Warhammer 40,000/9th Edition Tactics/World Eaters
Why Play World Eaters
Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for the Skull Throne!
If you happen to like blood, skulls, brass, chain weapons, and melee combat, boy do I have the army for you! The disparate World Eaters war bands of Warhammer 40k exist as the fractured remnants of the XIIth Legion. They are all utterly devoted to Khorne, the Chaos God of blood and combat. As a World Eaters player you won't be bothered with a lot of strategic planning or tactical nuance beyond run forward and hit stuff; but figuring out how to maneuver your units into melee without getting shot off the board is always going to be a challenge. Fair warning, the army has a pretty limited selection of units, but everything here is extremely potent in its singleminded focus. Uniquely, World Eaters are able to gain Blood Tithe Points that allow you to power up your army, turning it from merely "good" at melee into an absolutely vicious buzzsaw that will kill anything it touches.
- Khorne is pro death, no matter who dies, so if you start losing units, you can still turn it around thanks to the Blood Tithe rule.
- Insane melee output. Every unit in your arsenal is capable of drowning the enemy under their high volume of attacks. There is no other army in the game that hits this hard in melee.
- Since you have such high volume of attacks, your damage output is reliable. You will not worry about rolling 1's that much.
- Every unit has access to high S attacks. Berzerkers with Eviscerators, Eightbound with Lacerators, chainfists etc. Even your cultist unit called Jakhals can get up to S5.
- You may not have advance and charge, but you can make a 22 inch move in T1 with 12 The Eightbound and Lord Invocatus. And that is before the charge phase.
- Speaking of, Exalted Eightbound is the most terrifying unit in melee combat. Any unit that doesn't have invul save or FNP will be torn into pieces.
- Angron is incredibly cool and scary as well as being pretty reasonably priced. If he dies, he can be brought back as long as you have 6 (well, 4 effective due to Angron giving you 2 on his death) BTP to spend.
- You lack any subfaction rules within your subfaction, E.I. Thousand Sons Great Cults. The best you have is an army of renown for Khornate Daemonkin.
- You have an incredibly small roster, warlord traits, relics, stratagems, etc. Even legion subfactions from CSM have more than the World Eaters.
- Khorne says that blowing up shit with your brain is for pussies so no psykers for you.
- Despite being a full melee army, there is no advance and charge. In fact, there is a lack of fast attack options like Raptors or Bikers. While your army will be a monster in melee combat, it is hard to get there.
- Limited options for shooting. I mean, we all knew this would be the case, but this combined with the 2 previous points means that the enemy can remain just out of reach of your dudes' ability to kill them.
- The World Eaters have no Chaos Lord on foot. Your only lord is on a Juggernaut despite no berzerkers on their own steed to accompany him.
- No unique Terminators like Thousand Sons and Death Guard got. Instead, you have CSM Terminators with +1 attack baked in and “Accursed Weapons” instead of any useful melee weapons.
- There is a lack of ignoring invul saves.
- Lord Invocatus is more viable than Angron in his own army. Think about that for a moment.
- While the FW units didn't get any special legion traits like Contagions and Cabbalistic Rituals for being ported over, this specially hurts the World Eaters, as this means that seeing your Contemptor or Fellblade go up in flames means that you won't be getting anything from them dying. (Blood tithe points are gained from ANY unit dying, including these FW units. after all Khorne cares not from where the blood flows)
- All troops gain ObSec. Why yes, this also includes your Jakhals.
- Chosen of Khorne: You can only pick one Daemon Prince in your detachment. No, that doesn't include Angron, he's a Daemon Primarch.
- Mere Mortals: The ever-tiresome cultist restriction. You can't take more Cultist units than you have Butcher Astartes Core units.
- Relentless Rage: Your "Legion Trait", as it were. All units gain +1 to Attack and Strength every time they charge, get charged, or heroically intervene.
- Martial LegacyForge World: The rule for adding in the FW stuff. Your detachment costs +1 CP if you want to add one of the rare FW units in.
Khorne cares not about whom the blood flows from, only that it does. Any time a unit is destroyed, you gain a Tithe Point (+1 if the unit was a Character, Monster, or Vehicle, +1 more if it was Titanic, both of these only trigger once per phase). It doesn't matter if it was your unit or the enemy's or what turn it took place, all that matters is that they're dead. You can then spend those Tithe Points for armywide buffs.
- Spiteful Nullification (2 BTP): For the rest of the battle, all units gain a 5+++ against mortal wounds.
- Rage-Fuelled Invigoration (3 BTP): All units gain +1 to charge. For the entire battle. Awesome.
- Your dudes are often killy enough to deal with the enemy units, but getting into combat can be the real problem to solve. Well, here's a solution.
- Wrathful Devotion (4 BTP): 6+++ feel no pain save. Best used to counter mass damage 1 attacks, but it's not bad against damage 2 weapons for your 2 wound berzerkers.
- Warp Blades (4 BTP): Improve AP of all your melee attacks by 1.
- Savage Guidance (5 BTP): +1 to hit rolls in melee. Great for countering minus one to hit armies like Harlequins.
- Martial Excellence (5 BTP): 6's to hit in melee grant an additional hit.
- Total Carnage (6 BTP): All units now auto-wound an a natural 6 to hit for the rest of the battle.
- Great to overcome high toughness units like knights.
- If combined with exploding 6's to hit, every time a 6 to hit happens: only one hit auto wounds.
- Reborn in Blood (6 BTP): Allows you to resurrect Angron with 8 wounds and then deep-strike him wherever you want. 6 points costs daunting, but considering that him dying at all gives you 2 points in itself and you might find it a little more convenient to work around...as long as you didn't blow it on the rest of the army.
- This gets proportionally better the higher percentage of points Angron takes up. Meaning that's this is better in 1000 point games.
Disciples of the Red Angel
Despite effectively acting like an Army of Renown, this isn't labeled as such anywhere.
This represents the more daemonic forces of Angron's legion, with the big red guy at the head of the assault and the most mutated of his ranks following. Unfortunately, this severely restricts your army list to an anemic degree, all for the sake of the Eightbound.
- Angron MUST be the Warlord. No exceptions.
- You can only take Khorne Daemon or Chaos Land Raider units in the detachment.
- Eightbound units gain ObSec as compensation for the loss of berserkers.
Daemonic Infusions: Your big reward for this specialist detachment. One Eightbound unit in your army can pick up a special boost.
- Drawn to Power: Each model counts as 2 models for the sake of capping objectives.
- Mutable Form: Natural 6s to wound deal a mortal wound, up to a max of 6 MWs. With the lack of the Talisman of Rage, this is your equivalent.
- Brazen Skin: 4+++ FNP save. Badass.
- Burning Plate: +1 to saves and +1 Wound, both quite handy buffs to the JuggerLord or Prince who's bound to get fucked up a lot.
- Skull of An'gr'ant: Each command phase, the bearer can mark one enemy they can see. The bearer can re-roll to wound this enemy in melee.
- Soulburner: Replaces the Daemon Prince's Infernal Cannon with a 12" Assault 2d6 S7 AP-2 inferno cannon. Excellent for smoking out marines and other high-defense foes you don't want to waste the Eightbound on.
- Bloodscent (1 CP): When an enemy falls back from an Eightbound unit, that pack of Eightbound can immediately consolidate 6".
- Gratuitous Bloodletting (1 CP): One unit gets +1 to wound when fighting an enemy unit that's below half-strength. Handy when you need to clean up some stragglers, but not much more.
- Furious Surge (1 CP): After an enemy shoots at an Eightbound unit and kills someone, the unit can immediately move. Wasteful, seeing that the Eightbound are your only troops.
- Diabolic Machines (1/2 CP): One Daemon Engine or Machine Spirit with degrading stats counts as if they're at max wounds for the turn. Useful for the many, many kamikaze runs you'll likely make for some extra Tithe points. Costs 2 CP on a Titanic unit.
- Apoplectic Frenzy (1 CP): One unit can advance 6" without rolling. Very needed since you are a melee-only faction and you have no means to charge after advancing.
- Bloodthirsty Determination (1 CP): One unit can ignore all modifiers to a charge roll.
- Violent Dismemberment (1 CP): When you kill an enemy unit, the unit that did the deed gains a 6" aura that deals -2 to Leadership and -1 to Attrition rolls. Only really useful if you're planning on comboing this with some daemon summoning.
- Terrifying Assault (1 CP): When one of your units charges, the enemy can't fire overwatch or set to defend, and they take a -1 to hit on the fight phase after that.
- Favoured of Khorne: Gain 1 Tithe point every turn where your Warlord is on the board.
- True Berserker: Melee attacks against the warlord deal half damage. Means shit against hordes of gaunts and assault marines, but it will make power fists and klaws feel mighty silly. Your red dude will still be mowed down by firing squads if you're not careful.
- Battle Lust: 6" Heroic Intervention range and your warlord always fights first.
- Helm of Brazen Fire: All attacks against the bearer take -1 to wound.
- Berserker Glaive: Replaces an Exalted Chainblade or Axe of Dismemberment. S+2 AP-3 D3 makes it a touch weaker than the axe, but rolling a 6 to hit makes it deal two additional hits.
- Talisman of Rage: Each turn the bearer can give one World Eaters Core unit the ability to auto-wound on a 6 to hit. Can save you the Blood Tithe points you would've sacrificed on Total Carnage if you know which units need that boost the most.
- Red Butchers (2 CP): Gone are the hopes of chainaxe-wielding terminators, now it's just a generic strat. One Terminator or Eightbound unit adds +1 to their damage during the fight phase.
- Gory Dismemberment (1 CP): When one Core or Character fights, all natural 6s to wound deal an additional MW, to a max of 6 MWs.
- SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE! (1/2 CP): When a World Eaters Character kills the enemy warlord, you can choose to add either 2 Blood Tithe Points or a +1" to the character's advance and charge ranges - Both pretty decent gifts, but that latter would have been nicer off the bat. Costs 2 CP if you choose to use both rewards.
- Aggressive Intervention (1 CP): You can make a World Eaters Core unit heroically intervene against any enemies within 6".
- Blood Frenzy (1/2 CP): Pick one World Eaters Core unit in the fight phase. Any models in this unit that die before they can fight can still fight before going down, letting them potentially add more to the tally before going down. Costs 1 CP if this is used on a Troops unit.
- Scorn of Sorcery (1 CP): If an enemy psyker casts within 24" of your units, you can deny that power on a 4+. Why yes, you will be using this A LOT.
- Icon of Wrath (1 CP): A World Eaters Icon unit that charges can roll an additional d6 and drop the lowest when rolling for charge range.
- Smokeskreen (1 CP): When a Smokescreen unit is targeted by enemy guns, this makes those shots take -1 to hit.
Keywords: Did you expect Chaos and Khorne? Did you also guess Heretic Astartes and World Eaters? The only other major keyword to look for is Butcher Astartes, which, of course, is to differentiate the World Eaters from any other CSM.
- Kharn: He is back! He is good again! Now doing 3 damage and 10 attacks on charge (S7 and AP-4), Kharn is terrifying to face against. Against hordes, this gets even worse as he adds +d3 attacks to help chop them down harder if he has his warlord trait. And most importantly, his Betrayer rule got reworked. Now he only kills your own troops at the end of the fight phase if you roll a 1. That means, he can now benefit from Look out Sir rule without killing them on movement phase like in the past. Not to mention, now he gives reroll for wound rolls of 1 around him.
- Lord Invocatus: Minor named character added to the army roster with the codex. Demon-looking motherfucker on a Juggernaut with an AP-2 chainaxe for a horn. His own chainaxe isn't too shabby either at AP-3 D2 with the ability to ignore invulns like a champ.
- Out of all the named characters in the codex, Invocatus is far and away the best of them all. Why? Because he has an aura to boost the movement range of nearby World Eaters Core units and lets two such units make a pre-game move. On a unit with no real movement tricks, this is insanely critical and arguably more useful than even what Angron provides.
- Lord on Juggernaut: The generic alternative build to Lord Invocatus, like Mozrog Skragbad for the orks. While they don't get the sweet invuln-negating axe, he does get quite a few major buffs like the aura for movement and a horn just as nice despite lacking a chainsword strapped to the end of it. Uniquely, the Juggerlord comes stock with a plasma pistol so you won't need to debate the merits of hauling one along.
- The generic Juggerlord is overshadowed by Lord Invocatus but he has the option of taking some fairly useful traits and relics and is a cheap, effective HQ option when filling out a detachment that includes Angron.
- Daemon Prince of Khorne: A daemon prince... except he's Khorney. Khorney for skulls. Alongside gaining the Ivunlerability of a Daemon Prince from the Daemons codex, he comes with a gun(!); I guess Khorne really doesn't care how the flowing of blood comes to pass, just that it does. The gun doesn't interfere with anything and at S5 AP-2 D2, it can pretty easily blow a hole in any space marines you come across before you send the smaller guys at them.
- As he has the re-roll 1s to hit aura, you will absolutely be needing him for some sort of support now that you don't have a chaos lord.
- Master of Executions: Now he is an HQ for some reason, with there being absolutely no options for generic chaos lords. His stats are exactly same, but has Mark of Khorne for free. Him not being an Elite gives room for you to put more Eightbound in your army, which is nice, but he is unfortunately overshadowed by the fact that he has absolutely zero support potential. If you are taking him over anyone else, it's because you spent too much to afford them, and as such you will need to either buy them relics to help out or force them to kill absolutely everything they can to feed the tithe.
- Khorne Berzerkers: You know 'em, you need 'em.
- Berzerkers now have a new ability called Blood Surge that lets them move d6 inches towards an enemy unit if they lose models to an opponent's ranged attacks. This ability helps address their vulnerability to shooting and their relative uselessness outside of combat.
- Jakhals: Copyright-friendly misspellings of a regular word, manifested as the WE cultist-equivalent, similar to Tzaangors and Poxwalkers. Each one comes with AP-1 chainblades and autopistols, with the option for a mauler chainblade for a power fist-like S+2 AP-2 D2 with a -1 to hit. Alongside them are the Dishonoured, bigger and meaner cultists with S4 and lose shooting, but have the option for AP-2 D2 Skullsmashers with double the attacks.
- They can trigger their drug cocktail of Slaught/Frenzon/whatever once per game to gain +1 Strength for the phase but suffer d3 wounds in exchange. This might be potentially useful if you're really close to picking up a Blood Tithe gift and need that last point to set it off.
- Chaos Rhino: What, you thought that your troops would have to footslog it up there without a costly Land Raider? You're just leading a bunch of frothing madmen, not absolute idiots.
- Chaos Terrax-Pattern TermiteForge World: When you want to deep-strike your berzerkers and need your Fast Attack slots for things better than a Dreadclaw.
- Eightbound: Khornate Possessed! Except with eight daemons in their bodies instead of one. The reason they got bigger better dudes than regular possessed like the Death Guard or Word Bearers? We know exactly why. They're making some serious work though, as each one is S6 with some deadly eviscerators with AP-3 D2 that give extra attacks while the champion is armed with Dual Lacerators (high damage) or Heavy Chainglaives (high attack volume).
- Comes with a strat for early strategic reserves, but it’s incredibly situational and you still need to pay CP to put them in reserves.
- Exalted Eightbound: Khorne Greater Possessed! While only stuck with a 3+ save, they get S6 T5 to make them even deadlier in a fight, especially with their own Chainfists which are every bit as deadly as their terminator brethren's with S+3 AP-4 D2 without any penalties to hit. With a 4++ and Warp Strike, you can pop these bad boys 9” from someone and have your opponent panic as they are unable to fall back from combat. Even better is if you give one of them a second fist, making them D3 and capable of eradicating Custodians in one swing.
- Chaos Terminators: Unlike the Death Guard and the Thousand Sons, it appears that the World Eaters will not be receiving their own unique brand of terminator goodness. Which is dumb as fuck, because Red Butchers exist in the lore and have been represented as a stratagem upgrade. The only change is that they get one extra attack, and still have the same schizophrenic wargear options from CSM that ruined their versatility and removes any stronger melee weapons you would otherwise have in a melee-focused army.
- Uniquely among a melee-only army, the terminators are your only source of rapid-fire weaponry since they have Malicious Volleys. While it still blows that they lost a lot of things, this makes their combi-bolters and other combi-weapons probably the most useful weapons they have.
- Helbrute: The obligatory Helbrute, same as the DG and TS.
- Chaos Contemptor DreadnoughtForge World:
- Chaos Deredeo DreadnoughtForge World:
- Chaos Leviathan DreadnoughtForge World:
- DecimatorForge World:
- The Unnameable Beasts: Same as the ones for the CSM, meaning that they're nigh-unkillable.
- Surprisingly useful unit for World Eaters. They cost little to nothing. 3 individual Spawn units can generate 3 BTP, while costing same as Jakhals which can generate only 1 BTP. So they are very efficent for what they cost. Most lists will include some Spawn for early BTP farming. They are also useful if you want a cheap back line objective holder.
- Blood SlaughtererForge World: the fast attack choice we needed, 10" movement (and 6" advance) for only 125 points ,generates 2 BTP and outputs decent damage. choice of extra attack or Impaler harpoon that gives +2 to charge. It also has the daemon keyword meaning it can go in a disciples of the red angel list.
- Dreadclaw Drop PodForge World: Your only means of deep-striking your berzerkers. While it sucks that it has to eat up a FA slot, you've got a shocking paucity of those.
- Defiler: The longest ranged weapons you can get in this army, sporting their trusty battle cannon along with the option for a pair of lascannons, heavy bolters or heavy flamers or you could take the reaper autocannon. This boy should be built for range though as it's the biggest tactical hole to plug for a World Eaters army but unlike taking one of the tanks or the Forgefiend, this giant enemy crab thing is actually pretty solid in close combat. Obviously not as good as the Maulerfiend, but it also has guns that can compete with the Forgefiend - the best of both worlds!
- Chaos Predator: Two variants, dual lascannon and Predator autocannon. If you can't fill any other slots, you're out of points to spend and you are completely lacking any long-range support, then the predator is for you. Unlike other heavy support choices, this guy has no pretensions of getting into close combat. That means you don't have to worry about wasting its ranged power up close or its close combat skill at range like other options here. Just don't stray too far from the rest of your army while sniping problem targets or your predator will quickly become prey.
- Chaos Land Raider: Obligatory Land Raider inclusion, but upgraded to T9 to be in line with what the CSM got. Not only is this your only transport option for your Terminators, but your Eightbound will also be dependent on it, each one taking up the same space as a Terminator.
- Forgefiend: The Forgefiend is one of the few long range options for WE. Not too shabby for its points but won’t hold up in close combat like the Maulerfiend.
- Maulerfiend: Well of course the World Eaters would get the giant melee daemon engine.
- Chaos Land Raider AchillesForge World:
- Chaos Land Raider ProteusForge World:
- Chaos Rapier CarrierForge World:
- Chaos Sicaran Battle TankForge World:
- Chaos Sicaran PunisherForge World:
- Chaos Sicaran VenatorForge World:
- Chaos Vindicator Laser DestroyerForge World: Lacking Martial Legacy means you can take this box of vehicle death for only 175 points and no CP cost. combi-bolter and laser destroyer that can overcharge without risk if it remains stationary.
- Chaos Whirlwind ScorpiusForge World:
- Heldrake: Aside from Angron or a winged Prince, this is your only other flyer and if you're not bringing either of those, you ought to field a hellturkey. Not sure if there's a case to fit them with a Hades autocannon in this army considering how fast they are and how quickly they will get into close combat but the baleflamer has always been great.
- Chaos Fire Raptor GunshipForge World:
- Chaos Storm Eagle GunshipForge World:
- Chaos Xiphon InterceptorForge World:
- Hell BladeForge World:
- Hell TalonForge World:
Lords of War
- Angron: Big Angry Ron himself, in the flesh. After having no rules aside from being a variant Bloodthirster in a White Dwarf issue for years, now he is here and very ready to kill. At T7 with 18 Wounds and a 2+ save with a 4++ Invuln, he's absolutely not going anywhere soon, though his degrading stats might affect him.
- As expected, Angron is here to KILL, and kill he does with a staggering 12 attacks at S9. His two weapons (Sami'narius the daemon sword and Spinegrinder the gigantic chainaxe) are paired together into one of two attack modes, one being the AP-3 sweep that triples your attacks so he's essentially ripping apart marines at the same pace as he would guardsmen, the other being the S+5 AP-4 D3+d3 strike made to take down any HQ that dares face him.
- As the World Eaters reject any sort of psychic power and lack any priests for support, Angy takes that role on himself with one of three 6" auras he can use each Command phase. The first lets any World Eaters Core unit gain +1 attack to pile on the charging madness, the second lets all WE re-roll 1s to damage, which might help for Eightbound and fiends, and the third stops anyone from falling back - perfect for keeping your Jakhals constantly grinding the enemy down, but it also traps your forces in any fights since they can't just sweep a broken unit.
- Has the Warp locus keyword, meaning you can deep strike daemon allies on him. 16" move , advance and deep striking a daemon unit (Skarbrand or bloodthirster comes to mind) to charge off of him is a viable tactic now.
- Khorne Lord of Skulls: Let's be honest, we all saw this coming. Got a massive price bump to 575 points but now all weapons are free. Like the Kytan, he can SMASH and SLASH with his enormous axe and as he actually gains attacks when low on wounds he throws out 24 slash attacks if below 7 wounds. At only 4 more wounds than a Knight, you might think he's not worth the points but the 5+ invulnerable save in the Fight phase really makes up for any lack of wounds. Be aware that while he gets more attacks as he's hurt, he also gets slower and less accurate so make sure that he's at least somewhat protected/hidden/guarded in the first turn, as there's nothing sadder than having 8 attacks and not being able to use any of them. Use your CP re-rolls to get him in combat; you paid for him so you had better use him. If you want to get rid of the goofy look, consider using a Kytan Ravager as a proxy (FW even states on its page that its designed to echo the LoS).
- The Daemongore and Gorestorm cannons are share similar but different roles. The Daemongore is better at taking chunks off vehicles with its 3 damage, while the Gorestorm is better against hordes thanks to being Blast 3d3. The Ichor Cannon acts as the superior option for long-range bombardment with 48" range, but being S7 means that it can only threaten infantry with any effectiveness.
- The Hades Gatling Cannon is an Avenger Gatling Cannon but better. +12" range, +2 strength. All on a giant tank that wants to smash things apart violently. Opposite it is the Skullhurler with its 60" range, high strength and AP, but its random shots make it a bit swingy to rely on as a vehicle killer.
- Chaos CerberusForge World:
- Chaos FalchionForge World:
- Chaos FellbladeForge World:
- Chaos MastadonForge World:
- Chaos Sokar-Pattern StormbirdForge World:
- Chaos SpartanForge World:
- Chaos Thunderhawk GunshipForge World:
- Chaos TyphonForge World:
- Greater Brass ScorpionForge World:
- Kharybdis Assault ClawForge World:
- Kytan RavagerForge World: The Lord of Skulls...WITH LEGS! Might not be as mighty as a Knight but his invulnerable and regen helps mitigate that a bit. His SMASH helps make sure that other big hitters and characters go down fast. As a vehicle it can shoot while in combat, so you really want to get it in there fast so you can get to CLEAVING LOYALIST FILTH. The issue is that, like every other FW unit, it doesn't have the Blood Tithe rule and thus you really need to be careful with how you use it lest it go up in flames without giving you any tithe points.
- It's Slash and Hades cannon both didn't get the AP bump that the LOS got, which while not game-ending does mean that its effectiveness against elite units is noticeably weaker.