Principia Belicosa: World Eaters Special Characters

“What would you know of struggle, perfect son? When have you fought against the mutilation of your mind? When have you had to do anything other than tally compliance’s and polish your armor? The people of your world named you “Great One”. The people of mine called me slave.”

Angron. Betrayer, Aaron Dembski Bowden.

Angron

The Red Angel, Slaughterer of Nations, The Undefeated, Lord of the Red Sands. 

Let’s start with a few common truths.

Angron is a Primarch, therefore he enjoys a robust stat line with all the blessings a Primarch is endowed with (Eternal Warrior, Dear, Adamantium Will, Fleet, Fearless, It Will Not Die, Master of the Legion, Presicion Strike and Precision Shot.)

Angron excels in close combat. He boasts WS 9, with seven Str 8, AP 2, Murderous Strike, Armourbane attacks on the charge. This means that whatever he touches, he destroys.

As befits the Lord of the Red Sands, he can fight multiple challenges in a single round of combat. Challenging one character after another, will quickly chew through your opponent’s Artificer Armour Sgt. shields and allow your troops to chew through anything. For example, he could charge a unit containing a praetor, apothecary and squad sergeant, fight each in a challenge (allocating 2-3 attacks each) and probably kill all three (don’t forget he has precision strike so any 6s to hit can be targeted against them even if they decline the challenge). 

For each character, he kills in a challenge (or each unit he wipes out by himself) his attacks go up by 1 to a maximum of 10 (11 on charge) for the rest of the game. He’s a tornado, able to tear through infatnry, armour, pretty much anything shy of a Primarch. At this point in the narrative, he is half-dead, wasted by the accumulated abuse of the Nails. Yet he is still able to compete with his siblings (whether power creep is a thing, we’ll leave you to decide).

Angron is not very survivable, with only 5 wounds, 5+ Feel No Pain and a 3+ save. Stick him in a large 20 man tactical squad with an apothecary in a Spartan and let him loose. Any excuse to put a painted Primarch on the table should be taken. This is a narrative-driven, historical sci fi game – we should be using these character to tell our own stories.

Don’t forget that he doesn’t have the Legiones Astartes special rule so he doesn’t benefit from any of the World Eaters Legion rules.

Khârn

The Twice Un-Slain, The Bloody, The Ender.

No discussion about World Eaters could miss out this iconic captain of the 8th assault company.

He has Praetor level stats with a 2+ save and Iron Halo 4+ invulnerable. He must always be your commander unless Angron is present and has a unique Warlord Trait in the form of Savage Assault. This grants him +1 to any random roll to determine which side gets the first turn and seize the initiative. That’s a big bonus leaping from a 1 in 6 chance to a 1 in 3 to go first!

He excels in combat (a phrase you will forgive me for not mentioning again) and benefits from any cumulative bonuses granted to the World Eaters. He also has Rampage which boosts his attacks further.

Khârn has the option to use The Cutter (ap3, Rending) or Gorechild depending on when the battle takes place historically during the Age of Darkness.

If possible definitely take the Gorechild, as, without it, he struggles to make an impact in combat. Give him Goreschild and he transforms into a butcher. Watch in glee as he murders the enemy command, troops…anything that can bleed.

Shabran Darr 

White Eyes, Adjunt to the 11th Assault Company of the World Eaters

A very characterful choice if you’re theming your army around the loyalist detachment slaughtered on Istvaan III.

At first glance, he is a consul with a few embellishments such as Hatred Traitor Marines and Rending against opponents when engaged in combat. A Master Crafted Chain axe will see him struggle even against modestly armoured opponents. A unique modelling opportunity if your gaming group decide to replay the scenarios from Book 1. 

Please note that Surlak cannot take Terminator armour. At the time of writing, there is no official model – this is just a pretty picture of a gore-drenched apothecary I have painted in the past.

Gahlan Surlak

Dominus Nuritor, Master of Inductii.

Sulak is a World Eaters character introduced in book 6: Retribution. This guy is responsible for the rapid indoctrination of new World Eaters recruits into the legion. This was not the refined sytstem of Astartes creation deveoped by the gene cults and the Master of Mankind, but the rough handed, flash indoctrination and muscle grafting procedures used in the later stages of the Age of Darkness. 

In the game he is an average Primus Medicae centurion (watch out for that 3+ save) and comes equipped with a refractor field, power axe and master-crafted needle pistol. He is a support officer so cannot be the army warlord or fill a compulsory HQ slot, but does come with the standard Primus Medicae Sacred Trust rule, meaning you can claim back some victory points for your squads getting wiped out if they are near him. 

Where he really excels is with his Narthecium Primus and his Master of Inductii rule.

The Narthecium Primus is a souped-up Narthecium like any apothecary would carry into battle, except that this provides a 4+ feel no pain rather than only a 5+. It also makes opponents re-roll successful poison attacks which is useful for keeping away some of the nastier weapons of the 31st millennium. 

Master of Inductii is the real reason you’ve picked Surlak for your list though. Armies containing Surlak may take Inductii squads in place of regular tactical squads. Inductii are the spawn of Surlak’s rapid indoctrination program so are bigger, meaner and way more expendible than regular Space Marines. Inductii are tactical marines with +1S and feel no pain 6+ which grant no victory points to the enemy when killed. Yes +1 strength. Yes that stacks with;

  • the chainaxe +1 strength, yes that stacks with 
  • the World Eaters’ re-rolling 1s to wound on the charge
  • the re-roll to attacks from hatred
  • +1 attack from exhortation of butchery
  • +2 attacks on the charge from rage

Imagine 20 of these nutters charging into combat with 5 attacks each at strength 6, AP 4, re-rolling hits and 1s to wound in the first round (there won’t be a second round). They will go through enemy infantry like butter! They also hit as hard as a krak grenade so will go through enemy armour with AV 12 or lower just as easily.

The downsides of Inductii? They have -1BS (not a loss as you won’t be shooting with them) and they don’t count as scoring units. Finally, no characters can join them except apothecaries or Primus Medicaes (including Surlak himself of course). Remember though that if they are killed within 6” of a Primus Medicae you get victory points even though the enemy doesn’t! Premium World Eaters goodness!

Surlak, of course, comes with the Exhortation of Butchery rule which allows him to ramp up the butcher’s nails of any unit he joins for +1 attack that round at the risk of killing each squad member on a 1. This is incredible for putting extra dice in your hit/wound pool against especially tough opponents like terminators or Custodes but definitely don’t use this on Red Butchers! Book 6 gave this rule to every apothecary and Primus Medicae in the legion too which is nice. 

Next time we will be looking at allies, then we’ll be putting this all together with tactics and sample army lists! If you would like to see Dan’s work check out his Instagram feed!

 

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