Warhammer 40k World Eaters army guide 2023

The angriest Warhammer 40k faction, World Eaters wage eternal war in the blood God Khorne's name - and their brand new army is coming in 2023

Warhammer 40k World Eaters - model by Games Workshop, a red-armoured warrior in baroque armour wielding an axe and plasma pistol

Of all the many, many psychopaths in Warhammer 40k, the World Eaters might be the most single-mindedly murderous, a horde of unrepentant traitors and worshippers of the blood God Khorne. This faction will be getting a brand new Codex and much-needed update to its signature models early in 2023. This guide covers what you can expect from the new World Eaters range, World Eaters tactics, and lore.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters New models 2023

The World Eaters new models went up for pre-order on February 4th, along with their 9th edition Warhammer 40k codex.

There’s a horde of new models for classic units, as well as brand new figures, that will appear in the World Eaters range refresh.

  • Angron, daemon primarch of the World Eaters and a huge centerpiece model for the army.
  • Khorne Berzerkers, the brutal melee infantry who make up the mainstay of any World Eaters army, replacing a model kit that’s now over 20 years old.
  • Eightbound, possessed Berzerkers with eight daemons bound to their souls.
  • Jakhals, mortal Chaos cultists devoted to the God of murder.
  • Lord on Juggernaut, a Derzerker lord riding a daemonic steel rhino.
  • Lord Invocatus, a Juggernaut-riding special character.

There’s no new model for the iconic special character Khârn the Betrayer, but he was updated in 2017 and is looking good already.

The refresh to Khorne Berzerkers is especially welcome, as their old kit was in service since 1998, and the models for the most bloodthirsty of all Warhammer 40k factions had begun to look quite titchy compared to the shiny new Primaris Space Marines.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters model by Games Workshop, three views of similar red-armoured warriors wielding chainsaw axes and holding energy pistols

Warhammer 40k World Eaters Codex

The new 9th edition World Eaters Codex releases on January 11 2023 – check out our World Eaters Codex review for the lowdown on the upcoming new book.

There’s not long to wait, but until then, a set of get-you-by rules for World Eaters are available. They were printed in White Dwarf 477, and are used in concert with the 9th Edition Chaos Space Marines Codex. These provide datasheets for Khârn the Betrayer and Khorne Berzerkers, unique World Eaters stratagems, Relics and Warlord Traits.

A Battleforged World Eaters army must only contain models with the Mark of Khorne, Agents of Chaos (such as a Chaos Knights Dreadblade) and Unaligned units (scenery pieces). Khorne Berzerkers become Troops choices in a World Eaters army, and the Butcher’s Nails legion trait grants each model an additional attack when it fights in the same turn it charged, was charged, or heroically intervened.

The restrictions on the World Eaters list still allow them to select quite a wide range of models, including some ranged support: daemon engines, Predator and Land Raider tanks, and Helbrute dreadnoughts can all pack considerable ranged firepower.

All those unit choices will remain legal for the World Eaters in the new codex – unsurprising, as Predators and Helbrutes are valid options for the Nurgle-worshipping Death Guard and Tzeentch-aligned Thousand Sons. It seems that all the legions have kept these venerable warmachines in good killing order in their armouries.

Like the Slaanesh-worshipping Emperors Children, the World Eaters have been part of the main Chaos Space Marine codex for the whole of eighth and ninth edition 40k. Other classic Chaos Space Marine choices – like Land Raiders, Daemon Engines, Terminators and Daemon Princes – remain valid for the army as well.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters models diorama by Games Workshop - a squad of World Eaters Chaos Space Marines, clad in red armour and wielding pistols and chainsaw axes, run towards the viewer

World Eaters combat patrol

The World Eaters combat patrol – which still isn’t up for pre-order – will contain 31 models, consisting of:

  • Jackals x 10
  • Khorne Berserkers x 20
  • World Eaters Lord on Juggernaut (optionally, can be built as Lord Invocatus)

As Warhammer Community explained in an article that previewed the Patrol box explains that, unlike other Chaos Space Marine legions, World Eaters aren’t limited to a single Chaos Lord per detachment. That means you could buy two copies of this box and use every model in it, for a blood-stained infantry horde that would make a classic core for any World Eaters army.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters tactics

World Eaters tactics are beautifully, brutally simple – run towards your enemy, and put an axe in their face. These tactics are all based around their current codex – we’ll be updating the guide as soon as the new codex is out, but until then you can check out our World Eaters codex review for a hint of what’s coming.

Khorne Berzerkers don’t have jump packs or teleporters, so your core infantry have to foot-slog across the tabletop to put themselves into slaughtering range of their foes. The Apoplectic Frenzy stratagem allows a single World Eaters infantry unit to make a nine inch move before the start of the game. This unit will probably not survive your opponent’s first shooting phase, even if you protect them with cover – but their deaths will buy time for the rest of your horde to advance up the field.

The World Eaters warlord trait Violent Urgency creates a six inch aura around the Warlord that grants friendly World Eaters units plus one to advance and charge rolls, another valuable tool for hastening your advance. Although they despise psykers, World Eaters can field a Khorne-worshipping Dark Apostle – a priest of the dark Gods who can curry favour with his patron to summon in-game benefits. The prayer Benediction of Darkness grants core, cultist and character units within six inches of the Apostle the benefits of light cover, very handy for keeping your troops alive in the face of enemy firepower.

World Eaters are a relatively elite force, with each Khorne Berzerker costing 22 points, and they really do need to make combat to have any chance of earning those points back. When objectives are in play for a mission, you can’t afford for your Berzerkers to dawdle in the backfield. Chaos Cultists (and probably, the soon to be released Jakhals) are a cheap troops choice to stick on a backfield objective, while Helbrutes can provide long-distance support while squatting on an objective.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters - art by Games Workshop, a horde of red-armoured warriors in an alien spaceshipl

World Eaters Blood Tithe Points

GW revealed a new mechanic for the World Eaters on January 30 in  a WarCom post – Blood Tithe Points.

World Eaters gain one Blood Tithe Point (BTP) whenever a unit – friendly or enemy – is destroyed. In any phase where a vehicle, monster, or character is destroyed, they gain an additional BTP, and the destruction of a Titanic unit is worth another BTP.

Once per phase, the World Eaters can spend BTP to activate a ‘Blood Tithe ability’, a buff that affects World Eaters models in their army for the rest for the game. The Warhammer Community article revealed four Blood Tithe Abilities:

Blood Tithe Ability BTP cost Effect
Rage-fuelled invigoration 3 +1 to charge rolls
Total carnage 6 Melee attack rolls of six automatically wound the target
Spiteful nullification 2 Models that suffer mortal wounds ignore them on a 5+
Reborn in blood 6 If Angron is destroyed, put him into reserves with eight wounds remaining. He can be deployed as a reinforcement via Warp Strike – anywhere on the battlefield, at least 9” away from enemy units

Warhammer 40k World Eaters lore

The World Eaters were the twelfth legion of Space Marines created by the Emperor of Mankind in the 31st millennium. Their Primarch Angron was raised a slave in the gladiatorial pits of Nuceria. Although a formidable warrior, his mind was forever altered by a brutal pain engine installed into his nervous system by his cruel owners, an agonising device that could only be assuaged when slaughtering foes in hand to hand combat. Angron ultimately led a slave revolt against his masters, and would have died fighting side by side with his fellow slaves had the Emperor not intervened, whisking him away.

Angron never forgave the Emperor for abandoning his comrades and stealing his death from him, and he saw the Emperor as merely another slave-taking tyrant. Neither did he respect or trust the legion of his ‘sons’. To improve them, according to his own twisted ideals, he tasked his legion’s apothecaries with replicating the pain engine in his own brain and installing it into his legion. Desperate to achieve a moment of connection with their gene-father, the World Eaters willingly obeyed, beginning the transformation from an already aggressive military force into a horde of berzerkers.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters - illustration by Games Workshop, a sinister warrior in golden armour

Angron was amongst the first to throw his lot in with Horus Lupercal at the outbreak of the Horus Heresy, desperate to vent his rage against the Emperor. Tasked by the Warmaster with disrupting the Ultramarines legion in the galaxy’s Eastern fringe and keeping their huge reserve forces from joining the wider conflict, the World Eaters and the Word Bearers assaulted the realm of Ultramar. Here, the atrocities committed by both forces were so great that the Word Bearer’s Primarch Lorgar Aurelian tore open a colossal warpstorm, and Angron was rewarded, ascending as a daemon primarch of Khorne.

The World Eaters who fought at the siege of the Emperor’s palace on Terra were a horde of ravening madmen, their minds utterly consumed by the agonising hatred of the butcher’s nails and the insidious bloodlust of the war God Khorne.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters - diorama by Games Workshop, a horde of red-armoured warriors charge towards the viewer

After the traitors’ defeat and the Emperor’s ascension to the Golden Throne, the World Eaters retreated to the eye of terror. Angron was lost entirely to rage, but charismatic and lethal captains such as Khârn of the eighth company held the fighting force together. On the daemon iceworld of Skalathrax madness finally claimed Khârn entirely, earning him the moniker of betrayer – from then on, the legion shattered into myriad warbands. Even one such warband is a world-shattering threat.v

The World Eaters were the principle antagonist of the little-known first war for Armageddon. Angron led his sons in an apocalyptic invasion of the vital Imperial industrial world, bringing the world to the verge of ruin before daemon primarch was banished to the warp by the elite daemon hunters of the Grey Knights.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters - model by Games Workshop, a huge red skinned daemon clad in baroque armour, wielding a huge sword and axe, roaring at the viewer

This invasion was so bloody and so rife with daemonic incursion that it almost sparked a civil war within the Imperium of Man, between the Inquisition, intent on purging the planetary population to ensure knowledge of daemonkind remained secret, and the Space Wolves, who were stirred by the courage of the mortal human defenders.

During the 13th Black Crusade, Abaddon the Despoiler’s massive invasion that would ultimately shatter the Imperial bastion world of the Cadian Gate and break open the Eye of Terror, Khârn the Betrayer led a Butcherhorde of World Eaters in an assault on the Imperial world of Amethal.The Butcherhorde was not an army Khârn had intentionally built, but more like the tail of a comet, a rabble of fellow bloody-minded killers certain that they would find almighty slaughter at Khârn’s side

The berzerkers were a small, rabid component in a larger scheme, masterminded by the Despoiler, but Khârn had his own, simple objectives. He sought out the mightiest heroes of the Blood Angels chapter of Space Marines, to slay them and take their skulls in the name of Khorne.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters - model by Games Workshop, Angron, a giant warrior in golden armour, slaying lesser warriors with a pair of huge, chainsaw axes

Warhammer 40k World Eaters characters

The monstrous lords of the World Eaters legion are so despicable, we’ve given two of them their own guides:


The Primarch of the World Eaters legion, Angron loathed his creator the Emperor long before the Heresy. His legion’s descent into madness during the great civil war was swift, and Angron was rapidly elevated to daemonhood by Khorne, chaos God of war and murder. A new Angron model is coming as part of the World Eaters range refresh in 2023.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters are by Games Workshop, showing Kharne the Betrayer, a huge warrior in red and gold armour, his left arm bare, wielding an enormous axe

Khârn the Betrayer

Former eighth captain of the World Eaters legion and Angron’s only trusted son, Khârn the Betrayer’s descent into madness is one of the greatest tragedies in the Horus Heresy. In the 41st millennium he is an avatar of slaughter, as deadly to his allies as to his enemies, and on the tabletop he’s prone to decapitating his own troops just to keep his arm in.

Painting Warhammer 40k World Eaters

We’d urge you not to buy any of the current Khorne Berzerker plastic models as updated sculpts are on their way from GW some time in 2023. Once you do get your hands on these frothing Berzerkers, we have a few tricks that will let you spend less time painting miniatures and more time chopping off heads.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters - model diorama by Games Workshop, soldiers in gas masks and trench cloaks are overwhelmed by a horde of much larger, red-armoured warriors, wielding close range weaponry

The classic World Eaters colour scheme features blood red armour, with brass trim, steel for blades and gun barrels, plus black cabling, holsters, and weapon casings. Ordinarily, it’s best to paint miniatures from the most recessed areas outwards, as you’re less likely to put a missed brush-stroke onto areas you’ve already covered. But Chaos Space Marines are covered in an unholy amount of bling and armour trim, so the opposite approach can be a lot quicker.

First, basecoat your World Eaters black, using a spraypaint: Games Workshop’s Chaos Black, Colour Forge matt black, or any matt black car body primer will work. Once this layer has dried and cured, tidy up any recessed areas that the spray missed with your paintbrush and a matt paint. Then apply an all-over spray of GW’s Retributor Gold. This is a bright gold paint with good coverage and adhesion. Even when spraying, it’s better to use multiple thin coats than to try and slather your miniature in one go, to preserve detail.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters - model by Games Workshop, two red-armoured warrior wielding giant, two handed chainsaw weapons

Once that’s dry, start painting the armour panels in-between the raised armour trim. You can use a matt red, such as GW’s Mephiston Red or Vallejo Model Color Scarlet, or a translucent paint, like GW’s Contrast Flesh Tearers Red or Army Painter Slaughter Red speed paint. Applying translucent red over gold gives a ‘candy red finish’, a lustrous metallic red usually seen on classic sports cars.

Dull down the gold armour trim to bronze by applying a translucent brown paint, like GW’s Snakebite Leather. Then use a matte black paint, such as GW’s Abaddon Black, to paint cabling, belts, pouches, the flexible undersuit visible between power armour plates, and weaponry. From here, use a silver metallic such as GW’s Boltgun Metal or Tamiya’s Gunmetal to pick out any bladed edges and machined parts of guns, and highlight using a brighter metallic – GW’s Runefang Steel is ideal.

Warhammer 40k World Eaters - model by Games Workshop - Kharn, eighth Captain of the World Eaters, charges into melee wearing white and blue armour

You’re not strictly limited to a blood-themed paint scheme. The World Eaters’ pre-heresy livery was white and blue. You can replace almost any part of any colour scheme white white or off-white and it’ll work, as it doesn’t contrast or conflict with any colours. Blue is best reserved as an accent colour – the Warhammer studio paint scheme for Khârn the Betrayer uses a brilliant blue for accents on his plasma-pistol energy coils, chain-axe engine, hair-tassel trophies, and popping bicep vein.

If you prefer something a little more gothic, the Hounds of Abaddon are World Eaters pledged to the Black Legion, who unsurprisingly dial up the black in their paint scheme.