Time for another legion preview and this time it is about the World Eaters.
Right out of the gate, this is a pretty snacky and unsurprising trait for a legion like the World Eaters - all models gain +1 attacks on the charge in addition to any other bonuses even if they would otherwise not get a charge bonus (i.e. a disordered charge). This is great as it really empathises their berserker-like combat preference - charge and smack things around with chain axes and move onto the next combat... Blood for the Primarch! Skulls for the 12th Legion!
I like this trait. Being able to pull off a charge in your enemy's turn is a pretty awesome - much like how the Fists can do it now thanks to their advanced reaction but in this case it is in reaction to being shot at. I like it, it feels more like an enemy has shot them, they've got their blood up (gain a feel no pain against the shooting attack) and gone "right, that's it, they die next!". Enemies of the World Eaters beware, shooting them up close is only going to hasten your demise!
These traits are pretty awesome. Blood Hunger basically turns your warlord into a vampire (gain wounds on killing models in melee with it - is capped at 6 so you can't go too crazy!) the downside is that the warlord and his unit has to charge the nearest enemy unit within 12 inches - a sacrifice I would be willing to take, just need to be wary of cunning parking of enemy rhinos near to your warlord!
Cloaked in Blood is pretty sweet, a -2 modifier to any non world eater units locked in combat with your warlord. This may be useful for getting the enemy to flee before you so you can mow them down with a sweeping advance!
The Butchers Claws, this is one that I would be tempted to take - basically grants the warlord and his unit get the +1 attack bonus from the legion trait (via charging), they also gain +1 strength for the turn. Ouch, not only are you hitting more, you are hitting harder too!
Rites of War
These Rites are both pretty familiar, I don't think anything has really changed with either of these (but feel free to correct me!) - Berserker Assault makes you run and charge further, grants you additional leadership for pinning tests (this can be pretty useful as while it wasn't necessarily something you would see a whole lot of, it would ruin your fun if you are trying to run across the board but can't due to being pinned) and predator tank squadrons can be taken as fast attack (I think this is new). Rampagers become troop choices in this Rite (though they do not gain Line) The downside of this is that you can't ally (Who would want to!? The others are weaklings!) and you have to charge the nearest enemy within 12 inches if you can see them (pairs up nicely with the Blood Hunger warlord trait).
The Crimson Path is an interesting one: while Berserker Assault is about getting into the enemy faster, Crimson Path is about being able to take more punishment instead (DPS vs. Tank). All World Eater Infantry units can ignore the first wound they suffer in each phase before armour saves and World Eater independent characters gain It Will Not Die so they can slowly heal themselves back up a bit too. Rampagers also become scoring here (they gain Line but are not a troops choice). The downsides are pretty familiar - you need to take more infantry than not and only one heavy support choice.
Some interesting upgrades here but I will start with what is familiar to us first. We can still swap our chainswords for chainaxes for free so that's a minor but yet great army-wide buff in melee on it's own. Cadere weapons are back and they look pretty sweet also - the meteor hammer looks like it's got a nice buff in that it's now breaching but otherwise they look like a nice little upgrade to give your characters something different to play with. Still a huge fan of the Excoriator chainaxe - a couple of my sergeants have those and they do the business when they need to.
The one new thing that stood out for me was there is a new upgrade for Independent Characters which grants them an additional attack like digital lasers does and the "Ravening Madmen" rule. I've heard some criticism about this (with the being treated as effective WS3 when being attacked - noting that they use their own weaponskill stat to attack back) with some of the earlier leaks and while I understand why people thought that it was really just a more expensive version of digital lasers, it's actually a nice way to create characters for your Red Butchers - previously you couldn't really have anyone fighting along side them apart from Angron (and lets be honest, he'd just charge off ahead without them any way). You can given them a madman praetor to have a killing machine leader, you could give them a certifiably insane primus medicae to keep them in the fight for longer, and reduces the strength of weapons by 1 for wounding purposes (so makes them harder to wound) - this is pretty huge and to be honest the downsides of the rule are acceptable as it gives Red Butchers a buff that they've sorely needed, I think we will be seeing some interesting combinations involving them in the future.
The Red Angel in short has been given a nice little buff. He finally has a 2+ save, it was infuriating that power swords were able to cut him down whilst not other Primarchs but that has been sorted and I think this alone makes Angron quite a lot tougher. He can still multi-challenge which is awesome, particularly as Gorefather and Gorechild will tear apart any challengers with ease. The Butchers nails rule has changed (and again for the better in my opinion) - rather than gaining a bonus attack on killing a unit he now gains one at the start of each round starting from the second if he is on the battlefield (so be careful about putting him in reserves as he can't gain them if he isn't present). This makes the attacks gain much more reliable as you aren't reliant on getting a killing blow, he just gets more angry the longer the battle lasts. He also has the same weapon skill debuff that Raving Madmen get which fits him thematically as he's all about attack and not defence.
Sire of the World Eaters isn't much different to before but worth highlighting anyway - everything gets a 6+ Feel No Pain and Adamantium Will which is pretty awesome and particularly in the case of the Adamantium Will side of things it represents their anti-psyker disposition quite nicely. Angron also allows for 3 total movement reactions which is more than most but in this case these are limited to Advance reactions - no issue here, this really synergises with Berserker Assault as it helps get your army even closer to the enemy if they aren't already engaged with them in close combat.
Red Butchers are not much different to before - each have two power axes which can be upgraded to lightning claws, the Devoured additional can upgrade each axe independantly for a power fist, chain fist and thunder hammer (I can see people upgrading the devoured to have a single chain fist and a thunder hammer to have the best of both worlds, this is something I do not think was possible before). As mentioned before in the Armoury section, whilst the Red Butchers on their own haven't changed to much, the ability to give other independent characters the Ravening Madmen special rule is a huge boon for this unit so all in all this is an upgrade for them!
Rampager squads are looking more and more like the poster boy special unit for the World Eaters (as they feature in both Rites). You can take up to 10 of them in a Land Raider or otherwise take up to 15 of them - you can also give them all jump packs so that could be quite frightening in the Berserker Assault Rite
Kharn is the only character listed in the book unfortunately - Surlak might be reappearing in another supplement in the future but this follows the theme of only units with models actually get rules in these books. He doesn't look too different to before - he comes with The Cutter as his weapon but can take Gorechild in lists where Angron is not present and is still otherwise the killing machine we all know him to be. Savage Assault is a lovely ability which he has gained in this new edition of Horus Heresy - he can grant an additional Advance reaction whilst he's still alive (so he's a mini Angron in that regard - no surprises that Angron's equerry would be cut from the same cloth) but also he denies any reactions against charges made by him or his unit so that is pretty impressive! I might make more use of Kharn now to be honest!
I see an awful lot of boons for the World Eaters legion and I'm looking forward to giving these updated rules a go soon! It is a shame that we appear to have lost the rules around Surlak and the Augmented Inductii as that was a great bonus for the legion when they came out in Book 6 but I imagine that these could reappear in some form at a later date.
Until next time!