of the Orruk Boyz (if indeed they have shields) gives them a better chance of holding their own if they are under any sort of buff. Both are relatively cheap and provide a decent amount of bang for their buck. The most glaring issue with Ironskull’s Boyz is, like with the Sepulchral Guard, they are not Battleline.
Ironjawz has a lot of Battalions to choose from to make their boyz just that bit more killy, but sadly none of these are applicable to Ironskull’z Boyz. However, with the release of the General’s Handbook 2017 the Ironjawz are rewarded with two new “Supa-Battalions” which have the added benefit of letting you take any additional Ironjawz units alongside the battalions required for them. Thanks to Ironskull’s Boyz sharing the keyword, they are applicable to be taken and there are two to choose from.
The Bloodtoof Battalion provides your boyz with a boost of Bravery and mobility. Thanks to the additional +1 in Run and Charge rolls, Ironskull’s Boyz can get across the board just that bit faster, which is ideal for a small unit that has no other way of getting there faster. They shouldn’t have much trouble keeping up with your other lads, and they even work rather nicely as a small unit to squeeze in through any gaps in your opponent’s line that your larger units open up, allowing them to get to the squishy bits behind.
The second battalion that is available to these boyz is the Ironsunz Battalion. Largely regarded to be the better of the two if only for the buff it gives your Megaboss, Dakkabad’s Cunning also provides your army with potential protection against missile fire, which is a popular thing against Ironjawz given how likely they are to clobber you when they get close!
Looking beyond Battalions, however, Ironskull’s Boyz can fulfill several other roles within your army that makes use of their low points cost and relatively small unit size. It should come as no surprise that these lads make for a cheap and durable objective holding unit, with the saves to keep themselves alive and suitable killiness to take on a number of units that might come and try to snipe your back line objectives. My favourite application of them, however, is likely their use as a cheap bodyguard and buff provider for your Megaboss, whose command ability is more effective the more boyz there are around him. It is easy to keep these four models within range of your warlord, who is sure to take advantage of that easy +1 on his Waaagh! Command Ability. Not to mention that, should it succeed, Ironskull himself can give the enemy a good ‘Eadbutt not once, but twice! Potentially three times, if the going is good.
A potential 14 damage from a single Ardboy is nothing to be sniffed at and can smash holes in those squishier units like Bloodreavers and Clanrats.
With the addition of allies in the General’s Handbook, this has opened up a lot of opportunities for Ironjawz and provided them with a number of ways to make up for their weaknesses or improve their strengths. One such way is by including an Orruk Warboss with Great Waaagh! Banner as one of your allies. The great thing about these old and largely forgotten models is their versatility with other orruk armies. The Great Waaagh! Banner has a huge sphere of influence, so not only will it make your Ironskull’s Boyz more effective, but much of the rest of your army as well!
If you feel like flipping the allies table on its head and want to take a mixed Destruction army of a predominantly Greenskinz army, the Orruk Warboss (on Wyvern!) is an excellent choice in general for making the already considerably tough Ironjawz even better, without having to roll for that extra attack unlike the Megaboss. The Orruk Warboss provides a strong, durable general who is bound to give the enemy a good hiding, while also making use of that exceptional Azhag sculpt. Ironskull’s Boyz make an excellent bodyguard with a line of 4+ saves and saves against Mortal Wounds that the Greenskinz army lacks.
There are plenty of ways to make Ironskull’s Boyz suitably choppy (or bashy) in your games of Age of Sigmar, providing them with the means to really dish out some hurt, while their small size and great durability make them an excellent speedbump for your general, whether it be a Megaboss or a terrifying Wyvern-mounted Warboss! As one of the only cheap options within an Ironjawz army, these boyz make up a small but dangerous part of your force.
How might you use your ladz in your games of Age of Sigmar? Kunnin’ hero assassins? Brutal linebreakers? Let us know in the comments below with a bellowing Waaagh!
Next week we’ll be taking a stroll down the bloodstained streets of Shadespire in search of Garrek’s Reavers, and a few extra skulls for Khorne while we’re at it!