Review: Traitor Legions: Word Bearers and World Eaters

I’m a relative newcomer to the 40K scene, having picked up the Dark Vengeance starter set just under two years ago in March 2015. I quickly fell prey to the voices of the damned and after painting the Dark Angels in the set for some practice moved on to my first proper army, the Crimson Slaughter. In their raw state, Crimson Slaughter are pretty close to the Word Bearers – Dark Apostles, Possessed and Chaos Undivided being common to both. In recent times I’ve been adding Kharn to my army to cause a bit more, well…Chaos, so it naturally fell to me to review the Word Bearers and the World Eaters sections of the new Traitor Legions supplement.

Without giving too much away, the new rules, traits, and artefacts are fluffy as hell and finally give Chaos armies some much-needed buffs. The Word Bearers get access to artefacts that feed off their hate-fuelled fervour and the World Eaters get more and more ways to spill blood and collect skulls.

These new(ish in some cases) rules add bags of flavour to a legion army and will be perfect for a narrative campaign or a fluffy throw-down with Imperial Scum. The supplement still can’t address the massive gulf in power with regular Space Marines, or their seemingly endless access to new weapons, vehicles, and flyers (and here’s me thinking that seeking out new technology was frowned upon?) but it does make playing a chaos army a heck of a lot more fun.

What will be interesting will be getting the right combination of these rules, getting them to stack and creating some real headaches on the battlefield.


Word Bearers

The “religious nutters” of the chaos legions, the Word Bearers are renowned for their frothy-mouthed fervour, being chums with daemons and a particular hatred for the Ultramarines for some reason.

Special Rules

In keeping with other Legions, no surprise that Possessed are Troops choices rather than elites, and there’s the free upgrade to Veterans of the Long War for all those who can. Psyched can generate all of their powers from the appropriate discipline if they carry a Mark of Chaos, as can Daemon provided they have been marked.

All units gain the following special rules, and there are some nice juicy ones in there:

  • Unholy Pact – Harness the Warp on a 3+ when summoning daemons!
  • Blood Feud – VotLW units re-roll to Hit in EVERY round of close combat when engaged with Ultramarines – cos they deserve it! However, the Smurfs get Hatred (Word Bearers) in return – boooo!
  • Profane Zeal – Dark Apostles have a 6″ Zealot bubble.

Warlord Traits

  • Unholy Firebrand – Zealot. If your Warlord already has Zealot, then he can re-roll to Hit in EVERY round of close combat.
  • Latent Powers – Psyker with access to Malefic Powers. Add 1 to Mastery level if already a Psyker.
  • The Voice of Lorgar – pick a unit at the start of each turn and give them one from Counter-Attack, Fearless, Furious Charge and Relentless.
  • Unbreakable Will – Adamantium Will and Fearless.
  • Nexus of the Gods – tweak the roll on the Chaos Boon table. This has a 12″ bubble.
  • Unexpected Boon – immediately roll on the Boon table, re-rolling 11-22.


  • The Skull of Monarchia – Re-roll To Hit in close combat against Armies of the Imperium. Re-roll To Wound in close combat against Ultramarines.
  • Crown of the Blasphemer – 4+ invulnerable save. And if that wasn’t enough, Adamantium Will and Fear too!
  • The Malefic Tome – Psykers only get an additional Malefic power.
  • The Scripts of Erebus – Once per game generate an additional D6 Warp Charge points. For you only. Not your opponent – just you. And you can do this in their Psychic phase if you want to, just to really piss them off…
  • Baleful Icon – Units charging the holder of this must re-roll successful charge rolls. And even if they still make it into combat, they lose their bonus attacks.
  • The Cursed Crozius – like a regular Crozius, except it AP3, and has Preferred Enemy (Armies of the Imperium).


World Eaters

In a world of angry killers, the World Eaters stand out as the angriest of them all. Berserkers, chain axes, and skulls, oh my!

Special Rules

Khorne has no time for psykers and nothing changes with this latest release. The Veterans upgrade is in place here, but as the World Eaters are devotees of Khorne, no other marks are allowed. Any units that can take the Mark of Khorne must do so.

  • Berserker Horde – Berserker units are troops instead of Elites
  • Blessing of Khorne – any units that have VotLW also have Adamantium Will
  • Butcher’s Nails – Units with VotLW have Fearless and Furious Charge.

Warlord Traits

  • Arch-Slaughterer – Rampage
  • Slaughterborn – Instead of rolling on the Boon table, may increase Attacks by 1
  • Unrivaled Battlelust – charge an enemy unit during your opponent’s charge sub-phase
  • Disciple of Khorne – re-roll To Hit and To Wound in a challenge
  • True Berserker – Eternal Warrior and Feel No Pain in combat
  • Violent Urgency – Roll three dice for charge range and pick two highest. This has an 8″ bubble.


  • Talisman of Burning Blood – +3″ to move range in each phase.
  • The Berserker Glaive – AP3 melee weapon which also gives Feel No Pain and It Will Not Die.
  • Brass Collar of Bhorghaster – Deny the Witch on 4+. A successful Deny grants Perils on the casting Psyker.
  • Gorefather – Just like Gorechild, but with a bald patch and anxiety.
  • The Crimson Killer – Strength 7 AP2 pistol…with SOUL BLAZE!!
  • Bloodfeeder – AP2 melee weapon which makes 2D6 attacks (please roll 12, please roll 12…)

Final Thoughts

My army is conveniently painted red with gold trim, so I can easily bounce between Crimson Slaughter, Word Bearers and World Eaters depending on the situation. These new rules have added a huge amount of depth and flexibility to my collection, and have also made my wallet cry as I now need more of EVERYTHING!!


2 thoughts on “Review: Traitor Legions: Word Bearers and World Eaters

  1. awesome write up!,
    for those wanting to know why the word bearers hate the ultramaines its because of the destruction of Monarchia a crown jewal in the word bearers great crusade crown, having been rebuked by the Emperor for having the people on this world worship him as a god it was ordered destoryed, after the people evacuated, by the ultramarines and thus hatred spawned that would lead to the betrayal at calth during the horus heresy but thats for another time.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s