World Eaters Review: Special Rules

Hey all, Danny from TFG Radio here to give you the run down on the all new, all kamicrazy return of the World Eaters to 40K!

If you want more advice on just about anything 40K, check out Frontline Gaming’s Tactics Corner.


For this article, we are going to do a down and dirty rundown of the new World Eater special rules in Traitor Legions, including some ideas on how these rules might shape an army ready to serve Khorne. These new special rules really let you build a Chaos Space Marine army that will always be out of bubblegum because they are kicking so much @ss.


How to build World Eaters:

As part of the new Traitor Legions, just like with the Thousand Sons in The Wrath of Magnus, any Chaos Space Marine detachment/formation can be created as a World Eaters detachment/formation if you follow some specific restrictions.

  • You may not have any unique/named characters in this detachment/formation except for Kharn the Betrayer.
  • You may not have any psykers.
  • All units able to take the Mark of Khorne must do so.
  • All units able to take Veterans of the Long War (VotLW) must do so, but for free!
  • No unit may have any Mark other than Khorne.
  • Daemon Princes must take the Mark of Khorne.

Ok, wow, so that is a lot of restrictions, but as you can see, a clear theme emerges. It doesn’t make sense that World Eaters would have a bunch of Noise Marines or Sorcerers, right? Let’s look at what you get when you do follow these restrictions.


Make him proud…make him proud.

Special Rules:

Berserker Horde: Khorne Berserkers become a Troops choice rather than Elites. This is nice if you want to take them in a standard Combined Arms Detachment (CAD) and give them Objective Secured (Obsec).

Blessing of Khorne: Any unit with VotLW gain the special rule Adamantium Will. Some nice (or niche) psychic defense for free.

The Butcher’s Nails: Any unit with VotLW gain Furious Charge and Fearless. Wow. This is the real money here as now you have Fearless units running around that also gain +1 Strength when they charge.

So let’s dive into the meat of this and break down what you get and why it is worth screaming Blood for the Blood God.


Even in just a standard CAD, you are getting a critical benefit here that regular CSM are solely lacking: Fearless. Chaos Marines can have trouble sticking with it when the going is tough, but now they can ignore casualties and not get swept in combat, giving them far more staying power than before. Havocs, Raptors, Chosen, and just about any unit that has small numbers and is thus susceptible to “lose two guys, fail morale, fall back off table” is suddenly much more reliable. This is really true in combat (where World Eaters want to be) as losing by 1 or 2 and then suddenly being swept in combat is a frustrating experience, but now, you can stick in the fight and grind your opponent down. The opportunity for attrition and tar-pitting has increased greatly! This also lets small, minimum squads camp objectives far more effectively as now your opponent has to focus fire on them to ensure they die to the last man.

Adamantium Will is a small bonus, and it could come in handy some games, but really, against a truly psychic heavy army, it won’t mean too much except for maybe giving you a chance to stop one critical witchfire/malediction. Furious charge though is amazing because it pairs so well with the Mark of Khorne. Remember: Mark of Khorne gives Rage (+2 attacks on charge) and Counter-Attack (+1 attack when charged), so now your units essentially have +1 Strength and +2 attacks in the first round of any combat that they charge (so long as they did not perform a Disordered Charge) or +1 attack when charged. That’s intense, and it makes even a standard CSM squad quite capable in melee. It also again means that small backfield camping squads are not so easy to take down in melee.


This is the secret sauce as with these rules, a standard squad of CSM with bolt pistols and chainswords have 4 attacks on the charge at Strength 5. That’s nuts for a bog standard unit, not to mention giving their Aspiring Champion some special weapons like a Powerfist or even just a Power Axe (this would be quite fluffy too).  Not too shabby at all. Hell, putting a cheap Lord (with native-Fearless) into a 35 man Cultist squad with Mark of Khorne gives you a hell of a tarpit and screen, and each one pumps out 4 attacks in the first round of combat. WS 3 and Strength 3 isn’t special, but 140 attacks is its own kind of quality.

Chosen can be kitted out to be monsters as well with 5 attacks on the charge or 4 attacks with powerfists, and giving them a fancy assault vehicle the Dreadclaw Drop-pod means you can get them into the fight quickly. Even Havocs with fearless mean that they can stand their ground, fire at the enemy, and if some weaker, fast moving unit tries to take them down in combat, they are in for a surprise when even they are swinging in with 2 attacks each . Berserkers really only gain Adamantium Will, so they are still a bit underpowered on the baseline, but then they do bring WS5 to the party. That is always something to consider.


As it should be, World Eaters are going to be a scary melee army. You may very well see giant 20 man blobs of standard CSM running around that fight like hell and are fearless. Think of them like more elite orks with higher standard strength and a real armor save!

Of course, once you start playing with formations and detachments, you can really start to come up with some mean, mean melee armies. Make sure to check back as I go through the World Eaters Decurion, warlord traits and artefacts, and of course, some super fun lists! Also, don’t be a stranger to my Know-A-Formation series at TFG Radio.

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!

Frontline Gaming will buy your used models for cash or store credit!



About Danny Ruiz

Long-long time 40K player, one of the original triumvirate of head 40K judges at LVO, writer, educator, tyranid-enthusiast, disciple of Angron, man about town, afflicted with faction ADD.
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5 years ago

I am so excited for these rules! I think World Eaters are going to be really good.

5 years ago

I agree while people are pushing DG, WE seem like a great opportunity fora killer army. Load up on khorne cultists and marines, tool up your Lord, and run that horde at the front lines!

It is kind of too bad khorne berserkers are worthless now. I forget the fist of khorne formation bonuses, but each model is 3 points overcosted over chaos marine for no reason now. They should have gotten free chain axes, that would have been great. While chain axes are obviously worthless against most commonly played armies they are great against any 4+ armor! That’s Necron warriors people!

5 years ago
Reply to  beau

Yeah, Khorne marines seem like they’d be better in most situations.Just being able to carry real special weapons is a big benefit.

The EC detachment is similar; most of the special rules are of more benefit to regular CSM than they are to noise marines. In that case I don’t mind so much; I’m glad the EC didn’t get pigeonholed into noise marine spam.

5 years ago
Reply to  beau

Berzerkers are not worthless. In the WE detachment, berzerkers are faster due fo the malestrom of gore, and that should not be discounted, neither should the red rain. I also think the Fist of Khorne is going to be an amazing addition to any WE force.

5 years ago

So the big question is which core choice to use??

The chaos warband is really good with world eaters, no doubt.

But the Maelstrom of Gore.. .. +3″ charge and fleet is Really cool (although you can get re-roll charge distance elsewhere, fleet is better) . And the bonus assault phase is Just Great. (especially is you get the warlord trait that can give you an assault phase in the enemies turn on top of that…) Buut bezerkers are inefficient.


ryan bridges
ryan bridges
5 years ago

Play tested both Night Lords and World eaters today. Night Lords fought the White Scars special detachment. Won both in the primary and secondary. Night Lords have some really good potential. World Eaters fought the Baronial Court and SKyhammer. I got a first turn Charge off with Kharn, juggerlord and Berzerkers. We called it turn 2. Chaos is really good now

5 years ago
Reply to  ryan bridges

Kharn out-numbers Baronial Courts.

5 years ago

Does it say that if you take the Khorne detachment, berserkers in other detachments (CAD) will also become troops? Or is it just the Khorne csm detachemnt where they will become troops? Normally the benefits of a detachments is just for that specific detachment.

5 years ago
Reply to  Calle

The Berzerkers moving to Troops is part of the general Legion Rules, not their Detachment. Same with the other Legions that have FOC swaps.

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