This is a sort of review of the new World Eaters Codex for Warhammer 40,000 9th edition. It's really more like a compare and contrast between a book that came out in 7th edition and this new one for 9th. Both lists included a Blood Tithe mechanic so it makes sense to sort of see the commonalities these two books share. The Codex: Khorne Daemonkin was a bit of a surprise release at the time, as this faction didn't have much foreshadowing in the lore or anything. It was clearly a merging of the Khorne Daemons and all the Chaos Space Marines that could take a Mark of Khorne as a support vehicle for the release of the multi-build Bloodthirster kit that was released alongside it. Despite this, it was an interesting and fun list to play with and against.  

When I got the new Codex: World Eaters and was skimming through the unit datafaxes I noticed that the Chosen were not in the book any longer. This stood out to me as I had a unit of them and was considering building them for the World Eaters. When the Daemonkin of Khorne Codex was released the Choosen were still the poster boys for Chaos as they were in the Dark Vengeance starter set and one was depicted on the cover of the Khorne Daemonkin book! In fact, that same image was used on the cover of the White Dwarf (#477) that featured the interim World Eaters list that was printed just last year!

So alike yet so different. 

It got me thinking that there were a lot of folks that embraced the Khorne Daemonkin all those years ago and built armies based off it. Sure, that list only appeared in 7th edition but it was possible to play your marine options using the Chaos Space Marine books that were released for 8th and 9th without dropping anything*.  Now we have some units that clearly are new spins on some of the dropped units. Jakhals are clearly Khorne specific Chaos Cultists and I doubt anyone could fault someone for using their Cultists as such. And your old Choosen models could make decent proxies for Eightbound. But if you had a unit of Khorned up Chaos Space Marines, well, sorry pal. To play with some of those excluded units you'll need to take another detachment. 

Two units that are not in Codex: World Eaters. 

What are all the excluded units you ask? Well, all the daemons* and quite a few Chaos Space Marine options. In order of how they appeared in the Khorne Daemonkin Codex they are the units that don't appear in the Codex: World Eaters (9th ed):

  • Chaos Lord- Technically he's still in the new book but only as the Juggernaut riding option. If you had a model of a guy in powered or terminator armor you're out of luck. I don't think there's even a Legends option yet. 
  • Chaos Cultists- These are now Jakhals, but some of your old options might not be allowed anymore.
  • Chaos Space Marines- These are generic World Eaters who aren't Khorne Berserkers. For those of us who owned the old World Eaters from '92 that were carrying bolters or just had some red and brass Chaos Marines, well, too bad. 
  • Possessed. One could probably proxy these for Eightbound. Maybe Exalted Eightbound?
  • Chaos Bikers. - This deletion makes little sense to me as they can quickly close and engage their foes in close quarters. The omission of these chaos chaps baffle me. I modeled a single guy to use as an Aspiring Champion for a Black Legion biker squad but now I am very glad I didn't give into the temptation to do a whole squad of them. 
  • Raptors- Again, these guys make sense to have in a Khorne army as they can get stuck in really fast. 
  • Warp Talons- Same as the Raptors whom they share a kit with. These models were new at the time and were prominently featured throughout the Daemonkin book. 

It's also worth pointing out the models that are mentioned in the Codex that GW missed the boat on making a model for, and the most obvious one would be the Berserker-Surgeon. To quote page 10-11: "These individuals are the inheritors of the legacy set down by the Apothecaries and Techmarines who first developed the Butcher's Nails for Legionary implantation. Berserker-surgeons operate across the galaxy working with different Chaos Lords*** to create homicidal maniacs who have no concept of fear, pain or death." The Death Guard has a guy like this, but the World Eaters need a guy like this! But, he's no where to be seen. Perhaps in a future edition? For now he's the World Eater's equivalent to the Mad Boyz for the Orks or the Exodites for the Eldar: stuck in the lore and nowhere on the table top!

How many players had these guys? 

It's also curious to see what was kept in the new list. 
  • Heldrakes- I suppose Heldrakes make sense to stay but the exclusion of Raptors and Warp Talons seem odd in contrast. 
  • Defiler- The Defiler and Forgefiend are the true heavy support options for this army but I can't help but wonder if a Chaos Vindicator** would've made sense too as you do have to close a bit with it to make it truly effective. 
  • Chaos Spawn- The Chaos Spawn stands our to me for not having the Daemon keyword.
  • Forgefiend- (see Defiler)
  • Maulerfiend- A true close combat monster that makes complete sense to have in this book. 
  • Chaos Terminators- There would be some angry players out there if these models were dropped. I am bummed that we didn't get new Khorne-themed models for them considering that Deathguard and Thousand Sons got theirs, but maybe they're saving them for a 10th ed launch? 
  • Rhinos- Can't leave out their sweet spikey rides. 
  • Land Raider- And we can't leave our the spikey rides with firepower. I still miss the Destroyer Blades from 6th Ed. 
  • Daemon Prince- Updated with a new model just in time for this release, so of course he had to be included. 
  • Berserkers- You just can't have a World Eaters army without them.
Added to the new list are the Predator tanks, which I thought was an interesting choice for light heavy support for the World Eaters and one that I wasn't quite expecting. Surely a Vindicator would've made sense too?**

Thankfully I have been tediously slow at building out my World Eaters so adapting to the new list shouldn't be too painful for me. Others might have a different story and are contemplating stripping their Raptors of their paint and ripping off their khorne bunny heads. The get-you-by list from White Dwarf last year sort of prepped us for these changes. But still, time and money invested in a unit only to not be able to play with it eight years later, it's a harsh let-down.

I for one am enjoying this new book over all, and I think you'll see me continuing to feel Khorney for a good part of this year. 

*And you could play your Daemon options via the detachment rules.
**Note my personal bias
***(none of whom wear Terminator armor any longer and are constantly mounted on a Juggernaut)

All images in this post are (c) Games-Workshop and are used here without permission and for review purposes and should not be regarded as challenges to the copyright.