Codex Review: Chaos Space Marines – World Eaters

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 3 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.  Remember to declare a charge against EVERYTHING within 12 to be able to swing, and this is why Warp Talons are helpful for shutting off Overwatch (or sending a rhino to absorb overwatch).  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.  Be sure to get those tickets for LVO and SoCal Open too.

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

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About Danny Ruiz

Long-long time 40K player, part of the triumvirate of head 40K judges at LVO, writer, educator, tyranid-enthusiast, disciple of Angron, man about town.

22 Responses to “Codex Review: Chaos Space Marines – World Eaters”

  1. Max Mustermann August 27, 2017 9:48 pm
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    Fury of Khorne costs 3 CP. Thanks for the article, I didn’t realize Khorne Berzerkers were that brutal w/ VotLW & an Exalted Champion!

  2. Blight August 27, 2017 10:34 pm
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    Getting to actually use all those attacks on the charge seems tricky. You have to declare a charge on all the units you hope to pile in and attack against. I also believe you can only declare a charge on a unit within 13″, right?
    If anyone has tips or knows I am wrong please comment. Love my World Eaters and the return of zerks.

    • Blight August 27, 2017 10:36 pm
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      Suppose also wouldn’t it be impossible to attack a unit that gets out of a transport you destroyed when you charged since it wasn’t on the table to declare a charge against?

      • Danny Ruiz
        Danny Ruiz August 28, 2017 6:33 am
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        Yep, I amended the post as you cannot swing at a unit you cannot charge. Thanks for the catch!

    • Threllen August 28, 2017 6:18 am
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      I believe you can only charge within 12″, actually. I believe the rulebook specifies that and you do not get the ‘bonus’ inch for only having to be within 1″ when it comes to your charge range.

      Yes, multi-charges with zerkers are tricky if you want to use their pile-ins to fight multiple units. You’ve got to be within 12″ of all those units and you need to soak up overwatch from all of them.

    • Danny Ruiz
      Danny Ruiz August 28, 2017 6:37 am
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      Yes, you need to declare a charge, and only 12 inches, but that said, with that much movement, you can really get deep into enemy lines and engage other units, and while you can’t fight, you can next turn unless they walk away. That’s actually a fun trick is to get a unit of zerkers into combat, and if they are still in combat next turn, you can trigger Fury of Khorne and have them swing on ANYTHING in range because they didn’t charge that turn. Less attacks, but still can be brutal.

  3. Don Tomaso August 27, 2017 10:56 pm
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    Told you this is warhammer 8:th lascannon edition! lol

    There is basically no use fooling around with other heavy weapons then lascannons, stopping enemy rhinos as fast as possible is A and O in this edition.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 28, 2017 9:43 am
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      I’m actually partial to melta weapons for pure tank hunting.

  4. Gillbilly August 28, 2017 1:31 am
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    What would you recommend to equip the bezerker champions with? Chainsword and powerfist? Are plasma pistols worth it on bezerkers?

    • Danny Ruiz
      Danny Ruiz August 28, 2017 6:36 am
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      Powerfist is not a bad idea if you can have a Lord or Kharn nearby to make it a bit more accurate. For me, I’d rather ignore the plasma pistol and powerfist to save points for more bodies, but a few plasma pistols can definitely help fill out some holes in the game, namely a lack of good shooting.

      • Gillbilly August 28, 2017 12:05 pm
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        Thanks for the response Danny! I think it may be time to Magnetize! Great article!

  5. Horton August 28, 2017 2:32 am
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    Good article. I think the WE Mutilator is also quite good.

  6. Reecius
    Reecius August 28, 2017 9:53 am
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    Great article, Danny. You’ve been putting out some excellent content, lately.

    World Eaters are back in a big way. My khorne army has been doing very well and while it isn’t all WE, those elements of it are great.

  7. Don Tomaso August 28, 2017 1:37 pm
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    Is it even worth giving the champion a pfist? 8 attacks on the charge with chainaxe ought to be enough.

    Is it clear by the way that the legion benefit of +1A on charge applies to both phases of melee?
    The berzerkers attack twice, once at A3 and then again at A3 so with the +1 charge attack will the berzerkers attack (on charge) A4 and then A4 again or A4 and then A3 as the second time?

  8. bonesaww666 August 28, 2017 2:07 pm
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    Take Bloodslaughterers to absorb overwatch for your ‘zerkers!

    Possessed are savagely good with a Herald and or DP for support the World Eaters trait does wonders for them, i just don’t know if they are quite worth the point, I’m more likely to just try slender more Berzerkers, I think they are more viable for other Legions.

    I missed the part about talons being able to take the icon of Wrath, this makes the 20 i have far more appealing to me…

  9. The Traitor August 28, 2017 2:54 pm
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    Great article, I think WE are one of the best legions, berzerkers are insanely efficient with their trait. However where does it put that Warp Talons can now take icons? Just checked the codex and couldn’t find it on the unit entry or the icon rules…

    • Threllen August 29, 2017 5:53 am
      #

      Warp Talons have never been able to take icons. So unfortunately no icon of wrath for them.

      Same issue as last edition where their lack of grenades hurt them. Only in this edition it’s the lack of banners for enhancing their charge out of reserves.

      • The Traitor August 29, 2017 3:35 pm
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        Yes, that is what I though, but in the article it said that they now could, so maybe I had missed something.
        And I beleive they’re MUCH better now than before, taking 10 with a jump sorcerer with warptime is expensive, but wrecks gunline armies by nullyfing their overwatch (specially tau).

  10. Don Tomaso August 28, 2017 4:48 pm
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    Yeah, WE are my favorite evil legion. Finally playable.
    To bad I cant paint them up due to being to slow.

  11. Elevatorlake August 30, 2017 2:06 pm
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    I really like the new WE but there’s one thing I find a bit sad and that’s the fact that the renegade chapters do melee better than WE simply by having an easier time of getting into it which I find more important than an extra attack on the charge. Renegade chapters have access to the same units, they can take a sorcerer for that sweet warptime, they can take icon of wrath on all their khorne units and their helbrutes are faster than maulerfiends of other legions. They can still also access the stratagem to let a unit fight another time just like WE.

    A big unit of renegade berzerkers (or a small one, for that matter) with a succesfull warptime and an icon will move 12+2d6″ plus a 2d6″ rerollable charge in one turn. With axes and chainswords they will unleash an unholy amount of attacks even if they don’t get one extra on the charge.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m finally getting a WE army in heresy colours but if I ever take it to a tournament I’ll probably play it as renegades instead.

    • Danny Ruiz
      Danny Ruiz August 31, 2017 5:59 am
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      Renegade is definitely good, but the +1 attack is so rare in 8th now that I find it worth the trade off. I think WE want to be far more mechanized than before to help them bridge, and from a super competitive standpoint, you probably wouldn’t want to take them solo as is since Warp Time and Death Hex are just too good. My less fluffy but more tournament-minded list uses a WE battalion but other detachments with casters.

    • The Traitor August 31, 2017 6:34 am
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      Renegades are faster… But WE hit like trucks. In my oppinion WE are better at zerker spam (as they basically get +2 attacks) while Renegades are better at everything else. However Berzerker spam seems to be one of the most powerful chaos options, so WE defenitely have a place.