Codex Review: Chaos Space Marines – World Eaters

Hello all, today we go over the return (again) of World Eaters and some ultra-violence to 40K.

Hello all, Danny from TFG Radio here to go over the return (again) of World Eaters to 40K.  While WE do not have their own unique codex ala Thousand Sons or Death Guard, we still get some new shiny toys and tricks to help do the old ultra-violence.  As always, you should really take a look at Frontline’s ever awesome Tactics Corner.

The World Eaters are the blood-crazed melee specialists of the Traitor Legions, and they rely on pure, unadulterated fury to win the day, and with the new CSM Codex for 8th edition, the World Eaters are here to break some meta by giving a melee-centric army a bit more legs.

Legion Trait: The Butcher’s Nails

If a detachment is composed entirely of models with the World Eaters keyword (which means no psykers) then all Infantry, Chaos Bikers, Daemon Princes, and Helbrutes gain the following benefit: On the turn that they charged, this unit gains +1 attack.   +1 attack may not seem like a lot, but it adds up quite fast, especially on our premiere melee unit: Khorne Berzerkers.  Seeing as how Khorne Berzerkers fight twice each phase, this actually amounts to +2 attacks, which is starting to look tasty on even a unit of 10 Zerkers.  Even standard Chaos Space Marine squads become far more of a melee threat, especially if you give them chainswords over their bolters.  While nowhere near as strong as Berzerkers, it is budget choice that can help you optimize a list while still giving you a unit capable of producing a decent volume of attacks.  If you want to try a Brigade, even Havocs with a single missile launcher (for Flakk Missile) and the rest with chainswords become far more threatening to any fast units trying to sweep through the backfield.   Khorne Bikers aren’t too shabby either as they are fast, and so even a small unit of 5 can put out enough attacks to threaten other small flanking units. Of course, a Daemon Prince of Khorne with double Malific Talons now has 9 attacks on the charge.  Not too shabby at all.

Legion Specific Stratagem: Scorn of Sorcery

For 1 Command Point, you get to nullify a psychic power on a 4+ if there is a friendly WE unit within 24 of the caster.  Why is this good? Well, for an army that wants to focus on melee and doesn’t utilize psykers, having any form of defense is huge.  Just ask Tau and Necrons how much fun they have trying to handle psychic armies. Even if you go for a more inclusive chaos army, just having a detachment of WE can help make sure you can help mitigate the worst psychic tricks like say Warp Time or +1 to invulnerable saves.  If you have another CP to spend, you really can make this a 75% chance to negate a single spell a turn, and again, that can be huge.  You are not rolling to deny, so against super casters like Magnus, you are at the advantage in shutting a power down.  If you are facing an army that relies on a single spell to fuel some sort of trick, WE are great at shutting that down entirely.

Legion Specific Artefact: Brass Collar of Bhorghaster

There’s a clear trend in the WE specific aspects of the new Chaos codex, and that’s “mess with psykers”.  The Brass Collar allows the bearer to attempt to deny a single power, but the sweet bonus is that if you are successful, that psyker suffers a Perils of the Warp.   This is another way to add an extra layer of psychic defense to a World Eaters army, and this can also serve as an offensive weapon in its own way.  You can try to live the dream by making the ever present Malefic Lord perils and blow up, maybe taking out a few other Malefics with him.  I am sure somewhere, it will happen, and it will be glorious.  While the Brass Collar doesn’t give you any advantage to dispelling the power as you still have to roll, the added threat of forcing a Perils is a nice feature.  You can actually combo both Brass Collar and Scorn of Sorcery as SoS takes place after any attempt to deny, so if you really, really need to stop a spell and you failed your dispel attempt from the Collar, you can still go for SoS.   While it may seem odd that all of the World Eaters’ unique toys are defensive in nature, it certainly makes them far more effective on the battlefield as they at least have some answers for the fact that they do not participate in an entire phase of the game.

Legion Specific Warlord Trait: Slaughterborn

Every time your warlord kills a Character, Monster, or Titanic model, he receives +1 attack and strength for the reminder of the game.  There is potential for this to be awesome, but it is highly situation.   Against some armies that spam a lot of characters like Malefic lords, Assassins, or against a Nidzilla list this could be great, but against plenty of others, it is not as useful as Exalted Champion (+1 attack) or Unholy Fortitude (ignore wounds on a 6+ and +1 wound).  If you take Kharn as your Warlord, you have to take Slaughterborn, but if you are taking a Daemon Prince or a Chaos Lord, it is far more consistent to take something else unless you are playing against an army that will likely result in your Warlord getting all kinds of crazy.

Useful generic Stratagems:

Veterans of the Long War: This is such a sweet steal for any Legion, but World Eaters love them some melee, and the last thing you want to do is rubber-lance off a hard target.  VotLW now grants a unit +1 to wound in the shooting or fight phase.  This is bananas good, especially on either Berzerkers with Chain Axes (who will wound anything not T12 or higher on a 4+) or double lightning claw Terminators.  Even against T8, Claw-Terminators will wound on 5s with a reroll, so just about a 4+ with great AP on those attacks, and well, with double claws, that’s +1 attack, and if they charged, that’s another attack.   The ultimate ball of death would be Berzerkers with an Exalted Champion nearby as suddenly as those S6 attacks now have a +1 to wound and a reroll.  That’s pretty beast, and a unit of 20 Berzerkers under these conditions (and charging) will cause almost 30 wounds to a T8 target, during one activation.  Seeing as Berzerkers fight twice inherently, and that VotLW works for the entire phase, a unit of 20 Berzerkers kills a Knight in one Fight phase if an Exalted Champion is within 6.

Fury of Khorne: This is an easy one since World Eater units should have the mark of Khorne anyway, but any infantry or biker unit gets to fight again in the fight phase for 2 CPs.  Throw that on Berzerkers, and you get to swing 3 times (besides the crazy amount of damage output that can be, that’s also 18 possible inches of consolidate/pile in movement).  A single unit of Berzerkers could easily sweep through an entire chaff line and make it into the soft underbelly in a singe combat phase.  Of course, throw this on Terminators or Possessed as well and you get a lot of sweet, sweet blood for the blood god.  You can also use this to gobble up units in transports as you can use one fight activation to kill the transport and the other to consolidate into and eat the unit inside. If you have the CPs, it can be game-deciding to have a big unit of Berzerkers fighting 3 times and have +1 to wound.

Flakk Missile/Daemon Shell: These may seem odd, but WE really like to punch things, but some units like Flyers with the Super-Sonic Rule can stay high in the sky and away from the chainaxe.  Being able to spend 1 CP for the chance to do D3 mortal wounds to  Flyer is nice, but this also helps put a bit of heat on targets like Magnus or any other flying baddie. I tend to think WE like having a lot of CPs, so if you are running a brigade, having a few missile launchers around can help out immensely over the course of a few turns, especially with paired with Daemonshell.  Cheap Chaos Lords and Dark Apostles are incredibly handy to have for WE, and even with just a stock bolt pistol, they can be deadly with Daemon Shell.  While it is a bit risky against some units like Flyers, being able to spend 2 CP a shooting phase to do 2d3 mortal wounds to a target that you might not otherwise threaten is pretty clutch.

Useful generic Artefacts:

The Murder Sword:  While this weapon ironically doesn’t immediately scream Murder Death Kill, it provides an amazing answer to certain targets like Magnus or Bobby G.  Characters with strong invulnerable saves, even the new Grey Knight Grand Master in a Dread Knight with its possible 3++, can be difficult to put down in melee, but the Murder Sword certainly gives you a clear answer.  On a Chaos Lord, that’s 4 attacks base, +1 for the charge, and with the Exalted Champion warlord trait, another +1.  That can be 6 WS 2+ rerollable attacks that translates to 6 mortal wounds to a character.  Throw in Fury of Khorne, and that’s 12.  That’s a dead Bobby G, Grand Master, as well as a crippled Magnus.  While unlikely, it’d be hilarious to see a S6+ Attack 8+ Chaos Lord from the Slaughterborn Warlord trait rampaging through an army before finding his prey and wreaking havoc.  Even on just a disposable Chaos Lord, you can do some decent damage to a far more expensive target.  Putting one on the new Exalted Champion isn’t too bad as the low strength of the sword is mitigated by his reroll wound aura, so when not going against the target of the Sword, you can still get some more mileage out of its AP -4.

The Axe of Blind Fury: Do you want to run Kharn and another mini-Kharn? Well then, here you go.  Granting +3 S and -3 AP is nice, and while Damage D3 can be unreliable, it can still certainly pay off at times.  You do get the downside of not being able to reroll 1s and subsequent ones killing friendlies around you, but forcing your opponent to deal with essentially 2 heavy hitter melee characters is awesome.  If you want a budget Kharn, this is an easy way to get one.  Putting the Axe on an Exhalted Champion isn’t terrible either to pair with Kharn as you can essentially get a big unit to reroll all hits and wounds in melee, and both characters can kick butt on their own. Perhaps 18 Zerkers popping out of a Spartan or Kharybdis Dreadclaw with Kharn and Exalted Champion with this axe? Seems like one hell of a punch.

The Talisman Of Burning Blood: Well, World Eater Daemon Princes have something to take here at least.  You can certainly give one the Brass Collar, but the Talisman is likely a better call. Being able to advance and charge as well as a free reroll to charges is pretty nice, especially on a character that can go up to movement 12 with Wings.  A WE DP with two Malefic Talons, Wings, and the Talisman is a fast threat that is able to shred most infantry and even light vehicles, and with the Talisman, the DP has a native threat range of 22.5 inches.  In some deployments, that’s an easy first turn charge, and well, if you roll a 5 or 6 for advancing, that is an easy charge past 24 inches.  A WE DP is a great flanker as it is fast, protected by being a character, and it will likely nuke anything shy of a hard, hard target. If you are cutting points but really want a DP, even one without Wings is still quite fast when able to advance and charge in the same turn, especially when he is behind a wall of Zerkers.

Units to Consider: 

Well, I’ve mentioned quite a few, but here’s a quick rundown:

Berzerkers: One of the best units in the entire codex, and with the WE legion trait, they nearly double their offensive output on the charge as opposed to other legions.  Very nice.   With the bonus attack, even a small squad of 8 (Khorne’s favorite number) pump out 50 attacks in a single fight phase.  Oh, they are also Troops choices for World Eaters only, so taking a battalion or two isn’t hard at all and fills your army with the units you want anyway. You can also do a full Brigade and actually not just spam cultists.

Terminators: Another great unit, mostly because Terminators provide a great combination of counter-deploy by being able to hide in reserve, shooting with either standard combi-bolters or combi-plasma, and some serious melee heat with power weapons of all varieties.  While expensive, even a squad of 5 can drop in, gun targets down, and then possibly get into combat.

Possessed: While expensive, Possessed are one of the more resilient infantry units that WE have thanks to 2 wounds each and a 5++.  They also have the DAEMON and KHORNE keywords, so Heralds of Khorne bump up their strength nicely, and the +1 attack on the charge helps mitigate the random nature of their attacks.

Warp Talons: Just like Possessed, Warp Talons are pricey, but they provide a huge boon to a WE army, namely that they ignore Overwatch on the turn they arrive from reserve, and so utilizing them to tie up shooty units to deny overwatch for characters or zerkers goes a long way.  Thanks to the Icon of Wrath (all Khorne units can take one), they reroll charges anyway, and with double lightning claws, they are mini-blenders. Just like Possessed, they are buffed by Heralds of Khorne.  a 9 inch rerollable charge is still under 50%, but if you want pure competitive and drift away from the blessings of Angron, a jump-pack sorcerer for Warp Time is not a bad idea at all.

Rhinos: World Eaters are a bit slow with no cool infiltrate tricks, so a few bullet boxes are a good idea.  Rhinos are not too expensive, are much faster than foot-slogging, and can also absorb some brutal overwatch if need be.  A squad of 8 berserkers, a cheap chaos lord, and a cheap exalted champion is not all that expensive in a rhino, and it is a bit of a self-contained bomb of kick ass.

Well, that’s my rundown of World Eaters in 8th edition. Will we get our own book someday? I think so, but until then, I think we can be pretty happy with what we have.  Thanks as always for reading, and go ahead and give my home blog a visit, just to be polite.


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    But you want Malefic Lords to Perils, so they can get 5 Strength 8, AP -2, D 2 melee attacks at WS 2+.

    • Bonemaw

      exactly, it seems to me that the one writing this article is not to keen on the special rules lol
      Also i person who is spamming malefic lords will smite anything to death before he gets there xD

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        And if you’re running a list like mine, you’re going to be staring at 13-18 Summoning rolls, potentially 36d6 mortal wounds that Psychic Phase, easily.

  • Bigwebb

    So you still cant melee a unit that you didnt declare a charge against, even if you consolidate into them.

    • stinkoman

      isn’t that weird though?

      • Nyyppä

        It’s a game. The aim is to make a fun experience for everyone, even for the people who want a balanced game.

        • Bigwebb

          Being able to consolidate and fight doesnt make a unbalanced game. Instead it forces your opponent to worry about model placement to counter your assault units to prevent the multiple charge. If this was allowed it could really take the steam out of some of the hoard armies and character deatherstars.

          • Nyyppä

            I’d like to think that they tried that and decided it was too good. What I don’t like is that the unit consolidated to can still hit.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By


      • Bigwebb

        Was a statement not a question.

    • YetAnotherFacelessMan

      I disagree. You simply tell your opponent that you’re declaring charge against every unit you intend to pile into and weather all his overwatch. He gets to overwatch with everything, you get to murder your way into his backfield, everyone is happy.

    • eehaze

      The idea is that you can tie up units that would want to shoot. There is no practical reason to have your melee linebackers anywhere near your gunline, though, since range and cover have such a minimal effect on shooting.

    • LankTank

      You declare multicharges so you can.

  • Nyyppä

    Can’t wait to see the WB edition.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    World Eaters are great this edition.

    One of the big things I noticed with my Berzerkers was the lack of back field threats to distract and/or punish the enemy. With this in mind, I just made 10 Warp Talons, very eager to see how they play on the battlefield.

    • Marios Kontopyrgos

      I dont play Chaos but the warp talons are one of my favorite models in the game appearance wise and lore wise

      • Nyyppä

        Awesome models, awesome fluff, crap rules.

    • Nyyppä

      They don’t.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        270 points for 10 guys

        – Who have jump packs
        – Who have a 5++ save
        – Who can ignore overwatch the turn they deep strike – Who have three S4, AP-2, 1 Damage attacks on the charge
        – Who re-roll all failed wound rolls

        Seems pretty good to me. Maybe not tier 1 but still good.

        • Nyyppä

          Yes, right up until you realize that they have to successfully charge when they come down and they die like regular marines on anything with ap -2 or worse.

          So matbe tier 3….

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Don’t put them in a position where they will be shot down if you fail?

          • Nyyppä

            That’s not possible even more often than not, far less every time.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Which is why you need to present your opponent with multiple threats at the same time. These guys definitely need support to succeed.

          • LankTank

            I think its just that possessed are a little better with 2 wounds. Obviously jump packs are great and the rerollable charge but in WE those warp tslons are just a distraction to keep your berserkers safe. Having 5 open possessed running besides the rhino’s basically encourages all shots to go to them. Also I feel 5x base termis are better and deepstriking to wirh 4x bokter shots, better save and double wounds. The melee is almost just as good as well. Still awesome unit though

          • Nyyppä

            At that point the viability of the unit is gone. Costs too much to make them useful.

      • LankTank

        Agreed. Its a shame they didnt gey +1w like possessed

    • YetAnotherFacelessMan

      Remember to keep a command point to the side to let you reroll one of your charge dice. It goes a long way to getting them that deepstrike charge.

  • evillsvain

    Butcher’s Nails gives 1 additional attack not +1 to models Attack characteristic for the Fight Phase. So even though Berzerkers fight twice they still get only 1 extra attack for the whole Fight Phase.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By


      You get the +1 attack for the duration of the Fight Phase, not just the first time you attack.

      • evillsvain

        Unless there’s a FAQ I would strongly disagree. “If a unit makes a successful charge, you can make ONE additional attack per model in the subsequent Fight Phase”. There are rules and items that give models +1 to Attack characteristic but Butchers Nails allows a model to make one additional attack for the whole Fight Phase. So Berzerkers or Chaos Marines using Fury of Khorne making the 2nd attack wouldn’t benefit from the Nails as they would’ve used the one additional attack already. If the rule would give +1 to their Attack characteristic for the Fight Phase then they would get to use Nails in their 2nd attack too. This was actually pointed out to me by a WE player when we were discussing about the rule.

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          I disagree. I am sure GW will FAQ it at some point. Until then, I am going to play my way 🙂

        • eehaze

          “This unit can fight twice in *EACH* Fight phase.”

          The Berzerkers’ two fights take place in a single Fight phase, so the +1 attack would apply to both.

          • evillsvain

            If it were “each model has +1 Attack in the Fight Phase” like you wrote or “each time a model fights it can make one additional attack” then yes, it would apply to both times the Berzerkers fight but the rule doesn’t say that. It says ” you can make one additional attack with each of the units models in the Fight Phase” so just one additional attack. It might well be that it is an oversight but then again you would think that people at GW had thought about Berzerkers when writing WE special rule – after all, not all Berzerkers are WE but all WE are Berzerkers!

          • Marco Marantz

            and Berzerkers can have two fight phases; which are unbroken (which has been clarified). So they get +1 each ‘go’.

          • evillsvain

            Could you please point me to the clarification? Also, if the Berzerkers have 2 Fight Phases as you write the Nails only work in the “subsequent Fight Phase” so not in the 2nd. If you meant that those “Fight Phases” are unbroken meaning either that they’re 2 fights in a row or 2 different activations still within the same Fight Phase then my point still also stands. The rule says “you can make one additional (so one attack after all the other special rules) in the Fight Phase (so within the whole Phase and not every time the model fights). Weapons like Chainsword etc. which give additional attacks have always clearly written “every time the model fights” in their rule or abilities have “+1 to Attacks/Attack characteristic” but Butchers Nails doesn’t have either of those. It is a small but an important distinction. Like I said earlier this can be because of an oversight from the rules writers OR it can be because they actually thought that giving potentially 3 more attacks (Berzerkers with Fury of Khorne stratagem) to a Berzerker would make that model attack max.12 times (chainsword) and against Imperium average 14 times (exploding 6’s). Giving them “only” 1 additional attack for the whole Phase would mean “only” 10 attacks and average of 11 attacks with exploding 6’s. I’m not trying to take away WE potential in CC (which they very much have with either way) but to point out that the rule is either poorly written or actually clearly written but people want to get more from it than intended.

          • Marco Marantz

            You would be a PITA to play against. I bet you’d spend 75% of the time rules lawyering. Find the clarification yourself; granted the rules could be written clearer its a matter of your comprehension and interpretation. If zerkers charged, then BN activates and they get +1 attack; they may fight again…note the wording of BFTBG doesnt state its a second fight phase is says ‘twice in each fight phase’, so the BN +1 applies *thoughout* the fight phase, but as the attack is repeated so is the bonus. After the first round the bonus is lost. The second ‘fight’ is immediate and this is important because otherwise some may argue that you can consolidate and attack again. The stratagem allows zerkers to fight yet again, and since they attack twice (if there are enemies to attack) they can attack a total of 4 times. Because the stratagem activates at the end of the fight phase (not after the fight phase ends) you can have consolidated and BN is still active for that fight phase.This is strong but frankly its all that zerkers are good for. They are still glass cannons with limited upgrade options and 3CP is a hefty investment.

          • evillsvain

            What are you, 9 years old? If you claim you know there’s an official clarification and I politely ask that can you please point me to that and you start a personal attack it tells lot more about you than me. The burden of proof lies solely on you. I asked my friend who plays WE and goes twice a week to a big gaming club in London and he hadn’t heard about any new official clarifications or FAQ’s. Official meaning actual GW released statement and not some 2nd hand rumours or club house rules.

            I might be a rules lawyer to you (I actually play mostly relaxed narrative games with friends and we change the scenarios and rules all the time to fit different situations but to do that you need to actually understand the rules) and I know those kind of players can be a bit irritating sometimes but frankly people who claim they know the rules but actually don’t have very good grasp of them and always interpret them for their own maximum benefit are much worse.

            You seem to lack the understanding of some of the basics so here:

            No, you don’t get to attack 4 times in the Fight Phase with Berzerkers using Fury of Khorne stratagem! Berzerkers rule says “This unit can fight twice in each Fight Phase, instead of only once.” and the Stratagem says “ the end of Fight Phase…select a unit… that unit can immediately fight again.”

            Fight Phase=Phase were the fight actions happen.

            fight=action unit takes when activated in the Fight Phase.

            Berzerkers can fight twice in the Fight Phase and not twice when they are activated. So no, they definitely will not get a new Fight Phase with the Fury stratagem and so will fight one time just like the stratagem says.

            If you don’t have anything other to add than ad hominem attacks without any actual proof to your claims then don’t bother with a reply, please.

          • Marco Marantz

            yeah, im not making the effort to find what i read. In fact ive endured enough reading your walls of text but I did try to explain. You wont accept anything unless its an official FAQ so you’ll just have to wait, but GW do respond to some rules queries as they did for me last edition re Axe of Blind Fury. No No No…you are wrong…in the end of the fight phase is after step 6 of the Fight Phase. Berzerkers fight twice each fight phase. There is no fight action; its a sequence. You have to repeat the sequence (the phase) to resolve the fight action.

          • evillsvain

            Hint, if you claim that you have information about something but when asked to present that information you just reply that you don’t bother to do that, don’t be surprised if people aren’t convinced. Yeah, I’ll wait the official FAQ.

            Also, you seem to be confusing Fight Phase and Fight Sequence of a unit. Fight Phase is the name of the phase were all the fighting of EVERY unit is done not the “action” that unit takes. Yes, fight “action” is a sequence where you choose to activate a unit and then go through all steps from 1-6 with that unit. So Berzerkers fight twice in the Fight Phase and go through all the steps from 1-6 twice. If you use Fury of the Khorne stratagem on them at the end of the Fight Phase, meaning after all units (friend and foe) eligible to fight have already fought, then you can fight ONE more time with them going once again through the whole sequence from 1-6. There is no new Fight Phase just one more Fight Sequence for the chosen unit. After that the Fight Phase is over and Morale Phase begins.

        • LankTank


    • william timonen

      Even if it isnt RAI I remember one of the articles mentioning it.

  • accountantdan

    Incorrect.You get the +1 attack for the duration of the Fight Phase, not just the first time you attack.

    • evillsvain

      But the rule actually doesn’t say +1 attack but “can make one additional attack in the subsequent Fight Phase”. If it would be “the model has +1 Attacks/Attack characteristic” or “can make one additional attack each time it fights” like other rules for extra attacks have (Chainswords etc. and other abilities) then it would be very clearly like you say but it is not written so- is that on purpose or not is the question. Check out my reply in the above thread.

  • Leonidas Laskaridis

    I can find where it says in the codex that berzerkers are troops for WE

  • Simon Chatterley

    I played my first game with World Eaters since getting the codex last night.

    Firstly I don’t know why the writer of this thinks Warp Talons can take an Icon of Wrath. It’s not listed in there allowable upgrades and being Mark of Khorne doesn’t automatically give you access to it.

    So in a pretty unfluffy way I had a Sorcerer Warptime them and give them them diabolical strength so they had 4 attacks at S6 on the charge. That was enough to wipe out the unit they went into. (Alpha Legion Sorcerer so it was all fluffy in my head…tricksy Alpha Legion messing with their dumber lobotomised cousins after all)

    Then I had 17 Berserkers charging from a Fatpod and I got lucky with the first charge and rolled a 10. I lost a few on the way in but they smashed face well enough.

    As pointed out the wording on the butchers nails is not great. Needs an FAQ already but I feel it’s just 1 additional attack for the whole phase…not great but still pretty devastating. Especially if you prescience them (tricksy Alpha Legion again…messing with Khornes stupidest to make them better 😉 )

    All in all it was a fun game. New stratagems were interesting but I didn’t really need to use them that much. In the end I spent 4 CP to autopass a morale test for Cultists and then used them to secure an objective well away from the fighting. Useless tactic of course but you know, it worked for some reason.