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Tactica: World Eaters
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Old 21 Apr 2008, 11:58   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Tactica: World Eaters

The Worldeater Way Ė An Overview

Even before the Heresy the World Eaters Legion was renowned for its heavy focus on hand to hand combat. Their reputation was the herald of fear to their enemies in a similar way to the Night Lords, though for very different reasons Ė where the Night Lord use Terror Tactics, the World Eaters are just plain terrifying! There was no room for mercy or quarter in the World Eaterís war ethos, and it was not uncommon for Angronís warriors to fall into a red rage when their choler was up. This is how they earned the Berserker moniker. As their preference leant more towards close combat, their reliance upon ranged fire support was minimal. This is not to say that they did not use it, or that tactics went out the window as soon as the enemy was sighted. But their brutality and occasional loss of control did earn them a reputation for mindless violence that was rendered stereotypical of the Legion. On the tabletop, Khorne Berserkers are a force to be reckoned with when they are able to get to grips with the enemy, which makes them the greatest proponents for a mechanised army in the Codex. While fire support is available to them, it is not necessarily required in volume provided the right tactics are employed. This article will try and explain how this works.

[hr]

The World Eaters Legion on the Tabletop, Now and Then (for Khorne has Changed His Ways!) Ė A Comparison of the New Codex to the Old

Any Khorne player will tell you that using the old Chaos Space Marines Codex to play a World Eaters army was a tricky proposal. Fun, yes, but it was never easy! So yes, you had access to some nifty wargear, Axes of Khorne, Berserker Glaives and Chainaxes, not to mention the ability to give them Feel no Pain and other rather tasty abilities. But there were downsides to this approach and they were twofold. First of all there was the cost issue. If you allowed yourself to be too dazzled by the shiny gubbinz your force would be too small to remain effective on the battlefield for longer than a turn or two. Secondly there were the more rulesy detriments, namely Blood Frenzy and, for your Berserker Glaive wielding fanatic, the fact that he couldnít join a unit. To me Blood Frenzy was more bane than boon as a clever opponent could use it to lead your troops around by the nose. There was nothing worse than seeing your squad of 16 Berserkers leaping around trying in vain to swat a 70 point skimmer out of the air, and thatís not to mention the Daemon Prince, who was also subject to this rule. The fact that it effectively allowed them to Fleet was usually useless because of this tactic and you could forget about taking transports because if they frenzied they had to dismount before the transport could move.

At last my beloved Khorne Berserkers have regained their wits in the new Codex. They donít get the extra movement that Blood Frenzy gave them, but nor are they forced to dismount from their transports. So, not only can they pick and choose who to fight, they can also retain a more consistently speedy approach. And the trade-off is, in my humble opinion, immense! Furious Charge was always a good upgrade before and now they have it as standard, but this is enhanced massively by the fact that they have a boost in weapon skill. Not only is this incredibly fluffy, after all many of them have been fighting hand-to-hand for ten millennia, it also gives them an edge against their loyalist equivalents. The other squad options allowed to a Khorne player are perhaps not as shiny as these, but they do give you more flexibility in terms of squad upgrades.

This tactica is my attempt to fully explore Codex: Chaos Space Marines from a predominantly Khornate viewpoint. I will look at presenting and explaining a selection of optimised army builds suitable for representing a Khornate warband on the tabletop. I will also try and explore the tactical use of each build.
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Old 21 Apr 2008, 12:13   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: World Eaters

Part 1, Taking the Fight to the Enemy Ė Building a World Eaters Army

In this section I will look at the staple Khorne units and their options to try and justify the most economical build for each one. Weíll start by filling out our compulsory choices.

[hr]

HQ: Daemon Princes, Chaos Lords, Kharn the Betrayer, Greater Daemon

Daemon Prince: A Khornate Daemon Prince has only two customisable options, making him the easiest to design. Both the upgrades are pretty much compulsory if you intend to take one as a flying Daemon Prince is faster than a foot-slogging one. Needless to say heís going to draw fire wherever possible, and sheer volume will take this power armoured beasty down. Wings allow him to use the NINJA technique much more efficiently, allowing him to get in close, hopefully in tact. The only other upgrade he can take is his mark, and as weíre building a Khornate army, itís a very cheap and fluffy option that will enhance his combat abilities. The resulting unit is a relatively cheap, fairly tough Monstrous Creature and a scoring unit. I like this option, any many will tell you they are a compulsory choice in their armies, but he tends to shine more against smaller, elitist armies than against ravening hordes of power-klawed orks, who will simply soak up the damage before whittling him down with four strength eight, armour-denying attacks. A Daemon Prince working alone will struggle to break these boyz in one round, as they are most likely going to remain fearless. Supported by other units it can be done, but with Orks, the second wave is going to punch home and more than likely bring him down. Use this bad boy with caution!

Lord: The first thing anyone will see when it comes to a Khornate Lord is the Bloodfeeder daemon weapon. This is a two-handed power weapon that gives give him a potentially obscene amount of attacks in addition to his normal allowance with a built in chance of him doing nothing. He has quite a lot of customisable options including Lightning Claws, Terminator Armour and a Daemonic mount that makes his combat prowess that much better. The Daemon Prince probably looks better on paper vs MEQs in terms of points efficiency, simply because he is faster than a JuggerLord and harder to kill than a Raptor Lord, but against horde armies this choice shines as he is capable of doing dismayingly large amounts of damage, potentially taking out that power-klaw before it can do any damage. Give him a Juggernaught and he pumps out between 6-17 attacks (provided his weapon doesnít rebel against its master). Always ensure he is well supported and beware Malalís fickle influence. Here are a few other Lord combos courtesy of Brass Claw:

~Terminator Lord w/ Mark of Khorne, Terminator Armour, Twin Claws (140 pts), plenty of attacks, greater chance of wounding, fairly tough!
~Raptor Lord w/ Mark of Khorne, Wings/Jump Pack, Power weapon, Meltabombs (140 pts), Fast, Independant Character, good in combat and fair anti-tank capability
~Bikefeeder w/ Mark of Khorne, Bike, Daemon Weapon (170 pts), Fast, Tough, close combat monster (with Daemon weapon risk), can be used in conjunction with summoning

Kharn the Betrayer: This dude is, quite simply, awesome. He will, with relative ease, kill just about anything that isnít a T7+ Monstrous Creatures or a Monolith. On the charge he puts out an obscene amount of attacks at high weapon skill and strength and with 2D6+Strength for armour penetration. A run-of-the-mill Carnifex has a roughly 50/50 chance of surviving an assault from this guy. He may also kill some of your guys, but thatís a small price to pay and it can be avoided if you are careful. Again he is better used against small elite armies as those power-klaws will ruin his day.

Greater Daemons: If youíre going to take one of these, make sure you have a couple of naked champions dotted around to enable you to summon him without losing any special wargear. These guys are great for soaking up fire, and can give your opponent plenty to worry about, but their main role in the Chaos Space Marines Codex is for the psychological edge they will give you. Any opponent other than an Ork or Tyranid player will be inordinately scared of this dude and will do anything they can to take him down. When compared to the Daemon Prince he is tougher, but less well armoured, so on balance not much different. The only real difference is that if you are careful, he can make combat on the turn he arrives, while the Prince has to slog it up the table.

Others: Iím not going to discuss sorcerors as they have no place in a Khornate army for obvious reasons.

In summary:
~Daemon Prince w/ Mark of Khorne, Wings (140 pts) Ė Fire magnet, shines against MEQ, less useful against hordes, psychological edge.
~Lord w/ Mark of Khorne, Bloodfeeder, Juggernaught (140 pts) Ė Can shelter in units, shines against hordes, strong against MEQ, risk of forehead slapping moment when he rolls a 1 for the Bloodfeeder.
~Kharn the Betrayer Ė vulnerable to buried power fists etc, this guy is just wrong!
~Greater Daemon Ė Fire magnet though protected from shooting by summoning, must be summoned via removal of champion, no armour.

[hr]

TROOPS: Khorne Berserkers, Chaos Space Marines (marked), Summoned Daemons

You have a couple of options here. You can go with Marked Chaos Marines or Khorne Berserkers. The second option is, as far as Iím concerned, far more points efficient. Comparing a ten man Marked Squad with Berserkers youíre only paying 3 points more per model and getting +1 Weapon Skill, Furious Charge and Fearless into the bargain. The difference is the equivalent of one extra marine plus change (you canít quite get two for the points difference) so itís not massive. The more Marked Marines you have, the more you save on buying the Icon, but really the comparitive difference is still negligible. The one advantage of Marked Marines is that they come with Bolters (plus the usual paraphernalia) so against horde armies like orks you can use them to put a dent in the aremy before it arrives. The application of your shooting phase in a World Eaters army is very important, and will be addressed in the tactics section.

Berserkers: these are the meat and potatoes in any dedicated Khornate force. They have better weapon skill that MEQ, and when they charge they get initiative and strength bonuses that make them far superior. Add to this the fact that they wonít run away and youíre laughing maniacally as the skulls pile up at your feet. So, letís look at the squad upgrades available to us:
~Skull Champion: Every Berserker Squad should include one of these bad boys. Firstly, he is the only member of the squad with the option to field a power weapon of any kind, so when it comes to the killy-killy he will be worth his weight in gold. This is especially true when facing power-armoured foes, where your rank and file will have to chew through ceramite to do the job.
~Power Weapon: When charging, this weapon will chew through just about anything with the enhanced strength bonus. Itís also much cheaper than the Fist.
~Power Fist: My personal favourite. This weapon is an effective anti-tank weapon as well as being able to instakill most multi-wound characters. Heck, a charging Skull champion can hurt a Land Raider with a little luck, though he will still struggle with a Monolith.
~Meltabombs: Skull Champions equipped with a power weapons may want to consider these. Heís still slightly cheaper than his ĎFist counterpart and has a respectable chance against vehicles that arenít skimmers. Personally I think that with the new codex there are better ways to get anti-tank capabilities into your army, so this would not be the most efficient use of points. These are really only for those who are more interested in fielding lots of foot-slogging infantry.
~Personal Icon: A very useful upgrade if youíre interested in fielding Lesser Daemons. It gets them where the action is. If youíre not fielding aetheric units, leave this at home.
~Plasma Pistol: You can have up to three plasma Pistols in your squad of Berserkers, although it is commonly reckoned to be a waste of points. It is certainly a very risk proposition to give one to your Skull Champion, as he could end up removing himself and his power attacks with an unlucky roll of the dice, 60+ points gone in a puff of red mist. If you learn only one thing from this tactica, let it be to avoid this potential forehead-slapping moment at all costs! Berserkers are primarily meant to kill stuff in close combat, so these weapons are only really going to prove their worth against foes with a preponderance toward 2-up saves and even then youíre likely to outnumber your opponent quite heavily, so perhaps an extra berserker is more useful.
~Transport: In my previous World Eaters army, Rhinos were too expensive to buy for my small unitís of head-strong ĎZerkers. Now, not only are they a more reliable prospect due to the nerfing of Blood Frenzy, but they are much cheaper to boot! A squad of 8-10 ĎZerkers in a Rhino has the ability to close the distance fast, as long as you are careful in your deployment and you employ the NINJA approach. Iím still learning to put this technique into practise myself, but the premise is clear: Berserkers in Rhinos go faster. As to what equipment to put on the Rhino, it really boils down to how secure you are in your own abilities.
~Extra Armour: Although this upgrade is now more expensive, the combined cost of this plus the Rhino still costs less than in the old codex. So, where before it was an elementary decision and a fairly low cost commitment, now it is much more optional, especially considering the saving you make in not taking it. Letís look at the facts. Your Rhino is AV11 to the front. Anything from S5 up can at least cause a glancing hit, and S7 penetrates on a 5+. When you consider that many armies these days can run a multitude of autocannon equivalents, there is a reasonable chance that your Rhino will take glancing and penetrating hits whenever the enemy can draw line of sight. Even with your Extra Armour, your chances of coming out unscathed at the other side are fairly low when youíve got such a volume of incoming fire. Extra Armour will keep your squad moving IF your opponent rolls a stunned result. To me the chances of it being destroyed or immobilised are still too high to justify the extra points here. So your best option against this kind of opponent is the multiple redundency technique, i.e., take LOTS of rhinos!
~Daemonic Possession: The principle here is the same as with Extra Armour in that your tank can continue to move (and fire). However, the rules state that the crew/passengers are affected normally, so a stunned result is still going to stop them disembarking. Considering I usually dismount in turn 1 or at the latest during turn 2, this is an expensive and needless upgrade.
~Combi-weapon: I like my transports cheap and disposable. They are mobile cover for my units or sacrificial tank-shock gambits when I want to break up an opponentís formation or force his heavy weapons teams out of coherency. Making them a platform for a one-shot special weapon is not going to win any battles.
~Optimum Squad Size: Khorneís magic number is 8. This was handy in the old codex because it meant your champion upgrade came for free. These days itís not so big a concern (although, handily, two boxes of 12 berserkers equals three squads of eight). If mounting your troops in Rhinos, 10 is a good size as you are utilising all the transport capacity you paid for. 8, on the other hand, allows you to spread your bodies out a little more when dismounting (think Vindicators Ė not a good prospect for those bunched up Berserkers). If you opt not to take a transport you have the option of taking a 20 man squad. Iíve never seen this tactic employed in the new codex, probably because youíre talking 400+ points in one unit and it severely limits your tactical flexibility. In the old codex I took a squad of 16 (for that free champion) and this proved useful, but these days mtultiple redundency is much more useful in the long view.

Chaos Space Marines: Fluffwise, you might not see any of these in a World Eaters army as itís widely held that the entire Legion was made up of Berserkers. However, fluffwise, the Legion is no longer a Legion at all, so itís perfectly feasible that a primarily World Eaters warband would pick up a few hangers-on. Letís look at the options:
~Aspiring Champion: As with the Skull Champion this dude gives you a few close-range options such as power weapons, power fists etc. Personally the only thing Iíd consider giving him is a power weapon and maybe a personal icon, but thatís is because I see their role as one of close range support, rather than as a dedicated close combat unit. He also provides a relatiuvly painless vessel for any Greater Daemons you might want to summon. This makes a case for keeping him naked, but for a minimal points trade-off you can reach a suitable compromise. If you want this squad more for fire support, a combi-weapon may be more appropriate.
~Special weapons: Flamers and Meltaguns will be handy if youíre using them in close support of your Berserkers as they are assault weapons and can be fired on the move. Plasma weaponry, though it has itís uses, doesnít really suit the Khornate way of life as itís a more static weapon. Iíd only consider it if I was taking this squad for ranged fire support, pairing it with a heavy weapon like the autocannon or a second plasmagun.
~Heavy weapons: Personally I donít think these have much place in a Khornate list, but thatís coming from a fluff perspective. It also makes your squad more static. However, these options can give you some much needed anti-tank support.
~Icon: For a Khorne force this makes for a fluffy choice, but it is also very useful. You now have ranged fire and close combat punch, making for a very flexible unit.
~Transport: The same goes for these as with Berserkers, though I would tend to move them up on foot if I moved them at all as they can then opt to stand still and use their ranged weaponry if needed.
~Optimum Squad Size: This rather depends on the role you want them to play. 10 is required for heavy weapons or the extra special weapon, while combat oriented squads can get away with lesser or larger numbers.

Summoned Daemon: techically these donít count as compulsory choices, but can be taken as supplementary troops. This is useful if youíve filled up your Troops slots and want more infantry. The fact that they have to be summoned makes it essential to take Icons and Personal Icons. They are also combat orientated as they have no ranged attacks. These can be handy against static-firing-line armies provided you can get an icon-bearer close enough and survive the resulting fusillade in order to dump these aetheric monstrosities into combat.

Summary:
Berserkers: Best mounted in transports, 8-10 is optimum, only upgrade the Champion, greater needs for combat
Marked Chaos Space Marines: Provide ranged support, 10 is optimum, upgrade according to intended role on the battlefield
Summoned Daemons: Protected from shooting when unsummoned, require icons to be summoned at all, made for combat only
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Old 21 Apr 2008, 12:15   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Tactica: World Eaters

HEAVY SUPPORT: Now that weíve looked at our compulsory choices we can start to consider the other needs or our army. For me, fire support in general doesnít fit the fluff, but there are some units that fit very nicely into the World Eaters ethos that can also provide a much needed boost to ranged assault:

Defiler: This comes with a battlecannon for starters, but it can also be upgraded to make it a combat monster as well, which fits our general theme and gives you flexibility. Against assault focused hordes it can soften them up as they advance, then join in when things get to close quarters. Against static armies it can draw fire away from more vulnerable units, target juicy targets or just scuttle forwards at full pelt using its Fleet ability to get into melee. However, the daemonic engine is sometimes a little too easy to kill for most armies, making them somewhat of a liability.

Vindicator: Designed for close support, these babies can effectively guard the flanks of your advancing infantry from potential counter charges and enfillading fire. Just be sure to leave a few spods for your infantry to mop up. The short range of these self-propelled guns can make them vulnerable to side shots so be sure to use the terrain to your advantage.

Predator: This is probably one of your best anti-tank options, able to field three lascannons on one stable platform for a relative bargain. Not as fluffy, but effective.

Obliterators: Personally I hate the models, but they are a cheap way to introduce a few lascannons or whatever else you fancy to your force. Their ability to deep strike can also help with those elusive tail-pipe shots!

Land Raider I love the Land Raider. Mine was a loyalist one that never got used because of a preference for the Crusader, so it was an obvious choice when I started my World Easters. Nowadays itís less of an asset, but it still comes in handy for itís resilience and the fact that itís a platofrm for two twin-linked lascannons. If anything the assault-ramp capabilities play second fiddle to this as it does tend to draw a lot of fire very early on. As such, I often employ it in a shielding role, using it to cover the approach of my more vulnerable Rhinos. It can also run behind a wall of rhinos, which, should they be wrecked or immobilised, may be crushed under the treads or be rammed out of the way in order to use the assault ramp to good effect. Its employment is always a risky business, but it can reap some rewards.

Summary:
Defiler Ė Versatile as ranged support can be combined with close combat ability, vulnerable to heavy weapons
Vindicator Ė Good close support for infantry advance, short ranged, vulnerable to flank shots
Predator Ė best anti-tank option available, fairly tough
Obliterators Ė Fair anti-tank ability, may Deep Strike, vulnerable as small units
Land Raider Ė Fire magnet, tough, lascannon platform, assault platform Ė versatile and fluffy, but donít expect it to survive

[hr]

Fast Attack

Bikers: These are a fairly tough choice and very useful if you intend to use a lot of summoned daemons because of their ability to deliver them into combat. However, their cost generally means they can only be fielded in small numbers, meaning they are vulnerable to concentrated enemy fire. As a result Iíd be less inclined to take lots of upgrades on these units and to use them purely in a delivery-boy role. Alternative uses may include tank-hunting as they can have meltaguns, or as dedicated close combat units, but the fact that they can only get 3 attacks when charging makes them an expensive gamble when used like this.

Raptors: These guys, on the other hand, are cheaper and easier to keep out of sight. They get more attacks on the charge and can field the same anti-tanks options that the bikers can have. Add to this the championís ability to take Lightning Claws and you have a pretty good assault unit to compliment your Berserkers. They can get stuck in quickly, eliminating or tieing up any unit thatís giving you worries. My advice would be to take a small unit and give the champion Lightning Claws and the Icon of Khorne (it doesnít say he canít carry it, my Raptor Champion has it attached to his jump pack). Add in a couple of meltaguns for those opportunistic armour-busting moments and you have a relatively cheap, versatile support unit. It should not be used too aggressively as it is vulnerable to weight of fire. As to using Raptors in greater numbers, this should be done with caution. Itís easy to think that a squad of 10 can hold their own in combat until the cavalry arrives, but they can quickly become isolated or bogged down. In my opinion, even when used in numbers, Raptors are always a support unit. If you are using a Greater Daemon you can keep your Champion cheap and cheerful for possession purposes. This can be handy because of their speed, but remember that they must be in a useful position at the start of the turn in which your reserves arrive, so a medium to large squad may be required in order to whether the return fire.

Summary:
Chaos Space Marine Bikers Ė Useful in a Daemonic Delivery role, tank-hunter capabilities, vulnerable due to prohibitive expense
Raptors Ė Very useful support unit, capable tank-hunters, objective snatchers or interference

Next we'll address some tactical usage, this section is still in development. Please feel free to make any suggestions on how to develop the above, or PM me with any tactics that have worked for you (I'll make sure you get credit!)
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Old 21 Apr 2008, 12:41   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: World Eaters

Great work there Extartius, thanks for the advice. +1 karma for your efforts.
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Old 21 Apr 2008, 14:32   #5 (permalink)
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Excellent write up! I'll be adding this to the Important Topics Sticky.
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Old 21 Apr 2008, 14:41   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: World Eaters

I disagree with your advice to put the Icon on the Raptor champion. That just means that a torrent of fire will gut your unit in one unlucky save. In addition, if you've got a Greater Daemon it means you'll lose the Icon if you summon it from the raptors, which is likely as they are frequently the closest unit to the foe.
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Old 21 Apr 2008, 15:43   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: World Eaters

... and I had just scratched World Eaters off of my Chaos wish list.

I freaking hate you SOOO much right now for making such a seamless tactica. Well done
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Old 21 Apr 2008, 21:23   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: World Eaters

Quote:
Originally Posted by 40kenthusiast
I disagree with your advice to put the Icon on the Raptor champion. That just means that a torrent of fire will gut your unit in one unlucky save. In addition, if you've got a Greater Daemon it means you'll lose the Icon if you summon it from the raptors, which is likely as they are frequently the closest unit to the foe.
I'll add this in as a proviso. I don't use him for this purpose as I've given mine Lightning Claws thereby spending too much on him to lose him in this way.

Thanks for the compliments, guys. I hope to have the next section written up this week!
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Old 21 Apr 2008, 21:41   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: World Eaters

I have to admit that's an impressive article, well done! .
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Old 21 Apr 2008, 22:26   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tactica: World Eaters

No commentary on the elites? Is there a reason for it? or still in the works?

Quote:
In summary:
~Daemon Prince w/ Mark of Khorne, Wings (140 pts) Ė Fire magnet, shines against MEQ, less useful against hordes, psychological edge.
~Lord w/ Mark of Khorne, Bloodfeeder, Juggernaught (140 pts) Ė Can shelter in units, shines against hordes, strong against MEQ, risk of forehead slapping moment when he rolls a 1 for the Bloodfeeder.
~Kharn the Betrayer Ė vulnerable to buried power fists etc, this guy is just wrong!
~Greater Daemon Ė Fire magnet though protected from shooting by summoning, must be summoned via removal of champion, no armour.
Here are some other combos that are available

Lord w/ Mark of Khorne, Terminator Armour, and Lightning Claws(145pts)- Loads of attacks, re-roll to wound, tough 2+ save

Lord w/ Mark of Khorne, Jump Pack, Power weapon, Melta Bombs (140pts) - Quick, not a large target, OK anti-tank and anti-troop.

Lord w/ Mark of Khorne, Bike, Bloodfeeder (170pts) Very quick, High point cost, Improved Toughness, Daemon Weapon risk.


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