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Codex Review: Chaos Space Marines – World Eaters

11 Minute Read
Aug 28 2017

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.



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Author: Pablo Martinez
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