Codex World Eaters: 9th Edition – The Goonhammer Review

We’re now well into the lifespan of 9th edition and every single faction in Warhammer 40,000 has received a new Codex. That means it’s time to revisit Codex: Chaos Space Marines release a book for an entirely new faction! Ever since Games Workshop first teased the World Eaters getting their own book last year, Chaos players have been eager to get their hands on the new models and rules for Angron’s sons and now the wait is almost over.

In this article, we’re reviewing the upcoming Codex: World Eaters, talking about the faction, their rules, and how they’ll play in 9th edition. We’ll also be talking about how they compare to other Chaos factions and how you might want to build an army for the faction. We’re also reviewing some of the new models – you can find that review here.

Before we dive in, we’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a preview copy of the book for review purposes.

Why Play World Eaters?

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Warhammer 40,000 9th edition is a complicated game. There are a lot of rules and Stratagems to remember, plus the psychic phase, and rules for shooting and actions. And you don’t want to bother with any of that. You just want to run forward and punch someone in the mouth, then rip their skull and spinal cord out Sub-Zero style and mount it on a huge throne of skulls to show your devotion to the God of Bloodshed.

That’s where the World Eaters have you covered.

What’s in this Book?

  • Rules for playing World Eaters armies in 9th edition 40k
  • Rules for the Disciples of the Red Angel Subfaction, which is basically an Army of Renown
  • Rules for playing World Eaters in Crusade
  • Lore around the World Eaters legion, with tons of new content
  • Updated rules for Khorne Berzerkers for use in your Chaos Space Marines armies

The Five Best Things About This Book

  • Kill: World Eaters do one thing but they do it really well. This army is going to kill things when it touches them in melee.
  • Maim: Your basic Troops are Berzerkers, who have 4 attacks each. Even World Eaters Terminators get an extra attack on their profile. You have special cultists who cut off their hands and glued chainsaws to the stumps so they get 3 attacks each. Your army is tooled for melee.
  • Burn: All of your army’s tricks revolve around getting into melee combat and murdering things once you’re in melee combat. If your opponent doesn’t have ways to avoid you or shoot you to death, they’re gonna have a bad time.
  • Special Characters: Angron is a beast and feels appropriately killy, while the all-new Lord Invocatus is a fantastically strong addition to the army. Even Kharn got a glow-up that has us considering him in lists.
  • The Blood Tithe: Blood Tithe points make a return, having not been seen since Codex: Khorne Daemonkin back in 7th edition. Now every death on the battlefield earns you points that can be spent to buff your army permanently, further improving their melee prowess.

Where’s Crusade?

As always, we’ll be covering the Crusade rules in our follow-up review on Tuesday. The good news in the meantime is that once again, the rules are at the back of the book, and not sandwiched between army rules and datasheets.

The Rules

The World Eaters don’t have a lot of rules. In fact, they have the shortest set of rules of any Codex we’ve seen, with only a single page of Stratagems and three each of Warlord Traits and Relics. In a very real sense, they feel like half a codex – even compared to smaller factions like Votann or the Thousand Sons.

Detachment Rules

As usual, we have the rules for World Eaters Detachments. Most of these are also found in Codex: Chaos Space Marines.

Chosen of Khorne

Your World Eaters Detachment can’t have more than one Daemon Prince. No limit on Lords, however.

Mere Mortals

Your army can’t have more Cultists units than BUTCHER ASTARTES CORE units in each World Eaters Detachment.

Daemon Engine and Warp Strike

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

These are the same as they were in Codex: Chaos Space Marines (Daemon Engine giving you a 5+ invulnerable save and gradual regeneration, Warp Strike being this army’s version of deep strike).

Army-wide Rules

Legion Trait: Relentless Rage

At the start of the Fight phase, if this unit made a charge, was charged, or Heroically Intervened this turn, add 1 to the Strength and Attacks characteristics of models in the unit until the end of the turn.

This is pretty much exactly what we expected from the faction, and aligns with both the old legion trait (+1 Attack on the charge) and the bonus from the Mark of Khorne (+1 Strength on the charge). It’s pretty strong, though you’ll often find that units in the World Eaters army make it to S6 with their attacks and struggle to hit key thresholds above that, i.e. S7/8/9.

The Blood Tithe

The Blood Tithe makes its triumphant return as the World Eaters’ monofaction mechanic after more than seven years away. If every unit in your army has the WORLD EATERS keyword outside of AGENTS OF CHAOS and UNALIGNED units, then your army gains Blood Tithe Points (BTP) during a game. Here’s how you get them:

Gain 1 BTP each time a unit is destroyed

At the end of each phase, if any Character, Monster, or Vehicle units were destroyed that phase, gain an extra 1 BTP

At the end of each phase, if any TITANIC units were destroyed that phase, gain an extra 1 BTP.

Source: Warhammer Community

At the end of each phase, after you get your BTP, you can spend them to purchase a Blessing. You can buy as many as you want per game, but only one per phase. Each one has a BTP cost, and unspent points are retained. You can only buy each effect once, and all of them except for resurrecting Angron last for the rest of the game. They also all affect all WORLD EATERS models in your army, so they’ll benefit Jakhals and Daemon Engines, but not allied Daemons.

GW previewed these earlier in the week but let’s run through what they are:

  • Spiteful Nullification (2 BTP) – You get a 5+ feel no pain against mortal wounds
  • Warp Blades (4 BTP) – Improve the AP on your melee attacks by 1
  • Rage-Fuelled Invigoration (3 BTP) – You get +1 to charge rolls
  • Martial Excellence (5 BTP) – Unmodified hit rolls of 6 in melee score an additional hit
  • Savage Guidance (5 BTP) – You get +1 to your hit rolls in melee
  • Wrathful Devotion (4 BTP) – You get a 6+ feel no pain
  • Total Carnage (6 BTP) – Hit rolls of 6 in melee automatically wound the target
  • Reborn in Blood (6 BTP) – Put a destroyed Angron model back into deep strike reserves with 8 wounds remaining. He can come back and deep strike when doing so in your next Movement phase.

These are all pretty solid, and the ability to pick one up at the end of any phase gives you a ton of leeway to buy two or three in rapid succession when you need them. The big challenge is going to be how you accumulate them – your army will likely be very lacking in ranged weapon threats, meaning that in the first and potentially second battle round, the only BTP you’re likely to see are from your own units dying. That’s not great, but there are a few ways to grease the wheels when it comes to that.

On the whole, there’s a lot to like here, and the ones that stand out to me are +1 to charges, which combos especially well with the army’s Stratagem to roll an extra D6 and drop the lowest when charging with an ICON unit, +1 AP, +1 to hit, and exploding 6s.

What’s particularly interesting here is that when you take Berzerkers in other CSM armies you already get exploding 6s to hit in Wanton Massacre along with the S boost and the AP boost from having the mark and an icon. This makes it a bit harder to see the value in taking Berzerkers in their home legion, for other reasons we’ll see in a bit.


Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The World Eaters are interesting in that they don’t really have subfactions. When you build a World Eaters army, you choose one of two Subfaction options:

  • World Eaters, which are just regular World Eaters armies using the book’s rules.
  • Disciples of the Red Angel, a mixed World Eaters and Khorne Daemons army that is really an Army of Renown disguised as a subfaction. It even comes with restrictions on how you build an army.

What makes these particularly interesting is that they have access to different Stratagems, Warlord Traits, and Relics – A Disciples of the Red Angel army does not appear to get access to any of the regular World Eaters Stratagems, Traits, or Relics, and instead has a separate set it must use. This has weird consequences, such as Red Angel Land Raiders being unable to use Smoke Launchers.

Disciples of the Red Angel

Billed as a subfaction for the World Eaters, we’re going to call this one what it is: An Army of Renown. If you choose this subfaction, you take on some additional restrictions to army building. Specifically, your army has to include Angron and he has to be your Warlord, and it can only include KHORNE DAEMON and WORLD EATERS LAND RAIDER units (this means you can include daemon allies, daemon engines, etc). As a benefit, EIGHTBOUND units in your army gain Objective Secured.

On top of that, the Disciples have no Warlord Traits; this makes sense as Angron has to be the Warlord and World Eaters can’t get a second trait. Instead, they get Daemonic Infusions, upgrade options for EIGHTBOUND units. When you build your army you can pick one upgrade for a single EIGHTBOUND unit for free. Your options here are Drawn to Power, which makes the models in the unit count double for holding objectives, Mutable Form, which gives them additional mortals on 6s to wound (max 6 per phase per target), and Brazen Skin, which gives the unit a 4+ roll to ignore mortal wounds.

Despite seemingly being tailored to allow for the inclusion of an allied Khorne Daemons, there’s really nothing here for them, though they may be part of your army anyways as Flesh hounds are incredibly good while also being your cheapest objective holder option.


Despite being a standalone faction, the World Eaters have the smallest list of Stratagems of any army in the game: They get a single page of 8 Stratagems, and if you decide to run Disciples of the Red Angel you lose those in favor of a different page of 8 Stratagems. That’s a tremendously short list, and leads to some bonkers results, like Red Angel vehicles being unable to pop smoke and Red Angel Eightbound being unable to get extra melee damage, while standard World Eaters’ Daemon Engines can’t count as full wounds with a Stratagem.

World Eaters Stratagems

There are eight World Eaters Stratagems to pick from. Almost all of them are Fight phase tricks, and about half of them focus on CORE units. You’re going to want to use some of these every turn, but the upside is that because there’s nothing else to spend your CP on, you’re going to find there’s very little keeping you from having CP to use them whenever you need. On the other hand, you’re going to find that you often just don’t have anything useful for a given situation, either.

Source: Warhammer Community

  • Red Butchers (2 CP) gives a World Eaters Terminators or Eightbound unit +1 damage in the Fight phase, and this is just insanely good value. This Stratagem is more than enough reason to bring either, and suddenly World Eaters Terminators with 4 base attacks (going to 5 on the charge and hitting 6 with an Accursed Weapon) are insanely nasty threats when those 30+ attacks hit at 2 damage.
  • Gory Dismemberment is used to give a CORE or CHARACTER unit additional mortals on 6s to wound, to a max of 6 inflicted. It’s a solid buff for Berzerkers who can otherwise throw out a ton of attacks with less to show for it against tougher targets. At 1 CP it’s priced to move.
  • Skulls for the Skull Throne! Is a Stratagem you use when a Character in your army kills an enemy Warlord. You can either get 2 extra BTP or get +1 to advance and charge rolls for that model for the rest of the game. Or, if you spend 2 CP instead of 1, you can get both. This is neat, though it’s likely something you’ll rarely use. When you do get it off, 2 BTP will be more useful than the charge bonus most of the time, unless you’ve gotten caught out early. That said in games with Angron it can lead to some hilarious situations where you get +2 to charge and bring Angron back to some 7” deep strike charges.
  • Scorn of Sorcery returns here, giving you the usual ability to deny Psyhic powers on a 4+.
  • Blood Frenzy lets a single CORE unit fight on death – no roll required. It costs 1 CP on a Troops unit and 2 CP otherwise and is something you’re bound to use in a lot of games as well, particularly on Berzerkers who get ambushed or interrupted. A useful way to make opponents pay for touching your models at all. Hilariously also works on Helbrutes and Contemptors.
  • Aggressive Intervention lets a single CORE unit Heroically Intervene as if it were a CHARACTER, and move up to 6” when it does so. This is insanely, incredibly good, and makes Berzerkers and Terminators deadly threats. It also hilariously makes Helbrutes quite a bit more useful, since finishing a turn within 6” of one suddenly means eating a faceful of helbrute fist and scourge. When you combine this with the Berzerkers’ Blood Surge ability, they become much more mobile.
  • Smokescreen is the same as always, but hilariously isn’t in the Red Angel list.
  • Icon of Wrath lets a single ICON unit roll an extra D6 when charging and drop the lowest result. It’s basically the reason to take an Icon in your Berzerker units, since having it in your back pocket is very powerful.

You may notice there’s no Stratagem to get a second Warlord Trait or Relic up there. There isn’t one in the book, it turns out. This is relatively devastating to the army, since it means you can’t get traits for two different characters and also means that if you take Angron you can’t get a trait for anyone else. What this means is that in standard World Eaters armies you just won’t be taking Angron, since the trait you get for the Lord Invocatus is too good to give up.

Wings: This hurts sooooo bad here, because Invocatus’s trait is fantastic, but for my money you really want Angron. I understand trying to dial back the complexity we saw in earlier books, but taking away extra trait stratagems feels like a real miss both here and in Daemons.

World Eaters Butcher. Credit: Jack Hunter

Disciples of the Red Angel Stratagems

The Red Angel subfaction get their own set of Stratagems, and they feel less like a complete set and more like the other half of what the World Eaters should have. There are more Movement phase tricks here than in World Eaters, and some of these give you support for Eightbound units.

  • Gratuitous Bloodletting lets you spend 1 CP to get +1 to wound in melee against an enemy unit below Half-Strength.
  • Bloodscent is used in the enemy Movement phase to make a Consolidate move with an EIGHTBOUND unit after an enemy unit makes a Fall Back move, giving them the ability to move 6” when doing so. For 1 CP it’s priced incredibly well and helps basically guarantee that large Eightbound units can trap slower enemy units in melee. I’m not sure it makes up for losing Red Butchers, but it’s a hell of an ability.
  • Furious Surge lets you spend 1 CP to essentially give an EIGHTBOUND unit the Bloodsurge ability, letting it make a Normal move (up to 9”, mind) after it loses one or more models to a Shooting attack. This is also insanely good, thanks to the incredible movement Eightbound units have.
  • Diabolic Machines lets a DAEMON ENGINE unit operate as though it were at full wounds. Why it’s not in World Eaters is anyone’s guess.
  • Apoplectic Frenzy makes a comeback here, letting you auto-advance 6” with a unit for 1 CP. Useful, but note that World Eaters have no ability to Advance and charge.
  • Violent Dismemberment is used in the Fight phase after you destroy an enemy unit to give the unit that did the destroying an aura until end of turn that gives -2 Ld and -1 Combat attrition. A big drop, but not rough to really be relevant most of the time.
  • Terrifying Assault is another useful trick, letting a single World Eaters unit turn off Overwatch and preventing an enemy from Setting to Defend, plus giving that unit -1 to hit in melee. This one’s very likely to get use as a defensive buff, and is something I could see used to let a unit consolidate into multiple threats without much fear or reprisal.
  • Bloodthirsty Determination is another Charge phase Stratagem that lets you ignore modifiers to charge rolls. Useful for bounding across difficult terrain or laughing at Custodes players attempting to lob Tanglefoot grenades at you.

Warlord Traits

Continuing the trend for Stratagems, World Eaters only have three Warlord Traits to pick from for generic warlords, with the mandatory options for Angron, Kharn, and Lord Invocatus now appearing as an addendum to their datasheets instead. It’s worth noting that World Eaters have no way to get a second Warlord Trait in Matched play. Your options here are pretty underwhelming to boot – True Berserker halves incoming damage on your character, Battle Lust gives you a 6” Heroic Intervention and Fights First, and the best of the lot is Favoured of Khorne, which gives you 1 Blood Tithe Point in your Command phase, and is the only way to get extra BTP.

Gunum: Favoured of Khorne is the warlord trait of my choice. As we are not able to buy any extra warlord traits or relics, I think it’s important to leave these small options of on the table. As FoK is the only real way to get bonus BTP’s, using it in concert of trying to get secondary points will be a handy thing to have.


Likewise, there are only three Relics to choose from for World Eaters, plus another three for Disciples of the Red Angel. Note that because your only generic characters are Daemon Princes, Lords on Juggernauts, and Masters of Execution, the value of these will vary based on which character you want to put them on. Standard World Eaters can pick from:

  • Helm of Brazen Fire, which is my pick for best of the lot, giving attackers -1 to wound the bearer.
  • Berzerker Glaive, which replaces an axe of dismemberment or exalted chainblade (and so can’t be on a Daemon Prince) with one that’s S+2, AP-2, 2 damage and scores 2 extra hits on 6s to hit – a sidegrade at best for the Master of Executions and so probably only useful on a Juggalord.
  • Talisman of Rage, which lets the bearer give a World Eaters CORE unit within 9” auto-wounds on 6s to hit in melee once per Command phase.
    • Gunum: Not good. We only get one and this is the one you’re looking at? Don’t do it.

On a similar note, the Disciples of the Red Angel have some options but they can really only go on Daemon Princes and Juggalords, since Masters of Execution aren’t allowed in the army.

  • Burning Plate gives the bearer +1 to saving throws and +1 wound, making it great on either the Daemon Prince or the Juggalord. Both models really want this and it’s likely to be your go-to in the post-AoC meta.
  • Soulburner replaces a Daemon Prince’s infernal cannon (see below), trading out the AP-2 Heavy Bolter for souped-up heavy flamer – 12” range, 2D6 shots at S7 and AP-2 with auto-hits. It’s a nice little sidegrade but you’re never taking this over the Burning Plate or the Skull of An’gr’ant.
  • The Skull of An’gr’ant lets you pick a visible enemy unit each Command phase and until your next command phase the bearer can re-roll wound rolls against that target. This is going to pay off big against big targets where you’ll have visibility on them in more situations and you need the extra wounds, but there really isn’t any way to combine this with the ability to fish for mortal wounds, so it’s kind of a dud.

Secondary Objectives

The World Eaters’ Secondary Objectives are laid out in Chapter Approved: Arks of Omen, and now we finally have the benefit of understanding what those options are and how they fit in with the new book. And while that book released a month ago, it’s worth revisiting those now and talking about them in earnest.

  • Blood for the Blood God (Purge the Enemy) – Scores you 1 VP for each enemy unit destroyed by melee attacks from WORLD EATERS units during the battle round (or 2 VP for each MONSTER/CHARACTER/VEHICLE), provided no WORLD EATERS units from your army fell back. This caps at 4 VP per battle round. You’re pretty much going to take this every game because melee is the only way you have to kill things and if you aren’t killing things in melee you aren’t winning the game. It’s not the best secondary, and losing VP for falling back isn’t great but it aligns with your goals very well.

Anthony: This falls into the “do what you were already planning to do and be rewarded for it” bucket of secondaries I *love* to build around in aggressive armies. This one does have the very relevant snag of requiring you not to fall back, but in my experience so far almost no combats involving Khorne’s favored go to a second round.

  • The Blood God’s Due (No Mercy, No Respite) – At the end of each player’s turn, score 1 VP for each objective marker on the battlefield that had 1+ non-VEHICLE units destroyed that started the turn in range of that objective marker. This one is really interesting – it has a very high floor, since just parking your units on objectives means you’re likely to score them, and it also has weird consequences – if an opponent starts on an objective with a unit, then moves off the objective and charges one of your units and is destroyed that turn, they still count for drowning the original objective in blood. This is another one that aligns closely with your goals and is likely to be an auto-take for World Eaters in most games.

Anthony: This secondary is quite strong in any game where you’re doing a reasonable amount of trading on top of objectives and notably feels like it should be in battlefield supremacy. In games that’re one-sided in your favor, this secondary can be a little touch and go, and obviously is quite bad against Vehicle heavy armies, but generically this is very good.

  • Pile The Skulls (Battlefield Supremacy) – The Wild Card of the bunch and the one which was impossible to evaluate before we knew how the Blood Tithe mechanics worked. At the end of each battle round, before you buy any blessings of the Blood God, you can discard 1, 2, or 3 BTP. If you do, you score 2 VP for each point discarded, to a max of 5 VP per round. This one is really interesting – most of the time you’re going to want to spend your points early in the game, particularly because they help you get more out of fewer models late in the game. That said, this is a fairly robust objective that you can score easily in 3 rounds, and that helps a lot. Even when you’re getting killed, you’ll still be racking up BTP you can spend on this, making it a real fun way to win while losing.

Anthony: Boy oh BOY do I love this one. I’ve had zero issues scoring this to a 15 thus far in my MSU-focused build, between killing enemy units and having my own die, the Tithe points flow very smoothly and it’s one of the high points in this being a “feels good” army when you execute it correctly. Once you’ve got your generic FNP, charge bonus and 1-2 offensive buffs online, the rest can freely be pushed into this incredible secondary as the output of the army only needs so many buffs.

Rob: On the whole, these are good choices and really help shore up the deficiency with World Eaters’ scoring since they have no way to score non-Abhor Warpcraft secondaries and don’t really have the durability to entertain Grind Them Down nor the raw speed to do Behind Enemy Lines.

Wings: I think these are very good – they’re up there with Necrons for how directly they reward you for sticking to the only plan Khorne wants you to following, and pretty aggressive in how fast they score. Pile The Skulls is also the single most inevitable Secondary they’ve ever printed, for my money – sure you want the BTP for other things as well, but you only need to spend eight on this to max it, and it’s almost impossible to envisage a way for a game to play out where you can’t do that if that’s what you need in the moment. I’d also shout out allied Skull Cannons as a possible option for getting a bit of early shooting down – they’re priced to move at the moment, and a good thing to leave on a home objective.

The Units


The World Eaters have five HQ choices, and two of them are named characters. That’s a bafflingly small number of options, given that there was nothing particularly wrong with the idea of World Eaters Chaos Lords, Exalted Champions, Terminator Chaos Lords, and Dark Apostles.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Khârn the Betrayer

Ol’ Kharn has seen quite a few changes on his data sheet, getting a solid rework from his lackluster implementation in the 8th edition Codex: Chaos Space Marines and the reprint in White Dwarf. He’s lost his ability to ignore modifiers to hit and the ability to fight twice; instead he’s gained more attacks (9 base) and an improved melee profile – Gorechild now does 3 damage per swing (still at AP-4). He’s also regained his 2+ save from the old days (he keeps his 4+ invulnerable), making him quite a bit more durable.

To give him a bit more utility alongside a Daemon Prince or Angron, Kharn’s Lord of Chaos aura (re-roll ones to hit) has also been changed to Legendary Killer, which gives re-roll ones to wound instead, making him the the only Exalted Champion option for the army. And if for some reason you’re not taking Lord Invocatus as your warlord, (more on that below), you can take Kharns warlord trait, Arch-slaughterer, which gives him an extra D3 attacks anytime there are six or more enemy models within 3” of him.

Finally – and not to be forgotten – is his namesake rule, The Betrayer,  which has changed once again. Now instead hitting allies in melee or rolling at the end of the Movement phase to maybe do some mortal wounds to your friends, you roll at the end of the Fight phase to potentially do 2 mortal wounds to a friendly unit within 3”, meaning you’ll now roll twice per round. Regardless of what you lose by taking him as your warlord, just having him on the table will make for some very risky choices for your opponent. The increased damage and attacks at AP-4 make Kharn a solid champion for Khorne.

Rob: Honestly, the new Betrayer rule sucks. Like, it’s fine – put Kharn in a Rhino to prevent it – but it doesn’t make any sense for him to be hitting your own units when there are enemies around to hit instead. The whole point of earlier rules were that Kharn swings indiscriminately, not that he’s driven to murder his own guys. I’d have preferred to see something that allowed you to pick any unit within 3”, punishing you for not having him in combat.

Lord Invocatus

Forget Angron, this guy is the true star of Codex: World Eaters. Lord Invocatus is a named character and a master of swift raiding and hit-and-run strategies. He rides into battle on a Juggernaut which traverses a bridge of fire, Bifrost-style. This means he has the FLY keyword, immediately making him much, much more useful than other Cavalry units which are saddled with the inability to move through terrain. Invocatus has a solid profile – WS/BS 2+, S/T 6, 8 wounds, 7 attacks, and a 2+ save/4+ invulnerable save – with an AP-3, 2-damage axe that doesn’t allow invulnerable saves. Also, he can Deep Strike, but you will never use this.

And the reason why you won’t deep strike him is the same reason you won’t take Angron, and the same reason he’s the star of the book: Lord Invocatus has two amazing, game-definingly great abilities, one of which is a Warlord Trait:

  • Road of the Eight Bloody Steps is Invocatus’ Warlord Trait. At the start of the first battle round, before the first turn starts, you can pick up to two friendly WORLD EATERS CORE units within 9” of him and this unit and those can make a Normal Move.
  • Leading the Charge (Aura) – while a WORLD EATERS CORE unit is within 6” of this model, each time they make a Normal Move or Advance, add 2” to their Move Characteristic.

This is amazingly, stupidly good for an army which relies on its ability to get into melee early and often. The core combo here is to take two units of Eightbound (which have CORE), put them within 6” of the Invocatus, then use your pregame move to push them forward 11” (that’s 9” base move +2” for the Invocatus), then on your first turn, make sure the Invocatus is within 6” of them and move them another 11”, giving them 22” of Movement before they declare a charge (plus Invocatus himself can keep in lockstep with them). That is an incredibly scary amount of turn 1 movement for some of your army’s most deadly melee units.

On top of that, Lord Invocatus sticks around and makes plenty of other units better, like Helbrutes and Terminators, which can otherwise struggle with low Movement characteristics. Even if you don’t take his Warlord Trait, pretty much every World Eaters army wants Lord Invocatus.

Gunum: I am planning on not taking him. Why? Because I’m an idiot sometimes. He’s very good, and will be the leading force of 99% of most World Eater lists.

World Eaters Daemon Prince

The Daemon Prince is here largely unchanged from Codex: Chaos Space Marines, except he now has an Infernal Cannon, a 24” AP-2 heavy bolter strapped to his arm. He comes with the Strength and Attacks bonuses built into his datasheet and is the only way to get the re-roll 1s to hit aura outside of Angron. And that’s pretty much the bulk of his value, since without any daemon weapons or warlord traits to give him that substantially boost his combat prowess he’s just as disappointing on the table as any other unbuffed Daemon Prince, only without the ability to boost himself with psychic powers or do psychic actions.

World Eaters Lord on Juggernaut

The generic version of the Juggernaut lord model, the World Eaters Lord on Juggernaut is the only Chaos Lord World Eaters armies have access to. He comes with a slower Juggernaut (10” move) which can’t FLY, a 3+ save, and an Exalted Chainblade, a S:User (6), AP-2 2-damage weapon. He sports a 4+ invulnerable save and has the same Leading the Charge Aura as the Lord Invocatus to give friendly CORE units +2” movement, but has no aura to re-roll 1s to hit. As a result, he’s mostly a lackluster melee combatant whose value is getting additional movement if you need another source aside from Invocatus (note that Invocatus does not have the WORLD EATERS LORD keyword). As a result, this guy is mostly going to be relegated to Crusade forces.

World Eaters Master of Executions

Credit: Swiftblade

The World Eaters can also take a Master of Executions. He’s the same as the CSM one, only he trades Let the Galaxy Burn for The Blood Tithe. The difference is that he’s an HQ now, so he’s harder to shoehorn into an Arks Detachment if you want to take extra characters.


World Eaters have two Troops choices – Berzerkers and Jakhals, the World Eaters flavor of cultists.

Khorne Berzerkers

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Berzerkers are back! They’re pretty much the same as they were in White Dwarf, with S5, 4 attacks base, and Berzerker Chainblades with S:User AP-2, 1 damage profiles. The new kit gives the unit a much-needed option to let one in five models swap their chainblade for an eviscerator, a S+3, AP-4, 2-damage melee weapon that significantly ups the unit’s output. Also, 1 model in 5 can take a plasma pistol.

The flashy new rule that Berzerkers sport is Blood Surge – every time an enemy unit shoots, if any of their attacks kill a model but don’t wipe the unit, then when they finish shooting the Berzerkers can immediately move D6” toward the closest enemy unit, and it can end within Engagement range of the closest enemy unit (and only that unit). You can’t Blood Surge the same turn you got out of a destroyed transport or if you’re already within Engagement range of a unit. Also, any actions that unit was doing immediately fail if it does this move.

Berzerkers can also take an ICON, and if they do then each time they make a Blood Surge move, they automatically complete any action they were doing instead of failing it. That’s the only benefit of an icon and while it sounds cool, it’s actually worthless – there are almost no actions in the game now which finish at the start of your next Command phase, and most of the ones which still do finish at the end of your turn if your unit is Troops/ObSec. This has the most value when it’s used on a Berzerkers unit included in a CSM army doing the Plant Bombs action in the Tear Down Their Icons mission since they lose ObSec by virtue of being Elites choices in a CSM army.

On that note, it’s worth pointing out that Berzerkers are arguably much better in CSM armies, since they trade Blood Tithe for Let the Galaxy Burn and +1 AP with an icon, two abilities that they otherwise have to buy with Blood Tithe Points in a World Eaters army, plus they have access to other useful Stratagems. That said, the Stratagems you get for them in World Eaters are solid – the 6” Intervention, the 3D6 drop the lowest charge, and fight on death are all very solid abilities to have, and ultimately those are the most useful tools to have in your pocket for Berzerkers in a World Eaters army. At 22 points per model before you pay for the Mark of Khorne (which you’ll need to do now) they’re also potentially a bit too expensive in CSM armies compared to Rubrics and Plague Marines and a bit underpowered compared to Chosen.


The unit no one was asking for, Jakhals are the World Eaters version of Chaos Cultists. Clocking in at 7 points per model, what Jakhals bring to the table is a lot of really bad attacks. A basic Jakhal has 3 attacks that hit on a 4+ at S3 AP-1, and the unit comes with one S4 Dishonoured model per 9 other models. The Dishonoured can swap their weapons for a Skullsmasher, which give them 6 AP-2, 2-damage attacks, while one in 10 Jakhals can take a mauler chainblade, a S+2, AP-2 2 damage weapon that gives -1 to hit.

Jakhals can come in units of up to 20 models, and once per battle they can fire up Stimms, causing them D3 mortal wounds but giving them +1 Strength for the rest of the phase. This can help them push through damage against bigger targets and punch up, and makes them nasty little trading pieces that also happen to pack ObSec and with a 6+ save they’re BTP just waiting to happen. You could give them an icon to have them get +1 to attrition tests but at 5 points that’s likely a waste.

Jakhals are surprisingly interesting as a unit, even if I’d have just rather had normal cultists at fewer points and a legion-specific terminator unit instead. They can be nasty surprise trading units and in the worst case they net you more BTP and/or VP for bathing an objective in blood.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones


There are four World Eaters Elites units; two are new and two are returning units from Codex: Chaos Space Marines. They’re all worth talking about. Chosen are notably absent here.


The Eightbound are basically the World Eaters version of Possessed, with a 9” move, T5, 3 wounds, and 4 attacks each. They come in units of 3-6 and their basic weapons are a pair of Eviscerators, S:User (6), AP-3, 2 damage weapons that give an extra attack, which means that each Eightbound normally comes in with 7 attacks on the charge (+1 for each eviscerator). The champion gets a pair of Lacerators, which are S+1, AP-3, 3 damage, but you can swap the lacerations out for a heavy chainglave which does 1-damage sweep attacks instead (2x attacks).

Eightbound have the CORE keyword, which immediately makes them one of the best units in the army as they can benefit from a host of other abilities. They also have the DAEMON keyword, the Fearsome Aura, and a 5+ invulnerable save like Possessed. Finally they have the Bloodscent ability, which lets them arrive from Strategic Reserves as if it were one turn earlier, which means they can arrive on the game’s first turn. This is also incredibly good.

All of this combines to mean that Eightbound are going to be the core of your World Eaters army; the question is not whether you’ll take them but how many units and we suspect that most of the time you’ll be running three units of 5-6 of them. At 40 points per model they’re a bit steep but you get a ton of value out of them for the cost.

Exalted Eightbound

The even more elite version of Eightbound, Exalted Eightbound come in units of 3 models for 135 points (so 45 points per model). Compared to their non-exalted cousins, they’re a bit tougher – they have a 4+ invulnerable save instead of a 5+, and they trade the ability to come in early from reserves for the ability to Deep Strike. Each Exalted Eightbound comes with an eviscerator and a chainfist, which means they have one fewer attack but can choose to make attacks with a S+3 AP-4 option instead. The Champoin can take a pair of Chainfists, and if they do their chainfist damage improves by 1, taking them to S9 AP-4 3-damage attacks, which is pretty great. Buuuuut they’re not CORE, which takes away several of the cool tricks you could otherwise do with them, and means that the regular flavour are likely to be your mainstay.

You may still want a few of these though, because as well as the threat from deep strike, the other  thing Exalted Eightbound bring to the table is Blood Fury, an Aura which prevents non-VEHICLE units from falling back or doing actions on a 4+. That’s pretty solid, and gives you a reason to take 1-2 units of Exalted, though as they’re capped at 3 models they can be a bit more fragile than you’d like.

World Eaters Terminators

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Look, there are no new models here and that’s disappointing. What’s not disappointing is that World Eaters Terminators come with an extra attack in their profile (4 base/5 for the champion), which means that with their Accursed Weapons they get 6 attacks each on the charge at S6, and you can bump that to AP-4 pretty easily with Blood Tithe Points and 2 damage with the Red Butchers Stratagem. Add in that you can get them 7” movement with Invocatus or a Juggalord and the ability to Heroically Intervene 6” and you’ve got an incredibly nasty midtable unit for holding objectives, and they’re only 35ppm, 1 point cheaper than CSM Terminators.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones


World Eaters Helbrutes also didn’t get the memo on updated points and so their ranged weapons will cost you extra points – but that doesn’t matter because you aren’t taking any of them. And while the Helbrute datasheet is the same here as in CSM, only with Blood Tithe instead of Let the Galaxy Burn, it’s worth noting that as a CORE unit, they get access to a ton of interesting tricks, like +2” movement and the ability to intervene 6” or fight on death. Give one a Fist and Scourge and take them at 105 points, giving them 9 attacks to work with on the charge.

Fast Attack

World Eaters armies get extremely screwed when it comes to Fast Attack options – Bikes, Raptors, and Warp Talons are all missing here, with little rationale for removing them. The only Fast Attack choice left is the Chaos Spawn, sporting the updated profile from Codex; Chaos Space Marines. They benefit from Blood Tithe but not the legion trait. The reason you’re going to take them in your army is to run three units of 1 model every game for 3 free Blood Tithe Points.

Heavy Support

World Eaters armies get access to all of the same Heavy Support options as Chaos Space Marines armies – Land Raiders, Predators, Defilers, Maulerfiends, and Forgefiends. They have the updated CSM datasheets, but that’s about it. Land Raiders can carry Eightbound, which count as 2 models.

The missing element here is Vindicators, so we’d like to take a moment to apologize to pour one out for Mark “of Khorne” Whittaker, known for running a triple Vindicators World Eaters list.

Dedicated Transport

World Eaters can take Rhinos. They can’t hold Terminators or Eightbound, which is a shame, but there’s a good argument for taking one as a staging point for Berserkers, and hey, when you’re opponent blows it up, that’s some BTP right there!


World Eaters can take Heldrakes. They won’t.

Lords of War

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The World Eaters have access to two Lords of War – the Lord of Skulls, back in all his standard glory and ready to be the best shooting platform the army has access to, and the one you’re here to read about – Angron.


The Daemon Primarch of the World Eaters clocks in at 360 points and gives you an absolute melee monster to play with – 16” Flying movement, S9, T7, 18 wounds, 2+/4++ save, and 12 attacks base. His two weapons give him two attack options – either S+5, AP-4, D3+3 damage slashes or S9 AP-3, 1-damage sweeps that triple his attacks. That means if you’re keeping tabs at home, a charging Angron chooses between 13 big attacks or 39 little ones, though it’s worth noting that Angron has no way to circumvent wound caps or invulnerable saves.

Angron’s got the standard Chapter Master ability to give a CORE/CHARACTER unit re-rolls to hit, but he also comes with Wrathful Presence, which lets you pick one of three additional auras for him each Command phase – Infectious Rage gives WORLD EATERS CORE units within 6” +1 Attack, Glorious Bloodletting gives WORLD EATERS units within 6” re-roll hit rolls of 1, and Righteous Slaughter stops all units within 6” from Falling back. This is an incredibly good trio of abilities and each has its uses. If Angron’s in your army, he has to be your Warlord, and his trait is another aura – The Red Angel (Aura) causes enemy units within 6” to lose Objective Secured, which is another nasty ability, though note that Angron does not himself count as more than one model.

These are pretty nasty but the kicker on Angron is that he can be resurrected multiple times per game for 6 BTP per attempt. He gives you 2 BTP every time he dies, so it’s not impossible or even unlikely for Angron to show up 2-3 times per game. Though note that having to deep strike back in each time inevitably means that he’s not super likely to be doing a lot if he has to come back multiple times. Still, at 360 points Angron gives you a nasty melee threat who can act as a big force multiplier. The downside is that Lord Invocatus’ Warlord Trait is just plain better, and doesn’t require that you take a large monster who will be shot off the table turn 1 by Tau/Knights/Votann.

Gunum: His friends call him Ron for short.

Wings: Worth noting that because you can activate Blood Tide abilities at the end of any phase, the turnaround on Angron coming back isn’t as bad as it could be – if your opponent punts him off the table in their Fight Phase, you can stick him straight into deep strike at the end of that phase, and bring him in on your turn. I think he’s really good, and likely to be particularly so in the UK metagame – he can be hidden in UKTC large Ls, and has the speed to threaten a lot of the key parts of the board from there.

Our Thoughts

Overall the World Eaters are a bit of a mixed bag. There’s a lot of cool stuff here and an eye-watering amount of melee output but they also definitely feel like half an army compared to even the thinner books out there such Harlequins, Custodes, and Thousand Sons. Though the army is definitely very, very good at its stated goal of “murdering things in melee,” it’s hard to feel like it’s not working with a smaller toolbox against other armies, particularly when it comes to the unit selection process – a baffling lack of character and fast attack options makes the book feel like it will lack force variety, while the very limited number of relics and warlord trait options make the non-named character options feel pretty poor. That said, where you’ll make up the difference is on Secondary Objectives, and right now World Eaters seem poised to score pretty easily, making them a much deadlier threat than their single-phase nature would suggest.

If you’re a longtime World Eaters player who has been waiting for a book, there’s a lot to love here and you’re looking at an army that will do exactly what it advertises on the tin. And while you’re going to be investing in new units for the book, the upside is that the new units are all pretty great and bring a lot of flavor to the army that it otherwise would have lacked running standard Possessed. This is certainly a less complicated army than most others from a rules standpoint, though playing it well will depend heavily on your ability to master movement and rules concepts around the Charge and Fight phases, which can often be a lot for inexperienced players. Just being a simple army doesn’t mean they don’t have any tactical nuance, and I generally expect competitive armies to have the speed necessary to at least surprise opponents.

How They’ll Play

Rob: Having gotten in some test games with World Eaters, I can say that they’re an interesting army. I think they’ll all but sweep through armies that focus on melee, and cause a lot of problems for armies that can’t pull back and shoot them or move around them. That said, they’re also an incredibly limited and simple army, and in a way that likely makes them very predictable on the table. You’ve got some very fast melee threats and some nasty units to work with, but ultimately this is an army that only has a hammer to work with, which means that you’re going to struggle when your opponent doesn’t present a lot of nails. The lack of FLY and good shooting means that armies can screen out elite threats like the Eightbound and while the army is going to do well against elite melee armies the lack of S7+ attacks is going to make going up against vehicle/monster armies a problem. I think World Eaters probably end up a mid-tier army at best, struggling against faster armies that can shoot them and score passively.

Gunum: When we are talking about armies at all, I think the thing we need to be almost laser focused on is scoring and how it’ll playing in the new season of Arks of Omen. World Eaters have those three pretty cool secondaries we touched on earlier, and I think they are all very achievable and maxable in almost all of your games. Having blood tithe points to spend will be very import and managing your Blood Bank gunum ™  is going to be challenge all its own. Though units like Lord Invocatus or even big angry Ron himself (AngRon. Heh.) have some neat warlord traits, I don’t see them being worth losing access to a cool relic and warlord trait. I plan on really exploring this army, which should take me all of a month since its such a small book. I want to explore the book for everything it has to offer, really sick namd characters and okaish relics and all. Allying Daemons does eat up about four hundred points, but I think it’s going to be a requirement for a little bit. When you see me post about a Red Angels list with Ron and as many shooting Daemon engines as I can fit in, you’ll know I’m at the bottom of the barrel.

Army Lists

It’s time for some lists. Because there aren’t a ton of World Eaters units, there’s less list variety here than you’d normally see for other armies.

TheChirurgeon’s World Eaters List

I suspect that most competitive armies are going to start with Lord Invocatus and 3 units of Eightbound. Where they go from there will have some variety; I’ve chosen to build around a brick of Terminators for midtable control while the Eightbound charge forward.

+++ World Eaters Arks of Omen Detachment +++

Compulsory choice: Elites


Lord Invocatus, Warlord (160) -1 CP

World Eaters Daemon Prince w/Wings (165), Relic; Helm of Brazen Ire (-1 CP)


Khorne Berzerkers x10 x/Icon, Eviscerator x2 (240)

Khorne Berzerkers x5 (110)

Jakhals x10 (70)

Jakhals x10 (70)


Eightbound x6 (240)
Eightbound x6 (240)
Eightbound x5 (200)

World Eaters Terminators x10 (350)

+Fast Attack+

Chaos Spawn (25)
Chaos Spawn (25)

Chaos Spawn (25)

+Dedicated Transport+

Rhino (80)

It may be the case that three Chaos Spawn are too many to just have out there for Blood Tithe Points but they’re such a good distraction I can’t help but feel every list wants them. Either the opponent kills them on turn 1 and you get free BTP or your opponent tries to ignore them and they cause all sorts of problems. It’s win-win.

The list jams two 6-model Eightbound units on the table for the Invocatus pregame move while the third goes into strategic reserves for free and shows up turn 1 to cause problems If things go well you’re able to get +1 to your charge rolls by then and can go for the 8+ attempt on anything foolish enough to be by a table edge.

Gunum’s World Eaters List

Go wide or go home. Blood Tithe points are the name of the game here, and I’m trying to get them quickly with this list. From Blood Bags (Chaos Spawn) to the MSU of troops, I have enough willing sacrifices to Khorne to benefit from some blessings. The basic game plan I’m looking for here is taking all three of the World Eaters’ secondaries and using the Favoured of Khorne tithe point and general gameplay to feed into my tithe secondary. Dieing on objectives will often happen due to the small unit sizes. For the final secondary of just…killing guys in melee. Well. That’s what we do.

+++ World Eaters Arks of Omen Detachment (2,000 points, 4 CP) +++

Compulsory Type: Elites

+ HQ +

World Eaters Daemon Prince w/Wings – Relic: Helm of Brazen Ire (-1CP) -WL Trait: Favoured of Khorne (-1CP) – 165

World Eaters Master of Execution – 65

+ Troops +

Zerk x5 – 110
Zerk x5 – 110
Zerk x5 – 110

Jakhals x10 w/hammer – 75
Jakhals x10 w/hammer – 75

+ Elite +

Eightbound x5 – 200
Eightbound x5 – 200
Eightbound x5 – 200
Ex Eightbound – 135
Ex Eightbound – 135

+ Fast Attack +

Chaos Spawn – 25
Chaos Spawn – 25

++ Chaos Daemon Allied Patrol Detachment ++

+ HQ +

Karanak – 90

+ Troops +

Bloodletters – 130

+ Fast Attack +

Flesh Hounds x5 – 75
Flesh Hounds x5 – 75

I can hear your minds boiling with my list choices of HQs as I don’t have Lord Invocatus, much less a Juggerlord.Well. I don’t want either of them. I feel the Juggerlords aren’t quite there withthe options they can take. They look a tiny bit scary on paper, but if it’s not the beat stick that is the Lord Invo, even with relics and warlord traits, they don’t have value. The Daemon prince provides me with a tanky bruiser who provides one of the book’s only sources of extra blood tithe points. The only source. By making him -1 to be wounded via the Helm of Brazen Ire, and thehopeful five different blood tithe points, I’ll be able to take advantage ofthe blood banks benefits and the secondary.

The last thing I want to touch on with the list is my biggest fears: heavy shooting and psychic phases. I think all World Eaters lists that aren’t taking Lord Invo for the head start of the line will be in trouble getting shot into little pieces. Sadly, I can’t think of a good way around that outside of starting all my Eightbound in reserves and making use of the Strategic Reserves buff, Bloodscent. Starting all the Eightbound off the table and the Exalted in their deep strike will provide some fascinating turn-two options, as Bloodscent makes coming in on turn-two extra helpful. Of course, this only applies in a heavy gun matchup, but I think it’s worth considering.To handle the mortal wounds, I went heavy into denies with my Khorne Daemons detachment, allowing me four useful ones. Mix that with the 4+ deny-the-witch stratagem; my mystical bases are about as covered as possible. Will it halt One Thousand Sons or Grey Knight casting? Not really. It will allow me to participate in that magic phase, maybe even stop a psychic interrogation or two.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Anthony Vanella’s List

Anthony’s very high on World Eaters in the competitive scene owing to their massive damage throughput, their ability to send multiple waves, and the secondary objectives they have access to.

++ World Eaters Arks of Omen Detachment ++

Compulsory Type: Elites

+ HQ +

Lord Invocatus – Road of Eight Bloody Steps

+ Troops +

5 Berzerkers – Icon, Khornate Eviscerator
5 Berzerkers – Icon, Khornate Eviscerator
5 Berzerkers – Icon, Khornate Eviscerator
5 Berzerkers – Icon, Khornate Eviscerator
5 Berzerkers – Icon, Khornate Eviscerator

+ Elites +

5 Eightbound
5 Eightbound
5 Eightbound

3 Exalted Eightbound
3 Exalted Eightbound
3 Exalted Eightbound

+ Fast Attack +

Chaos Spawn
Chaos Spawn
Chaos Spawn

+ Dedicated Transports +


2000 points, 5 starting CP.

How It Plays

Anthony: Well, considering I haven’t been punished for it yet, I recommend taking all three WE Secondaries unless someone feeds you No Prisoners or Abhor, in which case you replace Blood God’s Due with those. Broadly, the list is a very high motor aggro list, trying to leverage your high unit count and the fact that each unit champion hits like a smash character in another faction. Sending the spawn and your first “wave” of pregame move (courtesy of Lord Invocatus WLT) into the grinder for racking up early BTP over top of whatever you actually kill gets you a smooth resource generation curve. In terms of spending, starting with either +1 to charge or the 6+ FNP helps ensure you connect to melee, rotating from there to offensive buffs starting with exploding 6’s to hit. If the opposing army is largely T7 or has consistent access to transhuman, save up the additional point and go for 6’s to hit auto-wound.

This army requires a keen understanding of when you can reasonably push for the all-in and when you need another turn of building up. While, from the top down, the army seems simple there’s a lot of small decisions on how you use your MSU force that’ll add up big time over the game. Throwing away EB or Exalted EB early will often be a loss condition against armies you can’t kill with Zerkers and you don’t have character screened hammer to fall back on. Good luck, and happy skull hunting!

TheChirurgeon’s Disciples of the Red Angel List

The Disciples list needs Angron, and that informs a lot of other decisions. It also really wants Flesh Hounds as cheap objective holders and BTP generators, but can only take two units of them.

+++ World Eaters Arks of Omen Detachment (2,000 points, 4 CP) +++

Disciples of the Red Angel

Compulsory Type: Elites


Chaos Lord on Juggernaut (125) – Relic: Burning Plate (-1 CP)

+Lord of War+
Angron (360), Warlord


Eightbound x6 (240) – Upgrade: Mutable Form

Eightbound x5 (200)

Eightbound x5 (200)

Exalted Eightbound (135)

Exalted Eightbound (135)

+Heavy Support+
Land Raider (275) w/combi-melta

+++ Chaos Daemons Allied Detachment +++

Karanak (90)

Bloodletters (130)

+Fast Attack+
Flesh Hounds x5 (75)

Flesh Hounds x5 (75)

Ultimately I think Chase is onto something with the double flesh hounds/karanak detachment, and that’s exactly what I’d want to run alongside eightbound in a Red Angels army since it gives you additional fast, cheap bodies who can either be your backline objective holders or rumble forward. The part I struggled with the most here was how to spend the remaining points; a land raider isn’t necessarily ideal but having two units of exalted eightbound left me in a weird spot points-wise. I could certainly see replacing the land raider with a unit of exalted and a walking daemon prince, which comes to the same price, but I went with the Land Raider to both act as a transport and also give the army some ranged firepower. With Angron on the table it’s likely to either shrug off shots meant for him or survive a turn as he takes the brunt of the fire, leaving the eightbound or exalted inside to do their thing. Even as a turn 1 play, adding 3” to the move of a unit of eightbound gives them a 14” move before charging with the Juggalord and that’s pretty nasty.

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