Detachment Focus: Berzerker Warband

In this series of articles we take a deep dive into a specific detachment for a faction, covering the faction’s rules and upgrades and talking about how to build around that faction for competitive play. In this article, we’re covering the Berzerker Warband Detachment for World Eaters.

World Eaters had fewer subfactions than any other faction in Ninth Edition, and of those only one carried over into Tenth. The Berzerker Warband brings with it the army’s classic bonus to melee attacks on the charge and offers a set of Stratagems designed to help the army do the one thing it does best.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Detachment Overview

The Berzerker Warband is all about fighting things in melee, with Enhancements that boost your power and durability in melee and Stratagems which help you get there, or at least make it easier to run off objectives and dive headfirst into an enemy’s lines.

Detachment Rule: Relentless Rage

Each time a WORLD EATERS unit from your army is selected to fight, if that unit made a Charge move this turn, until the end of the phase, add 1 to the Strength and Attacks characteristics of melee weapons equipped by models in that unit.

This is very straightforward and a huge buff to an army which is heavily reliant on taking out threats in melee. Without native re-rolls to improve their output, Berzerkers can often feel downright anemic against Marine-Equivalent targets, and the extra attack is a big help, particularly when you’re combining it with Martial Excellence for the SUSTAINED HITS 1 bonus. It’s also very important for getting Eightbound and Exalted Eightbound over certain Strength thresholds and the extra attack can make a big difference there as well. It’s an army that wants to punch things, and this makes the punching much better.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones


The Enhancements on offer to Berzerker Warbands are just OK. Two of them used to be must-take, absolute world-beaters, but post-dataslate nerfs they’re much easier to leave behind.

  • Battle-lust (15 points) – You can pick the bearer’s unit for the Heroic Intervention Stratagem for 0 CP, and can do so even if you’ve already targeted a different unit with that Stratagem this phase. This is kind of whatever. As an ability it’s alright, but as World Eaters you’re rarely going to be in a situation where someone is charging you, and doing so with a unit you’d actually want to be in combat with. It’s the fourth best option here and likely to be left behind.
  • Berzerker Glaive (25 points) – Add 1 to the Attacks and Damage Characteristics of this model’s melee weapons. This used to be an absolutely insane Enhancement, giving +D3 on the charge, but has since been toned down. It’s still incredibly good, and the Master of Executions is still the character you want this on, as upping him to 6A and 3 damage on his swings makes him a much nastier threat, particularly when you’re going after a character and fishing for Devastating Wounds.
  • Favoured of Khorne (20 points) – Once per game, you can use this to re-roll your Blessings of Khorne roll. This doesn’t count as a re-roll, so you can use abilities to re-roll or manipulate individual dice on it. This used to be every roll, now it’s just one and that makes it useful but not a must-take. It’s still great for throwing away a terrible roll or trying to get a specific result when you need it, but no longer creates the kind of dependable results that propelled the World Eaters to one of the game’s better armies.
  • Helm of Brazen Ire (25 points) – Half the damage of incoming attacks on the bearer. This primarily goes on your Daemon Prince, who has the wounds to make use of it and can really use the durability boost. That said, you also don’t need to give him a durability boost, so it’s more a question of how many points you have left over.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones


The six Stratagems available to Berzerker Warbands are solid, with a mix of buffs to damage output and durability. Four of them are used in the Fight phase, when most of your game play will be happening.

  • Gory Massacre (Strategic Ploy, 1 CP) – Used in the Fight phase after a World Eaters unit which made a Charge move destroys an enemy unit in the same phase. In your opponent’s next Command phase, each enemy unit within 6″ of your unit must take a Battle-shock test, taking -1 if they’re below Half-Strength (they don’t need to take any other tests). This is the biggest dud of the bunch, and the Stratagem you are least likely to use. It’s both unreliable and takes valuable CP better used on killing enemy units. Note that, if you are using this, the timing is just “in the Fight phase,” so make sure you wait to use it until after the fighting is over – if your opponent kills your unit or moves away, they may not have to test.
  • For the Skull Throne! (Battle Tactic, 1 CP) – Used in the Fight phase. Until the end of the phase, one World Eaters unit gets +1 to wound when targeting a CHARACTER, MONSTER, or VEHICLE. This is a great way for units to punch up against tougher targets. Your Berzerkers already have S6 on the charge, so there’s little in the game they can’t wound on a 4+ with this Stratagem, and it’s great for getting Eightbound/Exalted Eightbound to 2+ wound rolls against heavier vehicle targets.
  • For the Blood God! (Battle Tactic, 1 CP) – Used in the Fight phase, just after one of your World Eaters units destroys an enemy unit. You can immediately make a Blessings of Khorne roll and use that roll to activate one Blessing of Khorne. It doesn’t count toward your maximum number of activated Blessings, but all other rules for Blessings apply. This can be really useful, helping you get you a third blessing or a surprise Angron return if you roll hot. At worst it can buy you a Wrathful Devotion to help survive any counter-attacks.
  • Khorne Cares Not… (Strategic Ploy, 2 CP) – Used in the Fight phase, after an enemy unit picks its targets. Pick one World Eaters unit in your army selected as a target and until the end of the phase, reduce the damage characteristic of melee attacks against that unit by 1. This is expensive, but helpful for keeping Eightbound on the table against heavier threats. It’s a great way to take the wind out of the sails of something like Legionaries with a Master of Executions or power fist-equipped Terminators.
  • Blood Offering (Epic Deed, 1 CP) – Used in any phase, when a World Eaters unit from your army within range of an objective marker is destroyed. That objective marker stays under your control until your opponent controls it at the end of any phase. This is a great Stratagem, and helps you mitigate the fact that you’re going to try and hold some objectives with weak units like Jackhals or a single Chaos Lord on Juggernaut. It allows you to put these vulnerable units on your “home” objectives while pressing forward with your best fighters, and if an opponent shoots them off those objectives well, they can stay yours until the opponent comes and gets them. You’re going to use this in almost every game.
  • Apoplectic Frenzy (Battle Tactic, 1 CP) – Used in your Movement phase on a unit. When that unit Advances, you don’t roll but instead add 6″ to the Move characteristic of models in your unit. This is going to do its best work when you’re combining it with the Unbridled Bloodlust Blessing of Khorne to Advance and Charge, and helps guarantee your Eightbound will make that crucial turn charge… and that’s pretty much how you’ll use this.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Playing This Detachment

Look, if you’re playing World Eaters there isn’t a lot that a Detachment is going to change about your play style. Your plan is to engage with enemies in melee early and often, picking the spots in your enemy’s line where you can plunge in to do the most damage. You’ll use Angron as your big, tempting threat to soak damage early (and probably die), while your Scouting Eightbound charge forward and your Berzerkers head up the table in Rhinos.

The biggest thing to be aware of in this detachment is the Blood Offering Stratagem, which is going to be a critical tool to your strategy for holding objectives while simultaneously rushing an opponent. As your best units charge forward you’re going to leave objectives behind you, typically held by weaker units like Jakhals or lone characters. Blood Offering lets you retain control of those as you trap your opponent in melee near their own deployment zone. It’s a great way to punish opponents for shooting you off the objective in a game where you both know they don’t want to come any closer than they have to.

The rest of these tools are straightforward – you want to put the Berzerker Glaive on a Master of Executions, and you’ll use For the Skull Throne! when it makes sense to do so against a tougher target. Getting a re-roll with For the Blood God! is a bit trickier – getting an extra shot at resurrecting Angron is solid but it’s not super likely, though you can still re-roll individual dice in the new Blessings of Khorne roll with your Icons of Khorne or modify results with a Lord of Skulls.

Final Thoughts

That wraps up our look at the Berzerker Warband Detachment, just a simple set of rules for a relatively simple army. While it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what this detachment wants to do, actually playing it well is a different matter, and winning with World Eaters is as much about knowing when not to charge as about getting into combat.

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