Written by Mephetâ€˜ran with the help of Midnight and all the ATT members.
This is a Tactica for the Chaos army devoted entirely to the Blood God Khorne, the World Eaters. In this article I'll be assuming that the reader owns the Chaos Codex and knows it well, I'll also only be talking about a pure Khorne army and not about a standard list with Khorne units in it.
Before we start on tactics for successfully fighting World Eaters it would be good to keep these quirks of a pure Khorne army in mind:
-World Eaters are very strongly Close Combat orientated and lack a number of Heavy Weapons units available to other Chaos armies. They cannot take Obliterators, Havocs or Raptors and their standard Marines may not take Heavy or Special Weapons.
-Because all units that can have to take the Mark of Khorne, most of them will have the Special Rule Blood Frenzy. This says that at the beginning of each of the Chaos player's turn he must role a D6 for each unit and on a 1 or 2 this unit must move it normal speed plus D6 towards the nearest enemy unit. No matter if the unit is in LOS or not and even if the frenzied unit cannot possibly harm it.
The only units who do not have to roll for frenzy are ones with Daemonic Speed, Flight, Steed, or equipped with a Bike.
(-Watch out for players trying to use the Berserker Glaive in combination with Daemonic Flight, Steed or Speed. This has been made illegal in a recent FAQ from GW, but the codex has not yet been modified. The ruling is that if you take the Berserker Glaive then you may not take Daemonic Flight, Speed or Steed and vice versa. ) Iâ€˜m sure I remember reading this somewhere. Iâ€˜ll have to comb though my WD to find it.
-Feel No Pain is an upgrade available to every character in the Khorne list. It works the same as our Stym Injectors. Youâ€˜re most likely to come across it on HQ models.
So with that in mind, on to the opposing army composition.
As HQ you will most likely come across a Daemon Prince. What kind of Daemon Price, however, can be very different. You get fast DPs with Daemonic Speed, Stature, Dark Blade and various other upgrades to boot, you get slower ones with the Berserker Glaive, Deep Striking DPs with Terminator Armour are also to be found.
The most dangerous by far are the fast Daemon Princes as they don't have to roll for Blood Frenzy and can be in Close Combat in the first turn. If your opponent has one of these, kill it as fast as possible as it can easily kill everything in your army. If he hasn't taken a Daemonic Rune then one Railgun shot is usually enough. If he has taken it then you will need a lot more, especially if he's taken a 5+ invulnerable save to boot.
You might also come across a Lieutenant as the second HQ choice. Typically the Lieutenant is equipped similarly to the Lord, just slightly weaker. A very common sight is twin Lightning Claws, Daemonic Speed, Furious Charge and a couple more Gifts depending on taste.
While slightly less dangerous to us because he can't harm vehicles, he can still very easily kill everything else. This guy should be killed as fast as the Lord, he won't have rune so one railgun shot or seeker missile if he doesn't have a 2+ save should do it.
If you can't see a second HQ, then he has a Bloodthirster. There is nothing you can do about it until it arrives as you have no idea where it is. If you do for some reason figure out where it is, then try and kill the host as the Greater Daemon is then unstable and will probably kill itself very quickly. Ways of telling which model is the Host: Daemon Chains have to be wysiwyg and if the Asp Champ hits in CC then with S8.
When it does arrive you have a serious problem as it is probably your worst nightmare, however it "only" has T6 and a 3+ save so hammer it with plasma, missile pods, Railgun and pulse fire until it dies. It doesn't have Feel No Pain so he should be easier to kill than a Lord.
Khorne cannot take Obliterators, so that leaves them with Chosen and Possessed. You're not likely to see any Possessed except in a fluff army as they are mostly regarded as too expensive. You might however meet some with Daemonic Flight as any unit that doesn't have to take Frenzy tests is liked in a Khorne army. If you do come across them, just remember that they die just as fast as normal Marines to pulse fire, but they cost 3 times as much. One FoF later and you've bagged yourself 250+ VPs.
You might well come across Chosen, especially Chosen Terminators since they are just as fast as standard marines, can take heavy weapons and can Deep Strike. A unit of 6 Khorne Termies with 2 Reaper Autocannons deep striking behind your vehicles is not pleasant, watch out for these guys and wipe them out with plasma and fusion fire as quickly as possible.
The only troop choices available to WEs are Marines and Bloodletters, the bulk will be made up by Marines with maybe one or maximum two Daemon units as these are very expensive and temperamental. Something to remember: unlike other Chaos gods, Khorne's Bloodletters have a 3+ save as well as their 5+ invulnerable save.
A standard Marine unit will look like this: 7 CSM w/ Khornate chain axes. 1 Asp Champ w/ Powerfist, Talisman of Burning blood. All of this for 179pts. This unit has a chance of getting Frenzy of over 50% making them very dangerous and alarmingly fast. Armed with a powerfist and 5 attacks on the charge the Asp Champ can take down almost anything with ease. The rest of the unit has 28 attacks on the charge that allow a best save of 4+.
Other unit types are 7 CSM w/ Khornate chain axes, Furious Charge. 1 Asp Champ w/ Axe of Khorne, Daemonic Strength and Furious Charge. This unit is also very dangerous as with S5 they can hurt Piranhas and Devilfish side armour and the when the Asp champ rolls a 6 to hit (which he neas anyway to hit our skimmers) he can hit again with S6.
Do not underestimate how fast this unit is, if he rolls well its CC in the second turn for any units that can't move.
Bloodletters are very dangerous as they do not Frenzy, so your opponent can choose where they go. Also they scatter on arrival and in my experience they always seem to scatter straight towards you and with S5 they can even hurt Devilfish on the side. Apart from simply shooting them to death, a very evil tactic is to use MLs to bring their Ld down to five or so and them force them to make a Pinning test, railrifles and pulse carbines are good here. For every point they fail it by they lose a Daemon.
Here we have Chaos Bikers. With the Turbo Boost rule they can be very dangerous for us. Along with the Chaos Lords these guys should also the persecuted with utmost ruthlessness. Remember, if they haven't Turbo Boosted in order to shoot then they can easily be wiped out by plasma, fusion, CIB, seeker fire. And even if they do Turbo Boost, just remember they die just as fast to pulse fire as if they hadnâ€˜t moved 24".
Most common are units of 4 bikes, these can easily be killed with pulse fire. Bigger units of 8 are less common as they cost around 360pts and are much harder to hide. Try using the Sub-munitions blast against them and then killing the rest with pulse fire.
You might also come across a Lieutenant and/or Lord here, HQ bikes are not uncommon.
WE have the choice of Predators, Dreadnoughts and Defilers for Heavy Support. Your opponent may be relying entirely on his HQ, Bikes and Asp Champs to take on armour, so it is definitely a possibility that you'll not have any armour facing you. This is good, because it frees up your Railguns to deal with those nasty Independent Characters.
However you're just as likely to face 2 Lascannon Preds and a Defiler or a Dreadnought horde.. The main rule is, deal with the HQ and bikes first, and then worry about tanks. Those HQ with Speed cannot be outrun or outmaneuvered, slow tanks can.
If there is a Defiler with Ind fire annoying you, then I suggest Deep Strike. MP and FB is easily enough to kill it. In fact even a normal Fireknife unit could take it on, or a Drone unit even.
Dreadnoughts are different. He could come with shooty Dreadnoughts, so mutated hull and lascannon + missile launcher. If you see these coming then deal with them the same way as with Predators. CC Dreadnoughts however are something else. they'll have the Destroyer upgrade so they have a 33% chance of getting the same Frenzy move as his Troops. I suggest giving these guys a slightly higher priority as you would a shooty vehicle as they can reach you rather fast, but you can't bank on them getting Frenzy to pull them away. Also S10 hurts even our vehicles, especially with 4 attacks.
Ok, let's see what Tau has against WEs.
The army needs to be kept fast, because Khorne is also faster than most assault orientated SM armies. So anything static is automatically bad. Mech Tau is the only real option as everything else will be overrun and you won't be able to use the tactics I've listed below against them if you have static units lying around.
Remember that if your vehicles move over 6" they cannot be penetrated by anything, not even cc attacks like Melta Bombs or Wraithcannon. For the exact ruling here see the FAQ[link] in the Rules section
Ethereal is bad simply because it means you're not taking a second Crisis suit. Crisis commanders are the Marine killers here. Shas'el are best in this role; I run two. One with PR, FB, TA, MT and one with CIB, PR, TA, MT. I've even killed a Daemon Prince with the CIB...These two together will make your opponent cry.
Crisis: Helios config is godlike here, Fireknife also isn't bad, Bladestorm is also ok.
Stealth: Not bad, but only really effective when guided by MLs to get enough wounds to force the Asp Champ to roll.
Infiltrating small 3 man Stealth units are also very useful as they can infiltrate into places where Kroot can't and can also move away and shoot while they're being chased, more to this later. Stealth are also the only viable way of taking MLs against Khorne as PFs are too slow and a Skyray means one less Railgun. Unless your opponent allows you to use Tetras.
-MechFW unit is good for cleaning up stragglers, but not for much more. Static FWs are just extra VPs for the WE player. Remember to give all vehicles, and especially Devilfish, Flechette Dischargers. He WILL assault your vehicles (mainly because he has no choice in the matter) so handing out automatic wounds is cool. it is actually better to keep the drones and not to upgrade to SMS as the drones can be used like Stealth and Kroot to â€žkite" around and make his frenzy unit chase them. And even if theyâ€˜re caught, who cares ? Theyâ€˜re not worth any VPs!
-Kroot: Awesome. Infiltrate a dirt cheap unit of 10 Kroot in his flank and half his army rushes off after them in completely the wrong direction. Two units of 10 Kroot cause absolute havoc with the opposing army.
-Vespid: Amazingly deadly. Easily fast enough to run away and pack an enormous punch against Marines, Daemons, Bikes etc.
-PFs: A tad to static. They're going to spend most of the time running away, and so are not shooting.
-Drones: Don't pack enough punch against infantry and WE are fearless, so no pinning. However, forcing pinning checks against Daemon when they have a Ld of 5 is a very evil tactic. You can also use Drones to DS against hiding Defilers.
Piranhas: Armed with a FB and Seekers they're excellent for hunting hiding Defiler and can even take out a Pred with a bit of luck. Don't forget Flechette...
=HEAVY SUPPORT =
-Broadsides: Not a good idea. Far too slow, they'll get chomped by some monstrous Daemon Prince.
-Hammerheads: Railguns are what you need against the HQ and enemy tanks as well. 3 Railheads is a must.
-Skyray: It doesn't have a much needed Railgun, so not so good. Still useful though as Seekers really hurt T4 HQ models, Bikes and normal marines. But one can get seekers elsewhere, so I would take 3 Railheads, you'll need them against those Daemon Princes.
-Sniper Drones: Not a Railgun...
Ok, now to the fun bit. All the evil tricks one can use.
The basic strategy against Khorne is to first try and kill all the units that do not get Frenzy, as these are the most dangerous ones. And they should be killed in order of their threat to you. So HQ first, then Bikes / Possessed with Flight and then Tanks. In order to gain time and space to do so use cheap and/or fast units to pull the models away from you who do have frenzy. That is basically it. The only unit who could seriously mess up these plans is Deep Striking Terminators (maybe with HQ). If you know or suspect that your opponent has such a unit keep your Crisis suits at the ready to quickly react and wipe this threat out as soon as it arrives.
What is also very important to remember is that you must always remain a step ahead of him. If it looks like he might make it into CC it is better to pack up and leave and lose a shooting phase. Send a unit up front to slow him down, large Kroot units are good as 14 rapid firing Kroot does hurt.
Here is a basic step-by-step battle agsinst a standard World Eater army:
So the idea is to try and "pull" his army away, to get it running in the wrong direction. This is done in the first two turns by infiltrating Kroot and/or 3 man Stealth units. Infiltrate the Kroot / Stealth as far away from you as possible so when his units get Frenzy and go after them they run in completely the wrong direction for a couple of turns. With Stealth you can keep this game up longer than Kroot as they can continuously move away and still shoot.
So while all his Frenzied unit are running in the wrong direction you need to concentrate on killing his HQs. This is done by maneuvering your Hammerheads to LOS [add link here] snipe him, or otherwise bait the lord into assaulting a unit, which he then wipes out and is left standing in then open. The same tricks work against Lieutenants. More or less at the same time your Crisis and Vespid should be dealing with his bikes and or Possessed as Crisis shouldn't really try to take on a Lord unless you have to.
The next step after you you've successfully killed the HQs (this is usually around the second or third turn) you need to take out his armour. Railguns are, as always, good here. Especially since you're probably facing a couple of Preds with AV14. Piranhas are also good, they can even go tank hunting in the earlier turns and have the added bonus of probably making some units run after them, back towards their board edge where the tanks are. At this point you can also use the drones of the Piranha to cause extra chaos among his frenzy troops. Dismount them and use them as speed bumps or like the 3 man Stealth unit.
Your opponent will probably have either bikes or tanks, but not both. That's too expensive for normal sized games. So you'll either be going after his armour at this point or the bikes. At this time, if he has them, the termies will arrive. So make sure your Crisis are somewhere central so they can quickly deal with the incoming Terminators.
Around the 2nd or 3rd turn his Daemons will also arrive. If you can use the Pinning Trick described above do so, if you can't then kill them like you would a normal Marine unit. Just remember that AP3/2/1 weapons are slightly less effective as Bloodletters are Daemons, so they have a 5+ Invulnerable Save. However Pulse fire is just as brutally effective against Bloodletters as it is against Marines.
Later in the game you want to again get his army running away from you. This is done with an empty Devilfish, a Piranha or a DSing drone unit. Piranhas are especially good because they are so fast. So, say your army wants to up the left board side, then you move the Piranhas to the right side, closer to the enemy units. So now when he gets frenzy they'll go after the Piranhas and you'll have more space and time to put some distance between you and those Marines.
By now there should only be Marines left alive, and these can be shot to pieces at will. Just remember to always keep something you'd sacrifice closer than your expensive shooting units. FoF work wonders here as he HAS to assault the fish and not the FWs, allowing you to shoot him even while he's hammering on the DF hull, you took Flechette right?
However, you could be facing a Daemon Bomb. This is very different as it is composed almost entirely out of Daemons. A standard WE Daemon Bomb army looks something like this:
Lord with Speed and a Personal Icon + Wargear.
A unit of Bikes with the Asp Champ as the Daemon Host. for the Bloodthirster
The rest is made up of 6 Bloodletter units and some Flesh Hounds for extra flavour.
The best you can do is when the Bikes Turbo Boost forward force them to take so many saves that the Host is killed (Torrent Fire rules) so that the Bloodthirster is Unstable and kills himself. This is best done with 2-3 FoF with ML back-up. Once you've managed that, feed the Lord Railguns, Plasma and Fusion until he dies. If you can kill the Biker unit and the Lord quickly then you've all but won as nothing else has an Icon to summon Daemons.
So that's about it. I hope this helps all those struggling against World Eaters.
Last edited by Mephet'ran
on Apr 21 2006 02:35, edited 1 time in total.
-MTT Old School