Theme - The Bones of Orboros

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Circle Logo.jpg Theme - The Bones of Orboros

Circle Theme Force
Call of the Wild - Secret Masters - The Bones of Orboros - The Devourer's Host - The Wild Hunt

Since the order’s inception, the blackclads of the Circle Orboros have passed down the secrets of shaping and animating wood and stone to do their bidding as wolds. The product of ancient rites and blood sacrifices, these massive stone constructs patrol the old places of the world and ensure the sacred sites of the order remain untouched by outsiders, falling upon intruders without hesitation to crush them under fist and foot. The druids also summon forth these stone constructs to batter into submission those threats too large or well-defended to succumb to the Circle’s traditional hit-and-run tactics, using brute force to buckle the armor of machines and shatter the bones of great beasts.

Theme Rules

Theme Restrictions

An army made use the The Bones of Orboros theme force can include only the following Circle models:

Theme Bonuses

  1. This army can include one Minion solo and one Minion unit that will work for Circle.
    • These models/units can be included even if they have the Partisan [Circle] rule.
    • Minion units can have attachments, including a Ranking Officer
  2. For every 25 points of Circle warbeasts, battle engines, and/or structures you get a free Circle solo
  3. Each warbeast heals 1 per turn in the Control Phase
  4. 2" extra deployment zone

Recent Changes

2017.09 Themeopocalypse
  • Gained access to Megalith, Minions, and Structures (even though no structure exists yet).
  • Also, these non-existent structures now count towards free points.

2018.08 Tharn CID

Models allowed in The Bones of Orboros   (Edit)  
This list was last updated: 2018.09


  • All Circle warlocks


  • Construct non-character warbeasts, plus Megalith.






  • Megalith
  • Other character warbeasts can be taken (Construct or otherwise), but only if they're in their bonded model's battlegroup.



Battle Engines



  • One solo
  • One unit

Technically Una1 is allowed, but her Limited Battlegroup rule is incompatible with the theme's requirement for Construct warbeasts (at the time of writing)

Thoughts on this Theme Force

Bones of Orboros in a nutshell

This Circle theme force is sometimes known as the "Sticks and Stones" theme because it's made up entirely of druids and rocks. During most of 2016 and 2017 it wasn't considered very strong by players, but in November 2017 many of the models in the theme were buffed, and since then it's become more popular.

It's a pretty strong all-comers list, with WoldWights, Sentry Stones, and Wold Wardens able to maul infantry, while the Stoneshaper and both heavies maul heavies, and it has an impressive scenario presence.

In terms of what models are available, there's a lot of overlap with Call of the Wild and Secret Masters, so any of the three themes are a good option to start a new Circle collection.

List Building Tips

Most lists are battlegroup-heavy, with a couple of Sentry Stones for screening, some Shifting Stones for Fury management, and at least two free Blackclad Wayfarers.

The upgraded Celestial Fulcrum synergises exceptionally well with the theme force.

It's generally considered more effective to aim for three free solos (75 points) rather than four free solos (100 points); at 100 points you can't fit the Sentry Stone & Mannikins or Shifting Stones which are exceptionally and really useful, respectively.

  • The best "value for points" is 2x free Blackclad Wayfarers and 1x free Blackclad Stoneshaper.
  • Many players then add to the 3 free solos with "real points" to end up with either 2x Wayfarers and 3x Stoneshapers (6 points spent) or 1x Wayfarer and 3x Stoneshapers (3 points spent).

A good 'module' is two units of Mannikins, two units of Shifting Stones, two Stoneshapers, a Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew, plus the 3x free solos for 24 points. It nets you five units and five solos to contest or control objectives, which is pretty good scenario pressure for what is essentially a 'battlegroup-only' theme list.

Starting a 25 point list

If you want to try this theme but are still stuck for ideas, try this. It's relatively newbie friendly.

Notable warlocks

  • Baldur1 allows free charges and has a damage buff. Boosted Roots of Earth is a 3d6 crit knockdown, leading to assassinations.
  • Baldur2 both allow free running and charging for beasts. Wold Wardens are going to mix Crevasse and just giving themselves Roots of Earth regardless of whether it's feat turn or not. This gets grindy.
    • He can build a strong list around two Woldwraths.
  • Bradigus Thorle the Runecarver is a pure construct warlock with Synergy, Rift, a mobility feat, and discounted animi.
  • Krueger2 is a scenario caster and gives both Gallows and Lightning Storm.
  • Krueger1 was an old solution to infantry-spam with Forked Lightning spam. Gale Winds and free forests combine to make our rocky beasts DEF 15 against incoming shooting.
  • Tanith the Feralsong rifts all over everything which is medium AoEs to break infantry - and she scything touches to break armour.
  • Mohsar the Desertwalker gets Crevice and can Gallows Grove a damage buff.
  • Kaya3 has interesting options with Blood Spiller being cast by wardens and can Synergy. But Brad generally does the same thing better.

Warlocks to avoid

Avoid infantry support casters, like Morvahna1, Morvahna2, Grayle, and to a certain extent Wurmwood.



Released 2017 February.

Rules Clarifications

RC symbol.png

Rules Clarification: Theme Forces     (Edit)

Warjacks/Warbeasts with bonds   [Show/Hide]
  • A warjack/warbeast with a bond can always be included in a theme force, whether or not they're in the list of allowed models, but only if they're controlled by that bonded model.
  • This applies even if that bonded model isn't a full warcaster/warlock (changed as of 2018.06).
Including Mercenaries   [Show/Hide]

Number of Mercenaries

  • For your solo, if you select a solo that comes in multiples (such as Swamp Gobber River Raiders) you get the normal number of solos. Not just a single model. (Locked thread)
  • As per the errata to the core rules, if your "up to one Merc" ...
    • ... can take warbeasts/warjacks, then you can add warbeast(s)/warjack(s) (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
    • ... comes with a Companion model, then you'll get that Companion (without exceeding your "up to one" allowance)
  • There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to not only take one Merc solo/unit, but the entire FA of that Merc solo/unit. It's a bug.

Partisans & Theme Forces (Edit)

  1. If the theme force has the Partisan model on the list of allowed models, then it doesn't use up your "Up to one mercenary" slot, and so you can take the full FA plus another mercenary. Example: Cephalyx in Black Industries or Kayazy in Jaws of the Wolf. (Infernal Ruling)
  2. If the Partisan isn't on the list, it does use up your "Up to one mercenary" slot, and you can only take one. There is a bug in Warroom that allows you to take multiple.
  • Whether you used option 1 or 2 above, once they're in your theme force they count as a Faction model and so...
    • they can count towards free points (if applicable). For instance, Nyss will count towards the "20 points of Retribution units" in the Defenders of Ios theme. (Infernal Ruling)
    • they can be taken free of cost (if applicable). For instance, Eiryss1 can be taken as a free solo in the Legion of Dawn theme. (Infernal Ruling)

Mercenaries and Quasi-Partisans

  • Some themes include a benefit that says "If this model is included, it counts as a Faction model instead of a Mercenary model". For example Greygore in Kriel Company.
    In this case, the mercenary model has effectively gained Partisan and is subject to the FA limits described above. To reiterate:
    • If that Merc is in the list of allowed models allowed (such as Savio in Storm Division), they won't count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.
    • If that Merc isn't in the list, (such as the Devil's Shadows in Slaughter Fleet Raiders), they will count against your "up to one Merc" allowance.

Mercenaries and Ranking Officers

  • If you can include a Merc unit, and its attachments, then you can attach a Ranking Officer. This is true regardless whether or not that Ranking Officer is on the list of "Allowed models" . (Infernal Ruling)
  • Adding a Ranking Officer to a Merc unit doesn't increase the number of Merc units you can take.
  • The Merc unit will count towards your "X points of [Faction] models/units" benefit (if your theme is worded that way). (Infernal Ruling)
Benefits for a single model/unit (eg "One unit of [blah] gains [yaddah]")   [Show/Hide]
  • If you need to choose which models get your theme bonus, then you do this choice after deployment. (Infernal Ruling)
  • An example is how Winter Guard Kommand gives Advance Move to one-warjack-of-your-choice-per-WG-unit.
    • In comparison, Destruction Initiative gives all Servitors the Shield Guard ability so you don't need to "make" a choice.
  • You should still write on your army list how many of these bonuses you get to hand out, though, so your opponent can clearly see. (Infernal Ruling)
    • ie at the bottom of your list, you'd write "3 warjacks gain Advance Move" but you don't need to state which three are going to get the bonus.
Free models and Specialists (ADR)    [Show/Hide]
  • You can swap out as many models from your main list into your specialists and vice versa as you like, but you must completely recalculate the new army list when you do, including bonuses. As long as the new army list is valid, including all free models, it doesn't matter what the left over points in your specialists are. (Staff Ruling)
  • If your theme only allows one merc solo, you can't have one in your main list and a different one in your specialists.
Unit Attachments & free points    [Show/Hide]
When to apply theme benefits   [Show/Hide]
  • Theme force benefits are applied when you construct your list and models keep the benefit for the whole game. You don't gain/lose theme benefits due to in-game changes.
    Also, if you put a new model into play midgame, they immediately gain any relevant benefits too. (Infernal Ruling)
    • For example, Scourge of the Broken Coast gives Dodge to "models in the army." If your opponent takes control of one of them, it keeps Dodge even though it's currently not "in the army".
    • For example, Storm Division gives lightning immunity to "Cygnar models in the army." If you include a Mercenary unit with a Ranking Officer, they will get the theme benefit and also keep it even after the Ranking Officer dies.
Number of free models   [Show/Hide]
  • If a model is normally added to your army in multiples (such as 3 Scrap Thralls for two points, 2 Crabbits for seven points, etc) and you choose to use your free card on such a model, you only get one model. (Infernal Ruling)
    • There are some exceptions, such as Storm Division's benefit explicitly saying you'll get 3 stormcallers.
    • There is one odd exception, for Children of the Dragon, where it was ruled that you'll get 5 incubi. However that ruling is an exception, not a general case.

Cryx - Ghost Fleet   [Show/Hide]
  • The "free solo" can be any kind of solo, it doesn't have to be a Revenant solo.
Cryx - Scourge of the Broken Coast   [Show/Hide]

Protectorate - The Faithful Masses   [Show/Hide]
  • A Mercenary unit with an Attendant Priest does count as Protectorate unit for the purpose of calculating points for free cards. There is a bug in Warroom that prevents it counting properly. (Staff Ruling)
Protectorate - The Creator's Might   [Show/Hide]

Mercenary - Llaelese Resistance   [Show/Hide]
  • It is 2 Cruicible or 2 Cygnar or 2 Menoth.
    You can't take more than 2, and you can't mix and match from multiple Factions. (Infernal Ruling)

Circle - The Bones of Orboros   [Show/Hide]
  • Una1 cannot be taken in this theme (yet) due to the conflict between the theme's "Only Construct warbeasts allowed" and Una1's "Must take warbeasts with flight". There are no construct warbeasts with flight (yet). But if/when there is, then Una1 can be taken in this theme. (Infernal Ruling)
Circle - Call of the Wild   [Show/Hide]
  • When it comes to other things that alter COST (such as Lamentation), follow basic maths: Double/halve first, then add/subtract.
  • Due to the way Tanith's feat is worded, during her feat turn the COST of animi cannot drop below 1. (Infernal Ruling)
Circle - The Devourer's Host   [Show/Hide]
  • Free Tharn models do count towards the free corpse tokens. (Infernal Ruling)
  • Bradigus1 is not legal in this theme. The theme only allows living warbeasts, his rules only allow construct warbeasts, and you can't just 'skip' his battlegroup - you have to spend your warbeast points.

Legion - Children of the Dragon   [Show/Hide]
  • If you select Incubi as your "one" solo, you get five of them. (Infernal Ruling)

Skorne - The Exalted   [Show/Hide]
  • If a Construct model loses the Construct advantage mid-game, it keeps the theme benefit anyway. (Infernal Ruling)

Trollblood - Kriel Company   [Show/Hide]
  • Despite being treated as a Trollblood unit during a game, Dannon, Blythe, and Greygore still use up your Minion slot during list creation. They are more like a Partisan Minion unit, in that respect. (Infernal Ruling)

Crucible Guard - Magnum Opus   [Show/Hide]
  • If Mosby is attached to a Mercenary weapon crew unit, they would gain 3" reposition and would not lose it if Mosby is no longer in the unit. (Infernal Ruling)

Models in this Theme Force

Refer to Category: The Bones of Orboros

Other themes

List of All Theme Forces       (Edit List)      
Cygnar Flame in the Darkness - Gravediggers - Heavy Metal - Sons of the Tempest - Storm Division (Edit)
Protectorate of Menoth Exemplar Interdiction - Guardians of the Temple - The Creator's Might - The Faithful Masses - Warriors of the Old Faith (Edit)
Khador Armored Corps - Flame in the Darkness - Jaws of the Wolf - Legion of Steel - Warriors of the Old Faith - Winter Guard Kommand - Wolves of Winter (Edit)
Cryx Black Industries - Dark Host - The Ghost Fleet - Infernal Machines - Scourge of the Broken Coast - Slaughter Fleet Raiders (Edit)
Retribution of Scyrah Defenders of Ios - Forges of War - Legions of Dawn - Shadows of the Retribution (Edit)
Mercenaries Flame in the Darkness - Hammer Strike - Llaelese Resistance - Operating Theater - Soldiers of Fortune - The Irregulars - The Kingmaker's Army - The Talion Charter (Edit)
Convergence of Cyriss Destruction Initiative - Clockwork Legions (Edit)
Crucible Guard Magnum Opus - Prima Materia (Edit)
Trollbloods Band of Heroes - Kriel Company - Power of Dhunia - Storm of the North (Edit)
Circle Orboros Call of the Wild - Secret Masters - The Bones of Orboros - The Devourer's Host - The Wild Hunt (Edit)
Skorne Disciples of Agony - Imperial Warhost - Masters of War - The Exalted - Winds of Death (Edit)
Legion of Everblight Children of the Dragon - Oracles of Annihilation - Primal Terrors - Ravens of War (Edit)
Minions The Blindwater Congregation - The Thornfall Alliance - Will Work for Food (Edit)
Grymkin Dark Menagerie - Bump in the Night (Edit)